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Perfume – Perfume The Best “P Cubed” October 14, 2019

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 7:07 pm

pcubed

Track Listing

  1. Challenger
  2. Linear Motor Girl
  3. Computer City
  4. Electro World
  5. Perfect Star Perfect Style
  6. Chocolate Disco
  7. Polyrhythm
  8. SEVENTH HEAVEN
  9. Baby cruising Love
  10. Macaroni
  11. GAME
  12. Secret Secret
  13. love the world
  14. edge (⊿-mix)
  15. Dream Fighter
  16. One Room Disco

CD2

  1. NIGHT FLIGHT
  2. I still love U
  3. Fushizen na Girl
  4. Natural ni Koishite
  5. VOICE
  6. Nee
  7. FAKE IT
  8. Laser Beam
  9. Kasuka na Kaori
  10. Spice
  11. MY COLOR
  12. Spring of Life
  13. Spending all my time
  14. Hurly Burly
  15. Mirai no Museum
  16. Daijobanai
  17. Magic of Love (Album-mix)
  18. 1mm

CD3

  1. Party Maker
  2. Sweet Refrain
  3. Cling Cling
  4. Hold Your Hand
  5. DISPLAY
  6. Relax In The City
  7. Pick Me Up
  8. STAR TRAIN
  9. STORY
  10. FLASH
  11. TOKYO GIRL
  12. If you wanna
  13. Everyday
  14. Mugen Mirai
  15. FUSION
  16. Future Pop
  17. Let Me Know
  18. Nananananairo

1. Challenger

Kind of surprising that we only get two new tracks on the best album but for some reason Challenger makes sense to open the album due to its story.  Apparently it’s actually a song Nakata created very early in his career with Perfume.  That of course was brought back to life in this album with a changed arrangement and different lyrics (of course the original never saw light, but y’know what I mean).  I do like the slow, ethereal opening of the song and what not.  It does pick up when the trio enters in and then for some reason it gives me odd Kyarypamyupamyu (almost a little of “Mondai Girl” and “Kira Kira Killer”).  Though I think I can sense a little of something unique about it.  Not bad, but not quite the level of expectation of being one of the new tracks, but it will get a PV soon sooooo…

2. Linear Motor Girl

Then we enter the remainder of the best album being a chronological run through their main songs (with some exceptions) and a couple of fan-chosen tracks.  Going all the way back to 2005, we have our first major label single, Linear Motor Girl which really shows where the group’s roots almost started.  This was also marked as the first time the group worked with Yasutaka Nakata (and has been their producer since).  The tune is pretty cutesy and electronic with its mix guitars, synths, and all the beeps and boops all over making it come off like a video game.  The lyrics are nice if not a little repetitive in sections, but the hook really catches you.  Decent song overall!

3. Computer City

Next up, their 2nd major single Computer City comes in with more of a mature electronic sound that wasn’t as squeaky cute as the previous track could be.  I really do like the feature of acoustic guitar alongside those bass/gritty synths on top of some electric guitars as well.  There’s just something so very sentimental about the mixture of sounds that Nakata was using in this time period that I don’t hear anymore from Nakata’s other works.  It does feel slightly short despite it being 5 minuts long oop.  Still, there’s just something about this cold song that made it better than what “Linear Motor Girl” brought.

4. Electro World

Though I think it all culminated in the 3rd single (which was technically the 6th) for “Perfume ~Complete Best~” as it picked up on the cold nature from “Computer City” and made it hit harder with more electronics and guitars which really caught me off guard.  For an early Perfume song, Electro World was a pretty epic song considering the timing of the release.  Not quite sure how the song’s layout worked since it had like 2 verses, 2 different choruses and just seemed to be all over the map, but like I said, it just somehow worked and I ended up loving this song!

5. Perfect Star Perfect Style

There are a couple songs where I kind of knew they were fan-picked, especially this one since it didn’t have a PV to tie with it.  As the only new track found on “Perfume ~Complete Best~”, Perfect Star Perfect Style kind of set itself apart from all 6 A-sides by being kind of a mixture of their electronic pop side and their earlier feel as an idol group.  If I had to wonder, this kind of fits their “GAME” album curiously enough.  Still, the song is still pretty fun to listen to and I like its straightforward hooks and production.

