This hurt. This really hurt.
One year ago, my first post ever on this blog was my top twenty Perfume songs. And because I must love to torture myself, I decided to write the flip-side of that post: my least favorite Perfume songs. See? I told you there were a few songs I didn't like! Nine songs to be exact, and eight of those aren't songs I even actively hate. A majority of the songs on this list are simply songs I tend to avoid on my iPod or have little to no interest in. They're not bad, just not really at the top of my playlist and I have a tendency to skip them if I'm shuffling Perfume songs. Something also to take note of it most of these songs are from their indies days anyways, a time when the group hadn't perfected the style of technopop they're known for today. But as a fan of Perfume, I always try to be critical and rational of their music and prevent my fangirlishness from blindly accepting everything they release with insane enthusiasm. Just because I'm a huge fan of the group doesn't mean I have to like every song they put out; if you're a Perfume fan that does then I envy you! How cool would it be to follow an artist where you liked every song he/she/they released? I would love that! Anyways, this was probably one of my hardest posts to write because I don't think I've ever put so much negativity about Perfume into one post! But in the end, I'm glad I did it because I think it gives a good perspective of the music I like from them and it's just a nice book-end to my top twenty Perfume songs. The group isn't perfect but that's what I love about them! So without further stalling, put the Game album on and dive in with me to Nia's least favorite Perfume songs!
9. Toki no Hari - For some reason, I really thought this song would grow on me after awhile but it didn't. When I first heard the song, my first reaction was... well, I didn't know how to react! After hearing the title (which translates to Needle of Time) I had the impression that Toki no Hari was going to be the one of the darker songs of the four new JPN tracks. Instead, it turned out to be the lightest! Like seriously, really light. It's an adorable song but for me it's just a little too adorable. The song has a melody similar to a lullaby or a children's song and a very slow tempo which only makes me want to fall asleep. I will admit, this song is nice to play on my iPod when I'm going to bed but I hardly ever listen to it during the daytime. A plus for the song is if you want to hear Perfume's vocals with less Autotune and vocoders, then this is the song for you! The vocals are very raw, with little to no editing on Nakata's part. And the live is done really well, very surreal and doll-like. But despite all that, I've still not really warmed up to the song and ultimately it's probably the most forgettable track on the JPN album for me. Well, the most forgettable original track anyways. Speaking of forgettable tracks on JPN...
7. Zero Gravity - So... one of the most common elements of the ⊿ era in Perfume music was that there was a lot of Autotune. I know that sounds a little odd considering the group's songs all have Autotune in them but ⊿ was really heavy on it and other technical effects. It reached the point where they almost sounded like Capsule. For songs like edge (⊿-mix) and Night Flight, that worked. For Zero Gravity... yeah, it didn't work at all. Listening to this song for the first time almost hurt my ears because the vocals were so sharp and laced with Autotune. Actually, the vocals are really what ruined this song for me because they're just very... off? I can't really describe it but something about the way the notes are arranged makes Zero Gravity very hard to listen to for me. I think it might be the way the vocals go up and down so quickly and sharply but again, I'm not sure. And another thing I don't like about this song is how much it drags. In fact, I lot of the songs I don't like are on here because the pacing is just really slow. I'm not a fan of songs with little to no energy and Zero Gravity is just a little too lazy for me to enjoy it unless I'm in the right mood.
6. Spending all my time - This is the most recent song on the list and I admit, my harsh opinion toward it has softened a little bit. But not enough to keep it off my least favorite Perfume songs. The only things that save this song are 1. The intriguing PV and 2. The beautiful dance they perform at lives. Seriously, the Spending all my time dance is on my list of favorite Perfume dances. It's so fluid and complex. Unfortunately, when I'm listening to the song I can't really see the dance, can I? Yep, this song split the Perfume fandom right down the middle this year; some fans loved it, other fans hated it, there seemed to be no minority for this song. Obviously, I'm in the section of fans who aren't too fond of this song, though I admit my opinion has softened over a little while. Again, that's due the PV and the dance. I think the reason that I have such a problem with SAMT is because it sounds eerily reminiscent of the club music that frequented the radios in my home country (the USA) back in 2009 and 2010. I've never been a fan of that dance-y club sound (maybe because I've never been to a club...) and hearing my favorite group do that does not make me a happy camper. And the song itself is really, really repetitive, especially the lyrics. I just don't like this song.
5. Elevator - I'm always a little lenient on indies Perfume because Nakata still hadn't really developed the style the group is known for today. True, their music was still techno but it fell more into the category of idol pop with techno elements in it. I heard that Nakata didn't even compose their pre-debut songs but I can't verify that claim. Regardless of how much input Nakata had for all these indies songs, Elevator is definitely one of the worse B-sides for me. But once again, this was when the group was first starting out and despite the mediocrity of this song, it gives you a good idea of how much Perfume has grown and evolved over the years. However, just because Elevator makes for a great history lesson on the group, that doesn't mean it gets a free pass from me; I still don't like the song. It's a very mediocre song from Perfume's discography and I wouldn't even really consider it technopop. It's a cute song but it lacks energy and because of that, Elevator is a very forgettable song for me. I will say, much like Voice, the one thing that adds some life to it is the PV. The PV is pretty much A-chan, Nocchi, and Kashiyuka playing around in a room after riding up via Elevator then looking at a magical album with moving pictures. There's not much else to it but it adds some character to the song!
