New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week

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.

**Since this is the first edition of this feature, I’m going to include songs released since February 1st. 

WEEKS: February 1 – February 18

BE:FIRST – Boom Boom Back

I think this is the first BE:FIRST single I’ve connected with. The funky, early-00’s hip-hop vibe is really fun.

Daichi Miura – ALOS

Daichi’s back with a song that’s not a ballad! (Though it nearly is, tbh…)
I always enjoy his music most when his voice blends with evocative synth soundscapes.

Fantastics – Panorama Jet

I love Fantastics so much, and I was excited when this song dropped out of nowhere. Initially, I was taken aback by the sheer bulk of extended notes in the chorus, but now I look forward to them. It’s so upbeat and joyful! Will we be getting an mv?

Generations – Wanderlust

I despise music videos shot in iPhone resolution, but the song itself is a wonderful burst of energy.

Genic – Flavor (pick of the week!)

I wrote about this one here. I loved it!

KAT-TUN – Fantasia (album)

I wrote about the title track here. I liked it!

But, the album is also super good. It may lack the standout classics of past triumphs like Kusabi and Come Here, but the tracklist is bulletproof. I’m embedding the other promotional track as well, along with a b-side I really like and the sampler for the standard edition of the album.

Masaki Sato – Ding Dong

There’s something so old-fashioned about the melodies in this song. It’s quite charming, especially if you’re looking for a more nostalgic sound.

NMB48 – Done

I don’t know how I feel about this one yet. I’m not sure this style of production really fits this group, but I appreciate what it’s trying to do.

The Rampage – No Gravity

I wrote about this one here. I loved it!

Sakurazaka46 – Cool

This song and its a-side Sakuratsuki are some of the strongest work this group has delivered in awhile. The video is very cool, too.

Snow Man – Tapestry

I wrote about this one here. I loved it!

XG – Left Right

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

Zipang Opera – Kaminari Flavor

I personally prefer the other two songs Zipang Opera released recently, but this one has a nice chorus.

This week’s old favorite:

CODE-V – Impulse (2015)

A chorus this amazing deserves all the success in the world.

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