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CD review: New Sufjan Stevens

I dig on the Asthmatic Kitty record label. I always have. They’ve got talented and progressive artists like Trumans Water, Half-handed Cloud, Chris Schlarb and Helado Negro. Sufjan Stevens was at the forefront of the label and a major part of it’s inception back in 1999.

Sufjan himself just released a brand new album called, The Age Of Adz and it’s fucking great but probably not the album you were expecting. The sound on The Age Of Adz (pronounced “odds”) is heavily driven by synthesizers, drum machines and an overall electronic type of feel. This album is far from the usual pop record though because there is obfuscation throughout. The rhythms are wonderful, but you’re just not sure where it’s all going.

Every song on the LP was written by Stevens and this is actually his first full length in about 5 years. Sufjan still sings about illness, death, friendship and love and you’ll get the feeling that he himself is a tortured artist with much to reflect on. Speaking of tortured artists, the artwork for this record adds perfectly to the whole space exploration and apocalyptic vibe. It’s all original work by Royal Robertson, a deceased artist who frequently referred to himself as being an actual prophet. Spooky. Cosmic. Perfect.

The Age Of Adz debuted at #7 in America and immediately sold over 35,000 copies. I think you should pick up this CD too. Listen to it and let me know what you think before you sell it back to Music Trader for that Backstreet Boys reissue you’ve been wanting to buy.

-Mookie

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