Being the massive Sigur Ros fan that I am, it’s kinda ridiculous how long it’s taken me to check out lead singer Jónsi’s debut solo album Go. I have vague memories of hearing opening track ‘Go Do’ late last year I think, but it wasn’t until last week I finally managed to have a proper listen. Yesterday I went out and bought the CD and I’ve listened to nothing else all weekend. Literally. I’m on to my fourth listen this afternoon as I type this – I can’t get enough.
I think part of my reluctance to listen to this album was perhaps that I was worried that it wouldn’t be as good as the music he makes with Sigur Ros. I am not exaggerating when I say that I love Sigur Ros – not in a silly fangirl, posters-all-over-my-wall, watches-every-video-she-can-on-youtube kinda way, but that they are the band that I turn to when I need comfort or a lift or I just need something to listen to that I know I will love without having to think about it. Unconditional music, I guess.
I needn’t have worried. It’s true that Jónsi’s solo stuff differs in many ways to Sigur Ros – or at least from their earlier, more ambient releases – but the magic certainly remains. Actually, I think it’s quite similar to Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust in that it’s uptempo for most of the album, but there are breaks in the songs where fast beats are replaced with just strings and vocals, before kicking off again. It’s also the first time Jónsi has sung the majority of his songs in English.
I had a terrible time trying to decide which songs to post, to give you the best taste of the album and convince you that you had to run out right now and get your hands on a copy. I could’ve posted any of them, to be honest, but I went for the opening track ‘Go Do’ and ‘Tornado’. ‘Go Do’ is incredibly infectious, and I can’t listen to it without a big stupid grin on my face. ‘Tornado’ is a bit more Sigur Ros-ish in that it’s more piano and string focused and starts off slow, and builds. It also showcases that voice that makes me speak in cliches. Angelic, ethereal, soaring… you get the picture.
I guess if I was going to mention particular highlights, I would choose ‘Animal Arithmetic’ and ‘Boy Lilikoi’, both of which are wonderfully fast paced tracks, but I am also really taken by closing track ‘Hengilas’ because of all that low slow cello/double bass action. I swear, this album was just made for me. The man can do no wrong.