Sunday, August 23, 2009

88. “Come On Feel The Illinoise!” Part 1: The World First Columbian Exposition” by Sufjan Stevens (2005)

“Chicago, in fashion, the soft drinks, expansion
Oh Columbia!
From Paris, incentive, like Cream of Wheat invented,
The Ferris Wheel!”

You have love the bridge to the second movement of this song – the part where The Cure’s “Close To Me” is shamelessly aped and yet still sounds remarkably poingnant and beautiful. Actually, you have to love that there are multiple movements to this song at all.

There is something almost perfect about this song: the innocence of the peanuts riff, the kid crying himself to sleep, the fact that he’s urging you to “Come on Feel The Illinoise”, an amusing reminder that this song is part of a concept album about the state of Illinois and a larger reminder that he hopes to do 48 more of these albums (Michigan is already in the books). Most of all, it’s a fairly ambitious song (Surfjan gets a little proggy in here if you listen closely) that could fall on its face if it were not executed so perfectly. But it is.

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