11 of 42 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Come On Feel the Illinoise (Audio CD)
Plenty of people have given Sufjan Stevens favorable reviews I totally agree with. He is very talented and even if you agree with what I have to say you should still listen to his albums if you haven't heard them.
Usually I have no problem with his music, but when I am not feeling tolerant, Sufjan Stevens' music reminds me of rare occasions when I forget my MP3 player & I have to scan through radio stations to see if there is anything that catches my attention. Every once in a while I'll find something that sounds oddly naïve & nostalgic of the indie music I love, so I listen to it until the singing kicks in. Then it is painfully obvious it is Christian rock and I shut it off immediately. I resent being duped into a medium for the Christian agenda.
While most of Sufjan Stevens' music is nothing like Christian rock, it does walk a thin line by sentimentalizing a Christian message. He is a religious person. I don't respect that, but I certainly accept it. I listen to plenty of contemporary music inspired by religious faith (Talk Talk, Steve Reich, Arvo Part, to name a few), but for some reason they never bothered me. So I have to ask myself, why does Sufjan Stevens' singing about Abraham or bible school bother me? Are the vocals so clear I cannot opt not to just listen to the music?
Maybe I always thought of Indie music as a refuge from irrationality. Maybe it feels a little slipped into the mix. Maybe I find it hard to swallow that the person who wrote something this good believes in something I find absurd. Most likely the problem is just me. Previously I was more tolerant because I wasn't feeling as sickened by the current religious trend that is captivating our nation. I don't know if I can reconcile his sentimentality within the current socio-political environment. But something tells me even in different times, really delicate/intimate songs about a love for big foot or UFOs would irritate me too.