Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spending all my time reviewing Spending all my time

How many puns have I made with Spending all my time now? Three? Four? Well, I intend for this one to be the last because frankly there isn't much else I can cover about SAMT. I've looked at the jacket covers, the song, the PV, and now I'm going to look at the single as a whole to once and for all find out if this single is worth it! I normally (well, more like never...) don't do single reviews unless I want to look beyond the A-side  and the single as whole so I'm making an exception for my beloved techno trio of flawlessness. That and I feel like going past this single having just reviewed the A-side is going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. It's like when you take a huge bite out of an expired chocolate chip cookie and forget to wash it down with some milk. It just doesn't feel right especially when I realized I have so much more I want to say about this single. So I listened to the B-sides in their entirety and I'm here to deliver the verdict! I'll rank each song on my own personal Apple Rating System then average the single as a whole to see if it's worth buying.

So what do I think of each song? Well... do you want to know want to know who this post originally started out?



Seriously, after I finished listening to the B-sides I just randomly typed this in then ran off into the sunset with Hurly Burly and Point blasting in the background on a loop. Maybe. As far as you know. Yeah. I realized after looking at my keyboard vomit, I probably needed to elaborate just a teensy bit more on how I feel about this single. But I think this will give you an idea of what the gist of this review is going to be about! So let's get started with the infamous A-side that split the fandom like a fault line!

Spending all my time

Here we have it. I've said in my previous two posts about SAMT that I don't really like this song. But the more I've looked at it, the more I've found it to be an enigma. What could be so bad about this song that it managed to divide the fandom so sharply? I believe there are a combination of things that caused this song to receive such an uproar from the fans. First of all, the actual song isn't that much of a standout song on its own. When I listen to Perfume, each song is a different listening experience, something I've never heard before. That's why I love their music so much. But SAMT is painfully familiar. As I've said before, it's reminiscent, no it's a carbon copy, of the genre of club music that's so popular in America. The lyrics are repetitive Engrish that lack no depth or meaning to them although I will say the few Japanese lyrics we have are good. The thing is, Perfume has done English lyrics well; "Take me Take me" was nothing but English lyrics yet it conveyed the sensual feelings behind the simple but powerful lyrics. Even "The best thing" had more depth than these lyrics. The song sounds like it's looped. And I don't like it. I will say, the one thing that saves this song from total hatred is that it has such an intriguing (albeit confusing PV) that I reviewed here. The dance is also another saving point but Mikiko can choreograph any Perfume song to be interesting. And... okay, it sounds slightly better when I listen to it in better quality. Still, I don't like it.

But what made the fans more angry, the song itself or the undertones of this song? When Perfume first switched to Universal, there were talks of international expansion. So is SAMT meant to be the "westernized" Perfume groomed to appeal to the American public so that they can get their foot in the door of the American market? Because if it is, I and a lot of other people, aren't okay with that. The real slap in the face is Universal and Perfume stated they wouldn't try to change themselves if they ever wanted to break into this market and when they released. Is this how all Perfume music is going to sound now? Generic, unoriginal club music lacking in their signature style? And if they do find success in America, will they be forced into maintaining this genre of music that clashes so much with everything else they've done? Hopefully not and I don't think we really have to worry about another song like this coming from them. Nakata could have just been copying experimenting with something different for Perfume and it just didn't turn out well. Keep in mind, SAMT isn't a bad song; it's just bad coming from Perfume.

So I'll give it two apples out of five. Is it low? Yes. But only because I know Perfume can do better! Now let's look at something that lives up to my standards of quality!


Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for this song? Four months. That's four months of building up hype with the hopes that this song would be as good as it sounded from the preview. And when SAMT turned out to be nothing I was hoping for, my anticipation that Point would be the saving grace of the single only increased. I kept reminding myself that it might not be as wonderful as I was expecting it to be, it could be terrible, etc. etc. but it didn't matter! I was pumped for this song and thank god Nakata delivered! For a long time, I had tried to piece together a song from the 15 second CM we got and just when I think I had a clear idea of how the song was going to sound, I was blown away when I heard the real thing. The introduction was like floating into dreamland. The instrumental was like a much calmer Vitamin Drop except I think this song flows much better. Everything just sounds so... right in this song. It's a perfect combination of lightness and dreaminess that by the time I was done listening to it, I felt like I had been pulled into another world and floated out of it and back into reality. And the song is beautiful, just utterly beautiful. What makes the song so beautiful is how light it is; I could easily see it on JPN. The synths aren't heavy and the vocals are incredibly raw for Perfume but it works so well. The vocals sound just as dreamy as the instrumental, as though Perfume is breezing through this song like the wind on a spring day. Damn, that's a cheesy way to put it. But it's the only way I can think of describing it. I'm also in love with the vocal arrangement; the full chorus is lovely and matches the loveliness of the verses. There's also the lyrics at the end which are completely different and it makes for a perfect way to end the song and before you know it the song is over. I don't know what else to say except that the whole song is simple, but so beautiful.

Congratulations, Point, you have earned five apples out of five because you should have been the A-side. That is, it should have been this song or..

Hurly Burly

...this one! Moving away from the gentle airiness of Point the final song on the track is the quirky five minutes of fun known as Hurly Burly! Or Halle Berry. If you listen closely, it really sounds like that... Anyways, when I first heard the 15-second CM with the chorus of this song in it, I actually wasn't that keen on it. There was just something about that vocals that really weirded me out, which is strange in itself considering I listen to a group that is 95% vocoders and other forms of vocal editing. Then I heard a little more of the song and I like it a little more. And then a little bit more and this went on for a couple weeks until I was at the edge of my seat waiting to hear how this weird, but strangely awesome single turned out. And now that I've heard the whole thing, I think I'm in love with it just as much as Point. Although the two songs are on different scales of mood and musical styling, I think it was nice to end the single with Hurly Burly! The song has a very quirky feeling to it especially in the chorus with the repetition of Hurly Burly. Generally, the way the notes are structured is very odd, almost jerky but still smooth enough to make the chorus flow. The full instrumental is also a boatload of fun matching the bouncy, energetic feeling of the vocals. At its core, Hurly Burly is a dance track but unlike SAMT its a Perfume dance track done right. Hurly Burly is ones of those songs that makes me want to jump out of my chair and dance like around like a spazz. It's in the vein of songs like One Room Disco and Chocolate Disco except with just a little more quirkiness and funkiness added to it. Overall, the song is incredibly and a hell of a lot of fun to listen to. The song just makes me feel like I have all this energy that I never realized I had until I pressed play on this song!

And so once again, I'm giving five apples to the next B-side because this song and Point combined make SAMT pale in comparison. Take note, Nakata.

The Verdict

I would give it four out of five apples.

Although Point and Hurly Burly are stellar, the fact that SAMT was selected over those two as the A-side is what makes it lose its final apple. I will say it is nice to have two B-sides again since we haven't received something so generous since Linear Motor Girl and hopefully we can receive another single like this in the future! If you're looking for a Perfume single to buy I'd recommend this one if you can stand the A-side. If not... I think Spring of Life still has some copies left! The single might not be everyone's cup of tea but for me it's once again a pretty awesome release from Perfume. I wish them all the best in Japan and in conquering the world!

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