Sufjan Stevens?

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  • January 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm #23251

    Peter Fenzel OTI Staff

    Has anybody else listened to Sufjan Stevens’s _The Age of Adz_? Stokes, I’m looking in your general direction…

    I just listened to it all the way through for the first time today and am curious what other people think.

    January 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm #23288


    I have Seven Swans and The Age of Adz.

    They’re pretty different, but I don’t think in a bad way. Seven Swans is pretty easily confused as folk because of the banjo (and I think the banjo is a highly underrated/ underappreciated instrument), but I think that does it a disservice. It’s clearly the same artist when you consider the clever lyrics and his way of telling the stories. But I’d say The Age of Adz is almost its own rock opera, while Seven Swans is more like the soundtrack you’d have playing during a cross-country road trip with a bunch of friends in an old VW van. And the layering he does in Seven Swans is subtle. You can tell that even though it sounds pretty simple an straight forward, there’s way more going on than that. Like there’s fine print, or one of those fancy pens that writes in more than one color at the same time (I swear that was a thing once). Or maybe to quote a movie, “It’s not what it seems.” (Cat would totally know that one.)

    I think I’d describe The Age of Adz as somewhat otherworldly. It has its lighter moments, but there is some grandeur and epicosity in there that give it this scope that sort of pushes my mind beyond conventional critiques and thoughts when I absorb music. Maybe I’m way too into music, but I like to close my eyes the first time I listen to an album (if time permits- which, lately? Totally not happening), and there were a lot of moments the first time I listened to this that made me see stars- but, we’re talking, like, from the window of a spaceship. But because of that, I find myself imagining a rocket shooting around my room when I listen to it. Yeah, I know…

    So anyhoo, prolly way too opinionated, but what do you think about it? Do you have anything else of his?

    January 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm #23313

    Matthew Wrather OTI Staff

    When I first listened to it, I tweeted: “Sonic Middle Age.”

    Illinoise is maybe a better introduction to Sufjan Stevens—at least to the side of Sufjan Stevens that I really like.

    January 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm #23321

    I’m still upset that the 50 State Project isn’t a real thing.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm #23388

    Sufjan’s Christmas album is one of the very few Christmas albums I willingly listen to every year.
    I haven’t had a chance to listen to Adz much yet, but it’s close to the top of my list of music to obtain.
    There’s this video series of various bands(fleet foxes, vampire weekend, arcade fire) playing their songs in interesting settings, and he did one playing the Innocence Mission’s ‘The Lakes of Canada’ on a roof. It’s this kind of thing that makes me love music.

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