Perfume – Fushizen na Girl / Natural ni Koishite

April 26, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Posted in Perfume | 4 Comments
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The cover of the regular edition

Fushizen na Girl / Natural ni Koishite (不自然なガール/ナチュラルに恋して) is Perfume’s 15th single and it was released on April 14, 2010. The single reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 80,871 copies.

I love this cover. Stylish bitches. ♥

♦ ♦ ♦

It’s been a while since ⊿ and the girls are back with 2 new songs. The first is Fushizen na Girl, a song that mixes technopop synthesizers with flat percussion beats. I liked the lounge club undertones in the music as well. The chorus is what stood out for me because it’s pretty catchy. Overall, I thought it was a good song.

I prefered the other A-side Natural ni Koishite though. The arrangement is eccentric thanks to upbeat synth and funky popping sounds, giving this song a more energetic feel. The vocals are ethusiastic compared to the first track since I thought they sounded kind of bland.

Pros: Both tracks are nicely done but Natural ni Koishite was the better of the two.
Cons: Fushizen na Girl was lacking in some areas. There was no “oomph” to make it stand out that much.

BASICALLY…a balanced single! I can’t say the same about the ⊿ singles.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Fushizen na Girl (不自然なガール)
2. Natural ni Koishite (ナチュラルに恋して)
3. Fushizen na Girl -Original Instrumental-
4. Natural ni Koishite -Original Instrumental-

Perfume – ⊿

August 8, 2009 at 8:22 PM | Posted in Perfume | 1 Comment
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The cover of the regular edition

is Perfume’s 2nd studio album and it was released on July 8, 2009. The album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 299,544 copies. For those who are confused about the title, it’s simply just “Triangle” if you said it out loud. ;D

♦ ♦ ♦

Starting off the album is a short track that is only about 50 seconds long, but Take off is a sleek instrumental that gets you ready for what’s to come. I liked that it features the girls “counting down” to 0 as it transitions into the first full-length song.

That song happens to be the perky and overly cute love the world, the first single released for the album. Back when I reviewed the song as a single, I stated that it was “less electronic and more pop”. I still stand by what I said but irregardless, it’s a nice song. The music is upbeat, catchy, and has a memorable hook.

Dream Fighter is my least favorite of the A-sides but on the album it’s a great follow up to the pop sound heard in love the world. I do like it a little bit more now though since it has a nice pace and rhythm. The vocals aren’t bad either.

All I can say about the new mix of edge is HOLY SHIT. I love that the song has been retouched and everything about the music has been pumped up to the next level. The beats are stronger, the synth is more aggressive, and those instrumental sections have extra sound effects. Basically, this is a new take on the song’s extended version and it’s nearly 9 minutes long, but I was loving every second. The original and extended version were both on the love the world single.

A whole slew of new tracks are up next! NIGHT FLIGHT was one of the album’s 2 promotional songs and it features a spacy, futuristic sound. I liked the fast paced, yet smooth vocals and they go well with the constant beeps and synth lines. The lyrics make a night flight / have a nice flight from the chorus are pretty infectious as well.

The next track is funky and showcases an offbeat arrangement. Despite being one of the album’s shortest songs at under 3 minutes, Kiss and Music is a nice treat. The tempo is slower compared to the previous tracks but the music has a pleasant lounge club vibe. It left me wanting more though.

Zero Gravity seems to add upon the lounge atmosphere heard in Kiss and Music. Once again, the arrangement is reserved to say the least but there are prominent synth riffs that make up the short instrumental sections. I wasn’t a big fan of the vocals in this track though. The girls sound especially shrilly here; the chorus being the most noticable part.

The other promotional song for the album was I still love U and it marks a return to a strong electronic sound. I really liked the “broken” effect of the synth and it has a scattered, yet sharp sensibility to it. The arrangement also reminded me of that always cool 8-bit video game sound, but with a modern twist. In the end, this song was a personal favorite of mine.

It gets better with The best thing, a cheery song with more enthusiastic vocals. The girls do sound less stoic in this track and they compliment the considerably brighter arrangement. Naturally, I liked the chorus the most but I also thought it was cool that the ending of this song transitions seamlessly into the next.

Almost every Yasutaka Nakata produced album has one of these songs. I like to call it the ~glorified instrumental~. In Speed of Sound, there is no singing but rather, the girls are “reciting” the lyrics. Alongside upbeat synth and dance beats, the girls are just saying the words (which are in English) without any emphasis. Still, I thought the music was pretty cool.

