New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (April 9, 2023)

New and Noteworthy J-popIn connection with my desire to fully keep up with the J-pop industry, I’m planning to do a weekly round-up of any new releases that have caught my ear. Some of these may have been covered on the blog already, but my hope is that this will become a one-stop shop for anyone interested in what’s new in J-pop.

With that in mind, here’s where you come in: I’m one person with one set of musical preferences, so please embed any other new J-pop tracks you’ve enjoyed in the comments so we can get a fuller spectrum each week.

*And just like I do with my reviews, I’ll wait until full versions of songs are available before posting them in this round-up. This will mostly apply to Johnny’s groups, who still limit the majority of their YouTube uploads to shorter, edited versions.

2023 Index: Feb 1 – Feb 18 // Feb 19 – 25 // Feb 26 – Mar 3 // Mar 4 – Mar 10 // Mar 11 – Mar 18 // Mar 19 – Mar 25 // Mar 26 – Apr 1

THIS WEEK: April 2 – April 8

Aimyon – Ai no Hana

Aimyon is one of those artists who’s never really appealed to me even though everyone else seems to go crazy over her music. This is a pleasant track.

Aina Suzuki – Dash and Go!

I love the burst of energy, even if the song itself isn’t that memorable.

BsGirls – Update

This is a dance/vocal project team formed to promote baseball, but the song is actually decent in spots. That group name is tragic, though…

Bump Of Chicken – Mado No Nakakara

Really nice, laidback rock from one of Japan’s longest-running bands. The chorus is a highlight.

Fantastics – Panorama Jet (single of the week!)

I wrote about this here. I loved it, and it’s my single of the week!

Girls² – Countdown (ft. Apoki)

This is an unexpected collaboration between the real and the virtual. The song’s just okay, but fans of K-pop’s current girl group trends will probably enjoy it.

Hinatazaka46 – Coelacanth / Koiwa nigeashiga hayai

I think I prefer both of these songs to their a-side One Choice, but they’re not a patch on the group’s best work. Still, each is very pleasant and will probably grow on me with future listens.

I Don’t Like Mondays. – Mmm…

My biggest connection with this group is the fact that they wrote an excellent song for Kis-My-Ft2’s Kitayama Hiromitsu. This new single is pretty groovy.

JO1 – Comma, (b-side of the week!)

It will forever amaze me that you’d release a song as turgid as Tiger for a group’s single when you have this far superior b-side to choose from.

Morisaki Win – Perfect Weekend

This is a pre-release for his upcoming album and it’s honestly one of his strongest songs yet. Fun, laidback pop vibes.

This week’s old favorite:

KinKi Kids – Kagi no Nai Hako (2014)

I adore this song by KinKi Kids and I’m so glad it’s now available on YouTube! It’s such a stately synth banger that manages to be simultaneously melancholic and euphoric. It’s absolute magic.


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