11 July 2006

All Music + Sufjan Stevens + Avalanche + Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Allmusic hates Sufjan Stevens in this piece by S. T. Erlewine.
It's just that the universal acclaim granted Illinois gives the impression that it's a welcoming listen, when really it finds Sufjan Stevens closing a circle, creating a precious world that is insular and also alienating, since he does very little to draw listeners in. It's where his novelty loses all charm.
Well: Two questions. A) You know what other novelty loses its charm pretty fucking quickly? B) You know who else closes a circle, creating a precious world that's pretty damn insular and also irksome and alienating?

Let me start with B). Stephen Thomas Erlewine.

A) Writing an essay of fewer than 1400 words and name-dropping at least 20 artists, sounds and movements. I'm studying for the GRE math section, and the last part I reviewed was ratios. That's a 1:70 name-drop to word ratio.

To use Erlewin's own words, his writing is "emblematic of how pop [criticism], particularly in indie, has become a bunch of self-serving, self-congratulatory niches." Carpetbomb namedropping Allmusic schlubs aside, I find Sufjan Steven's five or six albums to be pretty repetitive. They all create the same atmosphere. Six words.