Voyager is the first, and best, in Momus' trilogy of albums (the other two being Shyness and Timelord) addressing the near-future sci-fi androgyny of Japan. The mood is best characterized by "Summer Holiday 1999," based on the Japanese film of the same name that follows private school students (boys played by girls) alone in an empty school during their vacation. Both the song and the film are full of strange textures, impending suicide, melancholy, and hopeless love. The warm electro-pop that fills Voyager began in 1991 at the Edinburgh Festival, when Momus saw a play, based on a short story by Yukio Mishima, in which an old lady travels back in time to her youth. With this as a starting point, Momus recorded one of his most sentimental albums, exploring themes of adolescence, nostalgia, and wistful distance from one's environment and experiences. With the lush ambience of "Virtual Reality," "all you got to do is dream." "Conquistador" conjures up more of a slick utopia filled with emotions and longing. "Afterglow" ponders a mellow world, where Music for Airports plays and people are "too late to enjoy it, too soon to destroy it, too dumb to invent it, too smart to end it." Voyager may not contain the acerbic wit that Momus is best known for, but the bittersweet dreaminess of the album and its sincere vibe find the artist being endlessly smart, but not too smart for his own good. It's one of Momus' best records.
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