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Author Topic: 2021 In Music  (Read 1397 times)

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Offline Manimal

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2021 In Music
« on: January 15, 2021, 01:25:55 PM »


A general discussion thread for everything 2021 in music.



BAND-MAID, Unseen World

The rocking maids bring their forth full on studio album. All 13 tracks are fully written by the band. This is the most relentless and heavy duty album they have made yet. There are no soft songs and very few moments to take a breath. This album kicks it up from the first 14 seconds of "Warning!" to the end. CONQUEROR saw the band do some different things and experiment with their sound. Unseen World is a more confident and tight release.

"Chemical Reaction" is an awesome song that has some cool riffs and small details. Miku thankfully gets a song with "Sayonakidori" which is fantastic and the best song on the album. I sort of like Miku's voice more than Saiki's. She gives a lot of awesome shouts on the album. Saiki is amazing here though, very strong performances. "Giovanni" has that classic BAND-MAID craft where the second verse goes into a different direction, Misa takes over and leads the song with her cool basslines. There are a lot of really cool bits like the echoey vocal section in "Honkai". That song is an overload with the sheer amount of stuff happening every few seconds. "Black Hole" is just way too much to decode, Akane is going utterly insane on the drums.

While this album is strong I am not instantly taken by it. There are a lot of songs in the first half that blend together and it lacks in hooks. I wish it had a ballad like "anemone" to slow down the pace. There is no great highlight like that song or "Daydreaming" to break up the busy instrumentals and constant musical shifts. "Why Why Why" is the closest we have to that and it's, fine. CONQUEROR wasn't great on my first listen either so I'll see how it grows on me. "Chemical Reaction", "Sayonakidori" and "Giovanni" were the ones that stood out on first listen.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FWuMx_pkH4
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 01:59:58 PM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2021 In Music
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2021, 01:59:24 PM »
Aina The End, THE END

This is the long overdue debut solo album from Aina The End. It has 12 songs which Aina wrote the lyrics and (I believe) compositions for. There is a whole range of styles with most of them being softer ballads. It shows a maturity and vulnerability from Aina. Her raw vocals convey a lot of emotion and she is given the chance to do what she wants to here. I was unsure how it would be since I wasn't impressed by the singles, but this is quite a solid album. It has a good flow, with enough upbeat songs to not get boring. The ballads are solid as well, with many soft relaxing ones. I do prefer the energetic songs though. "NaNa" is driven by a cool piano riff, "STEP by STEP" is a full on Rocker and "Cactus Girl" is the highlight. This is a very positive and fun Pop number. I think I will be listening to this tune a lot this year.

I believe 2021 will be the last year of BiSH. All signs are pointing to it. They had a livestreamed event on New Years where they performed every single song in many of their different outfits. They recently did a concert with updated versions of their debut album costumes as well. Atsuko is getting some acting gigs, Ayuni is established in her Rock band PEDRO and now Aina has finally released a solo album. Aina has had what it takes to be successful on her own for a while. This is a good album that feels like something she put all her heart into it.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIUBI1t7UME   

The record labels for Aina (Avex) and Ayuni's PEDRO (EMI) pit the two against each other. Aina's solo album came out this week and PEDRO's single "Tokyo" comes out next week. In 2018 Aina and Chicchi, the captain of BiSH, released their debut singles together and their management surprise dropped Ayuni's debut music video the same day, which no one knew was coming. Honestly Ayuni's solo stuff is more interesting but I hope this recent move benefits Aina because the album is quite good. The b-side for PEDRO's upcoming single was released and it's a really great song! I love these slower more melodic tunes from PEDRO more than the loud Rock songs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGddhauAmxo   

BAND-MAID released a single "About Us" which is great! I love their Pop songs. They bring so much energy and life to them. Unseen World was lacking without a softer tune so this was a pleasant surprise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_I4EiSLhg0   
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 02:04:28 PM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2021 In Music
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2021, 09:31:28 AM »
SCANDAL's new song "eternal" is REALLY GOOD! Oh my, I love it so much. My favorite SCANDAL songs are these softer ones. The instrumental is fantastic and the vocals are lovely. This is such a great tune. Their singles after Kiss From The Darkness have been really strong! This is an awesome song to begin SCANDAL's 15 anniversary. 15 years with the same line-up and consistent albums is amazing. They have improved so much from the start.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-174Ji-llSM 

More solo BiSH projects!

