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This morning I posted a Tweet from my personal account (not Otaku or Love is Pop) stating that "Red Velvet Pop Tarts are so fucking addictive." Of course, I was talking about Pop Tarts toaster pastries. But one of my Otaku readers tweeted that he thought I was talking about the new SM group for a second. And, to tell you the truth, I wasn't sure what he was talking about, having been very busy the past few days -- saw Katy Perry (awesome) -- for one thing. Meanwhile, I've had some eye strain headaches. So, no, I hadn't heard about Red Velvet yet.

August 03, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Taiwan's Elva Hsiao returns with her first music since she signed with Sony in 2013, three pre-order tracks from her new album, Shut Up & Kiss Me, which is due out on August 22nd. And if these tracks are any indication, it's going to be her best album to date.

July 31, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Apparently, this often dubbed "plastic" duo -- also known as FEMM -- is a serious Youtube sensation. To that end, they have several singles available in the iTunes U.S. store. But their new single "FXXK BOYZ GET MONEY" is the first time I've come across them. Why, who knows... While I do tend to cover certain artists over and over again, I also keep my eyes and ears open for new artists, so I should have heard of these girls sooner. But I didn't, and for that I apologize because you deserve to hear them, as they're quite good!

July 30, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Rihwa begins her new series of singles, following the recent release of her under-rated album Borderless, with "Chou Cream." Whether you're a Rihwa fan or naysayer, chances are you have a certain sort of song pop into your head when you hear her name. Me, well, I expected this to be a melodious, acoustic-based pop song. I was wrong. In a very refreshing way, Rihwa has apparently hit the restart button on her career, releasing a tune with some blazing electric guitars. The opening is especially raw, almost aggressive.

July 28, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

The new Girl's Day mini-album is called Girl's Day Everyday #4, but there's a slight problem with that, which is that the mini-album is oh so very summer-themed. The sort of release that you'll play all summer then ditch in the fall and maybe play again starting halfway through next spring. To that end, I wonder why they didn't release this in June and give it another month of shelf-life instead of putting it out in mid-July.

July 24, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
FLOWER: Nettaigyo no Namida

Flower is a sub-unit of E-Girls, the massive J-Pop group that also includes every member of Dream, Happiness, Bunny and EGD. The funny thing about this is that Flower are consistently releasing music that is far superior to the music of E-Girls.

July 23, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
Mika Nakashima X Miliyah Kato: FIGHTER / GIFT

Mika Nakashima and Miliyah Kato have joined forces with producer/arranger DJ Taku of m-flo for the Japanese theme song of The Amazing Spider-man 2, "Fighter," and it's a rather heavy rock tune. In fact, it borders on heavy metal. Nice and raw, edgy heavy metal. Kind of like Babymetal but without the death metal style vocals. And without the kid's vocals. You get the idea. It's like Babymetal-styled music paired with vocals from two of J-pop/J-rock's best superstars ever. They've got that fighting spirit and they will NOT be defeated. OK, so that's a cliche, but you know what?

July 15, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

f(x)'s last album -- Pink Tape -- was one of my favorite albums of 2013. I hadn't heard them prior to that release, but I loved it from the very first time I listened to it and I knew I was always going to be a fan from that point on, just as other groups like 2NE1 and Girls' Generation previously made me a fan from the first time I heard them. Suffice to say that I was excited when I learned they were releasing a new album for summer 2014.

July 09, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

These days digital singles are dropping every other day in the Asian pop world, and especially so in the K-Pop realm. It seems that labels are signing more and more artists in part because they can easily release a digital single without spending nearly what it costs to press CDs that nobody might buy. Granted, making videos for these singles can cost millions, but they can also be done on the cheap, which was probably the case with TOP.IC's video for "See Ya," the first track on their single release See You Again.

July 07, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Make Up is Hyomin of T-ARA's first mini-album. The lead single is a track called "Nice Body." And it's highly offensive. I don't even know where to begin. It's just wrong on so many levels. In the video, we see an obese woman binge eating donuts. Then she sees a golden donut roll across the floor. So, of course, she picks it up from the floor and eats it. And, guess what? She turns into Hyomin, who is, as I'm sure you're aware, quite thin. I have a problem with that because it's like saying all overweight people binge eat donuts.

