() - Sigur Rós
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Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 84 Ratings

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  • Summary: The very, very distinctive Icelandic band generated an enormous amount of positive press (and deservingly so) for their previous effort, 'Ágætis Byrjun,' which led to a major-label deal and this album, which, like each of its eight tracks, does not have a real title.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Some of the most evocative music of this century. [Dec 2002, p.97]
  2. It actually transcends its predecessor in its unsettling, under-the-skin beauty.
  3. 80
    The album rocks, its symphonic depth and stratosphere-surfing melodies more affecting with each subsequent listen. [Jan 2003, p.98]
  4. 80
    On (), the band steer their ghost ship into darker waters, erecting a vast, austere cathedral of sound, then sticking around to score a funeral mass inside. [Dec 2002, p.140]
  5. A masterpiece of bombed orchestral elegance, at once expansive and intense. [Dec 2002, p.112]
  6. The album coheres; it's a full body of work intended to be heard holistically, not simply as a collection of songs. But it takes some work. You must be an active listener to appreciate it fully.
  7. An overblown, overhyped dreamy swirl of sound that can't commit itself to being anything.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
  1. duanes
    Nov 22, 2002
    10
    an amazing symphony of emotion, 8 movemnts which together take you on a 72-minute ride that leaves you exhausted and yet exhillerated. my an amazing symphony of emotion, 8 movemnts which together take you on a 72-minute ride that leaves you exhausted and yet exhillerated. my favorite album of 2002, hands down. Expand
  2. TKOFOX
    May 22, 2009
    10
    Mmmm... good. i like it when good bands make great music.
  3. ChadP
    Jul 21, 2005
    10
    really wanted to write a review of this album right after I heard it for the first time, but for once, I actually showed restraint. I decided really wanted to write a review of this album right after I heard it for the first time, but for once, I actually showed restraint. I decided to listen to it over and over -- to immerse myself in it (for that is truly the only way to describe what happens to a listener who is in the grips of Sigur Ros) -- before setting pen to paper, so to speak. The first time I listened to ( ), I would have rated it five stars and shouted out its gorgeous wunderability to any and all who would listen to me. And after listening to it for a couple of days, I like it even more. Ten times more. But perhaps I am building it up just a bit. This is not, and will not be, everyone's cup of tea. That's why there are different flavors. Believe me, if you buy this CD based on my gushing review, you can't be mad and say I didn't warn you. This is music of a kind you probably haven't heard much of before. It floats around you, fills in spaces that most music can't touch, and transports you to a different place in time, a time all at once beautiful, aching, emotional, and nostalgic. And all of this without the aid of words. For you see, the lead singer for Sigur Ros sings entirely in "Hopelandish," a self-invented language that mixes pure Icelandic with several other languages (including some English even). This band is beyond pretentious and still I don't hate them. In fact, the impossibility of "understanding" the lyrics on ( ) in a conventional manner of thought is, in one sense, what elevates Sigur Ros above so many other artists sculpting the same kind of music. Since nothing is understood, it's up to you to decide what is being said or not said, or, if all else fails, to just give yourself completely up to the sheer emotion of the singer's high, pure voice. Vocals here are used as an instrument, like any other in the band, and together the combination is sheer aural pleasure. But of course, there are people who will absolutely hate this album. There is a distinctively love/hate relationship built into the fibre of the music itself, because there is no way you could "kind of" like or "sort of" not like Sigur Ros, especially with ( ). All eight of the songs are untitled, and flow together into a wonderfully cohesive whole -- and you're either completely with it or completely not. Pick a side. Please try and pick the right one though. And now is the point where I wonder how I can possibly review a CD that has no real title and no song titles. It could get quite old quite fast for me to start comparing "Untitled #1" with "Untitled #6," even I would start to get confused at some point. But in a sense, that's the precise reason why the album works so well, without the distraction of song titles or "real" lyrics, the album is almost like eight different parts of a single (and very modern, experimental) symphony. This is an album that all but demands you listen to all in one sitting. There are no singles here. The songs are not randomly placed on the disc. They are meant to be heard in sequence, to experience the rolling waves of their progression to a loud and powerful conclusion. Very few bands can actually change the way you look at music and the way it can affect you emotionally. Sigur Ros is one of those bands. Unfortunately, they proclaim themselves to be one of those bands, have in fact declared that they will (or at least aspire to) change the face of music forever. Which, they probably won't, not in this lifetime anyway -- if for nothing else than the old maxim that states true genius is always years ahead of the crowd. And this, you see, might well be true genius Expand
