A 22-track anthematic tone poem to the Prairie State, emphatically answering the question, "Can a songwriter express the spirit of a state he's never called home?" Sufjan weaves various musical styles (jazz, funk, pop) and instrumental textures into a tapestry of persons famous, infamous, and anonymous, and places iconic, obscure, and ghostly. Myths, memories, and incidental anecdotes are swept up with symphonic flourishes. Implementing 25 instruments, played mostly by Sufjan himself, a two-handed horn section, string quartet and small choir, Illinois conjures up images of Danny Elfman conducting a Gilbert and Sullivan company, a minimalist ensemble, and the Marion Catholic Marching Band on a windswept prairie football field.
1. Concerning the Ufo Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
2. Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish An Entire Civilization and
3. Come on! Feel the Illinoise!: Pt. 1: The World's Columbian Exposition
4. John Wayne Gacy, JR
6. Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But for Very Good
7. Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!
8. One Last "Whoo-Hoo!" for the Pullman
10. Casimir Pulaski Day
11. To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have An Idea
12. Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
13. Prairie Fire That Wanders About
14. Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens
15. Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!
16. They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from
17. Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It
18. In This Temple As in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth
19. Seer's Tower
20. Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders: Pt. 1: The Great Frontier/Pt.
21. Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines,
22. Out of Egypt, Into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the