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Author Topic: 2018 In Music  (Read 1449 times)

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Offline Manimal

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2018 In Music
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:05:20 AM »
We had a thread in 2017 so now we have one in 2018 for music that comes out in the year of this one year right now.

Scandal, Honey 

On Valentine's Day Scandal are back with a 10 track album, full of rockin' and sweet elements. Their previous release Yellow took on many American styles and was a great step forward. Scandal are a band that evolves, they are past their old days while still keeping the spark alive, Honey continues to find new ground among the classic Scandal rocking. Right away on "Platform Syndrome" we hear a drum sound like the indie era, but with a much more refined tune. Rina's drums sound awesome here, and Mami is always ripping some new tones. Tomomi's basslines are popping especially on "Electric Girl", their are some crafty grooves like the verses of "Midnight City".

Haruna sings almost everything like on Yellow, but Mami gets a song with the energy filled "Oh! No!" and Rina does the verses of "Midnight City" an almost great song that is let down by the chorus. "Madwoaketara" is amazing, the best song on the album. It's a wonderful lovely R&B tune. Scandal take on the sound so well, it's great when they try new things, this track comes as quite the surprise and I instantly clicked with it. The same with "ShortShort". The album takes off in it's last half, with 5 really excellent songs. The old single "Take Me Out" is still great also and fits in well on the album. "Koisuru Universe" is mad fun also.

The group still rocks and by now they are much better at their craft, to my ears they are vastly improved from the beginning. The spirit of Scandal is high. Ever since Hello World they evolved into something of their own, Honey is another fine effort. With many fantastic new songs, it's less varied then Yellow but it's no problem as all 10 tracks do something interesting. In many ways it's a more consistent album. Good stuff!

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c24sCLSVg-E

Band-Maid, World Domination 

DAMN BAND-MAID STEPPING UP THE GAME! My God, their last release was good but they sound even more fired up with higher aims. Some of the riffs are pure 80's thrash, but in the same song it will explode into fast and hard rocking alt. rock goodness. "Domination" showcases this in the amazing lead into the chorus with some really great guitars. This is the kind of album where a song will start and I'll just raise my hands like, dude another awesome track. It just rocks, there is variety to and a mix of styles. The album takes a refreshing break near the end with the slower "Daydreaming" and the very great power ballad "Anemone".

The melodies and Saiki Atsumi's vocals are so good! On that song and on the whole album, Saiki is such a powerful rock vocalist but she shows range on this album. I love "Anemone"! It's my favorite on the album along with "Domination". Band-Maid take on J-Rock styling but add thrash, heavy metal and other elements of American rock music, mostly on the same song! It makes for a pretty great sound, and the band is much improved from before. This is their first great album. The group is a lot more then a gimmick. The gothic maids make for an interesting band dynamic, their music holds it's own very well. This album is cool.

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

Palm, Rock Island 

I don't know what's more surprising the music or the fact that a modern day indie album can actually be this shocking, interesting, creative and...new. The songs are just wild, build on a lot of looping glitchy sounds and uncertain progressions. This album is actually kind of alarming and it instantly is gripping and sounds like something I need to buy and listen to a lot. It's actually a new sound to my ears, and the style is just so perfectly strange in a way that is unexpected. As the album goes on it creates a tone of it's own, it's certainly a nice sounding record. I quite like the sounds and the world it creates, it's so unique and actually good to the ears. This is a very fascinating and compelling record.

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

GARNiDELiA and fhana are also releasing new albums on the same day next month. I hope that GARNiDELiA make a better album then Violet Cry which was a bit of a letdown after how good Linkage Ring was. Some singles like "Error" have been fairly good. and fhana, well if they can have one song as great as "Relief" on the next album then it's fine. Normally their album songs are better then the singles it seems. 

The Idol Formerly Known As Ladybaby have split..they are releasing a full length of all the singles and a few new songs, I had to order it for the nice slipcase packaging and because it's their end! Utada has a new album coming as well, pretty cool. Her music is on Spotify now! Well aside from Fantome it seems. She's also doing a domestic tour! It's nice that she is really back in business. I can imagine Seiko Oomori will have something new, if it's a full length with draw(a)drow I can only imagine what else it may hold...I imagine BiSH will do an album at the end of the year unless they split as well.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:09:08 PM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 07:52:52 AM »
Kero Kero Bonito, TOTEP   

The group goes the right direction after Bonito Generation with something different but still familiar. This four track EP has a lot of messing around. With guitars in the mix and new synth sounds. "Only Acting" is a highlight for it's glitch ending and mad tricks. "You Know How It Is" is my favorite track here, an awesome rock sound that's short and to the point. The vocals are still very melodic, Sarah's voice works really well with the music, especially on "Cinema". It's great that the group is looking for new ground, and I hope this short EP is merely a teaser for a full length like this, because this is very enjoyable.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7he2VMkz5R0   

