Just a few weeks since the release of their second album, SixTONES are back with new single Kyomei (Resonance). Upon hearing the jarringly cut YouTube version, I wasn’t a fan. But, the full song is much more cohesive and satisfying. Even so, I’m finding myself return to the poppier Fashion more often. This song isn’t technically a double a-side, but it’s promoted with a music video so it gets the Bias List write-up.
I’ve been conflicted about the alt-rock path SixTONES have been taking over the last year or so. It still feels like a missed opportunity to do something unique rather than replicate a sound already popular in many corners of the J-pop world. Fashion is of an entirely different genre, but it faces a similar hurdle. Its bright, glossy approach is clearly inspired by radio-friendly fare like Butter and doesn’t feel unique to SixTONES or Johnny’s in the way that Snow Man’s recent material has. But, it’s a solid pop track with an addictive chorus. Sometimes that’s all you need!
Fashion’s blend of percolating synths, brass stabs and hand-clap beat is hard to resist. It’s an easy, breezy arrangement that never strays from its core intention. And, it lets the guys loosen up a bit and have some fun. I’ll never enjoy this style of music video (it’s just so awkward!), but every element of this production has an unguarded, fun-loving appeal that compensates for its generic leanings. It also sounds like a song poised to go global if SixTONES wished to move in that direction.