4. Oishii Recipe - You know, the more I listen to this song, the more it sounds like something I'd hear in either Harvest Moon or Super Mario Bros. Or one of those cooking games considering the song title is Oishii Recipe. Yes, this is another song from Perfume's indie days and it's even on the same single as Elevator, both are B-sides to Monochrome Effect! However, I'd listen to Monochrome Effect over either of these two songs. The thing with Oishii Recipe is that it's really... adorable. I've said this a lot but I have a very low tolerance for cuteness, which is probably why I don't listen to Super Girls. Anyways, if I was in the right mood, then I could probably listen to this song and have a good time doing it but I hardly ever am. The song is nice but it's just not one of the more memorable tracks in Perfume's discography. I admit, the chorus is somewhat catchy and at parts the 8-bit instrumental is a lot of fun but honestly, I don't think I'd be missing much from my life if I never heard this song. In the end, I can't be too hard on indie!Perfume because they were pretty much shoehorned into being a cutesy little idol group with cutesy idol songs with little to no opportunity for musical experimentation.
3. Secret Message - D'aw, how can I possibly hate on indies Perfume? Even if most of their music was subpar, they were so adorable!! But in all seriousness, this song has got to be one of the most annoying Perfume songs in their discography. This is another indies song that could have easily been placed in a video game with the 8-bit instrumentals flying around left and right! So there's a certain genre of idol music that's pretty common (the really upbeat, "genki" and energetic type of music) and when I hear a song like that, I tend to have on of two reactions to it. I will either find it to be A: the catchiest, funnest, most energetic piece of music that I can bounce off the walls to or B: the most ear-grating, annoyingly cheerful song that makes me want to stick in my head in the ground to get away from it. Secret Message garnered more of a B reaction from me; it's just too happy and energetic for me. Whenever I listen to it, it feels like I'm at children's birthday party trapped in the bouncy house, being attacked by a horde of screaming little kids. Secret Message is just a little too cute and a little too energetic for me and because of that it's one of my least favorite Perfume songs. And it's just really annoying. But at least it had energy! I can't say that for number two...
2. 23:30 - Ugh. This song. I hardly ever listen to 23:30. In fact, about once every year, I get in the mood to play this song then I quickly forget about it all over again. It's not my fault that I find this song to be so very boring! Talk about a lackluster B-side... 23:30 most firmly saunters into the category of lounge techno music and the weird thing is, Perfume has done lounge techno music really well in the past. Seventh Heaven was borderline-lounge music and that's one my favorite B-sides of theirs. But with this song, it does lounge just a little too well and the song just comes off as really slow. I think if I were in the right mood, I might be able to dig this song but thing is I'm never in the mood to listen to slow and groove techno/lounge/jazz music! Who is!? I've tried to like the song but I gave up around late 2010. The biggest problem with the song is that it's so very slow; the vocals, the instrumental, everything about it just drags. If I were a snail, I could probably get into this song but if I were a snail, then this blog wouldn't exist! From what I've seen, 23:30 just isn't one of the most liked songs in the Perfume fandom as a whole. Overall, it's too slow and monotonous to be memorable to me. But there is still one song, one terrible song that beats this. Yes, my least favorite Perfume song is...
1. Speed of Sound - This is probably the only Perfume song I will actively not listen to. I mean, I really avoid this song like the plague; I don't even have it on my iPod! You wanna get me to walk out of a room? Play this song. Or PyokoPyoko Ultra. But that's not the point. Oh, Speed of Sound... this was another song in which the sheer title had potential! A title like Speed of Sound just implies so many ideas for techno coolness! Yeah, I was totally stoked for this song (then again, I was stoked for all the new tracks on the ⊿ album!) so having it fall so flat was quite the disappointment. At first, I was excited because I'd finally gotten my hands on the MP3s for ⊿ so by the time I got to Speed of Sound I was high off my own ecstasy at the new tracks. But then I listened to it. And then about halfway through I thought, "Wait a minute. This whole song is just them chanting various nouns!" You know that music they play in hoity-toity boutiques where the prices are equal to a whole college tuition? The really weird and out-there music that you try hard not to listen to but its good-awful artsiness still embeds itself into your memory? That is Speed of Sound to me. Bad department store music. The chanting is annoying as hell, the instrumental is too repetitive to be interesting to me, just WRITING about this song irritates me! Why, Nakata!? What were you ON when you thought that this would EVER sound like a good-
You know what? I'm just going to go listen to the Perfume songs I like.
But while we're still on this topic: if you're a Perfume fan do you have a least favorite Perfume song and if so, which one? Now I know a lot of readers don't share the same level of zeal I feel for the techno trio so to make things a little broader, do you have a least favorite song by your favorite idol group? And if so, what? I always think people's answers are interesting because often they're very different!