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Age Of Adz (Vinyl) [Import]

Sufjan Stevens LP Record
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 30.36 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Age Of Adz (Vinyl) + This Is Happening
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Product Details


1. Futile Devices
2. Too Much
3. Age Of Adz
4. I Walked
5. Now That I'm Older
6. Get Real Get Right
7. Bad Communication
8. Vesuvius
9. All For Myself
10. I Want To Be Well
11. Impossible Soul

Product Description

Product Description

U.S. double vinyl LP pressing. 2010 release from the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. The Age of Adz (pronounced Odds) is Sufjan Stevens' first full-length collection of original songs since 2005's conceptual pop opus Illinois. While the sounds on this record are distinctly "artificial" (drums machines and analog synths reign supreme), the proclamations of the songs are unabashedly visceral, sung loudly, with a backdrop of insistent orchestration. The result is an album that is perhaps more vibrant, primary and explicit than anything Sufjan has done before, incorporating themes that are neither historical nor civic, but rather personal and primal (if even a little juvenile).

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mmm May 30 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Better then expected :) I quite enjoyed every song and it's been in my car since I received it. Good job.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  96 reviews
82 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sufjan Stevens - Bold experimentation and priceless idiosyncrasy, Oct. 12 2010
By Red on Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
4.5 stars

The new album by the "coolest musician in America" (Sunday Times) starts off by flattering to deceive. "Futile Devices" the opening track to Sufjan Stevens new set of songs could have happily appeared on the outstanding "Seven Swans" and is a gentle bubbling track with a fragile folksy beauty which Stevens can appear to evoke with consummate ease. So then Stevens is clearly going to compensate for his abandonment of his 50 state album cycle promise with a return to earlier glories?

No such chance, indeed while the ""he Age of Adz" has many transcendent moments, this is primarily an album of electronic soundscapes, whose trajectory can be loosely traced back in Stevens musical past to 2002's largely electronic Chinese Zodiac concept album "Enjoy your Rabbit". It is therefore not surprising that the critical reception to this album thus far has been in places bemused and quizzical (and in Uncut's case characterised by outright hostility questioning whether our hero is "a genius or just a show off").

The line between originality and over indulgence is of course a thin one but in Stevens case his ability to make his music soar is the special ingredient. For example the second track "Too much" is Sufjan Stevens meets Yeasayer and a joyous electronic concoction. The funky electronica of "I walked" revolves around a trip hop big synth loop, combined with Stevens trademark angelic vocals and surreal lyrics where he asks "Lover, will you look from me now/I'm already dead/but I've come to explain/why I left such a mess on the floor". Other highlights also include the gently rolling 'Vesuvius' which concentrates on giving self advice and messages to himself plus "Bad communication" a short beautiful fragment of a song. The title track is alternatively; erm what's the word I'm looking for, yes thats it ....mental! A tribute of sorts to the weird abstract art of Louisiana based Royal Robertson it starts off with great Wagnerian voices then Stevens singing through cat calls and symphonic whistles over an eight minute hodgepodge powerhouse that has to heard to be believed not least the lovely acoustic end.

And then we have the final track the 25 minute (I kid you not!) "The Impossible Soul" which is a mini album in its own right and a sort of Tubular Bells for the Twitter Generation which wanders far and wide. It starts conventionally and then leads into a strange exhortation where Stevens cheekily pleads with us "Don't be distracted", has a lovely vocoder section, at 13 minutes sounds like Kraftwerk for 30 seconds and then has one of those "Illinois" style chants for a further 8 minutes around the refrain of "boy we can do much more together" underpinned by all sort of beeps, electronic synths and weird machinations. It finishes with a fairly straightforward but gorgeous Stevens song with the "boy" lyrical refrain back again. Oh look, listen to it yourself and begin to connect with a song which has sections which will variously bore you, amaze you and often leave you in tears.

The "Age of Adz" is album devoid of discipline, restraint or brevity. It is a smorgasbord of ideas some of which work brilliantly, others fail gallantly and a few never get out of the starting gate. Certainly this a very different proposition to the mix of orchestrated packed bravado combined with the wintry acoustics of "Michigan" and "Illinois". Yet if the masterful experimentation of both those albums left you gasping for more "The Age of Adz" should hold no fear for you for this is pop or rock music in its loosest sense. Last year Stevens wrote a Stravinsky inspired album dedicated to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and only two months ago he released an EP entitled "All you delighted people" which extended to well over an hour. Stevens is a composer packed with musical ideas some great, some claptrap, some challenging and some sublime. What is the truth is that there no one else out there working this distinctive seam in this manner. Thereby "The Age of Adz" is full testimony to Stevens uniqueness and it should be a cause of great celebration and rejoicing for this is not so much an album release as a musical event.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter Brilliance Oct. 12 2010
By Blaser - Published on Amazon.com
Sufjan Stevens is one of the most interesting musicians that I know of. The fifty states project, a symphony devoted to an expressway, Christmas EP's, the list of intrigue goes on and on. After dabbling back and forth with the idea of ending his public music career for the last couple years, his All Delighted People EP surprised the heck out of most of us. Then the announcement came about The Age of Adz, and years of built of anticipation have culminated into this LP. No, I'm not exaggerating.

