At the center of every album is a musical thesis. For Sufjan Stevens’ album, “Carrie & Lowell,” we arrive at a complete thesis on our parents. As you age, you slowly become aware of the frailty of your parents. One day, they will die and all you will be left with is memories and regret for those things never said or did. At its core, this album is a recognition of this progression. Listening to it, I found myself agreeing more with the lyrics than any other album I have ever heard.
Perhaps, that’s because I am not ready to say goodbye to my mom and dad. At the age of 34, I count myself immensely lucky to be in this position. My parents and I have had a lot of good years. We have laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve grown closer together. Still, I know time is not on our side. The moments before us are precious and need to be cherished. I am not ready for the day when they are no longer physically in my life. For that, I can’t thank Sufjan enough for making me realize how finite life truly is.
The thesis for this album is presented in a real and raw fashion. Every lyric and strum of the guitar, seem haunting, yet familiar. The lyrics are heavy and necessarily so. Death, regret, and longing are not easy subjects to discuss nor are they light. To present them in any other fashion than what you find on this album would feel inauthentic and cheap. Sure, lots of people may skip this collection because of its somber nature. I would argue that they just aren’t ready yet. They will be. We all will be.
Be good to each other,
I've never asked readers for financial support before. I am committed to keeping content on this site free and open to all. For me, this means no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what I create, please consider making a contribution on Patreon.