October 16, 2009
Album review: Sufjan Stevens - 'The BQE'
An ambitious offering that will keep the naysayers at bay
9 / 10
Often, when someone dares to get ideas above their station, to investigate territory over which they exercise no right, it’s open season. Accusations like these have been levelled at Sufjan Stevens and his project to conduct a semi-classical soundtrack to the hazardous expressway that connects Brooklyn and Queens in New York. But they’re wrong. As ever, Stevens transforms the ugly into something absurdly and ambitiously beautiful, with an eccentric, seven-movement piece that chirrups, rouses and distorts with the colourful verve of a dystopian Fantasia. Complex and artful, there’s no need to understand fugues and canons to appreciate this – its utter perfection and joy is self-evident.
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