The Age of Adzby Sufjan Stevens
The album almost entirely eschews the songwriter's former/i>/i>
The Age of Adz (pronounced "odds") is Sufjan Stevens's first full-length collection of original songs since 2005's conceptual pop opus Illinois. This new album is probably his most unusual -- first, for its lack of conceptual underpinnings, and second, for its extensive use of electronics.
The album almost entirely eschews the songwriter's former tools of the trade: namely, acoustic instruments that accompany an expansive narrative scope. While the sounds on this record are distinctly "artificial" (drum machines and analog synthesizers reign supreme), the proclamations of the songs are unabashedly visceral, sung loudly, with a backdrop of insistent orchestration.
The result is an album that is perhaps more vibrant, more primary, and more explicit than anything Sufjan has done before, incorporating themes that are neither historical nor civic but rather personal and primal (if even a little juvenile). Love, sex, death, disease, illness, anxiety, and suicide make appearances in an aggressive (and sometimes danceable) tapestry of electronic pop, conveyed with the urgency, immediacy, and anxiety of primary colors. From the Label
- Release Date:
- Asthmatic Kitty
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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.