- Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)
- All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!
- For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
- Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!
- The Upper Peninsula
- Tahquamenon Falls
- Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
- Alanson, Crooked River
- Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
- They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For the Homeless in Muskegon)
- Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? ...)
- Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)
- Vito's Ordination Song
Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake Stateby Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens's third album is a charming homage to his home state of Michigan. Filled with heartbreak, the album cryptically addresses Stevens' frustration with the notorious job market in the city of Flint in a lovely ballad that opens the record, and documents the depressing struggle the city of Detroit has fought to once again attain the elegance it had prior to the riots in the late '60s; however, it also touches on a brighter side, as in the cascading "Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!" Its title is a reference to the campaign adopted by the state in the 1980s and serves as the centerpiece as well as Stevens' attachment and amour for the state he is from. Musically, Stevens often plays his Jim O'Rourke and Stereolab cards, riffing along with complex polyphony in building loops and dynamics, but he also frequently imports lightly strummed guitars and stark banjo picking to break up the album and give it a rustic northern folk aesthetic. Stevens comfortably handles nearly every instrument on the album -- an impressive task that includes various keyboards, woodwinds, guitars, and percussions -- but also enlisted the help of Megan, Elin, and Daniel Smith from the Danielson Famile to help out with vocal duties, and the outcome is a haunting and hypnotic studio opus certainly worth getting lost in.
- Release Date:
- Asthmatic Kitty
Performance CreditsSufjan Stevens Primary Artist,Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Percussion,Piano,Cymbals,Drums,Glockenspiel,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,English Horn,Oboe,Electric Piano,Recorder,Tambourine,Vocals,Human Whistle,Xylophone,Wood Flute,Vibes,Shaker,sleigh bells
Megan Smith Vocals
John Ringhofer Trombone,Vocals
Monique Aiuto Vocals
Vito Aiuto Vocals
Stephen Halker Trumpet
Elin K. Smith Vocals
Daniel Smith Vocals
Tom Eaton Trumpet
Technical CreditsSufjan Stevens Songwriter,Arranger,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer
Laura Normandin Artwork
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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i bought this for the third song: "for the widows in paradise, for the fatherless in ypsilanti." it was the theme song for a podcast for something called the global night commute, put on by invisible children, inc. (invisiblechildren.com) i kept listening, however, because it was a brand of honesty that i'd never heard before. i am the girl who loves my thrice, my switchfoot, my eisley, my flyleaf and anberlin--and now, my sufjan stevens. it's unlike the music i normally listen to. it's unlike most of the music i've ever heard, actually. but it's marvelous nonetheless. i recommend it to those who can get over the simplicity and lack of electric guitar and can love the music for what it is.
You'll listen to this record at first and think it might be a joke, or it might be hokey, but in the end it's just a guy making music that sounds like it needs to sound (rather than using a formula). It's folk music with indie sincerity. This album succeeds where other modern folk fails for two reasons. (1) The lyrics celebrate real people without the corny allusions to people/ places that don't exist. (2) The music is spare but innovative, using contemporary instrumentation (heavy on keyboards) rather than the cliche guitar/banjo/violin bit. Whether or not you appreciate the song titles should tell you whether or not you'll appreciate the music. Personally, I've listened to it more than any record since Kid A.
Sufjan Steven's Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State is one of my favorite Cds. It combines great instrumental with wonderful lyrics, which creates a CD that truely does represent the state of Michigan.