After a successful overseas tour in the main Asian countries that officially brought Perfume’s music outside Japan, more than an eyebrow lifted when the girls announced a collaboration with the popular cartoon character Doraemon for their next single under the Universal Music Japan label. Why? Because even though Doraemon is huge in Japan and known in many countries around the world, the fans were expecting something a bit different and more “open” than a song mainly aimed at japanese children after all the overseas success and the good expectations for a World Tour 2nd: It’s like taking two steps back after one forward.
But songs are the only thing that matter, and we know how Perfume can transform everything into magic and erase any little initial doubt. Will it be the same for Mirai no Museum?
[A-SIDE] Mirai no Museum
As we all know, the A-side of this single has been appositely written for the new upcoming Doraemon movie, and it can be briefly described with a single word: Perfect.
It’s adorable, cute and everything that a Doraemon song needs to be. The singing of the girls is melodic and clear, with a smart use of the back vocals that emphasizes the cute arrangement and mood of the track. It’s the perfect Doraemon song… which is a good thing, but also the real problem of this A-side at the same time.
Indeed, this song perfectly nails the Doraemon concept but totally fails on the Perfume sound side: Personally, I couldn’t listen to it more than 4 or 5 times, for the simple fact that it’s just not appealing for someone who discovered and love Perfume for their techno-pop and various sound. It’s not even catchy because there’s no melody that gets stuck in your mind, maybe a 5 or 6 years old child can find it, but not someone who still has the Spending all my Time or Hurly Burly synths stuck in his brain. Not to talk about the lyrics, which are basically identical besides a couple of almost unnoticeable differences and, of course, the always present lazy and totally uninspired Nakata bridge: poor guy can’t do a decent bridge since Spring of Life.
Mirai no Museum perfectly achieves the goal of tie-in song, but fails on satisfying the Perfume fandom. It’s a song that could have been understandable as B-side, but putting it as A-side it’s been pretty much a risky move, not for the sales (that will surely be high as usual) but for the Perfume fandom itself, and I can hardly imagine a Perfume fan looping a song that’s been created exclusively for Doraemon fans.
Everyone waited for this B-side for a long time, mainly expecting the savior of this single, the one that could have finally gave a bit of Perfume sound to a release that’s been created for Doraemon fans only, apparently. Everyone was expecting an heavy and/or electronic track… so is Daijobanai the song the fans wanted? Yes and no.
This song is electronic music for sure, better than the forgettable A-side and… it’s fast! The beat is fast, the melody is fast, the singing is fast (and heavily processed), and the sense of velocity and almost confusion is enhanced by the now usual glitchy voice effect we’ve heard on Nee, Laser Beam and other mixes: It’s hard not to get excited in front all of this… until you realize this is a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu song.
I know a lot of people, including you, hate this statement, but let’s be honest and face it: Imagine this song sang by Kyary and try not to think about her. Actually, it’s not even the first time we see something like this, and I’m starting to seriously wonder if Nakata is suffering from some sort of confusion crisis or something. Even the little things that may remember Perfume make this song a repetitive deja-vù, like the usual Nocchi back vocals at the end of every chorus phrase and the already mentioned glitchy voice effect. Not to talk about the little “WUB” effects, typical of the dubstep music, that everyone in the world is copying: Simply out of place.
Daijobanai is a funny song, but extremely short and, above all, it doesn’t represent Perfume in any way, either you care or not. But you’ll have fun with this song, and at least it’s still better than Mirai no Museum; If that’s enough for you, then you’ve found your savior.
Don’t worry, I won’t spit blood on the art direction. Disliking something created by Yusuke Tanaka is basically impossible, and his works prove it: Indeed, the art direction for Mirai no Museum is very good, even though not the best we’ve seen in the Perfume career. The PV is funny and entertaining, and technically well done, even though the black and white filter following the monochromatic trend of the Spring of Life and Spending all my Time PVs can be tiring after a little while. The various references to the old PVs of their last two singles are also very nice and funny, and make wonder if they’re connected in any way, leaving space to curious theories. A huge thumbs up goes to the outfits of the girls as well, looking original even if inspired from the Doraemon movie concept, and absolutely beautiful: It’s hard to ignore the girls’ beauty in those dresses, that expose their beauty and sexiness the way we love it.
Mirai no Museum is a mediocre single and a weak release under every aspect (except for the art direction), from the children-ish A-side, to the upbeat and funny but badly recycled B-side. You’ll find yourself at the end of the barely six minutes of music asking yourself if this seven months waiting was worth it or not.
Sure, this single will sell a lot like every Perfume release, and Doraemon is a true national icon in Japan, so the success is basically sure, but the weakness behind these songs is just not ignorable and makes wonder what direction our girls will take in the future. And this can’t be justified with the “Variety of Perfume sound” excuse: Variety is creating something new for an artists (example: Spice), not recycling something from someone else because it’s easier and comfortable for a producer that is clearly lazy and doesn’t even want to put his effort in making songs for a group that has been with him for 10 years.
I don’t blame the girls for all of this: They’re doing their job greatly as usual, and I just love them too much even though I dislike this single. I blame it on Yasutaka Nakata, who should definitely start to put more effort in Perfume music at least as he does with her Fashion Monster friend, and start being less cold and more humble, because someone out there is doing way better than him in this moment.
If you don’t care about all of this, then you may enjoy this single until a better Perfume release will come out, but I don’t know how many of you will ignore the biggest fail of this single, which is the clear absence of the Perfume sound.
A real disappointment.
Join the discussion and leave your impressions about Mirai no Museum (or bash me for this negative review) down here in the comments!
Stay tuned for every news about Perfume, and don’t forget to follow Perfume Disco on Twitter and Facebook!
Perfume Disco Facebook Page