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Old 06-11-2003, 10:29 AM   #1
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Normal New Sigur Ros EP....

From Pitchfork....


Sigur Rós
Sigur 1/Sigur 9 EP
[PIAS/MCA; 2003]
Rating: 7.1

They should stock this as an impulse buy at record store checkout counters to catch the customers picking up Radiohead's new album. Contrary to the belief that singles have gone digital-- that nobody would pay almost ten bucks for one new song when they could just steal it, or grab it for 99¢ through iTunes' "Save Apple Computers: Again" fund, Sigur Rós has released two versions of the first single from ( ). Last month we got a three-inch CD for "Untitled #1", packaged in white like a box of Chiclets; now there's a follow-up that pairs the same music with a bonus DVD.

Compared to their breakthrough second album, Ágætis Byrjun, last year's ( ) was beautiful but unsurprising, parts of it even turgid. Toning down Ágætis Byrjun's near-excesses and orchestral embellishments, its grey palette and heavy mood were as exciting as watching ice not melt: it was solid, but unpersuasive. And so the single featured here, "Untitled #1" (aka "Vaka"), has to disappoint a little.

True, it's exquisite, and the melody's flawless, borne on a thick but tingling organ with Jón þor Birgisson's near-whistling vocals augmented by a stately piano on one side and wisps of synth on the other. Most bands can only sound this graceful by whispering, or feigning delicacy; Sigur Rós muster the effect with an iron fist, every detail aggressively beautiful. But to hold it up again to a near-impossible standard, the song lacks the freshness and expanse of their breakthrough single, "Svefn-G-Englar". Gone are the woofer-trembling echoes of glaciers shifting, forgotten is that impulse to pull over the car, roll down the windows and cry. The song sounds internal and contained, somber and complete; it's incredibly pretty, but is that all there is?

"Untitled #9", on the other hand, makes a pretty tight B-side. It reportedly started as a remix of "Vaka", before the band stretched and reworked it beyond recognition. In its the first section, the trumpet, vocals and synths loop around and speed to a high pitch. These elements lilt and revolve until a final high-pitched natter kicks off a quieter section, which drifts down to a single slow, moaning tone, joined gradually by a higher one-- like whale pillow talk.

Although cut across three tracks on the disc, "Untitled #9" has to be judged as a whole, with the more insubstantial second and third tracks making a tail-wagging-the-dog fade-out from the first. If it weren't twelve minutes long, you'd call it a miniature; it's as charmingly mechanical as a music box that quietly breaks as it plays.

Anyone who bought last month's version of this single went home with just the music disc; to make those people feel like suckers, MCA released the expanded edition this week for about the same price-- it comes with a DVD. Off the bat, I was disappointed in the no-frills presentation of this disc, which scores a fat 0.0 for extras. You don't get the "Making Of" mini-documentary for "Svefn-G-Englar". You can't switch on subtitles in Hopelandish, Icelandic or Hidden Peoplespeak. There's no wacky backstage footage of Birgisson practicing e-bow on the can in his boxers. You just get the three videos.

It should go without saying that all three run in slow motion, and that the imagery's muted and beautiful. As for the content, the messages are, well, blunt. "Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása" opens with a shot of a young boy playing with two beat-to-shit dolls, and he's later assaulted by a homophobic welder and a Bible-hefting priest. "Svefn-G-Englar" features Iceland's Perlan Theater Group, a group of actors with Downs Syndrome, dressed as angels. But neither of them conks you harder than Italian filmmaker Floria Sigismondi's "Untitled #1", which sends a bunch of kids out for recess in a post-nuclear wasteland of black snow, red sky and poisoned air. A pack of them smash the hell out of a car while wearing old-fashioned gasmasks, evoking the kind of apocalyptic imagery that doesn't even bother to look futuristic and cool.

"Untitled #1" is too Terry Gilliam-lite for my tastes, but the two others-- co-directed by Sigur Rós themselves-- have grown on me. They're enjoyable half for their regional charm, and half because they match the band's slow romanticism and implicit political edge. Both were shot against the now-iconic landscape of Iceland, green fields under overcast skies with craggy rock in the background; and from the choreography and costumes of the Perlan Theater Group, to the great plot twist in "Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása", the videos are as subtle and engaging as the songs. And they both end with killer kisses. For this band, what could be more appropriate?

-Chris Dahlen, June 11th, 2003
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Old 06-11-2003, 12:00 PM   #2
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I had to look up 'turgid' in the dictionary, having never used it in a sentence. Now I'm going to use it all day long.
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:04 PM   #3
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ack i can't find an mp3 of that stupid song anywhere
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:16 PM   #4
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ya, i wont buy that. but i would download it.
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:58 PM   #5
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Old 06-12-2003, 12:03 AM   #6
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i bought it
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Old 06-12-2003, 12:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
...having never used it in a sentence. Now I'm going to use it all day long.
Bono girl aren't you?

I kid.

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Old 06-12-2003, 07:55 AM   #8
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Am I the only one who think Diamond is lying?

if not, I think I find it very odd

cootos to you though
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Old 06-12-2003, 09:44 AM   #9
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He might be lying, ask the monkey.....
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Old 06-12-2003, 09:53 AM   #10
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i cant be responsible for ppl's mosconceptions..
or
devious thinking..

i now own 2 sigur ros discs.
i also dont post in randomdumb.

2 factual statments.

db9
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Old 06-12-2003, 11:11 AM   #11
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well, you should have more credibility than one WJ Clinton at least.......(emphasis on the word should)

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Old 06-12-2003, 12:53 PM   #12
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Old 06-12-2003, 01:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by cujo


Bono girl aren't you?

I kid.


I'm going to pretend that I don't get it








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Old 06-13-2003, 01:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I had to look up 'turgid' in the dictionary, having never used it in a sentence. Now I'm going to use it all day long.


she said turgid... heh heh
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:33 PM   #15
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Just listening to some Sigur Ros today and I was wondering if anyone out there had any or knew if there are any decent concert recordings out there on the net of Sigur Ros.

I'd like to hear how some of their stuff sounds live.
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