Sufjan Stevens and Timo Andres: The Decalogue (Asthmatic Kitty) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, September 25th, 2020  

Sufjan Stevens and Timo Andres

The Decalogue

Asthmatic Kitty

Jan 07, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The latest in an ongoing series of ballets scored by everyone's favorite angel, Sufjan Stevens, was Justin Peck's The Decalogue in 2017. Having collaborated closely since 2012, Stevens and Peck have made adventurous, bold moves in the relatively staid world of ballet, and here we have the soundtrack to that showthough, important to note, Stevens himself doesn't appear on the record, leaving the delivery to pianist and composer Timo Andres.

For fans of the lush, bountiful, melodious wonderment cast on Stevens' albums "proper," this is, perhaps, a challenging listen. Lacking in clarity, structure, or even repetition, it's an avant garde, minimalist adventure of a most sparse, skeletal nature.

The written music, culled from a series of improvised pieces, is obviously extremely accomplished, often almost imperceptibly subtle, and is played deftly by Andres, who surely has as much credit to take for the tone of the album as Stevens himself.

While those hankering after another Carrie & Lowell or The Age of Adz should alter their expectations accordingly, this biblically inspired meander around the musical back pages of Stevens' mind is at the very least of interest, if never truly compelling or, more importantly, truly "musical" in the traditional sense. (www.sufjan.com)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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