Posted in Opinions, Weekly J-pop Reviews

24-12-20 Weekly J-pop “Review” but it’s Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe, warm, and well this holiday season. I’ve brought to you a mega list of songs that I hope is manageable enough to read up until like the 5th song, at least.

So, what are you waiting for, go on and discover new J-pop along with my inept thoughts on each.

ZUTOMAYO – Can’t Be Right

There are two videos here because the second one may not be available in your country. Not sure which countries but if you have a VPN, switching to Japan is your safest bet. I don’t know why exactly the Japanese do this, but it’s bloody frustrating at times. I’ll have to look it up one day because there is a logical explanation, right? Right?

As for the song, it’s really nice. Zutomayo is a really popular band these days and I can hear why. I highly highly recommend giving it a listen along with some of their other stuff.

Damn, such a shame if you can’t watch the actual MV because the story and visuals are pretty nice.

TK from 凛として時雨 『Dramatic Slow Motion(Reconstructed 2020)』

Another popular dude though being the basic anime weeb I am, I only know him from unravel, the iconic first opening of Tokyo Ghoul. While his iconic whisper singing made for a rather stunning and moving song, this time around, it’s kinda drowned out by the melody and almost seems distracting. Unfortunately, makes me wanna pass on this one.

瑛人 (Eito) – チェスト

Hey, I remember this guy from like last week. He had a rather interesting cute little love story of an MV but the song was kinda on the boring side. This time, he’s in a studio so you know the focus is more on his vocals and the song itself which is…alright, but still not my cup of tea.

秦 基博 (Hata Motohiro) – 「泣き笑いのエピソード」

Kinda a relaxing chill song that makes you sway back and forth like you’re out one of those rock concerts but then they switch over to a heartfelt ballad and that’s your cue to turn on the flashlight on your phone and be taken by the feels. Yeah, that’s the kinda of visual I get from this song.

AKINA – Gravity

This is an interesting RnB English song that I wasn’t quite expecting. It’s nice, but that’s all I really will say about it.

我儘ラキア (Wagamama Rakia) – New World

An interesting group that has a metal/rock sound that I almost always pleases my ears. This song isn’t an exception and despite dropping the random rap in the middle of the song, it’s not too bad. I also can’t get over the way their “R”s trill when they sing the word, “Era.”

I’d recommend giving this song a listen if you like this genre of sound. It could add a bit more something something, but it’s a decent listen.

にしな (Nishina) 夜間飛行

This is such a reverse from the last song, it took me a minute to fully register this song, but when I did, I found it kinda meh. It’s nice sounding enough but probably didn’t help it being after a song like Wagamama’s.

滅火器 Fire EX. – The Light feat.後藤 正文 (Gotoh Masafumi)

Hey look, it’s my AKFG boy, Gotoh, again. I can say that this song is better than the last one I reviewed that he was in. I find the song still a bit flat though. A steady build up that stays at the same level throughout the song is not always a good thing, if you understand what I mean?

EDWARD(我) – Loser

Here’s more of that autotune sound for all you autotune crackheads out there. I don’t necessarily hate the sound but if it’s constant than it can give me a headache, a literal headache, so pass on this one.

當山みれい (Touyama Mirei)『かくれんぼ』

This song isn’t so bad if you enjoy a soft piano lead melody. I really don’t mind this song at all. Though if you don’t care much for the piano performance or her vocals than this isn’t for you.

當山みれい (Touyama Mirei) – 願い~あの頃のキミへ~

Oh, another Mirei song. This song is very similar to the last song so if you liked what I said about that song then you’ll like this one. Again, don’t mind the song.

當山みれい (Touyama Mirei) -Iyaiiya Short Film ver.-

This girl working hard out here and dropping three different songs. Boy, oh, boy. I actually wasn’t gonna add this one since technically the song came out a whiiiile ago but this video only came out this week. The song is pretty average but if you want a cute little love story-like MV, you’ve come to the right video.

