Asian Music Recommendations from August 2013 Part 1

Now I only have to do September and I’m officially caught up!

August saw some great music. Yes, it did. Not as much as July, but still quite a bit. And I discovered some new groups/bands/artists to love. I did this a little differently. Instead of a random order or order by countries, the order is by the date the video was uploaded…so you kind of get these in the order they were released this month. Well…Japanese PVs are dropped well in advance of release dates sometimes…

Part 1 Japanese & Korean Releases

#1 NewUS is a 5 member kpop group who debuted last year. Who knew? I seriously didn’t. They released their second single “LOVE PANIC” and it’s not a bad song…but…its a fairly typical kpop song. No offense to the boys as they are talented. Do check them out if you haven’t heard of them.

#2/#3 Sick² is a visual kei group with an interesting concept (read: appearance) that mixes dance, rock, and pop music. Not a bad mix all things considering. Check out the songs “Saliva” and “Akai Shotokeki” from their first mini album PUSSYCATMISSILE.

#4 TAK-Z “I Believe Your Smile” is an awesome upbeat song that is strangely addictive.

#5 Abe Mao’s “I Like You” is a great song. This is the first time I’ve heard of her. Like her singing. Her expression in the MV that goes with this song…it’s a little meh.

#6 Katahira Rina’s “Summer Night” just draws me in for some reason. It’s a beautiful song that I definitely recommend. It’s definitely bittersweet as the beautiful summer nights are now fading into fall (although MI is experiencing some Indian Summer weather right now).

#7 Gille is awesome. She just is. Check out her song “HIKARI.”

Can you hear me? I am standing here speaking what I feel. I believe in my own way whatever happens to me.

#8 I love theme songs [well, generally]. “LiSA’s träumerei” is no exception to this.

#10 I’m in love with LUV. This group is quite a mix of individuals and has some beautiful songs like “Itsuka mata.”

#11 Happiness’s “Sunshine Dream” is a great song. Their dancing skills are good, but…the dance doesn’t really seem to go well with the song in my humble opinion.

#12 Flower’s “Taiyo to Himawari” (Sun and Sunflower) is a beautiful song as well. I think their group dance parts you see in their MV fit the song a bit better than Happiness’s did.

#13 Daisuke Mori’s “on & on & on” is a an addictive song with a funky sound. Wish I could have found the full song for you to hear.

#15 Kamijo from Versailles came out with a solo album. Love Kamijo.

#17 Fumiya Sashida’s song “Ballad” is the theme song for Friday drama Naruyouni Narusa and is a really gorgeous ballad.

#18 kpop group Code-V (stands for vocals I believe) is currently promoting in Japan and released their 4th single “Promise.” The quartet does have some great vocal skills indeed.

#19 Neverlost “TO LIVE or TO DIE” is completely in English. Thus it reminding me of some more American alternative or punk bands isn’t all that surprising.

We never look back, we never look back. We always shine like the sun. Woah-oh. Woah-oh.

#20 ROGUE with “Memento”—a good song. How can guys hit such high notes?

#21 PERIDOTS “Home Movies” is a very calm and pretty song. Sometimes I really enjoy songs like this and sometimes they just bore me to tears. This song is NOT boring and has a haunting quality with the blurry home movie feel to its MV.

#23 I like visual kei. Fest Vainqueur’s 5th single Naniwa Samba has some very different types of songs and all 3 are worth a listen to. One has you tapping along with the beat as it’s very fun, one is a heavier rock song and one is a great rock ballad.

#24 Korean indie group Chocolate Box with “Tomato” it’s a very fun song with a very…interesting video. I personally don’t like raw tomatoes so seeing that girl erotically shoving all kinds of tomatoes into her mouth…yeah…that kind of made me a bit on the sick side.

#26 Visual kei band EVE’s “Divergence” is a great, energetic rock song. I do find it interesting when we get our VK members wearing suits.

#27 I hadn’t heard of androp before and this is already their 3rd single. The song is called “Voice” and is from the single of the same name. I think it’s supposed to be the theme song from Japanese drama Woman.

#28 Endo Masaaki’s “SPEC” is a good song, which makes me think of Keizoku’s second season and subsequent movies because they called people with special powers “specs”

#29 I’ve liked Yasu since Janne D’arc. He’s got an interesting sound that I like, it kind of blends dramas. Check out Acid Black Cherry’s “GREED GREED GREED.”

