Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise

Published on 8 March 2019 by

      Illinois (styled Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come On Feel the Illinoise on the cover; sometimes written as Illinoise) is a 2005 concept album by American indie folk songwriter Sufjan Stevens. It is his fifth studio album, and features songs referencing places, events, and persons related to the U.S. state of Illinois. Illinois is Stevens’ second based on a U.S. state—part of a planned series of fifty that began with the 2003 album Michigan that Stevens has since acknowledged was a gag. Stevens recorded and produced the album at multiple venues in New York City using low-fidelity studio equipment and a variety of instruments between late 2004 and early 2005. The artwork and lyrics explore the history, culture, art, and geography of the state…. Critics praised the album for its well-written lyrics and complex orchestrations; in particular, reviewers noted Stevens’ progress as a songwriter since the release of Michigan. Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise was named the best-reviewed album of 2005 by review aggregator Metacritic, and was included on several reviewers’ “best of the decade” lists—including those of Paste, NPR, and Rolling Stone. The album amounted to Stevens’ greatest public success to date: it was his first to place on the Billboard 200, and it topped the Billboard list of “Heatseekers Albums”. The varied instrumentation and experimental songwriting on the album invoked comparisons to work by Steve Reich, Neil Young, and The Cure. Besides numerous references to Illinois history, geography, and attractions, Stevens continued a theme of his songwriting career by including multiple references to his Christian faith.


Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise Tracklist

1. “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois”: 0:00
2. “The Black Hawk War” 2:09
3. “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!”: 4:23
4. “John Wayne Gacy Jr.”: 11:08
5. “Jacksonville”: 14:27
6. “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons”: 19:51
7. “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!”: 20:38
8. “One Last ‘Whoo-Hoo!’ for the Pullman”: 23:41
9. “Chicago”: 23:47
10. “Casimir Pulaski Day”: 29:51
11. “To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament”: 35:45
12. “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts”: 37:25
13. “Prairie Fire That Wanders About”: 43:42
14. “A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze”: 45:53
15. “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!”: 46:12
16. “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!”: 51:35
17. “Let’s Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell”: 56:44
18. “In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth”: 57:24
19. “The Seer’s Tower”: 57:59
20. “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders”: 1:01:53
21. “Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few”: 1:08:56
22. “Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals as I Run”: 1:09:42

Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise

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