Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz REVIEW

We're not in Chicago anymore...
 Sufjan Stevens' new album, The Age of Adz sure is a big one.  Electronics, synthesizers, brass, strings, drum machines, autotune, choirs, vocoders...  Sufjan is not fucking around (oh, profanity is included as well!).  Don't go into this expecting Illinois 2, but don't go into this expecting Enjoy Your Rabbit 2 either.

This release takes the composition and musical exploration of All Delighted People, and adds in both new and old elements.  The second track, Too Much, starts out with an abrasive electronic intro, then goes into a pop-song heavy on the synths and drum machines.  Layers and layers of drum machines.  But then the strings show up, and later the guitars.  This album really shows Sufjan's talent at composition; many of the songs change direction midway, but never do so in a way that feels forced.  The last track, Impossible Soul is twenty-five minutes long.  That's a new record for Sufjan, even including his soundtrack work on The BQE.  And the chanting, autotune'ing, and pop this song brings are unprecedented in Sufjan's career.

But this album is not without flaws; that vacuous and artificial delay present on The Owl And The Tanager shows up in at least two of these tracks, and while it certainly fits in better here, I can't help but wish that he chose a more naturally colored delay.  Other things from All Delighted People EP show up here as well; his vocal style (contrasted with his older works), those neat little vibrating string swells.

This probably isn't the best album Sufjan has ever released, but it's not one that will be remembered as a failed attempt.  There are solid hooks, solid compositions, and solid musicianship on this album.  The Age of Adz is a good one.

33 comments:

  1. I'm a huge fan of Sufjan, but I suppose I won't go into this album expecting what I've come to expect from him. No myriad of peculiar instruments and such :[

    Still, I believe in him and will report back once I've given the album a few good listens.

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  2. Never heard of him, but I'm always open to new music!

    Thanks!

    Twitter.com/CawlinForReal

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  3. I don't really like this album at all...and not entirely sure on Sufjan himself. I love Illinois and Michigan but nothing else... Also check out my blog cause I plan on reviewing similar type music as well!

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  4. I keep listening to the 25 minute song. it is sooo good.

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  5. thanks for the heads up... I want to check this out now

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  6. cool review will give it a look

    add me back, ty

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  7. I had to come back just to get a second read

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  8. Kingmush, check out Seven Swans if you dig those two albums. It's really really good.

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  11. thanks for the review man. i will definitely look into this album

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  12. Guess he's not doing his an-album-for-every-state thing anymore :(

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  13. Decent album .. Like your review though.

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  14. Well I'll have to check it out, but like you said some of his others ones are more worth looking into.

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  15. Cool post!
    Followin n supportin :)
    Check my blog

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  16. At first I thought it said "the Age of AIDS"

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  17. I have never heard them before ill give them a try!

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  19. sufjan is alright, not really my cup of tea

    appreciate the review though

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  20. Sufjan is amazing, I'm pumped to give this a listen.

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  21. Weird thing is I haven't heard of him before. Thanks :D

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  22. Sufjan is the man. Great post, bro.

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  23. Hit the nail on the head with this one.

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  24. there's no end to the good music you find on blogspot!

    thanks for showing all of us who's out there!

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  25. Music sucks nowadays, but this was AWESOME. Thanks for the post!

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