"Illinois" or the full title "Sufjan Stevens Invites you to Come On! Feel the Illinoise!", is the third and most highly-touted album of Soof-yan's discography and the second in Stevens' 50 States Project (Michigan is first. LISTEN TO IT!!!!) . It is a tribute to the Amerifat state of Illinois to the tune of his contemporary indie folk-pop played on a thousand different instruments. This 2005 album sparked his ascension into mainstream recognition, mostly by plebs who've only listened to Chicago or Casimir Pulaski Day. It received a 9.2 rating on Pitchfork along with the titles of Best New Music and Album of The Year for '05.
The lyrics are intimate and as deep as the state's lore, with references to Superman (The Man of Metropolis something something Steals Our Hearts!), the Chicago Cubs (It's somewhere towards the end alright?) Cream of Wheat, the Ferris Wheel (both Part 1 of Come On! Feel the Illinoise!), life as a Christian in the conservative Midwest (Pulaski Day) and murderers (John Wayne Gacy, Jr.)
Along with Nick Drake's Pink Moon and Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, the album makes up a large portion of music in the "folk" genre, though Illinois is not entirely folk. A thread about this album or anything Sufjan is sure to have /mu/tants posting pictures of him (no homo, he's adorable) or arguing about how to pronounce his name.
Illinois is one long album, clocking in at 74 minutes of content. Despite its length, there are quite a few forgettable or filler tracks, like an interlude for strings and a six second "Woo-hoo!". The album, with all of its quirky moments is an unforgettable trip to America's heartland and should be listened all the way through.