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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Illinois

Sufjan Stevens

2005

Wikipedia

Illinois

Rating

3.58

Votes

3823

Reviews

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2

Wow ok, not what I was expecting - I've always thought this guy was a guitarist's guitarist (but one of those ones that fly under the radar cause they write pop songs, kinda like John Mayer or something) - but I was WRONG. This is "big concept" indie pop from the mid-2000s that we didn't ever need, kinda like arcade fire. This shit all follows the same pattern: it goes absolutely fucking nowhere, but takes forever to do it. Just sickly sweet, repetitive, modern easy listening tripe. I'm sure it gets called "ambitious" a lot, but there's no real ambition here; by the 10min mark you've heard everything it has to offer, but it just keeps on fucking going anyway and you start to gaslight yourself and assume there must be more to it that you're not "getting". But in reality it's just art school hipsters turning like 2 motifs into an hour and 15's worth of album, and then the wankers at outlets like Pitchfork act like it's groundbreaking because they are either a) fooled by the length, b) know pretentious art rock is fucking annoying and talk it up to piss normal people off, or c) both. I'm wondering where you'd be most likely to hear this: one of those hipster cafes where you have to sit on chairs they stole from a primary school? a tiny house owned by a girl who mostly wears a combo of overalls and doc martens? at a local theatre before a reinterpretation of Hamlet from Ophelia's perspective? 2/5.

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1

Honestly just the blandest thing I've ever heard. If a yogurt made a sound this would be it.

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5

LOVE LOVE LOVE. I love Sufjan and I love this album. From the epic joy of Chicago to the quiet tragedy of Casimir Pulaski Day to the eerie fun of They are Night Zombies!!, it's delightfully weird, wonderful, joyful, and diverse. I'm so glad he wrote an album for Illinois and I want to go back to Chicago listening to it.

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5

One of the greatest albums ever made. Forget the lyrics and concept for a second, just the music alone is incredible. I love how you can hear each individual instrument coming together, but they become something greater than the some of their parts. \"They Are Night Zombies (...)\" is the perfect example of this. And the concept is super creative, and is explored in an amazing way. Absolutely flawless album, easily a top 5 album of all time for me.

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3

Did it allay my suspicions that he's a poser whose experiments with fey grandeur via cutsie-pie rhymes and honeyed vocals don't liberate him from the thrall of easy listening? Yeah, pretty much. That stuff is sorta there but with less pretention, more whimsy and, most of all, melodies that are too full-bodied to ignore. In truth, I heard this as two stars but have bumped it to three as I could see that happening with repeat listens.

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2

Nothing special at all

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2

false

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5

This was a fantastic album in my opinion. It felt so familiar yet so new and refreshing. The lyrics were beautiful and the instrumentation was lovely. I totally get the hype now.

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5

B e a utiful

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5

Love this album, one of my favourites from the last 20 years. Not a bad track, quite impressive considering its length.

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5

Songs as delicate as a gossamer spider’s web. But wait, spider silk is tougher than kevlar and stronger than steel. And so we come to the artless metaphor of my review. Sufjan’s finely crafted songs appear whispy and delicate, ephemeral things - but a closer listen reveals the rock solid songcraft, astonishing lyrics, transcendent beauty and strength.

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2

Geeze. Someone give this bastard a hug and a cup of strong black coffee. It's nothing but a stack of sad-sack, hipster, pseudo-deep lyrics that are utterly lacking in perspective or passion. The only saving grace is that the musicianship and production are absolutely stellar.

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2

I was bored by this. Lots of people love sufjan and never really given him a chance, maybe this was the wrong place to start?

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5

<3

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5

Amazing

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5

Yay, another one I've already listened to! Love this album very much. :)

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5

What a fantastic album. Even more amazing when you learn that Stevens played most of the instruments on the album. Loved the interludes between songs as well. The grandness of the compositions reminded me of Pet Sounds. Ambitious, but pulled off perfectly.

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4

crazy this dude still has 48 states to write an album for. also kinda pissed I was trying to study and spent 45 minutes reading about John Wayne Gacy instead

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4

I know every nook and crannie of this record. It was something that was played heavily in the tour van when Those Transatlantics were traversing the Eastern U.S. 2004-2006. We used to play the song about Chicago when we pulled into town for a show. It's a record with a lot of emotional weight on its own. Add the nostalgia for those times and it feels almost inappropriate to listen now. Like I'm an outsider to my own memories. Musically, this is so interesting. And his voice is beautiful and sweet. Sad he only made it through a couple states in his quest to write a record for each in the Union. But I'm happy Michigan was one of them (it's good, but this is his peak in my opinion).

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3

This sounds like what a Wes Anderson movie would sound like if it were an album.

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3

Wow this was well confusing. I've never known how I feel about Sufjan Stevens tbh, and this confirmed this .. again. I really loved some and utterly hated others. Strange place to!

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3

OK, this is going to sound really bad. But I thought Sufjan Stevens was the lead singer from System Of A Down. Oops. Definitely not. Yeah, so this isn't bad. But it is a bit.... different. It's a bit noodle-y in places. Experimental music has (to me) sometimes the feel of pretentiousness. "Look, I can put together anything and package it and people will buy it." I get the point of the concept album, and maybe if I was from the midwest I could appreciate it more. As it is, it just didn't hit me like I was expecting. Not something I will revisit.

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5

Odd sound, but I like it. I like \"Chicago.\" good, solid album.

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5

I really like this album. It is a soothing listen even with some heavy concepts.

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5

Love love love

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5

Very pleasant.

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5

A surprise

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5

4 stars, would listen to again.

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5

2000-luvun alun merkittävimpiä levyjä, joka tulee löytymään pitkään klassikkolevylistauksilta. Jos Oasiksen (Whats the story) Morning Glory oli itselläni 1990-luvun kuunnelluimpia levyjä niin tämä on aika lähellä samaa 2000-luvulta. Lumoavaa äänimaisemien maalailua, joka pitää otteessaan levyn alusta loppuun.

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5

Still great after all these years

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5

Classic emo/indie rock

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5

AMAZING. One of my favourite albums.

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5

already loved it

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5

There's something special there, despite the overuse of children's choir.

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5

The greatest Sufjan album ever. I was a jr. in high school when this album came out and it was like nothing i'd ever heard.

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5

Absolutely a perfect example of the Genre. Many songs I've heard before, but have never listened through the album completely. Definitely worth multiple listens.

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5

Realmente único, creo es la mejor forma de hablar de este disco, no hay nada que se le parezca ni en su música ni en su concepto. Música muy variada y en todos los casos bien pensada y armada, sencilla cuando debe de serlo o elaborada y bombástica en otras ocasiones, sin sentirse forzado en ninguno de los casos. La orquestación realmente inventiva desde el inicio del disco no para de sentirse creatividad cambiante que mantiene un mismo concepto. La idea original de hacer un disco para cada estado de los EE.UU. y terminar con 50 discos obviamente era absurda, aunque al escuchar este en realidad termina uno con ganas de que fuera un proyecto real. Se siente el trabajo y la investigación sobre el estado que realizó, hay tantas referencias que más de una vez me lanzó a Wikipedia a investigar de qué hablaba, siempre terminando en algún tema que fue interesante y, aun así, terminé con muchas que me hubiera gustado entender. No conocía nada de Sufjan Stevens, de hecho en mi cabeza el nombre en algún momento se mezcló y confundió con Matisyahu (que no me agrada) y nunca puse su música. Que bueno que este ejercicio me ha hecho corregir ese error, con este disco y después de leer un poco sobre él me quedan bastantes ganas de conocer algo más sobre sus proyectos. Nunca creí que habría un disco concepto que hablara de Superman, Chicago, la esposa de Lincoln, avistamientos de OVNIS y John Wayne Gacy que pudiera ser tan bueno y cohesivo. Por cierto esa canción de John Wayne Gacy realmente lúgubre y con un final de mensaje un poco inesperado. En realidad estaba pensando en contras que ponerle para no dar un 5 y sería buscar minucias, la verdad es que la música, las letras, el concepto, todo me parece excelente y creo que a pesar de serme totalmente desconocido hasta hace unos días, para mí si se gana el 5.

