Sufjan Stevens

All Delighted People

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At sixty minutes, Sufjan Stevens' All Delighted People hardly qualifies as an EP, but the enigmatic, indie pop superstar has never been one to stick with the format. Book-ended by two distinct versions of the considerable title cut (eleven and eight minutes long, respectively), which is a self-described “dramatic homage to the Apocalypse, existential ennui, and Paul Simon's ‘The Sounds of Silence,” the eight-track set proves successful in melding Stevens’ precious indie folk with the circular, avant/electro-classical persona he adopted for 2009’s ambitious BQE. As per usual, the record is immaculately crafted, but a bit “proggy,” which could serve to disappoint listeners who have been waiting patiently for the artist to return to the engaging, patchwork pop/rock of 2005’s Illinoise. Fans of the quirky, less immediate moments from that album will find a great deal to love on this precursor to October's full length Age of Adz, but the emotionally charged, collegiate/spiritual nostalgia that informed his earlier works has all but dissipated.

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