Sufjan Stevens The Age of Adz
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crank
October 10th 2010


332 Comments


OK OK, I'll listen to this

Lakes.
October 10th 2010


27640 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

can't... resist... 5... rating!

Digging: Arthur Russell - World of Echo

foreverendeared
October 10th 2010


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

never thought this would happen, I swear, but I'm bumping mine up. Title track is too damn good

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2010


17212 Comments


i want to be well is the best thing ever but the rest of the album is hit or miss for me

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

natey
October 12th 2010


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

composers are certainly not absent and Sufjan is the most prominent of them.

choke

"The Owl and the Tanager" is better than "I Want to Be Well"

conradtao
Emeritus
October 12th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ i had the same reaction

and I still like the EP more overall

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

choke


what

conradtao
Emeritus
October 12th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sufjan isn't a great composer by any means. he's a great songwriter but his compositions (read: BQE) are mediocre/bland

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oh okay so opinions

gotcha

conradtao
Emeritus
October 12th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

opinions make the world go round

hglguhughulghuhuhugghuluhg

natey
October 13th 2010


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what

To me noting Sufjan as the most prominent modern composer is retarded, and this isn't just an
opinion (in my opinion)

I would never call him a "bad composer" (I love all of his albums, though this one the least so
far). But everyone's quick to use the word "composer" with Sufjan because he incorporates orchestra
instruments and even indie rock enthusiasts like most members of the the industrialized world have
weird super respect for writers of classical and
romantic music and symphonies and sonatas, like they are what "composers" look like (or real
composers must use strings and french horns!). It's more than just his instruments; probably some
tonal and metric modulations call to mind "great" symphonies (like the angelic version of BTBAM,
minus dissonance) etc. but he's certainly no more a "composer" than Kristian Matsson or the members
of Arcade Fire or Lady Gaga or the members of Envy or John Darnielle or Brand New or Sigur Ros or
Zach Condon or Spencer Krug (and many of these are certainly more prominent than Sufjan, Lady Gaga
for example), but people aren't always likely to talk about them as "composers" because little of
what they do makes you quickly think of Mozart. But people may be quick to call Matthew
Cooper a composer because he uses strings sometimes and piano and even organ.

Now you may not even be doing any of this in your mind, but all that aside it's still retarded to
call him "the most prominent" modern composer because he's just not. He may be one of the most
eccentric and queerish though. I'm fine with you saying that.

conradtao
Emeritus
October 13th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

now i feel obligated to explain my 'opinion' since natey did it in such a civilized and intelligent manner.

sufjan isn't a proper "composer" in the way i am assuming you were using it. there are classicist elements in his songs, sure, but only in terms of instrumentation, not actual composition. his songs are still laid out in your typical verse-chorus-verse fashion (as a general rule). i have the same reaction when people describe joanna newsom as a "composer" - she's a fairly brilliant songwriter but putting her in the same category as, say, Kaija Saariaho or Steve Reich is an enormous stretch.

if you replaced "composer" with "songwriter" i would have no problem with the quote, because sufjan is undoubtedly one of the best songwriters of our time, but saying that he's one of the most prominent/important composers of the current generation doesn't compute with me.

tl;dr natey's argument was far better than mine

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

knew people were gonna say stuff like that

you're looking into it too much

conradtao
Emeritus
October 13th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah you're probably right, but you can't be lazy with terms, people are really picky about them

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

wasn't being lazy with it, i really don't care if people get pissed because they think i'm comparing him to mozart or something. really all i meant by it was that sufjan is insanely popular. prominent meaning visible and known, not best

conradtao
Emeritus
October 13th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Sufjan Stevens is a composer, and he has proven that the term is not archaic. It may have to be dusted off and polished each time it's applied to a modern musician, but composers are certainly not absent and Sufjan is the most prominent of them."

but composer isn't an archaic term at all.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

oh my god you guys are idiots

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dude you are just missing all kinds of points and wildly misreading

conradtao
Emeritus
October 13th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

point taken

besides i'm arguing with chan why am i doing this, our words are futile devices

ok i will hang my head in shame now.

natey
October 13th 2010


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yay discussion but I wouldn't agree with you conrad although we do agree a little. Reich is not more of a composer than Sufjan or Newsom. Verse-chorus-verse doesn't mean less "composed" than the common four movements of a symphony or repetition of Reich or avante-garde stuff. A writer of a sonnet isn't more of a poet than one who writes free verse. Some things may show elements of one's head being stuck (for better or worse) in tradition or strict forms, but they don't make one more or less an artist! Some people you'd think are historically "great composers" weren't buried in study or conventions like you could think, lame people just idolized them so much they drew conventions from their works.



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