【review/rate】shuta sueyoshi / wonder hack

released 2019, avex.

AAA member Shuta Sueyoshi releases another solo album that has its share of unique j-pop cuts, but suffers from a short length that left me wanting more (especially as his new single “Over Quartzer” is about to be released and wasn’t featured on the tracklist.). What it lacks in length, it makes up for with a couple of extremely cool pop cuts that must be heard!

The first half is a fairly impressive foray into electropop, with the intro instrumental setting a perfect mood, and “I’m Your Owner” is an immediate hit. The production is divine, lushly layered synthesizers and plenty of bass in the mix to give the track some punch. I wish we had an extended version to dance to.

“Wild” is also very well produced, but as the song is performed entirely in English, your mileage may vary. The first postchorus is insanely catchy, a twerk off moment for the clubs! I wish it were in the song more, but it also serves as the outro so at least we get it twice!

The rest of “Wonder Hack” is a little generic and that’s to be expected from an avex artist not named Namie Amuro. “Elmo” has some jangly guitars, but nothing else to it. “Human” is a cringey acoustic midtempo (ACOUSTIC? Ugh. MIDTEMPO? Double ugh.) “Ai Iro ni Someta” and “Paradise” are just those cookie cutter j-pop filler tracks that I found nothing memorable in.

However, there’s still one song on the album that is worth a listen, and it’s “Hack”. I guess this could be the title track? It’s a really cute shibuya-kei influenced song, imagine riding a neon elevator in the year 2060 and it makes sense. The melody is an earworm too, so brownie points for that! AND THERE’S A REALLY COOL BREAKDOWN THAT’S SHORT BUT SWEET. ALSO, THERE ARE TWO KEY CHANGES. TWO! This song is phenomenal okay?

While half of “Wonder Hack” is generic yet serviceable, a good chunk of it is REALLY fresh and well produced. It’s a shame there isn’t more of the uptempo electronic sound that was explored, as it would have lengthened the super short runtime of this album (28 minutes? This is basically an EP.) and also fit the concept to a tee.

  1. Wonder Hack -intro (N/A)
  2. I’m your owner ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Elmo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Human ⭐️⭐️
  6. 愛色に染めた ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Hack ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Paradise ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Must-Listen : Hack, I’m your owner
  • Skip : Human (it’s really corny.)
  • “Wonder Hack” is available on Apple Music and Spotify.
  • Order a CD copy on CDJapan.
  • Order a limited edition CD+DVD on CDJapan.
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