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September 08, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomWednesday, September 8, 2010 - 5A

Sufjan's latest delights

Lengthy EP proves
welcome addition to
folkster's catalogue
Daily Arts Writer
Sufjan Stevens once announced
he would pen an album about each
of the fifty states. His latest EP, All
Delighted People, may have finally
put to rest his fans' long-delayed
expectations for
that project's com-
pletion. Though
Stevens has prob- $ufjan
ably been givingus
false hope all these
years,All Delighted All Delighted
People won't put People
a damper on his Asthmatic Kitty
fans' days.
Although the
60-minute, eight-song EP doesn't
stay in Stevens's "usual" confines
of upbeat, jovial sound, it brings the
listener to another dimension of his
abilities as an artist. While the EP
holds lengthy songs, even one that
spans more than 17 minutes, listen-
ers' attention never scurries. Each
song displays Stevens's aptitude as
a musical artist as he tries out new
On the final track, "Djohari-
ah," a tribute to his sister, Stevens
experiments with sounds ranging
from blues-y trumpets and electric
guitar chords to choral hums and
electronic beats. All of these out-of-
comfort-zone experimental sounds
build to Stevens's soft voice chim-
ing in toward the end. "Djohariah"
could very well stand alone as its
own EP. With echoes of a chorus
blending in with a lengthy guitar
jam that climaxes into a colliding
sound, there is enough diversity
here to make up several different
All Delighted People poses the
question: Where does Stevens's
range end? He creates such an unex-
pected sound with this EP, it throws
the listener off as to what will come

'With Festifall,.
it's time to get
artistic again

ManagingArts Editor
Festifall is here, and that means
one of two things, depending on
your outlook: It could mean the
Diag has become an intraversable
morass with strangers blocking
all major intersections, free candy
flying at your head and enough
science-fair boards to give you a
middle school flashback. But from
where I'm standing, Festifall is a
world of opportunities, especially
arts opportunities. And you owe
it to yourself to get involved if you
have any interest whatsoever.
While students can elect to fill
creative expression requirements,
the University doesn't mandate
that we take arts classes, which
is definitely for the better. If you
put someone in an arts class who
doesn't want to be there, they'll
bring everyone down. But while
you don't have to get involved in
the arts, that doesn't mean you
shouldn't. You really really should,
for realsies. There are so many arts
groups on campus showing them-
selves off on the Diag today that
you're almost guaranteed to find
something you'll like. And trust me,
it's worth the time to get involved,
even if you're a freshman taking
college-level classes for the first
time and intimidated by the time
pressure. Nay, especially if you fit
that description.
In my freshman year, one of
my East Quad neighbors recom-
mended that I join the Glee Club
after hearing choir music emanat-
ing from my speakers. When I first
auditioned, Iwas super excited, and
then ecstatic to actually be allowed
to join the group. During the first
few weeks, I kept leaving my dorm

way earlier than needed and got to
rehearsal before anyone else, just
because I couldn't wait to be sing-
ing with the dudes. Over time, my
departures got later and later, and
the time commitment wore on me.
The workload of my classes was
picking up and rehearsals were
at night. Nights are for screwing
around on the Internet, or, if you're
my parents, homework.
But each time I got to rehears-
al, I forgot any misgivings about
joining Glee Club. As soon as that
first piano key was struck to begin
warm-ups, I was in a whole dif-
ferent mindset. And that's the
influence of the arts. Whatever is
Make the arts a
part of your 'U
experience while
you still can.
stressing you out - and believe me
newbies, many things will stress
you out - doing something artistic
you really care about can make it
all go away, if only for a short while.
Whether you want to break dance
or hip-hop dance or ballet dance or
contemporary dance or ice dance
or ice carve or sing a cappella or
sing classical or act in plays or act
in musicals or knit, something at
Festifall will pique your interest.
And even if you don't have the time
or crowd-maneuvering patience to
deal with Festifall, do some inde-
pendent research on Maize Pages
and find your ideal group. I'm not

Where's Waldo?
next from the artist. The EP unfolds as his voice and sound extends to
with two versions of the title track a hauntingly beautiful ambiance
- a soothing, melodic 12-min- reminiscent of old-time movies'
ute serenade and an eight-minute windy chorus girls.
jovial, upbeat, trumpet-infused Most of the tracks on the EP have
Beatles sound-a-like classic rock a similar graceful sound with melo-
version. The latter sounds more like dious strings and lengthy, poetic
retro Sufjan Stevens than the rest of lyrics. On "Arnika," he croons,
the EP does. The two separate edi- "Don't consider it done / wait
tions stir questions of what sound until Leviathan lovingly creeps in
his next full-length album, The Age your sill / For he waits in the dark,
ofAdz, will take. brooding magically / mustering
Compared to Stevens's most paperback feelings." Unfortunately,
famous album, Come on Feel the the brilliantly penned lyrics tend'
Illinoise, All Delighted People has to spill into each other, losing their
a more melancholy sound. The individual beauty -,they get lost in
pretty and poignant EP replaces the crowd when the songs all have
Stevens's attention-grabbing tone a similar sound. Each track has
with swells of soft, windblown cho- such range and variety within itself
ral harmonies. Stevens takes cues (instrumentally), yet collectively
from folk princess Joanna Newsom the EP leaves listeners sleepy.

Stevens also incorporates inspi-
ration from Simon and Garfunkel.
The EP's title track pays homage to
one of the duo's most famous tracks,
"Sounds of Silence," through sound
and lyric. Simon and Garfunkel's
own lyrics ("And the people bowed
and prayed / To the neon god they
made") intermingle with his own
words, "And what difference does it
make?/Ilove you so much anyway."
All Delighted People is a rolling
wave of out-of-the blue sounds and
choral beauty intertwined with
experimental self-achievements
and elegant vocals. The EP may
confuse fans, as it is possibly a pre-
view of what Stevens's ever-chang-
ing sound will become. But if this
is just a taste, bring on the whole


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