The Fiery Furnaces' new album, I'm Going Away, is said to be its most straightforward, Americana-inflected rock album yet — which is saying something, considering its preponderance of self-destructing guitar solos and lightning-quick narratives. While Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger (the brother-and-sister duo that leads the group) may have found their voice for big choruses and easy hooks, they've by no means lost touch with the weird. Over the years, the Friedbergers have tried out some wacky experiments: They've enlisted their grandma to sing on a prog-noir rock biography, composed a 52-track live album, spliced and salvaged from sundry audio sources, recorded a covers album of their own material and, most recently, proposed a "silent album," complete with hypothetical sheet music and instructions for fan-interpreted concerts. Often, the Fiery Furnaces' projects seem to laugh in the face of logic, like harebrained Rube Goldberg machinations, but every now and again its ideas coalesce into expressions of indescribable brilliance.
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