Ayuni has a new video for PEDRO, "Teinei na Kurashi". I am kind of obsessed with this video, I absolutely love it. We see Ayu in a way we haven't before. She's a total frat boy here, drinking, looking stoned out her ass, chilling in a messy apartment and dancing crazily. I absolutely love the visual of Ayu chilling in a shopping cart full of junk food, drinking out of a carton of juice and eating Cheetos. I didn't think I could love her even more but here we are. Ayuni is just my favorite. Oh ya the song is good also. PEDRO's music is really on a roll right now, every song has been good to great. Add this to my list of favorite music videos ever among multiple Seiko Oomori and BiSH ones.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JprqpzINE_Q                                         

Someone give Aina The End a break! She has two new music videos and a four song EP out. "His and My Bookshelf" is great and Aina looks absolutely stunning in the video. The frame rate is really weird and choppy. "Who Are You?" reflects the other side of her music. It's a pretty cool song and I love Aina's vocals on it. The video is pretty cool as well. I love where Aina's headed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSvCkHup5Q8 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3adoWfNphk 

LingLing did vocals on a song which is decent. The verses are fast talk singing and it has a melodic chorus. I like the song, it reminds me of J-Pop in 2017 like E-TICKET PRODUCTION. This is the best she has ever sounded on a song aside from the BiSH ones where she screams like "OS" and "Am I Frenzy?". The video has a pretty unsettlingly strange visual of LingLing flying a kite of herself which is fittingly weird for her.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxjx2wC7_O8     

Aimyon's new song "On a Cherry Blossom Night" is pretty solid! I just love her voice so much.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh_xXqsOGHA

Japanese Breakfast has a new album out soon. I'm not a big fan, mostly I'm hoping she makes another song as amazing as "The Woman Who Loves You". This new song "Be Sweet" is pretty good and has a fun video. I actually quite enjoy the song. I'll listen to the album when it's out. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZfcZEIo6Bw 

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2021 In Music
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2021, 09:18:56 AM »
Lorde, Solar Power 

Oh.

I didn't have a good feeling about this album right from the start. "Solar Power" was a highly underwhelming single after 4 years and the cover was so awful I couldn't believe it was real. I wasn't expecting Melodrama 2, I mean that is one of those special once in a career albums that can never be topped. But this album was still underwhelming.

The new sound was alright but a lot of the songs sounded similar and it was a very dull feeling record. A few tracks like "Mood Ring" really popped out and had nice instrumentation. The opening song "The Path" was very good as well. But in a way this album feels like a friend that you can't relate to anymore. I felt connected to Lorde's songs like "The Louvre", "A World Alone" and "Supercut" on a tonal level. But on this album, I don't know. I ain't feeling it. Even the lyrics, they didn't stand out to me.

I'll give it another try and see if it grows on me but my first impressions are "meh".

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P103bWMdvtA 

BiSH, GOiNG TO DESTRUCTiON

I've only listened to this once so far, and I even got the deluxe edition, but my first impressions are good.

There are some really solid tunes here and some of the BiSH edge. "STORY OF DUTY" was a real return to their beginnings. "Kuruu Kuruu" has some really interesting weird verses. The choruses could be from EMPiRE or any other WACK group though. It didn't really feel like BiSH. "in case..." and "ZENSHiN ZENREi" are the most rocking songs, they're good. I feel the album has too many ballads but atleast they aren't boring.   

BiSH songs tend to grow on me over time. Ones that I first thought were dull like "Superhero Music" become favorites. So with more listens this album could be really solid. Still, GOiNG TO DESTRUCTiON flows well and is an enjoyable listen. BiSH is past their prime but I'm happy they're still around as a group. The video for "STACKiNG" is great, I love Ayuni as an old fashioned paper boy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_6uaeq1dLU

Japanese Breakfast, Jubilee

Now this is a really great album that I didn't expect.

I thought her last album was meh but this one is awesome. I've listened to it a few times and it's a record I'm sure I'll continue to put on when the mood hits. Jubilee has an excellent vibe and strong songs. They're catchy, instrumentally great, and Michelle's vocals are lovely here. She really hit a creative high here. All the songs are great and there is enough variety to keep it interesting. "Be Sweet" is a really strong Indie Pop jam. "Slide Tackle" is my favorite song here. "Posing in Bondage", "Savage Good Boy" and "In Hell" are the other highlights. This is certainly my favorite release of 2021 so far.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-EMiEpXLJg 

SCANDAL's latest single "Ivory" has Mami on vocals! This is another great song, I love to hear her vocals. SCANDAL is cooking up something great, their previous single "Eternal" was fantastic as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B88LWNUwuNM 

I didn't post about Miku from BAND-MAID's solo project cluppo. At first it seemed like an April Fools joke but now we have a second song and video. "PEACE&LOVE" was a pretty great song. I really liked this one and just hearing Miku sing more is awesome. She has a really solid voice and every BAND-MAID song she sings lead on is awesome. This song has a nice style.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR-FPvYgPjM 

"Flapping wings" is not as good. I feel like the mix is off and some instrumental elements are too overbearing here. The tune itself is alright, but the keyboard strings gotta chill out. Still I hope for an EP or something from cluppo, I just want to hear more Miku songs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0cr7nh6NCI 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 09:25:59 AM by Manimal »