Sound — 10
Week after week, I log onto the computer, load up the Sigur Rуs website, and my heart dies a little everytime I bring up the tour section, and I am sadly greeted with "Gone fishing, no concerts for a while." This small piece of information never fails to put me in a bad mood, Sigur Rуs being the best live experience I've ever seen, and now the band has announced that they will not be making any music until at least next year. So I turn to Jуnsi, who is thankfully gay, and therefore unhindered by children in the production of music. However I turn with a certain level of scepticism, can he really match such a high standard of music that his band has set? And the answer thankfully is yes, but in a completely different way. This album is a parcel of pure joy, and when it is jokingly referred to as a child on the Sigur Rуs website, you get the feeling that you should be taking the wording more seriously after all. The cacophonous introduction is "Go Do" and this sets the tone for the album perfectly, crashing drums, rapturous orchestral sections and the ever present falsetto of Jуnsi combine to make it something really quite exceptional, and this follows through the album, the melancholy of Sigur Rуs is not so present, and whilst you can hear traces of the band in the record, it is not so discernible as to make it a poor imitation. The album is brimming with interesting sounds, energy, and a lot of intelligent craft.
Lyrics — 9
Jуnsi turns to English this time, no more Icelandic, or even Hopelandic for us poor English speakers to scratch our heads about. The lyrics are simple yet poignant, and coupled with Jуnsi's almost ethereal voice provide an effective tool to match the music. The lyrical message of the album seems to be one of hope, and optimism, and the lyrics convey this absolutely. "Every time, everyone, everything's full of life" on "Animal Arithmetic" and the opening lyric of the album are "Go sing, too loud, Make your voice break-sing it out", the album was originally supposed to be an acoustic one, and then "It kind of exploded", and you can see by the lyrics that this effect has been perfected.
Overall Impression — 9
Sadly, I've had to compare this album to Sigur Rуs, and this is understandable, a band of such a calibre is going to have to be brought into the discussion surrounding this release, but after listening, I can honestly say I will not be comparing this album to anything Sigur Rуs have done, and won't do in the future if Jуnsi is to release more material. This record is a complete departure, and one that should be given the respect of being measured by it's own successes, not those of Sigur Rуs. It is a brilliant piece of dare I say it, pop music, and shows that this type of music can still be made without autotune, guest producers and a million cheap electronic effects, but be made purely out of optimism, energy, and passion.