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Carrie & Lowell

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iTunes Review

Sufjan Stevens has taken creative detours into textured electro-pop, orchestral suites, and holiday music, but Carrie & Lowell returns to the feathery indie folk of his quietly brilliant early-’00s albums, like Michigan and Seven Swans. Using delicate fingerpicking and breathy vocals, songs like “Eugene,” “The Only Thing,” and the Simon & Garfunkel-influenced “No Shade in the Shadow of The Cross” are gorgeous reflections on childhood. When Stevens whispers in multi-tracked harmony over the album’s title track—an impressionistic portrait of his mother and stepfather that glows with nostalgic details—he delivers a haunting centerpiece.

Customer Reviews

“Back”? He never left.

Sufjan is not “back” because he never left. “Age of Adz” was his most personal album to date, and it was pure Sufjan from start to finish. The electronic sounds symbolize creation and movement—a person coming into being but in a mechanized sort of way. Really listen to the sounds and how they develop; he wasn't just messing around with boops and beeps. Sufjan is very intentional.

I understand that it's hard to follow our favorite artists when they seem to tear off in a other direction, but to see Age of Adz as a departure from Sufjan being himself and somehow eschewing his style is catastrophic because it pretends to love Sufjan's heart while looking at it bleeding in his outstretched hands as he holds it up for your closer examination and care. Please go back and listen to Age of Adz with care and an attentive ear and heart. It's excruciatingly personal and absolutely stunning.

That said, I'm very excited to have the privilege of listening to more from someone who can seem so much like a friend I've known for years.

I love you, Subaru Stevens

Eugene, Fourth of July, and The Only Thing are perhaps the most beautiful songs I've heard in my life, and the rest of the album is nothing less than ethereal. Prepare for 45 of the most profound minutes you've ever known. Sufjan is truly a god.


Fourth of July will tear you apart.


Born: July 1, 1975 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose music deals with both the personal and the spiritual while accompanied by simple but striking musical patterns, Detroit-born Sufjan Stevens started venturing into the music world while attending Hope College as a member of Marzuki, a folk-rock band based in Holland, Michigan. Following the release of two full-length albums with the group, Stevens decided to go solo in late 1999, investing fully in a career that was waiting to shine by itself. Sun...
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