Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 20 J-Pop Songs of 2013

Part of the reason for my long absence is due to the fact that J-Pop this year isn't really that eventful, especially when the biggest news you've heard all year is about ayumi hamasaki getting engaged yet again. Especially for someone who mostly follows only female soloists, the year just gets worse for all my big booty hoes.

The yearly charts are once again dominated by Akihabara Krazy Bitches 48 and the album of the year is yet another Arashi album. At least Namie's album is the highest selling solo album of the year again despite coming in at #6, and J-hoe Shiho managed to break into the Top 10, but other than that, 2013 is basically the carbon copy of 2012 in terms of rankings which is BOOORINGGGGGG

Meanwhile, here is, yet again, my completely biased list of the Top 20 J-Pop Songs of 2013 before we usher in 2014, which, mark my words, will probably end up being just like 2013, which was just like 2012. I still question the order I should've ranked the 20 songs until today, but if it's any consolation, I may or may not have been under the influence while compiling this list.

20. Perfume - Daijobanai

Thinking this was a repetitive mess at first, it just somehow never tires me of its perkiness and constant pulsing and energetic tempo. Perfume may be Daijobanai with a whole lotta shit, but I'm sure they'll be daijoubu about crafting out more tracks like this that can withstand the test of time.

19. Koda Kumi - XXX

Putting aside the ridiculous lyrics (which are expected of clubby songs like this anyway), XXX is probably one of Koda Kumi's better b-sides. It sounds current and it gets your booty shakin' with all the beats and synths, especially the PUSSY POPPING moments during the chorus.

18. Koda Kumi - Dreaming Now! 

Dreaming Now! is kinda like Koda Kumi's Born To Be... (by ayumi hotmesssaki, no less) where both are tie-ups with sports-related thingies and are one of those motivational anthems. It's upbeat, it's uplifting, and it's SO CATCHY. The percussion adds a really nice element to it and it, of course, encompasses Kuu's classic engrish with "I wanna dreaming now". Come on. (As you can see I really liked this entire single. I let them moneys fly on this shit) 

17. Koda Kumi - IS THIS TRAP? 

Trust me, it's not intentional that 3 Koda Kumi songs ended up being lumped up together. Alas, this is the way things seem to be. Running along the same vein as Dreaming Now!, IS THIS TRAP? is a slightly slower-paced, electropop dance tune with an insanely catchy tune with some pretty nice build-ups in tempo.

16. Perfume - Party Maker 

Still being relatively new into the party scene (although I'm turning 19 next month which is slipping me into a midlife crisis-ish), I can pretty much see myself going absolutely insane if they actually ever bother to play Japanese songs at the clubs here. There's barely any lyrics to this song, but instead is ridiculously heavy on a shitload of beats (and by shitload I mean A SHIT LOAD) and repetitive synths that just sounds awesome especially with decent earphones on. It might give you a pounding headache but it's worth it.

The song is 7 minutes long but brings you on a roller coaster ride with variations in sound throughout the whole song. It's kinda like Nakata joined together a whole bunch of loops he played around with over time and turned it into one hell of a Party Maker.


I don't normally listen to the K-Pop groups that cross over to J-Pop but I made an exception for Galaxy Supernova out of pure curiosity. I wasn't exactly blown away by the a-side because it was pretty much generic SNSD but DO THE CATWALK was so good?! I think I might have something for songs that have looping whistles. It's a relatively laidback dance song with a certain quirkiness to it, and just to answer their question in the song, no, I'm not ready to walk. I'd still much rather sit on my ass. 

14. Koda Kumi - Jounetsu 

Koda Kumi managed to craft out a solid cover album this year and Jounetsu is one of the tracks that still keeps me crooning to (although I mostly end up sounding like a dying lamb); both the cover and original song. Jounetsu is just altogether a great song to relax to and for us to enjoy it for all of its lounge-y sound and Kuu's effortless vocals, especially where she practically launches into a raging orgasm towards the end of the song. 

13. Namie Amuro - Ballerina 

Many people slam this as a messy song that's unoriginal since she's just singing over an already existing song made a few years ago, but I thought Ballerina was really nicely made and the melody surprisingly complements the otherwise tumultuous arrangement of the song. It was a risk well taken for delving even deeper into the EDM scene, venturing into complextro (I didn't even know such a genre existed tbh).

12. Mika Nakashima - Today 

Amidst the mostly electronic-heavy music we got in much of this year's J-Pop, this classic pop-rock song was a breath of fresh air. Today is uplifting with a catchy melody yet isn't too heavy on the ears, and Mika's vocals come out effortlessly over here.

11. Crystal Kay - Kaze no Kanata

Crystal Kay's only Japanese musical effort this year was a really solid one, despite her massive floppage resulting in not even a proper single cover, let alone a physical release, which makes it hard not to judge this book by its cover. But really, Kaze no Kanata is a heartfelt, nostalgic ballad that shows off Crystal's pipes so well, making the song much more beautiful, especially when the beats start to come in after the first chorus.

10. Namie Amuro - Heaven 

I love me some good ol' Hair-boon from Namie. The Zedd-produced track is one of the best produced tracks of J-Pop this year, to no surprise, and there's not a single flaw I can detect in this track other than Namie's unfortunate Engrish. 

