Sufjan Stevens - All Delighted People
Bookended by two patented Baroque, psychedelic/gospel-esque epic sing-alongs, the latest from Sufjan Stevens is uplifting, hopeful and, while somewhat similar to what you have come to expect from Sufjan Stevens, that is often a very good thing. Here it is just a good thing.
The epics, "All Delighted People (Original Version)" and "Djohariah" run deep through Stevens' catalog of quirky riffs, odd drones, choirs and half-spoken reveries. Of the eight tracks, they are the most interesting because they give Stevens extra time to explore more deeply some of his stock items. Of the other tracks, a shorter version of the title track, "All Delighted People (Classic Rock Version)" seems more like a recap for those who didn't get it the first time around rather than a song that explores anything new. "Enchanting Ghost" and "Heirloom" are little acoustic gems, haunting as brittle. The rest of the songs, especially "Arnika," seem quirky for their own sake rather than due to the needs of the song.
Sufjan Stevens has a full-length ("The Age of Adz") as well as this EP out now. Always prolific, Stevens runs the risk of repeating himself, and while he does so here on "All Delighted People," when he is on the money he is still one of the most visionary writers out there. How much you enjoy this will depend on how many moments you find equal to the indelible ones he has already provided us.
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