- Released: October 1, 2005
- Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Q - p.1184 stars out of 5
- "[L]ayers of elegiac instrumentation sculpt a deeply emotive, baroque chamber-pop landscape."
Uncut - p.1124 stars out of 5
- "Great songs proliferate here, but what's most remarkable is how Stevens invests such a daunting project with so much emotional weight as well as sociological and geographical detail."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1104 stars out of 5
- "MICHIGAN revels in a broader musical palette and more upbeat mood than its follow-up....A pocket masterpiece..."
- 1.Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)
- 2.All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!
- 3.For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
- 4.Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!
- 5.The Upper Peninsula
- 6.Tahquamenon Falls
- 8.Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
- 10.Alanson, Crooked River
- 11.Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
- 12.They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For the Homeless in Muskegon)
- 13.Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? ...)
- 14.Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou) - (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)
- 15.Vito's Ordination Song
Personnel includes: Sufjan Stevens (various instruments); Elin Smith, Daniel Smith (vocals); Tom Eaton (trumpet); John Ringhofer (trombone, background vocals).
Lyricist: Sufjan Stevens.
Personnel: Sufjan Stevens (vocals, whistling, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, wooden flute, recorder, oboe, English horn, piano, electric piano, organ, vibraphone, glockenspiel, xylophone, bass guitar, drums, cymbals, shaker, tambourine, percussion, sleigh bell); John Ringhofer (vocals, trombone); Monique Aiuto, Daniel Smith , Vito Aiuto, Elin K. Smith, Megan Smith (vocals); Tom Eaton , Stephen Halker (trumpet).
Recording information: Buxton School, Williamstown, MA; Megan's Apartment, Brooklyn, NY; N.J. Rec. Rm., Clarksboro, NJ; St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, NY; Steve & Jamila's House, Petoskey, MI; Sufjan's Apartment, Brooklyn, NY; Tom's Apartment, Brooklyn, NY; Vito & Monique's Apartment, Brooklyn, NY.
Arranger: Sufjan Stevens.
The first album to garner Sufjan Stevens considerable acclaim and attention, 2003's GREETINGS FROM MICHIGAN finds the Great Lake State-born singer-songwriter offering up an endearing and accomplished set of chamber pop songs. Designated as the beginning of Stevens's proposed "50 States" project, MICHIGAN highlights the multi-instrumentalist's penchant for lush, inventive arrangements, which are ideally complemented by his hushed, easy-going vocals.
Bearing true affection for his home state, Stevens opens the record with the delicate, melancholy "Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)," followed by the chiming, Stereolab-like "All Good Naysayers! Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!" The exclamation-mark-happy performer also shines on the spare, sleepy "Holland" and the vibrant orchestral mini-suite "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)," revealing a charmingly dynamic approach built upon a foundation of earnest indie-folk. With its mix of minimalism and majesty, MICHIGAN easily stands out as one of Stevens's finest albums, and serves as excellent introduction to the amiable and prodigiously talented artist.