Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sigur Ros - Hvarf/Heim

Sigur Ros
(11.2007, Xl Recordings)

Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth going through the motions of writing reviews about albums like this. It's been out a month, sold over 50,000 copies in it's first week, and now I am finally getting around to writing a review after everyone has already heard the album and made up their mind about how much they like it. After reading blogs by many Sigur Ros fanatics it's seems to me that people were very divided about how they felt about Hvarf/Heim. Obviously with Sigor Ros' cult status many people can find no wrong in them and worship everything to do with the band, others however were disappointed after waiting and anticipating a new SR release, mostly by how short the 2 disc album is. The 2 discs together are 70 minutes, which could have fit on one disc. The reason they split the album is because it acts as two separate releases, probably EP's. Disc one Hvarf, which in Icelandic means "disappeared" contains studio versions of primarily unreleased songs which occasionally surfaced at their live shows and delighted fans who pushed for the release of the songs. Heim, which means "home" is comprised of acoustic already released songs played live in various settings while the band played surprise shows in odd places like deserted fish factories and dark caves. These shows are filmed and documented in the DVD Heima, which somewhat accompanies Hvarf/Heim. Even live the songs remain full bodied and magnificently grandiose. It's exactly what you would expect from Sigur Ros, especially if you have already seen them live. There is no new material here so we don't see the band advancing or growing, but it's a great addition to the Sigur Ros fan's collection.


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