Go to the NEW FORUM
I know it's super lame to check out 30 second clips from an album that hasn't even been released yet, but if your like me and can't fight the urge. You can get a sneak peek at THE AGE OF ADZ on itunes. Its sounds pretty amazing. Now I wish I didn't spoil it even a little bit. I hate myself!
Unfortunately, i've not been able to connect to the All Delighted People EP since he released. It received a lot of love from people over here, but i just saw it as a failed experimentation and a little bit self indulgent. I didn't hate it, like a good amount of critics did, i just thought it was messy and all over the place, but maybe it was a step that needed to be taken and i get it why a good amount of people like it.
So it comes as a surprise to me that, based on these samples, this album sounds so good and even accessible. Soon as Too Much and its immediate follow up, the title track, started playing i knew i could be facing a top 10 album of the year contender to me! It's different from other stuff of his, so here's hoping that critics don't start a M.I.A.-like kinda bashing (it wasn't that bad of an album), though this one seems much better than MAYA. Glad to see him back and when i mean back, i mean glad i'm enjoying his new music again.
To be honest, it doesn't matter what he releases; Unless your name starts with an R and ends with adiohead, it's almost impossible to please people with a follow up to a classic. Even if Sufjan's new album is amazing, I can see a vocal minority who will rip it to shreds. That just happens when you make one of the most lauded albums of the last decade.
Personally though, I'm pumped.
But sufjan followed the album with a good amount of parallel projects. I'm pretty sure there are going to be people ready to criticize every little detail. But look at other artists like Newsom, Arcade Fire, The National, LCD Soundsystem and Gorillaz who also followed up albums that defined last decade and still earned a lot of critical acclaim, even enhancing it in some cases. Only two big follow ups were slumped by a good amount of critics: MGMT'S and M.I.A.'s and there are people who still liked that records and they might even make a few EOYs too
Listened to the album... its pretty good... last song is insane with the autotune and robotic voices. Ha, but I can see this getting bashed because of the indulgence in a 25 minute track alone. What do you guys think about Age of Adz??
Sufjan's music is good but I've been a little disappointed in a couple things he's said/done lately. First, he pulled all of his songs from Ultimate Guitar Archive. Not even the Beatles have done that. Second, he was quoted saying that music is worth 12-13 dollars an album.
Politics or Not; you can't fight how powerful this new material is. I spanked the leak about 5 hours ago and have been hooked and twisted neath its grasp for 5 repeated listening already. Amazing stuff. An instant classic.
Well technically it was his label that was talking and not him saying a cd is woth about 12 and digital about 8. But they were just saying how they price things... I haven't heard about the guitar things though... weird
Like the statement or not, they've got a point. How are these people suppose to survive and create consistently with no income(Sufjan has a huge touring band). If an artist has their own distribution network and asks you to buy it from them because it's the price they want for it, then thats what it should be. Very few artist demand your attention. Sufjan Stevens is one of the great music minds of our generation and shouldn't be sidelined. If you pay less on Amazon against his labels wishes, then I call that a form of robbery or just being a cheap fucking bastard.
Wow. This stuff is great. Epic. Wow.
"I'm not fuckin' around, a-round, a round, aaaa-round!"
Color me unimpressed. We have enough Animal Collectivesque bands.
The worse that can happen to Sufjan Stevens is that people will compare him unfavorable to AC. Too Much didn't receive a BNM tag by Pitchfork, so i don't know about the album earning a 9 or something, but i found to be very good. I also think some won't react good to the changing of sound, but on the other hand he is always changing and his EP released this year was so experimental that an album like this is like a breath of fresh air inside his discography and 2010's landscape. Yeasayer also made a very AC album and they get away with it (though it was kinda forgotten by some this time after so many greater releases). It's hard to guess if this will be seen as a brave step forward, a solid expansion of his sounds or just tear critics apart and actually challenge MAYA in terms of reception, though i don't think the last one will happen since this is a much more solid album. I can see some mixed reviews complaining of the production, though (even Kid A received back in the day!). To me is a top 10 of the year contender.
While I agree that it has an Animal Collectivey tinge to it, I think that there is one massive difference - Sufjan has heart. When I listen to Merriweather, it just sounds cold, as if they're surrounding themselves in a cloak of mysteriousness and pretension. Sufjan still sounds passionate over the drum machines. On first listen it sounded heavenly.
shit be excellent, yo
It's amazing how polarizing some of the early reviews have been. Some people declaring an instant classic, and others drowning it in a pool of appointment. I love this album, I think its amazing. I think it's kind of cool that an album like this has been twisting people up, and forcing devastating emotional responses. Its like Dylan going electric. Sufjan mocking his detractors with scorn and single serving wit. From the laughable EP status of "All delighted people", his fascist album descriptions, and his contempt for anyone who has questioned the 50 states project. Sufjan Stevens isn't fucking around, but his music sure is. Love'n dis!
Sputnikmusic.com gave it a glowing 5/5 review. Mojo and Uncut not so much, but who reads there article's anyways. Destined for greatness.
I just picked this up! The packaging is pretty awesome! One of the benefits of living in Australia is generally getting things the Friday before the rest of the world.
A mixed review from BBC and NME gave a 7, it's so ripping the europeans apart... i i'm still digging this album, though
The divide is fascinating. I'm sure Sufjan is eating it up. Anyone have any early favorite's from the album? Im loving "I Want To Be Well, and the Age of Adz". Im loving the production value as well. As heavy handed as it is, the colors collide and expand beautifully together. I doubt sufjan will continue down this path, but its nice to see a different side of someone that you know has endless musical range.
An interesting article here. Another reviewer perplexed by suf's Adz'. This is a very challenging record.
Sorry here is the article.
Wow. I've listened 1.5 times and it hit me pretty hard. A general theme seems to be about being present, with lyrics about avoiding distractions and preferring to be burnt than to live with death (or something like that). There's also a spiritual angle that made me cry- about doing yourself a favor and making yourself right with the Lord after recognizing that you've lost your conscience and shame. It seems to reappear in the 2nd to last track, as he repeatedly insists "I want to be well".
It strikes me as if he's almost put all of these fancy synth sounds, glitchy beats and the general sonic maelstrom going on as a slap in the face to say "Wake up and make yourself right"! I can't speak for anyone else, but it's a powerful message and one I needed to hear.
Those are just my initial impressions.
You're right. It is very much a wake up call. Not the sunny one that was expected from Sufjan, but a definite V8 slap on the forehead. The albums themes run reminiscent to that of an Elliot Smith Album done by an Animal Collective/Nico Mulhy collab. I think the bombardment of noise that is solicited here, serves to take the listener completely out of there head. No room to wonder off, which is saying alot for an album that has a 25minute song. A magnificent accomplishment. Gets better with every listen (Repeats are a must).
I just can't get over how he followed up Illinois with something so completely different, sonically, AND something of such ridiculously high quality.
Retrospectively makes every day of the five-year wait well worth it.
Something is wrong with me. I just cannot stop listening to this thing. Slowly working its way into my all time favourites list. God its amazing, and I too am NOT fucking around.
Glowing declaration from Tinymixtapes. Going to see his show in Montreal on Tuesday. Can't wait. interested to see who is opening. The Bill has it as SPECIAL guest. My guess is DM Stith; another critically acclaimed artist under asthmatickitty. Some circles suggest that THE NATIONAL will be along for the ride, but I find it hard to believe this will coincide with their own work.
I've listened to it for about four times and I liked it more with every next listen. The only conclusion I can make until now: it's quite great.
I love it when the critics don't know what to do with it.
This is going to fight it out with Janelle for album of the year, for me!
One of the neat things about the critical responses this album has been garnering are the comparisons. It seems every critic has another album that they are trying to compare it to, or make reference. From Bjork's Medulla, Beck's Odelay, Lips Yoshimi, Radiohead's Kid A. The list goes on. Usually an album that was a game changer.
What's the point of ordering on Amazon if they aren't going to ship it out until days after the release date? I used super saver shipping with another order but I still should be able to get it on the release day. I should have just bought it at Best Buy for the same price when it comes out.
That's the second issue I've had with Amazon. I ordered Weezer's new album on vinyl and they said supplies were limited but not sold out so I jumped on it, and then they sent me an email that they are waiting for more. I know that day may never come since it's the vinyl edition. I should have just bought it at the record store when I saw it, but nope, I decided to wait and save a couple bucks on Amazon and packaged it with a board game to get free shipping.
Consider yourself lucky they didn't have it in stock. That album blows chunks.
I think it's ok. Not great, but worth the purchase. It'll be the first one I buy of theirs since the Green Album...
I used too love them. I just can't figure it out anymore.Something key has changed in their attitude towards music, seemingly not for the better. A band trying to be popular when there fan base couldn't give a shit, and all new comers likely wont explore any back catalog. I'll give it another go, but I cant see myself coming around. It sounds like a stunt.
Pitchfork award what must be their 15th, maybe 20th, 8.4 of the year.
And I think it's a fair rating. That's about what I'd give it.
Every listen drives this album further up my all-time list. I think top 50 all-time is certain, and likely top 25. Wow.
It's infectious. Certainly climbing up my list as well. Possible Top 10. I love this record.
This album is pretty awesome. Definitely an album of the year contender...and no I'm not fucking around.
Went to the show Montreal last night. It was amazing. Surprisingly less electronic than I was expecting. Substituting were 2 insane drummers. Wasn't expecting Impossible Soul, but all 26 glorious minutes were played with utmost perfection. This is the album the year.
Well I heard The Age of Adz tonight. At this moment, I think I'll have to side with the more mixed reviews that proclaim it an interesting failure of an experiment and overly long. It sounds engaging but it didn't hold my interest for the entire 75 minutes, something that he did easily with Illinois, another long album. HOWEVER, the important thing here is that it does sound engaging. Engaging enough for me to listen to again (I already started on another spin). I'm not counting out the possibility that in a week or so I'll call it one of my favorites of the year. It has the makings of a grower (difficult but inviting). But yes, my initial reaction was a bit cold.
EDIT: I just read Kevin's and Gillingham's posts, and the article that NYT linked. I guess my experience has been very typical.
Definitely a grower. I find it odd that the album has 4 perfect scores on Metacritic and maintain a 80% average. That must be a first. I guess that accounts for the polarizing reviews. Lots of Love, lots of hate. It makes this album feel even more alive. I'm glad people hate it, It demands hatred. Might be why its the best record of the year!
I like it a lot on first listen, but I can't tell if it's going to grow or shrink. It has the freak-folkiness of Illinois, only with weird Eno-esque mixing.
Not Illinois-level, but it doesn't have to be.
Apparently sufjan hasn't been playing I WANT TO BE WELL live. I wonder why this is. The the coolest track on the LP. might be too complicated to pull off?
I hope they film him again if he does Austin City Limits. The illinois tour video was outstanding. Very hard to find quality live sufjan on the internet.
The prestigious Cokemachineglow has assigned a rating of 88% to THE ADZ. I don't know if they have rated an album that high this year. I know Big Boi's release received a rave. Sufjan deserves this acclaim. The adz has longevity. I heard it close to 15 times now and it keeps getting better.
I have a few scores from them in my head and as far as they go: They gave a 85% to Have One on Me, The Suburbs, Archandroid, High Violet and Cosmogramma and 88 to Spoon's transference. When it comes to the combined rating:
The Suburbs: 80%
The Archandroid: 82%
High Violet: 79%
Have One on Me: 78%
The Age of Adz: 78%
This still doesn't reflect the staff overall consensus, wait til the EOYs.
The album actually got only a 79% - with CMG you go by combined rating.
I just listened to it for the first time, (being just now able to get my hands on it), and I hate it. To me, Adz lacks everything that made Illinois, Michigan, and Seven Swans such great successes. Some of the tracks are okay (I Walked is probably my favorite) but some of it is just so hard to get through. Maybe my least favorite album I've heard all year.
Its not something that you jump into and get immediate gratification. The Adz grows and blossoms with repeated listens. If you like his earlier stuff, then the Adz is definitely for you. Its more similar than some critics have let on. It's just beefed up with cool electronics and drum machines. LOVIN EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
I'm with Moonbeam on this one...haven't enjoyed an album on the first listen this much in a looooooooooong time.
I've read a couple of reviews where the reviewer asks why it's been so long since Sufjan released his last LP Illinois. Sure Sufjan has claimed that he had a music crisis, but come on people the fucking guy released the BQE, A Christmas Song compilation, helped orchestrate Run Rabbit Run, Mixed and completed the Illinios B-sides "Avalanche", work-shopped new material live, and then released The Age of Adz. How much more do you want from the guy. Thats an insane amount of work; all of which are high quality.
Im sure its just a lack of knowledge that lead to those conclusions, however, if you're not going to do your home work than I'll gladly trade jobs. I also read somewhere that Sufjan said that his next work wont take him as long now that he knows what to do with all of his new toys. This is going to be an insanely productive decade from music's finest singular talent.
And you forgot to mention All Delighted People, an EP worth of two albums of music for some other acts.
That's right! All Delighted People was amazing. He also helped on "The Welcome Wagon" debut, and "The Nationals" last two records "Boxer and High Violet". Very busy indeed.
BOY WE CAN DO MUCH MORE TOGETHER