Nearly a year after withdrawing from girl group Keyakizaka46, former center Yurina Hirate surprised fans with a performance of her debut solo single on annual music broadcast FNS Kayosai. It was a show-stopping moment, befitting a song as bold and exciting as Reason For Dance (ダンスの理由). With her hard-hitting performance style and androgynous style, the prospect of a solo career is ridiculously exciting. And if Dance is any indication, we’re in for one hell of a ride.
There’s a satisfying blend of strength and pathos within this song, made even more thrilling given its grandiose arrangement. Reason For Dance uses a drumline approach to percussion as its base, imbuing the track with incredible energy right from the start. This production pulls back for some surprisingly funky moments, then slams in again with renewed fury during the bombastic chorus. The wordy verses move a mile a minute – an anguished stream of consciousness that blends surprisingly well with the dynamic drum beats. Hirate’s delivery is a mix of frustration and passion, and gives the song a messy quality that sets it apart for your traditional pop single.
After an extended, brass-filled breakdown, Reason For Dance reaches its impressive climax. The chorus reveals its full fervor here, building to a goosebump-inducing key change that brings the track to an overwhelming finish. There are moments that echo the Keyakizaka46 sound, but the fact that this is driven by a single voice gives it a personality all its own. It’s rare that a sonic spectacle like this feels so intimate and unguarded, but Reason For Dance manages to thread that needle perfectly.