By Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens is well know as a musician who advances within the genres he works within, probably best known for his folk based musics in the 50 states project where Sufjan announced he was to create an album for each state in the US, alas it came to fruition that this was a joke and wasn't going to happen, well not at least at the moment.
Enter 'The Age of Adz,' an album with an astonishing new direction for Sufjan trading banjos for dark synthesised sounds that resonate volcanoes with the hot bubbling opening of 'Too much' and the dystopian chiming at the beginning of 'Bad Communication' we are certainly introduced to a new musical hand Sufjan has to offer. But this album does not stray away from the Sufjan sound with some lush orchestrations still present including the trademark trilling flutes.
The album is dark and adventurous exploring apocalyptic ideas that make one think of relation to the 2012 Incan theory of apocalypse giving an unease that makes the enjoyment of the record that bit more thrilling.
The stand out track has to be 'Too Much' with its exciting industrial rhythms and ether strings that create a sound of promise, so maybe it's not all doom and gloom! The lyrics seems to be an unconventional love song with talk of 'If I had the blood in my eyes' which with the gurgling noises makes for quite an anatomical sound.
Sufjan has created a superb record that subverts expectations, the themes of apocalypse could just be a wry reference to the end of the fifty states project exploding that previous world or maybe Sufjan knows something we don't... Regardless of which way it falls one thing is clear: this is a new approach with distinct originality in an age of the mundane and this constant reinvention can only make Sufjan better - so let's raise a glass to his longevity! Sufjan isn't dropping from the top of his game.