(Geffen / Filter)
Record Review by Adam McKibbin
The visuals that accompany a Sigur Rós performance are nearly as distinctive as the music itself; a carefully chosen, often slow-moving collage of images that are perfectly wed to the band’s dramatic ambitions. Audience members who have wanted to bottle up a bit of that magic for their home theatres will be thrilled, if only for a brief time, by the Saeglopur EP/DVD, which gathers up the title track along with its Takk-mates “Glosoli” and “Hoppipolla” in all their charming and quirky video glory.
Aside from signature images like the birds flying off the wire (again and again), the loose motif of the Sigur Rós video library is children, children, children. It’s a risky business to lend such distinct narratives to songs that open themselves so freely to imagination and interpretation, so anyone wed to their own mental movies will want to forego the DVD. For everyone else, the three videos offer an interesting range of tone, from the sinister “Saeglopur” to the playful “Hoppipolla” (in which senior citizens run around like kids, splashing in puddles, stealing kisses, and pulling pranks) and the Peter Pan-channeling escapist triumph of “Glosoli.”
On the CD, “Saeglopur” marks one of the band’s high points and pretty much blows away the other three songs—particularly the scattershot “Kafari.” But any listeners who think that Sigur Rós are too epic or grandiose may hasten to embrace the simpler trifecta that follows the single, as they lack the patient builds and soaring crescendos that characterize their blooming catalog—and, to some extent, the so-called post-rock genre in general. In any case, it’s good that, unlike some of those post-rockin’ peers, Sigur Rós doesn’t play the same hand on every song. “Refur” plays out more like a pretty interlude on piano, and “O Fridur” moans with stringed portent, but never reaches for an obligatory climax. The tension plays to its advantage, and, when taken in combination with videos and the reliably fine packaging, “O Fridur” makes a tempting case for fans contemplating a completist purchase.
Sigur Rós - Live - October 5, 2005
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Shearwater / Jamie Stewart - Live - June 18, 2007