Kurayami Monogatari

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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.

 

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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.

 

Perfume – Relax In The City/Pick Me Up April 29, 2015

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 2:10 am

relaxinthecity

Track Listing

  1. Relax In The City
  2. Pick Me Up
  3. Toumei Ningen
  4. Relax In The City -Original Instrumental-
  5. Pick Me Up -Original Instrumental-
  6. Toumei Ningen -Original Instrumental-

1. Relax In The City

As the leading A-side, Relax In The City at first came off kind of like a Kyarypamyupamyu (or a reject from “JPN”).  The almost cutesy arrangement and the vocal melody kind of seem like the song would’ve fit some children’s show.  Though, I can’t help but have myself intrigued by Nakata’s arrangement once again as it really does sound dreamy and youthful.  There’s really not much else I want to say about the song, but considering some of the other songs they’ve released for the era, this one doesn’t stick out to me.

2. Pick Me Up

Though, I can say that the other A-side was definitely something that impressed me.  I was missing energy from the group and while they did show that with “DISPLAY” from their last single, this song was cool for sure.  Add some acoustic guitar moments, solo lines from the trio and the edgy arrangement and you got a great track at hand.  I feel like this is the direction Perfume should take rather than the cuter route of songs (“Sweet Refrain”, “Hold Your Hand” and similar songs of recent times).

3. Toumei Ningen

Then we get the lone B-side of the single and Toumei Ningen was the wild card of the single since we had no preview or PV of it.  I feel like the group’s vocals are not even really processed as much as the other two, but the arrangement is still quite the bouncer which is definitely a winner but some of the melody eerily reminds me of “Pick Me Up”.  Though I can’t help but feel this one was a bit too short and lacked Perfume themselves.  I do love Nakata’s arrangement and the trance-y bits were quite awesome, but that took front row over the group.  Still a nice song into their discography.

It feels like it’s been forever since “Cling Cling”, but I have to say they did OK with their return single.  Relax In The City might not be my cup of tea, but it’s nice for the fans that have been digging the lighter side, but for me Pick Me Up was the song of the single for sure.  It left a nice adventuring feel and has such a great club feel too!  Toumei Ningen is nice, a bit short and underused the members, but it’s still good.  Overall, I think I’m ready for an album!

 

Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “LOVE THE WORLD” March 24, 2015

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 7:09 pm

lovetheworld

Track Listing

  1. Polyrhythm
  2. edge (⊿-mix)
  3. love the world
  4. Electro World
  5. Chocolate Disco (2012-Mix)
  6. SEVENTH HEAVEN
  7. GAME
  8. Secret Secret
  9. NIGHT FLIGHT
  10. Baby cruising Love
  11. Butterfly
  12. FAKE IT
  13. Laser Beam
  14. GLITTER
  15. MY COLOR (LTW-Mix)
  16. Dream Fighter

1. Polyrhythm

Figures they would begin the album with the song that boosted their careers straight out of the water.  Polyrhythm is definitely a classic and even today still sounds REAL fresh for the group.  The effervescent arrangement and the twinkly piano line just gives off such a fantasy-like feel to it that I can’t help, but love it!  I especially love the bridge where they go repeating the title and ~poly-loopu~ to make the effect of the song just come together.  I can’t help but continue to gush over this song since its release.  Just amazing how electro has come to its state these days because of Perfume, but more Nakata!

2. edge (⊿-mix)

Then we hit one of my personal favorite Perfume songs with edge, even better that they chose the version from their “⊿” album.  This mix filled out an already badass song by including more synths and twists n’ turns to really make this song an electro paradise of song (which Perfume has been slightly struggling with doing more of).  The fact is is that the song is based around repetition (like many other songs in their discography) but it has its own identity and the darker and grittier synths make it sound so much more badass of a song.  It might be a bit long for some at nearly 9 minutes, but for me…it’s an eargasm of Nakata’s genius here.

3. love the world

Which is funny because “edge” was originally the B-side to this single.  As the best album’s focus track, love the world was such finessed kind of song (maybe the antithesis to the above track).  The arrangement is more pinprick yet the trio sound smooth and they hold their notes quite nicely.  The tune after years, is also quite nice coming back to and shows a much bouncier side to them.

4. Electro World

As the only song to come from their “Complete Best” album (more typically known as their first album), Electro World was an awesome choice, but clearly left off some other good tracks as well.  As the version not from the album, Electro World instantly kicks in with the girls singing the opening lines with a gritty synth melody.  Looking back on it today, the song is still a cool song, but compared to the other tracks on this best-of, it does slightly sound dated in comparison with Nakata’s mix of synths and guitars.  I still love the overly futuristic vibe here and the roboticness of the trio just adds that cold feeling that makes the song just work…definitely my favorite of the first era.

5. Chocolate Disco (2012-Mix)

So the best album includes two new mixes of old songs, starting with Chocolate Disco.  When it first started I noticed that the intro starts off a bit different with the longer intro (means more sparkly synths in my ears!).  It feels like the song didn’t change too much in arrangement which is nice enough but there’s more oomph to it’s percussion.  Maybe it’s just me, but I did get a little annoyed with the repetition (which is odd since the original is pretty repetitive too).  Still. not a bad choice to include.

