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Songs for... [Box set, Import]

Sufjan Stevens Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 9.77
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Music

Image of album by Sufjan Stevens

Photos

Image of Sufjan Stevens

Biography

The Age of Adz (pronounced odds) is Sufjan Stevens’ first full-length collection of original songs since 2005’s civic pop opus Illinois. This new album is probably his most unusual, first, for its lack of conceptual underpinnings, and second, for its preoccupation with Sufjan himself. The album relinquishes the songwriter’s former story-telling techniques for more primal ... Read more in Amazon's Sufjan Stevens Store

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for 16 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Songs for... + Silver and Gold: Songs for Christmas - Volumes 6 - 10 + A Very She and Him Christmas
Price For All Three: 41.56

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Jan 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • ASIN: B000HLDF0O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,319 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Silent Night
2. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
3. We're Goin' To The Country
4. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Angels We Have Heard
2. Put The Lights On The Tree
3. Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
4. I Saw Three Ships
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
2. Come On! Let's Boogey To The Elf Dance!
3. We Three Kings
4. O Holy Night
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. The Little Drummer Boy
2. Away In A Manger
3. Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!
4. The First Noel
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Once In Royal David's City
2. Get Behind Me, Santa!
3. Jingle Bells
4. Christmas In July
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description

BBC Review

It's a notoriously dodgy idea that you can dissect an artist's work according to the biographical detail you glean from interviews/biographies/Wikipedia entries. Sufjan Stevens is a classic example: We all know he's a committed Christian with an interest in Reichian (Steve not Wilhelm) constructs, folk and brass bands. So when he finally releases his Christmas songs - originally recorded as EPs for friends - as a box set, you instantly focus on the spiritual aspect of it all. Right? Wrong!

Stevens has repeatedly told all who will listen that he regards his beliefs as something not to be explored in the public arena of his music. Yes, he has a hugely affecting humanitarian streak running throughout all his work, but this is a man whose multi-faceted approach and sheer dedication to churning it out is only rivalled by someone like Prince. Remember, he still may release an album for every state in the USA, if he doesn't get distracted by the myriad of other projects that he's involved with. |He's a complicated guy...What's more, anyone who includes a song entitled ''Get Behind Me Santa'' has to be some kind of genius who's obviously NOT taking the birth of our Lord too seriously.

Having said all that, Songs For Christmas does have some beautifully wrought traditional fare. His versions of ''Silent Night'' or ''Once In Royal David's City'' have exactly the kind of delicacy you'd expect from him, while he still has time to rock out (''Put the Lights On The Tree''), get silly ('Come on! Let's Boogey To The Elf Dance!'')and also be quite cynical (''Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)'') on top of it all. Hardly a straight-ahead Christmas album, then.

Whatever, it's Sufjan Stevens. He's a modern wonder, and now he's just made Christmas better as well! --Chris Jones

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I heard the pop on Christmas day 10 Feb 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
For some years now, Sufjan Stevens has been recording little EPs of Christmas songs for people he knew, to "make himself appreciate Christmas more."

Now thankfully he's sharing these songs with his eager listeners, in a five-disc collection that includes his folky reinterpretations of classic carols -- and then the festive ones he made himself. This is not the treacly garbage they put on the radio or in malls -- this is enchanting, festive, fresh music for the holidays.

The first EP -- recorded in 2001 -- is very much old-school Sufjan. Much folkier and banjoey, especially in the lo-fi "O Come O Come Emmanuel," folksy little songs about going to the country, and "Amazing Grace." But there are exceptions -- a shimmering reinterpration of an old hymn, and some bouncy sleigh bell pop.

But the collection blossoms with the sparkling "Angels We Have Heard on High," which is the lead-in to his more polished style. In the four EPs that follow, Sufjan flourishes out into synthy pop, xylophone tunes, dancey holiday music, mellow folk, and exquisite piano balladry. There's the occasional banjo tune, but they grow rarer as time goes on.

And as the collection moves forward, Stevens' music becomes more accomplished with each passing year. His music becomes more complex and more enchanting, right up to the rather pensive and downbeat fifth disc -- which is album-length -- with the shimmering piano of "Winter Solstice" and the offbeat synthpop of "Jupiter Winter."

