Chances are, Jandek couldn't have shocked his fanbase more if he'd released an album of slide whistle and kazoo solos. Coming after seven mostly acoustic albums, only the extended piano instrumental at the end of The Beginning gave any clue that something might be up. So from an instrumental to a full album of no instruments at all - just the older, more gravelly voice of the Corwood Representative singing and speaking nakedly emotional and at times disturbingly confessional a cappella pieces.
Though Corwood's music has always been considered "lo-fi," the truth is that they've always (for the most part) been fairly well recorded. This album sounds like the results of an FBI surveillance tape recorded at varying distances from a man having a private moment. Most likely recorded on an older, voice activated tape recorder, the opening two twenty-minute plus "sung recitations" are the sounds of a man who appears to feel that his life is nearly over. On the 28 minute opener, "I Need Your Life," the vocalist says "Please/let me up/let me win/let me get this war taken care of/I’ll be on your side/where else am I gonna be/I love you." The song repeats a variety of phrases, driving home the point that he wants to "win this war," that he "needs your life," and that "you push me down." He also notes that "I see the Chinese and the Japanese/laughing, talking, acting just like animals/why can’t I be like an animal." If the urge to turn the track off occurs, that's a natural response. But Jandek feels this needs to be out there; this is no accidental recording, though it often sounds like it. In the second track he explicitly describes building what appears to be a mausoleum and notes that "I'm ready for the house." So after all these years, it turns out the house is a tomb?
That possibility is suddenly dashed away by the brief closing track, in which the vocalist ("Cold dark and lonely...") looks around for his shoes, he puts them on, and then "I went for a walk/in the snow and ice/so cold" And then it's over.