J-pop

AURAL VAMPIRE: MIMIC YOUR HAIRSTYLE

By Paris365 on April 22, 2015

AURAL VAMPIRE: MIMIC YOUR HAIRSTYLE

A fantastic EP of perfectly weird covers. A must for fans of Tommy heavenly6/Tommy february6.

Aural Vampire is a Japanese group lead by Exo-Chika (vocals/lyrics) and Raveman (music). They've been around since 2004 but this EP is the first of their releases that I've heard. And I must say I'm quite impressed with it.

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AYUMI HAMASAKI: A ONE

By Paris365 on April 17, 2015

AYUMI HAMASAKI: A ONE

Ayumi's new album is the best thing she's done in roughly 15 years. No kidding.

This year is the 17th anniversary of Ayumi's debut and she's celebrating it with the release of her 16th original full-length album, A ONE. And, let me tell you, that A ought to stand for AWESOME because this album is an awesome one. In fact, it's my favorite album of Ayumi's since the classic Rainbow.

PERFUME: PICK ME UP

By Paris365 on April 01, 2015

PERFUME: PICK ME UP

Perfume's eagerly awaiting new song/video has arrived!

"Pick Me Up" is Perfume's new video, which hit Youtube yesterday and already has over 100,000 views, which I'd say is a lot because chances are that most of their fans aren't even aware that it's out yet.

For those who aren't away, Perfume is a J-Pop trio consisting of Ayano Omoto, Yuka Kashino, and Ayaka Nishiwaki. They are produced exclusively by Capsule's Yasutaka Nakata. And they are fabulous. Nakata is a genius and anyone who says otherwise is insane. (In addition to Capsule and Perfume, he's the producer of the magnificent Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.)

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STYLIPS: THE SUPERNOVA STRIKES

By Paris365 on March 30, 2015

STYLIPS: THE SUPERNOVA STRIKES

Some of these tracks were anime theme songs, but let's face it: anime themes can be cheesy but they're usually super catchy. And that's how I'd sum up The Supernova Strikes, all sixteen songs of it.

StylipS is a four member J-Pop girl group who specialize in doing songs for anime. Or at least that was the case when they were started. Now they're more like a normal J-Pop unit. The current members are : Arisa Noto, Matsunaga Maho, Ito Miku and Toyota Moe. The group's name stands for "Brand a new Style for LipS." And, no, that doesn't make much sense to me either.

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AN INTERVIEW WITH MEGA-HIT SONGWRITER ALBI ALBERTSSON

By Paris365 on March 23, 2015

AN INTERVIEW WITH MEGA-HIT SONGWRITER ALBI ALBERTSSON

K-Poppers and J-Poppers, you're in for a real treat... Today we bring you an exclusive interview with Albi Albertsson, one of Asian pop music's top songwriters!

Whether you're a fan of K-Pop, J-Pop or C-Pop, chances are you've heard songs written by Albi Albertsson. As you'll see below, he's written for plenty of A-listers, including massive artists like Girls' Generation, Shinee, Arashi, Show Luo and Koda Kumi. K-Pop doesn't get any bigger than Girls' Generation, does it? Likewise, Koda Kumi is one of Japan's biggest megastars. Clearly, Albi knows what he's doing and he does it very well. Recently, I discovered that he was on Facebook and sent him a friend request. I was very happy when he approved it.

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TOMOMI ITANO: COME PARTY!

By Paris365 on March 02, 2015

TOMOMI ITANO: COME PARTY!

Tomomi Itano's latest single would likely please AKB48 haters, if they could overlook the fact that that's where she got her start. Seriously, this one is far superior to AKB48's music.

Sometimes I have a hard time believing that Tomomi Itano got her start in AKB48. In the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself a fan of AKB48. But I freely admit that every two out of three singles they release sound the same. You'd think their cheesy synthesizer and drum machine would have died by now, given how often they clearly use them. And so it's difficult to believe that Tomomi Itano hasn't released the same single twice, her songs all being unique pop gems, like different colored diamonds.

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SUMIRE UESAKA: 閻魔大王に訊いてごらん (Enma Daio ni Kiite Goran)

By Paris365 on February 27, 2015

SUMIRE UESAKA: 閻魔大王に訊いてごらん (Enma Daio ni Kiite Goran)

Sumire unleashes anime theme song and it's awesome.

