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Boomkat Product Review:
Another new venture from Sigur Ros frontman Jón Þór Birgisson, this album released under his own name is a collaboration with fellow Icelandic artist Nico Muhly - an orchestral arranger to the stars and widely lauded star of the Bedroom Community label. Go comes only a few months on from Jónsi's Riceboy Sleeps album, co-produced with his partner Alex Somers (who also performs and co-produces on this record), but while that album was chiefly based upon bucolic ambient textures and flooded modern classical soundscapes, this new long-player is more in line with what might loosely be termed as 'pop' music, or even a singer-songwriter record. Presumably that was the original intention at any rate. In fact, thanks to Muhly's never knowingly understated assistance, Go is probably every bit as sonically ambitious as any Sigur Ros album. What had apparently started out as a largely acoustic set of songs has become an expansive and daring venture. Clearly Jónsi doesn't need much encouragement to max out his productions, and from the explosive introduction of 'Go Do' onwards the album unfolds at a breathtaking pace, with the rapid-fire machinated sequencing of 'Animal Arithmetic' arriving next, wearing you out just in time for the haunting exquisitely performed piano and strings ballad 'Tornado'. Each song is crammed with sound, and the overall mood of the album is arguably even more firmly anchored in emotive bombast than Sigur Ros' output. The album's final third is especially immense, stretching from the four-to-the-floor euphoria of 'Around Us' through to the epic slow-burn of 'Grow Till Tall' and the tear-jerking parting shot, 'Hengilás', complete with a downright majestic brass accompaniment. Impressive stuff, and Sigur Ros fans will most certainly not be disappointed.