Hear This: Grace is “The Only Thing” that keeps Sufjan Stevens standing

In Hear This, The A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, in honor of The Grammys, we’re stumping for songs we think should have been nominated for “Song Of The Year.”

Sufjan Stevens, “The Only Thing” (2015)

Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell is an open wound: a son’s musical letter to the dead mother who abandoned him for most of his life. It’s also Stevens’ best work to date, more nakedly emotional than Illinois, less off-putting and aggressive than The Age Of Adz. It landed at number three on our list of the Best Albums Of 2015, beat out only by the raw energy of Kendrick Lamar, and Sleater-Kinney’s enthusiastically greeted return.

But while both of those albums are excellent, neither can quite match the thoughtful melancholy that Stevens evokes as he talks his way through every aspect of …

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