A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Morning Musume ‘17
Strap in for something extra energetic from idol group Morning Musume ‘17. The outfit, chugging along for nearly two decades now, shared the word-salad-of-a-title “Green Light of the Dreadnaught” (it’s no less confusing in Japanese) earlier this week. Name aside, their latest zooms along at a fast, rock-inspired pace, accented by guitar and whirring electronic touches that give this song an overly busy feel, like throwback Dempagumi.inc. Add the all-together-now singing on top of that, and you have one zippy number that’s tough to focus on:
Gesu No Kiwami Otome.
Remember Thunderbirds? The puppet show, where they flew planes and fought evil? If not, don’t worry, it was mostly a TV network’s dream when it came to filling dead time in the late afternoon. But Gesu No Kiwami Otome. remember, and have made the video for forthcoming single “Anata Niwa Makenai” themed around that. The music itself finds them embracing a slightly slower, more electronic sound, and notably features every member of the group providing vocals at some point. Watch the short version below:
Of the many rock bands who have ascended up the mainstream hierarchy of the last few years, KANA-BOON have proven one of the most successful. They are back with the driving “Namida,” a number highlighting the key elements of their frantic sound:
Electro-pop trio Perfume are known for their processed pop, but also are well known for their music videos. Fans can now have all of their post-2012 clips in one place with the release of Perfume Clips 2, a DVD gathering all of their videos since around the time of their album Level3. It’s out November 29, and relive the last five years below.
It’s that time of year in Japanese music, when all the older acts roll out new albums and start dominating the charts. Keisuke Kuwata got into the act a few weeks ago with his latest album, and it’s still going strong, taking back the top spot on Oricon’s album chart after several weeks of being pushed out of that spot by the likes of BLACKPINK, who have since dropped out of the top ten entirely. And now here comes Masaharu Fukuyama taking the top spot on the singles chart. He’s been kicking around since 1990, and still going strong.
Video of the Week
Yabai T-Shirts Yasan currently hold the title of Japan’s up-and-coming rock group that are also goofballs. You can kind of see why with their latest video, which finds the trio poking fun at cliche romance (but also kinda celebrating it) by annoying a young couple in love:
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