#30 Hadn’t heard of ALL CITY STEPPERS, but totally fell in love with them thanks to “Precious Girl.” I sing along with the chorus even though I don’t quite get it right.

#31 some An Café fans complain that their sound has changed. The boys are growing up, there’s nothing wrong with their change and when Miku worked as the vocalist of LC9 he talked about being happy to try something different and do something more mature and serious. An Café’s sound has matured. I like their new singles personally. You have to love the title of the song “Wolf Man ~Let’s Make Precious Love~”

#33 Revolv “Yuzurenai Shine” – another vk group I hadn’t heard of before, but the vk scene always has new bands popping up, breaking up, reforming, etc.

#34 SONAR POCKET with「線香花火 ~8月の約束~」which roughly translates into something like “Promise of an August sparkler”—it’s a beautiful ballad and if you like Yamamato Yusuke, he stars in the MV!

#35 √5[Root 5] with “Pure Love Delusion.” This is their 5th single and I hadn’t heard of them until now. Sad day.

#37 I don’t think I had heard of KIDS before either. This is a band I will definitely keep an eye on. Check out their latest “Kotonoha” and “38.5℃” (#70)

#38 Fis block is technically a trio…but only one member does the majority of the singing…but, they are still a good group and their ballad “Don’t Give up” is a great song.

#40 Southern All Stars with「 ピースとハイライト」the song is kind of funky, but you really need to check out the MV, especially given the stuff that’s been going on in the world of late.

#41 Shionoya Ayaka “Ocean Blue” such a great…dance ballad?

#43 Kim Sarang with “ICU.” Great song, interesting MV. This man is really talented and only 4 years older than I am. He debuted in 1999 at the age of 18!

#45 EXILE ATSUSHI “Signpost” I’m a sucker for songs with a strong guitar sound. I’m a sucker with simple piano melodies. It really does suit Atsushi’s beautiful vocals (piano that is).

#49 Glam Grammar “Four-dimensional Orchestra”

#50 POINT-UP “Share our lives”—another Japanese band singing in English (tho sometimes its hard to understand what they are singing)

I want you to know my everything. I hope you won’t forget it.

#54 Hisazumi Atsushi “Towa no Yume” [I think I might have gotten his last name wrong…]

#55 DICKPUNKS with Sunglasses this song is awesome and the video is even awesomer since it looks like it is being played in reverse. DICKPUNKS definitely deserve lots of attentions. They are a great band.

#57 the GazettE “Fadeless”—after Alice Nine, this is my next favorite band. I only wish they had the longer version of the PV available. Ruki’s lyrics are great and the band’s music is awesome.

#58 Dream5 “We are Dreamer” – it’s a fairly good song. The group is made up of 4 girls and 1 boy…it seems kind of awkward to have only one guy in the group…

#59 24K had a fierce debut followed up with a pretty love song. This time they came back with “U R So Cute.” Wasn’t expecting them to come back with such a cute concept, but it did work for the guys. They are talented and their MV is adorably and funny and if you don’t know their names, you can learn them from this MV.

#61 San E “Story of Someone I Know”—I never really followed San E and his music, but I totally fell in love with this song and the video. I miss him and Daniel with Guru Pop.

#62 Bohemian is an awesome vocalist trio. “Send, Bye, Sorry” is a great ballad.

I’m sorry my heart wasn’t enough. I swallow the pain. The tears dry and make my eyes sore. I only looked at you. Sorry that I am tired of love.

#63 D with “Rosenstrauss” this group mixes rock with a more symphonic element.

#64 I think its been awhile since Angelo has come out with such a hard song like “OUTBREAK”. I do love Kirito’s voice as it does have a unique color.

#65 I’ve only caught the first few episodes, but Good Doctor has an amazing OST starting with it’s first release—Lee Yeong Hyeon’s “Miracle”

#67 Lee Ji An “Gomawo Geogi Isseoseo” it is such a beautiful song. You should definitely listen to it 😀

#71 I remember I had heard of ULALA SESSION and had heard a few of their songs, but I didn’t really come to know them and follow them and like them until after their leader unfortunately passed away earlier this year. I like their song “FONKY” featuring trot legend Seol Un Do (Seol Woon Do). The song is an interesting mix of rap and trot.

#72 The fierce warriors of B.A.P are back with “Badman” which was filmed in Detroit. Hearing the B.A.P members talk about the auto city made me a little sad, but it’s unfortunately very true. Detroit has a high crime rate and is full of these empty buildings. It’s hard to believe that Detroit was once a booming city—now it’s becoming more like a ghost of its former self.

#73 mihimaru GT “Promise” (which I could find a longer version of this song, too)

#74 Nissy (Nishijima Takahiro) “What Do I Do?” I won’t lie, he’s my favorite member from the awesome group AAA. His solo song is good and the MV is really cute.

#75 M.pire “Can’t Be Friends” [Narang Chingu Muthae] It feels like leader and lead vocalist Taehee carries this song as he sings more than any other member. But…this is a strong song with a rock beat that I do like and a great debut. I can’t say the same for the English parts of the song. I do have an opinion that if English is nonsensical and brings no value to a song…can you please not use it?

Ok. Let me tell you some break.

#80 2NE1 “Do You Love Me” I think I liked this a little more than their previous release the month before.

#81 TASTY “Mamama” a song written by Infinite H (Hoya and Dongwoo). They are back with their unique sound! What a wait. I love these twins (and that clock dance of theirs). Normally, this is not a genre I would like all that well, but they make me like it. When asked out to tell them apart, Dae Ryong replied his face is rounder and their teeth are a little different…lol. Plus, he thinks his dongsaeng is cuter than he is.

#82 BIGSTAR “Hang Out” [Ildeon Dalryeo] I didn’t like their debut song too much, but I’ve liked every other song of theirs and this is such a fun song and they bring back that iconic hand and neck dance. I can’t remember who was the originator now…but they and that dance were famous.

#83 After promoting the unit group ZE:A 5, the entire group has made a comeback with “The Ghost of Wind”. I do like ZE:A. Well…I wasn’t a huge fan of their debut song “Mazel Tov” which seemed to borrow some parts of the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling.” It seems like Dongjun’s parts are less in this song then they have been in the past.

#85/#112 W&JAS “Star Chaser” which I think is from some animated movie as they show clips of an anime throughout this beautiful song. I also like their title track off their mini album “Green.”

#86 Chicago Poodle (aren’t some of these names fun?) “Kimi ni egao ga naniyroi mo sukidatta” which roughly translates into something about liking your smile more than anything else.

#87 SAKANAMON “Pretty Flower Color” is a great song with a cute MV and making of film. I love this trio.

#88/#101 It’s rather amusing to watch both videos for NC.A’s “My Student Teacher” The first one has actor Jung Man Shik lip-synching the song and the second one is the drama version with the totally awesome (and newly married) Seo Ji Suk acting as the teacher the girl has a crush on. Never experienced this myself, but it’s a cute song about something that does happen on occasion.

#89 Check out Tokyo Quartet’s latest single. There’s two great songs on it.

#90 MBLAQ “No Love”… a great ballad from this group and I love the mix of BTS and the more MV moments

#91 Garina Project “Otter’s Song” – a great song with an interesting MV where a cartoon otter playing a guitar is following one woman around during her entire work day.

#92 LUNA SEA “Thoughts” – another iconic jrock band releasing something new! Like this song. I can’t think of LUNA SEA without thinking of nichan…the same goes for GLAY, L’arc En Ciel, and GACKT

#94 Last month former SS501 member Kim Hyun Joong had a comeback. This month saw Kim Hyung Jun release a duet with Kota of girl group SunnyHill. “Always Love You” is a bright song with a cute MV. I do love the baby of SS501.

#95 I really couldn’t bring myself to like Who Are You even though I like Kim Jae Wook and Ok Taecyeon. However…the OST for the drama? It’s great. I hadn’t heard of Gajame Boyscout before, but I am now looking out for them. Their song “Happy” is a great mellow rock song.

#97 GReeeeN “To Love You” [Itoshi kimi e] the song itself is good, but seeing how this old couple first met and fell in love and what happened to get where they got to makes it even better.

#98 Min Yeon Jae “Don’t Love That Person” [Geusaram Saranghajima] featuring Yeon Min Su of VIBE. This is a song filled with a lot of emotion from the rap to the vocal parts. It’s a great song.

#99 Kang Seung Yoon may be battling it out right now to debut as a member of a YG boy group, but he has already made his official solo debut so…I really don’t get why he’s battling it out to debut as part of a group…I have liked all three of his releases. “Stealer” is his last promotional track of his debut album. I just love his voice.

