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Sigur Rós - Sćglópur CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

3.78 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Sćglópur is the latest offering from Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, coming out almost exactly a year following their pivotal album 'Takk.'. This one is an EP, but in keeping with the band's tendency to offer a lot of value for the money, it includes a 3- song video DVD as well. I picked this up for a very reasonable $10 USD. The packaging is typical of the band: digipack with very tasteful and ambiguous artwork, and with no liner notes whatsoever beyond the names of the tracks.

This is a great sampler for those not familiar with Sigur Rós. It includes the popular "Sćglópur" (Lost at Sea) from 'Takk..' In both audio and video formats. This is a haunting beautiful tale of a wayfaring sailor lost at sea who is somehow rescued in the end and reunited with his loved ones. Like most of the band's songs, the lyrics are a combination of Icelandic and the band's made-up language Hopelandic, and are sung in an unsettling and emotional falsetto by band founder Jónsi Birgisson. The song's video is also included on the DVD, but (spoiler alert) the ending here is not quite the same.

The band put together three new tracks for the album: "Refur", which prominently features Kjartan Sveinsson'somber electric piano and more mournful vocals by Birgisson; "Ó Fridur" which has a lot of oddly discordant strings (synthesized I believe, although with no liner notes it's hard to say); and the very languid instrumental "Kafari", which is in keeping with the band's overall sound but almost too mellow. This one has also has a lot of chimes of different types and is the least distinguished work on the disc.

In addition to "Sćglópur", there are videos for "Hoppípolla" and "Glósóli". "Hoppípolla" (Jumping into Puddles) is probably the band's best-known single, having appeared not only on 'Takk.', but in an EP of its own in 2005, and in BBC's 'Planet Earth' series. The video features playful scenes of a bunch of old people having fun jumping in puddles and throwing fireworks and playing 'war' in a field. It's very 'artsy' and charming in a sappy kind of way. "Glósóli" is a child's fantasy tale with a little bit of an ambiguous ending. This one also features some very lush piano and nice transitions that draw the song out to seem longer than it actually is. While I would have preferred to see the band actually performing live on the DVD, the videos give an interesting interpretation of their songs.

Like I said, this is a pretty nice primer for the band as it features three of their better singles, plus a few new tracks that show their range. The DVD is a great bonus offering, and overall this is well worth the budget price. Highly recommended to any Sigur Rós fan; well recommended to fans of both post-rock and art rock; and even well recommended to progressive music fans in general. Four stars.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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