J-pop

KYARY PAMYU PAMYU: SAI & CO - EP

By Paris365 on May 02, 2016

KYARY PAMYU PAMYU: SAI & CO - EP

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has released two more bright and shiny pop songs to liven up your day.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is celebrating her 5th year in the entertainment business and she has unveiled a pair of new songs that will appear on her KPP BEST albums to be released soon. I say albums because there are going to be at least two editions. One will have 3 CDS and 1 DVD and the other one will be a limited edition 1 CD version. Funny how they do that, eh? I mean, if the 1 disc version wasn't limited edition then fans who shell out for the 3 CD version wouldn't have any reason to buy it. So, to get people to buy both versions you make the 1 disc version a limited edition deal.

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UTADA HIKARU: Manatsu No Tooriame, Hanataba Wo Kimini

By Paris365 on April 16, 2016

UTADA HIKARU: Manatsu No Tooriame, Hanataba Wo Kimini

Utada Hikaru has returned with two beautiful new singles that are sure to please her longtime fans.

Utada Hikaru has been absent from the Japanese music scene for years now, only very rarely releasing one song for a soundtrack or TV show. To that end, her two comeback singles are for shows or movies if memory serves me correctly. Alas, I have memory problems and I couldn't find the article that mentioned that, so I could be mistaken. In any case, this was a way for Utada to come back without immediately releasing a new pop single or album. Maybe she's testing the waters to see if she still has a fanbase.

PERFUME: COSMIC EXPLORER

By Paris365 on April 14, 2016

PERFUME: COSMIC EXPLORER

Perfume's Cosmic Explorer takes their usual sound and gives it a pleasant sci-fi twist.

It's hard to believe, but Cosmic Explorer is Perfume's fifth album already. This time around, they went three years in between albums, their last one being Level 3 in 2013. Of course, it's not like they ever went away.

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HANAE: SHOWGIRL

By Paris365 on March 29, 2016

HANAE: SHOWGIRL

Hanae's new album is playful, colorful and spectacular J-Pop.

I just reviewed Hanae's super fun single "Shugarirura" the other day and I am quite happy to tell you that she's just released a stellar new album full of deliciously quirky new tunes. And while it's only March, I can pretty much guarantee you that this one will fall within my top 20 albums of 2016. It's that darn good.

QUICK REVIEWS: AIRA MITSUKI, RIHWA, MASHIRO AYANO, MINAKO, JANG HEE YOUNG, ACOUSTIC VEI

By Paris365 on March 25, 2016

QUICK REVIEWS: AIRA MITSUKI, RIHWA, MASHIRO AYANO, MINAKO, JANG HEE YOUNG, ACOUSTIC VEI

Today we have mini-reviews with AIRA MITSUKI, RIHWA, MASHIRO AYANO, MINAKO, JANG HEE YOUNG and ACOUSTIC VEI.

AIRA MITSUKI: DAYS

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SICK REVIEWS: Hanae, Perfume, Cheeky Parade, JY

By Paris365 on March 22, 2016

SICK REVIEWS: Hanae, Perfume, Cheeky Parade, JY

I've been sick recently and most music has sounded like trash to me accordingly. But these are some songs I managed to fall in love with even when my whole body hurt like there was an elephant crushing me.

SICK REVIEWS:

I've had the flu and a bad cough for a week and a half now. That combined with my regular health problems has meant a whole lot of suffering. To say I was miserable would be an understatement. But there are a few tunes that I've managed to enjoy during this time when most things just sound blah. Here are some of the enjoyable ones.

HANAE: "Shugarirura"

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JAPANESE MUSIC MEGAPOST: BABYMETAL, MINAKO KOTOBUKI & AOI EIR

By Paris365 on March 15, 2016

JAPANESE MUSIC MEGAPOST: BABYMETAL, MINAKO KOTOBUKI & AOI EIR

Babymetal, Minako Kotobuki and Aoi Eir have one thing in common: loud guitars. Can you dig it?

