Now is the Point at Which I Touch Eternity
Now is the Point at Which I Touch Eternity
Times Motion Music
May 1, 2011
Buy at Official Site
Now is the Point at Which I Touch Eternity is the third full album released by the electronic trip-hop duo freesscape, whose members consist of Hiroyuki Muneta and Emi Evans, known for her work on NieR. While it has been some time since their last full album release, 2007’s The Next Confusion, freesscape has been featured on the Ge-On-Dan Rare Trax Ver. 2.0 and have also put out a short single, Lost Petals, in the meantime. How does their third full-fledged album turn out?
The album opens up with the title track, “Now is the Point at Which I Touch Eternity.” For those who enjoyed the wispy vocals on the NieR Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack, this is the song that will resonate the most with you. The introduction creates an ethereal atmosphere through the sustained electronic accompaniment, the deep electronic beats, mysterious piano, and Emi Evans’ beautiful vocal work. In addition, the overall tone of the piece hints at sorrowful memories, especially in the lyrics; however, at the same time, they give off a message of hope, particularly in the chorus. The overall mix is absolutely mesmerizing, mainly due to the combination of the vocal melody and the vocal harmonies intertwining as the theme progresses. As a side note, this track was released as a free download after the tragedy that hit the Tohoku region and, although the song was written prior to the earthquake and tsunami, the message manages to convey the inspiration of hope for the future of Japan.
The second song, “Lost Petals,” was previously on the single of the same name released in February of this year. Unlike the opening theme, this song is definitely much more upbeat in nature. There are some wonderful soundscapes on this track, such as the ethereal synth, cello, and acoustic guitar in the harmonies. In addition, Hiro’s accompaniment, particularly the drums and electronic beats, really help bring a nice, crisp quality to the overall mix. Emi’s voice soars in this theme as well accentuating the ethereality of the harmonies. The most successful part of this song, in my opinion, is definitely the chorus. It is absolutely delightful, with powerful lyrics, and the music to back it up. Of course, the chorus to the sole piano and ethereal synth serves as a nice little bridge before the refrain of the chorus at the end.
When it comes to “Graceful Shove,” I find the lyrics to conjure up a very specific set of images to me. While I’m not sure if this is the correct interpretation or inspiration for the lyrics, they seem to be about someone who’s unsure whether or not to leave a relationship with someone with whom they are involved and ultimately decides to leave. These lyrics are backed up by some melancholy tones, such as rustic acoustic guitar and somber piano, beautiful vocal harmonies, and heavenly synthesizer accompaniment. It’s a beautiful mix akin to the warm environment heard in the opening track. Unlike the more serious tones heard on the album thus far, “Bouncing” is by far the brightest and most cheerful of the songs on the album. While it may seem out of place stylistically at first, it does serve as a nice refreshing listen to break up the more serious soundscapes. It conveys a positive message in the lyrics telling you to be true to yourself and don’t worry about trying to impress the world. The bubbly piano work, various electronic tones, and isolated string passages, really elevate this theme and should definitely brighten anyone’s day.
Another song that was featured on the Lost Petals single is “Storm.” This theme, to me, has an extremely intriguing flow. When the theme opens, there is definitely a tone of desolation, particularly in the lyrics, accentuated by the somber tone of the cello and poignant piano chords. However, the chorus, while keeping these similar tones, offers a message of encouragement. As I had mentioned earlier, the song has a very interesting flow, not just lyrically though. As the song progresses, the music becomes ever stronger, more intense beats and musical elements are added, eventually subduing Emi’s powerful voice, as if a storm is surrounding her, trying to drown out her message of inspiration. It’s one of the best songs on the album and one of musical genius.
My personal favorite on the album is most definitely “A Sign of Affection,” particularly for the lyrics and musical atmosphere. It’s another unique theme on this album, and in my opinion, their best song thus far created. The most striking points are the classically oriented piano accompaniment and the varied atmospheres produced. At times, I hear some definitely jazzy tones with a hint of a playful carnival atmosphere, while the chorus’ tone is definitely one that harbors a bit of a sinister nature (and if she doesn’t hear this as well, I’ll bring up the fact that engawa doesn’t taste like cake!!!) behind its extremely catchy melody. Overall, it’s an extremely effective theme and, one that at the time of this writing, I have listened to at least two dozen times.
Another dreamy track is definitely “My Sweet Escape from Tedium” and one full of lush electronic and organic tones. The cello, piano, and Emi Evans’ voice all work well to create a more down-to-earth atmosphere. However,the more electronic tones, particularly the smooth beats and the ethereal synth work in the accompaniment whisk the listener into another world, or, in my case, the recesses of my imagination. Another particular pleasing aspect, in my opinion, is the soft industrial distortions heard at various times, but I suspect that most people will really enjoy Emi’s voice or the piano the most. One of the saddest songs on the album is definitely “Avalanche.” These sorrowful lyrics are accentuated by the somber tones of the cello, Emi’s voice, and the soft electronic tones and piano notes in the accompaniment. Overall, it’s definitely a song that many people who’ve been in relationships can probably relate.
The album ends with “Anchor Song,” a theme that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. I had originally heard a portion of the chorus on Emi Evan’s website and I absolutely fell in love with the soundscape previewed. I’m pleased to say the full song only reinforces the soundscapes heard in the preview. While I’m not sure what the meaning behind the lyrics are, something I would definitely love to learn, they seem to deal with someone’s inner struggles. The soundscape is a calm, but invigorating, one with beautiful acoustic guitar works, gorgeous ethereal synthesizer, and seductive beats combining with Emi’s powerful voice, particularly in the chorus. The overall experience is so relaxing, yet empowering, and is the perfect song with which to end the album.
While most people are familiar with Emi Evan’s work on various game projects, many aren’t familiar with her trip-hop duo group, freesscape. For those looking to experience more of Emi Evans’ lovely voice, I definitely recommend Now is the Point at Which I Touch Eternity. It is definitely the most mature and refined freesscape album to come out. Both Emi Evan’s touching lyrics and Hiroyuki Muneta’s gorgeous electronic soundscapes provide an extremely fulfilling experience. In a way, they remind me of Imogen Heap’s more sultry songs, so if you are a fan of her work, then I definitely suggest checking out freesscape’s music when you have a chance, starting with this album.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.