Also Band-Maid's new album is just so good, on second listen it was like wow they really got it this time. So many just great songs! Scandal's Honey however, is not so good, it has 2 great songs and mostly good ones, but it just kind of stands as a decent album, not amazing or anything, like World Domination is.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 08:00:05 AM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 07:28:46 PM »
The Idol Formerly Known As Ladybaby, Beside U   

The first and last album by the hard rocking idols. With Ladybeard they where a funny novelty gimmick, but Rie and Rei stood their own very well as high energy and dynamic idols. What separates them from a pure Alt group like BiSH is their earnest idol spirit, not unlike Momoclo. The choruses are explosive, the vocals solid, and the music rather well done. There are some plot twists, like the change up in the second verse of "Polo" and great composition work on tracks like "Easter Bunny". My only issue is the use of screaming voices on the a-sides, it was like an attempt to have that Ladybeard growl without him. It's not bad but gets a little tiring. The group's b-sides where far better anyway, and that is where some really amazing songs lay on this collection.   

"Generation Hard Knocks" is a top notch mid tempo rock song with a catchy riff and 2000's feel. "Lady Baby Blue" is their best, and a song I love very much. I always knew it had a final sense to it, like it would end an album well, the vocals and general mood. The tracks are good here, it's just long enough. Techically it's not an album of 2018 as none of the songs where done this year but you know...release timing. The packaging is awesome, like a smaller DVD boxset with stickers, a nice photo booklet and a poster/lyric sheet. I love when effort is put into these things, it makes it all the more worth having. The group had a good run as a duo, Rei still has her rock band BRATZ. Rie is trying to continue the group with 3 new members, now flat out called Ladybaby. I wonder how they will do...still The Idol Formerly Known As Ladybaby was good while it lasted.

     
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHDIc8YzM6I 

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2018, 08:40:14 PM »
GARNiDELiA, G.R.N.D.   

The Ani-Pop duo are back at it again with a new set of tunes. With a variety of sounds from classic anime themes, 80's, house, hard bass, dubstep, tradition Japanese, Kyary/Perfume and so on. Their style is well established, and Toku continues to find neat things to put in the songs while Maria sounds great as ever. Many of the songs are based on her dance and fashion, with every single having it's own style. Some of the more interesting works are "Error" with a unique beat and synth. "Speed Star" does some cool tricks in the verse and "Love Swing" is just a full on jazz song, which breaks up the tracklist. "Tougen Renka" is the group's attempt to recreate "Gokuraku Joudo" which was a big success in the J-Dance world. It has a wicked keyboard effect with is also used on "Kureha Itoshiuta". The singles are very strong, "Desir" is a great ballad that gets loud. HEAVYGRINDER who did "Bad Boy" on the last album returns for "Poppin' Trip". Also there is a song called "Jesus" because why not. Toku continues to use the take off sound effect in virtually every track, which I never get sick of, it's GARNiDELiA's signature sound. In every verse of chorus it just takes thing off, a clever bit.

G.R.N.D. is a stronger and more consistent album than Violet Cry. The group expands a bit while keeping to the same style. The singles are strong, and there are some choice album tracks. GARNiDELiA is firmly in the Ani-Pop realm, but they are a strong enough unit to get by nicely. All this album lacks is a really good song.   

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqZfJRu-_zY   

It must be only a matter of time till Carly Rae's next album now, I expect a surprise release. Before July would be nice. Also Scandal's "Madwoaketara" has to be the song of early 2018 for me, I love love love it. Amazing track that is everything I want! Honey is actually a good album, third album confirmed it. But man "Madwoaketara" is seriously so good, like it's one of those rare songs I hear and instantly it's a 10/10 and makes a connection before the vocals start. I was hoping for a track like that on G.R.N.D.

