Sigur Ros's fifth studio full-length, MED SUD I EYRUM VID SPILUM ENDALAUST, begins with such a tour de force of orchestral pop in the first half, listeners will recall Brian Wilson's self-describing "teenage symphonies to God." Pilfering from both the Arcade Fire--see the rousing second track "Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur"--and Animal Collective--see the lead-off single "Gobbledigook"--in equal measure, the Icelandic quartet create a masterwork that weds their soaring bombast to near-conventional pop structures and adds an experimental joy to their normally somber obsessiveness. The latter half of MED SUD is more in line with their previous effort, TAKK..., with more lived-in textures and slower paces, but after the poppy first half, the change is welcome. The album was recorded in a house in Reykjavik by Flood, who finds the same hooks and sweeping passion here that he did over two decades before engineering U2's THE JOSHUA TREE.
sigur rós released their fifth lp "með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" june 23rd worldwide (june 24th in north america).
"með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" was co-produced with the band by renowned producer flood, and was recorded in new york city (at sear sound studios), london (at assault and battery studios and abbey road), reykjavík (at álafoss, the band's studio, as well as a church in reykjavík), and havana, cuba.
the album title is translated into english as "with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly" with the english spelling of the icelandic album title being "med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust"
whereas sigur rós' last release "heima" took the band to their homeland, their newest creation is the first album in the band's career to be made outside of iceland. it is also their first album to feature vocalist jónsi's vocals in english on one track. in addition to the english, one of the album's tracks is sung without lyrics ("hopelandic") and the rest of the tracks are sung in icelandic.
inspired by the unfettered feeling of the acoustic performances filmed during heima, sigur rós decided to adopt a looser approach in the writing and creation of með suð. the material for the album was written, recorded and mixed entirely in 2008 and is being released just one month after its completion. the album glows with the perfect imperfection of live takes, the sounds of fingers playing guitar strings, cracked notes, and a stark, upfront presence not found in previous sigur rós recordings, moving away from reverb-soaked guitar sounds towards something altogether more affecting. the record also contains some of the most joyous music the band has ever recorded.
opener "gobbledigook" sets the tone for með suð í eyrum… with its shifting acoustic guitars, playful vocals, time signature swings and swirling percussion, while "inní mér syngur vitleysingur" ("within me a lunatic sings") sparkles as one of the most anthemic songs sigur rós have ever written. "festival" is epic in its elation and scope, "illgresi" features one of jonsi"s finest vocal melodies over a lone acoustic guitar, and "ára bátur" is the largest musical undertaking in the band's career, as it was recorded live in one take with the london sinfonietta and london oratory boy"s choir, a total of 90 people playing at the same time. the band also utilised the talents of their string-quartet friends amiina, as well as a five-piece brass section on certain tracks.
ReviewsRanked #17 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2008" - "[R]esonating with a celestial majesty." - Mojo