Though it may not deliver a song as instantly classic as Ubu Love or The Answer, Naniwa Danshi’s new single is probably their most consistent since their 2021 debut. It’s spearheaded by two promoted tracks, with Special Kiss getting most of the attention. I enjoy that song for what it is, but it’s a bit syrupy and old-fashioned. I’m much more inclined toward the raucous Seishun Rhapsody (青春ラプソディ), which unleashes a shot of concentrated energy that’s hard to resist.

Seishun Rhapsody attacks right out of the gate with a superspeed chant that will either lift your spirits or have you pressing the mute button. It’s hyper, to say the least! But, stick around and you’ll find a fantastic pop rock track tailor-made for frenzied live performances. You must be willing to embrace the madness that the song is selling, and I’ve found myself more susceptible with each listen. This is largely due to its chorus, which is built upon the kind of punchy pop hook that worms its way into your brain and refuses to let go.

Though Naniwa Danshi are currently riding high on their youthful brand of “kira kira” idol pop, they can’t be this sparkly forever (or can they?). Seishun Rhapsody offers an attractive onramp toward a new stage in their career, bolstered by Osaka-style party rock that retains their endearing personalities but stretches beyond a teen audience. I’m eager to see how their music has evolved after five or ten years, and whether this track stands as an early hint toward their future output.

Hooks 9
Production 8
Longevity 9
Bias 9

Grade: B+

(The YouTube version omits the (fun!) second verse)


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Publisher: Nick