June Tunes 2014
This is long overdue, I know. Everything kind of gets away from me in the summer. I guess it doesn’t help that I started a new hobby which takes a lot of time. But, at the same time, I’m on the computer more than I’m not, so I think it’s a good thing to finally have a hobby that takes me away from tablets and computers for extended periods of time.
Another interesting thing about doing these posts is figuring out the order I want songs to flow in, and to realize just how my opinions have changed on songs since I first listened to them in June. Like, when History came out with “Psycho” I wasn’t a huge fan as I was still very much enamored with their last release in November/December of 2013 and “Psycho” had some similar sounds to that song without being as good and now…I love the song. It just took awhile to grow on me. Also, I noticed when doing the ordering and reordering and reordering again and again over the past few months is that my proclivity is for rock and ballad with dance music and straight up pop moving farther down the list. Can’t really say why that is, it just is.
I know this probably shouldn’t count, but my absolute favorite song for June was Weibird Wei/William Wei’s “Drained” which was released on his March album Journey Into the Night. Linfair just uploaded an MV for the song which really seems to fit the achingly beautiful ballad.
GILLE released a special edition of her EP Try Again. You can also get this song on her recently released album Treasures. I absolutely love the song and the MV really does fit the song very well which help adds to the overall feel of the song and I do believe the people in the MV are real people and not actors. Younha has been quite active this year and I’m happy about that. I am absolutely in love with her ballad “Umbrella”—she has such a sweet and unadorned voice and way of singing. She was a real sweetie when she was starring on Immortal Songs 2.
Another older song is Lisa Halim featuring JAY’ED with “Setsunai kurai, aishiteta.” which seems to be the theme for an very interesting Japanese movie, which I unfortunately can’t find anywhere, but with the clips I really want to see it. The song itself has a very sad title and is just beautiful. Also, another older song, but not as old as the previous one, is Ian Chen’s “Láng yǔ yáng”—another ballad! This song is from Ian’s, debut I think, album 允文允舞 which was released this past May and is filled with many awesome goodies. I’m definitely watching out for more from him.
I’ve been in love with Deep for a long time now. They are just an awesome group and can really harmonize well. I don’t think there’s a song of theirs that I don’t like and their song “Just the Way You Are” is no exception. Another artist I’ve loved, this one from his debut, is Bii. The song, again, isn’t new and was released earlier this year on a collaboration album with Dino, Ian Chen, and Andrew Tan, but Linfair just released an MV with lots of BTS scenes of Bii and the boys and it’s suiting for the song—“Find the Way”.
So from a ballad overload we go to a fun, upbeat rock song that was a great summer jam. The band is KNOCK OUT MONKEY and the song is “Wonderful Life”. The song and the MV really make me happy. And from that peppy rock song we slow things back down with Lee Seung Chul and his contribution to the You’re All Surrounded OST—“I’m In Love”. I didn’t watch the drama at all, but I fall in love with lots of OSTs and I don’t necessarily watch the dramas they belonged to. And keeping in the vein of OSTs, we have R-9 with their song เธอคือรัก from the จุดนัดภพ OST. I just love this song. I listened to it on repeat quite often.
Taeyang. He almost made it into the top 10, but sadly he’s number 11. There really is something completely addictive about his song “Eyes, Nose, Lips” from his solo album Rise. I actually waited to check out the song until the end of June and then wondered why I stayed away from it. Kind of off topic, but recently I discovered Topp Dogg did a cover of this song with their vocalists. It’s quite good. You also need to listen to Eric Nam’s English cover. Total awesomeness. Following up this ballad is a more upbeat pop song with Licana’s “Rescue Me” from her album Life. I give props whenever good English is used in songs. I’m happy that the song makes sense and that the English is clear and good.