July 01, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

"Hey you, hey you, hey you, wake up in the star," sing the girls of Flashe in English during their new tune "Hey You." Doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, does it? So, there's one reason not to like Flashe's "Hey You." But, hey you, lots of K-Pop songs have lyrics that don't quite add up when you really think about them. I don't understand why these record labels don't have people who are fluent in English review these song lyrics when their artists are going to sing in English.

June 30, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

It's been nearly a year since I last reviewed a release by LiSA, so I suppose I should give a little re-cap about who she is? Here goes: LiSA is a Japanese pop rock singer/songwriter who's actually named Risa Oribe. In addition to being a solo artist, she's been involved in various other projects over the years and one of them was a band called LiSA, which is an acronym for Love is Same All. (I still don't know if that's partially a gay rights/marriage equality thing.) Clearly, she liked the acronym so much that she decided to take it as her stage name and she's been using it ever since.

June 25, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Shiina Ringo is one of my favorite artists in the world. Since the owner of this site, Joshua Bernard, introduced me to her music a few years ago, I think I've managed to accumulate everything she's done as a solo artist and with her now broken up band Tokyo Jihen. If this site had more writers, I probably wouldn't be allowed to review this because I can't be objective about an artist that I like so much that I'm pretty much obsessed with her. But I actually am being objective with this one. You see, "Nippon," her first single of 2014, is a sports song.

June 23, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
NMB48: イビサガール [Ibisagaru]

I can't be sure if NMB48's latest digital single has anything to do with summer in terms of the lyrics, but my best guess is that it does because the girls are photographed in bikinis near a body of water on the cover and, obviously, bikinis = summer. Besides, regardless of what it's about, it's definitely got a hot, fun in the sun vibe to it.

June 21, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Remember how I wondered what would happen to ClariS when the two anonymous girls -- pseudonyms Alice and Clara -- graduated from high school? Well, unfortunately, the release of their third album, Party Time, comes with the sad news that Alice will be leaving the duo. So, perhaps, we'll never learn her true identity or see a photo of her? That would be quite the thing to pull off, being half of a famous J-Pop duo for roughly three years and then vanishing without the world ever learning your true identity or even what you look like. In any case, we have no idea what Clara intends to do.

June 19, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Aoora is one of the members of the popular K-Pop group AA. Here, he flies solo for the very first time with a track he not only wrote but produced. Only he's not exactly 100% solo, being that fellow AAer Hoo-ik appears on the track, singing some solo lines as well as doing some harmonizing with Aoora.

June 12, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Can you believe T-ARA are already on their third Japanese full-length album? Yes, it's true. That's precisely what this is. According to Yes Asia, "After the hit album Treasure Box and member Hyo Min's Japan acting debut in the film Jinx, T-ara is expected to have another major turning point in 2014 as two members will begin solo activities." I don't know if this means that they'll be doing solo activities in Japanese or Korean. I'd assume they'd do Korean solo material first, but everything else mentioned in that sentence pertains to Japanese releases/activities so who knows...

June 11, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Kary Ng began her professional recording career at the age of 15 when she joined the nine member girl group Cookies, which were signed to a major, Gold Label of EMI Hong Kong. Although she was only in Cookies for two years, they put out an impressive five releases during that time, including a popular best of compilation. In 2004 Kary joined a rock band called Ping Pung and released the album Love & Hate.

June 04, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >

Korean rock group FTISLAND have continued to do very, very well for themselves in Japan, so it should come as no surprise that they've just released a new Japanese single, which actually happens to be their 13th Japanese single already. (Where does the time go?) As you can see above, it's entitled 未体験FUTURE. Phonetically, that's Mitaiken Future. Google translates that as "Non-Experience Future." That might sound kind of dismal, but the song's music is entirely upbeat with some of Choi Jong-hoon and Song Seung-hyun's best fretwork to date, the guitars downright scorching.

June 02, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
AMIAYA: ICON (#YourICON version)

I doubt anyone remembers my previous review of an AMIAYA release -- I sure didn't, so allow me to repeat some of their background info. First off, they're a duo consisting of twin sisters Ami and Aya Suzuki. They are from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka but moved to Tokyo at the age of 15 to become artists. Soon they found themselves modeling for magazines, hair salons, etc. They became so famous from this that they released a photo book in 2010, simply entitled AYA AMI BOOK, and it sold over 40,000 copies (and likely still sells today; Yes Asia still had it last time I checked).

May 27, 2014 / by Paris365 / Read More >
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