Music video: Perfume - Tokyo girl

Perfume - Tokyo girl | Random J Pop

Perfume's Cosmic explorer album phase was a drawn out mess, which culminated in an album which should have been much worse considering the lacklustre singles, but was still not up t par with where Perfume should be musically at this stage in their careers. I was prepared to let Cosmic explorer go and for Perfume to make like it never happened by kick starting the next album cycle with a great single. But instead we got "Tokyo girl", which is a low energy version of "Flash". And one can't seem to shake that Perfume's "Tokyo girl" and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's "Harajuku iyahoi" are pretty much the same song.

Remix: Calvin Harris & Rihanna - This is what you came for (Saint-Laurent 80s remix)

Calvin Harris & Rihanna - This is what you came for (Saint-Laurent 80s remix) | Random J Pop

Some wonderful person out there (in Scotland, I believe) has re-created Calvin Harris and Rihanna's hit "This is what you came for" and transformed it from a pretty standard EDM bop into mid-power-ballad 80s realness. This right here is what I came for and I have no regrets.

Music video: Hikaru Utada featuring KOHH - Boukyaku

Hikaru Utada featuring KOHH - Boukyaku | Random J Pop

Not content with leaving her fanbase with their edges in absolute tatters following the release of the music video for "Nijikan dake no vacance" and then her long awaited studio album (her first in 8 years), Fantôme. Hikaru Utada decided that on her birthday (January 19th) she was going to treat herself to some freshly snatched wigs, with the release of a music video for her album cut "Boukyaku".

"Boukyaku" is one of the oft talked about songs on Fantôme, due to it featuring a rapper (the first Hikaru has ever collaborated with for a Japanese release) who dominates the entire song to the point where you'd think Hikaru Utada is the guest feature.

Album art & tracklisting: Kumi Koda's 13th and 14th studio albums - W Face ~Inside~ & W Face ~Outside~

Kumi Koda - W Face ~Inside~ & W Face ~Outside~ | Random J Pop

Kumi Koda is set to release her 13th studio album in March and it will be a 2 disc affair. However, the 2 discs will be sold separately. No doubt a ploy from Avex to have one of their artists chart in 2 positions on the Oricon and net twice the sales. The album will be titled W face and will be split between ~Inside~ and ~Outside~.

W Face ~Inside~ will focus on mid-tempos and ballads, where-as W Face ~Outside~ will feature ratchet jams, with SkanKumi in full effect. I have no idea what a 'W Face' is. But given that this is Kumi Koda and she's all bout dat filth; I'm going to assume that the 'W' refers to the shape of her legs when when she lying down with them wide open, and the 'Face' is what she wants buried in her vagina.

Music video: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Harajuku iyahoi

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Harajuku iyahoi | Random J Pop

I'm not going to front. There was actually a point at which I was really into Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. I didn't get into the "PONPONPON" hype like everybody else. But when her second full length album Nanda collection dropped, Kyary really started to win over my attention. But ever since then she hasn't really offered up much.

Kyary's aesthetic feels tired and her music is becoming less of an accessory to her character. "Sai & co." was a nice form of respite amidst the mediocrity that had become Kyary's music. But "Harajuku iyahoi" is just so damn boring and generic. I don't even blame Kyary. I blame her music producer and partner in crime Yasutaka Nakata. He's clearly lost that wildly creative spark that made her early material so good. We ain't never getting another "Fashion monster" or "Invader invader" again. Those ships have sailed.

Perfume dance on ice for UNIQLO

Perfume dance on ice for UNIQLO | Random J Pop

December is that time of year when Perfume roll out cross overs and product tie-in's like it's nobodies business, and one of their biggest is with clothing retailer UNIQLO.

This collaboration is nothing like the one Perfume had done with Japanese fashion brand Istean in 2016, which spawned a song specifically for it and had the girls pretty much dance in a damn Isetan store in its music video. Instead this collaboration has Perfume dancing to a generic song, in dresses that you actually can't buy from a UNIQLO store.

Music video: Namie Amuro - Fighter

Namie Amuro - Fighter | Random J Pop

I genuinely love that Namie was called up to deliver a theme song for a Death note film, because we all know that the bitch owns a black book full of names, and that the most frequent one which gets written is Ayumi Hamasaki.

Perfume debut new song "Houseki no ame" in some toothpaste commercial

Perfume x Ora2: Beauty project (featuring "Houseki no ame") | Random J Pop

In Perfume fashion, fresh off of a new tour and just before the year closes out, comes a new song in a TV commercial.

If you were hoping for hotness from Perfume to take into 2017 and erase the mess that were Perfume's singles and TV commercial tie-ins from 2016 ("Pick me up" being the ONLY exception), then I suggest you keep moving along.

Music video: Namie Amuro - Dear diary

Namie Amuro - Dear diary | Random J Pop

Namie's double A-side for the Death note movie Death Note: Light up the NEW world features a crub banger and a ballad. "Dear diary" being the latter. Namie's ballads are often a case of hit and miss. Ever since going the 'Urban route' in 2000 Namie had avoided ballads for years, finally relenting almost a decade later with the release of "The meaning of us". However, it has felt like every ballad of hers since then has been a re-shuffle of the same template. No ballad that she's delivered since has been able to match it, and as nice as "Dear diary" is, it is pretty cookie cutter and by numbers.

Music video: Daichi Miura - (Re)Play

Music video: Daichi Miura - (Re)Play | Random J Pop

I like to refer to Daichi as the male Namie Amuro. Because he drops hot pop bangers, paper thin vocals and has a face like he really don't give a shit about anything that he's doing. There must be something in the water in Okinawa. I really want a Daichi and Namie collabo. That shit would be like digital nyquil and I am here to have it.

Single review: Crystal Kay - Lovin' you

Single review: Crystal Kay - Lovin' you | Random J Pop

Ever since the commercial tanking of Crystal Kay's 2012 album Vivid, Crystal's musical trajectory had taken a turn downhill faster than BB-8 in the quicksand dunes of Jakku.

The sound that Crystal had cultivated for herself over her entire career has been completely jettisoned in favour of run of the mill ballads. This kick started with the 2015 release of "Kimi ga ita kara", but continued on the following year with "Sakura" and is now a hat trick with "Lovin' you".

Hikaru Utada performs "Sakura nagashi" live for the first time

Hikaru Utada - Sakura nagashi | Random J Pop

Hiklaru Utada's performances of songs from Fantôme hasn't been doing the album favours. Because they're making me like live renditions more than the studio album versions. I stupidly thought that a live performance of "Sakura nagashi" wasn't going to give me anything more that the song hadn't already given me, only to come out the other side with my edges scraped.