There’s no group I’m more excited about at the moment than Snow Man. And given their immense popularity in Japan, I’m not alone. Their infectious music and comedic variety presence feel like antidotes to the self-serious approach bogging down many K-pop comebacks. They have an almost cartoon-like appeal (either an asset or drawback depending on your taste!). But like any Johnny’s group, the more effort you put into familiarizing yourself with the members and their activities, the more you’ll be rewarded.
Luckily, the agency is making this easier with new single Brother Beat (ブラザービート). In a rare move, the entire music video has been pre-released on YouTube. Yes! For once, I get to review a Johnny’s song before the official cd release! Brother Beat is a soundtrack for the group’s upcoming movie – an adaptation of the popular manga/anime Mr. Osomatsu. As expected from the tie-up, the song is fun and goofy and incredibly endearing. Watch enough Snow Man performances and K-pop might start to look a bit stiff and gloomy. I’ve become so accustomed to the faces and poses these guys will pull – the life and personality they’ll bring to choreography that places memorable point moves over rote perfection. Brother Beat is a great showcase for this charm.
Unlike past releases, Brother Beat’s verses forgo singing in favor of a rapped, spoken-word delivery. It’s almost too silly to work, but the sheer force of the members’ personalities carries the day. It helps that these verses are egged along by crunchy power pop guitar, making for a rollicking energy. This continues into the chorus, which sees the guys affecting an airier style. The hook is unflinching in its addictive approach – a swirling wisp of bubblegum candy floss. I could do without the cartoonish bugle horn (even I have my limits!), but it’s buried far enough in the mix not to completely upend momentum. Above all, Brother Beat is another supremely fun earworm that feels fresh and effortless. Snow Man’s winning streak continues.
This reminds me of about 18 different songs from the 80s blended into a rainbow slurpee and I am here for this. Lord there’s even a bit of brass.
voiced my opinions exactly! i’ve been on a kick of watching their older / pre debut stages and variety and it’s apparent that besides being really great performers, you can tell they have genuine fun on stage which makes them incredibly pleasant to watch. brother beat – though not my favorite song by them (that would be a tie between grandeur and snow world) – is able to be a great production because it showcases snowman’s individual charms and talents in the choreo and in the song itself. my favorite parts of the song is when they are interacting or switching off each other vocally and accentuated parts with them playing up choreo (like trading fake punches, the fantastic bridge going back and forth, etc.) and striking a Pose!! it’s a great show of how palpable their chemistry as a performing group is and how kinetic they feel in comparison to their contemporaries, and i look forward to how this year (where hopefully they’re able to have a “normal” promotion schedule in comparison to the past 2 years) develops for all of them and the group.
Have you listened to their album/b-sides? I feel like most of my favorite Snow Man tracks aren’t even the actual singles:
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thank you for sending me these – i have listened to a bunch of their (available on billibilli or youtube) discography on repeat, it’s just that i do tend to love their title tracks (especially grandeur, which i feel like i’ve been listening to once a day and snowman to give me a boost of seratonin in the morning) the most!
as for their bsides you linked, i love yum^3 a lot But my definite favorite has to be 僕の彼女になってよ (which i’ve been scouring the internet for a full version for days) just for how bombastic the instrumental is and how slick it feels from them! other favs include their pre debut hits (zig zag love, fantanamore, acrobatic, and even hirarito sakura if it counts), the last minute and a half of black gold, and their (semi recent) cover of kis-my-ft2’s chudoku. however, i’m crossing my fingers for a dance / short version of refresh to maybe join the ranks of my favs from them – seems like a good mix of evolution and crazy fresh beat.
I’ve never been a huge fan of JPop (I love JRock and Perfume) but this one finally got me.
Yay!! I think it’s near-impossible to resist their goofiness.
