Riceboy Sleeps – Riceboy Sleeps

Label: Parlophone

You wouldn’t have thought Jon Thor Birgisson could get more grandiose as chief purveyor of Sigur Ros’s pensive majesty and sporter of occasionally baffling on stage regalia but he’s trying. Dispensing entirely with vocals, Riceboy Sleeps – consisting of Birgisson and partner Alex Somers – could cynically be viewed as an indulgent artistic sideline. Sharing much in common with the classical flourishes of Phelan Shepphard, Shearwater and, of course, the glacial splendour of Sigur Ros, it’s an album awash with ever-sighing soundscapes and shifting, temperate beauty. Birgisson could well have settled on a career crafting sublime montage sound tracks as, at times, Riceboy Sleeps provides magical offerings. Imbued with a healthy sense of spirituality, ‘Boy 1904’ soars above the belfry while ‘All the Big Trees’ transcends this realm; easing you above to survey all the brilliant white finery below. However, it’s not just Birgisson’s ethereal vocal that’s conspicuous by its absence. Admittedly, the orchestral flourishes are often breathtaking and the arrangement is undoubtedly considered and intricate but Riceboy Sleeps sorely lacks the soaring crescendo; the climactic pomp; the reward of descent for such an emotive climb. And it’s this that overshadows the duos aptitude for gentle, lapping choral panorama, undermining it with the sense that for all its grandeur, Riceboy Sleeps is a wonderful journey to nowhere.

Release: Riceboy Sleeps - Riceboy Sleeps
Review by:
Released: 25 June 2009