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(10th Anniversary) Perfume – Perfume ~Complete Best~ June 3, 2018

Filed under: ~10th Anniversary Reviews~ — solarblade @ 2:13 am

perfumecomplete

Track Listing

  1. Perfect Star Perfect Style
  2. Linear Motor Girl
  3. Computer City
  4. Electro World (Album Version)
  5. Inryoku
  6. Monochrome Effect
  7. Vitamin Drop
  8. Sweet Donuts
  9. Foundation
  10. Computer Driving
  11. Perfume
  12. wonder2

1. Perfect Star Perfect Style

This song always confuses me because I can never tell if they are saying ~Star~ or ~Style~.  Yasutaka Nakata has created Perfume, with this poppy techno dance group Perfume, though this song wasn’t a single this could be as good as the single of this album.  Hearing piano adds more originality!    Also, the chorus has some of the best sounds found on it.  This song is really catchy too!

Seems I can’t even begin reviewing the album right huh?  Yeah, Perfect Star Perfect Style is technically the “best album’s” only new track and considering it’s only after 8 singles, I can see why they would want to begin the album off this way considering the rest of the album are singles & B-sides.  Considering I knew what I was getting into with Perfume, the expectations were pretty much leveled with this techno-bop.  Of course, I was wrong that Nakata created Perfume, but he has (and since their 3rd indies single) been their main producer and the early Perfume days kind of shown where both artists were at (mostly Nakata).  I do like the crunchy synths on top of the cutesy idol-esque groove to kind of mesh into this futuristic, yet cute concept for an idol group.  Perfect Star Perfect Style is a realy cool way to kick the album off and show the continuation of the trio with Nakata after the 6 singles that were released when he took over as their produce and yes, the chorus is still the catchiest parts of this track!

2. Linear Motor Girl

This song is repetitive, but it doesn’t take away from the fun.  Song starts out them repeating the title, and slows and gets quiet then ~Are You Ready?~ then it comes back as like Nintendo music lol, which I enjoyed immensely.  I love the acoustic guitar during the chorus, really adds an anti-melody to it, that fits like a glove to the song. Very memorable song…hmmm i wonder why.

Moving onto the the group’s major label debut, Linear Motor Girl today doesn’t quite stack up to its following A-sides, “Computer City” or “Electro World” in memorability which is pretty sad considering this was when Perfume moved to Tokuma for their releases.  Its still a nostalgic track for me, but the repetitive nature of the song, but I definitely hear the capsule-esque sounds that carried over from stuff like “Sugarless GiRL”.  I do like some parts like the arrangement and verses, but the chorus being only the title kind of irks me some.  It still gets plays occasionally by me, but it’s not one I would constantly go back to.

3. Computer City

Starting immediatly at the chorus, it’s a very techno song also, obviously.  Now this song’s lyrics are sad, and yet they also use technology to convey their feelings as well.  Same thing here too with the acoustic guitar, it’s placed well within the song. The verses are pretty catchy with the trance beats thrown in the song.  If it wasn’t for the next song this would have been my favorite song on the entire album.

Moving directly to the 2nd major label single, Computer City felt like more of a shift for Perfume from the idol-like sounds of the previous track to more of a somber and serious electronic track for the trio.  It definitely reminds me of stuff from capsule’s “Sugarless GiRL” album with the more aggressive beats and use of both electric & acoustic guitars as well in the arrangement.  I’m a smidge bummed that it was only 2 verses & 2 choruses, but for some reason, it’s just a very cool song.  It’s definitely a track that happily sticks out on the best and one of their bests still.

4. Electro World (Album Version)

The album version is different from the single because, it has a prolonged beginning. It starts out with an ethereal sound but comes in with the bleeps of the synth, then the chorus starts the song.  Interesting to hear e. guitar is very prominent in the song.  Now this is also my favorite and 1st song I heard from Perfume.  Lyrics are pretty well done here also.  The only thing I kinda didn’t like was that it felt short, if it was a little longer OMG…dream come true! 

