Review Summary: A meaningless moment through a meaningful process.
As I cross over into my 30s and turn the page on this decade, I’ve learned that the most impactful albums have a nostalgic resonance with them. Riceboy Sleeps
the 2009 debut album from ambient side-project of Jonsi and Alex Somers, is in itself a contained exercise in nostalgia. Even then, the record’s wistful sounds felt lived in. Often somber, the album achieves an emotional connection through imaginary shared experiences. Experiences of youth, love, and loss. For albums like Riceboy Sleeps
the human connection is everything. Warm, organic tones can be subjectively beautiful, but when untethered, they detach themselves from the listener. Lost & Found
, Jónsi and Alex’s unexpected follow-up, is a pallid anniversary celebration with nothing connecting its dulcet tones sounds to feelings it wants to convey.
To mimic nostalgia, Lost & Found
reworks nearly all of Riceboy Sleeps
. The songs “Boy” and “Stokkseyrar-Disa” on the former are reworkings of “Boy 1904” and “Stokkseyrar” on the latter. These samples act as fond reminders, but perhaps with different intentions. The haunting chorus on “Boy 1904” is remixed on “Boy” to something more hollow and inorganic. “Stokkseyri,” with its compelling minimalism has been watered down then washed away. These observations belie an opinion which is anathema to quality music criticism--Lost & Found
. Jonsi and Alex have taken a lush and majestic album--unique within the ambient field--and reduced it to something much more remissive. The human aspect, the keys, strings, and eerie vocals have all been buffered out resulting in a humdrum “ebb and flow” style more akin to Hammock. However pure their intentions, Jonsi and Alex have failed to capture that same magic from ten years ago.