Sufjan Stevens

Just when it seemed like Sufjan Stevens might have settled on one musical formula—the sweeping, choral pop of 2005's Illinois, which found critical acclaim and commercial success—the once-indie-wunderkind redefined his style all over again. Stevens' first original full-length in five years, Age of Adz, is his most expansive and ambitious album yet. The album's title track is the best example of this: in one moment, it's a completely bizarre and overwhelming experiment, blending a chorus of vocals, cryptic lyrics, and huge, noisy instruments all at once. Seconds later, it’s a bare, emotional song, heightened by moments of silence. Those who loved the loveliness and hum-a-long style of Illinois might feel alienated and uncomfortable in the chaos, but Sufjan devotees will probably see Age of Adz as just more evidence of the man's genius. With DM Stith. PAIGE RICHMOND

Sat., Oct. 30, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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