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Perfume – Future Pop August 15, 2018

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 4:47 am

futurepop

Track Listing

  1. Start-Up
  2. Future Pop
  3. If you wanna
  4. TOKYO GIRL
  5. FUSION
  6. Tiny Baby
  7. Let Me Know
  8. Chorairin
  9. Mugen Mirai
  10. Houseki no Ame
  11. Tenkuu
  12. Everyday

1. Start-Up

Opening the album is a short intro to the album!  Of course since it’s Nakata-centric, the arrangement is more of the technopop I’ve been so used to over the years.  The intro is a little bit ethereal and kind of as a certain Kyary pop to it as it grows and then it just ends at that.

2. Future Pop

The end of the intro doesn’t quite lend itself to slide into our first full track, the title track at that, Future Pop!  I do like the acoustic guitar in the intro and how it builds into the more of a stronger techno track thanks to Nakata.  The tune is pretty awesome through the first build-up and the chorus itself is pretty much in your face when it hits!  It does feel short (3 minutes) and the ending is kind of an odd choice, but it’s a decent track to kick things off.

3. If you wanna

Since all of the A-sides (and B-sides) made the cut, it makes things a little easier.  Starting with the second single released in the era, If you wanna on first review doesn’t really stand out to me.  Even shorter than the previous track, If you wanna still doesn’t quite do much even if the song is mostly in English.  It’s just a very cut n’ pasted song and just doesn’t quite feel very put together (but that could be the dubstep arrangement).  Just very disjointed, good that we get through this song early on.

4. TOKYO GIRL

Interestingly enough, the iTunes tag is as a remastered take but I hear VERY little difference if any at all for the first A-side released for the album.  After having the most time with this song, I initially from shrugging off to having it stand out more for me after the shaky era this album produced as a whole.  I’m loving the slow build-up to the electropop chorus and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from Perfume!

5. FUSION

As the B-side from “Mugen Mirai”, I was desperately in need of a heavy hitter from Perfume and it came in this track.  Like the cool arrangement is definitely unexpected from Perfume, especially since the sound REALLY reminds me of stuff from capsule (primarily from “WORLD OF FANTASY”).  I’m still disappointed in the lack of the trio’s vocals in the song and so the tune can feel like a glorified interlude.

6. Tiny Baby

Finally some new tracks to listen to!  Tiny Baby is the first that comes up and just lyrically, I could feel that the song was slightly kiddy, but not in the same veins as songs like “Communication” and “Toki no Hari”.  It does slightly remind me of songs from “LEVEL3” just with the overall arrangement, but the song has a certain Springtime kind of feel to it that’s pleasant and not as boring.  Not bad!

7. Let Me Know

Chosen as the song to promote the album, Let Me Know starts off nice enough with an interesting melody with the synths!  I’m surprised at how mostly this album has been pretty mellow with things but this is reminding me of a cooler version of “TOKYO GIRL” with the a better drive and build-up and it’s kind of really catchy in spots.  Yeah, this song might be my favorite of the new tracks to be quite honest, even surpassing “Future Pop”!

8. Chorairin

For some reason, our next track gave me some Chinese vibes in its arrangement in a similar fashion to “Cling Cling”!  Though the synth/electronic vibes are stronger in this one.  It’s almost video-game like in presentation which also added to the atmosphere of the song on top of being just a cute bop of a track.

9. Mugen Mirai

As the 3rd single released for the album, Mugen Mirai was arguably my favorite of the 3 A-sides released, but it follows the same style like other tracks following a similar quiet but active build-up until it reaches its peak in the choruses.  I mean the synth beats are dream-like and the trio sound effervescent alongside the tune and the chorus has a nice amount of punch to it too!  Not quite as epic as previous leading songs they’ve had, but it’s a really cool song to listen to on earphones!

