A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
J-pop powerhouse AAA have a new single out in early July, and they shared the song's video earlier this week. “No Way Back” is a swift number moving from rock passages, to rap, to vaguely electronic, which is par for the course when it comes to this outfit, who are known for zooming through all sorts of sounds over the course of one song. Odds are, you’ll hear this one when they headline the A-Nation show later this summer. Watch below.
YOSHIKI, the leader of heavyweight rock outfit X JAPAN had a bit of a scare earlier in the year, when he had to have emergency surgery in Los Angeles, forcing the band to cancel several tour dates. The procedure went well, and he’s already scheduling a few new activities; the biggest being this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles, where he’ll attend a special screening of X JAPAN’s documentary We Are X. Glad to hear he’s feeling good enough to head out to LA for one of the biggest events on the international Japanese pop culture calendar.
They might be best known as the idol group that went viral in Japan after wearing hazmat suits to a fan greeting, but CY8ER have been releasing a steady stream of uptempo dance-pop every bit as attention-worthy as their wardrobe. The group put out their latest song, which you can check out below. It's a hard-hitting electro-pop number featuring chiptune-inspired interludes and soft singing.
J-pop artist Che’Nelle hasn’t put out an album since 2015, which really isn’t that long when you think about it, but in the hyper-speed world of pop music, it feels like decades ago. She put out a new album this week, Destiny, that also comes out around the ten-year anniversary of her debut. If dance-pop idols aren’t your speed, seek this one out.
There are two things you can count on with the Oricon charts; boy bands and cartoons. The singles chart this week was topped by Kis-My-Ft2, a Johnny’s outfit who don’t put their songs up on YouTube, so just use your imagination. The album side of things, meanwhile, was a bit more interesting, as it was a music album from the anime Kemono Friends. Taking a glance at the online charts reveals something totally different; Namie Amuro is cleaning up with her latest single.
Music Video of the Week
Idol outfit BiSH released a new album last week, and also shared the song “Giant Killers” in a video from a few days back. Saying the clip is attention grabbing is a bit of an understatement, and also ignores the fact a huge chunk of what this group does is release videos aimed at pushing idol aesthetics into grittier territory. “Giant Killers” might be their best yet though, featuring unnerving make-up choices (the eyes!) and a final passage that...well, check it out below.
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