Song Review: OFFICIAL HIGE DANdism – White Noise

After a near flawless run between 2019 and 2020, my personal enjoyment of Higedan’s releases kind of came to a standstill. Sure the group were releasing some pretty great stuff but few, if any of it really connected with me as much as their prior efforts. And while last years pretty great Subtitle did much to reignite my interest in the band, I was still itching for that one track to really hook me back into the group with the same level of intensity as legendary singles Yesterday, Pretender or Laughter. And while new single White Noise is not quite as great as those aforementioned tracks, it might just be my favourite Higedan song in years.

Opening with a thrilling descending riff that lends wonderfully into a classically rock sounding introduction, White Noise begins with a bang and maintains its energy throughout. Higedan have gone for this more rock-based sound for a number of singles over the past few years but with White Noise I think we get the perfect mix of character and energy. The production is propulsive but has that distinct Higedan sheen that really makes White Noise emblematic of the groups sound. Something that will always be a good thing. And as usual, I guess I could attribute a lot of that to Fujihara’s utterly transcendent vocals. His performance will always be the standout of any Higedan song but boy does he kill it here. He imbues every moment with his trademark vocal colour and gives White Noise such a weirdly emotive soundscape that feels both at home and foreign to its aggressive instrumentation. A push and pull effect that initially surprises but comes around wonderfully on further listens.

The melody is also utterly gorgeous, wonderfully weaving in that aforementioned sense of melancholy in both the verses and standout centrepiece. I love how the melody weaves in and out during the verses and then absolutely gives explodes during the chorus. It gives the entire track a sense of continuity whilst still managing to juggle its multiple sounds and moods expertly. The chorus especially is just such a wonderful culmination of everything that came before it, sounding akin to a big, warm hug whilst also harbouring a sense of propulsion that lends perfectly to the aggressive, dynamic sounds required for an anime opening. It’s an excellent overall combination and one that gives us an early 2023 J-pop standout. I was jumping between whether or not to give this a 9 or not but I think I’ll be a little harsh just to be safe.

Verses: 8

Chorus: 9

Production: 9

Performance: 9

Final Rating: 8.75 / 10


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