Ronald Reviews: June 2023 (King & Prince’s “Nanimono” & &TEAM’s “First Howling:WE”)

Welcome to this month’s “Ronald Reviews”! Each month, I will review the top song and album of the previous month per Oricon. If Billboard Japan releases a monthly chart eventually, I will do that as well. Think of this as a way to learn about the top releases of the month, or to enjoy them again if you’ve already heard them. That being said, let’s get into this month’s chart toppers!

This month, I will review King & Prince’s single “Nanimono” (543,748 copies sold) and &TEAM‘s EP “First Howling:WE” (168,917 copies sold).


King & Prince – Nanimono

I’m not a fan of this song. I think it’s boring, a bit too formulaic. It’s an expected upbeat, jazzy feel good song. I just wish that King & Prince 3.0 came out of the gate with something that hit a bit harder this. 5.5/10

&TEAM – First Howling:WE


I’m pleasantly surprised at how good this is! Does it sound like a KPop song? Yes! But it feels a bit different due to the touches of 80s synths throughout the song. The song is infused with this youthful urgency and optimism that I really enjoy and am touched by. 8/10


2. Road Not Taken

It’s giving… The Weeknd? It’s like if he did a KPop song. I’m not feeling this one was much. It’s a bit too by the numbers KPop. 6/10


3.月が綺麗ですね (Tsuki ga Kirei desu ne)

Yeah, this is a KPop album track. It even has that annoying clapping buildup that a lot of KPop songs have. It’s just a very throwaway track. 5/10


4.Blind Love

Another throwaway song… It’s pretty, but in a boring way. 5.5/10


5.FIREWORK (Korean ver.)

This actually sounds better in Korean than it does in Japanese. 8/10


6.Scent of you (Korean ver.)

Besides the old school hip hop sample, it’s basically a generic KPop song. 5/10


EP average: 6.25/10

I will admit I had low expectations coming into this EP, given that it’s a JKPop release, and those releases tend to annoy me because they’re essentially KPop cosplay. Like… just go to listen to KPop? I get the reason why these groups exist from a business standpoint though. That being said, I feel… betrayed? The opening song set the bar really high, to a level that the rest of the release could never live up to.


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