In 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.
Have to agree with you about JO1’s Comma; sounds like SHINee at their very best!