J-pop

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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NMB48: イビサガール [Ibisagaru]

By Paris365 on June 21, 2014

NMB48: イビサガール [Ibisagaru]

I can't be sure if NMB48's latest offering has anything to do with summer in terms of the lyrics, but my best guess is that it does because the girls are photographed in bikinis near a body of water on the cover and, obviously, bikinis = summer.

I can't be sure if NMB48's latest digital single has anything to do with summer in terms of the lyrics, but my best guess is that it does because the girls are photographed in bikinis near a body of water on the cover and, obviously, bikinis = summer. Besides, regardless of what it's about, it's definitely got a hot, fun in the sun vibe to it.

CLARIS: PARTY TIME

By Paris365 on June 19, 2014

CLARIS: PARTY TIME

Remember how I wondered what would happen to ClariS when the two anonymous girls -- pseudonyms Alice and Clara -- graduated from high school? Well, unfortunately, the release of their third album, Party Time, comes with the sad news that Alice will be leaving the duo.

Remember how I wondered what would happen to ClariS when the two anonymous girls -- pseudonyms Alice and Clara -- graduated from high school? Well, unfortunately, the release of their third album, Party Time, comes with the sad news that Alice will be leaving the duo. So, perhaps, we'll never learn her true identity or see a photo of her? That would be quite the thing to pull off, being half of a famous J-Pop duo for roughly three years and then vanishing without the world ever learning your true identity or even what you look like. In any case, we have no idea what Clara intends to do.

AOORA: VANILLA SKY

By Paris365 on June 12, 2014

AOORA: VANILLA SKY

track he not only wrote but produced. Only he's not exactly 100% solo, being that fellow AAer Hoo-ik appears on the track, singing some solo lines as well as doing some harmonizing with Aoora.

Aoora is one of the members of the popular K-Pop group AA. Here, he flies solo for the very first time with a track he not only wrote but produced. Only he's not exactly 100% solo, being that fellow AAer Hoo-ik appears on the track, singing some solo lines as well as doing some harmonizing with Aoora.

YouTube Video: 
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T-ARA: GOSSIP GIRLS

By Paris365 on June 11, 2014

T-ARA: GOSSIP GIRLS

Can you believe T-ARA are already on their third Japanese full-length album? Yes, it's true. That's precisely what this is.

Can you believe T-ARA are already on their third Japanese full-length album? Yes, it's true. That's precisely what this is. According to Yes Asia, "After the hit album Treasure Box and member Hyo Min's Japan acting debut in the film Jinx, T-ara is expected to have another major turning point in 2014 as two members will begin solo activities." I don't know if this means that they'll be doing solo activities in Japanese or Korean. I'd assume they'd do Korean solo material first, but everything else mentioned in that sentence pertains to Japanese releases/activities so who knows...

AMIAYA: ICON (#YourICON version)

By Paris365 on May 27, 2014

AMIAYA: ICON (#YourICON version)

With hooks like those of "Icon," you're sure to get addicted and fast. And then you'll want to infect your friends, too, spreading this one like wildfire because it's too potent for you to keep it to yourself.

I doubt anyone remembers my previous review of an AMIAYA release -- I sure didn't, so allow me to repeat some of their background info. First off, they're a duo consisting of twin sisters Ami and Aya Suzuki. They are from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka but moved to Tokyo at the age of 15 to become artists. Soon they found themselves modeling for magazines, hair salons, etc. They became so famous from this that they released a photo book in 2010, simply entitled AYA AMI BOOK, and it sold over 40,000 copies (and likely still sells today; Yes Asia still had it last time I checked).

CLARIS: STEP

By Paris365 on May 23, 2014

CLARIS: STEP

Here we go again, another ClariS review, meanwhile the girls this duo is comprised of continue to remain anonymous.

Here we go again, another ClariS review, meanwhile the girls this duo is comprised of continue to remain anonymous. Which makes me wonder -- when they graduate high school, will they decide to unveil their true identities and show people what they look like? Or, perhaps, they've decided that it's cool to be hit pop stars while nobody knows their true identities and they can go out in public and not have to worry about anyone badgering them to take selfies or sign autographs? Guess we'll just have to wait until they graduate and find out.

AAA: SHOWTIME

By Paris365 on May 15, 2014

AAA: SHOWTIME

The name of the highly successful J-Pop group AAA -- pronounced Triple A -- stands for Attack All Around, which really isn't that inappropriate because their insane beats can make one feel as though they're under attack, especially if you listen to their music loudly as intended.

The name of the highly successful J-Pop group AAA -- pronounced Triple A -- stands for Attack All Around, which really isn't that inappropriate because their insane beats can make one feel as though they're under attack, especially if you listen to their music loudly as intended.

DO AS INFINITY: BELIEVE IN YOU / TAO

By Paris365 on May 09, 2014

DO AS INFINITY: BELIEVE IN YOU / TAO

A double A-side featuring the new song from their new hits package, "believe in you."

The first track on Do As Infinity's new double A-side single is "believe in you," which is the first track on their recent compilation The Best of Do As Infinity, which was released in early January. But you can't blame them from releasing the track as a single now because it's entirely amazing. From the gorgeous piano that opens it to the blazing guitars that soon join the picture, and rock the hell out of the number right up until the end, it's an addictive earworm, so much so that you could call it a force to be reckoned with.

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