Review Summary: It’s a long life, better pinch yourself.
It’s not so impossible. The thesis of the album. Luckily, it’s conveyed well enough to be believed. It’s almost impossible to forget just how excited people were to hear this album when the word traveled around stating it was completely unexplored territory for Stevens. And it’s true; while he meandered with some electronic aspects early in his career, he never produced anything that was, in a nutshell, a completely full-fledged electronic album. A lot of old fans embraced it, many old fans disregarded it, and a clear majority of first time listeners loved it. However, it is with this drastic change that the listener realizes something important: the genre Stevens uses to distribute the ideas within his mind is completely irrelevant in relation to the level of quality. This is only possible because of his superior and encompassing songwriting.
The songwriting succeeds because of how relatable it is to the general human condition. It may be a somewhat cliché topic in modern music, but it clearly defines the triumph of this album. The sincerity and honesty in his lyrics and delivery are the foundation for everything else which is presented. The experimentation definitely helps as well; the moments without vocal input are made of build-ups, one-of-a-kind sound effects, and tempo changes that shift the listener into the journey through Steven’s mind. And it can’t be stressed enough how well he showcases the benefits of successful auto-tune practice. Lyrically, everything is fairly general in nature but incredibly encouraging within the realm of the self and outside relationships. Basically, go be yourself, go for the girl, and find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t be distracted. In the modern age, where everything is a constant distraction, it’s essential to realize what we hold important and why we see value in it. And this is why Stevens clearly succeeds with The Age of Adz; his priorities are defined and right where they should be.
People are probably going to bitch that there are too many reviews for this. That said, this is an excellent review, so have a pos. I'm not as into this album as most people, but I respect Sufjan for pushing boundaries.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I write for me, not for the website. I just like to share. And yeah, there's definitely a couple of tracks that drag, which is why this received a four, but the overall theme is excellent. Also, thanks.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I write for me, not for the website.
This is definitely the best way to approach writing reviews, or anything for that matter, I was just stating the obvious though. I still enjoy listening to this on occasion, and "Vesuvius" simply never stales. I wonder where Sufjan will go from here.
Impossible Soul drags but that 'do....you want to be af-raidddd?' and 'don't be distracted' section is brilliant stuff. Most of the album is really good though.
I also love how polarising it seemed to be (I don't have any of his other albums). I read alot of stuff where people were like "oh I like Futile Devices and the last three minutes of Impossible Soul but the rest was ughhh. Electronics! Gross!"
This is a really good review, man. Don't think I've read anything of yours before, but I enjoyed this a lot.
In terms of feedback? You miss a couple of opportunities to be clever in the first paragraph - not that it's an objective fault, just something that tripped me up. You mention "impossible" in the first line, then again in the second - you could stylistically link the two by saying "It's almost impossible..." and later perhaps "This is only possible because..." These ideas aren't even problems, it's just a bit of extroverted wordplay to get around the repetition.
The subject "It" in the second line of your second paragraph is ambiguous. It's not 100% clear on the first time of reading what "It" is: human condition/songwriting (both from the previous paragraph) or sincerity & honesty (which you only introduce after the fact). It's minor but it interrupts the flow slightly. You could solve it by ending that sentence with a colon or semi-colon (either works, weirdly) and leading into the following sentence.
Lyrically, everything is fairly general in nature but incredibly encouraging within the realm of the self and outside relationships. Basically, go be yourself, go for the girl, and find exactly what you’re looking for.
This bit is a little bit difficult to read. I think you mean "abstract" rather than "general" (as opposed to "concrete", yeah?) and the phrase "outside relationships" is confusing following "within" because "outside" seems at first a preposition rather than part of the noun phrase. "External relationships" might work better?
I love how you link Sufjan's lyrical slant back to his successful strategy at the end - it's really effective, one of my favourite techniques when reviewing.