The Top 20 J-Pop B-sides & Album Tracks of 2023

Now that I’ve counted down my top 50 J-pop songs of the year, I wanted to briefly spotlight my favorite tracks that weren’t selected as singles. Technically, I guess some of these could be called “singles,” but I’m sticking with Bias List rules and putting anything without a proper music video on this list.


SONGS 50-31
SONGS 30-11
SONGS 10-1


Honorable Mentions

News – Hallelujah
Lead – Billionaire
INI – Moment
KAT-TUN – Kissing Your Hurts
WEST. – Guilty
The Rampage – Roll Up

20. androp – Hyper Vacation

A short and sweet, shimmering blast of summertime bliss.

19. NMB48 – Saikounigehinnaatashi

A solo from member Kojima Karin, Saikounigehinnaatashi ties great rock energy to a gutsy vocal.

18. Oishi Masayoshi- Uni-verse

I guess this was technically promoted as a single, but I’m not counting its anime tie-in video. Either way, it’s a choir-filled stunner.

17. Snow Man – Super Deeper

Yep, we’re embedding unofficial TikTok videos now… because how else can I spotlight this thumping dance highlight? Make sure to enable the audio!

16. Sexy Zone – Saikai no Aizu

This punchy brass hip-hop track is an incredible jolt of energy. It never lets up!

15. – Low Guys

This really should have been a fully promoted single. It’s a perfect funk-meets-dance-meets-rock-meets-hip-hop kiss off.

14. Penguin Research – Force Light

I honestly love this more than any of their singles. It has such a massive stadium rock sound.

13. Tokyo Gegegay – Minikui Cinderella

This is such a slinky little incantation of a song. The chopped vocals breakdowns are insanely compelling.

12. Queen Bee – Faust

Quite possibly the most interesting song released this year? The way it completely reinvents itself mid-way through is kind of mind-blowing.

11. Snow Man – Poweeeeer

This is my style of relentless dance track. Those five e’s in “poweeeeer” are totally earned, to be honest.

10. Sexy Zone – Make You Mine

Sexy Zone delivered New Jack Swing better than anyone else this year. Those backgrounds whoops are ridiculously addictive.

9. One Love One Heart – Alright

Alright is deceptively simple, but I’m enamored with its soaring melody and uplifting sound.

8. Sexy Zone – Message

Sexy Zone’s Chapter II album masters an incredible amount of genres. With Message, they give us a brilliant 80’s arena rock anthem.

7. One Love One Heart – The Witch

We’re just ping-ponging between tracks from my two favorite albums, now! This cabaret meets rock opera highlight takes advantage of this group’s ambitious sound and holds together in spite of its various sonic shifts.

6. Fantastics – Easy Come, Easy Go

This might objectively be Fantastics’ most perfect song of 2023. It’s pure pop melody, start to finish.

5. Sexy Zone – Bump

The lush layering on this track doesn’t come through on this low quality TikTok rip, but Bump tempers its immense sound with gorgeous highlights of vocal melody.

4. The Last Rockstars – Psycho Love

Given their rather sluggish release timetable, I suppose this could eventually get a music video. But for now, Psycho Love stands as a blisteringly forceful b-side.

3. Ryugujo – Japanese Psycho

I guess I was really into “psycho” songs this year, huh? Leader Keigo’s first solo song twists Ryugujo’s sound toward 80’s synthwave. The result is incredibly satisfying.

2. Sexy Zone – Take A New Step

A huge summer hit in the waiting, Take A New Step is pure dance-pop bliss, complete with euphoric brass-kissed breakdowns.

1. Tokyo Gegegay – Top Down

I wrote extensively about how Top Down is one of my favorite tracks of 2023, and that hasn’t changed. Its beat is seismic, bringing more legitimate, car-rattling funk than anything else this year.

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