“Kis-My-World,” the fourth studio album from Johnny & Associates’ boy band Kis-My-Ft2, is all about positivity. On album opener ” ‘4th’ Overture,” the guys preach hope and then shift into an upbeat vibe for the rest of the album.
While the happy approach can sometimes lead to cliched J-pop, there are a few surprises on “Kis-My-World” that keep it interesting, like the jazzy touches on several tracks. The saxophone on “Kimi no Aeru Kara” seems out of place at first, but ends up giving the song some romance; and the funky jazz-influenced “Double Up” features hip-hop-style scratching.
When it comes to hip-hop, though, I find Kis-My-Ft2’s attempts at rapping to be one of the weaker elements of the record. On “Kiss Damashii” the rapping sounds forced, mixed with a rock element that seems like it’s meant to give the members a tough edge, but just sounds cheesy in the end.
“Brand New World” is the album’s standout track, reminiscent of turn-of-the-century American house music. Sounds from that era appear on other songs, such as “Another Future” and “Perfect World,” but it’s hard to tell if Kis-My-Ft2 is simply stuck in the 2000s or just jumping the gun on its inevitable revival.