I’ve always wondered why of all the songs that Electro World was given an extended intro unlike the other older songs.  Nowadays, I actually don’t like the intro as much (weird, but I enjoy the sudden introduction of the chorus of the single cut instead).  Just like “Computer City”, more of that acoustic/electric guitar mixed with electronics are really nice and the song has a bit more oomph too giving it a harder punch.  I do still think the song goes by too fast, but its structured differently than most other songs in their discography.  Either way, it’s still one of my favorite Perfume songs to this day and it doesn’t feel like its aged at all since us fans first heard it.

5. Inryoku

Inryoku means Gravity…Well this song is very much unusual, you hear ~Inryoku~ many times throughout the song. The beginning is the best example.  Now this starts off the uber poppy techno stuff.  Which I’m kind of lenient against.  Now like i said, in the verses they say ~Inryoku~ alot, why are they saying Gravity so much?  Well, what they mean by it is to Gravitate, like an attraction of sorts.  This is definitly a filler track, if it does that a lot.  I didn’t like this song much

Y’know, I’ve always wondered why they plastered Inryoku in the middle of the album because when I look at the tracklist, I thought they had some kind of lineage to it (new song, major A-sides, indie A-sides, B-sides), so to see this B-side from “Vitamin Drop” smacked right here is a little bit jarring after “Electro World”.  Moving back to the sugary cute electro stuff Perfume was putting out in their indie days, Inryoku gives me some pico-pop vibes (ala early capsule during the “phony phonic” era) and I understand the connection and it was cute, but the song feels maybe a little too robotic and repetitive for me to keep around.  There’s a lot of depth to the song and the later half is a LOT more intriguing than the first half which should say something especially since some of those parts were like “Linear Motor Girl”.  It’s grown on me and I’m pretty much OK with the song as background noise for the most part.

6. Monochrome Effect

Yea, this song I can picture Morning Musume doing 0.o  Anyways, it’s a little slower around the tempo.  It kind of gets boring to listen to after awhile, and I blame it on the tempo altogether, if it was a lot faster, I would’ve enjoyed it more.  I can’t believe they made a PV for it too, I was like ugh.

Not quite sure why I hated the song back then and this is even before the song became popular due to it making an appearance on the FOX show, American Dad.  It’s kind of funny because I compared it to Morning Musume when the reverse has kind of been happening XD.  While it did take a little bit to get used to the slower tempo (it was also the 2nd single with Nakata at the reins).  I think of all the songs on the album, this one feels like it comes off as an idol song and not the futuristic group they would grow into.  Hell, we get to hear Perfume’s natural vocals and yeah…not the greatest at hand.  Still, it was the song that a lot of Americans got a first taste of Perfume so I suppose it has its place in history with the group

7. Vitamin Drop

Now this is a good song, best known for the song used in Densatsu no Stafy’s 3rd game’s commercial.  This song has a very good beat, and the ladies voices aren’t synthed up as much.  It actually does sound like your on an adventure. How they say the title is just too cute.  They might sound a bit bored, but it actually works for this song, which is very unorthodox.  Anyway it’s their best indies song.

Thinking about it now, I was surprised at how natural the trio sounded during their indie days and it shows back then how surprisingly weak they were vocally at the time of this release and how much Nakata helped them out when they released “Linear Motor Girl” after this.  The tune itself feels like a bridge from their idol-like stuff to the more electronic, cold vibes of the major singles.  I still do think it’s their best of their indies stuff, but still a far cry compared to most of their future releases.  I do think the monotone verses (and well overall feel) is a bit meh here and there, but because none of the three are under heavy auto-tune (or even at all) it does feel a bit boring?  Either way, its still a fun track for them and the PV was adorable as hell!

8. Sweet Donuts

Oh gosh, we get more bubblegum, with this song, it’s just too much to handle.  Sweet Donuts is also their shortest song on the album.  Which is at best a good thing, because any more of this, I might have to turn it off.  At least it isn’t the single version which was doubled the time, so here it fits a bit more better.  They sound pretty well, once again how they say the title is just too cute for one’s ears!  Thank gosh, for the next song.

I’m actually rather curious why they never specified why this is a shortened version of the song on the album, cutting more than a minute off the track on the best album.  I mean I’m not going to argue because this song is diabetes in a song because of how hyper and genki the track comes off (though it was also their first time working with Nakata and their 3rd indies single).  Since the first time I reviewed the album (and single), the song has grown on me and it’s catchy and because there’s next to no vocal filters, the song just sounds VERY idol-like and fun.  It’s just super cute!

