Song Review: Snow Man – Evolution

Snow Man - EvolutionSince Johnny’s Entertainment (and its related labels) don’t post full music videos online, I usually wait until the physical release of a new single to review it. But unless there’s some extra dance break hidden in the album version, the online video for Snow Man’s new track Evolution seems complete. I can hardly believe it, and I hope this sets precedent for the future!

I’ve become a big Snow Man fan this past year, binging their variety and discovering a group of colorful personalities that feel like irreverent successors to my favorite Johnny’s act, Kis-My-Ft2. As the agency’s highest-selling group of the moment, the guys are receiving top-tier material. Both Grandeur and Hello Hello are excellent singles, and the high-octane Evolution confidently joins their ranks.

Above all else, Snow Man are a performance group. They’re like a bunch of acrobats forged into an idol act. Evolution takes advantage of this energy. It’s a crackling EDM banger, pounding forward with unrelenting force. The boisterous instrumental streamlines momentum. Even when the track swerves into a clobbering breakdown, this moment never upends the flow. Driven by simple melodies and enthusiastic performances, Evolution is a sturdy dance assault that recalls glories of pop past. The song could have found a home in 2011-12’s EDM trend, though it sounds equally enticing a decade later.

Much of this is due to Snow Man themselves, who imbue a potentially generic track with tons of personality. In the past, I’ve compared their exaggerated vocal style to a band of anime characters. I used to consider this a drawback, but now recognize it as a strength. When it comes to idol music (especially Japanese idol music), knowing a group’s personalities and quirks is vital to enjoying and understanding the sound. It all comes together nicely in Evolution, marking a suitably grand kick-off to their first full album.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Snow Man – Evolution

    • I thought you might like this one! As for vocals, they can be an acquired taste when it comes to Johnnys groups. The more you delve in, the more you learn to appreciate the approach.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My EDM bias is so outrageous that I will pretty much love any coherent dance track I come across, especially powerful ones like this.

        I’m not quite involved with J-pop but is Arashi one of Johnny’s groups? I adore their vocals.


        • Yes, though they went on indefinite hiatus at the end of last year.

          The current Johnny’s roster, in descending order of seniority:

          V6 (going on indefinite hiatus this year)
          KinKi Kids
          Kanjani Eight
          Hey! Say! JUMP
          Sexy Zone
          Johnny’s West
          King & Prince
          Snow Man
          Naniwa Danshi (debuting in November!)

          Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a banger.

    Jpop really needs to open up to more to other outlets for jpop because the market is there but the content is essentially unobtanium for all but the most dedicated fans. Like me for example. I would love to get into jpop when kpop has its lulls, which is to say often, and I have ready money too, and yet that barrier to finding and buying material is too high. Frankly, if Nick didn’t post reviews here with clickable links, I wouldn’t bother with jpop much at all.

    Yes, agree, the English lyrics that I could make out are pretty cringey and cliche. No pain, no gain, we are the new generation, time for revolution, but whatev.


  2. For once, you and I agree (for the most part) on a Johnny’s release this year. I loved Grandeur at launch, and it fell for me as it grew for you. I loved SixTONES Boku Ga, and still enjoy it. I disliked Hello Hello, and found it generic. Meanwhile, my favorite Johnny’s releases this year have largely been Un/Pair and Gunsei Runaway, neither of which even got reviews for you.

    This one is fine, even if I wished Snow Man’s vocalists got a bit better (seriously, even I can sing some of these hooks here), and they stuck to Japanese lyrics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe I’ll make the Un/Pair and Gunsei Runaway reviews for you 108! I am excited on how amazing these groups will be again. I mean for most of the year, Johnny’s has been consistent but very fine with their releases. LDH has been on a real cascade of exceptional songs.

      I have a lot of J-Pop catching up to do!


    • I may still get to the HSJ song. It just came out (in full) this week.

      I liked the KinKi Kids song well enough, but interest in them on this blog is limited and I wasn’t gung ho enough to spend the time writing a review that would’ve only been read by a fraction of my readership.


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