CDJapan   6_Jpop CDJapan    

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!

These are older song reviews that we have done in the past, from June 2015 to November/December 2015. If you like the songs, we still recommend everyone to purchase the album from CD Japan.

こちらは2015年6月から11月/12月までのレビューでございます。 もし、気にってる曲はございましたら、CD Japanにお買いするとお勧めです。


CD Japanの現在の有名な曲!ジャパントップ10は正式にCD Japanの関係団体になりました!気化された音楽を機にってる場 合、是非CD JapanにCDをお買いください。CD Japan産品は100%日本からの物でオリコンチャートにも入っ ています。CD Japanの発送料金は合理的で産品は標準価格でございます。気に ってる曲がございましたら、CD JapanからCDを買うのをお勧めでございます。

 

December 1, 2015:

 

1. 絢香 – A Song For You

Nick’s thoughts: Her voice is the centre of attention in this soft, vocal-powered ballad, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ayaka can clearly hold her own with a song like this, but there’s no amazing vocal work that blows me out of the water. Otherwise, this song is not for me. 6/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/a-song-for-you-single/id1057114146

 

2. miwa – あなたがここにいて抱きしめることができるなら

Anata ga Koko ni Ite Dakishimeru Koto ga Dekiru Nara / miwaNick’s thoughts: The chorus sounds great, but is fairly typical for an uplifting J-Pop song. Note that the song doesn’t end at three and a half minutes, despite sounding like it would. I almost closed the tab too early, but it’s a good thing I didn’t because I would’ve missed her sing a cappella wonderfully for a few seconds. The final chorus feels slightly more satisfying, but sounds nonetheless like a J-Pop tune I’ve heard before. 6.5/10
Anata ga Koko ni Ite Dakishimeru Koto ga Dekiru Nara [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] miwa

 

3. いきものがかり – ラブとピース!

Love to Peace! / Mudai - Toku e - / IkimonogakariNick’s thoughts: Love and Peace! is full of funk that feels like it could’ve been ripped from a 60s spy movie. From the booming trumpets to the underlying electric guitar throughout, the tone is consistent and it sounds pretty good. 7.5/10
Love to Peace! / Mudai – Toku e –
Ikimonogakari

 

4. EXILE – Ki-mi-ni-mu-chu

Ki.mi.ni.mu.chu / EXILENick’s thoughts: EXILE opens with a cute, catchy intro that leads into a swooning, crooning chorus. “Ki-mi-ni-mu-chu”, they croon with a high-pitched, feel-good gusto. The song ends with cheering from whom I believe are the band members. I’d be cheering too after giving this song a listen. 8/10
Ki.mi.ni.mu.chu [CD+DVD] EXILE

 

5. スキマスイッチ – LINE

LINE / Sukima SwitchNick’s thoughts: I love the sporadic guitar notes and the wavy synths that they sprinkle in the first verse. It’s not exactly subtle, yet it doesn’t overpower – which is perfect for backing instrumentals. “LINE”’s refrain plays a lot heavier, with much more layered sounds. Sonically, the individual instruments are fine, and the singing is alright too. 7/10
LINE [Limited Pressing] Sukima Switch

 

6. Galileo Galilei – クライマー

Climber / Galileo GalileiNick’s thoughts: I like the up-and-down intensity of the intro, and it leads it into an airy, atmospheric guitar in the verse. The final word of each chorus stays with you, as the lead singer’s varying utterances of “setsuna” juxtaposed with the hard rock leaves a lasting impression. Be sure to stay until the end for an awesome breakdown. This is also the second season ending theme song of the popular volleyball anime, Haikyuu! 8/10
Climber [Limited Pressing] Galileo Galilei

 

7. KANA-BOON – talking

talking / Nanahitsuji / KANA-BOON / ScenarioartNick’s thoughts: Make sure you wear decent headphones to fully appreciate the power of the driving bass that lies underneath “Talking”. There’s even a neat little rap interlude that matches the rock vibe of the rest of the song, but that’s the only truly unique aspect of this funky entry from KANA-BOON. 7/10
talking / Nanahitsuji [w/ DVD, Limited Edition/Type A] KANA-BOON / Scenarioart

 

8. YUKI – tonight

tonight / YUKINick’s thoughts:  Yuki, a veteran vocalist, is so confident in her ability to sing that she takes this song almost all on her own, like a live performance. However, this ballad really shines when she harmonizes with her own backing vocals, which unfortunately only happens once for a few seconds during the words “baby konya wa”. If you love a raw Yuki song, you will love this. I do not. 6.5/10
tonight [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] YUKI

 

