Sigur Ros's album 'Agaetis Byrjun' was far and away my favorite new release in 2000. Technically, it wasn't "new", as it was released in Iceland in 1999 - but who's counting, anyhow? It's really quite amusing to read what other people have said about Sigur Ros ('Victory Rose' in Icelandic), because almost universally they succumb to near egregious superlative - take, for example, a writer for a certain music journal which likened the band's sound to something like "God weeping". But at some level, it's easy to understand how this happens once you've listened to it - Agaetis Byrjun's beauty is unexpectedly disarming.
If I told you that there's a good chance that you would really quite enjoy a CD recorded by a couple of guys from Iceland, orchestrated with as much bowed electric guitar as strings, sung not just in Icelandic, but also in parts in a made up dialect based vaguely on Icelandic, sung by a half-blind male vocalist in an eerie angelic falsetto - you would think I was off my tree (perhaps moreso than usual). But what if I told you their bassist is rumored to be able to catch trout with his teeth? Got you there. Their music is absolutely gorgeous. Trust me.
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