Sufjan Stevens
Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State

Asthmatic Kitty Records

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Michigan (styled Sufjan Stevens Presents... Greetings from Michigan, the Great Lake State on the cover) is a concept album by American indie folk songwriter Sufjan Stevens, released on July 1, 2003 on Sounds Familyre, Asthmatic Kitty and Secretly Canadian in the US, and on Rough Trade in Europe. It is Stevens' third studio album and features songs referencing places, events, and persons related to the U.S. state of Michigan.

Composed as a geographical tone poem, MICHIGAN follows a metaphysical expedition through the idiosyncrasies of middle America. – Wiki, Asthmatic Kitty Records

“The first thing to know about Greetings from Michigan, the third album from Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens, is that its creator was born there. Few albums more clearly evoke their namesake: Towering pines, highways paved through granite walls, great lakes and deep valleys resonate in its gentle piano, muted trumpets, and close-mic'd production-- which is particularly odd, given that Stevens' home city is Detroit. It leads you to wonder how one could craft an album so delicate from an inspiration its author calls a "monstrous concrete prison" which has been "destroyed by its infidelity." Certainly, the album is run through with a wistful melancholia, with lyrics that reference the city's dead machinery and empty warehouses. But there's a reason the album's title greets its listeners from the state and not the city: The record is a beautiful, sprawling homage to the self-described pleasant peninsula.

On "The Upper Peninsula", Stevens harmonizes with The Danielson Famile's Megan and Elin Smith: "I live in America with a pair of Payless shoes.../ I've seen my wife at the K-mart/ In strange ideas, we live apart." It's this kind of sad observation of the lives of the working class that repeatedly moved me on this album, as Stevens offers both realism and idealization in his portrait. The record is stacked with impressive space for Stevens' shimmering geography, and it manages a melancholy beauty; Michigan is a frost-bound tone poem in which average people live out their victories and defeats with a shadowy, dignified grace.” – Pitchfork

“[Stevens] sang frankly and fearlessly about his spiritual life, not prosthelytizing but also not compromising. Ten years later, Michigan’s tales of grappling with real-life problems still resonate whether you agree with Sufjan’s solutions or not. Amen to that.” – Stereogum

Item description:


Sufjan Stevens


Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State


Asthmatic Kitty Records, Sounds Familyre


2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered



Release Date:





Folk Rock, Acoustic

Catalog No:

AKR007, SF010