9. back number – クリスマスソング

Christmas Song / back numberNick’s thoughts: This is the first Christmas song I’m reviewing for the year! And it’s a solid welcome. My favourite part is the melodic strings that opens, closes, and sings throughout the song. As with Back Number, we have Iyori Shimizu to thank for the frequent falsettos. 8/10
Christmas Song [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] back number

 

10. 大原櫻子 – キミを忘れないよ

Kimi wo Wasurenai yo / Sakurako OharaNick’s thoughts: Sakurako is only 19 years old! Can you believe that? Her vocals are fine, but not stunning. I’m sure she’ll only get better with age. But for now, I’m not the a fan of this very regular ballad that I’m fairly certain I’ve heard elsewhere. 4/10
Kimi wo Wasurenai yo [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A] Sakurako Ohara

 

November 1, 2015:

 

1. MAN WITH A MISSION – Raise your flag

Raise your flag / MAN WITH A MISSIONTim’s thoughts: It’s been a while since I first started to listen to Man With A Mission, after first having discovered them through a Jtop10 episode. This time around, I immediately noticed an improvement in their English pronunciation. What’s even more impressive though, is that they’ve started to do openings for new series! As a great example, this song itself is the opening for the new Gundam series. If you’re a fan, check out Iron Blooded Gundam. Keep on working hard MWAM! 8/10
Raise your flag [Regular Edition] MAN WITH A MISSION

 

2. whiteeeen – あの頃~ジンジンバオヂュオニー~

Tim’s thoughts: This version is actually a cover on the original Mandarin version by Xia Hu, in the movie Those Bygone Years. The movie itself was very good, and what makes it better is that it’s actually based on a biography, who directed the movie himself. The cover gives you a different feeling when you listen to it, and it’s very interesting when you compare the two. I give a thumbs up to both the original and cover. 9/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/anokoro-jin-jin-bao-zhuo-ni/id1040491341

 

3. E-girls – Dance Dance Dance

Dance Dance Dance / E-girlsTim’s thoughts: This song was very upbeat. To me, it fully captures the essence of ‘J-Pop’. Appropriately named, the MV shows almost 4 minutes of the most fun dancing I’ve seen. Everybody looks energetic, happy, and almost made me want to dance myself (I can’t dance at all). 8/10
Dance Dance Dance
E-girls

 

4. WEAVER – Boys & Girls

Boys & Girls / WEAVERTim’s thoughts: I remember running into this song before, possibly covering it on an episode somewhere. But If I do remember one thing clearly, is that I really liked it. I’ve always enjoyed Weavers’ songs because he brings a breath of fresh air to most of the songs I listen to; He always incorporates the piano into every single one of his music videos, whether it’s singing with it, or dancing while playing it. Another great piece. 8/10
Boys & Girls
WEAVER

 

5. ゆず- TOWA

Ninin Sankyaku 2015.8.16 - Kiiro no Hi - / YuzuTim’s thoughts: Once again, Yuzu does not disappoint with yet another music video. If you’re a fan of them, then you know by now that they are pretty well known for the interesting MVs. They’re one of the few artists where you can have almost as much fun watching the music videos as listening to the piece itself. With explosions, flashy effects, a post-apocalyptic setting, one must wonder, “how much did this cost?”. 8.5/10
Ninin Sankyaku 2015.8.16 – Kiiro no Hi – [Limited Release] Yuzu

 

6. Perfume- STAR TRAIN

Star Train / PerfumeTim’s thoughts: Here we go, a Perfume song. (I better give this piece a 10/10 or else Producer Jack will be unhappy with me haha…) Just kidding. Over the past year, Perfume has been touring in so many places around the world. I keep seeing them performing in all sorts of different places, and it really makes me happy to see them be so successful. I can see why Jack likes them so much. As for this song, I feel like it really speaks to a lot of music enthusiasts. At one point in the song they say, “music is everything”. To many people, it simply is just ‘everything’. Sometimes when we’re feeling down, all we need is some encouragement from a song we really like. Other times, music can teach us simple but powerful life lessons. 9/10
Star Train [Regular Edition] Perfume

 

7. [Alexandros] – Girl A

Tim’s thoughts: I’ve been missing some J-Rock in my life lately. A lot of artists today focus on ballads or other pop songs, and it feels like the heavier kinds of rock are a bit more scarce. I’m glad to Alexandros keeping it up, and this song is definitely does not hold back on intense guitar playing :D. 8/10
Girl A [Regular Edition] [Alexandros]

 

8. SPYAIR – アイム・ア・ビリーバー

I'm A Believer / SPYAIRTim’s thoughts: I love this one. It feels like every SPYAIR song I listen to knows the perfect way to build tension in the beginning and make you feel excited. Not long after, it makes you just want to yell and sing along. Having first discovered them doing the Haikyuu opening, I’ve always enjoyed listening to their songs. If you like working out or running, then just go ahead and put every single one of their songs in your phone. 10/10
I’m A Believer [Regular Edition] SPYAIR

