Review Summary: "Exposed" is sonically superb; the frantic energy coming out of each beat and texture is a blissful electronic surge for the listener, showcasing the upmost talent that BBS have.
After 5 albums, the Japanese duo finally take advantage of the digital distribution of tracks and release their 6th studio album, "Exposed". Since their debut in 1998, "Out Loud", the band has evolved every album they put out, ranging from the jazzy "Photon" and "Umbra" to a more techno, drum n' bass revolved "On". They can be seen as a very experimental J-Rock band, especially with "Exposed" it has concreted their claim of entering the mainstream market. They are unafraid to mix genres and experiment; are keen to progress their sound with each album they release.
I first heard of this band when I read somewhere on the internet about their support with Daft Punk in their Japan Tour. With a little research on youtube and myspace, I was sold on this band, their sound is rather unique compared to other dance-rock oriented bands, an amazing live band at that too. Their energy on and off studio is always apparent, their talent is admiring in every aspect and "Exposed" reinforces their sound and determination to become the next big thing. We can take the album's title literally here and say that this is the album's purpose, to be exposed to the masses.
Straight from the opening of "Upside Down" to the end of "Get Back In My House", the album is sonically superb; the frantic energy coming out of each beat and texture is a blissful electronic surge for the listener. The amount of bass in "Exposed" rings the similarities of their previous album "On", signalling their continuing theme of dominating the dance-oriented style in their music, it may also seem that Boom Boom Satellites have may sacrificed the element of jazz influence which was more noticed in their first few albums in favour for mainstream glory. "Morning After" is a fine example of this theory, it's pulsating drum n' bass rhythm and extremely catchy vocal work overshadows the typical pop structure, it makes it seem much more than just a normal pop song. "Easy Action" is another track that replicates the simplistic structure of pop songs and usage of monotonous riffs, but their energy and talent of morphing these sounds into different textures and rhythms makes the songs seem complex.
One of the notable positives of the album is definitely the vocal work, all the songs sung in English. The vocal just seems to work hand in hand with the overall rhythm of the album and the atmosphere it gives, it acts like another instrument that creates its own importance, the japanese accent also adds some flavour to the songs too in an exciting way. A possible aspect of the album that may hinder some people's taste in this album is that the album is very dependant on synth (I say its reminiscient of Nine Inch Nail's "Pretty Hate Machine") and rhythm structures are sometimes repetitive, but
in my perspective, I say it acts as the bloodflow of the album, merging each song together into a one sonically explosive work, the amount of technical work and energy put into the album shows pretty much in the most perfect way on "Exposed".
Songs like "Fiends" and "Shut Up And Explode" portray the extreme catchiness within their complex and textural drum work and the amount of effects used to create such a euphoric loop feel to the vocals really divides BBS from other typical J-Rock band. There is definitely something special about this band which I feel hasn't been fully shown yet, sometimes the album does feel a bit too safe at times with not much room for experimentation like their previous work, it can be monotonous to listen to countless looped verses and heavy use of synth at points.
Boom Boom Satellites have come a long way in setting up their definitive sound, now that they have moved into the global market, "Exposed" has set them a kind of template for the band, where they can pick at it and develop a sound that progresses even further, and I'm sure with the sheer talent that BBS have, they can achieve that in the future.
- What Goes Around Comes Around
- Morning After
- Easy Action