The Aprils have sold their innocent indie souls to the god of electro pop with their latest album seeing the entire outfit digitized. Even Miho Iguchi’s vocals have morphed from sweet and silly to a more sleek synthesized sound. Though part of me was a little wistful for their gentler, some might say slightly “twee” side, the band has lost none of their effervescent pep: the listener is still zapped with entertaining artillery of space gun sounds. Listening to “Shine × Shine × Shine × Shine” gives you a rush equivalent to the feeling of riding a high-speed train through the heart of Tokyo, watching glittering skyscrapers rush past — from The Aprils’ perspective, the future glitters with promise. On the album, the track “Play ‘n’ Loud,” containing a robotic monologue reminiscent of Kraftwerk, is the only number in which the relentless cheerfulness is reined in. Kraftwerk is not the only influence at work; a distinctly heady whiff of the electro pop idol outfit Perfume is most definitely in the air, boding well for album sales if not for the band’s musical integrity. But there are a couple of tracks that hark back to The Aprils’ former sound, for instance on “Niyu Yuma Sumaku” guitarist Kentaro Imai’s gentle indie vocals get a brief airing and the song is suitably soft and silly at turns with an endearing and daffy 8-bit accompaniment. Ultimately, “Back To The Future Music” is heading in a new musical direction, so if you’re a fan of electro pop, it’s time you got on board.
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