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Album Review

Bump of Chicken became one of the best Japanese alt-rock bands of the 2000s, and the popularity they enjoyed around the time of Orbital Period's release is quite deserved. When the band is on, it's dead on: Bump of Chicken can pull out some fast songs that cross the dynamics of Pixies with the melodies of U2, they are also able to switch to a ballad that builds up from a simple acoustic line to a stomp heavenwards — and they are equally convincing in both incarnations. But Bump of Chicken are very nice guys as well, and, strangely (or perhaps not), this works against them. Orbital Period runs a full 75 minutes, including the hidden track "Believe," and this is obviously a sweet gesture to the fans, obliged to shell out a lot of money for the famously high-priced Japanese CDs. Perhaps Weezer-like brevity would, indeed, seem lazy-assed on the Japanese market (or, more likely, would just be relegated to an EP status), but stretching things for the sake of it is not a good idea. Bump of Chicken's back catalog is uneven as it is, and Orbital Period doesn't improve matters, making the listener wade through quite a bit of filler — songs that are meant to be hits, but fail to qualify, or, in some cases, require multiple listens to find out where the enjoyment lies. The mire of nice, sweet, and unremarkable material takes up much of the middle of the CD, wisely framed by stronger tracks ("Mayday" and "Supernova" in particular), but still lessening the impact of the album. In the end, instead of being an instant killer that the band could produce, Orbital Period requires some getting into — but, thankfully, it's still very rewarding after a couple of spins.

Customer Reviews

Orbital Period

Bump of Chicken's fifth studio album finally makes its way onto American iTunes. As a whole Orbital Period continues the poppier, more musically complicated trend Bump of Chicken started with their album Yggdrasil back in 2004. Motoo Fujiwara's vocals and lyricism has matured much since then, here it's intelligent and always emotional. Layered into the sounds. The sounds on the album are thick and complex, tranistioning to a more mellow, melodic style, yet it still manages to maintain the familiar raw, garage rock style of albums like The Living Dead and Flame Vein. Orbital Period is a concept album, with a space-based theme and bittersweet, poetic lyrics which gives the listener a sense of being lost and found and lost again in this great, wide universe we live in. An album filled with complex human emotions, drifting endlessly into space, it's a journey worth taking.


Love it.

Tales of the Abyss

Love the game and this band.


Genre: J-Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Bump of Chicken was a highly successful Japanese rock act that formed in 1994 for a high school "cultural festival." Members Motoo Fujiwara (vocals and guitar), Hiroaki Masukawa (guitar), Yoshifumi Naoi (bass), and Hideo Masu (drums) all met each other as youngsters at school, and would eventually release their first album, Flame Vein, in 1999 with High Line Records. The deal with High Line only lasted through one more album, 2000s Living Dead, but their new deal with Toy Factory was made all the...
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orbital period, BUMP OF CHICKEN
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