Warning, I may go overboard with Jonsi's tremendous voice.
So I'll admit I am a giant nerd from Sigur Ros. And that is perfectly fine. I fucking love Jonsi's voice above everything else in the world. I would have sex with Jonsi's voice if I could. It lends a beautiful other worldly feel to everything. Sigur Ros is the true definition of "Space Rock" as my friend labeled them. Looking onto discogs.com, I don't see that as a classification. It needs to become one. Is this term my friend's own creation? I know ambient, ethereal, post-rock, experimental, electronic, abstract, all these and more certainly apply to their music.
But my feeling is that Space Rock is a moniker that truly applies to them. Because you fucking feel weightless listening to this. You feel like you're flying through the fucking stars, or at least you feel like you're ina weird alternate dimension. At times. Or maybe you're a fucking scrooge and you feel like it's just music. Well, shut up, and go away. Jerk.
Their early stuff, as many people discovered, was just great. It was really Ágætis Byrjun that catapulted them into the mainstream acceptance. Which is pretty good for the second release. ( ) was met with some people finding disappointment, some finding it even better than the last release. I am one of those that finds ( ) to be amazing. I don't know if I could pick a "favorite" between them at all. ( ) is perhaps slower, more contemplative, and more focus on the vocals. But I clearly have no problem with that.
Takk... was the firs tone I remember thinking was not as good. I felt like some of the songs were just throw away, or ones I would skip because of their blandness. It didn't seem to focus on anything, it was a bit faster, it was a bit more kooky and "fun" sounding. Which, I'm sure, some people loved. "fun" music sometimes means "popular" music.
Everyone has a moment in their lives when they become detached from the world, for me it was from about 2008-2011. Several things happened in my life, I became broke, I moved about 3 times, I went through 3 relationships that were plagued with trouble, in short, I did not keep up on music and thus missed 4 Sigur Ros releases. Going back in time recently I listed to Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust, and Valtari. It seemed though maybe the originality of Sigur Ros was wearing thin, or maybe they had lost their "magic touch". In fact, I only gave one song between those two entire albums 4 stars. And that's iTunes, so that's out of 5. If you don't count the Japan only track Heima that is. That song fucking kills me with how goddamn good it is.
So then Kveikur came out. And, WTF?! It was hard! it was aggressive! It was like someone took Sigur Ros, put the vocals in a blender, put industrial rock behind it, and then vomited it onto a release, but in a good way. Delicious, wonderful vomit. Now, I'm not sayign they reinvented themselves. I'm not even saying every track is good. I;m just saying that thousands, ten of thousands of bands, have never done this. I was expecting a downward spiral. I think we all were. And Kveikur is a huge, amazing surprise. It shows everyone Sigur Ros was not just a flash in the pan of brilliance. It shows they are true musicians, innovative, and up for a challenge.
Whether you liked their old stuff or not, it's worth a listen.