BABYMETAL: KARATE

Babymetal have always been metal, to which end, yes, they've always been super heavy. But "Karate" goes beyond that to ultra-heavy with its rough, blistering riffage and bone crushing drums. It's also different from their previous singles in the sense that it has a very nu-metal vibe (at least in terms of the guitars). To that end, they do a better job of incorporating the best nu-metal ever had to offer in their sound than half the modern metal bands who are influenced by it here in the States. No wonder they're so astronomically popular.

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MICHI: CHECKMATE!?

By Paris365 on March 04, 2016

MICHI: CHECKMATE!?

MiChi's new single is FABULOUS. Yessssssss.

MiChi's latest single, "Checkmate!?" is the intro theme to the anime show Daga Shikashi and it's insanely catchy! Racing drums? Check! Funky bass guitar noodling? Check! Gorgeous orchestration? Check! Catchy electric guitars? Check! Adorable vocals by MiChi? Checkmate! OK, that's a lot of exclamation points; I'm just trying to write this review in the spirit of the song itself. I could use all kinds of adjectives here like contagious, addictive and infectious, but you don't need me to do that, do you? OK, yeah, so I just did -- but it's worthy of all of them!

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INTERVIEW: NAOMI SUZUKI

By Paris365 on March 04, 2016

INTERVIEW: NAOMI SUZUKI

Today we bring you an interview with Naomi Suzuki, currently one half of the duo AJ Unity and also famous for J-Pop, too.

I recently discovered the wonderful music of AJ Unity, a duo consisting of Naomi Suzuki and Philipp Moll, who make music that blends traditional Japanese instruments with shades of pop and new age. It's very calming music, which I imagine you could meditate to. I've found it especially relaxing and perfect to listen to while falling asleep at night. It's like audible lavender or a high dose of kava kava. That said, it's more than interesting enough to listen to while you're wide awake.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JAPANESE SINGER/SONGWRITER A.Y.A

By Paris365 on February 23, 2016

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JAPANESE SINGER/SONGWRITER A.Y.A

At last, we are pleased to bring you our very first interview with a genuine Japanese pop music star, none other than the edgy A.Y.A!

interview by Michael McCarthy

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KAMEN RIDER GIRLS: NEXT STAGE

By Paris365 on February 18, 2016

KAMEN RIDER GIRLS: NEXT STAGE

Kamen Rider Girls new single is, sadly, J-Pop, not J-Rock. Fortunately, the B-sides find them scorching the earth, heavy metal style, just how we like it.

Last month Kamen Rider Girls released their latest single, "Next Stage," and I've been putting off writing about it ever since. You see, Kamen Rider Girls have always had hard rock music behind them, if not heavy metal, but "Next Stage" is a danceable J-Pop tune, a far cry from what I have always loved about them. Suffice to say I found it terribly disappointing. I didn't even listen to it once during the last couple of weeks. But I listened to it again today and I must admit that it's not a bad song. In fact, it's actually a great J-Pop song. But, yes, it is a J-POP song, not J-Rock.

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ZAQ: HOPENESS

By Paris365 on February 10, 2016

ZAQ: HOPENESS

ZAQ is back. Back for the attack.

ZAQ is back. Back for the attack. Or at least it would appear that way, her new single "Hopeness" being something of a furious beast with its hard and heavy beats, intense tempo and piercing piano. The beats at the beginning even remind me of Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up." They quickly shift into something that's a bit like old school techno, albeit with a fresh, modern punch, but, still, my point stands: this is not wimpy stuff.

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ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko

By Paris365 on February 05, 2016

ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko

Today we have mini-reviews of four very diverse artists, Norika Ueda Trio (jazz), tofubeats (electronic/J-Pop), Kary Ng (C-Pop), Majiko (J-Pop)

Noriko Ueda Trio: Debut

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Shiori Tomita feat. Ladybeard: バレンタイン・キッス [Valentine Kiss]

By Paris365 on January 20, 2016

Shiori Tomita feat. Ladybeard: バレンタイン・キッス [Valentine Kiss]

Shiori Tomita teams up with Ladybeard for the best J-Pop meets J-Metal song since BABYMETAL's last single.