#101 Phantom “I Already Know” I love Phantom. I really do. A release and album from them really make me happy. I like how the MV for this song as all these BTS scenes with our hip hop trio.

I already know by looking at your face
I already know even if you don’t give a
long speech How you much you love me
How much you care for me

#102 Haven’t watched kdrama Two Weeks yet even though I do love Lee Jun Ki. The MVs for the songs off the OST really make me want to watch it. An Ye Seul’s emotional ballad “Love Leaves” [Sarangi tteonda] is particularly heart wrenching and awesome.

#103 This is VALSHE’s 5th single. Again, a band I hadn’t heard of before. I really like their entire single album. Check them out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

#104 Choi Young Jun’s “That City’s Summer”—definitely a song to check out.

#107 HEAD SPEAKER “Magnolia” – a great rock band fronted by a female vocalist. I do like this song.

#108 singer SO-TA comes back with his 3rd album 2Face which features a lot of other artists as well. It’s a great overall collection.

#109 Seungri’s “Gotta Talk to U” – it’s a very repetitious song that I at first wasn’t sure if I liked or not. Then the song grew on me. You can definitely sing along with it since I think it does repeat that “nan jigeumui halmalisseoyo” quite a bit.

#111 History’s debut track seemed to have a more old-fashioned/retro feel to it. Their new release “Tell Me Love” is quite a bit different with a more heavy dance beat to it mixed with a more pretty ballad.

#113 MayBee “How Are You” [Jal Jinaeni]. I have loved her since her “Goodbye Valentine” song. Happy to have more from her.

#114/#122 Honey-G with “My Love” [Geudae] it’s a great song with a fun MV starring diva Lee Hyori. Plus “Fool” [Baboya] is another great song from this new group.

#115 visual kei group Jupiter came out with the album “Classical Element” which is filled with lots of great songs to check out. It’s amazing how pretty these men can be all dolled up. In one of their MVs, vocalist Zin is wearing killer heels. I’d fall over and kill myself wearing heels that high, lol.

#116 I love Hazzie’s “Rain” – in the lyric video, I see the guy from the back and I think of Eita as he has Eita’s crazy, untamable locks. (it’s not Eita, btw).

#118 Aarakura with 名探偵ミスタ相棒はジョニー which is a great song with a really weird MV. But, I guess it first the detective song.

#119 Henry follows up “Trap” with 1-4-3 (I Love You) featuring F(x)’s Amber. I love the more intense “Trap” but this is a great fun song that you can kind of sing along to almost right away. I had no idea what 1-4-3 or 4-8-6 meant until someone explained it and then you realize how clever it was.

#120 I love NU’EST. I really do. While “Sleep Talking” doesn’t sound anything like A-JAX’s “Insane” the MV kind of reminds me of that song. It’s a good blend of rap and and the group’s smooth vocals. But I have to ask…WHY do they put Ren in some of the clothes they put him in?

#121 K-Hunter does have a good voice, but I have to say that I like “Marry Me” more for the cute music video where we have young love blossoming with elementary school children.

#123 is another emotional ballad from Two Weeks—Yu Seungwoo’s “The Day You Come”—the mv and the song make the drama seem really intense and very sad and painful, too. Need watch, yep, yep.

#124 Just like nearly every JYP produced/written song has to have that whispered “JYP” in the song, all of DaizyStripper’s videos begin with what sounds like a child whispering the group’s name. Anywho, love their song “HELLO, again.”

Surrounded by the rain with tears flowing.
Replying the words of 「I wanna meet you, I wanna meet you」
I finally found the meaning of life.
You’re the answer

#125 Yu Hae Jun “Biol su eopsneun sarang” – I’m still debating whether or not the title translates to “love cannot be empty” or if it’s more like life is empty without love… Anywho, this is a really great song fitting for poor, poor Jae Hyuk oppa [Choi Dae Hoon] from Crazy Love. This is his theme song and speaks of his painful first love for a girl who will never return his feelings.

#126 I won’t lie…I think I really didn’t know who Kreva was until I think Miyavi did his “versus” series and one of the people he “went up against” was Kreva. Check out his song “Beshi”

#127 CNBlue came out with “Feel Good” for Samsung Galaxy. I do love them and how their newer music doesn’t seem quite as formulaic as some of their earlier songs.

