A lot can change over the course of five years and although ‘Illinois’ opened Sufjan up to an appreciative audience, there is no guarantee that their initial affection will be rekindled with a flaccid reworking of his sole masterpiece. ‘The Age of Adz’, however, is a departure; a musical evolution, but one that has all the hallmarks of being a natural occurrence. Mixing the traditional with the tools of the present, Stevens has crafted an album that half stays true to his original blue print but one that also offers a series of collisions between drum machines beats and analogue synthesisers, peppered with the occasional choral or orchestrated flourish that helps form them into being abstract electronic pop songs, which are rich in vibrant pomposity and sound like a cross between a more majestic, inventive version of The Postal Service and a less animated Flaming Lips.

By Nathan Westley

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