Bright and early this morning I downloaded the Avalanche from itunes and I’ve listened to it on and off for a while today while I was writing. I haven’t had time to really hear any of the words but sonically it covers a lot of the same ground as Illinois which isn’t surprising since it is an album of outtakes and alternate versions from that album. What it does do, however, is show that the huge amount of creativity that Stevens displayed on Illinois was only the tip of the iceberg. His wacky intricate understated arrangements on some beautiful melodies are juxtaposed with sonic experiments to give this album a vibe that, while clearly stemming from the Illinois sessions, is really unique to this album. I can’t wait to really dig into it.