"Carrie & Lowell" is about darkness and introversion ("I am a man with a heart that offends with its lonely and greedy demands. There’s only a shadow of me; in a manner of speaking, I'm dead", from "John My Beloved"). Unlike his previous and partially electronic project, "The Age of Adz", this time he returns to his folk format. And all the words are about his childhood and his mother's death, Carrie.
There are no read-between-the-lines songs in here. They are all quite direct and sincere and you feel like diving in his mourning, singing along the guitar/piano-driven tracks. Sufjan suffers like a normal human being who has just lost his mother. And this is actually sweet. But he writes about it like everything else around him is dead, too, thus leaving you without hope. And the most weird thing of all? He makes you feel nice about it with his melodies, just because he is that kind of guy· he can transform his dark lyrics and sad chords into some kind of redemption. For him and for you, too.
Undoubtedly, one of the best things he has ever recorded. Highlight: "What's the point of singing songs if they'll never even hear u?".