This album is everything! I lost my grandma from dementia last year and I am 100% sure that if she could talk she would have told me every word from Fourth Of July. Sufjan manages to transform his pain to the most beautiful sounds!
Favorite track: Fourth of July.
Good God. Few albums are this beautiful yet poignant. With the first track, the listener is immediately cast as a loving son reckoning with forgiving the imperfections of his dying mother. It doesn't lay up from there. The double tracked whispered lyrics from Stevens will send chills down your spine. Excellent album.
Favorite track: Death with Dignity.
In "Carrie and Lowell," Sufjan Stevens is a child again or, more specifically, the child character in the family of man drama that often but not always centers on the story of love given, or love forsaken, but isn't that the same thing to the poet? That the love Stevens sings about having left or given or been born to--thank you, Carrie--is a perceptible wound not only on the singer's throat, but his sleeve: he wears love's incomprehensibility, and the deep incomprehensibility of being a son, like a backing vocal on "Carrie and Lowell," which is also filled with colors, hearts, trees, conclusions, and beginnings, all adding up to the kind of intimacy that caught my eye the morning I sat in the diner waiting for the sun to get stronger as I saw intimacy pass by while going about it's business, like something sung and felt by Sufjan Stevens on his new beautiful solitary and rich record filled with faith and disbelief and the resurrection of trust and dreams. - HILTON ALS
Flora, Portland, Oregon (engineered by Tucker Martine)
Black Watch, Norman, Oklahoma (engineered by Chad Copelin and Jarod Evans)
April Base, Eau Claire, Wisconsin (engineered by Brian Joseph)
Pat Dillet’s studio somewhere midtown Manhattan
And at Sufjan’s office in Dumbo, Brooklyn
Some tracks were also recorded on an iPhone in a hotel room in Klamath Falls, Oregon
Mixed by Sufjan Stevens, Thomas Bartlett, and Pat Dillet