Before Sigur Ros won the inaugural Shortlist Prize in 2001 for Agaetis Byrjun, they composed another album that would have met the award's criteria. Around the release of Agaetis Byrjun, Sigur Ros promised to "change music...and the way people think about music" forever. Whereas on that record-- nestled cozily inside a fully realized voice-- they sounded up to the task, Von is weighted down by the band's bodacious ambition. At 72 minutes, the album is bloated with ideas Sigur Ros would refine on their sophomore outing. As such, it's an exciting look back at a once-mysterious group who leaped from obscurity to mug the mainstream. Young, earnest, eerie, and overzealous, Von is a unique, almost belligerently unaffiliated piece of music that unsubtly blazons its idiosyncrasies. Much like Agaetis Byrjun, Von thrives on a certain amount of landscaping-- wandering the Icelandic countryside is a surreal and uncanny experience, one that Sigur Ros convey beautifully.