The world of alternative indie can generally be split into two groups: devout fans of Sufjan Stevens, and those unaware of his subtle but important contribution to modern music. Any fan will agree that he is a pretty odd guy. Odd, and very talented.
Stevens recently surprised the world with the unexpected release of his All Delighted People EP, and this month it is promptly followed by his first full-length original studio album since 2005’s phenomenal Illinois.
The Age of Adz contains ten tracks that are very much like the Sufjan you know, with the same melodic grace as ever, only more synthetic, artificial, and industrial. Being no stranger to contemporising his folksy, chilled roots, he has this time set his creative sights several decades into the future, returning with a heavily synthesised sound that is a bold move for even such a respected and diverse artist.
Throughout its duration the album sways precariously between genius and disaster, at its best gelling brilliantly to create a surreal electronic gem, at its worst descending into something that sounds like the score from Bambi chugged out through a Juno-6; the sickly by-product of some neon-lit room round the back of the Disney studios.
This doesn’t mean that The Age of Adz is a fundamentally bad record; it is simply, at times, a little over ambitious.
The Age of Adz is out now on Asthmatic Kitty and you can check out the video for title track ‘The Age Of Adz’ below.