Although I try not to dabble in pop criticism (for lack of experience, if anything), I recommend you all head over to Jónsi's website and check out the tracks from his upcoming album. Nico Muhly did all the arrangements; Boy Lilkoi (the last track under the streaming audio) has a crazy, speaking-in-tongues piccolo freakout that can only be described as ecstatic. This is the place where pop and classical properly intersect, where the artists on each side bring their A-game to create something everyone can be proud of and happy with. It negates the word crossover, because neither musician really leaves his comfort zone--it's a natural, organic progression of their talents.
Nico writes a bit about the creation of the album here, and after reading that I realize where I got both "speaking in tongues" and "ecstatic". Well at least if I steal, I steal from the original source--what better critic than the composer?
Speaking of things-better-than-crossovers, Corey Dargel will be performing his new song cycle Thirteen Near-Death Experiences accompanied by ICE next Saturday at The Velvet Lounge. This is one of my most-anticipated events this year---if you were hip on the classical (dare I say, alt-classical?) scene you may have followed the creation of the work on Dargel's blog, where you can now hear audio samples and watch video from the New York premiere.