Sigur Ros - Takk

Year of Release: 2005
Label: EMI
Catalog Number: 0946 338462 2 7
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:33:00

"In our music you can see the wonderful landscapes of Iceland. There is no other way we can describe our music." That's how the weird chimeras of Sigur Ros work. A lot of people automatically think of the wonderful artwork that adorned the band's previous release oddly titled ( ). Neither for critics nor radio people is Sigur Ros an easy band to label. Maybe we should approach them first as being a collective of arty people who take as much time and effort necessary to deliver one hell of a fantastic product, whether it concerns the music or the packaging. If you know that their studio is built at the bottom of an empty swimming pool somewhere in Iceland, I think you know well enough that no further questions are needed. A lot of times their music is based on repetitive soundscapes yet on Takk... we also find some shorter pieces that incorporate either derailed instruments or fragile tunes through which strange voices are woven. Listeners with a lot of imagination automatically hear hundreds of soundtracks passing before their very ears. A lot of people take Sigur Ros as a continuing phase in the experimental, ambient nature of Radiohead, as if they could be outtakes from Thom Yorke material which they found in his attic!

To be honest, Sigur Ros doesn't really deliver authentic songs. Every single piece of music has its very own structure, where it's more important to retain the right atmosphere rather than search for the perfect melody. Take "Sé Lest" where the sound of a musical box mingles with a Salvation Army brassband. It's exactly this kind of extremes that you can expect from this Icelandic madness. On one side, as fragile as the billions of Icelandic icicles, whereas on the other side, warm enough to be able to grow bananas. By using a bow when playing the guitar you get a sea of melancholic sounds that are being replenished with sounds from nature, samples and other electronic goodies. Producer Kenneth Thomas often records the sounds deep in the distortion zone, which results in the contrast between the unpolluted Icelandic nature and an imaginary industry. "Golsoli" is such an example with a nice musical box on one side and a swelling theme on the other, leaving the meters to sway way back into the red. Nevertheless should the band aim for more airplay and become a contender for the charts, then the strong orchestral "Hoppipolla" might be the best choice. Especially the string sections are gruesome, like they are also in "Saeglopur."

A Sigur Ros album not only restricts itself merely to the music. Once again a lot of care and love has gone into the packaging which envelops Takk ... A nice little book, including some embossed pages, as well as nice drawings, slightly resembles a well-crafted herbarium from late 19th century. Only the songtitles and the band's website are mentioned in the package. Luckily a lot of info is included on the band's website, which should offer sufficient material for the diehard fan trying to find an explanation for the mysterious side of Sigur Ros. Not sure whether all of the material on offer on the site is 100% genuine though! As expected Takk? is not your average album that looks nice on your coffee table to blend in with your new design settee. It demands a lot of attention and effort to fully appreciate what's on offer here. Yet once you have crossed that imaginary line you really find yourself in a completely different world. Then again Sigur Ros delivers the Zen of another dimension whilst the Icelandic moss serves as the perfect absorbent material once you dive back to earth after yet another of your audio bungy-jumps!

Takk .. (1:57) / Glosoli (6:15) / Hoppipolla (4:28) / Meo Blodnasir (2:57) / S? lest (8:40) / Saeglopur (7:38) / Milano (10:25) / Gong (5:33) / Andvari (6:40) / Svo Hljott (7:24) / Heysatan (4:09)

Jon Por (Jonsi) Birgisson - vocals, guitar
Kjartan (Kjarri) Sveinsson?- keyboards
Orri Pall Dyrason?- drums
Georg (Goggi) Holm - bass

Agaetis Byrjun
( ) (2002)
Takk (2005)

Genre: Rock

Origin IS

Added: October 30th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1063
Language: english


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