CD: Sigur Ros, Takk...


Sigur Ros, the little band that could, have never courted popularity. The adventurous nature that spawned their brittle epics has cast them as anti-pop - which is why Takk..., their first release for a major label, comes as such a surprise. At last, Iceland's coolest sons have shattered their glacial reserve. Wrapping strings and shuddering, tangled guitars around gorgeous piano melodies and Icelandic lyrics, they have created a sweet stick of ethereal pop-rock.

The title track shimmers like shards of light hitting a still lake at dawn; Glosoli sounds like someone wrenching himself from a glorious dream. Hoppipolla sighs with the inquisitiveness of childhood, Jonsi Birgisson's falsetto enhancing the wonder. Changes in mood and direction ensure that no song - most over five minutes long - ever gets dull. Better yet, Sigur Ros's sudden accessibility doesn't tarnish their mystique, but deepens and colours it. Radiohead, look and learn.


Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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