Japanese singer/songwriter Reol has been active since the beginning of the 2010’s, whether as a soloist or with her group of the same name. Yet somehow, she’s stayed off my radar. That officially ends with the brilliant The Sixth Sense (第六感), which has me scrambling to catch up with all her past work. The song is a kaleidoscope of quirky dancefloor ambition, and feels like a breath of fresh air in 2020.
I adore Reol’s punky voice, which carries an incredible amount of confidence while retaining a youthful edge that makes her a compelling character in the J-pop world. The Sixth Sense takes full advantage of that charisma, allowing her to stretch her performance across a playground of breathless instrumental turns. The song opens as a relatively standard EDM dance track and builds from there, bringing in Eastern musical touches before exploding in a whirlwind of a chorus that raises the energy to deliriously chaotic levels.
After an experimental breakdown, The Sixth Sense’s music video edit features a brief feature from dance company Tokyo Gegegay. The audio version sees Reol taking that verse instead, which lends the track greater continuity. Either way, it’s not long before we’re sailing towards that immense chorus once more. At just over three minutes, The Sixth Sense packs a lot of ideas into its tight frame, and that unflagging sense of enthusiasm keeps the track engaging throughout. It’s that rare kind of pop song that manages to be utterly bonkers, yet taut and approachable.
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