6. Chocolate Disco

Moving to the songs from the “GAME” era, Chocolate Disco was the first up and it followed pretty closely to “Perfect Star Perfect Style” by being more straightforward but also kind of throwing a bone back to more of their idol-like songs like “Monochrome Effect”.  The tune has a LOT of synths floating around and it helps the song with its repetitive nature and lyrics.  It’s just somehow ridiculously catchy and just a fun time every time it comes on!  Great catchy track!

7. Polyrhythm

As the song that skyrocketed the group into being one of the most popular EDM acts in Japan, Polyrhythm was a huge deal for the group and for me the entry point into the group as they slowly became household names.  I definitely noticed the change of sound for the group as Nakata slowly shifted away from the poppier idol blips in their previous songs to more of a House/Technopop group.  The song itself is just so dreamlike and light and fluffy which is something I hadn’t heard up to that point.  It just felt like their music began to feel more mature and cooler in that respect and for that, Polyrhythm is a legendary song!

8. SEVENTH HEAVEN

Another song I assumed only made this best album due to fan votes, SEVENTH HEAVEN was the B-side from “Polyrhythm” and boy I agree with the fans that it’s such a great song and that leaving it off of “GAME” was a bit of a travesty.  As best as I can describe it, the song is a bit of a dance track mixed with a ballad and while the heavy amount of autotuned/filtering is strange for a song like this, I really dug it and love the return of electric guitar (even though it’s not at the forefront).  It’s a pretty nostalgic track for me and one of my all time favorite songs from them!

9. Baby cruising Love

So they had to follow up “Polyrhythm” somehow and they released a double A-side single with this and “Macaroni”.  Baby cruising Love was more of a mid-tempo electropop tune (somewhere in between the styles of the two previous tracks).  It was slower and featured piano in amongst the synth beats, but the beats had a bit more bite to it.  It’s just another sentimental track and it’s just right as the leading A-side that came after their biggest hit released.

10. Macaroni

Though the other A-side, Macaroni, was more of an interesting tune to me as it switches things up a little bit by going more for a natural approach here (though a lot of the song is still under heaps of electronics) but maybe not the same kind of EDM that flowed through the previous tracks.  I kind of like café feel of the song and the vocals are nice to listen to.  Though I think I end up forgetting this one because unlike many other songs in their first 3 albums, this one never stuck to me too much, but when I do listen to it, it’s just calm and pleasant mid-tempo Perfume and we don’t get too many of those.

11. GAME

I really shouldn’t be surprised to see GAME here since it was also on their last best album as well!  As another fan-chosen song I’m sure, while GAME didn’t get promoted (that was left for “Secret Secret”), this was a powerful song in its own right and it’s one of the group’s more aggressive songs too!  While I do feel like lyrically it does feel a bit empty, it definitely carries itself with it’s buzzing synths and gritty guitar strikes as well.  I still do love this song though and really represents Perfume in their first 3 albums

12. Secret Secret

So the promotional song from “GAME” got the green light too and boy is this one a doozy!  There was just something about it when I first took a listen and it instantly hooked me in.  From the hypnotic clockwork of the opening and the building of the synths to this sparkly and futuristic dance beat that really caught my eye and had me permanently stick with the group.  I don’t think there’s anyone that doesn’t like this song, it was just well-made and just suited Perfume’s sound and I feel like there just won’t be another one like it.  It was just an amazing song all-around.

13. love the world

After how huge “GAME” was for the trio, they had to come back for more to start a new album era up and they kicked it off with love the world.  I feel here that they were once again thrown into this middle line between EDM and idol-pop, but it has an air about it that’s a smidge more classy than before?  From the blips and bloops with the synths and the “Secret Secret” smoothness of the melody and synths, it just made for a nice comeback after their huge album.

14. edge (⊿-mix)

There’s 3 songs on the album that I am curious to why they were added, not because of the song itself but its version.  The first up is edge (the B-side from “love the world” but on this best album, the remix made for the album made the cut (which explains why edge is in front of “Dream Fighter” and “One Room Disco”).  This near 9 minute track is pretty interesting for its time because it was dark and a bit harder than other songs (with the exception of both “Electro World” and “GAME”).  The original I will admit nowadays feels a bit dead, but this new version from the “⊿” album really takes the cake and runs with it because it had sooooo many bells an whistles added that the 9 minutes didn’t make it drag or feel too long.  The song itself is still pretty lit though and the darker mood just works!

