CD The Avalanche: Outtakes & Extras from the Illinois Album (CD 1003466),
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The Avalanche: Outtakes & Extras from the Illinois Album
1. Avalanche, The
2. Dear Mr. Supercomputer
3. Adlai Stevenson
4. Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His ..., The
6. Henney Buggy Band, The
7. Saul Bellow
8. Carlyle Lake
9. Springfield, Or Bobby Got a Shadfly Caught in His Hair
10. Mistress Witch from McClure, The (Or, The Mind That Knows Itself)
11. Kaskaskia River
12. Chicago - (Adult Contemporary)
13. Inaugural Pop Music for Jane Margaret Byrne
14. No Man's Land
15. Palm Sunday Tornado Hits Crystal Lake, The
16. Pick-Up, The
17. Perpetual Self, Or "What Would Saul Alinsky Do?", The
18. For Clyde Tombaugh
19. Chicago - (Multiple Personality Disorder)
21. Undivided Self, The (For Eppie and Popo)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 022
Personnel: Sufjan Stevens; Craig Montoro (vocals, trumpet); James McAlister (drums, percussion); Rosie Thomas, Shara Worden, Katrina Kerns (background vocals).
Recording information: Brooklyn, NY; Carroll Music Studios, New York, NY; Seattle, WA; St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn,; The Buddy Project, Astoria, Queens; The New Jerusalem Recreation Room, Clarksboro, NJ.
Illustrator: Divya Srinivasan.
Photographers: Sufjan Stevens; Denny Renshaw.
Primarily recorded in late 2005/early '06, THE AVALANCHE serves as a companion piece to Sufjan Stevens's lauded ILLINOIS, and shares the brightly melodic chamber-pop sound of that earlier release. On this 21-track offering, the Brooklyn-based indie-rock hero revisits his lilting "Chicago" on three different occasions, most notably an acoustic version that showcases Stevens's folk leanings. The gentle-voiced performer also nods to Prairie State luminaries on the woodwind-laced "Adlai Stevenson" and the delicate "Saul Bellow," a track that strongly recalls Stevens's esteemed peer Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine). Since he has focused on Illinois for two full-length records, it seems unlikely that Stevens will reach his once-stated goal of an album for each of the 50 states, but given the remarkable quality evident on even the supposed castaways from these ambitious outings, his ardent fans certainly won't fault him for it.
Rolling Stone (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Steven's charm, like that of his spiritual homeboy Neil Young, lies in teetering on the edge of cloudy-headed overindulgence..."
Spin (p.79) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] surprising synth bursts and craggy guitar noise that were sand-papered off its predecessor."
Entertainment Weekly (p.79) - "These wistful folk-pop leftovers are better than most acts' A game."
Q (p.116) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[H]is idiosyncratic instrumentation -- banjos and trumpets, along with some spooky echoes -- makes it all the more accessible."
Alternative Press (p.212) - "His sense of research, observation, and, most importantly, storytelling is as strong on these 21 tracks as it was on ILLINOIS' 22."
No Depression (p.116) - "THE AVALANCHE provides an interesting glimpse into Stevens' artistic process, as well as the best -ever musical dissertation on Adlai Stevenson."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here are plenty of stirring woodwind/brass arrangements at which Stevens excels, and we get fascinating nods to one-time Illinois inhabitants..."
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