[Review] KAT-TUN thrives with “Unstoppable” thanks to its unrelenting energy

After their reemergence with April’s excellent “Ask Yourself, KAT-TUN released their first full-length album in four years. Its diverse set of songs does a good job encapsulating the group’s 12-year career, but though they’ve tackled many different genres throughout the years, KAT-TUN have always returned to their distinct blend of anthemic pop rock. Given this, new single “Unstoppable” feels like the perfect track to spearhead the album.

Right out of the gate, “Unstoppable” is a grand production. A dramatic, strings-laden introduction ushers in the first verse, which balances its symphonic arrangement with a thundering rock stomp. The melody has a slightly ominous feel, as it slowly builds to the cathartic chorus. This central refrain is KAT-TUN through and through — and this feels both comforting and predictable. I think the brief post-chorus is actually stronger, adding a sly hook that brings a touch of funk to the bombast.

But as familiar as “Unstoppable”’s melody may be, the song’s unrelenting production surrounds it with so many layers of rock-opera theatrics that it’s hard not to fall into its charms. The track’s final third is particularly engaging, moving from a blistering instrumental breakdown to a subdued chorus before a standout electric guitar truly lights things on fire. Returning after such a long hiatus is a big deal for KAT-TUN, and “Unstoppable” salutes their career with the kind of throw-down-the-gauntlet energy it deserves. Here’s to a new era, filled with the kind of incredible music we’ve come to expect from these guys.

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