Never before has a band been so rewarded for being so patently inoffensive. The title of Sigur Rós’ newest, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, translates as “With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly”—and some people, of course, may find this promise more threatening than others. After a decade’s worth of increasingly abstruse and melodramatic albums, Með suð is, if nothing else, a bit different: more compact, better enunciated, at times even a bit funky. The record also includes, however, the sadly typical “Ára bátur,” as performed by Sigur Rós, the London Sinfonietta, and the 40-odd singing angels of the London Oratory Boys’ Choir—falsetto, apparently, being an addiction you just can’t shake when you’re from Iceland. Accounts of their live shows tend to skew liturgical, which sounds about right. Call it the Church of Blind Faith: made-up languages (Hopelandic, natch), lots of silence, big swelling outbursts, and a sea of fervent fans who’ve been obsessed ever since they heard the band on every movie soundtrack ever made.
Thu., Sept. 18, 8 p.m., 2008