Valtari - Sigur Rós
Valtari Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Icelandic band first studio album in four years is a collection of songs stemming from several uncompleted projects, including the original idea to create s choral album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. May 29, 2012
    91
    Sigur Rós delivers a nearly percussion-free batch of ambient soundscapes that may frustrate fans of its more direct predecessor, but ranks among the group's most elegant records.
  2. May 29, 2012
    80
    On the surface, Valtari may seem like a step back for the band, but instead of just retreading the past, the album is one of their best; a refined display of their musical power with breathtaking dynamics and enough emotion to flood an ocean.
  3. Jun 4, 2012
    80
    Valtari, their long-awaited joint band effort, revolves to realign their focus instead of undergoing any drastic transformation.
  4. 70
    Business-as-usual has rarely sounded this beautiful.
  5. May 30, 2012
    61
    The problem isn't that Valtari aspires to beauty, even if it's a commonplace, celestial understanding of it. Sigur Ros have proven they can make indelible music that's pretty and unpredictable, pretty and melodic, pretty and unnerving, pretty and inspiring. Valtari wants to be pretty and that's it.
  6. May 24, 2012
    60
    All too easily, the songs sink into the background – which is a shame, because there is also great beauty here.
  7. 60
    Though true that the album lacks the fervent surge of nearly every other Sigur Rós record, it's far from a snoozer. The conspicuous beauty and flummoxing eccentricity of the past haven't gone anywhere – they've just had their edges softened.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. May 31, 2012
    10
    After the poppier Með suð í eyrum, its refreshing to hear the slow, ambient work of Sigur Rós that originally made us all fall in love with them. Varuð stands out as being not only the greatest song on the album, but quite possibly Sigur Rós´s greatest song to date. Expand
  2. May 30, 2012
    10
    Valtari may not be direct in where it should be going, but it is direct in where it _is_ going. This can not compare to one of Sigur Ros' earlier albums, Agaetis Byrjun or ( ), in that it is not a thick-hazed atmosphere with shoegaze textures or a slow post-rock measurement. This album is much further ahead from anything around. The hollowness of the album makes it seem soft and light-hearted. However, here that is not the case for the album's first half. The second half is what will take a bit more of listening to completely understand where it sits as opposed to where others think it should sit. This release begs to not be pegged as a typical Sigur Ros release, and it isn't. It's their newest sound yet, and it's their most powerfully moving one to date. Expand
  3. May 30, 2012
    10
    This definitely takes multiple listens to get used to, as it's not as accessible as Takk... or Med Sud I Eeyrum. It's definitely a grower and overall, ranks among the best work they've done thus far, for me at least. Expand
  4. May 31, 2012
    10
    Valtari is a compilation of works from unfinished projects, arranged in a characteristic - pompous style of Icelanders. On the album elements of the avant-garde classical music continues to lead, however band decided to introduce more electronic motifs and clearly indicate role of backing vocals - which is even visible in the "Ã Expand
  5. Jul 8, 2012
    9
    Sigur Ros treads a bit of new ground in this album, but it's still the band we've known and loved. you could say Valtari is an amalgam of their previous works and the fairly recent Riceboy Sleeps (by Jonsi & Alex). for long time listeners, it may take a few spins to finally sink in; when it does, you start understanding that though the ambient approach dominates, the sound is still as grandiose as ever. Collapse
  6. May 30, 2012
    9
    There is only one thing that Sigur Rós can't do and that is make a bad album. This may not be their boldest record, or the poppiest, but it's definitely one of their most intimate and warm. Expand
  7. May 31, 2012
    0
    I love Sigur Ros. Saw them live many times. Followed them since day one. Have everything. Have my little name on Med Sud.... But no, please no. This is not possible. There is no way anyone would ever eve notice this album it if wasn't published by Sigur Ros. It's a 5 mins soundtrack. It's something you'd expect from MUM. There is zero energy, no vision, no depth. I am listening and listening, hoping something happens and then it gets to the last song, so quickly and it's all empty. Radiohead keep moving on and experimenting and pushing barriers forward, despite criticism. I hope Sigur Ros have not stopped pushing forward. I expect more, demand more, demand magic, not silence. There are little glimpses of beauty, but gee, one really has to be patient. No, it's not a grower. It stays in the background and it does not take you anywhere. When I fly somewhere, I want to fly with Agaetis or () or Takk. They take you great places. Live they have a power and a delicate touch that are both sublime and unique. This album simply does not exist. Not buying special silly blanket either! Expand

See all 13 User Reviews