Fantasma by Cornelius:
I saw Cornelius open for Sebadoh and The Flaming Lips back in the late 90's and I had no idea then who Keigo Oyamada was but as soon as the first song started I was like "aw shit, it's on now". Their live show was really amazing and I ended up buying Fantasma that night. Granted, it's not exactly an album you will listen to over and over again but when it came up on random the other night I immediately stopped the random playing and listened to the whole thing and wondered why more people don't know of it.
Pitchfork gave it a 6.5 and Spin said:
Fantasma, Cornelius's third full-length and debut U.S. album, is an exuberant kaleidoscope of hip-hop, noisecore, film soundtracks, cheesy listening, indie rock, even Sesame Street.... Fantasma is an endearing music-obsessive-comes-of-age tale--from Saturday morning TV to arena rock to bootleg Jean-Jacques Perrey reissues--but once the initial weirdness-buzz wears off, there's not a whole lot to latch onto.
But then, both of those publications tend to suck ass at times. Of course it's all opinion anyway but mine tends toward what AllMusic said about Fantasma:
Cornelius fits right in with the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal aesthetic. He sees no difference between pop and avant-garde, high culture and lowbrow trash -- he throws it all together, coming up with completely unexpected combinations. The thrill of hearing hip-hop loops morph into sheets of My Bloody Valentine guitar noise, then into sweet Beach Boys harmonies, is what makes his American debut Fantasma such a wonder. It's easy to write Cornelius off as a Japanese Beck, particularly since his pop songcraft is as impressive as the busy, multi-layered production, but it's a little patronizing. Cornelius is operating on his own terms, equally influenced by sunny pop ("Chapter 8 -- Seashore and Horizon," boasting harmonies by Apples in Stereo), garagey hard rock, and kitsch (the cartoonish "Magoo Opening"). He assembles the parts in unpredictable ways -- the hard beats of "Mic Check" suddenly give way to floating acoustics; "Chapter 8" literally has a tape recorder stopping and starting the different parts -- which is why Fantasma is so intoxicating. It is one of those rare records where you can't tell what's going to happen next, and it leaves you hungry for more.
To each his own; but maybe yours falls in line with the desire to hear the interesting, the underappreciated, the Japanese...the the - heck, you just go and find out for yourself.
Sample a song by Cornelius (not from this record but it's all I could find) - "Point of view point"
1st "Overlooked Album from the 90's" here
2nd "Overlooked Album from the 90's" here
3rd "Overlooked Album from the 90's" here
4th "Overlooked Album from the 90's" here
if you'd like...
Pitchfork's top albums of the 90's
1st version of their list