Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension
Sep 24, 2020
30
this could grow to be my favourite sufjan album yet although i can also see it being quite divisive

im not a huge sufjan guy: im still yet to really fall in love with illinois even if i adore some of the individual tracks, age of adz presented some really great ideas but overall felt clumsy. however, i did love carrie & lowell. it wasnt a revolutionary album, but it was certainly an album greater than the sum of it's parts in just how honest it was. it always did feel like a one off album to me, that he wouldnt really continue that sound too much onto his next album

however, it feels like the logical direction for a sufjan album after age of adz and carrie & lowell. it mixes the sort of indietronica age of adz had, but more developed, subtler, and controlled, with the melancholic ambience of carrie & lowell to great effect. while the arrangements here arent as lively as say, an illinois, they are very warm, thick, and overwhelming at points. it's pretty much all i could want. so while i didnt get another carrie & lowell, i couldnt be happier with sufjan at least taking from that sound and progressing it alongside developing ideas on earlier albums that i felt were undeveloped back then
hopefully the fact this album is fairly slow, long, and melancholic doesnt turn many people off, bc that's part of why i think this album works

i wasnt initially impressed with 'video game,' but luckily within the context of the album fits so so much better. while im not head over heels for it, it absolutely sits snug between the fantastic and atmospheric 'run away with me' and the full of contrasts 'lamentations.' the rest of the album blends into itself really nicely, and im sure more highlights will reveal themselves with further listens; the one definite highlight being the incredibly beautiful title track - my favourite on the album. it's definitely an album that demands full listens, it's an experience - and im sure will probably be a grower to many including myself

so while, sure, maybe there is some filler here, and yeah, sure, nothing here is particularly mind blowing - i really enjoyed this album. it was a great experience and my expectations for a sufjan album as someone isnt a sufjan super fan or anything were met. im looking forward to exploring this album more
4 Comments
Sep 24, 2020
i honestly agree, it's not a bad album but it isn't really as powerful as Carrie & Lowell nor as intriguing for its time like Age of Adz :/
Sep 24, 2020
yeah it's probably nowhere near as powerful as carrie & lowell which is why if i had to bet, carrie & lowell will probably remain my favourite. but on initial listens i do prefer it to age of adz because - while that album is intriguing - it was always just too clumsy and amateurish for me to ever want to go back to it. i do appreciate the quieter and melancholic sides of this album, i think in that sense it could probably be a grower for many
Sep 24, 2020
Why did you rate this so low-60? According to your review, I would have given it a 75.
Sep 24, 2020
people have different rating systems. i mention why in my bio. 60 means i really enjoyed the album and would definitely recommend it. people who are familiar with how i rate understand, i prefer people just read the reviews yk
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