12 April 2010

Go by Jonsi: The Music of Spring

Is this real paint or Photoshop?
Even if you're not already a fan of Jonsi via Sigur Ros I highly recommend giving at least some of these breathtakingly beautiful songs a listen. Whether it be a fast paced, sometimes frenetic song like Go Do, the breakneck craziness of Animal Arithmetic or a mellow emotional song like Grow Till Tall or Tornado each song seems to almost fly by as the ethereal qualities begin to overwhelm the listener. It's so good and so enjoyable that it makes one want to rush outside and breathe in all the wild growth of spring before it melts into summer.

There have always been naysayers who claim that a solo album from a front man of an already successful band will inevitably be watered down, weaker or only a slightly tweaked version of the original bands' music. And that's a valid critique, but not in this case. Yes, he sings in his haunting falsetto a lot, just like he does with Sigur Ros. And yes, the music is very good. But the similarities really end there. Go features much faster rhythms, heavier synthesizers, a lot more orchestral work,  less guitar and one other glaring difference between Go and the music of Sigur Ros.

Jonsi sings more than a little of the lyrics in English. It's English sung with a heavy, but not overpowering, Icelandic accent, granted. But it's beautiful and can be understood once the listener has gotten over the newness of the album and has learned how to listen to his pronunciations. I don't find it unpleasant at all to not always know exactly what he's singing about. In fact, it adds to the over all aesthetic, to the air of mystery and otherworldly quality. That said, the lyrics are beautiful so it's not a bad idea to look them up.

From Go Do:

Tie strings to clouds
Make your own lake - Let it flow
Throw seeds to sprout
Make your own break - Let them grow

And from Animal Arithmetic:

Every time, everyone, everything's full of life
Everyday, everywhere, people are so alive

I see you in the trees
I see you're colourful
I see you in the breeze
You're spiritful

Personally, I've officially recognized Go as the soundtrack of my springtime. In fact, I've become rather obsessed by it! Never before in my life have I been so eager for the warmth and growth of spring and this album encapsulates all the glory, wonder, beauty and sometimes heady pace of springtime. It's as if the spring flowers and awakening animals and I are racing at a feverish pace and this album is the music we are making.

I wanted to imbed the video for Go Do but YouTubers don't seem to want to share it and the Jonsi site features a huge video player that uglies up my template. So, go here to see the first fascinating video from Go.