Sufjan Stevens – “The Age of Adz”
-out Oct. 12
4 / 5
Perhaps a more appropriate title for Detroit-native Sufjan Steven’s latest album might be “Sufjan Battles the Pink Robots.” That is to say, there are certainly Flaming Lips-ish space-a-delic themes both lyrically and sonically throughout on his seventh full-length album (excluding Avalanche), and those attuned to Beck’s electronica will almost certainly enjoy themselves here. The downshot is that fans of his breakthrough album Illinois may find themselves surprised, and not always in a pleasant way, as to this new direction; stepping back, Stevens still provides an excellent sense of the pop dynamic, as well as several layered and gorgeous songs (“Too Much,” “I Walked,” and the title track, to name a few). The only real sense of disappointment comes in contrast to 2005’s Illinois, his previous album of original pop material, which is soaring and majestic; Age of Adz approaches this height, albeit a bit more distractedly. Nonetheless, any other electronica musician would proudly list this album under their accomplishments, and Age of Adz certainly is an accomplishment. A melding of the synthetic and acoustic, Steven’s latest opus is absolutely recommended.