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5

Super, complexe instrumentatie, van typisch singer songwriter tot hard

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5

I've listened to this album before once or twice maybe, and it never really grabbed me, but paying more attention to it this time around and it's _wonderful_. Gorgeous music, poignant lyrics, amazing stuff. Fave track - "Chicago", although I can imagine that might change with a few more listens...

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5

love

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5

Love this album, specifically Chicago, feel the illinoise!, and Casimir Pulaski day. The experimental nature and samples feel intimately eccentric, like reading a journal.

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5

One of my favorite albums. Love it!

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5

One of my favorite albums that helped get me through a lot of my emo highschool days. I still listen to it every so often when I am in the right mood. Fave Track - Decatur (or something something step mom)

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5

i listened to this album a lot in high school. sometimes i'm not feeling his style but today it was hitting me right

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5

This sounds like someone has mashed together the Flaming Lips, Neil Young, Super Furry Animals, the Polyphonic Spree and the chorus of a musical. What comes out is unlike anything ever, and quite brilliant. Big, orchestral, great melodies, with unusual and interesting lyrics. All complimented and contested with Sufjan Stevens' quiet, breathy vocals. A triumph of song writing and recording. 5/5.

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5

Una maravilla de disco, no he podido parar de escucharlo. Me ha encantado

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5

Great album! Can't believe I hadn't heard it earlier.

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5

Varsin megalomaaninen teos aina kappaleiden nimiä myöten. Sufjan on epäilemättä jonkin sortin musiikillinen nero niin säveltämisen kuin useamman instrumentin hallitsemisen puolesta. Hyvän kontrastin monimuotoisiin sävellyksiin tuo miehen hyvin rauhallinen ja miellyttävä lauluääni. Ensimmäinen itselle ennaltaan tuntematon artisti ja levy, minkä kohdalla nappasin koko levyn talteen myöhempää kuuntelua varten.

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5

Even if he never finished the other states in this Grand and ambitious project, this is a beautiful loveletter to the time and place.

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5

De orkestrale composities, en de vrolijke noten in dit album hebben mij positief verrast! De korte instrumentale intermezzo's zorgen voor leuke afwisseling. Zeker een album om nog eens opnieuw te beluisteren

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5

Really a nice surprise for me. Recent (younger than me) music that’s right up my alley.

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5

Prachtig album.

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5

Sufjan en estado primigenio. Mágico como siempre, folk pop maravilloso y melódico. Genial

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5

Muy bueno, me ha encantado

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5

none

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5

Fand ich völlig gile!

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5

muito show de bola curti bastante

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5

This album is a masterpiece.

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5

Amazing

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5

Was pretty gutted when this ended. Will always love this.

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5

Well I've not really ever listened to Sufjan, but I like this so far and I'm only on song 3. As long as the rest of the album holds up, I can see giving this a 4 or 5. Ok I was told this might get depressing, yeah I can see it in song 10. I like the sounds a lot. Yes. A 5.

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5

very good and sexy

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5

Incredibly easy to listen to from start to finish. Had previously had a few Sufjan Stevens songs but the album as a whole was a great listen

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5

shockingly good. the third song and Chicago are great songs and the whole album is kinda a vibe. Definitely an album to come back to 4.5/5

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5

Humorous, heartbreaking, groovy, beautiful. Such an enjoyable listen. Really, really unique.

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5

I recognize there is some hypocrisy in praising this album when it hits a lot of the same criteria that I nailed Soundgarden to the wall for just last week, not to mention all the "psychedelic" rock I've lost patience with. Album longer than it needs to be? Probably. Tracks that run well past five minutes without much tonal distinction? Sure. Lyrics that are trying to be deep, but don't seem sincere? Very objective, but I could see it. I can't tell you what the difference is here. Maybe it's the exceptional production. Maybe it's the track titles that inject the perfect amount of levity and bring you in on the joke. Maybe it's more palatable to my Millennial tastes, alongside a recognition that maybe rock isn't an appropriate genre for every application. Whatever the case, this album worked hard for me.

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5

Landmark in indie folk of the 21st century. Each track is beautifully arranged with carefully crafted instrumentation and introspective lyrics that draw from classical compositions and great poets. Subject matter is focused on Illinois topics and his own Christianity, making for a very personal experience. I could point something that stuck out to me on each track. For example, "Come on Feel the Illinoise" has a distinctive Chicago sound that reminds me of the musical. It's feels like a classical arrangement divided in movements, still cohesive, but flows naturally. In "John Wayne Gacy Jr", we see inspirations of his Christianity to humanize one of the most infamous serial killers in history, an individual who has a soul just like everyone else but grew up in circumstances that unfortunately led him down this past, teaching us that we can make the difference to prevent further massacres or redeem them as productive citizens. "Jacksonville" and "Decatur" remind me this is indeed a folk album with instruments like the banjo and a clear focus on the vocals. Oh and while I'm at it I love all the back vocals. You can tell there are different people on each track and it helps give each of them an identity. But then we get back to "Chicago" and the mood shifts from small time folk to big city feels (more like indie pop) with busy instruments and loud vocals, inviting the audience to sing along. And again it feels like a musical (Chicago) with the focus on the narrator given those momentary soliloquies about his personal experiences. Love the coda but I'm not sure it fit with the rest of the song since the rest of the song didn't feel particularly holy. This is followed by "Casimir Pulaski Day" which is another favorite of mine, for its simplicity and all-over-the-place story that reflects youthful grief and confusion. "The Man of Metropolis" is probably the next most complex song after "Chicago", fusing many different genres, especially rock. Love the distorted guitar sound at the end. "Prarie Fire" to me starts out sounding like it has a mystery theme turning into some holiday-themed Eastern European folk song between the chorus vocals and strange Christmas-like instruments in the latter half. Again, I could talk about the rest of the songs, but the point is that each shows Sufjan's creativity and masterful display of how to use the limited tools at his disposal to the full extent, playing with instruments and vocals in a million ways that doesn't sound experimental or repetitive, making each song stand out while still putting emphasis to his poetic lyrics. From start to finish, this album is a masterpiece to show indie musicians just what is possible with pure talent.

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5

Awesome album, Chicago stands out.

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5

Epic tender melancholia with cheer creeping in

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5

Indie chamber prog? I’m a fan.

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5

Nice to listen to this again

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5

Was soll ich sagen ausser diesem Ding nahezu die Perfektion zu attestieren, die es anstrebt, aber dadurch minimal weniger verdient, als späteres und für viele zu viel überfrachtetes "Age of Ads", in welchem Sufjan beweist, was er in "Illionis" (wie auch "Michigan") geradewegs andeutet: statt Singer / Songwriter ist er ein wahrer Composer ! Sobald man das verinnerlicht und die early years ("Seven Swans") und aktuelle Anbiederung ("Carrie and Lowell") als umfassende Klammer ausklammert, wird hier schnell klar, was diese quirky Kreidestimme mit treuer Gefolgschaft zu schaffen im Stande ist. Klar, Repetition in der Struktur mag ermüden, aber wird nicht Schicht für Schicht draufgebuttert? Zu Traurigkeit & introspektiver Dunkelheit ("John Wayne Gaycey Jr.") viel Liebe ("Chicago") und Gottesfürchtigkeit vor der Allgegenwärtigkeit des Todes ("Casimir Pulaski Day") in die Marmelade eingekocht wird das Ganze eingemacht; haltbar, über Jahre, Jahrzehnte, vielleicht ein Leben. Ich mache bislang immer wieder gerne ein Gläschen auf, es hält mich lebendig, es macht mich immer wieder klar und auch wenn ich den Geschmack nur allzu gut kenne, mich fast dran überfressen habe...ich brauche es, um über jeden Winter zu kommen. 4.9

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5

Ambitious and sprawling. This one grew on me as I listened, so I went back for a second dose and it still felt fresh. Has to be considered a modern classic. Best track: Chicago

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5

Super cool album! Was initially nervous, but man, Stevens brings indie to a whole new level. Enjoyed thoroughly.