Sumire Uesaka's recent single is the theme song for an anime but neither Yes Asia or CD Japan stated the name of the anime in English. So, I translated the product info with Google and it spit out "Cold of Cherry" and "Cherry of Cold," so my guess is that it's called Cold Cherry, or the Japanese equivalent of that. In any case, the single is called "閻魔大王に訊いてごらん " and Google translates that as "See to hear the King Yemma." I'm not sure what to make of that, but I'm thinking King Yemma must be a character in the anime.

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RIKA MAYAMA: LIAR MASK

By Paris365 on February 18, 2015

RIKA MAYAMA: LIAR MASK

Rika Mayama of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku finally goes at it alone with her first solo single, "Liar Mask," which is the theme song for the anime Akame ga KILL! And, wow, it is mighty impressive.

Rika Mayama of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku finally goes at it alone with her first solo single, "Liar Mask," which is the theme song for the anime Akame ga KILL! And, wow, it is mighty impressive.

HARUKA TOMATSU: COURAGE

By Paris365 on February 03, 2015

HARUKA TOMATSU: COURAGE

Haruka Tomatsu delivers one heck of an anthem with "Courage."

Haruka Tomatsu's latest single, "Courage," is the opening theme for the second season of the anime series Sword Art Online and it's certainly got an inspiring vibe to it. From the high octane beats that race through the song to the uppity piano and the roaring electric guitar, you can totally hear this playing during a violent fight scene or some other scene where the hero or heroine saves the day. Is it the best anime theme song I've ever heard? Definitely not. But I'd give it a solid B if I were the sort of critic to give out letter grades.

4TE: READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD OF J-POP

By Paris365 on January 18, 2015

4TE: READY TO CONQUER THE WORLD OF J-POP

4TE are a non-Japanese J-Pop group who are ready to take the world by storm with their fantastic new double A-side MORE / 一歩ずつ. Not only do we have a review of the single, we are also quite pleased to bring you an exclusive interview with the group!

review and interview by Michael McCarthy

Before we get to our interview with J-Pop's future stars 4TE, I wanted to present a review of their wonderful double A-side MORE / 一歩ずつ...

4TE — pronounced Forte/for-tay — is a red hot new Japanese pop group based out of the U.S. and if there’s any justice in this world they will obtain a major label deal for Japan and become the J-Pop megastars they deserve to be. Because, let me tell you, their debut double A-side single is fantastic, both songs plenty capable of rising to the top of the J-Pop charts.

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U-KISS: SWEETIE

By Paris365 on January 08, 2015

U-KISS: SWEETIE

"Sweetie" is U-KISS's 10th Japanese single, but Yes Asia indicates that they worked on it with their Korean creative team.

"Sweetie" is U-KISS's 10th Japanese single, but Yes Asia indicates that they worked on it with their Korean creative team. (So, I suppose there will inevitably be a Korean version in the not so distant future.) In any case, it's a lush, very well-produced and heartfelt ballad that finds the guys at the top of their game, delivering super smooth, emotive vocals. The sort of slow song you want to slow dance to with your own sweetie. To my ears, it's more of an R&B song than a J-Pop song, but suffice to say it's in Japanese regardless of whether or not you'd agree with me on that point.

CAPSULE: FEEL AGAIN

By Paris365 on January 05, 2015

CAPSULE: FEEL AGAIN

"Feel Again" is the first digital single to be released from capsule's highly anticipated new album Wave Runner, which will be released on February 15th, 2015.

"Feel Again" is the first digital single to be released from capsule's highly anticipated new album Wave Runner, which will be released on February 15th, 2015.

As always, the versatile duo consists of singer Toshiko Koshijima and multi-instrumentalist producer Yasutaka Nakata (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Perfume) and they've certainly hit the proverbial jackpot here, delivering a killer new single that hits you in the gut with some of their most monstrous beats ever. And it's just as likely to be a hit in the clubs as it is on J-Pop radio.

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LEO IEIRI: SILLY

By Paris365 on December 16, 2014

LEO IEIRI: SILLY

You have to admire Leo Ieiri. If for nothing else then for the fact that she writes all of her own songs. Also, she manages to put out new music as regularly as the bulk of J-Pop artists who have other people writing songs for them. That takes real creativity and effort.

You have to admire Leo Ieiri. If for nothing else then for the fact that she writes all of her own songs. Also, she manages to put out new music as regularly as the bulk of J-Pop artists who have other people writing songs for them. That takes real creativity and effort.