More favorites discovered this month that are quite a few years old now comes with io. I love this band. Both “Real” and “Flaw” are awesome songs…that I can’t seem to find anywhere, which is sad. But you can check out their other awesome albums. Keeping in the vein of rock is Jung Joon Young with “Teenager” from his EP of the same name. He has such a great voice, unique in the kpop world, and I just love his music. Another great rock song is Takui Nakajima’s “Forget and Forgive” which has an MV with English lyrics. We’re starting to see that a little more with certain Japanese channels on YouTube, which is completely awesome. You can get the song from the single album Donna Koto Ga Attemo / Wasurete Shimaeyo Yurushite Shimaeyo.
How apropos that Ra.D composes the song “Fly Away” and we get to see him learning how to sky dive. I’m way too much of a fraidy cat to attempt such a thing. Anywho, it’s a fun and relaxing song and the BTS are really cute and interesting. And from that fun and mellow song, we get a BTS MV of Takers with their song “Wish You Call Me Oppa” which sounds a lil awkward. The title, not the song. It’s a beautiful ballad. These two are great. I just love female Thai artist Pajika. She contributes to a lot of Thai lakorn OSTs it seems. Her song “I Want to Know You” is just gorgeous and belongs to the soundtrack to ครีบนี้หัวใจมีเธอ which is a lakorn revolving around a mermaid who falls in love with a human. Must be a popular drama since Korea did a mermaid drama this year as well.
I’ve been following Hello Sleepwalkers since their debut…er…rather I heard about them pre-debut and then didn’t rediscover them again until like last year. What have I been missing? I really love their song “Ray of Sunlight” which uses a lot of English and it actually makes sense. Being an English major that makes me very happy. The song actually hasn’t been released yet. The album it’s on is forthcoming this month called Liquid Soul and Solid Blood…what an interesting name.
Time to take a break from ballads and rock music with the pleasing airs of B.A.P’s “Eodini? Mwohani?” I do like the break from their powerful songs an the MV is adorkable. And from that mellow song we go to the slow, yet upbeat, “Crazy” from N-SONIC who I’m really starting to like. I remember when I still got confused between them and N-Train, just because of the names doing the N then hyphen. The rap flows well with the vocals on this song well. And while a girl is driving those boys crazy, History proves they’re already permanent residents in crazy town with “Psycho” from their aptly named EP Desire and a very interesting MV and concept that fits well with the song.
And from the dark comeback of history, we get to Say Yes. I wasn’t really enamored with them per se when they debuted, but I really have been liking each subsequent song. Their song “Get Out” is highly addictive and that drummer and the whistling really just add something to the song somehow. They have two versions. One version of the song they are playing with dual drums which is actually something you don’t see very often in bands. The other version is with the one drummer playing that solo drum. I will say that I’m not 100% enamored with the rap in the song, but that’s about it. And from idol rock band we go to indie pop rock band ONEr and their song “Rewind”, which was released on their first album Stardust in July. It’s an interesting mix and I do really enjoy it.
San E and Rania’s collaboration was a welcome surprise. Although their song “A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness” does have strains of a Christmas carol which was a little off-putting at first, but it works and it’s an awesome collaboration. From that sweet duet we move onto the haunting song “Kokoro no Tegami” (No. 28 on the list) by Yamazaki Masayoshi. It’s just very beautiful. I’d really love to figure out where I can find this stripped down and awesome song. So far no luck in finding it. I did manage to track down Nakamura Ataru’s gorgeous song 幾歳月 from her single album Ikutoshitsuki and it’s another hauntingly beautiful vocals that work well with the melody. Keeping in the vein of beautiful songs is A-Do (construction worker turned superstar). He really does have a beautiful voice and it’s very apt that the video for “Home” shows people building one. Sad that it’s another song I can’t find a CD for.