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5

This is already one of my favorite albums from Sufjan, definitely appreciate an excuse to listen to it today!

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5

Sufjan Stevens' Illinois(e) is an interesting musical journey through the core of a songwriter's beliefs. The Christian undertones are there without ever being in your face. Chicago is an amazing tune (a masterpiece perhaps) and the highlight of the album but certainly not the only song worth mentioning. The opening track sets the mood for the album. A beautiful ballad all played by Sufjan containing the haunting line "history involved itself" which for some reason gets me every time I hear it. Come on feel the Illinoise picks up the mood. It seems to be about the 1893 worlds fair in Colombia. Also could be about the divide between art and commerce. I could go on about the rest of the album but this would be a long winded review and the treasures on hear should be explored by the listener. This album needs multiple listens to fully sink in.

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5

Already one of my all time favorite albums. Have listened to it many times, was fortunate enough to see Sufjan in concert when he was touring this album. Saw him again on the Carrie and Lowell tour.

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5

Really nice melodies and pacing. The background chorus is really good.

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5

all my homies love sufjan stevens. i actually did not remember a lot of songs on this album and its very fun to revisit

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5

Liked it. Had heard it a few times.

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5

Testing.

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5

love it.

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5

Sublime album - somehow been avoiding it but it’s a masterpiece

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5

Never heard of this artist before. I knew the song Chicago but not who sung it. This is an excellent album and one I will return to and recommend to others.

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5

Genre: Chamber Pop 5/5 Sufjan Stevens put a lot of effort into this record, and it pays off big time, as Illinois is one of the best pop albums from the last 20 years. While I was certainly on my way to give this a 4, the album never got old, never got boring, and always sounded fresh and engaging. From the opener to the outro, this thing is chock-full of gorgeous pop arrangements, beautiful production, and immaculate songwriting. Although Sufjan certainly had some strings/brass help throughout this project, Sufjan pulls a McCartney and plays nearly every instrument completely by himself. His bass playing alone should give you all you need to know in terms of his playing prowess, the guy can play. Shades of the Beatles, Donovan, and the Beach Boys, Sufjan Stevens used all of his influences to knock this thing out of the park. Wrigley Field, I guess. Come On! Feel The Illinoise!, Chicago, and The Tallest Man… are some of my favs from my first listen, but I’m sure this will reward repeat listens, and a few of these songs will end up forever favorites. Really great record.

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5

Bom pra escutar trabalhando

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5

Uma-obra prima! Não achei outra forma de definir esse álbum. 1h14 minutos de pura contemplação. Pelo o que li, as músicas falam sobre o Estado de Illinois, contando acontecimentos marcantes do lugar. Os títulos são geniais também!

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5

listened to many times his best album, imo

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5

This is my current favorite album. Sufjan Stevens is a master of weaving history, emotion, place, and music together into an unassailable whole. His instrumentation is expansive enough to accompany his diversity in lyrical content and his use of melody rank him among the best. This album means a lot to me personally, but it’s the cinematic, suite-like, textured, ambitious whole that brings me back.

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5

Low 5, Really hit the mark for me, but not sure what the mark was

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5

Wow this album is amazing. It’s so different, but not “out there”. Honest music with a Bob Dylan feel. I don’t know what I feel, but I feel different listening to this album. Will definitely listen again.

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5

03/11/2022 One of my favorite albums.

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5

This is a beautiful beautiful album. Gently and inspiring, melodic and touching. Heard many of these tracks live but together on this album they fit so well together. A great concept

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5

Was a lovely surprise.

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5

9/10. Likely even a 10/10 on a relisten. The song titles felt a little too shot though.

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5

9/10 really good

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5

Front to back great.

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5

Quintessential

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5

Illinoice

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5

Beautifully composed album that I wish I knew of before today. Even the banjo doesn't turn me off, there's definitely something to be said for tasteful banjoplucking as opposed to the usual disgusting twang *spits*. Love the Cure call backs and all of the beautifully arranged horn accompaniments. Fillled me with positivitand optimism.

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4

Great album, I really love the strings, horns, and other accompanying additions

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4

Solid album overall. Would listen to again.

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4

super mellow. some catchy stuff. 1000 to go

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4

Very good

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4

Tight af. Can’t believe I put off listening to it for so long, I think I’m not as into the individual songs as I am the cohesion of the whole album.

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4

Pretty great album. Folksy feel, but also some more experimental sounds. It's the kind of thing I would expect to hear in a non-chain coffee shop, and is appealing to me today (he says as the dulcet banjo sounds come through on "Casimir Pulaski Day"). I'd listen to it again. Solid 4 stars.

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4

I like the sounds of this albums, between the band and the smooth vocals to the piano and chimes. At the heart of this album you have chicago and casimir pulaski day. Both songs deal with care for fellow human beings. The one negative to Sufjan Stevens is the heavy religious undertones, specifically for christianity.

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4

It’s no Carrie and Lowell but still so very good.

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4

Pretty good. Chill voice and a pleasant listen.

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4

Obwohl alles drin ist, die Arrangements und Kompositionen ganz groß sind, verfängt das Album bei mir (noch) nicht recht. Dennoch: zu gut für drei Sterne.

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4

Probably my favorite album that I've been introduced to on this so far. Some of the songs are really good. I particularly liked Chicago. Overall, the album is melodic and ethereal. Love his voice. Relaxing.

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4

Yes be listened before, he is a great musician, and the album is great. Maybe a few songs too long. But great

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4

Nice instrumental and voice. Some songs a bit odd and too instrumental/long instrumental breaks

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4

The jazz infusion is really well done. Not overwhelming but helps tell the story.

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4

So many standout songs I love by the always worthwhile Sufjan Stevens, though for me the very long album falls slightly short of the highest tier by an element of self-indulgence exemplified by its ridiculous song titles.

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4

Quite chill and good to work by

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4

Excellent - soft

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4

Nice. 22 songs is a lot of whimsy. Listened 18/1/21

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4

Calm and listening concept album. Sounds is consistent but varies in a way that keeps you interested

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4

evident that a story is being told with the carefully crafted tones and nostalgic melodies

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4

Actually really enjoyable.

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4

Blown away by the album. That John Wayne Gacy song will haunt me.

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4

The names of the songs are so long but everything was really sweet

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4

love this lol

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4

zajímavé na poslech

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4

What a strange album

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4

Interesting concept album, not something you bump in the car with the homies but it does manage to tell an interesting story with most of the expression coming from the minimalist vocals and overwhelmingly diverse instrumentation. There is room for improvement but a solid 7 for sure

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4

Great album

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4

Quiet, worth a try

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4

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4

I enjoy this album.

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4

Soc molt fan de Sufjan Stevens. I aquest àlbum és pur Sufjan 100%: excessiu, recarregat i amb moments inoblidables. Temes con "Concerning de UFO", "John Wayne Gacy Jr" o "Chicago" formen part dels meus temes preferits de tots els temps. El disc és irregular i molt dens, amb 22 cançons i una durada que supera els 75 minuts. Tot i així, és un dels seus millors i més inspirats àlbums. Segueixo preferint "Carrie & Lowell" i l'EP "All delighted people", però "Illinoise" és un molt bon àlbum.

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4

Finally some music I looked forward to hearing. Reminded me of Aerosha and good times. Very comforting.

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4

4/5

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4

Never heard this before (only a couple of songs sounded familiar) but I really enjoyed it. Will listen again.

