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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sufjan Stevens Rocks (conceptually): a new album and a remix

Grab your layperson’s guide to orchestral music terminology. It’s time for a couple of non-folk conceptual albums from arty wunderkind Sufjan Stevens—actually, one is rearranged by Osso. Both of these albums will alienate some fans of Stevens’ virtuosic lyrical-orchestral songsmithing in Illinois. However, if you can muster the attention in contemporary zap-saturated A.D.D. society, your adventures into the Sufjan orchestral realm should hold plenty of surprises.

Stevens’ 2001 album Enjoy Your Rabbit was a peculiarly pleasant turnaround following his singer-songwriter, indie-folk debut A Sun Came.Enjoy Your Rabbit was a set of lyric-free electronic compositions, as its liner notes explained, “programmatic songs for the animals of the Chinese Zodiac”. But it was only surprising compared to what preceded it. When you looked into the man behind the creation, a poly-instrumentalist composer who also has a fondness for the Ex and early Sonic Youth, the turnaround made complete sense. A similar shift follows his widely adored 2005 indie folk gemIllinois. Late 2009 marks the release of his CD-DVD project on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (the BQE), as well as the release of Run Rabbit Run, the New York City string quartet Osso’s classical re-working of Enjoy Your Rabbit. Continue...

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Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"