Have you heard of A&P Play? Their song “Island” really does have a haunting quality to it and is just gorgeous. I love the montage of all these different island scenes. The song is from the EP Identity. The Empty Room is a compilation album featuring several Thai singers. I’ve featured a few of their songs. You should definitely check out the entire album. K.Will came back! Not with a heartfelt ballad, but with the cute and upbeat “Day 1” starring a geeky Park Min Woo. It just added to K.Will’s awesome vocals to see this little love story play out. And speaking of fun MVs…D=Out latest was hilarious just because it’s the band walking into a fighter ring with the cries of adoring fangirls screaming their names. It’s “Last Hurray” is a fairly typical song from D=Out, but it’s still a good song and you can find it on their album Zenshin Zenrei Oka Shu which was released this past July. Then there’s The Solutions with the addictive “Movements” and NOA with “3Days of April” which are both completely in English. The Solutions’ song made more sense than NOA’s as NOA’s does seem to be just a whole bunch of random English phrases strung together. Sandwiched in between these two English songs is Royz with “Revelation” which has the band playing in rings of fire. Hot. Literally. I do like this better I think than the last release I remember from them. You can find the song on their 3rd album Core.
We move back to OSTs briefly with James Ruangsak’s contribution to Soo San Khon Pen – อย่ามารักฉันเลย. And Kim Jaejoong contributes a song to the OST for his drama that I didn’t watch. The plot of Triangle just didn’t float my boat and I never liked the previews. I do like his song “But I”, though. Gummy’s contibuted to a lot of soundtracks, but this time she comes back with her own album and the song “I Loved…Have No Regrets”. She really does show how dynamic she can be with the softer part of the ballad where it does almost sound like crying for some reason to me and then her totally belting out the notes later. We then go to a wonderful duet featuring Addison Lo and Gillian Chung 星星的眼淚 from her EP. The two’s voices go really well together and it’s a very beautiful song.
You would think BEAST would make it up higher on the list, but nope. I do like their song “No More” as well as the video that goes with it. Is it just me or does it seem like Kikwang has less singing parts now than he used to? I haven’t followed LC9 too much as their debut song “Mama Beat” wasn’t really my cup of tea, so I didn’t even know they came back after losing some members. I do love their single “East of Eden” much better than their debut song. I love ballads…I don’t necessarily like R&B for some reason. 1BIC are very much an R&B duo and sometimes I really like their songs and sometimes not. “Walk Backward” is one song that really caught my attention. The soft beginning and explosive vocals and the interesting MV of the couple struggling to run away from each other, but are tied together at the waist.
U-KISS came back with such a naughty video for their song “Quit Playing” from Mono Scandal. I like U-KISS, but don’t necessarily follow their news, so I was shocked to learn they had a new member. Since he is so young, they gave him a lot less risqué scenes. It’s a good song…not sure how I actually feel about the MV. After releasing a single at the end of May, N-Sonic was back with “Pop Beyond” and they just have songs that really grow on you and become addicting. Really am loving them now. And Boyfriend is transitioning from cuties to tough young men. I really enjoyed their songs “Alarm” and “Obsession” from their EP Obsession. No matter how tough and manly they try to be, they are still very boyish in many ways. CROSS GENE actually released a new song in Korea. They’ve been heavily promoting in Japan more so than Korea. I wasn’t happy when my favorite vocalist left to pursue a solo career, but his replacement does have an awesome voice. I do like the song “Amazing – Bad Lady”. On a whole, their vocal skills aren’t up to par with other groups, but they are improving and they do have at least one really strong vocalist. And I have no idea where you can actual buy this song because I can’t find it on my usual sites.
ZE:A came back as a whole group with “Breathe” – it’s a typical sounding ZE:A song. That isn’t a bad thing as their songs are good, they just don’t get a lot of recognition as a whole group. I really do love this song. Halo debuted with “Fever” and they are fairly decent rookies. My complaint with the song comes from the upbeat pop melody taking a heavy club beat for a major dance break. It just doesn’t work for the song at all. Other than that, it’s a good song. Got7 released a song I actually like. I didn’t like “Girls Girls Girls”. I didn’t like their follow up track song they promoted. Neither were my cup of tea. “A” was surprisingly a song that I could like and enjoy. It’s a fun song with a fun MV and a fun dance.
June had some overall great releases. I also discovered older music that I totally love. You can view the whole playlist on YouTube here: