Sufjan Stevens: Dutch Mafia Life, or, How Amway Stole the Soul of a Talented Christian Rocker and Tossed His Lifeless Body into Lake Michigan, or, “Jesus Christ! Enough with the Choirs Already!”

The Man of Metropolis Steals Our HeartsThere are plenty of reasons to hate Sufjan Stevens. First of all there’s his name. It’s apparently Armenian and pronounced SOOF-yen. Come on. What kind of name is that?

Then there’s the whole gimmick about his 50 states project. Whatever. He came up with a clever way to get rock critics to pay attention to his Michigan album back when nobody had heard of him: just tell them there’s 49 more where that came from.

And what about the titles of the songs on his new album? Naming a song “The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience But You’re Going to Have to Leave Now, or, ‘I have fought the Big Knives and will continue to fight them until they are off our lands!'” is just preposterous (although you have to admit that “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhhh!” is a pretty amusing song title).


And his background… He went to Hope, a small liberal arts college, affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, where he won all kinds of awards including the William B. Eerdmans’ Prize for prose in 1996 and for poetry in 1998. He also won an Erika Brubaker Award for Promising Achievements in the Study of Literature in 1996 and the more exclusive Senior Award for Proficiency in Literature in 1998. Anyone who grew up in West Michigan will tell you that Hope College has a reputation for being very conservative, very Christian, and very dry (of course there were always bad kids who snuck in booze; in fact, Hope’s coolest alumni by far are the founders of New Holland Brewing who make some of the finest beers in America).

But none of that shit has anything to do with the music. Or does it? Spiritual and religious themes come up frequently in Stevens’ lyrics, and he talks a lot about his faith in interviews. He’s associated with the Sounds Familyre gang (Danielson Famile, etc.) who are known for creating a new genre of alt-Christian rock. These are basically a bunch of fundies who don’t want to admit to playing Christian rock. Well, that’s not very accurate. It’s not really Christian rock at all. If you’ve spent any time at all in an evangelical Christian environment, you know what real Christian rock sounds like. And it sounds bad. It sounds like a weak imitation of whatever drivel was selling on the pop charts about five years ago. Always a little weaker, always about five years behind.

But Stevens doesn’t play that type of Christian rock. Nope, his music actually more closely resembles the actual worship music you’d hear coming out of any number of fundamentalist Christian churches on a Sunday morning. Never heard the real thing? Picture a choir of five or six well-scrubbed youngish men and women with their shirts tucked in, singing together with gusto but not really singing harmonies—just singing together. Behind them is a band made up of a guitar player who Jesus saved from a drug addiction of some type many, many years ago. The bass player and the drummer play very quietly so as not to ruffle the feathers of the recently reformed Baptists. There’s also a mousey lady on keys (or flute) who smiles and sings along and shakes a tambourine. Hands are raised to the air, eyes are closed in devotion, people sway, and the presence of the Holy Spirit is upon them. Sort of like the Polyphonic Spree without any of the hot stank of sweaty, culty sex.

While some of the music on Illinois is as mediocre as those church bands, Stevens’ lyrics are a lot more interesting. Like his Sounds Familyre posse, his faith is only one or several themes that he explores in his lyrics. And he’s got one song in particular on the album that is capable of palpably breaking your heart.

“Casimir Pulaski Day” (mp3) is a song about losing a close friend to cancer. It’s also about losing your faith in God. Or at least questioning the belief that God will intercede on your behalf in your daily life. It deals with these subjects so delicately and beautifully that you almost can’t believe it: “Tuesday night at the Bible study we lift our hands and pray over your body but nothing ever happens.” Illinois is worth listening to for this one song alone, but there is plenty of great stuff spread over its 74 minutes.

“Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step Mother!” is a fun song with the unforgettable couplet: “Stephen A. Douglass was a great debater / But Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator.” If that reminds you of They Might Be Giants, it should, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The whole 50 states project seems like something TMBG would’ve thought up, but they probably would’ve had the grace to limit it to one song rather than a whole album per state.

