Asian Music Recommendations from June 2013
Oddly enough, had no ambition for recapping. It’s been a rather lethargic weekend. So…more music recommendations instead! This time I ordered the playlist so that all music from one country should be together. I think it goes Japanese –> Thai –> Chinese/Taiwanese –> Korean.
A cute MV and a good song from ikimonogakari! It’s their 25th single, but I think this just might be the first time I’ve heard of them. How sad. Check out their song “1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~”—it’s catchy! You should also check out Pirokalpin’s first major album. I think the title track might be something like “Magic Lamp and Rock Star” (#7). Oddly enough, I found myself liking jpop girl group PASSPO☆’s “Truly” (#2). I say odd because I don’t generally like girl group music.
And we have a beautiful ballad from Sukima Switch called “Scarlet” that’s a great listen. Another good song is TAK-Z’s “BELIEVE YOUR SMILE” (#3). I also included an instrumental track this time, which is really rare for me. It’s called “AKATSUKI” and it’s by TSUKEMEN (#4). It’s awesome. And speaking of ballads, May J released a cover album. Out of the MVs they uploaded for this album, I kind of liked “First Love” (#9) the most as some of the other ballads I was familiar with and actually preferred the originals even though May J is an amazing singer.
#1 I’m a huge fan of WEAVER. They rock. I love that they have a piano in their band. They released “Yume ja nai Kono Sekai.” It’s a great song. Well…I’m horribly biased. In keeping in the veins of bands, I fell in love with The Sketchbook which is a trio. Their song “クラック” (#12) is definitely worth checking out. And after their hiatus, An Café is back with a trio of releases this year starting with “Bee Myself Bee Yourself” (#16).
MIYAVI came back this June! I think the song is entirely in English. It’s called “Horizon” (#6) and since Miyavi is quite fluent in English you can pretty much understand what he’s singing. Then there is this boy group. In the literal translation of their name, it’s Ultra Super Express…Not too sure about that. Anywho, their song “Starlight” (#14) is pretty nice.
And EXILE! I’m actually confused about EXILE and the Generations from EXILE. I guess I need to learn more about them, but I LOVE their music. Especially the ballads. We got quite a bit from them in June. TAKAHIRO released “一千一秒”(#8) while EXILE as a whole released “Flower Song” (#23) which was totally awesome! And then there’s J Soul Brothers vs. GENERATIONS with “BURNING UP” (#11).
There is this group called BABYMETAL. It’s…definitely different. Their song “MEGITSUNE” (#18) mixes a rock sound with a dance beat. It’s interesting. Not in a bad way. I’m still trying to figure out if I really like it or not. Kitano Kie’s “Raspberry Jam” (#19) I can say I really now that I like that one. I can also say that I love AAA’s “Love Is In The Air” (#20). And what is not to love about MONKEY MAJIK’s “Story” (#21)? And we also have SOLIDEMO’s “Come Back to Me” (why is that a trend in Asian songs of late?) which is very pretty and Avex uploaded an MV with BTS of the boys (#25).
These are the songs where I can’t really tell you the artist names or their titles really well. But I can say that I love Potato’s song from Maya Tawan 2012’s OST. I think if you translated the title it would be something like “Because of You” (#27) and their song กี่พรุ่งนี้ (#33). And after listening to that great ballad, check out Mummy Daddy’s “I Was Just There” (#28) which opens up with a more acoustic sound. And another great ballad is เราเลิกกันไปหรือยัง by อ็ม Mic Idol (#29). Ok. I went Thai ballad crazy for the month of June 😛 Another great song is “Last Message” by ปีเตอร์ คอร์ป ไดเรนดัล (#30).
I kind of escape ballads with BROWN FLYING’s “Fear” (#31), but it did have a kind of ballady start, but then I go right back to ballads with So Cool’s “I Never Sleep” (#34) and เพลง ไม่ใช่ไม่รัก (ost.วันนี้ที่รอคอย) by ฟิล์ม บงกช (#35). But then we escape again from ballads with ถ้าความคิดถึงฆ่าคนได้ by โอ๊ค (#37) which has a fun MV. But then I take you back to ballads with “She Makes Me Weak” by ซันนี่ เสกรัก ชัยศรศรายุทธ (#38) and Love Balloon รักพองลม by เม้าส์ ณัชชา (#39). But we finish with an uptempo OST song by หนุ่ม KALA called นานเท่านาน (#40).
