New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (February 25, 2024)

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

2024 Index: Dec 24 – Jan 6 // Jan 7 – Jan 13 // Jan 14 – Jan 20 // Jan 21 – Jan 27 // Jan 28 – Feb 3 // Feb 4 – Feb 10 // Feb 11 – Feb 17

THIS WEEK: Feb 18 – Feb 24

Ado – Value

The chorus is solid but the rest is a little dull.

Atarashii Gakko! – Hello

Sometimes this group feels a little too jokey/gimmicky for me.

Ballistik Boyz – In My Head

Sigh. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a Ballistik Boyz song… – Shut Up

I love when they go more melodic. What a strange music video, though!

Da Pump – Use Your Body

I really like the big, brassy energy. I wish Issa’s voice didn’t annoy me so much, though…

Genic – N_G (song(s) of the week!)

This isn’t a song. It’s eight of them, put into a video medley previewing their new album. Even so, it’s my easy pick of the week because I think this group is incredibly talented and so much fun.
I’ve already pre-ordered all three versions of the album… what did you expect?

Hiromitsu Kitayama – Bet

This is more in line with how I feared his solo music might sound. It’s good, but kind of middle-of-the-road and could be just about anybody.

Hockrockb – Butterfly

I know nothing about this band, but I like the old-school sound and video.

Kazuki Hayashi – Tokyo

Smooth R&B from the Doberman Infinity vocalist.

LisA – Hello World

Straightforward rock. Meh.

Ryokuoushoku Shakai – Party!!

This group is really on a roll. This isn’t one of my favorites from them, but they’re in their imperial phase.

Sakurazaka46 – Nando Love Song no Kashi wo Yomikaeshita Darou

I don’t know… none of the songs on Sakrauzaka46’s new single have hit me. It’s all solid but unspectacular — especially given their track record.

Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku – Twinkle Wink

This is catchy, cutesy girl group pop. Not bad, even if some of the vocals are quite rough.

Super Beaver – Setsubo

I haven’t really gotten the hype around this band. This is one of the most instant songs I’ve heard from them, though.

Takanori Iwata – MVP

He’s been releasing a lot of music lately. This is tied to a Pepsi advertisement, though it doesn’t sound like it. It’s dumb fun.

Vaundy – Time Paradox

I’d file this among Vaundy’s more boring songs.

This week’s old favorite:

Tokyo Performance Doll – Junai Chaos (2016)

Tokyo Performance Doll have a ton of great songs (both in their 90’s iteration and the reboot), but this one bangs especially hard. I love when pop music has life-or-death intensity. Junai Chaos‘s rave-meets-rock sound is *massive*.

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