Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Are You One Of Them?

It's common to hold a morbid fascination about serial killers. Ultimately, however, there is nothing to celebrate or hold up with glee. Sure, the twisted obsessions of Murder Can Be Fun are worth their chuckles, but think of how horrible it would be if it was your loved one who had been viciously tortured and senslessly killed. It's this very reaction which drives the power of the track John Wayne Gacy from the latest effort by Sufjan Stevens, Illinois. It begins with a somewhat neutral reporting of the facts surrounding Gacy's upbringing but by the time Stevens reaches the inevitable moment of describing the unfortunate victims and the innocence of their youth, he cries out "Oh my god...", as if the enormity of the grisly murders are more than he can stand. It's probably the only reaction anyone could muster in the face of such bloodshed, the first reaction of a family member who finds out why their teenager has been missing for so many months. It's a genuinely moving moment in an album packed with them. For anyone wondering why they're reading a post about an album already written up everywhere on the internets when it came out almost 2 months ago: the one big chain store in my vicinity, which shall go unnamed (**cough!** Zia Records!) never ordered any copies and I had to wait for a trip to LA to track it down (with the image of Superman still intact, thank you very much).

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