Saturday, September 22, 2012

Look at All the Lights!

Forgive me, I have sinned. I got a Tumblr.

Now what does this have to do with my blog? Well... the problem with Tumblr is... it's so addictive. It's like you're sucked into this vortex of vapidity and you know it's all shallow and your life would be completely fine without it, but you still can't stop. Like I found these awesome Perfume Tumblrs filled with beautiful Perfume music, pics, news, videos, GIFs, it's Perfume heaven! I feel like the most unproductive yet productive person in the world and all I've done is scroll further and further into the ocean of Perfume stuff generating on Tumblr! I swear by the end of 2012 my eyes are going to be nothing more than empty sockets thanks to all the time I spent staring at the computer screen these past few days. It's the wonderland away from this wonderland! And only now when I've realized how much time I've wasted can I catch up with my growing list of things I need to write about! I have four PV reviews to do, one regular article, one comparison article/review, and two lists I still need to work on. Where in the hell do I start anyways? Well... how about something I adore immensely? So now that I've clawed myself out of Tumblr, I'm going to talk about what I talk about best: Pa-pa-pa-Perfume! More specifically: I'm going to talk about Fake It!

To those of you who haven't heard this song, here's a link. Listen to it. That's an order! I've been a little ambiguous on reviewing this, since I feel like I said everything I wanted to about it in my top 20 Perfume songs. What else was there left to say other than the fact that it's freaking awesome? Actually, Fake It was quite the shock to me when it first came out, since I'd already fallen in love with Nee and wasn't really focusing on the B-side. Yet ironically, when Fake It finally leaked to Youtube it completely blew Nee out of the water. What first struck me about the song was how loud it was but not in a way that was annoying. The girls weren't screaming their vocals or anything like that but the instrumentals were loud and there was a lot going on in them. Particularly the opening, which is the strongest part of an already strong song. I'd check out the instrumental because I think it really shows just how many layers of percussion and techno effect Nakata layered into the song. It's a hardcore strong with a cool instrumental and an edgy sound to it and refreshing in the midst of Perfume songs like Voice and Natural ni Koishite. The last time I'd heard Perfume go this hardcore was way back in 2009 with edge (⊿-mix) and hearing something on that equal level of techno hardcore-ness made me so happy! Fake It is one of those songs that never grows old with me; nearly two years after it came out, I'm still happily blasting on my iPod all the time!

So it's two years old? Why am I putting time into reviewing it now? Because it's finally getting a PV. You see, of all the JPN-era tracks, Fake It was the only song not to be included; the song hadn't even been performed live until the JPN Tour! Despite being one of the most popular Perfume B-sides, it felt like the song was kind of overlooked by management in terms of promotion and performances. So when another Perfume best-of album was announced (their first one since Complete Best back in 2007!) fans crossed their fingers and hoped that Fake It would finally be included on something more than a single release. Turns out, management must have figured out that Fake It was the lonely album-less song of the JPN era and it rightfully earned a place on the tracklist of Love the World. To add to the excitement, not only would Fake It be on the album, it was also getting its own music video. And we'd finally gotten to see a live of it back in early 2012. I was interested to see how they would handle the PV. Would it be dance-oriented or something simpler in the vein of I Still love U? I wasn't sure; I'd seen the live and the Fake It dance isn't one of my favorites because it feels like there could be more complicated choreography in it. It's most likely more fun to see if you were actually at a concert but I wasn't so the dance came off as average to me. Then again, an "average" Perfume dance is the equivalent of a "good" Morning Musume dance. Nothing against Momusu; Perfume's dancing just overshadows a lot of other idol group's dances in my eyes. I'd better shut up before fans start coming at me with pitchforks and glow sticks...

OKAY! Let's Segway into the PV and stop bringing up other singers in Perfume posts!

Cute little light-up circle around them. I wonder if those tiny squares are hard to balance on though...

Nocchi looks beautiful!

Ditto for Kashiyuka.

Same goes for A-chan! I really love the ponytail she's sporting nowadays!


TITLE DROP! I never thought FAKE IT would get its own PV... it's so wonderful...

It's easier to see when they're moving, but the camera rotates in this part. And after awhile said rotating shots start to get on my nerves.

The seizure-inducing flash lights can also get annoying after while too.

And instead of wrestling, they're doing the dance!

This shot is horrifying. But since October's close, I included it!

And now the screen's green. Is this supposed to be artistic or did they run out of budget?

At least it's... kinda Halloween-y? Oh hell, you could show me a sock puppet right now and I'd find a way to connect it to Halloween. 

Now it's pink! This PV's just a rainbow of different lighting effects!

