In 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!
There have already been a few 10/10 rated songs in this feature, and there will be more to come. But, I have to switch things up for Gravity. Not only is it my favorite Kisumai song, but it’s one of my all-time favorites J-pop songs. Together with Sexy Zone’s Run and KAT-TUN’s Rescue, it makes up my holy trinity of Johnny’s tracks. And, it ushers in the strongest era for the group.
To put it in K-pop terms, Gravity is The Chaser‘s Japanese brother. I hold it in that high of regard within my own music collection. So rather than try to encapsulate these feelings into one or two paragraphs, I’m going to give Gravity a Bias List breakdown.
00: 00-00: 31 – Sometimes, a song seals the deal right from its introduction. To put it simply, I lose my shit when Gravity‘s beat drops. I will never not lose my shit when the beat drops. I firmly believe that “losing one’s shit” is an undervalued feature of pop music.
You all know I love songs that exist in a constant state of acceleration (hello, The Chaser). The first seventeen seconds of Gravity are like being sucked into a wind tunnel. You can almost feel the air whip through your hair. There’s movement right from the start, and when you assume you’ve already heard the big beat drop, a mammoth sledgehammer hits you seventeen seconds in.
This is euphoria. The elongating vocals are pulled into the orbit of the synth riff, propelled onward with such huge energy. I mean, this song is about one of the universe’s most powerful phenomena! It should sound enormous, and it does.
00: 33-01: 00 – Though not as gargantuan in scale, the verses are brisk and compelling in their own right. Chanted rap and sung melody trade punches as the instrumental introduces a generous dose of rhythm guitar. Chunky synths swerve in aggressive fashion, but the agile guitar wins the day. It kicks up a frenzy, soon joined by extra percussion as the melody gains focus.
01: 00-01: 17 – Like most of my favorite songs, Gravity is all about tension and release. For that to work, you need to build and payoff.
This build is extraordinary. We’re back in that wind tunnel, with synths so tactile you can practically feel the suction. The percussion climbs as a brighter electronic palette takes prominence. The melody dips here, only to ascend in time with the music. It’s riveting.
01: 17-01: 32 – And here’s the payoff. What a mammoth chorus this is! Gravity rushes back as the full brunt of its arrangement reemerges. The melody is as anthemic as pop music gets. Kisumai sing in unison. Chanted ad-libs add even more energy. But…
01: 32-01: 46 -… this is actually a two part chorus! And, the second part is even better! The melody glides here, extended and triumphant and all kinds of exhilarating. Gravity isn’t serving up melodic crumbs. We’re getting the entire feast.
01: 46-02: 59 – After a brief dubsteppy breakdown, we launch into verse two. The English here is so charming: “Here’s another verse, now get DOWN. ” Kind of says it all, right?
This second verse / pre-chorus / chorus is largely a repeat of the first, and a chance to revel in the song’s energy. I love how the synthline from the introduction returns to support the chorus melody.
02: 59-03: 13 – This mini breakdown is so fun. It feels like a twist on the pre-chorus, building similar energy in a different way.
03: 13-03: 29 – It’s time for a breather. The song drops out and we hang weightless for a moment. But, even as the soundscape simplifies, the tempo remains intact. There’s not much instrumentation in this segment, but the song maintains the important bits to fuse these transitions together. This is such a cool little interlude, and builds toward…
03: 29-03: 33 – single the single greatest power note in all of Kisumai’s discography. This is so perfectly placed to bring maximum drama and catharsis right as the instrumental kicks back in. If we’ve been hanging weightless during that last segment, the force of gravity has now shot us into motion once again and we’re soaring. This part always gives me goosebumps.
03: 33-03: 58 – Epic chorus again. Not much more to add!
03: 58-04: 17 – And to close out the song, we have an additional refrain. It builds off the chorus melody but brings an extra jolt of intensity to the structure. It’s brief, but powerful, and sends Gravity off on a high.
From start to finish, the song is perfection. It delivers.