Asian Music Recommendations February 2014 Edition
It’s the beginning of March. Spring is NOT in the air, but I have to say after temps being below zero for so long, even 20 degree weather feels more like summer than winter right now, lol. So, what does one do when holed up freezing? Listen to good music and watch some good drama. I finished January’s music recs just before February ended. I promised to do better and get things up in a more timely manner, so here I am.
February saw some great releases, but this playlist is actually shorter than last month’s (98 songs vs. 112) and there are actually fewer songs in my favorites this time (46 vs. 52). I really rearranged and honed this playlist to actually show which songs were my favorites (even the ones that didn’t make the top of the lists). So…this isn’t a random order at all, this is purely subjective of my tastes and what I really liked this past month. Also, I few songs I discovered which were released a while ago. Some last month, some December, some a bit earlier than that. But I tried to put the older ones not necessarily in the favorites portion even though I may have really loved them.
Number one on the list crosses borders and languages. It’s an awesome collaboration between Thai band Instinct and Japanese band WEAVER called “Light”. I was squeeing like a fangirl when this MV was dropped. These two awesome bands collaborated at a music festival and they released an official video finally last month. I would LOVE to own this song. It’s my Number 1 for the entire month of February. The video makes really no sense to me, but that wouldn’t be the first time a video didn’t really make any sense.
- Schroeder Headz “Blue Bird” – Why yes, the second song and the first for Japanese music is purely instrumental. It’s rare, isn’t it? I just fell in love with this song. I really do love good guitar and piano music even though I am more unlikely to listen to pure instrumentals for some reason.
- DEEP “Yuki Shizuri” – I am really enamored with DEEP’s ballads. This song is perfect for winter since I know they are talking about snow “yuki” and the PV is all wintery as well. They must have froze their rears off filming this, lol. It’s been a long cold winter, ne?
- AAA “Love” – Yay for AAA! I probably should stop abbreviating my site name to AAA since there’s the insurance company and this awesome Japanese group. Their voices just work well together and if you see their BTS they are a cute and fun group. This is a pretty ballad that seems to be paving way for spring. Yes, I’m obsesses with winter and spring right now, lol. The PV for this is really cute as you see this little love story between children.
- Vimclip feat. Urata Naoya (AAA) “Brand-New Sky” – It’s kind of rare for Japanese dance songs to top my list. There’s just something about this song that I found addictive even though there are parts that are just too clubby for me. Actually, when the chorus hit, I was reminded of a song by Cross Gene…I think that song has brand new in the title as well…
- Itano Tomomi “little” – LOVE the song…the video creeps me out. Seriously. I can’t watch the video, so it was a good thing when doing this list, I went by sound without watching videos. Seriously creepy, yet such a great song.
- Shishido Kavka “Miss. Misumī ~ wagamama” – a great rock song with a great PV to go with it. Anyone else wonder how they did the drums in the elevator scene? It doesn’t seem like a drum set + people would really fit all that well.
- WHITE JAM “Liar” [Usotsuki] – Beautiful vocals mixed with rap. I am actually less likely to like rap in Japanese songs, but this group’s rap and vocals really do go well go together. I absolute love this song.
- SOLIDEMO “Next to You” – I guess since we are still in the throes of winter, softer and more ballad-like songs reign supreme in the lists. This is a more upbeat song, but still not a real dance track. These rookies are good. I’m so used to their bajillion of covers they upload on YouTube, but here they have a new release at last.
- Yesung (SuJu) “Blind” – I have no idea why the Japanese version from S.M. The Ballad made it into the top, but none of the Chinese or Korean versions did. Maybe because it’s the first one I listened to…I really do love Yesung’s voice. He can really get the emotion in the song.
- Chris Hart “I Love You” – maybe because it’s February, but love songs (whether happy or sad) are everywhere. I believe this is from a movie OST. Looks like it could be interesting. I absolutely love this soulful song.
- DISH “HareruYA!” – if you are feeling down this song and PV will definitely brighten you mood a little. This was actually released on a Thai channel. I think this Japanese band is promoting in Thailand right now.
