I feel like I’m always writing about Kis-My-Ft2 being my favorite J-pop group, yet rarely provide suitable evidence. The group’s b-side game is strong, and that’s one of the reasons their 250+ song discography has so much to offer. This got me thinking about all my very favorite J-pop tracks, many of which never get a mention on this blog. With that in mind, I’m going to start introducing some new “Legendary Songs,” J-pop style.
So far, almost all of my legendary songs have been title tracks or singles. But, the vast discographies of J-pop acts lend themselves to legendary b-sides, and Even Now, There Are Endless Dreams is certainly one for me. This English title is a Google translation, with the Romanization of the track being Ima wa Mada Toku hateshinai Yume mo. I’ve got it translated as “I’m Still Far Away From My Endless Dream” in my iTunes library, but I’m not sure where that originally came from. Either way, this is a track about passion and yearning – two emotions I always connect with.
The beauty in Endless Dreams comes from two factors. First, there’s that incredibly melody. The song kicks off with its chorus, though the full brunt of the instrumental waits until later to kick in. I adore (like… ADORE) this melody. I think it’s so gorgeous and expressive and powerful.
Sometimes it’s the details that turn a fantastic track into a legendary one. For me, it’s the little inflection – that tug – on the second line of each chorus. This small moment fuels the desperate yearning that drives the entire song. It’s such a spot-on melodic flourish, performed with passion and nuance.
The second driving force within Endless Dreams emerges from contrast. The song alternates between forceful, determined refrains and softer, more unguarded verses. The track never becomes boring, but this series of peaks and valleys gives it a sense of purpose and a scope of emotion.
You all know how much I love using the word “anthemic.” Endless Dreams‘ chugging instrumental and chant-along post-chorus are made for stadiums, where live performances of the track prove to be explosive and cathartic. I know most readers will first hear this song on their phone or laptop, but if you’re able to find heartier speakers and surround yourself with the music, you’ll feel the full brunt of the track. Most Johnny’s acts specialize in larger-than-life spectacle, and this definitely fits in that category. This is no more apparent than during Endless Dreams’ final chorus, with that percussion stomping in and out and those strings pulling us to pop nirvana.
More than anything, Even Now, There Are Endless Dreams elicits a gut reaction from me. I prize songs that are able to do that. I love nothing more than a big dance drack anchored by emotion. They’re surprisingly rare to find, but that combination of heart and grandiosity is what makes this a legendary song.