|Beak & Claw was released March 20,2012 by Anticon Records|
For the most part, this pattern is followed throughout the four tracks. It may seem a bit tiresome initially, but begs for another listen as soon as it's done (and with a duration of less than twenty minutes, there's really no reason not to). After repeat encounter, the songs each begin to develop their own unique character; for example, the second track "Beyond Any Doubt" is driven by a head-bobbing militant sounding drumbeat familiar to modern rap while the low, gravelly bass and Motown-esque vocal hook of "If This Is Real" make it sound like something George Clinton would churn out if he signed to Roc-A-Fella. The closing track "Octomom" describes Serengeti's fictional (I hope) encounter with the infamous Nadya Suleman, in which he takes her to his high-school prom but forgets her corsage, the runs into her many years later at a deli where they rekindle their lost romance. And of course, the whole thing ends with a hillbilly jug band breakdown featuring a jaw harp, a harmonica, and some heavy vocoding, because why the hell not?
While it definitely seems a strange combination, fans of Sufjan Stevens will note that this almost seems like a logical step from the electronic insanity of 2010's Age of Adz. Beak & Claw is not quite up to snuff with the rest of Sufjan's output, but it is most definitely an enjoyable flight of fancy for the prolific songwriter and surely makes for a unique experience if nothing else. I'd like to see further output from s/s/s but a full-length album might seem like a chore to listen to; Beak & Claw was saved by its brevity. Don't be fooled, though. For a 20-minute affair, Beak & Claw manages to break plenty of ground and still craft something enjoyable.
Standout Tracks:"Octomom", "If This Is Real"