芍g?tis Byrjun
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Product Description

Reykjav赤k-based noise quartet Sigur R車s are the biggest band in their native Iceland, which should say much, much more about the collective insanity of that earthquake-ridden, blizzard-beaten crag of an island than anything to do with Sigur R車s's sound. But in their music, Sigur R車s reflect all the breathtaking glory of the Icelandic wastes--a fairy-tale explosion of unhinged elemental majesty that's finally crystallized here, their debut European release. Poised somewhere between the haunting soundscapes of Labradford and the lilting Celtic falsetto of Enya, Agaetis Byrjun is a truly breathtaking listen. Frontman Jon Por Birgisson sings in a language that Sigur R車s dub "Hopelandic"--an otherworldly mutation of Icelandic, sung in the falsetto cadence of angels; similarly, he plays his guitar with a violin bow, opening the floodgates for brilliant waves of feedback. And while it's the opening "Svefn-G-Englar" that's Sigur R車s' moment to date, there's far more that they have to offer; listen to the pomp and flourish of a full orchestra on "Flugufrelsarinn," or the awe-inspiring near-religious mantra of "Ny Batteri." --Amazon.co.uk

UK version of the Icelandic experimental/alternative act's international debut (their third album overall). Originally released in 1999, 'Agaetis Bryjun' is multi-platinum in their homeland. Includes the singles, 'Svefn-G-Englar' and 'Ny Batteri'. Single disc packaged in a very cool envelope style digipak. 2000 release.

UK version of the Icelandic experimental/alternative act's international debut (their third album overall). Originally released in 1999, 'Agaetis Bryjun' is multi-platinum in their homeland. Includes the singles, 'Svefn-G-Englar' and 'Ny Batteri'. A brilliant record packaged in a digipak.

Customer Reviews:

  • The Mysteries of Iceland
    You might have found out about Sigur Ros through movies, such as Vanilla Sky and The Life Aquatic. The first time I heard about this band was when the single "Svefn-g-englar" was played on KROQ-FM radio, uncut. Ever since my older brother bought the album some time ago, I've taken a liking of the band's otherworldly music, some of which is so soothing to listen to. "Svefn-g-englar (Sleepwalkers)" is one of the most recognizeable songs on the album, and it is one of my favorites. "Star芍lfur (The Staring Elf)," which is heard in the film The Life Aquatic, has a very watery atmosphere to it (I think that's why it was featured in the film). "Flugufrelsarinn (The Fly's Savior)" is one of the darker songs; it makes me imagine the mountains of Alaska and the Yukon during a cloudy dusk and dawn. "Ny Batteri (New Batteries)," one of the singles, contains some interesting instrumentations that grasp at the ears and never lets go. "Hjartao hamast (The Heart Pounds)" doesn't add much to the album, but when the heavenly "chorus" is heard, it's hard not to like the song. "Viorar vel til loft芍r芍sa" (Good Weather for an Airstrike) has to be one of the finest songs that Sigur Ros has ever created. The piano, strings, bass, violins, guitars, and of course, Jonsi Birgisson's singing voice are so incredibly divine that one has to wonder if these people made a visit to heaven sometime in their lifetime. "Olsen Olsen" sounds good in the first half, but the second half sounds a bit too silly and fails in comparison. "Agaetis byrjun" and "Avalon" make fine conclusions to this stunning album.

    I'm glad that my older brother introduced me to this album. Now Iceland has been added to my list of "Places to visit"....more info
  • Excellent, a compelling effort
    I believe that the degree of how much you enjoy music is directly related to your circumstances. There are times in your life when music resonates within you, and other times when the same music won't. There are times in my own past when I would have found this album to be pretentious, boring, all the other criticisms written. This however is not one of those times.

    Agaetis Byrjun is my first foray into Sigur Ros. And its an extremely beautiful and compelling effort. And it is truly beautiful. It sinks into you and through you, and reminds you of many other influences. I won't list since that's not the point. This is not music you listen to while staring at the speaker waiting for something to happen. This is music you play while doing other things. It is at times powerful, at others sublime, at still others tense.

