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Hailing from Hakodate, Hokkaido, singer/songwriter MACO has been making J-Pop waves ever since the indie release of her song "22" during April 2014. The song went to number 1 on the iTunes chart, the agency ONEPEACE noticed, and she wound up signed to Virgin Records.

October 13, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Tae Yeon (or Taeyeon) is Girls' Generation's fearless leader and I is her much anticipated solo debut. Of course, she's done solo songs for soundtracks and compilations before, but this is being called her first official solo release. Was it worth the wait? Keep reading to find out...

I opens with the title track, which features Verbal Jint, delivering a rap verse at the beginning of the song. I'm assuming that he wrote his own lyrics for that part, but otherwise the song was written by Tae Yeon herself.

October 09, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NMB48: MUST BE NOW (通常盤Type-A) - EP

Three months ago NMB48 released the single "Durian Shonen," which proved to be quite the hit, topping the Oricon chart. Now they have returned with Must Be Now, which finds their singer Yamamoto Ayaka serving as group leader for the first time in four releases. (I don't pay much attention to which girls sing on which singles, never mind who sings lead vocals on them, but I have found myself quite liking Yamamoto's, which has a more mature sound than the tweens that populate these groups.)

October 05, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

As my longtime readers know, Haruka Tomatsu is a very popular voice actress who's done around 50 anime movies and tv shows. She's also done the Japanese dubbing for characters on popular tv shows and movies. For example, she's the voice of the character Bradley Martin on Bates Motel. She was the voice of Olivia Morris in Scream 4, and she did the voice of Jena Malone's character Rocket in Sucker Punch. With so many voice acting jobs under her belt, one wonders why she doesn't start working as a regular actress as well. She's more than pretty enough.

October 02, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
ASAMI IMAI: BABYLON ~before the daybreak

Asami Imai's music often tends to veer toward the dark side of J-Pop, which is one of the things I love about her. She's edgy and so is her vibrant music. Her new single, "Babylon - Before the Daybreak" is one of her strangest and darkest. It's the main theme song from Corpse Party, so clearly it's intended to sound eerie, hence it beginning with the sound of a ticking clock and some dudes chanting in an ominous manner. Once that passes, things quiet down and Asami is mostly accompanied by pretty piano during the first verse.

September 24, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

APRIL are a new girl group founded by DSP Media, the agency of Rainbow and KARA, and signed to Loen Entertainment. Its members are Hyun Joo, Ye Na, Chae Won, Na Eun, Jin Sol and So Min. The mini-album opens with "꿈사탕" or "Dream Candy," which would seem to be a song about first crush kind of dreams. Here's a translation of part of the first verse: "Through the cotton candy clouds / Let’s walk along the stars / Aren’t you excited? / Can you believe this?" Just as on the cover of Dreaming, the girls look entirely innocent in the video, which is all flowers and unicorns. Literally.

September 22, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

My favorite C-Pop artist has just released a new single. It's called "Big UP" and it certainly kicks up the tempo compared to her more recent work. It's bursting with energy, beats bouncing away, hitting the ground hard like basketballs. And it's in English, so if you normally wouldn't listen to something in Chinese you have nothing preventing you from listening to this one. (Because, obviously, you understand English if you're reading this review. Well, unless you're using Google translate on it!)

September 18, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

If Wiki is correct then EGG is Kaela Kimura's 25th single since she started releasing them in 2004. That's pretty impressive, isn't it? Especially for a solo artist! I should also mention that she's released nine studio albums and two compilations. And a live EP as well.

September 17, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

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 have a hot album cover, but the music is even hotter.

September 14, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

K-Rock outfit Galaxy Express released Walking on Empty, their fourth full-length album, on August 6th of this year and I have a feeling it's doing very well because their previous albums have been such hits -- with music lovers and critics alike -- that they won "Best Rock Album" at the Korean Music Awards in 2009 and "Musician of the Year" in 2011.

September 10, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

It's been a year since the now 19 years old, martial arts-trained Z.Hera -- born Ji He Ran -- released her last single, "D Island," but she's finally back with XOX, her highly addictive new mini-album. Fun fact I learned when I googled her before writing this review: she speaks Chinese, English and Japanese in addition to her native Korean.

September 08, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

If ever there was a song that should not exist...

I've always been a fan of FTISLAND. Certainly my favorite K-Rock group. And while some of their songs have been catchier than others, I have never felt that they've released a truly awful song until now.

September 04, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
LEO IEIRI: 君がくれた夏 (KIMI ga Kureta Natsu)

Leo Ieiri's new single," 君がくれた夏" (KIMI ga Kureta Natsu) (Google: "Summer You Gave Me"), is her second this year and a timely one at that, given the translation of the title. (It came out on 8/19; forgive me for not reviewing it sooner.) I'm sure people will be enjoying it year round, though. She has such a pretty and uplifting voice and this is such a sweet pop rock song. "To love, to love," she sings as the beautiful chorus ends. It's enough to make your heart flutter.

September 02, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

MINMI continues on her electro-pop journey with her latest single "Hologram." It starts off on a bad note because her voice is auto-tuned to death and sounds like fingernails on a chalk board to those of us who are sick of that miserable thing. That said, as the song goes on, the beats are so infectious and the production so colorful that you wind up forgetting that her voice is auto-tuned and start to like it. Who knows if I'll like it more or less with repeat listenings, or if I'll even listen to it again after I finish this review, but I think it's catchy enough right now.

September 01, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

So Good is the lovely T-ARA's 11th mini-album already. Clearly, they work non-stop, making music faster than bees make honey, though their music is just as sweet!

August 28, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Koda Kumi is back. Sort of. SUMMER of LOVE is more of a compilation than a new album. It features her best summer-themed songs spanning from 2006 until today, which you could easily compile as a playlist if you own all of her albums already. BUT the real selling point is that it features three brand new tunes, which I will now review. And it just so happens that they're the first three tracks on the album.

1. "EX TAPE"

August 25, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

It's finally here, Girls' Generation's long-awaited 5th album. Hard to believe it's only their 5th though. They're always releasing so much music, juggling careers in Korea and Japan, that you'd think they were up to album number 8 by now. Not that getting up to number 5 is any small accomplishment. It's somewhat rare for a K-Pop act to release this many albums, so many artists here today and gone tomorrow. Seriously, some artists don't even get to make one album, maybe releasing two singles and a mini-album then vanishing.

August 20, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

"Lion Heart" is the lead track from Girls' Generation's soon to be released 5th album. This time around, they're trying something a bit different. On August 18th -- the day of this posting -- they're releasing six songs under the title Lion Heart. But tomorrow, the 19th, will see the final six of the album's twelve songs released under the title You Think. It seems more like two separate EPs to me but the tracks are not being released in order, so it's like you get six seemingly random pieces of the puzzle one day and then the other six the next day, completing the puzzle.

August 18, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Korean girl group f(x) have finally released some music in Japanese. Considering how hugely popular they are in Korea, it's a wonder they didn't try to crossover into Japan years ago. Then again, their electro-licious music is so tasty it's probably been selling like Pocky in Japan already.

August 14, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Personally, I much prefer mini-albums and full-length albums over stand alone digital singles. But I guess they're a necessary evil, since they help new artists start building up a fanbase and keep fans of already popular artists thirsty for more in between bigger releases. Since these isolated singles have become so popular during the past couple of years, I thought I should write a review of a handful of those released recently, something I believe I've only done once before. I'll probably start doing it every few weeks now.

August 12, 2015 / by Paris365 / Read More >
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