15. Dream Fighter

For the first time, I have to say that I was a little bothered by the vocal filters used in Dream Fighter, it kind of made the girls sound a little off and whiny in places which kind of was a no-go for me.  Despite that it took a while to grow on me, Dream Fighter is still kind of one of those songs that just exists for the sake of being an A-side.  I do like the synths and guitars here, but at the same time it kind of falls in the middle for me.

16. One Room Disco

I still get tricked with the intro for this A-side because it’s hard sounding and kind of feels like it would’ve been epic, but it switches gears pretty quickly and turns into a more modern sounding “Chocolate Disco” with included repetition (especially with the song’s title).  I do like the slight 80s feel I get here and the bounce of the track is infectious.  One of the more interesting songs that’s for sure~

CD2

1. NIGHT FLIGHT

As we enter the 2nd disc we kick things off with another fan-voted song in NIGHT FLIGHT (and maybe half-way a promotional song from ““).  At this point, I was deep into being a huge fan of Perfume and hearing this song was just VERY exciting because it was a quicker song for them and the bouncy nature and crazy lyrical and musical hooks really caught my attention.  This really drove the girls intro more of an electro group with such a song and I entirely dug it and still do pretty much!

2. I still love U

Then we get into the actual promotional song from “” and surprisingly it tones things down in comparison to “NIGHT FLIGHT” by getting this almost 80’s synthwave feel about it on top of a slower tempo as well.  I think it’s one of the few times where I do think all the filtering and auto-tune kind of gets in the way of the song, I’m not sure why, but the group somehow sounds rough here.  Still, I do kind of still love the song regardless as it was a change of pace so to speak.

3. Fushizen na Girl

As we get into the “JPN”-era songs, Fushizen na Girl had to really show of if Perfume is changing again and for the most part it really wasn’t a big change-up feeling more like a continuation of their last album.  It gives me a little bit of a fusion of “love the world” and “Dream Fighter” in that sense.  I still did like the groove and just as usual, it’s just a fun song to listen to.

4. Natural ni Koishite

As the secondary A-side to the previous track, Natural ni Koishite was a pretty different song in comparison.  It was a lot lighter than I was expecting feeling almost refreshing in a sort of way.  There was something different with the synths and the happier arrangement just kind of gave me a synthpop Spring-themed track.  While I still prefer “Fushizen na Girl” over it, it’s by no means a bad track…it’s a nice change of pace!

5. VOICE

Although I can’t help but question where Nakata was taking the group because when they released VOICE, I initially had mixed feelings (and still do to this day).  It isn’t as bouncy as “Natural ni Koishite” was, but it had an almost child-like fantasy feel about it that surprised me.  I also noticed the song was lightening up on the vocal effects on the girls a bit though at the same time showing the trio’s more off-sounding vocals.  Plus, the song itself was pretty repetitive (especially towards the end).  I want to like it, but I get tired of it pretty quickly.

6. Nee

Unfortunately, the repetitive nature continues into their next A-side, Nee which they say a LOT in this song.  Though it seems things vocally are better and the arrangement is back to Nakata’s techno beats here with a some nice bass.  If I have to be honest, I tend to forget about this song a LOT when talking about their first 3 albums because while it’s a solid track from them, it doesn’t really leave an impression (other than the repetitive ~nee, nee, nee, nee~).

7. FAKE IT

Definitely a fan-chosen track, FAKE IT was the B-side from “Nee” and it’s another one I sometimes question its popularity, but it’s whatever I suppose.  Personally, I think I feel similar to this as I do about “Nee” that it’s kind of there for me, but not a song that I would call one of their best.  I still dislike that very abrasive intro (that appears a couple more times throughout the tune), but if I ignore that, the tune is fine by me.

8. Laser Beam

At least Perfume kind of hopped back from that slight slump with Laser Beam (which if you remember, their PV was half-recorded initially (because during filming, the big Touhoku earthquake happened and they had to postpone the PV making to release the full one when “JPN” released).  This seem to bring back some feels I got from “” maybe a little bit of “NIGHT FLIGHT”.  I definitely ended up loving the song and it’s just so much fun and yet cool!

