Mellow Waves

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Mellow Waves
Cornelius - Mellow Waves.jpg
Studio album by
Released28 June 2017
Length41:59
LabelWarner, Rostrum
ProducerCornelius
Cornelius chronology
Sensuous
(2006)
Mellow Waves
(2017)
Singles from Mellow Waves
  1. "あなたがいるなら (If You're Here)"
    Released: 12 May 2017
  2. "いつか / どこか (Sometime/Someplace)"
    Released: 9 June 2017

Mellow Waves is a 2017 studio album by Japanese musician Cornelius. It was released in Japan by Warner Music and in the United States by Rostrum Records. The album, which received generally positive reviews from music critics, reached the top ten of Japan's Oricon albums chart and the US Dance/Electronic Album Sales chart.

Background and composition[edit]

After releasing his fifth album under the Cornelius moniker, 2006's Sensuous, Keigo Oyamada worked on a number of projects, including a collaboration with J-pop singer Salyu which, using the name Salyu x Salyu, resulted in the 2011 album S(o)un(d)beams. Oyamada composed soundtracks for educational TV programs and the Ghost in the Shell: Arise anime series. He toured with Yoko Ono and Yellow Magic Orchestra and produced remixes for Philip Glass and Sakanaction. He also joined the electro supergroup Metafive, whose lineup includes Yoshinori Sunahara, Yukihiro Takahashi, Towa Tei, and others.[1][2]

Oyamada explained to The Japan Times in 2016 that he was interested in recording a new solo album because, among other reasons, he did not have many opportunities to sing within the collaborations.[1] He was also inspired by the amount of time that had elapsed since Sensuous.[2] Still, between projects, Oyamada had found time to work on his solo project. One track, "Mellow Yellow Feel", dates back to 2012.[3] Lyrics for two of the album's songs, "If You're Here" and "Dear Future Person", were written by Shintaro Sakamoto. Another track, "The Spell of a Vanishing Loveliness" was written by Miki Berenyi, who Oyamada learned a decade earlier was a distant relative.[2][3]

Distinct sounds have been used to represent sonic themes on previous Cornelius albums—a glass wind chime for Sensuous, and water for 2001's Point. Oyamada said the tremolo served a similar function on Mellow Waves, likening the sound to that of a continuous wave.[2] Similarly, Oyamada chose the album's cover artwork because of its wavy appearance.[3]

In advance of the album, two 7-inch singles were issued.[3] "If You're Here" was released in May 2017 along with a music video.[4] "Sometime / Someplace" followed a month later, accompanied by a music video directed by Yugo Nakamura.[5] A music video for "Dear Future Person" was released in January 2018.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic74/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
The A.V. ClubB[9]
The Independent3/5 stars[10]
Mojo3/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork7.7/10[11]
PopMatters7/10[12]
Uncut7/10[7]
Under the Radar8/10 stars[13]

Mellow Waves received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 74, based on 18 reviews.[7]

In a review of the album, AllMusic's Heather Phares wrote, "Despite its calm demeanor, Mellow Waves is nearly as intricate as Cornelius' previous albums, and its masterful ebb and flow just gets richer with each listen."[8] Andy Gill of The Independent remarked: "it's the overall cool/warm Tropicalismo tone that's most engaging" about the album.[10] Stephen Wyatt of Under the Radar observed, "what it lacks in frenetic playfulness it makes up in melody and orchestration."[13]

Pitchfork's Jesse Jarnow called it "as subdued an album as Oyamada has made" but that "thankfully 'subdued,' by Cornelius’s standards, still entails unceasing rhythmic invention, perhaps the central musical theme of his career."[11] Tanner Smith of PopMatters said: "Mellow Waves’s mellowness is more in the eye of the beholder. As nice as the vibe is, there is a high level of mental activity here that definitely put it into a more experimental arena than the soft sounds might imply."[12]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."あなたがいるなら (If You're Here)"Keigo Oyamada, Shintaro Sakamoto6:12
2."いつか / どこか (Sometime/Someplace)"Oyamada3:49
3."未来の人へ (Dear Future Person)"Oyamada, Sakamoto4:38
4."Surfing on Mind Wave Pt. 2"Oyamada5:34
5."夢の中で (In a Dream)"Oyamada4:14
6."Helix/Spiral"Oyamada3:35
7."Mellow Yellow Feel"Oyamada4:38
8."The Spell of a Vanishing Loveliness"Miki Berenyi, Oyamada3:01
9."The Rain Song"Oyamada2:49
10."Crépuscule"Oyamada3:29
Total length:41:59

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[14] 10
US Dance/Electronic Album Sales (Billboard)[15] 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hadfield, James (5 July 2017). "Cornelius opens up a little more on his latest album, 'Mellow Waves'". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d St. Michel, Patrick (15 June 2017). "Q&A: Cornelius On His First LP In 11 Years, 'Mellow Waves'". Stereogum. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Cornelius Talks 'Mellow Waves,' His First New Album in 11 Years". Billboard. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  4. ^ Thiessen, Brock (11 May 2017). "Hear Cornelius's Striking Return with "If You're Here"". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  5. ^ Geslani, Michelle (9 June 2017). "Cornelius reveals video for shapeshifting new song "Sometime / Someplace" — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  6. ^ Thiessen, Brock (26 January 2018). "Cornelius "Dear Future Person" (video)". Exclaim!. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "'Mellow Waves' by Cornelius". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Cornelius - 'Mellow Waves'". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Nine Inch Nails, Foster The People, and more in this week’s music reviews". The A.V. Club. July 21, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Gill, Andy. "Album reviews: Dizzee Rascal - 'Raskit', Chris Robinson Brotherhood - 'Barefoot In The Head', Cornelius - 'Mellow Waves'". The Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  11. ^ a b Jarnow, Jesse. "Cornelius - 'Mellow Waves'". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  12. ^ a b Smith, Tanner. "Music : Reviews". PopMatters. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b Wyatt, Stephen. "Reviews". Under the Radar. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Ranking - Album - Cornelius". Oricon. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Chart History - Cornelius". Billboard. Retrieved 2 September 2017.

External links[edit]