I’m vulnerable to the cool new thing.
When a movie or album or performer is lavished with praise in all the “right” magazines and websites, I get a little antsy until I’m in the know. And more often than not, I agree with the chattering class.
In my defense, the critics are usually right, especially when there is near unanimous consent.
Sufjan Stevens is another celebrated indie rocker who has never clicked with me. Admittedly, I haven’t heard much of his music but that’s because what I have heard just annoys me.
My issue with Stevens is that he tries too damn hard. The album of his I own is 2005’s orgasmically-received Come On Feel the Illinoise!, which was the second entry in his “Fifty State Project,” a plan to write and record an album about each U.S. state. He started with 2003’s Michigan and abandoned the project after Illinois.
Now, I actually think that’s a pretty cool idea, whether he ever actually intended it or not. And I’m not knocking him for his ambition.