New & Noteworthy J-pop of the Week (June 23, 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 // Feb 18 – Feb 24 // Feb 25 – Mar 2 // Mar 3 – Mar 9 // Mar 10 – Mar 16 // Mar 17 – Mar 23 // Mar 24 – Mar 30 // Mar 31 – Apr 6 // Apr 7 – Apr 13 // Apr 14 – Apr 20 // Apr 21 – Apr 27 // Apr 28 – May 4 // May 5 – May 11 // May 12 – May 18 // May 19 – May 25 // May 26 – Jun 1 // Jun 2 – Jun 8 // Jun 9 – Jun 15

THIS WEEK: June 16 – June 22

=LOVE – Zettai Idoru Yamenaide

Ryuki of Genic co-wrote this song! I’m not a fan of this group’s affected vocals, but I’m happy he’s getting this kind of work and the song itself is solid. More than anything, it makes me even more eager for new Genic material.

INI – Loud

Sigh. We were doing so well last year with two very solid singles! Now we’re back to this shouty noise. Loud has its moments, but overall it’s a lot of bluster with little melodic heft to back it up.

Lucky² – Kokugo Sansu Rika Renai!

Not my thing, but this is what some people think of when they hear the word “J-pop” so I’m sure it will have its fans.

Miss Mercy – Welcome To The Show

This group veers closer to K-pop sounds than many of their peers, so some Bias List readers might like this. It’s not for me.

NewJeans – Supernatural

This doesn’t really feel like a Japanese single, but technically it is. I wrote about it here. I liked it.

Nogizaka46 – Jyaane Gasetsunai

A music video for a track from their 35th single released a couple months ago. It doesn’t strike me as one of their best.

ØMI – Purple Pill (ft. SKY-HI)

Two great talents. One lousy song.

PKCZ® – Put Your Hearts Up, Everybody Jump Up

I can’t tell if this is fun or obnoxious. It definitely skirts the line between the two.

Reiko – Neverland

A chill summer bop. It’s fine, but doesn’t really stick in my memory.

Ryubi Miyase – Neverland

Yep, you read that right. Two Neverlands in a row! This is my preferred one, but just by a bit.

Sakurazaka46 – Aishiainasai (song of the week!)

Finally something decent! As an actual song, I don’t think this is anything special but I’m super into its retro synth-powered production. It’s a fresh sound for the group and works very well.

Snow Man – Breakout

I like this rock sound for Snow Man, but they’ve had stronger versions of it in the past. Overall, it’s a decent single with tons of potential to grow, but Starto Entertainment continues to struggle when it comes to finding the kind of knockout material they used to deliver on the regular.

Sweet Revenge – Might Just

This is very very trendy and should do well. It’s fine but doesn’t do much for me.

Wolf Howl Harmony – Love Triangle

It’s nice to hear them perform something more upbeat and light.

This week’s old favorite:

Kimura Takuya – I’ll Be There (2022)

I actually reviewed this when it first came out, but now — over two years later — the full music video is available so I thought it was a good time to draw attention back to this highlight.

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