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Sigur Rós - ( ) CD (album) cover

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Sigur Rós

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.93 | 296 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Proletariat
4 stars Sigur Ros is possibly the most pretentious band in existance. This is prog, we love the pretentious!! As you may or may not know ( ) is sung in a made up language, the idea being that you could decide what the song means yourself. (the disk even comes with blank linear notes for you to write your oun translations of what the songs.) Over all it is an interesting idea, or would be in any regular rock band, but post-rock rarely has singing at all and I end up listening to this in the same way.

About the music: warning this is not for evryone and is not where you should start with Post-Rock or even Sigur Ros. The music on this album owes more to new age and ambient than it does to prog. This album is also not your every day post- rock, you wont find dramatic build ups or dark textures, what you will find though is relaxing minimalist composition at its most minimal. Sigur Ros fuses minimalist composers with their music much in the same way as Yes, ELP and Genasis fused the earlyer classical composers with their sound. Obviously this is not going to be for evryone.

#1: The perfect opening to this type of album, ambient organ sounds forming a pillow over wich piano and bow guitar can lay down their ambience. As the singing comes in you can hear the melody slowly start to change and at the point where most other post-rock bands would turn up the volume they turn it down and go into a different melody with strange baby voice singing and tons of insane bowed guitar. Finally we arive back where we started with emotional piano lines closing us out.

#2: Starts with some weird fuzzy distorted samples, one of my favourite Sigur Ros trademarks. Afterwords the song goes into a melody with a lot of fuzz still hanging around the song. During this song the drums really get on my nerves as they are to "clicky" and in too high of a register for somthing so ambient. Ignoring the drums this song has some great spacey atmospheres and the most powerfull singing in the genre (not that the genre gives much compotition) The end of this song is perfect, overall this is one heck of a tearjurker.

#3: Starts a little too slow but when the piano kickes in you forgive them. One heck of a dreamy atmosphere, this song hits all the same emotions as does #2 but it goes about it in an almost opposite mannor, while #2 gave noise and drones #3 gives highly restrained melody and minimalist repitition that slowly changes and fades. While not the most engaging song it will make you feel.

#4: great drumming on this song you actually find yourself nodding your head for the first time on the album, it feels good to get a real sence of rythm into your ambience once in a while. This song is verry climactic and while being probably a more traditional post-rock song it gives us somthing new in terms of melody and ryhtm. The keys work on this song is among my favourite for a post band. The music box theme is rather fun and brings a smile to my face every time. This song makes a good break after #2 and #3 because rather than having a hopless despair it brings a sence of hope and a vague feeling of happyness. This one is among Sigur Ros's most progressive songs.

#5: A slower number that is extremly durge-ish, almost to the fault of not having enough going on. This song is bleak, its not sad its definatly not happy it is the feeling of emptyness. This song never really picks up, one of the weaker points on the album (not that its bad its just there isn't enough to it, especially following the near perfect #4) at around 2 minutes it starts to finally do somthing, by this point however its too late to save the song, especially because it sounds too post like GYBE! from Iceland and not particurally exciting, it dosn't help that the beutifull melodies that Sigur Ros is known for are absent. Hey they can't all be winners

#6: another verry good slow opening the singing sounds verry natural and relaxed here almost like a lulaby. The way that the keyboards cut out behind his voice amazes me evry time it just feels so natural. when the fuzzyness kickes in the song really gets interesting. The sound of feedback reminds you that they are a rock band and not some strange elecronic project and the anguish in the voice reminds you he is not a child, and then a new melody emerges as beautifull as any that they had ever crafted. and the tempo picks up and the insturments work together as one mass no one player stealing the forground. I really cant say enough how emotional it is to be brought through the sludge for somthing this magnifacent, a normal band would have given it to you outright but Sigur Ros made you wait for it, and like a child waiting for chrismas presants the wait made it that much better!!!

#7: The longest song on the disc, the "epic" if you feel so inclined, though unlike an epic in amlost evry way except length. The vocals on this song sound tortured and worn out the high register ditched for a moment, though dont worry it returns soon enough. This has a verry dark mood, that puts you on the edge of your seat, and then there it is, anger, dissonance, loud, but its only for a moment and your back to the quiet contemplation. The wistling in the back is as one may susspect from the falling bomb, that would no doubt soon hit again, but it dosn't instead you get a cleaner sound even that may have put you at ease if not for the dissonance. Dont worry the bomb took its time but it does get here. The emotions that are captured in the vocals work great despite the lack of words showing most strongly what Sigur Ros was trying for with this wordless consept. Following is a long strech of calm before the storm, and what a storm it is. It makes the other build ups that you felt so strongly at the time seem weak in comparison the anger and the darkness are extremmly strong, and its perfect after all Post-Rock is the music of feelings. Perfect

#8: Starts quickly with little build up, but it dosn't need one. The melody feels great and the precussion fits well. This song reminds a bit of Pink Floyd and especially of Meddle with its calm spacy atmospheres and rythmic yet ambient guitar. at 3 minutes you get a great build up, though short lived, and then you get a few more. Whats this you say "basic post rock formula" but you would be wrong, the build ups are too fast and too unexpected for that old formula and the bits in between sound like a pop-rock ballad deconstructed with synth strait from outer space not to mention a catchy chorus that I cant help but sing, though the words are made up. Following this is a dark section with tribal drumming and interesting bass work, this bit feels like it could be the soundtrack to some epic movie. Soon all we are left with is a guitar rythim and pretty singing. Of course this is really just a build up and will soon turn to loud but it makes a great build that rivals GYBE! in intensity the drumming here is perfect, and the electronic noises leave your mouth watering for more. Possibly one of Sigur Ros's best.

Overall: great disc, not quite a masterpeice but a definate must own especially because of the strange consept that must be seen and heard, with only a few weak points to bring it down therefore I give it a 4 because it is definatelly excellent but not a masterpeice

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Proletariat | 4/5 |

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