Music Monday, October 25, 2021 – Enjoy Some Great J-pop with INI, BXW and GENIC

Enjoy some great J-pop with INI, BXW and GENIC.

“Rocketeer” by INI

“Brighter” by INI

There’s just something about Produce 101 Japan. Indeed, they’ve produced some great artists so far whether it’s the winning groups of both seasons or other alums that have been able to debut as well.

INI, the winners of Produce 101 Japan Season 2 are gearing up for their official debut with the release of their two title tracks “Rocketeer” and “Brighter”. And WOWOW. Simply put, INI’s revving up for an amazing debut. I feel the same about INI as I did about JO1 when they released their first new music last year as well.

It’s hard not to be blown away after just one listen of both “Rocketeer” and “Brighter.” “Rocketeer” especially took me by surprise with its chorus. As soon as that thumping chorus kicked in, I was sold. The song is the kind of impactful, confident track that will definitely grab people’s attention. And then when you follow that up with a song like “Brighter,” a softer, emotional pop track, you can’t help but be fully enamored by INI. I’m very excited to see and hear what they have in store in the future.

“One” by BXW

BXW, which includes a few Produce 101 Japan alums, has also had a consistent string of great songs. And a very diverse discography at that. On one hand, I appreciate the group’s versatility. On the other, I do think they’re still finding their sound. But also, the duality works for them. Whether it’s the brighter sounds of “Candy” and “March” or the darker, more charismatic sides shown with “Launch” and their debut “Takaiyumeni,” the group delivers strong performances. The same can be said for their latest track “One,” an energetic dance track. The song and its lyrics feel like a nice step forward and a more mature vibe for the group.

“Sun Comes Up” by GENIC

Since learning Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger‘s Mashiko Atsuki is a member of the co-ed J-pop group GENIC, I’ve been looking forward to digging into their discography. And now that I finally have, I’ve definitely become a fan. Mashiko Atsuki shows off his performance skills and great voice on Zenkaiger. But it’s really awesome to see him performing full songs with his fellow GENIC members. Plus, I always love seeing co-ed groups as well. Very refreshing and fun.

When I think of J-pop, “Sun Comes Up” is the type of song I’m familiar with. It just sounds like some of the great rock-infused pop songs I’ve listened to whether from Japanese artists or K-pop groups’ Japanese releases. It might be my favorite of the GENIC tracks I checked out. I also very much enjoyed their latest “Shaky Shaky” and “Futures,” both bright pop tracks that match the youthful energy they give off both in style and performance.

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