Oneohtrix Point Never
Age Of


3.5
great

Review

by Kirk Bowman USER (51 Reviews)
June 1st, 2018 | 121 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "it's not that I don't get it, I really think I do. We wanted it to be different, but that ain't happening any time soon."

ecco

Daniel Lopatin's musical output has always followed clear patterns, but none has so obviously borrowed from previous releases than Age Of. Early projects like Zones Without People and Returnal had much more to do with drone and ambient, repetitive sounds with little form but loops, a style echoed on "Last Known Image of a Song." Albums like Eccojams and Replica expanded off of this, displaying an atmosphere of nostalgic revivalism, creating the vaporwave genre in the process and spitting on the ideas of taste - a less obvious influence for Age Of but one shown through the clear taste for old sounds and aesthetics. You can see it on the album art, Carpenters-esque fashion combined with a blatant commentary on media worship, just as Replica was a fever dream of channel flipping. The next phase in Lopatin's discography was both triumphant and anxious, with R+7 and the Commissions EPs both full of crescendos, arpeggios, and chops, audible in "Warning," aside from a brief vocal segment. Garden of Delete brought the anxiety all the way out of the corner it was hiding in, stretched it into some more traditional instrumentation (harpsichords especially), and layered it thickly with a spread of nu-metal angst. This period's influence is extremely obvious in "Manifold," "The Station" and "Still Stuff That Doesn't Happen," all songs which could have fit as bonus tracks on GoD easily. In the end an artist can only innovate for so long, and this album is, ironically enough, showing its age already, which is perhaps the point.

harvest

That's not to say Lopatin isn't doing anything new here. Traditional song structure is something most artists do too much of, but using it on occasion here (on "Same" especially, an exercise in musical formality previously unheard of in his catalogue) lends a lot of credibility and solidification to the albums' themes of history, change, rise and fall. Much has already been said of the vocal tracks - never before has he directly just song on a studio release, a rare form of bravery for any producer. This courage was perhaps what allowed for direct contributions from other artists for the first time (ANOHNI, James Blake, and Prurient) who helped make this project something different. Another factor that separates Age Of is its shattered structure and emotional variations. Sudden screams interrupt the most peaceful of songs, peace and war co-existing. The tracklist drops from the Phil Collins-esque "Babylon" to the warped solo piano piece "Manifold" to the tense looping song "The Station" to the oddly hopeful "Toys 2," a highlight of the album that sounds like someone corrupted a 32kbps .WAV of "My Heart Will Go On" and then stuck it in that Windows 98 fish screensaver. This timbrecoaster is certainly an expansion to the Oneohtrix Point Never catalog, and as such deserves to be applauded. Listening to this album is definitely an experience, certifying his continued place in the "weird frontier" post-2010 innovation canon.

excess

But within all the stuttered strings, static and Age of Empires II worship, there needs to be something more. What really draws people into Lopatin's work, and art in general, is always a sense of ascension, often a sense of connection to something greater than themselves. This is nothing new for any good artist to understand and strive for, but ultimately, everyone fails from time to time. Despite the environmentalism, the split into four ages, and the audible lyrics, Age Of feels kind of pointless at times. It's certainly not mundane, but perhaps cramming all of his previous successes into one work and blending them together with new ideas was not the best plan, as it comes off genuine and well-meaning but ultimately without a strong core. That's not to say that it's not worth repeat listens, or that it isn't still a far more exciting listen than almost any other artist today. It's just that this album is so full of ideas that it doesn’t really have any room for the most important ones to leak out when chaos and order are so busy fighting.

bondage

Ultimately, we're stuck repeating the same thing over and over. People move in patterns, constantly, without fail. We can snap out of the loops if we try, but most never really achieve more than simply creating a more complex system of habits. This isn't necessarily bad. It can be cathartic at times, and is useful if not essential for our survival and success. But in our worst times, the repetition can be almost deafeningly dull, taking over our senses in the worst ways. Our attempts to break free of this must not merely be towers of nostalgia, attempts at reliving our past wins and losses in order to feel something like we used to. The only way we win is by doing something new, truly getting out of our comfort zone and exploring new territory. We will eventually fall into habit again, but we have to keep trying if we want to triumph over ourselves.



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user ratings (124)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
granitenotebook
June 1st 2018


779 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

streaming on spotify apple music google play tidal and whatever other fine e-stablishments you use

s/o thespaceman and piglet

rabidfish
June 1st 2018


4189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dude nice review... this was great, i liked the auto-tune tracks, most have very subtle but also very beautiful instrumentation parts and bits that make them the most interesting tracks out of this new material. It's weird, tho, that the tracks where the instrumentation isn't the main focus are the ones with the more interesting idas, imo.



I mean, the other tracks are great (Toys 2 specially), but nothing that Lopatin hasn't already mastered.

Digging: Black Kray - Ice Cream & Mac 10s

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2018


23924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of your best reviews granite...really well done. theres a couple redundancies but they're really minor. i can post edits if u like but honestly great stuff. pos

DoofusWainwright
June 1st 2018


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, it is strange to hear Daniel relaxing into his established style almost - this isn't him turning the tables on his audience like GoD...but there's still something here.



Not sure quite how great this is yet, but I think this will reveal a lot of depth

FreddieDelaney31
June 1st 2018


4896 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't understand why I hate this so much more than everybody else, feel like I'm missing out : (

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Frivolous
June 1st 2018


840 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is flooring me rn



initial listen pointing it to be better than GOD for me

heavenbydjsammy
June 1st 2018


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is so good im gonna fuck it

luci
June 1st 2018


10118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

really like this. love that he went for more relaxed songwriting instead of pummeling the listener. sounds like a glitch pop visible cloaks to me

Tyler.
June 1st 2018


15419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuk what do i rate this

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2018


23924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn the hype and review and comments are making me wanna check this

literallyzach
June 1st 2018


497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not sure if I'm feeling a ton of the first half but the final four to five songs of this are killer

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2018


23924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sampling now...wont be able to finish but ill feel it out

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2018


23924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this might be AOTY holy...

luci
June 1st 2018


10118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yep, other than the seven other albums that are AOTY. idk why people are calling this a weak year, it's nuts to me

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2018


23924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i mean this'll prob be my only 4.5 for the year so I can see what they are saying. lots of solid stuff out but nothing mind blowing

except this

this is p exceptional

Astral Abortis
June 1st 2018


6736 Comments


Yeah there's a new AOTY coming out almost every week for me.

Great album, I love how it sounds like he's directly sampling old things from all his previous records. I was ALMOST tempted to write a review but couldn't be bothered. Good job by this reviewer for writing a seemingly suitable review (I didn't read it).

rabidfish
June 1st 2018


4189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this year's been amazing, so much good shit coming out

literallyzach
June 3rd 2018


497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i can't believe how amazing SAME is.

Toad
June 3rd 2018


1985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this shit is amazing. glad lopatin brought his friends into the studio

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 3rd 2018


39724 Comments


toad would i like this one yes or no its now or never baby



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