I've just put this album on after not owning it for about three years ...and am momentarily amazed by how I coped by not hearing it more often. Much has already been said about it but, in this album, you have a strange hybrid of different strands of music.. obviously there is an indie sensibility behind it, you have overdriven guitar, a chugginess to the acoustic guitars, mad horn breaks and such a tremendous, joyous pace to everything, topped by the mad whimsy of Jeff Mangum's vocal and lyrics that go where no lyrics have gone before. But there is a truth to the imagery he relates, borne of the conviction of his voice... in fact you won't come across this particular kind of sincerity in pop music very often, he tells stories, has visions, creates moods, evokes histories. I don't think I've heard an album opener so convinced of its own vision than 'The King of Carrot Flowers'. It is strange and beautiful to experience songs of such utter confidence, and part of what makes this record all the more pleasurable. If I have any conception of heaven it might be more than several large glasses of freezer-cold gewurtztraminer, a breezy summer day and this album played at full volume through resolutely open windows.