9. Kasuka na Kaori

So with all of these songs, getting Kasuka na Kaori seems to be out of left field here since it really was a farcry from just about all of the previous songs prior.  Just from the beginning with the synths and inclusion of piano, the tune was a different kind of track for the trio.  It’s a lighter affair that’s almost mid-tempo in that sense and at the time, I really couldn’t be bothered since it was a departure of their EDM style.  Nowadays, it’s OK, still not one of their more extravagant songs, but it’s light pop colors are noticeable.

10. Spice

As the last A-side to represent the “JPN” album, Spice was a nice return to form again for some reason to me.  When I took my first listen, Spice definitely felt like the group was maturing into a new sound and I for some reason dug this move a lot.  It’s not as progressive like “Nee” and “Fushizen na Girl”, but it’s not boring either.  It’s just a fabulous middle with this one and always puts me in a relaxing mood.

11. MY COLOR

Before I talk about it, I am just a little surprised that “GLITTER” didn’t make the cut considering I thought that was a huge fan favorite.  Anyways, this album track from “JPN” is next and considering there was like only 4 new tracks from that album pickings were quite slim.  MY COLOR is another questionable choice for the album but I think it made sense since this is more straightforward of a song from Nakata.  I kind of like the song because of it and the EDM beats are nice!

12. Spring of Life

With Spring of Life, lots of things changed around.  Perfume changed labels from Tokuma to UNIVERSAL-J was the biggest change mostly, but it feels like their music was going to go through some new changes (though they kept Nakata).  Spring of Life as a song doesn’t quite stretch away from stuff they released back on “JPN” or “GAME”  It’s poppy but electronic-heavy still and yet has an upbeat feel to it.  Yes, I still love that bridge the most out of the song…that was genius-sounding.  It’s a neat song and a great way to kick off the “LEVEL3” era.

13. Spending all my time

As the group’s 2nd A-side from “LEVEL3”, Spending all my time was the change I was expecting when they shifted labels, but it was also when Perfume was going global and really wanted a song to cater to the English-speakers hence why Spending all my time exists.  There’s a LOT of English in the song (seldom there is Japanese in the later half of the song).  I really liked the progressive nature of the song and it’s pretty catchy to say the least, but it could be seen as repetitive too considering most of the songUn is the title itself.  I think I enjoy it more than I did back then, but it’s a simple track.

14. Hurly Burly

What an interesting choice to include this B-side from “Spending all my time” here since while it’s a great song, I didn’t think it’d get the focus or votes to be included.  Hurly Burly is kind of more of the same electro that followed from the A-side, but there’s more variety in the instrumentation and vocals/lyrics here.  I also seem to like the serious glow of the song even if it isn’t the case here.  It’s a pretty solid track from the trio here and I’m kind of happy it made the cut.

15. Mirai no Museum

I really wasn’t expecting their next single to really polarize the fandom so hard as such with Mirai no Museum.  Unlike the other A-side that represented the “LEVEL3” album, this one was just kind of out of left field.  Unlike the EDM-centric vibes, Mirai no Museum goes for more of a synthpop, girlier vibe here and in some ways kind of reminded me of Kyarypamyupamyu’s music.  Unfortunately, it never really caught on with me so it kind of past over my head a bit.

16. Daijobanai

Though I instantly would say I preferred the B-side to “Mirai no Museum” of it because it was more upbeat and frantic-sounding.  I think compared to its A-side, Daijobanai was more fun and the hooks were catchy as all hell and I definitely found myself tapping my foot along to the beat.  Another surprise to see make the cut on the album, I guess the fans really do love this one too!

17. Magic of Love (Album-mix)

I think I’m mostly surprised they pulled the album version from “LEVEL3” instead of using the single version here (and oddly the only one that got this chosen).  Granted with a new intro mostly the difference here with some changes in the arrangement as well, Magic of Love is pretty much similar to the single cut so its fair here.  Not bad here and it’s one of the better A-sides from them.

18. 1mm

CD2 ends off with the promotional song from “LEVEL3” with 1mm and I really loved how this song flowed for sure.  Not too fast, but it doesn’t slog either and the synths really boost the song up for me.  It reminds me a bit of how “I still love U” came out in a similar fashion and I really dug all of it.  It just has such a solid beat to it and the group really put out a powerful song!

