Hi everybody, and welcome to another “A look back at…” article. Today is a special day… cause It’s the first Spring of Life anniversary!
It’s been already an year since Perfume made the big step and left their historical label Tokuma Japan Communications, to shift to the more open and global Universal Music Japan. Many things happened and since that huge change, and a new chapter of the girls’ career started. Let’s analyze the beginning of the new Perfume era!
The beginning of a new Era
Spring of Life is the first single under the Universal Music Japan label and sub-label Perfume Records, that officially began a new chapter of our girls’ career after six years under Tokuma Japan Communications, the major company that welcomed the girls after their indie period and brought them to the top of success and popularity in Japan (and outside). Their intention of going global, for the joy of all the overseas fans, were already announced at the time of the label shift, yet the very first step towards the global audience was still to be decided. Due to this, many fans were wondering if their sound and look could have been changed to appeal a wider audience, and someone didn’t know what to expect.
And so, the first step in this new era was Spring of Life. Their 15th major single was unveiled on February, and once the art direction and the song preview were released, no one had no doubt about this single anymore: It was 100% Perfume, both in the sound and the look, and the intention of the new label was clearly to tranqulize and at the same time please the fans with Perfume’s historical style of pop mixed with techno, filled with a near-futuristic look. And they hit the spot.
The upbeat rythm, the melodies, the excellent bridge composed by the long anticipated dark bass followed by the keyboard solo, and the extremely energetic chorus filled with optimistic lyrics makes this song one of the classics of the post-JPN era and best examples of Perfume’s original concept of music. Same happened for the look, that featured some white outfits that can’t be compared to Perfume’s best ones, but partly saved by the cool integration of led lights that shine following the rythm of the chorus: a nice addition that proves once again how the girls and their management pointed to mark the futuristic/robotic concept.
The B-side, on the other hand, is something different. As first track for the new collaboration with Kanro, Communication is the complete opposite of Spring of Life, with a cute sound and mood that creates a huge contrast with the A-side. If you allow me to express a personal opinion, while a “double-faced” single can sometimes be a good idea and a source of variety, Communication can’t reach this goal due to the fact that it’s not a very strong song. Yes, it’s cute, adorable, and the absence of modified vocals makes it very appealing at first, and also catchy. But coupled with a song like Spring of Life, it drags the whole single a bit down, and maybe a stronger B-side could have brought this single way higher in the “favorite list” of the Perfume fandom. Yet, it’s an enjoyable and not bad at all track, that gives its best in live performances, especially thanks to a complex and difficult choreography, without a doubt one of best of the recent history of the girls. A nice B-side, but it could have been better.
From a promotional point of view, Universal and Amuse really did a great job, creating a lot of hype behind the single and giving a lot of exposure also thanks to the new collaboration with Kanro. Also, it’s worth mentioning the huge Spring of Life box in front of Shibuya 109, that definitely caught the eye of more than one person in Tokyo.
So, from a general point of view, this single doesn’t bring the Perfume sound forward to something new, but prefers to take the old formula back to life: It doesn’t revolutionize anything, but it gives a deeper feeling of the Techno-pop sound that missed in our girls’ discography for a while: An acceptable compromise. And maybe that’s what all the fans wanted for the beginning of this new chapter in the Perfume career.
Spring of Life
- Limited Edition (CD+DVD)
- Regular Edition
RELEASE DATE – 2012.04.11
ORICON WEEKLY CHART RANKING: #2
1.Spring of Life ※｢キリンチューハイ 氷結｣CMソング
2.コミュニケーション ※「カンロ ピュレグミ」CMソング
3.Spring of Life -Original Instrumental-
4.コミュニケーション -Original Instrumental-
1.Spring of Life -Video Clip-
- Spring of Life is the first single under the Universal Music Japan label and the “Perfume Records” sub-label
Spring of Life is a good single, and one of the most appropriated demonstration of the Perfume style, even if it can’t be compared to its famous predecessors of the JPN era and back. The A-side is a strong track and highly enjoyable, bringing out all the best of our girls, while the B-side can’t reach the same level, but still finds a nice place in the B-sides category. A “so-so” single, but overall not bad at all and surely worth buying, not only for its sound, but also for the meaning it has in the history of Perfume.
That’s it guys, I hope you enjoyed this article! Leave your impressions about this single down here in the comments as always!
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