Label: Parlophone and XL Recordings. Release date: 05/04/10 Website: Official Website With Sigur Rós on hiatus, lead singer Jón Þór Birgisson has been left free to pursue his own solo career under the name Jónsi. His debut album, Go, builds on material written during his time with the post-rock band, but it's a bit of a departure from the epic soundscapes that made them famous. According to Jónsi's official website, the album was orginially envisioned as 'a low-key acoustic album'. Instead, the end result has brought together a vast amount of instruments, arranged by Philip Glass protégé Nico Muhly. Strings sing out, brass and woodwind punctuate the tracks and the superb drumming of Samuli Kosminen adds great energy and originality to the songs' rhythms. It is probably this percussion element which really sets most of the material on Go apart from the work of Sigur Rós. Songs such as 'Animal Arithmetic' and 'Boy Liliko' are driven forward by a pounding beat. As a result, the tracks last no longer than five minutes, a far cry from the thirteen minute long monsters that can be found in Birgisson's other work. That said, thanks to Muhly's arrangements, the album still does manage to retain aspects of the epic, epitomized by the best song, 'Tornado', which is a slow-building tune for heroes to die to. However, the main problem of Go is the very same that blighted the last album of fellow Icelanders Múm. That is to say, that despite some stand out moments, the majority of the work swirls into an indistinguishable haze. Birgisson's falsetto and the generally whimsical nature of the record unite the tracks in a blur that is relatively engaging on consumption (More so than Sing along to songs you don't know) but which fades from memory pretty quickly. Enthralling in parts, but judging from Go Jónsi will need to hone his solo work to produce something of lasting impact. Photobucket What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum!