March Music Madness – 2014

I have actually been listening to older songs or just obsessing over albums from the beginning of the year or later (*ahem* totally had Activity’s EP on repeat DAILY). Plus, spring is slowly making its way in and I’ve been having less time to explore or discover new music thanks to work and life and maybe even a lack of motivation. Thus, there might be a change coming as to what I’m recommending. It won’t necessarily be new releases from the month, but just favorites in general whether they are just released, old, or forthcoming in later months.

If anything, I think this month really showcases the fact that I listen to a wide variety of music and I am NOT referring to country or language, but overall style. From pop to rock to hip hop/reggae to ballads. I am highly eclectic, yep, yep. In the list below you’ll find links. These are links to where you can purchase the albums. Digital albums are linked to respective US digital stores since…I live in the US and according to my site stats, the majority of people who view this site are also located here.

What might be shocking given all the idol comebacks and debuts is that there is hardly any idols making their way into this playlist. I have been listening to more indie music or non-idol music of late and thus this month’s playlist really showcases that. I’m not talking about every song on the list. Some songs (at the end) are songs that I like, but really didn’t connect or stay with me in any way…which may make it seem odd that they are on the playlist. They aren’t bad, so I figured I’d keep them, just not feature them. If you’re interested in what those songs are…listen to like that final 40 songs of the playlist.


Key

– older song, released earlier in the current year
– upcoming release
– older song, not released in the current year
– debut single/album


Ian, Bii, Dino, Andrew Tan

  1. “Everything Changes” Imperative 2-Everything Changes – Bii, Andrew Tan, Dino, Ian
    I admittedly only know Bii and Andrew as I own pretty much all of their albums and singles. Ian and Dino were pleasant discoveries. This song is entirely in English that makes sense and is well pronounced. I had this on repeat when the lyrics version came out. It was nice as they told you who singer was which. This song…very plaintive and talk about an entire depressing year as every season makes these boys miss whomever they lost. If you listen to the other songs on this mini album, you’ll get to hear Bii doing English, Mandarin, and Korean…I think. I might be confusing it with some of his other releases. These four young men (ok, one is technically turning 30 this year, not that makes them old by any means) are really a great combo.
  2. เกิดมาเพื่อรักเธอ [Born to Love] Samee Tee Tra 2014 OST – S.D.F [Sex Drug Family]
    So missed the part that this was from the Samee Tee Tra OST as they don’t have any scenes from the drama in it. I think this is my first discovery of this Thai band, too. I really love this heartfelt rock ballad. I find it beautiful.
  3. コンパス [Compass] Sing Sing Sing –  ベリーグッドマン [Berry Goodman]
    I remember Skull talking about hip hop reggae mix as a genre and pointing out several popular songs by 2NE1 and others that I had no idea really fit into that niche genre. This group is mixing reggae and hip hop. I am not a huge fan of either genre…but I like mixing them together and this song just makes me smile and makes me happy. That makes a good song in my book. Not just making you feel the depressing and sad feelings, but also good feelings. This is a trio to definitely keep an eye on.
  4. “Crying Angel” Better Life – F.I.R.
    I have been in love with this band at least since last year. Their music is awesome. I love the BTS scenes we get in this video of the band. There’s also another video used for some popular vacation getaway that they helped promote with the song “Better Life” that has lots of cute scenes, too. This song is beautiful. I just love Faye’s voice. They are another very talented trio. the guitar is lovely and goes well with the keyboard.
  5. 어저께부터 [From Yesterday] From YesterdayUglyPumpkin [어글리펌킨]
    Another great pick-me-up song. This hip hop trio seem so young to me for some reason. This song and the accompanying video is filled with energy and is very cute. I really do love it. This is their debut single. I’m looking forward to more great songs from them 🙂
  6. “Orb” Orb – Matenrou Opera
    It’s Matenrou Opera…need I say more? They are freaking awesome and this song is no exception. I kept singing the chorus in really bad English-accented Japanese. I just love them. And this song. And it makes me happy that this band’s music is available in the US—even new releases which doesn’t happen very often for Japanese music.
  7. 태양은 가득히 [The Sun is Filled] Beyond the Clouds OST – Yang Pa
    No, I’m not watching this drama. Ever since watching the main actress in the evil May Queen I can’t bring myself to watch her in anything else, although her acting in the clips doesn’t look too bad and I do love our leading male…but enough about a drama I am not watching. The song is beautiful. Yang Pa and ballads are well suited for one another. She really gets the emotions across.
  8. 기린이 되었네 [Giraffe] Giraffe – 롱디 [LONG:D]
    What can I say? This is a great debut from LONG:D. The song is upbeat and the video is cute. And since it is about giraffes (the MV as well as the song title), all I can think about is our icon of betrayal, Lee Gwang Soo from Running Man.
  9. เหงายิ่งกว่าเหงา เหงายิ่งกว่าเหงา – Single – Retrospect
    I keep finding more and more awesome and talented Thai bands. Great band. Great song. there’s really nothing else to say.
  10. 치사BOUNCE [Chisa BOUNCE] The Maginot Line – M.I.B
    Yay! M.I.B is back and badder than ever…in a good way. I wasn’t enamored with their debut song…but every other song and album I’ve enjoyed immensely. This song is highly addictive and seeing them perform it live (on music shows) they are full of energy and you can tell they are having a blast onstage. And is it just me, but is maknae SIMS getting better looking each album? Nothing like mixing hip hop with a strong dance beat. Mixing two genres I’m not 100% in love with always makes good combos that I can love for some odd reason.
  11. ひだまり [Sunshine] 新世界 [New World] –  ゆず [Yuzu]
    It’s Yuzu. I love Yuzu and I love most if not all of their songs. This duo is just guitar-playing awesomeness and their vocals go really well together. I love this video because of the gallery of awesome sky pics, which suits the title of the song perfectly well.
  12. “Wake Up” Fly – Mr.
    Soooo in love with this Cantonese rock band. This is a great song that has my head bobbing along with the beat. I’m happy to have discovered this Hong Kong band last year…or was it earlier this year? I loved this song so much that I went out and bought the entire album which I have been enjoying immensely. This song would definitely get you up in the morning 😉
  13. 그 중에 그대를 만나 [Meet Him Among Them] 15th [SERENDIPITY] 30th Anniversary Album – Lee Sun Hee
