Inni, Sigur Rós’ recently released documentary feature film and live album, is a recording of one of the band’s many performances shortly after the release of Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008). The band’s first full documentary, Heima (2007), captured a series of free and unannounced concerts that the band played across Iceland. The film documented the band in primarily acoustic settings and exposed the human nature of a group that seems all too extraordinary much of the time. Inni has its own way of bringing the idea of Sigur Rós into human terms, but captures this idea in a more familiar setting. The colorless and hazy nature of the images shown in the film position one of the more complex bands of our time in a minimalist environment.
The truth is, in order to truly experience the phenomenon that is Sigur Rós, it takes seeing the band live and experiencing the music and emotion first-hand. A live-recording, even juxtaposed against the brilliant cinematography of Inni, cannot do full justice to the live experience that Sigur Rós has been well-known to provide. Inni as an album, in my view, is not on its own entirely groundbreaking. The concert includes tracks primarily released on or since Takk (2006) and plays like many of other live Sigur Rós recordings I’ve heard over the years. Inni the documentary, however, provides us with a glimpse into the personalities that comprise the band. Seeing the pain, joy and mix of the two emotions on Jonsi’s face throughout the set gives human form to the band’s inimitable sound.
Sigur Rós is a pioneering collection of musicians in every sense of the word. The band has proved itself time and time again to be a wildly inventive and remarkably consistent. The recent news of the band’s planned 2012 album release has the world on edge for what will come next. I’m looking forward to this as one of the most anticipated releases of 2012.