I've been here before - I really have. Group or artist makes it big and then thinks they have to experiment and get artsy-fartsy or obscure...whatever. Fleetwood Mac with Tusk in 1979. Neil Young with On the Beach in 1974. McCartney with McCartney II in 1980...just off the top of my head. But....at least in those cases the albums were interesting or at least LISTENABLE.
This may be one of the worst cd's I've ever heard - an exercise in the artists' self-indulgence and not something written to be enjoyed on any level. It is Stravinsky-esque if Stravinsky had no talent; John Cage if he had a melodic sense; or it is Gary Numan dicking around the studio one Saturday afternoon in 1980. I will not stand for any of this reviewer nonsense hailing this as a classic or masterpiece as I have read. This emperor is stark naked. Some of the reviews I've read have been painful and laughable as they grasp for straws in just what current artist he can be compared to or has been influenced by. He is a creative writer by trade, not a musician who is expert enough to know what or from whom he is borrowing. Plus, most of these songs are way too long, droning with sounds and flourishes like a creaky metal roof on a windy day. I hope he gets booed off the stage. The simple fact is, this cd is un-listenable. I dare you to use this as road trip music or use this as music beyond an audience of one. I'm hoping that Sufjan is just clowning with us, a la U2 in the Pop Mart period....but I have my doubts. Anyway - bottom line - do not buy this cd unless you really, really hate somebody.