[sic] Magazine

Jonsi – Go

“You can take the girl out of Bananarama, but you can’t take the Bananarama out of the girl.”

Set free from Sigur Ros , though ‘free’ isn’t the right word; Jonsi’s debut solo album is a triumph. Neither alien, nor familiar, neither new nor old, it is as good – if not better – than any of his band’s work. To talk in terms of songs, titles, and lyrics is to talk in riddles. The album is a slow, forty minute burn, a flickering white flame, an unhurried, glacial exploration. The words are impressionistic – sounding like language or phonetics, impressions, glimmers. The most obvious word is the portmanteau of Flutterbyes.

In some ways “Go” is most defiantly a solo record, a singular vision that shows just how much and how little of Jonsi is in Sigur Ros : but the gap is the same of that that is between great solo artists of the past, Morrissey , Lou Reed , whereby it is known and visible that whatever they do, is the essence of them. Jonsi’s fellow musicians support, not dictate, but it sounds a remarkably egoless work, where the music is the aim, the songs, melodies, motifs, themes grow and expand, shrink and contract, breathe and blossom, with no constraint for a chorus, a verse, a middle-eight, break. The drums pound, then cease, the elegant guitar themes and strings soar, and in the midst of this, the fog of sound, the listener makes their own world, their own universe, and loses themselves – or finds themselves – in this tabula rasa of masterfully produced sound. Or perhaps, if you prefer, this record allows the listener to travel in time and space to a land of their own imagination.

What I would recommend is the ‘Experience Edition’, which contains a superlative DVD : four stripped down, acoustic songs relayed in a basic guitar/piano/vocals form, which offer strong, valid, alternative interpretations of the albums obvious major contenders alongside a non-album song ‘Stars in Still Water’. These versions offer equally powerful, and effective, imaginings of the core songs in a simpler telling. Which, to be frank, are as worthy as the better-known album recordings. Jonsi is master of his own destiny, and this music is as good a record as any his parent band have produced. Recommended.



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