CD Review of Takk... by Sigur Rós

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starstarno starno starno star Label: Geffen
Released: 2005
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Oh wow, man. It’s, like, the New School of Pretension. You know. Coldplay, Radiohead, Sigur Rós. Yeah, man. Sigur Rós, man. Those crazy Icelanders are always making weeeeird music, man. Like, first there were the Sugarcubes which were annoying plastic art funk junk punk with horns 'n' all that, and of course Bjork broke out and got wild and famous. And now there’s Sigur Rós who’ve just released this fourth album of theirs, Takk…, and it’s like, just, so woolly.

Honestly now. This album put both me and my 14 month old son to sleep. Literally. That might be great if you’re either that old or a big fan of this group, but to my ears it just said, “This album is for people who can’t be bothered by good music and never left their art school aspirations behind.” After trudging through all 11 tracks on this platter, I felt drained, semi-conscious, and surer than ever that I am not a Sigur Rós fan.

A big part of the problem with this goofy album is that for half of it, it sounds like it’s playing backwards. The other half sounds like there are cats mewling outside the window while a pompous string section backs them up. It reminds me of that other waste of time Sarah Brightman, and her operatic cooing that is presented as larger than life, for some audience that feels it’s in some higher echelon of music enjoyment.

Hey, now I like some trippy, slow, hypnotic stuff myself, so before you get the hate mail generated, let me just throw out some handclaps for the likes of Slowdive, Spiritualized, Monster Movie, My Bloody Valentine, and Cocteau Twins. All of these groups have either created or are still creating music that Sigur Rós desperately tries to sound like and yet fails in the proverbial spades. This wank would be called New Age if it were by anyone else, and if it were, then everyone would be ignoring it, as they should. But it’s “alternative,” whatever the hell that means anymore, and therefore “cool” to enjoy. Yeah, well, cram it onto your iPod and stuff it into your headphones while walking down Fifth Avenue, because I sure as hell don’t want to hear any more.

But I’m not going to give this chunk of boring “music” the lowest grade because it is produced well and there are a couple moments here and there in the mix that do register a pulse. But I’m not going to forgive these people for writing a song with a two chord ending that keeps making you think it has finally ended, only to repeat ad nauseum to the point where the surprise turns into torture. Anyway, I’m sure you fans out there are sure to lick Takk… up like a kitty’s spilt milk and enjoy its pretentious book-like packaging as well, but dammit, this stuff just makes me want to listen to Foghat and Boston. Slow ride, indeed.

~Jason Thompson