Thursday, June 02, 2005

Every once in a while, a song comes along and just completely destroys me, rips me to pieces, has me staggering around, lost in thoughts, tripping over cracks in the sidewalk, and I can't even explain why. Right now, Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" is that song. I got the promo in the mail a few days ago, and I've tried to listen to the entire album a bunch of times, but I always stop on "Chicago" and keep playing it over and over again. When Rollie posted this song a few weeks ago, it became the first song of his I'd ever heard. I don't know too much about him, don't even know how to pronounce his name (Suff-jan? Soof-yon?), can't describe what it is about this song that just turns me into a walking human puddle (even though that's my job, right? To describe what this song does and how it works?). The part in the middle where the song gets all quiet and then the chorus comes in - it sounds like a children's chorus singing it - it takes my breath away every time. The last time a song did that, it was the Mountain Goats' "Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod?", and that was for very personal and recognizable reasons. I knew what this song was doing to me, and why it was doing it, but with "Chicago" I have no idea.

This would be an easy and opportune time to talk about how "Chicago" is a better song about Chicago than anything on a recently-released album by a rapper from Chicago that has been a major discussion point lately. But I don't feel like writing about that album right now, and I think Rollie already made that point when he posted "Chicago" weeks ago. Maybe later.