Shiori Tomita was born in Takayama, Japan in 1994. Last year she released a fantastic album called Moshimo World, which was a blend of folk, J-Pop and Western pop with a splash of classical. It was very organic sounding and mellow. Well, she's done a complete 180 with her new single, "Valentine Kiss," which features Ladybeard. If you don't know who Ladybeard is, you might want to check out his interview with Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenorsini/2015/07/08/a-qa-with-ladybeard-....

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MORNING MUSUME '15: Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only

By Paris365 on January 08, 2016

MORNING MUSUME '15: Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only

On December 29th, 2015, Morning Musume '15 dropped their third and final single of the year, which just so happens to be a magnificent triple A-side.

I think it would have made more sense to delay this single for a few days to have made it the first Morning Musume '16 release, but, nope, for whatever reason(s) it was released on December 29th of last year, making it the J-Pop girl group's third single of 2015. But all that really matters is that it's fantastic!

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MAY'N: 夜明けのロゴス [YOAKE NO LOGOS]

By Paris365 on January 05, 2016

MAY'N: 夜明けのロゴス [YOAKE NO LOGOS]

May'N finished celebrating the 10th anniversary of her career with this spectacular single. From subtle electro-pop to scorching guitars, this release has it all.

The 10th year anniversary of May'n's career just ended. But, she couldn't let it pass without treating her fans to another single (her second for 2015). It's called "夜明けのロゴス," which Google translates as "Dawn of Logos," and it's the theme song for the anime series Aquarion Logos, which May'n has made music for in the past, namely the song "Yamaidare Darlin':.

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REPOST: A.Y.A: 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL -- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW COMING SOON!

By Paris365 on January 05, 2016

REPOST: A.Y.A: 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL -- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW COMING SOON!

A.Y.A delivers edgy, alternative J-Pop. If you like pop that is truly artistic and not paint-by-numbers, this album is for you.

Here's something you don't come across every day: an J-Pop album cover with a girl bent over like she's ready for doggy style sex.  Maybe that's not what she's trying to imply, but she's certainly trying to draw attention to her rear in any case.  Anyway, it might be a hot album cover, but the music is even hotter.
 

NAMIE AMURO: RED CARPET

By Paris365 on December 29, 2015

NAMIE AMURO: RED CARPET

Namie Amuro returns with not one but two primo tunes perfect for your New Year's Eve playlist!

"I am the greatest / I make it through," sings Namie Amuro during the chorus of her spicy new single "Red Carpet." I suppose you could regard those lyrics as being very conceited. But I don't think she's trying to brag. (Even though the first lyric of the song is "I'm a VIP".) On the contrary, I feel like she's just trying to inspire her fans, to make everyone feel like they're the greatest. And this translation would seem to back up my opinion: http://shinitakashi.blogspot.com/2015/12/amuro-namie-red-carpet-english-...

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ANNA TSUCHIYA AND THE GROOBEEES: NAKE'd -Soul Issue-

By Paris365 on December 23, 2015

ANNA TSUCHIYA AND THE GROOBEEES: NAKE'd -Soul Issue-

Anna Tsuchiya returns with something very unexpected, an EP of covers -- in English, no less -- recorded live in the studio with a full band in the form of The Groobeees. And while the sound is very rock 'n' roll they're dubbing it soul.

After being absent from the music scene for roughly two years, Anna Tsuchiya returns with something very unexpected, an EP of covers -- in English, no less -- recorded live in the studio with a full band in the form of The Groobeees. Perhaps even more surprising is that this is billed as soul, soul being the last thing you'd expect Anna to ever do, but it's mostly just Anna's voice that sounds like soul. The actual music by the band is more like rock 'n' roll. Pretty heavy, to be sure.

J-POP CHRISTMAS SINGLE ROUND-UP:

By Paris365 on December 18, 2015

J-POP CHRISTMAS SINGLE ROUND-UP:

I reviewed some K-Pop Christmas singles the other day, so I thought it only fair that I review some J-Pop singles now...

I did a K-Pop Christmas songs round-up the other day, so I thought it only fair that I do a J-Pop one.

E-GIRLS: "Merry × Merry Xmas★"

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