Kero Kero Bonito
Bonito Generation


4.5
superb

Review

by owl beanie STAFF
May 11th, 2017 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: くよくよせずに楽しくやろうぜ

I am guilty of many a misstep when listening to new records, because for me, the initial interaction between artist and listener is often as difficult and multi-faceted as forming new relationships with other people. Perhaps most lamentable is a tendency to gravitate towards heavy-hearted songs - tracks that tint my room in a darker shade of grey, that validate untoward emotional responses to trivial affairs. I wallow, I whimper when I sing along and I only dance like no one is watching when literally no one is watching.

I think Kero Kero Bonito have countered this susceptibility, though; waltzing on into my routine with a celebratory ardour, party poppers and all. Bonito Generation understands completely that life-affirming occasions don’t happen every day, and so it finds equal mirth in things that end as soon as they begin. Half the songs on this album seem to say huh, this is fun before passing through to the next modicum of levity, and it’s a contagious sort of spirit, buoyed by a sense of youthfulness. Heard a Song - possibly the purest song of all time - details a love-at-first-sight musical experience that bounces along its chiptune-inspired bass/string lead. I forget to care about the fact it’s played on a Casio mini-keyboard.

Break, contender for both best hook and best music video in recent memory, is appropriately undemanding. There is a bounty of interesting quirks that float in and out of this song at leisure: a dash of bedroom-y strings, a smattering of cowbell, a breezy phone conversation as an interlude. It’s a piece of music that revels in its cheesiness. It exerts all its energy on ignoring the buzzkill, then it goes for its afternoon nap.

Bonito Generation is like a Steven Universe plotline playing out in our reality, and there are similar moments on this record that betray KKB’s faithful attention to colour and creativity. Trampoline’s key change is the song blossoming its way up in to the clouds, sweeping us up in its optimism, as if you weren’t having a good time already. On that note, Trampoline follows in Flamingo’s footstep(s) as a conduit for the importance of fun, unapologetic and unrestrained (“it’s so easy, anyone can trampoline”). These are the simplest of metaphors delivered with the best of intentions. The most detailed of songs delivered with the most carefree sound. The album is clear-skinned and giddy on caffeine, generous with its innocence and pronounced in its joie de vivre.

This world is disfigured and bleak and unforgiving. People lose other people and people get hungry. We grow up and feel guilt and apprehension and sadness. The things we own break easily and get stolen all the time. Buried underneath, however, is the capacity to share in a common joy; to hold hands in a circle and flail around like one of those inflatable tube men you see at car dealerships. I think that Kero Kero Bonito can be that common joy, if Sarah Perry manages to wake up when her alarm rings.



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user ratings (275)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
cavalrycaptain (4.5)
Ka-Ka-Ka-Kawaii!!!...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
cavalrycaptain
May 11th 2017


65 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Totally agree. This was a huge ray of sunshine in the otherwise bleak depression-fest that was 2016.

granitenotebook
Contributing Reviewer
May 11th 2017


964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

super super good review. keep up the good work

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2017


2425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks MC < 3

and yeah, cavalry, i love this thing. its all smiles all the time

conditionals
July 15th 2017


555 Comments


As a recovering JPop addict, this is exceptionally my shit. Annoyed it went under my radar last year but better late than never

CalculatingInfinity
July 15th 2017


9121 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't get what people love about this so I gave the review a gander. I get what you're trying to say but...there's much better albums you could do it for. It's so obnoxious and plastic I struggle to care, I get a sense of vapidness from this than genuine joy (especially on Graduation). Great review though.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2017


2425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i know calc :')

we've discussed this a few times hahahahah but thank you :D

conditionals
July 17th 2017


555 Comments


There was a JPop band called sweet vacation that was very similar. This is superior IMO... even if it is vapid ha

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2017


2425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it isn't vapid D: D: it's CAREFREE

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


14587 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it can be both

Digging: Camel - Mirage

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2017


2425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ye but it's not in this instance u guys srsly

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


14587 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i politely disagree : )

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2017


2425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that's okay! thanks for bein polite

Tyler.
July 25th 2017


17516 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bmp

jtswope
July 26th 2017


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Big City is so catchy.

Tyler.
July 30th 2017


17516 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i have no idea how to feel about this

verdant
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2017


2425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

:~(

Asdfp277
July 30th 2017


21700 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

c'mon y'all, it's pop. it's not that hard to understand

GmemberKills
September 9th 2017


3699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why wont this come out on vinyl.....

Aberf
October 9th 2017


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's like they are trying to copy Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!!

Shoteru
November 8th 2017


516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No longer despising the vocal delivery in the English parts, I'm pretty addicted to this right now



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