Reviewing Every KIS-MY-FT2 Single: Explode

ExplodeIn honor of Kis-My-Ft2’s complete videography being uploaded to YouTube (in edited form, of course…), I can’t resist writing about each single. To put this in context for Bias List readers, Kis-My-Ft2 (or Kisumai, as they’re often known) are my J-pop version of Infinite. That’s how much I love them and their discography.

Yet, I rarely write about them because finding online links to their music was so hard… until now!

Explode (2017)

Carrying on from the sound and visuals of Tonight, Explode delivers yet another epic Kisumai track. If you love their songs that opt for a rock-meets-EDM style (me! me!), you’re going to be smitten with this one. Fun fact for you Melodifestivalen fans: Explode is composed by legendary Swede Fredric “Figge” Boström! It certainly has his over-the-top sound.

This is one of a handful of tracks that really sold me on Kisumai. As you know by now, I adore these big, go-for-broke pop spectacles. Explode leaves nothing on the table, from its bombastic, guitar-fueled intro to the tension in the verses to the explosive (duh!) chorus. Its build and payoff are equally satisfying, resulting in a final product that exceeds its already-high ambition.

Explode is also the rare example of a ferocious dance track that nails its tempo changes. You could probably publish a whole book’s worth of Bias List quotes about “momentum killing tempo shifts,” but the structure here uses that rhythmic diversity to its advantage. The verse gives way to a banging pre-chorus, which tricks you into thinking we’re headed toward some lame beat-drop hook. Instead, the song blossoms into its furious, multi-part hook. It’s one of those epic choruses Kisumai’s music delivers so well. Ultimate catharsis.

The music video follows in Tonight’s footsteps, depicting the guys in their full, battle-ready glory. They invade a mysterious mountain lair, only to… dance ferociously? It’s goofy, dress-up fun and I am 100% here for it.

Explode is the promotional single for the guys’ sixth album, Music Colosseum. This is one of my all-time favorite Kisumai albums (probably a close second to 2018’s Yummy). Much of it feels like a rock opera, with heavy-hitting tracks like the Overture, VersuS, Tonight, and the dynamite rock ballad Dream On (which I wrote about here). It also makes room for “iine!”, one of the group’s most irresistibly energetic offerings. There’s even a song from SM Entertainment favorites LDN Noise!

Hooks 10
 Production 10
 Longevity 10
 Bias 10


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