Monday, 9 June 2008

The first ever English language Sigur Rós track - 'All Alright'.

I think Sigur Rós are really hard to write about. It kinda goes without saying that it's utterly beautiful. This song is certainly no exception. Understated and delicate, you could quite easily go the whole song without realising that he's singing in English if you're not listening that closely. It's strange, after never having made any effort to read up on translations of previous Sigur Rós tracks, to suddenly be given what feels like such a personal insight, as if you're overhearing something that you shouldn't be.

It's a song of two halves. Maybe coz I'm in the middle of revising for Shakespeare exams, but it makes me think of The Winter's Tale, a play in two halves, a tragicomedy. In simplistic terms, the first half is a tragedy, the second a comedy (comedy in the Renaissance sense of the word). And in simplistic terms, 'All Alright' kinda works the same.

The first half seems shot through with guilt: "I want him to know / What I have done / I want him to know / It's bad". At the end of the first half: "Now he'll know what I've done." Into the second, and he's sitting on a hill with his "new love" listening to bird-song. I don't know what the Hopelandic section means ("ýu sul nó tjú ron") , and then it ends with the phrase "time to be alright."


Seriously, the Winter's Tale comparison sooooo fits. The pattern of having done something bad, feeling guilty, and eventually
finding redemption. OK maybe that narrative - loss, suffering, regain - is the underlying basic narrative behind, like, everything, but still. That's just my $0.02 or whatever.

Either way, the song's pretty phenomenal. Download it, then, because it's only 128kps and you want the full stereophonic high-fidelity experience, order the album. :)

[mp3 removed]
(from Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, out 23 June; you can stream the whole album here)

P.S. Thanks to this thread for the lyrics :)

P.P.S. Watch a safe-for-work video of 'Gobbledigook' here.

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