And that’s the whole problem with the concept. Do we really need the instrumental padding like “The Black Hawk War” and “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But for Very Good Reasons”? The “set-change” filler combined with all the fucking choral background vocals gives the album an unfortunate Andrew Lloyd Webber vibe. Ambitious? Sure, but do we need another Jesus Christ Superstar? Or another Chess? I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine. But hey, if you’re into the theatrics, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Still, there’s a lot to like. As with most 74-minute long albums, it could be greatly improved by trimming off about 25 minutes. But that leaves plenty of great stuff. “Chicago,” “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts” (mp3), and “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” are all beautiful, affecting pop songs. Sadly, nothing lives up to the promise of “Casimir Pulaski Day” (mp3). But shit, how could it? This truly is one of the best songs you’ll hear this year. For anyone who’s ever sat at a loved one’s deathbed, for anyone who’s ever felt helpless and exhausted as they watch someone’s life fade away, for anyone who’s ever felt that if there is a God then He must be a real asshole, this song is for us.

In the morning when you finally go

And the nurse runs in with her head hung low

And the cardinal hits the window

In the morning, in the winter shade,

On the first of March, on the holiday

I thought I saw you breathing

All the glory that the Lord has made

And the complications when I see His face

In the morning in the window

All the glory when He took our place

But He took my shoulders, and He shook my face

And He takes and He takes and He takes

47 thoughts on “Sufjan Stevens: Dutch Mafia Life, or, How Amway Stole the Soul of a Talented Christian Rocker and Tossed His Lifeless Body into Lake Michigan, or, “Jesus Christ! Enough with the Choirs Already!””

  1. Word. I liked Michigan, and I like Illinois, while admitting that they are both a little long-winded and bloated. There’s some brilliant stuff on each, but it’s an exercise in patience to sit down for a 75 minute album if you want to truly absorb it as a whole. You have to piece together the concept from listening to small fragments. But he’s got a knack for instrumentation and knows his way around an arrangement.

  2. Soofy makes overrated Christian shit. That about sums it up. “Casimir” is melodic and sweet, but it certainly is NOT one of the greatest songs of 2005.

  3. “Electric guitars in church? Oh my gosh, the dropouts must’ve overpowered the reverend!”

    Michigan is a great, great cd. Seven Swans was not as good, but has some memorable songs. Too Christian-y for my liking. This cd seems to be somewhere in between the two. I agree, though, about the 50 states project. How absurd! Does anyone ACTUALLY think he will finish it, and how could he? At some point he will be just finding random facts in an encyclopedia and writing songs about the dry, boring facts.

  4. you wrote:

    “If that reminds you of They Might Be Giants, it should, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The whole 50 states project seems like something TMBG would’ve thought up, but they probably would’ve had the grace to limit it to one song rather than a whole album per state.”

    And in fact they did! Well, at least John Linnell did!

    Here: http://tinyurl.com/8e967

    And you’re right, he did choose to limit it to one song per state. You must be psychic!

    In your review you ask “do we really need…?” But, my response (and yes I know you probably meant it as a rhetorical question) would be “do we really need any of this?” It’s pop music! It’s all totally disposable and unecessary! But we love it! We collect it, and organize it, and analyze it! Lord knows why! So, in the grand scheme of things I guess you could answer, no, we don’t need ______ in the world of pop. But I’m thankful they tried it. Hooray for somebody inventing long crazy song titles! Break free from the pack! Try something new or different!

    If there’s an artist who can think of an idea and then execute that idea then there will always be listeners eager to hear it. There’s no reason to discourage that instinct. In fact it’s useless to do so.

    Well written review. I enjoyed reading it.

    Ryan

  5. I don’t mind long albums, as long as none of the songs are filler. The key is to be able to idenfity the filler. If you can do that, then each of your songs is worthwhile.

  6. Yep, i like Sufjan and like this album a lot. I think it’s better overall than “Michigan.” True, both the latter and “Illinois” are long-players and i tend to cherry-pick from them most of the time rather than listening right through (unless i’m up early and have the time to spare). Still, speaking as a non-Christian, i don’t have a problem with his themes or his expression of his spiritual self. I mean, c’mon people. If an artist can sing about so many other aspects of life that we have in common with them and/or can relate to where’s the problem in listening to someone express their faith. If Chris Martin wants to sing about being vegetarian or pacifist he’s not branded as a “vegetarian” artist. Why does everyone freak out when Jesus is mentioned?

  7. Biatchy,

    I don’t believe “everyone” freaks out about “christian” music. In fact, the fact that christian entertainment is a billion dollar business in this country would seem to prove your comment wrong. Add to that the fact that the vast majority of americans are Christian, and it wouldn’t make sense at all to say that everyone freaks out when Jesus is mentioned in song.

