Sufjan Stevens Comes Of Age

Sufjan Stevens has really come out of his shell with his new album Age of Adz. While Stevens has never been described as easy-on-the-ear; this album pulls you down into the very deep, very powerful sound that is Sufjan Stevens.

Following up the EP All Delighted People released this year; Age of Adz shows how alive Stevens is as an artist. Since his first release in 2000 Stevens has developed from the lofty, cobweb-thin forms of Michigan(2003) or Illinois(2005) to an album which ebbs and flows like the feelings in a human soul. No more is this self evident than the opening track Futile Devices, which can only be described as Elliott Smithesque. The clean flowing guitar accompanies the ethereal voice without ever overpowering it.

The rest of the album follows the traditional Stevens blue print with songs consisting of smatterings of electro, waves of choirs and laced with heady chanting. Bad Communication and the epic Impossible Soul show the direction of this new album with pinchy electric guitar and swearing showing the very core of the often distant Stevens.

Age of Adz is as different as it is similar to Stevens previous works. Fans will be stoked with the more personable Sufjan but may find it difficult to listen to the album the first time round. Get Real Get Right may cause particular difficulty with its variation in tones, register and just about everything else. This could be the album?s only short coming as its honesty is so raw and brutal that some might be overwhelmed by it. However Sufjan Stevens has never been one to stick to the norms and his experimentation could be compared to the likes of Pink Floyd. Whether fans will be pleased with his handiwork or not is a matter only record sales will tell.

The long awaited Age of Adz is a daring invasion by Stevens into the listener?s mind. The multi-instrumentalist has always astounded with his mixture of instruments and electro beats; but it seems this album looks to rock emotions, rain down tears and shriek feelings with Steven?s naked lyrics. This an album that should come with a warning as its deep feeling can only be matched by its sharp edges; but give it a few listens and this album of ash will burst into a brilliant phoenix before your very eyes.

Written By: Zak Averre

((tag: Sufjan Stevens, Age of Adz, Illinois, Michigan, All Delighted People, Elliott Smith, Futile Devices, Get Real Get Right))

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