Leave it to Icelandic outfit Sigur Ros to follow up last year's highly praised Agaetis Byrjun with the strangely titled ( ). Quirky title aside, ( ) is an album that needs to be embraced.

Leave it to Icelandic outfit Sigur Ros to follow up last year's highly praised Agaetis Byrjun with the strangely titled ( ). Quirky title aside, ( ) is an album that needs to be embraced. Each of the eight untitled tracks play like monumental gems from as many indie films--complete with piercing melodies that make more sense sonically with each repeated listen. Track four is a stand-out, barging into life via demanding drumbeats and hitting its stride midway through when Sigur Ros frontman Jon Por Birgisson graces it with his glistening vocals. Like Agaetis, this album's main challenge is Sigur Ros' invented 'Hopelandic' language, but after several listens, it's pretty difficult to refrain from trying to sing along. Tellingly, the suggested lyric translation for track 2 (found on Sigur Ros' Web site) insists, "You must listen harder."--SA

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