Perhaps most remarkable about Illinois is that Stevens's exceptional lyrics are surpassed by his diverse, ambitious compositions.
Illinois is an extraordinary achievement, all the more so when one considers that besides researching and writing the album, Stevens also played most of the parts himself.
It’s easy enough to let the heavyweight themes wash over you, so marvellous are some of these tunes. But really sink into ‘Illinoise’ and its depth is evident.
It's an ambitious and unwieldy experiment that could've gone terribly wrong but Stevens pulls it off with grace and gusto.
It's incredibly diverse, both in its exploration of Illinois and in its exploration of music ... This is truly incredible music to immerse yourself in, an absolute essential.
It’s all true. Everything that made Michigan great is here, but the layout of Illinois is more focused.
Musically, Illinois is strange and lush, as excessive and challenging as its giant, gushing song titles.
Most of the songs on Illinois are meticulously put together and well thought out, resulting in some very gorgeous music.
The bittersweet twists and turns of a lifetime eloquently described in a folk-pop song—it really doesn’t get much better than this; these songs that must be heard to be believed.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from, you’ll find a lot of yourself in Illinois.
Thanks to Stevens' penchant for illustrative instruments like glockenspiel, flute, and sleigh bells, his Illinois sounds quaint and even magical.
|# 17 -||Consequence of Sound (2000s)|
|# 17 -||NME (2000s)|
|# 138 -||NME Top 500 of All Time|
|# 16 -||Pitchfork (2000s)|
|# 10 -||Pitchfork: The People's List|
|# 78 -||Rolling Stone (2000s)|
|# 198 -||SPIN (1985-2014)|