Over the years, Kis-My-Ft2 has slowly become my favorite act in the ever-growing Johnny’s Entertainment roster. For my money, they’ve got an unbeatable string of singles, and their bombastic 80’s power pop dance style hits all the right buttons when it comes to my (admittedly cheesy) musical taste. 2018 has been pretty slow for them when it comes to promoted singles, even though they’ve released a total of twenty-seven new songs across various formats. New single Kimi, Boku (君、僕。) is pitched as a seventh-anniversary track, but this is no drippy ballad.
Instead, the song takes a sentimental style and sends it bounding across a strings-laden instrumental. It’s not a remotely current-sounding track, but that’s one thing I respect about Johnny’s Entertainment. It would be easy for them to churn out something tropical or deep house and call it a day, but singles like Kimi, Boku stick to their hopelessly uncool, nostalgic guns. And while the song’s earnestness would likely be ridiculed within most critical circles, its euphoric energy is refreshing and undeniably catchy.
From its movie-musical video to its hyper-melodic approach, Kimi, Boku is quite a throwback. It feels as if it could have been released in almost any decade without any major changes to its arrangement. The instrumental hits you immediately with a flurry of percussive synths before launching into the lilting verse. This extended segment grows organically into Boku’s wistful, layered chorus. At over five minutes, the track wafts by without much impact the first time through, but further listens tease out its considerable charms. For better or worse, songs like this are an acquired taste. But once you’ve acquired it, there is no turning back.