 

9. ONE OK ROCK – THE WAY BACK

Tim’s thoughts: Taka’s english is on-point as always. Personally, I can’t stress enough how important it is to sing English or use English lyrics in songs and pronounce it clearly. Often I listen to some songs and I have trouble trying to discern what some artists are saying, and it really distracts me from fully enjoying the song. In the case of ONE OK ROCK, I actually look forward to Taka’s mix of English and Japanese lyrics, and this song nails it. 10/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/way-back-japanese-ver.-single/id1038832271

 

10. ゲスの極み乙女。 – オトナチック

Otonachic / Muku na Kisetsu / Gesu no Kiwami Otome.Tim’s thoughts: These guys just have the most distinct type of music; I can tell them apart from any other group in just 5 seconds of listening to their ‘style’. The guitar playing, piano, singing, base, and drums just all sound so different from other bands, and makes each one their pieces sound special. The music video is creative too, and I enjoy how they use a sort of ‘Reyes’ filter effect on their videos to make the color look a bit washed out. They really know how to draw the listener/viewers’ attention. 10/10
Otonachic / Muku na Kisetsu [Regular Edition] Gesu no Kiwami Otome.

 

October 1, 2015:

 

1. JUJU – With You

With You / JUJURecca’s thoughts: I was really into JUJU’s last song, “Playback,” which was an upbeat American-influenced tune that got me dancing every time I heard it. This one’s totally different – and it sounds like every other slow J-pop ballad that’s come out lately. Not only that, JUJU’s voice doesn’t sound great singing this kind of song. In several parts, she sounds either like she’s struggling to hit the high notes, or is about to cry. I don’t know if that was intentional, but I can’t really get into this song. 2/10
With You [Regular Edition] JUJU

 

2. 三代目 J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE – Unfair World

Unfair World / Sandaime J Soul Brothers (3JSB) from EXILE TRIBERecca’s thoughts: So, I’m not typically a fan of slow, emotional songs, but this one hit my nostalgia button. The chimes and synthesized handclap felt very ‘90s, and the fact that this is sung by an all-male “boy band” really brought me back to my middle school days. The vocals are smooth and well-done, but nothing special. 6/10
Unfair World
Sandaime J Soul Brothers (3JSB) from EXILE TRIBE

 

3. 山崎あおい – ナインスではじまる恋

Pinheel Baby / Aoi YamazakiRecca’s thoughts: This sounds a lot like Kana Nishino’s recent output – cute, with a little bit of country flair. The flute is a nice touch. This song captures the exhilaration of a new love in a low-key way that doesn’t come off as cheesy. I liked this a lot more than I first thought I would. 7/10
Pinheel Baby [Regular Edition] Aoi Yamazaki

 

4. 秦 基博 – Q&A

Q&A / Motohiro HataRecca’s thoughts: The chords in the opening and verses set out a sense of tension that carries throughout the song. This is fitting, as “Q&A” is the theme song for the nuclear terrorism thriller Tenkuu no Hachi. The lyrics raise a lot of the “big questions” of life in a way that doesn’t feel too pretentious, and I like the simple poetry of the lyrics. 7/10
Q&A [Regular Edition] Motohiro Hata

 

5. 西野カナ – トリセツ

Torisetsu / Kana NishinoRecca’s thoughts: This one is fun – the lyrics are an “instruction manual” for a girlfriend – and this is just as cute and funny as it sounds. Past hosts of JTop10 have pointed out the country music influence in Nishino’s songs, which is pretty unique in J-pop. This song isn’t quite as country-influenced as “Moshimo Unmei no Hito ga Iru no Nara,” but the straightforward, humorous lyrical content and the guitar and handclaps in the chorus show a little bit of country flair. 7/10
Torisetsu [Regular Edition] Kana Nishino

 

6. TEE – 5年後のアイラブユー

5 Nen Go no I Love You / TEERecca’s thoughts: A little too sappy for me. This is a song about how the singer still loves his significant other, no matter what. The one thing I like is the string section that comes in during the verse and provides this subtle warmth. I am not a big fan of slow, emotional ballads, and this one doesn’t do anything super interesting. 3/10
5 Nen Go no I Love You
TEE

 

7. SCANDAL – Sisters

Sisters / SCANDALRecca’s thoughts: This song is nice and upbeat. Based on the lyrics, this is another “end of the summer” song. The chords in the main guitar hook are a little sad, which is a perfect musical reflection of the lyrical content. Unlike some other “end of the summer” songs, though, this one’s all about cheering up, and not letting the little things bother you. Nice, happy, uplifting. 6/10
Sisters [Regular Edition] SCANDAL

