Tag Archives: japanese pop

Album: Perfume – “Level3” (2013)

It’s finally here, and I’ve been keeping hold of this one for a few weeks now. Perfume are one of my newest joys, and I didn’t want to file away their first new studio album in 2 years without giving it plenty of time.

Perfume_-_LEVEL3The buzz might have died down a little since July when I went to their first London gig, and it might be a while since I gave their back catalogue a good listen (see reviews for “Game“, “Triangle“, “JPN“, “Fan service Prima Box” and “Complete Best“). But I’ve enjoyed the singles in the run-up to the album’s release, so I still had high hopes. Continue reading

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Album: Ayumi Hamasaki – “Next Level” (2009)

Wow, it has taken me a LONG time to get this far into Ayumi’s back catalogue. I think it’s just hard to write a lot about J-Pop albums, I don’t understand anything they are singing, so I’m just relying on my limited musical vocabulary. Don’t expect much change there then, whoops!

But here we are, I think this is the first Ayumi’s album I really knew nothing about, and seems to be a return to more of her style that I like. I suppose fairly generic EDM might not be everyone’s cup of green tea but you can’t have everything. I think my loonship had sailed by this point, but as such a formerly huge commercial force (and still racking up #1s) it’s certainly worth keeping up to date.

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Album: Perfume – “Complete Best” (2006)

This is probably a review best served with my other review of “Fan Service Prima Box“, as there is a fair amount of overlap. I’m not going to talk about songs I’ve already reviewed, so I will look at the remains of the “Complete Best” collection. The album attempted to summarise the girls’ career to date, who were yet to release a full studio album.

perfume complete bestReleasing a steady stream of singles through the first half of the 00’s, Perfume were ready to start consolidating their fanbase. Debut album “Game” was still a few years away, but they had a strong selection of songs to their name. The collection didn’t really take off in Japan, and indeed it only reached its chart peak when “Game” was released. Either way, I do love a lot of the songs on here. Continue reading

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Album: Perfume – “Fan Service ~ Prima Box” (2008)

I don’t want to run out of things to discover when it comes to my new favourite J-pop band Perfume, but after going to their gig in London, I immediately wanted to hear any other music I could find beyond their three studio albums. Fortunately, they have treated the fans well, and three compilation albums have been released. There is some overlap here, so for now I will start with a nice manageable piece.

perfume fan service prima boxReleased shortly before their 2008 debut studio album “Game“, “Fan Service ~ Prima Box” compiles together three singles released in the band’s early days in 2003 & 2004. Four of the tracks had already had a re-release as part of the “Perfume: Complete Best” album in the previous year, but I thought doing it this way would split the 16 collective tracks neatly in half. Continue reading

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Gig review: Perfume, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 5 July 2013

Well I’ve never been to anything quite like that… true, I am free to throw out hyperbole like it’s going out of fashion because I really haven’t been to a mid-sized gig before, but don’t let that fool you. Perfume – one of Japan’s biggest pop/dance acts – took the unusual step of taking their “World Tour 2nd” to Europe for the first time, something practically unheard of with acts of their standing.

BObkdEYCEAElvxF.jpg largeTrue, why would they bother? The British charts’ involvement with Asian-language music begins and ends with Psy, so why not just stick to their power base? Indeed their first ‘world tour’ was a little more local – Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan & Singapore. But still they managed to sell out the 2,000 capacity O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire with adoring fans. So much so that the Empire was an upgraded venue after the O2 Academy Islington sold out in a flash. Continue reading

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