Album review: Sufjan Stevens - All Delighted People EP (Asthmatic Kitty)
Long-awaited new material makes for a disappointingly flabby return
3 / 10
Toying with people’s emotions is a habit reserved only for the most dreaded coves, and given Sufjan Stevens
' beautiful, heartbreaking back catalogue, we didn’t think he practiced that sort of hot’n’cold tactic. However, as quickly as our hearts nearly exploded when he put up a new, hour-long EP for $5 download last week, they promptly deflated as it transpired to be one of his worst releases to date. The title track is 11 minutes of painfully celestial balladeering self-indulgence, a mess of standard-Sufjan
jittering flutes mixed with the most offensive noise from his best-avoided early electronic period. Worst of all, it appears again as an eight-minute ‘Classic Rock Version’
, flabby with noodling banjo in the vein of much of the rest of the record. This being an EP with such self-consciously excessive titles suggests – hopefully – that this is Sufjan
excavating the contents of his famously fraught mind, leaving him ready to start afresh on a proper, better focused album.