Review Summary: Brought to you by the felt teddy bear playing the keyboard
Yukari Takasaki’s up to some shenanigans, involving taking shots of chocolate milk with baby bunnies and firing lasers at interstellar floral paper plates. After a weekend of debauchery, she comes home, puts on her cute chicken slippers, and cuddles up to a giant platypus plushy and begins to chronicle her adventures in the form of music. She’s far from unprepared – her whole bedroom is loaded with a cornucopia of different musical instruments and equipment. Yukari’s Perfect!
is one such piece of these musical journals, a petite storybook in which we sit down and read over marshmallow-laden hot chocolate and whipped cream-covered donuts before bed.
Yukari Fresh is the solo work of Takasaki, who incorporates a mix of different styles and sounds into a small but unusually pleasant package. Light-spirited electronic rock, cutesy dance pop, acoustic/piano ballads – it’s all here, and even though the album is bite-sized at only about fifteen minutes long, the variety-per-track is noticeably high. The particularly playful brand of shibuya-kei music she plays is a bit daintier than her peers – a bit more languid in its overall tone, despite that it’s still a rather bouncy listen. However, this ends up granting the album a genuine charm. Like most albums that are ridiculously small, you want to hear Yukari’s ideas elaborated on in full-length form (which you can, on her Cityrama
Though more of an appetizer of a debut, there’s still a few successful ideas set in spin on Yukari’s Perfect!
, in no small part due to this charm. “Yukari’n Disco” is perhaps the standout, if anything because it’s the most upbeat track on the album. It’s pretty much just a simple dance tune, but Yukari’s xylophone solo midway through (coupled with some samples of what sounds like a cartoony laser gun battle), along with her oddly dreary vocals elevates the track to a certain level of personality prevalent throughout the album. “Rockin’ Off”, as she calls it, is her answer to rockin’ out, jamming ever-so-softly with whistles and hitting the side of a glass jar with a spoon or something to an adorably awkward guitar strumming and drum beat. “Yukarimpic” is a three-parter, but is still only about a minute long altogether. It can be boiled down to this: computer sings a song, then Yukari sings the song, then computer and Yukari share a duet. It’s extremely pointless, and not really a good song on its own. Yet it’s this frivolousness that makes Yukari’s jingles a nonsensical treat for the ears, often in spite of itself. You don’t really care that some of these songs are a little dry in their efforts, because it’s this underlying sense of disinterest pervading the album that lends it an awkward glow, the kind that gives you a slightly skewed smile but makes you weirdly happy all at the same time.