9. Mika Nakashima - Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no wa 

Granted, it's vocally not her best song out there but the emotions just get to you, ya know? It touches the heart man. It touches the kokoro. Boku ga Shinou to Omotta no wa definitely one of the best slow songs she's released within the past few years. 

8. Namie Amuro - Contrail 

Contrail was one of the growers for me this year, and at one point I just couldn't stop repeating the shit out of this song. The song just encompasses the whole element of J-Pop that I cannot describe. You don't quite see people anywhere else producing songs like this that's just so carefree, optimistic and named after a word 60% of the world's population never knew about before.

7. Perfume - Enter the Sphere


Perfume and a song about entering balls. What more can I ask for? 

6. Namie Amuro - Hands On Me 

Hands On Me is, hands down, one of the biggest jams of mine this year. Its simple yet polished production, liberal use of percussion, amazingly illegible Engrish realness and reminiscence to trashy, pasar malam (night market) music just gets me every single time.  

5. Kaela Kimura - FUNKYTOWN

Sure, Kaela Kimura's ROCK cover album wasn't a whole lot of rock, neither was it a whole lot of a good album, and it sure as hell didn't really reinvent the songs to turn it into her own. But FUNKYTOWN easily takes the cake for best song on the album simply because its superbly crisp and explosive production gives you such a different listening experience that you don't quite get from the original. I was leaking non-stop when I first heard this song through my earphones.

4. Mika Nakashima - BE REAL

This disco-influenced dance song doesn't get as real of a Mika Nakashima song as you do. As I've said before in my REAL review, there's something that's so authentically Mika in this song that adds on to the charm of it all, with synthy elements every now and then. And DAT GUITAR AT THE BEGINNING THOUGH.

3. MAX - Tacata' 

Here's the thing. My friends already think I'm weird for listening to J-Pop, but there was one song this year that got not only me, but them hooked on to so badly (with a stunning success rate of 100%) that we repeatedly sang it for a few months. That song is Tacata'. So how can this not be one of the Top 3 songs of the year?! I was already sold at JIBUN TACHI NO ORIGINALITY.

I innocuously clicked on the music video, curious when Namie did a pose from the video during her tour, and little did I know that this was a song that was going to change my life.

I even have the lyrics memorised. That's how catchy the whole damn song is, and it's probably the most interesting thing of J-Pop this year. 3 obaasans dancing aerobically in front of cheap video sets. Nailed it. I secretly think it's a marketing ploy to make a ridiculous music video so people like me would go around showing people such lolzicals, only to secretly lure them into this inescapable trap. 

2. Crystal Kay - My Heart Beat

More whistles, more bass guitars, more synths, and more beats. So much pussy popping. So much funk. So many orgasms. So much leakage. Oh honey honey, you make me go crazy. 

I'm sorry. 

1. ayumi hamasaki - Merry-go-round

Now y'all gon be hatin' me for making a relatively new song the top song of the year again (but it's not like I have a credibility to maintain) but HEY!

Part of the reason why I think this is THE song of 2013 is because of ayumi hotmesssaki. Simply because in a shocking twist of events, this is NOT a hot mess. LOVE again pretty much died halfway through the year, and Feel the love is cute but essentially another You & Me (which she happily repeats the title of again and again in the song. Gettin' dat subliminal promo good).

Merry-go-round however hits all the right spots: it has that perfect balance of a EDM song that is serving me pussy popping beats and melancholic, emotional realness all at the same time.

Plus, I don't know what some of the fans are hating about with the m-flo bits. It gave the song variation and I LOVED it, and I'm pretty glad that Ayu got to try something different by collaborating with them. I've heard worse J-rappers and honestly this one wasn't even that bad, and the chorus that comes right after the rap just blends in so effortlessly and carries the song's emotion beautifully.

Did I mention the covers are ON POINT?! It may have broken her #1 streak but this is, musically, a comeback single from her.


2013 was an okay year, largely because it's musically just like 2012, at least to me. Namie pretty much dominated the entire year, and there are really few impressive titles released this year. I'm mostly sad with the state of JASMINE's career, and with the release of Countdown, she just looks like she's stopped trying. I was also pretty bummed about Angela Aki's retirement, but I wish her all the best with whatever she's been doing anyway.

Alright guys you may proceed to either stone me or tell me what are some of da hottest jams y'all are listening to that I'm missing out on. I've been mostly jamming to more of English music right now with Lorde, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé putting out really awesome albums. I also recently got to find out about Icona Pop (what took me so long?!) and I am absolutely HOOKED.

With 2014, I'm entering the last year of my teenage years but I guess it doesn't really matter since I look like I'm already well into my 40s. It's all good! I'll be going for a Tokyo study trip with my school in late March so I am totally stoked for that. I also hope I'll actually bother to update this blog more regularly HAHAHA. 

Here's hoping for a good musical year in 2014!


  1. You still an Ayu stan deep down lol, anyways 2014 is shaping up to be better than 2013. Kumi, Hikki, AfterSchool, etc releasing albums fo sho, february 26th is when shit is going doooown. Akb48, Nogizaka46, L arc en ciel, Namie, Kuu, BoA, The Gazette, Kyary P, E GIRLS, all of them releasing something in the saaaame daay!!!

  2. Being an ardent fan of Pop and Adult Contemporary music, Sunny 107.9 is always my first choice for non-stop entertainment. Whether in my car or at home I’m always tuned in and kept entertained by the stations great music. Stream online at or tune in live.


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