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Ex Confusion is the moniker of Japanese composer Atsuhito Omori, and Embrace is his second album. It’s a fitting title, as the album’s gorgeous, generously unhurried melodies have a tendency to envelop you and embrace your soul. For Omori, tempo is not important; from the first moments of “Grass Harp,” you know that Embrace is the type of record that you immerse yourself in, to give yourself over to and allow yourself to be overwhelmed by simple, pretty sound. Minimalism is never as easy as it looks, but Omori utilizes very basic instrumentation—guitar, piano, samples of rain—to create a symphony of pure transcendent bliss. Embrace also feels like a romantic album, with titles appropriate to relationships, beautiful lyric-free romantic ballads, like “Embrace” and “When I Think of You” and “Desire.” A relaxing tonic, Embrace is a balm for the heat of Summer 2012 and the generalized comedown for the stresses of the day.
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