"The appeal of J. Fernandez and his music is summed up right there in the name - he's a bit mysterious. It isn't that he's hiding anything, he's only just revealing what he wants to, keeping the remainder close to his chest. Likewise, there's a certain, undeniable feeling associated with his songwriting, but describing it is easier said than done. That's because there are plenty of familiar touchstones and influences deep in the songs; intricately woven, Marquee Moon guitars, an affectless, Kraftwerk-ian singing style, psychedelic dissonance and melodic structures not entirely unlike The United States of America, and a modern warmth like Chris Cohen's work with The Curtains and Deerhoof. But, dropping these names doesn't adequately sum up what J. Fernandez has captured here. On Many Levels of Laughter, he's invited us into his own, very special, Universe. One that presumably exists only in his head, or at the very least in the Chicago bedroom where he recorded the album, alone.
Giving yourself over to this record for 32-or-so minutes is a bit like agreeing to Gene Wilder's version of The Wondrous Boat Ride, you're going to experience things you don't expect. Some of it will be immediately wonderful, some of it will be confusing and magnificent. Only, instead of a nightmare-fueled, psychotropic freak-out, it feels more like a Brian Wilson daydream, magically stepping into the scraps of tape and interlude left on the cutting room floor once they finally got around to assembling SMiLE."