When Yukari announced she was coming back under a new name, Aseul, I was curious to know why she decided to change her name. But after listening to ‘New Pop‘, it became quite obvious why she made the decision. While the core of Aseul’s music is the same as when she went by Yukari, she has moved forward from her previous dreampop style and went into more electronic pop and synth pop. As a new beginning, ‘New Pop’ makes a statement and is just as addictive as her previous work.
‘New Pop’ is a deep and engaging 12-song album. The tempos are quicker and more pop friendly, and the arrangements of songs is pitch perfect. Songs are more immediately engaging and don’t require an introduction before diving into the meat of each song. “Dazed,” which comes after the first two tracks, is a strong single. The melodies carry through multiple samples, and Aseul’s voice is processed but still clean and fitting. In similar fashion to tracks she did as Yukari, Aseul’s arrangements are heavily layered to create the audio landscape. She also plays with rhythms more, like on “Give Me Five.” Tempos are consistent, but never drag, which keeps every song moving at a good pace. ‘New Pop’ comes in a little over 48 minutes and it’s clear that these songs were crafted with a lot of time and energy.
“Blind Waltz” is an interlude focusing on piano, and it gives the album a nice break between the electronic tracks. It shows that Aseul doesn’t focus solely on electronic samples, and took the time to create her melodies with precision. If you’re missing Yukari-style songs, then “Elephants Mobile” is what comes closest to replicating that sound. Aseul also shows good variety with a track like “Loveless,” which is a bit of a cross between a song you might find on ‘Echo‘ and ‘New Pop’. So while Aseul hasn’t forgotten her roots, there’s definitely clear signs of a transition taking place.
Whether she goes by Yukari or Aseul, the music that she creates is always really engaging and a lot of fun to hear. ‘New Pop’ is an introduction to a new style, and she has definitely become a stronger musician as a result of the process.