Sigur Rós's latest is positively festooned with danger signs: It's the Icelandic group's first album to be mainly recorded outside its home base; its first to feature a track sung in English; and its first co-produced by a big-shot dial-twister (Flood, of Depeche Mode fame). Somehow, though, this series of seemingly suspect compromises actually brings out some new and beguiling qualities. The new material ranks among the most accessible offerings Jón "Jónsi" Thor Birgisson and his mates have issued, and tunes such as "Vid Spilum Endalaust," featuring a rapturous Brian Wilson-meets-Mr.-Freeze arrangement, prove wonderfully uplifting, not commercially grasping. As a bonus, "All Alright," the aforementioned English-language ditty, is as difficult to understand as anything warbled in Icelandic. Thanks for maintaining some mystery, guys.
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