    Do you really mean to say, “why don’t indie snobs embrace religion in music whenever someone decides to spring it on the?”

    Personally, I don’t want jesus anywhere near my rock n’ roll. Rock N’ Roll is by definition anti religious, anti establishment and anti conformist. Once a musician pollutes The Rock with Jesus or Jahova, in my opinion they’ve shit all over what Rock N Roll stands for. Namely, a big fucking middle finger in the face of the establishment, be it the church or the government.

    As far as Stevens is concerned……I don’t feel that he really plays Rock N’ Roll. So, I let him off that hook on a technicality. I dislike his Christian ramblings because I grew up here in West Michigan and know a million stupid fucks like him. I find his college, his religious denomination and his cohorts who remain here to be a masive hoard of hypocrites, fascists and cocksuckers. In other words, I hate his music in part because I hate him as a person.

  8. Okay Scotty, I’m not aware of the organisation he’s part of or don’t know the deal behind Hope College and all of that malarky. I’m only aware of his tunes, some i like and others that i find a bit cluttered with too much instrumentation vying for place. I did make a sweeping generalisation when i said “everyone” freaks out about Christian music. It is a billion dollar industry and it’s mostly horse-shit. I suppose it always seems to be a talking point whenever he releases a new album – that’s all.

  9. You have to be careful about condemning all kinds of Christian music. After all, if you listen to Bob Marley at all, you will realize that a lot of his lyrics are religious. Reggae is one instance where I’ve realized that I can actually enjoy and learn something from so-called religious music. One thing about Marley, though, is that his message was not a promotion of his religion, but he used his religion as a vehicle to promote love.

    Now, I do get a little annoyed when someone sings excessively about Jesus.

    But what about Neutral Milk Hotel, for instance? Track 2 starts with “I love you Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ, I love you!” Some people might be turned off by this right away, but it doesn’t bother me a bit, because Christianity is not the music’s underlying message.

    I think it’s also important to accept that although it may not be explicit, a lot of music is “Christian,” as in it is created by people who believe in Christ, etc. Seems like Seven Swans has a religious THEME, less a celebration like Bob Marley. This is where I get squeamish: when it seems like someone’s faith is being imposed onto me.

    Otherwise, if it’s just a celebration of God or God’s love, whatever, I don’t mind too much, as long as it’s not too in my face.

  10. Also, in my opinion, questioning God’s existence absolutely belongs in Rock.

    (And the aforementioned Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Track 2” is a reference to “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.”)

  11. Loper, that song has a name, you know. It’s not called “Track 2.” Its title is “King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2-3.” FYI.

    And although it’s not separated on the cd tracking, one can assume that the “I love you Jesus Christ” bit would be “King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 2,” while the “And on the lazy days the dogs dissolve and drain away” bit is “King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 3.”

    Songs have titles, not just track numbers. Comments in a Sufjan Stevens discussion (of all places!) should acknowledge this, ha ha.

  12. “King of Carrot Flowers Part 2 not be confused with King of Carrot Flowers Part 3 nor to be referred to as Track 2 or Hey Mrs. Dodd you left a pie on the window-sill or a short poem for the coal-mining men who toil in the pits with grit on their mitts.”

  13. Jake said: “Songs have titles, not just track numbers. Comments in a Sufjan Stevens discussion (of all places!) should acknowledge this, ha ha.”

    Fair enough. I guess while I was clarifying, I could’ve been clear.

  14. Does anyone know that song called “Song 2”? They always play it a the Seahawks football game and I fucking love it… who wrote it?

  15. Blur?

    Woohoo?

    That self-titled CD is pretty good, as is their next one, “13,” but I daresay I almost always skip “Song 2” on that CD, anyway (not on Neutral Milk!). Heard it too many times on the radio way back when.

  16. Every time I hear Blur I’m reminded of my ex, who upon seeing the video for “Coffee and TV” rushed right out to buy the album. After listening to it one time she wrote a letter to the record company demanding a refund for “deceptive advertising”! The single was the only song she liked, and she was convinced that they’d planned the album specifically to trick people like her into buying it!

  17. I remember your ex, I tried to hit on her at that Harley bar where they sell the fried pickles… what the hell was the name of that place?