6. SEVENTH HEAVEN

I was so happy they included this song since it was snubbed from “GAME”.  As the B-side from “Polyrhythm”, it was already having a hard time living up to how HUGE that song was.  What we got from SEVENTH HEAVEN was a lighter affair that include some natural elements like acoustic guitar and piano mixed in with Nakata’s arrangement.  It’s a really pleasant song though and leaves me feeling happy and relaxed.  Just a nostalgic song overall, one of my favorites!

7. GAME

I’m loving this tracklist right now, next up is the title track of their 2nd album and boy did it surprise me a lot.  I didn’t know if Perfume could handle a hardcore track, but GAME was just edgy and cool to listen too even if the lyrics are light here.  The arrangement feels like “Electro World” but more refined and yet smooth as well.  It’s a pretty impressive song and still remains a great choice for pumping the crowd up.

8. Secret Secret

As the promotional song for “GAME” it had a lot of hyped up to see how awesome this album could be and Secret Secret did an amazing job doing that!  I mean it’s got everything I love from Perfume with a catchy chorus, epic synth melodies and a high sense of fun.  Nakata really worked up something amazing here and I couldn’t stop listening to this for the longest time.  It’s a hard choice to really find my favorite now hahaha.

9. NIGHT FLIGHT

A similar thing happened with the promotional song from “⊿”.  NIGHT FLIGHT had the right amount of catchiness and wonders that “Secret Secret” had but with a more classy 80’s vibe to it and the fact it kind of had to do with planes was also a nice catch for me.  It’s pretty catchy overall and the bridge towards the end while weird initially, add some roughness which is pretty neat.  Great song!

10. Baby cruising Love

After that line of amazing songs from Perfume we calm down for Baby cruising Love (which is right around the time I joined the fandom) so this song is another personal favorite of mine.  After “Polyrhythm” I figured many were wondering what would be their next move and surprise, surprise, the song was a lighter affair (like “SEVENTH HEAVEN” ironically.  The focus on the piano on top of the synths were a nice touch from Nakata and the trio sounds great (with the exception of the intro).  Still a nice chill song from the group and paired with “Macaroni” was an overall solid single and deserved its praises.

11. Butterfly

You can tell a whole lot of love on this album went to “GAME’s” tracks considering there’s a bunch of them.  Butterfly was an interesting choice because it wasn’t a single, yet it did get a PV.  The tune reminds me of a jungle with the arrangement, the arpeggios from the synths and the percussion that sounded so primal almost.  I LOVED IT!  Add on the smooth vocals from the trio (plus the chorus with the repeating ~butterflyyyyy~.  I kind of wished it was the shorter version used in the PV, but this is still a different kind of Perfume song and I still love how unique it stands out amongst the other hits here.

12. FAKE IT

Which is funny because this release included FAKE IT (which got a PV on this release specifically so it was the promo track for the best).  Being the B-side from “Nee”, FAKE IT is an interesting choice to include.  I do like it being the strong upbeat song for the “JPN” era, but that harsh sounds of the intro give me a headache.  Besides that, I do like the funky riffs and the energy, but those headache-inducing moments push me away.

13. Laser Beam

Wow, Laser Beam still sounds good in my headphones!  This track had a bit more 8bit used in the arrangement here and I couldn’t help but love the way it flowed even if some would call it messy.  The vocals are a bit too whispy for some reason, but the song is still really cool from Nakata’s arrangement.  It might not be the best of the songs on the best album, but it’s a nice A-side.

14. GLITTER

I’m happy they didn’t choose the album mix from “JPN” and stuck with the original B-side from “Spice”.  GLITTER was a song I wasn’t expecting them to release, but I LOVED the arrangement to this one especially the opening…that’s just heaven in my ears and struck me in a good way.  Does have a similar rush like “Laser Beam” but it’s still quite refreshing to listen to.

15. MY COLOR (LTW-Mix)

The other new mix on the album, MY COLOR was an odd choice (because let’s be honest, the “JPN” album songs were quite forgettable).  MY COLOR’s new treatment is nice and the synths are a bit more colorful (ironic) and gives some new life to the song.  Though I will say some of it sounds like it was ripped from “GLITTER” and “Laser Beam”.  Not bad, but still doesn’t help the song much in the long run.

16. Dream Fighter

I do wonder why they chose to end the album with Dream Fighter because it’s another song that kind of is forgotten by many.  To be fair, the song when it first released didn’t strike as something that pushed Perfume, but more kept them on the safe side of things.  I also wasn’t connecting to the new voice filters/auto-tune that was used here.  After a while it did stick on me and the song got better, but it still was no “Secret Secret”.

Tracks Recommended

  • Secret Secret
  • edge (⊿-mix)
  • GLITTER
  • Electro World
  • SEVENTH HEAVEN

Song of Avoidance

  • MY COLOR (LTW-Mix)

LOVE THE WORLD really surprised me with how much of the amazing songs they included (especially going out of their way to include B-sides and album songs at that).  There could’ve been more choices here too (like maybe one or two more songs from “Complete Best”), still a great best album that showcases some of their best hits!