Yay! Back to the pretty close-ups!

I'm not sure which I want more, those shoes or the light-up boxes!

How are they not falling off of those!?

Now they're facing each other! It's Spending all my time all over again! Before you know it they'll be signing towards each other and touching hands!

Or they'll just cut back to the seizure dance-shot.

A-chan's ponytail! It's practically vertical in this shot!

And now we can add yellow lights to the color palette!

I have no idea what the hell they're doing but freezing and rotating that shot looks awesome.

Don't they realize if they walk away in a circle they'll just meet back up at the same place?

Poor A-chan looks so alone way on the opposite side of where Kashiyuka and Nocchi are...

Oh, the things I'd do to be apart of that audience...

See? They get Perfume confetti!

 It's always nice to see the girls having fun, and it looks like they're having a lot of fun in this PV!

Everybody JUMP! Unless you're at home, sitting at your computer being lazy. Like me!

I guess they finally figured out they could simply walk off the circle to get anywhere!

You know that cop-out thing where artists release music videos that are nothing more than enhanced concert performances with a bunch of different shots, angles, and lighting effects in an attempt to make it entertaining? That's what this PV reminds me of. To be fair, it had already been revealed that this was pretty much all the PV was going to be so my expectations weren't terribly high when I watched the video. I knew it wouldn't have the life/death symbolism of Spring of Life or the ESP-training school setting of Spending all my time. It's a performance PV and doesn't strive to be any more than that. I will say though, I didn't expect such lovely close-ups! The outdoor shots in general were my favorite part of the PV because I could clearly see how beautiful the girls looked... I swear they get prettier every PV! There was also the weird but compelling light-up circle they walked around on. I'm not sure why it was there (probably artistic effect...) but it really lit up the girls, adding a sort of ethereal touch to the outdoor scenes. I also like the city backdrop because it shows the contrast between the simple beauty of where Perfume is and the elaborate beauty of the urban backdrop!  And I really love those light-up squares, but not as much as the light-up nails from Spring of Life! I applaud Perfume for not falling off of them and it was really funny seeing A-chan chase Kashiyuka around the circles! I can't believe none of them fell off during that! I guess they've adapted to wearing heals more than I thought they did... Anyways, the outdoor shots were a pleasant surprise and really highlighted the beauty of the girls!

Then there's the concert shots in the PV which you'll either love or hate depending on your outlook on epileptic flashing lights. Because there is a shitload of that going on in this PV. There was also a lot of rotating on frozen shots which I liked at first but by the end I felt like a sick kid who'd ridden the merry-go-round too many times. I will say, I liked the stage they danced on despite the fact that it reminded me of a disco cage-fighting arena. Do those even exist? My biggest problem with the concert shots was how incredibly dark it was. The lighting was either so bright you couldn't see Perfume dancing or too dim that you could hardly see them at all! There was hardly ever a good median reached in the PV and it would have been nice to have clearer shots of Perfume and the dance they were doing. The lighting itself bothered me because I could never tell what color I was seeing other than the greens and blues! There was pink/purple, yellow/green, it made me feel colorblind! The more I think about it, I think I would probably enjoy these concert shots more if I was actually at the concert instead of watching it on a computer. And I'm not only saying that as a fan whose dream is to attend a Perfume concert but the experience just seems better seeing it live than on a screen. In the making of, it shows people (members of the PTA, perhaps?) actually having the opportunity to scream and cheer to what was essentially a live performance of Fake It that just so happened to be filmed for a music video. I think that gives the PV a nice authenticity and imagine how cool it would be to stand there with Perfume just a few feet from you cheering for them and jumping along with the dance... it sounds amazing.

So was the Fake It PV something worth shooting for? Well... yes and no. Yes because I think it was a B-side that deserved a PV to match the high quality of the song. However... there was so much more that could have been done with this PV beyond some concert shots and pretty close-ups. I'm not complaining but the PV pales in comparison to their last two PVs. If you like the song and are interested in the PV, you won't miss much if you don't see it. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad but the song can still be good without it. The making of is much more fun to watch and like I said, the song is stellar, probably my second favorite B-side behind edge (⊿-mix). Seeing a PV for it makes me happy the song got so much attention!

I feel better now that I've doused myself in Perfume! Well... awkwardly moving into the subject of stuff completely unrelated to Perfume, do any of you other fellow bloggers have Tumblrs I can stalk follow? My (very empty) Tumblr can be found here so feel free to stop by and chat! Can you chat on Tumblr? See? This is why I need blogger Tumblr people to guide me through it! I'm lost and lonely!

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