Jonsi – Go : Album Reviews
Fans of Sigur Ros and other forms of discombobulated Icelandic musical treasures would no doubt have been eagerly awaiting the release of Jonsi’s debut solo record, Go. And why wouldn’t they? Everything he has been behind thus far has been an absoulute work of art – and as such fans the world over had every reason to be expecting his unprecedented brilliance.
Go is a very accurate approximation of where Jonsi is musically. His songs are unrepressed, brimming with colour, and like all of his music to date is coated with a soulful honesty that imbues every track on Go with an authentic trademark. This time around however, his well publicised Hopelandic language (a rudimentary language of his own composition) takes a back seat to English on the majority of the tracks.
Determined not to lose his innate childlike musical presence, Jonsi now seems to have struck a balance between thoughtfull ambience and youthfull mania, seemingly dispensing of the monolithic dreariness of early Sigur Ros.
Opening track Go Do is a breath of fresh air as it introduces Jonsi’s ability to incorporate early dance nrhythms through his work. Tornado brings back the tempo with it’s at times misleading and laid back rhythmic patterns, while Boy Lillikoi is driven by a pulsating colllection of flutes, toms, trinket boxes, violins and whaling voices.
Grow Till Tall is a throwback to ( ) and provides one of the highlights for Go, while Animal Arithmetic shows Jonsi at his most musically proggressive as he combines his influences into a heavily punctuated dance masterpiece. Similarities between fellow Icelandic sensation Bjork are evident, yet far from overpowering.
Go is simplistic in concept, yet complex in composition. It holds its own amongst his other comprehensive works, given that he has now developed a sound that not only incorporates complex orchestral dynamics, but also uses his trademark angelic vocalisations, as well as the more recent addition of the quirky eurotrash influence.
Considering this, Go is definitely Jonsi’s most pop friendly endeavour, and will definitely appeal to the masses more so than any other work. However, this should not deter long-time fans one bit, as Go is every bit as compelling as his less-pop friendly efforts. One of the things I find most interesting about Jonsi is his tendency to not sit still as a songwriter.
Whilst personalising all of his work, he is constantly trying to improve upon each song he writes – which is why he currently rates as one of the worlds most captivating artists.
Regardless of whether you’re a long time fan or a curious party, Go is a gem that will leave you in a warm place.