當山みれい (Touyama Mirei) – Dear My Boo

I lied. Miss Mirei showed up this week with FOUR songs. I could have taken one or two out but I just found it funny, so I kept them all. Anyways, what else can I say about her songs? My feelings remain the same.

yama -『真っ白』

Sweet melody and video but it’s actually kinda meh to me.

yama – Haruwotsugeru

The song starts off acapella before adding strings and piano and to be honest, I really like this song. It’s pretty nice and grow on me as I listened. Better than the other song she offered us up above. There’s also English subtitles~

八王子P (Hachioji-P) 「Baby I Love You feat. 初音ミク・鏡音レン」

A vocaloid song featuring Miku and Len, pretty popular choices as always. I don’t mind vocaloid songs for the most part but I have to admit, while I like how Miku sounds here, I’m not sure I agree when it comes to Len, specifically at his solo parts so the song isn’t the best for me.

4s4ki – “Chronicle”

If you hate autotune, skip this song. For me, her autotuny voice was alright until a certain point, but I think I unintentionally started to get a headache (to be fair, I’ve been suffering from on and off headaches this whole week, so…).

FantasticYouth – 「決壊SALVATION」

I’ve only recently learned about utaite which basically means cover singer, but apparently the meaning of utaite involves a bit more than just covering songs as some utaite create and produce their own music. If you want more thorough definition than click on any of the utaites mentioned before.

An utaite called Onyu is the one mainly singing in this I believe. Cool. I don’t mind this song, but I’m not entirely in love with it but I do recommend it to anyone who wants to give it a listen.

FloweR – TAMAYA

I can’t lie, the singer’s voice is just not working for me in this. For once, while I like the song, it’s the voice that honestly kinda grates my ears a bit.

I found out that this is a vocaloid, Flower, and it was apparently used in another song I covered last week and I found Flower’s voice more pleasant there, so I guess you can blame whoever mixed it’s vocals in this song.

映秀。-「東京散歩」

Goodness, the first like 30 seconds is him like talking-singing, if that makes sense? I actually didn’t really like it but when it finally launches into the song, s’alright. It’s a pretty upbeat and poppy song. He does a bit more of that talking-singing though so some demerit points for that.

YOASOBI – ハルカ

Another song that I actually like. It’s pretty feel good too and the warm vocals really help that feeling get across. The MV is very yellow though so yellow haters may want to skip the video.

天月-あまつき (Amatsuki) – ウインター・ワンダーランド

Another utaite who apparently is also a voice actor. Very wintry as the title of the song is Winter Wonderland so if you’re not into that, then skip. Personally, I like it but don’t like it. Meaning, there are some parts that are tolerable but I don’t know, there’s something about it especially when he sings, “Winter Winter Wonderland,” that I’m just like, okay…

KANA-BOON – スノーグローブ

KANA-BOON is fairly popular, no? I haven’t really listened to a lot of their songs except Silhouette (which is pretty good, check it out), but they’ve definitely hit their stride it seems. Anyway, I found the song alright.

OWV – Ready Set Go

Song starts about 30 seconds in and left me a bit confused. Anyway, this is pure boy group material and watching and listening to this makes me really think of K-pop down to the random rap verses, cringey English phrases, and actually the dance choreo isn’t as water downed as other J-pop groups. However, the song is still pretty average. It’s not awful but…ehhhh.

Though then again, K-pop boy groups haven’t been impressing me lately either, so hey, OWV, you guys on par with most of your Korean peers…

Oh wait, they’re all from the Japanese Produce 101 – explains so much.

ano -「Peek a boo」

Oh my, the rock/metal sound we’re greeted with mixed with the kawaii digitalized sounding voice of the singer doesn’t seem like a match at all. But I can’t hate this song. It’s like…a thing that only the Japanese can come up with, I swear, so there’s a certain charm to it.

白神真志朗 (Mashiro Shirakami) “ノスタルジア(Nostalgia)”

Guess what a song called Nostalgia is gonna sound like?

Actually it was a bit more upbeat than I thought but still kinda meh to me.

