When Sufjan Stevens told everyone he was going to write an album for every US state, it seemed like a tall order, but not necessarily an impossible quest for such a prolific artist. First came Michigan in 2003; Illinois followed in 2005. At this point his attention seems to have strayed, resulting in - among other things - an electronic album, two collections of Christmas songs comprising roughly 100 tracks - some new, some covers, some carols - and most recently a hip hop collaboration.
As of today, he is still stuck at 4% completion on the US States project, with no progress in sight. Still, at least he signed off on a high: in among the increasingly surreal and mad titles of Illinois’ 22 tracks are beautiful heartbreakers like Casimir Pulaski Day, Jacksonville, the sinister John Wayne Gacy Jr, and the wonderful multi-part ‘Come on! Feel the Illinoise!’.