Posts Tagged 'k-pop'

2010: Albums

So, this is possibly the last entry when it comes to my look back to 2010.
I’ve long decided on my Top 10 Albums but to bring them in order was a hard decision. But here you go!

#10 3OH!3 – Streets of Gold

Yes, good single, good album track and now good album. After listening to three tracks on the previous album so often I couldn’t hear them anymore I was pretty excited about this album and in the end it did deliver. It’s not perfect and sadly not as kick ass as WANT but still has the nice catchy tunes that will stay in your head for a long time. And for the most part the album is just a great fun.

Best Songs: Double Vision, See You Go, House Party

 

#9 Mao Abe – POP

None of the songs on this album were good enough to be on my other lists but as a whole package you can’t really go wrong with this album. It is fun and she shows different styles even though I still wished she would have been a little bit more creative and had tried some more stuff. But that just means I can be curious about the next album.

Best Songs: I wanna see you, Mada, Tsutaetai Koto

 

#8 Berryz Koubou – 6th Otakebi Album

Berryz Koubou just had a strong year all around. We got with almost every single two songs and they never really disappointed. So it was double the fun. Also, with songs like Otakebi Boy WAO! they got back to more fun songs and even though I still can’t stand Risako’s voice I can’t help but see it as a step in the right direction that Yurina got to be the center once. Oh, and Dakisimete Dakishimete is on the album which is my favorite so yeah <3

Best Songs: Dakishimete Dakishimete,  Otakebi Boy WAO!, Seishun Bus Guide

 

#7 UPLIFT SPICE - MEMENTO

With UPLIFT SPICE you just know what you’ll get. Great rock tracks with a unique voice and memorable melodies. And that’s really all I want from them. I have to be honest and say that I think Omega Rhythm was a bit better because I really liked to listen to it all the way through but on the other hand when it comes to MEMENTO I know what songs I prefer. Well, I’m happy as long as there’s a new album next september. I really like that pattern.

Best Songs: Queen Anne’s Revenge, Cosmology, Mönster

 

#6 Ayumi Hamasaki – Rock’n’Roll Circus

Everyone who read my review knows that I think that this album was a step in the right direction. Back. For me it felt like from somwhere between Rainbow and Memorial Addresse and while most people didn’t like it and seem to prefer Love Songs (which isn’t going to show up on this list) I think this was the better Ayu album of 2010.

Best Songs: Don’t Look Back, Microphone, Last Links, count down

 

#5 AKB48 - Kamikyoku Tachi

The problem I have with this album is that it doesn’t feel like an album. It feels like a collection of all the singles AKB released in that time. Every fucking B-Side is on there. Everyone who bought the singles must feel like a fool. Except for those who buy allt hose Singles for Handshakes and the likes. But yeah, after all those were some pretty strong singles and also the B-sides were quality stuff. Nothing to complain about really.

Best songs: RIVER, Sakura no Shiori, Tobenai Agehachou


#4 JASMINE - GOLD

Oh look, it’s a debut album! But a damn good one. If you haven’t heard about JASMINE yet, where do you live? I have to be honest and say that the singles were the best tracks and album tracks were good, but not as good. But that doesn’t make the album any worse, it just means I had too big expectations. But what do you expect after songs like THIS IS NOT A GAME and sad to say?

Best Songs: THIS IS NOT A GAME, sad to say, L.I.P.S.

 

#3 2NE1 – To Anyone

Just like last year, 2NE1 still going strong. It was a long wait for the album but I guess it was worth the wait. The dance tracks are great and I even got to like the slower songs a lot more. My sister just loves Apa (Slow). Plus the solo songs and remix and english version. I guess this album offers everything you want from a korean album. Yes, there’s a difference. I’m curious how there songs will turn out in Japanese and if they will be successful in the US. I doubt it but let’s just drink some tea and see.

Best Songs: I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix), Can’t Nobody, Clap Your Hands

 

#2 Tokyo Jihen – SPORTS

I’m still not sure about #1 and #2 but since I’ve listened to SPORTS not as much as to the #1 this album gets the second spot. SPORTS is great. I already blogged about it because it blew me away. Listen to it. Every single song would be perfect as a single release. You won’t get bored when you listen to it the whole way through and in the end you’ll want to listen to it again. It’s great.

Best Songs: Sweet Spot, Noudouteki Sanpunkan, Kachiikusa

 

#1 BENNIE BECCA – BENNIE BECCA

It’s pop, it’s rock, it’s hip hop, it’s Japanese, it’s English, it’s the perfect mixture.  This album is just so much fun and is it really  a surprise when those great artists work together? I just wish that I wasn’t a one time only thing. I want more from them. I can’t go back to just one of them T_T

Best Songs: Ashita, Dilemmas, KAMINARI GIRL

2010: Album Tracks

Here are my favorite album tracks of 2010. Because sometimes the single just isn’t the best. But still, you will find artists here that appear often in my lists…

#10 Christophe Maé – Je me lâche

I listened to this album because I really liked the single Dingue, Dingue, Dingue and somehow my sister listened to Je me lâche and made me play it over and over again. And it is a really good song. She’s been right to make me listen to it so many times.

#9 3OH!3 – House Party

It was a close run between See You Go and House Party but I thought that See You Go would be too similar to Double Vision which already charted here and so I let you all know that I not only like the poppy songs from 3OH!3. House Party is awesome.

#8 MiChi – Jump On It

Since LOVE is. is treated like an e.p. Jump On It gets #8 because it is awesome but not as awesome as other songs. The repetitivness brings it down a little but hey, it still charted <3

#7 Katy Perry – Peacock

I listened to this album and BAM! I put Peacock on repeat instantly. It is so much fun and you can always wonder if the song is really that obvious or if there is some deeper meaning behind it. Oh, and Katy’s voice is bearable.

#6 JASMINE – L.I.P.S.

After listening to it when it appeared as a b-side I didn’t really give it another listen but after liking THIS IS NOT A GAME so much and listening to everything from her again I got hooked on L.I.P.S. even though the lyrics (I understand) seem to be a bit… well “Should I shake my hips?”.

#5 Achtung – Take Me Higher

I guess no one of you has ever heard of these guys but they are a really good korean band and they make I would say really good acoustic rock or something. I listened to them because I found it funny that they use the German word for “attention” as band name. And yeah, Take Me Higher is pretty good. Check them out.

#4 2NE1 – Can’t Nobody

Man, I so couldn’t decide which song to pick. This album has some really good songs on it and they all have something to offer. But in the end I went with the one with the highest play count and that was Can’t Nobody. But all the songs would’ve deserved it.

#3 ONE OK ROCK – Wherever you are

I didn’t think of this song for a long time but some days ago I listened to it again and it is just too good, too powerful and too emotional to not be on my list of great album tracks. I get goose bumps everytime. And we just have to overhear all those “whelever” and “plomise”. I’m sorry.

#2 Tokyo Jihen – Sweet Spot

What can I say? Pure Shiina Ringo awesomeness, but Tokyo Jihen. This song is so beautiful and so erotic and yeah, I pity my sister because she can’t stand Shiina Ringo’s voice so she’ll never know how great this song is.

#1 BENNIE BECCA – Ashita (with Blaise Plant (Monkey Majik))

It was really hard deciding which song was better but I love this combination of English and Japanese and Becca’s Japanese is so cute and all their voices just work so well together. And I was able to understand almost the whole chorus by myself. Yes, before they sang it in English later. Need more BENNIE BECCA!

Those are my top album tracks of 2010. Next my favorite Glee songs of 2010 and then finally: Albums!

To Anyone

To Anyone Tracklist:

1. Can’t Nobody
2. Go Away
3. Clap Your Hands
4. I’m busy
5. It hurts (Slow)
6. Love Is Ayaya
7. You & I
8. Please Don’t Go
9. Kiss
10. Try to follow me
11. I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix Ver.)
12. Can’t Nobody (Eng. Ver.)

It’s been almost a month since 2NE1’s first full length album was released and I had time to listen to the songs. Well, to be honest I mainly listened to the promo tracks. And to be even more honest, I mainly listened to Can’t Nobody and Clap Your Hands.

