Album Review: Sufjan Steven's Carrie & Lowell

In his first non-Christmas album since 2010 Sufjan Stevens delivers a beautifully painful blow to the heart with Carrie & Lowell. The album revolves around Sufjan's attempt to deal with the death of his mother in 2012. With all of his brilliance from previous works surrounding this album, their is something so uniquely authentic about this album. In Carrie & Lowell we get a look into a mind attempting to deal with grief, loss, God, and life. It's the narrative of all of humanity woven through the tapestry of Stevens' poetry and sound that tugs on the heart strings of the listener. 

With Carrie & Lowell Sufjan returns to the airy light sounds of Seven Swans but his lyrics are heavy and grief filled. It's as if the entire album is written as way for Stevens' to grieve the loss of his mother, and he makes you feel it. Many albums you can break down song by song, but this album feels more like a 40 minute narrative that must be experienced by the listener. 

For all the Sufjan fans out there, enjoy a wildly excellent return of music. Carrie & Lowell will not disappoint. 

David Valentine