After seeing this album get nearly universal acclaim from the critics, I figured it was worth listening to to see what the fuss was about. So I gave it a full listen, expecting to find it at least somewhat enjoyable. Unfortunately, I found it totally unappealing and actually very annoying. It is definitely true that the songs on the album are inventive and experimental, and if you're mostly just looking for something different, you might like this. But for me, the aesthetic doesn't work at all.
David Longstreth takes a kitchen sink approach to production, throwing in what sounds like every possible thing he can think of. He seems to be trying very hard to make the songs interesting to listen to, incorporating multiple vocalists who sing in different styles all at once, unusual rhythmic variations against a standard melodic line, and all sorts of other things floating around all over the place. While, in theory, that could sound pretty cool, what this results in here is sort of the sonic equivalent of taking tofu fried in soybean oil, covering that with marinara sauce, slicing in some kiwi, drizzling some truffle oil over all that, and then adding a few dashes of fish sauce and a cup of cold chocolate milk.
Even "Stillness is the Move," the song on the album that most resembles a single, suffers from an overall sense of clutter and sloppiness. While the female singers give a strong performance, there is just too much going on, and the mix of all that is too raw and unfocused for the song to ever truly gel.
My musical tastes in general tend to veer towards the alternative and odd, but this album just doesn't work for me at all. Clearly some people do seem to love it, so if you too are intrigued by the amazing reviews this often gets, try to preview some full songs before buying the whole thing.