As 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.