Album review: Perfume - Game

Album review: Perfume - Game | Random J Pop

Electro pop is hot all over the world right now, even in the far east region of the world in lil' old Japan. So the electro pop princesses from Hiroshima that are 'Perfume' couldn't have dropped their album at a better time. Perfume are not to be compared to many groups in the West. It's not about the vocals or that killer pop record with the hook that stays in your head for days. It's about seductive manufactured electro pop that folk can step to and in some cases take drugs to. Let's admit it. Electro pop is pretty trippy! Vocal performances take a back seat to the pulsating bass lines, synth lines and digital blips which echo from speaker to speaker - and Perfume have delivered an album that has this to the eyeballs.

The album kicks off with "Polyrhythm". A hot track and a great start to the album with it's uplifting melody and Summer vibe. It sets the tone of the album pretty well, as from here on out Game takes listeners on a ride of infectious electro pop beats with sickly sweet vocals and slick production that never fails to bore. "Game" has things turning edgy and incredibly Daft Punk-esque with its mix of electro synths, vocoders and live instrumentations. "Baby cruising love" steps up with its hand claps, finger snaps and piano driven melody. With a sound so sweet and light on the ears it could easily be an ending theme for an anime or a video game. It's also one of the few songs on the album where some form of raw, genuine emotion is evoked through the music itself - as opposed to just being a good song to get you dancing. "Take me, take me" is wonderfully seductive with its simplistic beat and ethereal chorus. With a title like "Take me, take me" the song had no choice but to be seductive! It's hard to listen to this song and not want to work a shoulder or tap a foot. Those who dug Janet Jackson's "Rock with U" may like this song, as it's similar in its vibe. You can dance to it, kick back to it and knock a headboard to it if the opportunity arises.

The production on the album is extremely polished. Nakata Yasutaka showcases his producing chops well on Game, as every song is composed so tightly and sound great up loud. He also does a great job of breaking up the monotony, something which plagues many electro pop and techno fused songs. Whether it's with chord changes or top mixing - songs stay fresh from start to finish. It's a shame the same can't be said for Perfume's vocals, which leave a great deal to be desired. There's no personality to their vocals and this is what ruins most of the album for me. The vocals cause the songs to feel empty and hollow. Most of the time it sounds like a computer singing and not an actual person due to the girls being so heavily vocoded and auto tuned. It's noticeable to the point where you wonder why there's a girl group fronting the sound when the vocals could really those of anybody, or recited by text to speech software. Those who've bought into Perfume's music from the start will know that this is how it goes down with them. But those new to this kind of music may be put off by the lack of vocal enthusiasm. It's a bit of a shame, as the music is so catchy, that in the hands of a songwriter who can pen a catchy hook and a solid vocalist - you'd have songs with hooks that would ring in your head for ages. "Secret secret" feels like it's wasted as its instrumental hook is just begging for a catchy vocal hook. I know somewhere the likes of Kylie Minogue is angry at her A&R man for not getting her the beats Perfume were graced with for their album.

If you don't mind disconnected electro pop and techno, then you'll like this album. But if you like something with more to it, then you'll find these songs lack too much person-ability for your tastes. But for what it is, and those who are into this kind of music - it's a solid album. Perfume fans will not be disappointed. My love of electro pop and all things Daft Punk-esque is what has me really liking this album more than I thought I would. Definitely my guilty pleasure.

RATING: 6 / 10

Album highlights:
■ Polyrhythm
■ Game
■ Baby cruising love
■ Macaroni
■ Take me, take me
■ Secret secret ★ J's fave
■ Butterfly

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