Thursday, July 16, 2009

REVIEW: Riceboy Sleeps - Riceboy Sleeps

8.75 out of 10

Riceboy Sleeps is the side project of Jonsi Birgisson (Sigur Ros) with his partner Alex Somers. What was originally intended as an art insulation piece (displayed in their homeland of Iceland for about 2-3 years) is now an amazing debut release which shares with the rest of the world; ice-sculptured drones, warm & glistening swells of intelligent/emotional orchestrated samples, choral hymns reminiscent of Virginia Astley's 1983 masterpiece "Morning: With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming", dampened piano chords, and plenty of other "Sigur Ros-isms" that is sure to impress many listeners. Sigur Ros fans, take note; this WILL BE THE ambient album you've been looking for. Brian Eno meet your newest competitor. Jonsi, Alex, thank you so much, I needed this.

You know all of those moments in-between the "epic spots" of Sigur Ros songs where pretty strings, celestial drones, and other gorgeous layers of noise keep the whole album flowing? To me this album pays a respectable homage to those moments with a few other added layers of aqueous heaven pouring down the strings of a guitar with more history in it's bones than the history of music it self. Another good comparison would be Brian Eno's "Thursday Afternoon", which was also an art insulation piece. If ambient music isn't your thing I could see where you might just pass up this album, but please don't. You're either in the mood, or you're not, either way at least give Riceboy Sleeps one listen next time you're in the mood to be feel completely weightless and serene. The only trouble is you may never want to be released from it's grip.

To put it simply; I am more than pleased with this release and the goosebumps it gives me. I KNEW it was going to be an amazingly lush and sumptuous, I just knew it, yet I'm still surprised by how happy I am to be surrounded by it's beautiful walls of noise.. This is one of the best ambient albums to come out since William Basinski's "Disintegration Loops" series. Don't be surprised to see this on my year-end list.. Also, Jonsi and Alex are offering up a super limited edition version of the album which comes with LOTS of neat goodies, pre-order it here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Standout Tracks: EVERY ONE OF THEM. ESPEICALLY: Indian Summer (there are three parts to this song, it's hard for me to pick my favorite) & Boy 1904 (oh god, so good)

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