Arashi have been around for longer than many kpop and jpop idols have been alive, and released a massive amount of singles and albums in that time frame. As could be expected from such a prolific band, their material is incredibly hit or miss for me. For every No One Knows or Under The Blue Sky, Next To You, is… well… nearly all the album tracks from their latest album Japonism, which I found to be a total slog to get through.
Luckily, Fukkatsu Love offers a refreshing new sound for the group, augmenting their usual jpop with a heavy dose of wah wah rhythm guitar. This gives them a chance to explore the funkier side of their music, to infectious effect. Paired with touches of brass and a tempo that doesn’t let up, the song is a savvy (and authentic) Japanese update of American disco.
For me, the verses of Fukkatsu Love are the star player. They capture the swirling, decadent feel of the 70’s precisely, as does the string solo that builds into a brassy frenzy before the more subdued middle eight. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but certainly gets the job done, adding to the track’s palpable sense of drive. Even in its slower moments, it feels like a party. But ultimately, it’s a song of a very specific genre. I imagine not everybody will connect with it, especially if you don’t like disco. This limits its lasting effect somewhat, though it’s hard to argue with its sheer sense of fun.
Video is not embeddable, but click here to watch (warning: jpopsuki is pretty much the slowest site on the internet. Give the video time to load before watching)