Listen: LIZ and SOPHIE drop their pop bop "When I rule the world"

Liz - When I rule the world (Produced by SOPHIE) | Random J Pop

LIZ has been releasing free music and dropping songs here and there for a while, but she may have finally struck the port key that sends her head first into the mainstream with "When I rule the world". Not only is it produced by London pop producer SOPHIE notable for his involvement in QT's "Hey QT" and more recently Namie Amuro's album cut "B who I want 2 B", but the song is also featured in Samsung's GIF inducing video for their Galaxy S6 phone.

"When I rule the world" is completely different from the R&B and 90s Garage loving LIZ we had heard on her EP Just like you. But it is in greater keeping of her overall persona than anything she had done before. It's one of her first songs where we get some sense of her personality. Do not get me wrong. I LOVED LIZ's Just like you EP. But there was nothing in any of the songs that really made LIZ herself stand out. The songs had character, but this all came through in the production, and was never channelled through her.

LIZ makes no secret of how much she loves Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Glitter, Unicorn, Care bears, old school Britney and all that shit. Her work with SOPHIE sits synonymously with this, making their union a match made in PC music heaven. "When I rule the world" gives LIZ a lot of bandwidth to really play up and sell herself it in ways none of her previous material allowed her to.

Music video: Yun*chi's "Lucky girl" = Sounds like M-Flo + Looks like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

There's a new girl on the Tokyo block with limited vocal talent and her name is Yun*chi.

Three singles deep into her career at time of writing and she's already sipping on that formula to moderate success that can lead on to bigger things if you play your cards right, and in some cases suck the right willy. Yun*chi is looking cute, working a bit of fashion and has dropped a song that I for one would get low to if I were to hear it in a club and / or in the vicinity of a pole.

"Lucky girl" is produced by Taku Takahashi, who is that quiet guy with the crusty lips from M-Flo. It's almost a shame that this song was crafted exclusively for Yun*chi, as it's this Astromantic and Beat space nine type of vibe I wish M-Flo would go back to for their albums. Ever since Verbal started focusing on his fashion line full time and DJ Taku started enjoying his life as a music taste-maker and DJ, collectively they did not have enough scraps of a fuck to give their albums. Square one and The future is wow were both absolute rubbish.

Yun*chi is produced by Asobi system, who also look after the careers of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Capsule. The video visually baring a resemblance to Pussy Pam's "Furisodation" is merely a coincidence. But it's an interesting titbit none the less. It would not surprise me if Yun*chi's follow up single were produced by Yasutaka Nakata. Pussy Pam would not have it though. There is not enough room on the scene for another wig, contact lens wearing chick swaying her hips to Nakata productions. Pusha P will end Yun*chi's life. Do not let the age, the lack of vocal talent and the primary coloured dresses fool you. Kyary will have you thrown in a trunk and driven off into the night if you fuck with her shit. Yun*chi needs to tread her ass real carefully.

Listen: Brayton Bowman keeps it "Real"

If you are following MNEK on Twitter and Instagram, then chances are you will know of Brayton Bowman - who is not only a fellow singer / songwriter, but also happens to be MNEK's boyfriend. The two of whom have been making sweet music together in the literal sense, blending Brayton's take on soul with MNEK's sharp production.

MNEK had co-written and co-produced Brayton's song "Skin deep" which was released in March of this year and had also been the one pulling the strings and twiddling the knobs on Brayton's acclaimed refix of Britney's "...Baby one more time". Now as Brayton steps out with his new single "Real", a quick scan at the credits will reveal MNEK's involvement, yet again.

"Real" is a song about people who are anything but. We all know these types. We work with these types. Some of us are even friends with these types. But you'll be forgiven for not really taking in the subject matter of the song, because once the chorus drops and the beat pops off you may be pre-occupied with rocking your head back and forth or hitting that nae nae.

Music video: Namie Amuro's "Golden touch" video is not the MJ "Remember the time" realness I was expecting

I had pinned all hopes on the music video to "Golden touch" serving Michael Jackson "Remember the time" realness. So when Namie gave me Android live wallpapers for 4 minutes I was initially disappointed.

