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the wire review of 'takk...'

sigur ros embody a contradiction, in that their music is both inwardly directed - their singer has his own invented language, for instance- and outwardly projected on a monumental scale. in theorythis should please both the bedroom fanatics and the wider audience, but in reality has resulted in a sound which has grown increasingly formulaic and disappointing in light of the group's initial promise. takk is not necessarily a bad album, but sigur ros have mislaid their sense of adventure, replacing it with some broadly applied epic bombast. nist if the songs on takk begin with some tinkling piano, plucked strings and an undercurrent of simmering electronica, before being bolstered by deep basslines and big drums, with jonsi birgisson's swooping, bowed guitar and falsetto vocals topping it off. the music's strengths lie in its sheer vastness, depicting a series of enormous peaks and crescendos before suddenly cutting back to tiny details, contrasting the hugeness of the group's full sound with the fragility of some of its elements. the problem is, the pattern so often repeated, it becomes formulaic, with some tracks simply existing as extended codas for their predecessors. at its worst, takk embodies all the negative qualities of extended way beyond their natural span; it mistakes an ability to think big for an ability to engage an audience; and far from pushing at boundaries it merely creates boundaries of its own. what began as an intriguing icelandic mixof abstraction and emotion has ended up sounding like an indie last night of the proms.



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