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Sigur Rós — Takk
(Geffen Records B0005345-02, 2005, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Takk Cover artIceland’s Sigur Rós’ claim to fame appears to be as a European bridge between 70s progressive rock ideas and modern alternative rock. The band has been tabbed by industry magazines such as Mojo and Uncut to spearhead a new kind of progress into alternative rock without all the pretentiousness that saddled classic English groups. Takk is the quintet’s fifth recording characterized by lush orchestral backdrops that serve as elemental foundations for their unique twist of the Cocteau Twins with Beach Boy child like harmonies and U2’s ambient textures. They rely on rather innocent music box instrumentation, sloggy rhythms and passionate performances to make atmospheres that compare with Coldplay’s best songs. At times the eleven well crafted and performed pieces seem to serve as a backdrop for a foreign film drama. Themes range from vibrant to outright precious that shows the band has firm grasp on the scope of their often ambiguous but precious statements. Lead singer Birgisson creates a style akin to Elizabeth Fraser or native homeland star Björk that is just plain surreal. “Sé Lest” is a representative track that features a backward loop introduction that spills into a lush vocal arrangement. Lofty bells are also part of the band’s palette to create a bright penetrating backdrop for the band to explore. I’ve read that the group delivers the goods in a live context and plan to check them out locally soon. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Sigur Rós

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