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4

I remember reading at the time that this was meant to be the second album in a series of albums for every US State. Having gone back and checked...... that didn't happen. But I do like the grandiosity of the arrangements on this album. Reminds me of The Flaming Lips at their most orchestral

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4

The layers and textures of this album is so lovely. It's the type of album I could drive around with around with for weeks and have a different experience through every listen. Until I actually start to understand the lyrics and feel myself growing into it.

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4

I thought it was an interesting concept & good music. I feel like I would discover even more to like listening to it again more closely. A little long & some of the songs felt a little too down, but overall I enjoyed it.

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4

Kun näin levyn kannen, niin en uskaltanut alkaa kuuntelemaan vielä samana päivänä, vaan keräsin ensin rohkeutta sunnuntaihin saakka. Tuntematon esittäjä ja levyn kannessa lukea "Illinoise" saivat epäilemään, olisiko kyseessä noise-genren levy. Kun viimein sain kerättyä itseni ja laitettuani levyn soimaan, kivi vierähti sydämeltäni. Pakko kyllä tunnustaa, että vasta toisen biisin aikana pystyin rentoutumaan. :D Musiikki oli miellyttävää, vähän tuli mieleen Yann Tiersen ja joissain kohdin Belle & Sebastian. Tämän voisi laittaa joskus uudestaankin soimaan, ainakin taustalle.

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4

Great songwriting. A little overly indulgent with length of songs and flowery instrumentals.

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4

-Beautiful. Listen to a few select songs but never the whole thing. A very cinematic, broad and eclectic album.

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4

So strong and immersive album, I loved the whispering tone which was present almost the entire album.

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4

I liked it! Calming

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4

Lekker achtergrondgeluidjes

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4

An attractive album with acoustic sounds and pleasure man vocal.

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4

Klug und gut aber vielleicht ein bisschen verkopft

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4

This is an album that really needs more than one listen. Doesn't initially feel as cerebral as other works, but the depth is there and it certainly grows

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4

A unique sound. Always immediately recognisable. Melancholic and uplifting all at once. Do the song titles imbue the tracks with more poignancy? Yeup. More than deserved? Noup. Love it.

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4

Beautiful lush arrangements, plays like a prog rock concept record; King Crimson meets The Flaming Lips. Needs more listens to read into the lyrical themes.

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4

Slogs at the end

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4

I like the vibes. It’s very easy for it to fall in the background and not pay attention. But overall it’s a solid album

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4

Great Album, very enjoyable

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4

Great album. Weird and sad.

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4

I can tell this album is a gem, I listened to the whole thing. But it doesn't make me happy, just more melancholic and pensive. Therefore, I tenuously have to give it 4 stars, while knowing it deserves 5 for being creatively powerful and clear in its expression.

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4

Sufjan Srevens has many gifts. His voice is beautiful even otherworldly. He has a gift for writing simple, beautiful melodies and his talent for complex and beautiful arrangements is undeniable. He certainly has a talent for stupid song titles. There is a lot to like about this album; it's certainly ambitious and is filled with some excellent songs of varying styles; John Wayne Gacy, Jr., Chicago, Casimir Pulaski Day, The Man of Metropolis Steals our Hearts, They Are Night Zombies..., The Talkest Man, The Broadest Shoulders . Does it's reach exceed its grasp? Perhaps. Could it be 10 or 15 minutes shorter? Absolutely! Is it a satisfying, rewarding listening experience? Yes it is. 3.75 🌟 that I think will go higher with more listens, something which I look forward to. I think I'll buy the vinyl

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4

Was really nice and calming, had a cool album cover and nice names of songs. Think it went on a bit too long though, lost attention.

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4

Eclectic but really upbeat

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4

Strong 4 stars. One of my college favorites. Looking forward to going through the whole album again. So many great songs that make me nostalgic about my home state. The only think keeping it away from 5 stars are the little instrumental tracks.. too overdone

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4

When listening in the background, really good albums often force themselves into your attention. In other cases, it can take a while to realize how good an album is. I had this playing in the background, found it pleasant, but didn't pay much attention to it. During the final third of the album I finally realized this is really good, starting paying more attention and was enchanted by the dreamy, ethereal beauty. Now I'm halfway through the second spin. The arrangements seem deceptively simple. However, underneath is a wide range of variety with an astonishing depth of feeling, packed in a whimsical shell of not taking itself too seriously. I'll give it a 4 for now, but possibly it would be a 5 after more listens, which it will most likely get from me.

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4

Initially wasn't in the mood but warmed up to it and eventually ended up really liking it. Maybe it's my soft spot for Chicago, or some of the great vocals with backing from Shara Worden. Would listen again.

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4

Sad, dramatic, pretty

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4

Good slo-fi listening.

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4

Meget spændene album og et kæmpe projekt. Meget vellydende og selvom der er langt bliver det aldrig kedeligt eller dårligt. Kræver flere gennemlytninger, men harmonierne hans stemme kan altså noget. 4,5 stjerne

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4

Upbeat and a bit weird. What a great combination.

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4

A pleasant listen.

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4

Great album I was aware of, but never committed to listening to

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4

Rating: 8/10

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4

Força soroll va causar en el moment que es va treure, per la novetat del seu so, per la seva ambició i pel cacarejat pla de dedicar un disc a cada estat dels EUA, que després del 'Michigan' anterior i aquest va acabar quedant en no res. És un disc admirable, dens, de digestió lenta, amb no més de dos o tres temes que puguin entrar de primeres... però és un d'aquells discos que trascendeixen moments i períodes i acaben quedant allà... per sempre

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4

So, this guy wrote, recorded (almost all the instruments), and produced an entire "soundtrack" based the history of people of an entire state? It doesn't get any more indie-folk than that people! It took me a little bit to get into this album - but I eventually did. It does play very much like a movie or Broadway score, though (which I think is the intent), but that makes it feel like it's missing something at times. Still - I really dug a lot of the songs. Jacksonville, Decatur, and Chicago were probably my favorites. On pure listening enjoyment, I'd probably give this a 3, but the feat that Stevens undertook (and pulled off), definitely makes it worthy of this list. People should hear and appreciate this. So - 4.

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4

I've tried to get into this album for years and it only just clicked today. One of those that must be listened to as a complete product - no single song defines this LP, nor sets the tone. It's the collective themes (coupled with great melodies and lush production) that make this album whole.

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4

Lovely. Sam introduced me to Sufjan Stevens a couple of years ago and it is just my sort of music. Indie-folk.

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4

I know what I said about the last two indie rock albums and I know this one is a similar genre, but Illinois struck a chord early. Maybe it was Stevens' more diverse use of instruments or his more varied sound and tempos across the album, but I really liked it. It won't take me 5 or more listens to really appreciate it. Some highlights for me were Come On Feel the Illinoise (Part II), Jacksonville, Chicago, The Man of Metropolis... (my favorite song on the album), The Predatory Wasp..., and The Tallest Man...(Part I). I think it could've been packaged a bit tighter (some unnecessary reprises, long run-time) but as a concept album, it's pretty cool.

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4

This is an oldie-this is a goodie-meant for a chill evening. Slightly sad but epic. Your the main character

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4

Twee but loveable.

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4

Really appreciate the stories within.

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4

I knew a couple of these, but the rest were fun! Top marks for track names 🏆 Fav new track: The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out To Get Us

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4

I'd never heard Sufjan Stevens before, but he's going to score my quirky indie film one day.

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4

Fun and beautiful.

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4

Incredible concept album...this is my second listen and I completely appreciate more this time around

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4

a variety of sonic textures- like a road trip through a certain state... but which state? which state could he be thinking of?

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4

This is a good album. It’s long yet it’s unique and is a pretty easy listen. Some of the songs are a bit deeper than most other albums but sufjans style is flawless in making things seem light. The variety of instruments and beats makes this a great listen. 7.8/10

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4

He has better albomd

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4

Great album, quite etherial. Really enjoyable listen.

