The Age of Adz

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Sufjan Stevens' official follow-up to 2005's critically acclaimed Illinoise puts to rest the conceptual trappings that have dominated his work thus far. Taking a cue from 2009's Koyaanisqatsi-inspired BQE, The Age of Adz is a schizophrenic album: a subject-spanning, electro-orchestral collection of original pop songs which feels like more like an exorcism than it does a simple evolution of Stevens' songwriting. The literate, collegiate folk-pop that dominated his earlier work has been transformed by the self-admitted "existential crisis" that followed the success of Illinoise, and while there are elements of the past third-person intimacy on The Age of Adz, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Sufjan Stevens' official follow-up to 2005's critically acclaimed Illinoise puts to rest the conceptual trappings that have dominated his work thus far. Taking a cue from 2009's Koyaanisqatsi-inspired BQE, The Age of Adz is a schizophrenic album: a subject-spanning, electro-orchestral collection of original pop songs which feels like more like an exorcism than it does a simple evolution of Stevens' songwriting. The literate, collegiate folk-pop that dominated his earlier work has been transformed by the self-admitted "existential crisis" that followed the success of Illinoise, and while there are elements of the past third-person intimacy on The Age of Adz, it's Stevens himself who bears the weight of the world this time around, though it's never revealed as to whether he's heartbroken, world-weary, or just raw from the unattainable expectations placed on him by many of his overly earnest fans. Loosely based on the work of troubled American Creole artist Royal Robertson, who specialized in apocalyptic visions of the future replete with aliens, utopian temples, and end-time prophesying, Age of Adz (pronounced "oddz"), with its glitch-filled, heavily processed barrage of late-'90s electronica, feels cut from the same desolate cloth as Radiohead's Kid A, or Björk's chilly Vespertine, but where Kid A utilized restraint, The Age of Adz trumpets a near-constant cacophony. Opener "Futile Devices" eases the listener into this new world with the familiar sound of a gently fingerpicked electric guitar, and as Stevens' pitch-perfect, heavily delayed vocals reassure his subject that "I do love you," it almost seems like old times. That dreamy setup is revealed as a red herring just seconds into the epic "Too Much," as tree trunk-sized synth bursts and staccato drum machine blips flip the switch on and unleash the The Age of Adz' most accomplished cog. "Too Much," along with the gorgeous "All for Myself" and the propulsive "I Want to Be Well," are stand-outs not just because of their formidable intricacies (the title cut owns that honor), but because they operate on an emotional level that some of the other tracks fail to convey -- as lovely and naked as closer "Impossible Soul" is, it could have been 20 minutes shorter. Stevens' talents as a musician are indisputable, but it's refreshing to hear him so candid, even if that forthrightness is festooned by enough bells and whistles to wake the dead.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2010
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • UPC: 656605607726
  • Catalog Number: 56077
  • Sales rank: 15,579

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Futile Devices (2:11)
  2. 2 Too Much (6:43)
  3. 3 The Age Of Adz (7:59)
  4. 4 I Walked (5:00)
  5. 5 Now That I'm Older (4:55)
  6. 6 Get Real Get Right (5:10)
  7. 7 Bad Communication (2:24)
  8. 8 Vesuvius (5:26)
  9. 9 All for Myself (2:55)
  10. 10 I Want To Be Well (6:26)
  11. 11 Impossible Soul (25:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sufjan Stevens Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Sufjan Stevens Composer
Scott Ogden Images
Prophet Royal Robertson Artwork
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Schizophrenic Sufjan Stevens Still Sharp

    Sufjan's new album is a reflection on love, life and death as seen from the eyes of the schizophrenic sign-painter and artist, Prophet Royal Robertson. Gone are the delicate arrangements focused on travelling through the landscapes and history of a particular state, replaced with glitchy computer noises, pops, and skips. The blanket of noise might distract some listeners but those willing to dig a little deeper will discover a world of deeply personal lyrics and heart-breakingly-beautiful melodies. Sufjan has changed up the game with this album and released quite possibly his greatest work yet. Check out "I Walked," "The Age of Adz," "I Want to be Well," and the gloriously epic 25-minute-long "Impossible Soul." The Age Of Adz is an easy contender for most creative, interesting, and best release of 2010 so far.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews