Oneohtrix Point Never is someone who I like more in theory than in practice, which is to say that I appreciate him more than I actually enjoy him. His songs are maddening things that suddenly fly off in another direction just when you start to get a sense of where they’re going, or will cut out just when you’ve started to get into them; in both cases, it’s like he’s deliberately left songs unfinished or written them improperly. That doesn’t change on OPN’s most recent album Age Of, but there are still some lovely songs—or at least lovely parts of songs. Probably not the best thing to play during peak hours, but give this a spin if you want to mess with your listeners.|
Favorites: 2, 4, 5, 6, 9
1) “Age Of” (3:24) – Starts with a harpsichord for the first minute and change, before electronic elements kick in. Then it becomes a strange hybrid of the two. Sounds truly monstrous in the last forty seconds.
2) “Babylon” (3:04)* – A strikingly pretty, empty song that features Lopatin singing—something that doesn’t happen very often. Between the vocal style and what sounds like a banjo in the last minute, this sounds strangely like a country song. Ends very abruptly at the three-minute mark.
3) “Manifold” (1:50) – Short piece with piano, distorted flashes of vocals, and a strange little electronic bit at the end.
4) “The Station” (4:20)* – Apparently Lopatin wanted Usher to sing this one, which would’ve been wild. Repeated guitar pattern with electronic flourishes and processed (borderline indecipherable) vocals. Changes shape in the last minute, speeding up the guitar pattern and eventually replacing it with unsettling electronic noodling.
5) “Toys 2” (4:39)* – Beautiful, lush electronic instrumental with some industrial screeches and scrapes. Becomes quieter and simpler in the last two minutes.
6) “Black Snow” (3:41)* – Minimal electronic beats and elements under processed crooning. Electronic instrumental gets a little more active in the second half of the song.
7) “myriad.industries” (1:07) – Short instrumental with harpsichord and electronic burbling.
8) “Warning” (2:38) – Eerie electronic drones and whispered vocals chanting “warning” (watch for that really loud “WARNING” at 1:03).
9) “We’ll Take It” (3:45)* – Mechanical clicks, whirs, and whooshes form a dense, unsettling sonic bed. Sounds almost like being inside a laser printer. Ends kind of suddenly.
10) “Same” (2:02) – Dramatic, distorted vocals over corroded waves of synthesizers.
11) “RayCats” (3:40) – Sounds like a robot’s idea of Japanese music, with unorthodox clicks and electronic tones.
12) “Still Stuff That Doesn’t Happen” (4:21) – A strange mix of everything that’s come before, with harpsichord and warm, round electronic drones. Vocals can be heard phasing throughout the background, emerging most prominently at about 2:31. (If you play this track, you can fade out after 3:52 and lose nothing for it.)
13) “Last Known Image of a Song” (4:06) – Soft, barely-audible electronics bubble up under the song for the first minute or so. This song changes shape too many times for me to call it ambient, but it’s too quiet for me to call it any other form of music. True to its name, it sounds like what’s left of a more complete, arguably better piece of music. Abrupt ending.