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Japanator (can't) Recommend: Perfume - Triangle

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It's tough to listen to Triangle (officially "▵" but that's too much like the whole Prince name thing) for more than 30 seconds without crushing boredom setting in. Of course that's exactly the point and purpose of all that Perfume represents. Even their name suggests that a brief whiff is better than a deep and prolonged inhalation. To fill your lungs is to drown.

That's not to say that there aren't a few things here and there to grab onto, only that much of the Triangle landscape is compressed and normalized into a smooth, featureless surface. (Actually, there are exactly two attention grabbers, the hard hitting and slightly strange "Edge" and super smooth and delightfully retro "Night Flight.") The group's signature robotic Auto-Tune style is, of course, in full effect and is the largest contributing factor to the aforementioned boredom. The three girls are completely robbed of any of their own personality. There is nothing human or personal in their performances. They are not human girls, they are pure fantasy. There isn't a single word on Triangle that came from a human throat. They are the Hello Kitty of the pop music world, a blank canvas on which their fans can project whatever personal, inner fantasy they may want to believe.

[more trash-talk and video clips after the jump] 

Of course Perfume isn't entirely to blame for the onslaught of fake pop that has surged to prominence in recent years. Indeed the true evil here is the software package called Vocaloid. This is the same sort of text to speech tech seen on computers everywhere, only with the ability to alter the pitch and tempo. That's really all it is, yet the software has given birth to the biggest fake singer in history, Hatsune Miku, a real-world Sharon Apple. It is the idolization of this carbon-copy singing style that has allowed for equally fake groups like Perfume to become massive hits, much to the delight of major label execs everywhere, no doubt. Quite literally anyone with a computer can create a group like Perfume overnight, and at little to no expense. Add in digital distribution and it's nothing but profit all the way down.

As long as you're not looking for originality, complexity or any sign of a nail sticking up above the rest, you'll find a lot to love with Perfume. Really, this is pop music, not exactly the place to be looking for visionary song-writing or subtlety. When you have only a few seconds to grab someone during a TV commercial or while they shop in the local strip mall, you've got to go for the feel-good, toe tapping beat and little else. That's exactly what you get with Perfume. A beat, but no pulse.

You can buy the new Perfume album Triangle at CDJapan and AmazonJP.

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reviewed by Zac Bentz

 

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Zac Bentz
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Filed under... #Idols #Japanator Recommends #music #reviews #video

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