I’ve been stanning Tokyo Girls’ Style since 2011 and they’re the first J-pop group I really got into. What attracted me to the girls was their synthesized funk sound, courtesy of producer Royal Mirrorball, so it’s been hard for me to watch them lose their idol image and become a polished dance-pop act instead.

Their new single, “water lily ~Suiren~,” is more of the same dance stuff. But as far as this genre goes, they’ve really snatched some ramen noodle wigs. The rumbling bass and electronic wobbles on the verses come together beautifully before the instrumental hook (which PopAsia accurately likened to Justin Bieber) does its made-for-radio thing.

With that said, I was still more impressed with the b-side “Illusion.” It’s the exact kind of classic TGS sound I love, so I wasn’t surprised when I looked it up and discovered that it was first released back in 2015 as an analogue single.

I’m just never going to like the new Tokyo Girls’ Style as much, but they still shit on the other Western-inspired girl groups like FAKY so I’m still a fan.