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Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

With his first official full length since 2005, Sufjan Stevens has ditched the mellow folk tendencies of his prior work. Anybody who listened to his contribution to the acclaimed Dark was the Night compilation (a tremendous cover of Castanets' "You are the Blood") could have seen this coming; The Age of Adz (pronounced "oddz") consists of electronic-based tracks fueled by drum machines and elements of glitch. By Basement DJ the Doctor

Stevens still employs rich, complex layers and textures with his distinct, delicate vocals. The album finds Stevens shifting the lyrical focus from a survey of a particular location (as he did on Illinois) to a more introspective point of view. Think of a denser, more symphonic version of Kid A. The complexity of the often cacophonous orchestration requires time to digest, but Stevens' charisma and thought-provoking lyrics serve as an ample spoonful of sugar. Though the new direction may be polarizing, The Age of Adz is undoubtedly Stevens' most advanced work yet.

Recommended if you like: Radiohead, Bj?rk, Animal Collective

Focus tracks: "Too Much", "All For Myself", "I Want To Be Well"