Apr 152014

Sub-unit (or Shuffle Groups as they are called in J-Pop) is when part of the main line-up of a group becomes it’s own separate group, with singles and videos of their own. Whether or not they are just a one-time publicity gimmick or a set group that blossoms on their own is all up to the music they are given. Orange Caramel, a sub-unit of After School, has received a lot of praise for their music, videos, and overall cutesy feel of their personas. With this latest song, they have achieved an even higher level of success and acclaim, despite not sticking to the same tropes as their competition.

Let’s listen to Orange Caramel’s third singe Catallena.

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Apr 012014

Last week, I covered the latest comeback single of one of the biggest bands in Korea, Girls Generation. This week, I’ll be covering the comeback of one of their best contender, the more brazen quartet, 2NE1. Very different in tone and style, 2NE1 brought a more hip-hop sound to the K-Pop genre before it was the “in” thing to do. Will they succeed in making waves with their new single, or is their pull on the tides of the genre over?

Let’s listen to 2NE1′s Come Back Home.

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Mar 182014

Because established K-Pop artists are in it for the long haul, they come out every six months with a new single, new promotional material and new concert tours before going on a well-deserved hiatus to regroup and rest for their next big push. So when one of the biggest, most successful K-Pop groups in the industry comes out with a comeback single at the same time as one of their biggest chart-topping rivals, there was no way I could avoid covering it. Next week, we’ll look at the quartet that sounds like no other but this week it’s all about SM Entertainment long time darlings.

Let’s listen to Mr. Mr. by Girls’ Generation.


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Mar 042014

For kids in Japan, graduation is right around the corner, and just like we in the English speaking world have our sappy graduation songs, so too is the “graduation song” a genre in and of itself. Artists come out in full force in late winter to early spring to give their own rendition of the cheerful, hopeful sadness that is moving on to the next stage of your life and leaving certain people behind. How does Kyary Pamyu Pamyu put her own spin on this cliche? The result is actually surprising.

Let’s take a listen to Yume no Hajima Ring Ring by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

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Feb 262014

Kanako Ito, the 40-year-old Japanese singer whose songs are famous throughout the anime and video game community, released her 6th album “RASTER” today.

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Feb 182014

Some of the best and most prestigious J-Pop acts do anime theme songs. Hell, even AKB48 lent their collective voices to the Wreck-It Ralph movie for Sugar Rush’s theme. Some groups, however, are formed specifically to make anime openings and closings. Enter Kalafina, a group of ladies brought together in 2007 in order to perform the theme for Kara no Kyokai. Ever since, they’ve been lending their vocal talents to different animes, increasing their popularity and notoriety.

Let’s listen to to the beginning by Kalafina.

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