Yasutaka Nakata was starting to test my faith a bit. After a run of great Perfume singles and the lovely Capsule full-length Player, dude clearly started getting a little bored of pop-leaning production and embraced his dance side. He masterminded Capsule’s World Of Fantasy last year, a club-centric album that mostly embraced the abrasive sounds of blogs circa 2008 that resulted in a jarring album that wasn’t particularly fun to listen to. His work with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Perfume later in the year seemingly righted the ship, but he distanced himself from the latter when he told The Japan Times that Perfume’s new work was being dictated by commercial responsibilities. Then the second major Kyary Pamyu Pamyu single drop and it found Nakata rehashing old tricks from his digital toybox, the song less an exercise in great music but rather an excuse to make a batshit insane video. Now comes Stereo Worxxx, Capsule’s latest album set for an early March release. Will it be a return to form, or continue to find Nakata goofing off in the nightclub while replacing letters with “X”s?
Time will tell, but the first song to leak off of Worxxx finds Nakata and primary Capsule vocalist Toshiko Koshijima dropping the cold coolness that permeated World Of Fantasy in favor of tearing the joint up with what they do best. “Step On The Floor” isn’t a radical departure from the dance-influenced tracks on Fantasy, but whereas those songs almost seemed confrontational (too-long run times full of jolting additions like vuvuzela) this track finds a happy medium between club-friendly and pop joy. Maybe, just maybe, Nakata has grown to like his production on JPN a bit more – the neon confetti and overall ecstasy of “Step On The Floor” mirrors Perfume’s “Glitter,” which also embraced house elements but in a way that seemed inviting. Koshijima…who brought her A-game to Fantasy…continues to work wonders alongside Nakata’s computer-overload production. Ultimately, what makes “Step On The Floor” such a thrill is the inclusion of a big, catchy chorus, something that seemed to be lacking on Capsule’s last album. Here, Nakata doesn’t shy away from what made him the best producer in Japan over the last decade – he’s making music for everyone, and hopefully Worxxx continues this trend. Listen below.
UPDATE: I think this is on the new Liar Game movie soundtrack? Which actually might explain why this sounds so poppy…because it will be in a movie. Album will tell us, I guess!