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Valtari by Sigur Ros
Released: May 2012
Label: Xl
The Icelandic enigmas transport us yet again to their unidentified frost-bitten otherworld on sixth album Valtari. Glistening electronics radiate like a halo around heavy touches of piano and soft-slithering strings, as Jonsi Birgisson's falsetto slips in and out with a sort of motherly comfort. For the most part, Valtari forgoes the big-building dramatics (aside from heart-bursting beauty "Varud"), favoring subtlety over spectacle, and in doing so the whole becomes much greater than the sum of its parts. Bundle up: This'll give you goose bumps so intense your arm hairs may turn to icicles.
Stephanie Benson

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