Record #379: Jónsi – Go (2010)

Icelandic post-rock gods Sigur Rós have a way of capturing the full depths of the human experience like no other musician has ever approached. Between their massive, patient arrangements and Jónsi Birgisson’s otherworldly croon, they create and destroy worlds and lifetimes in the course of their catalogue.

​So when Jónsi went to do it alone, everyone was a little unsure of what to expect. Obviously, his angelic falsetto would be heavily featured, but what would accompany it? How would his songwriting adapt?

Go came hot on the heels of Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaustSigur Rós’ most human release. Acoustic guitars were used liberally. Tempos were quicker. Jónsi even sang in English on one track. 

​And that was just a warm up.

Go takes the group’s trademark jubilance (specifically tracks like Hoppipola, Gobbledigook, Við spilum endalaust) and cranks it up. Jónsi appears here as unbounded and playful as some pagan trickster god. The average tempo is nearly twice the average Sigur Rós album. And he sings everything in English. Of course, his thick Icelandic accent still makes it sound unknowable. 

This is the sound of pure joy cut to wax. Even the more mournful tunes (Tornado in particular) have a core of jubilee to them. 

​Also worth noting, I bought this particular copy on my honeymoon, so that’s a good memory too.

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