At turns, ES’s music is simple or intricate, lush or desolate, prancing or frantic. Or, as is generally the case with either/or (pun intended) options, both. I love his whole body of work (buy), but I like the whirling and raucous album Figure 8 better than the very compelling album Either/Or, which is considered his best by most music geeks. The above download, however, fits in better as an Either/Or song (or any other album, just not Figure 8).
Short two-part aside about his album titles. 1) Either/Or is from Kierkegaard (1843); a sample K quote that speaks to ES’s mental state: “My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known–no wonder, then, that I return the love.” 2) ES says, of the Figure 8 title, though I think the metaphor extends to his songwriting in general, “I just like the idea of a figure eight, of figure skaters trying to make this self-contained, perfect thing that takes a lot of effort but essentially goes nowhere.”
Excellent use of ES’s music in soundtracks includes the following choice songs (each album is worth owning):
Thumbsucker ~ Trouble (this Cat Stevens song (made famous in Harold and Maude) is much covered, to good effect here and by Eddie Vedder) (read the bio on this soundtrack; ES died, and Tim Delaughter and The Polyphonic Spree filled in)