A Beginner's Mind (studio album) by Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine

A Beginner's Mind by Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine
Year: 2021
Release date: New2021-09-24 (released 34 days ago)
Overall rank: 7,374th
Average Rating: 
80/100 (from 71 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution
Accolades:
Award Top 20 albums of 2021 (17th)
Award Top 100 albums of the 2020s (80th)
Award Best albums of all time (7,374th)
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Limited Ocean Blue Vinyl LP Sufjan Stevens Angelo De Augustine A Beginner's Mind
Condition: New
Time left: 2d 49m 25s
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STEVENS,SUFJAN / ANGELO DE AUGUSTINE - A BEGINNER'S MIND VINYL LP (Release date:
Condition: New
Time left: 2d 2h 13m 9s
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STEVENS,SUFJAN / ANGELO DE AUGUSTINE - A BEGINNER'S MIND COMPACT DISC (Release
Condition: Brand New
Time left: 2d 2h 13m 12s
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Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine bestography

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A Beginner's Mind track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 83 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Rating: 85 (35 votes)Comments: 1
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A Beginner's Mind ratings

Average Rating: 
80/100 (from 71 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 71 ratings for this album.

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75/100
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4 days ago NickD89  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 57771/100
 
80/100
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5 days ago LittleM1971  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 4,52381/100
 
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10/23/2021 20:03 LedZep  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,87980/100
 
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10/20/2021 08:05 blueandthemoon  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,57776/100
 
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10/17/2021 14:10 thereckoner  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 30477/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 2% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 80.1/100, a mean average of 81.1/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 81.1/100. The standard deviation for this album is 9.5.

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A Beginner's Mind comments

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Rating:  
75/100
From 4 days ago
Excellent album, remind me of carrie & Lowell. The music is beautiful.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 10/15/2021 23:50
This is very good. Unpopular opinion: I like The Ascension way more, but this is a very good comeback to that older style! Anyways, more Sufjan!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From 09/26/2021 15:27
(A near-perfect Indie Folk album that is so much more than just an indie folk album that it feels silly dropping that name/genre/tag on it. It’s still peak-Sufjan - somehow after over 20 years and it’s just a life-affirming, beautiful, escapist work of intense beauty)

It’s a good feeling having another Sufjan Stevens work to digest and listen to over and over. Also the harmonies and the input from his musical partner here, De Augustine, are excellent. The two of them have made a spiritual, beautiful in every way, gem of an indie folk album. I love it.

My appreciation grows each time I listen. Sufjan has always been an artist that I considered to be a melodic genius. Specifically in his more low key releases, and more acoustic albums, such as Carrie & Lowell and Seven Swans and big chunks of Michigan, he has always had this brilliant way of creating melodies and harmonies that are unabashedly beautiful. His more epic, huge sounding songs and albums are also brilliant, just not quite as much my personal taste/preference.

The only artist I always thought was Sufjan’s equal in being able to create memorable, familiar, warm and engaging melodies seemingly forever and with ease, was Elliott Smith. And this connection is more clear than ever on this album. Specifically on songs like “Murder And Crime” and “Lost in the World”. The former really does sound like peak Smith, it’s incredibly sad and moving. I also find it fascinating that despite having a somewhat similar style melodically (especially on those more Smith-esque tracks) it’s clear that Elliott and Sufjan are VERY different people and artists. There is not the same abyss-dark sadness on these or any Sufjan song. He is more optimistic and whimsical even at his darkest. Just a thought, and a detour.

On the whole, in sort of bland general terms, this album is great. It’s beautiful, it works as a complete album experience, it’s consistent and it’s a beautiful length as well. If you know me you know I have a bias for shorter and more compact albums generally. While I recognize the genius at work with Illinois, Michigan, Age of Adz etc, each of those classic Sufjan albums just - for me - felt too long. This album is a breezy, beautiful escape. It has its emotional highs and lows and its struggles and it’s loves and it’s fantasy themes and all that…. All in 46 or so minutes. Brilliant.

I don’t know what the distribution of contribution was betwixt Sufjan and Angelo. Otherwise, I would make more mention of Angelo’s work. He has a fine voice and creates beautiful harmonies and if this album is any indication, he can stand up alongside a GIANT in modern music quite well. Which is impressive. I plan on learning more about what this collab actually entailed.

The stand tracks are numerous and again the album as a whole works damn well. I actually feel like the second half is stronger ( despite the first half being absolutely stunning with that opener, “Return to Oz” “Olympus” and the brilliant gem of a title track.). Or l, at least the second half is equal and more to my taste vibe-wise. On side 2 “Murder and Crime” and that run of 4 yea is to end the album are just… *chef’s kiss-mixed-with-a-swoon*

In closing, this album is just about the most bracing breathe of fresh air I can imagine. Right as the beautiful Autumn coolness started setting in, I got this life-affirming album, this deep, musically and lyrically rich album, and I will never forget the feeling of listening to it the first couple times while sitting outside in a breezy 60 degree afternoon. It was magical. And the magic hasn’t gone away after 6-7 listens. I think this is an album I will come back to a lot and move higher and higher in my personal rankings and opinions as I do. It’s maybe, close to, my fave Sufjan Album. This and Carrie & Lowell personally are my faves of his - while having love and respect for most of his other projects (that I’ve heard… he has done ALOT). I just have a soft spot for soft, folkie, harmony-rich, almost S&G-style Sufjan. Anyway, What a beautiful, heavenly album.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +7 votes (7 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From 09/26/2021 04:56
Holy fucking shit.... My eyes are dried, my mind is blown. Sufjan's best record in years. Utterly and profoundly beautiful.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +5 votes (5 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From 09/24/2021 20:33
Heaven has been opened
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +4 votes (4 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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