Yellow Magic Orchestra - BGM as reviewed by tcordes

June 3, 2009
Out of all YMO albums, this is the one I listen to the most. I'm not a big synthpop fan, but YMO really hits the nail with this one.

Ballet may be the best YMO song ever! I just can't get enough of it. The dissonant lead synth and flat voices are unique and quite mesmerizing. The simple, boppable beat keeps your head nodding. Simply timeless.

In fact, dissonance seems to be a recurring theme, with extremely dissonant bell sounds in Happy End. 1000 Knives is cheerily uplifting and smacks of their first album. Cue is one of their most poppy songs ever. Quite pleasant and catchy.

More dark foreboding in Camouflage. Intricate synth work and percussion details abound. Mass gives us an epic, cinematic theme that could cover a Rocky montage.

Loom caps the album with some beautiful ambience at least 10 years ahead of its time. You could put this out on any ambient label in the last 10 years and it would sound completely modern.

The only clinker is Rap: it just doesn't work for me and I'm not quite sure what they were trying to achieve with that one!

Bottom line: buy this album before the others! The lack of interest for it on discogs is misleading!

Yellow Magic Orchestra - BGM astro_cat2010

December 9, 2009

I agree 100% with this review (er, make that 99%). BGM, along with Technodelic, is a techno-pop masterpiece. Concerning Rap Phenomena, this track was written by Hosono and i think it's a great track. It's also very close to what Hosono would release solo in 1985 and 1986 with S.F.X. and the Friends of Earth EPs. Technically, the sounds are different (he's not using his Kurzweil, Emulator synths yet, or the Linn Drum) but his inspiration is the same (in my opinion)… But, i'm a great Hosono fan, so, i may be a little bit "partisan" here… :-)