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Greetings from Michigan - The Great Lake State (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Sufjan Stevens' third album is a charming homage to his home state of Michigan. Filled with heartbreak, the album cryptically addresses Stevens' frustration with the notorious job market in the city of Flint in a lovely ballad that opens the record, and documents the depressing struggle the city of Detroit has fought to once again attain the elegance it had prior to the riots in the late '60s; however, it also touches on a brighter side, as in the cascading "Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!" Its title is a reference to the campaign adopted by the state in the 1980s and serves as the centerpiece as well as Stevens' attachment and amour for the state he is from. Musically, Stevens often plays his Jim O'Rourke and Stereolab cards, riffing along with complex polyphony in building loops and dynamics, but he also frequently imports lightly strummed guitars and stark banjo picking to break up the album and give it a rustic northern folk aesthetic. Stevens comfortably handles nearly every instrument on the album — an impressive task that includes various keyboards, woodwinds, guitars, and percussions — but also enlisted the help of Megan, Elin, and Daniel Smith from the Danielson Famile to help out with vocal duties, and the outcome is a haunting and hypnotic studio opus certainly worth getting lost in. [Rough Trade's 2004 edition included two bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Happy in Michigan

Stevens has done good work for a while. This is a nice beginning of his views on the states of the country. He has a nice way of setting moods in the songs and he is a talented instrumentalist. And those who don't live in Michigan should know that he had a great interpretation of his home.

A Masterpiece

I will go to my grave claiming that (despite its generally positive reviews) this is an incredibly underrated album and one greatest achievements in folk history. I've been a Sufjan fan for about 5 years and was always sold out on Illinoise and, most recently, Age of Adz. However, after fully listening through this album.. it's safe to say that honesty and innocence has rarely sounded so profound, inventive and inspired.

I'm currently listening to 'Romulus' and challenge anyone reading this to listen through it once and not "feel" it. You know, that feeling that music gives us when some truth is being spoken. I won't even begin to comment on how we've lost it. Listen to this album and regain a little lost innocence.

Thanks, Sufjan!

Woooo-Hoooo! MICHIGAN!!!!!

Great album! Especially for anyone from michigan, like me!

Biography

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...
Full Bio