Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

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illinois.jpg

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

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Like the self-proclaimed "Spiderman" who climbed Chicago's Sears Tower with no harness, Sufjan Stevens scales dusty prairies, steel factories, and two hundred years of history in the second installment of his 50 State Project, "ILLINOIS", a 22-track anthematic tone poem to The Prairie State.

"The literary indie-folk poet only got two discs into his threatened project of recording an album about every state in the union – but his ode to the Land of Lincoln is an American classic nonetheless. On songs like 'Out of Egypt' and 'Chicago,' Stevens set wax-winged melodies atop delicately droning avant-classical compositions deeply indebted to Steven Reich and Philip Glass, and he balanced those sweeping moments with simple, acoustic benedictions – from "Decatur," a waltz-time cheer for our greatest president, to 'Casimir Pulaski Day,' a meditation on religious faith in the darkest of hours that might serve for non-believers as a metaphor for keeping your head up in the decade of 9/11 and George W. Bush." - Rolling Stone's Best Albums of the 2000s