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4

Sufjan Srevens has many gifts. His voice is beautiful even otherworldly. He has a gift for writing simple, beautiful melodies and his talent for complex and beautiful arrangements is undeniable. He certainly has a talent for stupid song titles. There is a lot to like about this album; it's certainly ambitious and is filled with some excellent songs of varying styles; John Wayne Gacy, Jr., Chicago, Casimir Pulaski Day, The Man of Metropolis Steals our Hearts, They Are Night Zombies..., The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders . Does it's reach exceed its grasp? Perhaps. Could it be 10 or 15 minutes shorter? Absolutely! Is it a satisfying, rewarding listening experience? Yes it is. 3.75 🌟 that I think will go higher with more listens, something which I look forward to. I think I'll buy the vinyl.

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4

Cool album. Nice voice. Cool instrumentation.

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4

eu já gostei mais do sufjan, no passado eu daria a nota máxima, mas se caso eu tivesse a mesma vontade de ouvi-lo como eu tinha antes, com certeza esse seria o álbum da minha escolha. é até absurdo ouvir um álbum desse século se preocupar tanto com suas composições, tão complexas e ainda assim tão acessíveis. o maior êxito de sufjan é conseguir montar um álbum extremamente grandioso, mas se mostrar mais efetivo com voz e violão, como nas músicas john wayne gacy jr. e casimir pulaski day. todo o trabalho lírico do álbum também é de se destacar, no fim das contas, temos um álbum tão colorido e detalhista como sua capa, uma das grandes obras primas da música contemporânea.

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4

An interesting idea, and some beautiful songs! A bit too long, though.

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4

Charming, idiosyncratic, unique; there’s nobody quite like Sufjan Stevens - and whilst his music might border on the whimsical at times, there’s no denying the craftsmanship, delicacy and emotional impact of tracks like Chicago and Casimir Pulaski Day. Fascinating and rewarding listen (close to five stars).

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4

Best Song: John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Dark, haunting subject matter told with a gentle presentation. Worst Song: Jacksonville. Feels like a relatively ordinary and safe song you might hear in a clothing commercial. Overall: Great to listen to. Really enjoyed the choir sections, particularly the female vocalist. Lyricallly interesting throughout.

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4

I am gladly surprised by this album. I had Chicago on my radar before, but now can go back and listen to at least 3 or 4 more songs from this album. Charming and nostalgic. Loved the voices, strings, and horns. It is a shame It’s so long!

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4

Really long but good. Reminds me of something you would find on the Garden State soundtrack.

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4

interesting mix, was a fan.

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4

Familiar yet mysterious, mellow yet engaging. This is a neat album with a lot of great songs. I had heard "Chicago" many times and never knew where it came from. Way to go, pal.

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4

You can see why he abandoned the states' album project after this one. He'd reached a dead end. It had gotten as baroque as it could get. I still prefer the earlier albums, but that's just because that I heard them earlier.

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4

Lush

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4

A stunning, beautiful, maximalist blast. 4.0

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4

Sufjan Stevens, known for his tender-yet-playful voice and eclectic songwriting, was once slated to put out an album for every U.S. state. He stopped after two. This is the second of the two! This is also widely held as his best album, and for good reason! His songwriting combined with his arrangements are unlike any other musical artist I know. His use of strings and brass help give the song more emphasis on the bigger moments. Even when it's stripped down to just Stevens' voice and guitar or banjo, he endears me to no end. The highlight for me has to be Chicago, which avid Netflix viewers may recognize from The Candidate. Dammit, my computer crash in the middle me writing this and now I've lost my train of thought. The point is that Sufjan Stevens is a national treasure and he should

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4

Good good

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4

Jai bien aime, tred smoith 4

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4

One of my favorites by him.

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4

Oh how I wish to live in the alternate universe where he did all 50 state concept albums...

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4

Probably the only Stevens album I come back to regularly. Something about bittersweet tunes about serial murderers.

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4

A name I've heard, but know nothing about. Assumed this would be a jazz album based on the cover. This was an interesting one, he's very clearly a talented songwriter, the arrangements had a lot going on and it was nice to listen to. It's mellow, his voice is very pleasant, but if you're really paying attention there's a lot to pick up on. The song titles are killing me, also clearly has a sense of humor. Overall enjoyed this, really unique.

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4

Spinning it on vinyl (thanks, @gio-mio!). Fun album, goofy and funky. Would be 5/5 if I could include the quality of the album itself, with the sleeves and the artwork and all, but I can’t. Thems the rules.

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4

Cool album, very chill music. Great to relax and concentrate to, kind of fades into the background in a good way

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4

Deed me een beetje aan Andrew Bird denken. Mooi!

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4

Dit was behoorlijk ok! Een prima soundtrack bij een tocht door het ruwe berglandschap van Kreta.

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4

Bekende naam, maar nooit de moeite genomen om eens goed te luisteren. Valt niets tegen!

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4

Folk indie. Curioso. Un 4.

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4

Day 7: A full week of daily albums, I've never heard of Sufjan Stevens, never heard of this album and also have never left Australia so this was a unique listen, Looking through some of the other reviews this albums seems to be very polarizing. I enjoyed the album almost from start to finish, and if I didn't get bored or complain after listening to a new sound for over an hour it must have done something correct. Rating: 3.5/5

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4

Strange record… sounds a bit weedy on first listen, but huge potential!

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4

This was way more enjoyable than I expected.

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4

First time of listening. some interesting lyrical stuff here from Mr Stevens. Really lovely stuuf, how he can make a song so beautiful as "John Wayne Gacey Jr" about such an abhorent subject is beyond me. This and "Jacksonville" are my favourites. A great album rightfully here but in the lower end of my must hear.

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4

❤️

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4

"Illinois" is the second of fifty albums Sufjan Stevens supposedly planned to release based around states of America. Just like the conceit, it's ornate, grand and more than a little tongue-in-cheek. The pretension might not be to everyone's taste (especially those who like their song titles lean and their instrumental segue-tracks non existent) but the high points make "Illinois" well worth the journey. Over the course of 73 minutes, Stevens masterfully combines homespun indie chamber-pop with Broadway showtunes, country-folk narratives and proggy instrumentals. It's impossible not to at least admire the ambition behind "Illinois". Songs at the centerpiece, "Come On! Feel the Illinoise!" and "The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders" unfold like dazzlingly intricate musical numbers. The orchestration includes everything but the kitchen sink, the verses ripple and shift over odd time signatures and new sections, yet the vocals never rise above easy and breezy. It shouldn't work, but for me it really does. As well as these fusions of Broadway, prog, jazz and indie, some of my favourites here include all-out rock hits ("The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts"), indie crowd-pleasers ("Chicago", "Jacksonville"), and poignant, fragile ballads ("The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades...", "The Seers Tower"). Through all of them, Stevens displays striking versatility, sensitivity and great musicianship. One of "Illinois"'s best assets is the way it balances musical whimsy with pure emotion. It would be easy for it to collapse into self-parody and become too academic or ironic to connect, but then comes an utterly heartbreaking track like "Casimir Pulaski Day." It details a loved one dying of cancer in such breath-taking detail and unadorned lyrics: "Tuesday night at the bible study, we lift our hands and pray over your body, but nothing ever happens"... Understated, simple and moving slowly towards a gut-punch of an ending. Inevitably, not every song hits. There are at least five completely superfluous instrumental tracks, maybe intended as palette cleansers but coming over so nebulous as to not leave any impression after many listens. The best material is in the front half in terms of songs, and then the last thirty minutes or so suffers from a lot of padding (either extended codas, instrumentals, or songs that simply retread the same ground). Despite this, I'd still recommend "Illinois" to anyone looking for a compelling, elaborate and quirky album to represent 2000's indie. Of the work I've heard by Sufjan Stevens, it stands head and shoulders above the rest in scope and accomplishment.

