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The B.Q.E. (Deluxe Version)

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Customer Reviews

A dream of an album

Ignore the stupid 'no singing' review this album is a work of intelligence and musical craftmanship. This work is a development of the musical soundscapes that Sufjan Stevens is known for. Think of the beautuful woodwind and brass orchestrations in 'Illinois' and 'Avalanche' and imagine these sounds worked into full pieces. Sufjan has always been bold with sounds and instrumentation and it was only a matter of time until he wrote a film score. This work was commissioned by New York music society and it is an amazing ride. The music is bursting with energy and musical flourish. Sufjan uses an array of orchestral textures that pulsate and flow beautifully into each other. From beginning to end you are taken on a ride through uplifting movements of melody and colourful musical ideas. I found the work so refreshing and cemented my love for Sufjan Stevens as one of our greatest contempoary musical artists. I hope he will take on more film work if this is the standard we can expect.

No Singing!

I'm a big fan of Sufjan Stevens, his songs and his singing, but this has no songs or singing in it and I'm disappointed. Whilst everyone has a right to make experimental albums and that, I retain the right to be disappointed. This is all just meandering orchestral pieces. I shall continue to wait for a proper new Sufjan Stevens album with nice gentle songs about God, serial killers, cancer, wasps and so forth.

Sarah, if you're reading this, I hope one day you forgive me and take me back. Say hello to the kids for me.

Hardly a critical analysis but...

First things first: I am a BIG fan of the Suf, since first hearing Michigan in 2003 (I'd love to be able to say I knew about him before then, but I'd be lying) and it transforming my expectations of what an album could/should sound like (you will find that all Sufjan fans are zealots). Secondly, I have listened to this album only twice at time of writing, so this is hardly a critical analysis.

But... if you like Sufjan you will adore this. It is genius. Our friend who has pointed out that there are no words to the songs to sing along with is correct. There are also no pictures for you to colour in or free toys. You will have to just listen to the music like a grown up. And what music it is! You can't sing along, but it will make you feel like singing – it is joyous, experimental without being dull, uplifting and fabulous for listening to with good headphones on while you close your eyes and get lost in it.

If you're not into Sufjan there is a real chance you won't get this, but if you like to think of yourself as being into more "interesting music" (let's face it, if you're a music snob, like me) this will boost your credibility with others – and, more importantly, yourself. It's not just obscure, it's fabulous.

Oh and there's a free toy! With pictures! But it takes forever to download, so I haven't played with that yet...


Born: 01 July 1975 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose music deals with both the personal and the spiritual while accompanied by simple but striking musical patterns, Detroit-born Sufjan Stevens started venturing into the music world while attending Hope College as a member of Marzuki, a folk-rock band based in Holland, Michigan. Following the release of two full-length albums with the group, Stevens decided to go solo in late 1999, investing fully in a career that was waiting to shine by itself. Sun...
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