Asthmatic Kitty Records
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Sufjan Stevens’ “Illinois” was easily one of the best records of last year. When I first listened to it, each song seemed meticulously planned out and suited to its place on the album. Now I listen to “The Avalanche” and I find out that the secret of that album was really good editing. Stevens’ has said that he had put so much work into these songs that he could not bear leaving them unfinished. True, there are a lot of great tracks here, but they still feel a little unfinished. It seems like Sufjan didn’t really know how to end a lot of the tracks here and winds up ruining some perfectly good songs with noodly excess and noise. Really, it’s unfortunate that this record has the baggage that it does, but I’m being overly critical. It’s a good record, but if you haven’t heard Sufjan yet, buy “Illinois”.