Especially when it comes to those two songs I had problems at first. They didn’t really stick and I caught myself waiting for the chorus while listening to the song. But after a long, long time that I had to spend in a line in front of a football club fanshop (soccer for you other guys out there) I realized that yes, the verses can be pretty monotone and not exciting but that only happens if you don’t pay enough attention. And you didn’t watch the MVs. I won’t lie, those really made me like the songs more. So colorful <3 But Can’t Nobody is the better one. I don’t think I will write about the videos because you just have to watch them. You really should. But back to the songs.  In the end I love both of them and there are so many different parts of Can’t Nobody that can get stuck in your head, it’s amazing. And Clap Your Hands really makes you clap your hands. In public. Behind your back. I think I looked stupid…

Go Away is like some kind of sequel to I don’t care maybe? The feeling you get while listening to the song feels similar and I really had to smile at some lyrics. The ones I understood, of course. But maybe because it was summer and I wanted to party I didn’t really get into the song. I just listened to it again and you could think of it as some kind of Bom-Song. I haven’t watched the MV yet but I really hear a lot of Bom. Clearly a good song but you have to be in the mood.

Of course you needed a slower song for promotion too, but if that wasn’t the case I bet that I’m Busy would have been another promo track. It is such a catchy song and even if it sounds weird because you don’t understand Korean, you still want to sing along to the intro and chorus.

The last songs It Hurts (Slow) and Love Is Ayaya sound like 2NE1 but something’s missing. Love Is Ayaya again made me think of I Don’t Care but those songs just didn’t interest me after listening to them. But then again most songs on 2NE1 were rather slow. Maybe I haven’t listened to them enough but for now they don’t impress me.

From this point on the albums ends for me. And those are six songs so I think full length isn’t so true. I mean, everything that’s coming after this are the solo songs (that are supposed to be solo works and not 2NE1), a remix and the English version of Can’t Nobody.

Some words about the solo songs. Bom’s You & I is very sweet and I like it but I can’t stop thinking that Bom alone doesn’t work. She needs some support in a song. She tries her best of course but to my ears it always sounds a bit week. Minzy and CL did Please Don’t Go together which was almost like a preview of the album. We got those purely rapped verses and then, when the chorus starts, a change in style. We can listen to this happening a lot on this album. It’s my favorite song from the solo songs; And Dara’s Kiss is my least favorite. Her voice has nothing recognizable and the chorus got on my nerves so easily. I can see why people like it but it’s not my cup of tea.

The commercial song Try To Follow Me shouldn’t have been at the almost end of the album. It would have been a perfect bridge between the first two songs. This song has such a great attitude but is in no means fast paced, so that I guess almost everyone can enjoy it. I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix Ver.) is in my opinion 2NE1s best song. I can listen to it for hours. I just wanted to say that it is perfection. Yeah, hearts and stuff <3 It goes without saying that the English Version of Can’t Nobody can’t beat the orginial but it is a nice extra.

All in all I can say that I really like this album but would have been a bit more happy if there would have been more new songs. But taking a look at my notes at least tells me that the songs after the new six ones only did good to the overall feeling of the album. The album gets a B, the new songs a B-. I hoped for more but it could have been a lot worse. And if you think of the MVs the album is even better.

I hope the next break 2NE1 takes won’t take as long as this one.

The Best of 2009 (Part 4)

Songs that rocked hard and weren’t on any albums from my Top 15.

That’s just a rule so I won’t gush about X all the time >_<

This won’t be a top list because I just can’t bring myself to think about how something is better than the other thing again this year.

An important song would be Berryz Koubou‘s Dakishimete Dakishimete. Even though I got into idols thanks to Buono! I found my favorite H!P girl in Berryz Koubou and Dakishimete² is responsible for that, too. It’s such a great song that I learned the dance for it. Yeee~es. I did it! I’m very proud of myself.

If you’ve read Part 0 of this series, you might’ve realized that I’m going into the more rockish direction in the western music world. So MY BOY was a real pleasure to my ears. I never thought I would hear something like that from any H!P act. But you should never underestimate the girls from Buono!. Though, I think they aren’t really the ones responsible for it but what the hell~

H!Ps flagship (still) Morning Musume. were a guarantee when it came to at least listenable singles. They didn’t invent the wheel anew but I enjoyed all of them. But through the contest with the PV for the B-side 3, 2, 1 BREAKIN’ OUT I learned to love that song. That’s one of the songs that make me instantly happy. And I make all those typical Japanese poses and gestures while singing along. Just sad that there were a lot good videos out there for the song that weren’t even nominated…

There’s nothing mentionworthy from the H!P world so let’s look at some other idols. No doubt, AKB48 was successfull this year. All their singles sold well and they took even my money… But the best single was RIVER, hands down. Let alone that chant at the beginning. I hope they do this at Kouhaku this year. That would be awesome and no one would forget them. I tried getting into Idoling!!! and the such but that’s right now all from me about idol songs.

