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Enjoy Your Rabbit

3.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • ASIN: B0000649PF
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
If you listen to "Michigan", "Seven Swans", or even "A Sun Came", "Enjoy Your Rabbit" may come as a shock. "EYR" is an instrumental electronica album that completely shows off a different side of Steven's broad talent. The songwriting, perhaps, isn't too much different, but the execution is the difference between a stocking full of coal and a stocking full of candy.

The best comparrison I can think of is the classical compositions of Phillip Glass and Steve Reich having an accident with the electronica/industrial world. Stevens utilizes repitition reminicent of Glass' (and for that matter, Reich's) work, as well as some pulsating at points ala Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" or "Desert Music".

A few places take on some weird sonic twists which remind me of The Residents, though I'd be surprised if they were the actual inspiration.

Definately reccomended, but don't expect his indie folk of his other projects.

This would be a five star effort, however, I think that it would be better with some vocals. That's just me, though.

(edit: after several years of hindsight, I would give this five stars and call this Sufjan Stevens' best album... not just his best album, but one of the greatest albums of the past ten years.)
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One of my favorite things about Sufjan Stevens is his voice, and his superior ability to convey emotion with his voice. Sadly, Enjoy Your Rabbit is not an album that captures this aspect of Stevens' talent. What it does do, however, is introduce Sufjan fans to another side to the artist and proves that he his not just some crazy, banjo-playing, state-loving, hippie. This album makes it undeniably clear that Sufjan Stevens is an amazing, well-rounded musician. Comprised mostly of electronic instrumentation ("programmatic songs", as he would say), Enjoy Your Rabbit has a song for every animal on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Sure, it sounds like a boring concept for an album, but so does a CD about Illinois. If we've learned anything in the last year, it's that Sufjan sees the beauty and unrecognized joy in seemingly menial things and makes them exciting to the listener. Don't believe me? Check out "Enjoy Your Rabbit" and "Year of the Ox" and you will be convinced that Sufjan knows what he is doing and we, the skeptical public, need to just calm down and let him do his thing.
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Format: Audio CD
Sufjan Stevens may be the all-time indie king of concept albums, as he's currently doing the United States, and has managed two of the states so far.

But before that, he created another one: "Enjoy Your Rabbit," a whimsical, enchanting little album based on the Chinese zodiac. In other words, it has songs named after the dog, asthmatic cat (little pun there), rat, rooster, tiger, horse, dragon, monkey, ox, boar, snake, sheep... and the rabbit.

It opens with "Year of the Asthmatic Cat," which sounds a lot like a UFO landing... except creepier. It's followed by the sputtering glitchpop of "Year of the Monkey," which explodes into a seething mass of horns, synth, static, and stately gothic organ. By this point, you will probably be mesmerized.

From there, Sufjan Stevens tries out all kinds of glitchy, airy, noisy pop music -- dancey little pop that twirls around on itself, robotic dance, bubbly twittery stuff, breathless dancepop littered with weird noises, and even "Year of the Sheep," which is best described as electro space-folk. It finishes off with the sparkling epic "Year of The Horse," and ending with the spiritual, stately "Year Of Our Lord."

Stevens mashes together different sounds and styles, and not one song on "Enjoy Your Rabbit" can be described in fewer than three words. This is probably the least accessable of all of his work, but it's also perhaps the most charming and innocent. Anything that uses wind chimes as an instrument has to be.

Musically, it sounds like ordinary indiepop filtered through a broken music box. There are fragments of horn, bits of electronica both jagged and symphonic, stately organ, flutes, delicate chimes, clocks, and who knows what else.
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Format: Audio CD
With the folky acoustic sounds of his debut A Sun Came, no one expected Sufjan Stevens to release something like this. Without a decipherable vocal in sight, Stevens' Enjoy Your Rabbit is one heck of an instrumental concept album, relying on mostly electronic sounds, but also a few other instruments for good measure.
Yes, it is heavily electronic, but Enjoy Your Rabbit is no Joy Electric. There's a certain amount of chaos in the album that would make Ronnie Martin shudder, yet Sufjan controls it beautifully to the point of creating cosmos within the noise. Stevens knows when the noise can get too disorientating, and mixes in several lighter numbers. Some of the songs, like track three, are simply great, orchestrated melodies, with the one in mention being something Danny Elfman would be proud of.
If anything, purchase this because of the courage Stevens had to take a 360 degree turn in his artistic career and create this strange, yet ultimately brilliant, masterpiece. It has nice artwork, too.
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