A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
Intricate dance outfit WORLD ORDER were one of Japan’s first musically viral acts when YouTube mostly consisted of trampoline accident compilations, and they continue to chug along like it’s 2010. Their latest, “FIND THE LIGHT,” is a synth-burbling number featuring fittingly monotone singing to match the electronic sounds. Oh, right, the video. WORLD ORDER traveled to Thailand to show their stuff, dancing in front of a mall before making their way to...the middle of the street? As cars zoom by? That can’t be safe. But you have to do what you can for the ‘Tube:
Sayaka Yamamoto of NMB48
Sayaka Yamamoto of biggie-sized J-pop unit NMB48 has explored a solo career in the past, and she’s not letting go of it even while still a member of the AKB sister group. She shared her latest single “JOKER” this week, and it’s a dramatic little rock number accented by strings and her sneakily efficient voice. It comes with a video finding a pint-sized Yamamoto raising a little bit of hell while playing the guitar:
Rock outfit WEAVER have returned with a twinkling little number called “Another World.” Like most rock outfits in Japan (and around the world), the group could not resist the siren’s song of contemporary electronic music, working in pre-chorus passages recalling the typical build in an EDM song complete with big bright synth notes. Yet the hook is unexpected within this context, more tender than tornado-like:
Feel like I could feature a Yurufuwa Gang video every week at this rate, but the hotly tipped rap duo deserve it. Their latest clip, for the trippy track “Pirates” riffs on various forms of Japanese TV, ranging from insipid cooking shows to high school dramas. Watch them occupy each televised world flawlessly:
Kanjani Eight take the top spot on the Oricon singles side of the chart, though I’d argue the more noteworthy development is how long Nogizaka46’s latest single has stuck around. Compared to AKB48’s newest song, which bricked right out of the top ten after topping the list last week, this one has staying power.
Video of the Week
Last week, Dream Ami just walked around a postcard-worthy European town and looked sad. This time, she’s getting bludgeoned in a boxing ring by a mascot version of herself. The clip for her “Re: Dream” is a cute and playful one with lots of solid visual gags, and really shows how fun Ami can get when the occasion calls for it:
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