Album Review: Sufjan Stevens: “Carrie & Lowell”
By: Amy Hobson
A feeling of nostalgia, awash in emotion, the melodic voices of Sufjan Steven “Carrie & Lowell” swept
me away. I was pulled by the current of the music that reminded me of the sounds of songs my dad
would play when I was a little kid.
As I continued to listen, a sense of sadness washed over me; the sensation of longing manifested from
the haunting lyrics:
“Everything I see returns to you somehow
Should I tear my heart out now
Everything I feel returns to you” (The Only Thing)
“Tell me you want me in your life” (Blue Bucket of Gold)
This sadness translated, for me, into a sensation of aloneness. Not loneliness, but a feeling of being
alone with myself. Too many times we don’t spend enough time with ourselves observing the voices in
our head and learning to quiet them. Being present with yourself, enjoying the feeling of your love, the
gravity of your body on the seat you sit on, the wonder of your heart and your breath and our muscles
that flex upon request. The sensation of happiness, sadness, and the ability to think and feel and
experience the emotions rolling through my body that only I can know and appreciate. To convey this to
another is a difficult endeavor.
I had intended to find meaning in the words of the music, and while some things did stand out to me, it
was mostly the feeling of the music that spoke to me. I reflected on how many hours I have wasted in
my life worrying and wondering what others think of me. Asking myself if I need to mold myself to what
they would want from me or am I enough as I am. It’s an exercise in futility if you think about it. At the
end of the day, it’s about being with yourself and being content sitting in your own skin.
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