addictdesu: (beebo)


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?

Artist Feature

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~

Artists Feature )


Bonus

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)

Artist: The Brobecks
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

Song Feature

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~
Song Feature )

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
addictdesu: (Toph)
(It should have been "Top 10 picks" but it cannot be helped...)

It was my 2015 plan to be #MovingForward, so with a good deal of effort I tried involving myself in more things, practice good habits, and make some changes in mindset and appearance. But I did not expect that it would also be my year of exploring music/music artists much more enthusiastically than the past 5 years combined. The music exploration mostly centered on KPop, since my love for Korean girl groups rekindled (to the point that I have added two more groups to my fandoms list!--more on that on later entries). Also, for RL purposes, I did some intensive research and appreciation for Jazz music. My online and offline playlists flourished with Country, Ethnic, French songs, American pop, Filipino pop. My karaoke 'repertoire' expanded to new and old songs too. Most importantly, I have found JPop female singers that I really like! If you still remember how in 2014 I was interested in listening to JPop females, I've acted upon this interest in 2015.

Whether you look around or not, good music is anywhere. Let me share to you the good music I have experienced this year--of course 'good' music is subjective, but you might find these songs worthy of lending your ears.

Note: Nope, don't expect a varied and unconventional list. It's (still) KPop and JPop, Idol-dominated. I'll probably make a list for other languages and genres but ... um never mind, I'll most likely forget doing it :p Sorry, passions come first :p

#11 Don't Touch Me – Ailee

  • Release date: September 25, 2014

  • Why it's on the list: Call it ambitious, but I think I've got a celebrity voice-a-like in Ailee (Lee Yejin). Hearing her ballads feels like listening to my own voice. *shock!* The time I realized that, I didn't even know she was very much revered for her vocals *more shock!* and is dubbed the Beyoncé of Korea. *ultimate shock!* Don't Touch Me is one of Ailee's upbeat songs, purposely displaying how much of a "Beyoncé" she can be. Though I find the song falling short of the diva sound Korea's boasting about, I'm still in love with its danceable rhythm and Dreamgirls-like feel.




#10 We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus


  • Release date: June 3, 2013

  • Why it's on the list: For some reason the lyrics make me happy. The classic YOLO mentality, as expected from Miley Cyrus. But what touches me is probably the slow, relaxed beat of the song, and that it doesn't include lots of effects and chaotic melodies most party songs have. It doesn't sound 'wild'. In fact, it was my motivational song for the late part of 2014 to early 2015. Party doesn't always mean twerking around--I had a helluva fun swaying and putting my hands up to this song.



#9 Lionheart – SNSD


  • Release date: August 18, 2015

  • Why it's on the list: Love at first hear, man. 60's Retro sound and all (think of Pearly Shells and Tiny Bubbles). Girls Generation stays at the top of the game this year with Lionheart the album's release; sadly many KPop fans (Sones or not), were disappointed at the title track. For me, it's the other way around. Among the three A-sides included in the album, this is my favorite! The direct retro influence made me impulsively warm up to it. I love it so much that I link it to good feelings and happy memories. Sadly (again), the song is particularly sad, but this does not stop me from thinking it's one of the tunes that from the moment I've listened to, it will always give me a bubbly lift.



#8 VOICE – AI

  • Release date: February 13, 2013

  • Why it's on the list: A song cover brought me to AI and her soulful singing that I instantaneously praised when I heard her song VOICE. With a strong lyrics to an equally strong vocals and accompaniment, this borderline Pop-Dance-RnB sparked out part of my philanthropic self; whenever I listen to this track I can imagine barren deserts and gloomy nights, and aid in the form of rain, flashing lights, and dancing the dance like it's an anthem of some sort! Its prominent, modernistic beat matched with AI's bluesy voice sets it apart from the songs in this list.




#7 Oh JANE - 片平里菜  (Katahira Rina) Highly recommended!

  • Release date: April 30, 2014

  • Why it's on the list: Love at first hear too (actually, most of the songs in this list are!). Maybe I've already mentioned this, but I wasn't really impressed by young Japanese female singers except for a few... and Katahira Rina, upon hearing how this song is perfect for her voice, and how most of her songs deem fit for my tastes, is added to my must-follow artists. For reference, her voice sounds like YUI and Tommy Heavenly6 combined. But why she stands out for me is because I think she has a more solid connection to her genre. Oh JANE is one of her best songs.




#6 Piano Man - MAMAMOO Highly recommended!

  • Release date: November 21, 2014

  • Why it's on the list: I've mentioned diva and Dreamgirls stuff on the 10th spot. If there's one artist on this list that deserves the diva title, it's MAMAMOO. They are a 4-member group by the way. But all members are vocal powerhouses, and they slay every song! Piano Man is their most powerful song up to date. Jazzy, groovy, and has lots of piano (obviously), raps, and belting, this track is something I would steal and make my own when I become a singer lol that might forever change the way you see KPop. (A dance song that has no effects and autotune at all--because they can!)