But there’s a lot more in the Jpop world! Kaela Kimura‘s BANZAI was great because it was pure fun and made me happy =) Ayaka Hirahara, an artist I listen to because a friend of mine loves her, surprised me with the rock influenced Romeo & Juliet from her newest concept album. She could more often try out new styles. Too many ballads aren’t that good. Chihiro spiced things up a bit and succeeded and alan did the same and… failed. But Romeo & Juliet is a step in the right direction! Oh, and while I’m talking about rock a bit I’ll also mention that I loved the Koda collaboration this year. It’s all Love! was great because they worked really great together and the song was a bit different with how the lines were given and placed. Good idea and misono’s voice was at least decent. I tried her solo stuff. Never again…

Now let’s talk about some B-Side material. Ha, material! Sowelu‘s MATERIAL WORLD was one goddamn good song and perfect if you are an Audiosurf player like me. But I talked about B-Sides so I better tell you that I liked the -WTF Edit- even more. E-guitars and stuff. Damn, I’m as simple minded as a man.  The other B-Side I’d like to mention is BENNIE BECCA‘s Dreamer (80kidz Remix). At this point I really pity people who don’t listen to singles. I was one of them not long ago. So glad I changed my mind. The last B-Side on my list is Shining Butterfly from the we-never-change-the-style-of-our-covers girlgroup BRIGHT. Sad thing I don’t like the other songs from them that much…

The only songs from female artists that I want you to know they are great, before I start with some male artists, are first off Thelma Aoyama‘s I’m Sorry from her album Emotions. I don’t think it was released as single beforehand but I’m not sure. Was it? I want to recommend Thelma Aoyama to all the Jyongri fans that think Jyongri got a bit boring in the last months. Their voices are kind of similar. And after all there’s Aya Kamiki. I listened to one album by her and had her in mind as some kind of Japanese Avril Lavigne copy but those times are over. She seems so… womanly now o.o And her W-B-X ~W-Boiled Extreme~ single was great. Not just the song but there’s also a second Instrumental on it that I listen to almost more than to the A-Side xD Can’t wait for the new album!

I told you so and now they’re here. The male artists! In my half-year review I already talked about SEEDA‘s selftitled album, but not only do I want to recommend the full album but if you don’t have the time to listen to a full album just do a quick YouTube search for his songs DEAR JAPAN and SO HIGH. At least the first one should be found easily. It’s great hip hop~ After almost 850 words I now want to mention a Johnny’s group. I liked one song from them. A B-Side. But I think I would be hated by many fangirls if there was no JE in none of my Best of 2009s. Arashi‘s Tokei Jikake no Umbrella. It’s not like Arashi needs me to recommend them to someone anyway…

That’s it with the Japanese men and let’s go to my last paragraph for this post before I go to my grandparents to welcome the new year. The Korean Invasion! BoA‘s English album was a good first attempt but what I really liked was that her Japanese releases also got better. The best song till now definitely the collaboration with Crystal Kay and VERBAL: UNIVERSE. It’s kind of sad that it’s already on the Best&USA album. Of course I cannot not mention SNSD/So Nyeo Shi Dae/Girls’ Generation when I’m talking about KPop. But I have to say that I thought Genie was 10 times better than Gee. Gee got annoying too fast. And it was too poppy for my taste. And no, the dance is no reason that I liked it better. But the dance to Brown Eyed GirlsAbracadabra made me watch the performances of that song so often that I really liked it in the end. Sign, not so much… I think my Korean taste has its period sometimes.

