Sufjan Stevens
The Age of Adz


5.0
classic

Review

by Ryan Fitz USER (32 Reviews)
November 4th, 2010 | 24 replies | 4,671 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Because this fad is way too priceless not to carry on.

1 of 4 thought this review was well written

In 2005 Sufjan Stevens released Illinois to critical acclaim. I know, that opening sentence constitutes a "no *** sherlock." But it's true regardless. Critics absolutely slobbered over the thing. It was given hundreds of glowing reviews, put on every end of the year list, and I'm pretty sure that pitchfork attempted to make there own religion based off it. It is no surprise that we felt like this, nothing like Illinois had been seen for a long time. The blustering "Chicago", the delicate "Casmir Pulaski", the chilly "Seers Tower", the downright 'get the hell away' creepiness of "John Wayne Gayce" and the fabulous romp of "They are Night Zombies!!!!" They were all reasons we were all willing to sell our souls for this C.D, or if not that, at least our wives. It was brilliant. It was majestic, it was how pop music should be done. It was the type of music we haven't seen for years.

Then came the live shows, you know those fun events the whole world wanted to go too but only about 700 actually can because Suffy has big venue phobia, yeah one of those. They were peculiar events, Sufjan dressed up as a butterfly bird, and then broke into a really cool audition of sister (da da da, da da da, da da da da). The performance would of been even better if he wasn't dressed up in an Amish halloween costume. But it was all kind of worth it to see him pull off that mask and view that incredibly adorable
"deer in the headlights" look on his face, and watch him break into Wayne Gracy and Casmir Pulaski. then his cheerleaders got on stage and they started dancing to Illinois, And Sufjan still has that deer in the headlight look, and he's dancing after two songs about cancer and death, and not a single emotional twitch showed on his face while singing any of those two songs, and why didn't he take those wings off yet, and why does this whole performance feel plastic. You can't help but come to a horrid conclusion.

He really isn't feeling any of this, is he?

Sure Illinois was brilliant, but on the side of Sufjan it's evident that it's a soulless work. He was making songs but on crucial cases he wasn't making art, not his art in any case. He was in many ways a great yet shallow story teller, the words were superb, the arrangements ingenious, the awe it provoked priceless. He put everything in illinois but himself. It is no wonder that after the release he went through a creative crisis. It is no wonder that this crisis lead to the Age of Adz.

What Illinois was, Age of Adz isn't. Pitchfork isn't making a religion off this album, not even close.You can't categorize this album as brilliant without categorizing it as insane. It would be majestic, but every time it comes close, it gets slaughtered by the electronic equivilant of the Charles Manson cult, and this is exactly how pop music shouldn't be done. But on all accounts, all of that's alright, because this is the first album in a long time that Sufjan has put his soul into. You can feel it in the closing of "Futile Devices". in the schizo instrumentation of "Too Much". In the heartbreak of "Now That I'm Older" in that really odd part where he starts talking in third person (like a tool) in Vesuvius. And of course the pinnacle, where it all starts pouring out with the 4 words that will be included in every Sufjan review from now until eternity. "I'm not ***ing around" And he's not, he took on this album completely.

And that's why the electronic madness, the auto tune, the eighties dance music, the sensory overload, in many ways is perfect. Because this is what Sufjan looks like when he puts himself into an album, and in that regard it's even more brilliant than Illinois, because isn't just a name engrained on the cover but into the very core of the music itself. And sure it's ironic that his most emotional album has his voice pass through more filters than a coffee machine on loop, but it's not an emotion you can deny. This is Suffy's work of art, his magnum opus, a mirror into his soul. And for that I graciously say

welcome back, Sufjan, welcome back.



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user ratings (890)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
letsgofishing
November 4th 2010



900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's rumored that Sputnik Music has already been practicing the Age of Adz religion for several weeks now.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Choirs of the Eye

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2010



7143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Solid review. Pos.

And I really should pick this album up - or else I'll go the way of Galileo i.e house arrest.

Edit: I read this again, and agree with the bloke below me. The ideas are there, BUT they have been said before; and the flow needs some work. That said, there are the inklings of something solid in here, and I guess I'm still willing to (barely) pos.

DBlitz
November 4th 2010



1690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol

you seem to be saying the same shit everyone else has said

illinois is not soulless

this is not well written as there are very basic grammatical errors and shit

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 4th 2010



10585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Refuse to read this haha

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2010



17197 Comments


jeremy needs to cap the number of reviews of a given rating that can be posted for an album.

porch
November 4th 2010



8451 Comments


you really didn't justify the 5 rating here

kingjulian
November 4th 2010



1297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really not that great.

wyankeif1337
November 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The only other album I know of that has this many 5 reviews is TDAGARIM.

letsgofishing
November 4th 2010



900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha ha ha

last impulse review I ever do. sorry for wasting your time, this review will either be heavily changed or completely gone tomorrow.

Even though I did get one POS, it must be because I'm so witty.

cinaedus
November 4th 2010



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YES ANOTHER 5
thank you for recognizing the grandness of this masterpiece

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Jash
November 4th 2010



4244 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hahahaha I think Adam might kill himself over all these sufjan 5 reviews

bab808
November 4th 2010



456 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i should write a 5 review.... jk

bab808
November 4th 2010



456 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i should write a 5 review.... jk

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

its too much too much too much too much too much too much

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2010



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ok fine, I'll write a review as well

xfearbefore
November 4th 2010



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review and all but did we REALLY need ANOTHER fucking 5 review? Holy shit this is one of the most overrated albums I've ever encountered on Sputnik. Illinois is superior in practically every single way.

Digging: Tiger Army - Tiger Army

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i didn't really like illinois, i wouldn't go so far as to call illinois soulless ffs

Jash
November 4th 2010



4244 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This>>>>Illinois but Illinois is still amazing as well

Romulus
November 4th 2010



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

this is better than illinois but is still not good

Kevbot56
November 4th 2010



8 Comments


why do people get butthurt about reviews



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