Review

Song Review: Johnny’s West – Shirankedo

Johnny's West - ShirankedoAs I mentioned when writing about their January single, I’ve been on a big Johnny’s West kick lately. Upon a deep reevaluation of their music, it turns out I love it more than I’d thought! Luckily, the Mixed Juice album was waiting just around the corner, ready to deliver a new collection of songs. The title track will likely be given most focus, but I find myself more taken by the quirky Shirankedo (I Don’t Know).

The agency describes this song as “surreal,” and if Johnny’s themselves are saying that you know you’re in for something weird! Shirankedo strikes a really fun balance. It’s clearly humorous, yet its hooks are so great you also want to take it seriously. The overall soundscape is 80’s-inspired, but offers a different spin on the trend. I’m not sure I’d call this “city pop,” but it somehow feels more authentic to that genre than most current efforts. It’s all about those sparkling synths and the chugging, guitar-led beat. The guys rap their way through the verses in an old-school fashion, adding to the groove. Vocal effects are used perfectly, enhancing the track’s dreamlike quality. And by the time Shirankedo crests in its dynamic chorus, Johnny’s West have sealed the deal.

The YouTube video (embedded below) delivers nearly the entire song, though cuts off before the final chorus (and a great injection of guitar). Even so, you’ll get the general vibe and Shirankedo will likely polarize opinion. It’s repetitive as can be, but in an addictive, goofy way. And best of all, it feels fresh for both the group and Johnny’s. That’s one of the agency’s best traits. Their music fits within a consistent wheelhouse, rewarding long-term fandom. But, it also makes room for fun, surprising diversions like this.

Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Johnny’s West – Shirankedo

    • OT: This season might be a dud for regular kpop, but OST season is rather good. Kang Daniel has one out today “Hush Hush”, and it is actually quite good, solid pop song. Its the Korean version of the same release in Japanese a few months ago. Also Victon, Jihyo of Twice, Ab6ix, plus Taeil and DK last month.

      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sef_ADhD4o8

      Liked by 1 person

    • Whoosh quiet day.

      This Sunnie delight popped up in my recommended feed this morning. It sounds a bit like if Akmu were an indie band with an extra couple brothers. Three key changes! Be still my heart! 1:19 up, 2:10 up again, 2:28 up again again.

      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15riHCY095k

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    • It’s pretty good! Nothing special, but pretty good. If I were rating, it’d probably be in the 7.75-8 range. But no, I don’t plan on writing about it in-depth.

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  1. Once again, I’m so glad I’m now listening to the jpop music that crosses my way because this was so good, it certainly felt surreal in a fun way. I think that section in the middle where they’re going back and forth repeating a phrase is a good example of how energy can be ‘switched up’ without losing all the connectivity between sections, which is something that hasn’t been to my personal taste in a lot of more recent songs lately – not saying those songs are bad per se, but just that I found it interesting to see something like this which seemed like it fit within the overall melody of the song.

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  2. Thank you for recommending this song!! Almost missed this germ, and reading the lyrics (plus understanding the cultural context) made it even better.

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