Sunday, May 01, 2005

This State (#2 of 50)

I'm still in the process of piecing togethor the 22 track puzzle that is Sufjan Steven's "Illinois", part two of fifty in a nation-wide study via music. I can say that thus far, "Illinois" appears to be much more consistent front-to-back, quality wise, than "Michigan" and is stunning in it's arrangements and beauty. It brings us horns, something Michigan sadly lacked, and tastefully uses orchestration to sway and dip it's talent-filled tracks.

Disillusioned and thirsty for good music, we find ourselves in a 3 months period of solid recording releases, a pay off for a long long winter of over-hyped and under-worked releases from seminal artists, including Sufjan. I'm gonna be left out in the cold for this one, but I think that "Seven Swans" is weak, and although succeeding wildly at moments, amounts to nothing more than an equivalent piece to Death Cab's "Transatlanticism", a confusing and navel-gasing foray into laziness.

I'm glad to see Sufjan knocking at our door with his most impressive virtue in hand, endless tracks, each as good as the one before, each one more complex than the one before, and all executed with such graceful ease that you'd think he were uncapable of a release as inconsistent as "Seven Swans".

As I write this, I get deeper into "Illionois" and fill with joy to tell you that it is truly, truly wonderful. Seriously.


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