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Avalanche

Sufjan Stevens Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 11.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Music

Image of album by Sufjan Stevens

Photos

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Biography

The Age of Adz (pronounced odds) is Sufjan Stevens’ first full-length collection of original songs since 2005’s civic pop opus Illinois. This new album is probably his most unusual, first, for its lack of conceptual underpinnings, and second, for its preoccupation with Sufjan himself. The album relinquishes the songwriter’s former story-telling techniques for more primal ... Read more in Amazon's Sufjan Stevens Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Avalanche + Michigan + Illinoise
Price For All Three: 43.73

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  • Michigan 14.98
  • Illinoise 16.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 July 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B000FJGR5S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Avalanche
2. Super Computer
3. Adlai
4. Vivian
5. Chicago Acoustic
6. Henney Buggy
7. Saul Bellow
8. Carlyle
9. Springfield
10. Mistress
11. Kaskaskia River
12. Chicago AC
13. Inaugural Music
14. Your Land
15. Tornado
16. Pick Up
17. Perpetual Self
18. Pluto
19. Chicago OCD
20. Pittsfield
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Sufjan Stevens' plan to release an album titled after each of the 50 American States goes a little off course on The Avalanche, although it should be noted that this is a collection of outtakes from Stevens' 2005 album, Illinois. Clocking in at an impressive 21 tracks, it's clear this Michigan-born Christian folk-rocker doesn't lack the inspiration to tackle such an ambitious task. Part psychedelic bluegrass, part extra-terrestrial electronic ambience, and part tribal percussion-fest, The Avalanche is every bit as piecemeal and confusing as you'd expect from an outtakes disc. A couple of enjoyable electronic numbers (see: 'Dear Mir Supercomputer') prove Stevens is working on another dimension from more traditional folkies like Devendra Banhart or Joanna Newsom, but what's really startling here is how so many excellent, lyrical songs have been carried over for this disc: the elegant, minor-key 'Springfield, Or Bobby Got A Gadfly Caught In Hair', or the serene, acid-folk vision laid out on the title track. Meanwhile, fans of Illinois should be delighted by three mischievous alternate versions of 'Chicago' - a acoustic version, a syrupy, Coldplay-style version titled 'Adult Contemporary Easy Listening Version', and the electronic-tinged 'Multiple Personality Disorder Version'. --Louis Pattison

Product Description

As per title

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Avalanche - Sufjan Stevens 12 July 2006
By Alan
Format:Audio CD
Another year, another Sufjan Stevens album. Which is a "good thing", what with Sufjan being one of the most original, most creative and most talented songwriters around today (not to mention the most eccentric).

So, outtakes from another album. Sounds like it would just be an album full of sub-standard rejects from the, frankly, brilliant Illinois album. However, The Avalance could easily stand as an album in its own right, and if it wasn't for the fact that on the cover it says "Outtakes and extras from the Illinois album!" in fairly large text, it probably would.

If you like Illinois then, obviously, you're going to like this. That's it. End of story. I just wanted to say that some of the material on this disc is as good, if not better, than the material on Illinois. And some of it isn't. But hey, that's life.

Cheers, Sufjan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Sufjan thinks! 2 Sep 2006
Format:Audio CD
The Avalanche may not display the theatricality of Illinoise, but I feel it has its own soundscape, (let's call it Crosby Stills Nash and Young with trumpets etc) and that is the reason for many of these outtakes/extras rather than any quality issue that might be inferred by the subtitle of this CD.

For me, the heart of the CD is sequence of tracks 7-10, songs that CSN&Y (and their various combinations) would have killed for. For example Springfield - despite its infamous guitar solo.

Later in this CD comes the upbeat and tuneful No Man's Land, featured in the movie Little Miss Sunshine, and the very touching (and personal?) Pittsfield.

If you liked Illinoise, don't hesitate to acquire another 76 minutes of this most vital of modern American songwriters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The missing twin.. 20 July 2006
By Benjamin J. Whitehouse VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
75 minutes' worth of stuff that didn't get on the album proper. From a man whose already released seven albums and plans to do one about each of the 50 American states. Prolific doesn't even begin to cover it.

The Avalanche is all the music ideas/quirks/tropes he didn't have time to develop. It's a bit like discovering a long lost twin for the Illinois album. Ideas from Illinois get developed further, some of the songs start to make sense. And there's some wonderful acoustic stuff too. Check it out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He's an avalanche 31 Aug 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Sufjan Stevens has reached a new level in his musical career -- the point where every shred of his art is of interest.

That's where "The Avalanche" comes from -- it's all the worthy leftovers from Sufjan's opus "Illinoise." While there are some that were cut for a good reason, most of them are delicate, original and well-written. Even the worst of Sufjan's scraps are better than whatever is playing on the radio.

It opens with the title track, a folky little number that blossoms out with the inclusion of tense piano and a woodsy flute. It's a basic little song about homesickness and travel, which becomes something slightly odder by the end. "Come on, Snow!/Come on, Car!/Come on, Hands!/Come on, Feet!" Sufjan exhorts happily.

Then we get some new twists and turns -- he dabbles in electronica-edged pop in the peppy "Super Computer" and the shimmery "Inaugural Music," effervescent folkpop, quirky indiepop to dance to, bluesy balladry, and some concept tunes such as the eerie, spacey expanses of "Pluto." They ought to use that in a sci-fi movie.

The most amazing song on here is the delightful horn dance tune of "Henney Buggy Band," where you can only imagine people frolicking in the streets. It just overflows with fun. "Let the bugles play the sermon on the raid/I kissed you on the face/I kissed you on the playground!"

Sadly, not every song on here is a masterpiece. Most of them are excellent pieces of work, sweet and musically adept. But there are some that just noodle around, like the ambient "Kaskaskia River." It starts, never goes anywhere, and just fades out. And it's not the only one that just sort of rambles.

With a few songs trimmed off, however, this would be a glorious collection of oddments.
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