The Age of Adz
From Church of Sufjan
After the acclaim of 2005's Illinois, Sufjan continued touring in support of his music, but failed to release any new song material for several years. He did put out The Avalanche, an album of outtakes from the Illinois sessions, Songs for Christmas, a compilation of previously recorded Christmas music, and The BQE, a suite of orchestral music. He also recorded several cover songs for tribute albums and had another Christmas album leak to the internet. While fans enjoyed this new material, people were waiting for a proper follow-up to Illinois.
Due to the absence of a new album, people began to believe that some of Sufjan's interviews had quotes indicating that he was experiencing a songwriting crisis, questioning the purpose of his work, making music at all, and of a the form of a song or album in general. Sufjan later said that these quotes were probably blown out of proportion. However, his interviews did indicate that he was interested in shifting away from the banjo towards more dissonant music.
Inspirations for the album came from the life and works of outsider artist Royal Robertson , which is featured on the album cover and album art. The album also contains many personal themes caused by a mysterious and debilitating illness that Sufjan had been dealing with while working on the album, a fact that was unknown by the general public until weeks after the album's release.
 Track Listing
|3||Age of Adz||8:00|
|5||Now That I'm Older||4:56|
|6||Get Real Get Right||5:10|
|9||All for Myself||2:55|
|10||I Want to Be Well||6:27|
Prior to the album's release, Asthmatic Kitty sent out an e-mail to its mailing list informing them that Amazon was planning to sell the album at a very cheap price to move many units . However, the label asked its listeners to consider buying a different version in an attempt to give more value to the music. Several news outlets wrote articles on this request, including the New York Times Freakonomics blog.
After its first week of release, "The Age of Adz" reached 7 on the Billboard 200 charts, a career best for Sufjan. In its first week, it was also #1 on the Rock, Independent, Alternative, and Folk charts..
Sufjan promoted the album with a tour, as well as an appearance on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," and a music video for "Too Much."
- ↑ http://www.beatroute.ca/view_archived_article.php?id=70§ionID=15&articleID=3605
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://pitchfork.com/features/interviews/6335-sufjan-stevens/
- ↑ http://vishkhanna.com/2009/10/12/sufjan-stevens-interview-an-excerpt/
- ↑ Album release page
- ↑ Exclaim! interview on illness
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/sep/21/sufjan-stevens-amazon
- ↑ http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/a-record-label-that-believes-in-you/
- ↑ Billboard