- Yuzu “Hikare” – Ah, love this guitar duo.
- Da-iCE “TOKI” – Really, they are only on their second single? I do really like this group. I remember discovering them last year. I guess I didn’t realize how new they were then. Definitely will be keeping an eye out for more from them.
- Plastic Tree “Kagee” – Ah, Plastic Tree. Their sound…sometimes I really like and sometimes I don’t. It’s hit or miss depending on the song I think. For some reason, I really fell in love with this song. The vocalist has a somewhat plaintive singing style. I should check out more by them to see if he always sings the same way or not. I’m curios to hear how he’d sound putting in a little bit of a harder, rock edge to his voice.
- Miura Daichi “Anchor” – Not much to say. I like Miura. And…this PV is him singing and daincing on a sunset beach. Pretty. I like sunsets…and beaches. I bet it was really hard for those guys to dance on sand, don’t you think?
- EXILE TAKAHIRO “Love Story” – One of EXILE’s main vocalists. It seems like EXILE is always active either doing group activities or solo. If you really like TAKAHIRO, you’ll enjoy the PV as it follows him throughout a day. I’d love to have a beach house like that…
- CNBlue “Can’t Stop” – This song came out at the tail end of the month and immediately ranked high on my list. I like that this idol band is evolving more and more and that they are getting to do more of the music that they want. I liked the scene in the MV where everyone is jumping and even the piano went into the air.
- Nell “Four Times Around the Sun” – Nell is back!!!! So happy to have a new release from them. I just love this band after finally discovering them when they had their comeback a year or two ago after a somewhat long hiatus. The video for this song is really interesting with their microscopic little world they have going on in it.
- Kim Woo Joo “Farewell Rain” – Ahhh, same age chingu! I really do love his voice. I am happy he is more active now after being gone from the Korean music scene for awhile. He’s been quite active since his comeback last year. This is the acoustic version of the song. I love acoustic. I really do. This isn’t his title song, but I fell in love with this one even more than the title one.
- Roh Jihoon “A Song For You” – After “Punishment” Roh Jihoon is back with an awesome and addictive ballad. I won’t lie, I had this song on repeat quite often. I just loved it that much after listening to it once. It’s funny, when listening to the rap part of the song, I swear the one part of the rap sounds like the rapper is saying “BtoB”, lol.
- BTS “Boy In Luv”; “Jump” – I have listened to this rookie group’s entire new “mini” album, but their title song and “Jump” turned out to be my favorites. The MV isn’t bad, but like I said when they were the Song of the Week, I would be running in the opposite direction if I was the girl in the MV. I do like this song as it does have that heavy rock beat and “Jump” is highly addictive.
- Activity (엑티비티) “Haengbokhan Nunmulman” – Yes, this band takes up the next four spots on my playlist. Just discovered them technically at the beginning of this month even though their EP was released at the beginning of February. They are definitely awesome and although I have chosen only 4 songs for the playlist, I have to say that this album is my top pick for February. You should definitely check their debut EP out in its entirety. It’s called 너 날 떠난 이 자리 [Neo Nal Tteonan I Jari]. I really love the soft and melodic songs that go into that rough, rock edge. It makes them dynamic and oh-so-good. They also have some more upbeat and straight up rock songs that are awesome, too.
- Activity (엑티비티) “Geuriwoseo Geuriwo”
- Activity (엑티비티) “Neo Nal Tteonan I Jari”
- Activity (엑티비티) “Barabonda”
- B.A.P “1004 (Angel)” – For those who don’t know, if you say out the number 1004 it roughly sounds like the Korean word for angel. This really was a very addictive song and an interesting mix of genres. It’s also an interesting MV…with a totally screwed up ending.
- SoYou x JunggiGo feat. Geeks’ Lil Boi “Some” – I really love the back and forth lyrics of the song and it is a very catchy song. And how awesome that this special duet has gotten some music chart wins? Why couldn’t we have the two people singing in the MV at all? Not that there’s anything wrong with Baro and Dasom.
- ALi “The Vow” from Golden Rainbow OST – After not being too enamored with Ali actually thanks to some of her performances on Immortal Song 2 I am finding myself liking her official releases more and more. I really love this haunting ballad.
