Cold. Atmospheric. Icelandic. Sparse. Ambient. Stark. Beautiful. All these words can easily be used to describe the third album from Sigur Ros. The album, plainly entitled ( ) is yet another masterwork from the Icelandic quartet. Taking off where 2000's brilliant ¡gÊtis Byrjun left off, the parenthetical aural endeavor takes you on a sonic boat ride, the sounds swelling like waves, building up to crescendo and then crashing down in a washy maelstrom. The icy dreamscapes produced by each song are punctuated by frontman JÛnsi Birgisson's incredible vocals, the range of which needs to be heard to be believed. The sonic reach of his voice makes it so that you don't even notice that the lyrics are a mix of Icelandic and a language the singer made up himself. Sigur Ros is truly an amazing band and one that you need to check out for yourself. No amount of words can do justice to the emotive soundscapes produced by these wondrous musicians, so I will no longer even try. Just listen. That's all you need.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN