|

Click here to expand and collapse the player

Illinois

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (2252 ratings)
Retail
Member
Illinois album cover
01
Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
2:11
$0.49
$0.99
02
Black Hawk War, or, How To Demolish An Entire Civilization
2:16
$0.49
$0.99
03
Come On! Feel the Illinoise! Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
6:47
$0.49
$0.99
04
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
3:21
$0.49
$0.99
05
Jacksonville
5:26
$0.49
$0.99
06
A Short Reprise For Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But For Very Good Reasons
0:49
$0.49
$0.99
07
Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause for Your Step-Mother!
3:05
$0.49
$0.99
08
One Last
0:08
$0.49
$0.99
09
Chicago
6:06
$0.49
$0.99
10
Casimir Pulaski Day
5:56
$0.49
$0.99
11
To The Workers of The Rock River Valley Region, I Have An Idea Concerning Your Predicament
1:42
$0.49
$0.99
12
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
6:19
$0.49
$0.99
13
Prairie Fire That Wanders About
2:13
$0.49
$0.99
14
A Conjunction Of Drones Simulating The Way In Which Sufjan Stevens Has An Existential Crisis In The Great Godfrey Maze
0:21
$0.49
$0.99
15
The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us
5:25
$0.49
$0.99
16
They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!
5:11
$0.49
$0.99
17
Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All The Way Out In Bushnell
0:42
$0.49
$0.99
18
In This Temple As in The Hearts of Man For Whom He Saved The Earth
0:37
$0.49
$0.99
19
The Seer's Tower
3:56
$0.49
$0.99
20
The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders Part I: The Great Frontier Part II: Come To Me Only With Playthings Now
7:05
$0.49
$0.99
21
Riffs And Variations On A Single Note For Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, To Name A Few
0:48
$0.49
$0.99
22
Out Of Egypt, Into The Great Laugh Of Mankind, And I Shake The Dirt From My Sandals As I Run
4:21
$0.49
$0.99
Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 22   Total Length: 74:45

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Write a Review 25 Member Reviews

Please register before you review a release. Register

user avatar

What's not to love?

ETori

I resisted this album despite the recommendations of friends and the fact that I am an Illinoisian only to finally crack. This is music that rewards repeated listening, which is the kind of listening I do. I've had it on a loop for a couple of weeks now...

user avatar

Great Story

McSurfer

This isn't simply a "pick up and listen to a track" album - it harkens back to the days when musicians gave us stories, not soundbites. it's deep, it's intelligent, and wants the listener to pay attention. But Stevens also has some serious musical chops; sonically it is a pleasure as well.

user avatar

What happened?

jgb37

I downloaded half this album last month, only to discover that it is suddenly "unavailable for download" in the United Kingdom. I want the rest!

user avatar

don't get it.

DigitalHobo

There are a few tracks on here I enjoyed, and the musicianship/arrangements are interesting. It is very intelligent music. But I found much of it to be unlistenable, and that's really the key for me: music can be well executed and cerebral but if I don't enjoy listening to it then what's the point? That said, I really enjoyed tracks 10 and 16.

user avatar

A Beautiful Art, History & Culture Lesson

kevharb

This album is a wonderful piece of folk art, an audio quilt stitching together various pieces of the stories, people and places of Illinois. Casimir Pulaski day is my favorite track.

user avatar

Easily one of the top albums of the last decade

mpgoroff26

Sufjan Stevens second in a planned fifty state series is one of the finest albums of the past decade. Chronicling my home state of Illinois, where he lived for awhile, Stevens writes songs about topics were are unique to Illinois such as John Wayne Gacy or Casmir Pulaski day. However these songs are about much deeper topics such as dealing with a friend who has cancer. Check out Chicago and if you like it, you will love the rest of this album

user avatar

the man is a genius.

wherewithology

This album feels like history. And I've learned things! I had to look up Casimir Pulaski, Jelly Roll, etc., on Wikipedia, and now I'm so much smarter. I really have to beg people not to just pick out the singles because this album has to be experienced as a complete product, the songs blend together seemlessly into a gorgeous pop symphony. It's an expansive and incredible album, basically. Sufjan can write songs, and he's a master of his craft. Plus I love concept albums, and this one is up there.

user avatar

wtf?

indymachead

@hexjones - i get that taste is subjective, but to give this album two stars is criminal. wow. just wow. this record is gorgeous and brilliant.

user avatar

Incredibly self-indulgent

hexjones

I like that he is very creative and free, I just think that these songs need to be edited. There is so much sprawling material running around all over the place. I couldn't really latch onto anything.

user avatar

I am agog

Datasmith

at the brilliance of this album.

eMusic Features

4

Unwrapping Sufjan’s Christmas Gift

By Patrick Rapa, Contributor

Brooklyn indie darling Sufjan Stevens will probably never finish his one-album-for-every-state project (48 to go!), but his holiday-music series seems unstoppable. By now, you should know the drill: Every year he gathers some musical friends and stitches together an EP to send out to loved ones. Some of the songs are standards, lovingly rendered. Some are standards, flipped into rock songs or spooky ballads. A lot of Stevens's holiday tunes are originals, either sincere in… more »

0

Who Are…Lost in the Trees

By Laura Leebove, Managing Editor

Some indie rockers simply accent their songs with strings and horns, but Lost in the Trees's symphonic elements — along with frontman Ari Picker's acoustic guitar — serve as the foundation for the folk collective's second release, All Alone in an Empty House. Re-released by ANTI- with the vocals and nearly all the instrumentals re-recorded, Empty House is at times haunting, majestic, delicate, overwhelming and celebratory. With the whole work revolving mostly around Picker's family's… more »

They Say All Music Guide

With two states down and only 48 to go, Sufjan Stevens’ ambitious musical map of the Unites States of America should be completed — if he puts out one a year — sometime around 2053. It’s a daunting task (and not an entirely original one at that), but if each subsequent record is as good as Illinois, fans who live long enough to witness the project’s completion will no doubt find themselves to be scholars of both state history and its narrator’s shape-shifting soul. Stevens’ soulful folk epics, as played by his signature mini-orchestra, have changed little since his 2003 foray into Michigan — a charge that may cause some grumbling among that album’s detractors — but there’s a newfound optimism that runs through much of Illinois that echoes the state’s “Gateway to the West” pioneering spirit. Glorious road trip-ready cuts like “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts,” “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!,” and “Chicago” have an expansiveness that radiates with the ballast of history and the promise of new beginnings. Stevens has done his research, with references to everyone from Abe Lincoln, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the ghost of Carl Sandburg to John Wayne Gacy — the latter provides one the song cycle’s most affecting moments. The lush (yet still distinctly lo-fi) indie pop melodies draw as much from classic rock as they do progressive folk. “Jacksonville,” with its four-chord banjo lurch, mines “Old Man”-era Neil Young, disco strings dance around “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!,” while the rousing pre-finale “The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders” is pure Peanuts-infused Vince Guaraldi as filtered through the ambiguous kaleidoscope of Danielson Famile spiritualism. There’s a distinct community theater vibe to the whole affair that may or may not be the result of numerous photo shoots in which the players are dressed in adult-style Boy Scout uniforms — it brings to mind the Blaine Players from Christopher Guest’s small-town theater parody Waiting for Guffman — but the majority of Illinois is alarmingly earnest. Stevens may be a snake-oil salesman, but he’s got pretty good stuff, and like many of history’s most untrustworthy wordsmiths, he somehow manages to switch the opportunist off and turn on the human being each time the listener gets suspicious of his intentions. – James Christopher Monger

more »