 

8. ハジ→ ft. miwa – 記念日。

Recca’s thoughts: This song about the anniversary of a relationship would be really sappy if not for the humorous lyrics. It plays out as a conversation between a boyfriend and girlfriend, talking about their anniversary and pointing out some of the silly things that have happened in their relationship. They even discuss their plans for this year’s anniversary – which include making dinner together and drinking canned beer while watching baseball on TV. The conversational tone is pretty funny and it’s basically too cute for me to dislike. 6/10
Hazzie Best. [Regular Edition] / Hazzie

 

9. SEKAI NO OWARI – S.O.S.

SOS / Present / SEKAI NO OWARIRecca’s thoughts: The “S.O.S.” in the title represents two things here: the “Sound Of Silence” mentioned in the chorus and also a plea for help, which seems to be the main theme of the song. I liked the soft, quiet, pensive atmosphere of this one. The minimal portions with just the piano and SFX are particularly nice. The one thing I didn’t care for was the vocal style, which is a little too breathy and electronic-sounding for my liking and it doesn’t really go with this style of music. 5/10
SOS / Present [Regular Edition] SEKAI NO OWARI

 

10. indigo la End – 雫に恋して

Shizuku ni Koi shite / Wasurete Hanataba / indigo la EndRecca’s thoughts: Nice, laid back pop rock. It gives me a sense of one specific love story, perhaps even based on one of the singer’s own relationships. The music video is also very story-driven, and, as expected, portrays a girl who is a fan of Indigo La End falling in love with one of the band members. It’s a nice mini-drama. This song flows along nicely otherwise, but it’s nothing special. 5/10
Shizuku ni Koi shite / Wasurete Hanataba
indigo la End

 

September 1, 2015:

 

1. ゆず- 終わらない歌

Owaranai Uta / YuzuNick’s thoughts: I’m not a huge fan of this arrangement, nor the lead singers voice. What sounds like a marching drum with trumpets makes me think of parade/marching band music, which I’m not a particular fan of. 4/10
Owaranai Uta
Yuzu

 

2. ゲスの極み乙女。- 無垢な季節

Nick’s thoughts: I love the juxtaposition between the playful piano and quick drumming in the intro. Very catchy, upbeat, falsetto­filled chorus too. I feel like this could easily be an anime opening. I’m now looking into Guess Height Maiden’s other songs. 8.5/10

 

3. KANA-BOON- ダイバー

Diver / KANA-BOONNick’s thoughts: I like some of Kana­Boon’s music. This one’s okay. The rock verses fill the song aptly but don’t give me a lasting impression. I appreciate how the guitar solo after the second chorus picks up the pace and otherwise mundane rock tune. 6/10
Diver [Regular Edition] KANA-BOON

 

4. flumpool- 夏よ止めないで ~You’re Romantic~

Natsu yo Tomenaide -You're Romantic- / flumpoolNick’s thoughts: This song makes me think of disco. Happy, uplifting disco. The chorus, at least. Am I crazy? The chorus is the only part of the song that makes me feel anything. Although this song has a great refrain, the other ordinary segments of the song fall flat. 6.5/10
Natsu yo Tomenaide -You’re Romantic- [Regular Edition] flumpool

 

5. miwa ft. ハジ→ – 夜空

Yozora Feat.HAZZIE / Stress Free / miwaNick’s thoughts: At first, I thought that this would be a typical sad, slow song opening with the usual piano and strings in minor key. The song started piquing my interest once the two singers started alternating lines. Together, it made me notice Haji’s work in the chorus more and he sounds great with Miwa. Stay tuned for the epic finale in the last chorus. 7/10
Yozora Feat.HAZZIE / Stress Free [Regular Edition] miwa

 

6. 家入レオ- 君がくれた夏

Kimi ga Kureta Natsu / Leo IeiriNick’s thoughts: Let me preface this review by saying Message by Leo Ieiri is my favourite J­Pop song. So going into this I had high expectations. This song shares a very similar atmosphere as Message in terms of the instruments used and the style of the music, but it doesn’t grab my attention as much. It’s a lot slower, yet it still shows off her fantastic voice. 7/10
Kimi ga Kureta Natsu [Regular Edition] Leo Ieiri

 

7. ポルノグラフィティ- Ohhh!!! HANABI

Rhinoceros / Porno GraffittiNick’s thoughts: Porno Graffitti has been making music for 21 years now and their veteran talent really shines with knowledge of how to create an original, catchy tune for a wide audience. On top of an upbeat package, there’s not only a guitar solo, but an awesome trumpet solo that precedes it too! I love the way the solos transition, or “hand off” to one another. Check it out after the second chorus. 8/10
Rhinoceros [Regular Edition] Porno Graffitti

