Friday, June 27, 2008

Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

The Icelandic kings of dreamy, spacey rock are back, hot off the heels of their widely acclaimed movie Heima, with a new full length. Before you listen to Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust you probably have already set your expectations. You're expecting a record filled with tons of gorgeous atmosphere, songs pushing the ten minute mark, and bascially a record that logically follows everything else they've done.

With their latest full length, Sigur Ros turns your expectations upside down, and changes everything you thought about them. Sure, the epic soundscapes are there. The cello bow still strums the guitar, and soft melodies turn into soul melting crescendos. But, from the opening acoustic guitar riff of "Gobbledigook," it's obvious that this record will be different. The first two songs are arguably pop songs. If you could understand what he was saying, you wouldn't be surprised to hear these songs get huge, or be all over the radio. The first two songs clock in at under 7:15 (combined!!), and have fairly standard structures. Drums pound, hands clap, horns blast, and acoustic guitars are prominent. Dare I say, this is some of the most interesting music Sigur Ros has hit us with.

"Festival" is the first song to approach the ten minute mark, and while it starts slow, and spacey, it ends with another horn filled triumph. The same is true for the other "long song" on the album, although it's not nearly as strong as "Festival." As a whole, the second half of the record is much slowed and more what you'd expect from Sigur Ros, but it's still impressive. The emotion and power conveyed through the minimalism in the last two tracks is great.

While I'd never criticize Sigur Ros' earlier work, it's wonderful to see them pushing the envelope and trying to change their sound so drastically. The irony of challging themselves to actually fit into a more conventional sound is interesting, but I'm glad to see them pushing themselves as artists.

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