The weirder songs on Mule Variations (to use your example) are exactly what hooked me first and the more normal songs seemed like filler between the really cool stuff. Many listens later of course, I came to love the whole thing.
And I think that kinda extends to a lot of other music for me as well, like your other examples Nick Drake and Talking Heads. You could probably guess which artist I prefer by a long shot very easily.
I think for me, quite often the way to my heart is through my brain. Not that I can't appreciate the heart-oriented stuff or anything, that's not true at all. But it is marginally less immediate and natural for me to do so.
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