Albums of the Year 2016: #19 Kero Kero Bonito – Bonito Generation

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Bonito Generation – easily the most fun album of the year. This batshit insane record is a mashup of j-pop, PC Music-style bubblegum bass and a bit of UK garage in the vein of Disclosure. With a sense of humour and an abundance of childlike glee in hand, Kero Kero Bonito manage to make this pick ‘n’ mix of pop styles into a cohesive whole that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The most immediately striking thing about the album is Sarah Bonito’s vocals, which are somewhere in the middle of j-pop idol and children’s cartoon narrator, delivered in an unusual half-spoken, half-sung style which flips freely between Japanese and London English. Album opener ‘Waking Up’ starts with a big fat yawn from Bonito while a trap horn acts as an alarm clock, before kicking into a song about how it’s, like, difficult to wake up in the morning. Other song topics across Bonito Generation include: graduating from university, pet fish, trampolines and selfies. One of the records greatest strengths is its ability to render the mundane and relatable stuff of adult life with the wide-eyed joy of a child encountering them for the first time. The hilarious ‘Try Me’ is a song about applying for jobs, but it might be the most fun (if one of the only) songs ever written about applying for jobs: ‘Try me! Try me! I bet I’ve got what you really need…I’m quick to learn and I can work with people in a team”. ‘Picture This’ is another highlight, full of shimmering synths and gurgling bass, while Sarah Bonito’s lyrics both celebrate and criticize the Facebook generations need to chronicle their whole lives in selfies. The song, like Bonito Generation as a whole, is simple without being stupid, endlessly catchy and just so much fun to listen to. If you like fun, go listen to this album right now.


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