#5 Tonight – SPICA

  • Release date: August 28, 2013

  • Why it's on the list: Among these tracks, this is the one that has made me cry. Not just once, but twice. Not just a shed of tear but a full "fck the world feel my feeeeeeels!" sobbing. This pop-rock track just gives that soaring vibe, and is a great traveling song. I cried to it one night when I was extra creative and imagined a music video... Different people; from a singer on a concert, to a lady by a campfire, to a student in a library, to a cancer patient on her bed, and more; are singing the same song. It was so vivid I was crying while singing it myself. The second time was for more personal reasons so I won't say it here. I was surprised though, when I learned it was a love song rather than a friendship song (I thought it was), but because it's also a song about dreams I fell in love with it more.




#4 Last Hope - Paramore Highly recommended!

  • Release date: April 5, 2013

  • Why it's on the list: I am referring to the Live version (see video), not the studio version though that rocked as well. It's surprising! Never thought I'd once again stan the band's discography the way I did around 2008-2009, when Paramore was one of my favorite music artists. Rediscovering them again in 2015 gave me the same feelings over their familiar yet newfangled music. Last Hope gives me the chills whenever I listen to it. The heartfelt, almost spiritual lyrics, Hayley's quality live voice, the indelible instruments in a sea of dazzled audience--a perfect performance--is proof that Paramore is still my favorite rock band.




#3 Holy Night With You - Kis-My-Ft2

  • Release date: December 24, 2014

  • Why it's on the list: I love Christmas songs! Whether for their cheery mood, or the lyric content, or the pleasing sound of the bells, I have yet to find a Christmas song I don't like. In Holy Night With You, I've found an ultimate favorite. It was love at first hear that I knew was really love. It does not have any special 'something' to it and the melody is a bit clichéd either. It just so happens that the simple melody speaks for the theme so much--it sounds 'holy', it has a 'night' feel, and easy to sing--a 'with you' vibe. Simply put, the track carries me away. And hearing all the members get significant lines makes it so.much.sweeter.


MP3 >> http://dai.ly/x2zghhc

#2 KAGUYA - NEWS Highly recommended!

  • Release date: January 7, 2015

  • Why it's on the list: Because it's KAGUYA, for effin's sake! Yep. It's because NEWS nailed this song, blowing a great blast to the year's opening (which also ended up great for NEWS indeed). KAGUYA is compelling and sexy, yet profound and unique. It has received positive reviews from respected reviewers *redirecting you to my own review!*, and an outstanding reception from fans and non-fans alike. Having said, this list is the perfect chance to brag about it one more time!





──

Before I go to the 1st Rank... Here are the other songs that did well on making my heart swell this 2015, yet failed to reach the Top 11 list (but these songs are awesome as well--and that's an understatement!)

  • あなた (Anata) - 片平里菜 (Katahira Rina)

  • BYAKUYA - NEWS

  • チュムチュム (Chumu Chumu) - NEWS

  • Dead or Alive - KAT-TUN

  • BYAKUYA - NEWS

  • Happiness - Red Velvet

  • Kiss (Kiss Damashii) - Kis-My-Ft2

  • 長く短い祭 (Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri) - 椎名林檎 (Shiina Ringo)

  • Red Light - f(x)

  • Starlight – KARA

  • These Foolish Things {Remind Me Of You} - Ella Fitzgerald

  • Unconditionally - Katy Perry

  • One Last Time - Ariana Grande

  • Still Into You – Paramore

Here it is! My favorite song for the year (and I kid you not, it's now my most favorite song ever)

#1 Like a Cat - AOA

  • Release date: November 11, 2014

  • Why it's on the list: If you noticed I did not put a "Highly recommended" mark here. Seriously, it's the only song in this list that I did not love at first hear! It's not remarkable (well it depends--with my kind of readers in this blog/journal I don't think it would appeal to you), however... like a cat it sneaked up to me and, like a cat, it settled, and pleasingly killed my sanity. The song has a veeeery catchy sound, danceable rhythm, high-pitched annoying vocals, sultry lyrics. Oh, but right now as I'm writing, it's becoming clear to me that it resembles KAGUYA (the music video is black and red-themed and is very sexy too). Maybe the plus point is it's sung by a girl group, so it's easier for me to sing along and relate to than I would if it was sung by men. Anyway, I could literally listen to it for 50 times a day! Music-wise I can't say anything wise about the track, but I would instantly recommend it if this list is about the catchiest songs. ('Coz is it still not obvious that I'm addicted to this song?)




The craziest thing is, as mentioned above it resembles KAGUYA, was released on 11/11/2014, the lead singer has blond hair, and the song's title is Like A Cat, and... and... do you get where I'm heading at? I mean... I don't even want to think of Tegoshi but it's really undeniably Tegoshi and ugh why am I making this about Tegoshi but hey I never planned this it's just the way it is. *CRIES*

(Cooling down. Dear readers, I don't want you to think that I picked this song because of the Tegoshi connection. My list would be forfeited if in the end it's not about the music but a person. This is a music post, and though it's downright crazy *and amazing* to have these kinds of linkages, in the end it's about what I hear--the melody, the rhythm, the genre--and what are the effects on me.)

──

Looking through this post, my noob choices in music despite my music 'expertise' is further certified. Alas! I am also a fangirl, and it's obvious that my current taste is influenced by my faves. But we should always remember that there's no bad music at all. Because, each to their own. :)

This 2016, I want to do more genre-searching, artist-loving music enjoyment. I know it'll gonna start high because of NEWS' new single on January 20!! The rest is up to my willful powers and curiosity mix. Hoping to always bring something to the table, this has been my top picks for 2015. 

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Leya

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