CD: Sigur Ros: ()


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Much has been made of the evocative power of this Icelandic quartet. Their windswept sounds recall the bleakness of the tundra, vast frozen lakes and Slowdive, whose elegant blankness the Manic Street Preachers described as "worse than Hitler". Iceland, though, seems to bestow upon its cultural product an eternal cool. This third album is not without seductive moments, but the cumulative affect of the eight tracks is somewhere between catatonia and apoplexia.

Dubious title aside, none of the tracks has a name, which is probably meant to be terribly daring, but there is nothing here that will be unfamiliar to anyone who's heard any of the post-rock, slo-core or other similarly listless subgenres of American music in the last few years. The vocals - a non-verbal, androgynous falsetto - quickly become mewling: imagine the Cocteau Twins stripped of their sensual otherness. () is a single facet of a limited idea reflecting a gaze of terminal resignation.


David Peschek

The GuardianTramp

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