Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (2xLP Vinyl)

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Carrie & Lowell sounds like memory: it spans decades yet does not trade on pastiche or nostalgia. Stevens's gauzy double-tracked vocals wash across the dashboard of long-finned, drop-top Americana, yet as we race towards the coast we are reminded that sunshine leads to shadow, for this is a landscape of terminal roads, unsteady bridges, traumatic video stores, and unhappy beds that provide the scenery for tales of jackknifed cars, funerals, and forgiveness for the dead. Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without neither myths nor miracle - and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. Carrie & Lowell accomplishes the rare thing that any art should achieve, particularly in these noisy and fragmented days: By seeking to understand, Sufjan makes us feel less alone.



This is just an absolutely intimate album with a beautifully heartbreaking narrative. I'd say it's flawless, solely because the themes of parental love, loss, and ultimately that mere blip of forgiveness are so subjective. Every time I listen to this album, I draw parallels from my own life and find myself in tears without even realizing it. An experience such as a parent leaving can change you in ways you could never imagine: the constant dwelling, the need for an answer when there is none, the need for validation. Sufjan drove that feeling home in a way that makes the kids who experienced this feel seen.

Throughout the album, Sufjan has this desperate, almost childlike tone in the pieces where he discusses his mother. You feel his pain of wanting an explanation for her leaving. Fourth of July and Should Have Known Better in particular encompass that perfectly. As for Death with Dignity, again one of my favourites. I do think it should have been last on the album though, as it feels like it resolves all the darkness of the other songs. The last verse when Sufjan says "I forgive you, mother" would have definitely hit the spot at the end of the album.

10/10 nothing else to say

By: Maathurya31

Death With Dignity
Should Have Known Better
All Of Me Wants All Of You
Drawn To The Blood
Fourth of July
The Only Thing
Carrie & Lowell
Eugene
John My Beloved
No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross
Blue Bucket Of Gold


Includes printed inner sleeve with lyrics and credits on one side and a photo on the other.
Includes a postcard with an mp3 download code

Asthmatic Kitty Records AKR099