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

2024 Index: Dec 24 – Jan 6 // Jan 7 – Jan 13 // Jan 14 – Jan 20 // Jan 21 – Jan 27 // Jan 28 – Feb 3

THIS WEEK: Feb 4 – Feb 10

Aina The End – Treasure

I have a feeling Red:birthmark may be a one-off, but this isn’t half-bad either. Definitely more subdued.

Ako – Planet

Quirky and a little otherworldly in a good way.

Back-On x Flow – CHEMYxSTORY

I like the mix of punk and rap. It’s a very powerful sound.

Billlie – Domino (Butterfly Effect)

I wrote about this here. I liked it!

BUDDiiS – JUBiiLEE

I want to be a big fan of this group and keep waiting for them to wow me. This isn’t the song that will do it, unfortunately.

GOODM!X – Come On, Mix!

Fluffy girl group J-pop. It’s pretty much what you’d expect.

INI – Legit

Sigh. They were on such a roll, but this feels like a step back.

Lil’ League – Lollipop

I’m not a big fan of Exile Tribe’s new gen groups, which is a shame. This is better than I expected, but I’m not sure about that interpolation.

Masayoshi Oishi – Electric Parade

I loved his Uni-verse from last year, but there’s too much mugging going on in this vocal performance for me. I like the chorus, though.

MindaRyn – Third Party

I love the contrast between the bright vocals and heavy backing track. This is anthemic in all the right ways.

NiziU – Memories

As expected, this is very “JYP girl group.” It sounds like a Twice b-side, which isn’t a bad thing.

Philosophy no Dance – Go Survive

Funky and upbeat. I like it!

ReLit – Chocolate

They released one of my favorite songs of last year. This is… very much not that.

Sakurazaka46 – Aburawosase!

The brass is an interesting touch to their sound, but other than that this feels pretty standard for them.

Tatsuya Ueda – Girisuto!

Eh… not really feeling his new solo songs, to me honest.

Takane No Nadeshiko – Watashi wa Kaibutsu

Still nowhere near their best work, but the jazzy sound fits them well.

The Telephones – Danger Boy (song of the week!)

The vocals have a very indie-rock approach, but I love that exciting dance instrumental.

Touken Danshi Daihensei Suehirogari2023 – Hajime No Kaze

I always keep a sneaky eye on the Touken Danshi music releases because they’re often quite good.

Watwing – Shine

I like this better in theory than execution.

Wednesday Campanella – Ghost and Writer

They’re very hit or miss for me. This leans closer to “hit,” but I’m not quite sure yet.

White Scorpion – Hijoushudan (song of the week!)

Another strong song from this new group. It’s not perfect, but the chorus kind of slaps. It’s probably their best track yet.

Yena – DNA

I wrote about this here. I thought it was okay.

This week’s old favorite:

HIM – Aquarius (1995)

One of the many mixed-gender dance projects of the 90’s. If you like TRF, you’ll love this!

Original Article