Don’t get me wrong, I love Sigur Ros, I’ve seen them live and loved every album they have released, but there seems to be something missing from the latest album, Kveikur. When I first heard the title track live at Brixton Academy last year, it made me excited for the new album, I had no expectations, for what I expect of Sigur Ros was just pure creativity just like the last 6 albums.
It’s not the fact that it’s a bad album, or the fact that for the first time, keyboardist – Kjartan Sveinnson isn’t involved in this project. It has all the elements of a Sigur Ros record, it just as more intense, but perhaps it’s just the different direction that the band has taken in their sound, that this is a much more darker than usual. At times the album feels like an unfinished journey with distracting moments, I suppose it just becomes something we’re not used to listening.
The album takes a while to get in to , it starts with the opening track , Brennisteinn which captures your attention straight away, but it quickly slows down and the excitement for the next tracks withers away. It picks up with the title track later in the album, but by then it is much too late, as there are 9 tracks, and Kveikur is the 6th track, though those remaining tracks remind you of the old and new styles the band has had over the years. I feel that it is missing the emotional connection that the previous albums have had.
It may take a few more listens to really appreciate the work that Sigur Ros has put in to the album, and others may see that it may not matter if they have this album when Sigur Ros have a back catalog of brilliant songs.
With a new tour going on later this year, it doesn’t really matter if we hear the new songs because the band are so great live that the songs will sound much better in concert than on CD. Sigur Ros has always been the type of band you’d rather see live than keep listening on CD.
It’s not disappointment, just the change of direction that may be getting used to.