News has slowly inched their way to the very top of my J-Pop bias list, releasing brilliant pop song after brilliant pop song. They’ve been active for an incredible thirteen years now, first as a nine-member group, then as a six-piece and finally as the very strong four-member configuration they are today. Throughout it all, their music has only improved, even if their commercial power may have dwindled a bit. There are many great songs that were bumped just outside this list, and a two total favorites (Barefoot Cinderella Boy & Full Swing) that I deemed ineligible based on the fact that they were part of a double a-side without a music video.
10. Summer Time (2008)
One of the most straightforward pop tracks the group has released, sun-kissed by a bright, bubbly melody and classic boyband sentiment.
9. Sakura Girl (さくらガール) (2010)
A swirling springtime ode that marks one of News’ most mature melodies. Rarely has melancholic yearning sounded so catchy.
8. Four Musketeers (Yonjuushi 四銃士) (2015)
Playing off of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the guys deliver a rousing, theater-school mini-drama that perfectly matches their unique sound with symphonic bombast. (full review)
7. The Red, Burning Sun (紅く燃ゆる太陽) (2004)
New’s earliest output tended to follow a similar, high-energy retro dance template, but no song is stronger than the synth-driven Red, Burning Sun. It may not be as instantly recognizable as Yell or Teppen, but its rapid fire hooks pack a memorable punch.
6. Fighting Man (2010)
Blasting forward with an edgier, syncopated energy than their past work, Fighting Man offered a glimpse into what News would later transform into. That mile-a-minute chorus is incredibly addictive.
5. Weeeek (2007)
One of their most recognizable singles, walloping listeners with its enormous stadium chant of a chorus. And don’t mistake those extra “e’s” for a typo!
4. Chumu Chumu (チュムチュム) (2015)
There’s no reason that a Bollywood pastiche performed by a jpop group should work this well. Chumu Chumu is silly, for sure, and completely aware of its own ridiculousness, but even if you strip away the track’s considerable Indian influences, the chorus remains one of the catchiest moments of their career.
3. Kaguya (2015)
Powered by its sledgehammer, 80’s-indebted beat, the powerful Kaguya offers much more meat on its bones than first appears. The accompanying paper-umbrella dance is gimmicky (and refreshingly gender-bending), but the strength of the song lies in its intense forward drive.
2. Chankapana (チャンカパーナ) (2012)
After a long hiatus, News reconfigured as a four-piece and delivered this transformative comeback. Taking cues from disco, Chankapana presents an unwavering tribute to the fans who had stuck by them for so long. In the process, it also gifts us with one of their best, most inclusively sing-along choruses.
1. World Quest (2012)
World Quest is actually one of News’ lowest performing releases, though you wouldn’t be able to tell when listening to the sheer jubilation of its explosive chorus. An anthem to end all anthems, the song takes full advantage of the guys’ powerful vocals, belting it out in a sky-high, ever surging melody. It’s far from their most experimental single, but you just can’t fault a pop song this big.
Not a big fan but I love their old songs! Hoshi wo Mezashite and Cherish are some jpop songs I listen to the most 🙂
As you can tell, I mostly prefer the newer material to the stuff they did pre-2010. But I think some of that has to do with the fact that I’m a newer fan who wasn’t even aware of their existence back in the days of 9 members. Do you still follow their music? In some ways, they’re almost like a totally new group nowadays.
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Yeah, I’m actually planning to check the songs in your list! Nope I haven’t been an active JE fan since 2010-ish 😦 I used to be a huge fan of KAT-TUN tho. NEWS, not so much. I just really liked Ryo and Pi back then 🙂
My total favorite from NEWS is their debut song, NEWS ニッポン (NEWS Nippon)!
There’s also Nantoka Narusa and Teppen in the list.:D
News Nippon and Teppen nearly made my list, but I just prefer their newer material overall.
You should listen to their B-sides. They have amazing B-sides 🙂 (only stumbled on this post while randomly checking NEWS stuff)
I have! And yes, there are some amazing ones 🙂 One of these days, I’ll do a separate list for album tracks/b-sides
Oh trust me… I’m more than a little familiar with their b-sides 😉
One of these days I’ll post a list of my favorite album tracks/b-sides.
I’ve been getting into NEWS alot lately, and was wondering what you thought about their b-sides. For now Black Fire is easily at the top of my list!
There are so many News b-sides that I love! Black Fire’s great, as is that entire album. Song for song, I think Quartetto is my favorite News album. Their new one’s pretty good too.
Here’s a selection of some of my absolute favorite b-sides, listed by how many times I’ve played each:
Barefoot Cinderella Boy (not technically a b-side, I guess… but it doesn’t have an mv)
Top Of The World
There are SO many other great ones, though.
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Thanks alot for the list!!!
I absolutely adore Sirius and Full Swing aswell, but oh my has Barefoot Cinderella Boy been a complete revelation. I never thought a song with a title like that would be so massive. It’s pure pop brilliance!
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Surprised finding NEWS song review by k-pop fans! I particularly like Forever, World Quest and many things! Haha.. Excited to their new single LPS. What do you think about their 2017 songs?
I loved Emma and most of the Neverland album. Not feeling LPS, though (or any of its b-sides). It feels too safe for them. I need another killer uptempo.
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