In honor of the fact that Kis-My-Ft2’s complete video has been uploaded to YouTube (in edited form, of course …), I can not help but write about each one. To put this in context for Bias List readers, Kis-My-Ft2 (or Kisumai as they are often called) is my J-pop version of Infinite. Tois how much I love them and their discography.
Still, I rarely write about them because it was so hard to find online links to their music … until now!
Hugs and go (2019)
For the promotional track on their eight albums, Kisumai embraces the upbeat EDM with the bubbly Hug & go. I never will does not laughs at that song title. It is so random verbs to throw together. “Hugs and smiles,” perhaps. “Hugs and kisses” would have been too on the nose. But “Hug and go”? So strange.
Of course, skewed lyrics are part of J-pop’s charm and certainly part of Kisumai’s style. Hug & go is a breath of fresh air – a shamelessly catchy dance number with the kind of exuberant EDM drop that highlighted many party classics from the early 2010s. It’s pretty formal, but when the formula works so well, why not indulge? The melodies of the song are very fine, ranging from the gentle weaving of the verses to the hymnical hook that precedes the great instrumental drop. I especially love how the instrumental pulls back and pushes in, giving a sense of rhythmic diversity that prevents the track from feeling too cut-and-paste. As always, Kisumai’s captivating personality sticks through.
The music video was filmed in Singapore, using a diverse cast of background dancers. It’s bright and exciting and feels almost like a holiday commercial. Johnny’s groups do not often target international venues, so it’s always fun to watch them spin around in unfamiliar surroundings. And YouTube-Powers-That-Be was kind enough to upload the full music video!
Although a step down from their previous three albums, Free hugs is still packed with highlights. Personal favorites are Ja E Ja (SO catchy!), This crazy love, Came with it and the ambitious, orchestral Stir Stir RuKitayama’s Will not die the solo number is also fantastic.