Release Date: November 8, 2011
- Test Drive (7th Heaven Mix)
- Test Drive (Main Mix)
- Test Drive (Funkystepz Mix)
- Test Drive (Static Revenger Dub)
Jin Akanish is a Japanese idol, singer/songwriter, seiyu, actor and radio host. He is probably most well known to J-Pop listeners as a member of his former group KAT-TUN where he was one of the lead vocalists. Test Drive is his debut American single after signing a global deal with the Warner Music Group.
I’m going to be completely honest here. I have never listened to or watched any of Jin Akanishi’s works. All I know of KAT-TUN is that they were one of many male idols in Johnny’s Entertainment who made young & old women swoon. And that is my extent of knowledge of this man’s career. Disappointing? Sure. But it gives me an unbiased opinion of this song which given his past is probably a good thing.
With a blank slate to work from is this any good? Well it seems to have some momentum as it charted at #1 on Japan’s Billboard and Oricon album charts. As for singles charts it hit #16 on Billboard Japan’s Hot 100 and #48 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart. The Japanese success seems to be a given. The fact that this only hit the club charts and didn’t even crack the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 is disappointing.
Included on this maxi-single are the original version and 3 remixes that show some interesting takes on the song. I found the 7th Heaven Mix to be best of all the tracks on this package. It had a more appropriate feel given the lyrical content. The rest of the mixes were so-so but they could be serviceable to a variety of DJ’s.
I was surprised that how great this was. Normally when J-Pop artists debut in America they get some rather shoddy material to work with which pretty much kills their chances of success right off the bat. This is one of those times when everything was done correctly. I look forward to what else Jin Akanishi can bring to the table.