King & Prince fans are still reeling from last week’s sudden announcement that members Sho Hirano, Yuta Kishi and Yuta Jinguji will be leaving the group (and agency) next year. I’ve seen my fair share of group disbandments and roster changes over the years, but this is one of the most genuinely shocking developments I can remember. Not only is King & Prince currently at their peak (arguably the most successful act in Johnny’s at the moment), but there was absolutely no forewarning of this dramatic news. In fact, the guys have a new single out this week!
All sorts of conspiracy theories have been circulating regarding the behind-the-scenes goings on of Johnny & Associates, and I’ll get into that when I write about the agency later this month. But for now, I want to give new single Tsukiyomi its flowers. The song deserves praise, as bittersweet as its release may be.
As usual, the agency’s truncated YouTube version makes it difficult to get a full picture of the song, and this one’s too twisty and turny to gain any benefit from a shortened edit. If you can seek out the full track, please do.
Tsukiyomi repositions King & Prince once again. This time, their talents thrive over a stylish beat bolstered by heavy Latin influence. It’s a sound that has been in the spotlight for some time, but Tsukiyomi brings the theatricality that makes these influences pop. The plucked guitar of the verses is absolutely lovely and the accordion is even better. Seriously, we need more accordion in music! The percussion is resonant and satisfying, bringing a sense of depth to the instrumental. Even when we pause for a climactic dance break, the mix of elements absolutely flourishes.
I’m also smitten with Tsukiyomi’s structure. The track takes time to get used to, especially when it opts for two distinct pre-choruses before the first hook. But, these offbeat choices give the song a sense of grandeur. In a world of two-and-a-half-minute streamers, Tsukiyomi takes its time and offers a full-course meal. The vocal performances are impressive, revealing an untapped well of talent within the group. It’s a pity this arrives on the heels of such unwelcome news because it’s another fantastic single in King & Prince’s mighty arsenal.