Cornelius - Point
Keigo Oyamada might be a mainstream pop star back in his native Japan but over here he's just peculiar old Cornelius, a mysterious postmodern studio boffin who's constantly namedropped by such trendsetters as Beck, Blur and, er, Momus. His new album illustrates perfectly why he's so highly regarded - but also why he's likely to remain a cult artist for the time being. The 11 tracks on Point are collages of sound rather than fully-fledged songs, playfully blending snippets of everything from heavy rock to saccharine harmonies and linked together by samples of birds, winds and water. The results of all this cross-pollination are so headspinningly diverse that at times the album sounds like nothing less than a condensed history of pop music. And yet you're never allowed to forget the level of detachment between the creator and his audience, making Point a largely uninvolving listen. Ultimately it's far easier to admire than it is to love - a bit like Cornelius himself.
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