Point

Point

by Cornelius
     
 

Keigo Oyamada, the Japanese pop genius otherwise known as Cornelius, fulfills the promise of his 1998 U.S. blender-pop debut, Fantasma, with his second Matador release, the atmospheric Point. A soundscape of natural and electronic noises, melody and discord, meticulous harmonies and slashing distortion, Point puts a happy…  See more details below

Overview

Keigo Oyamada, the Japanese pop genius otherwise known as Cornelius, fulfills the promise of his 1998 U.S. blender-pop debut, Fantasma, with his second Matador release, the atmospheric Point. A soundscape of natural and electronic noises, melody and discord, meticulous harmonies and slashing distortion, Point puts a happy face on the overbearing crush of information and technological stimuli that has made even the most diehard electronicists pine for the days of acoustic guitars and folksy harmony. “Fly” layers Beach Boys harmonies over Boredoms wall-of-noise, while “I Hate Hate” borrows the electronic speed metal precision of Melt-Banana. In Japan as nowhere else, Cornelius's brand of genre appropriation and rearrangement is an art form unto itself, and Point shows his mastery. The unsettlingly lovely “Brazil,” one of the few tracks with lyrics, unfolds like a beautiful, flawless rainforest hologram, featuring a computer-generated voice singing a warm melody over acoustic guitar and synth percussion and flute. Elsewhere, the mix is closer to musique concrète. “Nowhere” opens with the gentle sound of waves crashing, giving way to an electronic tone pulse, which yields to watery congas and a pitch-shifted trumpet solo -- and yet somehow, these incongruent sounds come together in a perfect, organic union. Where his prog-rock compatriots Radiohead cringe from a future of techno-alienation populated by paranoid androids, Cornelius paints an optimistic sonic pastoral of natural and artificial sounds, where every robot has a heart.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Five years after the release of Fantasma, Cornelius' dizzyingly dazzling stateside breakthrough, comes Point, an album as much about focus and precision as its predecessor was about appropriating and reconfiguring sounds and styles into a psychedelic free for all. Keigo Oyamada's fondness for exotica, bossa nova, garage rock, and dream pop also shapes Point, but the effect is more organic and less contrived; bright, strummy guitars, insistent beats, and sweet harmonies loop over and over again until the songs reach their breaking points. Despite the album's heavy reliance on sampling, songs like "Another View Point" and "Smoke" sound surprisingly fresh and spontaneous; the twittering birds on "Bird Watching at Inner Forest" and the burbling, Matmos-like water sample that runs through "Drop" emphasize Point's playfully surreal naturalism. Though the album ranges from sharp, new wave-influenced tracks like "Smoke" to trippy Shibuya-punk like "Fly" to "Nowhere"'s swanky nouveau exotica, it has fewer of the stylistic about-faces that made Fantasma so fascinating. Indeed, on the first few listens Point might disappoint Cornelius fans used to the previous album's quick changes and contrasts, but the restraint and cohesion Oyamada brings to the album make its louder and crazier moments, such as the loopy, static-laden opener "Bug (Electric Last Minute)" and guitar workout "I Hate Hate," that much more distinctive. Though it lacks brilliant singles like "Star Fruits Surf Rider" and "Chapter 8: Seashore and Horizon," Point's mature playfuness won't disappoint Oyamada's fans as long as they continue to expect the unexpected from him.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2002
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0744861033226
catalogNumber:
1057405

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