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Sigur Rós - ( ) CD (album) cover

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Sigur Rós

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.96 | 292 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I waited a long time before writing a review for this album by Sigur Ros. The reason for my waiting was to give the record a chance to catch on with me, to get to me, to grow on me. After the first listen I was so dissapointed I had the impulse to sit down and bash the album with all the words I could come up with; but that was not the right thing to do: the right thing to do was to listen to the work at least three or four times before making a judgement in regard to its quality. So that I did. And, surprise of surprises, the result is...

... the same.

This is the cd I like the LEAST in my whole collection (and a somewhat big collection at that, so it means something for me for an album to be the LEAST LIKED). I do not dare to say it's the WORST cd in my collection because I have some albums where the performance levels are worse or in which the recording or the songs are really low- grade. But even in those cd's I find some elements missing from this release: variation, control, hope...

...Light.

Yes, light. This album by Icelander Sigur Ros is the darkest collection of songs I've ever heard, and I don't mean that in a "darkness-hellish-black" kind of way; I mean it in a "enlightening my life" kind of way: this cd doesn't add anything to my experience on loife, to my musical journey, to me as a person. Because whoever wrote this music decided just to express his or their own inner depression and dispair for life and tried to reproduce it for the listeners in the most concise, boring, uninspired possible way. The result? A single-color album, just as the "booklet" is so bland and uncreative (I don't know who thought it was "pure genius" to devoid the cd of any graphic design or at least any credits....it's just over-pretentiousness and self-indulgence), the music is SINGLE-COLORED: white as ice, if you want, black as the NOTHING, if you prefer, but just ONE COLOR, no shades, no tonalities, no desire to ENLIGHTEN someone's life.

The songs in this album follow the same incredibly simple pattern or formula: each and every one start with a single idea played with the utmost delicacy, as if the performers were afraid to break some strings or drumheads or keys, in the lowest possible volume (pianissimo); then, a crescendo, the same idea gets repeated plays but with slowly increasing intensity; then.... more of the same; but, at last, finally, we get..... more of the same. I'm not exaggerating: the same slow, tedious, lamenting ideas are repeated till death with just a few adjustments in intensity; finally, a kind of climax when some instruments as the cymbals make their debut takes place, lasts for about 20 seconds, and dies out, slowly fading into oblivion and into... the next song which is very similar!

Someone may say this album is full of melody. I say: WHERE?!? Oh, excuse me, at the start of every song... but, that same melody is the ONLY one in each song! Where's some melodic development? Where's the playing around with a musical theme? Nothing of that to be found, only repetition.

The level of playing is hard to judge. Hard to judge because I don't know if I should rate it high because of the accuracy in playing pianissimo all the time or very low because of the utter lack of variation in the playing. And after some thought put into this, I'm going for the second choice. There's hardly any merit in playing a slow, repetitive melody over and over again.

One of the two things that bothers me the most is the "singing": this isn't done ina aconventional language like english, spanish, swedish, etc. It's just vocalizations performed by the singer in no particular language that are supposed to "fit the music". I would say they DESTROY THE LITTLE MUSIC THAT WAS THERE TO DESTROY. The "vocals" in () are the MOST ANNOYING EVER, period. NOTHING compares to the annoying-level of these "vocals": imagine being subjected to a high-pitched, spoiled- brat-like cry for something like 70 minutes! Medieval torture, isn't it? Well, add boring music to that and you get the recipe for the best possible torture device this side of the Iron Maiden (not the band, but the torture device).

The other element in this albums that gets to my nerves is, well, the mood of the music itself. This album is the most depressing, no-hope-left, suicide-apology, despair-for- creation, apathy-and-self-destruction inducing music this side of, well, some other post- rock band I reviewed a while ago. What's the point of this? Should we accept the depressive incoherent ramblings of a self-indulgent character that wants us to feel as crappy and worthless as he feels? I can accept some depressing music when it's in the right context, when it's not THE ONLY KIND OF MUSIC IN A 70 MINUTE ALBUM, and specially, WHEN ALL THE MUSIC DOESN'T SOUND THE SAME.

So, these are my thoughts on this "post-rock" atrocity. Pure genius? Maybe. Maybe I'm wrong and this un-developed, poor-thematic-variety music is the way of the future...

... I'm so glad that future is not for me. Who wants a future with music that gives no hope for one?

Recommended for: post-rock ultra fans, Sigur Ros fans, people who want to feel sad and low about their expectations in life.

Not recommended for: Fans of intelligent, diverse, challenging music; fans of variation in music; but mostly, not recommended for people taking anti-depressants...

...you may drink the whole bottle after this.

The T | 1/5 |

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