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Hvarf/Heim – Sigur Rós

January 15, 2008

Rare is it that a b-sides E.P. is worthy of being reviewed. However, it is equally as rare to have an E.P. of b-sides and live tracks be as aesthetically pleasing as Hvarf/Heim, the latest release from Icelandic Post-Rock band Sigur Rós. For those of you who do not know what post-rock means, I will explain. A very broad term, Post-Rock is a genre that usually involves a sense of ambience in the music; it has a sort of calming effect. Now, back to Sigur Rós. A two disc album, with about 5 songs on each disc, Hvarf/Heim is, for lack of a better word, amazing. The first disc, Hvarf, contains demo versions of several songs, and other songs that were simply not good enough to be put onto their albums. While these songs are truly amazing, it is the second disc, Heim, that impressed me the most. A live assemblance of songs from their four studio albums (Von, Ágætis Byrjun, Takk… and “()”), Heim is one of the strongest CD’s I have heard all year. The disc is not, however, a live album in the traditional sense. Heim was recorded by the band, in a studio. However, the band did not record each instrument at a different time and make sure everything sounded OK. Sigur Rós went into the studio with acoustic guitars, played and recorded their songs, and made a cd out of the recordings. That CD was entiteld Heim. This album deserves a solid A, and amazing effort by Sigur Rós.

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