Ágætis Byrjun - Sigur Rós
Ágætis Byrjun Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 131 Ratings

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  • Summary: This sophomore effort from Icelandic quartet Sigur Ros (which translates to "Victory Rose") appeared on numerous year-end Best Of lists in 2000, despite not receiving an official release in the United States until the following year. Imagine one of Radiohead's recent albums -- or better yet, Spiritualized or My Bloody Valentine -- but with everything sung in Icelandic. This album garnered the band the 2001 Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement In Music. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Agaetis Byrjun stands up in overall artistic merit to any record ever made.
  2. Sigur Rós effortlessly make music that is massive, glacial, and sparse..... They are the first vital band of the 21st Century.
  3. At its best, the album seems to accomplish everything lagging post-shoegazers like Spiritualized or Chapterhouse once promised. However, at its worst, the album sometimes slides into an almost overkill of sonic structures
  4. 'Post-rock', which Sigur Rós most assuredly are, may be little more than the shoegazing of a decade ago in an ironic T-shirt, but that's no reason to dismiss it outright. For a start, much of it is very lovely.
  5. Sigur Ros's second album proper features this astonishing opener ["Svefn-G-Englar"] and 10 others which, while surprisingly diverse, each reflects their penchant for apocalyptic serenity, overdriven guitars and teenage singer Jonsi's Birgisson unique Hopelandish language.
  6. They evoke folks as diverse as Led Zeppelin and My Bloody Valentine, but the gently woozy Sigur Ros don't sound like anything or anyone else so much as a classic-rock band bewitched by white magic.
  7. Waves of unidentifiable noise, dulcet vibraphone pulses and singer/guitarist Jonsi's ethereal singing (more like some ghostly instrument than any conventional vocal, borne out by Jonsi's fictional 'language', Hopelandish, which he often sings in) mesh to create an elegant, grand music that's equally ambient and epic.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 2 out of 50
  1. May 6, 2011
    10
    It's scary how drawn you get to the music. The enchanting feel of the strings along with Jonsi's eerie falsetto creates a musical beauty that will be near impossible for other bands to attempt. If you liked Kid A or Since I Left You, or In Rainbows this album is for you. Expand
  2. Aug 22, 2010
    10
    im glad it was given the reviews it deserves. definitely one of my top 5 favorite albums of all time
  3. Jun 28, 2013
    10
    This is an amazing album. The intro and the closer (Avalon) are excess fat but the meat in the middle is something to sink your teeth into. It is an experience unlike any other.

    If you are a fan of the 3 minute 30 second crafted pop song this probably isn't the thing your looking for.

    Possible turn offs for some people may be the voice of Jonsi and the "on the surface" plodding these songs can seem like they are doing if you aren't looking for subtle changes and shifts.

    One of my all time favorite albums
    Expand
  4. Jun 16, 2011
    10
    Complete and utterly sublime from beginning to end. No other band can capture an atmospheric, mesmerizing, haunting yet beautiful sound like Sigur Ros has done with this album. It's not an easy listen but to the most patient, it is one of the most unique musical experiences you will ever have. Expand
  5. Mar 18, 2012
    10
    Although Sigur Rós isn't for those who is accustomed to popular radio stations, their second studio album Ã
  6. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    Since 'Svefn-g-englar' to 'Avalon', these masters of post-rock can express hundreds of emotions every second of his songs, and although in some songs the words are incomprehensible due to its pronounce in Vonlenska, the musical and expressive quality of this album make it a work that should be heard by all people. Expand
  7. Dec 6, 2012
    9
    Brilliant! Even if you don't look at the English translations, you get touched by this album so hard. Sigur Rós is one of the best music groups of all time and they show it off with this fantastic CD. It's like an independent movie that gets all of your attention because it's so inexplicably ingenious. Not every song itself gets a top rating (actually, only 3 of them) but the whole release is magnificient! Expand

See all 50 User Reviews