It’s been a solid year for singles/albums from Johnny’s & Associates. As far as ratings go, I feel like I’ve given a ton of high-8’s but only a couple 9+ raves. Sexy Zone have been the recipients of two of those 9’s. Their Highlight album is aptly-named, giving us the excellent single Forever Gold and the just-as-fantastic b-side Desideria. They’ve really matured into a group who can make any genre sound fresh and exciting. For new single Trust Me, Trust You, the guys hearken back to the late 2000’s with a fusion of R&B and electronic elements.

For longtime Johnny’s fans like me, it’s a marvel to see the agency uploading music videos to YouTube. But, they still insist on editing them down to a weird sampler platter. I get why they’ve taken this approach (why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?), but the edits are often detrimental to the songs themselves. In Trust Me, Trust You’s case, the shortened YouTube edit does the song no favors. You need to hear its melodies a few times for them to really stick. You need the whole strong structure for maximum effect. Before I heard the full track, I thought it was an interesting experiment but not up to par with the group’s standard.

It turns out I was foolish to doubt Sexy Zone. Trust Me, Trust You becomes more addictive the more you hear it. Nobody is doing this kind of synth-heavy, autotune-friendly R&B-pop right now, and I think the sound may be due for a resurgence. More importantly, the track is melodically rich, unfurling hook after hook that build upon each other in complimentary ways. English-language lyrics are used particularly well and a late-song rap verse brings the energy home. At this point, I’m convinced this group can do just about anything.

Hooks 9
Production 8
Longevity 9
Bias 9


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Publisher: Nick