Sufjan Stevens
The Age of Adz


3.0
good

Review

by mukedufuss USER (1 Reviews)
January 27th, 2011 | 15 replies | 1,822 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A worthwhile listen, but all in all not as inventive, original or experimental as it seems.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

We’ve come to expect a lot from Sufjan Stevens in the five years since his most widely praised album, Illinois. To the devoted Illionis fan (which I most certainly am), Age of Adz can come as a bit of a shock- what are these noises? That’s not an orchestra!

It is definitely a departure from his previous work, which has usually been either highly orchestral or centered around folk instrumentation and soft vocals. Upon playing the first track from Age of Adz, Futile Devices, it seems that Sufjan hasn’t changed much, soft guitar and piano dominating the song (though there is something decidedly different about his vocals- a heavy echo that usually isn’t there). However, the second track, Too Much, opens with strange, rhythmic sounds that seem more like they belong to a noise music group like Sleigh Bells than to Stevens. It’s only when the vocals begin that the song is instantly recognizable as his work, with his distinctive soft voice and usual vocal layering.

The title track has more obvious fingerprints. While there are heavy noise elements, they are arranged in a more rich orchestral fashion, typical of his older albums. There are also flutes, violins, and the ever-present pulsation of tubas, another staple of his previous albums. The rest of the album seems to run the same course, mixing noise and standard instrumentation in a way that only Sufjan could pull off. They serve to contrast each other and to keep the listener on edge. He also uses noise elements to create a mood of tension or stress on certain tracks, while lowering their prominence or removing them entirely at times when a calmer atmosphere is called for.

The album concludes with Impossible Soul, the epic final track clocking in at 25 minutes. While individual themes and pieces of it are quite good, it feels disjointed at times, as if it were several shorter tracks strung together. However, this is only a technicality, and does not decrease the quality of the music or the album overall. Age of Adz, though not quite the masterpiece fans might have hoped for, only falls short in comparison to Sufjan Stevens’ previous work. For most others, this album would be a crowning achievement. It is, overall, a very worthwhile listen.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
psykonaut
January 27th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i feel like you do a good job describing what the album sounds like, but you don't really touch on what's bad about the album (other than the disjointedness of Impossible Soul) or what's good about the album. at the end of the review i couldn't tell if you liked or disliked the album, which i guess makes sense for a 3 review, but you could work on articulating just what exactly is good about the album and what is not so good

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2011



14986 Comments


123 psyko

this album is pretty good, never ever feel like listening to it

vanderb0b
January 27th 2011



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is pretty boring, imo. I agree with psykonaut, but the review is still nice.

Slum
January 27th 2011



2579 Comments


it's been a long, long time

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2011



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review - especially for a first. Welcome to the site! And have a pos vote!

wyankeif1337
January 27th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review, this shit is overrated as fuck

Drsmith4
January 27th 2011



1712 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

You, sir, are wrong. Well-written review, though.

Tyrael
January 28th 2011



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Damn I wanted to do this! Oh well good job man, I totally agree.

kingjulian
January 28th 2011



1297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is so, so boring at times (and brilliant at others). Great to see a review that doesn't cry over it. This has got to be the most subdued first review I've ever read, and that is a compliment.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2011



9988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review.
I do think the album's overrated, but I also think it's better than how it's displayed here. Certain songs are just great, albeit others don't really live up (I Walked- bleh.)

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Superbus
January 28th 2011



187 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this album is me :')

psykonaut
January 28th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i wish i could listen to this album for the first time again, it's still great but the first time listening to it...my god

AtavanHalen
January 29th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Eugh.

couldwinarabbit
January 29th 2011



6996 Comments


album sucks cause I say it does...that should be enough.

xfearbefore
July 17th 2011



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Finally a review for this album I can agree with. This album is so unabashedly fucking mind-numbingly boring. I can appreciate the creativity and effort he put into this album and see why others would like it, but I tried listening to this album maybe 10 different times and every single time nothing on the album stands out to me as anything above average at all.

Digging: Tiger Army - Tiger Army



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