Sigur Ros – Valtari: Album Reviews
It’s with this metaphor that one realises Sigur Rós haven’t departed too much from the winning formula on Valtari.
All eight songs build wondrous swells of emotion using carefully orchestrated dynamics, supporting of course, Jonsi’s angelic falsetto.
It comes as no surprise that the title Valtari, which translates as ‘steamroller’ couldn’t be more at odds with the material. And one thing becomes apparent as the record unfolds is that Sigur Rós are miles ahead of anyone else when it comes to producing the slow-burning epic.
Varúð is simpliy breathtaking, while lead Ekki Múkk single is as introspective as anything they’ve done. There are no instruments, noises or concepts Jonsi’s vocals are hiding behind here; just shimmering strings and vinyl-like cracks and pops. However, not everything is an complex utopian soundscape, with Rembihnútur is a fine example of a hidden pop-gem.
There are moments of minimalism that peak in for a brief look, but nothing terribly rhythmic as on Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, or Jonsi’s debut solo album Go. If anything, Valtari sees the band picking up from where they left off with ( ).
Basically, it’s less Pink Floyd-esque guitar opera and more than it may have otherwise been. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing this time around. Valtari was the record they needed to make.