From the very start the new OPN LP wrong-foots you. A manic, squalling `Nil Admirari' sounds not a million miles from the digital stutter and splatter of Lesser. Like a spacecraft caught in an electric maelstrom, spiralling out of control it is met by the floating relief of `Describing Bodies' as New Age as anything that's come before from Lopatin's vintage keys. `Stress waves' is a misnomer - a delicate and melancholic track floating in the ether. A more novel approach is in the title track which introduces heavily treated vocals for the first time - not a million miles from the minor chords and approach of Boards Of Canada's `Beautiful Place In The Country' this remains a highlight.
`Pelham Island Road' starts off striking some Detroit techno poses and then drifts back into the vintage synth washes of old. The short `Ouroboros' is the standout track with some deeply emotive chord progressions. Disappointingly, Returnal then peters out rather aimlessly with `Preyouandia'.
Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a bad listen but I had hoped for a little more. You are left with the nagging feeling that the excellent `Rifts' is perhaps all you need from OPN...
Compared to the absolutely immense return from Emeralds with `Does It Look Like I'm Here?' (also on Mego) it just comes across as a bit of a damp squib to these ears. 6.5/10
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