Without a doubt, One Room Disco is my favorite song on the album. I seriously love this track way too much and in all honesty, this is the first Perfume song that I have gone crazy over since Polyrhythm. While I think the entire song is incredibly fun and catchy, I absolutely love the ending when those awesome drum beats come in.

Ending the album is a new mix of Negai, the B-side from the Dream Fighter single. This is the closest thing to a ballad that you’ll hear from Perfume and I really liked the way it got reworked. The beginning now has piano and strings included and you occasionally hear them next to the gritty beats when the girls are singing. The ending is also different and the song closes with extra beats and strings instead of just a lone piano. Overall, it’s an improvement over the original.

While I was a fan of Perfume’s debut studio album GAME, I have to say that ⊿ is a lot better. Even though GAME had better A-sides, it began to lose steam around the 2nd half. However, I never seemed to lose interest when I listened to this album. It’s very consistent and well rounded from beginning to end. Plus, all of the new tracks have something going for them (unlike the majority of GAME‘s new tracks). I especially enjoyed NIGHT FLIGHT, I still love U, and The best thing. The new mixes of edge and Negai were very welcome additions as well. Perfume, or should I say Yasutaka Nakata, really brought it home this time and this is one of my favorite albums of 2009 thus far.

Overall Rating

 4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Take off
2. love the world
3. Dream Fighter
4. edge (⊿-mix)
5. NIGHT FLIGHT
6. Kiss and Music
7. Zero Gravity
8. I still love U
9. The best thing
10. Speed of Sound
11. One Room Disco (ワンルーム・ディスコ)
12. Negai (Album-mix) (願い)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

Perfume – One Room Disco

April 13, 2009 at 8:00 AM | Posted in Perfume | 4 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. One Room Disco (ワンルーム・ディスコ)
2. 23:30
3. One Room Disco -Original Instrumental-
4. 23:30 -Original Instrumental-

This is Perfume’s 9th major label single (14th overall) and it was released on March 25, 2009. The single reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 88,075 copies.

I think One Room Disco is Perfume’s best A-side in recent memory. It has the “cute” factor of previous tracks but still delivers a good amount of aggressive synth and beats. It helps that the song is extremely catchy and I like the “deisuko deisuko” parts (they get stuck in my head from time to time lol). The chorus is also a fun highlight, especially near the end when there are cool drum beats. Overall, this is a great track.

However, the B-side is BORING. The girls should stick to electropop because 23:30 is a snoozefest. I mean, I sort of like the bossanova lounge club and bass sound that’s going on in the music, but it just doesn’t work out for a group like a Perfume. In layman’s terms, the vocals simply don’t match the atmosphere of the music. This song would probably be better if it was performed by someone else, but that’s just me.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Perfume – Dream Fighter

December 1, 2008 at 8:47 PM | Posted in Perfume | 3 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Dream Fighter
2. Negai (願い)
3. Dream Fighter -Original Instrumental-
4. Negai -Original Instrumental-

This is Perfume’s 8th major label single (13th overall) and it was released on November 19, 2008. The single reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 84,153 copies.

Perfume presents another cute techno track with Dream Fighter. Compared to the group’s previous single love the world, this song features more synth and a heavier dance sound with an overall arrangement that isn’t as pop. The girls showcase stronger vocals as well, especially during the chorus (my favorite part of the song). However, I don’t find it as catchy or as memorable like love the world though. Perhaps Dream Fighter will grow on me, but at the moment I only think of it as “okay”.

The B-side is pretty interesting. Negai is probably one of the most laid back songs from the group and the music has this relaxing lounge club feel to it. The same goes for the vocals too. There is still a good use of synth but it incorporates some percussion with those blaring beats in the background. The ending is radically different though and I loved how the song closes with just a simple piano.

Overall Rating

3 stars

Perfume – love the world

August 6, 2008 at 1:52 PM | Posted in Perfume | 3 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. love the world
2. edge
3. love the world -original instrumental-
4. edge -extended mix-

This is Perfume’s 7th major label single (12th overall) and it was released on July 9, 2008. The single reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 135,117 copies.

