It’s hard to believe, but Sexy Zone are celebrating their tenth anniversary since debut. It’s been a musically diverse road for them, starting off with cheeseball pop and eventually winding their way to the triumphant, transcendent Run. To honor this milestone, they’ve released a Greatest Hits package with two new songs, one of which is the English-language single Right Next To You.
To be honest, the first time I heard this track, part of me brushed it off as derivative. It felt like Sexy Zone trying to do what had been popular in K-pop a year or two ago. I mean, we’ve all heard this nimble deep house beat a million times already, right? But, Right Next To You quickly proved itself to be more than the sum of its parts.
This isn’t the first time Sexy Zone have tackled English-language lyrics. In fact, they’ve featured an English song on each of their past two singles. And for a group with only one English speaker (who isn’t even part of this song), they pull off the feat surprisingly well.
Right Next To You is a stylish dance track, pulsing along an unflagging electro beat. What makes it special is Sexy Zone’s performance, which harnesses four distinct tones to give the track plenty of character. I just love the way their voices sound on this. But more than that, I’ve found myself enamored with the filtered vocal ad-libs that support the chorus. They’re chopped to form a rhythmic backbone, and greatly enhance the groove. Add a couple standout rap verses and you’ve got a track that ticks all the boxes. Here’s to another ten years, and more musical experimentation on the horizon from this fantastic group.