That new video thing from Sigur Rós? Turns out it's a teaser for the upcoming live concert video/double-live album "Inni", filmed by director Vincent Morisset in London back in 2008 and due out in November via . Hit up Pitchfork for more: http://pitchfork.com/news/43559-sigur-ros-announce-live-album-and-film/
When the album was announced in December, I wondered whether Jónsi's unfettering for his solo debut "Go" could signal a return to the emotive restraint of Sigur Rós' earlier work. At the time it seemed promising: "Go" began as an acoustic album, with kits by demure Múm stickman Samuli and early production by composer Nico Muhly. All of the pre-release teases seemed to indicate that a self-aware Jónsi was distancing himself from the annoyingly percussive bent of Sigur Rós' last half-decade.
And "Go" begins accordingly, with Jónsi's signature coo, studio-chopped into a startling twinkle. Elated, I imagined this reduction of Jónsi's emblematic voice indicative of the stripped, back-to-basics reinvention that this album deserved. I was wrong. It only took seven seconds to bury all hope under four-to-the-floor theatrics, the drum-heavy frenzy that trampled "Agaetis"' depth and subtlety, giving way to latter-day Sigur Rós' canned euphoria.
Even the album's bright spots are marred by Samuli's perplexing choice to lean heavily on Sigur Rós' drum aesthetics. The breathy breakdown on "Animal arithmetic" arrives, beautiful and intimate, but it's almost immediately carried off by a frenetic mess of percussive garbage. And though lead single "Boy lilikoi" has some catchy moments, its melodramatic sense of urgency is stultifying. The drumless tracks, then, are welcome, but they come off more as Sigur Rós retreads than any real change in direction -- fittingly, the album closer "Heniglas" is drone-for-drone the same elegiac statement as SR closers "Heysátan" and "Avalon". On the whole, "Go" is little more than a would-be Sigur Rós long player -- it takes few chances, and those it does take are drowned out by increasingly histrionic arrangements. Am I the only one who remembers the days when Jónsi effortlessly accomplished "epic" without being overly busy or stiflingly melodramatic?
Don't get me wrong. I'm still a Sigur Rós-lifer who will listen to this album on repeat, until the busywork of it starts to seem intricately wrought, my heart full-stop when Jónsi croons "o hjartað" on "Heniglas". But when longtime producer John Best says he hasn't "felt this excited about a project since the time [he] first heard 'Agaetis byrjun', right back in 1999", he's just getting everyone's hopes up. Yeah right, John.
- Nathan Keegan