The Inside Pulse:
Sigur Ros’ Agaetis Byrjun opened the doors of post-rock to the masses, introducing elegant, ethereally tinged rock that perfectly characterized themselves and the country they call home, Iceland. 2003’s ( ) was an exercise to critics and themselves that they can craft engaging music without the mystery. Though another great album, fans pined for a return trip to the band’s angelic universe.
Takk finds the band returning to the form found on their breakthrough album, but not without some threads to their darker material. The best example of this can be heard on the first single, “Gosoli” The majestic bells are pure Byrjun but the bass line would have fit nicely within the parentheses. “Gong” opens with a beautiful violin concerto, then fades to a very driven guitar line, accompanied nicely by fan brushes. This is as somber as it gets on the album, however, as the dark paths they flirt with open into open fields and major chords.
Two other points of interest are this is the first album that features a full band collaboration as well as songs sung in the band’s native Icelandic tongue, and not their fluid Hopelandish. These changed result in a more structured format to the tunes, which don’t amble on as much (though many track break the six minute mark). On “Hoppipola,” for example, Jonsi sings in a very stilted manner, something very rare considering their approach to music. Then again, I might only be noticing these things because I am aware of the changes.
-This album might not be embraced by those who discovered the band through ( ), which has grown to be embraced by a niche that loves the dark tones and minor keys.
-Imagine Bjork fronting Radiohead and getting them to take copious amounts of ecstasy, and I think that’s an accurate description.
Reason to buy:
-Another fantastic album by one of the most original bands of this or any era.
I was initially hesitant on turning this in because Kyle David Paul‘s great review pretty much hit the nail on the head. But the pulse’s new review format is designed for second and third opinions, even if those opinions are the same. Takk is a triumphant return of one of the most original, creative bands of the last fifteen years.