Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Album: The Age of Adz
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Though he is known for having a folk sound carried by guitars and gentle vocals, Sufjan Stevens mixes electronic into his 10th album. His use of synths and drum machines makes certain tracks sound more “artificial” than what many of his loyal listeners may be accustomed to. In addition, his former whisper has evolved to louder singing in order to keep pace with more frenetic instrumentals. Still, with song names like “Impossible Soul” and “Futile Devices,” the Detroit native’s latest album adheres to his gold standard of lyrical impeccability.
Like birds with untrimmed wings, each track soars for eight to 10 minutes, making the album into more of a tasteful show and less of a product marketed to the masses. The term “multi-faceted artist” truly fits Sufjan Stevens. Where else can you find elements of opera (“Now That I’m Older”), electronic (“Too Much”) and folk (“Vesuvius”) all on the same album? Age of Adz at once provides meditation, contemplation, mental connection and vacation.
Give these tracks a listen: “Futile Devices,” “Now That I’m Older”
For fans of: Iron & Wine, Jose Gonzales
– Eleni Stephanides