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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Englabörn

Jóhann Jóhannsson

2002

Englabörn
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

Englabörn is the first full length studio album by Icelandic musician Jóhann Jóhannsson, released by Touch Music in 2002. Music included on Englabörn was composed for a play by Hávar Sigurjónsson and was played by string quartet, percussionists and Jóhansson himself on several instruments. The album consists of mostly short pieces combining classical, ambient and electronic influences. The album received critical acclaim, gaining 8.9 rating from Pitchfork Media on initial review.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.1

Votes

69

Genres

  • Electronica

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Reviews

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Mon Mar 11 2024
4

My album submission. I had a hard time picking an album of his but this was the first one I heard so I went with that. Mainly I was trying to think of more types of music that weren't on the list. Very little modern classical along the likes of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, etc. You may have heard Johann's music without even knowing it: he did the soundtracks on Arrival, The Theory of Everything, and Mandy (among others). He does have some non-film works that are typically soundtracks or conceptual albums, I believe this was his first solo work. He's of that neo-minimalist school of classical music that includes electronic elements and when I heard it, it was definitely a new combination that I had not really been exposed to. I do appreciate the sense of longing in every track he basically makes. It's not a 5* even for me though, there are some tracks that are sort of meh. But I love what he's going for in general.

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Wed Feb 28 2024
3

This is a valuable listen, more about Jóhannsson than anything general, because it shows a genius working with a problem he can't quite solve. That problem is the narrative of his own material. Englabörn starts plaintive, with a question mark, raw material for an infinite garden of music. That space is explored in all these beautiful vignettes, but it's not until Karen býr til engil that there is any sense of leaving the treadmill. So it's hard to circle anything in one's mind as work or works. That might be the point; Recording may just not have served the project in my mind as well as it could have. Certainly worth spinning as it's not in any was disappointing.

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Mon Mar 11 2024
3

So you're telling me that the robot voice from Radiohead's "Fitter Happier" was actually a prototype A.I. which was given the nickname Johann Johannsson, and not only did it provide the famous interlude for "OK Computer," but it also composed "Exit Music (for a Film)," and was considered a 6th member of the band, who continued to provide guidance and input up through "Amnesiac," before suddenly disappearing, only to return in 2002 with a fully formed modern classical album entitled "Englaborn"? Unbelievable.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

Really striking, solemn music. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

Ooh, a very interesting addition. I think there is definitely an argument for inclusion with this, and I think I'll be spinning it a lot in the future.

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Mon Apr 01 2024
5

Don't know what it is with me and Icelandic music. But Björk, Sigur Rós, Dadi Freyr, Of Monster and Men,... All of them seem to fall in my favor. And this one is no exception! It sounds magical, atmospheric, intimid and grotesque all at once! Loved it!

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Tue Feb 27 2024
4

I liked this a lot, neo-classical electronic in the vein of Meredith Monk.

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Fri Mar 08 2024
4

This is a very low key entry and its understandable why its under the radar of most listeners. A lovely blend of modern classical, ambient and electronic music. I listened to it 3 times and it got better every time. This one is a grower folks.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
4

7/10. Pleasant and instrumental, a good listen to be certain but nothing life-changing.

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Wed Mar 06 2024
3

A nice album mixing classical and modern sounds. I can tell this was originally conceived of as a soundtrack to something.

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Sat Apr 13 2024
3

This was just the perfect companion to my lazy Saterday morning start-up. Minimalistic yet soothing and with subtle electronics woven into it. Not something that otherwise would have crossed my path, so thanks!

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Sat Apr 13 2024
3

Sometimes you need a good moment to enjoy music like this. And this was a good one inderdaad.

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Fri Mar 15 2024
2

Well, that one was unexpected. Not my cup of tea, but it gives some variety to the list and certain air of cultural sophistication

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Mon Mar 18 2024
2

Whenever I see Icelandic writing, I'm worried it'll be Sigur Ros. This wasn't them, but it was still weird shit. I think I get the movie soundtrack vibe, but eh. 2/5.

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Mon May 06 2024
4

Very good soundtrack music; ethereal and evocative.

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Tue May 21 2024
4

Very nice. Kind of blends into the background, but nice to have on while focusing. 4 stars.

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Wed May 08 2024
3

It's great music, no doubt. However, 90 minutes of it without the play it was composed for, oomph.

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