Critical Writings

Articles and Reviews: MUSIC


Hvarf/Heim
(CD) and Heima (DVD) by Sigur Ros (EMI)

Heima was Sigur Ros’s concert film-cum-documentary, released in cinemas last year, which followed the band as they toured around remote, sparsely populated parts of their native Iceland, a needful corrective after an all-conquering world jaunt. It featured stunning cinematography of desolate landscapes. The handsomely packaged DVD version, more a photograph album than a regular DVD case, features an extra disc of full song performances, truncated in the film. Hvarf/Heim is the companion compilation CD of mostly unreleased songs and a brief acoustic set. Hvarf is comprised of newly recorded versions of three older but never before released songs and radically revamped versions of two previously recorded songs from the group's pre-breakthrough early days. Heim is Sigur Ros unplugged, recasting six of their better known numbers. The benefits of contributions from the sympathetic all-female string quartet Amina are evident throughout both discs. While they can occasionally become bombastically overwrought, and at other times veer perilously towards the ponderously New Age, at their best The Rosers rival Mogwai in pursuing the sublimity of the loud/quiet/loud dynamic.


First published in Magill, April/May 2008

 

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