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Sufjian Stevens: Illinois

Andy Gill, Uncut, 2005

IN AN AGE when the commercial imperative has reduced the notion of ideal musical production to one of recycling old techno riffs, slapping a treated "cartoon" voice on top and flogging them as kiddywinks' ringtones, it takes a breathtaking leap of aesthetic faith to undertake a project like Sufjan Stevens' 50 States.

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