Product code: TKCA-73086/73167
Release date: 2006.08.02
Highest Ranking: #33
Label: Tokuma Japan
Limited Edition: DVD
Perfume is a group made up of three girls: Nocchi (Oomoto Ayano), A-chan (Nishiwaki Ayaka), and Kashiyuka (Kashino Yuka). While most girl groups are formed by auditions or idol companies, Perfume is unique in that it was actually formed by the girls themselves in their hometown of Hiroshima when they were only twelve. In 2002, they were going the direction of a conventional girl group and released two idol-pop genre singles in their hometown.
In 2003, the entire group relocated to Tokyo, where they were picked up by Nakata Yasutaka of electronic duo capsule. He started producing their songs and gave the group their decidedly electronic sound. They released three singles on an indie label before being signed to a major label. Their music had a distinct electronic style, which they matched with fun synchronized choreography for all their performances.
In 2006, they released their first album, “Perfume ~Complete Best~” that collected their previous singles and many b-sides, with one original song, along with a DVD containing the promotional videos of their three major label singles and one indie single. The album was re-released in a regular edition (although still with DVD) in 2007.
1. Perfect Star Perfect Style
The album starts off very acoustically – piano only, standard drum beat – before the electronic kicks in. “Perfect Star Perfect Style” is the only new original song on the album. It has a cheerful and melodic tune – it’s a great introduction song to perfume.
2. Linear Motor Girl
“Linear Motor Girl” was their first major-label single, and is also the first out of the trio of singles often regarded by fans as a trinity of Perfume’s great techno songs. It starts off with numerous, numerous repetitions of the phrase linear motor girl. The song itself features a lot of blips and beeps and sounds fun. The song sounds somewhat monotone, like Perfume is chanting their lyrics rather than singing it, and while the chorus is better, it just consists of three words repeated over and over.
3. Computer City
“Computer City” is a great improvement; it starts off with vocals only before it dives into a heavy beat. Although some parts turn a little monotone, most of the song remains catchy and melodic.
4. Electro World
Rounding off the trio, the album mix of “Electro World” starts with a haunting chord; that ethereal feeling carries over the whole song. The backing track mixes techno with rock instruments, and despite the strong track the girls’ voices carry both strength and delicacy. Even though it’s electropop, you can hear some emotion within the song; this is definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album.
“Inryoku” is a charming little song – it is light and features simple synth lines that sound like they come straight out of again, mixed with little spurts of twinkles here and there. Tune wise, it’s not that memorable, but it’s not a bad song.
6. Monochrome Effect
“Monochrome Effect” was an indies single; it’s a pretty good song. It has a catchy tune and a memorable chorus balanced with a light and danceable tune. It’s not as electronic-based as the preceeding songs, which might account for the vocals in the song sounding almost dispirited until the chorus parts, but it is enjoyable.
7. Vitamin Drop
“Vitamin Drop” was also an indies single, and like “Monochrome Effect,” is not as electronic as their techno songs, but it manages to not sound boring. The song is musically not that special, and is not too memorable, but it has a cute atmosphere and a nice tune.
8. Sweet Donuts
After the previous few songs, “Sweet Donuts” significantly ups the energy level. The song, yet another indies single, has the sugary energy of its name. Many fans enjoy the song, but I find that the tune is not actually that memorable despite the catchy chorus and sounds a bit rushed and frantic sometimes.
“Foundation” is slower and more mellow than the other songs. The tune is not that great, and that makes the song just another one that blends into the album.
10. Computer Driving
Once again, energy is increased. “Computer Driving” has the atmosphere of “Vitamin Drop” but with a much more melodic tune; it’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s a fun song and enjoyable to listen to.
“Perfume” has a harder beat, more of techno feel, but is paired with sweetly pure vocals. It actually features more of the members singing longer phrases vocally by themselves. The consistent beeping tune that plays over and over is a little irritating, as is the very, very simplistic chorus of just “Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-perfume”, but overall “Perfume” is a nice song on the album.
“wonder2” ends the album on a slower note and ends the album on a calm note. By itself though, the song isn’t that great – it’s extremely monotone for most of the song and the chorus has nothing but “la-la-la” over and over. The backing track is pretty though, and it ends the album well.
Conclusion: As an artist, Perfume is hit-or-miss. For people who just can’t stand techno, Perfume won’t be to their liking no matter how catchy the songs are. However, for those who find electronica tolerable or enjoyable, Perfume will be a group to their liking. Their brand of electronic is just vocally-based and mainstream enough to still be infective and karaoke-friendly as pop music, and yet unique enough to garner both electronic fans and catch the attention of normal music fans.
Perfume’s first album contains both standard and amazing electopop. It’s a very nice debut work for the trio and displays their musical style. Perfume is able to mix catchy pop tunes with varying degrees of electronic influence – some songs are idol pop with with a synth and a little voice alteration, while others are full on techno. Even though it is a best of collection, the album has a sense of continuity. Despite having misses in this album, particularly amongst the not so stellar b-sides includes, “Perfume ~Complete Best~” remains an unique and enjoyable j-pop experience.
- Perfect Star Perfect Style
- Linear Motor Girl
- Computer City
- Electro World
- Monochrome Effect
- Vitamin Drop
- Sweet Donuts
- Computer Driving
- Linear Motor Girl PV
- Computer City PV
- Electro World PV
- Monochrome Effect PV