Sufjan Stevens had already made his superb Michigan album which blew this listener's socks clean off back in 2003. Illinois was the moment we all really thought he'd go through with his 50 state project. It takes Michigan's clever and complex rural folk and supersizes it with all kinds of compositions mostly with ridiculous titles. Like an enormous pudding buffet that lasts forever, beautiful heartfelt folk rubs up against orchestrated pop, polka, ambient, neo-classical and everything in between. A brilliant record.
Vinyl Double LP £15.73 AKR014LP
Reissue 2LP on Asthmatic Kitty.
- Includes download code
CD £9.99 AKR014CD
Reissue CD on Asthmatic Kitty.
Vinyl Double LP £24.99
Dbl G/fold LP on Rough Trade WITHDRAWN SUPERMAN SLEEVE!.
Vinyl Double LP £13.99 AKR014
Dbl G/fold LP on Asthmatic Kitty.
FULL OFFICIAL PROMO CD Album on Rough Trade, Colour insert in PVC wallet INC SUPERMAN DESIGN!.
10/10 clinton 16th June 2007Just in case anyone is put off my Mr Clarkes review Sufjan Stevens succeeds in a way the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes will always fail in that he doesn't whine on and on and on with a clothes peg on his nose. yes its badly edited, yes its overhyped but theres always the skip button on the cd player
Wow wow wow wow wow. This is great. I can, honestly, listen to it on repeat without getting bored of it, and I can't say that about many other albums.I have to admit, I didn't 'get' the Stevens at first, but songs like 'Rake' (from a Sun Came) won me over.This album has some really amazing moments, and the three versions of 'Chicago' demonstrate not only Stevens ability to write songs, but also to arrange and orchestrate them.He's a bit like the imaginary indie brother of Joanna Newsom, Cat Power and Devendra Banhart, who's been bought up by David Pajo (in his later, folky, Papa M period), with uncle Will Oldham and Bill Callahan coming round for sunday lunch. And yet, despite his similarity to these artists, he stands apart from them, putting his own unique stamp on everything he does.
2/10 James Clarke
Oh ho ho... I haven't heard such an over hyped, over contrived piece of self indulgent, badly edited crap in quite some time. This is Bright Eyes for those who think Conor Oberst is too commercial, this is for those who have no real taste or deep knowledge of what a great singer songwriter is, this is for those who should have their ears cut off under Sharian law. Do yourself a favour, and go buy an early Mountain Goats album, even Neutral Milk Hotel will provide more sustenance.
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