Reviewing Every KIS-MY-FT2 Single: Hands Up

Hands UpIn 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!

Hands Up (2019)

For whatever reason, I wasn’t really focused on music from Johnny’s during the summer of 2019, causing a few great songs to go underrated for months. Hey! Say! JUMP’s excellent Fanfare was one of these songs, and Kis-My-Ft2’s Hands Up also fell by the wayside. Following on the heels of the EDM-fueled Hug & Walk, Hands Up moves further into the genre, bringing a more aggressive energy than its predecessor.

This isn’t a particularly melodic track, and maybe that’s why it took longer to sink in. In fact, it’s almost Kisumai’s answer to the shouty boy group bluster favored by K-pop acts. However, the track is much stronger than that comparison would lead you to believe. Yes, there’s a fair amount of bluster, but Hands Up is fueled by a series of killer hooks. The chorus is big and exciting – as shouty and fragmented as it may be. But, the melodic verses are the true highlight. These segments are incredibly catchy, especially when paired with the hard-hitting electronic backbone.

The music video feels glossier than a lot of Kisumai vids. It’s essentially a dance video, shot in a studio that looks like some futuristic abandoned warehouse. It’s generic, but I like everything about it except for Miyata’s ill-advised buzz cut.

Hooks 8
Production 9
Longevity 9
Bias 9

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