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Sigur Rós – Takk…

Released on Geffen Records, 9/13/05

Brighter and more shapeless than their previous work, Sigur Rós' <i>Takk</i>… feels like the soundtrack to whatever you happen to be doing at the moment. If you're the kind of person who likes to listen to music while driving, try cranking up the track "Saeglopor" while careening down a particularly striking strip of highway. The song's high pitched coos, sung in the band's now familiar language -- "Hopelandic" -- will burst from nothingness to guide you along the road.

If you're a morning public transporter, the rhythmic ether of "Go" will fall perfectly in synch with the train's clickety-clack hum. And if you're a night time pre-sleep listener, you could do no better than to whisk yourself into unconsciousness to the amorphous "Se Lest"; a track arguably more earnest, pristine and accomplished than anything Sigur Rós has ever done in the past.

All this from a band who speaks nary a word of English and records in the bowels of an old public swimming pool somewhere on the Icelandic countryside. Such eccentricities, in cahoots with an already unique take on post rock, has given Sigur Rós a measure of street cred most indie bands will never see. Yet, <i>Taak</i>… comes six long years after their breakthrough <i>Ágćtis Byrjun</i>, and immediately following 2002's ( ), which earned mixed critical props and little in the way of meaningful album sales. In other words, while one Sigur Rós certainly don't need to prove themselves with <i>Takk</i>…, it is a distinct opportunity to remind us why we cared in the first place.

A concerted listen to the entirety of <i>Takk</i>…can do just that; not simply remind us why we care about Sigur Rós, but why we care…about anything. As grandiose as it sounds, caring, and yes, hope are the heart of the band's sonic message, and <i>Takk</i>… delivers that theme flat out, to the delight of drivers, sleepers, commuters and most other do-ers, everywhere.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars