the best of jpop 2021 thus far

Here we are folks, we are at the sequel stage of 2021’s very best of Japanese pop in 2021. Surprisingly, my last post, “the best of jpop 2021 so far”, received an incredibly slow but warm welcome, to the point where I got inspired to share more songs that have been on my radar from 2021.

Let me tell you, it has been a journey! I ended up listening to way more Japanese pop music in 2021 than I ever did over the last five years, so this is saying a lot for the current state of the Japanese music scene.

So… without further ado, here are the best J-pop songs of 2021 up until the end of November!

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single review: AKB48 “RIVER”

Back in the last decade (2000 to 2009), a girl group by the name of AKB48 was already making waves for establishing a large group that would hold 48 members for a concept of ‘idols you can meet’, and while the idea was entertained for about 3-4 years, it didn’t actually take hold of Japan until the release of a quaint single with inspirational power in late 2009.

With the release of ‘RIVER’, AKB reached new heights, with the single being the best-selling idol-pop single since the last 7 years (you know, back when Morning Musume. was still a huge name), but is this RIVER worth the traverse to the other side, or is it generic enough to have you drown?

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