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he title track on The Ascension is one of the best songs Sufjan Stevens has ever written. Accompanying himself on keyboard with a sad, pulsing melody, Stevens uses precise and empathetic language to address faith and hopelessness, regret and revelations. He shouts out a character from King Lear. He rhymes “confess” with “confess.” He declares life to be meaningless—and he sounds like he means it. “To think I was acting like a believer,” he sings in his feathery, heartbroken way, “when I was just angry and depressed.” It is the only song on the album that fits squarely into his comfort zone, where questions of life and death feel as intimate as the words to a love song.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.