J-pop

moumoon: BF

By Paris365 on October 21, 2014

moumoon: BF

"Dear my best friend, with lots of love," moumoon's Yuka sings during their new single "BF," which does *not* stand for boy friend. Instead, it stands for "Best Friend."

"Dear my best friend, with lots of love," moumoon's Yuka sings during their new single "BF," which does *not* stand for boy friend. Instead, it stands for "Best Friend." And, apparently, it's from the perspective of a girl who's so happy to have her best friend that she's compelled to sing about it. "Everytime, I'll be here, right beside you, because you'll always be there for me, too," goes part of the punchy and addictive chorus. And those lyrics are not translations. Most of the song is actually in English.

FLiP: GIRL

By Paris365 on October 17, 2014

FLiP: GIRL

As you may recall, FLiP is an all-female band formed in Okinawa in 2005 by singer/guitarist Sachiko, guitarist Yuko, bassist Sayaka and drummer Yuumi. "Girl" is their new single and it's a slick, expertly-produced song that blurs the line between J-Rock and J-Pop.

As you may recall, FLiP is an all-female band formed in Okinawa in 2005 by singer/guitarist Sachiko, guitarist Yuko, bassist Sayaka and drummer Yuumi. "Girl" is their new single and it's a slick, expertly-produced song that blurs the line between J-Rock and J-Pop. Everything about this song is perfect, quite frankly. The beats immediately grab you, sucking you right in, while Sachiko sings "la, la, la / la, la, la, la" or something pretty similar to that, making your brain immediately start singing along.

YUKI: FLY

By Paris365 on October 09, 2014

YUKI: FLY

Finally, following a three year wait, Yuki has released her seventh full-length album in the form of FLY. The 16 track opus includes the singles Play Ball, Sakamichi no Melody, Watashi no Onegai Koto, Starmann and Dare Demo Lonely along with 11 brand new, never before released tracks.

Finally, following a three year wait, Yuki has released her seventh full-length album in the form of FLY. The 16 track opus includes the singles Play Ball, Sakamichi no Melody, Watashi no Onegai Koto, Starmann and Dare Demo Lonely along with 11 brand new, never before released tracks.

HKT48: 控えめI LOVE YOU!

By Paris365 on October 02, 2014

HKT48: 控えめI LOVE YOU!

The new HKT48 single is trash... But the B-sides are quite nice!

Well, there's an easy way to sum this one up: if you like AKB48 and all of the related artists then you're sure to find this new single by HKT48 irresistible. But if you've never liked the AKB sound, well, stay far, far away. That said, the B-sides are quite good!

HARUNA LUNA: STARTEAR

By Paris365 on September 25, 2014

HARUNA LUNA: STARTEAR

Majestic strings abound in Haruna Luna's shimmering new single, "Startear," which also packs glittery shards of piano, racing drums and, of course, Haruna's always sweet voice.

Majestic strings abound in Haruna Luna's shimmering new single, "Startear," which also packs glittery shards of piano, racing drums and, of course, Haruna's always sweet voice. What I always like about Haruna's music is that you feel like you've stepped into a dreamworld where only her music exists when you listen to it. It's not that it sounds otherworldly or super original, but it has character, much more so than your average J-Pop singer brings to the table.

HARUKA TOMATSU: FANTASTIC SODA!!

By Paris365 on September 24, 2014

HARUKA TOMATSU: FANTASTIC SODA!!

At long last, soda pop now has an anthem!

If you're a big fan of soda then you're in for a real treat here as Haruka Tomatsu delivers a bubbly pop music ode to the luscious liquid appropriately entitled "Fantastic Soda!!" The uplifting tune packs seriously punchy beats with shimmering strings, acoustic guitars and Haruka's super enthusiastic vocals for one of the most bouncy J-Pop tunes of the year. Listen and bow down to the carbonation!

THE BRILLIANT GREEN: THE SWINGIN' SIXTIES

By Paris365 on September 16, 2014

THE BRILLIANT GREEN: THE SWINGIN' SIXTIES

The title of this album, The Swingin' Sixties, had me thinking that this was an album of covers from the sixties. But then I looked at the tracklist and most of the titles looked familiar. And so I looked at the tracklists for all of their previous albums and, sure enough, all of the songs on this album appear on previous albums by the group.

The title of this album, The Swingin' Sixties, had me thinking that this was an album of covers from the sixties. But then I looked at the tracklist and most of the titles looked familiar. And so I looked at the tracklists for all of their previous albums and, sure enough, all of the songs on this album appear on previous albums by the group. Turns out this is an album of self-covers, Tomoko Kawase (a.k.a.

