Hjaltalín - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Review
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Hjaltalín

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Published December 8, 2009

A bit like visiting a museum with a class full of art students, Terminal is irritating, pretentious and occasionally grating, but mostly just a soothing and smoothly flowing waste of time. Its massive, almost hyperbolic grandeur is a bit hard to take seriously up close, with the orchestral arrangements failing to ascend beyond the role of redundant accompaniment and never quite justifying their presence on the album.  Terminal’s cool detachment and civility all too often feels false and postured, like Hjaltalín would much rather be making some other kind of music, but there are moments, like Song From Incidental Music and Sonnet For Matt (what terrible titles), where the mood feels real and appropriate and the band seems truly comfortable. It is those moments I’ll be listening for during the endless tirade of Christmas parties I’ll be forced to hear this album in.


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