The Inside Pulse:
Sufjan Stevens released a pretty breathtaking album last year called “Illinois,” the next installment of doing an album after every state. As concept albums go, it was pretty spectacular, and had enough wang to it to garner album of the year from Pitchfork. Going pretty much the full 80 minutes, it didn’t seem likely that there were leftovers. Well, there are. A full album’s worth. “The Avalanche” is a collection of tunes that were written in the same time as “Illinois” but didn’t fit it’s regimen enough. Are we feasting on scraps or just desperate to bathe in the waters of lake Sufjan?
Taken by itself, this album has just as many cool moments as the album it was chopped up for. “Dear Mr Super Computer”, “The Henny Buggy Band”, and “The Mistress Witch from McClure” almost outshine points of “Illinois”. The latter has actually become my favorite Sufjan song. Also, I think I prefer the acoustic version of “Chicago” to the original.
This is quickly becoming a trend in indie music and I am not a fan of it. There are three versions of “Chicago” on this record. Sure, it’s a great tune, but do we really need a “easy listening” version when there is nothing about Sufjan that constitutes hard listening?
The Shins meet Belle & Sebastian.
Reason To Buy:
You’ve devoured Illinois and are ready for more. Also, you don’t have any desire to study a record, but would rather just enjoy songs all by themselves. This record does that better than “Illinois”.