- Cosmic Explorer
- Miracle Worker
- Next Stage with YOU
- FLASH (Album-mix)
- Sweet Refrain (Album-mix)
- Baby Face
- TOKIMEKI LIGHTS (Album-mix)
- STAR TRAIN (Album-mix)
- Relax In The City
- Pick Me Up
- Cling Cling (Album-mix)
- Hold Your Hand
- FLASH -Original Instrumental-
- Perfume no Tada Tada Radio ga Suki Dakara Radio! 2
Opening the album up as expected as an intro piece to the album. Kicking off with some sporadic synth bleeps with an ethereal undertone, Navigate sounds like something that would fit to an album titled COSMIC EXPLORER which is great to hear and that’s all thanks to Nakata and not so much Perfume. Though as quickly as it begins it does end rather abruptly and leads into the next track.
2. Cosmic Explorer
As our first full-length track, Cosmic Explorer had a lot of hype for me, and honestly it does that just right. The opening bit did remind of Madeon’s “Finale” for some reason, but once the trio start to sing, the song took a whole new light and I really enjoyed its mid-tempo yet free-flowing sound. Nakata did impress me with the arrangement and the glowing voices from the ladies gave the tune a strong kick. What a great way to start this album off!
3. Miracle Worker
Next up, Miracle Worker pops up and I thought it felt like it worked with how the singles this era has been up to this point. Unlike the catchiness of “Cosmic Explorer”, this track took its time to get to some catchy parts, but it’s still mostly a smoothly-driven song with a lot of ooo-ing and bright vocals from the gals. Though I’m not sure where it’ll stand after a while, though it does start to sound like “Toumei Ningen” after a while.
4. Next Stage with YOU
As one of the few CM songs promoted before the album dropped, Next Stage with YOU wasn’t one on people’s minds at initial listen, so I also worried about it when it did make the album’s cut. Unlike the space-ish songs from the last two tracks, this is pretty cutesy pop with Nakata’s production quirks. Some of the arrangement did remind me of “Miracle Worker” being all bouncy and wanting to get you to dance. It’s nice to listen to, but not on the higher side of Perfume’s memorable songs.
Being as one of the songs that initially got hyped during tours, STORY was a surprise and a hope for Perfume fans to get something edgy to work with. Bringing back the kind of tone for the album that the beginning had, STORY starts off much unexpectedly than one might think for a Perfume song. Actually, this kind of experimentation is bringing back memories of capsule’s “CAPS LOCK” and later on “WAVE RUNNER” albums. The first half of the album is mostly Nakata, the second half is where the song gets interesting with the pulsating beats and gritty synths with the light vocals from the ladies. I think it’s one of their most experimental tracks they’ve had in a while and I loved that the most about the track. I just wish there was more Perfume here.
6. FLASH (Album-mix)
So a lot of the older songs from the era were changed a bit for the album (no surprise there), but I was surprised FLASH would receive one because the original mix hasn’t been out too long. On top of the fact that the original version is also on the album >.>. While I wasn’t sure what Nakata would do to change it up, the arrangement is definitely different. The tone of the song is a little more relaxed sounding in comparison and the beats are in different places (though I’m loving the bridges where the arrangement takes over). Then the final chorus…wow just wow…really good mix here!
7. Sweet Refrain (Album-mix)
Being the earliest of the A-sides released (two months after their last album “LEVEL3” released). The tune has a new intro, but then it kind of goes into its original arrangement and since the single version, the tune has grown on me somewhat. The new album mix ditches most of the dubstep sections for a more straightforward song (though the 2nd pre-chorus has it). Not much else to say though, but it’s an OK track overall.
8. Baby Face
As the last NEW song on the album, Baby Face is what I’d say the oddball of the new tracks. Taking some what I believe is guitar at first before it switches to synths, the song sounds quite Western for me, almost a more synthier fun. song. It’s also kind of light and almost playful with the bopping synth melody that comes in later through the track. Of the new songs, I think I’m most disappointed with this one just for the fact that nothing stood out to me at the end of the day.
