Serious Sigur Rós fans don't need my sales pitch, since they've already bought this album. For the rest of you: Most of Sigur Rós singer Jónsi's solo album sounds a lot like Sigur Rós, which, in case you don't know, means delicious falsetto singing over sprightly, eerie, distinctly Icelandic soundscapes that manage to be utterly pop and utterly beyond ordinary music. So that's all happening here, thanks this time to collaboration with composer Nico Muhly and percussionist Samuli Kosminen.
"Go Do," the album's opener, is a command difficult to ignore. It makes you want to, like, stretch, and then accomplish stuff. The hectic "Animal Arithmetic" injects an aggressive new energy, but just when the bouncy beat gets to be too much, "Tornado" brings us back down. Driven by piano, strings, and classic Jónsi singing—intriguingly, in English as mysterious as his Icelandic phrases or his nonsense noises ever were—"Tornado" is epic. And we're only three songs in. The loveliness does not let up. Not one of these nine songs will be ignored, and the album is perfectly arranged. Totally in character and totally accessible, this album is highly recommended for inclusion in every music fan's collection.