After nearly two years of singles, Hey! Say! JUMP are back with a new studio album. Filmusic is a varied collection of songs themed around movie genres. Its most successful moments come when the group tries on a hard rap/rock style, though the self-referential Get Out Of My House is also a treat (especially if you know its context!).
The rock influence expands to the album’s single, Fate Or Destiny. There’s nothing heavy about this power ballad, but I think it’s the strongest single JUMP have released in years. Sometimes all you want is a killer melody delivered with passion. Fate Or Destiny swoops and soars in all the right places. It’s totally overwrought, but that’s the point.
The song opens with the best vocal performance member Nakajima Yuto has ever given. He puts his skills as an actor to use, immediately capturing attention with an emotive plea that sets the tone. It’s gratifying when a performer manages to surprise you fifteen years into their career. This melody floats over a great blend of guitar and piano that gives Fate Or Destiny an ornate sense of drama. The track climaxes in a cathartic chorus that enlists the full brunt of the instrumental before pulling back again. In other words, this is a classic rock ballad, running through all the tropes you’d hope to hear. All it needs is a stirring guitar solo. Fate Or Destiny doesn’t push itself that far, preferring to exist as a top-shelf example of the standard Johnny’s ballad. But, by the time we crash into the final chorus, you’ll be too busy pumping your fist to notice any shortcomings.