Jesus this album. Sufjan took a stepped away from the electronics from his previous album and went back to the bare bones. Carrie & Lowell is possibly one of the most heart wrenching and devastatingly beautiful albums I have ever listened to since Elliott Smith or Hospice from The Antlers.
As I mentioned earlier Sufjan stripped everything away from his usual melodies. Usually there are strings, horns or eletroinc sounds to sweep us away from the mountains of sadness he brings into his songs.Sufjan decided this time to strap our faces into the brink of despair/feels until the album ends. The opening lines to “Death With Dignity” is a great example. “Spirit of my silence i can hear you/ but i’m afraid to be near you.” You will probably complain and be like, “Sufjan take me off this wild and melancholy ride” and Sufjan just replies, “Never punk! keep listening” while you weep on in agreement.
I have been a fan of his work since Michigan or maybe Illinois and have enjoyed most of his works but this, this is on another level. It is so deeply personal and yet at the same time I’m able to apply his songs to my own circumstances of loss. (the death of my grandmother and uncle). It resonates to my very core and brings out deep emotions that I often lock away from people even from the ones i love. Carrie & Lowell leaves everything on the table, and as a result it’s the most heartfelt record Stevens has made. Maybe this is what you need in order to make a masterpiece. Future warning, I finished this album all the way through on my sixth listen now and I’m a **** mess right now. You’ll might be when you hear this as well.