Following the success of Perfume’s first studio album GAME, the girls quickly follow it up with a new single! Honestly, I thought that love the world was kind of a downgrade compared to most of the material on GAME since it’s less electronic and more pop. It reminded me a lot of the group’s earlier Yasutaka Nakata produced songs because the music has a more cutesy sound but it still maintains a steady beat with light synth. The upbeat chorus is pretty catchy though. The trademark distorted vocals always remain present too.

The B-side was definitely more to my liking. “Edgy” is the perfect word to describe edge, a penetrating techno track with awesome synth riffs and more assertive vocals. The music really stands out and the girls can really pull off these more serious electronic songs quite well too. I hope they keep it up with their next single.

After the instrumental of love the world is the extended mix of edge. It’s 2 minutes longer than the original 6 and a half minute version but I did like those longer instrumental sections. It’s a nice addition to the single and I didn’t even notice those extra 2 minutes. The extended mix just seemed to fly on by without being too boring as well.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Perfume – GAME

June 28, 2008 at 7:16 PM | Posted in Perfume | 6 Comments
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The cover of the limited edition

GAME is Perfume’s first studio album and it was released on April 16, 2008. The album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 386,920 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

I thought that Polyrhythm was the perfect opening track for this album since it’s the group’s most popular song and it shows off a strong electropop sound. The song is the first of many fun and bouncy tracks that were all produced by Yasutaka Nakata. As you all know, he’s the mastermind behind this album.

The first new track is plastic smile and it quickly begins with distorted vocals followed by fast, bumping beats. I liked the cute vocals in this song, especially during the ad libbing sections where quick electric synth lines occur.

The album’s title track, GAME. was very surprising because of the deep and heavy synth that serve as the opening. This is perhaps the most “hardcore” song that the group has performed because it so aggressive with its overall arrangement. The vocals are few and far between and sometimes tend to get drowned out by the sheer loudness of the music. Aside from that, this song is awesome!

The slower and less chaotic Baby cruising Love is next. Along with Macaroni, it’s one of the more organic sounding songs on the album because of its use of piano. The electronic influences are still there but are toned down.

Something so repetitive has never sounded so good. Chocolate Disco is painfully simple with its lyrics but they so catchy when the chorus arrives…all two words! Once again, the music features deep bass synth in the background but with looping beeps as well.

The most unique song on the album is probably the jazzy Macaroni. It features a pop arrangement where the percussion takes center stage and the vocal manipulations are put to a minimum. The song is definitely reminiscent of the group’s earlier works which were more pop oriented.

Things being to pick up again with Ceramic Girl, a song that is similar to plastic smile. It’s very upbeat and the girls’ vocals have never sounded better. The music has a danceable rhythm to it and I really liked the instrumental sections that include quick synth riffs with distorted vocals chanting “ceramic girl”.

Take me Take me is an interesting song. It’s slower, yet still predominately electronic with the random beeps and it’s completely in English. Unfortunately, the lyrics are really repetitive and the girls mostly repeat the line Take me tonight and slight variations of that phrase. Being over 5 minutes in length, it starts to drag towards the middle.

Secret Secret is another interesting song, but in a different way. The sounds heard in it are far out and spacey, making it stand out compared to the rest of the album. What stood out the most for me were the elongated instrumental sections because they featured a wide array of notes, all done with cool synth of course. The chorus is catchy as well and I liked the harmony between the girls when they sang it.

The next track is odd because it uses electronic sounds to create a natural sounding atmosphere. The synth in Butterfly is strange with its constant overlapping and the girls are constantly repeating the word “butterfly”. This song is honestly hard to describe but it sounds quite ethereal.

Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow is more of a dance club song and the way it opens is great. It starts off a little slow then gradually accumulates to the fast paced chorus. The elongated “la la la” parts in the song still bother me though.

The final track has a somewhat chaotic introduction thanks to the random acoustics and percussion but it quickly smooths out when the vocals begin. I think what makes Puppy love a great ending is the “feel good” atmosphere of the music and the cute chorus. It was also nice to end the album on a upbeat note too.

I was pleasantly surprised when I first listened to GAME because I wasn’t expecting it to be all that great. Instead I was presented with a really solid album with a nice amount of high quality tracks. Compared to Perfume’s first album, the Perfume ~Complete Best~ compilation album, GAME is a much more electronic record. The only major gripe that I have with the album is that some of the tracks are too repetitive and just dragged on without any hooks. Take me Take me and Butterfly are the biggest offenders but it’s only those 2 songs that I had the most problems with. The album as a whole is a great listen and it’s a lot of fun. I recommend it!

