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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Sigur Ros feels like that place between consciousness and unconsciousness, asleep and awake, when every muscle in the body relaxes. The quartet from Reykjavik, Iceland, has just released arguably their best album ever. A two-part CD, Hvarf-Heim devotes its first five tracks to songs that were lost in Sigur Ros history, and the last six tracks to phenomenal live versions of pre-released songs from previous albums.

    Sigur Ros is known for being brilliantly strange, yet painfully lovely, heavy on strings and the Icelandic language is foreign to most listeners. That the lyrics can’t be understood is forgotten as singer Jon Por Birgisson’s vocals muddle hazily through each track.

    Hvarf-Heim begins beautifully with “”Salka,”” a track that builds steadily through delicate guitar work, violin and Birgisson’s strikingly feminine soprano. The drums catch up towards the end as the guitar weaves in and out of the song.

    “”I Gaer”” starts mystically with tinkering bells, the sound that might come out of an old jewelry box, and is interrupted by raw power chords, heavy drums and an industrial backdrop.

    Hvarf-Heim
    Sigur Ros – EMI
    5 stars!

    The first track of the album’s second half, Heim, pulls heart strings with “”Samskeyti,”” a very familiar Sigur Ros song with incessant piano and strings and the absence of vocals. The track, also known as “”Untitled Track 3″” from ( ), sounds incredibly flawless and showcases the emotion behind Sigur Ros as the piano seems as if it is about to take flight.

    “”Voka,”” also live, features Birgisson bleating frank vocals, as the strings never seem to end. Faint, pounding bass drums carry the live version of “”Von”” longingly through garbled vocals and close the album.

    Hvarf-Heim is the full bloom of Sigur Ros. Heavy strings flow from track to track and never seem to disappear, and the album rises and falls heartbreakingly with eerie vocals and crescendos. Sigur Ros has depicted a way to musically capture the deepest of emotions through a combination of old and lost tracks.

    Kelli Hart


    After making a splash onto the R&B scene two years ago with the hit “”Run It,”” 18-year-old Chris Brown is back with his sophomore release, Exclusive.

    Known for his boyish good looks and dance moves comparable to Usher’ and Justin Timberlake’s, Brown makes an impressive return with an album jam-packed with dance hits and dirty beats.

    The first single, “”Wall to Wall,”” didn’t receive quite the feedback it probably should have, but the second single off the album, “”Kiss Kiss,”” definitely makes up for it. It currently sits at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list and features rapper and producer T-Pain.

    “”Take You Down,”” the third track on the album, shows a more mature side of Brown with its slow beat and sexy lyrics, which also makes you wonder what he’s been doing in his spare time.

    Other catchy songs on the album include “”Throwed,”” “”Picture Perfect”” and “”I’ll Call Ya.””

    Exclusive
    Chris Brown – Jive
    4.5 stars!

    The album is packed with collaborations including Kanye West, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, The Game and will.i.am that break up Brown’s high tenor voice.

    Overall, it’s a notable return. If Usher is one of your favorite artists, this album is definitely something you’d enjoy.

    Allison Warren


    This is Saul Williams’ third album and without a doubt his most important release to date. Williams has spent the last few years touring and recording with newfound friend Trent Reznor. The Nine Inch Nails star produced NiggyTardust, and it definitely shows.

    Fans of Nine Inch Nails’ latest release, Year Zero, are likely to fall in love with NiggyTardust. Tracks like “”Break”” conjure a NIN sound while still staying true to Williams’ style. Hardcore NIN fans will also notice a familiar sample near the end of the powerful song.

    A gritty cover of U2’s “”Sunday Bloody Sunday”” adds to this album’s diverse collection of songs. As with much of the record, Reznor’s trademark industrial rock sound is very evident.

    The Inevitable Rise and
    Liberation of NiggyTardust!

    Saul Williams
    4 stars!

    Saul Williams is one of today’s most intelligent musicians and is producing some of the best hip-hop out there. Adding Reznor to the mix takes Williams to a new level.

    Similar to Radiohead’s In Rainbows, NiggyTardust is available online at a very enticing price. Fans can choose to download it free or with a $5 donation at Niggytardust.com.

    Patrick Valenzuela

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