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Author Topic: 2020 In Music  (Read 2363 times)

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Offline Manimal Claus

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Re: 2020 In Music
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2020, 08:52:29 AM »
Ai Furihata, the seiyuu of Ruby from Love Live Sunshine, has her first solo single "CITY" and I love this song. As the title suggests it's a throwback City Pop song, and it's a total jam. Ai was the last member of Aqours I expected to make good solo music. While the other's have released largely dull singles this song is instantly great from the opening drum fill. This played on Spotify automatically and it took me a minute to realize that it's a) New and b) Ruby's seiyuu.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93pQ1v4b_T0 

the peggies latest "Centimeter" is a good song in their signature fashion. This group has really come into their own in the last year, and they're keeping busy. All their crafty songwriting elements are present in this song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hLZ2OchZ8

Aimer's new single "SPARK-AGAIN" is sort of standard Anime Song fare but since it's Aimer she gives that special touch to the song with her awesome husky voice. This is an enjoyable energetic track. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adMrd-qb5Os   

Silent Siren released a new album "mix10th". I found it so dull I couldn't even write a review. It shows their progression instrumentally and brings a lot of energy and great drumming. However none of the songs stood out to me and it was just...alright.

BiSH's "Super Hero Music" has become a jam for me. At first I was like...it's okay...but now I love it. Another BiSH classic I think.

Offline Manimal Claus

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Re: 2020 In Music
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
Anna Takeuchi, MATOUSIC 

The debut album from an artist I just heard of today. Anna at first appears to be an acoustic wielding singer songwriter but there is a lot more of interest. She has lots of 70's and 80's influence and yet this album comes across as rather fresh. It's not a throwback project. Her vocals are great, there is a similar bright, direct and youthful quality that reminds me of Yui. She gets into some fast singing bits and uses lots of great English phrases. The instrumentals are so fun, with all the electro elements. It's a bit of a one note album but I think this is very promising as a debut. I will be looking out for future releases from her.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX4AV6MPc_o 

Aimyon, I Heard That There's Good Pasta

Aimyon is an artist who's been on my radar for a bit, but I've never listened to one of her albums until now. She's also very popular but not to Western audiences. I was looking up what I could about Aimyon, there is a lot of information in English thankfully. I wish I could understand her music because she seems really interesting. I don't always feel like I'm missing out on the full picture with J-Pop but Aimyon's music makes me feel that way since I miss out on the expression that comes out in her lyrics. That said her talent is quite evident. "Harunohi" is a fantastic song, it has a bit of a 2000's J-Pop feel. These are very well put together songs and her voice is absolutely wonderful. She has such a great vocal tone and I love listening to her singing. I really enjoyed these songs and I'll certainly be going back to these songs.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfGI91CFtRg   

chelmico, maze 

chelmico got everyone's attention with "Easy Breezy" the opening song to Eizouken. It's such a weird fun song that you can't help but love. They are a rap duo that make insanely enjoyable music. They have a very cool sound and songs like "Limits" have such great production. There is a lot to take in so I'll have to listen again, this a great album and really overflowing with creative spirit.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gQ0ALMOkBs 

Machine Gun Kelly, Tickets To My Downfall

Why did I listen to this album? I was curious. This is an outright Pop Punk album that uses all the cliches. The lyrics are...well..."If I was a painter I'd be a depressionist". That's a cherry picked example, it's not all that bad but it reeks of an immature burnout who hasn't grown past his emo phase. "bloody valentine" is actually a pretty good song however, that is what made me give this album a chance. I really enjoy the song! The lyrics aren't totally awful and the instrumental is very good. I don't like Halsey but her feature isn't too bad on "forget me too" and she adds something to the song. The songs are all very short here, there are actually some good ones like "WWIII" that could of been longer.

