A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
The annual MTV Video Music Awards Japan were held in Tokyo earlier this week, and singer/songwriter Gen Hoshino walked away the big winner. His clip for “Family Song” took home domestic video of the year, alongside two other trophies. A fair choice, and one sure to be OK with folks across the country, as the tune is one of the year’s most popular J-pop singles. The top international clip, meanwhile, belongs to Bruno Mars for “What I Like.”
Fans of Japanese punk music have a huge reason to be excited. Hi-STANDARD, arguably the most popular outfit repping for that high-energy style, return next week with The Gift, the trio’s first album of new material since 1999. It’s one of 2017’s most anticipated releases, and to hype it up even more, the band shared a preview movie featuring songs from their first offering in 18 years. Get ready to enter the pit, below:
Does Oomori Seiko ever take a break? This feels like the tenth straight week I have the chance to write about a new release or video from the emotional singer/songwriter. Which makes sense, seeing as she just released another new album, the acoustic self-cover set Muteki. One of the new cuts from that collection is “Mix Juice,” a galloping number showcasing her pop sensibilities, especially in the context of an album of bracing and sparse cuts. Watch the video for it below:
Mannequin duo FEMM are heading back in time for their newest album. Titled (somewhat uncreatively) 80s/90s J-POP REVIVAL, the album (out on October 25) will feature the electro-pop duo bringing their hard-hitting style to a handful of throwback Japanese pop hits, by the likes of celebrated acts such as Saitou Yuki and Kome Kome Club. What awaits to be seen is if they include their version of Pink Lady’s “UFO.”
If you follow Asian music news, you surely know K-pop group BTS are racking up sales around the world with their latest album. Japan presents a surprising twist to their otherwise triumphant week, however. They finished second on the Oricon album chart, being doubled up by a group of anime voice actors performing under the name TRIGGER. Check out a trailer of said album below:
Meanwhile, on the singles side, E-girls-adjacent outfit Happiness went to number one with the song “GOLD.”
Video of the Week
Nagoya rock trio CRUNCH has been an act to watch for the last few years, and they are now settled on a larger label, with an album out later this fall. Ahead of it, they shared the video for the song “Blue.” Besides being a slow-building and emotional rock number, the video features a good mix of real-world shots and animation, all in tune with the melancholy at the number’s center.
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