Sigur Rós – Kveikur (2013, XL Recordings)
It really sucks when you wait months for a new album from a band that you love; then it comes out and you’re completely disappointed. That’s what’s happened with me and Sigur Rós‘ new album Kveikur. I was really impressed by their last album (Valtari, which only came out a year ago) and was really looking forward to seeing how they would expand on the direction they headed with that album. When I read interviews that they were headed in a more “electronic” direction with this album I was a little confused (Valtari was very organic) but when I heard them play four songs off this album at a show in March I wasn’t too worried. But I listen to the album and I’m completely underwhelmed.
At first I thought it was pretty good, not Album of the Year material but top five for sure. But on the second play it lost everything to me. Then the third play was even more of a let down and it came out of my CD player, got added to the thousands of songs on iTunes and put on the shelf. I think the big problem I have with this album is that it goes in too many different places. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a dark, almost industrial album; an overtly happy, jangly album; or a soothing, almost ambient album.
are the darkest and most electronic songs on the album, totally different for Sigur Rós but still good nonetheless. I think that’s what they were going on about when they said in those interview that this was a more electronic album. But then you have songs like Stormur, Rafstraumur
that go back to sounding like the organic Sigur Rós of old. And then you have Hrafntinna
; which go into the totally different direction of being way more upbeat than I’m used to from Sigur Rós. If they had of stuck with the first two styles and kept with it for the whole album I’d have been happy. But to jump all over the place made for an uneven listening experience.
It’s not their worst album (that’s still Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust) but it’s probably their second worst.
Best Songs: Brennisteinn, Kveikur, Var