The Age of Adz
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
The Age of Adz is incredibly ambitious. This isn't precious Sufjan equipped with a banjo and enamored with the 50 states; this is a man who's digested a whole lot of electronic music in the five years since Illinois. "Futile Devices" opens in sparse style before glitches, bass-y thumps, laser swoops and machine-gun beats start to multiply. Soon majestic horns and flutes maneuver their way through this digital world like Snow White caught in a video game. "Sufjan, follow your heart," he sings, his introspection -- backlit even more by the electro squall -- still his most powerful instrument.