they may be singing in icelandic and possess an alien, sometiems difficult beauty, but sigur rós also prove themselves a highly accessible pop band on their fourth album, takk..., without compromising their breathtaking strangeness. ditching the brutal blankness of previous record (), which featured no song titles and lyrics in their own made-up language of hopelandic, the band have here built their incandescent, landscaped post-rock around a more conventional soft/loud dynamic and vaulting song structures.
in turn, this has unleashed a new sense of joyfulness in this sometimes introverted band. at times, the results sound positively hedonistic - the blistering guitar-fuelled crescendo of milano almost bursts its own skin. one hates to draw a comparisons with coldplay, but there is common ground in their ability to create jaw-droppingly beautiful melodies that are both intimate and epic. the crucial differences is that sigur rós are fluent in a much more complicated musical language, creating tremulous fusions of arcane adn avantgarde classical references, with starburst guitars and naked strings combining to evoke a rare sense of magic.
the songs are still framed by a crystalline arctic clarity that thankfully squashes any hint of melodrama, but in a godless world this life-affirming record borders on the divine.