- Pitchfork has a series called "Liner Notes", where they explore an album in five minutes. For this edition, they chose Illinois by Sufjan Stevens, released in 2005 and re-released in 2016.
- Illinois is the second and final entry in the not-actually-a-real-thing "50 States" project, after the first entry Michigan.
- Sufjan frequently road-tripped to Chicago from his college in Michigan, which is when he became fascinated with the state.
- Sufjan played over a dozen instruments on the album, and employed a group of musicians called the "Illinoise-makers" for vocals and background.
- The 74 minute album covers a lot of ground, from a Chicago-area serial killer ("John Wayne Gacy, Jr") to a Chicago-only holiday ("Casimir Pulaski Day") to inventions premiered at Chicago's World's Fair ("Come on! Feel the Illinoise!").
- Five different arrangements of "Chicago" have been released over the years.
- The Avalanche is an album of outtakes from Illinois.
The narrator's voice is annoying af, but I'm always here for random Sufjan promo. What's your favorite song off of Illinois/favorite Sufjan album?