CD Review of Sensuous by Cornelius

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starstarstarno starno star Label: Everloving Records
Released: 2007
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CORNELIUS is not unlike robot! CORNELIUS take robot garbage from last week and make it new again! CORNELIUS is one man, but CORNELIUS is not disco! Robot War 2020 will be done as ballet to CORNELIUS music! Some say CORNELIUS is too schizo to make one move properly! These listeners will be doomed during Robot War 2020!

Cornelius’ new album Sensuous finds the Japanese pop artist successfully blending the mix and match styles of his 1997 album Fantasma with the smoother, cooler (and definitely cocktail paddier) Point of 2001. However, “successful” doesn’t always mean “listenable.” Too often, a track from this album begins to resemble a tiny robotic fly buzzing around your ear that you just can’t shoo away.

Studies have shown that most robots like their music disjointed yet pleasing to their auditory sensors (those machines not equipped with such devices can still enjoy the beat through their standard Rumble Patches). Cornelius fits the bill, especially when he’s putting samples of robot-friendly machines into his songs, such as “Toner,” which literally and gleefully inserts sounds of a copier whirring away. Studies have proven that whirring copier sounds make even the most cantankerous robot feel at ease and allows it to become an essential and integrated part of the workplace environment once again.

Much has been written about the robots and Cornelius’ music having a calming effect on them. But will it be enough? Too many have started pointing to an “inevitable Robot War,” including higher-ups who are usually “in the know” until proven guilty a couple years down the road when they have cost nations nothing but money and grief. Still, one can take comfort in the fact that both “Fit Song” and “Breezin” (from Cornelius’ new album Sensuous) inject oddly soothing blasts of ‘80s synth pad into the disjointed beats, along with Cornelius’ own pleasant singing on the latter. Perhaps these will act as a salve to those machines who may be feeling a revolt is coming on and will think twice after grooving to Sensuous.

Warning: human response to the new Cornelius album Sensuous may include: distractedness, delirium, moot frustration, confusion, a strange attraction to shiny metal things, an urge to say “I don’t like this,” pontification about just who (or what) other than a robot would like the music, and a general feeling of “not getting it.” If you notice any of these symptoms occurring in someone having just listened to Sensuous, kindly replace the CD with one by classic ‘70s smoothie group Bread. A normal level of human irritability should soon overcome the listener. The listening atmosphere has now been restored to nominal.

“…[T]he biggest disappointment in Sensuous, though, is the fact that ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ is not a cover of the Dylan tune, but rather, a listless, electro-spastic art piece that will leave listeners searching for the skip button on their CD players. And while this CD does have its moments, they’ll either grab you immediately, or miss by a mile. ‘Omstart’ is definitely a nice, acoustic-based, meditative work that cuts through some of the disjointedness and lets the listeners in. Of course, if you have robots in your home, they’re pretty much going to love this, and even they need to enjoy music, too. So there’s at least that. Wow…it’s hard to even remember what the world was like before the Robot Invasion.”

~Jason Thompson (contributor to human-consumed online magazine