I’ve been a bit confused by Travis Japan’s rollout so far, but that’s coming from a longtime Johnny’s fan who’s used to physical singles and albums. Digital music is the norm most markets, but this approach means the group only has two released songs to their name — even though they debuted all the way back in October. And of all the Johnny’s groups (both pre and post-debut), Travis Japan feel like an awkward match for international promotion. I’d love to hear a full Japanese album from them within the year.
Debut single Just Dance won me over with its sheer exuberance, but Moving Pieces makes its mark right from the start. It’s sleeker, cooler and less of a trendy pastiche. Its first forty seconds are perfect, from the sticky funk instrumental to the series of well-calibrated melodies. I adore this sound. It’s perfect for summer.
From here, the track makes a few tempo shifts. I don’t mind the stripped-back chorus, mostly because it’s followed by a more robust centerpiece. And though I usually hate oppressive vocal effects, the production here is an asset. The performance is warped just enough to give Moving Pieces a unique color of its own. And unlike Just Dance, the English-language lyrics aren’t distracting (expect for the cheesy finale).
Overall, this is a nice transformation for Travis Japan. I look forward to their digital EP set for release in June.
That’s an improvement on Just Dance for me for sure! I like this a lot more, with the exception of the first half of the chorus which doesn’t seem to really fit the rest of the song for me. But the post-chorus is really good and picks the groove back up.
I’m not sure how I feel about how processed their voices sound here, though. I would also really like to hear them sing in Japanese. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the other songs on the album.