Sigur Ros – Takk
Sigur Ros are an amazingly original group. Their second album Agaetis Byrjun was the final glorious nail in the coffin of Britpop. Gone were the days of bands simply ripping of the Beatles (or God forbid, Oasis), this was music from another planet. Ok, it was from Iceland but frankly it was better than sounding like it came from Manchester. Sigur Ros music was dramatic, powerful and so unique. Fair enough, Jimmy Page used a violin bow to play his guitar, but aged 18 I didn’t have any Led Zepplin CDs, so I plead the fifth on that one. Now on their fourth album, I believe the band have got the balance of their previous two albums right. The huge sound of Agaetis Byrjun and the simplicity of ( ) have been melded to make Takk.
The opening, gentle title track is nothing more than a gentle warm up. Glosoli almost sounds like one of those wind up music boxes, until it erupts into a planet-crushing wall of sound which is just fucking glorious. “Hoppipolla” (which everyone will recognise from the trailers for Planet Earth), is one of those songs that I hear and wonder why no one’s yet written a melody that perfect. It’s almost overpowering, but instead of sheer noise, it’s the swelling beauty of the strings that gets me every time. It’s such an inspirational piece of music.
If anything, the rest of the album can’t compete with these two amazing tracks, but it’s still a really good album. Overall the mood is much lighter and celebratory than their previous albums. Se Lest is a gentle track, but it may piss off people who think that vocalist Jonsi sounds like a horny whale, but the track breaks down into some beautiful sounds and ends up sounding like some kind of ethereal lullaby. “Saeglopur” is just a regular piano track until all the instruments come crashing in with a delicious fizzing sound. Truely now, buy this album. Seriously, considering it was released a year ago, you’re probably not going to hear a more heart-wrenchingly beautiful album all year.
Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla: