USA, 2003, chamber folk / singer-songwriter / indie folk

Sufjan StevensMichigan

This album is like a bouquet of exotic, delicate flowers, half of which you don’t know their names. But you know they’re beautiful, and you enjoy their aromas. Most of the music in my collection I approach with a somewhat detached interest, but Sufjan is one of those artists who strikes right to the bone, especially an album like this, one in which he meditates on the failures of his mother and the guilt he cannot help but feel. Like, if he’d been a better boy, she might have loved him. Which of course is bullshit. And then there’s the fact that this album is ostensibly about Michigan. Well, at least it drops a lot of place names. Names I know very well, since I grew up in Michigan. So, again, Sufjan is making his music quite personal for me. This is all apart from religious considerations that surround me like a bright cloud at all times. By the way, Michigan is known, of course, for its Great Lakes, but lemme tell ya: there are lakes everywhere in Michigan.

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