There is an interlude of him on shrooms talking to his friend on the phone pretending to be aliens. It actually made me laugh and ease up on the album. From that point on I enjoyed all the songs. "concert for aliens" was pretty fun and "my ex's best friend" is simply a good track. There is something I enjoyed about this record. The idea sounds like the worst thing ever but it's so fun when you realize it's not serious.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk49Sr8sZmw

Ayuni D of BiSH is going to play at Budokan with her Rock band PEDRO next year. This is absolutely insane since the goal of both BiS and BiSH has been to do Budokan. BiS never got there and BiSH hasn't got there yet, although they have become quite popular thanks to their tie-in songs. Most recently BiSH did a song for Call Of Duty mobile which was honestly pretty good and truly representative of the old BiSH spirit. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blOYboCkgDQ

BAND-MAID will also play Budokan next year and come out with a new album. I'm very interested to see where they go since CONQUEROR saw them doing some different things and coming into their own as artists more.

Seiko Oomori has had some singles this year but honestly, I'm not thrilled by them. She changed her image to look a lot more idol and I really wonder where she's going musically. "Re:Re: Love" was such a great single last year. Her idol group ZOC has had a crazy year and are about to do their major label debut. There is a lot of drama within ZOC and a bit of an unstable line-up. I hope they can pull together because they have a lot of potential shown by their three singles. 

Ac/Dc (whoa something not J-Pop in this post) will have a new album next month. I thought Rock or Bust would be their last record. It kind of said we're old but still doing our thing. But no, they got another one in them. Malcolm's spirit will live on since they used riffs and demos he'd made. Ac/Dc had a very crazy period towards the end of the Rock Or Bust tour with an insane line-up change. Who would of thought you'd see Axl Rose sing with Ac/Dc. But now they are back to the Back In Black line-up minus Malcolm. I think the album will be something I only listen to once and be like "alright". Won't complain about new music from my second favorite band though.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 08:32:19 AM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal Claus

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Re: 2020 In Music
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2020, 11:50:15 AM »
Bruce Springsteen, Letter To You 

When Bruce records with the E-Street Band it's always worth listening to. For this new album they recorded it live in the studio in just a few days. Clarence Clemons' nephew Jake takes over on the saxophone. Three songs Bruce wrote prior to his first album are redone here. Over his career Bruce has been able to adapt his sound as he ages. This has made for great albums like The Rising and Wrecking Ball past his peak in the late 80's. Letters To You is not much different from his last few albums. It has all the trademark elements of his music. The early songs stand out for their more abstract lyrics, otherwise the melodies and vocal deliveries are fairly predictable. The instrumentation is good and the live feeling comes across. Bruce has always needed the E-Street Band and this album shows that clearly.

I admit I am very biased against late career albums from my favorite artists, even my ultimate hero in music Bruce. I don't think I'll be listening to this album very often but it has it's moments. I do like the songs "I'll See You In My Dreams", "Janey Needs A Shooter", "The Power Of Prayer" and "Ghosts" especially. "I'll See You In My Dreams" really stands out with it's lyrics, it's a great way to end the album. Jake Clemons does a good job on the sax in the rare instances of it here. "Ghosts" is the album's strongest song, it has great melodies. Overall it's nice that Bruce has given us a new album with the E-Street Band as it's meant to be. I'll listen to it a couple more times but one first impressions it's good but nothing hits me hard like Bruce albums normally do.

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

Seiko Oomori's new album Kinstugi comes out in December. She says it's an album about "sharp parts, dirty parts, and cute parts of human beings". Although I haven't been thrilled by her recent singles this is still exciting. Kusokawa Party was two years ago after all. I won't be buying the album until I hear it this time however. "Re: Re: Love" and "JUSTadICE", two strong singles from last year, are not included.   

I actually really like Ariana Grande's latest single "Positions". I stopped giving her a chance after Dangerous Woman but damn she's gotten way better since then. I'll listen to her new album when it comes out on Friday.