    Not sure I’ve listened to any of her music before, but this song is awesome. Just awesome. And it’s the title song celebrating her 30th anniversary. Kudos. I’m sure her other albums and songs are just as awesome as this one is.
  14. “CONTRAST” CONTRAST – Rogue
    This is visual kei band Rogue’s second single. I just discovered this band last year. I absolutely love this song. I wish you could find more of their music on like iTunes or from CDJapan, but alas, you can’t really find much of their music easily, which is sad because I really do like them. I like all the concert clips in this video.
  15. 할 수 없던 말 [Could Not Say] 할 수 없던 말 – 약국 [Yakguk; Pharmacy]
    This is only Yakguk’s second single. They are awesome aren’t they? I kept on singing “Dorawajwo, dorawajwo” and “tteonajima, tteonajima” with them. It’s really an addicting song for a ballad. The rap parts complemented the vocals and did not stand out as awkward or awful like it can so often in a lot of kpop songs. I am looking forward to more music from this trio.
  16. 夢裡的淚 [Mèng li de lèi; Tears in Dreams] 宣言 – 張赫宣 [Zhang He Xuan]
    Zhang He Xuan was a participant in the Voice of China season 9. Obviously not a show I have watched. He’s got an awesome husky voice and this song rocks. As far as I know, it’s only available on YesAsia as I can only find his Voice of China songs in the US iTunes store.
  17. 狼 [Wolf] Journey Into the Night – William Wei [Wei Li An]
    Yes, I featured this last month when “Wolf” was released as a single. Now the official music video has been released and it really suits the song. Totally in love with this song which seems to have some traditional Asian sounds with that rock flair and it’s just so…so…addicting and awesome. In fact, the entire full-length album is pretty darn awesome.
  18. 널 사랑한다 [Loving You] Loving You – Grace Eve [그레이스 이브]
    Besides the vocalist having an AMAZING voice, this song has an awesome video. You’ll just have to watch it to see what I am talking about.
  19. 愛沒有錯 [Love Is Not Wrong] Angela Zhang – 張韶涵 [Angela Zhang]
    After quite the long period of inactivity due to health and other personal issues, Angela is back in full-force with several singles and now a new album out. I highly recommend checking out the album which contains some of my top faves from last month, too.
  20. 面具 [Masks] Journey Into the Night – William Wei [Wei Li An]
    Listening to this ballad of William Wei’s brings to mind Bii. Their voices are definitely NOT the same, but this song really does bring to mind Bii’s unique voice—just not to the same extreme. Totally in love with this artist. Yep.
  21. “Guard You” MIYAVI – Miyavi
    Okay. Finally broke down and bought the entire album. Miyavi is quite the versatile artist. This song is very stripped down and is a very sincere song, definitely not a raunchy song like “Horizon” which I can’t remember 100% if I featured in a different list. I am so in love with this song. It’s good English with some, very little actually, Japanese. Oh…and his guitar skills…even with simple songs like this still shine through. Miyavi is just talented in so many ways.
  22. รักครั้งแรกและครั้งสุดท้าย [The First and Last Love] คิวบิกฯ [Cubic] OST – เป๊ก ผลิตโชค [Peck Palitchoke]
    Just started this drama last night at long last. It’s everything I’d heard and thought it would be. A fairly typical Thai lakorn, but…oddly so addicting. I really am loving this drama and the music is great. I fell in love with this song, obviously, before I started watching the drama. Not familiar with Peck, but am loving this song and his voice!
  23. ไม่เจ็บอย่างฉันใครจะเข้าใจ สามีตีตรา [Samee Tee Tra] 2014 OST – Fymme Bongkot
    Another beautiful ballad that really seems to suit this sad and twisted lakorn. Not that I’ve watched it as of yet. I really do like Ploy and am happy to see acting as the leading lady and not the evil female lead as those are the roles she tends to take on more.
  24. “SHINING” Supernova – Alice Nine
    They released this song as a single at the beginning of the year and now released it on a brand new album. I wanted to put this song up higher given my love for this band…but…quite honestly, many of their recent songs have been sounding of the same vein of late so it can be hard to distinguish and enjoy as much as I once did. That doesn’t change the fact that Alice Nine is awesome and their songs are good and catchy. This might be my birthday present to myself next month, lol. Definitely check out the entire album.
  25. “Dear my hero” 「Diamond days ~ココロノツバサ~/Dear my hero」  – 上野 優華 [Ueno Yuka]
    This song is slated for release later this month. I am sooooo in love with this song! I have not heard of this artist before, but am loving her 🙂
  26. 琥珀 [Amber] Blue Amber –  彭永琛 [Sean Pang]
    I am starting to get into more cantopop of late. I really do love Sean Pang’s tone of voice and this song is simple yet mesmerizing. The EP was released just last week, so this wasn’t a March release, but I discovered the promotional MV video with the song last month, thus why it’s on March’s list.
  27. “Without You” Without You – 이미쉘 [Lee Michelle]
    It’s been awhile since Lee Michelle made it to the top 10 in the first ever season of Kpop Star. She has a very soulful voice and her debut song “Without You” is explosive and amazing. Happy to see she has finally made her debut at long last. She has definitely shown more refinement and growth.
