Music » CD Reviews

Sigur Rós

Takk . . . (Geffen)


Scandinavian orchestral-rock group Sigur Rós should be one of the most reviled acts on the pop landscape: Its songs typically last eight minutes, it titles albums with symbols, singer Jon Thor Birgisson makes up his own words, and, last but certainly not least, it's a Scandinavian orchestral-rock group. Yet nobody else making records today sounds like Sigur Rós. And nobody's making records as gorgeous and as mind-blowing.

With its fourth album, Takk . . . , Sigur Rós fortifies its position as one of the few new-millennium bands that bothers to craft entire sets of songs -- an escalating rarity in the iPod age. Takk . . . 's 11 cuts are connected by a harmonic, if not lyrical, thread. (Birgisson at least strings together genuine Icelandic words this time around.) The melancholy horns that join the parade on "Se Lest" eventually give way to "Saeglopur," a momentous set piece that erupts in a discharge of choral voices, horns, strings, and bowed guitar. And the 10-minute "Milano" amounts to modern classical music played with a rock-band aesthetic. (And yes, Sigur Rós actually named its new songs; 2002's ( ) included eight untitled tracks.) If all this sounds similar to 2000's breakthrough CD, Ágætis Byrjun, well, it sorta is. But atmospheric mood music's never sounded so elevating or inviting.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.