The career arc of Sufjan Stevens took a weird turn beginning with his contribution to the 2009 Red Hot compilation Dark Was The Night. This track, a cover of Castanets' 'You Are The Blood', provided our first glimpse into glitchy weirdo Sufjan. That side was famously further indulged on his next full length record, Age of Adz. Now, opinions on that album aside, it did nothing if not further entrench the fact that Stevens was no longer making the plaintive folk songs that made him famous. And in choosing this new direction, somehow the path to s / s / s was forged.

Without Age Of Adz, this trio, and this release really would have never made any sense. Stevens early material differed quite heavily from these two Anticon artists, to say the least. Son Lux's expansive beats based folk music and Serengeti's weirdo rap seem disparate enough, but to toss in Stevens orchestral nature would have made no sense at all. With the shift that he made on 'You Are The Blood', such a collaboration--though still between dissimilar artists--begins to make a little sense.

Stevens opens the EP singing an autotuned hook that really might not have been too out of place on Adz, but in the context of the moody, wordy, emo rap that Serengeti delivers later on the track the hook takes on new life. The autotune, though jarring on first encounter on his last record, makes immediate sense in a hip hop context, however abstract.

The production work, ostensibly by Stevens and Son Lux, varies from the sweeping orchestral 'Museum Day', to the glitchy 'If This Is Real' and bears no real thread that runs between the tracks other than the general theme of huge sounding epic beats. It's been quite some time since we've heard Serengeti over beats this big, but he adjusts his subject matter accordingly. The downtrodden pathos of last year's Family & Friends is largely absent. Though it is present in places, the focus here is on the surrealisms and jokes rather than the emoting that characterized that release.

That being said, there's still brilliant lines all around. There's just something so bizarre about lines that deal with taking the Octomom on a date while Stevens sings "I had the night of my life," in typical apocalyptic Age Of Adz fashion. It's crazy, it's weird, it's downright silly, but it's fun. That's really what makes this record work as a whole is despite its bombastic nature, it succeeds on much lower levels. It's an epic release sure, but it's just downright fun. For a whimsical four track collaboration, can we really as any more from it?