Song Review: Sandaime J Soul Brothers – Rising Soul

LDH Japan has suddenly begun to blitz the internet with new music videos from its Exile Tribe acts, which is pretty exciting. Unfortunately, many of these have been in support of ballads that were digitally released months ago. But then we have Rising Soul – a new single by the agency’s popular Sandaime J Soul Brothers. This track brings the global 80’s retro sound to Japan in daring ways, resulting in a knockout dance showcase.

Rising Soul is best experienced when paired with its extravagant choreo-focused music video. But even without the visuals, the song’s energetic synth beat and catchy hook remain effective. Across their ten-year career, this third generation of J Soul Brothers have tackled almost every genre under the sun. The one constant has been their unique collection of vocal tones — high and reedy and unmistakable. Those voices flirt with Rising Soul’s nimble instrumental, offering a rhythmic delivery that traces the lines of the percussion.

Still, Rising Soul’s most enduring element is its bright synth line. Once again, we can thank The Weeknd’s global smash Blinding Lights for this. The similarity in tone is striking, though Rising Soul brings the bright synth into a modern context, matching it with an instrumental that sounds more typical of Exile Tribe. And really, I’m just a sucker for this retro template. I know I often complain about musical trends, but this is one that continues to bear fruit. And a collective like Exile Tribe is the perfect conduit for a song like this. They’ve already been trading in retro pop for years. They’ve got it down.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10

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