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3

A hipsters dream.

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3

Fine folk pop like album, some songs feel the same with nothing interesting, however there are some standout hits that some people might found enjoyable

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3

Enjoyed it but it’s a bit slow for me and thought it went on for way too long

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3

Pretty good

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3

There was a lot going on. I think Sufjan got better with age

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3

Hienoja melodioita ja sitten taas vähintäänkin outoa menoa. Haastava levy kuunnella.

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3

sounds like badly drawn boy, also the whole 50 states of albums was a bit of a marketing gimmick

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3

fun album,good lyricism ,nothing super special though

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3

Pretty musically complex and proficient but just not my thing

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3

Helt ok men på tok för långt.

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3

Used to like this album around the time i first went to university, chicago is a great song the rest of the album is a bit too long and off beat for me now a days.

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3

Unexpectedly chill stuff. Liked it very much.

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3

I enjoyed the instrumentals more than the lyrics

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3

This was a nice listen, there's a lot of different kinds of song going on that keep the interest up, though it did start flagging here and there. It was easy to listen to, required no thought, and was quite relaxing.

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3

nice. conheci a terrivel historia de john wayne..

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3

Eclectic mix that sounds great in the background. I really wanted to love the album, but could never find time to power through it. Not sure if that means the album is no good or if I'm just too simple.

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3

It was nice, though I didn't feel like the album had as much variety as I'd like

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3

Not bad, but nothing that I loved or that really caught my attention musically

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3

3/5 | Muy difícil decidir con este disco. Por un lado, es muy largo y de una temática de la cual jamás pensé que habría un disco completo: Illinois, pasando por John Wayne, Lincoln, ciudades, etc. Pero no por eso es malo, de hecho tiene canciones que suenan muy bien: ' Come On! Feel the Illinoise' por ejemplo. Me gusta que varía de estilos y no es siempre el cantautor con su guitarrita y hace que el disco no suene plano. En conclusión, hasta buscaré música de este fulano, que por cierto, el nombre no me hace pensar que iba a cantar algo así.

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3

Alguien mas notó ese sampleo de 'Close to me' en 'come on feel de illinoise'? Se escucha interesante el querer hacer un disco por estado pero cuando te das cuenta de cuantos son y el tiempo que tomaría hacerlos ya se vuelve un sueño guajiro cada canción es diferente y tiene su sello particular ya que está muy metido en su onda conceptual por el estado de Illinois y creo que podría hacer mejores cosas pero los artistas son raros

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3

Bien

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3

Album folk très intéressant. On reconnais ANDY shauf

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3

Calming background music. I think I used to listen to this while studying in law school. Wonder how Sufjan’s ambition to record 50 albums named after all the US states is going?......

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3

it was alright

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3

Very pleasant, would listen to again. Want to give it 3.5

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3

Sleepy hipster shit but solid

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3

This album was nothing at all like I expected it to be. That album art has a lot going on and I thought it was going to be a weird funky album but instead I found an indie-pop sound and I enjoyed it. The sound is really smooth and calming and I really liked most of it. My favourite tracks from the album: John Wayne Gacy Jr. Was my favourite. The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts, a cute tribute to Superman was a cute little song. The Seer's Tower.

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3

Good album if a bit too long

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3

3/5 there are some happy/interesting songs in this album, but...

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3

One of the most up and down albums I've had thus far. Some songs were so beautiful that they could take me to another place, while others were annoying and prattled on, or were straight up filler. Favorite songs were Jacksonville and Chicago, in that order.

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3

Sounds like it might be interesting.

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3

Album is over an hour long and most songs have long, zany titles.

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3

i see he likes his instruments (especially trumpets) (so do i), these song titles are so unique i love them, each song tells a story perfectly i could write scenarios to these, i will listen to this album once again with my full attention on it closing my eyes

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3

Marching band folk music for people who like Ben Folds and Ben Gibbard.

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3

i think i tried some songs by this artist a couple years ago and it wasnt a vibe, lets see now. okay its longgg. interesting song titles. hmm this piano so far, i predict this will be boring. his voice is okay. another whispery type but its better than the whiny ones. lyrics are well written but i realllyyy dont care about the topics. i really liked the instrumental only tracks though and i love long songs with parts so track 20 was a win minus the chorus... the last instrumental track was cute. so, im done: it was quite pleasant overall but at times i was put off by the lyrics and the rest of the time it didnt make me feel anything except maybe calm?? it was pretty interesting. i doubt i'll come back to it but i think it was pretty good still.

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3

Pleasant background music for working, reading, etc.

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3

Sounds like every other Sufjan Stevens album.

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3

I enjoyed this for a Monday, it was very chilled and sounded like it should be over a movie. Not too sure I get why it's on this list

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3

A little annoyed to have to listen to this whole album because it was prett long and I’m not a huge fan of his. But I’m glad I did, there are some classics on here, and there is no doubt that he makes beautiful music, his vocal style just misses a bit for me. Found some other greats of his off the radio ssssion though.

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3

Ok alt singer-songwriter.

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3

Better than I expected. Didn’t pay attention to lyrics, and his voice bores me, but the songs, arrangements. Etc, are quite enjoyable, varied, complex. Is prog-indie-hipster a thing?

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3

pretty good. reminds me of badly drawn boy for some reason. Good songwriting, good broad production. I like the horns etc Like the softness of the voice

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3

To me the cover of the album also has something to say about it, and this one so incredibly hard to look at that I have to bump the score down a little. And I have personally absolutely zero affiliation with Illinois and couldn't even tell you if it's closer to the west or the east coast in North America. It is quite a beautiful sounding album though, but with such intricate orchestrations and lyrics, and titles that you can barely read, it's hard for me to grasp what feelings Sufjan Stevens was going for, and trying to portray, through just one day of listening. 3\5 but might've changed it if I got to know it, and if you could do that on here.

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3

Lugnt melodiskt

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3

Interesting. Not bad, but not really good either (or at least not my thing). I could see this growing on me but not too interested in giving it the chance.

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3

A lot of people love Mr Stevens but I don't really get it. There's a couple of good songs and ideas here but generally I'm not fussed. Also I really hate the long song names thing, literally just done for the sake of it and to make people think they are witty and talk about the long songs names like I am now.

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3

Chill and introspective. Kind of odd. recognized one song

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3

It was ok

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3

Sufjan Steven's fifth album is about all things Illinois - a Midwest state in the US. As an indie rock/folk album it has a specific sound that is warm, soothing, and fun. The lyrics are beautiful and show that Sufjan is a great writer. The musical arrangements were over the top most of the time, meaning the songs had an orchestra type vibe to them. This album wasn't just recorded by a single band, but by many people playing lots of instruments. I really enjoyed this unique album and it was a calming start to my day.

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3

Some great moments but about twice as long as it should have been

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3

OK, from 10 seconds in you're thinking 'this is a concept album'. Really needs heavy focus and listening. There is a lot going on, and need to revisit and reassess. Not sure if i'm been harsh or overly generous.

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3

Ett mycket bra konceptalbum om olika personer, händelser och företeelser i Illinois. Det är en fröjd att lyssna på Sufjan Stevens lena röst och noggranna produktion. Det kan dock ibland kännas lite för "snällt". Hade önskat att Sufjan tagit ut svängarna ännu mer, och skapat något mer utstickande. T.ex. "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" har några instick av mer upptempo elgitarr och trummor vilket gör lyssningen mer dynamisk - fler sådana rockiga inslag hade höjt betyget! Hatar också att många av låttitlarna är korta noveller, betackar mig från sådana "quirky" fasoner. Sammantaget är albumet ett väldigt bra "konstprojekt", men det har svårt att väcka några större känslor i mig. Det mer avskalade låtarna, "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." och "Casimir Pulaski Day", när det nästan bara är Sufjan och en gitarr, är fantastiska. Av de instrumentella låtarna är "To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region..." den bästa, mycket för att den påminner mig om "If You Have a Heart" av Bear Quartet. Bäst producerad är den mörkare "They Are Night Zombies...", vars lite rockigare approach hörs direkt i basslingan i introt. Spyr dock på låttiteln. Bästa låt: They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!