Technically Sufjan Stevens has released several projects since his earth shattering Illinois album, but this is the first one people are truly looking at. It's not outtakes, remixes, a compilation, an EP, or symphony. It's a bonafide, brand new, traditional album with lyrics, music, and interesting cover art. This album does exactly what it needs to do.

Though to most people it will probably not hold up in comparison to Illinois, in terms of importance I see the two albums of equal. As if he needed to do so, this album PROVES Stevens' unending skill at songwriting while at the same time exploring new territory. Do many other musicians maintain the balance between creativity and originality as well as Sufjan? I can't think of an example.

I'm not going to go through each song or award the album a number out of ten; there are probably 9000 websites you can go to for that. I am going to say, however, that this album is a spectacular work of art, one of the best albums I have ever listened to, and does not disappoint at all. It's different, but in the sense that each Jones soda flavor is unique yet equally satisfying. The five minutes or so starting at 13:00 of the track "Impossible Soul" are possibly the best five minutes my ears have consumed in years.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progression Oct. 20 2010
By M. Kupresanin - Published on Amazon.com
Sufjan has done it again. Any fan of Sufjan should appreciate the progression and development of the artist. The Age of Adz is sensory nirvana and a joy to rediscover over and over again. For those new to the wonderful sounds of Mr. Stevens, be sure to check out his other equally compelling work.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is NEW stuff, folks, you haven't heard anything like it Nov. 4 2010
By Raymond Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've been a marginal fan of Sufjan Stevens for several years and own most of his albums, but nothing could have prepared me for the groundbreaking, innovative leap the artist has made with this one. I truly believe that this is *new music*, as in *sounds/styles we've never heard before.*

How to describe it? Not sure. It's electronica, to be sure, but it's also accessible and melodic. It's a wall of sound textures overlain atop Stevens' sensitive and poignant songwriting. It's cosmic and spacey, almost like a new genre of progressive rock. And yet it's also earthbound, mining emotional responses you don't expect. There are drum machines, orchestral arrangements, angelic choirs, and hooks galore. "Orchestral electronica folk songs" is the best way I can describe it.

As for the negative reviews posted here, I'm befuddled. The nay-sayers must not be very adventurous with their musical tastes.

I've been listening to the album non-stop for three days now and I'm still blown away. It's addictive. It's new. It's brilliant.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic, but... Oct. 26 2010
By R. Berman - Published on Amazon.com
After repeated listenings, I can say that Adz is neither as bad as I thought nor as good as I hoped. Another reviewer described it as "undisciplined," and I totally agree. This album combines every sonic technique Sufjan has ever used, from the woodwind trills of "A Sun Came" to the electronica of "Rabbit" to the toy marching band of "Michigan" and "Illinois" to the folk of "Seven Swans" to the drum-heavy ten minute version of "You Are the Blood," which Sufjan offered on the "Dark is the Night" compilation album in 2009. That track is not on Adz, but it captures the kitchen sink spirit of Adz. It's as if Sufjan just discovered a TR-808 drum pad and doesn't know how to control it. As a result, Adz's sci-fi drum tracks are often hideously overbearing, like a soup with far too much pepper in it. The vocals are often pitched in an uncomfortable, pinched part of his range which reverb cannot entirely obscure.

If the music has been layered too much, the lyrics seem underbaked. The track "I Want to Be Well" consists mainly of a looped vulgarity. "Impossible Soul" has a three minute segment that repeats a single line over and over and over. Gone are story-songs like "Casimir Pulaski Day" and character sketches like "The Mistress Witch of McClure" or "Romulus." Instead Adz has romantic songs, but the references are so veiled and vague that they fail to paint word pictures for the listener the way his older work often did. Sexual ambiguities abound as usual, with the opening track confessing, "I think of you as my brother" and the closing track declaring, "Girl, I want nothing less than pleasure." Song titles are short and overly obvious, almost as if he's specifically trying to deflate expectations of what we should expect from him.

That said, some decent songs lurk underneath the clutter. The opener "Futile Devices" shows that Sufjan still knows perfectly well how to craft a gorgeous acoustic ballad. "Vesuvius" captures the _Illinois_ gang vocal spirit inside a lyric about infatuation. The wall of vocals on "All For Myself" adds challenging dissonance to what's otherwise a gentle piano track. Even the monstrous 25 minute "Impossible Soul" is really a suite of connected songs, with the opening and closing minutes comprising catchy tracks that can be easily isolated through MP3 editors today.
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