hvarf-heim is — as the otherwise impenetrable title suggests — an album of two halves. the first half contains new versions of rare, early songs by the band: the second half contains acoustic versions of songs that span the band's career. hvarf i found a bit disappointing, but perhaps that's my fault for getting carried away by the words "radically reinterpreted"' on the press release. actually, it just sounds like sigur ros always sound. nothing wrong with that, of course, but i was expecting something different; and, for that reason, heim is the more successful "side" of the album. the unplugged ploy brings a new dimension to the band, making them seem more human than ever before. indeed, if you've previously found the band too arty and precious, simple, honest tracks such as vaka or agaetis byrjun might change your mind.