New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (May 7, 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 // Apr 16 – Apr 22 // Apr 23 – Apr 29

THIS WEEK: May 1 – May 6

Anly – Take Off

Parts of this give me strong 90’s vibes. I love that scuzzy opening instrumental and the vast majority of the song explodes with great intensity.

DURDN – Drink! (ft. YonYon)

I missed this one last week but I think it deserves a mention in this round-up. It’s a funky little tune with a great beat.

Girls2 – Click

Not my thing, but fans of current girl group trends (especially from K-pop) will probably like it.

Kis-My-Ft2 – Sweet Melody (single of the week!)

I wrote about this here. It’s grown on me since then and I kind of love it. It’s my single of the week! (surprising no one…)

NOA – Burn

This is giving me the 2017-era tropical vibes I’ve been missing. That beat is good!

Pasocom Music Club – Day After Day (ft. Mei Takahashi)

A steady kick keeps this song’s dreamy vibes from evaporating into thin air.

The Rampage – Bionic (b-side of the week!)

I like this track a lot. In fact, I might actually prefer it to the single it’s attached to. That rugged electro beat is really effective and the chorus is simple and catchy.

Scandal – Line Of Sight

I feel like Scandal release a lot of music that I don’t check out as often as I should. This is a great, straightforward rocker with catchy chords and a satisfying, explosive chorus.

Sexy Zone – Cream

This song is cool. From its vibe to its performance to its stylish music video, Cream is the kind of groovy alt-pop idol track that just works. But as much as I enjoy it, it doesn’t boast those killer hooks or bombastic showmanship that characterize my favorite Sexy Zone tracks.

WayV – Welcome To My Paradise

Is this their official J-pop debut? It’s decent, but definitely feels like a mid-album track cut from the same cloth as many SM mid-tempos before it.

20th Century – Anata to

I want to love the work these guys are doing, especially since I’m a big V6 fan. But, it all feels dangerously close to “dad rock” for my taste. This song is pleasant.

This week’s old favorite:

Girl Next Door – Urban Dance (2013)

Now, this is how you do a farewell single! Replace those drippy ballads with high-energy, guitar-and-synth dance fantasia. Girl Next Door have an incredible discography. Their final recording also happens to be one of their best.


3 thoughts on “New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (May 7, 2023)

  1. I’m a day late, but I just found this, Utsukushii Hire by Spitz, and really like it. Might be too tame for Nick, though 🙂


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