Backed by a sextet, Arthur turns in a stunning tour de force that leaves no path unexplored: from "Diamond Ring," the country-glam opener where the Stones hang with T. Rex, to the 20-minute psychedelic extravaganza "Lonely Astronaut," to the mournful, Eastern-tinged drone of "Star Song." Some, such as the garage-punk raver "Cocaine Feet," hardly sound like him at all. Who knew a chamber-pop guy could party like this?
With recorded snippets of room conversation, it's apparent the album was recorded live, lending the music a crackling energy. Those white-hot performances tie the whole enterprise together, helping make this one of the year's most surprising releases.