með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
June 24th 2008
Perhaps inspired by the success of their last effort Heima / Hvarf-Heim, Sigur Rós recorded með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust with a heightened sense of pop-thought and melody. Gone seem to be the days of brooding overtures spilling over walls of thick harmonic noise. Med Sud is not offering a correction to some flawed formula; it has not shed what is superfluously unnecessary, rather it is the leg contour as seen through a summer dress happily worn after the glacier’s recession. Icelandic for “with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly,” með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust belies Sigur Rós’ self awareness that rejects the accumulation of star-power, instead favoring the humble roles of music makers with intimate attention to detail and an endless commitment to the art rather than constructed personae that sadly distract many once great contemporaries.
The spiritedly named Gobbledigook begins Med Sud with an overwhelming punch. Tribal drums drive Jónsi Birgisson‘s falsetto, while the bass’ melodic structure abandons its typical role as a rhythmic supplement, mimicking instead the vocal notes, which contrast the low register of the bass and Jónsi’s high pitch voice. Complete with hand claps and sampled sequences of spritely lalalalalala’s, Gobbledigook is an intensely elevating track. Sigur Rós chose wisely to open their much anticipated release with such a masterful conceptualization.
Med Sud descends from its initial burst with grace. The record can be largely, even if simplistically, seen to be divided into two sections. The first maintains a pulsating optimism, replete with bright tones and splendor, the second half, beginning with Festival, softens to a spectrum of pastels; still emotionally above board, yet subdued with a calm and reflective contemplation. The album approaches its end as day approaches dusk. Med Sud is a great record, brought about by Sigur Rós’ sense of beauty, their reverence of humility, and their willingness to put their art form first.
Von- 1997 (2004 US)
Von Brigði- 1998
Ágætis byrjun- 1999 (2001 US)
( ) – 2002
Takk… – 2005