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. 椎名林檎と宮本浩次 (Ringo Sheena & Koji Miyamoto)- 獣ゆく細道 (Kemono Yuku Hosomichi)

Eric’s thoughts: A big brass section kicks off this jazzy number. Ringo Sheena’s smooth vocals pair well wih Koji’s more agressively soulful approach. It’s as if the two are squaring off in a friendly battle for the song. As for who wins, that’s up to the listener. 3/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/the-narrow-way-single/1437341337


2. BUMP OF CHICKEN- 話がしたいよ (Hanashi ga Shitai yo)

Eric’s thoughts: This is a good rock ballad, but sometimes I feel like I’ve heard it before. Luckily the unique qualities of BUMP OF CHICKEN’s sound elevates past the inherit trappings of the genre. 3/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/hanashigashitaiyo-sirius-spica-single/1438094254


3. 平井 堅 (Ken Hirai) – half of me

Eric’s thoughts: This performance gives me the idea that Ken Hirai is playing this song in an empty bar, ruminating on a lost love. Or maybe a true love. There’s a part where a female background singer comes in, giving a ghost of a melody but never returning. 3/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/half-of-me-ep/1438202401


4. BABYMETAL- Starlight

Eric’s thoughts: The intro to this song gives you an idea as to what Babymetal is all about: pop melodies with thrashy metal riffs. Theres a great breakdown remniscent of bands like Meshuggah, and the chorus speaks to other hits from the band like ‘Karate’. I’d recommend this song for anyone looking be introduced to Babymetal, as some of there other songs like ‘gimme chocolate’ can be a little much for first time listeners. 4/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/starlight-single/1437899646


5. SEKAI NO OWARI- イルミネーション (Illumination)

Eric’s thoughts: This song has an infectious quality to it, as I find in most songs by SEKAI NO OWARI. It’s not that the lyrics or melody get stuck in your head, it’s that once the song starts I can’t help but sit and finish it. It has a personality which is rare in a lot of music. 4/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/illumination-single/1437770616


6. SOLIDEMO – Office Love

Eric’s thoughts: The eight members of SOLIDEMO need you to know about Office Love. They need you to bob your head to the beat. If you’ve not quite had your fill, the video even includes the singers in business wear, not so much dancing as posing to the music. 1/5

Download from Amazon JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Office-Love-EMO%E7%9B%A4-SOLIDEMO/dp/B07GNSGYRF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540664719&sr=8-1&keywords=4988064941681


7. 辻詩音 (Shion Tsuji) – 王冠 (Oukan)

Eric’s thoughts: I enjoy how she approaches this song. It’s joyful, it’s poppy, it can be sweet but not in a cloying way, that makes me want to come back and listen again. A definite sense of maturity from an artist that has been creating music since the age of 15. 3/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/%E3%82%8F%E3%81%9F%E3%81%97%E3%81%AE%E7%8E%8B%E5%9B%BD/1437968220


8. 小西真奈美 (Manami Konishi) – Here We Go

Eric’s thoughts: I will preface this by saying I’m not a huge fan of Japanese Hip Hop. Or rather I’m not as educated as I am with, say, JRock. Manami Konishi takes what I’ve recognized as an atypical rhythm in a lot of JHipHop and infuses it with a sense of drama with a background you’d hear in groups like Gorillaz. It gives me pause and a sense of all the learning I have to do on the subject.

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/here-we-go/1437232289


9. 筋肉少女帯 (Kinniku Shoujo-tai) – オカルト (Occult)

Eric’s thoughts: This song is fun and freaky and deals lightly with the supernatual, cryptozoology and the truth which may (or may not) be out there. There’s also a great amount of 80s rock nostalgia from a band that was actually there. 3/5

Download from Amazon JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%82%B6%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B7%E3%82%B5-%E5%88%9D%E5%9B%9E%E9%99%90%E5%AE%9A%E7%9B%A4A-%E7%AD%8B%E8%82%89%E5%B0%91%E5%A5%B3%E5%B8%AF/dp/B07FSN79ZY


10. エルオーエル (LOL) – Trigger

Eric’s thoughts: Whenever you are talking about singing groups, sometimes it’s hard to tell the individuals from the group itself. Groups like LOL, and this song in particular, is a great example of taking the time to highlight what makes each singer unique, and when you have such a variety of different ranges and styles in the group, that’s what makes the song great. 4/5

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lml/1437903298