10. Houseki no Ame

Returning from its B-side placement on the “TOKYO GIRL” single, I had totally forgot about how this song sounded!  I guess if anything the song is remining a LOT of what this whole album kind of sounded like.  It does give me “Chorairin” and “Tiny Baby” smushed together out of this track (or split up because this came out first).  It may be the cutest track off the album, but it’s kind of fallen to the wayside for me and didn’t help being added to the album.

11. Tenkuu

As the last of the new tracks, Tenkuu feels like the Perfume that would release a cool, electro track and Nakata kind of nailed it here as well like with “Let Me Know” in tow as well!  The song feels progressive and the arpeggio synth lines are quite magical sounding…probably the first song that kind of reminds me of their sound back in “GAME” through “JPN”.  It’s a pretty good track overall and just gives me those good Perfume vibes.

12. Everyday

Closing the album out is the B-side from “If you wanna” which is odd because the single got the PV for this song primarily and not the leading track (probably because it was incredibly short in comparison).  I had forgotten this song too and I forgot that this has the toy piano melody (something that I thought was mostly for Kyary’s music).  I take it back, this song is probably the cutest track of the album just for that reason alone.  Still not quite the song I was hoping it’d be, but it makes for a fair ending, I guess…

Tracks Recommended

  • Tenkuu
  • Let Me Know
  • Mugen Mirai
  • Future Pop
  • TOKYO GIRL

Song of Avoidance

  • If you wanna

What happened with this album, maybe I’m in the minority, but I wasn’t quite interested in this album versus when I first listened to their last two albums.  Maybe it was the singles that pretty much turned me off from the album because other than Mugen Mirai, it just felt boring and vanilla compared to their works both coming before “LEVEL3” and “COSMIC EXPLORER”.  Plus, the album is actually shorter than I was expecting too which is odd for a Perfume album (especially as their 7th).  Maybe Nakata is slowing down some in his exciting arrangements…but I have to say I was disappointed with Future Pop…

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Perfume – Mugen Mirai March 20, 2018

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 6:20 pm

mugenmirai

Track Listing

  1. Mugen Mirai
  2. FUSION (Limited/Regular only)
  3. FLASH (Chihayafuru Edition only)
  4. Mugen Mirai -Original Instrumental-

1. Mugen Mirai

As the leading track, Mugen Mirai has an interesting twist to their sound that the trio (and Nakata) hasn’t really explored much.  I really do love the mix of their electropop style with some strings.  Though the chorus kind of brings this cool mix of some future bass to kind of make the chorus have punch.  It’s really unique for the trio and it’s definitely ranking up there as my favorite of the A-sides they’ve released since “COSMIC EXPLORER”.

2. FUSION

As the main B-side for the single, hearing this originally via its CM tie-in, I figured it was going to be a harder song, but I was definitely curious to see the idea expanded and here it is on the single.  Even if the song falls in line with stuff like “STORY” and “Party Maker” in which the trio is less involved and feels more like a Nakata track.  That said, it’s also got a cool futuristic beat to it and fits to Perfume, but I think I would’ve enjoyed more presence from them besides their whispery parts towards the end.

3. FLASH

Here we are again reviewing FLASH it seems (it’s here due to the tie-in to the previous movie in which “Mugen Mirai” is the theme to the sequel).  I still love it a lot even if it’s been out for quite a while.  At least of the “COSMIC EXPLORER” songs, this one feels like one that kind of represented the album at its best.  It’s a pretty cool song and it has that cool Perfume feel that I feel like this era of singles has been missing.

 

 

As the 3rd single for the era, Mugen Mirai is probably the best they’ve done since “TOKYO GIRL” and “If you wanna” were kind of meh to me.  Mugen Mirai is a breath of fresh air though and really brings some new substance to Perfume’s music that I appreciate.  Though I will say FUSION would’ve been better off as an album track because it feels more like a Nakata-centric piece with little blotches of Perfume and FLASH is decent enough incentive despite being on one edition of the single (and it replaces FUSION as the B-side).  Kind of wanting an album soon.

