Sufjan Stevens: Illinoise: I love the mellowness and quirkiness of this cd. Stevens is an interesting songwriter; sometimes penning lyrics about John Wayne Gacy and other times lyrics about Abraham Lincoln -- for the same cd. He has you touring Illinois sonically. Sometimes I find myself annoyed because some riffs are repeated for too long of a time, but the doesn't stop me from loving Illinois.
Neil Diamond: 12 Songs: This is not your mother's Neil Diamond. Or maybe it really is; the Neil Diamond she fell in love with anyway -- spare -- stripped down. For most of the cd, this is just Neil with the guitar and words and simple tunes. Occasionally, he can't help but break out into the Jazz Singer Neil, but it's only occasionally. Even if you don't like Diamond, this cd deserves a listen.