Since I'm still developing my own CD-reviewing jones, I don't hesitate to link solid music reviews when I find 'em. Case in point: John B. over at Blog Meridian just posted a penetrating, reflective piece on the enigmatic Sufjan Stevens' most recent album, Illinoise. Quick excerpt:
Stevens...is "charmingly militant"--and (unless I'm really missing the boat) his enemy is [the music industry's typical] cynical irony. He puts it on display at the very surface, then sings songs whose very reason for existing is precisely to undercut that ironic surface by forcing us to say, The only way this song can work is if he is in earnest.
John makes a strong argument for Stevens' subtle sincerity, and comments on my two favorite songs on Illinoise, "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." ("may be the bravest song I've ever heard anywhere in pop music"), and "Casimir Pulaski Day" ("acknowledges both that God does not always answer our prayers, no matter how heartfelt and sincere, and that He nevertheless remains this world's sovereign").
Great stuff, John.