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Go

Rock - Released April 5, 2010 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks
Anyone expecting Jónsi's solo debut to sound anything much like his work as vocalist with Sigur Rós might be a little shocked. (Only a little, though.) Unlike the sound of the band, which is akin to being enveloped in a great misty cloud of shifting tones and textures, listening to Go is, for the most part, like being caught in a storm of color saturated hailstones. From the very beginning, Jónsi and his collaborators, composer Nico Muhly, Alex Somers (who was half of the Jónsi & Alex project), and Samuli Kosminen pepper the listener with shards of sunny strings and woodwinds, spools of chopped-up guitars and keyboards, all sorts of digital manipulations, and above it all, layers of Jónsi's reliably enthralling voice. The songs alternate between tracks like "Animal Arithmetic" and "Go Do," which sound like the bubbling soundtrack to an awesome training montage in a film where pixies are training to battle fairies; atmospheric tunes like "Sinking Friendships" and "Grow Till Tall" that drift by like puffy clouds; and string-heavy ballads like "Kolniður" and "Hengilás." These ballads anchor the record just enough to keep it from blowing away in the slightest wind and give it some emotional heft. One could argue that not every record necessarily needs this kind of weight, and that it would have been more fun to add two more songs that spun like out-of-balance tops, but since Jónsi does ballads really well, it’s hard to complain too much. It’s also hard to imagine a giddier song than "Boy Lilikoi," which swells and shimmers in a shower of flutes, bells, strings, and almost unbearably sugary vocals. Listening to it is like biting into a jelly-filled donut; only the jelly turns out to be a rainbow. While the whole album doesn’t quite deliver this kind of intense listening experience, enough of it does to make Go an essential addition to the collection of anyone who likes their music to come in colors. If Sigur Rós never releases another album, as long as Jónsi makes records this thrilling, it’ll be OK. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 2, 2020 | KRUNK

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The frontman of Icelandic band Sigur Rós, Jónsi, had tried his hand at a solo career ten years ago with the album Go. In order to get the ball rolling in this direction again, it took an offer from A. G. Cook, the founder of PC Music and Charli XCX’s creative director... Being one of the most sought after producers around, A. G. Cook’s offer was hard to refuse. Why would Jónsi say no to a collaboration that would attract alt-pop, prog rock and experimental fans? The album kicks off with Exhale, a track with an apt title that uses synth samples modelled on Jónsi’s breaths. Then we’re thrown into the future with Hold before being taken in the complete opposite direction with the very 80s Cannibal (featuring Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins). Apart from the dancefloor track Salt Licorice with Swedish icon Robyn and a few moments that are a bit ’too much’, Shiver is an album made for tripping out under a duvet. There are haunting ambient passages and amazing atmospheric songs like Granade and Beautiful Boy on which Jónsi brings out his famous falsetto. This is certainly a record that lives up to its promises. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Rock - Released April 6, 2009 | Parlophone UK

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Jónsi (Jon Thor Birgisson) and Alex (Alex Somers) worked on the album that became Riceboy Sleeps on and off for almost five years. After taking a month to finish and mix it, the result is an album that sounds remarkably like the band Jónsi fronts, Sigur Rós. A lot of times side projects serve as outlets for music that the band would never attempt; Riceboy Sleeps sounds like it's made of stray Sigur Rós moments the group spent tuning orchestras, warming up vocal choirs, or checking levels. Fortunately, even stray moments by Sigur Rós prove to be lovely and transcendent. The songs on the album drift on shifting waves of strings (provided by longtime SR collaborators Amiina), children's choirs, treated pianos, and underwater soundscapes. The music Jónsi & Alex create is ambient but not boring, quiet but not sleepy (despite the name); the combination of sounds and the way the duo manipulates them manage to hold interest even though the songs are lengthy and have a very consistent tone. It's really less of a tone and more of a spell -- the introspective, meditative songs take hold quickly and leave you feeling the album long after it stops spinning. That the pair managed to make such a captivating record while using Jónsi's remarkable vocals only once (they make a stunning cameo at the conclusion of "Indian Summer") is a testament to their skill and vision. Riceboy Sleeps has all the majestic calm of Sigur Rós with none of the dramatic storm, all of the lull and none of the squall. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Ambient - Released October 11, 2019 | KRUNK

