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The BQE: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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The BQE: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album cover
Prelude on the Esplanade
2:56   $0.99
Introductory Fanfare for the Hooper Heroes
1:07   $0.99
Movement I—In the Countenance of Kings
5:19   $0.99
Movement II—Sleeping Invader
4:34   $0.99
Interlude I—Dream Sequence in Subi Circumnavigation
3:33   $0.99
Movement III: Linear Tableau With Intersecting Surprise
4:09   $0.99
Movement IV: Traffic Shock
3:24   $0.99
Movement V: Self-Organizing Emergent Patterns
3:45   $0.99
Interlude II: Subi Power Waltz
0:28   $0.99
Interlude III: Invisible Accidents
0:54   $0.99
Movement VI: Isorhythmic Night Dance With Interchanges
3:17   $0.99
Movement VII (Finale): The Emperor of Centrifuge
3:51   $0.99
Postlude: Critical Mass
2:59   $0.99
Album Information

Total Tracks: 13   Total Length: 40:16

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Wondering Sound

Review 1

Dan Weiss


Sufjan Stevens, The BQE: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records / SC Distribution

You knew Sufjan Stevens is ambitious, but don't act so surprised that he composed a symphonic ode to a highway: if Stevens has any musical passions, we know that full-length tributes to national locations and baroque (if not Baroque) orchestral arrangements are two of them. On 2005's unanimously praised Illinois, Stevens employed both these interests to huge results, with choirs, horns, strings and filename-truncating song titles revolving around state landmarks.

Of course, an instrumental tribute… read more »

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Majestic Grid Lock and buckle bumping action!


BQE: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is indeed an expressway and not a highway. The Expressway that gives Sufjan another "way to express" himself in Philip Glass modalities, a la previous classic: "Illinoise!" minus the lyrics and succinct pop formatted songs. Whether this was made as a B.A.M. project or a bedroom production, it doesn't matter. It has plenty inspiration.

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On the fence


I used to live next to this monstrosity; not sure I want to download it. At least eMusic is not charging for the 0:28 cut.

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Beautiful Symphony


No, it's not typical Sufjan Stevens but it has his signature on most tracks which is good enough. All instrumental; give it a few listens before really appreciating it.

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Not what you think it is.


This CD is not a typical Sufjan Stevens album. It is basically a musical score. If you are expecting another Illinois, you are going to be dissappointed.

eMusic Features


Unwrapping Sufjan’s Christmas Gift

By Patrick Rapa, Contributor

Brooklyn indie darling Sufjan Stevens will probably never finish his one-album-for-every-state project (48 to go!), but his holiday-music series seems unstoppable. By now, you should know the drill: Every year he gathers some musical friends and stitches together an EP to send out to loved ones. Some of the songs are standards, lovingly rendered. Some are standards, flipped into rock songs or spooky ballads. A lot of Stevens's holiday tunes are originals, either sincere in… more »


Who Are…Lost in the Trees

By Laura Leebove, Managing Editor

Some indie rockers simply accent their songs with strings and horns, but Lost in the Trees's symphonic elements — along with frontman Ari Picker's acoustic guitar — serve as the foundation for the folk collective's second release, All Alone in an Empty House. Re-released by ANTI- with the vocals and nearly all the instrumentals re-recorded, Empty House is at times haunting, majestic, delicate, overwhelming and celebratory. With the whole work revolving mostly around Picker's family's… more »

They Say All Music Guide

After successfully navigating his way into the mainstream with 2005′s epic Illinoise, ultra-prolific indie pop prince Sufjan Stevens had no intention of laying low. Instead, he released a set of Illinoise outtakes, a five-disc collection of Christmas songs, and staged a “symphonic and cinematic exploration of New York City’s infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway” that included a self-made Super 8 mm film, a full orchestra, and a small army of hula hoopers performing live in front of a sold-out Brooklyn Academy of Music. While it could be argued that the ambitious BQE serves as the “New York” chapter in his abandoned 50 states project, it hardly fits in with the other two entries. Many pop musicians have ventured into the classical realm (David Byrne, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, to name a few), but Stevens had already been dabbling in strings, woodwinds, and horns quite admirably since his lo-fi 2000 debut. Closer to the Godfrey Reggio/Philip Glass collaboration Koyaanisqatsi than it is to Byrne’s The Forest, fans of the liberal, staccato woodwinds that peppered Illinoise will find much of the BQE familiar. As always, Stevens’ melodies are circular, occasionally precious, and often dissonant, but they are presented here with a maturity that will no doubt turn more than a few heads in the classical community, while simultaneously turning some away in the indie pop world. The package itself is truly impressive, boasting a highly stylized Japanese pop art-inspired jacket, a 40-page booklet, a stereoscopic 3D View-Master reel and a DVD of the Super 8 mm film that accompanied the performance. As lyrical a musician as he is, without his commanding use of language (the song cycle is entirely instrumental), the BQE loses some momentum near the end, but by then it’s become clear that, as is the case with all of his projects, the term “half-assed” does not apply. – James Christopher Monger

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