I forget that Alien Huang is a singer. I don’t know why that is, but I do. He has a great song from an OST called 千分之 (#41), plus there’s “Sugar Tiger” (#42) which has dance and rock mixing together. And, I can’t seem to be escaping from ballads since the Thai recommendations. Worth checking out is Yen-j’s “Good Lover” (#45). Then there’s Hu Xia’s ballad song with a tango beat—“Silly Tango” (#46) and is other more straight up ballad (#50).
I still haven’t watched the Taiwanese version of You’re Beautiful, but the music from the series is pretty good, especially “Good or Bad Be with me” (#43) and while “Promise You” (#44) isn’t bad, I think I like the former song, better. Another great song is from the Tiny Times movie: 郁可唯 時間煮雨 (#47). Good song…odd movie. It wasn’t bad, it just felt unfinished.
Do I really need to recommend EXO’s “Wolf” (#48; #51)? It’s an interesting song with a great dance. At first I didn’t really like it as it isn’t my usual style of music, but it grew on me. I really fell in love with labelmate Henry’s “Trap” (#49; 58) right away—what can’t this young man do?
Broken Valentine (who I learned about thanks to Top Band) surprised me by coming out with the awesome rock ballad “Aluminium” (#54). I really hope they can garner some more attention as they are really good. And keeping in the vein of ballads, there is 4MEN’s contribution to the Gu Family Book OST “Only You” (#56) and MONNI’s acoustic “Drinking” (#62) which starts out a little like a ballad but goes into a totally fun stripped-down song. And speaking of acoustic, Vanilla Acoustic had a great release this month, too (#75).
Speaking of OSTs, I Can Hear Your Voice, had some great releases for their soundtrack starting with Every Single Day’s “Echo” (#68). And Choi Jin Hyuk released “Do Well” for Gu Family Book which was really cool and emotional (#74). And Lee Hyun Woo, another actor, released a song for Secretly Greatly (a movie which did not live up to my expectations) which was pretty good—“Ode to Youth” (#83). There’s also the cute MV and song from MONSTAR—“Atlantis Girl” (#96). Then there is BoA’s haunting “Between Heaven and Hell” (#99) from the drama Shark (which I only watched one episode of).
And we had some strong debuts in the month of June. There was Boys Republic with the catchy “Party Rock” (#57) and the totally awesome hip hop idol group BTS with the fierce “No More Dream” (#64) and “We Are Bulletproof Part 2” (#65). Also worth mentioning is 2EYES with “Don’t Mess With Me” (#84).
There was also some great comebacks—like from 2PM who promoted “A.D.T.O.Y” (#77) and “Come Back When You Hear This Song” (#78) and Sunny Hill with “Darling of All Hearts” (#80) and Ivy with the fierce and addictive “I Dance” (#101). I also fell in love with After School’s “First Love” (#102). Music giant Lee Seung Chul also had great releases with “The Day to Love” (#104) and “My Love” (#105)—I really loved both songs. And some people may not like it, but I loved the unexpected mellow “Coffee Shop” from B.A.P (#112).
We also get a great collaboration (and a disturbing video) from Lee Ji Young from Big Mama and Han Hae from Phantom with “Inconvenient Truth” (#63). Speaking of disturbing, Nameless’s video for “MASK” (#88) is freaking weird. A good song. Just a really creepy video. There’s also Yoon Jong Shin’s monthly project. This time the song is sung by Yangpa and is a very beautiful ballad called “Coming to Me” (#97). Then there is “I’ll be Forgotten” which is Philtre featuring Younha (#107) which is a disturbing MV in a way, but it is a very beautiful song.
In the vein of rock, we have an awesome song by YB, “Mystery” (#89) and a soft song from Pia—“O” (#90). We also get an awesome and moving ballad from Ulala Session with “I’ll Be There” (#93). Another moving ballad comes from Park Sae Byul with the song “If Love Lets Us Reunite” (#100). Another great ballad is “I Miss You” by Takers (#108) and Park Haki’s “You Still Live in My Heart” (#109).
I got to know more about Sweet Sorrow thanks to Immortal Songs 2. Their “Just Get Away” (#113) is a fun song wit ha cute MV. I’m really looking forward to hearing more from them. And after “Bom Bom Bom” Roy Kim comes back with “Love Love Love” (#114) which made me go back to listen to his other song and realize that I really do like him 😛