Sufjan Stevens: “Seven Swans”


In a recent interview, Sufjan Stevens confessed vocal inadequacies: his range is limited; his falsetto is strained; he lacks Patti Smith’s attitude and Willie Nelson’s cliches. However, narrative, he says, saves the music from these weaknesses.

He sells himself short, but Stevens has a point. Like the charcoal drawings decorating his fourth CD, “Seven Swans,” his verbal sketches outline stories, characters and emotions that listeners color in with their own experiences. This understated style has some critics hoping he will replace the late Elliot Smith in the school of intimate indie-folk, but sincerity and a dreamy brand of homegrown Christianity (compared with Smith’s lack of both) put Stevens in an entirely different classroom.

Read the full review at The Japan Times Online.

Sufjan Stevens: "Seven Swans" | The Japan Times Online

About Jason Andrew Jenkins

In 1997, Jason left his home near Atlanta for a year abroad. He liked it so much that he never went back. After three years in Taiwan and 13 years in Japan, he and his wife quit their desk jobs in Tokyo, pulled their kids out of local schools and traveled as a family for six years, living in Malaysia, Spain, and Mexico along the way. They returned to Japan — Osaka this time — in the summer of 2019. Jason loves Google Maps, carry-on luggage, and most dishes registering on the Scoville scale.
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