June 23rd, 2008


What's Icelandic and starts with Gobbledigook?!

The new Sigur Ros album, which is apparently everywhere, as of today.

Listening to it right now. Not sure what I think, entirely.

I mean, yes, I like it, but it feels a bit more stripped down indie... which is still fine, pleasant, and musical... except that I think I want Sigur Ros to be more structural, thematic... practically symphonic. It evolves towards that over the course of the album, such as on songs like Ara batur, but lacks the same kind of structure and emotional resonance that past albums have had.

Sigur Ros are doing the requisite world tour, but $52 after service charges to see them at a 20,000+ general admission outdoor ampetheatre does not appeal much to me. Sure, prices go up... but really, several multi-day festivals with numerous attending international artists cost less. This might be how the big venue/ticketing conglomerates like to work, but at a certain point, the artists need to step up and take responsibility for the shows they perform, to make sure that their audiences aren't being "middlemanned" to death and are getting their money's worth.

It's sad seeing good musicians -- and good music -- become a kind of ingratiatingly friendly, almost gentrified product. I like Sigur Ros quite a bit, and like this album. but I grew up on goth, etherial, shoegazer, ambient... so it's a bit obvious, perhaps. It's another comforting background noise -- aural wallpaper -- but I find it unfortunate that the biggest challenge listeners will face from it is justifying the purchase(s) involved.