We made it! The finish line!
This is MY list of the best songs from Japan in 2021, and let me tell you, it’s been quite the year! I think I’ve become more accustomed to Korean pop music than I have Japanese pop music in recent years, but I still manage to get a lot of music from Japan on my radar. It was actually quite a surprise to have a full list of songs I could actually pick from, because I did a lot of exploring this year and finding a lot of new artists to listen to.
So, will those artists make an appearance on the year-end list for 2021? Will some more veteran artists appear? Will Koda Kumi actually have a song on the list this year? The only way to find out is to read on…
Did anyone see this coming?
TWICE makes their return following the summery title song of “Alcohol-Free” with their very first fully English-single “The Feels“, marking this moment in time to be TWICE’s foray into the Western market.
With the current world enthralled by Korean acts and media such as BTS, BLACKPINK, Squid Game, and Parasite, it makes sense for JYP Entertainment’s hugely popular 9-member girl group to finally step in those waters, even if they’re already household names in the Western hemisphere. The girls look to keep their momentum going and challenge themselves to fully have ONCEs sing along with them, and from what I can tell, it could be a formidable effort.
That said, is this single guaranteed to give you the feels, or are we in dated territory with a title like this? Let’s check it out!
I have to admit, this was a harder list for me to create, but can you believe that we’re already at the half-way point for the year in J-pop?!
It’s been quite a few years already, and I’ve noticed big-time how the J-pop scene has changed so vastly during those years. Some of my favorite artists are no longer big names, and newer artists seem to show up every year… I can no longer keep track! That said, I’m still finding more and more through word of mouth and recommendations.
I can only hope these next fifteen tracks are worthy of your listening pleasure, as I consider them the best from what I have heard throughout this first part of the year. Will we share the same opinions? Let’s take a look!
Bet you thought I was never coming back! I kid.
Despite everything that’s been going on in my life, from securing myself a new job and starting school again, I’ve been keeping on track with a lot of K-pop in 2020. In a year that is probably the weirdest, 2020 delivered on the K-pop track with various songs ranging from haunting to straight up wonky. It seems like there was no way coronavirus was gonna bring K-pop down. I’ve narrowed it down to fifteen songs to keep it small, but here is my list of songs from December 2019 to December 2020… and here’s a warning: don’t be surprised if it’s majorly girl groups. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Next up on the Korean artist spotlight series is TWICE’s most recent release: ‘Eyes wide open’, their second full-length album released just shy of Halloween.
I gotta admit, I was hoping that it would be another Halloween-related release, but this concept is just as fabulous for the fall season of TWICEtober. ‘Eyes wide open’ takes TWICE’s image even further with a fashionista concept, evoking the mature growth that TWICE has gone through in a span of 5 years (let’s not forget, they did debut at this time in 2015… how time flies).
TWICE’s eyes are wide open after a long journey in the K-pop industry, but will our eyes ‘open’ to the sounds of the album, or are they going to close because it’s unbearable? Read on…
How about let’s do a Korean artist spotlight?! Since it’s Halloween coming soon, we have to have the queens of fun Halloween concepts (and queens of autumn releases, to be honest): TWICE!
I’ll be covering five of their albums: this one, THE STORY BEGINS, YES or YES, twicetagram, and their newest effort, Eyes wide open, as part of their ‘fall’ release line-up (as all of these releases have been released in October/early November, and I also covered Feel Special here). I wanted to start with TWICEcoaster : LANE 1 first because it is one I have been working on reviewing for YEARS, and it’s about time it came to its full stop (lol).
‘TWICEcoaster : LANE 1’ is the third effort from the nine-member JYP group and came on the heels of their success with their second mini. We then have to wonder, was this rollercoaster of a mini-album worth the trial or are we riding on the kiddie ride? Check out the review!
If you have been living under a rock for the year or have distanced yourself from K-pop entirely, then perhaps you might not have heard about the recent news involving 9-member JYP girl group TWICE. One of its members, Japanese-born Mina Myoui, took a hiatus from promotional activities due to anxiety, something that isn’t fairly represented in the world of K-pop. With the concerns that their fanbase had over Mina’s health and this affecting TWICE as a whole, TWICE decided to shed light on the matter with a comeback that is not only dedicated to their fans, but may be important to Korean pop music as a whole.