 

8. SHISHAMO- 熱帯夜

Nettaiya / SHISHAMONick’s thoughts: Groovy intro. It made me expect a male singer like John Mayer to chime in, which is why it threw me off when a chill female voice took over. Her mellow vocals suit the relaxed beat of Tropical Night very well. Shishamo makes it very difficult not to groove along to their style. Make sure to stick around at the end for the uptempo instrumental outro. 9/10
Nettaiya
SHISHAMO

 

9. back number- 手紙

Tegami / back numberNick’s thoughts: There isn’t anything particular about this song that stands out to me. I like the vocals of Iyori Shimizu, Back Number’s lead singer ­ his performance is probably the best part of Tegami. Otherwise, it sounds a little dull. 6.5/10
Tegami [w/ DVD, Limited Release] back number

 

10. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Crazy Party Night

Crazy Party Night - Pumpkin no Gyakushu - / Kyary Pamyu PamyuNick’s thoughts: Very odd, eerie, yet childish and video game-esque introduction. But the weirdness doesn’t stop there. This sounds like a kids’ party in a haunted house. From the lyrics, I believe that this is supposed be a Halloween party. Unfortunately, I find no appeal in this. Crazy Party Night gets points for creating the atmosphere it’s supposed to give. 2/10
Crazy Party Night – Pumpkin no Gyakushu – [Regular Edition] Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

 

August 1, 2015:

 

1. GReeeeN – SAKAMOTO

Sandra’s thoughts: Just listening to a Greeeen song makes me wonder if there’s a music video for this, and what it might be about. They’ve always got the weirdest and really interesting videos, sometimes it doesn’t even feel like the video relates to the song! This is also the first time I’ve heard techno in a Greeeen song, or I mean first time i’ve been exposed to this mix, maybe they had a song with techno/dubstep earlier on and I just missed it. It’s interesting? I mean especially with how some parts of the song sound like they have a traditional element involved. And then, wham club music. It’s weird, but I also really like it, It’s one of those things that are so weird together that it actually feels ok. I like experimentation, I like this. 9/10
Sakamoto [Regular Edition] / GReeeeN

 

2. RADWIMPS – Picnic

Picnic / RADWIMPSSandra’s thoughts: I haven’t heard a new Radwimps song in a while. This one is truly beautiful, not only that, this is also the theme song of a movie called Toilet no Pieta in which Noda Yojiro is acting in. The movie is about a painter (Noda Yojiro in this case) who only has a limited amount of time to live, and how he changes after meeting a high school girl. The song starts out very simple with Noda Yojiro singing and a guitar strumming, but it slowly ramps up just like a wave in calm waters. It sounds like a very sweet song, with tinges of sadness and yearning, but it ends with a very passionate and hopeful feeling. After hearing how amazing this song is, I’m really anticipating this movie!! 10/10
Picnic [Limited Release]
RADWIMPS

 

3. Rihwa- TO: Summer

To: Summer / RihwaSandra’s thoughts: I’ve never really noticed, but her voice is really cute! I mean in Harukaze I noticed how clear her voice was. But in this song when hitting those low notes, man, all I could think of was “Jeez her voice is cute”. Almost sounds like a voice of an anime girl. haha….. Putting my weebness aside this song is really upbeat and catchy, matches the title of “summer” very well. And I really like the drums in the background, as well as how the song ends in a crescendo. 9/10
To: Summer [Regular Edition]
Rihwa

 

4. SCANDAL – Stamp!

Stamp! / SCANDALSandra’s thoughts: Scandal is one of those bands that I’ve heard about but I never really listened. I think I’ve tried like one or two of their songs and it didn’t really appeal to me? But I haven’t really decided if I like them or not considering I’ve literally only listened to like 2 songs. This is not bad, I really like the beat. It seems fun, and kind of sassy? The vocals are nice, and although nothing in the song particularly stood out to me, I still kind of like it? 7.5/10
Stamp! [Regular Edition]
SCANDAL

 

5. SEKAI NO OWARI – ANTI-HERO

ANTI-HERO / SEKAI NO OWARISandra’s thoughts: This is the long-awaited (or I was waiting for this) theme song of Shingeki no Kyojin! First of all, I feel that this is intensely different from the type of songs Sekai no Owari have been making- namely the lack of autotuning. I mean, just think back on songs such as Dragon Night. I did read that Sekai no Owari were planning on something very different from their usual style of music and they truly came through. On the other hand, I’m not fully sure how well this will fit into the live action movie of Shingeki no Kyojin. This song almost feel like it has too much style for all the darkness and gore that is Shingeki. But one thing I will admit, this song heavily reminded me of Levi, it seems like it fits really well, almost like this entire song was tailored to Levi. This song itself is interesting? It’s fully in english and almost feels like R&B? Just evaluating the song on it’s own, I like it, feels like Levi-mafia-badass, three words to sum it all up. 9/10
ANTI-HERO [Regular Edition]
SEKAI NO OWARI

