Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens

I am surprised by this album. I was starting to believe Sufjan Stevens to be a thing of the past. A brief stop in the indie-rock scene. I enjoy most of Stevens albums. I consider Seven Swans to be one of the most beautiful albums of the '00s. Stevens' last album, Illinois, is equally heartbreaking. But, lacks the simplicity and attention of Seven Swans.

On The Age of Adz, Stevens seems to fall somewhere in the middle of both albums. There are a handful of sparse tracks. The opening track, 'Futile Devices,' is gorgeous. It easily could have been left over from the Seven Swans days. Other tracks on the album involve the messy, playful instrumentation of some of the Illinois tracks, most specifically the closing track 'Impossible Soul.' Not only is 'Impossible Soul' filled with a plethora of styles and moods, it falls a little under 26 minutes long.

The tracks in between are all lovely. Stevens is a little more rough around the edges. Perhaps, irritated? Depressed? There is something a little more mature and bitter throughout his lyrics. I like this aspect of his writing. The innocence and cheeriness of his earlier albums worked well for those albums, but it is nice to see some growth.

Overall, the album feels a little unfinished. The electronic sound falling underneath most of the songs doesn't always work. At times, it makes certain songs seem slightly closer to demos. This isn't to say these tracks take away from the album. In fact, they add a bit of reality. The album isn't glossy perfection. There is a storm at work within Stevens. He is sharing.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, just wanted to say I'm really enjoying reading your reviews. I don't know how I got to your blog, but I'm glad I did.

    Keep sharing your point of view!

    Thank you,
    Maria Ines