Release Date: May 23, 2018
- ROCKET DIVE
Total Runtime: 00:06:59
Recommended for: Those who love J-rock bands or J-rock type of songs.
NOT recommended for: Who are looking for the usual SHOKICHI hip-hop/EDM tracks.
Underdog is the 5th single released by EXILE’s SHOKICHI, and the first in almost 3 years. It was released in two versions: a regular CD+DVD edition, as well as a regular CD edition. This is SHOKICHI’s first single the features a rock sound as opposed to his usual hip-hop tracks. Underdog was produced by J-rock band BACK-ON’s vocalist, KENJI03. Without further ado, let’s dive into this review!
Track One: Underdog
Starting with the music video itself, the visuals are aesthetically pleasing, with all the color schemes and a lot of camera movements. The music video also features some label mates, such as ELLY and Hiroomi of Sandaime J Soul Brothers, SWAY, and the solo artist SALU. I believe this is SHOKICHI’s first single that features primarily J-rock elements, as it was produced by BACK-ON’s KENJI03.
The song starts off with an electric guitar playing, which in my opinion is the charm point of the entire song, and it’s coupled with the drums. Both instruments really work hand in hand with SHOKICHI’s vocals, and I’d like to see more J-rock tracks from him as they seem to fit his voice better. The song is quite original in the sense that SHOKICHI has never tackled the J-rock style, as he usually stays in the realm of hip-hop or EDM. Lyrically, the song is uplifting, discussing about being the underdog and working yourself up to the top. Overall, this was a solid track and I’ve listened to it on repeat many times.
Track Two: ROCKET DIVE
Rocket Dive is a cover of the original 1998 song by hide with Spread Beaver. The animation for this track was released shortly after the single came out, so I’m guessing he is going to be promoting both songs. The song really has a 90’s/early 2000’s J-rock vibe, one that is found in most anime openings from back then. I love the flow in the verses and the pre-chorus, but I do feel like the chorus itself is a bit all over the place. Lyrically, it’s pretty cute, it’s all about moving forward with the person you’re in love with and taking it to the next level. Since I’m not feeling the chorus as much, I won’t find myself listening to this as much as Underdog.
The single is available worldwide on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as for purchase on iTunes/Google Play. Let me know what you think of SHOKICHI’s latest single down in the comment section below!