R Plus Seven is not an album that you will listen to on laptop speakers and then try to tell me that you’ve heard it; I will not believe you. It is not a border town that you drive through without peeking into every single window of every single house; it is not a can of air freshener that you leave hanging in the living room as you continue with your Sunday routine. It is not a fingerpainting that you leave grinning on your bathroom window until the next time you take a shower.
R Plus Seven is not inaccessible, it is not some heady work of sonic mathematics, and it is not a simple mimesis of form with regard to the likes of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and John Adams. But the likes of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and John Adams are not ignored on R Plus Seven either. R Plus Seven does not articulate itself with anything less than or equal to absolute novelty; R Plus Seven is not concerned at all with appearing novel.
R Plus Seven does not sacrifice its emotional precision for speed or intensity or sonic pretension. R Plus Seven is not afraid to do things the easy way, the polite way, or the fun way. R Plus Seven is not an album that insists on you in any way, and R Plus Seven is not an album that you will stop listening to at any point in the ever that occupies roughly 45 minutes.
R Plus Seven is not a crowded album; is not an album bogged down by the excesses commonly associated with “the genre”; is not an album that insists on your love by dominating you physically. Nor is R Plus Seven weak or fragile. R Plus Seven is not bound by the abhorrent gravities you apply to it.
R Plus Seven is not 33 songs long; R Plus Seven does not need more than ten songs to get the point across. R Plus Seven has no point to get across. R Plus Seven is not letting you bring your problems along for the ride. R Plus Seven is not a ride, it is not an act of whimsy; it is not an album that you move to and it is not an album that leaves you unmoved.
“Boring Angel” is not an exploration of divinity, and it is not the act of sonic cyberpunk that inspired the anime Ghost in the Shell. R Plus Seven did not exist in 1989; against all indications to the aural contrary, R Plus Seven did not exist in 10,000 BCE, either. R Plus Seven was not even that sonic totem which caused the Roman emperor Julian to turn his back on christianity in the fourth century.
“Problem Areas” does not sound as much like the world music from Chrono Cross as you want it to. “Americans” is not the only song you’ve ever heard that hurt you so thoroughly without being so petty as to resort to being melancholy. “He She” will not make you cry, and it won’t change the way you think about anything; the latest version of iTunes does not seem to have a “repeat” button.
R Plus Seven is the fourth album that Daniel Lopatin has released under the name Oneohtrix Point Never and it seems to have been made out of the negative space that resides between digital pop and American minimalism; I’ve not heard anything like it.