 

6. ゆず – かける

Sandra’s thoughts: I think this is the first Yuzu song that I can saw I really like. I mean the songs I’ve heard before were fine, but they were not songs that I would listen to on a regular basis. This? I would break the replay button for. It has a really nice progression, and some really powerful vocals. It’s upbeat, catchy, and amazing background music that mixed well with the vocals, and as I said, I would break that replay button. 10/10
Owaranai Uta / Yuzu

 

7. 三代目 J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE- Summer Madness

Summer Madness / Sandaime J Soul Brothers (3JSB) from EXILE TRIBESandra’s thoughts: This sounds like the perfect song for the club or a rave- especially the chorus. Not bad, the dub step is a little overpowering in my opinion, it’s just too loud for too long a duration. I mean I’m not against dubstep, I really liked techno and dubstep used in their previous songs when they had a lot more vocal parts, but this is just a little too much for my ears. Song wise, this is ok, great vocals, but not superbly catchy or interesting; kind of feels like a generic Exile song. Sorry to all the Exile fans out there! I guess I just can’t seem to appreciate this song. 6.5/10
Summer Madness
Sandaime J Soul Brothers (3JSB) from EXILE TRIBE

 

8. 平井堅 – 君の鼓動は君にしか鳴らせない

Kimi no Kodo wa Kimi ni Shika Narasenai / Ken HiraiSandra’s thoughts: My first and only exposure to Hirai Ken was Grotesque where he was singing with Namie Amuro which was a very different kind of song compared to this one. His voice though, is just as amazing. I think his voice is fairly high pitched for a male singer, but it’s also quite soothing, it’s not too sharp or annoying. Although song wise, nothing particularly caught my attention, I do have to say Hirai Ken is a fantastic singer and I guess this song just didn’t speak to me. 7.5/10
Kimi no Kodo wa Kimi ni Shika Narasenai [Regular Edition]
Ken Hirai

 

9. 椎名林檎 – 長く短い祭

No Verao, As Noites / God, Nor Buddha / Ringo SheenaSandra’s thoughts: Would this count as jazz? I’m not sure, but whatever it is, it’s pretty damn good. I keep saying how I really didn’t like Shiina Ringo’s songs as first look but now I think I’m addicted. They are so weird, but everything she puts into her songs manages to sound amazing and they’re always so catchy. Unfortunately I was unable to find out who the male vocalist was, but I want to say that having the male vocalist there really added to the song, it kept things interesting and I think his voice matched really well with Shiina Ringo’s vocals. 10/10
No Verao, As Noites / God, Nor Buddha [Limited Release]
Ringo Sheena

 

10. JUJU- PLAYBACK

Playback / JUJUSandra’s thoughts: I think I’ve only heard of one other JUJU song and it was called “Hot Stuff”, that song was fairly generic, and I remember a lot of girls dancing. This sounds like another catchy pop song, not that it’s bad, I mean it’s very successful in the catchy aspect and listening to it makes me want to get up and dance. So if that’s this song’s aim, it’s got it in the bag. And although I called this song “generic pop” I do quite like it! I like my fair share of generic mainstream songs ok! 9/10
Playback [Regular Edition] JUJU

 

11. 秦基博- 恋はやさし野辺の花よ *bonus song review for this month!

Sandra’s thoughts: You know I could never really like Hata Motohiro’s slow songs, but this one is actually pretty good. I mean it’s not that he’s a bad singer, but a lot of his songs are just meh. Vocals and meaning aside (considering I don’t understand Japanese), most of his songs are just not that memorable for me. This one is. It’s really relaxing and whimsical, and there’s something really sweet and endearing about it. 9.5/10
Q&A [Regular Edition] / Motohiro Hata

 

July 1, 2015:

 

1. やなぎなぎ- 春擬き

"My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Zoku (Anime)" Intro Theme: Haru Modoki / Nagi YanagiNick’s thoughts: Very uplifting! perfect for an anime opening. Nagi Yanagi has a beautiful voice that can sound young and angelic but also shows shades of maturity throughout the chorus. Did you know that she was also a guest vocalist for the ever-popular Supercell? 8/10
“My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Zoku (Anime)” Intro Theme: Haru Modoki [Regular Edition] Nagi Yanagi

 

