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    Sufjan Stevens - "Should Have Known Better"

    Pain isn't always blatant. Softly singing along to harmonious, acoustic guitar strokes, Sufjan Stevens addresses maternal abandonment on “Should Have Known Better.”

    The thematic crux of his heart-wrenching album Carrie & Lowell does not scream with the bursting fury and frustration of Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry.” Nor does the track muster up the aggression of Kanye’s “All Day.” But as soon as you tune in to the lyrics, the presence of an internal thunderstorm grows evident beneath the swell—a quiet, steady rain. Here you’ll find nothing less than masterful songwriting from a masterful songwriter, and a strong urge to give your mom a huge hug.—Alex Siber