Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams - Aporia
Mar 24, 2020
Subaru Stevens is a fantastic artist and a God-tier human being. I love this man so much.

That said, when he announced a 'New Age' album, I wasn't sure how to feel about it. On the one hand, saying something negative about such a pure soul feels like an offense to almighty God. But on the other, I would be surprised to find myself liking New Age hippy bullshit no matter who makes it.

The result is kind of what I was afraid of. It's an album that contains nothing of what I ordinarily love about Sufjan. Gone is the quirkiness, gone is the visceral emotions, gone is the storytelling and lyricism, and all that's left is bland, formless music. Nothing about this album stuck out to me and was remotely memorable.

There were a few tracks toward the end of the album that weren't half bad. 'Climb that Mountain' is decent, so is 'Captain Praxis,' but they hardly stand out in a Stevens' catalog.

This whole thing hurt me to write, but it's my honest opinion. Please don't hate me Suf :(
Mar 24, 2020
we'll just wait 5 more years I guess *sighs*
Mar 24, 2020
If you hate the New Age genre, why would you review a New Age album? Of course you aren't going to like it.
Mar 24, 2020
@Tobias this is a silly critique and it isn't even true. I recently heaped praise on Mickey Newbury and I loathe country music.
5d ago
I don't think anyone hates the full body of any given genre, given just how diverse the sounds can be within one boxed in category. When people say they hate country, they really often mean they hate radio-commercial country rather than alternative forms of country. I definitely always encourage people to keep looking for what they like out of any style of music.
5d ago
@MasterCrackfox I don't disagree with any of this. When I say I "hate" New Age or I "hate" country, I'm speaking colloquially. Of course I don't hate things on the basis of genre, I simply mean that the vast majority of the music out of these genres isn't good in my opinion. I'm not saying that all country music is by definition bad. That would be silly.
5d ago
@Tallglassofwate, what I mean is that your critique of this album shows a lack of understanding of the characteristics inherent to the ambient, new age genre. I also have critiques of this album. As someone who loves ambient, new age music, I find this album to be too dynamic, too sensational. It's as though he's trying to be accessible to his fans who haven't heard ambient music before. The tracks are too short. The shifts occur too quickly. The fade outs are highly problematic, and make the album too disjointed. However, the problems I have with it are the opposite of your problems. It would be like me reviewing a country album and saying: "The song forms are too simplistic, the lyrics too folky, too story driven, not sophisticated enough. It relies too much on vocal harmonies and string instruments. It sounds too pastoral, too rustic." Hell, you saying "New Age hippy bullshit" speaks volumes. I mean have you ever listened to an ambient album before in your life? I doubt it.
5d ago
I suggest Stars of the Lid, Tim Hecker, Grouper, and Brian Eno for starters.
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