Sufjan Stevens and Christian Music
Books & Culture have an article in the Nov/Dec issue on Sufjan Stevens, written by two people who are apparently jealous that God bestowed infinitely superior music talent upon Stevens and not them. Their article, besides illuminating nothing about Stevens or the Christian music scene, ends with what is perhaps an unforgivable sin: criticizing Stevens for a lack of musical ability! I quote:
Despite his skills as a lyricist, his limitations as a musician hinder any over-arching artistic unity. Stevens is in many ways a capable composer. Quite a few of his melodic ideas are fresh, interesting, and distinctive, and his arrangements are meticulously crafted. The trouble is that his creativity is limited to essentially two different song-types: an introverted, folksy one and an extroverted, symphonic one. In short, there is a major disconnect between the subtleties of Sufjan Stevens the poet and Sufjan Stevens the composer. His music lacks the carefully modulated gradations of tone, meaning, and mood that distinguish his poetry.Both authors are musicians and professors at Eastern Nazarene College. I sincerely hope there are enough fans of Sufjan at that school to rise up in mass protest against the libelous lies printed here.