17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
It's not the destination, but the journey, that counts,
This review is from: Michigan (Audio CD)
At first listen, I began to panic that I had purchased a dud. However, before I'd even had the chance to play it again, many of the tracks repeated in my head and found a place to settle there.
The album requires a little more effort than usual, simply because it works as a cohesive whole, instead of the sum of so many parts. There are few 'singles' here, but an inventive collection of songs that really do complement each other. I have never been to Michigan but have been offered a sense of place and spirit by this abum that is rewarding and grows with each listen. His affectionate but unsentimental vision of Michigan is communicated with sincerity and heart. Some individual tracks did not grab me but they all contribute to the bigger picture - the journey.
The harmony of instruments, that could have led to a cacophany in less capable hands, makes the album rich but mellow. Each song is different but they clearly all belong. The feeling of travelling through a space - geographical or emotional - making various stops along the way, is an elegant idea. Sufjan Stevens manages to execute it extremely well. I've ordered Seven Swans on the strength of this. Because of the considerable flair and originality of 'Michigan', I don't expect to be disappointed.