Song: "Untitled 3 (Samskeyti)"
Artist: Sigur Ros
Album: ( )
Label: FatCat Records
Rating: 7.6 (out of 10) on Pitchfork
The Pitchfork reviewer back in 2002 (Chris Ott) spends exactly half of his review criticizing the packaging and titling of the album, and most of the rest of the review criticizing the band's fans, which is an odd way to go about giving an album a good rating, so I'll dismiss his dismissal of the third track, the lustrous "Samskeyti" as "a lesser facsimile of 'Vaka', the opening track". Sadly, the other (all positive) reviews I've found for the album from Rolling Stone, NME, and All Music Guide, also spend much of the review criticizing the pretentiousness of the album's lack of title and the made-up "Hopelandish" lyrics, rather than the amazing beauty and quality of the music. Well, they all mention the music but almost in passing. And the more I think about it, it's certainly easier to talk about the fact that Sigur Ros's third full-length (and follow up to the highly acclaimed Agaetis Byrjun) came out without a title, with 8 untitled songs sung in a made up variation on Icelandic, and runs over 71 minutes long. But I just love the album, the band, and the song - which edges out "Vaka" and the fourth track, "Njosnavelin", but just barely, as my favorite - and the one worthy enough to make my all-time top 40. (Side note: If anyone's seen the trailer for the Nicole Kidman film Invasion, track 8 "Popplagio" is used throughout -- and almost made me want to go see the latest of a countless string of Invasion of the Body Snatchers remakes).
So "Samskeyti" means "Attachment" according to Wikipedia, although I don't know if that's in Icelandic or Hopelandish or what. I do know that the song (the third untitled track on the album, but given a title by the band on its website) has no lyrics, is very slow-building and repetitive, and lasts for nearly 7 minutes. I'm not actually selling it too well, I guess, but the track is just a beautiful, majestic, glowing portrait of Sigur Ros music at its absolute zenith, slowly winding up to an incredibly powerful finish, an almost spiritual culmination. It's heavy on a repetitive piano key combination that plays throughout, backed by somewhat ethereal, swirling sounds made by other (unknown) instruments as it takes its time to reach a fantastic climax highlighted by new higher-pitched piano keys that "explode" into sonic delight. I'm not sure what else I can say. No words can do it justice. And no words appear on the song.
Top 40 Vague Space Favorite Songs Ever (So Far)...