But “America”, the best and most controversial song he released in the last five years, fits much better than the final title of Stevens’ new album “The Ascension an 80-minute meditation that reviews almost every major track he exploring his two decades of career: Love, death, faith, desire, place, earth, apocalypse, resurrection. Last July, a few months after the Covida 19 pandemic, Stevens published a twelve-minute song entitled “America. In fact, he wrote it in 2014 while working on his previous solo album, the “furious” Carrie and Lowell, but its size and suspicious tone threatened to dominate the sharp and delicate proximity of this album. In this interview with the Atlantic, Kornhaber asked Stevens if “America”, the song that Stevens sings, “I am ashamed to admit that I no longer believe in it,” is “the story of Stevens’ separation from God. “Not at all, it’s what Stevens insists on: “[my] crisis of faith in who I am as an American and my relationship with our culture, which is very sick right now. “It’s about the ease with which some listeners hear the divine in “His” sermon. Sufian Stevens gave America two meticulous conceptual albums: Michigan, his tribute to his home state of 2003, and his epic album of 2005 in Illinois, which, according to Metacritics, became the best album of the year. In 2012, Sufian Stevens published the cover of “Star-Spangled Flag. “Away from the impressive pyrotechnics, vampire performances and vocals that preceded the ritual of American sporting events, Stevens’ version was quite calm and sinister. Stevens’ new album “The Ascension”: Fifty Grey States In his new album “The Ascension”, Stevens speaks beautifully to the love, destiny and modern state of our divided community. As a supporter of foreign artists, Stevens’ work has never been so relevant as a compliment; he never reminded me of a modern composer like “he,” the brilliant and tragic popular musician of the seventies, Judy Sill, who sang about Jesus in one breath with the astral plane and saw God in the same way in the Baja, drugs and the universe. Between the two state albums, Stevens released in 2004, his first deviation from the project, a rare and beautiful Seven Swans. Soundwise, The Ascension shares part of his DNA with a colorful album of Stevens The Age of Adz, released in 2010 and running on a synthesizer; in particular, this album makes sense of the kitschy “Death Star” and the noisy “Goodbye to All That”. In the Bush era, when American faith and patriotism were often portrayed as doctrines “with or against us,” Stevens’ serious religious beliefs were treated as a new curiosity, even as an alarming devotion to “their” Indian references. Regardless of whether he professes to be sacred or desecrated, Stevens often feels protected by a weak and still stumbling flame – feelings that are so often extinguished by the brutal roar of American culture. Many still find it difficult to shake the image that Stevens gave at the beginning of his “career”: the image of an authorized national park guide, temperamental, collecting data on the state of a healthy and cunning zeal overzealous scout. Let’s quote another well-known phrase as “Star-Spangled Banner,” which we re-interpret in Stevens’ music: Love is love.
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