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Polyrhythm (ポリリズム)
2. plastic smile
3. GAME
4. Baby cruising Love
5. Chocolate Disco (チョコレイト・ディスコ)
6. Macaroni (マカロニ)
7. Ceramic Girl (セラミックガール)
8. Take me Take me
9. Secret Secret (シークレットシークレット)
10. Butterfly
11. Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow
12. Puppy love

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

Perfume – Baby cruising Love / Macaroni

May 22, 2008 at 8:20 PM | Posted in Perfume | 5 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Baby cruising Love
2. Macaroni (マカロニ)
3. Baby cruising Love (Instrumental)
4. Macaroni (Instrumental)

This is Perfume’s 6th major label single (11th overall) and it was released on January 16, 2008. The single reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 65,297 copies.

The first track, Baby cruising Love, leans more towards mainstream pop while still having Perfume’s trademark computerized vocals. The electronic parts of the song are toned down and are mostly featured in the background through deep bass riffs and thumping beats. However, the piano arrangement is the most noticable aspect of the song and it has a prominent presence. Compared to Chocolate Disco and Polythythm, this song is a little slower paced.

Up next is a unique song from this group in terms of musical style. Devoid of the electronic pop that the girls normally do, Macaroni has an organic and jazzy sound from the drums and piano…until the end at least with some synth appears. There are still vocal manipulations during the chorus, but the verses are free of them. I thought this song was on the same level as Baby crusing Love; both songs were relaxing, had good rhythm, and had their catchy moments.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Perfume – Polyrhythm

May 12, 2008 at 9:38 PM | Posted in Perfume | 5 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Polyrhythm (ポリリズム)
2. SEVENTH HEAVEN
3. Polyrhythm -extra short edit-
4. Polyrhythm ~Original Instrumental~
5. SEVENTH HEAVEN ~Original Instrumental~ 

This is Perfume’s 5th major label single (10th overall) and it was released on September 12, 2007. The single reached #7 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 73,207 copies.

This is the song that put Perfume on the map! Polyrhythm was the first song I heard by the group and I really liked the fresh sound it presented. Accompanied by sweeping synth riffs and wispy vocals, the song opens with solo lines from each girl as the beats in the background become more prevalent. This accumulates into an insanely catchy and easily recognizable chorus. The looping poririzumu and poriruupu sequence of the bridge was annoying at first, but I easily got over it after multiple listens (this might not be the case for others though). I thought the “recycling old love to find a new one” concept in the lyrics was cool too.

The B-side combines organic and synthetic sounds to create a lovely arrangement. SEVENTH HEAVEN has pleasant piano chords that mix nicely with dance beats and lower pitched bass. I especially liked the parts where the piano played a larger role during the song’s quieter parts. All of these elements go well with the girls’ computerized vocals.

If you didn’t like the repetitiveness of Polyrhythm‘s bridge, then the extra short edit is perfect. This version gets rid of that sequence and goes right into the second verse instead. Despite the bridge being removed, you still get the best parts of the song and also in a better, more compact form.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Perfume – Fan Service [sweet]

April 28, 2008 at 4:17 PM | Posted in Perfume | 5 Comments
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Tracklisting
1. Chocolate Disco (チョコレイト・ディスコ)
2. Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow

This is Perfume’s 4th major label single (9th overall) and it was released on February 14, 2007. The single reached #31 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 9,214 copies.

For those who aren’t familar with the group Perfume; they are 3 girls whose music is produced by Yasutaka Nakata from capsule. Since this is Nakata I’m talking about, be prepared for computerized vocals with really fun electropop music.

The first track is the incredibly infectious Chocolate Disco. Opening with electronic beeps and echoes, the song stays at a very lively pace. Even though the chorus is really repetitive and the girls just say “chocolate disco” (it’s more like CHOKOREITO DEISUKO) over and over, it’s what makes the song so catchy. I’ve have gotten the melody stuck in my head on various occasions because of its simplicity.

Originally released digitally in December 2006, Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow makes an appearance as the 2nd track. It’s not as upbeat as Chocolate Disco, but it still a grooving song. The beats are a little stronger and have a dance club vibe to them. The vocals can get a just a little annoying at times and the electronic distortions aren’t really helping.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

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