News are no stranger to World Cup anthems. This partnership has already resulted in my favorite single of theirs — 2012’s World Quest — as well as the excellent One (For The Win) two years later. Now they’re back with Blue, which sounds exactly as you’d expect it to. But when it comes to News and the World Cup, why mess with a winning formula?
I’m not sure any other Johnny’s act could pull off a song like this quite as spectacularly, and that’s largely due to power vocalist Tegoshi’s knack for delivering goosebump-inducing high notes. His voice opens Blue, right after a rousing chant that segues into the surging, guitar-led verse. From here, it’s all about Blue’s explosive chorus. A veritable army of voices joins the guys for one of the most bombastic moments in an already bombastic career. This could have easily felt like overkill, but Blue pulls off contrast spectacularly. Its verses are restrained but not boring, and help to build the tension that makes that chorus feel so cathartic.
Speaking of catharsis, there’s nothing more gratifying than hearing a vocalist throw caution to the wind and just belt it out. Blue’s climax is a spectacular display of aural fireworks, as Tegoshi provides the kind of extended, hair-metal ad-libs most of us only dream of conjuring. The rest of the group is no slouch either, but an over-the-top song like Blue is tailored to an equally over-the-top performer. I can’t say I could tell you the first thing about this year’s World Cup, but if it takes a huge sporting event to give us pop music this unrestrained, so be it.