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Album Review: Perfume - Game

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Producer Nakata Yasutaka seems to have cornered the market on hard-hitting pop groups that feature razor sharp and upfront bass-lines, earsplitting percussion and heavily robotized girly vocals. He's the mad-scientist behind not only the ultra chic Capsule, but also the new MEG sound, Coltemonikha and today's subject in question, Perfume.

Yasutaka has done a thing of genius in crafting his particular strain of dance music. He's managed to make purely fabricated pop vocals the main feature of his music, removing the final pesky variable from the equation. It's OK that they sound absolutely fake and overly processed. Gone are the days of disco divas belting out their soulful lyrics. Now it's just fine that the voices are absolutely devoid of emotion and nuance. The astounding popularity of the Vocaloid software, basically a cute Japanese singing girl in a box, only goes to show the total acceptance of this new ghost in the machine. Real singers are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Producers no longer have to deal with real, living and breathing human beings. They are free to remain in isolation, creating their own special world in their own image.This may all seem a bit off the beaten path for a humble album review. I'll admit to that. The point is that in Perfume, Yasutaka has created a musical group that he has absolute control over, and it shows. The music on the new Perfume album Game shows an obsessive dominance over its content. The trio of voices contributed by young Kashiyuka, Nocchi, and A~chan are not only stripped of emotion, but are so mechanically pitch and tempo perfect as to be just another factory setting on Yasutaka's keyboard.

That's not to say the songs aren't great. If you're looking for head-bobbing, booty-shaking tracks full of glittery melody, you'll find no better. While the songs on Game all blend perfectly into one another, none standing out above the others, they are also a delight to listen to. The sameness of each track and their crystalline production never tires the ear like one might expect. There are certainly a number of up-beat dance tracks, like the openers "Polyrhythm," the lightweight "Plastic Smile" and heavy hitting "Game." The happy-smiley stuff greatly outweighs the down-tempo breaks, but "Baby Cruising Love," "Macaroni," "Take Me Take Me" and the album closer "Puppy Love" do offer up a nice contrast to the otherwise unrelenting cyber-dancefloor atmosphere. It's these dips and swings that manage to make Game actually listenable as an album and not just carbon-copy single after single, which it could very easily could have been.

This is the second album from Perfume, and it's starting to become difficult to see what more they can do as a group. Yasutaka has a voracious appetite for young female singers, and he shows no qualms with jumping from one to the next. Perfume seems to be his major focus for now, but the pop audience can be fickle. If Perfume doesn't start expanding their sound, maybe moving out of the cyber-dance cage Yasutaka has built up around them into, say, more real-world territory, their remaining time may be limited. Then again, there will always be those little boxes full of cyber girls ready to pounce, and plenty of bedroom producers willing to bring them to life.

Secret Secret


Polyrhythm


Chocolate Disco


Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow


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reviewed by Zac Bentz

 

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Zac Bentz
Zac Bentz   gamer profile


 



Filed under... #music #reviews #video

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