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 10:25:17 PM »
fhana, World Atlas   

The whole time I was listening I was waiting for each song to start, hoping to find atleast one track as good as "Relief", the golden standard by which to judge fhana. Like their last two albums, it's long at 14 songs and there are plenty dull and formulaic tracks. But when things gets good and the group does new things, it's real good. "Do You Realize?" is a great track, the first real rock song by the group with the guitar as the leading instrument, it's followed by "Watashi no Tame no Monogatari" which is the strongest single from the album. "Reaching For The Cities" is a fantastic track, Towana tries kawaii rap and it's very successful, especially with the great electro sound and melodies. "Star Chart" is really great, fhana is their best when they make songs like that, I never get sick of that lovely airy J Pop sound, "Rebuilt World" is even better, really like that one. I love the way the guitar is used along the keyboards and of course the fine melodies and Towana's great singing. I didn't get one song as good as "Relief" I got a bunch of songs that are collectively as good! "Moon River" to! "Hello!My World" is a fun tune with the best chorus. This album just takes off starting with track 4, it gets a little meh by the end though.

fhana is as strong as ever, the album has a bit of a meh start. "Aozora no Rhapsody" was good in Kobayashi but it's a bit of a plain track aside from the "Ju-Ju-ya!". "World Atlas" is also a tame opener. But as with their other albums there are many great tracks here that will make way to my morning playlists and J-Pop mixtapes. The beef of the album is good. The best track is "Reaching For The Cities" closely followed by "Rebuilt World". Of course they can never again make a song as good as "Relief" which was just a perfect song in every way, one that ranks very close to the top of my favorite songs of the last few years, but there is a lot of good stuff here.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvR_Tc6kUY
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 10:28:06 PM by Manimal »

Online 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2018, 03:12:29 PM »
Keiji Haino x Sumac -
American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous To Look At Face On


Free improv/noise/noise rock guitarist Keiji Haino teams up with sludge metal band Sumac for one of his most pummeling releases yet. Between Hainos guitar work and vocal shrieks and the heavy rhythm section, the ensemble achieves something that rivals their career bests. Very good stuff if you're into the style.

https://sumac.bandcamp.com/album/american-dollar-bill-keep-facing-sideways-youre-too-hideous-to-look-at-face-on

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 11:36:59 PM »
New albums from my top 2 J Pop artists this year, yes...

Utada's is Hatsukoi, to go with the 20th anniversary of her debut First Love. It's simply the same title in Japanese. She's had 6 or so singles from it so far, and I didn't really listen to them, as I can just wait, but it seems like she's making music for her times. Someone called it Mom Pop, it pretty much is. "Play A Love Song" is the latest, this is the only bit on YouTube, it's the best I've heard because it's just fun. But man every single she's been doing has been for a product or some tie in. Still I think it will be a fine album. Mom Pop, that works. Utada didn't just come back for a one time deal, she's back in business. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ_JugKreGU

Seiko's is Kusokawa PARTY coming out in July. If this things includes draw(a)drow then Jesus. There is one new song, though not from the album I believe, "Tokyo To Kyou" which is back to her psycho acoustic days. It's actually posted on the official Tokyo channel, the video is great, Seiko looks cool and there are plenty great shots here. I always say it, but if there was one artist I wish I could understand it would be Seiko, it's like listening to Bobby without knowing English, you would miss nearly everything. I'm sure this album will be different from her last two, which where different from each other. I hope for more crazy antics and man...please put draw(a)drow and songs like it on there...that was one of the most hype singles I've witnessed ever. When I listen to it now I still go man. Love her.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtUMh7bdzWM   

Still things have been quiet on new albums...waiting for something interesting to come out. I'll just keep waiting for Barry Goldman's next one.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 11:44:50 PM by Manimal »

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 12:01:13 AM »
If you feel your in the mood for some really heavy noise rock, that Haino and Sumac album is good.

Also, I would have thought I'd be over Father John Misty. I never really checked out his last album and nothing he ever does is really stylistically all that interesting, but, man can he write and arrange a tune, and he's always got good engineers on board. His recent singles just hit the spot. "Just Dumb Enough to Try" is a really beautiful and surprisingly earnest ballad for him:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAmj-Iqwu7A

An internet friend from another life released this pretty bonkers album. Don't go into it with any expectations. They'll all be defied.
https://esmectatons.bandcamp.com

Online 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 11:25:18 PM »
The rest of the album isn't quite as good, but this track by 90s power pop band Sloan feels like a lost 90s classic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un3xVgQg-EY

Also the new Ariana Grande single is good stuff:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffxKSjUwKdU
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 11:43:43 PM by 50 Words for Paipis »

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 05:49:29 PM »
......... , [         ]

I love this. Dots are the mystery shoegaze idol group, and man they are so good. Right away "Hey" kicks off with literally every single thing that is good about shoegaze music, the guitars, the effects and unlike boring ol' stuff CLEAR VOCALS WITH GOOD MELODIES. This is the recipe for BRILLIANCE. It takes what I love about shoegaze and removes the elements I don't care for ( boring vocals with too much reverb, unless it's Loveless or Souvlaki) and adds idol elements I l love. "Hey" is just MAN I love this song, it's the dream fusion of two favorite sounds. This song is so good. "It Depends On You" has such a great vocal melody and IT HAS THAT SONIC MEGA COLLECTION PLUS MENU SCREEN STYLE KEYBOARD THAT I LOVE SO MUCH. "Soda Float Mood" is also amazing with it's keyboard sounds. "Cider" is as Loveless as it gets with that heavenly Jazzmaster grime and the whammy use as means of riffage. Then it has a mad bass popping talking breakdown and a wicked turn back to the chorus. The compositions on this album are just ace. Song after song this thing surprises. This is what I like, these kind of awesome guitars that do anything, they don't just do shoegaze a whole song, they can do anything and it's awesome. Then the fricking vocals are great and the melodies. This is just perfect, no band should ever do shoegaze again because they can't beat this record in today's day and age. The guitars on "Satellite" have defeated me, I can't even right now. 

Alt Idols man, most exciting scene in music today if you ask me.This is not just Loveless with idols it has elements of it's own. It's such a perfect blend but also with some cool keyboard sounds, and just...awesome melodies. Many claps for Dots debut record, if this is just a one time thing then damn they did well. Best album I've heard this year so far, EASILY. This album just WORKS and it works so well. Frick man. This is so good. This is too good. This is what I want to hear man, it's melodic and it's badass. It's not boring and plain, it's not depressing or downbeat, it's not all weirdo and lamely experimental (Rock Island was awesome though), it's uptempo and fricking awesome but has emotion still in the progressions and guitar. I can likely write on forever about how awesome this album is and why I instantly clicked with it, but such a thing is not necessary. 

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls9pTcdVayg

Below are boring albums in comparison. Who even cares about this stuff now that I listened to that album...fricking frick man.

Kimbra, Primal Heart   

Her new album, and the first I've heard from her. Primal Heart is a rather enjoyable set of pop tunes. It has good sounds, and good vocals with some catchy bits. It's not the most creative, but I quite enjoy it. It takes some modern styles and does decent things with it. Straight forward, which is not bad, and the airy production with occasion 80's elements is good, "Right Direction" mostly with the keyboards. Kimbra's vocals are good, I really like "Top Of The World" with her fast delivery, it's the best song on the album.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4FApt6z55c

Camila 

One of pop's newest stars and her debut album, with all the new sounds and production elements of this era's chart toppers. With the upbeat club songs and many spacious ballads. A tint of Latin music is over tracks like...obviously "Havana", it's not as upfront as I imagined however. As if putting some horns or whatever is suddenly "embracing Cuban styles". This style doesn't last very long either. Camila sings in that sort of annoying voice at first, seen right away on "Never Be The Same". I do not like this style of singing, I actually prefer the ballads, they are very bare with few instruments, and no clicking hi-hats. Her vocals are much stronger on these songs, but it's not like the other songs are that bad. I quite like "Real Friends" with it's casual mood, not dramatic just a nice easy going drumless tune. It's ballad heavy, but not too bad of a listen. Some good tracks here and there.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg7RjxsghNY     
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 07:08:34 PM by Manimal »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 08:32:19 PM »
Wait is dots there really shoegaze? I thought this was shoegaze

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0SFLuxJ_H0

Damn, how do you go through so many albums at once anyways? Ipod? Car radio?

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 08:57:56 PM »
Dots has the shoegaze style in the guitars, not the vocals, some songs more than others. The most obvious shoegaze is "Hey", the album opener that obviously lifts the snare hit from "Only Shallow". I love the guitars on this album, especially here as it packs a mighty punch. Then the clear vocals with tight melodies just make everything great for me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7M5dfe4oMs   

I listen on Spotify or whatever, some days I just like to listen to a ton of albums, it's a nice way to just chill out. I like to chain my records as well if I get a good time to do so, I always go album to album, sometimes I think what I want to hear next while the album I'm on is only halfway done.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 09:07:54 PM »
Okay hell yes now I understand.

How do they make the guitars sound sound soul-pulling and far away?

Offline Manimal

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 09:31:45 PM »
The magic of like 10,000 effects pedals. Get that reverb, delay and chorus going. Also there are a lot of tracks at once. It's a mighty sound I wish I could pull off as well, the guitars on that song say so much to me. 

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Re: 2018 In Music
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2018, 11:03:39 PM »
Sounds like the lead guitar is a delay before a fuzz. Signal chain is a big thing in shoegaze.

Here is a pretty great American Primitivism record released this year:
https://boringmachines.bandcamp.com/album/maurizio-abate-standing-waters

Like John Fahey with the prettiness of Robbie Basho.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 11:06:21 PM by 50 Words for Paipis »