  18. rock=anti-establishment? not to be too picky here, but isn’t that kind of pigeon holing a bit contradictory. if the calling card of this establishment for the past 50 years has been “sex, drugs, & rock n’ roll” (or some variation eg. “i hate republicans”, “girls in sweaters are hot”) then wouldn’t an artist, producing very valid works of art in a market highly sensitively opposed to his/her beliefs be “anti-establishment.”

    i don’t consider sufjan rock, just a musician writing about what he finds important. to me, it seems a very pure baring of the human spirit. i find it unfortunate how unaccepting we (myself included) can sometimes be of the artistic minority.

  19. I think what keeps Sufjan Stevens tolerable in my book is that he sings about his faith without pushing it onto his listeners. As a matter of fact, I don’t really think his lyrics are that abound with religion–Seven Swans, yes. But I think Michigan and Illinois have avoided that. I don’t mind people singing about their faith as long as it’s out of inspiration and not some weird artistic missionary task.

  20. Who gives a damn if he’s going to ACTUALLY finish all 50 states? It’s an awesome idea and something quite remarkable to aspire to. Just because it’s not seemingly as probable doesn’t mean it’s not effing possible.

    Hey Scotty- do you know Sufjan in person? No. So how do you feel like you’ve got the right to hate ‘im? Oh wait- you know “a million fucks just like him”…right…. Whatever man. Real mature to hate a guy’s music just because you claim to hate the guy, when you don’t even know the guy. Don’t hate; that’s all I’m saying.

  21. From an interview in The Onion:

    [about the 50 states thing]

    “It is really audacious, and I’ll admit that it’s all advertising, and all gimmick. Initially, it was intended just to get attention. In some ways now, I’m probably second-guessing all that. [laughs] But it’s made me exert myself in a way, to enable people to come to terms with the music on its own and the value of the music, and not the value of the proposition.”

  22. From an interview in The Onion:

    [about the 50 states thing]

    “It is really audacious, and I’ll admit that it’s all advertising, and all gimmick. Initially, it was intended just to get attention. In some ways now, I’m probably second-guessing all that. [laughs] But it’s made me exert myself in a way, to enable people to come to terms with the music on its own and the value of the music, and not the value of the proposition.”

  23. The choiral parts don’t bother me at all in this. I listen to music and tune out the lyrics, often, so the voice is just another instrument.

    I’m agnostic, and the religious references don’t bother me in this. As long as it’s not shoving it down my throat, I don’t have a problem.

  24. quote: “Hey Scotty- do you know Sufjan in person? No. So how do you feel like you’ve got the right to hate ‘im?….Real mature to hate a guy’s music just because you claim to hate the guy, when you don’t even know the guy.”

    I could claim the converse as well and say “how can you like him if you don’t know him personally?”

    For that matter, I don’t know Barbara Streisand, but I hate her too.

    My contention is that I am so thuroughly rankled by the Christian Reformed community that he sprouts from that I can’t listen to his shit without that getting in the way. There he is, the mildly ‘alternative’ Fundie who graduates from Hope or Calvin College and plays the part of the sensitive dude, but never really challenges the fucked-up tenents of their right wing religion.

    I don’t need to know the retard to know that I don’t need no Jesus in my entertainment. His compadres are shoving it my face 24/7 already.

  25. He does has some non-religious songs that are perfectly great. In my opinion, these are well worth the time spent weeding out the others.

  26. Lots of funnies in this article, though I particularly liked the dig at all the “, or, ” alternative titles. Like the use of choirs in rock, you only get to do it ONCE folks.

    That’s right, them’s the rules. What, you thought rock and roll didn’t have rules? Well, to live outside the law you must be honest! I know you always SAY that you agree.

  27. i’ve decided that i hate scotty now. ok, not really. and you’re totally on about streisand. i think we all should reposition ourselves in unified hate against her. who’s in?

    that’s a little disheartening, the onion interview. i guess it’s hard to remember what it’s like to try and make a living making music. sucks when artistry and business have to be balanced.

  28. I don’t see why it should be disheartening that Stevens admits the 50 States thing is a gimmick. What’s wrong with artists wanting people to see/hear their stuff? Were you disheartened to learn that the Ramones weren’t really brothers? Gimmicks are just part of a long tradition of rock and roll fun.

