About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

Sufjan Stevens: 2 down, 48 to go!

People generally like to set themselves challenges. Some are reasonable, whilst some might be stretching reality. A great example of the second is Sufjan Steven's attempt to write a concept album for "the 50 states of America". Yes, 50 full albums. Ambitious? Hmm... Foolhardy might be a better way of describing it.

However, as ridiculous as this is, the results have yet to be less than brilliant: Stevens is a sensation, and his latest state album- 'Come On Feel The Illinoise!'- received rave reviews across the board, whilst picking up a myriad of awards. Each of these albums (Illinois and Michigan) is a masterclass in songwriting: Stevens immerses himself in the cultural and historical differences of each state, and writes context heavy songs which really do paint a picture. Take 'Illinoise!', for example: songs include "John Wayne Gacy, Jr.", "Chicago" and "Jacksonville", the first of which is about the notorious Chicago-based serial killer who murdered 33 boys and was later executed. Put bluntly, this isn't easygoing stuff, but if you make the effort to listen, you will be rewarded.

The man himself is a bit of a mystery, although his music illustrates that he is a talented multi-instrumentalist. Just check out the sleeve notes on his albums: you will see that by all accounts Stevens plays at least 20 instruments on his records (through multi-track recording). One of his most powerful tools as a musician however, is his fey-voice and lyrical prowess. Artists nowadays have a tendency to write increasingly vague lyrics in attempt to appeal to as many individuals as possible. Not Sufjan. You don't get much more forward than the following when referring to a murderer:
"Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead
Twenty-seven people, even more
They were boys with their cars, summer jobs
Oh my God "

I foresee a long and illustrious career for Sufjan, who will have to write these albums into his elderly years in order to complete his epic task. As impossible as the challenge seems, I wouldn't put it past him. If he becomes more focussed (aka stops writing 5 disc Christmas Medleys!), and concentrates on the 48 albums remaining, those of us still alive when he finishes could possess one of the most diverse collections of music ever committed to disc.

Sufjan Stevens- Chicago
Sufjan Stevens- John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Sufjan Stevens- Seven Swans