Japan’s best electro girl group Perfume have taken time out of their cosmic exploring to grace us with another epic album of bops.
The title for their fifth album, COSMIC EXPLORER, is a direct reference to the Hiroshima girls’ global adventures. Perfume’s huge international following has allowed them to perform sold out shows across Europe and the States regularly, cementing them as Japan’s biggest export since sushi. This shines through in COSMIC EXPLORER, which features plenty of experimentation from the girls and the mastermind behind their sound, musical genius Nakata Yasutaka.
The pitchy 8bit fueled opener, “Navigate”, well… navigates us to the title track, which is led by live sounding drums and warm, mighty synths. This is followed by “Miracle Worker”, your standard ‘Perfume meets Avicii’ bop. “Baby Face” is another different sound for the Flawless3, mixing banjo and harp plucks with popcorn synths which would easily shoot up to the top 10 of the Hot 100 with the right promo. The album’s highlight is, of course, “STORY”.
“STORY” is one of those songs which creates a feeling within you that you just can’t describe. Starting with mechanical clicks, boops and whirls reminiscent of Nakata’s work on CAPS LOCK, “STORY” is an epic buildup of intense rising winds and explosions which climax with massive EDM drops. “STORY” is the perfect representation of Nakata’s own take on Western EDM, which the girls bring to life with their eerily perfect performances. There’s a big focus in COSMIC EXPLORER on creating songs which are designed for the stage, since this is where Perfume truly come to life. The amount of heart palpitations I suffered while playing “STORY” genuinely sent me to A&E. It’s like pouring 26 cans of Red Bull into your ears. Queens of fucking me up. The first minute and a half alone settles this as the new quintessential Perfume track. Witnessing this song live has since been added to my bucket list – RIP me.
Ultimately this is an album from Japan’s finest female group which showcases their growth as musicians and their willingness to experiment with new sounds, while still remaining true to what made them big in the first place.
COSMIC EXPLORER Tracklist (standout tracks in bold):
- Cosmic Explorer
- Miracle Worker
- Next Stage with YOU
- FLASH (Album-mix)
- Sweet Refrain (Album-mix)
- Baby Face
- TOKIMEKI LIGHTS (Album-mix)
- STAR TRAIN (Album-mix)
- Relax In The City
- Pick Me Up
- Cling Cling (Album-mix)
- Hold Your Hand
Now stream the whole album on Spotify:
Will you be catching Perfume on tour in 2016?