J-pop

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.

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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.

CNBLUE: TRUTH

By Paris365 on May 02, 2014

CNBLUE: TRUTH

K-Rock band CNBLUE returns to Japan with more of their high quality, turbo-charged brand of pop rock songs.

The Korean pop/rock band known as CNBLUE has returned to Japan with "Truth," their seventh Japanese single, which also happens to be the first Japanese release by the band in nine months. And, holy sh!t, does it sound like they've given birth to a new baby here, "Truth" being a ridiculously catchy up-tempo pop rocker that happens to be one of their very best songs, not that these guys ever release a bad single. CNBLUE has always put quality above quantity, which could have something to do with why they've taken nine months to produce this Japanese release.

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RIHWA: BORDERLESS

By Paris365 on April 25, 2014

RIHWA: BORDERLESS

Rihwa's first major label album has arrived and it's quite good.

A year and a half after releasing her first major label single, Rihwa has finally graced us with a full-length album. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. But before we delve into that, a bit of Rihwa's info, courtesy of Generasia and Wiki: Rihwa was born in Sapporo, Japan. Following junior high, she went to Belleville, Ontario, Canada for high school. But then she returned to Japan after graduating in 2009, at which point she began releasing indie singles and, eventually, an independent album. After that, she moved to Tokyo and was signed to the major label Toys Factory in 2010.

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SCANDAL: DEPARTURE

By Paris365 on April 23, 2014

SCANDAL: DEPARTURE

Dig the A-side. Worship the B-side.

For those not in the know, Scandal is an all-girl pop rock group hailing from Osaka. The girls formed the group in 2006 when they were still in high school and they've been quite busy ever since releasing their first single, Doll, back in 2008. In fact, their new single, Departure, is their 18th already! Meanwhile, they've released five original studio albums, two EPs and two compilation albums.

moumoon: JEWEL

By Paris365 on April 22, 2014

moumoon: JEWEL

moumoon release yet another bright and shiny gem to be adored...

Just when you're feeling glum... moumoon reappear with a bright and shiny song to cheer you the fuck up. Seriously, a song couldn't possibly be more cheerful than this. And, you know what? It's awsome. Frackin' awesome. Musically, it packs highly addictive beats that will have you bouncing around in your seat; Kousuke Masaki has really out-done himself here. You know how some Asian pop songs have that effect on people, right? There's just something more stimulating about them than Western pop songs. You'll never hear an American pop song with happy-go-lucky beats like this.

KEN HIRAI FEAT. NAMIE AMURO: GROTESQUE

By Paris365 on April 17, 2014

KEN HIRAI FEAT. NAMIE AMURO: GROTESQUE

Ken Hirai and Namie Amuro team up for a truly weird but highly addictive new tune...

Well, well, well... This "Grotesque" song is an interesting one. A bit weird, even. It starts off with Ken singing over hip-hop-ish/electro beats, the last line of his verse being "someone said, I hate you," which is how Namie concludes her verse as well. About a minute into the track, it gets a hard, throbbing electro-beat. "It's me, why don't you kill me," Namie sings at one point after a verse there.

SHOKO NAKAGAWA: 9LIVES

By Paris365 on April 10, 2014

SHOKO NAKAGAWA: 9LIVES

You might expect an album with songs that were used for so many different things to sound rather unfocused, since many of the songs were created for various different projects, not specifically to go together. But you would be wrong in this case.

It's been three and a half years since Shoko's last full-length album, Cosmic Inflation, but she has finally released her fourth album in the form of 9Lives. It features the Shokotan singles "Once Upon a Time – Kibou no Uta," "Sakasama Sekai" and "Zoku Konton," in addition to several anime and game theme songs. It makes me wonder if she didn't call this album 9Lives because, well, there are probably 9 songs on here that were written to be theme songs. Then again, she's holding what I believe to be her pet cat on the cover, so perhaps it's just a feline thing.

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E-GIRLS: DIAMOND ONLY

By Paris365 on April 08, 2014

E-GIRLS: DIAMOND ONLY

E-girls is a Japanese collective girl group, meaning that they are comprised of members of different, smaller girl groups. The gigantic group, which is signed to avex's Rhythm Zone imprint, features every single member of Dream, Happiness, Flower, Bunny (a non-debuted group) and EGD.

E-girls is a Japanese collective girl group, meaning that they are comprised of members of different, smaller girl groups. The gigantic group, which is signed to avex's Rhythm Zone imprint, features every single member of Dream, Happiness, Flower, Bunny (a non-debuted group) and EGD. Their name stands for Exile Girls Unit. If Wiki is up to date, there are currently 29 members. Suffice to say there are a lot of talented singers in the group. And I do believe they are currently giving AKB48 a serious run for their money on the charts.

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BOYFRIEND: MY AVATAR

By Paris365 on March 31, 2014

BOYFRIEND: MY AVATAR

Boyfriend go Japanese with their new single, "My Avatar," which is quite the impressive little tune.

If you like electro-pop/dance pop then this sparkling diamond is for you. I was expecting some pretty run--of-the-J-Pop-mill stuff, nothing outstanding, having heard very little by this boy band before aside from "Pinky Santa" last Christmas. (FYI, Boyfriend is a K-Pop boy band, but, like most such boy bands, they're also releasing Japanese material like this, not content to be popular in just one country.) But I must say that I was highly impressed with this single.

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