Album Reviews (Quickies): Sufjan Stevens, Fol Chen, Matt & Kim

Age of Adz By Sufjan Stevens

Did I mention that I really disliked “All Delighted People”? well I did. It sounded like old Sufjan but more scattered and less…good. In comparison, “Age of Adz” was significantly better. It’s basically a weird artsy/experimental electronic album. The likes of which only Sufjan can get away with and even moderately pull off. It had some nice tracks “I Walked” was a flushed out echoey number that came off as ‘intensely melancholy’, if that’s possible. It was just a song that felt really polished and was a relatively easy listen when compared to most of Sufjan’s recent work. “Too Much” was a nice surprise to me. It’s a surprisingly poppy chopped up type track(after you get past the ridiculous noise intro). Felt more care free than any Sufjan song (not on his Christmas series) in recent memory.

There were some serious misses that I think are bound to occur when you make an experimental electronic folk album. The title track “Age of Adz” felt like an acid trip, and not in a good way. I just felt overly stimulated, and didn’t really understand what was going on while listening to it. Also, can we talk about that 25 minute behemoth of a song that he ended the album with. Let’s be honest 25 min is too long. Way too fucking long. I forgot it was on by like minute 9, which is probably inevitable with any song over 12 min. It doesn’t even all sound like it should be on the same track. It’s kind of a mess to be honest.

Age of Adz Live (Via Steriogum)

Age of Adz 2.5 out of 5

Part II: The New December by Fol Chen

Fol Chen is a masked six piece and a fellow member of Sufjan’s Asthmatic Kitty Records. “The New December” is that kind of glitchy tempo changing pop that reminds me of last years album by “Discovery”. It’s just a little darker, less autotuney and really not as catchy most of the time. I think I’d like this one a lot more if it didn’t try to be so avant garde. Fol Chen seem to be at their best when utilizing R&Bish vocals and when they keep things more up beat. “In Ruins” is a great apocalyptic dancey number. )All the best apocalyptic songs are dancey.) Also, “C/U” sounds like it could be a deconstructed and reassembled Usher song. It’s pretty tight. Overall though, pretty disappointed.

In Ruins Mp3

Part II: New December – 2.5 out of 5

Sidewalks by Matt & Kim

If anyone was qualified on holding a pop song writing clinic it would be Matt & Kim. Sidewalks was the perfect mix of synthy keyboard and drums. It’s really hard to be in a bad mood while listening to this one. And I should know because I was really in one before forcing myself to listen to it. I might have even been in a bad mood after I listened to it, but for those ten songs or so everything was forgotten. It is to 2010 as Passion Pit’s Manners was to 2009. Both are those type of crossover indie pop albums that will get massive commercial / sporting event play time. The main difference is that there is no polarizing falsetto on this one and overall “Sidewalks” is more consistently fun throughout. Thanks Matt & Kim.


Sidewalks 5 out of 5

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