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Sufjan Stevens
Rough Trade
Catalogue Number
Release Date
July 4, 2005


After Michigan, Sufjan Stevens continues his series of concept albums about US states with Illinois. Referencing people, places and events, his always poetic lyrics revolve around Chicago, UFO sightings and tales about serial killers (‘John Wayne Grace Jr.’). Stevens tells his stories with an intimate singing voice, close to the microphone, but never breathy. Thereby creating the illusion of an elusive closeness, he appears as an authentic historian with the power to make everyone believe what he says. His musical pallet is as extensive as the anecdotes he narrates: piano, flute, trumpet, acoustic guitar, xylophone, strings – often it is Stevens himself playing the instruments. Illinois presents him both as an exceptionally talented songwriter and a truly skilful musician.

  1. 1 Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois 2:09
  2. 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... 2:14
  3. 3 Come on! Feel the Illinoise! Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition. Part II: Carl Sandburg visits me in a dream 6:45
  4. 4 John Wayne Gacy. Jr. 3:19
  5. 5 Jacksonville 5:24
  6. 6 A short reprise for Mary Todd, who went insane, but for very good reasons 0:47
  7. 7 Decatur, or round of applause for your Step-Motther! 3:03
  8. 8 One last "Whoo-hoo" for the Pullman 0:06
  9. 9 Chicago 6:04
  10. 10 Casimir Pulaski Day 5:54
Show All Tracks 22

Sufjan Stevens

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Rough Trade

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Alternative / Indie / Post-rock

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