For those who have even the slightest of knowledge of Japanese pop culture, the name Yoasobi should ring some immediate bells. Their late 2019 release Racing Into The Night was a bonafide sensation in Japan and their popularity has only gotten bigger and bigger throughout the course of the past year. And unlike most cases, the music has remained equally as strong. Tracks like Halzion and Ultramarine were easy highlights and Kaibutsu kicks off their 2021 singles run in style.
Given their immense popularity, it was only a matter of time before the duo were tasked with an anime opening and Kaibutsu acts as the opening for the second season of popular anime series, Beastars. For those unaware, Yoasobi are actually duo, consisting of vocalist Rira Ikuta and producer Ayase. And this tight collaborative effort gives every Yoasobi song its own unique flair. You can almost always tell a Yoasobi song when you hear one and I believe that this form of musical identity is what helped buoy such immense popularity for them. This sense of familiarity carries over to Kaibutsu but also develops their usual melancholic signature electro pop sound into slightly something more gritty. This is evident from the opening verse, which incorporates a darker, more gritty instrumental than we’re used to. The deeper, droning synth loop is a great production flourish, lending a darker touch to Yoasobi’s discography and one that acts as a natural progression of their sound whilst maintaining all the strengths of their previous releases. The production and Ikuta’s vocal inflections recall the most appealing aspects of vocaloid culture, tacking them into an invigorating arrangement that just sounds incredible.
But while I may adore the verses, the chorus brings us back to why we all fell in love with Yoasobi’s music in the first place. The hyper melodic hook here is what dreams are made of and the introduction of those electronic keys during the pre-chorus act as a perfect transitional piece. And it’s those same electronic keys and high bmp arrangement that have become staples in Yoasobi songs, acting as a great compliment to Ikuta’s more emotive vocals. It’s probably the strongest hook they’ve found since Racing into the night, perfectly conveying the more melancholic atmosphere that us fans have come to love. The instrumental breakdown that follows is equally as potent, acting as a nice climactic salvo to a great hook.
The rest of Kaibutsu continues to build, incorporating more production flourishes that blend perfectly with the more gritty dance beat until the climactic key change sets us onto a great final chorus. I love a good key change and the one here is great and the instrumental led outro is equally as potent. As such, Kaibutsu is the most adventurous Yoasobi single yet and is on par with Racing Into The Night as one of their best.
Final Rating: 9 / 10
4 thoughts on “SONG REVIEW: Kaibutsu – Yoasobi”
Probably my favorite YOASOBI song, it has grown on me since release a lot.
J-Pop is having a great month!
For my part I find the intro with the softer vocals and deep droning to be really haunting, and while it contrasts well with the more upbeat tempo and tone that makes up the majority of the song, that majority is just that; typical.
Heard it for the first time tonight so my feeling may change, but my reaction at the chorus was “but this is so vanilla!” – it’s great, but it’s been done so many times before.
Now I can’t help but wonder; is there a remix out there focusing on the jagged warble of that synth and the almost absent yet dripping with attitude vocals? I intend to find out.