What I said last year... came true.
I don't know how to start this genre-searching, artist-loving segment so let's just start from when. When I said last year that I'll augment my music exploration in 2016, although I was earnest I wasn't committed to doing that. The then-incoming year saw spotlight on NEWS, and my new KPop fandoms also started to get exciting--I thought, 2016 would be a year of settling on the artists I discovered on/before 2015. In short, no new fandoms please!!! Focus on your existing loves!!!
Well, it turned out that 2015 was just a taste test. Because in 2016, that's where the buffet began to be served.
Window shopping, genre hopping
For the true love of genres, I studied them. There were probably almost 10 times I hooked up *LOL* with Wiki-kun *LooOOoL* and other sites to randomly research about Rock and is subgenres, Electronic and its subgenres; refresh my knowledge of Classical music eras, etc. The result, I got better at identifying genres. It's a small dream of mine to hear songs and identify their precise genre in a snap. For example, knowing that Blood, Sweat and Tears by BTS is Tropical House just by listening to its first 10 seconds.
No one can deny (except EXO-Ls? hahaha) that this is the grandest KPop release of the year. I still didn't get into KPop boys, though.
Genre is like food; both are/have flavors, it's inevitable to pick your tastes. Power Pop is one. I think this is pretty apparent in my fondess for hyper, driven tracks. Progressive Rock, like Queen's (and Panic! At The Disco cover) Bohemian Rhapsody, is a genre I'd want to challenge, whether composed or sung, in the future. Aside from the fact that it's one of the hardest to pull off, it's the fulfillment of my vision of pieces so varied you hear symphonies the one minute, and Swing the next!
The original Bohemian Rhapody in 1975 and the 2016 cover. Asking the forbidden question: which version is better?
Skipping hundred more genres and subgenres, appreciating them from afar (thus, "window shopping" xD) as this post won't go into the technical side of things, let's head to the highlight--the songs and the artists.
I didn't just Panic!
In my six years of being a loyal NEWS fan, Panic! At The Disco is the only band/artist that reached the level of love I have for NEWS. (You can see my P!ATD-appreciation post here) But it doesn't mean that my bias treatment is the same. Instead of focusing only on P!ATD as I did on NEWS especially on the getting-to-know stage, P!ATD became the door for a genuine music enjoyment by means of actively searching for more.
I could say that I'm the musician with the least knowledge of songs. Despite my frequent assertions of open-mindedness to music, I admittedly don't listen to a lot of songs (IF we're talking about songs I choose to listen to. Otherwise, I've known a lot of songs from the TV, radio, karaoke, and other media since childhood! Haven't we all?) I tend to repeat only the ones I like, and I can do that for years.
Here's a comparison for a clearer picture. Tegoshi said he has over 10,000 songs in his music player. 500 is already too many for me. Brendon learns almost 500 songs a year. I could only go with 50-100. Tegoshi also said he loops songs for an average of 2 times. When I heard his solo Encore for the first time, I looped it for 2 straight weeks!
This means that while I'm very open to genres, I'm notoriously picky with songs. My exploration this year is my wildest so far. If it goes beyond on 2017, why not, right?
And we've reached this point! There are many artist/bands I wanted to feature, but I'll only show whose discographies I've already dug (that says I've loved them enough!) Carry on~
Artist: The Brobecks
These artists almost made it on the Feature list! I'd still like to mention them in a shorter, separate list (because I am really motivated when it comes to listing stuff :>)
Artist: Fall Out Boy
Why include? Because FOB bassist Pete Wentz discovered P!ATD and put the band under his music label. He is their literal senpai! Also, FOB is part of the "Emo Trinity", with P!ATD and My Chemical Romance.
I recommend: 20 Dollar Nosebleed (Feat Brendon Urie)
Why include? I learned this band through Dallon Weekes, P!ATD's ex-bassist, wherein in The Brobecks he was the frontman. Although now inactive before even hitting it big, the band made cool alternative tracks.
I recommend: Love At First Sight
Artist: Justin Bieber
Why include? A pure coincidence, or by Tegoshi's influence? Nevertheless, I really like his new material and recent collaborations.
I recommend: Let Me Love You (DJ Snake feat Justin Bieber)
Artist: 4th Impact
Why include? A Filipina group of sisters (again!) that made it into the top 5 of X-Factor UK Season 12. I don't know if they already have original songs; anyhow, I got addicted watching their contest performances on Youtube.
I recommend: Their classic and viral audition hit, Bang Bang
Artist: Fifth Harmony
Why include? Im a year where both Fifth Harmony and Little Mix are equally relevant (more relevant than male groups like One Direction!), I prefer the sassier and sexier Fifth Harmony. Nothing personal, I just like their songs more.
I recommend: That's My Girl
This part is tricky. I don't have a clear basis for the list; if we go by my favorites for each featured artist above, my other favorites outside these artists won't be included. Same as if I give featured songs outside of these artists. To settle, this will be a random list of 10 songs that'll immediately pop in my mind *meaning this part is candidly written!!*, trying to be as artist-varied as possible without forfeiting my actual favorites! Here we go~
Extras and Conclusion
In total, I actively listened to an average of 400 songs this 2016. This year-end feature is short of expounding the expanse of my music experiences and exploration *LOL a lot of "ex"-es there!*; for example I didn't mention my (almost) monthly Classical music meditation, where I listen to different instrumental pieces without searching for their names and composers, to keep my mind unwary of memorizing every artist and every repertoire. I started self-studying guitar, albeit it hasn't progressed from the few basic chords! I also had fuuuuuuun times with my young cousins as we formed a cover/jamming group, Panic! At The Discrew. Most of our silly covers a.k.a. shenanigans were stored in my tab, and were erased permanently when the gadget was formatted :'( Last summer, my family had plans of conducting singing tutorials at home, though it did not come to fruition (besides, I don't think I can be a reliable music teacher orz). What else? I have a pen, I have an apple... Uh! apple pen!
End the rambling with the rambling with a beat. ピコ太郎 (Piko-Taro)'s PPAP is just one of Japan's biggest contribution to 2016 in music!
This reminds me that I still have to hear Babymetal for even Brendon adores this kawaii Metal group. 2017 will be a blast! I have a feeling that next year will swivel to Japanese music in depth, a certain possibility made by the official start of MNL48 this December. Things are going fast, in fact. As for MNL48, I'll try to make a blog post from an outsider's perspective (not an AKB48 fan nor an MNL48 applicant).
Presently, the featured artists, songs, even the others that haven't touched the lists in this post, are my joys of 2016.
What's yours? *this sounds like a line from a commercial--insert commercial jingle* xD