A Simple Thanks Won’t Do For Sigur Ros

Although I have never been to Iceland, I have done the next best thing-I own and regularly listen to several CDs put out by Icelandic-natives, Sigur Ros. Since the band’s first full-length release in 2002, the unpronounceable and indescribable ( ), they have done it again with Takk, Icelandic for “thank you.” And a simple “you’re welcome” is nowhere near enough to show a fan’s gratitude to the band for taking them beyond and showing them what serenity is really like. Takk, sixty-five minutes of fascination, takes the listener on a journey through their own images of rocky glaciers and hues of earthy greens and browns. The CD flows like a soundtrack to the listener’s musing dreams, culminating at the perfect place, being left ultimately satisfied with a sudden desire to learn Icelandic. Takk is the type of album that you can put into your CD player and it wouldn’t matter if you lost the remote; there is no need to skip over any substandard song or fast-forward through an unexciting part…those do not exist. The highlights begin with “Glsli” providing a slow repetitious drumbeat that crescendos right when it is supposed to, without missing a figurative or literal beat. “S Lest” changes so often it is as if there are several great songs all rolled into something brilliant, complete with a carnival-esque element that reminds the listener that they are not in a strange new place and that, surprisingly, their feet have not even left the ground. Other songs like “Andvari” and “Svo Hljtt” are orchestral and flow perfectly. So, while my non-Icelandic tongue cannot commend the band on its powerful and inspiring lyrics (they have been known to use their own made-up language on some albums), I can commend the album in its entirety on the captivating use of their instruments, including a xylophone, toy piano, celesta, and even guitar player Jnsi Birgisson’s own creation of a heavily rosined cello bow played against an electric guitar. And when you feel like getting lost but are too broke for hallucinogens or gas for your car, use Takk (or essentially any Sigur Ros album) and be sure to thank them before you drift too far away.