CD3

1. Party Maker

How they decided to open the 3rd CD with Party Maker (an album song from “LEVEL3”) is beyond me, but I would say it definitely managed to impress me considering it’s a lengthy song as it is (a little over 7 minutes) and it’s one of those songs that focuses a lot on Nakata’s skills as their producer.  Though the group does appear a lot here which is great!  I really like when the tune builds with Perfume singing their lines the most (the 2nd half of the song is really amazing).  Funny how it’s the only “LEVEL3” song on the disc, but damn does it open this disc in an amazing way!

2. Sweet Refrain

Getting into the songs from “COSMIC EXPLORER”, Sweet Refrain sees Nakata using dubstep a little bit, but keeps the group in more of a poppy light.  At the time, it gave me slight “VOICE” vibes with the brightness of the song, but the piano line and dubstep mix was kind of weird and just made the tune feel a bit dull for me.

3. Cling Cling

I definitely remembered the Chinese-esque MV for this A-side more than I do the song itself, but the song really didn’t hold a heavier candle like it’s album mix from “COSMIC EXPLORER” did so unfortunately the tune wasn’t a song I remember much.  Though coming back to it, the beat-driven chorus was pretty cool and some of the arrangement is nice so I guess it’s not all bad of a song.  Just odd overall.

4. Hold Your Hand

Seems like 2 of the B-sides from “Cling Cling” made the cut and they both had some kind of PV to go with it.  Not quite sure why “MY COLOR” pops up whenever I think about the song, but Hold Your Hand has a little touch of 80s.  Other than that, there really wasn’t much for me to really hang onto as the song just kind of flew over my head but I guess I do like the arrangement a lots.

5. DISPLAY

The other B-side DISPLAY was another one of those songs like “edge” and “Party Maker” where a LOT of the song is focused on Nakata’s arrangement moreso than the group themselves.  I will say the ~fuuuuu~ does sound epic, but leading into the track’s chorus is slightly weak to me.  Still, there’s something about the aggressive nature of the song that works for them.  Not bad though.

6. Relax In The City

I think of their A-side, I seem to always forget how this one went (plus it was way overshadowed by it’s sister A-side, “Pick Me Up”).  It’s kind of similar to both “Kasuka na Kaori” and Hold Your Hand” with how fluffy and light it is, but it lacks a lot of the EDM sound that the aforementioned songs did have.  That said it was a pretty forgettable song from them this time around.

7. Pick Me Up

Like I said, this A-side definitely won me over entirely since “Relax In The City” with it’s harder sound well it’s both hard and soft, pretty back and forth.  Though the chorus was pretty banging to say the least and has a pretty epic feel about it.  I just love the power behind it all yet has the sensitive verses to mix things up with.  It’s just a great song overall and one of the best from the “COSMIC EXPLORER” album.

8. STAR TRAIN

As the last single released before the album released, STAR TRAIN was more like a sentimental lookback at the girls’ careers.  This is kind of what “Relax In The City” was missing here with the electronics.  Though the verses do included drums, piano, and acoustic guitar which is a nice change.  Still, the song isn’t a memorable one for me either for some reason.

9. STORY

As one of the album songs from “COSMIC EXPLORER”, STORY like “edge”, “Party Maker” and “GAME” is ANOTHER Nakata-centric track with not a lot of appearances from the group.  This was another song I questioned why it’s here (especially since there’s 9 songs representing “COSMIC EXPLORER”.  While it’s not a terribly long song, there’s just too much vocal-less parts here and really doesn’t belong here IMHO.

10. FLASH

I’m curious to why FLASH is after “STORY” because this song was released digitally before their album dropped.  Regardless, FLASH seemed to pull Perfume back into some familiar strong territory with a nice build-up and a powerful chorus like what “Hurly Burly” was like.  It’s just has a nice beat and everything about it really works.  Nice song overall!

11. TOKYO GIRL

As we enter the final album era with selections from “Future Pop”, I definitely was already going to frank and say that it is my least favorite album from Perfume unfortunately.  It starts off slowly and I slightly hear the trio with less vocal filters for some reason and I kind of like it.  The chorus is of course the highlight by being upbeat and including those dance beats.  Not bad.

