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Sigur Rós - Ágćtis Byrjun CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

4.14 | 556 ratings

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3 stars The second album from this Icelandic band is one of the more popular post-rock albums. Next to Mogwai and GYBE, Sigur Ros are probably the most influential post-rock group. They sing in their own made up language called Hopelandic. I don't see what the point is as most non- Scandinavians probably think they are singing in Icelandic anyway. The vocals generally sound like some kind of Bjork/Thom Yorke hybrid. I can hear influence from 1990s alternative rock on this album. I haven't heard the debut yet but those influences are supposed to be even greater there. The songs are generally long and don't change much throughout their duration. Although this is a band with typical instrumentation, the presence of string and wind instruments seems to stand out a lot of the time.

The album starts with a spacey intro with lots of backwards effects. This leads directly into "Svefn-G-Englar." I guess you could desribe this as ambient-rock. I like the change after 6 minutes, very Floyd sounding. "Staralfur" sounds influential to some later post-rock. The piano part sounds like U2 and also sounds similar to some of the piano playing you would hear later with bands like Muse and Coldplay. "Ny Batteri" begins with some random noises from different instruments. Gets more atmospheric and a bassline starts. Vocals join in. Halfway some awesome sounding drums come in.

"Hjartao Hamast" has an awesome electric piano sound (Wurlitzer?) and some harmonica. Jazzy drumming and some atmospheric, feedback-y guitar. Sounds like upright bass is being used. Some great ethereal singing here, backed by symphonic strings. "Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa" reminds me of Floyd's "Great Gig In The Sky," except there is strings instead and no female vocals. Gets more Radiohead sounding when the vocals enter. The ending reminds me of Sgt. Peppers. "Olsen Olsen" has a very post-rocky bassline that wouldn't sound out of place on a Mogwai or Tortoise album. More child-like ethereal vocals. Nice flute parts in this song. Some "la-la" harmony vocals. "Avalon" is a atmospheric, moody instrumental. Nice way to end the album.

I was never a big fan of this group, nothing they did ever really grabbed my attention. I haven't heard all of their albums, but I enjoy this one the most of the ones I have. I've heard better post- rock and I've heard worse post-rock. I would give this a 3.5 but can't push myself to give it 4 stars. 3 stars then.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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