Credit goes to Spoon+ for being the techno-pop artist willing to edge closest along the line separating “catchy pop” from “brainless chirping.” The like of Perfume and Nuxx more often than not to stay completely in non-annoying territory, never approaching the lowest-common denominator of techno-pop…the music played in those cramped arcades featuring cosplaying attendants, which might very well be Vocaloid runoff. Spoon+ frequently ballerinas between catchy fun and cruddy fluff, many times within the running time of a single song. Take the appropriately titled “Sugar-Glitter” off of the forthcoming “Birth” album (thanks Tokyo’s Coolest Sound). Opening like a particularly ear-bleeding EeL song, Spoon+ basically constructs a kindergarten chant using a toy chest’s worth of electronics just screaming for an editor at over five-minutes long. Yet Spoon+ also swings into a techno-pop ready chorus easily, simple but stupidly catchy and suddenly…she’s made a really great EeL song. Ditto for the dumb-dance-transformed-into-an-exploding-SNES joy of “Left Right,” which gets a lot of mileage out of wordless electro-shouts. Listen to both songs here.
Though that pair of songs skirts between aggravating and awesome (I can do this all day), lead single “Chameleon” is pure aces. Eschewing pop madness for Asian-tinged electronic trickles, Spoon+ craft a restrained (for the most part) slow jam. The genius move comes from the vocals, which get pushed into the back, turned into near ambience instead of the outfit’s usual assault. A little bit like the J-Popped up stylings of Fizzy Dino Pop, but mistier. Listen below.