The One about Discovering Japanese Music: Perfume – Spending All My Time

Perfume is a group which consists of members Ayano Omoto, Yuka Kashino and Ayaka Nishiwaki from Hiroshima, Japan debuted back in 2001 and is produced by Capsule and Meg producer Yasutaka Nakata.

Featured in an Apple iTunes commercial worldwide to their music being featured in “Cars 2”, to concert performances all over the world, Perfume has done quite well for themselves.

The group has gone through changes over the years and in 2012, the trio announced they were leaving their label Tokuma Japan Communications and moving to Universal Music Japan in order to focus on performing internationally.  Having a strong following in Asia and also around the world, the group kicked off the year with their 20th single (overall) titled “Spring of Life” which did well on the Oricon Charts and debuted at #1 on the Japan Hot 100.

In 2012, the group has released their 21st single “Spending All My Time”.

The single was released in normal edition with no DVD and a limited edition with a DVD featuring the music video for “Spending all my time”.

The version that I will be reviewing is the limited edition version.

The single comes with a slipcover case and a bi-fold insert with two group photos on one side and lyrics and production credits on the other.

The single begins with the track “Spending all my time”, a fantastic synth track and possibly next to “Glitter”, a track that I have listened to countless times.  With that being said, I admit this is their most accessible song probably for a western audience.  For one, it’s almost all in English and it’s one of their most repetitive songs (and I usually dislike repetitive lyrics).   Everything about the musical arrangement and vocals works perfectly with this track.  A little techno style with Nakata’s arrangement this time around.  The lyrics are pretty simple:

Spending all, spending,
Spending all my time
Loving you, so loving you forever
Spending all, spending,
Spending all my time
Loving you, so loving you forever

Spending all, spending,
Spending all my time
Loving you, so loving you forever
Spending all, spending,
Spending all my time
Loving you, so loving you I wanna do

Interesting thing about this song is that it may have never come to be. Written by Yasutaka Nakata, the lyrics were all in English and uncomfortable because of it, they each begged Nakata to rewrite the lyrics and incorporate Japanese lyrics and if it was not accepted, to not make the song an A-side.  Personally, I’m glad that Nakata reconsidered because I don’t want to hear J-Pop performers forced to sing a whole song in English, if they can’t or feel uncomfortable of doing so.

As for the second track “Point”, it’s like a return to the Shibuya-kei old Perfume style with the strong beats and overall arrangement.  The song is about two people walking up a road up a hill.  And she feels that this feeling of happiness reaches a point in her heart.  And would like to go back to that point if they can be just like that moment.

The third track is “Hurly Burly” which is a upbeat dance track about everyone going out to party for a Hurly burly party and everyone asking what is their favorite flavor?  The song is one of those lyrics that doesn’t make too much sense but it’s a fun dance track!

As for the DVD, the DVD comes with the music video for “Spending all my time” which features the three as ESP’ers with the gift of telekinesis.  The three are locked inside a room and all three do their signature hand movements and also honing their telekinetic powers, while singing “Spending all my time”.  I dig the out fits and the video cuts for this music video!

Overall, “Spending all my time” is a different type of Perfume song.  Perhaps the goal to move to more of an international audience with the move to Universal Music Japan has led to Yasutaka Nakata to implement some experimentation with this single.  “Spending all my time” is primarily in English and is repetitive but it’s probably the only track where I can say the repetitive nature really works well.   I also dig the arrangement.  While “Point” is track that is a style of old Perfume that should make fans happy and as for “Hurly Burly”, it’s a dance track in which the music seems to be more pronounced.  It’s not as repetitive as “Spending all my time” but it’s a good song, but not fully balanced music/vocally.

Still, “Spending all my time” has become the next single next to “Spice” which I have listened to a lot.  I love the music video and the overall track and to show how popular the group and this song has reached overseas, here is a cover made by Pentatonix:


 

Dennis A. Amith