With Bonito Generation, Kero Kero Bonito get big and ambitious. Exercising a more polished sound than heard on their debut Intro Bonito, which felt somewhat dinky by design — it was often centered around decisively hollow chiptune-inspired arrangements — Bonito Generation is its own self-reflective hit parade carrying with it five pre-album singles and the potential for at least a few more. By climbing toward radio pop production — a direction first established with 2015’s non-album single “Build It Up” — KKB have made an optimistic and important step toward a wider listenership, including the potential for a mainstream pop audience. Fine-tuning the subversive attitude behind their naive front, KKB rides the narrow frequency that sits between uncritical pop product and art school radio, and in so doing manage to nonchalantly and charismatically critique their surroundings.
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