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Agaetis Byrjun

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Agaetis Byrjun album cover
Svefn - G - Englar (Intro)
Svefn - G - Englar
Ny batteri
Hjartao hamast
Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa
Olsen Olsen
Agaetis byrjun
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 71:54

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At first I was enthralled and tantalized by e-music's sleek design and ability to offer interesting cross paths between music I already like and music I never heard of. But I am becoming increasingly frustrated, especially now that it is getting harder to find the music I am looking for (Sigur-Ros for one) and the new $ system sucks compared to points. Bad move. I am going to cancel my subscription. Amazon is cheaper anyway.

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Maybe watching "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" before hearing the entire album influenced me, but when I am still and listening to this album, I feel like I'm floating.

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achingly pretty


makes me want to learn Icelandic- but then knowing what they are saying might ruin the mood. ethereal is a good word, spacey tones that seem to inflate the room and transport you elsewhere.

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Ethereal debut


The first time I listened to this album, I didn't quite know what to make of it. That was a good thing. Sigur Ros presented songs with a variety of sonic textures, from the fragile to the declarative, and from folk with an electronic tinge to guitars. Some of the songs are so delicate, they almost float away. Others have a more up-front mix. The vocals are distinctive even though I don't know what he's talking about. This puts them in the unique place of actually becoming another instrument, instead of something that gets lost in the production. My favorite album of theirs so far.

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beyond incredible


Jonsi's voice really doesn't even sound human on this album (or ever). It's pushed into some otherworldly stratosphere in like a space-age symphony. I don;t even care that I can't understand what he's saying; Flugufrellsarinn is one of my favorite songs in the entire world.

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What I expected


This is truly amazing music but it takes some effort and the right time and place to really enjoy this. It really is amazing to me that they managed to make this music. It sounds very highly orchestrated and huge. Not sorry I bought this, but I don't put it in very much either. That's what she said.

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Ouch - my ears


I was trying to delete song 2 and the rest of the album from my computer while it was still playing. I had the wrong impression of what this band was going to sound like, that's all. So you may like totally be down with this album. Youtube and preview everything before buying -

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Sigur Ros


A great experience.

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Ice Rock


It was a cool fall evening when they took the stage at the Pavilion in Boston, and the setting could not be more perfect. Their music has a beauty that is found in the bowed guitar and mixed strings, pump organ and primitive percussion, that few have captured. Try out Svefn - g - Englar and Staralfurfor size...in the tradition of emusic: open thy ears to your mind.

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A transcendental masterpiece


A beautiful musical journey to a place you've never been.

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Two years passed since Sigur Rós’ debut. By this time, the band recruited in a new keyboardist by the name of Kjartan Sveinsson and it seems to have done nothing but take the band to an even higher state of self-awareness. Even on aesthetic matters, Sigur Rós entitle their sophomore effort not in a manner to play up the irony of high expectations (à la the Stone Roses’ Second Coming), but in a modest realization. This second album — Ágætis Byrjun — translates roughly to Good Start. So as talented as Von might have been, this time out is probably even more worthy of dramatic debut expectations. Indeed, Ágætis Byrjun pulls no punches from the start. After an introduction just this side of one of the aforementioned Stone Roses’ backward beauties, the album pumps in the morning mist with “Sven-G-Englar” — a song of such accomplished gorgeousness that one wonders why such a tiny country as Iceland can musically outperform entire continents in just a few short minutes. The rest of this full-length follows such similar quality. Extremely deep strings underpin falsetto wails from the mournfully epic (“Viðar Vel Tl Loftárasa”) to the unreservedly cinematic (“Avalon”). One will constantly be waiting to hear what fascinating turns such complex musicianship will take at a moment’s notice. At its best, the album seems to accomplish everything lagging post-shoegazers like Spiritualized or Chapterhouse once promised. However, at its worst, the album sometimes slides into an almost overkill of sonic structures. Take “Hjartað Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm),” for instance: there are so many layers of heavy strings, dense atmospherics, and fading vocals that it becomes an ineffectual mess of styles over style. As expected, though, the band’s keen sense of Sturm und Drang is mostly contained within an elegant scope of melodies for the remainder of this follow-up. Rarely has a sophomore effort sounded this thick and surprising. Which means that “Good Start” might as well become of the most charming understatements to come out of a band in years. – Dean Carlson

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