The Age of Adz
It was Hunter S. Thompson who wrote, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” It couldn’t apply more to the work of Sufjan Stevens, who seems to have found a new way of communicating with his 2010 release, The Age of Adz (pronounced “oddz”). After a few gentle guitar notes on the opener, “Futile Devices,” Adz turns towards electronics that connect and splinter Stevens’ worldview and psychic well-being. The percussion turns brittle for “Too Much” and the spacey reverbs laced throughout give things a disjointed feel as the title track, “I Walked” and the choir-doom of “Now That I’m Older” spread out across the universe. “Get Real Get Right” sounds like a dance party where everyone freaks out and speaks in tongues. This child of Talking Heads loves his rhythms but he also loves his avant-garde textures. “Bad Communication” lives up to its title. “Vesuvius” and “All By Myself” find an inner calm amongst the chaos. “Impossible Soul” is an incredibly long closing track that further underscores Stevens’ grand ambitions.