Thursday, July 23, 2009

Record Review: Jónsi & Alex

Jónsi & Alex
Riceboy Sleeps
[2009, XL]
2.5/5

Read the whole thing at Tiny Mixtapes.
I recently came across a few “iTunes essentials” playlists that are unfortunately indicative of how “ambient” music has come to be perceived. The Indie Chillout playlist features Mogwai, Tortoise, and Sigur Rós. To many listeners, this dynamic (though arguably formulaic) music is “ambient” and “chill,” serving mainly as background to doing homework or falling asleep. While I think that labeling the music of Sigur Rós "ambient" indicates a gross misunderstanding of what ambient music is, the label is perfectly suited to Jónsi and Alex’s debut album/art project.

In short - this album is rather boring. It is, however, stunningly pretty, and very evocative. I really wish that the duo had structured more songs like "Boy 1904". As it is, I wouldn't recommend the record for active listening, but it's wonderful background music (it soundtracked nearly every study session before finals week a month ago).

Listen (full album stream)
Buy it

1 comment:

chet said...

I got the one free track off pitchfork a few weeks ago...

I must get speakers on my work computer. This would be perfect.