Fat Cat - 2002 - 71 minutes
On '( )', the untitled follow-up to 2000's stunning 'Ágætis Byrjun', Sigur Ros follow a similar path of unearthly beauty. So post-rock that they've now moved beyond naming their songs, the Icelandic band still manage to be eerily capable of articulating existentialist angst.
Atmospheric and transcendent, '( )' is not initially as emotionally engaging as 'Ágætis Byrjun' but its vast soundscapes richly repay repeated listenings. If, as the band hope, you take Sigur Ros' music as representative of their homeland, then you could be excused for visualising Iceland's sparse regions as populated by whales, angels and inarticulate choirboys. Vocalist Jónsi Birgisson alternates between singing in his own invented Hopelandic language and using his voice as another instrument in the texture of the songs.
'( )' is a colder, tougher beast than 'Ágætis Byrjun' but ultimately breaks no new ground. With music this powerful, why bother?
Tracklisting: Untitled (part 1) - Untitled (part 2) - Untitled (part 3) - Untitled (part 4) - Untitled (part 5) - Untitled (part 6) - Untitled (part 7) - Untitled (part 8)