“Ur Ýmsum Áttum” Compilation

The following comments were made while Ur Ýmsum Áttum was playing.

“This sounds like a George Michael song.”

“This is like an 80s ballad collection.”

“This puts the easy in easy listening.”

“This puts the contemp(t) into adult contemporary.”

Admittedly we were drinking cocktails at the time, so the comments tended to get a little more pointed and sarcastic as the album progressed.

You might think from the above that we didn’t care for Ur Ýmsum Áttum, but that’s not true at all. It’s just not what we were expecting. Released in 1991 and translating roughly to From Various Sources, it’s a collection of 14 tracks, all by different Icelandic bands. Based on the eBay description I expected this to be pop, and given that I recognized Dr. Gunni’s band Bless, I figured it was worth the $9.99 asking price (plus shipping, if you must know). I’m not entirely convinced it was… but it’s not bad. It’s not much of anything, really.

It’s an album of background music. Good background music, mind you, but background music nonetheless. Two tracks did stick out though – “Draugar” by Eftirlitið, and Rokkbandið’s “Nú er það Byrjað”. Don’t ask me to explain why though. They just had a sounds that piqued my interest. Though to be fair it could have had something to do with the fact that they’re pretty deep on the album (tracks 4 and 6 on side B) and by that time I was pretty deep into some Jack’s on the rocks (see “adult contemporary”comment above; the prosecution rests, your honor).

This will probably only appeal to major Icelandic music geeks, or those in an Rob Gordon “I just want something I can ignore” frame of mind. But if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve found it in Ur Ýmsum Áttum.

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