- SPEED “Wae Nan Ggok”; “I’m Going to Tease You” – Yay for more SPEED. It seems like it’s been so long ago since we’ve heard from them. I really love the song “Wae Nan Ggok” but don’t like the MV at all for it. “I’m Going to Tease You” is also a great song and I love watching the MV which is a concert performance of the song where you can see the amazing dance performance. You should also check out the BTS for that song as you can see how much work and pain the boys put into all the amazing tricks.
- Yu Seong Woo “Hesitating Lips” – the cute little baby is back! Really, he still looks very young and cute, but he does have a more mature look in this MV. I love his voice and this song has a more plaintive chorus that I do love.
- Lee Sun Jung Band (이선정밴드) “Ordinary Day” – a hilarious MV accompanies this awesome song. I did feel a bit bad for the vocalist who was getting slapped with water everywhere he went.
- Vibe Feat. Lee Young Hyun, Shin Yong Jae, Lim Se Jun, Wonji “Heaven” – a beautiful song with a gospel-like sound towards the end of it. It really is a collection of great vocals and the MV is really…kind of sad with the African school children.
- Kim Sun Wook “I’m Fine” – I can’t really pinpoint the reason as to why, but I really do love this acoustic song.
- BTOB “Beep Beep” – It’s an addictive song with a fun dance and silly MV.
- C-CLOWN “Justice” – a strong comeback from this group. They show a tougher image and the song is also addictive, particularly the chorus. And the MV…as I’ve said in their Song of the Week post, has a way of making me laugh every watch.
- หนูนา หนึ่งธิดา “We Must Draw A Line Between Them” – This track is a ballad from a drama’s OST I believe, but I’m not sure on what the drama is (if you know, let me know, please, lol). It looks like it could be interesting. Anywho, I really do love this singer’s voice.
- LOMOSONIC “ขอ (Warm Eyes)” – Another awesome Thai ballad. I think this might be the first time I’ve heard of LOMOSONIC. I’ll definitely be keeping my ears peeled for more from them in the future.
- KALA “รักไม่ได้ ก็จะรัก” from แสงดาวกลางใจ OST – Yes, yet another ballad. I really do like KALA.
- Acappella 7 “The Known” – Yep. Thai ballad. All the songs recs for Thai music were ballads this time. In this video, you get to see a man watch as the woman he loves marries someone else. How sad. The a cappella part at about the 4 minute part when they completely stopped the music was really cool and showed the great harmony of the group.
- William Wei “Wolf” – A haunting song. It starts off as more of a ballad and then hits more of a rock beat after about a minute and a half. I really like this song. Buy the single. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
- Dawen feat. Kimberley “Let’s Work It Out” – LOVE this song and the video is cute. Another song with a back and forth between male and female as they go to work out their problems.
- F.I.R. “I Remember” – An intense MV accompanies this ballad. Well…the entire MV isn’t intense, but the beginning really is. A very sad song and MV. It’s interesting to see the same scene being played out with two different men. I’m thinking that the woman is a little traumatized from the beginning scene we see and starts mixing things up in her head. Don’t quote me on that though. The song and MV really do suit each other well.
- Angela Zhang “Live for Love” – Angela had quite the long hiatus and quite a few scandals. She’s finally active once more. Her recent releases have been on this “android” theme. I’m kind of reminded of the MV for LEDApple’s “Someone Met by Chance” when their new lineup officially debuted. It’s a beautiful song with an interesting MV.
- Roger Yang “Nothing But The End” – I really am not certain if I’d heard of Roger Yang before last month, but I am completely loving his music. This song has more of a rock edge to it. I like rock. Yes, I do. My interest in the genre probably started thanks to my aunt introducing me to one of her favorite bands from the 80s/90s Bon Jovi.
- Super VC “Until the End of the World” – Never heard of this band before, but am totally loving them!!! A happy discovery in Chinese music for February just like Activity was a happy discovery in Korean music.
What were your favorite tracks and albums and discoveries from the music world in the month of February?