To all listeners, our J-Pop song reviews will now be formatted into blog posts so that everyone can get a RSS link and be notified each time a new song review is out!
RSS feed is at https://jtop10.mymti.org/category/j-pop-song-reviews/feed
Old song reviews will remain with the same presentation format as before and new reviews won’t have any changes with how the reviews are done (10 songs a month, released on the first day of each month).
Japan Top 10 is now an official affiliate with CD Japan! If you like any of the songs listed here, then we would greatly appreciate it if you click on these links and buy the official CD from them! They are a 100% official website to get music goods from Japan and record sales from their site are tabulated onto the Oricon Charts! They have very reasonable prices for shipping and all prices for their goods are set at standard prices that are listed on the CD (or any other product you purchase). Many other sites that sell goods to foreigners either have very expensive shipping costs or raise the prices of products from the standard price set by the record companies. CD Japan does not have any of these cash grabbing techniques! So if you like any of these songs, we highly recommend you guys to purchase the song!
Japan Top10がCD Japanと正式に提携しました！こちらで気に入った曲は是非CD JapanでCDをご購入ください。CD Japanは公式ウェブサイトで、このサイトからの購入はオリコンチャートに反映されます。送料も安く、商品価格も正規価格です。他のサイトは送料・商品価格共に高額となっている場合がありますので、ご注意ください。
We update with 10 new J-Pop songs once each month, on the day first day of each month.
If you like it, then we recommend you guys to listen to it a bit more and if you still like it, please click the CD Japan link and consider purchasing the CD. Hey, hint hint, special bonuses like posters are often given out in first editions, so don’t wait too long! CD Japan offers great bonuses to first edition CD’s! For songs that are only released digitally, we’ll still link you guys to the song’s iTunes or Recochoku page.
RSS feed for our song reviews can be found at: https://jtop10.mymti.org/category/j-pop-song-reviews/feed
1. スピッツ – ヘビーメロウ
Andy’s thoughts: This song feels really beach-y, and has an effortlessness in the layering of light guitar, soft rock drums, and smooth vocals. I feel like “Heavy Mellow” is a perfect title because although very smooth the short guitar solo gives nod to the underlying guitar grounding this airy soft rock number. The bass is also doing nice work to ground this song, pulling the overall sound together with a nice slap bass motif. Overall, I love the feel of the sound, perfect for summer. 7/10
CYCLE HIT 2006-2017 Spitz Complete Single Collection [Regular Edition]
2. JUNNA – JINXXX
Andy’s thoughts: A nice, punchy opening riff from the brass/saxophone combo to intro this song. The vocal work done by JUNNA completely holds up to the power of her accompaniment. Her deep, jazzy, almost raspy voice softens to a sweet melodic tone when appropriate and gives a nice undulation to this track. From a compositional perspective, JINXX has a somewhat of a Superfly-esque quality to it. There is plenty moving parts in this song to keep the ear well entertained. Not only the brass section and vocals, but there is also this percolating sound that speckles the off beats, a really interesting and refreshing choice. 8/10
Vai! Ya! Vai!
3. ケツメイシ – はじまりの予感
Andy’s thoughts: The slow, light composition intro opens into a familiar boy band-esque feel good song. The drum machine drives the song forward while the light piano and harp scales continue underneath which is familiar but, works well with the percussive rapping of the first verse. I really liked the wind chime, sleigh bell, and chime interlude toward the end of the song. It differs just enough from the main percussion throughout the song to give a nice climactic moment of peace. This song made me feel like I was experiencing the end credits to my own drama. 8/10
Hajimari no Yokan [CD+DVD]
4. ゆるめるモ！- モイモイ
Andy’s thoughts: This is song is palpably sweet! The call and response between the girls of “You’ll Melt More!” and the guitar is both charming and reminiscent of children’s song in a way. That said it uses the rough sound of a hard rock guitar to play nicely off of the really charming vocals. Minimizing the verses to essentially just vocals and drum is a nice change from other idol-type groups who I feel can get kind of bogged down with over stimulation. It is a rather simple and straightforward feel-good pop number; a good pick-me-up if you need some motivation! 7/10
Yurumerumo! (You’ll Melt More!)
5. KANA-BOON – バトンロード
Andy’s thoughts: The familiar vocals of Maguro Taniguchi reign over this KANA-BOON song. It is standard J-rock fare done by a seasoned hit-making band. One moment that struck was at about a minute and ten seconds into the song the bass dips down the scale to give a cool bridge to the chorus from the first verse. That said, although not as immediately identifiable as the guitar singing over this song, the bass rounds out the driving pace of this song. The constant thumping gives a more subtle urgency. It also nicely balances the high pitched vocals and guitar. 6/10
Baton Road [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]
6. キノコホテル – 還らざる海
Andy’s thoughts; Harpsichord is always the right way to intro a song. The mod-inspired opening is a curious and coquettish which is the perfect vehicle for the cool, clear vocals to come through. The accompaniment is perfectly atmospheric for Marianne Shinonome to shine through with light harmonizing. Using strings, a staccato drum cadence and vocals, and surf guitar, Kinoko Hotel creates a nostalgic nod to mod. A truly unique sound for not being from the 60’s. This is the perfect song for some light espionage, killer fashion, and a strong cup of black coffee. 9/10
Play Girl Dai Makyo [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]
7. MAN WITH A MISSION – Dog Days
Andy’s thoughts: This song is a blood pumper from the beginning and keeps you going on all the way through. It has traces of Linkin Park and feels like it is the crossover of punk, hip hop, and electronic music. The initial drum kit transitioning into guitar and record scratching reminds me of one of the openings from the anime Soul Eater. That is to say, this song has a really action oriented quality. Even the moments where things “slow down” there is a lot happening musically, like electronic scales and guitars also making alternating scales which give a nice intensity to this song. 9/10
Dead End in Tokyo (European Edition) [Import Disc]
MAN WITH A MISSION
8. さよならポニーテール – まわるあのコ
Andy’s thoughts: A slow build into an audio treat of many moving parts. The careful addition of layers is whimsical and builds nicely to the thematic break in the middle of the song. The repetition of motifs makes the alteration of their key a pleasant surprise come the middle of the song. Insert some laughter is and draw out and warp the musical phrasing a bit and this song completes its dreamy, fairy-like metamorphosis. The vocals of さよならポニーテール provide a nice grounding consistency throughout the song. This song has easily become one of my favorite for it’s dreamlike effervescence. 10/10
9. 米津玄師 – ピースサイン
Andy’s thoughts: This song gives me aspiration, something akin to a pat on the back from a well respected senpai. The vocals sit at a nice baritone level which works well with the generally tonally high guitar and accompaniment. The addition of the “oh,oh,oh” over the intro and later in the song works really well with the work the guitar is doing. Additionally during the verses, the drums starting hitting the off beats which is always really musically interesting. I feel like their sound is similar to RADWIMPS or ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, with a little bit of an edge. 8/10
Peace Sign [Regular Edition]
10. soejima takuma – ecole (featuring あゆ巫女)
Andy’s thoughts: This song opens on a trip through a nebulous space blob. Or at least that is how it feels, being that it opens with ethereal clicks and chimes. Breaking this spaced out feel is a breathy, yet equally ethereal and almost whispering voice. The overall feeling I had was that this song is musically somewhere in between Bjork and DAOKO. I really liked the serenity of the song and I think the instrumentation with light xylophone, chimes,and electronic interjections is sublime. The vocal bits don’t do a lot for me personally but I think work well with the overall atmospheric nature of the song. 7/10
All Sheep Sleep In Yours