The album tells the story of a character named Yossarian, who works on Wall Street, falls from grace, gets “reborn” and decides he needs to save the future of mankind. Throughout the two CDs the listener can follow his journey by reading the story in the book the set comes with. This would be great if there was a Broadway adaptation of the album because of all the exposition, and throughout the whole piece I could imagine choreography to the numbers. While reading along with the story that is unfolding you can almost feel sorry for Yossarian.
When his life is going from an extreme high to the lowest of lows the tempo of the songs change. “Losing Everything,” and “I Eat The Concrete” are darker, sadder and slightly harder than the tracks that came previously. Yossarian’s brother finds him in a hospital and gives him a chance to start over in “Brother, Take My Hand,” which brings the tempo back up. When Yossarian embarks to the country, the songs have more of a Beach Boys/Beatles/Brady Bunch carefree vibe, which is a campy way to portray a bunch of hippies living off the land. “The Settlement Of Love” is a big number with all the townspeople singing about how being self-sufficient and free of all the brainwashing of society is so much better.
The second half of the story starts fairly happy and upbeat due to Yossarian’s mood and desire to do good and save the human race from their own destruction. Yossarian gets labeled as a crazy person and is shunned. Society crumbles and eventually he realizes that he can’t change others and that they need to change themselves, so he goes home. Reading the story as you listen to the long piece really helps to fill in the gaps of information, especially when it comes to voices.
In A Word: Long