shortly after the surprise release of his all delighted people ep, sufjan stevens introduced “i walked”, a first taste for most of us to his new album the age of adz. when i first heard it, i must admit being disappointed with its sluggish pace and oddly chosen drum-machined beats. hearing it now in the context of the whole album, everything makes much more sense. after the cosmic electronic frenzy “too much” works itself into and the ballooning space-age anthem that inhabits the title track, “i walked” provides a much needed breather and bridge to the heavenly “now that i’m older”. more than that, though, it contextualizes the album as sufjan’s homage to royal robertson, the late sign-painter who spent the final two decades of his life as a recluse, creating apocalyptic-themed sci-fi comic art obsessively addressed to his ex-wife adell. with “i walked”, sufjan aligns his steps sympathetically with robertson’s, restoring in our consciousness the humanity of the man probably with “nothing left to love” but still desperately yearning for “the respect of a kiss goodbye“. – dan.
the age of adz is out today on asthmatic kitty.