Friday, August 11, 2006

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

No picture because Blogger is fuxx0red

This album is catchy like you wouldn't believe. I was a little hesitant about it at first, it struck me as a bunch of airy-fairy fluff, but I got past that and now I'm really enjoying it. It's obvious that Stevens put a lot of effort into producing this work, with the many and varied instruments he plays. Apparently he's on a quest to write an album for each of the 50 states. It's an ambitious project and I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes with it.

There are a lot of really moving songs on this album. Casimir Pulaski Day, for instance, is a beautiful song about... well, I suppose it's about God and death. I'm not sure what The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is about, but it's another great song. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. is a chilling track that I just can't bring myself to listen to very often: being creeped out is not something I look forward to in a piece of music, but it's definitely powerful.

Overall an excellent album. It kind of falls apart for me towards the end (after They Are Night Zombies!!!, really) but even the tracks I'm not as fond of, I can still respect them on one level because it's all just good music. 4 starts / 5 endings.

P.S. I tried to get tickets to Stevens' concert here in Vancouver on 10/14, by way of compensating him for the music I stole, but it was sold out. Oh, well.

P.P.S. Man, talk about disillusionment. Apparently Stevens referenced some Woody Guthrie lyrics on one of his songs, and the Guthrie estate made him pay royalties. Jesus. Stick a fork in folk music, 'cause it's done. I mean, here's a guy, strongly religious, writing songs about America, could practically be Woody Guthrie raised from the dead, and he has to pay to sing "This Land is Your Land".


At 3:36 PM, Blogger gwilli said...

why start with illinois??

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Russ Weeks said...

You mean, why did I start with Illinois or why did Stevens? I think Stevens actually started with Michigan. I dunno. I guess he's from around there.


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