Review

Song Review: Reol – The Sixth Sense

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.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

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9 thoughts on “Song Review: Reol – The Sixth Sense

  1. It’s been a hot sec since a song has actually left me out of breath but this is a punch of a song that really doesn’t let up. I adore how the song slows down around the 2-minute mark before picking up at 2: 30ish without losing the momentum it’s built so when it launches into that insane final chorus though it feels like being slammed by a ton of bricks it’s not unexpected and jolting(would that be considered the bridge? I don’t know much about song structure so I don’t know). I love songs like this that take a more maximalist approach to the instrumental. This is a 9.5 for me and I definitely have to look more into her(damn, is this how I get into jpop?)

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  2. Reol! On TheBiasList! *fist pumps*

    Though I share a love of Japanese music, I’ve always trended towards the Vocaloid side of things, as well as its offshoots like Reol. I appreciated the J-idol stuff I came across on this site, but I would always fall back on artists like E ve, Kenshi Yonezu, and Deco*27.

    Since Reol gained most of her early traction as a Vocaloid cover artist and songwriter, I see her as one of the many artists that sprung from the Vocaloid boom (like Kenshi Yonezu). I’ve always loved the frenetic energy of her work with Giga-P. which constitutes most of her discography.

    Speaking of Giga-P, the reason why I’m so excited about Reol’s appearance here is because of Giga-P’s production, as he happens to be one of my favorite Vocaloid producers ever. “A whirlwind… that raises the energy to deliriously chaotic levels” is a perfect way to describe much of his production work. I don’t know how he crams in so many different electronic sounds into taut, pulsing tracks, but he manages to do it whilst making the production sound extremely clean, which is crazy impressive to me.

    Forgive me, I’m just so excited to see Reol/Giga-P on TheBiasList. I’m happy seeing you so excited about this track, which I just thought of as a standard Reol track when I first heard it. In fact, I think this review has made me like this song more. Easy 9.

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    • Same here, this comment is everything I wanted to type too!

      I never thought I will see Reol here either because I’ve always associated her with Vocaloid too. Although I know she and many others have since branched off from Vocaloid, I just never thought they are already considered as successful artists individually from vocaloid, which I’m really happy about don’t get me wrong! I just always wondered how successful Reol and others would be branching off from vocaloid as there are tons of other people who did vocaloid covers too back in the day lol.

      On another note last I heard, Giga-P and Reol had a falling out and decided to not collaborate anymore? Or was that just the band.

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      • I know they disbanded REOL, but he’s still worked on many of Reol’s solo tracks after the disbandment. There are credits to him in the description, so they’re definitely still collaborating.

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    • Thanks for the extra background info (especially producer info… you know how much I follow producers!).

      Honestly, I’m not always a fan of the “more is better” approach when it comes to electronic music. Sometimes it can get a bit too fussy for my taste and lose the plot of a song. But, The Sixth Sense balances its elements very well and I find Reol’s vocal to be really compelling. I’ll be checking out more of her work!

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      • I actually thought Giga-P went a little overboard on this song when I first heard it (as he does sometimes)—I only started to enjoy it after reading this review! I think the melody is what really carries it for me.

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