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Seven Swans [Import]

Sufjan Stevens Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.10 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Seven Swans + Illinois (Vinyl) + Michigan (Vinyl)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 57.44

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  • In Stock.
    Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
    FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ CDN$ 25. Details

  • Illinois (Vinyl) CDN$ 21.99

    Usually ships within 1 to 3 months.
    Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
    FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ CDN$ 25. Details

  • Michigan (Vinyl) CDN$ 21.35

    Usually ships within 3 to 5 weeks.
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. All The Trees Of The Fields Will Clap Their Hands
2. The Dress Looks Nice On You
3. In The Devil's Territory
4. To Be Alone With You
5. Abraham
6. Sister
7. Size Too Small
8. We Won't Need Legs To Stand
9. A Good man Is Hard To Find
10. He Woke Me Up Again
11. Seven Swans
12. The Transfiguration

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Devotional Masterpiece March 22 2008
Format:Audio CD
The ability of this guy to gracefully articulate a personal spirituality is on the level of Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen. Banjo and acoustic guitar take prominence here but they often get overshadowed by organ, synths or electric guitar through the course of a song so that what starts out as simple, minimalist 1970s voice & strumming may end in a rousing symphony, with many stages in between. Yet both lyrics and music remain accessible throughout. Fragile at times but never precious, the sound resonates on mystical and magical wavelengths.

Although many of the songs have intricate and complex arrangements, two distinct styles seem to characterize the album. The acoustic guitar type includes That Dress Looks Nice On You, the yearning To Be Alone With You, the somber Abraham, Size Too Small and A Good Man Is Hard To Find. They at least all commence with guitar before evolving into multilayered soundscapes and are generally of a slower tempo, often containing brooding vocals. One hears faint echoes of Nick Drake or even James Taylor - the introspective singer-songwriter archetype.

The Banjo-driven numbers exhibit a more ecstatic type of devotional expression, tending to be on the mid to uptempo side with addictive melodious and percussive textures. The mood varies sharply, from the exultant praise of All The Trees Of The Field through the eerie track In The Devil's Territory with its ominous synth patterns to the hopeful We Won't Need Legs To Stand with its atmospheric synth-scapes. Plus you get the comforting and reassuring He Woke Me Up Again, the intense Seven Swans with its eschatological imagery and the pure ecstatic joy of The Transfiguration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking June 21 2004
Format:Audio CD
I too had high expectations of this anticipated follow-up to "Greetings From Michigan." Seven Swans is softer. It also deals more heavily with Biblical references (ex. Abraham, Transfiguration) but isn't overbearing or preachy. Seven Swans is filled with lush soundscapes and thoughtful lyrics. This one's not to be missed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from Sufjan! June 6 2004
Format:Audio CD
Wow - I was really happy upon listening to this album - I of course had high expectations after "Michigan" - and though I would not say this album surpasses that one, it is certainly quite good - very good indeed. The instrumentation is lovely - acoustic almost exclusively with banjo and guitar - the songs are great and Sufjan's singing is very hushed and sweet - like he's whispering us secrets - reminding sometimes of Iron and Wine...highlights include "the dress looks nice on you", "to be alone with you" - which a had hoped would be a Dylan cover, but it wasn't - but it was a very well, maybe superior song with the same title...also, "he woke me up again" is excellent. Highly recomended - as well as "Michigan". "A sun came" is good too, but Sufjan has certainly honed his skills and become more consistently good since that debut...sorry for rambling, enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kickass May 11 2004
Format:Audio CD
At one of our power meetings at Free Williamsburg at the beginning of this year we were throwing around names of people who might be good people to interview or review. Sufjan Stevens came up. I had never heard of him let alone spell his name. It is detailed folk music. He is famous for the banjo work. Songs like "In The Devil's Territory" evokes the past and looks to the future. Sufjan worked with Daniel Smith of Danielson Famile to get this multi-layered sound. It's good that someone is obsessed with beauty in music. This record is strong and complex. It is not easy reading. The religious themes are an interesting shade. It is a vision of death and despair. It comes off sounding like something Badly Drawn Boy or Elliot Smith cooked up. Stevens may be the heir to Elliot Smith's legacy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars definitely surprising April 28 2004
Format:Audio CD
after buying and liking (not loving) Greetings... I still decided to buy Seven Swans. I am not unhappy with my purchase. In fact, I am very happy. Although its missing the "Oh my gosh" good songs that Greetings had...the lack of minus high and low points makes this cd more of a pop-it-in-and-its-all-good pick.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime. Essential. April 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The simple, spare structure of these beautiful, even haunting songs belies an emotional complexity and impact that grows more evident with each listen. Sufjan Stevens is like Elliott Smith and Nick Drake in that respect. There is a beautiful vulnerability in this music. I was lucky enough to hear him perform live recently and, like me, the crowd was mesmerized by the delicate power of his music. One of the few "must-have" discs of the year so far.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Acoustic precision April 13 2004
Format:Audio CD
Sufjan Stevens is a banjo virtuoso. He plays that instrument with the precision and crispness of an electronic sequencer. Stevens' hypnotically rhythmic banjo playing is the first thing that stands out on "Seven Swans." Though the use of such instrumentation may initially seem like novelty, a close listen reveals that the banjo arrangements are essential to the songs' success. It is impossible to imagine songs like "Dress Looks Nice on You" and "In the Devil's Territory" without Stevens' intricately fluid passages. It is the banjo--together with electric and acoustic guitars, female backing vocals, and minimal drum and electric bass work--that infuses these songs with a rare level of textural depth. Stevens' melodies and vocals are solid but undistinguished. Combine them with the harmonic acrobatics that underpin them, however, and the result is something glorious--akin to an acoustic Four Tet with the added benefit of earnest vocals and completed song ideas. Stevens' lyrics range from cryptic to explicitly religious. Whatever one thinks of them, their sincerity cannot be questioned. The sum total is the best album of 2004 so far.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars natural born healers
Back in the late 1920's and early 1930's, the Great Depression dumped millions of assembly line and factory workers into the streets and roads of America overnight. Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by Russell E. Scott
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful at times. Annoying at others.
Sufjan has an incredible talent for writing beautiful lyrical and musical melodies, and he does so on this most recent album. Like "Greetings... Read more
Published on April 3 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, sweet banjo.
This is a beautiful record. Not as immediately lovable as 'Greetings...' but excellent in its own right. Great banjo work. I love the voices of the Smith girls. Great lyrics. Read more
Published on March 24 2004 by Heath Farbod
5.0 out of 5 stars Michigan's brother
Since Seven Swans is a compilation of songs that didn't make it onto the Michigan album, it seems appropriate to compare this to the previous album. Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Colin Gabriel
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, pastoral and spiritual
Like many people who have lived since 1972, when I think banjo, I immediately think white trash mute kids, anal rape, Ned Beatty and equally disturbing things associated with the... Read more
Published on March 21 2004 by Alex Junaid
5.0 out of 5 stars great great great great
I have a hard time listening to any music, but, I love Greetings From Lake Michigan~ and this is even better :)) This man is amazing to me. Read more
Published on March 18 2004
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