Going into this album, you’d be forgiven for expecting something completely insane. There’s discarded Usher demos, neoclassical pieces, imagined corporate theme songs, dubstep drops, fourth world jazz–you name it! It’s like an arcade full of video games that all play different theme songs the moment you set foot in front of the screen. Daniel Lopatin has been exploring our technological wasteland for years as Oneohtrix Point Never, but Age Of is definitely where it all comes into focus–this time with a pop slant.
Age Of is almost set up to be a greatest hits collection of strictly band-new material, with some genuinely surprising moments of brilliance. “The Station” in all of it’s R&B glory legitimately reminded me of a warped stripper anthem in the vein of Ginuwine (though that could be due to this being the aforementioned discarded Usher demo). Can we just have Usher and Lopatin do an EP or something together? “Station” straight-up bumps in the whip.
“Babylon,” with its sweeping melody line and gorgeous pads, is a torch ballad that’s perfect for a technological drama like Westworld. “Toys 2” also has a melodramatic sweep to it, with super deep pads and a snaking song structure that pulls the pedal steel guitar sounds in truly emotional directions. “Black Snow” follows the trend of great songwriting, a snap-laden bop that features production fit for a pop album in 2018.
In terms of how the album is structured, the album is unfortunately front-loaded with the some of Lopatin’s best work, unfairly tipping the scale toward a magnificent pop-tinged sound with tons of amazing moments during the first 20 minutes. Yes, I want more of “The Station” and less of “RayCats,” no matter how cool the sounds are. That’s not to say they’re bad; by no means does the work of Lopatin lack.
In the first several songs, the album presents an extremely fruitful direction that Lopatin has the opportunity to explore. Lopatin could become a hot R&B producer sometime, because some of the production touches on the album slap. Age Of is certainly a solid collection, and one that means, like an infinitely generative A.I., Lopatin hasn’t ran out of ideas: he’s just learned to become the machine.
“Age Of” is out now on Warp Records. Order a copy of the album here.
1. Age Of
4. The Station
5. Toys 2
6. Black Snow
9. We’ll Take It
12. Still Stuff That Doesn’t Happen
13. Last Known Image of a Song