Sigur Ros – Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

“With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly” is the approximate translation of Sigur Ros’ fifth full length album and is maybe the most dramatic departure from their trademark sound so far. Previous albums have had songs that build up slowly to an emotional and musical crescendo; the songs had a panoramic sound that was unlike anything I’ve heard before. With this album, Sigur Ros have stripped things down quite considerably; gone are the sonorous guitars played with violin bows and the orchestral bombastics. In it’s place are quieter songs that still manage to affect me like the older songs.

The opener “Gobbildigok” is an acoustic guitar led track that has a wonderful flamenco, stomping beat: it’s a million miles away from Sigur Ros’ sometimes glacial slowness. Most of the songs have a slower pace and a delicate musical feel. “Íllgresi” does however remind me of “Heaven” by Bryan Adams, so I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it is a gentle and warm song nontheless.  “Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur” is another feelgood track and one that showcases the much more prevelant use of brass instruments rather than strings.

The best track is unsurprisingly one of the longest; seven minutes into “Ára Bátur”, a spellbinding choir joins into the melancholy piano track; less than a minute later an orchestra joins in. First time I heard this I was immediately reduced to tears. It’s so raw and affecting, but it doesn’t need any kind of huge sound to pull it off. And it’s this that underlines how good a band Sigur Ros are; they’ve been characterised as one-trick ponies, albeit with one really good trick. But the songs on this album show they can craft beautiful songs with epic scope but still remain grounded and intimate.

Sigur Ros – Gobbildigok (contains lots of nudity):

Sigur Ros – inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur:

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