Monday, June 10, 2013
Sigur Ros: Kveikur
With The 2002 album ( ) being so incredible, it defined for me what they were. They continued down another path with latter releases and I stayed enamored with that particular album in such a way it was hard for me to give the following albums a fair solid listen . So that is what I set out to do with this one.
There are no whale sound symphonies of the womb, there is a post-industrial shoe gaze sugar coating that unwraps the album that follows. The child like counter tenor vocals of Jón Þór Birgisson hover with cherubic ease over everything. They do not sound like Bjork trying to communicate with elves and seem to follow a verse chorus pattern. Some of the angelic vibes might have to much hope in their Hopelandic delivery if you are not on your meds.
Compared to their earlier work the songs have taken on more form to the point of where they conform to traditional pop songwriting at least in the sense the hooks are more defined . I can see how they have grown into a larger audience, as the most Kate Bush quirk and dreamy grandeur occupies the edges. Songs like "Yfirbord" keep their cinematic quality in check while holding a lucid dreaminess to provide a sound track to a hallucinogenic morning wake up.
There first album as a trio, there isn't a feeling that they are being forced to scale things back due to the departure of their Keyboardist. "Stormur" in it's breezy fairy wonderland chorus is more straight forward but if alternative radio still exists in america , this is still to abstract.
The darker murk to sonic gateway into the title holds a post-apocalyptic weight and the band has admittedly state this was going to be their most aggressive album. Birgisson's voice keeps the tone from becoming too ominous, though the element of down right bliss they normally soar with is trod over by the giant robot who seems to be pounding the drums.
As the sky empties its tears outside my window, the album unfolds more with each listen though the romantic recollections of the band I heard 11 years ago surface but followed by a more upbeat propulsion. The whole lazy post-rock label might be applied in the broadest definition but there is to much crystalline sparkle that harkens back to the Cocteau Twins for it to really fit. Shoe gazing elements are present though while the album remains as sonic or more so than the more recent album , it never loses you into a drone and uplifts more then lulls the listener into a hypnotic state.
There is little doubt in anyone's mind they are capable at their craft, the harsher electronic elements and some hefty fuzz added to bass lines of songs like "Blapradur" have expanded their dynamic change and adds more color for them to draw from without diminishing the ethereal nature of what they do. Does it impact me as much as their 2002 album, no the emotional frequency on this one is different, but they are pretty flawless at the soundscapes they have crafted and there isn't a moment that sounds unsure of it's intentions , so as it has continues to grow on me with each listen I'll give it a 10.
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/57644101?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=ffffff" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/57644101">sigur rós live 2013 (brennisteinn)</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/sigurros">sigur rós</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>