Thursday, November 12, 2009

1006. Sufjan Stevens - (Come On Feel The) Illinoise (2005)

Track Listing

1. Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois

2. The Black Hawk War, or, How To Demolish An Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience But You're Going To Have To Leave Now, or, "I have fought the Big Knives and will continue to fight them till they are off our lands!"

3. Come On! Feel the Illinoise! / Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition / Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

4. John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

5. Jacksonville

6. A short reprise for Mary Todd, who went insane, but for very good reasons

7. Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step-Mother!

8. One last "Whoo-hoo!" for the Pullman

9. Chicago

10. Casimir Pulaski Day

11. To The Workers of The Rock River Valley Region, I have an idea concerning your predicament, and it involves an inner tube, bath mats, and 21 able-bodied men

12. The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts

13. Prairie Fire That Wanders About

14. A conjunction of drones simulating the way in which Sufjan Stevens has an existential crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze

15. The Predatory Wasp of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us

16. They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!

17. Let's hear that string part again, because I don’t think they heard it all the way out in Bushnell

18. In This Temple As in The Hearts of Man For Whom He Saved The Earth

19. The Seer's Tower

20. The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders / Part I: The Great Frontier / Part II: Come to Me Only With Playthings Now

21. Riffs and Variations on a single note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to name a few

22. Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I shake the dirt from my sandals as I run


Another pretty nifty album, Come On Feel The Illinoise is epic indie at its best. A concept album about Illinois it really stands on its own as a great piece of music irrespective of the conceptual idea behind it.

Sufjan is clearly influenced by a common musical scene of people like the Arcade Fire but he brings to his music a good knowledge of modern compositional techniques making his stuff remind you of Steve Reich or Phillip Glass while remaining firmly in a pop/rock context.

More than anything, however, the album is a really enjoyable listen. The songs often sprawl to great effect and sometimes are concise, focus and also great as that. Just compare the title track to John Wayne Gacy Jr. Great album.

Track Highlights

1. John Wayne Gacy Jr.
2. Come on Feel the Illinoise
3. Chicago
4. Casimir Pulaski Day

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The album is often referred to as Illinoise, due to the cover's listing of the extended title Sufjan Stevens invites you to: Come on feel the Illinoise.

John Wayne Gacy Jr:

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