    I gave it 4 stars only because at times the vocals (not the language, but the voice itself) take away from the music in my opinion. However if I could give it 4 1/2 I would. I came to this music through an enjoyment of Underworld, The Decemberists latest, even Rush. Music that provides a solid background for doing other things without being distracting. Ti use a cliche, you will either love this album or absolutely hate it. For me, fantastic and highly recomended. ...more info
  • "Ambient" means "EXTREMELY BORING"!
    You heard it here, you delusional souls! "Ambient" is another word for "boring, dull and pretentious"! What's so special about this album? The dumb atmosphere? I say you listen to a Madonna or Britney Spears album if you want atmosphere! Sigur Ros are so stupid that they don't even know how to write properly- note how all of their songs are in a made-up language. They thought, "Hey, let's be cool and not pass kindergarten and make music with two chords on the guitar and mess around with a piano and people will worship us!". Sigur Ros are dumb one-trick ponies who will do anything to take your money. Support REAL music- KoRn, Nickelback, Metallica, Taylor Swift, etc. Avoid this Agaetis Byjurn crap like the plague....more info
  • More than a good start to Sigur Ros' international success
    The Icelandic band Sigur Ros, by this point in their career, have redefined and expanded their sound enough times to completely avoid categorization. Are they rock? Are they ambient? Or are they simply some breed of sophisticated pop? The only thing for certain is that Sigur Ros aren't afraid of being themselves, and have an awe-inspiring artistic freedom. Throughout this sprawling sophomore album, Sigur Ros created possibly their most accessible and simultaneously memorable album of their careers. The strategy utilized on 芍g?tis Byrjun is the same that was used on Von and would be used on future albums () and Takk. That strategy is simple. More means more. Which is ironic, because the opening introduction track is exactly the melody that the listener would want expanded on to about five minutes. This may seem like a pretentious move, but many have mistaken Sigur Ros' all-over-the-place style and relentless experimentation for pretentiousness only to gradually realize that it is true beauty and the art of learning while writing songs. Really, it is quite impressive how consistent this album stays. The bands style here is to combine subtle atmospheric instrumentation with emotive, soaring melodies. These songs sound huge, both in length and in scope, and the result is surprisingly warm. This also sounds very unlikely, almost too good to be true. But what do you know, Sigur Ros pull it off, against all odds. From the opening Svefn-G-Englar, vocals are given extremely relaxed treatment and strings and a lovely melody is gradually explored. It's hard to believe it, but every track is standout. Around the middle, the album shifts into a more dark, melancholy mood for the extent of two songs, Ny Batteri and Hjartao Hamast, which help to make 芍g?tis Byrjun Sigur Ros' most representative album. The extent of my gruff is that the band repeats themselves a little here and there, but who doesn't like more of a good thing? Happy, sad, lovely, dark, bright, relaxing, urgent. Sigur Ros are all of these things and more on their many albums, and this is the one that just happens to be the best. Sigur Ros is a wonderful band with myriad wonderful sounds. Start here....more info
  • Good Stuff!
    We should probably all bow down to Bill Perez as he is undoubtedly the all knowing god of all critics. Don't mind him, he just needs a hug.
    Anyway, about the album. Its great stuff. Different. Trippy. Beautiful. Listen to some of their stuff first. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
    I rated it 4 stars because it is MY PERSONAL OPINION. It just means its great but I like other things better....more info
  • WOW.
    One of my favorite albums ever, from one of my favorite bands. No one has, or ever will, make music this beautiful. It is better that i don't understand the words, because no words could match the sound that they achieve. Get it now if you truly appreciate music....more info
  • Neat-o
    There are two types of reviews for any Sigur Ros album:

    1.) "This album sucks. It's all gay and stuff. The guy doesn't even speak English! Where's the Skynnyrd?"

