Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven (2013), 7/10

Lopatin has a talent for maintaining forward momentum and catchiness through a barrage of electronic experiments. "Boring Angel" and "Americans" are enough to give this project validity, but you'll stay for the atmosphere Daniel creates in its later moments. I was very skeptical that he would produce something so beautiful after Replica, but R Plus Seven has exponential returns on investment. The sheer range of sounds coming from a track like "Zebra" or the digital journey that is "Along" are genuinely moving despite their coldness. I most highly recommend "Cryo"; for some reason it brings me back to System Shock or some eerie post-apocalyptic sci-fi world of simultaneous comfort and horror. It excels most in its moments of lush sound, sometimes sounding almost aloof and bleak, but endearingly so. Sometimes the vocal sampling and modulation can be wearing, but apart from very short moments of these particular sounds, it is a masterclass in surreal, atmospheric sound and fully rewarding electronic composition. This all combines to great effect and results in a surprisingly spiritual listening experience, again playing to OPN’s compositional strengths and leaving the extraneous failures in his wake. It is a superbly tight project as well, there are no weak points to be found that detract from its fluidity or hinder the momentum. Its storytelling is perhaps the strongest that we’ve heard from this extension of his projects, even taking on a constant yet intimidating thematic stance with its singular aesthetics and frigid demeanor, yet again these seemingly daunting or even negative aspects of sound he uses to further the sound’s transcendence into the divine. While not quite the flawless gem that Replica is, this is a formidable follow-up and one of Oneohtrix Point Never’s very best projects.