Best Albums Of The...

Illinois (2005)

Sufjan Stevens
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Folk rock, Indie folk, Baroque pop, Experimental rock, Indie pop

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Illinois (styled Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come On Feel the Illinoise on the cover; sometimes written as Illinoise) is a 2005 concept album by American indie folk songwriter Sufjan Stevens. His fifth studio album, Illinois features songs referencing places, events, and persons related to the U.S. state of Illinois. The album is Stevens' second based on a U.S. state—part of a planned series of fifty that began with the 2003 album Michigan and that Stevens has since acknowledged was a gag.
Stevens recorded the album using low-fidelity methods and a variety of instruments between late 2004 and early 2005 at multiple venues in New York City, where he also produced the album. The artwork and lyrics explore the history, culture, art, and geography of the state—Stevens developed them after analyzing criminal, literary, and historical documents. Following a July 4, 2005, release date, Stevens promoted Illinois with a world tour.
Critics praised the album for its well-written lyrics and complex orchestrations; in particular, reviewers noted Stevens' progress as a songwriter since the release of Michigan. Illinois was named the best-reviewed album of 2005 by review aggregator

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2:08 Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
6:45 Come On! Feel the Illinoise! Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition, Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream
3:19 John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
5:24 Jacksonville
0:47 A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons
3:03 Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!
0:06 One Last "Whoo-Hoo!" for the Pullman
6:07 Chicago
5:53 Casimir Pulaski Day
1:40 To the Workers of the Rockford River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament
6:17 The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
2:11 Prairie Fire That Wanders About
0:19 A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze
5:23 The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!
5:09 They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!
0:40 Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell
0:35 In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth
3:53 The Seer's Tower
7:02 The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders, Part I: The Great Frontier, Part II: Come to Me Only With Playthings Now
0:46 Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few
4:21 Out of Egypt, Into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt From My Sandals as I Run
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The best indie-folk modern classical Broadway-musical cantata in existence.