With the release of 2003's Greetings From Michigan, Sufjan Stevens embarked on an ambitious project of writing a theme album for every state in the union. Five years later, Stevens is releasing The Age of Adz, which, while possessing an interesting theme of its own, leads us to believe that he's given up the ghost. Musically, TheAge of Adz is quite a departure from Stevens's previous full-length, trading banjos and acoustic guitars for percussive loops and synthesizers in the realm of Bright Eyes' Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. Thematically, TheAge of Adz tells of Royal Robertson, a schizophrenic sign maker and artist who often warned of a futuristic world wrought with aliens, flying cars and a pending apocalypse. Compare this to songs about Decatur, Illinois, and it appears Mr. Stevens's music is more ambitious than ever.
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