  28. 我就在你面前 [In Front of You] In Front of You – 金池 [Jin Chi]
    The song starts off slowly and at first didn’t catch my attention, but then the chorus hits and boy does it hit. Thanks to the chorus and Jin Chi’s voice, I fell in love with this song.
  29. 흔한 노래 [Ordinary Song] Ordinary Song…Ordinary Melody… – 임창정 [Lim Chang Jung]
    It is quite the ordinary song…and that is what makes this song extraordinary. It’s a soft song all the way through with simple lyrics, but Lim Chang Jung injects sooooo much emotion into this simple, ordinary song and that is what really makes this song standout…just like his explosive notes towards the end that really do almost represent a wailing of pain, etc. I really do love this song and it’s simple message.
  30. 못난놈이 웁니다 우리가 사랑할 수 있을까 [Can We Love] OST – LC.9
    After “MAMA Beat”….it’s quite a drastic change, isn’t it? It’s a fun song in its beat and rhythm and it showcases that LC.9 does indeed have some great vocals. Not watching this drama. Funny how much I love OST tracks from dramas I’m not watching and don’t necessarily plan to watch, but I hear this one is relatively good.
  31. “青春是 The Blossom of Youth” 大稻埕 [Twai-tiu-tiann] OST – Selina
    Selina Jen of the group S.H.E does have a beautiful voice. And…I really want to see this movie now watching the clips from the MV. Doesn’t it look good? Can you believe there is time travel involved of all things (according the synopsis at least)?
  32. I Am 응급남녀 [Emergency Couple] OST – 주아 [Ju-A]
    Not sure I’ve heard of this artist before, but Ju-A has an amazing voice and I really fell in love with this ballad for this drama, which again, I am not watching whatsoever, lol.
  33. 내 사람 [My Person] 내 사람 – KOHD [코드]
    Won’t lie, not familiar with KOHD, but I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out for him now. He’s got that deeper voice that really stands out in ballad groups…but not quite as deep as some of them get. He has a very pleasing voice and timbre. You can listen to him all day and not get bored 😛
  34. แล้วแต่จะคิด [I think] – คชา นนทนันท์ [Kacha Lowbat]
    h, this gets high marks for the video alone and it’s silliness. That aside I really do enjoy this song. Not available in iTunes until later this month and I’m not sure if it will come to the US iTunes store or not. YesAsia doesn’t carry it either. 😦
  35. หากว่าย้อนเวลากลับไปได้ [If You Could Turn Back Time] If You Could Turn Back Time OST – Peet Peera
    This song was originally released like 3 years ago, but it looks like it was used in the OST for a mini movie…which is available, legally, on Youtube with English subs. It looks interesting. And I love Peet Peera’s voice and guitar playing in the song.
  36. Mr. Chu Pink Blossom – Apink
    Apink, for the most part, is one of the few girl groups that doesn’t annoy me. Does that mean I like all of their songs? Nope. But I do like more of them than most girl groups. I think SHE’Z and Spica are one of the few girl groups where I’ve liked everything they’ve done to date. Anywho, love this song. It’s highly addicting, but I’m surprised by the dramatic transformation of some of the girls. I nearly didn’t recognize our Reply 1997 star Eunji.
  37. 남자답게 [Be a Man] Broken – MBLAQ
    You know the only reason this doesn’t rank higher….the falsettos and high notes. Seriously. They kind of rub me the wrong way, no offense to the boys as they do have some amazing singing skills. I am just not a huge fan of falsetto voices for some reason. I am happy to see a lot of Seung Ho singing in the chorus. G.O honestly carries most of MBLAQ’s songs. He and Seung Ho actually share the chorus parts which I am happy about. You can’t tell my bias at all in this group, can you?
  38. 하마터면 [Hamateomyeon] Almost – A-MI
    According to Topplan Entertainment’s official YouTube this song is off a mini album, but the US iTunes store only has this song as a single. Hmm. Good song. I kept singing the “hamateomyeon” with them in the chorus, lol.
  39. 뱅뱅사거리 [BANG BANG Crossroads] 뱅뱅사거리 – Single – ELECTROBOYZ
    This hip hop trio never fails to entertain. This is a highly addictive song and I just love Chakun’s voice. And the video? It’s cute. I am always happy when ELECTROBOYZ releases something new.
  40. มนุษย์ค้างคาว [Batman] Batman – Evo Nine
    Evo Nine is a Thai pop group on the rise. This song…totally addicting even though I’m not a huge fan of the more clubby beat since I’m not totally enamored with straight up dance music (i.e. electronica, dubstep, etc.). But this song…love it. It’s foot-tapping, head-bobbing goodness.

There are some great songs in numbers 41-80. Check them out, too. You might find a hidden gem that I decided not to cover. Those songs, while good, just didn’t stand out as much as the top 40 did. And…I’m not even counting the songs I’ve been listening to that are much older or…not necessarily much older. I have songs I like…on repeat…quite often. I’m bad like that. A special shout out for LJ’s song that didn’t make it into the top 40. Love the cheesy video and the song really has an easy listening vibe.

I hope you enjoyed my Easter present to you!

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