Saturday, July 09, 2005

Concerning that serial killer song on Illinois.

Since there's been a dearth of articles on young Sufjan Stevens's latest album, Illinois, allow me to be the first Interblogger to write about it. So, yeah, it's a nifty little entry in young Mr. Stevens's goal to record an album about each state in the union. Every nook and cranny of the album is crammed with lovely melodies and off-the-cuff instrumentation (thank G-d that Jon Brion isn't the only artist carrying the torch for the glockenspiel) and it might just be the greatest tweemo album evs.
Can someone really look me in the eyes* and tell me that that "John Wayne Gacy Jr." song isn't awful (and unitentionally hilarious)? I respect the moxie of someone writing a biographical song about a real serial killer (in a chamber pop setting, no less!), but when young Mr. Stevens sings "Look underneath the house there / Find the few living things / Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead / Twenty-seven people, even more / They were boys with their cars, summer jobs / Oh my God," I lose it. Maybe it's that earnest falsetto invocation of the Holy Father. I dunno. But it comes off as seriously misguided and painfully precious.
Aside from the above-mentioned song about clown murder and rapery, I've no real quibbles, it really is a great record. Wake me up when the thing starts getting some buzz.

*or write in the comment section.


At 4:14 AM, Blogger girish said...

Ben, I haven't heard a note of Sufjan's music do far, but my friend Darren just convinced me to get tickets to see him when we're in Toronto for the film festival in a coupla months.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Ben said...

The festival plus the concert will be an unreal combo. I'm jealous.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger girish said...

wow, i just noticed that "illinois" is on the itunes top selling albums list, just below missy and above black-eyed peas. indie cult figure no longer, i guess.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

Well, I guess I'll just stop writing my pop musical Gacy! then, if you seem to think that the life of JWG isn't worthy of serious artistic treatment by serious artists. Man, I already had the brutal rape show stopper choreographed and everything!

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

"John Wayne Gacy, Jr." is the best song on the album, in my opinion. It's a shame you don't see it's brilliance, and it makes me sad that you can find such sincerity humorous.


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