And in our defense, this song is still seasonally appropriate…
Katherine St Asaph: Oh, I am thrilled. I am thrilled silly. Not precisely by the song, though it’s thrilling enough, a less annoying La Roux if what made Elly less annoying was clothespinning her larynx and making an overheated Commodore 64 fill in the missing vocals and sounds. All well, bouncy and garish, but what thrills me is how before the bridge, the beat speeds up then lurches to a stop, which in pop now means one thing alone: dubstep breakdown. No, that’s not what thrills me, because there isn’t one. The key gets fiercer, grittier, as if it’s rushed down a tunnel, then emerges with a synth harpsichord solo. I’m probably in a place with music where sheer novelty’s more of a relief than it should be, but how could I care?
Anthony Easton: On the wrong side of obnoxious.
Edward Okulicz: Amicable J-pop robot-house par… adequacy? It bounces well enough, the hooks are there, the girls are cute, there’s an air of perkiness, and yet it doesn’t bash through the threshold where this sort of hyper-cheerful music seems transcendent. “Spring of Life” is not without its pleasures, but Capsule’s “Step on the Floor” stole lots of Perfume’s tricks and is faster, better, harder and stronger to boot.
Brad Shoup: Nakata contributes a bit of funky stutter to the mix, and the intro apes classic SAW production, but it’s still standard-issue Perfume. I’m not complaining. The baroque sequencing gets featured in the middle-eight; the singers don’t stay treed in their upper registers. It’s constructed for the club, rather than forcing me to construct a club of the mind.
Iain Mew: “Dance for joy”! “Spring up, speed up”! I read the Spring of the title as being the season, but it turns out to be about motion and elasticity, appropriately enough. The song is complex and simple in all the right places and immaculate and gorgeous in all the ways that I’ve come to expect from Perfume, but the instrumental in the middle, oh my god. After breaking down to just the beat and sudden dark clouds of bass, the drums accelerate like in so much recent dance pop music. Only the drop doesn’t bring in a big whacking riff, but this sprightly synth solo which triumphantly answers all of the girls’ calls to joy and then some. At this point in the video, all of the screens in the robot facility burst into life with pixelly hearts. I’m struggling to think of any way that it could be more perfect.
Jonathan Bogart: The bitty videogame music underlying the back half only adds an extra kick to the glorious rush. I’m not sure I could handle listening to a Perfume album at this point, just like I don’t think I could handle eating the entire contents of an ice cream shop; which isn’t to say I wouldn’t like to try.