New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (April 23, 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 // Apr 2 – Apr 8 // Apr 9 – Apr 15

THIS WEEK: April 16 – April 22

BRADIO – Soul Galaxy

I adore the sheer bigness of this track. Give me all the over-the-top grandeur an anime opening can offer!

Golden Child – Crayon

I wrote about this here. I didn’t like it much, even as a massive fan of the group.

Hinatazaka46 – Tomoyo Ichibanboshida

I featured this as a great b-side last week, but now it has a music video! This sounds like something they’d play at the Olympics. I love the grand scale and symphonic elements.

King & Prince – King & Prince, Queen & Princess

Even though this is an old song, it’s been repurposed as the farewell single for the group’s current formation. It was schlocky then and it’s schlocky now, but it works well in this setting and the full 7+ minute music video is pretty much everything you’d want from a moment like this. The best-of album also has a reworking of debut single Cinderella Girl that’s pretty fun.

Man With A Mission x Milet – Kizuna no Kiseki (single of the week!)

This is everything I could ask for in a rock genre anime theme. It’s big and energetic with a great chorus and tons of fun, interesting vocal interplay. I love it, and it’s my single of the week!

Official HIGE DANdism – Tattoo

I’ll gladly listen to anything this band wants to give us, but after the strength of their past few singles Tattoo feels a little bland.

Queen Bee – Mephisto (b-side of the week!)

After loving December’s Violence so much, I was upset that I didn’t connect with Queen Bee’s recent album. Thankfully, this new song is much more compelling.

Sekai No Owari – Sabara

It’s kind of impossible to follow-up a hit as massive as last year’s Habit, and Sabara doesn’t even try. It’s fine OST fare. Not my favorite Sekai No Owari song by a long shot.

Shiori Tamai – Eyes On Me

Momoiro Clover Z also released a new song this week, but I prefer this solo track by Shiori Tamai. It’s more upbeat than our idea of classic city pop, but has that same sort of sophisticated, retro shimmer.

Snow Man – Slow…

I wrote about this here. I like it and it’s already grown on me, but they have many stronger singles in their arsenal.

This week’s old favorite:

Exile – Love Of History (2019)

I could pick many Exile tracks, and I’ll probably spotlight more in the future. But, I wanted to start with a lesser-known song that’s always struck me as one of their best. Melodically and production-wise, it’s pretty much perfect.


5 thoughts on “New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (April 23, 2023)

    • It cracks me up how pretty much every song on that album opens with the same Eurobeat riff. It’s like, “here we go again! 🥴”

      (not complaining, tho…)


  1. also these (fantastic) songs by ayumi-chan from her Colours album (fun fact; what is forever love was produced by Daishi Dance and terminal was produced by Armin Van Buuren)


  2. Glad to see my favorite song of the past few weeks (Mephisto) on this blog! Especially love that chorus part, the flair with which the vocalist switches so smoothly and swiftly between falsetto and their regular deep voice.


  3. Thank you for your reviews! When I first hear HigeDan’s new single, “Tattoo,” I wasn’t sure I liked it (and I love their stuff). But after a few listens, I’ve got the darn thing of repeat. 😀

    Thank you for the tip of “Man With A Mission” x Milet – Kizuna no Kiseki – didn’t know about them, but you are CORRECT, this is a great song.

    Always love reading you!


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