 

Perfume – If you wanna August 30, 2017

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 3:24 pm

ifyouwanna

Track Listing

  1. If you wanna
  2. Everyday
  3. If you wanna -Original Instrumental-
  4. Everyday -Original Instrumental-

1. If you wanna

As the leading track If you wanna feels a bit like something I would’ve come across in their last two era by having a cuter but poppy side to it.  Though the song does have some interesting parts like the chorus where it feels like it becomes something Western-like.  Sadly, that’s really it for it because it only does its parts twice in a matter of a little under 3 minutes.  I can’t quite see the reason it’s the leading track due to how short it is and how “Everyday” ended up with the PV, but this kind of felt thrown together and not so much in a good way.

2. Everyday

As for the B-side, Everyday surprises me with natural piano on top of natural voices in the opening.  As a song that’s a bit more bubbly and intricate with its arrangement, I do find the feel of the song refreshing for Perfume, but I feel like I could’ve survived without the toy piano (a staple for Nakata’s other project, Kyarypamyupamyu).  Though I have to say, this was a song for me persay, but I can respect the airiness and just playful style the track is going for, but it’s just not for me.

 

Man, if I thought “TOKYO GIRL” was a bit mediocre, then I have to say If you wanna is just bleh.  I’m not sure why this single needed to be especially with how they presented it with both songs.  If you wanna just feels lazy and kind of trite in comparison to previous A-sides which I haven’t felt since “Sweet Refrain” though that song grew on me through its album version.  There’s just not enough for me here.  Everyday is cute, I’ll give it that, but could we leave that for Kyary?  I don’t know, but this album era so far has not done anything for Perfume for me.

 

 

Perfume – TOKYO GIRL February 19, 2017

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 8:30 pm

tokyogirl

Track Listing

  1. TOKYO GIRL
  2. Houseki no Ame
  3. TOKYO GIRL -Original Instrumental-
  4. Houseki no Ame -Original Instrumental-

1. TOKYO GIRL

As the leading song, I was wondering what Perfume was going to come up with for the single and TOKYO GIRL and for the most part it’s a smidge forgettable for me.  The beginning reminds me a little of “STAR TRAIN”, but once the song grows in the prechorus and eventual chorus, the tune does turn into a bit more of the upbeat sound we’ve had from the group.  Actually the chorus reminds me more of “Cling Cling” for some strange reason too.  Honestly, the song is a little underwhelming IMO.

2. Houseki no Ame

Then we move into the B-side of the single and Houseki no Ame reminds me of songs from their “LEVEL3” album but also a little more on the Kyary-ish side of things.  I like the playful arrangement and the bopping synths give off this 80’s vibe as well!  Still, I feel like the trio sounds a little too lifeless for a track like this so I also felt a bit disappointed from this track.

 

 

Kicking off a new era after “COSMIC EXPLORER”, I feel like it started off with one of the weaker singles Perfume has released in quite a while.  I’m not sure why but neither TOKYO GIRL nor Houseki no Ame left much of an impression on me and felt like album tracks.  TOKYO GIRL could eventually start catching on, but Houseki no Ame was just boring for me.  I hope their next single fixes things up (and include “Atmospheric Entry” too!).

 

Perfume – COSMIC EXPLORER April 11, 2016

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 9:58 am

cosmicexplorer

Track Listing

  1. Navigate
  2. Cosmic Explorer
  3. Miracle Worker
  4. Next Stage with YOU
  5. STORY
  6. FLASH (Album-mix)
  7. Sweet Refrain (Album-mix)
  8. Baby Face
  9. TOKIMEKI LIGHTS (Album-mix)
  10. STAR TRAIN (Album-mix)
  11. Relax In The City
  12. Pick Me Up
  13. Cling Cling (Album-mix)
  14. Hold Your Hand

CD 2

  1. FLASH
  2. FLASH -Original Instrumental-
  3. Perfume no Tada Tada Radio ga Suki Dakara Radio! 2

1. Navigate

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.