2. 三浦大知- music

music / Daichi MiuraNick’s thoughts: A cute song that makes me think of a toddler’s playroom. Daichi Miura sings about music and presumably about his love of music, and probably nothing deeper than that. It’s lighthearted, and the song is just that for me: a bright, lighthearted distraction. 5.5/10
music
Daichi Miura

 

3. androp- Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

androp / andropNick’s thoughts: The main vocalist’s voice sounds very soft and passive in front of the raging guitar blasting behind him. That’s my main quip about this Androp song, but otherwise it’s pretty nice. The interesting thing is that the band actually formed around the lead singer whom I’m not the biggest fan of. Maybe another song will do him justice for me? All I know is is that it didn’t quite cut it for me in this song. 6.5/10
androp [Regular Edition] androp

 

4. GReeeeN- 夏の音

C, D Desuto !? / GReeeeNNick’s thoughts: The beginning makes me think of the conclusion of an outdoor festival with the fireworks. I really like the second singer’s voice (he comes on after the first person in the first verse) and I’m glad he carries the chorus too. I don’t exactly know which member he is, but with GReeeeN’s members having cool names like “Navi” and “92”, my favourite singer must be a cool dude too. 7/10
C, D Desuto !? [2CD] [Regular Edition / Special-priced Release] GReeeeN

 

5. Namie Amuro- Photogenic

_genic / Namie AmuroNick’s thoughts: This song is super catchy. I can’t get it out of my head. The recognizable English lyrics don’t help my case either. “They call me photogenic … freakin’ photogenic.” Ahhh. She sounds a little older than the other female J-Pop singers I usually hear. But perhaps my favourite thing about this song is that it has a very clear identity – poppy, catchy, and sexy. 9/10
_genic
Namie Amuro

 

6. SPYAIR- FIRE STARTER

FIRE STARTER / SPYAIRNick’s thoughts: I reviewed another SPYAIR song last time I was here – ROCKIN’ OUT – and this doesn’t stray far from the formula of that song. Although I like the sick guitar riffs and the rap sections, the chorus sounds a bit generic for a rock song, and unfortunately that kills what could’ve been a great tune for me. There’s a cool music video for this though: the band members are locked up in a jail cell and what better thing to do than to rock out your newest single there? Check it out. 6/10
FIRE STARTER [Regular Edition] SPYAIR

 

7. ゲスの極み乙女。- ロマンスがありあまる

Romance ga Ariamaru / Gesu no Kiwami Otome.Nick’s thoughts: The only word I can hear out is when they mention “romance” in the unique chorus. The breakdown after the second chorus was also unexpectedly pleasant. What’s interesting about this song by Gesu no Kiwami Otome is their very distinct combination of jazzy piano and rock drums. I don’t think I’ve heard anything else by them, but I look forward to it, especially if this is their usual style. 8/10
Romance ga Ariamaru [Regular Edition] Gesu no Kiwami Otome.

 

8. Mr. Children- 未完

Reflection / Mr.ChildrenNick’s thoughts: This song was in an episode I hosted, the Mid/Late June 2015 Countdown. I mentioned how this song made me think about the lyrics more so than any other song. According to Google Translate, the song translates to “Unfinished”. That, coupled with the mildly sad tone of the song I get really makes me wonder what he’s saying. Also, I love the pattern of the chorus, where the lead singer takes turns alternating with the guitar riffs. It works well. 7.5/10
Reflection [Drip] [Regular Edition] Mr.Children

 

9. Galileo Galilei- 嵐のあとで

ARASHI NO ATO DE / Galileo GalileiNick’s thoughts: This song is used in a cool promotional music video for a recent movie called Taifu no Noruda. I was mesmerized by this video even though I didn’t quite know what was going on. I can tell you that it’s about a typhoon. Even though there’s an ongoing disaster, the ballad itself goes on, like a calm in the midst of a storm. Fitting that the song is called “After the Storm”. I approve. 8/10
ARASHI NO ATO DE [Regular Edition] Galileo Galilei

 

10. 秦基博- 水彩の月

Suisai No Tsuki / Motohiro HataNick’s thoughts: Another song I recognize from the show! This one was the first song Sandra and I played in the Early/Mid May 2015 episode. It very calming and apparently most of Motohiro Hata’s songs are in this vibe. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t stick out to me. Fun fact: this song was used in an allegedly delicious movie called Sweet Red Bean Paste. 6/10
Suisai No Tsuki [Regular Edition] Motohiro Hata

 

June 1, 2015:

 

