12/17/15: Sufjan Stevens

@@@ Sufjan Stevens: Carrie and Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty, 2015).  Just a minute before we get to this record which is just tearing up the best of 2015 lists.  I was checking the Pitchfork top 50 of the year and 3 of the first 10 records are hip hop records.  When did Pitchfork blackafy?

I think I peeped this record earlier in the year but sometimes I go back when I see so many people jumping up and down because maybe I made a mistake in not seeing the greatness of a record.  Prior to this record as a general statement I think Stevens is a hyped darling.  His talent doesn’t measure up to his rep.

This is also a very easy record to bandwagon on — a musician does an album about the demise of his mother, it’s a universal theme and it makes indie music come across as having more depth than it really has as a genre.

The arrangements are simple, the arpeggiated guitar is beautiful and easy for listeners to hang onto, but if you’re top 10 on everybody’s lists should I expect Dylan quality lyrics?  Should I be getting some near poetry, some shit that hits me or am I asking too much?  No equivalent of Masters of War?  We’re talking a major periodical’s end of year list.  I don’t hear best of year in lyrics here — I dig the lyrics and delivery on Frog Eyes’ recent record more than this.

If pretty is your only criteria for a record you’re good for this one.  Frankly, I’m a bit bored by the fourth song.  If you’re going to strip the arrangements down so much I want some Grade A lyrics to connect with.


YTD recordings listened to: 997
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 566
Not good music: 344

Honorable Mentions: 27
Buys: 20

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Richard Thompson,  Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves


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