“Level3” is going to look amazing live. Perfume member Ayaka “A-Chan” Nishiwaki reportedly told producer Yasutaka Nakata that her trio wanted songs suited to the huge venues they’d perform it in. Nakata has obliged. Perfume’s fourth studio album — the first with access to Universal Music’s deep pockets — is an attempt to position the group as a pop/EDM (electronic dance music) live force without fully going the route of Skrillex. It’s not a leveling up of Perfume’s sound, but a refinement of what the band intends to present in an arena circuit.
This becomes clear via the “album mix” versions of three of the singles released over the past year and a half. “Spring of Life,” “Magic of Love” and “Spending All My Time” were simple, catchy pop numbers. Here they get augmented with drawn-out intros and outros (it works on “Magic,” not so much on the other two) that seem like setups for a big stage piece. All three work better than the other single released ahead of “Level3,” the “Doraemon” movie-tie-in “Mirai no Museum” (“Future Museum”), which features a phoned-in electro-pop sound that is painfully out of place.