Sufjan Stevens has quite simply done it again. In 2007 he released a box set of Christmas (and winter, and seasonal, and etc.) songs that spanned multiple eras, references, and were all presented in the many various compositional styles preferred by Sufjan. This time around he has dropped another 58 tracks filled with more of the same. And more of the same is more of subtle genius we have come to expect from him.
The full box set is broken into five separate parts that collectively form Silver and Gold (bandcamp) (amazon) (itunes). First on the list is the album Gloria which serves as a very effective jumping off point for those unfortunate few that are thus far uninitiated. This first album has a healthy cross section of Sufjan Christmas. There are original songs that would easily fit on his Michigan or Illinois albums interspersed with his take on classic tracks. Below are my two favorite songs from the first album although I would encourage you all to listen to the entire album.
Other standout tracks on Gloria include the sprawling 7+ minute Baracola and Sufjan’s interpretation of Silent Night. I’ll be back later this week with highlights from the remaining four albums in the box set. For those of you in the USA have a great Thanksgiving week / weekend. For those elsewhere, enjoy the music.