Hvarf-Heim
Sigur Ros
***1/2

Sigur Ros write songs that stretch for light years. Their orchestral sound drifts like dream logic, the music escalating around the atmospheric cries of singer Jónsi Birgisson, whose voice can soar to stratospheric altitudes.

With such an ethereal sound, the Icelandic band have inspired weird fits of fandom (Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to daughter Apple, using Sigur Ros as the soundtrack), but it’s these completists who’ll relish this double-CD.

Hvarf-Heim is a companion to Sigur Ros’ Heim DVD, their live film partly-directed by the guy behind, uh, Lilo and Stitch. The band note that

Hvarf-Heim isn’t a soundtrack or proper album: it’s two different records: Hvarf (“Disappeared”), which has five much-performed but previously unrecorded songs, while Heim (“Home”) features acoustic versions of older songs (“Ágætis Byrjun”, “Vaka”). Despite being a repackage of familiar Sigur Ros songs, the tracks are calming enough to ensure Gwyneth has something comforting for her next hospital visit.  

Lee Tran Lam

Rolling Stone, January 2008