Perfume – GAME – 4/5
I have already alluded to the fact I probably should have listened to this before the ‘Aira Mitsuki,’ last reviewed, but in truth I entered this with fairly low expectations; an album by a big name artist chosen only because the only track of theirs I knew and liked happened to be on it. If this trio of pop singers could get together, bounce around a bit and give me something cute and catchy then I would consider myself pretty satisfied with their offering, but not only have they delivered this by the bundle, they’ve exceeded it.
In its opening with the previously mentioned ‘Polyrhythm,’ combining gentle melodies with the catchiest polyrhythmic chorus line known to man; it is this sense of forward thinking and ability to challenge themselves and think outside the box that sets the pace for the rest of the album. The vocals feel at least as much of an instrument as the electronic backing, combining smooth lines with semi-rapped tones, bouncy and frenetic or slow and melodic, creating a variety of styles and yes, it may be artificially produced and lacking in emotional depth, but they aren’t overproduced to the extent of unlistenable artificiality.
I didn’t go into this release hoping for something heartfelt, I can’t understand the lyrics either way, and with everything pitch-perfect it results in another instrument to be harnessed in the composition of a catchy track; which should be the intention of the release. And yes, everything manages to come together in a curiously addictive manner, the bouncy and boisterous backing and ultimately danceable rhythms that never fail to get you moving, but all the cuteness in the world couldn’t convince me that this was anything special.
The cherry on this delightfully adorable cake is the actual compositions themselves; simple and yet at no point feeling repetitive, doing more than simply repeating themselves for an entire track or – god forbid – an entire album. In fact, the startling variety in tone, style and pace between tracks is both a blessing and a curse as whilst it keeps things feeling fresh and interesting, leaves the release feeling disjointed; as though a mere collection of singles that sadly loses strength towards the end. And yet even with this issue, there are artists that would love to have a ‘greatest hits’ release of this this high a standard. It’s electropop Jim, but not as we know it.
Highlights: Polyrhythm, GAME, チョコレイト・ディスコ, Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow