Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sufjan Stevens continuing with 50 States project
After Michigan was released, I read that Stevens was planning on releasing an album per state, which will amount to 50 albums. I don't really understand the motive behind this (other than to get press for attempting such a tremendous feat), but I wonder if Stevens can sustain the personal connection reflected in the songs about his home state of Michigan. It might be pretty easy on the next one, which deals with Illinois, but once the focus of the releases becomes foreign to him, the quality of the songs may suffer.
Other points that concern me from the PF newsbit: "the album implements more than 30 instruments and musicians, from the usual guitar and banjo to horns, string quartets, and a small choir. . . 'It's like the music at the Hall of Presidents at Disneyland, like really big and kind of patriotic sounding.' Sufjan really wanted to make it sound a little bit more polished and professional . . . the Illinois record will not be the sum of Stevens' recorded 2005 output, claiming that "by the end of this year" there will "probably" be another state album that will double as a christmas album. Seemingly relentless, Stevens is also bouncing around the idea of recording an EP for a smaller state. His PR went on to say they think the state records will continue to be produced for the indefinite future."
Stevens is currently riding high with two critically acclaimed released, and putting out an album per state will also increase his profile in numerous magazines, but if the quality of the music suffers, then what's the point?
Having said all that, I love how a smaller state might only get an EP. Maybe Rhode Island will be summed up on a 7". Or a b-side.
posted by Jonathan


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