The Top 50 J-Pop Songs of 2022

Today is J-pop day on The Bias List! I’m dropping eighty of my favorite songs from 2022 in one day. You may want to check out the honorable mentions first, but if you’re looking to dive into the proper countdown at once, you’ve found the right spot! Here are songs 50 to 31, presented with brief commentary.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
SONGS 50-31
SONGS 30-11
SONGS 10-1

2022 YEAR-END MASTERPOST


50. Genic – We Got To Move

After a brief time away from their music, Genic pulled me back in this year. This mixed-gender group deserves to be huge. They’ve got the voices, the visuals, the personality and — most importantly — the songs!


49. Official HIGE DANdism – Subtitle

I wasn’t as taken with Higedan’s 2022 output as many seemed to be, but Subtitle is the exception. The song’s connection to the extraordinary drama Silent has a lot to do with this, but its raw emotion will stand on its own long after that story has ended.


48. The Lethal Weapons – Samurai Disco (ft. Chiaki Mayumura)

There’s a specific style of high-energy, dance-meets-guitar J-pop that was popular in the late 90’s. I’m a huge fan of this sound, and it’s fun hearing it reinvented for the modern era. Samurai Disco‘s in-your-face style of goofy works so well.


47. Sekai No Owari – Habit

Habit became one of the year’s biggest viral hits thanks to its quirky dance, but even without the visual the song is super fun and stands as one of Sekai No Owari’s strongest singles in years.


46. SennaRin – Saihate

SennaRin was one of the year’s most exciting debuts, backed by the power of Hiroyuki Sawano’s production. I’d follow Hiroyuki’s music to the ends of the earth, especially when it results in a chorus this rousing.


45. Kis-My-Ft2 – Two As One

While I spent much of the year bemoaning my faves’ descent into ballad-dom, Two As One got the format just right with beautiful melodies that act as a perfect drama OST. (full review)


44. Noisemaker – Hunter Or Prey

I like my rock music big and ballsy, like the soundtrack to a boss battle. Hunter Or Prey achieves this energy and feels only a stone’s throw away from Bias-List-favorite Miyavi’s work.


43. Fantastics – Santa Monica Lollipop

Fantastics thrive whenever they tackle retro sounds, and Santa Monica Lollipop offers their version of a city pop style. It’s subdued but boppy: an excellent blend. (full review)


42. King & Prince – TraceTrace

King & Prince released tons of music this year in a wide variety of genres. TraceTrace tackles quirky electropop, highlighted by a gorgeous vocal arrangement. (full review)


41. Sexy Zone – Trust Me, Trust You

Many artists hearkened back to the 80’s this year (Sexy Zone included), but Trust Me, Trust You‘s embrace of a late-00’s synth-r&b sound offered a different take on nostalgia. (full review)


40. Johnny’s West – Reimei

Johnny’s West don’t get enough credit for their vocals, but a song like Reimei puts that asset front and center. It’s my kind of ballad, cresting in a series of satisfying crescendos. (full review)


39. The Rampage – Round Up (ft. Miyavi)

Rock swagger meets rock swagger in this dream collaboration. Miyavi’s guitar shreds while The Rampage bring their usual intensity. Even in its quieter moments, Round Up hits hard. (full review)


38. Hiroyuki Sawano – Outsiders (ft. Junki & Shou)

I already mentioned I’d follow Hiroyuki’s production to the ends of the earth, and this is another great example of why. That chorus is brilliant, and JO1’s Junki and Shou prove to be perfect collaborators.


37. Kis-My-Ft2 – Smokin’ Hot

I hung onto this one upbeat Kisumai single with a vice grip. This is the kind of fun dance music I need to hear more of. The hook is so addictive. (full review)


36. Snow Man – Brother Beat

Snow Man’s music is at its best when it takes advantage of the members’ fun personas. Brother Beat is like a quirky cartoon come to life, climaxing in a breezy power pop chorus. (full review)


35. NMB48 – Koi to Ai no Sono Aida ni wa

These large-configuration girl groups can be kind of overwhelming. There’s just so much music to sift through! But, Koi to Ai no Sono Aida ni wa stands out thanks to its gutsy production and thrilling hook.


34. SennaRin – Beep

Beep was SennaRin’s first step into the industry and still her most upbeat track. I love the mix of percussion and pop melodies. It’s like a musical balm, instantly raising spirits.


33. Klang Ruler – Wait A Minute

This mixed-gender band stumbled upon a real hit with Wait A Minute. I’m addicted to its super-catchy hook, but every bit of the song is memorable. This is quirky synth-rock at its best.


32. WARPs Up – Hero

WARPs Up may be relegated to a duo for the time being, but Langyi and Mingjun keep the flame burning with the stately Hero. The song’s chorus is so great, soaring just when you expect it to fizzle out.


31. Hey! Say! JUMP – Fate Or Destiny

I found Hey! Say! JUMP’s 2022 output to be a mixed bag, but my favorite track ended up being a ballad. I love the rock edge to this song, coupled with anthemic melodies that make it surprisingly potent.

*But someone at Johnny’s needs to fixed the mixing in the YouTube version. For some reason, the video gets quieter as it goes on? (full review)


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