  4. Mar 17, 2012
    10
    For die-hard fans of Radiohead's "Kid A" and Björk's "Vespertine" albums, this LP sums up all your hopes and dreams. Every trackFor die-hard fans of Radiohead's "Kid A" and Björk's "Vespertine" albums, this LP sums up all your hopes and dreams. Every track visually depicts the life of diverse humanity and internal thought. Every sound speaks of the dark and light that will make way and seep through your thoughts. Vast, epic, ethereal, compelling, challenging, original, artistic, wordless, innovative, and forward-thinking, the band will leave you in awe and expect some sort of change to your life. Expand
  5. SallyA
    Jul 21, 2005
    10
    Sigur Rós make intensely visual music. The kind that conjures up images of blue skies, lush green Icelandic fields, and androgynous Sigur Rós make intensely visual music. The kind that conjures up images of blue skies, lush green Icelandic fields, and androgynous pink pre-teen soccer players (yeah, you remember that video). When in the right mood, I, for one, would be completely content listening to their brand of ethereal dream pop while watching anything at all; a snowfall at dusk, a parking lot at 3 p.m., my Snoop Dogg/Christopher Walken screensaver. Somehow, through the rose-colored filter of their majestic mini-symphonies, it's all equally poignant. Sigur Rós somehow translate painstaking into evocative, slow into moving, and often plainly cinematic into downright cathartic. Using guitar effects and strings (or guitar played with a violin bow), piano, organ, and lightly brushed drums, they make idyllic and otherworldly chamber pieces; fleeting sounds appear and disappear like ghosts before they can be identified - the odd churn of distortion or twinkle of piano keys - but the sum total is undeniably redolent and generally beautiful. The eight tracks that make up the new album are similar in nature to Agaetis Byrjun, yet as the band themselves state, there is a livelier feel among them, as if the band were playing a private concert just for your ears. All tracks are uniquely their own, each having their own surprises and their own set of layers that will be discovered after repeated listens. Among the highlights of the album is the thirteen minute opus of track seven, a song that demonstrates the many musical dimensions that their live experience brings forth. Beginning in a slow rise, with an organ sound leading the way, the song is moved by the drum's increasing beats and the singer's Yorke-esque voice which leads the way for the rising crescendo. The song's final rise is a spectacular combination of drums and cymbals with the infuriating voice of the singer, ultimately leaving the singer alone to echo his voice away in a breathtaking way. The band courteously gives listeners a few seconds of silence before the next song is to begin. Track eight is the heaviest song of the album, which by Sigur's standards is not heavy at all, but the band's furious end of their atmospheric journey is just as intense, hard and frenetic as the hardest of the metal bands. It is impossible to describe in words the beauty that a journey through () perpetuates, so you must simply go and listen...just listen. Expand
  6. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    I have experienced a set of four Sigur Ros albums in what I would describe as "seasonal". Their most popular album, the previous "AqaetusI have experienced a set of four Sigur Ros albums in what I would describe as "seasonal". Their most popular album, the previous "Aqaetus Byrjun" felt like Fall. Plenty of emotion and beauty but a sense of heading further into the dark, sparse, and a place void of the light beyond the tunnel.

    Here we have which is just as beautiful but its cold and the saddest album Sigur Ros has made to date. And it feels like winter. Even the loud extremes are at a slower plodding 4/4 pace (exception being the last 4 minutes of the album). The arrangements feel like a funeral, and for me, evoke feelings and reflection on things where hope is lost, stuff is gone, and dead linger.

    In no way are these themes depressing in the music on It invites the listener to play with the uncomfortable; to work with uneasy and that which is difficult.

    Track 4 and 8 are indescribably wonderful

    All the rest is fantastic too

    Track 7 is really the only time where you might feel like checking your watch as it does drag

    With "Takk", the album which follows things get lighter and hopeful much like Spring

    A later album, "Endalaust" brings on the cheer and the bright a la Summer in full swing

    All four are completely beautiful works of art.

    One of the most unique bands I have ever had the pleasure of listening to
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  7. GaryduT
    Nov 30, 2002
    5
    Where Agaetis Byrgun was epic, this album is just long.

See all 44 User Reviews