KOTO
Platonic Planet


4.5
superb

Review

by Arche USER (89 Reviews)
October 4th, 2019 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blue smarties for the soul.

Before reading the rest of this review, I'd suggest taking a minute to listen to and watch the video of Platonic Planet's title track – or rather, four-and-a-half minutes. The link's in the comments. Go ahead, I've had the kettle on. I can wait.



Back? What did you think? If you're as knackered as she doubtless was by the end of her recital then you'll probably be wanting a little rest, which I'd recommend taking before listening to the entirety of Platonic Planet because there are no stops on that train to be had.

In a way, the video is a perfect encapsulation of a lot of what makes KOTO's debut great, but also it somewhat underplays what is actually a meticulous production job which rivals that of any maximalist pop outfit taking itself somewhat seriously. Notably, there's a pretty consistent utilisation of all things nostalgic and 'old-times futuristic' strewn across Platonic Planet, most prominently regarding the arcade-style synths and sounds as a seemingly endless stream of cascading jingles, bit-machine bloops and rambunctious saws weave themselves in a kind of complex, retro tapestry that, somehow, is totally comprehensible. It's entirely possible, should one want to, to examine the layering on display here and be genuinely impressed at how nothing feels wasted despite there being so much going on; being frank though, most of the time one is jamming this because they want to get their bop on and the whole package presents itself compellingly. The amateurish, kitschy video to the title track, replete with sparkly costumes and My First Video Editor™ lasers, makes no attempt to shy away from the track's 'futuristic' sound, but Platonic Planet thrives on its unapologetic thematic nature; other moods explored here include 'haunted house' ('Question Quest') and 'Chinese club' ('SickteenSick'), blended unflinchingly with hyperactive bitpop. Things only cool down for closing track 'Cinderella Syndrome' ever-so-slightly, yielding a slightly underwhelming finale after seven tracks of high-octane thrills, but aside from that it's wall-to-wall entertainment.

While there's an inherent and probably necessary degree of childishness in KOTO's high-pitched vocal performance especially considering we're dealing with themes such as the aforementioned, (she was between 15 and 16 at the time of recording, hardly the age of a battle-hardened codger), it would be doing her a gross disservice to say she's just there as along for the ride. Sure there's not the emotional range of a Portuguese fado on show but the defining feature of her contribution is enthusiasm; as far as giving the impression of throwing everything into a performance there's not much else I can compare her with, and it's a sizeable bulk of why Platonic Planet is as endearing as it is. Chorus after chorus is delivered with disarming confidence despite her years, giving each hook the ability to transcend language barriers; even in my very flimsy Japanese I'm there, singing away, fighting the urge to throw my arms in the air and pretend I'm on stage while a thousand multicoloured lights dance about my person. And really, that's the bottom line of Platonic Planet – it's a 35 minute happy pill, a little, possibly nonsensical oasis of bright colours and flailing dance routines to throw on and enjoy when you're feeling a little glum.



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user ratings (15)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
October 4th 2019


5869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The video in question is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEYvI83qPWw



Very, very fun album. Feedback welcomed as always :]

CalculatingInfinity
October 4th 2019


9093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yayyyy finally a review of this bop.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2019


16605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hell yeah, was on the point of checking this! Will give it a jam / read this through in the soon :]:]

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

Archelirion
October 4th 2019


5869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lemme know how you get on with it when you do check it out!

MotokoKusanagi
October 5th 2019


2289 Comments


nice this definitely deserved a review. great stuff

Digging: Audio Safari - Urunosora

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2019


3045 Comments


Very cute review, you're on a roll. :3

Digging: Lil Tracy - Anarchy

Asdfp277
October 5th 2019


21536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

WIG !

RolyPoly
October 5th 2019


387 Comments


About time

Archelirion
October 5th 2019


5869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Blush ^ ^ By the rate I'm going, I might even review FIVE albums before the end of this year!!!

Yeah, this one's needed a review for a solid while now so I figured I'd get on it. Dunno what the new one's like yet.

hal1ax
October 6th 2019


13980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice.



Thought this would never get a review.

Aberf
October 9th 2019


2446 Comments


not feeling this at all actually. And it's coming from Aberf out of anybody.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2019


16605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn, those bitpop tones slap



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