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Sigur Rós - Inni CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós

Post Rock/Math rock

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5 stars Inni is Sigur Ros' first live album and second live DVD. Like Heima before it, it would be inaccurate to call Inni a "concert DVD". They both are minimalistic and introspective films that weave the Sigur Ros' music with their surroundings; however, the similarities stop there. Heima is a more optimistic film, focussing on the band's home country with all its beautiful scenery and people, while Inni shows a more thoughtful and mysterious side to the band. It is shot in black and white with an array of techniques to distort and mystify the footage. However, the footage is not aimless in its experimentation. It perfectly compliments the music and is even emotionally moving in itself.

There is really no need to comment on the music but to say that it is performed with incredible passion and is truly awe-inspiring. The music is generally faithful to the albums, but is perhaps slightly more experimental at points. As I watch Sigur Ros play, I still wonder how they can create such powerful, ethereal music with ordinary instruments.

There are quite a few formats the the album has been released on, but all include the DVD Inni and two live CDs. The special edition which I bought is an exceptional special edition package, and I'll talk about the additional contents it includes. It has the standard DVD and CD discs (it includes both the PAL and NTSC formats) along with a Blu-Ray of the film and a beautifully engraved one-sided 45 of a new song. On the DVDs it also has a short film called Klippa which depicts the cutting process for the band's costumes (more on that in a minute). For artwork, the box also includes stills from the movie of each of the band members as well as several sheets of light-sensitive paper and instructions. You can put anything flat (a leaf, etc) on the the paper, and place it in the sunlight then follow the instructions to develop it and create your own image. There is a website included to upload them to, and there will be an online gallery of everyone's images. There is also an "Inni" silver pin included. Back to the clothes cutting, each box contains a numbered envelope with square pieces of the fabric from the band's actual costumes worn during the filming. This obviously only appeals hard-core fans, but it's a creative concept so that each special edition will be unique.

Inni is a masterpiece both musically and visually, and I highly recommend it to any prog fan who likes post-rock or simply enjoys introspective and artistic films.

Rating: 9/10

Report this review (#563989)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Inni is a beautiful piece marked by astonishing creativity and masterful musicianship. Sigur Rós delivers with this dvd. The entirety is truly emotionally charged. Even though it is mostly Icelandic (or Hopelandic, which lends even less meaning), the viewer still feels the emotion pouring from the screen. It is entirely in black and white. This does not detract from the movie, rather it creates a classical feel, adding (and I hesitate to say this again) more emotion. Sigur Rós is always other-worldly, yet they create music that sounds more human thany any other band can. This is an essential masterpiece, in all senses of the phrase.
Report this review (#600488)
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars After their more lightweight 2008 studio album "Međ Suđ Í Eyrum Viđ Spilum Endalaust" it's a thrill (and a relief?) to hear, and also finally see, Sigur Rós doing what they've always done best: unleashing vast waves of dense, atmospheric Dirge Rock, stronger than usual in the live setting presented here.

The concert(s) in this twin-CD package date from late 2008, when the band was touring in support of the above-named album. But unlike that atypically upbeat effort the sound here is classic Sigur Rós, and likely to strike a sympathetic chord in listeners claiming even a passing familiarity with Post Rock protocol: typically built around loud/soft contrasts and long, escalating crescendos. The stage arrangements don't stray too far from the studio originals, but the live sound is vivid, giving each song even more grandiose power than on the albums themselves.

The effect, as always, is oddly exhilarating. Especially when the alien falsetto of vocalist Jónsí Birgisson (I would hesitate to brand him as a mere singer) is matched against the wall-shaking signature sound of his bowed electric guitar. No wonder the musicians like to describe themselves as "a very serious Heavy Metal band": it's an apt description of their loud yet introspective aesthetic.

But the DVD is the main attraction here. This has to be one of the more striking concert films ever produced, succeeding in part because it isn't a traditional concert film at all. The aim instead was to present a more abstract interpretation of the Sigur Rós soundworld, shot on grainy high-contrast black and white film stock (or its digital HD equivalent, most likely) and artificially enhanced with epileptic editing and a panoply of visual treatments.

The evocative faux-antique style nicely captures the moody, sub-arctic angst of the music itself. And to closet cineastes it might also recall the silent film expressionism of Murnau or Lang...or at least Guy Maddin, the Winnipeg auteur who gave us "The Saddest Music in the World" and "Tales From the Gimli Hospital". Interlaced with the concert is an assortment of backstage footage and brief interview segments (including an NPR appearance in which the band looks somewhat bemused and bewildered), plus a handful of bonus performances minus all the heavy-duty image distress.

"Inni" probably needs to be seen on a large screen, with high fidelity sound. But the film worked fine on my little old TV console, impressing me as one of the few visual documents of a live music experience worth watching more than once. And while the music itself doesn't break new ground, it's a timely and welcome restatement of first principles for a band just now emerging from long hibernation.

Report this review (#758402)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Some time ago, I bought the album 'Agaetis Byrjun', and other than the famous song 'Svefn-g- englar', wasn't that impressed. The thing is, I always felt that there was more to them, it was just a case of getting some help. I'd even recorded their film 'Heima' off the television, and without having even looked at that, I knew that their things musically that should interest me.

My interest was reignited by seeing the film 'We bought a zoo', featuring the music of 'Jonsi, one of the band members.

So, I'd read that 'Inni' was like a 'live' greatest hits album, and I had no hesitation in giving it a go. I'm pleased that I did...

Their music varies from what I might class as 'popular' to 'weird'. It's the latter that I prefer... And to this end, disc 2 is probably better for me. And on this is 'Popplagid', an immensely powerful song, and one that I hadn't heard of before. If you've not heard this, you simply must, and the good thing is, it lasts some 15 minutes...

After listening to 'Inni', I felt that I could try and watch the film 'Heima', and I'm really glad that I did. An interesting film and a fantastic finale.

If you, like me, couldn't quite get a grip on 'Sigur ros', then 'Inni' is a good place to start. And then, if you can, check out the film 'Heima'. Overall, an astonishing experience, and life- affirming.

Report this review (#965439)
Posted Monday, May 27, 2013 | Review Permalink

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