Perfume – GAME [Debut Studio Album]

June 10, 2008 at 9:51 pm (Perfume) (, )

Perfume’s debut studio album, entitled GAME, was released on 04.16.08. Technically this album is Perfume’s second as their first was a best collection but this is the group’s first studio album. Three singles were released prior to the album release: Fan Service (sweet), ポリリズム and Baby cruising love / マカロニ.

ポリリズム opens up the album as a fast-paced techno wonderland. The song opens up with the sound of wind before going into the true electronic sound of the song. The voice distortions work well with the music to really make the listener enter the world of the song. There is quite a lot of repitition in the song and lyrically, the song is very basic but the interesting instrumentation overpowers and makes the song very memorable. The song’s release as a single was wise and the choice to place it as an opening song was smart too as it introduces Perfume’s techno sound with a fun and cool atmosphere.

The first new track is up next, plastic smile. The song begins head-on with distorted vocals over a very cute and uptempo beat. As the song moves on, the vocal strength is pushed into the background and the spotlight is put on the instrumentation, which is strong but sometimes the vocals are barely audible. The focus soon goes onto the music and it becomes a bit hard to distinguish the chorus from the rest of the song but it becomes clear as the song goes on. Overall plastic smile is a nice new track and although the music overpowers the vocals at some points, it’s still an enjoyable song.

GAME, the title track, is up next. A more cool and low-pitch instrumentation opens up this song, which is a nice change from the previous two tracks. Soon the girls’ vocals come in and the vocals work perfectly well with the music. In the beginning, there is a lot of focus on the techno beat as there are long sections in which the girls do not sing. The instrumentation is definitely something to be spotlighted as it sounds very cool and edgy but the effect the song has is that the girls don’t really enhance it to make it their own. They are just riding the strength of the instrumentation for enjoyment so the track could have been stronger had there been more of a vocal presence with a little more strength.

Baby cruising love appears next and was released prior to the album as one of the songs on a double A-side single. This song is a techno track fueled by the sounds of winter but it’s one of the weaker songs released before the album. There is a certain child-like innocence to the song that actually makes it enjoyable but the song lacks the element of variety, which makes the song seem a bit monotonous. Overall it definitely could have been stronger but it is by no means a bad song.

チョコレイト・ディスコ is the fifth track and the second in a slew of singles on this album. Opening up the song is a fun and uptempo techno instrumentation with the girls repeating the title of the song. The first verse comes strongly with the girls’ voices working strongly with the fun music to create an enjoyable listening experience. Although the chorus merely consists of the girls singing the title of the song repeatedly, it doesn’t sound reptitive and is a very nice part of the song.

The sixth song on the album is マカロニ, which was released as one song of a double A-side single before the album. This song is an uptempo track that manages to evoke a true relaxing feel. It’s definitely a very enjoyable track with some great vocals that compliment the music perfectly. It really evokes a sense of “home” that stands out strongly on the album as it channels a different sound than many other tracks. マカロニ lost absolutely no steam from its release on the double A-side single and it found its home on this album perfectly.

A new track after three single tracks comes in the form of セラミックガール. The song begins with the girls singing the title of the song over a nice uptempo techno beat. The first verse features the girls delivering the lyrics with a certain rapidity that works so well with the music and keeps the listener engaged. The chorus keeps the song interesting with a fun atmosphere that the girls do a good job of keeping throughout the song. This song is definitely a good album track and follows the previous song well.

The girls sing on a more slower song on Take me Take me. The song begins with that slow instrumentation with techno sounds and it takes a while until the girls start actually singing. The chorus has a certain relaxing instrument that is found in the soothing sound of the girls’ voices. The vocals do a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the song from soothing to somewhat commanding to showing off strength. Overall, the song is pretty simplistic and doesn’t have much variety so it can get a little boring after a while but there is something about the song that makes it fun to listen to.

Up next is シークレットシークレット, a techno-land paradise. The track starts off very mystical and mysterious with soft vocals. The instrumentation is particularly strong as it takes the listener on a voyage through the world of this song. The vocals sound great and the changes in the instrumentation keep the song fresh and interesting. The happiness element that comes through the girls’ vocals combine with the music to make a wonderful listening experience. シークレットシークレット is easily one of the best tracks on the album and an amazing new album track.

The next track is Butterfly, another song that take the listener on a voyage. The song opens up with the sounds of the jungle before a wonderful techno explosion comes in. The girls repeat “butterfly” with heavily distorted vocals to make a fun and happy feeling be established. The instrumentation on this song is so interesting that it carries the listener away to a fantasy world while still maintaing those elements of the jungle that opened the song. The chorus is pretty simple as it is in many other songs on this album but it works in this song. Overall the instrumentation is one of the album’s best and following the previous track makes it stand out even more as a combination of perfect tracks.

Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow appears as the next track and was released prior to the album. With a more relaxed techno sound, the song works the cute angle again. The instrumentation is actually quite nice and the girls sing well on it. However there is something lacking in this song that prevents it from being as strong as it could have been. Perhaps its placement after two very strong tracks make it sound of even lesser quality.

Puppy love finishes off the album. The track begins with an acoustic sound that is new to this album. Although there is a new interesting sound for the album, the vocals sound a little bored at first. Slowly, they pick up and the song becomes more interesting. It may not be the perfect song to hook the listener at first listen but with some time, it becomes a grower.

Album Ranking: B +

Perfume’s debut album features a techno-sound which they sound very comfortable on. Songs like シークレットシークレット, Butterfly and マカロニ really show off Perfume’s skill for singing alongside techno beats as well as Nakata’s skill for making them. The biggest flaw on Perfume’s album is that sometimes the songs get monotnous and lack variety, however certain songs really take off and capture the listener from the beginning. Approaching different styles of techno, Perfume is definitely a group to watch out for.

1 Comment

  1. blackmager said,

    Oh snap.
    This was a surprise from you.
    Although I agree with you on the track game.
    I could barely hear their vocals.

    And after a while, a lot of tracks on the album do start to sound the same.

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