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The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Sufjan Stevens' Come on Feel the Illinoise was a long, gorgeous, and occasionally convoluted kaleidoscope of folk, pop, and orchestral rock fused with personal regional history that somehow managed to lure listeners of all ages and genre allegiances into its pompon-wielding arms. Like Illinois, The Avalanche -- leave it to Stevens to release a 21-track collection of outtakes and extras from a record that boasted 22 -- is stuffed with a surplus of unnecessary and pretentiously titled instrumental Band-Aids like "Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benelovent Butterflies," "The Mistress Witch from McClure Or, the Mind That...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Sufjan Stevens' Come on Feel the Illinoise was a long, gorgeous, and occasionally convoluted kaleidoscope of folk, pop, and orchestral rock fused with personal regional history that somehow managed to lure listeners of all ages and genre allegiances into its pompon-wielding arms. Like Illinois, The Avalanche -- leave it to Stevens to release a 21-track collection of outtakes and extras from a record that boasted 22 -- is stuffed with a surplus of unnecessary and pretentiously titled instrumental Band-Aids like "Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benelovent Butterflies," "The Mistress Witch from McClure Or, the Mind That Knows Itself," and "The Palm Sunday Tornado Hits Crystal Lake" that would serve more purpose on an early-'70s Yes album than they do here, but they're augmented by some truly noteworthy songs that prove Stevens' prolificacy is as much a byproduct of his obvious gifts as a writer as it is by his need to record every idea that pops into his head. Opening with the title cut, a loose, banjo-driven ballad that develops into a pulsing day drive from the East Coast to the Midwest The Avalanche is named for a car, not the terrifying mass of ice, snow, earth, and rock that swallows numerous skiers each year, Stevens constructed an alternate version of Illinois that is almost as good as the original. Shades of Stereolab pepper both the manic "Dear Mr. Supercomputer" and the nostalgic "Adlai Stevenson," while the elegiac "No Man's Land" echoes the sense of discovery that fueled Illinois' "Chicago," the latter of which appears three times in various disguises throughout the record. The Avalanche slows down considerably near the record's end, but so did Illinois, making an even better case for the "Super Director's Cut" that would fuse both albums into one mammoth slice of esoteric Americana pie.
Entertainment Weekly - Michael Endelman
[Grade: A-] These wistful folk-pop leftovers are better than most acts' A game.
The Independent - Andy Gill
The Avalanche makes a wonderful companion-piece to Illinois, even if it isn't as endowed with catchy melodies. It offers a fine introduction to a fascinating performer, a man determined to remember what made America great, when it was great.
The Guardian - Mat Snow
His songs are decorated with quirky time-signatures, contrapuntal brass and vocal arrangements reminiscent of those of John Adams. Yet at heart, Stevens is a pensively nostalgic folk chorister like the Paul Simon of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Daily Telegraph - Ben Thompson
Both a worthy companion piece and a fine record in its own right.
Austin Chronicle - Melanie Haupt
Avalanche...is all over the place musically but never loses the singer-songwriter's jaw-dropping vision.... Simply breathtaking.

The Avalanche makes a wonderful companion-piece to Illinois, even if it isn't as endowed with catchy melodies. It offers a fine introduction to a fascinating performer, a man determined to remember what made America great, when it was great.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/11/2006
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • UPC: 656605830223
  • Catalog Number: 22
  • Sales rank: 31,961

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sufjan Stevens Primary Artist, Track Performer
Rosie Thomas Background Vocals
James McAlister Percussion, Drums
Craig Montoro Trumpet, Vocals
Shara Worden Background Vocals
Katrina Kerns Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Alan Douches Mastering
Sufjan Stevens Composer, Engineer, Drawing
Divya Srinivasan Illustrations, Cover Art
Stephen Halker Drawing
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just as Good as Illinoise

    Just because the title says "Outtakes and Extras" no one should expect this to be of lesser quality than Illinoise. Admittedly, those who enjoy the more folky Sufjan may not enjoy this album as much, but fans of Bright Eyes's "Digital Ash" or the Postal Service will enjoy some of the technopop influences. But that is not to say that the familiar banjos and meandering melodies are not present. A must for and Sufjan fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Avalanche

    Avalanche is a good CD, that contains great lyrics and instruments. This CD is not my favorite of Sufjan's works but is still very good. It is more rock than folk displayed in the CD Michigan. I recommend this CD to anyone who likes Sufjan Stevens and to anyone who likes good music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews