We update with 10 new J-Pop songs once each month, on the day first day of each month.
RSS feed for our song reviews can be found at: https://jtop10.mymti.org/category/j-pop-song-reviews/feed
1. SEKAI NO OWARI – “RAIN”
Will’s thoughts: Sekai no Owari really know how to create relaxing songs. There’s a nice harpsichord bit that just adds to the merriment of the song’s tone. Pianist Saori once again shines in this track along with the smooth vocals of Nakajin. The product is a combination of pleasant sounds and vibes that’ll guarantee a very worthwhile listen.
RAIN [Regular Edition]
SEKAI NO OWARI
2. トレモノ – “波打ち際のメロディ”
Will’s thoughts: Translated as “Island Island” in English, Toremono has crafted a very smooth light rock tune. You’ll be wanting to hear this on an island because a lot of things works so darn well. The guitar is the most memorable part of the song accompanied by some calm sounding percussion. Overall, grab a glass of a fancy cocktail and enjoy this chill melody.
3. E-girls – “Love ☆ Queen”
Will’s thoughts: The E-girls continue their foray in the style of EDM Jpop with this lovely single. Built with a catchy beat, hook, and chorus, this girl group has proven that they can still grab your attention in more ways than one. There’s also a quick hip hop influenced break in the song, so listen for that gem. What else can I say? They’re the E-girls and “Love ☆ Queen” is undeniably hip and worth taking a listen to.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/love-queen-ep/id1258023008
4. 高橋 優 – “虹”
Will’s thoughts: Yu Takahashi really knows how to control the flow of his words. There are a good amount of verses that have him singing at a very fast pace, slightly slurring his lines every now and then. It’s fun to listening to him as he manages to hold some high vocals in later verses. Takahashi’s passionate voice is worth hearing in this foot stomping rock song.
Niji / Simple [Regular Edition]
5. 西野 カナ – “Girls”
Will’s thoughts: “Girls” by Kana Nishino vaguely reminds me of an early Taylor Swift pop song. That’s not to discredit it, however, as I think Nishino adds some great positivity in this tune (in lieu of Swift constantly singing about break ups). Whatever the comparisons, there’s no denying that “Girls” is an uplifting song meant to empower Nishino’s female listeners. It’s cheerful, uplifting, and optimistic and I think that’s all I really want from a Kana Nishino song.
Girls [Regular Edition]
6. BUMP OF CHICKEN – “記念撮影”
Will’s thoughts: This offering from BUMP OF CHICKEN sounds a bit different from the rest of their songs. There’s less of a hard rock vibe here than their usual fanfare. In its place is a subtle pop hook that repeat every now and then, smoothing out the edges of the tune. Overall, it’s a good ong to take with you when you’re out walking in the park.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/kinensatsuei-single/id1253305628
7. 家入レオ – “ずっと、ふたりで”
Will’s thoughts: Leo Ieiri’s vocals really shines in this impactful single. The simple instrumentals (drums, piano, strings) really compliment her singing voice and aren’t too overbearing. Leo manages to put a lot of passion in her performance here and it makes for an enjoyable listen all throughout.
Zutto, Futari de [Regular Edition]
8. 登坂広臣 – “WASTED LOVE”
Will’s thoughts: Well here’s another hip and catchy EDM inspired track. Sung by Hiroomi Tosaka (of Sandaime J Soul Brothers from Exile Tribe fame), this song has a really nice melodic buildup to a earworm inducing drop beat. It also has mixes of house and techno that EDM lovers will be thoroughly satisfied with. It’s well worth to dance along to Tosaka’s infectious tune.
9. 宇多田ヒカル – “Forevermore”
Will’s thoughts: I really like the string arrangements at the beginning of this Hikaru Utada single. Her presence is established almost as soon as she begins to sing her verses. There’s a slight jazz influence to this tune that adds to its light rock ballad vibe. Utada sounds very strong and smooth in her performance and croons along to the melody very well. “Forevermore” is overall a great adult contemporary offering from the Diva herself.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/forevermore-single/id1258447983
10. DREAMS COME TRUE – “その日は必ず来る”
Will’s thoughts: I can tell there’s a grand sense of harmony and community coming from the vocals of this track. Led by a captivating female vocalist, her excellent singing skills are accompanied by an equally effective collective chorus group. Perhaps this song was used to inspire others to not give up or keep on being positive in tough times. Either way, it’s a great listen and the chorus will be stuck in your head for a while.