For a band whose concerts can be as expansive as its albums, itâ€™s hard to believe Sigur RÃ³s hasnâ€™t released a live album until now. Certain aspects of the bandâ€™s music have always flourished in a live setting, and itâ€™s captured, for the most part, on InnÃ, which was recorded at the end of the groupâ€™s 2008 tour.
The band was recorded here as a four-piece; no backing from stalwart string section Amiina for the first time in nearly 10 years. So while the arrangements may be a little less flushed or a few of the more cinematic songs have been eschewed, the set is bashed out in a raw, but no less immense, fashion.
While a number of tracks end up simply as lesser versions of their studio recordings (like â€œHoppÃpolla,â€ â€œGlÃ³sÃ³li,â€ and â€œE-Bow,â€ to name a few), thereâ€™s still plenty to enjoy. â€œNy BatterÃâ€ has always had a darker and more intense rendering in concert; â€œHafsÃ³lâ€ is completely rearranged from its original version and builds to an exhilarating climax, and the closer-to-end-all-closers, â€œPopplagid,â€ is as monstrously powerful as ever. There are also some sweet little embellishments; singer JÃ³nsiâ€™s hushed, prolonged falsetto quiver during â€œFestivalâ€ being a particularly priceless moment.
Like most live albums, this is surely enjoyable for its standouts, but itâ€™s hard to go back to with such pristine album recordings already out there. Vincent Morrisset’s beautifully shot concert film that accompanies the album is the real gold here, and is the better way to immerse yourself in the bandâ€™s often transcendental live show without actually being there.