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3

Zzzzz

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3

Oh, wow - direkt die ersten Klänge versetzen sofort in die Nuller zurück. Hatte ich tatsächlich ein bisschen vergessen, das alles! Naja, und wie damals geht es mir auch heute: Respekt vor dem Handwerk und der filigran ausgearbeiteten Ziselierung - allein: es kickt mich nicht so wirklich. Die neue Whimpigkeit zu der Zeit, da musste ein alterndes Kind der 90er sich erstmal dran gewöhnen. Eben noch Grunge und Bratpop und Big Beat und die Strokes, nun plötzlich Sufjan und Connor und Elliott und Win mit ihren zittrigen Männerstimmen, ihrer Emphase, ihrer Theatralik und ihrer Niedlichkeit. Hm. So richtig hab ich mich auch bis heute nicht damit angefreundet. Über die weite Strecke (schon wieder so ein anstrengend langes Ding!) ist das niedlich und musikalisch manchmal anspruchsvoll/ambitioniert und immer wieder auch schon - aber auch etwas ermüdend. Was mich zB immer wieder überrascht, sind die Steve-Reich-Zitate, z.B. deutlich hörbar in "Out of Egypt, ...". Also ja: ganz schön ist das schon.

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3

It's fine - not my style.

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3

Children's show melodies with nonsense lyrics. Meh.

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3

Experimental, cool but hard to listen from start to finish

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3

Good song writer. Not really into it.

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3

Ok, credo ci sia dell'ironia, almeno sull'Illinois e non riesco a coglierla. Però le canzoni non sono male. No seriamente: 'John Wayne Gacy, Jr.' ha sia piano, che voce, che chitarra e tutto l'accompagnamento, che sono sia armoniose che tecnicamente perfette. Per quanto rimanga un senso di straniamento per via delle parole che si capisce descrivano storie e luoghi relativi all'Illinois, la voce e i diversi strumenti utilizzati si sposano molto bene. 'The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts': WOW! La lunghezza però si fa sentire. Bello ascoltarlo una volta, non lo rifarei, ma mi segno molte canzoni. ***

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3

Occasionally irritating

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3

I'm questioning the quality of my taste. iI was nice, but I just struggled to really enjoy it, didn't finish it because I wanted a different vibe.

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3

not really my thing and to be honest I found it a bit boring, but it's fine

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3

Un bon album qui s'écoute bien, mais ça fait plus bruit de fond que de la musique que je mettrais pour vraiment apprécier.

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3

A bit slow and gentle for my taste. I'd struggle to be able to sing any of the tunes. The arrangements and instrumentation were nice though.

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3

This album has a lot of feeling... At first I was worried I would not like it at all but after a couple songs I settled into the mind of the artist.

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3

Not really my cup of tea but an interesting listen. Certainly a masterpiece of a concept album, I feel like I watched a movie about Illinois. John Wayne Gacy made me pause both times I played it thru. Loved the orchestral sounds & esp the trumpet on this album!

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3

First off, the album cover seems to have the title Come on feel the Illinoise (thinking ‘noise’ is a little play on words). The title song Part 1 was interesting. Dug Jacksonville. Was hoping for some lyrics for Mary Todd. Found myself bopping along to Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step-Mother. Not sure why but Chicago was emotional for me. Enjoyed the plucking on Casimir Pulaski Day. Loved some of the mish mashed of jumbled lyrics in The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out To Get Us! ‘Oh how I meant to tease him, Oh how I meant no harm, Touching his back with my hand I kiss him…’. Don’t care for zombie movies too much and apparently song titles with Zombies in them either. Only 40 seconds long but the title Let’s hear that string part again, because I don’t think they heard it all the way out in Bushnell gave me a chuckle. Not sure who Emmanuel is from The Seer’s Tower and not one of my favorites. Last 5 tunes not much to talk about, some interesting lyrics in The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders but the music sounded like something out a Charlie Brown special. Now let’s talk about John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Can we all agree just friggin’ creepy! I know we can’t just sweep everything under the rug and look away but I don’t know if a song needs to be written about such a thing. Also, what’s with the lyrics ‘…and on my best behavior, I am really just like him, look beneath the floor bords, for the secrets I have hid’. We all have secrets we don’t share with the world, but nothing like JWC Jr. Hope not anyway because he was just fucked. I don’t understand why someone like this would be on death row for 14 fucking years. Sentenced to death on Thursday? Should be dead by Friday! At first, I thought yeah, no, 2 stars. Maybe when I was younger and little more melancholy and kookier than I am now, I totally would have been into it. But it grew on me and I can appreciate the eclectic of it, and there are a lot of deep underlying meanings I’m too naïve to fully understand. Although definitely got some of it. But the album grew on me. At one point I was thinking maybe even 4 stars, but the last 5 tunes dragged it down to a 3. Again, if there were half stars, would have been 3.5. Added to my library though and I may have to give it another go even.

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3

I was pleasantly surprised. I actually enjoyed it.

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3

Whimsical

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3

Interesting sound, esp when I only know Sufjan from compositional works rather than lyrical. Nonetheless it still sounded like him and there were some certain bangers on here.

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3

Opening song a lil boring but this second track feelin a bit epic The beginning of the Third song sounds like Charlie brown, BRUH THIS THIRD SONG SLAPS Heavy castelia city vibes from this album Wth this track is called John wayne gacy jr. i remember watching a serial killer doc about that guy, spooky

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3

Really enjoyed a fresh inheard album. Upbeat, makes for lovely chill music. Happy calm songs. Favorites, Chicago and Jacksonville with nice tempo.

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3

Pleasant enough I guess but way too long

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3

Sometimes I like Sufjan Stevens a lot, other times I get a bit bored of him. Giving this a good listen, it's definitely an interesting album with some great moments. It could have benefited from a good edit to get it down to 45 minutes of phenomenal music as opposed to 74 minutes of hit and miss music. Overall though, good stuff, unique and interesting. 3 stars.

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3

Nice sound but low energy

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3

I feel in listening to this album, I'm missing a lot of context regarding very, very specific references to the state of Illinois. This album gives off a carnival vibe to me, perhaps it's the vast array of instrumentation and whimsical nature of it all. But my god, it's such a looooonnnngggg album! And the song titles aren't lacking in length either! Best: Jacksonville Worst: Come On! Feel the Illinoise!" (Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition – Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream) 2.5 Stars.

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3

a few good tunes and lots of meandering, like his other work

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3

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate all double albums, there are a few I've given five stars to, but just because you can make a 75 minute album doesn't mean you should. There's some great stuff here, "Jacksonville," "Chicago" and. "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" stand out. I'm gonna have to give "John Wayne Gacy, Jr" another listen or two; Stevens says we're all capable of what Gacy did, speak for yourself dude. I know this album is beloved by a lot of people, I just like some other of his stuff better, "Carrie & Lowell" is his real masterpiece, here he could've used an editor or even made "Illinois Part 2."

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3

C'est presque de l'ambient.

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3

Some of the songs were really cool, but the end of the album dragged out a bit for me. 6/10

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3

Not my favorite album by Sufjan. I find it pretty annoying actually. Bit it's still Sufjan.

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3

This was alright, kind of slow and empty, but in a cool, artistic way. I did have higher expectations for this, and they were not really met. Overall, it is just everage.

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3

Too long for such similar songs, seemed like some cult shit.

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3

Interesting with some really fun songs.