Hey! Say! JUMP – ナイモノネダリ~Acoustic Version~

These guys are a popular boy group in Japan, no? I’m sorry, I’m just reminded why I never really got into J-pop boy groups. It’s not the song, but seeing them made me really wonder why, you know?

AliA -「リフレインメーデー」

Girl is very enthusiastic singing this song but I can’t quite muster up the same enthusiasm listening to this song despite the sudden switch up with the melody.

平手友梨奈 (Hirate Yurina) – ダンスの理由

When a song features heavy enough percussion to make a difference in the melody, I can’t but help but be a slight sucker for that. Though, this song has a tiny bit too much noise for me to fully love it like that, yet I really liked the bridge? Haha, but besides the music video is really also interesting to watch.

predia -「BAD HABIT」

There’s a bit of shouting singing in this one so if that’s not your cup of tea, then I don’t think you’d like this one. There’s a heavy rock influence in this song but again, it’s a bit noisy for me to fully appreciate it especially over that shouting singing.

鈴木愛理 (Suzuki Airi) -『真夜中のメリーゴーランド』

I really like this song. It’s pretty easy listening (especially after the last couple of songs). It has influences of acting slightly retro? (Not sure about that one), maybe I’m being influenced by the MV when I say that, but it’s not cheer kawaii pop. Definitely more mature here.

のん – ナマイキにスカート

A very quirky cute girl in a very quirky MV. The song unfortunately doesn’t capture my interest as well as the music video and she does.

E-girls – eleven

Again, another music video for the fans as a send off before they disband and go their separate ways. The song isn’t bad. I wish them luck for the future.

XIIX -「おもちゃの街」

Even if the song is rather boring (which I’m not gonna completely lie, this one kinda is), the music video is a rather interesting watch usually.

Eve – 蒼のワルツ

This is another prime example of a fascinating music video with a rather lackluster song. Actually, in this case, I’ll say the video amplifies the song and matches it well. Though listening to the song on its own without context probably won’t stir the same feelings from me at least.

MAGIC OF LiFE – 『記念日』

Meh.

高野洸 (Takano Akira) – モノクロページ

Dude is from a former coed pop group and it shows. Not necessarily a bad thing, but eh.

宇野実彩子 (Uno Misaki) (AAA) – きみとぼく

She’s cute, I’ll give her that but I’m sorry, girl, the song isn’t really for me. I kinda like it though but it’s a bit too…sentimental? I can’t really think of the appropriate word.

阿部真央 (Abe Mao)「いつの日も ~MY INNER CHILD Ver.~」

At this point in this little roundup, I can’t stomach an almost 7 minute song if it doesn’t give me something that tickles my brain in the first minute. I love the piano, but it’s not enough this time. But seriously, the song is meh to me.

PassCode – SPARK IGNITION

Oh, those digitalized vocals~ Right, so really, this song isn’t my cup of tea. Their music style is apparently kawaii metal which is a genre I’ve stepped in before but this probably isn’t the best introduction for me to PassCode. Hopefully they have/will have better stuff.

楠木ともり (Kusunoki Tomori) – アカトキ

Kinda a relaxed groovy vibe this song brings. A video where I really like the illustrations as well. Nice.

三浦大知 (Miura Daichi) – Yours

Another fairly interesting guy who apparently has been in this game since he was a child – musta been rough. I…don’t hate this song, but I would label it average or slightly above average.

UNIONE (ユニオネ) -『道』

Typically boy group stuff, so I’ll just move on.

PIGGS – フューチャー・スターダスト

I just had to look up more info on a group named PIGGS and it’s actually some interesting info if you wanna read. Other than that, I got nothing much else to say besides pretty standard girl group stuff here.

スピラ・スピカ – 『ほしのかけら』

Song’s okay but nothing that’s keeps my attention.


Well, I have nothing really to say here besides I hope that despite the mess and heartache this year has brought us, you guys can still have a happy holidays and Merry Christmas. If not, there’s still a new year to look up to and have hope in cause that’s all most of us have, hope.

メリークリスマス!

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