I am on the cusp of being fully convinced that this record is a psych-pop masterpiece. It does sort of put all its eggs in one basket in the first half, and the tracks could maybe have been ordered to pace the record better as a whole, but I love it nonetheless. Madder Red and Ambling Alp just make me feel fucking amazing about myself.
I don't understand how a band can get from All Hour Cymbals to this. It must have been a one time fluke, where the alchemy just fell together perfectly. I don't think Yeasayer can ever accomplish anything like that again.
If you just like the songs, fine. Enjoy it. For me this album is meaningless while All Hour Cymbals is just layered with life and spirit.
Listened to this album in full for the first time today and despite my initial doubts it is actually quite good! The cover art isn't brilliant but it isn't really anything worth kicking up a fuss about either.