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3

They really do sound like the Stone Roses, and I haven't seen that on our list yet.

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3

singing aba serial killers is not the vibe

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3

Man this album is long...

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3

Was interesting even when it was weird. Think I enjoyed!

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3

Chyba wylosowalo album z najdluzszymi tytulami trakow jaki mialem okazje widziec na oczy, Illinoise pana Sufjana Stevensa to potezny konceptowy krazek, jak tytul wskazuje beda nawiazania do illinois, a jest gdzie nawiazywac, bo plyta to az 22 traki na 74 minutach, dodajac do tego styl w jakim jest utrzymana, czyli folk zmieszany z nutka popowa, ale dodatkowo jest cos lofikowego, bo plyta pochodzi z 2k05 i wiekszosc instrumentali oraz pracy na produkcji naleza do pana Sufjana, ktory jest utalentowanym multiinstrumentalista, ktory potrafi zapelnic tak duze polacie winylaka kompozycjami, ktore nawac wylacznie popowo folkowymi byloby przeinaczeniem prawdy, bo niektore utwory brzmia wrecz chamberowo, ze wzgledu na wykorzystanie stringowych grupek, ktore dodatkowo sa wykorzystywane jako klaskacze, czy tez chrokowanie, chociaz jak dla mnie najbardziej pasujacymi do wokali i typu opowiesci jakie snuje na plycie pasuja kompozycje na samych kosciach akustykowych, jak casimir pulaski day czy john wayne gacy, polska mentionem alert, ale jedynie tytulowo, bo pierwszy utwor opowiada o dniu z zycia gdy dostaje sie wyrok smierci w postaci bialaczki, natomiast gacowy trak stara sie opowiedziec w ciekawy sposob historie zycia i odbierania zycia przez pana gace, a to wszystko zwiazane z tak pieknym stanem jak illinois, jest to jeden z tych materialow gdzie pomimo tego, ze rozumiem liryke czuje, ze sporo z niego nie wylapuje, czy to przez referencje miejscowe, czy tez nawiazania biblijne w ktore obfituje plyta, od tak oczywistych jak cytowanie ksiegi wyjscia, czy tez bardziej subtelne jak w traku o seryjnym mordeca rozwazanie nad grzechem i odkupieniem, wiec dobrze pan Stevens zbalansowal liryke pod wzgledem tego co mozna sprzedac dla szerokiego grona sluchaczy, a jednak zostawic w tym swoj charakter, bo takie traki nie sa pisane pod cos tylko z siebie i to sie czuje, wiec odsluch ciekawy, ktory jednak czasem bywa ciezki do przesluchania przez zbyt abstrakcyjne realia illinosowe i dlugosc calego krazka, na plejke dodam dwa wspomniane wczesniej utwory, glownie za to ze sa prostymi kompozycjami, ktore najlepiej akcentuja delikatne wokale pana Stevensa

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3

Some great songs with great storytelling. Probably could have been trimmed by half a dozen songs though, it dragged in parts.

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3

The quenticential sound of the 90s. I haven't listened to this album in about ten years and forgot how good it was. You don't get many concept albums in this age of single-driven music. 3.5/5

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2

Koncept-album, Singer/songwriter, lange titler, klaver, harmoni, historier

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2

paia, só uma musica. almofadinha.

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2

I don't know why this is critically acclaimed the lyrics are very weird like who writes an album about Illinois

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2

Ooh interesting, an artist I've not heard of before. Looking forward to listening to this one. Not so fussed on this one. Very light and quirky, and it reminds me so much of someone I can't put my finger on it. Alright background listening, not one I'd sit and listen to. Got bored after 30 minutes at the sameness of it. Didn't listen anymore (long album as well!)

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2

I did not care for this

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2

1.5 i guess

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2

It’s ok. Don’t love it don’t hate it.

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2

I'm sure this album deserves more than the two stars I've given but I'll have to listen to it more than once. This is a complex album and it is clear the guy has put a lot of thought on it. The song names are totally crazy by the way

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2

sujan stevens is living his best life as he creates these experimental tunes for our listening pleasure. It just seems as if my pleasure from listening to him was not achieved. I shall try other SS albums to gauge his style but this particular alblum did not do it for me. I give it two Marty Schottenheimer's - SS tried but didnt get to the big dance

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2

Didn’t finish it. Not my style blahhh

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2

Pleasantly folky but really folky and twee.

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2

all of them sound the same i did not like

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2

kinda boring

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2

pfpf es de 2.5

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2

I dont know about this one.

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2

OK not my type of music

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2

nothing new about music ...

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2

I've heard of both him and this album before but I never listened to either. Not for me.

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2

Also paar Lieder waren schon ganz nice aber so im Allgemein schon nicht ganz meins.

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2

Interesting concept. Too trancy for me.

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2

Well that’s was weird

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2

alltof meinlaust fyrir mig

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2

Yawn. I'm not getting this at all. I can appreciate the artistry and the lyricism but it's not grabbing me at all to be honest.

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2

Not gonna lie, the music was OK. Wouldn't listen to it again - but that might be because the names were throwing me off. I had this feeling of wanting to throw the names of the songs at a wall 👻

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2

Tja, dit was wel erg onsamenhangend en artyfarty. Niet voor mij.

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2

windy city, windy record

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2

The song titles are more interesting than the songs.

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2

Sounds like a wet combination of Vampire Weekend and Badly Drawn Boy. Not sure if that's the best thing in the world if I'm honest.

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2

boring. just straight up couldn't be arsed with it.

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2

2 points for the ambitious endeavor, but I can't say the music lit my fire.

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2

It's like everyone decided to will this album into being great. Maybe some folks thought the Quiet Riot pun was clever.

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2

A bit twee

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2

Totaal niet mijn ding, erg zoetsappig en bleh

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2

I didn’t enjoy this album. I’m sure there are good lyrics and prose in the tracks, but I didn’t enjoy the music or singing behind it to appreciate it.

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1

Not my style.

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1

I can't stand Sufjan.

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1

Not my style.

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1

Not my music

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1

Not my cup of tea, too plinky-plonky!

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1

No thanks not for me

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1

Nope.

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1

Boring and lackluster, all songs sound the same and there’s a lingering feeling while going though the tracks that it could use a bit more intensity but it never gets there

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1

Not for me, just couldn't get into it

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1

so boring

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1

I might need to come back to this one because as I listened to it just now it pretty much did nothing for me, and it might be mood-based. Talented artist, I can hear that, and I'll give it another chance some time because in the right frame of mind there are probably some things I'd like in there. For now, though, not really.

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1

Not for me, minus that one song that's in Middlewestern 2

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1

Acho que devo me dedicar a mais audições para sentir mais o disco.

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1

Holy hell is this bland. I remember this album being praised to the moon when it came out. Why? There's nothing extraordinary that I can pick up on. It's just mellow indie rock. It's not so unpleasant but it's just such a boiled celery flavor of an album. It doesn't move me at all except to tears of boredom. It never freaking ends either. Why did it have to be so long? Some of these snores could've been cut, I assure you. Those song titles too. Ugh how pretentious. It makes my skin crawl. It reminds me of the worst hipster pseudo-intellectuals that roamed my college campus. I will never listen to this again. If I heard a single song lay it wouldn't be the end of the world, but never again will I endure that slog in it's entirety.

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1

It's awful to be filled with angst about the injustices of the world but have no talent for lyrics. I suppose it's worse to then inflict that lack of talent on the world.

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1

Lame, smug proto-hipster music for people you like to think that this guy is somehow god's gift to songwriting, sorry no

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1

Helaas, daar vond ik werkelijk niks an

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1

8 pints in and this piece of shit enters my life. What a gross waste of my time. Get me some smack, I'm off to curl one out on my daughter's chest as she screams in horror and delight. 1 star, you prick.

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v peaceful

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This is the 20+ time I’ve listened to this album straight through, I love it

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