    2.) "This album will change your life. It is the greatest piece of music ever created by human beings. It may, in fact, have been created by otherworldly beings."

    Honestly? It's a neat album. They're a neat band. I say that mostly because there's really nothing like them, at least in the U.S. I don't know that Sigur Ros is going to give you the answers to the meaning of life, but it's soothing music. It's the kind of thing an alt-rock fan might want to listen to if he feels like doing meditation -- i.e., your average John Tesh fan probably isn't going to dig on Sigur Ros.

    I think this is a great album. I really enjoy it. Will you? Eh, you'll probably want to find some sound clips first. Amazon has a few free mp3 downloads, give those a listen and see what you think. It's certainly not for everybody. But it's for some of us, and some of us think it's pretty neat....more info
  • Wow
    I'm not going to use technical words, merely because I am no good at using them. Simply put, in my opinion this album is excellent. Sigur Ros don't cease to amaze me with every album they release. Well done chaps....more info
    This album is unbelievably beautiful. Amazing vocals with a cool reverb soaked guitar and the strings are also great. I encourage anyone to listen to this. They are also MINDBLOWING live....more info
  • I... Heart this album.
    Three of my favourite adjectives should be sufficient to some up this album, and they are: spiffing, smashing, and wizard.

    The sounds on Agaetis Byrjun are ethereal, unearthly, and simply beautiful. I fell in love with it at first listening, and still listen to it at least once a week. Some people dismiss Sigur Ros as boring, but I think the minimalistic approach to music-making that they have merely adds to the infinite charm of their stuff.

    Buy this album, I urge you....more info
  • like this will change anything, but hey
    Sigur Ros; Ethereal, hyponotic, BORING. Believe me, ive enjoyed plenty of albums that were similar, but this album was like staring at TV static while taking muscle relaxers. I appreciate that its not so mainstream and it is different from a lot of other artists, but jeezus cripes i cant stay awake through it! I cant distingusih songs apart, and sometimes thats just fine, but this album never goes anywhere. it just drones on like a test screen. I cant listen to more than 2 songs at a time without falling asleep, which was terrible case i was driving! If you want spacey but not so freaking boring, i suggest "Back of Beyond" by Frank Pahl. And no im not promoting him, just giving a more interesting option that i know of....more info
  • Incredible...at the right times
    This is some other-worldly music that can hit you just right depending on what mood you are in. Sigur Ros will likely make you feel depressed and sick if you are in a great mood, and can make you waste your entire day being all melancholic. There are times when I think Sigur Ros is garbage and pointless. Every once in a while, however, I think everyone's soul needs this kind of melodic thereapy. 99 percent of people I know need to just F'n chill out and escape the rat race that becomes their daily life. Nothing will do it like Sigur Ros. this music is not for just listening to whenever. Enjoy it very sporadically, but intensely. ...more info
  • Garbage
    Painful to listen to, utterly inane, worthless. I'd rather have long steel needles shoved into my ears, and acid poured into my eyes, than listen to this piece of junk....more info
  • world changing music
    This, along with all of Sigur Ros' music makes the world a more beautiful place. It is calming, meditative, inspiring music that, rather than hinders and channels thought, promotes and evokes individual perception and idea.

    Medically speaking (I'm not a doctor) it slows the heart rate and calms.

    For the student: Listen to this before an exam or presentation-I guarantee a better grade.

    Agaetis Byrjun, in my opinion, is the most consistently solid album of Sigur Ros to date. It's amazing.