Sufjan does repeat himself occasionally -- there are multiple versions of "O Come O Come Emmanual," "Lo! A Rose E'er Blooming," and "Once in Royal David's City." Fortunately each time he records the same song, it's radically reimagined.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy That Creepy Christmas Feeling! 22 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
You'd think that having created 2005's instant classic Illinois Sufjan would be over-protective and angst ridden about his growing reputation. Instead, in 2006 we got 75 minutes of Illinois 'outtakes and extras', and now this, a collection of his informal Christmas songs he recorded as gifts for family and friends each December since 2001. Rather than compile and cherry pick from these he has presented them in their original form, giving us 5 short CDs with a running time of 2 hours. Additionally, the box has all the lyrics, complete with chords and tongue-in-cheek advice, stories, pictures and stickers making this a very festive package, at a price that is a gift in itself.

And so to the music - each CD features a range of traditional Christmas tunes, some more familiar than others, interspersed with Sufjan's quirky compositions. The usual collaborators and friends are found here. Matt Morgan (the guy providing the excellent duet on Illinois's Decatur) features prominently on Disk 1, and later come Vito Aiuto, Shara Worden, Denison Witmer et al. Highlights and lowpoints may well depend on the listener's own associations with these well-known songs, although some of these interpretations are a delight. The track that seems to epitomise this whole project is The Friendly Beasts - which is both rustic and sophisticated at the same time, and may bring a tear to your eye when Shara Worden sings her wispy lines.

Disk 5 (Peace) recorded in July 2006 stands apart because (unlike the others) it was recorded with this release in mind. Thus, it is more polished and much like a typical Sufjan CD, if there can be such a thing. Sister Winter is a top drawer Sufjan song, its portentous opening chords blossoming into something beautiful. Star of Wonder is a miniature symphony.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By G
Format:Audio CD
As if there wasn't enough cheesy Christmas music already, Sufjan churns out another 5 EP's (which makes that now 12 records in 8 years) of Christmas covers and completely original Christmas-themed songs composed by Sufjan over the past 5 years. Not quite as serious/purposeful as his focal projects (Illinois, Michigan, Seven Swans), but he must love it. I do...

Being an avid fan of Sufjan Stevens (and I ♥ Christmas music), I couldn't ask for a more appropriate Christmas present off the back of buying `The Avalanche' for my birthday in July, and I have to refrain myself from foaming at the mouth from the amount of BREATHTAKING new material he manages to keep producing in such a short space of time (NB. these EP's are the result of mini recordings over various winter breaks in between his main records). Despite having heard the whole box set already from a sincerely generous stream on the website of Sufjan's label Asthmatic Kitty, one must surely look forward to the "suf-goodies" included in the box set: an essay by Rick Moody, a music video and a comic book by Tom Eaton, extensive liner notes and short stories by Sufjan Stevens, a "Christmas Songbook with lyric sheets and chord charts," stickers, and last but not least, the "Official Original Christmas Family Portrait of Santa Sufjan painted by Jacques Bredy!" It's going to be a good Christmas.

Onto the music, and as noted, the 5 EP's are made up of a mix of covers and original compositions. They show the progression of the Sufjan 'sound', and the technical/production quality of the songs (particularly in the last two EP's) delineate how he has become one of the great modern songwriters of our generation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting
These are lovely NOT- Kitch Christmas songs which will not embarass you even in the most cynical of company; but rather uplift and entertain.
Published 17 months ago by someone
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas CD
A nice antidote to the usual trash released for Christmas by popular recording artists. Good, original reworkings of traditional Christmas songs. Read more
Published 18 months ago by H. Hagan
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything as planned
The Cd arrived when they said it would. Like new, like it said. So, i am very satisfied with the service
Published 19 months ago by Manel
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
This is a lovely album. Some of it will make you smile and some of it will break your heart. You should buy it
Published 19 months ago by RogerBT
4.0 out of 5 stars A different take on xmas songs
Folk music isn't usually my thing - I went on a recommendation for this album. I like most of it, but the odd one is a bit TOO folky. Read more
Published 19 months ago by AndreaG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
Great stuff indeed. Fast delivery. Good great and good and good again. Bla bla bla bla bla... Did I say fast deli very ... Very fast indeed
Published on 19 Oct 2011 by ttt
5.0 out of 5 stars Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas
This is a beautifully presented gift with individual CDs and booklets - ideal for a Christmas present for suffy fans or those who like American folk music
Published on 2 Jan 2011 by sally
5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful
This is a work of genius, pure unadulterated genius and pleasure. There is an argument that this is his best work ever. Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2010 by B. J. Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Christmas Music
Want a fresh approach to listening to Christmas music? Then what are you waiting for? Buy this really endearing heart warming album! Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2009 by Frazer
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Spector's?
This is the best musical Christmas related thing ever and you MUST get a copy! Check out the asthmatic kitty site because when I ordered one of mine I got a free sampler and an... Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2009 by Mr. Richard M. Thomas
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