Monday, July 17, 2006

Just what we needed, more mediocre Sufjan

Last week saw the release of Sufjan Stevens' The Avalanche, a collection of B-sides from the Illinois sessions. As I'm sure I've mentioned before (I tend to tell anyone who will listen, like one of those old men at the bus stop that is starved for attention), everyone's favorite indie pop superstar has written some killer tracks in his day. The problem is that those great songs are generally surrounded by track after track of dull, unaffecting filler. Not to mention that every other track is over-orchestrated to the point of sounding like the background music to the SNES version of "Sim City". ("Come On! Feel The Illinoise!", I am looking your direction.) There are many other criticisms of the man's work that I don't have the time or energy to touch on, especially since Stephen Thomas Erlewine did it so well already, but suffice it to say that The Avalanche isn't any different. Just like much of his earlier work, each track, while being pleasant, sterile and unabrasive in that classic Sufjan way, blends into the last in a way that prevents the album from creating any real sense of identity. But, just like before, there are a couple absolutely killer melodies intermixed here around the filler and inexplicable multiple versions of "Chicago." "Pittsfield," in particular, is probably one of the best things the man has done thus far, and belongs on the theoretical Sufjan greatest hits album, which would absolutely own, BTW. Some MP3s are forthcoming, but here is most (or all?) or the album streamed thanks to good old Uncle Soofie.

Sufjan Stevens- The Avalanche (Part 1)

Sufjan Stevens- The Avalanche (Part 2)

Sufjan Stevens- The Avalanche (Part 3)

I'll give him one thing, though. The beard he is sporting in that picture is awesome beyond words.


At 3:04 PM, Blogger Dave said...

1/3 of the album is amazing


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