  29. I really can’t agree with Scotty’s point of view here. Rock n’ Roll simply can’t stay static and be all about anti-whatever simply because that is what it is. If that were the case, Rock n’ Roll would be awfully similar to his loathed Christian Rock. To have someone actually portraying his interests, whatever they might be, in a non-didactic, extremely creative, youthful and exuberant way – that’s the true maverick spirit of rock…

  30. My point, more specifically, regarding Christianity in Rock n Roll is this…

    Christian belief in the United States is a predominent ideology, and creating a rock song as a vehicle to praise Jesus is by definition an act of conformity. I believe the the true spirit of Rock is NONCONFORMITY and rebellion. Using Rock as a medium to convey a christian message is simply a way to coop the medium. It’s plastic….fake….and anathema to what Rock n Roll is. Singing about how you like to conform isn’t what Rock N Roll is about.

    If you want to sing praise, sing praises or whatever, but keep it the fuck away from Rock N Roll. While it’s all ultimately subjective, I think that you need to respect the spirit of the music, or all you do is water it down with dreck.

    Just for the record, I don’t feel that Soofoo is really a Rock n Roller. My problems with his music go beyond that. In a broad sense I just don’t buy what he’s selling. His christian earnestness makes me want to vomit. Again, subjective. But that’s all it ever comes down to is opinions.

  31. I don’t really like Christian “Rock,” and I don’t really consider Sufjan to be “Rock,” either. Most of his songs are quiet and do not sound like “Rock,” if you want to go by that.

    But I always thought that rock was, by definition, easy, and that’s why it became popular.

    I have never thought that nonconformity defined Rock and Roll. That is certainly an element of Rock, and punk, but not predominant; in my opinion, not a litmus test, so to speak.

    Rock goes back a long way, and it wasn’t always about rebellion and noncomformity, was it? Someone fill me in here.

    But what about Christian punk, what about Christian hardcore? If the music has a Christian theme, does that automatically make it not punk, or not hardcore, even if it sounds just like the Sex Pistols, or even if it sounds just like Minor Threat, respectively?

  32. Rock can be “easy”. There is something fundamental about its success that relies on that. The idea that anybody can pick up a quitar and yell into a mic is at the core of Rock n Roll. Take that away and you’ll kill it.

    Every innovative wave of Rock N Roll has had that at its center. From Garage rock in the 60s to 70s punk to all the subsets and genres of alternative in the 80s to Grunge in the 90s, etc etc etc.

    Rock is also a 20th century american form of pop art. Its beginnings and each successive wave carried a rebelious message of some sort or other.

    Christianity is not about either of those things. It’s about conforming to a cultural, moral, social, religious and even political ideology and belief system.

    If someone wants to call themselves a punk, dress in a costume but go on stage and tell kids to conform to religious norms, that’s all fine and good. But I will still think that they’re a poser.

  33. Just because something has a christian tone or theme doesn’t making conformity, nor does it mean that all christians are conformers. many christians, espcially ones of the upcoming “e” generation (myself included) are asserting their belief in Christ and his higher teachings, but aren’t necessarily subscribing to the rest of the dogma to come from various churches.

    rock n roll, as all things, needs to change with the times or it’s uses the values it’s characteristics hold. swaying your hips and adding a little distortion to a guitar isn’t viewed as against the grain anymore, so should it still be considered rock n roll? to suggest that a type of musical style has inherited cultural signifigance is a little spurious, while not completely unfounded. some guy who wanted to make a praise song and thought a distorted guitar sounded good should be able to and eventually excepted. your idea of a standard ‘praise’ song probaby resembles beethoven’s ode the joy, a song at the time so ‘rebelious’ it held the some connotations we hold with rock music. now it’s an accepted form of worhship music.

    I think your point is, more or less, to Associated a rebelious sound with a rebelious message, which is sound. But you have to accept the fact that rebelious sounds and messages change over time.

  34. do you really think that rock and roll is all that anti-establishment?

    do you really think that singing a song which admits to thoughts slightly deeper than flipping off “the establishmnet” to a bunch of today’s batch of hipsters is conformist?

    are you quite certain you have a frontal lobe?

  35. I’ve noticed several people on this thread have commented that they don’t mind religious content in rock and roll as long as the musician does not “cram religon down my throat”. What exactly does that mean? Nobody is making you purchase the album or listen to it. How could a song “cram” anything down a listener’s throat. Is what you mean, “It’s ok to have religious content as long as you’re not overt or specific”? What kind of philosophy is that? Shouldn’t an artist be free to address themes which he or she finds moving and significant? And if you don’t like it aren’t you free not to listen? And in light of all this, who may I ask is truly counter-cultural and anti-establishment? Is it guys like Sufjan who are exspressing them selves with authenticity in a sub-culture which has at least some bias against his views or the same old “middle-finger-screw the system-my parents suck- stick it to the man” message that is completely predictable and safe to express in the rock and roll genre? Fascism is everywhere. Even in the hearts of those who pretend to be anti-establishment. Not everybody in the world believes the same things we do. Get over it. Geesh. The indie rock scene has become it’s own twisted brand of fundamentalism.

