Saturday, 14 March 2009
recently I've been having a tough time of things and I've found myself coming back to this album. It helped me through bad times years before and once again I've been drawn back. Rarely has music been able to bring out so much different emotion at once. Particularly the last four longer "dark" tracks. This is one of the few albums I consider perfect. The themes (of nothing) are amazing. The only concept is what your mind makes of it. Truly stunning stuff which the band will never top in my opinion now they are being raped by BBC documentaries, sentimentality and coffee table intellectuals. That aside this album really does border on perfection.
Sigur Ros. ( )
"The album's title consists of two opposing parentheses (in the conventional order, much like those surrounding this parenthetic statement); it has no other official title, though members of Sigur Rós usually refer to it in Icelandic as "Svigaplatan" ("The Bracket Album"). In the credits of the movie "Heima" it is referred to as "The Untitled Album". Fans have referred to it as "Parentheses" or "Brackets". A few call it "Vonlenska" due to the fact that the whole of the album is sung in that semi-language.
The packaging of ( ) is elaborate, consisting of a plastic protective sleeve with two opposing parentheses cut out, which reveal a nature shot printed on the CD case underneath. Apart from the band's name and a sleepwalking child on the plastic sleeve, there is no identification on the CD case itself. Included is a 12-page booklet of thick tracing paper with various black and white nature shots, on which fans were invited to draw or write their own interpretations of the music. Four different covers were made for sale in different areas: America, Australia, Europe, Japan. There is also a limited edition version of the album, released only in Spain, which contains a 94-page digibook of contemporary art. Very few copies remain in circulation today.
The album's vocals are recorded in "Vonlenska" ("Hopelandic"), which consists of meaningless syllables and resembles scat singing. The "language" is named after Von, the first song that featured it. Most of the syllable-strings sung by vocalist Jón Þór Birgisson are repeated many times throughout each song, and often throughout the whole album. Sigur Rós went on to release a music video for untitled #1 (a.k.a. "Vaka") directed by Floria Sigismondi. The video later won the "Best Video" award at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh, Scotland. A snippet from track 8 was heard during the trailer for the Nicole Kidman film The Invasion. Untitled #7 is featured in the trailer for the game Dead Space. Untitled #4 (Njósnavélin) was used prominently in the film Vanilla Sky. Untitled #3, listed under its working title of Samskeyti, was used in the credits for the Gregg Araki-directed film Mysterious Skin (based on the book by Scott Heim), and in an episode in the second season of the British drama serial Skins.
( ) was produced by Sigur Rós and engineered by Ken Thomas, who was also the engineer on Ágætis byrjun. On the majority of the album the band is accompanied by the string quartet Amiina, which is composed of four young Icelandic women. To date, the album has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide."
Untitled #1 from the lighter side of ( )
Untitled #6 from the darker side of ( )