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The Best Sufjan Stevens Albums, Ranked

Updated March 27, 2019 306 votes 79 voters 1.2k views8 items

List RulesNo EPs.

We're ranking the best Sufjan Stevens albums of all time. One of the best indie folk artists ever, Sufjan Stevens's discography features several popular songs, like "Should Have Known Better" and "Mystery of Love." What is the greatest Sufjan Stevens album ever?

From their debut album A Sun Came to their 2017 album Planetarium, this list of Sufjan Stevens albums also includes Illinois, The Age of Adz, and Carrie & Lowell.

Vote up the best Sufjan Stevens albums, and vote down the ones that were disappointing.

  • Illinois
    Photo: Asthmatic Kitty, Secretly Canadian, Rough Trade

    1. Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland, Illinois
    2. The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, 'I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!'
    3. Come On! Feel the Illinoise! (Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition – Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream)
    4. John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
    5. Jacksonville
    6. A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons
    7. Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!
    8. One Last 'Whoo-Hoo!' for the Pullman!!
    9. Go! Chicago! Go! Yeah!
    10. Casimir Pulaski Day
    11. To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament
    12. The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
    13. Prairie Fire That Wanders About (Peoria)
    14. A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze
    15. The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!
    16. They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!
    17. Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell 
    18. In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth
    19. The Seer's Tower
    20. The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders (Part I: The Great Frontier – Part II: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now)
    21. Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few
    22. Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals as I Run

    Pitchfork score: 9.2/10

    • Release Date: 2005
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  • 2

    Carrie & Lowell

    Carrie & Lowell
    Photo: Asthmatic Kitty

    1. Death with Dignity
    2. Should Have Known Better
    3. All of Me Wants All of You
    4. Drawn to the Blood
    5. Eugene
    6. Fourth of July
    7. The Only Thing
    8. Carrie & Lowell
    9. John My Beloved
    10. No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
    11. Blue Bucket of Gold

    Pitchfork score: 9.3/10

    • Release Date: 2015
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  • Seven Swans
    Photo: Sounds Familyre

    1. All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands
    2. The Dress Looks Nice on You
    3. In the Devil's Territory
    4. To Be Alone with You
    5. Abraham
    6. Sister
    7. Size Too Small
    8. We Won't Need Legs to Stand
    9. A Good Man Is Hard to Find
    10. He Woke Me Up Again
    11. Seven Swans
    12. The Transfiguration

    Pitchfork score: 8.1/10

    • Release Date: 2004
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  • Michigan
    Photo: Sounds Familyre, Asthmatic Kitty/Secretly Canadian, Rough Trade

    1. Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)
    2. All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!
    3. For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
    4. Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!
    5. The Upper Peninsula
    6. Tahquamenon Falls
    7. Holland
    8. Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
    9. Romulus
    10. Alanson, Crooked River
    11. Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
    12. They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For the Homeless in Muskegon)
    13. Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickerel Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)
    14. Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)
    15. Vito's Ordination Song

    Pitchfork score: 8.5/10

    • Release Date: 2003
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