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zalm

Sufjan Stevens

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Gah... I'm trying to get ready to leave for work, and his version of "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing" practically has me in tears.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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When I downloaded "Come thou fount" two years ago, I think I listened to it 20 or 30 times. It's the bomb diggity.

On another note, I'm reviewing this album for our Church newspaper, the Window. If I can get one white hair to buy this, I'll have done my job.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I also adored "Come thou Fount." It and "Amazing Grace" (a song that never truly moved me before I heard Sufjan's rendition of it) were my favorites on the original three Christmas albums. Ironic, since neither are Christmas songs!

Also, I haven't heard it yet, but I'm already in love with "Get Behind Me, Santa."


Kent Brockman: Now, here are the results from our phone-in poll. 95% of the people think Homer Simpson is guilty. Of course, this is just a television poll, which is not legally binding. Unless Proposition 304 passes, and we all pray it will.

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Wow, it's only 21 bucks (with S&H, US+Canada, $25 for international) for the pre-order. I thought it would have been around 35 or so for the entire package. A practical steal for some great Christmas music.

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I streamed the last two discs yesterday, which were the two that I had yet to hear. I really liked what I heared. The boxed set is a perfect example in the progression of his sound from 2001 until 2006. The first disc is really reserved, mostly just Stevens and his banjo, but by the fifth disc, look out. It's definately Stevens being Stevens.

Finally a Christmas album for people who don't like Christmas music.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I streamed the last two discs yesterday, which were the two that I had yet to hear. I really liked what I heared. The boxed set is a perfect example in the progression of his sound from 2001 until 2006. The first disc is really reserved, mostly just Stevens and his banjo, but by the fifth disc, look out. It's definately Stevens being Stevens.

Finally a Christmas album for people who don't like Christmas music.

Well, I'll be the Grinch here.

I think most of this music is terrible. And I say that as a Sufjan fan who particularly loves Michigan, Seven Swans, and Illinois. I do like "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." But most of these tracks sound like Sufjan farting around and making very loose, very under-rehearsed music for his friends. Which is what it was originally intended to be. If you want to pay good money for it, be my guest. But this sounds like a batch of half-assed outtakes that were never intended to be released to the masses.

This is one Santa-sized mass who won't be enjoying it this holiday season.

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Wow Andy, how do you really feel about it. :)

While I don't think it is as good as any of his proper studio releases, especially Illinois, Michigan, and Seven Swans, I do think it's pretty good, especially for Christmas music. I really, really don't enjoy listening to Christmas music (with the exception of the Peanuts Christmas special, and the Nutcracker), but I have enjoyed listening to this the past two years (well, discs 1-3). Yeah, it is Stevens "farting around", no it wasn't intended for mass consumption, yes it is Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty making a quick buck, but still I like it more than 90% of the Christmas albums out there. I'll take a half-assed Stevens over a full-assed Christina Aguilera or some other pop starlet's Christmas album any day of the week.

But maybe I might like more Christmas music if I spent more time in this thread.

Edited by Kyle

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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But most of these tracks sound like Sufjan farting around and making very loose, very under-rehearsed music for his friends.

Aw shucks... that's why I like it as much as I do.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I bought my copy at Sonic Boom yesterday. Only $16.99, which was a bargain, me thinks. Since I've already listened to the first three discs plenty, I've only listened to the fourth and fifth disc. I like the fourth disc a great deal. It's probably the most similar to the first three discs. It also has a Seven Swansy-feel. The fifth disc is much more influenced by his more recent work on Illinois and the Avalanche, but not done nearly as well. It feels rushed and lacking.

Perhaps the best part of the whole shindig is the packaging, which is marvelous.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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Pitchfork gives Songs For Christmas a 7.5 and notes that it provides an interesting document of Sufjan's growth as a songwriter, arranger, and producer:

But Sufjan didn't metamorphize from open-mic strummer to chamber-pop bandleader overnight, and that progression is nicely documented by Songs for Christmas. The first EP, recorded way back in December 2001, shows a simpler, folksier Stevens, assembling a circle of friends to casually dash off seven songs of banjo-plucking and broken harmonies. Twelve months later, on the second disc, the singer has already begun to spread his clip-on angel wings, most notably on a nearly seven-minute long version of "What Child is This?" led by a tweaked Rhodes to an early version of the choral peaks he would perfect with Illinois.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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The boxed set is a perfect example in the progression of his sound from 2001 until 2006. The first disc is really reserved, mostly just Stevens and his banjo, but by the fifth disc, look out. It's definately Stevens being Stevens.

Pitchfork gives Songs For Christmas a 7.5 and notes that it provides an interesting document of Sufjan's growth as a songwriter, arranger, and producer:

Sure...if Pitchfork says it, its news but if I say it...its like it doesn't matter. :) Its almost as if pitchfork is more influential than I am.

Edited by Kyle

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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Sure...if Pitchfork says it, its news but if I say it...its like it doesn't matter. :) Its almost as if pitchfork is more influential than I am.

Well, if you were as snarky as P-fork, then maybe we'd take you seriously! ;)


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Sure...if Pitchfork says it, its news but if I say it...its like it doesn't matter. :) Its almost as if pitchfork is more influential than I am.

Well, if you were as snarky as P-fork, then maybe we'd take you seriously! ;)

Good. That will give me something to work on.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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Kyle's $16 bucks makes me want to kick myself, but I bought it a few days ago from the record company for $20 + I think $1 buck shipping or something like that. Really looking forward to it. I'm going to play it at the very least throughout December.

-s.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

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Just picked up my copy this morning. Definitely going to be in heavy rotation for the next month.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Kyle's $16 bucks makes me want to kick myself, but I bought it a few days ago from the record company for $20 + I think $1 buck shipping or something like that. Really looking forward to it. I'm going to play it at the very least throughout December.

-s.

For a couple of reasons, I was a bit surprised myself. First, I was sure it wasn't coming out until today so to see it a couple days early was a surprise. Second, it was weird to see it in a store cheaper than directly from the label. I was planning on pre-ordering it from Asthmatic Kitty, but never got around to it. I'm glad I didn't.

Seriously though, the packaging is awesome. I mean the music is good and everything, but some seriously cool packaging. It's fun to pick up an album and actually want to look at what it came in.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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Augh! I ordered mine from Asthmatic Kitty, and they said it shipped last week. Hopefully, it'll arrive before the Thanksgiving holiday, partly because the mail will be down and partly because I won't be home for several days.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I give myself the go ahead to listen to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping you're able to get it before Thanksgiving Opus.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I only just got my shipping notification from the hacking felines today. *sigh* It doesn't help that the set is like $15 down the street at Rasputin.

I almost feel a little cheated until I remember that I've illicitly had three of these discs for a year or so and that Asthmatic Kitty has been streaming the whole set for free for weeks. I love stickers as much as the next guy, but I think I'll just have to learn to be a bit more patient.

In the meantime, I've got the Over the Rhine demos to keep me company. (How is it that there's no emoticon for "swoon"?)

Edited by zalm

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Make sure and put "Hark" in the computer so you can watch the super-secret animated video to Put the Lights on the Tree!


"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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I give myself the go ahead to listen to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping you're able to get it before Thanksgiving Opus.

It arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'm a happy camper. :)


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I give myself the go ahead to listen to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, so I'm hoping you're able to get it before Thanksgiving Opus.

It arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'm a happy camper. :)

Score! Have you checked out the comic yet? I got a kick out of that. It passed about two minutes of our 8 hour car trip yesterday.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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