9. TOKIMEKI LIGHTS (Album-mix)
I was quite surprised that this B-side was chosen to get the edit on the album actually. Just wasn’t the most memorable song from the singles, sadly. When it comes to the album mix, it feels a little more full and less sounding like a rejected Kyarypamyupamyu track. Though, I felt the new additions didn’t resonate me or even catch my attention initially. It’s OK, but I felt like it didn’t need the changes that it got.
10. STAR TRAIN (Album-mix)
Ironically, its A-side comes next and also got the album mix treatment. With a different opening, the song mostly is left unchanged as far as I know. I kind of like the original instrumental because it’s more personal-sounding and a little bit natural. Still, STAR TRAIN is a pretty decent song and like “Sweet Refrain”, managed to grow on me.
11. Relax In The City
I kind of wonder why the next two tracks weren’t changed at all (made even more random that it’s the two A-sides from the 3rd single of the era). I do feel like it should’ve had a little something done to it because it’s so light and fluffy (to which a lot of the album songs aren’t). It does remind me a bit of what “TOKIMEKI LIGHTS” became which I suppose is all right, but still not my favorite A-side.
12. Pick Me Up
Which is the opposite of the sister A-side, Pick Me Up which was the favorite A-side of mine from this era. While many have said they’d want a mid8 section because it was just two verses/two choruses which I slightly agree with, but with how cool the song was already, I wasn’t too saddened. It’s pretty futuristic and brought a more dance-centric vibe to the more cutesy side to Perfume’s songs of recent. Still quite a standout and on this album even moreso because it’s between some of the more peppier songs.
13. Cling Cling (Album-mix)
So we have another album mix, this time of the 2nd single, Cling Cling. As I remembered, this was the more ethnic sounding one (mostly because of the instrumentation being a more Asian-like. Being a couple seconds shorter than the original, the new remix throws out the Asian influences and brings us a more Nakata-sounding track which takes the song more into a faster EDM track. In most respects, it does work out quite well and the melody of the song fits with the new arrangement…though it does make the original rather forgetful…oops.
14. Hold Your Hand
Though, I will never understand why they chose Hold Your Hand (a B-side from “Cling Cling” to end the album). To be quite honest, I actually totally forgot hot this one went after the single released. I suppose it has an ending quality to it, but this song is otherwise strange to end the album with and could’ve used something else (or a new track) in place.
I still don’t know why they made a second disc to include the digital single (and its instrumental) to be more like fodder for the 3rd track here. After hearing the album mix back on disc 1, the original did lose some of its steam for me, but I still find it that it’s up there below “Pick Me Up” in loving factor. I still love the pulsating beat and the kind of how it somewhat reminds me of pre-UNIVERAL Perfume but also some of that Ibiza sound too!
3. Perfume no Tada Tada Radio ga Suki Dakara Radio! 2
Though the majority of the 2nd disc is mainly from this track, right after “FLASH’s” instrumental. Being a whopping 55 minute track, it’s basically a radio entry from Perfume, but unfortunately I’m not sure what they exactly are talking about (maybe the album itself?). Either way, it’s for the fans for sure.
- Pick Me Up
- Cosmic Explorer
- Cling Cling (Album-mix)
Song of Avoidance
- Baby Face
As the group’s 5th entry (or 6th) , COSMIC EXPLORER took quite a while to come along, but I feel like this release was pretty much in the middle of the road for me. I feel like this album had a lot of cohesion when compared to past albums, but I feel like some of the tracks weren’t totally that great and a lot of the album mixes weren’t wholly necessary especially with only 5 new songs…seems like we could’ve had a little more new material. Also, the 2nd disc…why even?!? Still the standouts were mostly along the more edgier pieces from the album and that’s good to see. Overall, not bad!