If you get to read any of the ish I post here, you would know that The Patbingsoo is “mostly a K-Pop blog”. However, as a sophisticated, well-versed, and cultured human being overall, I always try to expand my worldview by listening to the offerings of other artistes outside of Hallyu as well.
*whispers*Also, K-Pop has also been extremely boring lately!!*whispers*
Anyway, I’ll be starting a category where I also share my thoughts on some other pop confections elsewhere. And this will be called Extra Toppings because a patbingsoo, you know, has toppings?! Since this patbingsoo is mostly K-Pop, these posts are like extra toppings? Get it?!
Future Pop | Perfume – I’m not shy to say that I am a relatively new Perfume fan but it’s been like 2 or 3 years now so I’m not that much of a noob. Also, I have done an extensive effort of adding all their previous works to my playlist so I think I have the leverage when I say that the title “Future Pop” is better off given to their previous efforts.
Why is that? I guess when Perfume decided to go global, they had to do cater to what the mainstream audience digs at the moment. They’ve done this with EDM tracks that are peddled by the likes of Avicii (RIP) or Calvin Harris and now with Future Pop, they’re dipping their hands in future bass which is like the thing in the West now, I guess?
The thing is, you can’t just clock Perfume for dabbling into such genres because in a way, they’ve been doing an exemplary job of those stylings when their sights were still on Asia. I mean, Perfume’s music has been always streets ahead – it’s just that this time around (actually since Cosmic Explorer) they’ve ended up in the same pace with their global counterparts. Is that regression? I don’t think so but you can’t also say that they have been raising the bar like they used to.
If for anything, Future Pop is a fitting album title for “Triangle” or maybe “JPN”, right?!
Fave cuts: Fusion, Chorairin, Tenku, Tokyo Girl
Stream Future Pop here:
Ariana Grande | Sweetener – I haven’t followed Ari’s music since her second album and as far as to my overall percetption of her music, I am most likely confined to what she releases on the radio. You can’t deny that My Everything and Dangerous Woman clearly are efforts to becoming a household name which meant that she had to give up her baby Mariah-esque sound (which is amazing af) in favor of more chart-friendly hits. I’m not totally salty with that because she has released consistently good stuff (Focus included) for the public.
This means that I have never listened to an Ari track from start to finish up until sweetener. Ever since she released the iconic “the light is coming” and after all those polarizing feedback that cane after (from people who probably get their life from “Break Free” or “Side to Side”) , I knew that this album was gonna be something else. And I was right!
sweetener is surprisingly focused and sparse which is such a departure from her old stuff, thank heavens! There’s nothing worse than a pop act releasing an album which screams “I’m maturing” but not actually delivering it. Hello Prism?! Witness?! I am Sasha Fierce?!
Obviously, the standouts here are her works with Pharell who did a really great job on bringing that early 2000s sound and combined it with that chill/aesthetic or whatever vibe you call it that millennials dig nowadays.
Basically, Pharell brought out them classic goodies and it works because that ish of his will always be timeless. In fact, it kinda reminds me of her first album where Babyface took charge. There’s a concept and a direction and a distinct sound. A distinguishing factor for Ari.
I mean, the light is coming certainly reminds me of NERD, REM (my favorite track) is basically an improved version of Beyonce’s Kitty Kat (which is one of her few greats, lbr), and blazed just screams 2003 Pharell, dammit. The closing track is even a little throwback to the Yours Truly era too. It’s so good!!!
Overall, this is a great effort from Ariana and if this is the direction where she is headed to in the next few records, then I can certainly turn to Ari Express, especially if I want something refreshing from the West.
Fave cuts: REM, the light is coming, sweetener, borderline, blazed
Stream sweetener here:
There you go, my first set of Extra Toppings. Idk if I’d be able to update this as much but if you have any recomms from other acts outside of K-Pop, lemme know and lemme hear it!!