Rated | Alphabetical
| Highest Rated 2006
Posted: February 12,
Point opens with the sound of chirping birds breaking through a
technological barrier (perhaps pecking at wires strung from Cornelius'
Nakameguro studio), followed by a brief tonal respite and ultimately the fusion
of nature and technology into a near seamless blend. That moment, as well as
anything, signifies the Japanese cut-and-paste master's arrival as a major force
in the world of progressive pop music.
Whereas Cornelius' 1998 stateside debut Fantasma proved to be all over
the map stylistically, Point is an intensely focused, carefully crafted
and organically delicate work that doesn't overwhelm with flashy bursts of noise
and too-clever overdub gimmicks. On more laidback tracks like the water-themed
"Drop" and the blissfully cogent "Bird Watching At Inner Forest," Cornelius
takes his time building melody via pulse-driven instrumentation, allowing the
songs to evolve unhurriedly, before closing with (subdued, but no less
Counterbalancing the quiet vibe are the tight, guitar funk of "Smoke"
(complimented nicely by the dense, bass-powered "Another View Point"), and the
brief, energetically punkish "I Hate Hate."
The highlight comes on the sole non-original cut: Ary Barroso's pop standard
"Brazil." Hearing Cornelius pseudo-croon the widely covered line "There's one
thing that I'm certain of/Return I will to old Brazil" is sheer brilliance in
its romantic yearning filtered through a staccato, robotic voice box.
The main monkey wrench in this otherwise faultlessly crafted gem rears its
ugly mug towards the end; the dispensable "Fly" assaults rather than invigorates
the overall placid mood, sounding more like a reject from the Fantasma
sessions than a fresh composition.
Closing with the philosophically meditative "Nowhere," the sound of lazily
crashing waves in the distance, Point comes full circle. Cornelius has
found the proper balance between his more brash, showy tendencies and the desire
to be taken seriously as a composer of top-flight pop-inflected songs. The
danger may be the alienation of listeners expecting a sequel to the
scatterbrained Fantasma, but Cornelius appears perfectly content to move
well beyond his earlier tricky, yet undisciplined efforts into a clean, clear,
harmoniously sound future.
Before going solo in 1993, Cornelius (then known by his
birth name of Keigo Oyamada) toiled in indie band Flipper's Guitar. The
group put out three albums --- Three Cheers For Out Side (1989),
Camera Talk (1990), Doctor Head's World Tower (1991) --- all of
which are well worth seeking out for those interested in Cornelius'
Other noteworthy bands on Corneilus' label, Trattoria,
include Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her and Hideki Kaji.
design copyright © 2001-2011 Shaking Through.net. All original artwork,
photography and text used on this site is the sole copyright of the respective creator(s)/author(s). Reprinting, reposting, or citing any of the original
content appearing on this site without the written consent of Shaking
Through.net is strictly forbidden.