Sunday, November 22, 2009

My 25 Favorite Artists of the 2000s - #9

#9 - Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens is possibly the most unique character to emerge from this decade. Starting off in 2000 by releasing what sounded to be a global folk record, following this with a strange electronic album, and then introducing his greatest (and apparently since aborted) plan to record an album based on each state in America. The two resulting albums of this idea - Michigan and Illinois - are two of the most breathtakingly beautiful albums of the decade. Michigan conveys the sound of a downtrodden, economically bleak area (dead on, obviously), displaying how hard life is in this depressed state. Illinois is seen as more of a jovial, nice place to live, as evidenced by the heavy brass, marching band influence much of the songs display. Not to be overlooked, however, was Sufjan's 2004 album Seven Swans, which was released between Michigan and Illinois. This album is a quiet affair, displaying a lot of Sufjan's banjo skills, and relates to his relationship with God, but does so in a way that's not too hard to identify with even if you don't share his beliefs. Overall, he was clearly one of the most important, and BEST artists of the decade.

My Favorite Albums:
1. Illinois (2005)
2. Michigan (2003)
3. Seven Swans (2004)
4. The Avalanche: Outtakes from the Illinois Album (2006)
5. Songs For Christmas (2006)

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