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New Perfume: “FAKE IT”


There is a very real chance the above video will appear only as a black background. The leak-sniffers seem to be on their A-game for this one, so just keep an open eye if you can’t hear the above.

Yasutaka Nakata deserves a lot of credit for his production work, especially the work he’s done crafting the sounds of Perfume. His sonic blend – clattering electro-dance meets disco but never forgetting he’s making pop hits – truly stands out in the mainstream J-Pop world, and hell even the world pop stage…honestly the only non-Japanese act of recent memory resembling Perfume would be Passion Pit, and even that isn’t really true. And Nakata isn’t just some hit-making infomercial host – he also, especially as of late, capable of interesting twists on his formula. The two B-sides to the most recent Perfume singles stand as some of the trio’s best songs and most forward-thinking jams. He’s reliable and mind-bending.

“FAKE IT,” B-side to “ねぇ,” misses jussssssssst outside. For all his cluttered frames and left-field styles, Nakata always makes sure his production melds nicely with the song itself. The huge pop-boom of “Natural ni Koishite” and sensual minimalism of “575” weren’t just flashy new features to the Perfume sound – they were absolutely essential for the greatness of those tracks. “FAKE IT” opens with borderline-glitchy electronics before segueing into a brief “here’s Perfume” bit then swinging back into manic spazz-out mode. It’s after this bit where things go south a bit, because what emerges out of the scrambled ether is a very straightforward pop jam, the noises that Nakata made so prominent at first suddenly ducking out of the way so Perfume can sing over a follow-the-bouncing-ball beat. Separate either one of these portions could be interesting, but everything seems forced on “FAKE IT,” Nakata’s “crazy” production more of a headache-inducing way of making an otherwise OK pop song be “more Perfume-ish.” Plus, the actual “edgy” part of this song just sounds grating – it’s reminiscent of a DJ trick that usually signals “time to hit the bar.” Nakata’s had a banner year in 2010 – maybe he should sit back for a second instead of faking it (zing!).