Sufjan Stevens
Enjoy Your Rabbit


4.5
superb

Review

by Gabe25591 USER (12 Reviews)
September 19th, 2009 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When was the last time you had an epiphany?

These days it's difficult to tell what constitutes a genius. The masses worship at the feet of Chris Martin and critical knees wobble at the thought of Thom Yorke, but the fact remains; It is often what we don't see that brings us to fling the label of 'genius' to and fro.

Sufjan Stevens, the middle-class Michigan suburbanite superhero, has created a league of Acoustic Indie that stands head and shoulders above the rest. His lush, whispy voice carpeting songs with melodies and harmonies that soothe our ears and create glorious dreamscapes. Songs of his catalogue range from the epic to the tragic (See song: 'Flint'), and the true nature of his lyrics are broken only by the brutal literality that they often present.

Much like Stevens' music itself, I'm purely setting the mood here, but as I said, it's what you don't see...

Enjoy Your Rabbit was released in the September of 2001, when Sufjan hadn't yet hit the big time, and to be fair it's no wonder. I might as well break it to you now; This is not Sufjan Stevens. It is in theory but I guarantee you won't believe it. This album contains;

-Elements of Musique Concrete.
-Harsh electronic glitches and beeps.
-Shrieking computers.
-People talking in Japanese.
-Songs up to 13 minutes long.
-Songs lacking in structure.
-Songs lacking in emotion.
-All songs named after the years of the Chinese Zodiac.
-A large amount of audio played backwards.
-No singing.

Now while this sounds like cause to brand it a pretentious experiment gone hideously wrong, that's the last thing this album is. The problem with Stevens is that comparison constantly hampers praise of his work. Any post-Illinois! review of Enjoy Your Rabbit massacres the album for spanning a monumental chasm of difference from 2006's The Avalanche and 2003's Greetings From Michigan. Every forum or sound-off feature is filled with quotes like 'I expected some more indie pop from Stevens, and I was horrified by this album. What a waste of money'. Even in hindsight, the album is still dismissed by the O.C.-watching masses, when in reality, this may just be Sufjan Stevens' Magnus Opus.

It takes some serious bravery to release an album like this, and while Sufjan's relentless preaching of the Lord's word and his clean-cut image suggest that he's a perfectly normal guy, I'll be damned if these 14 tracks were created by a 'perfectly normal guy'. Year of the Asthmatic Cat and its older brother Year of the Monkey kick off the album, and like Sigur Ros' Von before them, they break down the very thought of what is considered music even by the first track. The tracks on this LP trip back and forth from glitchy to glitchier and freak out just as they appear to be forming coherent patterns. The drum beats, when present, are thumping and industrial, the glockenspiel is minimalist, the sound effects run the show and as a result, you're left with an album that leaves you with possibly the two strongest psychological feelings one can attain through music; Extreme fascination and tremendous unease. Every beep, every screech, every thump, every choral hum and every rumble tears into your mind and holds you hostage. You become lost in a world of music you never knew existed; a world where sounds hold greater significance than before. This is an album that cannot be cast to the background. This is an album that cannot be shared with friends. This is an album that is deeply personal to whoever listens to it, and while they may find it unlistenable, fascination is a tricky thing to shake.

Forget Michigan, Seven Swans, Illinois! and The Avalanche (well, don't forget them as such), Enjoy Your Rabbit is a masterclass in doing everything that logic tells music not to do. Some claim it borrows inspiration from neo-classical and serialist works, and that it is the perfect example of true electronica. While these statements may be true, one thing is for certain; It is the most confusing, yet brutally and catastrophically beautiful record that Sufjan will ever make, and even though a only a handful of people will genuinely 'enjoy their rabbit', let it be known that the man famous for one thing has already pioneered another.

Stevens is now officially rank 'Genius'.



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user ratings (241)
Chart.
2.9
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2009


17180 Comments


album rules

Waior
September 19th 2009


11627 Comments


Album is weird/good.

Athom
Emeritus
September 20th 2009


17240 Comments


I disagree. The album blooows. Good review though

catsinflats
September 20th 2009


129 Comments


maybe i dismissed this album to hastily, im still a little scared to check it out again

Gabe25591
September 20th 2009


27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys :]

thebhoy
Emeritus
September 20th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah good review. Album does blow, I'm glad Sufjan stopped making electronica because he's not very good at it.

Chewie
September 20th 2009


4539 Comments


very intriguing review, preachy/hyperbolic ones are always the best. Keep reviewing man

Observer
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2009


6824 Comments


So is this guy really going to pull off 50 albums for all of the states?



robin
Emeritus
September 20th 2009


4570 Comments


yeah good review. Album does blow, I'm glad Sufjan stopped making electronica because he's not very good at it.


would you count you are the blood as electronica? my knowledge of the tag is pretty poor

also i can't wait to hear how he redoes this with strings

CelestialDust
September 20th 2009


3159 Comments


album name and tracklist is lol

thebhoy
Emeritus
September 20th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

would you count you are the blood as electronica




not really. I mean the song is pretty much a 10 minute summarization of his career thus far. So the electronics are more of an addition then the main component. If You Are the Blood was 10 minutes of straight electronica then it wouldn't be nearly as good.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2010


7502 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This is a fantastic review.

balcaen
May 19th 2011


3183 Comments


aGUYS THID ALBM IS COOOL SHUR UP

AmericanFlagAsh
January 29th 2014


8730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Way underrated. This album is wonderful.

Digging: Jai Paul - Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones)

AmericanFlagAsh
March 31st 2015


8730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I bought C&L on vinyl and a little free digital download thing comes with. Well on the back it has "get 10% off you next vinyl purchase" from Asthmatic Kitty and this review is quoted under "Some of our many vinyl releases you might enjoy:"

NorthernSkylark
March 31st 2015


9380 Comments


sputnik avg is 2.9, your rating is 3

Digging: Lo Borges - Lo Borges

AmericanFlagAsh
March 31st 2015


8730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah you wouldn't like this at all

NorthernSkylark
March 31st 2015


9380 Comments


now i want to like it, i see what you're doing

AmericanFlagAsh
March 31st 2015


8730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

*grins menacingly*

NorthernSkylark
March 31st 2015


9380 Comments


i was surprised by all delighted people too, so who knows



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