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Sigur Rós - ( ) CD (album) cover

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Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

3.98 | 391 ratings

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4 stars "()" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Icelandic post rock act Sigur Rós. The album was released through FatCat/Bad Taste in October 2002. It´s the successor to the band´s successful second full-length studio album "Ágćtis byrjun (1999)" (which has sold more than 500.000 copies) and features one lineup change as drummer Ágúst Ćvar Gunnarsson has been replaced by Orri Páll Dýrason.

The slow building, atmospheric, and melancholic post-rock style of "Ágćtis byrjun (1999)" is continued on "()", although the band are if possible even more subdued and mellow in their delivery on this album. This is the perfect soundtrack to standing alone on top of a windswept hill looking over the ocean, taking in the incredible beauty of nature. Understanding man´s symbiosis with nature and the fragility of that union. Sigur Rós have created a delicate, ambient, and quite exquisite release with "()", with layers of strings (played by the Amiina string quartet), keyboards, guitars, an organic and dynamic working rhythm section, and of course the fragile and high pitched vocals by Jón Ţór Birgisson. It´s music requiring patience and peace of mind, because of the slow building structures of the tracks, but it´s an emotionally rewarding ride, if you enjoy ambient melancholic music.

It´s not the words which are sung, resulting in an emotional effect, because Birgisson sings the entire album in a made up language called Vonlenska (also known as Hopelandic), but it´s the way he uses his voice to convey feelings of sadness and deep melancholy, which have an impact on the listener and of course the multi-layered high volume climaxes of the music. The trick with singing in a made up language, was to give the fans a chance to make up their own lyrics for the music.

"()" is divided into two parts. After the first four tracks the album feautures 36 seconds of silence before "Untitled ("Álafoss")" opens the second part of the album. All eight tracks on the album were originally released as "Untitled", but Sigur Rós later posted song titles on their website, so the fans had a chance to tell the tracks apart and discuss them as individual compositions rather than just an untitled part of a full album.

"()" features an incredibly well sounding production, providing the material with the right atmospheric and organic touch. This is through and through a gorgeous sounding album. It´s a bit more introvert and not as easily accessible as "Ágćtis byrjun (1999)" but it´s a strong release on its own terms and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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