EDIT: I listened to a bit of the album and I didn't like it. Atleast I enjoy one song off of it.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 01:13:55 PM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal Claus

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Re: 2020 In Music
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2020, 01:05:43 PM »
Ai Furihata, Moonrise

Ai completely shocked me with the release of "CITY", an amazing City Pop throwback song that perfectly captured the old J-Pop feel. The thing most surprising about this is that she voiced Ruby in Love Live Sunshine. Not to disrespect her performance but Ruby was a very high voiced character with an awful singing voice. When "CITY" autoplayed on Spotify I thought it was an 80's song and I could of never guessed it was a seiyuu I knew. Most of the other Love Live seiyuus have released highly generic J-Pop, the norm. Ai Furihata on the other hand has completely distanced herself from that with this EP.

So "CITY" is amazing and a total jam. From first listen it's utterly undeniable. Extremely catchy, memorable and endlessly relistenable. "Cinderella Time" is fun and "Y no Higeki" is super catchy. "Love Song wo Kakete" has a tropical feel, the instrumental is fantastic. "Poolside Cocktail" brings the synth pop elements, it's a nice laid back track. I do wish the EP had another jam like "CITY" but overall this was a fun listen with good variety. You get the feeling Ai got to make the kind of music she actually wanted to. I'll be interested to see what she does in the future. Ai was nerfed in Love Live Sunshine and now we can hear her true voice.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-opih4IDXY   

Ac/Dc, POWER UP

Ac/Dc will always be my second favorite band but the prospect of new music doesn't excite me. I thought they were finished and released their final album in 2014 with Rock Or Bust. I'm happy to see them come back and continue to live out the spirit that the band has always had. Fans are loving this album, detractors are pulling their typical BS (they will never fundamentally understand Ac/Dc). But for me it's just...fine. It's extra bonus content, not something I'm going to listen to much. Ac/Dc in my opinion have been creatively bust since 1990. There have been some good songs since then but nothing with the same spark "Thunderstruck" brought the band.

Power Up is a nice tribute to Malcolm Young and it's just the band doing their thing. It has great production and Brian Johnson still has a strong voice. The songs are...fine. The only element that is lacking to me are Angus' solos which just pass by. The album has some decent moments like "Realize" and "Demon Fire". Some riffs stand out also like on "Code Red". I would say it's a stronger release overall than Rock Or Bust however it will likely end up as forgettable with me. Ac/Dc have always been a legacy band to me. I will always love the records from High Voltage to Blow Up Your Video, they truly energize and excite me. But this record, it's a nice bonus and that's it for me. Ac/Dc have never strayed from their path and in my opinion they are one of the most respectable Classic Rock bands ever.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLA70huskTk

Charli XCX, how i'm feeling now (Relisten)

My second full listen. Charli's albums tend to be bumpy for me. I love so many of her songs but her albums are always full of songs I find completely unlistenable like "Click" & "Shake It". how i'm feeling now begins with "Pink Diamond" which falls into that category. But then we have "Forever", a song I really like. It feels weird to listen to since it's completely associated with April and May for me. It's like hearing a distant past. "detonate" has become my favorite song on the album. It's everything good about Charli's music. I love every song from "Forever" to "party 4 u". "anthems" is...meh. I like the instrumental but not the vocal parts. So with this album there is one song I would outright skip "Pink Diamond", one song I'm meh about "anthems" and then 9 great songs. I might order the record for the sheer number of excellent tracks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-NS9hnmWN4

I can't believe I dismissed Seiko Oomori's song "counter culture" it's actually damn amazing! Such a great track! That said her new song "Night On The Planet" is just...not good. In fact I think it's one of her worst songs yet. I have no idea what to expect for the new album with singles this inconsistent.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb9okL26NtA 

I relistened to kitixxgaia the other day and I still love that album! It's so damn good and it perfectly summarized what 2017 was like for alternative J-Pop. Kusokawa Party didn't have the longevity of kitixxxgaia, TOKYO BLACK HOLE and Sennou for me. I still absolutely love the first 7 songs but the last half doesn't live up to that. I'm very curious to see what Seiko's going to do on this new album.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 03:58:32 PM by Manimal »