Go - XL
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Ken Scrudato on March 23, 2010
With Media Conglomeration, Inc. having bludgeoned virtually every last drop of mystery and wonder from our soul-sucking modern lives, any chance to retreat to the tiny plot of unknowable magic occupied by Sigur Rós is truly a possibility for a minor redemption. No surprise, this first solo record from arch-seraph Jon Thor Birgisson brims with moments of aural salvation.
Jónsi’s own “salvation” is apparent from the get-go, as he gallops through a pair of blithely spirited numbers, chirpy flutes, wistful strumming and exuberant, inimitably angelic trilling. It wasn’t cuteness or charm that first pulled us into Sigur Rós’ preternatural vortex, but an unwavering sense of the grandiose—the feeling that the group was always just about to compose Beethoven’s 9th or “Stairway to Heaven” for the post-punk generation. And Go does not want for such instances of utterly transformative power, from the almost medieval orchestral sweeps of “Kolnidur,” to the dazzling melodies and heart-pounding gallop of “Around Us” (yep, he scraps the Hopelandish here). It closes with a mournful and mysteriously titled hymn, “Hengilas,” that is so viscerally consuming in its eerie, disconsolate beauty that you may need an antechamber in order to readjust to the dreadful, materialistic reality from whence you came. Just don’t be in a hurry.