Sufjan Stevens | Illinois - 2LP
Release date: 22.11.2005
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 instalment of his 50 state project, Illinoise, a 22-track athematic tone poem to the prairie state.
An engrossing musical road trip, Illinoise takes you through ghost towns, grain mills, hospital rooms, and the city of broad shoulders, with guest appearances by a poet, a president, a serial murderer, UFO's, Superman, the goat that cursed the cubs, and Decatur's famous chicken-mobile.
Sufjan weaves variegated musical styles (jazz, funk, pop, folk, and Rodgers & Hammerstein-like flourishes) and the textures of 25 instruments into a tapestry of persons and places famous, infamous, iconic and anonymous. Invoking the muse of poet Carl Sandburg, Illinoise ushers in trumpets on parade, string quartets, female choruses and ambient piano scales arranged around Stevens' emerging falsetto.