Sunday, 14 June 2009

Review: Riceboy Sleeps - Riceboy Sleeps

Ambient galore! That is the first thing that comes to my mind after listening to Riceboy Sleeps' eponymous debut album. Truly emotional and inspiring this record is the proof that sometimes words are useless. Music can tell a thousand splendid stories, leaving unforgettable traces without even using a single word. Plus, all those who missed Sigur Ros' earliest stuff will be in ecstasy laying their hands on such a fine product.

Riceboy Sleeps is the collaborative project of Jón Þór Birgisson, Sigur Ros vocalist, and his boyfriend Alex Somers, visual arts. "Riceboy Sleeps" explores the emotional depths of life, goes beyond the horizon and reaches out for a dreamworld, where sleeping giants roam, happiness is to be found during the Indian summer and the howl of Daníell in the sea is to be heard. All things are possible, everything is soft and the heart sings along the cords of an acoustic guitar or trembles with every violin note. The Kópavogsdætur Choir adds up to the atmospheric endeavor through mind and space and brings the light to the rather gloomy and depressive tone to the whole album.

Despite all the efforts "Riceboy Sleeps" couldn't avoid the direct Sigur Ros influence and to some extent it may be considered as the elaborate continuation of the Icelandic band's first studio album "Von" with more emphasis on the string section and less experimentation and modulation. Shared experiences, empathy and self-acceptance, introvert going extrovert, kissing the Sun hello and backpacking on the graves of hatred and vanity, love recognizes no limits and Riceboy Sleeps seem to have more in store for those ready to come to terms with themselves. Although not lyrically expressed equality and the right to be yourself is the thin red line keeping the exquisite structure of this album together. There are plenty of messages and emotional landscapes to be found with every next listen and Birgisson has given his best to leave everything open to your own interpretation. If not, listen to "Riceboy Sleeps" at least once more!

Songs to hear: "Atlas Song", "Daníell in The Sea", "Indian Summer" and "Sleeping Giant"

Personal rating: 8/10