  36. “Fascism is everywhere. Even in the hearts of those who pretend to be anti-establishment.”

    Awesome. Somebody finally threw a Nazi reference. Way to go! Feel the christian love, people!

  37. Long time listner, first time caller. I’ve only heard the song Stevens just did for the NPR thing,. It was a little too breathy and twee for me. I love the idea of the project- for the same reasons people dislike it. It’s overly ambitous. It demands attention, deservedly or not. The quality is uneven. I like to see people try stuff.

    Scotty, I think you gotta get out of GR. The CRC matters so little to the rest of the world, and it’s not worth your energy. It seems like so much hate would make your tummy hurt. Plus, everyone knows Hope is the _liberal_ one. :) And I’m not just saying that cause I share a surname with El Presidente. I’m being silly of course. I’m not saying it’s not obnoxious or annoying, but I don’t think of them as “shoving” anything down my throat. If they chopped off my head for being an infidel, there would be a problem. Their wanting to save me from hell doesn’t bother me so much. They don’t get to decide if I’m going or not, so who cares?

    Lighten up on the church folk. You sound as doctrinaire and strident about rock and roll and you accuse them of being about God.

  38. I’ve noticed several people on this thread have commented that they don’t mind religious content in rock and roll as long as the musician does not “cram religon down my throat”. What exactly does that mean? Nobody is making you purchase the album or listen to it. How could a song “cram” anything down a listener’s throat. Is what you mean, “It’s ok to have religious content as long as you’re not overt or specific”? What kind of philosophy is that? Shouldn’t an artist be free to address themes which he or she finds moving and significant? And if you don’t like it aren’t you free not to listen? And in light of all this, who may I ask is truly counter-cultural and anti-establishment? Is it guys like Sufjan who are exspressing them selves with authenticity in a sub-culture which has at least some bias against his views or the same old “middle-finger-screw the system-my parents suck- stick it to the man” message that is completely predictable and safe to express in the rock and roll genre? Fascism is everywhere. Even in the hearts of those who pretend to be anti-establishment. Not everybody in the world believes the same things we do. Get over it. Geesh. The indie rock scene has become it’s own twisted brand of fundamentalism.

  39. how bout this “scotty”, and everyone else. what is english language? what is a “billion dollar Christian” industry because if you looked with your heart instead of your bullshit eyes and fear just how everyone else sees everything you’d realize that nothing is what “Christ” intended it to be like. religion has nothing to do with “Christ.” and all you people are doing is being jealous and trying to say “no im the man im the best me me me” by criticizing and galvantyzing with no point or final outcome your trite opinion on something that obviously you like because your finding negative things to say about it. and then i would be doing exactly the same thing by criticizing you criticizing. see nothing gets anywhere, there is more to life, rather there is life outside all this bullshit. love you.

  40. scotty baby, Jesus loves you; yea baby. come on everyone! quit being douche bags! ill try too! quit being tools and robots! think positive!

  41. You are a d-bag. This is one of the worst articles I have ever read, EVER! Sufjan is a graduate of Hope College in Holland, MI where I am also a student. Hope does NOT fit that conservatice, dry, christian standard that you think it does. I am extremely liberal, and yes, I do have my chrisitanity, but MANY don’t. It the top educational institution in Michigan according to US News and World Report.

    You didn’t give Sufjan any credit whatsoever. You can’t recognise how frickin’ cool the idea is to write songs about all fifty states? He’s extremely talented, and he can pull off some good shit. Be open minded! Come on! Too bad you couldn’t recognise these things. Too bad.

  42. dude.

    to each his own.

    I personnaly love Sufyan’s style. its unique. hes not trying to sound like anyone else, and he is not about NOT sounding like everyone else. his music flows. and its beautiful, and its different. And so what if God is apart of that picture. God is most likely a large part of his life. if a major part of an artists life is love and sex and drugs thats what he’ll write about. blah.

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