AKB48: 心のプラカード (Kokoro no Purakado)

By Paris365 on September 02, 2014

AKB48: 心のプラカード (Kokoro no Purakado)

AKB48's latest single is "心のプラカード," which Google translates as "Placard of Mind." Perhaps it is in spite of its title, then, that the song is mindless J-Pop fodder.

AKB48's latest single is "心のプラカード," which Google translates as "Placard of Mind." Perhaps it is in spite of its title, then, that the song is mindless J-Pop fodder. But that's not such a bad thing. When most people listen to pop songs, they just want to be entertained. And "心のプラカード " does entertain for all of its approximately four minutes. What it doesn't do is break the AKB48 mold. You have a fast tempo, blaring horns, soaring strings, jittery piano and a seemingly infinite number of girls harmonizing together. Not bad. Or is it?

GARNIDELIA: GRILLETTO

By Paris365 on August 25, 2014

GARNIDELIA: GRILLETTO

One thing I can tell you for sure about Garnidelia's music is that it's fantastic.

Garnidelia is a duo consisting of Maria [@MARiA_GRND] and Toku [@toku_grnd].  Their first single, "ambiguous," was released in March with their new, second single, "Grilletto," released on July 30th, 2014.  Only Maria appears on their album -- er, single -- covers, so I'm assuming this is one of those deals where the woman is the singer and face of the duo while the guy handles the music and stays behind the scenes.

MOUMOON: I'M SCARLET

By Paris365 on August 21, 2014

MOUMOON: I'M SCARLET

Are you having a bad day? If so, moumoon's "I'm Scarlet" is just the song to elevate your spirits.

Are you having a bad day? If so, moumoon's "I'm Scarlet" is just the song to elevate your spirits. And if you're having a good day, why not make it a great day? What if you're having a great day already, you ask? Well, then you should download this digital single and save it for a rainy day. After all, it's moumoon and they don't really make depressing songs.

LEO IEIRI: JUNJO

By Paris365 on August 17, 2014

LEO IEIRI: JUNJO

"Junjo" is among her most vibrant and infectious tunes to date, which is surely why it's being used as the ending theme for the new Dragonball Kai anime series.

Singer/songwriter Leo Ieiri's new single, "純情," or "Junjo," finds her doing what she does best: blasting out a colorful and passionate pop rock tune. On her last album, she did a lot of piano-led tracks and they were gorgeous, but they didn't have the vigor and bounciness of the songs on her previous albums, which were bursting with kinetic energy. Fortunately, "Junjo" is among her most vibrant and infectious tunes to date, which is surely why it's being used as the ending theme for the new Dragonball Kai anime series.

PAIPAI DEKAMI: レッツドリーム小学校 [Let's Dream Shogakko]

By Paris365 on August 13, 2014

PAIPAI DEKAMI: レッツドリーム小学校 [Let's Dream Shogakko]

But after listening to the album, all of my preconceived notions leapt out the window and crashed to the pavement, dying when their necks were all but shattered.

This one really surprised me, not unlike half of the stuff I listen to in the interest of reviewing it for you. I thought for sure that this was going to be silly bubble-gum pop. More specifically, I thought it might sound like AKB48. I even found myself wondering if she was a member of the group or a former member. But after listening to the album, all of my preconceived notions leapt out the window and crashed to the pavement, dying when their necks were all but shattered.

ZIGZO: FOREVER YOUNG

By Paris365 on August 11, 2014

ZIGZO: FOREVER YOUNG

Forever Young is ZIGZO's way of celebrating their 15th anniversary. It's also a great hits compilation that's also noteworthy because it includes a re-recording of their 1999 single "Himawari." Who the hell are ZIGZO? According to Wiki, they're a Japanese rock supergroup, featuring members of various popular groups.

Forever Young is ZIGZO's way of celebrating their 15th anniversary. It's also a great hits compilation that's also noteworthy because it includes a re-recording of their 1999 single "Himawari." Who the hell are ZIGZO? According to Wiki, they're a Japanese rock supergroup, featuring members of various popular groups. They were formed in 1999 and broke up in 2002, presumably due to musical differences. But Wiki later indicates that they reformed the group on November 20, 2011 and have since released a mini-album called True Impulse.

PUFFY: 秘密のギミーキャット ~うふふ 本当よ~

By Paris365 on August 05, 2014

PUFFY: 秘密のギミーキャット ~うふふ 本当よ~

This song is insane. In many ways.

