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The album is Sufjan Steven's second in a series of albums about all 50 states (he started with Michigan). All of the songs concern the state of Illinois in some way. It was originally titled "Come On! Feel The Illinoise!" and it might just be my album of the year.


The ambitious tracklisting and titles should nicely sum up the album.



01 "Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, IL"

02 "The Black Hawk War, Or, How To Demolish An Entire Civilization And Still Feel Good About Yourself In The Morning, Or, We Apologize For The Inconvenience But You're Going To Have To Leave Now, Or, 'I Have Fought The Big Knives And Will Continue To Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!'"

03 "Come On! Feel The Illinoise!"

Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition

Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

04 "John Wayne Gacy, Jr."

05 "Jacksonville"

06 "A Short Reprise For Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But For Very Good Reasons"

07 "Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause For Your Step Mother!"

08 "One Last 'Woo-hoo!' For The Pullman"

09 "Chicago"

10 "Casimir Pulaski Day"

11 "To The Workers Of The Rockford River Valley Region, I Have An Idea Concerning Your Predicament, And It Involves Shoe String, A Lavender Garland, And Twelve Strong Women"

12 "The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts"

13 "Prairie Fire That Wanders About"

14 "A Conjunction Of Drones Simulating The Way In Which Sufjan Stevens Has An Existential Crisis In The Great Godfrey Maze"

15 "The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!"

16 "They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhhh!"

17 "Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It All The Way Out In Bushnell"

18 "In This Temple, As In The Hearts Of Man, For Whom He Saved The Earth"

19 "The Seer's Tower"

20 "The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders"

Part I: The Great Frontier

Part II: Come To Me Only With Playthings Now

21 "Riffs And Variations On A Single Note For Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, And The King Of Swing, To Name A Few"

22 "Out Of Egypt, Into The Great Laugh of Mankind, And I Shake The Dirt From My Sandals As I Run"



As for the artwork:

It was originally supposed to feature Superman.


but Sufjan's label was scared of being sued by DC comics, so after the first pressing, they took out Superman and left the spot blank.


but on the vinyl cover (which just came out the other week), they added balloons, presumably to fill the space.


Edited by crazycanuck
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