Sufjan Stevens’ new album Illinois is very, very strange. And very, very good.
And, judging by the critical response it’s getting, it looks like the most highly praised album recorded by a Christian singer/songwriter in many years. (Am I forgetting any similarly celebrated titles?)
Check it out. The song called “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” is so heartbreakingly beautiful, it’s worth the price of the record.
I remember when Leslie Phillips’ The Turning won raves in Rolling Stone, it heralded a new era for Christian music. Phillips, with producer T-Bone Burnett, raised the bar for excellence, poetry, and sonic invention with that album. Later, Chagall Guevara’s self-titled debut (and, alas, their only album) rocked Rolling Stone and won comparisons to The Clash.