I actually have this blog to thank for giving me a basic introduction to some names on the jpop scene from earlier this year – I’ve been putting off listening to jpop for the longest time, primarily due to the lack of easy access to full versions of songs/albums and translations, but I’ve been diving into Johnny’s since your year-end review and round-up of most of their groups, and what I’ve checked out so far has been a delight both in terms of the music and the variety (or what I can access of it with the junior groups at least, lol). There really is a lot of goofiness here that I really enjoy, and Snow Man have been standing out to me for sure.
Glad to help you make the dive into the crazy world of Johnny’s. Honestly, it’s a steep learning curve and I remember feeling both confused and unsure when I first became a fan years ago. But, once you dive in, it’s kind of hard to go back! 😅
Yes! This song sounds like something B1A4 would make!
So much to love about Snow Man. I’m happy about their fame. Great songs, iconic choreography? And so much more, it seems. I haven’t explored them on variety yet but it looks like their personalities bleed through their performances. I really love that you talked a bit about their choreography, because it’s almost always so fresh and memorable. Infighter and YumYumYum will forever be iconic to me.
Are you familiar with the EBiDAN group EBiSSH? Besides Chotokkyu (on a league of their own tbh), I feel EBiSSH is one of the groups with so much dorkiness like Snow Man. But unlike Snow Man and Chotokkyu who seem to embrace goofiness, EBiSSH seems like they’re trying hard to be cool but end up looking goofy lol. They’re not as well-known as the “cooler” group ONE N’ ONLY (EBiSSH and Satori Boys Club merger), but they actually have good songs! Below are some of my favs and they’re all on YT. Feel free to share your thoughts if you end up listening to them. 😀
1.「恋はタイミング」(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_UFVPs43JY) I don’t think I’ve ever not laughed watching this dorky video.
2. 今日は家に帰らないで (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6pHwuntVlg) Probably my favorite.
4. 「キミでいっぱい」(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZKwiWfB_e4) Chorus is an unexpected earworm.
Yes! I always try to keep up with EBiDAN. They often pull off great material on a meager budget. I’m familiar with EBiSSH but not to the point where I listen to them regularly. I was a big fan of Satori Boys Club’s (small) discography, though, and have recently been playing this One N’ Only track a lot:
As for Snow Man, once you dive into their variety it’s game over. They basically have side careers as comedians at this point…
YES this ON’O song is so funky! I LOVE ON’O (partly because I love the groups that make it up). And if you don’t already know, I found out about SBC through this blog! And it became one of my favorites, so thank you. They still are, thouggh they’re not active anymore. EBiDAN’s Edamame Beans seems to stand in for SBC’s pop-rock legacy.
Among the more recent ON’O songs, I love Category and Shut Up! Breaker. I just wish ON’O wouldn’t chase trends as much. IMO, they don’t have to. SBC Hayato, in my opinion, is one of the best performers—–KPOP or JPOP. He’s kind of like Snow Man’s Raul to me. And Eiku, that talent in singing and drums.
About Snow Man variety, where do you suggest I should start? 🙂
If you have Netflix or Amazon Prime, their episodes of Ride On Time are a really good introduction (season 1, ep21-24 and season 3 ep9-12). Beyond that, their youtube channel (and the Johnny’s Junior channel) have a wealth of subbed content. I feel like this is more enjoyable when you already know the group’s personalities, but you could really dive in anywhere).
Here are a couple recent ones that are funny:
Their pre-debut playlist is also stuffed with dozens upon dozens of subbed videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBw8EmMNM8vx5NmhisNsAPJk76QABiOBk
Thank you so much, Nick! Will be watching these! They sure seem like a lot of fun.
Btw, there’s a dance teacher who reacts to Snow Man dance performances (and who’s probably become a fan already lol). Might be of interest! https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ35rgkOs5E2ZmX8j5OR_4FLJY8dJ0pty
I would be much more into kpop if It was ass accessible as kpop is. How do you find jpop variety stuff usually?
I’m on the fence about the song. The nanana part I really didn’t like, but I’m a fan of the chorus. It’s hard not to like these guys
Youtube, Netflix/Amazon, other places. If you’d like a guide, send me a message through the contact page. (I tried to send you an email but it said your address couldn’t receive mail).