MEG: THANK YOU, MAMA

By Paris365 on December 09, 2014

MEG: THANK YOU, MAMA

It's a pretty ballad and ballad junkies are sure to love it. But I just didn't find it very catchy, unlike almost everything else Meg has ever done.

[I meant to post this review a month ago but forgot about it. My bad. Sorry.]

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Meg brings the world "Thank you Mama" (that's how she writes it). Which might just be the very first Thanksgiving song.

BOA: FLY

By Paris365 on December 05, 2014

BOA: FLY

BoA releases yet another magnificent J-Pop gem...

"Fly" is Korean megastar BoA's latest Japanese single. As you undoubtedly know, BoA is a huge star in Japan as well as in her native Korea. In fact, if Wiki is up to date, BoA has released eight albums in Japan, whereas she's only released seven in Korea. That said, she's also released three EPs in Korea, which came early in her career. Suffice to say she's just as popular in Japan as she is in Korea. I don't know how she manages to juggle both countries and languages, but she does it, so I'd say she deserves the millions and millions of dollars she's made.

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MEG: THANK YOU, MAMA

By Paris365 on November 26, 2014

MEG: THANK YOU, MAMA

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Meg brings the world "Thank you Mama." (OK, so it was actually released a month ago, but you get the idea.)

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Meg brings the world "Thank you Mama" (that's how she writes it). Which might just be the very first Thanksgiving song.

MIKI KOZONO: MY LOVE SONG / SNOW WITH YOU

By Paris365 on November 26, 2014

MIKI KOZONO: MY LOVE SONG / SNOW WITH YOU

Miki Kozono delivers a wonderful double A-side, "My Love Song" and "Snow With You," the later obviously being a Christmas song.

I couldn't find a Wiki page or a GenAsia page or anything about Miki Kozono, but I'm really digging her Christmas single, "Snow With You," so I thought I'd give it a shout out. Not understanding the lyrics, it only really sounds like a Christmas song during the chorus because it has Christmas bells in the background at that point. During the rest of that song it just sounds like a J-Pop song in the J-Rock vein. A very, very infectious J-Pop song, mind you.

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CHARA: せつなくてごめんね/ Rainbow / ラッキーガール

By Paris365 on November 21, 2014

CHARA: せつなくてごめんね/ Rainbow / ラッキーガール

Three delightful new songs by Chara. Each was released as a digital single. I'm honestly not sure if they've been compiled as an EP now, which is what I thought when I wrote the review, or if they were just released separately. Regardless, they're great songs!

Chara is back! Yes, that deserves an exclamation point. Why? Because I always find myself smiling whenever new music from her pops up. She's been one of my favorite J-Pop stars for around 15 years, too. How many J-Pop stars have that longevity? Not many. So, even if you don't like her very unique voice, you still have to admire her for continuing to make music and not just retire and live off of royalties like other artists her age might do. Also, Chara writes her own music and does whatever she wants. Nobody can tell her what to do.

KAELA KIMURA: TODAY IS A NEW DAY

By Paris365 on November 19, 2014

KAELA KIMURA: TODAY IS A NEW DAY

Today is a New Day is Kaela Kimura's second single since signing with Victor Entertainment and this year is the 15th anniversary of her career... So, you'd have to expect something special here, right? I know my expectations were high. And I can honestly say that I was not disappointed.

Today is a New Day is Kaela Kimura's second single since signing with Victor Entertainment and this year is the 15th anniversary of her career... So, you'd have to expect something special here, right? I know my expectations were high. And I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. Kaela's always been like a chameleon, except that she changes colors *before* her environment, creating the bandwagons that everybody else later tries to jump on. At least that's how I see it, but, yes, I'm a big fan.

FERRI: ∞ [Mugen]

By Paris365 on November 14, 2014

FERRI: ∞ [Mugen]

Not long after I began writing reviews for OtakuDx, a label from Japan called Kilk Records sent me a box of CDs. One of those CDs was Ferri's debut album, A Broken Carousel, which was and remains one of the most beautiful and unique albums I've ever heard. Now she's back with a stunning sophomore record.

Not long after I began writing reviews for OtakuDx, a label from Japan called Kilk Records sent me a box of CDs. One of those CDs was Ferri's debut album, A Broken Carousel, which was and remains one of the most beautiful and unique albums I've ever heard. Using lush electronic sounds and children's instruments, it meshed moments of quiet innocence with sounds that struck you like premonitions, enough to make one tremble. If you listened to it with an opened mind and let your wildly imaginative songstress take you on her one-of-a-kind journey, you were richly rewarded.

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