iceland's sigur ros creates slow-moving sonic poetry, letting the otherwordly falsetto of jonsi birgisson float above. the words --- when there are words --- might be english, icelandic or the band's own made-up language, hopelandic. though untitled, "()," an element of the cover art, has become the de facto title among fans.
sigur ros isn't easy listening, but it isn't harsh, either. it can be audio wallpaper --- intricate, gorgeous and finely crafted wallpaper, to be sure. the molasses-like flow is mesmerizing, sometimes building to an epic crescenco that demands attention. a heavy dose of organ and the deliberate pace lend a liturgical air. maybe that's why sigur ros sounds so alien and comforting at the same time. b+