Sigur Rós — Takk
(Geffen Records B0005345-02, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01Iceland’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.
Related artist(s): Sigur Rós
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more