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Cornelius Sensuous Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Surreal, innocent, playful, structural, loopy and well...refreshing.

Guy Hayden 2007

Keigo Oyamada is one of Japan's leading musical mavericks. Now known as Cornelius (from Planet Of The Apes, of course!) he started out as one half of duo, Flipper's Guitar who combined a love of Beck with The Beatles and The Beach Boys. He went on to produce the Pizzicato Five and subsequently became something of a teen idol in Japan during the late 90's, leading to international releases for his solo albums - his last being the highly acclaimed Point in 2001 - and a healthy career as a remixer.

With Sensuous, he creates a more contemplative space with an ambience that is definitely directly descended from Point, but not a slavish follow-up. Opening with the title track, the tone is thoughtful, yet playful; guitar figures flirt with smooth, bland ambience but never succumb to torpor. He's so adept at structure and tempo that just when you think you are being led down a blind alley you find a treated guitar part fizzing off into the distance, ending with a wonderful piece of playing where the tune collapses into itself.

"Fit Song" and "Breezin'" introduce a metronomic rhythm that combines 80s synth stabs with percussion and guitars. This gives you a sense of familiarity offset by an impending sense of mayhem. Mayhem, of course, never fully descends, but the whole album carries a great sense of restrained fun; this being far more sexy than the full monty!

The Kings Of Convenience make a subtle appearance on both ''Omstart'' and ''Music'' and the album ends with the most surreally appealing version of Dean Martin's lightweight lullaby ''Sleep Warm'' that you will ever hear. Surreal, innocent, playful, structural, loopy and well...refreshing.

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