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The BQE CD+DVD

5 customer reviews

Price: £15.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
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£15.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Amazon's Sufjan Stevens Store

Music

Image of album by Sufjan Stevens

Photos

Image of Sufjan Stevens

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

Visit Amazon's Sufjan Stevens Store
for 16 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

The BQE + Michigan + Illinoise
Price For All Three: £46.74

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Oct. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B002IVTW26
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,591 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude on the Esplanade
2. Introductory Fanfare for the Hooper Heroes
3. Movement I-In the Countenance of Kings
4. Movement II-Sleeping Invader
5. Interlude I-Dream Sequence in Subi Circumnavigation
6. Movement III-Linear Tableau with Intersecting Surprise
7. Movement IV-Traffic Shock
8. Movement V-Self-Organizing Emergent Patterns
9. Interlude II-Subi Power Waltz
10. Interlude III-Invisible Accidents
11. Movement VI-Isorhythmic Night Dance with Interchanges
12. Movement VII (Finale)-The Emperor of Centrifuge
13. Postlude-Critical Mass

Product Description

CD Description

CD/DVD
The BQE is available as a double-disc format (CD/DVD), which includes the original 16mm/8mm film (in widescreen "triptych" display), the original motion picture soundtrack, a 40-page booklet (with extensive liner notes and photographs), and the stereoscopic image reel (playable in all View-Master® viewers).

BBC Review

Sufjan Stevens is one smart cookie. You could hear it in the arrangements of albums like Illinois and Michigan, you can tell it from his witty and idiosyncratic overlong song titles, and you can witness it via his grand ambitions (namely his stalled project to record an album about every US state).

But if you need proof of his odd genius, then what about this? Stevens has recorded a classical/techno/indie epic about a bit of tarmac. And he's done it beautifully.

The BQE was originally a commission from the Brooklyn Academy of Music – Stevens was tasked with creating an audio-visual spectacular for a 2,000-seater hall – but, as with much of the man’s work, it grew upon itself and spiralled beyond its original concept and is now released as a DVD/CD/comic book spectacular. Like his lovingly assembled 2006 Christmas box set, it feels like so much love has gone into it that it'd be mean not to buy it.

This is the story of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Well actually, it is when you combine it with the other media. This is actually an abstract from Stevens’ oeuvre, but so strong is the music that you get the picture regardless. It's not really about a road, but we can still go on a journey with one of America’s greatest contemporary musicians.

At 40 minutes and comprised of seven movements, three interludes and pre- and post-ludes, this is a proper composition – no vocals, full orchestra, so get your ears primed and brain concentrating. And, unlike other pop artists who've branched out into classical – here’s looking at you, Macca – this feels like a very natural step. It’s a record that even casual listeners to Stevens could attribute to him, even minus vocals. There are moments throughout – especially the wing-fluttering woodwind and strings that punctuate the entire record – that are quintessentially him, but this is still miles away from records like Seven Swans and his two State records.

It's no wonder that Stevens has recently pondered the worth of creativity during the death-age for physical music – he’s made nine records since 2000 and explored and expanded his skill set beyond many of his peers. Where does he go from here if the album is dying? You do wonder, but whichever junction he turns off at, it's bound to be fascinating. --Will Dean

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is far more than a music CD. It is an artistic experience.

This release includes a CD of the show's soundtrack, a DVD of Brooklyn-Queens Expressway footage that accompanied the original performance (not a film of the performance itself), a 40-page booklet with liner notes and photos, and a stereoscopic 3D View-Master reel and all should be consumed to get as close to the orginal experience as possible.

This is more a classical piece than anything he has produced to date, containing no vocal performance at all. Unlike many modern artists who dabble in classic composition, this doesn't feel at all forced, it's completely natural, which should probably come as no suprise considering the orchesteral nature of his most recognised works.

At 40 minutes for the music CD there is far less material that we are used to from Stevens, but one must take into account the DVD and other materiels included in the package which comprise the whole experience. For example i love having the DVD or CD playing in the background if i'm on the computer or reading.

While i'd love to have the next in his promised 'state' album project i just love seeing just what this guy is going to do next.
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By Rob on 8 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was born in 1980 and my childhood was filled with imagery shot on super 8 movie cameras and music from programs like Sesame Street.
When I was 6 or 7 years old I saw Ghostbusters and then later on came Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The reason I am telling you this is that for me New York city was the place where all of these things happened whether they were real or not didn't come into the equation.
Nostalgia has always played a big part in my life and sitting in a darkened room with the sound of a cine projector clicking away will always remind me of those times.
When you watch a video shot on a camcorder the first thing that springs into your mind is "my god, do I really sound like that?" but when you sit down to watch a cine film the sound is removed and you are transported back to that time.
When I first sat down to watch The BQE I hadn't quite prepared myself for what I was about to see.
What Sufjan Stevens has accomplished with this album is to create an auditory experience that just somehow fits. The film is the perfect match of super 8 imagery to music that conjures up memories of simpler times.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gannon on 5 Feb. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This jointly sonic and visual exploration of New York's Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (the BQE) seems automatically to nudge the realms of JG Ballard. Stevens' focus however seems less on fetishist appeal and more on reverential quietude. Such a celebration of an otherwise functional arterial expressway however probably requires a healthy dose of both.

Either way, suffice it to say that The BQE is different from the Sufjan Stevens catalogue to date. For example, Seven Swans, which launched him out of obscurity, was lush and hushed folk music. Its widely-regarded follow up, Illinois, was an exemplary indie-folk crossover with assiduously researched lyrics all pertaining to the U.S. state of the same name.

The BQE on the other hand is almost entirely instrumental, Stevens commanding all a full orchestra has to offer. As such, in place of his trademark lyricism are grandiose arrangements and sweeping, compositional melodies. The resulting orchestral soundtrack comes sporadically punctuated with electronic interludes, minutely deviating The BQE's traffic from the plain classical. Urban orchestra this is not.

Taken in isolation, the soundtrack is a suite of work, one difficult to enter but at the beginning, user-friendly on and off ramps being few and far between. Naturally, it's all a little pretentious. Orchestral suites are often designed to be overblown and Stevens is up to this welcome challenge. However, where British Sea Power succeeded with a similar project, Stevens fairs less well.
Read more ›
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By Tom Morris on 13 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I see Sufjan's more recent work as pieces of art, and none moreso than this album. With the film as well, there is just so much to engage with.

In short, I feel that he has really made something new here, but it's not for everyone. I would recommend to those who appreciate musicians who are pushing boundaries and open to something that sounds a bit different.

The sound in general though is a classical feel, with some electronic modern twists. An artistic feat!
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Edmund A. Bloxam on 24 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Give a pop star an orchestra, he'll write pop music for orchestra. Frankly, I was surprised at just how cheesy the music was. Music this simplistic with sections entitled 'Movement' and 'Interlude' is extreme pretension. The sections don't even have anything linking them. As for the video, why bother? The music is so vacuous, it can only have nothing to do with the images. I could do that with a camcorder and some basic software and I don't know how to create visuals.

This doesn't work even for his own fanbase. Pretty songs written by a loner still living with his mum (or sounds like it). Fine, I understand that. Sometimes, pretentious idiots try to achieve too much. Actually, a load of overblown rubbish would have worked better than this. This is a pretentious idiot who had no idea of the audio and visual capabilities of his chosen medium.
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