Enjoy Your Rabbit
Originally released: September 17, 2001.
Now available for the first time in vinyl.
Limited edition includes random color of first disc. Which will you get? Only the zodiac knows!
2xLP includes download card for MP3 and FLAC.
Almost two years in the making, Sufjan Steven’s Enjoy Your Rabbit, an album of programmatic songs for the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, is available for your listening pleasure. Departing from the singer-songwriter format of his first Asthmatic Kitty Records album, A Sun Came, this collection of fourteen colorful instrumental compositions combines Sufjan’s noted gift for melody with electronic sounds to create an unusually playful and human- not to mention humane- electronic experience. Great for dancing, driving, writing, cooking, painting, running, walking, and of course, eating Chinese food, Rabbit features nearly eighty minutes of music that will truly soothe the savage breast, whatever that means.
Enjoy Your Rabbit is the most underrated and overlooked album in Sufjan’s discography. It contains in capsule form what he would later unpack into more palatable music. There are flashes of Michigan and Illinois in “Year of Our Lord,” “Year of the Ox,” and “Year of the Dog,” and shadows of Age of Adz in the darkest moments of “Year of the Boar,” “Year of the Snake,” or “Year of the Dragon.”
EYR is a harbinger. A precursor. A wink in the eye before the slight. You should have listened in the first place. We’ll forgive you though, because when an album is only available in wasteful jewelcase CD, how cool can it be? Jewelcases are so 1998.But now that it’s in multi-colored limited-edition gimmick-ridden vinyl, you have no excuse. EYR, which Sufjan wrote and recorded in the innocence of a pre-9/11 2001, is Sufjan’s best work because it is Sufjan at his least self-aware.
In an alternate reality, Sufjan never made Michigan or Seven Swans or Illinois; he kept making electronic freakout albums like EYR in obscurity, until perhaps he just gave up and stayed in graphic design and some pitying, barely afloat label re-released EYR and sold a few dozen copies to a few scattered part-time record store employees. But here we are in this reality, where Michigan is slated for an energy drink commercial, Illinois is a backdrop to a pensive montage in a kickstarted blockbuster movie, and EYR is relegated to a drunken purchase at Amazon.com.
Here at AKR, where we often ignore reality as it’s presented, EYR is one of our most played records. We find ourselves in the small company of ballet choreographers, quartets, and occasional internet reviewers, but there should be more of us. So, as if we were in that alternate universe where “Sufjan” is more likely the name of a Game of Thrones character than an indie star, we hope you’ll give this record a chance now that it’s available as vinyl. It is just as genius as anything Sufjan has released since. Everything’s been downhill since.