Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sufjan Stevens

Hail to the great songsmith of our generation!

Today the release of Sufjan Stevens' latest album "Illinoise" solidifies him as one of the greatest, if not the great, pop composer of our generation. I will be the first to say that this is a bold statement, certainly considereing the formidable talent of Beck, The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Radiohead, Will Oldham, Elliott Smith, and so on and so forth etcetera.

This is his fifth full-length release, and the second installment in his "50 States" project. Sufjan (that is pronounced "Soofyawn") plans on recording an album for each of the fifty states. If his "Michigan" album and "Illinoise" album are true samples of what is to come, no musical chronical of Americana will match this asthetic documentation. He has indeed sounded Whitman's barbaric yawp. I only fear that I will be a gummy 70 year old man by the time the project is finished, or that some unexpected accident will take Sufjan from us before he addresses my beloved states of Idaho and Utah.

His multi-instrumentality argues a nearly unrivaled musicianship. This is a talent completely apart from his uncanny ability to craft song and melody. Still yet, his additional skills of production and arrangment seperate him from his peers like delicious cream rising to the top of cold, fresh milk. All of these ingredients alone are entirely notable, but when combining them with his exceptional ear for lyricism and ideas, it becomes a recipe for greatness. Sufjan is a writer, a musician, a songwriter, a producer, and an artist.

May his days be long, may his flowers bloom, may the muse which possesses this curious man continue to inspire unique and great music.

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