Sufjan Stevens
Illinois


4.5
superb

Review

by Kiran EMERITUS
February 7th, 2008 | 278 replies | 44,685 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


With Michigan in the rear-view mirror, the second edition of the now-defunct 50 States Project sees Sufjan Stevens up the ante considerably: he’s picked up a wandering choir on the side of some highway road, handkerchiefs tied in bundles on the ends of sticks slung over their shoulders, joining the modestly-sized orchestra already strewn out across the back of his rickety truck, and into Illinois they’ve come, horns blazing and choirs a-singing! No more is our hero timid in the face of grandeur – certainly not with songs like “Jacksonville” there to be buoyant and celebrated – and he’s kept his group of travelers close at his side, straddling tributes to friends and step-mothers with swirls of strings and a healthy, borderline caricature, wealth of choir chants. “The Predatory Wasp of The Palisades” twists and twinkles in a wispy orchestral swell, “Decatur..” stands steadily on the tightly-wired plucks of a banjo, and “Chicago” pushes the choir to absurd levels of weepy youthful abandon but the real trick Sufjan pulls is that, as he did so brilliantly with Michigan, this isn’t about patriotism or a guided tour as much as it’s about downsizing the spirit of regular people into sometimes quiet and sometimes overtly extravagant takes on life. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, you’ll find a lot of yourself in Illinois.



Recent reviews by this author
Unknown Mortal Orchestra IIBeirut The Rip Tide
Alex Turner Submarine OSTClive Tanaka y Su Orquesta Jet Set Siempre No. 1
Robyn Body TalkThe Concretes WYWH
user ratings (1377)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Tom Gellatly (5)
Sufjan Stevens takes on one of the most ambitious projects of not only his career, but also indie mu...

musicandwords (4.5)
...

musicisgood (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
sgrevs
February 7th 2008



698 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review, nice album.

Willie
Moderator
February 7th 2008



15898 Comments


Good review... but definitely not my thing...

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

gasmaskman
February 7th 2008



1006 Comments


Good review, haven't listened to this...doesn't sound like my thing either.

MediocreAtBest
February 7th 2008



1473 Comments


If I like Death Cab and Cursive will I enjoy this?

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 7th 2008



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Quite possibly, I don't know about Cursive, but Death Cab are a little "heavier" then sufjan. Basically Death Cab is more rock and Sufjan is more pop. I highly recommend Sufjan, and there's only one way to find out if you like it.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 7th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.myspace.com/sufjanstevens2012

Give 'Chicago' a chance. Be sure to pause the player in the middle of the page though, otherwise you'll get a messy song overlap.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

brandtweathers
February 8th 2008



2007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thebhoy has the most difficultly retarded ideas ever. grammatically pwnd

Kiran
Emeritus
February 8th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

umm

kalkal50
February 10th 2008



2386 Comments


sorry that was me, i didnt find the review metal 'nuff

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 30th 2009



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album hits the spot

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Waior
October 30th 2009



11445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to relisten to this.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 30th 2009



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haven't listened to this in ages admittedly

been overlooking it for michigan lately

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 30th 2009



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Michigan can blow me

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 30th 2009



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

double post ftl

NeutralThunder12
February 24th 2010



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

gooooooooooooood shit

WatchItExplode
May 29th 2010



3213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, I'm really surprised at how much I'm liking this...I'll have to check out Michigan, but it seems like Sufjan could even give my man Andrew Bird a run for his money...

Kiran
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man i sucked 2 years ago

NeutralThunder12
September 7th 2010



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

sufjan's new song is absolutely terrible

SeaAnemone
September 10th 2010



19920 Comments


Illinois was, for a brief period (ie until the backlash started), the Funeral of 2005. It's not hard to see why - the blend of invention, songcraft, unusual instrumental textures, and warmth suggests that this will be a brilliant album. Yet, what feels like 3 hours later, you see Illinois for what it is - a handful of great songs, a remaining cast of fairly good songs, and a few boring songs. But above all, a LOT of songs, and there simply aren't enough ideas here to justify 22 vehicles for them. Sufjan's lack of grasp on quality control ruins what could have been a very, very good album. In about 9 attempts, I still haven't managed to listen to the whole thing without getting bored, frustrated, or irritated. Less is more, kids.

Nick Butler stares straight into my soul.

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

bailar12
September 10th 2010



1766 Comments


nigs yhu crazy



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy