Released in the U.S. a year after it was issued in the rest of the world, Komeda
's long-awaited fourth album, Kokomemedada
, doesn't quite match the heights of What Makes It Go?
. However, it does deliver more of the band's fun and occasionally surprising pastiches of rock, pop, disco, synth pop, and whatever else catches their fancy. After more than a decade of their music, it's still pretty remarkable how often Komeda
's collage pop turns out to be greater than the sum of its parts. "Blossom (Got to Get It Out)" is a fine example: the song was originally on Powerpuff Girls: Heroes & Villains
in a more frantic, chopped-up rendition, but here, it has a chugging groove and funky low end that borrows liberally from Krautrock and soul. Usually, resurrecting a previously released song is a sign of trouble, but by sampling themselves, Komeda
once again make "Blossom (Got to Get It Out)" a highlight of the album on which it appears. In turn, the song seems to have inspired the sassy bounce of a couple other Kokomemedada
tracks. "Reproduce" borrows some of "Blossom"'s choogle, along with the melody and bassline of Canned Heat
's "On the Road Again," while the U.S. bonus track "Check It Out" jumps and shakes like a wind-up toy as its backward backing vocals and bleep-bloopy synths give it an appealing trippiness. "Victory Lane"'s sexy fusion of new wave and disco makes it a standout track, and the same can be said for the sparkling pop of "Elvira Madigan," an homage to Bo Widerberg's 1967 film. Kokomemedada
's poppy songs pull the listener into the album immediately, but its quieter tracks grow more interesting with repeated listens. "Nonsense" opens the album on a low-key but intricate note, its slightly glitchy psychedelia moving from sad to happy and back to sad again. "Fade In Fade Out" and "Dead" also add some delicacy to the album, with layers of chilly synths, strings, and Lena Karlsson
's vocals. The album loses a little momentum after the Magnetic Fields
-like "Catcher," and while it isn't as captivating overall as Komeda
's best work, Kokomemedada
is still a strong addition to the band's discography.