6_Jpop CDJapan

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. 福山雅治- 零 -ZERO

Seiiki / Masaharu FukuyamaAndy’s thoughts: I think the husk in Masaharu Fukuyama’s voice works wonders for the spice behind this song. Between the soaring trumpets and slightly Spanish-tinged guitar driving everything home, this song is classically cool. I am big fan of the range that Fukuyama is able to achieve in this track as well. However, everything is brought to head for me in the instrumental break before the reprisal, that is where this slightly Western, slightly Latin feel comes together the best! 8/10
Seiiki [Limited Edition Live DVD Version]
Masaharu Fukuyama


2. EXILE- My Star

Andy’s thoughts: Of course I have a soft spot for a nice boy band ballad and “My Star” is filling a noted lack in that space for me. It is a classic ballad with rich piano and string accompaniment. It suits the rich vocals from Atsushi really nicely, creating a dreamy, almost Disney-esque sound. I think the song swells in the right spots and hits the right emotional highs and lows both lyrically and musically! A sweet reflective song overall. 7/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/id1363908355?app=itunes&ls=1


3. 西野 カナ- アイラブユー

I Love You / Kana NishinoAndy’s thoughts: True to form, this is a sweet, cute, and easy-going Kana Nishino bop-hit. I think fans of Nishino’s will really fall in love with the semi-ballad feel of this love song. I think the piano line on “I love you” works well in moving the tempo of this song along and makes it feel light and fun, which is very on brand for Kana Nishino! The small key change toward the end of the second verse is one of the best moments for me amongst the endearing/nostalgic vibes the rest of the song offers. 6/10
I Love You [Regular Edition]
Kana Nishino


4. 女王蜂- HALF

HALF / JoobachiAndy’s thoughts: Off the bat, there is an interesting call-and-response moment in the beginning of “HALF” which immediately drew me in. My main take away from this track was the lack of predictability. It seems almost as soon as you get a feel for what is happening, it is upheaved and shifted just a bit. I think the moment when all the music cuts and the lead singer lets out this yell was one of my favorite parts. Although having elements of synth, it reminds me a bit of pop punk from America in a way. 6/10
HALF [Regular Edition]


5. MAN WITH A MISSION- Take Me Under

Take Me Under / Winding Road / MAN WITH A MISSIONAndy’s thoughts: Again an intriguing intro, which opens up into a  lovely shock of energy when the main riff opens up the song. The high octane energy is something that I personally have come to associate with MAN WITH A MISSION and “Take Me Under” delivers on all fronts. I feel like this track is reminiscent of Likin Park. It has the same kinds of ebbs and flows that I really appreciate in this kind of electronic rock. 7/10
Take Me Under / Winding Road [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]


6. きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ- きみのみかた

Iisuta / Kyary Pamyu PamyuAndy’s thoughts: The queen is back! I have such a personal bias to KPP but, I think this track is a really nice  callback to her some of earlier sounds. As always, there is plenty of moving parts to keep the listener interested from start to finish. The chorus is fairly catchy, more so than her more recent songs like “Easta”. One of my favorite moments happens with the small back and forth Kyary has with herself in the verses. It is bubbly, light, and everything I could want in a KPP single. 9/10
Iisuta [Regular Edition]
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


7. FAKY – Who We Are

Andy’s thoughts: Now, Faky is a group I have been following since their debut and I truly appreciate their unique sound among other contemporary Japanese girl groups. “Who We Are” feels a bit more subdued in contrast to some of the group’s bangers but, I actually really love it. I like the spoken part that lays under the chorus; it is infectious and makes me want to chant along! When first listening I wasn’t sure I liked it but, by the end I was trying to match the group’s wonderfully melodic vocals. 8/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/who-we-are-single/1364788931


8. 野佐怜奈 – ROBOT

Endless Party / Reina NosaAndy’s thoughts: I can’t stop smiling when I think about this song. The space-y sounds and at times surf rock sounding guitar work so well together. That combined with Reina Nosa’s vocal work really bring something joyful to this track. There are just small moments interspersed throughout this song which at a lot of charm–for example the chimes that accent the main chorus line. I feel like “ROBOT” sounds both like another era but also, another planet. It is just so lovely! 10/10
Endless Party
Reina Nosa


9. ビッケブランカ- Get Physical

Urara / Vicke BlankaAndy’s thoughts: This song is a like 3 minutes of high energy encouragement. The chants in the beginning remind a bit of “Hey Mickey” which is why I might feel pumped up. Vickeblanka has such a nice voice and I think he really hits his stride when he goes into falsetto. There is also a really interesting instrumentation in having this harpsichord sounding scale running in the background. I really appreciate this song as it just makes me want to get up and dance! 10/10
Urara [Regular Edition]
Vicke Blanka


10. uchuu, – BOY

2069 / uchuu,Andy’s thoughts: The fast pacing and instrumentation remind me a bit of Gesu no Kiwami Otome but uchuu; has a bit more techno running through. I think the techno break mid-song creates such a nice moment of rest from the otherwise high energy rock drums and guitar. Lead singer K really puts in work in his vocals which sit nicely over the busy/rushing instrumentals. I didn’t know I was craving such a futuristic sound until I gave “BOY” a listen. 9/10