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 9, 2011 | Columbia

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Electronic - Released April 23, 2020 | KRUNK

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 14, 2010 | KRUNK

Released in conjunction with a behind-the-scenes DVD, Go Live sees Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi attempt to re-create the orchestral folk-pop of his debut album, Go, in front of an unusually polite but receptive live audience. Recorded at Belgium's Ancienne Belgique at the beginning of his 2010 tour, with a smattering of performances taken from one of his final dates at the Brighton Dome, it's a task that the Icelandic artist passes with flying colors, as his four-piece band somehow manages to produce the same expansive sound as composer Nico Muhly's original arrangements, while his astonishing dreamlike falsetto appears even more impressive without the aid of any studio polish. With only one solo album to his name, the 14-track set is bulked up with sprawling extended versions of its nine numbers, including the ten-minute rendition of "Grow Till Tall," but it's the five new compositions that will intrigue the fans who didn't get to witness the rather elaborate visual spectacle. In keeping with the set list's theme of first half melancholic, second half upbeat, the fingerpicking "Stars in Still Water," slow-building "Icicle Sleeves," and heartbreaking "Saint Naive" are the kinds of atmospheric hymnal ballads his band has built a career on, but -- showcasing his experimental tendencies -- "New Piano Song" is a slightly chaotic and perhaps unfinished fusion of clattering percussion and sprightly piano chords, while "Sticks and Stones" is an emotionally stirring performance of his contribution to the Oscar-nominated animation How to Train Your Dragon. Of course, like Iceland's most famous musical export, Björk, Jónsi's distinctive mystical tones are still perhaps an acquired taste, but like his female compatriot, Go Live suggests that no country appears to do otherworldly avant-garde pop any better. © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Electronic - Released September 30, 2020 | KRUNK

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Electronic - Released August 14, 2020 | KRUNK

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Rock - Released July 17, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Jónsi (Jon Thor Birgisson) and Alex (Alex Somers) worked on the album that became Riceboy Sleeps on and off for almost five years. After taking a month to finish and mix it, the result is an album that sounds remarkably like the band Jónsi fronts, Sigur Rós. A lot of times side projects serve as outlets for music that the band would never attempt; Riceboy Sleeps sounds like it's made of stray Sigur Rós moments the group spent tuning orchestras, warming up vocal choirs, or checking levels. Fortunately, even stray moments by Sigur Rós prove to be lovely and transcendent. The songs on the album drift on shifting waves of strings (provided by longtime SR collaborators Amiina), children's choirs, treated pianos, and underwater soundscapes. The music Jónsi & Alex create is ambient but not boring, quiet but not sleepy (despite the name); the combination of sounds and the way the duo manipulates them manage to hold interest even though the songs are lengthy and have a very consistent tone. It's really less of a tone and more of a spell -- the introspective, meditative songs take hold quickly and leave you feeling the album long after it stops spinning. That the pair managed to make such a captivating record while using Jónsi's remarkable vocals only once (they make a stunning cameo at the conclusion of "Indian Summer") is a testament to their skill and vision. Riceboy Sleeps has all the majestic calm of Sigur Rós with none of the dramatic storm, all of the lull and none of the squall. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 22, 2021 | KRUNK

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Ambient - Released December 19, 2018 | KRUNK

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Electronic - Released June 24, 2020 | KRUNK

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 16, 2010 | KRUNK

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Folk - Released November 29, 2010 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released March 19, 2010 | Parlophone UK

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Dance - Released March 26, 2021 | KRUNK

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 24, 2010 | KRUNK

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Pop - Released June 4, 2010 | Parlophone UK

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Jónsi in the magazine
  • The Icelandic King of Pop is Back!
    The Icelandic King of Pop is Back! The frontman of Icelandic band Sigur Rós, Jónsi, had tried his hand at a solo career ten years ago with the album Go. In order to get the ball rolling in this direction again, it took an offer from...