Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Perfume – Let Me Know

The trio reach their highest score in nearly six years


Will Adams: My first encounter with Perfume was “Polyrhythm,” in which the trio’s voices moved electronically, almost algorithmically through a series of pathways as dazzling electropop surrounded them. Since then, it’s been moving to hear them slowly release themselves from the processing, from the brief flashes in “Spice”‘s bridge to entire ballads like “Star Train.” On “Let Me Know,” A-chan, Kashiyuka and Nocchi are out there on their own, until Nakata’s drops swoop in to carry them away. As exhilarating as their previous work still is to listen to, touching moments like these prove that they’re able to tweak formula and still make the same impact.

Iain Mew: The thing about having worked out such a fantastic formula as long as Perfume have is that you can make just small incremental changes and they feel like a big deal. It’s not even the first time that their voices have peeked through the effects this much, but it still feels strikingly intimate. Balanced with a beautiful soft shuffle that nonetheless features car horn noises and the usual crystalline beats, “Let Me Know” has been gently warming me right up.

Ryo Miyauchi: Perfume gets pensive more than its hyper-charged pop reputation suggests, though its moody interrogations often get overshadowed by Yasutaka Nakata’s own production experiments. The nakedness of “Let Me Know,” then, makes it easier to pick out the darker side of this group. A phrase like “I was dreaming, imprisoned in this theme park” seems alarming, yet if you look back, it’s not so out of touch from when they were trying to escape a torturous computer city almost 15 years ago. Nakata dresses the song elegantly with an effervescent loop of string plucks, but the bittersweet taste still lingers.

Jonathan Bradley: I’ve never heard Yasutaka Nakata sound so restrained: “Let Me Know” is a little, arpeggiated riff winding away over careful a mid-tempo beat. Even the wedges of synth he inserts into the chorus in conversation with the bright English vocal phrases sound like EDM that’s been miniaturized: a dance in diorama. Perfume does well in this space, their voices matching the bright summer tone with a performance premised on emotive precision, not power. 

Taylor Alatorre: It starts off with what has to be an electronic simulation of an acoustic fingerpicking pattern, and memories of every Ed Sheeran single I’ve ever involuntarily listened to come rushing back. But by the time it shows up again at the end, it sounds completely different, completely transformed by the intervening context. I hear little echoes of the triplet rhythms contained in the chorus, and I begin to appreciate how well it transitions into the rising action of the pre-chorus. Its contrast with the rest of the track’s assembly line precision, though hardly a drastic one, makes me think that maybe it represents the sublimated uncertainties and complexities that are present in any relationship. It’s still my least favorite part of the song.

Alfred Soto: The glistening synth filigrees and staccato instrumental stabs in the chorus are lovely in themselves and a complement to a plaint about checking your phone with increasing impatience, waiting for those texts. Perfume remind us we’ve been there. 

Reader average: [9] (3 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Perfume – Let Me Know”

  1. Just noticed that this is somehow not on the sidebar? Is Fucking Drake eating the competition?