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Covers that Reinvent the Wheel: “Free Man In Paris”

January 21, 2009
Dear Sufjan, Please come back to making, performing and recording music. We miss you. And your incredible collection of Americana clothing. Love, the Animal Show

Dear Sufjan, Please come back to making, performing and recording music. We miss you. And your incredible collection of Americana clothing. Love, the Animal Show

Sufjan Stevens is still great to me. I love him with passion incapable of being undone by his over-blogged state. And if there’s one thing that Sufjan does a fantastic job of, it’s performing covers. He has such an idiosyncratic sound that everything he touches explodes in orchestrated goodness. And when he touches other people’s songs, it’s even better. And my metaphors start to get creepy.

A couple of years ago, a phenomenal Joni Mitchell tribute album was released, which I snagged because it had both Prince and Sufjan on it. Can you imagine? What a double-billing. Sufjan’s cover of “Free Man in Paris” showed the most ingenuity and pulled the song into a new era of music, playing on the meaning of the original.

Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell

Free Man in Paris – Sufjan Stevens

The album is great and you should buy it, if only for the Prince version of “Case of You,” which gives me chills.

And if you don’t have Joni’s Court and Spark, where the original is from, do yourself a favor and get it.

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