Asian Music Recommendations from May 2013
I’m going to catch up to the current month…eventually, lol. I’m going to be doing this a little differently. I will post the entire playlist for you to enjoy and then pick my top songs/favorites from the month to highlight in this batch of Asian music recommendations from May 2013.
So, here’s the list in it’s entirety:
Now for some of my favorite May releases! The numbers you see are the corresponding place in the playlist for quick access.
#1 First off would be Kerakera’s debut mini album Star Loveration, which was released on May 15th, whose title track (“Star Loveration”) was used for the Japanese drama Last Cinderella (which started with such promise and then fell flat). It’s a great and addicting song. Unfortunately, you don’t get official full PV releases all the times of the jpop videos. But definitely check out this trio!
#2 Another great jpop song is Sekai no Owari’s “RPG”—I really do love this group. They have a very unique and funky concept and their music is great. But…for various reasons that I’m sure many people understand, the man in the clown mask just creeps me out whenever I see him. I blame Stephen King’s It.
#3 And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my all-time favorite visual kei bands. Alice nine switched record labels and is now part of Universal Music Japan. They had a string of single releases after this change and I think that “Shooting Star” is the last one. It’s a beautiful ballad and definitely worth checking out.
#8 GReeeeN’s “HEROES” is a great song with a really cool video that plays like a mini-movie and visual kei group Kamelo (#11) took a unique approach for their first full-length album in creating a MV that parodied popular dating simulation games. 君となう。And Kota Shinzato’s “HANDS UP” (#38) gets my foot tapping during the chorus. I hadn’t heard of him before, but I’m liking him now.
#15 Jpop group Da-iCE’s “I’ll Be Back” is also highly recommended. It’s a great mix of dance with some ballad undertones. There is a part of the song where it almost seems like the vocals are being played back faster. How can people do that?
#19 SHIKATA’s 2nd single First Love is a very beautiful ballad. Sometimes Japanese male artists have a higher pitch and almost feminine sounding voices (nothing wrong with that), but SHIKATA ha a very beautiful and clear voice that doesn’t have that whining tone you can often find.
#45 D☆DATE with “GLORY DAYS” is definitely worth the mention. I know the band members more from their acting than their singing. That doesn’t mean they can’t sing. Just that I know at least two of them from the dramas I have watched them in. They are a good jpop group.
#4 In the realm of kpop, December’s “Going Home” is a huge favorite of mine from May. Besides featuring the amazing vocals of DK, it has some great behind the scenes clips of the duo in commemoration of Yunheok enlisting in the service for his mandatory two years. And Lee Seok Hoon (#27) from SGWannabe says goodbye to his fans for his own military service with the awesome ballad “Today is Better than Yesterday.”
DIA’s “Breaking up” (#35) is a very emotional song which goes with an equally emotional video.
#7 Suzy’s “Don’t Forget Me” from Gu Family Book OST is a great, heart-felt ballad. Which reminds me I really need to sit down and watch this drama. Just like I need to sit down and watch Gakistal one of these days. Anywho, also from Gu Family Book is The One’s (#21) “Best Wishes to You.”
#10 Kim Woo Joo also had a great comeback after three years of promoting in Japan with “Heartbroken Rain.” I just love the song. And this man? He’s amazingly young looking for his age, lol. (#28) Togeworl’s “Number 1” is a great song. I did not follow their audition like I have with the show Kpop Star.
#14 And even though it’s really heavy on the more dance/club music, I find myself loving N-Sonic’s “Lie.” I do have to say while listening to this song, part of the chorus really reminded me of a SuJu song. And we have WonderBoyz (#34) making a comeback with “Tarzan.” It’s a highly reptitious song, but it’s fun and really showcases the vocals of…I actually don’t know the names of the members 😦 But again, great song. I love the Tarzan-like vocals we get throughout the chorus.
#16 And who doesn’t love B1A4? The conqueror of kittens 😛 Their “What’s Happening?” was a fun video, a fun song, and fun to watch them perform live. And I fell in love with acoustic sibling duo Akdong Musicians (#17) thanks to Kpop Star season 2. Their song “I Love You” from the All About My Romance OST was awesome and the video was really cute. And after becoming vampires, VIXX (#24) comes back with a Jekyll and Hyde concept with “Hyde” which kind of has a rock feel to it. Seeing this live…it didn’t sound as good in some parts as they usually do, but it was still good.
#22 In hip hop, BNR’s “Did Not Say Anything” featuring Ann is a really great song with an interesting video. And in krock we have ICYCIDER which I first learnt of through Top Band. There “Art People” (#42) song is great and the MV is funny. A great indie tune to check out is Jeon Cha In’s “Beside” (#44) which is the title track of his first single. He’s someone to keep an ear out for as he has a wonderful voice. I don’t know exactly why, but I fell in love with Papertree’s “Michin” (Crazy), maybe because it’s a rock song released on my birthday.
#6 In Chinese music Zhu Lijing has a gorgeous ballad “Love Looks Like” from some OST. It’s just really beautiful. Another great ballad is Rene Liu’s (#23) “What Happiness Is.” And I can’t pick just one song by Bii. He had his “Come Back to Me” single in April with the full-length album coming out in May. It’s an awesome album with great music you should definitely check out. I have too many favorites by him to name.
#20 I can’t read Thai…so…I’m not sure of an English title or the artist’s name. But it’s a really beautiful song from Thai drama Mon Juntra 2013 OST starring Chakrit Yamnarm. Another great rock song is Diary’s (#26) “No More Tear.” Another great OST ballad by (#30) กัน นภัทร is รักแท้อยู่เหนือกาลเวลา. Again, wish I could understand more Thai so I knew the artist and song name.