4s4ki - Killer in Neverland Music Album Reviews

4s4ki - Killer in Neverland Music Album Reviews
Blending melodic rap, explosive pop-punk, and languid electro-pop, the Japanese singer and producer’s adventurous new album is fueled by an impassioned wish to escape reality.

Even before her debut single in 2018, 4s4ki had wandered into one corner of the internet after another. The Japanese artist initially took inspiration from the flourishing rap scene on video-upload sites like Nico Nico Douga, particularly the acts who delivered sentimental melodies over beats that crossed boom-bap, electro-pop, and gothic trap. Her output eventually caught the attention of SASAKRECT, an agency home to self-produced rappers and beatmakers. On her full-length debut, 2020’s Your Dreamland, she gravitated towards SoundCloud producers whose cutesy, kitchen-sink synth-pop arrangements channeled the dominant sound of the country’s electronic pop. She’s since signed to a major label, and though she hasn’t yet broken through to the J-pop mainstream, a recent transition to a more abrasive, chaotic production style landed her on Spotify’s influential hyperpop playlist and further extended her underground reach.

While 4s4ki has done well riding the coattails of hyperpop, her latest release, Killer in Neverland, resists easy definition. Compared to the concentrated focus of past EPs, the new album dips into multiple interests at once. Introverted, melodic raps give way to an explosive burst of pop-punk that bleeds into languid electro-pop, sometimes all in the same song. Splintered as the album sounds, the voice at its core remains consistent: Regardless of genre or BPM, self-loathing runs deep in the unfolding internal monologue. 4s4ki’s songs tend to peak with an impassioned wish to escape her current reality, and her stylistic choices amplify the urgency of her pleas.

4s4ki doesn’t completely abandon the signature sounds—like twinkling electro-house synths or crunchy gabber drums—that helped define earlier releases. Besides the happy hardcore-esque freak-out of “先制の剣” (“Sword of preemptive attack”), though, she supplies these songs with few of the bombastic beat drops familiar from her recent output. Even as the production readies to unleash the building tension, she seems too self-occupied to exert it. The seething hard trance beat of “Freedom Kingdom” balloons in size without a moment to cool off. When a relentless breakbeat rushes through the chorus of “ring ring, you kill me,” 4s4ki sounds reluctant to give in: “I will take pills and pain/It’s hurting my heart,” she sings in a whisper, as though the flood of sound signals the return of a repressed memory.

When a track does provide a release valve, it’s as purposeful as it is emotionally cathartic. After 4s4ki describes a world conspiring against her in the verses of “paranoia,” the song abruptly shifts into a punk-rock breakdown that pushes her to express her true feelings: “If only I could be reborn,” she shouts, her effects-laden vocals bleeding into the track. The outpouring of drum’n’bass in the chorus of “Log Out” articulates her desperation even before she launches into the titular hook: “Log out/I want to stay in this imaginary world,” 4s4ki screams, retreating into the internet to escape a merciless reality.

As musically satisfying as the intense build-and-release of “paranoia” and “Log Out” are, 4s4ki isn’t reliant on one technique to convey the force of her emotion. When she recites lines about her childhood in the more straightforward rap track “傍観者” (“Bystander”), the ease of her delivery reflects the fleeting nature of the subject. On “Cross Out,” she takes a sincere approach, singing over a maudlin acoustic guitar loop, but the mood is no less bleak: “I’d leave it all behind/If only it was that easy,” she sighs in the chorus. As 4s4ki refuses to be pinned down to a specific sound, Killer in Wonderland illustrates how her adventurous production is guided by her subject matter, never the other way around.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
4s4ki - Killer in Neverland Music Album Reviews 4s4ki - Killer in Neverland Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 01, 2022 Rating: 5


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