#129 Hadn’t heard of aagna before, but her song with Noa “forever” is very beautiful.

#130 Technically this song from I Hear Your Voice was released with the official OST at the end of July (but the official video wasn’t uploaded until the end of August). Every Single Day’s “Echo” is such an amazing song. I loved listening to it during the drama.

As if left alone forever in longing
You come to me step by step
You come to me step by step
Deep heart, deep thoughts, your deep voice
Deep heart, deep thoughts, your deep voice
I hear it, I hear it

#131 Lee Ju Yeop “Nan Nacheoram Saljima” from Miss Change [Miseucheinji] OST is an awesome song. The video has me really curious about the movie. Anyone know anything about it?

#132 THE ORAL CIGARETTES “Mr. Phantom” – a new band from Asketch? Love flumpool and WEAVER. This band, like the other two bands does have its own sound and the this song is rather addicting the more you listen.

#133 BEAST “How to Love” is a very sweet song for their fans.

#134 Korean-American band Royal Pirates with “Shout Out” – I can’t wait to hear more from this band.

#135 the king of Korean ballads is back with “Even Now”! Sung Si Kyung does have a voice you can’t help but fall in love with.

#136 Baek Ji Young with “Is Crying” from Good Doctor OST. The first release was a ballad about not feeling all alone and this song is about feeling all alone and being in pain.

#138 Juliet with “Happy Navi” – I really enjoy this song from this Japanese trio. Seeing all the photos of the members from infancy to now is kind of cool in their video.

#139 Surprise with “Hey You Come On” from Banggwa Hu Bokbulbubok OST.

#140 Kodera Kenta did a cover of Akanishi Jin’s “Hey What’s Up?” which was released this month. I haven’t heard Akinishi’s version, but I am completely in love with Kodera’s R&B version.

#144 t Yoon Mi Rae “Touch Love” – this is my absolute favorite song from Master’s Sun OST. If you haven’t heard it, you’re missing out. It’s a beautiful song.

It’s okay even if I can’t touch you. It’s okay even if I can’t hold you. Lonely love, yes I love you, I can feel you like my destiny.

#145 SPICA is one of the few girl groups I can say that I like. “Tonight” is another great song from them. The video…was a little weird for me, but it’s definitely artsy and has an almost 60s/70s feel to it.

#146 I like rock. Seo Moon Tak (a female artist) really has a great rock song with “The Sun Swallowed the Moon” [Taeyangeul samkin dal].

#148 Kana Nishino “Namidairo” is such a beautiful song.

#151 Daredaa “Summer Night Walk” is another soft, mellow song. But again, this one doesn’t bore me, but draws me in to its beautiful melody.

#152 LYn “I Like This Song” – it’s like a meta-song since it’s a song discussing a song. It’s cool. I do love LYn.

#154 I don’t know why, but Air Plane reminds me a bit of Phantom. Probably because they are a hip hop trio as well. I really liked their debut song and “Give Me a Chance” is another great one from this group.

#157 Yu Seong Eun “Love Grows” [Sarangi Jaraseo] from Who Are You OST. Another great song. I think beyond having an absurd plot (and I’m not talking about the ghost factor, but how he became a ghost) I really did not like the leading actress. Such a pity since Kim Jae Wook had some masterful silent acting in this drama. I’m so happy he’s back from his military duty.

#158 Ballad group 4Men’s contribution to the Empire of Gold OST “Love Love Love” is another great ballad. Haven’t checked out this drama as of yet, but it looks like it’s one heckuva melodrama.

#161 Japanese band universe releases its first full album. It’s a great album. Hard to recommend only one song, so check out the entire release.

#162 Brave Girls “For You” – I’m sure I’ve heard of them before, but I can’t honestly recall this group at all. Oh well. This song is a great song.

#163 cinema staff “great escape” – Another great jrock band. It’s a great song with an interesting PV that actually has a story. I like stories.

#165 amber gris “this cloudy” – another visual kei band that I follow. I like how the song goes slow, fast, slow in its pacing.

#166 Magistina Saga’s “Double Face” really just draws you in. I can’t quite figure out how, but it does.

#170 Kim Seong Jung “Do You See” [Boinayo] is a really pretty ballad from the A Tale of Two Sisters/Sweet Springs [Jiseongimyeon Gamcheom] OST

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