It’s pretty ballsy to title your new pop single “Jesus,” but then again Bullet Train have never been lacking in nerve. They’ve built their sound on a fusion of straightforward dance pop and experimental (sometimes abrasive) production flourishes. Jesus represents a mid-point between the two, surrounding its catchy chorus with a boisterous blend of influences.
Like so many Bullet Train songs, Jesus seems to have difficulty focusing on one thing. The song opens with its propulsive hook. Driven by rock guitars and fizzy synths, this segment has the kind of frantic energy that seems unique to J-pop. Luckily, we’re in safe hands with vocalist Takashi, whose assured performance prevents the song from becoming too shrill. This refrain is our pop-charged anchor, cutting through the track’s many indulgences.
Jesus’ verses are where things get really weird. They’re a hodgepodge of influences, from chant-fueled breakdowns to trap rap to crunchy electro rock. The first time through, this ever-shifting collage is definitely a challenging listen, but nothing feels completely out of place. In Bullet Train’s unapologetically eccentric world, anything goes — as long as it’s tied together by unrelenting energy. My only disappointment is that the Gregorian chants that close the track aren’t featured more prominently throughout the entire thing. They’re fused to the aggressive dance beat early on in a dizzying production showcase, but take too long to reappear. With a name like “Jesus,” Bullet Train could have leaned into the religious-themed theatrics even more strongly.