I liked the whole girl group thing that was going on but on my paper with my notes there are now only male Korean artists left, so let’s beginn with the most obvious one. I think GDragon‘s voice is a bit annoying in BigBang because you can hear it above all the others. But solo it works. My favorite song from his album is She’s Gone (feat. Kush) and I can’t even tell you why. The repetitivness of it should be a reason why I don’t like it but somehow it isn’t. It’s the same with Super Junior‘s Sorry Sorry but I managed to listen to it over 40 times. Another boygroup I liked was SHINee with Ring Ding Dong but mostly because of this parody. What I liked from the start was F.T Island‘s I Hope but my sister watched their MV on YouTube (she becomes more and more a little version of me. First my western taste in music and now I got her to like the east, too!) and that made me like it even more. Very cute <3

The last song I will recommend is Zin/Jin Tae Hwa‘s Fallen Angel (feat. Jed) but you may know that already since I made a whole post on that song and its MV. Where’s the (mini) album, Tae Hwa. Where?!

The Best of 2009 (Part 3)

Here are the last 5 albums of my Top 15 and I’m sure you’re all curious which ones it will be. Aren’t you? Yes you are~
And I wanted to post every day but the birthday of my best friend was in the way and stuff…
—-

#5  Ayumi Hamasaki’s NEXT LEVEL

When Guilty was released it made it to the top of my list. But those times are over it seems. Still, Ayu’s newest album is a good piece of work. The singles were very good except maybe for Days and I loved the rock tracks on here. I’m a sucker for those. Even Next Level, the song, was good in my ears despite the fact that I see it as a summer song. Now we’re again down with two singles and I guess the next album will released in late March, maybe. I’m curious for it because the singles were kind of mediocre. But she can still surprise (with fewer interludes), no one knows.

Best Songs: LOVE ‘n’ HATE, Load of the SHUGYO, Rule and Curtain Call
—-

#4  MiChi’s UP TO YOU

Oh, look who’s there. The girl with the always good singles and improving PV. I’m a bit sad that she’s moving away from her indies sound but I like the way she sounds now, too. And I can’t wait for the next single. I hope she changes things up a bit. Her singles are great but after a while they tend to sound the same. But that’s still nothing negative when you look at the album tracks and you see that there’s nothing bad here. A kind of debut is better than an Ayu album. And that comes from me! Who’d have known?

Best Songs: PROMiSE, Shibuya de Punch, YOU and Why Oh Why
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#3  UPLIFT SPICE’ Omega Rhythm

I guess UPLIFT SPICE  is a band that not so many people know. And if I’m wrong, you know where you can post comments. But man, they are really great. Omega Rhythm continues with the sound from their first full album and shows you one powerful song after another. The only flaw is the playing time that is with not even thirty minutes quite dissapointing. But you can’t expect an album to be perfect and at least there are nine songs. They are just not as long as we are used from the Japanese market.

Best Songs: Omega Rhythm, Nanatsu no Umi and Amidakuji

#2  2NE1’s 2NE1

It’s the Korean Invasion!!! Well, yes, it is. But that’s nothing bad. 2NE1 is THE Korean Girlgroup of 2009. They had everything and most of all the best producer(s). Beside the fact that the whole mini album is superb, I liked the girls themselves. The four girls are the first Koreans that got me to watch something (subtitled) idol-related that wasn’t from Japan. I can’t wait for the full album. I’m quite sad that it wasn’t released in 2009 anymore but now it can’t be too long till the release date is announced. 2010 will rock!

Best Songs: I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix), Fire and Let’s Go PARTY
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#1  Chihiro Onitsuka’s DOROTHY

What a surprise! NOT. It’s not like the only artist I wrote a lot about besides AKB48 was her. Nooo. But to be honest, I’m still not sure if the album is really that good or if it’s just still fresh in my mind. But right now I’m pretty happy with calling it the best album of 2009. She’s BACK! Great voice, great ballads and of course X! I don’t know what more to write about, I said everything in my album review. Just… listen to it if you haven’t yet.

Best Songs: X, X, X and X. And Kagerou and I Pass By and …

That was it but like in Part 0 I will tell you a bit what I’m looking forward to.
The new Ayumi Hamasaki album because there will be one. Finally a Hidemi Uematsu album. How did she manage to release in 2 years only 3 singles? And of course the new Kumi Koda album because it’s going to suck. And I hope I’m wrong with that prediction. And Rie fu should start releasing singles again! Maybe a comment on her blog would work…



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