Published April 10, 2012
‘Big Spring,’ the second album from Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, contains probably the worst lyrics I heard from an Icelandic album in 2011. True, the year saw numerous examples of naff wordplay (Nolo, Of Monsters And Men, Spacevestite, etc), but they can’t hold a torch to this towering display of pretentious pseudo-intellectual drivel masking as deep meaningful displays of insight.
We’ve such Brontëan delights as “Salt,” where two lovers describe their love for each other in the most convoluted way possible, shoehorning facts gleamed from The Discovery Channel and STILL making it sound trite and condescending. Or, if you fancy something more profound, there’s “The Pond,” about a man wallowing in self-pity, pining for his ex after they broke up TWO years before (she made a good choice in dumping him). Meanwhile, “Lonely Birds” and “Good Fireman” remind us of those wonderful times when we’d indulge in the overripe poetry melodrama of our teens.
If this wasn’t enough, it’s all stamped onto bland musical mulch of the Bluntian variety. Ballads smothered with aimless string and brass arrangements, or “edgy” numbers such as the milksop reggae of “Stuck In Traffic.” Even when it’s half decent (“Badwater”), it’s let down by the unfocused production that has everything washed out in the middle.