Because Sufjan commits himself so rigorously to this sparse, acoustic compositions, those few moments when electric instruments are used are particularly powerful. The first comes in "The Dress Looks Nice on You", in which tandem plucks and sweeps of guitar and banjo are suddenly contraposed midway against a quirky Casio keyboard breakdown.
A second comes during the vaguely alt-country lullaby "Sister", which positions a light, nondescript jangle behind a screaming electric guitar that arises from the swell to become even more lively and expansive as the song builds on its repeated anthem.
See also: Leonard Cohen's beautiful "Story of Isaac". Musically, the song marks the lowpoint of Seven Swans : Sufjan's vocal melody is well-delivered but somewhat impotent, and the backup chorus seems incongruous given the subject matter. As the last two songs on the album, "Seven Swans" and "The Transfiguration" seem to work as a pair.
Both are of relatively epic lengths and movement-like constructions, and as equal statements of faith-- the fear-inspiring "My father burned into coal," and the comforting "Have no fear! We draw near! First, "Seven Swans" is a dark, brooding anticipation of the Apocalypse in which Sufjan begins with a foreboding banjo line, only to be swept up in crashing storms of resonant piano and a terrifying octave-jumping chorus of "He is the Lord! May Q : Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 2, Uncut 83 : April Archived from the original on July 5, December 1, Somewhere Cold.
Archived from the original on September 30, Retrieved September 30, Cover Me. Retrieved On Joyful Wings. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter link. Sufjan Stevens. All Delighted People. Authority control MBRG : 9cadb0e-3bc1-b3ed-e74e7ffa92b1. Hidden categories: CS1 maint: discouraged parameter Articles with hAudio microformats Album articles lacking alt text for covers Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz release group identifiers. He is no ordinary singer-songwriter. Seven Swans is a record of remarkable delicacy, and the genuine otherness you would expect from an erstwhile member of profoundly eccentric collective the Danielson Famile.
Sometimes so sparse it's barely there just Stevens' gentle Elliott Smith-y voice and scratchy banjo , sometimes lush with ghostly vocal harmonies, it almost sounds as if it could have been recorded years ago, in a remote Shaker community, untainted by outside influence. Indeed, it's hard to think of another singer able to engage with the articles of faith with both a childlike sense of wonder and such emotional sophistication.
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