Puffy, known as Puffy Amiyumi here in the States, have always been known for doing zany stuff. You never know what to expect from them. I don't think they've ever done rap, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if that's what their next album is. When I tried to translate the title of this song with Google translate it spit out: "~ I really Ufufu Gimme Cat-secret." All I can say about that is that there is a no cat thing on the cover.

FAR EAST MENTION MANNEQUIN'S: FXXK BOYZ GET MONEY

By Paris365 on July 30, 2014

FAR EAST MENTION MANNEQUIN'S: FXXK BOYZ GET MONEY

We think this song's title sums it up just fine. Read on if it doesn't offend you.

Apparently, this often dubbed "plastic" duo -- also known as FEMM -- is a serious Youtube sensation. To that end, they have several singles available in the iTunes U.S. store. But their new single "FXXK BOYZ GET MONEY" is the first time I've come across them. Why, who knows... While I do tend to cover certain artists over and over again, I also keep my eyes and ears open for new artists, so I should have heard of these girls sooner. But I didn't, and for that I apologize because you deserve to hear them, as they're quite good!

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RIHWA: CHOU CREAM

By Paris365 on July 28, 2014

RIHWA: CHOU CREAM

Rihwa rocks. No, really.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Rihwa begins her new series of singles, following the recent release of her under-rated album Borderless, with "Chou Cream." Whether you're a Rihwa fan or naysayer, chances are you have a certain sort of song pop into your head when you hear her name. Me, well, I expected this to be a melodious, acoustic-based pop song. I was wrong. In a very refreshing way, Rihwa has apparently hit the restart button on her career, releasing a tune with some blazing electric guitars. The opening is especially raw, almost aggressive.

FLOWER: Nettaigyo no Namida

By Paris365 on July 23, 2014

FLOWER: Nettaigyo no Namida

Flower is a sub-unit of E-Girls, the massive J-Pop group that also includes every member of Dream, Happiness, Bunny and EGD. The funny thing about this is that Flower are consistently releasing music that is far superior to the music of E-Girls.

Flower is a sub-unit of E-Girls, the massive J-Pop group that also includes every member of Dream, Happiness, Bunny and EGD. The funny thing about this is that Flower are consistently releasing music that is far superior to the music of E-Girls.

Mika Nakashima X Miliyah Kato: FIGHTER / GIFT

By Paris365 on July 15, 2014

Mika Nakashima X Miliyah Kato: FIGHTER / GIFT

Mika Nakashima and Miliyah Kato have joined forces with producer/arranger DJ Taku of m-flo for the Japanese theme song of The Amazing Spider-man 2, "Fighter," and it's a rather heavy rock tune.

Mika Nakashima and Miliyah Kato have joined forces with producer/arranger DJ Taku of m-flo for the Japanese theme song of The Amazing Spider-man 2, "Fighter," and it's a rather heavy rock tune. In fact, it borders on heavy metal. Nice and raw, edgy heavy metal. Kind of like Babymetal but without the death metal style vocals. And without the kid's vocals. You get the idea. It's like Babymetal-styled music paired with vocals from two of J-pop/J-rock's best superstars ever. They've got that fighting spirit and they will NOT be defeated. OK, so that's a cliche, but you know what?

LiSA: RISING HOPE

By Paris365 on June 25, 2014

LiSA: RISING HOPE

Like most of LiSA's previous singles, "Rising Hope" is a perfect blend of hard rock music and pretty pop vocals. It mixes blazing electric guitars with extremely fast drums, slick bass and glimmering piano.

It's been nearly a year since I last reviewed a release by LiSA, so I suppose I should give a little re-cap about who she is? Here goes: LiSA is a Japanese pop rock singer/songwriter who's actually named Risa Oribe. In addition to being a solo artist, she's been involved in various other projects over the years and one of them was a band called LiSA, which is an acronym for Love is Same All. (I still don't know if that's partially a gay rights/marriage equality thing.) Clearly, she liked the acronym so much that she decided to take it as her stage name and she's been using it ever since.

SHIINA RINGO: NIPPON

By Paris365 on June 23, 2014

SHIINA RINGO: NIPPON

"Nippon," Shiina's first single of 2014, is a sports song. Ugh. It's not bad though.

Shiina Ringo is one of my favorite artists in the world. Since the owner of this site, Joshua Bernard, introduced me to her music a few years ago, I think I've managed to accumulate everything she's done as a solo artist and with her now broken up band Tokyo Jihen. If this site had more writers, I probably wouldn't be allowed to review this because I can't be objective about an artist that I like so much that I'm pretty much obsessed with her. But I actually am being objective with this one. You see, "Nippon," her first single of 2014, is a sports song.

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