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Check The Credits: Izumi Makuro’s “Tokyo Kinkou Rosenzu” (Produced By Sugar’s Campaign)

Look, I don’t want to take anything away from Izumi Makuro. She sounds just fine here, rapping in a relaxed way that sounds effortless and certainly isn’t as, shall we say, acquired as other pop-rap outfits in Japan. If anything, it is easily compared to Her Ghost Friend, except with a more hip-hop bend. It’s good, but she wasn’t the reason I was drawn to this, even if a hook built around the idea of a “Tokyo suburbs map” is intriguing. The production here is handled by Sugar’s Campaign, a.k.a. Seiho and Avec Avec, a.k.a. two people who should be producing J-Pop singles off the strength of last year’s list-conquering number. This seems like a good first step. This is a laid-back groove, sounding ritzy enough for a penthouse suite but remaining funky enough not to end up in the lobby. Features some nice guitar too, and at the end one half of the group (Avec Avec maybe?) actually sings as this one fades away. Listen above.