12. If you wanna

I think if there was a song that I felt like could’ve been left out from the A-sides, it would be If you wanna.  I think it tries a little too much to be somewhat Western EDM with the weird drops and dubstep hits and the glitchy vocals all over.  Plus it’s like 2:45 in length which I feel compresses the song further into a mess as well.  Hated this song and still do to this day x.x

13. Everyday

Which the B-side of that single didn’t help to relieve the pain.  Unlike the mess of “If you wanna”, Everyday is hands down a song that probably should’ve stayed in Kyary’s discography as it has the things you would expected.  Maybe, the tune is a bit more tuned down, but the wooden piano and beats and overall sense of style just doesn’t really help much.  I suppose it’s alright and the trio with less filters is always welcoming.  I guess it could grow after more listen.

14. Mugen Mirai

I guess they saved the best for last right?  As the last A-side released prior to “Future Pop”, Mugen Mirai was a totally different ballgame going for more of a soundscape-y feel (up ’til the chorus where the beats drop and it’s HEAVY and I love it so much).  There’s just something calming about those verses that builds into this chorus that make you want to dance.  While it does happen twice, it was just such a different sound for them and this was the move I was hoping for not so much what “If you wanna” did.

15. FUSION

Wow, all of the hard hitting dance tracks made the cut huh?  Yeah, it’s the B-side from “Mugen Mirai” and luckily it’s another shorter one that doesn’t drag itself too bare like some other ones did.  I still wish there was more for the group to do here though, especially since they have LITTE to do here and while Nakata’s tricks are cool here…we already have that in like 4 other songs XD.  Yeah another odd inclusion to say the least.

16. Future Pop

The new get into the album tracks from “Future Pop” with well…the title track.  To be honest, I didn’t remember how it went initially because the album was mostly kind of forgettable.  Though re-listening, it does sound cool enough and I really like the build-up to the main arrangement which is pretty upbeat and cool.  Taking some small feeling from “Mugen Mirai” which was also cool too.  Not bad!

17. Let Me Know

I think having this come last is nice since it’s a bit more relaxing and calming of a song and I really like the arrangement and it’s a mix of sentimental, upbeat, and child-like wonder with this one.  There’s just something about it that really stuck out and I loved that the group chose this to promote the album.

18. Nananananairo

Ending this best album is the other new track (but it was released digitally on its own prior to the release), Nananananairo.  Though listening to the song, I was once again slightly worried because I was getting Kyary vibes out of this song which is a bummer.  Actually it does remind me of “Everyday” in a weird way but not quite as upbeat and cutesy.  That chorus though is a bit weird though…heavy and slightly dubsteppy too…yeah, no thank you.

Tracks Recommended

  • Secret Secret
  • Polyrhythm
  • edge (⊿-mix)
  • Electro World
  • Chocolate Disco

 

  • 1mm
  • Spending all my time
  • NIGHT FLIGHT
  • Fushizen na Girl
  • Spice

 

  • Mugen Mirai
  • Let Me Know
  • Party Maker
  • Pick Me Up
  • DISPLAY

Song of Avoidance

  • Challenger
  • VOICE
  • If you wanna

I didn’t realize it was time again for Perfume to release a best album, but here we are with P Cubed and it’s decent, but maybe slightly off?  I do like that it did included most of the A-sides here (“Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow” strangely omitted).  Though I think they could’ve left some of the fan-voted songs out (or made them all into a separate disc?  There was just some odd choice like “STORY” and “FUSION” and even “Hurly Burly” but yet there was no “GLITTER” to be found (but at the same time this release mostly made their last best album, “LOVE THE WORLD” almost unnecessary and obsolete.  Also, only 2 new songs is pretty disappointing hen there’s quite a number of unreleased tracks yet to have physical form…that was a missed opportunity honestly.  Still, you can’t go wrong with this release and it is jam packed of favorites, I just hope Nakata isn’t trying to make them Kyary clones because their recent music has been less than favorable to me…

Oh yeah, I hadn’t mentioned but all of the songs (except the new tracks) were remastered on the release and some songs have gotten better with it and some not-so-much.  I personally only caught it a couple times with stuff like “Linear Motor Girl”, “Mugen Mirai”, and “edge”.  Like I said subtle changes it feels like for most of the songs.

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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…

 

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!