Sigur Ros – Inni Sigur Ros – Inni

Sigur Ros - Inni

It is now time to check in with our favorite Icelandic angels, Sigur Ros. For anyone unfamiliar, Sigur Ros is a post rock band who produces achingly beautiful songs capable of reducing grown men to tears. No, honestly, I wept like a little girl before writing this review. The band’s music is a mélange of dramatic narrative accompanied with lush orchestration, loud crescendos and tragic vocals sung in a combination of Icelandic and a constructed language known as Vonlenska. Twenty points if you could tell the difference. Since the 1999 breakout Ágætis Byrjun, the band has had a respectable parade of records which floats just outside the mainstream arena. However, much like their post rock brethren, Sigur Ros has found its way into the soundtracks of popular films like The Life Aquatic and 127 Hours. If you are familiar with Sigur Ros people can tell — because your eyes are constantly swollen and glassy.

It has been little over 3 years since the release of the band’s 5th record Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. The three year time period usually marks the release or at least the announcement of a new record. Sorry, not this time. In early 2010, it was rumored the sixth Sigur Ros album was near completed but then abandoned and scraped coupled with an indefinite hiatus. Later, it was confirmed the album was nowhere near being complete but the hiatus still stood. In lieu of a new album or even a unified band, we are given Inni; a two disc live album / film chronicling the band’s performance at England’s Alexandra Palace.

Sigur Ros is not new to the world of film. The band was featured as a major pillar in the 2005 Icelandic music documentary Screaming Masterpiece. In the 2007, the Sigur Ros released their own documentary capturing various performances in remote rural locations. Heima is important as it seems to be the antithesis of Vincent Morisset’s new film Inni. Where Heima captured the delicacy of the Icelandic landscape with small intimate performances draped in lush color, Morisset’s documentary is a frantic art project dedicated to the destruction of the image. Shot on 16mm digital film, Morisset feeds the footage through obstructions and found objects distorting the quality to the quality of early surrealist cinema. What remains is a claustrophobic haze which not only deviates from Sigur Ros’s airy style but adds a raw intimate quality which only adds another dimension to a band already adored by thousands.

But let us be honest unless you live in an awesome city with a theater sympathetic to art cinema, you will most likely have to wait for Inni to come to DVD. For those of us who live in frontier land, Inni, as a musical entity pleases just as well. The expanse of Sigur Ros’ musical career is represented in the near 2 hours of near flawless recreation. From the abstract and sometime nightmarish beginnings of Von to the upbeat and less dramatic Með suð, Sigur Ros unintentionally celebrates two decades of musical variation. Inni’s highlights include a dreamy rendition of “Hoppípolla,” a near 16 minute version of “Untitled 8 (Popplagið)” and various overlooked selections from Með suð which dominate both discs. “Lúppulagið” is a new song and not only acts as Inni’s finale but an overture to the sixth, still as of yet untitled, album from our favorite Icelandic angels.

Sigur Ros exudes an artistic delicacy for everything they do. Even a stopgap live album comes crafted in parchment and fine ink. The odd and sometimes unsettling film which accompanies this album only gives reason to all of those nights spent crying in your bed. Writing Sigur Ros reviews usually ends with me getting teary eyed looking for more romantic synonyms. There are just not enough words or even a language I can use to express my admiration. I will stop here before I fall into poetic rhyme.

Disc 1

1. svefn-g-englar
2. glósóli
3. ný batterí
4. fljótavík
5. við spilum endalaust
6. hoppípolla
7. með blóðnasir
8. inní mér syngur vitleysingur
9. e-bow

Disc 2

1. sæglópur
2. festival
3. hafsól
4. all alright
5. popplagið
6. lúppulagið

Sigur Ros - Inni, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-11-17T10:13:30-08:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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