I don’t know why this album is finally making sense to me. There was probably a lot of expectations wrapped up in the thought of Jónsi doing a solo release. I’ll go as far as to say that Sigur Rós doesn’t really even sound like Sigur Rós anymore, but upon first listening to Go, it still felt additionally foreign. Ignoring the fact that initially in comparison to most popular music Sigur Rós sounded more alien than foreign, I think the 10 years of acclimation has let us learn the language of Iceland’s second weirdest exports (should current Reykjavik mayor Jón Gnarr, a former comedian, hits the spotlight I can only guess he’ll be up high on the list). With 2005’s Takk… and 2008’s Með Suð I Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust, their last few efforts felt like the process of sobering up as the sun rose…beautiful for sure, but on another level tiresome. The expanded instrumentation helped, but the shock of their otherworldly originality had faded. The live acoustic album Hvarf/Heim that accompanied the documentary Heima, got more listens from me than the previous two albums combined, even though it just served to remind me that their earlier albums were more awesome than their later output.
When ‘Go Do’ came out, it was like the sun had fully risen. The song’s propulsive beat and Jónsi’s tendency to sing in english (not his Cocteau Twins-ian language of Vonlenska) were even more off-putting to me, as I just wanted to nestle back into the darkness of 2002’s ( ). Odder still to see the song playing over the end credits of How To Train Your Dragon, a fine film…but an odd context. The connection I later learned is that director Dean DeBlois not only helmed the aforementioned dragon flick, but also their Heima documentary.
I won’t lie, internet marketing had a role in my coming back around on Go. A few months ago, they cut together a trailer for the tour:
I had to sit through it before watching a handful of dumb cat videos on youtube and for some reason, it reminded me that I really liked his voice. So, I went back to the album and found it to be far better than I remembered and ‘Go Do’ suddenly appeared to my ears to be something that a Sigur Rós song achieved: catchy. It’s been on repeat lately more than I’d like to admit.
Jónsi is taking Go on a national tour very shortly. On my previous experiences with Sigur Rós live, his voice live is incredible weather uptempo or down.
U.S. dates below:
October 15th – 4th & B – San Diego, CA
October 17th – The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA
October 19th – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA
October 21st – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
October 22nd – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
October 23rd – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
October 25th – Verizon Theatre – Grand Prairie, TX
October 26th – Austin Music Hall – Austin TX
October 27th – Verizon Theatre – Houston, TX
October 29th – Voodoo Festival – New Orleans, LA
October 30th – Moogfest – Asheville, NC
October 31st – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
November 2nd – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
November 3rd – Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
November 5th – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
November 6th – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
November 8th – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
November 10th – Hammerstein Ballroom – NYC, NY
Though the limited edition of Go (featuring a live acoustic dvd and housed in a velvet lined box) has sold out, you can still purchase the digital limited edition direct from his website. This version features a download of the album in lossless and mp3 format, the live dvd that came with the physical limited edition as an mp4 and an additional 4 song performance with Jónsi and Nico Muhly.