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2003 album of startling orchestral pop. For fans of Jim O'Rourke, Eric Matthews, Stereolab, Mouse on Mars, Augie March,& Dylan Group etc. Former member of Marzuki
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Top Customer Reviews
Truly a gifted songwriter who has crafted a beautiful masterpiece about life in not just Michigan, but combining the depression of our failures, with the joy of the belief in God.
Sufjan never apoligizes for his Christianity stance, it's a part of who he is, I admire him for that, and I consider him to be one of the best songwriters today. I enjoyed "Seven Swans" his recent 2004 recent as well, but it is not comparable to this masterpiece.
Few cds I would give a 10 out of 10,
the only four I would would be
Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Neutral Milk Hotel - Aeroplane Over the Sea
Pixies - Doolittle
I am thinking this cd might be near perfect, and time will evaluate it. For now i'll just go to bed listening to his soothing humble voice
enthusiasts. With the bulk of information primarly exchanged by word of mouth or read in 'off the beaten path' music mags most stumble upon wonderful works of art that scream for wider attention from the musical community at large.
I've discovered some amazingly artistically creative souls struggling in the abis, crying out to be heard.
I must say that Sufjan Stevens offering "Greetings From Michigan"
leaves me dumbfounded in the brillance behind this 2003offering.
Sufjan reflects so many influences it's blindingly stunning in its execution and brilliance. From the Band, Beach Boys, Neil Young, to contemporary currents of Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Belle and Sebastion, this guy is a master in the studio. Not only in reflecting musical ingenuity but in the lyrical scope of the entire project.
What I can't seem to understand is why no one in the musical world at large has picked up on this guy, beside pitchfork media. has me baffled.
His themes on this masterpiece run into the territory of Springsteen's to quote pitchfork "The record is stacked with impressive space for Stevens' shimmering geography, and it manages a melancholy beauty; Michigan is a frost-bound tone poem in which average people live out their victories and defeats with a shadowy, dignified grace." From the opening track of "Flint (For The Unemployed And Underpaid)" to the final cut " Vito's Ordination Song " this is a major work by an artist who should be selling millions of records, (if there truly was
any justice in this world).Read more ›
"Michigan" is one of those rare beauties. A reviewer for 'Dusted' put it succinctly when he wrote that the only reason not to get this album is if you don't have the time to spend the next six weeks of your life listening to it.
So I've told everyone I know and now I'm telling you. Listen to this!
(And ... for those of you who already love this, try an experiment and re-order the tracks into 2 sets, one with tracks 1,3,5,7,etc and the other running 2,4,6,8. See if you agree with me that we have 2 concept albums meshed together here).
It also happens to be the first album in Sufjan Stevens' proposed fifty-state-album project, "Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lake State." Stevens' mellow indie-folk rules the album with a gentle hand, from sprightly folkpop to banjo balladry -- and it's as fun as it is complex and alluring.
It opens with a gentle piano, joined in by a chorus of horns. "It's the same outside/Driving to the riverside/I pretend to cry/Even if I cried alone," Stevens murmurs, embodying a worker who isn't working. Despite its simplicity, it's packed with self-trickery and windy dissatisfaction. "I forgot the part/Use my hands to use my heart/Even if I died alone..."
Then the tone totally changes with "All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace," a sprightly little pop tune, and the folky banjo of "For The Windows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti." From there, he tries out variations of all his folky talents -- dreamlike folkpop, swaying wistful folk, sparkling xylophone, guitar ballads, and steady pipe organs leading into a bluesy ballad.
But the best songs of all are when Stevens combines all his musical influences into one enormous joyous mass of sound -- "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)" is a glorious mishmash of pop, xylophone, piano, horns and folky interludes, blended into a great soaring epic. So is the luminous "They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For The Homeless In Muskegon).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Extremely talented songwriter / musician, clearly on his way to his masterpiece (s) Illinoise & The Avalanche!Published 14 months ago by patrak
With "Greetings from Michigan", Sufjan Stevens gives the world a fully realized work of art, suffused with haunting melodies and achingly open songwriting. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2005 by Amazon Customer
Sufjan Stevens is certainly the most musically inventive songwriter to come around in a while, and the production and arrangments here are breathtaking. Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by J. Christmas
I know this isn't all that helpful, but I am rendered entirely speechless by this album. It's subtle, thoughtful, and sentimental (but not overly so). Read morePublished on June 6 2004 by broccoli
This is a stunning album which, in different ways on this page, has already been pretty well documented. Read morePublished on May 30 2004 by Juan Mobili
I don't hand out five stars on a whim. I tend to feel a bit guilty when I do because 99.9% of the albums out there aren't worth five stars. This one is different. Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by SirTheory
This album gets better with each listen. There is a depth to it that isn't available from a top pop hit, yet it can be just as addictive. Read morePublished on May 6 2004 by ms_midwest
a friend introduces you
who knew to fall in love so fast?
what else to do on a tuesday afternoon? Read more
Michigan is a great title for this album. It sounds like Michigan -dreary, dull, and uneventful. In this respect Stevens does a great job, but why would anyone want music that... Read morePublished on March 22 2004