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. 海蔵亮太 (Ryouta Kaizou) – 接吻 (Seppun)

Andy’s thoughts: This song is so smooth. Right off the bat you are hit with a kind of nostalgic saxophone reminiscent of the easy listening that has spawned renewed popularity in vaporwave, etc. Kaizou’s voice is so buttery and it fits perfectly among the instrumentation here. The combination of bass, sax, and piano produces a really nostalgic 90s sound that I can’t get enough of. This is going on my karaoke setlist immediately, though I doubt i will do it justice 9/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/communication/1444599949?app=itunes


2. Mrs. GREEN APPLE – 僕のこと (Boku no Koto)

Andy’s thoughts: This song delivers a sweet acoustic beginning that slowly builds into an emotional anthem. A  wonderful display of soaring vocals. I quite like the difference between the quiet opening and rock/orchestral build for the chorus. This song also does something super cool with changing keys and the third act introduction of a harpsichord kept me tuned in until the end. My favorite moment was a small syncopation in the first verse that sucked me into the song immediately. Mrs. GREEN APPLE never fails to deliver an interesting sound for me. 8/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/bokuno-koto-ep/1445145788


3. aimer – I Beg You

Andy’s thoughts: I really like the sound that aimer is bringing to this song! It has a melodic line that reminds me of “Arabian Nights”. It is built out with guitar and synth to make a really atmospheric sound that transported me while listening. I think aimer’s vocals sound so beautiful in this song as well; they are the perfect mix of powerful and sweet. The string and guitar break in the middle of the song felt like something out of a Final Fantasy theme. The more I listened to this song, it grew on me more and more! There is something captivating in the sum of its parts.  9/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/i-beg-you/1446387629?i=1446387630


4. King Gnu – Slumberland

Andy’s thoughts: Slumberland offers an 80’s-like synth opening with a twist that opens into a bizarre yet, funky circus sounding song. I like the vocal flow that lays over the many moving melodies. The slow breakdown in the middle of the song is really captivating and was a welcomed pause in this very busy song. There are actually two “breaks” in the song that I think work equally well.  I usually try to capture my initial thoughts as I am listening but I was just utterly captivated by this song from start to finish. I think the song finds purchase with its unique mix of sounds.   8/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/sympa/1444834388


5. AAA – 笑顔のループ (Egao no Loop)

Andy’s thoughts: This is a very AAA song. It has the slow, emotional vocal pulling the listener in to the song right at the top. The members pass the building verse in rounds which works well, as it always does for AAA. The soft piano with complimentary chimes is a sound that I heavily associate with AAA and gives a delicate, yet sincere feel to the song. The vocals are offset with a light rap which breaks up this endearing track nicely and keeps it from getting to be one note. Through all that however, it is still the same AAA brand. 5/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/%E7%AC%91%E9%A1%94%E3%81%AE%E3%83%AB%E3%83%BC%E3%83%97-single/1442071612


6. いきものがかり(Ikimonogakari) – WE DO

Andy’s thoughts: I will not claim to be an expert on Ikimono-gakari by any means, but I feel like this song is a little more heavy rock influenced than their usual fare. It reminds me a bit of Superfly.  I think the song shines in the energy that vocalist Kiyoe Yoshioka brings to it. The song floats between feel good bop and pump-up jam for me. All of the “we do”-s are sure to get in your head! It is a nice song but I find myself yearning for something more akin to their “Blue Bird” sound as I listen.  6/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/we-do-single/1447092163


7. 4 Dimensions – Here We Go!

Andy’s thoughts: Oh, look! It’s a boy band! Will I like it? Big brass sound. Check.  A pumping, catchy chorus. Check. Some not exactly wrong but not exactly right English turns of phrase. Check. I do really enjoy what is going on with this song. I think for most it would be a pedestrian attempt at an anime opening (which it might be) but I have such nostalgic spot in my heart for these big brass, boy band  anime openers. Give it a listen if you want a pick me up in the morning! 7/10



Andy’s thoughts: This is song is an absolute love letter to late 50s and 60s music. It very reminiscent of the rise of “Group Sounds” in Japan in the mid 60s. This saw bands like The Spiders and The Tigers fusing Western rock the Japanese kayokyoku sounds. The influence of that music is not lost here either. DOORBELLS perfectly replicates the sound of a bygone era and though it is not my absolute favorite sound, I think they do what they do very well. The repetition of the descending guitar and bass lines is perfect for capturing the vibe they are going for. 7/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/doorbells/1444976101


9. Flower – 紅のドレス (Kurenai no Dress)

Andy’s thoughts: This is the first single from Flower, a subunit of E-Girls, after losing a few members. This song employs a host of traditionally East Asian instruments like the erhu and potentially a zheng? It melds these instruments with a pop and techno sound to make a cohesive melodic line I enjoy. I think that the beginning is perfectly ethereal and captivating, opening up into a nice pop number showcasing the vocal talents of Reina Washio. It is a nice return to music for Flower. 8/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/%E7%B4%85%E3%81%AE%E3%83%89%E3%83%AC%E3%82%B9/1449097620?i=1449097622&ign-mpt=uo%3D2


10. FABLED NUMBER – Up All Night

Andy’s thoughts: Opening on a high octane EDM-rock mix, this song is seizing on a sound popularized by bands like SEKAI NO OWARI. While this isn’t a bad sound or song, I think it has been better executed in more interesting ways before. Vocalist N’Eita gives me Linkin Park vibes which I sincerely appreciate. But overall it is the kind of EDM festival meets mainstream J-Rock I have come to associate with the Japanese summer concert circuit. 4/10

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/millionaire/1447869235?l=en