After my initial outbursts of Ws, Ts and Fs, I had a moment to collect my thoughts. I came to the conclusion that I actually quite like the music video for "Golden touch". It's charming. It's quirky and it goes against the expectation of what many of us had for this video. For better and for worst.

But I would be lying if I said that I didn't still want to see Namie dance in the Versace family crypt, and witness her put the pussy on a man and turn him to gold.

Listen: Demi Lovato gets "Cool for the Summer"

Demi Lovato - Cool for the Summer | Random J Pop

As has become customary in the world of pop for the past decade: when one wants a hit, they get Max Martin on the blower. And that's exactly what Demi Lovato has done for her 15th single "Cool for the Summer" - which eschews tales of struggle and adversity in the place of girl on girl titillation, a call to remove all clothes and an F-bomb.

Yet another good Disney girl gone bad.

Max Martin's one amazing quality is that every song he does manages to sound familiar on a first listen. "Cool for the Summer" doesn't just ring with the familiarity of 80s electro-pop, but it also sounds like something you may have heard from one of the many female artists who have passed through Max's studio over the past 3 years - which can either be a really good or a really bad thing.

Music video: Madonna acts a teenage mess in her "Bitch, I'm Madonna" music video

Now, I could sit here and say that Madonna is too grown to be prancing around some plush penthouse-party with a pink dip dye job in some Jeremy Scott concoction with a bunch of kids a third of  her age. I could also sit and talk about how this song is a desperate attempt at Madonna trying to be hip and cash in on this being the type of song 'da kidz' rock to in the clubs and in their cars. But there's no point. Because bitch, it's Madonna and she does what the hell she likes. The theme of the song is like the Big Brother key of immunity. The get out of jail free card. The answer to every comment about any form of appropriation is met with 'Bitch, I'm Madonna'. So let's not bother. 

There's that and also that the song and video are both genuinely fun when you take them at face value and try not to over analyse or scratch its surface. 

There were points in this video where I cringed at Madonna trying to be hip. The pulling in of stars almost feels like a middle finger to Taylor Swift, although I'd say Taylor had the better song and at least managed to get her guest features to bother turning up to the set. Miley, Katy and Beyoncé all phoned in Vines for their cameos and Nicki Facetimed her entire rap.

Rebel heart has been a shambles from the start; between the leaks, Madonna been dragged down to the floor live at the BRIT awards and the album itself being an over-long, inconsistent mess. But it's nice to see her support the album with a third decent video released in a timely fashion after the last one, which is more than can be said for MDNA and Hard candy.

Album arts + tracklisting: Kumi Koda - Summer of love

Kumi Koda - Summer of love | Random J Pop

It wouldn't quite be Summer in J-Pop land without a release from Suicide door pussy aka Juicy Jiblets aka Skankumi Hoda.

On July 22, Kumi will release Summer of love - a compilation of her Summer singles from 2007 onwards. Nobody has made made a career out of Best albums quite like Kumi.

I have given up wondering when either Ayu or Kumi will take a seat and what it would take for them to do so. They clearly have no intention of taking any form of seat or break to truly think about what they are doing to their musical legacy with their fast food releases. Nor to take the time to smell the stench that has become their careers over the past 3 to 4 years.

Ayu's music is as stale as Stilton and Kumi's is about as fresh as the in-between of Christina Aguilera's legs circa 2002.

Music video: Hilary Duff sees "Sparks" and a pay cheque from Tinder

"Sparks" is not just a comeback for Hilary, but also producers Bloodshy & Avant, whose names were once prominent in the liner notes of many top 10 charting pop stars, having briefly been notable names in J and K-Pop following their work with BoA ("Eat you up" & "Did ya") and also Crystal Kay ("It's a crime"). But they have since channelled their focuses into their own acts Galantis and Amason. So it's great to have them back. Even if it's only for a short while and their work for Hilary has them on auto-pilot for 3 minutes and 6 seconds.

