|Sigur Rós - Sæglópur EP|
Sigur Rós can be briefly described as a prolific post rock five piece band hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland. They released the Sæglópur EP August 2006 to tide fans eagerly awaiting a new full-length. On the EP is a collection (can three songs be called a “collection”?) of b-sides from Takk. In addition to the b-sides, also included is the title track, “Sæglópur”; one of Takk’s finest tracks, and a DVD that contains three music videos from Takk.
Takk’s eight minute long opus, “Sæglópur”, begins the EP. A stand out song from the band’s previous release, “Sæglópur” begins as a quiet, steady piano driven tune, until reaching its trademark chilling Sigur Rós crescendo. The next track, “Refur”, could be aptly titled “Interlude”, as it is void of all vocals and any discernible sections and serves mostly as a transition from “Sæglópur” to “Ó Fridur”. Perhaps “Interlude” is the English translation of “Refur”, though this EP is much too short for it to serve a proper purpose. Thankfully, the vocals return on the next track, “Ó Fridur”. Repetitive strings and flutes play throughout the track whilst Jónsi’s flawless voice soars atop the instrumentation. Unfortunately, his pleasurable falsetto is short lived, as it once again disappears on the final song, “Kafari”. The quiet, slow closer would be an amazing, cool-down of a track on an hour long album, however, this EP is only 22 minutes. Don’t get me wrong though, this track is an outstanding, goose bump educing instrumental. It does remind us, however, that b-sides are b-sides for a reason: they didn’t have a place on the previous full-length, and hence, don’t form an entirely cohesive EP that consists of their collection.
The included videos alone, however, are well worth your money. The music videos on the DVD included with the EP are for the songs “Sæglópur”, “Hoppípolla”, and “Glósóli”. The video for “Hoppípolla” (translation: hopping into puddles. Seriously.) is a touching montage of senior citizens behaving like school-children. They partake in such childish acts as ringing doorbells and running away, shoplifting, jumping in puddles (naturally), play sword-fighting, breaking windows, and a water balloon/ mud fight. It culminates into a battle that could be described as epic if it were not between two rival factions of grandmothers and grandfathers. The “Glósóli” video is hands down, the best music video I have ever seen. It deals with a little boy with a drum and his traveling friends amidst breathtaking Icelandic scenery. The groin grabbingly transcendent video for “Glósóli” is the most watched music video in EMI history, and for good reason. Those accustomed to its YouTube conversions will more than appreciate the pristine, widescreen quality that it is presented on this DVD. The video for “Sæglópur” (translation: lost at sea) is a cinematic tale of a child (surprised?) swimming in the ocean (surprised now?). It’s a touching video even if the whole “music videos about little kids” theme starts becoming somewhat redundant in Sigur Rós’ work, as all of their videos prior to this EP also involved children.
Sigur Rós performs the job of releasing some unheard tracks, and presenting some high quality videos via the Sæglópur EP quite well. While the songs may leave one wanting more, especially in the realm of vocals, the tracks are still extremely well done, and still composed in trademark Sigur Rós beauty. The videos are amazing, and should not be missed. While it’s not difficult to round the songs and vids up for free on the internet (not much is these days), this EP is more than worth the less-than-$10 price tag. Plus, it’s refreshing to see some music videos without sluts, cash, and spinners isn’t it?
Audio Disc: 6.25/10
Overall Score: 8/10