I tried to reconnect with the Sigur recently, after the third or fourth time seeing them on a “best records of the decade” list. I have done this before. It’s because they are routinely described in ways that draw me in, with words like experimental and otherworldly, tales of fainting audience, comparison to bands I love, like Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Stars of the Lid, and hypotheses on the complete reinvention of music. So, as I tend to do in the face of unanimous recommendation from peers, I try again.
But, as with oysters, I can’t seem to develop the palate for this. They sound to me like television drama montages. Correction, they sound like tv drama montages of today, which may be a hint that this is another bittersweet lesson in getting what you wish for, like when “alternative” became mainstream in the nineties. Nirvana on classic rock stations? Cool. Legions of grunge bands creating a sound so ubiquitous it blends into muzak today? Heartbreaking.
This time, however, I thought I would second guess myself. I went to the SR site where they give away a very generous collection of songs from various recordings, thinking that this author-selected sample would be the fairest representation of their music for my experiment. I then used roughly the same portions of the songs, more or less, to further eliminate subjectivity (ok, actually out of laziness.) I grabbed a fan montage of clips from the CSIs, NCIS, Without a Trace, House MD, Grey’s Anatomy, and Cold Case, fired up the Singer and sewed them together without regard for craft (more laziness…it’s not my thesis or anything). Just to get a sense, you know. The results are below. Try to ignore the shocking sameness of the clips, despite their origins in 8 or 9 different series. You already knew that. But listen to the safety and familiarity of this music, and for that matter the sameness of it despite representing 12 songs from six albums.
Not trying to be a hater. Just felt like having a little fun with a critique of the band’s typical reviews.
UPDATE: maybe there was some hatin after all. I can only assume that some kind of universal reprimand is at play here, since I know my way around online video pretty well, yet have been unable to find any format/third party/plugin combination to make this little joint go. So it’s now an exercise in imagination, loyal readers. Fire up your nearest Sigur Ros track, and dream up the drama.