As the lead singer of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, Jón “Jónsi” Birgisson has always been a bit of an eccentric. His falsetto is easily one of the most unique in rock, thanks in part to his use of “Hopelandic,” a made-up language he’s employed since the band made their debut in 1997. For Go, the singer’s first solo record, we get a hint of Sigur Rós’s quirky musical wizardry, but not much more. Instead, the record finds Jónsi inflecting over dizzying electro-fied chamber-pop progressions. In the place of artsy guitar builds, we get cello, flutes, and a whole lot of fast-paced synth. Still, what shines brightest here is Jónsi’s penchant for the theatrical. Lead single “Boy Lilikoi” is an English speak-sing that builds into a flurry of beats and chilling operatic breakdowns, while “Grow Till Tall” provides a hauntingly stark electronic accompaniment to some of Jónsi’s most impressive vocal stretches. Sigur Rós fan or no, Go is hands-down one of the most stunning releases we’ve seen thus far this year.


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