    If you are ever feeling anxious, put this on and close your eyes. You'll be brand new after one song (namely Svefn g englar)....more info
  • Whale Music
    For me, this outing really falls away after the third track into noodling and doodling with percussive rushes and jazz lines that simply don't transport. Funeral music for astronauts has been one derogative remark I've heard, and it's not far wide of the mark. The magnificent 'Svenfng Englar' had it been supported by the other pieces, would have put this work at the very heights of ambient music. It's a difficult act to follow. As it is, too much is elevator music headed for the basement. The aforementioned opening tracks embrace me with an oceanic pleasure, a submarine, floating world of dazzling colours, free of stress....more info
  • Sigur Ros - In the year 2525...
    Sigur Ros' debut is one of the weirdest CD's I've owned for a few years. I just listened to it the other day and I am still blown away by its awesomeness. It's sung in a made-up language by Icelandic space rockers.

    The songs are beautiful, long and well-crafted. There is generous use of the string sections. The entire album is dreamy. It sounds like it was made on an alien planet, or music made in the future.

    This album is gorgeous music. It always calms me down. This is always a good album to put on if you want to fall asleep to - it works for me every time. Tremendous debut - they'll never top this. I can't recommend this one enough....more info
  • Achingly beautiful
    The first song I heard from this album was "Viorar Vel til Loftarasa," and even years after hearing the song, there's something beautiful...and sad about listening to it, and the way the music drops out in the middle of the song, as if to illustrate a point at which someone's hope seems lost, only to build into a beautiful, triumphal sonic climax filled with strings, piano, drums and waves of oddly reassuring guitar feedback. It's one of the few songs that really evokes a concrete emotional response even without the benefit of a lyrical narrative, and most of the songs here have that same ability to resonate. I listen to everything from death metal to African folk music, and there really isn't any other group I know of that sounds quite like this. Buy it; you'll be moved....more info
  • An old guy likes this stuff too
    With nearly 300 reviews of this CD already written, and no one but the most deranged fan willing to read more than a few, why add another? Well, because I suspect there are listeners other than myself who look and listen and wonder how to decipher all the woozy praise or hysterical hatred. Besides, of course, buying the darn thing and listening.

    I have been a fan of Sigur Ros for over 4 years, having been exposed to them by my daughter, who thought this right up my alley. And she was blindingly right. I have witnessed them twice live. This is amazing stuff. Now, not everything they do is amazing....some of it is rather pedestrian. Tedious. A little embarrassing. Even Mozart wrote uninteresting music. But there is nothing dull on this CD. It is transcendent and intoxicating. Their consistently best work to date.

    I do not believe snippets or scraps can really capture what this can do. You need to immerse yourself into the world they create, a sonic palace of bizarre digital noises and weird little drones, a wispy little vocalist and a breathtakingly brilliant percussionist, and savor it all. Unlike anything else, and unrelated to anything else, it stands on its own as something worth experiencing and enjoying.

    Sigur Ros is like a Jackson Pollack painting. Often when you look at a Pollack, not a print but the real thing, you wonder what the heck he thought he was up to. He got paid for that? But sometimes Pollack hit it perfectly; he took the same old swirls and drips and spatters on every painter's dropcloth and produced something gorgeous and permanent. This CD has all winners on it, a flow and a movement using the the most elementary, and often most repetitive, little sounds and weaving and blending them into a tapestry of endlessly surprising and often unimaginable beauty....more info
  • Think Opera, not Rock
    Most negative reviewers state that Sigur Ros are boring and incomprehensible.
    It is interesting that anyone would condemn Sigur Ros for being impossible to understand, considering that they are an Icelandic band and hence don't sing in English.
    Besides that, anyone who dislikes Sigur Ros for this reason is missing or not appreciating a fundamental tenet of their music. It isn't supposed to make sense. At least, not to the brain. No, this music speaks to the heart. It is meaningless from a logical or rational point of view, but profound when listened to using feelings and emotions.
    In this sense, Sigur Ros is not remarkably different from any "mainstream" band. The lyrics of many popular songs, especially Metal or Grunge compositions, are usually incomprehensible. Sigur Ros is the same.
    The main difference between Sigur Ros and the music of other genres in which lyrics and meaning take a back seat is how they engage the listener. Grunge and Rock almost always use heavy electronic guitar riffs and strong percussive beats to interest the listener. Someone who is used to hearing this type of music will of course find Sigur Ros "boring" - Sigur Ros music contains no obvious riffs, drum beats or even linear structure.
    But that is because Sigur Ros is not some form of Aural amphetamine, or alternative to beat-boxing.
    It's not supposed to get the heart racing or the blood flowing, but rather the opposite. It calms and pacifies. When you listen to Sigur Ros, you don't listen for cheap thrills or empty titillation. You listen to meditate, to feel, or to relax.
    The point of meditation is definitely not to be some form of entertainment. Thus, if you can't appreciate quiet reflection or find peace and beauty "boring", then you most likely won't enjoy Sigur Ros. ...more info
  • my favorite music for yoga
    there are mostly two opinions about this album/artist:

    1. it's amazing in that out-of-body experience kind of way
    2. it's dull, pretentious, never gets anywhere

    and both sides have their points. kind of.

    no, i do not listen to this album very often. i do not even listen to it with other people, usually. i do yoga to this album. no one should listen to this album expecting some sort of upbeat tempo or something. that would be just ridiculous.

    but i do think that it is one of the most pure expressions of human emotion i have ever heard. the fact that i don't understand the lyrics just adds to it for me. this album is really something that i seem to feel inside my bones. it's entrancing, unreal -- it inspires me.

    i think this is an album for practicing yoga, for painting, for replenishing your soul in any way. i think the people who complain about this album simply did not listen to it the right way....more info

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  • WoW
    Sigur Ros can be best classified as 'Post Rock" music, but to paraphrase a review of this cd by Pitch Fork Media 'Calling them Post Rock would be an insult, rather they are Pre whatever it is that comes out of this century"
    This album is amazing in several ways, first the that somehow, despite the lyrics not being in english you think you can understand them, and probably can in some cerebral way.

    It is simply the most beautiful music that has has ever been produced with rock instruments. It deserves to be a part of the dictionary definition of beauty....more info
  • Angel phetus prayers
    I think the album cover sums it up:
    If you could hear the prayers of an angel phetus, this is what it would sound like....more info
  • This album made me weep.
    I first got a whiff of Sigur Ros when they played on Conan O'Brien, after the release of Takk..., and I thought they were amazing. I've always been a fan of strange music, and when thought to be up ther with the likes of Bjork, I just had to give them a listen.

    I picked up Takk and ?g?tis Byrjun, and promptly listened to them. As I was listening to the latter album, a funny thing happened. About six minutes into Svefn-G-Englar, I felt sick. Tears came to my eyes, and I began to cry. Now, this isn't a natural thing for me, so you can understand why I'd be blown away. Something about the sound made me break down. It probably came from the fact that it was unlike anything I'd ever heard. I don't mean that like some people say it, I mean that I have NEVER heard anything that sounds anything like it.

    It's been awhile since I picked the album up, and I still listen to it at least once every other day. It's something that never gets old, because it's, as said, nothing I've heard before. In short, this album should be in the CD collection of everyone who has an opinion on music, and what makes it beautiful....more info
  • Beautiful music - not of this earth
    I want to write a review, but it's very difficult to describe this music. Basically, imagine a bunch of hyper-advanced aliens landing on earth, and then, in an effort to duplicate the art of their home planet, they utilize human instruments in an attempt to reproduce their lost music...there, now you have an idea as to what these guys sound like. Vocals are...almost like a cross between whale noises and unintelligible humanoid sounds (I mean that in a good way). The guitar is played with a bow, which should tell you something about how that instrument figures into the picture here. Great drumming, the drums have a "huge" sound like much of the disc does. Very restrained, slow-developing compositions which build to fascinating and gorgeous crescendos. Some people obviously won't like it (an awful lot of people have written this off as "pretentious"), but if you like beautiful music, then this is the disc for you. Their follow-ups, '()' and "Takk...', are also good, but this disc is the most even and consistent....more info