New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (October 29, 2023)

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: Feb 1 – Feb 18 // Feb 19 – 25 // Feb 26 – Mar 3 // Mar 4 – Mar 10 // Mar 11 – Mar 18 // Mar 19 – Mar 25 // Mar 26 – Apr 1 // Apr 2 – Apr 8 // Apr 9 – Apr 15 // Apr 16 – Apr 22 // Apr 23 – Apr 29 // Apr 30 – May 6 // May 7 – May 13 // May 14 – May 20 // May 21 – May 27 // May 29 – Jun 3 // Jun 4 – Jun 10 // Jun 11 – Jun 17 // Jun 18 – Jun 24 // Jun 25 – Jul 1 // Jul 2 – Jul 8 // Jul 9 – Jul 15 // Jul 16 – Jul 22 // Jul 23 – Jul 29 // Jul 30 – Aug 5 // Aug 6 – Aug 12 // Aug 13 – Aug 19 // Aug 20 – Aug 26 // Aug 27 – Sep 2 // Sep 3 – Sep 9 // Sep 10 – Sep 16 // Sep 17 – Sep 23 // Sep 24 – Sep 30 // Oct 1 – Oct 7 // Oct 8 – Oct 14 // Oct. 15 – Oct. 21

THIS WEEK: Oct 22 – Oct 28

Airi Suzuki – Saikyo no OSHI!

I’m not always a fan of comedic songs like this, but I love how overblown the production is. It’s like Broadway musical!

Bis – Lazy Dance (song of the week!)

This is really catchy and energetic. It’s got a throwback energy I really like.

Hey! Say! JUMP – Ready To Jump

I’m glad Hey! Say! JUMP is finally releasing music on streaming, but this is not the greatest song to start with. It’s more of a performance piece, really. That chorus is… a choice.

Hi-Fi Un!corn – U&I

I featured this in a previous round-up, but now it has a proper mv. It’s a nice track.

Kid Phenomenon – Existence

I also featured this one earlier and it also now has an mv! I love the rock elements during the chorus. I wish the verses had as much punch.

Mrs. Green Apple – Anatani

This is from a covers tribute album so it’s a bit different from their usual stuff.

NAQT VANE – Nightingale

I really like this group. This song is a bit slow for me, though.

Nissy – When You Were Mine

His new single now has an ambitious (and long) music video to go with it!

NOA – Between

NOA has sooo much potential. Between draws influence from the popular early-00’s garage resurgence (think: Jungkook’s Seven). It’s pleasant.

One Love One Heart – Majide Cho Yabee / Haisuino Jin

As you all know, I adore this group. These are two unit tracks from their upcoming second album – one from the boys and one from the girls. Neither are among their strongest work, but I prefer the boys’ Majide Cho Yabee just because its hip-hop sound is so unexpected from them.

The Rampage – Katasumi

This is very pretty. It’s not really what I go to The Rampage for, but it’s a solid song nonetheless.

Ryota Katayose – Dance The Life Away

The Generations vocalist has a new solo track this week and it’s quite catchy and funky. I like this style for him.

Ryubi Miyase – DeeDooDah

I enjoy the funky parts. Don’t care for the NCT-lite parts.

WEST. – Zettai Zetsumei / Beautiful / As One (song of the week!)

This will be their last release credited as “Johnny’s West” but I’m switching the name early. It’s a triple a-side, and I like all three tracks to various degrees. After hearing them in full, here’s my ranking:

1. As One
This sounds like a big cheering anthem News would record. That’s definitely a good thing, and makes this a song of the week.

2. Beautiful
And… this sounds like Hey! Say! JUMP or Naniwa Danshi! It’s cuter than I’d expect from WEST., but the song is slick and catchy.

3. Zettai Zetsumei
This is probably the “coolest” of the three tracks, but I don’t find its melodies or production as engaging as the other two.

This week’s old favorite:

Minami Aoyama Shoujo Kagekidan – Sweet & Toughness (1993)

How about something really obscure this week? This is a song produced by one of my all-time favorite J-pop talents, Daisuke Asakura, and performed by a girls’ revue troupe. The whole album is delightful, but this single stands out as an addictive punch of energy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.