Sound & Fury

December 7, 2019

In Sound & Fury, Sturgill Simpson delivers his most ambitious project to date. This Netflix original anime/studio album is decidedly uncharted terrain for the 2017 Grammys Album of the Year nominee. The only thing weirder than Simpson following up his psychedelic country album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music with an epistolary album of advice for his son is the fact that the latter project faced off against Adele, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, and Drake at the aforementioned Grammys. This recognition on music’s biggest stage clearly emboldened Simpson to get even weirder with his follow-up project, a genreless mixed media project. With lyrics of self-deprecation, societal chiding, and triumphs set to visuals of touching sentimentalism, maximalist gore, and pure absurdism, Sound & Fury is a disorienting rollercoaster ride through the mind of Sturgill Simpson. On the piecemeal project, Simpson throws together the spare parts of his peripheral conscious into a Voltron-magnitude amalgamation of emotion, experience, and madness, constantly threatening to collapse into itself like a black hole. This was the most intense and elaborate Rorschach inkblot that I have ever experienced, and Sturgill Simpson’s self-indulgence is readily apparent. If post-apocalyptic skaters in hazmat suits, grotesque angels, and massively-bosomed mutants bring some meaning into your life, more power to you. Sound & Fury is an off-the-wall thrill-ride that will leave you sweaty and confused. Stream it on Netflix instead of smoking crack—subtitles recommended.

Derek Engen

Photo Credit: Elektra Records

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