Label:Asthmatic Kitty Records Release date: (09/11/09) Website: http://www.myspace.com/sufjanstevens Every time this guy produces another record it just seems to be a further comment on how spectacularly good he is with every kind of musical composition, ever. Run Rabbit Run sees the whole of 2001's Enjoy Your Rabbit re-imagined entirely on strings. So, really, it sounds almost nothing like Enjoy Your Rabbit, but everything like Sufjan Stevens. As with all of his albums, it's not easy work to listen or penetrate first time, but ultimately one of the most rewarding and fascinating musical experiences you can ever have. One of the first in a while to entirely lack Sufjan's distinctive voice, it's reminiscent of some of his earlier instrumental work, however the use of almost no instruments besides a string section gives it a pared-down but, ironically, classical feel. A typical touch of his, juxtaposing and complementing the richness of the orchestral medium with its potential sparsity, and its tenderness with amazingly vicious jabs. It is Sufjan by essence, but it doesn't resemble Enjoy Your Rabbit: while the theme of Chinese Astrological years remains, some of the tracks have been swapped around or lost entirely, creating an album whose mood is less modern but still incredibly exciting. It begins strikingly with discordant claw-scratching violins which guide you through the 'Year of the Ox' and the urgency of the Rabbit, then swoops abruptly into the inharmonious 'Year of the Monkey'. Not the easiest opening to listen to, it suddenly pulses into the gently hypnotic 'Year of the Tiger' and continues to flow between the voluptuous and melodic, and the discordant and jarring. The breadth of emotion produced so minimally is fantastic. What with the focus on composition as opposed to the previous wide range of instrumental experimentation found in the majority of his albums, there is a lack of the virtuoso variety Sufjan usually likes to bring us. That said, you will never be bored. Lulled perhaps into a soporific dream-state, but never bored. Run Rabbit Run has the effect of dream-time, stretching moments out beyond you and then suddenly drawing you back into wakefulness. This is probably not for everybody: it does require some degree of patience, and as with much of his work, the entire experience can be very disorienting. But it's sparkling, dark, and fascinating as ever. Rating:8/10 What say you on this?Sound off in our Fourum!