Kero Kero Bonito - Time 'n' Place
Oct 9, 2019 (updated 4d ago)

First of all, I would like to thank all the aoty users, the content you create is really great and I love coming to this site regularly. To thank you, here is one of my most personal reviews.

Coincidence, happy or unhappy, I cannot say: I have the impression that my life is strangely in phase with the transformation of the most adorable and carefree trio of the Milky Way. One year ago, I felt like Sarah on the cover of "Bonito Generation": smiling, with my diploma in my hand, leaving my preparatory school. The new one, "Time'n' Place", released on October 1st of 2018, as I entered a art school. The problem is that I really don't know where I'm going to go, in France, and especially in Paris, it's very difficult to find a job. The state of the labour market in the arts sector is complicated: lack of recognition of the profession in institutions and disappointing salary scales. I knew it, but I joyfully pushed it back into a little corner of my mind. Quite like the flashy Kero Kero Kero Bonito of yesteryear, who knew full well that the real world does not give gifts but who was content to invent a more cheerful world for themself. It is enough to have experienced it to know that the beginning of adolescence is easier to date than the end. You don't just magically become an adult at 18.

"But I don't
Even know
Where I should be trying to go
So I guess I'll follow my nose"

But what does it mean to become an adult? Leave the parents' house? Engage in higher education? Do your own administrative procedures? To be a graduate? Start working? Decide not to work? The essence of the transition to "adulthood" must have more deeper, more abstract origins. But there are times when reality strives to push your head on wall. This same perception of reality began to be felt in Kero Kero Kero Bonito's music. Sarah began dreaming of her childhood neighbourhood in Hokkaido, where she grew up before moving to the London suburbs, shortly before discovering that the land of their old house had been destroyed. There is enough to hurt your childhood when your landmarks disappear into the void. In addition, over the past year, all three members have each lost friends or parents. Morbid conjunction that falls on the joyful trio with a dirty taste of reality. And for these three musicians, what better therapy than music?

But holding on
I keep my head up to watch the shore"

They needed to start writing songs, and especially to play music together. But not like before, differently. They have changed so much in just 2 years, since the sincere and fun "Bonito Generation". When Sarah, Gus and Jamie found themselves in Gus' room trying to make music in accordance with their sadness, the push of urgency led them to move away from the synthetic and digital to "real" instruments. To reconnect with the past, Gus and Jamie return to their first love: drums and bass, while a friend of the band, James Rowland, is recruited to play guitar. Here is KKB reinventing their sound, an opportunity to prove that they are far from being just their kawaii gimmicks: they are comfortable wherever there is pop. And here we are talking about indie pop, noise pop, twee pop, power pop, synthpop. We are talking about thick distortion, intimate lo-fi, synthetic echoes, noisy moments...

"TOTEP", released earlier 2018, was a glorious mini whirlwind of raw ideas. Barely 10 minutes in total, but the experiments were so rich that it was impossible to imagine an album three times longer. And when "Time'n' Place" arrives, like a surprise on October 1st, it feels... maturity ? What ! this term used wrongly? "keRo KeRO bO NitO haS relEAsEd tHe AlBUm oF tHE matURitY", see how unsightly the formula is. But, but....

"If I never get to decide my reality
At least I see how it could be
When I get round to sleeping, dreaming"

"Time'n' Place" seems to be such a successful transformation, it almost makes you forget the "TOTEP" EP. T&P" tells a single story that is easy to follow. A story that follows the cycle of rainfall, from rain to rainbow, and that as soon as the day begins, evokes anxiety and enthusiasm. In the world, reality hurts us, it is better to take refuge in dreams and imagination.... We also take the time to think about the immensity of the Universe, to remember that we don't care about much and that any choice leads to the creation of a new road... But above all, we take the time to reassure ourselves. Around the fire, guitar in hand, we are crossed together and we sing in unison that life may lack meaning, we are stronger together to face it. So finally, we take our courage in both hands, we throw ourselves into the water and remember that we can swim. And we swim, we swim, despite the waste that floats on the surface of the sea.

"Dear future self
I used to be fine because you always seemed so far away
But now I feel our paths getting closer each day
It's rather strange"

So yes, in all this there's enough to be a little lost. We find there a KKB that has changed pace, now serious, tears behind the smile. I listened to this album all the time. By dint of feeding on Kero Kero Kero Bonito's vital energy, I began to live alongside them. And I wonder if "Time'n' Place" is really "the tears behind the smile"... actually the opposite seems more believable to me. The smile behind the tears, the sun after the rain; the life that is reborn after contact with death...

And no matter how much we say that KKB has changed, time also allows us to see what has remained the same. Example: the band always has the gift of sculpting each of their songs to make an image of them. Whether it is through the sound, the details of the production or the arrangement, or even the lyrics of unfailing sincerity; from any KKB song stands out a strong image. And between these images, the transitions are certainly not insignificant: "Dump" follows "Flyway"; after the song about the birds leaving, we throw the parrot cage at the dump. And after that, the absolute purity of the first 30 seconds of "Make Believe" chases away dirt to create an atmosphere where dreams reign. So here we are, like this colourful and messy cover that I found quite ugly at the beginning of our relationship and which today reminds me of a colourful snapshot; this album has grown on me as much as I grew on it, and with it. Oh certainly, it hasn't even been a year... but I think this record will be with me for a long time. With Kero Kero Bonito, on the other side of the Channel, the future seems less dark to me.

"Life sure doesn't make sense
But on your boots you can bet
That everybody gets the blues sometimes !"

Best tracks: "Make Believe", "Only Acting", "Swimming", "Time Today", "Flyway", "Dear Future Self", "Visiting Hours", "Outside".

Worst track: "Dump"
WhatTheFunk's Tags
Oct 9, 2019
This is an incredible review!
Oct 10, 2019
Thank you @Toasterqueen12, you are AMAZING!
5d ago
wow amazing review, my boiii
5d ago
@Paulmuzik tysm slaaat
5d ago
God, I need to listen to this record. Maybe all us amazing AOTY users should just start the next Pitchfork. Clearly, we know music better than anyone. Great, interesting review. Even for someone new to the music itself.
5d ago
@Aoaystheory TYSM. Yes, you definitely have to listen to it! I think that if users like @Inglume or @PipePanic created their own music magazine, it would clearly be better than Pfork.
4d ago
Great review, holy cow! Also if AOTY were to make a magazine, I would be SO down
4d ago
2d ago
I absolutely adore this record too
2d ago
this is the best review I've read on this site ngl, TnP is easily one of my fav albums so reading this was an absolute joy.
1d ago
ROTY (Review Of The Year)
1d ago
@PipePanic @Bouillabaisse @Gyro64 @XXXX Thank you for all, you are the best (la crème de la crème in french)
Liked By
More Reviews by WhatTheFunk
Kero Kero Bonito - Bonito Generation
Oct 3, 2019
Rate and review albums along with your friends. Create an account.
Also Reviewed By
Popular Albums
Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Angel Olsen
All Mirrors
Big Thief - Two Hands
Big Thief
Two Hands
Kim Gordon - No Home Record
Kim Gordon
No Home Record
Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin¿
Danny Brown
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Tyler, the Creator - IGOR
Tyler, the Creator

September Playlist
Vinyl Me, Please