"Sparks" is pretty tame by Bloodshy & Avant's standards. The duo are not strangers to bending a rule or two with their productions and throwing in some flourishes which are unique and almost signature unto themselves. But they completely side step all of that with this song. The focus is placed firmly on the bass-line and the whistles which carry the chorus. This is no bad thing. A key part of being a good producer is knowing when enough is enough, and if they were to have done any more than they already had to "Sparks" it would have been too much. I guess the Bloodshy & Avant fan in me was hoping that they would deliver something a bit more electric, but "Sparks" is still a good 'un.

Hilary herself doesn't add much to the song, if anything at all. Taylor Swift, Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus could have sung this song and I would not have liked it any more or less. I could also take an instrumental of "Sparks" and would not miss her vocals. But as far as pop songs go in Hilary's repertoire, it's definitely one of her better straight shooting efforts. It's just a shame that her image is forced and completely misaligned in the music video. Although it's much preferred to the original version of the music video which was nothing more than a Tinder commercial. A move that was so unashamed and disconnected, that fans caused enough of an uproar to force Hilary to release a video void of her get her Tinder pay cheque.

Music video: Namie Amuro - Anything

Namie has only shared short versions of her music videos up until this point - but has released the full version of "Anything". Half of Namie's album having leaked last week is probably the catalyst for us getting the full version of this video so soon.

As with her previous _genic videos, Namie's shoe game is looking brand new. We have yet to see her rock a pair of her trademark tired ass thigh high boots. But I'm sure they'll make an appearance in the "Fashionista" or "Golden touch" videos.

"Anything" is a really nice ballad and is a huge upgrade from Feel's "Remmyrechugoor" "Let me let you go". Not just in terms of her Engrish being much better, but just the song in general.

Perfume perform "Relax in the city" and "Pick me up"

Perfume - Relax in the city / Pick me up | Random J Pop

Perfume's next album should be titled Thirsty, because that's how they have left their fans in-between:
  • Waiting on the next single after their "Cling cling" maxi release
  • Waiting to hear "Pick me up" after everybody done heard "Relax in the city" in the TV commercials
  • Waiting on the live performances of both songs
Thirsts across the Perfume fandom have been quenched...for the most part. I can't speak on those who are parched on waiting for Perfume to perform their B-side jam "Toumen ningen", but the "Relax in the city" and "Pick me up" loving folk are well and truly spoken for.

As is customary for Perfume, the girls have been turning up to TV shows wearing the exact same dresses they wear in the "Relax in the city" and "Pick me up" music videos and single covers. Just to show other hoes how you handle branding and visual consistency.

Music video: Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea - Pretty girls

After the train wreck that was Britney Jean and a Vegas residency which see's Britney performing with as much charisma as a Chinese Lucky Cat in a Chinatown buffet restaurant window, the princess of pop (Queen to some) is back with a new single which does away with the tired EDM cliché's of songs such as "Work bitch" and replaces them with faux urban hood cliché's instead. Also, she has Iggy Azalea in tow, who not only contributes a barely there rap on the song, but also co-directed the video. Think "Fancy" 2.0 and you're pretty much on track as what to expect from this song and video.

Namie brings her _genic album cover to life in her music video for "Stranger"

Interestingly (or not) the "Stranger" music video is the one that was shown in the _genic teaser which featured the song "Photogenic". But of course none of us knew at the time that the visuals would make their way into a music video, and for a completely different song no less.

Namie is known for her bitch face and looking utterly fed-up as she dances. But she takes these to all new levels in this music video. If you watch the dancers around her, you will see how Namie is supposed to be moving. Then you watch Namie and you see she is phoning in every damn step. She still looks fly though. I'm feeling the part time Morticia Addams look.

This isn't the type of treatment I was expecting "Stranger" to have, so it's a pleasant surprise. Further pleasantries would come in the form of Namie switching outfits in the latter half of the video and then really going in on the choreography. But I know deep down this will not be the case and that I will have to pin these hopes on either the "Golden touch" or "Fashionista" videos.