January 26, 2006

The Best of 2005: #2

#2: Sigur Rós - Takk...
If I thought Frances the Mute was going to be hard to describe, Takk is going to be even tougher. If you've never heard of Sigur Rós, you are missing out. This band from Iceland is starting to make a name for themselves with their emotionally touching music that has the ability to free your mind. Although they sing in Icelandic, that doesn't stop them from connecting to you more personally than most bands that sings in English. Listening to Sigur Rós can literally put you in a completely different frame of mind, putting you in a bizarre atmosphere all together. Their 2002 release "( )" is exactly what a crisp, gray, gloomy winter morning would sound like if it could make noise. "Takk" has the same effect except relating more to a spring afternoon than a winter morning. What sets "Takk" apart from other cd's on the list is it's ability to paint a picture in your head when you listen to it. Sigur Rós is not of this world. They are completely unique in every sense of the word. Only a gay Icelandic guy would think of playing the electric guitar with a cello bow. The music that comes from that technique is inventive and mystical. Thought of as a calmer more emotionally charged Radiohead, Sigur Rós is an acquired taste that will have you smitten with time. As soon as you listen to it, you get struck with "Glosoli", a 6 minute long song that completely erupts at the end. After that "Takk" does not let up. The rarely played single "Hoppi­polla" is an enchanting song that is filled with piano and violins that builds up just like every other song on the album, including the gem "Saeglopur". The beauty of this album is unparalleled, and though not as dark as their other works, this record is a jaw dropper. It's amazing how this music creates such beautiful imagery with little talking. The best part about Takk is you don't even need to be a fan of indie music to enjoy it. Just pick it up and use it as background noise sometime, and I promise you you'll see what I'm talking about. If you don't want to spend $15 on an album purely because I say so, I'll understand. Go to the bands website and watch the video for Glosoli and Hoppipolla. If watching those videos doesn't show you why Takk is number 2 on my Best of 2005 list, then my hands are tied. Takk is Sigur Rós' masterpiece, and that is saying a lot.

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