Best of 2008: #7, Sigur Rós

Rank: #7
AlbumMeð suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
ArtistSigur Rós
Label: EMI/XL Recordings

Coming in at #7 on our countdown is Sigur Rós Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.  A departure from the band's previous, less-accessible work, Meo suo has brought Sigur Rós to the masses, or at least a larger base than before.  The new material infuses folk rock with more traditional instrumentation and theatrical sound, to move the Icelandic quartet into more tribal/freak folk territory at times.  For those who aren't familiar, Sigur Rós confines most of their lyrics to a fictional language, Hopelandic.  Some of their song names are also in this language, as well as album names, including this one, which, according to the band, means "With Buzzing In Our Ears We Play Endlessly".  This newer direction is more playful, and as I mentioned earlier, more theatrical, lending to the increased appeal.

The album starts with the infectious and fun "Gobbledigook".  I'm sure everyone's heard this comparison before, but without a doubt, this song sounds like Animal Collective covering Dave Matthews.  The wacky, delightful nature of the song is symbolic of the album's mood as a whole, and pairs well with the cover art's err...freedom.  From there, the record soars, with a fantastic array of dynamics and energy.  Each song, or even the entire album, could easily pass for a full professional orchestra playing a soundtrack for a major motion picture.  What makes these peaks and valleys so great is their haunting, moving nature.  These tracks are meant to evoke emotion, and each successfully achieves this in its own right- perhaps best exemplified by "Ára bátur".  For a comparison to this album, the band's previous work is probably your best choice.  However, external sources may be Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai and Stafrænn Hákon.

Best Track"Ára bátur" (Sorry, nothing from the new album up on imeem)

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