Sexy Zone boast a wide gap between the cringiness of their group name (you’ll grow to love it!) and the quality of their output. Run is easily my favorite song so far this decade, but it’s only one of many strong singles. The guys are especially adept at retro concepts, and their new album The Highlight is stuffed with them. Forever Gold kicks things off with flair. It’s easily one of the best singles of 2022.
When it comes to pop songs, knockout introductions aren’t discussed nearly as often as they should be. It’s important to open a track with a bang, and I can think of no better opening that Kikuchi Fuma’s powerful vocal that sets Forever Gold into motion. Talk about immediately capturing the listener’s attention! This declaration of anthemic goodness sets off the track’s brilliant verses, which riff on familiar melodic turns that recall an optimistic, neon-colored version of the 80’s. The bounding synths are full-on Gloria in their exuberance as percussion drives Forever Gold forward with gusto.
The song falls into an unfortunate pre-chorus slow-down, but the lull in tempo is offset by another impressive melody. Then, we’re off to the races with a fist-in-the-air chorus that radiates sunshine and power. The instrumental and vocal melody stack on top of each other, forging an unstoppable freight train of shiny pop hooks. It’s all a little obvious, but in this case that predictability makes Forever Gold even more hummable. The song was co-written by the incredible Christofer Erixon, who’s been responsible for so many epic tracks for Johnny’s Entertainment acts. We can confidently add Forever Gold to that list. And if you’ve got the album, stick around for follow-up track Desideria. It’s giving me all the SHINee View/ONF Complete summertime vibes I’ve been craving.
(you can hear a radio rip of the full song here)