Jónsi - Go
Go is an apposite title for this debut solo release from Sigur Rós frontman Jón Thor Birgisson aka Jónsi, as it marks a distinct change of tack from his previous release, the ambient leanings of Riceboy Sleeps.
That is not to say that Birgisson has abandoned his distinctive vocal stylings in favour of some Napalm Death-style grunting but the fact that he sings for the most part in English will come as a surprise to many ardent Sigur Rós fans. This move to will probably make his music more accessible to a wider audience, unable to see past the Hopelandish tongue usually employed by Birgisson.
Jónsi’s initial plans for Go were to create a low-key, acoustic album but, as the finished article shows, it was idea soon disappeared into the ether. What we are presented with now is a record imbued with both a pop sensibility and the exquisite musical arrangements that are the hallmark of his day job.
Quirky pop opener ‘Go Do’ sets us off on a musical joyride through an album that defines uplifting. From here on we are treated to the folktronica stylings of ‘Animal Arithmetic’ and a piano-led paean 'Tornado’, that sweeps and soars majestically before a melancholic finale leaves you wondering how this Icelandic oddball can make music that puts the majority of modern singer-songwriters to shame. ‘Go’ foregoes the English language for the gentle drones of the majestic closer ‘Hengilas’, a quiet end to an early contender for album of the year.