Review

Song Review: Hey! Say! JUMP – Beast & Rose

Most of this year’s releases by Johnny’s Entertainment artists have left me underwhelmed (hence, the lack of new reviews). But lately, the agency is enjoying a sort of renaissance. The new Sexy Zone singles were both stronger than the group has been in a year. The upcoming Kis-My-Ft2 tracks sound super promising. Arashi are finally embracing youtube and online music platforms. And then there’s this new Hey! Say! JUMP album.

Parade has single-handedly reignited my interest in the group, not that it had been faltering for that long. It’s a big, bombastic record — unafraid to embrace the kind of camp that Johnny’s acts have always reveled in. But then it takes daring turns, like the sparse, experimental「I」 — or casually delivers one of 2019’s absolute best songs: the mighty percussive rock of Call & Pray.

The album is led by Beast & Rose (野兽与蔷薇) — the kind of over-the-top, cheese ball rock opera fare that only J-pop seems willing to approach these days. The song is from the Jim Steinman school of “go big or go home,” and I love every second of it. I’ve never been one for restraint in pop music, so Beast’s bloated five minutes doesn’t phase me in the least. The vocals are chorused to high heaven, the instrumental is stuffed with more elements than I’d care to count, and there are essentially two blockbuster-sized refrains anchoring the track.

Hey! Say! JUMP tend to fall on the more nasally side of Johnny’s groups (and that’s saying something!), but an all-hands-on-deck production like this covers those voices in enough studio polish to make them sound like the J-pop version of Les Misérables. Best of all, there’s absolutely no self-serious, angst-ridden diversions here. This is pop music as fantasy, effectively transporting listeners to a world as silly as it is striking. You’re bound to love it or hate it. One thing’s for sure: the international music industry wouldn’t touch something like this with a ten-foot pole. That alone makes me appreciate it. You go on with your costume-loving, wolf-morphing, more-is-more selves, Hey! Say! JUMP.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

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9 thoughts on “Song Review: Hey! Say! JUMP – Beast & Rose

  1. Flove!

    I don’t think the American scene as done anything like this since Meatloaf, and Celine Dion All Coming Back to me. It doesn’t play well in Peoria.

    OK, to be fair, I don’t think I listen to it again, but for almost 6 minutes there I was hella entertained. I loved how they didn’t so much dance as sequentially pose. Its like Visual Kei and AKB48 got together and gave birth to this.

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    • That’s where you and I differ, because I’ve listened to this daily since it came out, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I love a bit of bombast!

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  2. Not too on point with the post, but I wonder if I would be this into Kpop if it was easier for me to access the content and music made by these groups a decade ago. I was such a fan of JE groups at the time (KAT-TUN, Arashi, NEWS, Hey! Say! JUMP, etc.), but it was just so hard to keep up, and ended up being too much of an effort for me at the time in addition to my studies, life, and such. Of course I’ll still head to all the Arashi content that is now available to me, but I just couldn’t help but wonder.

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    • oh man, their japanese discography kicks far more ass than their recent korean discography. This song is awesome! Its got that rave thing going on too! oooh, and the queen tribute plays right after! this made my day.

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    • Ooh, that’s a big question because — you’re right — their discography is overwhelmingly huge. Instead of just listing the most popular songs, I’m going to list my favorites. I tend to prefer their more recent stuff and their very early material. There’s a long stretch in between that I find pretty forgettable.

      SINGLES
      1. Nobody Knows (誰も知らない) (EPIC EPIC EPIC!)
      2. Breathless
      3. Face Down (very K-pop)
      4. Under The Blue Sky, Next To You (青空の下、キミのとなり)
      5. Sakura
      6. Gratitude Raining Like The Storm (Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi) (great chorus)
      7. A·RA·SHI (classic debut)
      8. Unfinished 「Mikan」 (experimental and modern)
      9. Truth
      10. Zero-G (very K-pop)

      ALBUMS
      Untitled (2017)
      The Digitalian (2013)

      Happy hunting! I’m much more partial to the discographies of Kis-My-Ft2, Hey! Say! JUMP, Kat-Tun and News, but none of those Johnnys acts are on spotify 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your reply! I will definitely check them out!

        I discovered a lot of outstanding Jpop songs through your site, but it is incredibly difficult to keep up with Japanese acts, when I’m not even able to watch the MV in my country :/
        Hopefully Johnny Entertainment will add the discographies of their other artists to international streaming platforms in the future – I have the feeling I miss out on a lot of great music…

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        • Johnnys is definitely an acquired taste, but if you’re able to acquire it, there’s a seemingly endless trove of music to enjoy (even if it’s hard to find/buy). Let me know if you need help!

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