1. Aimer – Brave Shine

Brave Shine / AimerSandra’s thoughts:I have actually heard of this song before Jack listed this song for me to review. I usually follow Aimer pretty closely so when I saw that she sang the second opening song to Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Words of course I had to check it out! And once again, another fantastic song! I really love how a lot of her songs have what feels like a very distinctive beginning, middle, climax, and end. Though I do admit, the first time I heard this song, I didn’t care for it much compared to some of her other songs like Re:I AM. But after a clicks of the repeat button, I’m really starting to enjoy this song a lot more and I find this to be the case for quite a few of her songs (for me anyways). As for the vocals, she never fails to deliver! 9/10
Brave Shine [Regular Edition] Aimer

 

2. いきものがかり- あなた

Anata / IkimonogakariSandra’s thoughts: I remember mentioning how the ballad feel of this song really surprised me. It just feels so different from what I usually hear from Ikimonogakari- on the other hand, I don’t follow them so closely to know the full range of the different styles they may have tried out. Cute song, very soothing to listen to, and it feels empowering and optimistic, or like a happy ending of a visual novel. 8/10
Anata
Ikimonogakari

 

3. flumpool- とある始まりの情景 ~Bookstore on the hill~

Concept Disc "FOUR ROOMS" / flumpoolSandra’s thoughts: I really enjoyed the opening of this song, it had a really nice build up with the vocals, and snares and drums coming in slowly one by one. The vocals are really smooth and everything just kind of flows together and feels so natural and ordinary. And by ordinary I don’t mean the song! I mean it feels like the song is describing something very ordinary but special! 8.5/10
Concept Disc “FOUR ROOMS” [Regular Edition] flumpool

 

4. superfly- beautiful

White / SuperflySandra’s thoughts: You know I didn’t use to like Superfly, and by not like I mean her songs were great, but I personally didn’t find them catchy nor did I enjoy them as much as other songs. But ever since You You, I’ve been getting into the swing of her music. This song once again, I find to be of my taste. Something I also noticed after watching this one video of Superfly sing You You live, was that her vocals are actually so strong and powerful, her live singing and her recorded singing are identical! So much love and respect for her after that video. Back to this song, it has a really smooth build up, and I wish there was more I can say about it but I feel like I’ll just butcher everything due to my lack of musical knowledge. 9.5/10
White [Regular Edition] Superfly

 

5. KANA-BOON – なんでもねだり

Nandemo Nedari / KANA-BOONSandra’s thoughts: A really upbeat song. I still remember the music videos of the “pervy” boys starting at the female gym class. And “pervy” because to be honest, the kids in the video looked more like young rascals doing things just because rather than lecherously staring. But that’s just my take. The song itself is fun and super catchy, and it feels like one of those songs you play at home in your room while you’re alone and just air guitar like no one’s business. 9/10
Nandemo Nedari [Regular Edition] KANA-BOON

 

6. E-girls – Anniversary!!

Anniversary!! / E-girlsSandra’s thoughts: Well, interesting song? I’m not a fan of E-girls. Their songs are ok, but I just don’t personally like them or find their songs catchy. This song is not bad, it’s really cute and so is the video, but once again it’s kind of just “meh” for me. 6.5/10
Anniversary!!
E-girls

 

7. 高橋優 – 明日はきっといい日になる

Ashita wa Kitto Ii Hi ni Naru / Yu TakahashiSandra’s thoughts: All I can think about is “ii ni naru” or something like that. Good song though, the tune is really simple and the beat was fairly fast. I wish I knew enough Japanese to say more, but I feel like with songs like these which are more about the lyrics than the music aspect itself, I really can’t offer a full and true-to-the-song review. Unfortunate….. 8/10
Ashita wa Kitto Ii Hi ni Naru [Regular Edition] Yu Takahashi

 

8. aiko – 夢見る隙間

Yumemiru Sukima / aikoSandra’s thoughts: There are times I really wish I liked Aiko’s songs, really! Her vocals are great, and the music is really jazzy, and her music videos are great too! But, for some odd reason, I just can’t come to like her songs. Rationally I understand that they are great, but I guess they are just not for me. 7/10
Yumemiru Sukima
aiko

 

9. 椎名林檎 – 最果てが見たい

X -Cross 2- / Sayuri IshikawaSandra’s thoughts: I really like the guitar in this song, and I think it complements her voice really well. Did I mention how I actually didn’t like Shiina Ringo when I first heard a song by her? After Nippon though, I really started to be more accepting of her weird style, it somehow fits. This song, in my opinion, is ok. Not as catchy as Nippon, but not bad either. 7.5/10
X -Cross 2-
Sayuri Ishikawa

 

10. back number – SISTER

Sister / back numberSandra’s thoughts: Not really sure who this is by but really nice vocals and music. I really like the bridge, and the chorus, and actually the entire song. Although I can’t pick out anything specific, I guess this everything in this song just works really well together? I wish I could give a more professional review sometimes… 8.5/10
Sister [Regular Edition] back number

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]