The Pillows
OOPArts


2.5
average

Review

by instantradical USER (54 Reviews)
August 11th, 2017 | 6 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Knee-deep in commercialized sludge, OOPARTS gives little reason not to listen to a better Pillows record.

Someone at Avex doesn't think very much of their audience: "Hey, let's dress a trio of middle-aged rockers as cowboys and depict them speeding down the road in some sort of cow-mobile!" But you could pretty much accuse The Pillows of the same thing at this point. The sensation the band must've felt at that photo shoot - of being told to do sorta-weird stuff - lends a similarly aloof, dreamlike feel to the music, and not really in a good way.

Might as well get the good news out of the way: OOPARTS is definitely better than the loathsomely commercial and bland Pied Piper. But it's not very much better. It's not a great sign when the best thing that comes to mind about the middling opening track "Dance With God" is how parts of it remind the listener a little bit of 2004's Good Dreams. The hooks all go in one ear and out the other, a common problem with the album.

On the other hand, The Pillows still have it in them to do something sort-of-weird and make it work. "Your Order" is a much better take on the off-kilter, playful songs the band had been attempting (usually unsuccessfully) since 2003. It's got some weird hooks, but at least it's memorable, and actually succeeds at being fun, and proof the band can still write a fun and energizing single. Good luck remembering what the the next three songs sound like, though, as they're just as unmemorable as the opening track.

The Pillows still have the capability of writing some really great, earnest songs, even at the nadir of their Avex days. "Beyond The Moon" is easily the best track on the record, a powerful ballad with some great guitar hooks that would've been at home in the latter half of My Foot. The only thing detracting from the song is the poppy production and Yamanaka's too-distorted rhythm guitar, but these are nitpicks. "Ameagari ni Mita Maboroshi" is more subtle, a languid ballad reminiscent of the late 90s output, but sounds pretty similar to "Scarecrow" from just a few years earlier. At least it manages to be memorable.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album is about as bland as it gets. The only song that even remotely stands out is Primer Beat, which sounds like it could've been from Moon Gold or White Incarnation, updated with The Pillows' typical style of punchy alt-rock, but it's still not a terribly memorable song. The best that can really be said for OOPARTS is that it's less offensively banal than Pied Piper, but that's still not much. Save two or three songs, there's absolutely no reason to listen to this record when there are other albums in The Pillows' discography that do all of this stuff much, much better.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
2.7
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
dimsim3478
August 11th 2017


7700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the saga continues???

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2017


1879 Comments


g00d review

instantradical
August 11th 2017


286 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yep, I'm back to working on Pillows reviews, I'm afraid.

dimsim3478
August 11th 2017


7700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Hey, let's dress a trio of middle-aged rockers as cowboys and depict them speeding down the road in some sort of cow-mobile!"


feel like this mighta been sawao's idea

i actually like this record quite a bit overall; only one or two songs i sorta dislike, and plenty that i love ("your order", "lemon drops", "beyond the moon", and all of the last three tracks). imo "life size life" and "melody" are v underrated, esp the former. "lemon drops" has the dumbest main riff but that chorus, goddamn.

it's crazy how good the last couple pillows records have been after the slew of mediocrity that was their avex era. i mean, they still haven't quite reached the bar set during their golden years, but both stroll and roll and nook are real step-ups in terms of overall quality. and if "spiky seeds" from the FLCL trailer is any indication, the band is still on their upwards trajectory (srsly that song sounded like one for the ages).

instantradical
August 12th 2017


286 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I loved Trial. Really need to listen to the three following records some more. I recall liking them a lot more than the Avex stuff but not as much as My Foot. We'll see when I get to those.

dimsim3478
August 12th 2017


7700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yea, gotta agree that stroll and nook arent as good as trial and my foot. i just mean to say that the average level of quality across all the tracks on the two newest records is noticeably higher than that of pretty much all of their avex records except trial. it's wonderful to see after the years they spent slinging mediocre records like this one.



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