Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sufjan Stevens: The Avalanche- Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album (Asthmatic Kitty)
release: July 11, 2006
styles: Indie chamber folk
similar: Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Matthews, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen
rating: ****

This is ridiculous. If Sufjan Stevens has an outtakes record for every record about a state, we are never going to hear the end of it. Not from blogs, not from lesser-known celebrities, not from anyone. What a great plan! The Avalanche--21 tracks total, including some alternate versions--is worthy of an elaborate cheer from Stevens' cheerleading squad. Usually there is good reason why an artist's songs don't make the first cut. In this case, The Avalanche is made up of so many quiet A-list chamber and folk pieces that it has no problem working as a proper record (though Illinois was originally intended to be a double album anyway). For detailed gushing, see any other given review. -Kenyon

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