9. Foundation

Since we’ve gotten ourselves outta the uber pop side, we are introduced back to the B-sides of the 3 major singles: LMG, CC, EW. Foundation was found on Linear Motor Girl’s single.  This song is laidback compared to most of the other songs on the album.  It’s pretty mellow throughout, and the girls don’t push they vocals too much, it’s a calm song and a good listen

Moving onto the B-sides section of the album, we come across the first B-side from “Linear Motor Girl” and boy did it take me a while to remember these songs (I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the B-sides).  Foundation sounds definitely like we were heading back to more of the futuristic side of Perfume and this tune is pretty mellow in comparison to most of the other songs here.  It just flows smoothly throughout and while it doesn’t do anything bad, its a song that doesn’t resonate or leave much of an impression.

10. Computer Driving

This song; also found on Linear Motor Girl is a good medium between the two other songs found on the single, it’s not overly repetitive and sugary and it has calm qualities about it.  This song is my favorite B-side for that reason.  For some reason this song, actually has me thinking of driving.  I don’t exactly know what the lyrics means, but I hope it’s about driving XD   BTW props on the saying of the title ladies!

I would say after listening to this album, it feels like this song should’ve been placed as the bridge from “Vitamin Drop” to “Linear Motor Girl” because it retains the bouncy and cutesy idol sound, but the synths are a bit punchier and has a bigger effect…but it does feel like more of the former track to the point where I feel like they’re maybe a smidge too similar, but this one leans more to the electronic side.  I don’t know, its like how I feel with “Foundation”…not bad but not the best.

11. Perfume

Odd, the track named from the band!  There’s alot of things going on in this song, there was the beginning, which sounded epic *ok, maybe not that epic, but enough.  Then this collage of synths and such enter in and at 1st it sounded kind of messy but then when it comes to the main synth melody it made much more sense.  It’s fast, It’s cute, but controlled cute.  This B-side is found on “Computer City”

Ahhh, we finally have Perfume’s namesake track next up!  As the best album’s longest track, Perfume is the longest track as well clocking above 5 minutes in length.  As a B-side, the tune kind of was the anti-thesis to “Computer City’s” more colder sound with the arrangement sounding like something from a video game and the group while not heavily under auto-tune and filters, is still evident.  This is a pretty genki track and feels like a nod to their indies releases.

12. wonder2

Found on Electro World, this song is very, different from the other songs.  It starts out ethereal, then the major synths come in but retains the ethereal feeling throughout, now when I go back to this song, I think winter song.  It has that wintry feeling also, This is a great way to end the album with a song like this.

The album closes out with the B-side from “Electro World” and its pretty appropriate because the song feels more like a ballad than may of the tracks on the album.  It begins ethereal-like and kind of keeps up this mood for the song giving it somewhat of an 80’s new wave kind of flow.  I wasn’t too into the mechanical output for the girls and the arrangement feels like it gets in the way of the lyrics sometimes.  Like “Vitamin Drop” though, the song feels very one-note and with the robotic feel from the trio, it just kind of was boring to me.

Tracks Recommended

  • Electro World (Album Version)
  • Computer City
  • Sweet Donuts
  • Perfume
  • Perfect Star Perfect Style

Song of Avoidance

  • wonder2

Perfume’s first “whole” album was a weird one, i mean it only had one new song on it. Then came the trio of the Yasataka Nakata “masterpieces”, then came the indie songs they did, and then the major singles’ b-sides….What a weird way to put this album together, I was almost wanting to stop right at “Sweet Donuts”.  It got to poppy, they really needed to spread all the songs out in the album, altogether this album really showed us that techno-pop is raring to come back to the top.

Coming back to Perfume’s kind of swan song of an album (back then they weren’t even sure if they were going to continue past this album), Complete Best isn’t quite as complete as it feels (missing their Akihabara singles and B-sides of their other indie singles as well).  Perfume did get the bigger songs which were nice and it was a mix of futuristic and idol-pop, considering Nakata did all the producing here.  Still there were some boring tracks (most of the 2nd half was kind of filler to me).  Not bad coming back to review this 10 years later…but some of these tracks have grown on me while some fell back.