Review

Song Review: Snow Man – Grandeur

Along with same-day-debuts SixTONES, Snow Man have become a quick success in Japan. I’m always eager to join the party, but I’m still searching for the track that would cement this group in my mind. They’re great performers, known more for their dance than their vocals, and are charming on variety as well. But although they’ve sold an incredible amount of singles in a short time, their music itself can feel pretty hit-or-miss.

New single Grandeur is a great example of this. It’s co-written by one of my favorite Johnny’s producers, Tommy Clint. His songs tend to go for big, edgy sounds and mammoth choruses, which is obviously right up my alley. And, Grandeur is pretty exciting. But, it’s also let down by an uneven vocal performance, which is an issue I’ve had with Snow Man since debut. Being a fan of Johnny’s Entertainment requires a certain level of open-mindedness when it comes to tone and technical prowess. This is an agency known for recruiting a few idols that are objectively tone deaf, after all. Usually, the songs and arrangements cover for this, and the quirkiness becomes its own kind of charm. But while a knockout vocal blend characterizes most Johnny’s tracks sung in unison, Snow Man is simply more about the dancing.

With this in mind, Grandeur will certainly get you dancing. As its title suggests, the song is bold and bombastic, stuffing as many melodic phrases into its structure as possible. Its chorus is ridiculously catchy, and the busy instrumental never forsakes its high-octane energy. Yet, there’s an awful lot of sing-shouting going on, which occasionally makes the guys feel more like affected anime characters than polished idol singers. But, that’s a stylistic choice and quite subjective. When it comes down to it, the song’s scrappy spirit is enough to compensate for most of my quibbles, even if I’d like to see Snow Man find the single that fully showcases their strengths.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

20 thoughts on “Song Review: Snow Man – Grandeur

  1. Now that my whole full version fiasco is done, wow we disagree a lot this month!

    I think we have yet to agree on a SixTONES or Snow Man single since DD and Imitation Rain. I gave this a 9.25, and I love its sort-of contrast between the polished prouction and messy singing. Still, the chorus is greatly mixed.

    I am finally dipping my feet into the world of V6, Be Yourself and Sky’s the Limit are my two favorites so far, and I somewhat have a mixed reaction for Super Powers, any suggestions to dive in further?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really really like this song; it’s been playing almost non stop on my youtube playlist and no matter what other songs I listen to, I go back to this eventually. I actually have to say that this is the song that kinda lifted up snowman into my favorite list. I guess I like their style choice and emphasis on dancing.

    Now I cannot wait for the full version of Sexy Zone’s let’s music and Kisumai’s luv bias. I’ve only been hearing snippets of luv bias from Tama’s new drama. Are you watching that? I really like it!! I think I’ll like shori and kitamitsu’s drama less, but let’s music sounds good from snippets I’ve heard from the drama’s making. I guess Sexy Zone’s excellent single run is continuing on.

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    • I watched the first episode, but didn’t really connect with it and ended up deciding not to watch the next one.

      It’s funny, for as much as I love Tama, I have a hard time getting into any of his dramas.

      Like

    • bilibili.com is probably the best site for japanese variety shows. It’s a chinese site though, so you’ll have to search things in either japanese or chinese. It can be a bit daunting at first, but you’ll get used to it after a while.

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        • Nope. No English subs. I generally make do with my limited japanese and/or mandarin. If you absolutely must have English subs, then your best bet would be the different livejournal communities out there. You’d have to join different communities based on the artist that they support though (i.e. King&Prince, Kis-my-ft2, Kinki Kids, V6, Sexy Zone, etc). It’s the same thing with fansub groups. I’m not aware of a community or group doing fansubs for japanese variety shows in general, they’re all mostly tied to a certain artist or band. So, they only sub certain episodes when they like the guest(s).

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    • If not available on a streaming service, it’s usually through a fansub. If you go to mydramalist and find a show you’re interested in, you can often find links in the comments.

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  3. I love the song- in theory. What keeps me from fully embracing it is the vocal performance here. I really would’ve liked some more fullness, a killer belt, I don’t know. Even in the bridge, which has more melody and can’t really be sing-shouted, the vocal performance is not what I would have liked it to be. I’m used to very polished vocals, maybe this is my bias showing ^^

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