Sufjan Stevens fans tend to cut their hero a lot of slack. After all, his last full-length album of new material was Illinois—a towering blend of rock structures, classical composition techniques, and poetic lyrics. His earlier output was quirkier but nonetheless rewarding. The Age of Adz (pronounced “odds”), however, is a startling departure from Stevens’ trademark acoustic/orchestral treatments. Reminiscent of Yankee Foxtrot Hotel-era Wilco, this electronic noise-fest slathers on the swirling beeps and swishes so heavily they prove distracting rather than engaging. Nonetheless, the songs themselves are packed with the complex, soaring melodies and earnest lyrics that Stevens’ followers relish. Prominent among these is the beautiful “I Walked” and the catchy “Too Much.” “Impossible Soul,” the album’s centerpiece, is overlong at 25 minutes, yet, like Adz itself, has brilliance buried within the melee. As is typical of densely multitracked albums, the sound here is mediocre, although its many layers do come through distinctly. Those unfamiliar with Stevens should steer clear of Adz and head straight for Illinois. For fans wishing to check out his latest work, know going in that it is bold but flawed, and will require a fair amount of open-minded forbearance.