Hvarf/Heim - Sigur Rós
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. They have blended the sensitivity of classical and the sensibility of rock into something far greater than post-rock.
  2. It may not be music for the ringtone generation, but for anyone who appreciates the understated power and drama that Sigur Rós can do so well, this is an essential purchase
  3. The Sigur Ros formula works. [30 Nov 2007, p.133]
  4. Von (the title track and 'Hafsól') absolutely crush the originals in scope, especially the latter, which stretches to nearly 10 glorious minutes. But the second disc, Heim, is even better.
  5. If Hvarf is a mixed bag of treats and curios, then Heim represents something rather more thrilling: the future (perhaps).
  6. Heim is gorgeous. [Fall 2007, p.76]
  7. 80
    Whatever is behind Sigur Ros's ineffable Nordic magic, it doesn't appear to be powered by electricity. [Dec 2007, p.98]
  8. Whether live or unplugged, though, the effect is much the same: disbelief that one band can convey this much emotion when, for all the unearthly beauty of the music, the lyrics amount to little more than gibberish.
  9. There's enough brewing under the sedated surface to make Hvarf-Heim (and especially Hvarf) a satisfying listen.
  10. Together, the EPs form a beautiful post-rock symphony, topped by singer and guitarist Jonsi Birgisson's simultaneously naive and profound singing.
  11. [[Hafsol' is] ten minutes of bliss that should keep the faithful satisfied until the group reconvenes and produces something new, resuming the road to parts unknown instead of dusting off the path that leads back to where they came from.
  12. Sigur Ros’ songs have a tendency to go on way too long, but the group’s peaks are such that we must cherish them, flaws and all.
  13. Heim is very nice and also very spare. Less ebulliently cheating with surprise and indulgence is Hvarf, worth the band’s typical awe just for the official addition of live staple 'Hafsól' to the band’s buyable repertoire.
  14. Their sound, which paved the way for the likes of Bloc Party, is still pretty timeless.
  15. 70
    Both halves are gripping, but Heim's unplugged conceit--which spotlights vocalist Jonsi Birgisson's high, ghostly howls--showcases the band's eerie pull. [Dec 2007, p.125]
  16. Effective, perhaps, as background music for adverts or TV vignettes... The second CD, Heim, is better. [Dec 2007, p.65]
  17. Rarely are stopgaps so magisterial, tender, and wistful. But, again, I hope that’s the point.
  18. 60
    The five new tracks that open proceedings, however, fail to add much to band's remit. [Dec 2007, p.102]
  19. Hvarf/Heim isn't the album to mark a musical departure for Sigur Rós.
  20. On it's own terms--striving to be more interesting than the standard album--Hvarf-Heim is clearly a success. [Dec 2007, p.114]
  21. On 'Vaka,' the experiment yields real dividends--with the echo stripped away, Birgisson's vocals take on an unexpected visceral intensity--but the rest sounds homogenous: like beautiful background music.
  22. Far from essential, Hvarf/Heim can merely be looked at as a stop-gap before the next proper record.
  23. It's all so tightly buttoned down that the first listen evokes a certain déjà vu; You haven't heard it before, and yet you know what's going to happen anyway.
  24. The question then arises whether this double album is “necessary” in the overall scheme of Sigur Ros’s work.... When listening to Hvarf, the answer is decidedly “yes” for sustaining their known output, but on the Heim side of things, with its stripped down, string-focused, acoustic sound, the answer leans towards “no”.
  25. Unbalanced and ill-executed at times, Hvarf-Heim is a supplementary release.

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