5. STORY

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.

CD 2

1. FLASH

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.

Tracks Recommended

  • Pick Me Up
  • Cosmic Explorer
  • Cling Cling (Album-mix)
  • STORY
  • FLASH

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!

 

Perfume – FLASH March 28, 2016

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 4:55 am

flash

Track Listing

  1. FLASH

1. FLASH

Interesting to see that Perfume would once again use an album song to basically promote the trio’s upcoming album, “COSMIC EXPLORER”, but I was really curious to see what this was like.  Though, I was definitely interested in the song because it was more upbeat and had a more stronger beat than a lot of the leading songs for the era.  The chorus is actually the best part as it’s definitely a harder punch and it’s quite catchy!  My only qualm is hearing them repeat ~chihayafuru~ (the song’s tie-in is a film called that).  I suppose that using it to promote the movie makes sense, but it’s just odd.  Overall it’s pretty good and a nice lead-in song to the album.

I suppose I could’ve waited for the album to drop to release the song, but I thought I’d get it out of the way.  It’s pretty strange that on “COSMIC EXPLORER” the original mix will be on a 2nd disc alongside its instrumental while the main disc will have an album mix…weird marketing strategy.  Either way, FLASH is pretty cool and one of the memorable songs for the era…just can’t wait for the album now!

 

Perfume – STAR TRAIN October 28, 2015

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 1:14 am

startrain

Track Listing

  1. STAR TRAIN
  2. TOKIMEKI LIGHTS
  3. Imitation World (Limited only)
  4. STAR TRAIN -Original Instrumental-
  5. TOKIMEKI LIGHTS -Original Instrumental-
  6. Imitation World -Original Instrumental-

1. STAR TRAIN

With the leading song, I was expecting a slower song just from the title alone, and STAR TRAIN is a lot more natural sounding than I was expecting.  I mean acoustic guitar and piano being the front sounding instruments while the Nakata electronics take a bit of a step back.  Actually, I’m not sure why, but this reminds me of a fun. song (the band).  While I don’t think it’s a powerful A-side like “Cling Cling” and “Pick Me Up” were, it’s a nice sentimental track from the group and much needed.

2. TOKIMEKI LIGHTS

The main B-side, TOKIMEKI LIGHTS was the first song previewed from the single and some thought it was going to be used as the leading song of the tracklist.  On the first couple listens, TOKIMEKI LIGHTS has a VERY similar sound to various Kyarypamyupamyu songs due to the kind of cutesy beats and synth choices with a lot of piano lines.  While I’m not sure that the kind of familiarity to “Family Party” was necessary for Perfume to have, the song itself has a nice wondrous sound alongside an odd dubstep section too.  I think I might slightly prefer this over “STAR TRAIN” but it’s by a very small margin.

3. Imitation World

A small bit of history, Imitation World was a song that’s been known for a long time for Perfume fans, being performed as early around “Computer City’s” release though for some reason was forgotten (alongside “Counter Attraction”) due to some licensing issues.  Now it seems that this song is being revived from the dead!  Almost everything was redone to kind of keep it fresh and up-to-date.  Also the tempo was turned down a bit, but it seems like things are cute and feels like something from “Complete Best” or “GAME”.  Though the latter was due to the song having changed up the arrangement a bit.  It’s nice to see this song reemerge and all, but I think the energy of the original should have stayed the same.

 

 

As the 4th single for this era, I’m hoping Perfume is going to release an album next!  When it comes to STAR TRAIN, it’s OK, but nothing too amazing to drool over.  The leading song has a nice sentimental feel to it and while it does stand out better than other A-sides, it’s still not of the same energy from Perfume.  TOKIMEKI LIGHTS is better though, but it sounds like a rejected Kyary song but given that Perfume touch.  Imitation World is a nice idea to bring back, but I think the original arrangement suits it more.  Man, this era has been really ehhhh for me…I just hope they have something in store next.