I’ll be continuing my reviews of HyukOh’s discography, this time focussing on their second album.
Much more upbeat than the previous record, ’22’ aims to charter new ground for HyukOh. Where there were RnB, soul and even funk influences, the band incorporates reggae, Latin melodies, punk rock and contemporary pop sounds. Much less cohesive than ’20’, I feel that the intention was to experiment rather than send an overarching message.
HyukOh wound up exploding into popularity recently in Korea after a stint on Infinite Challenge. As I’m slow on getting on the bandwagon, I only got to listen to them a few weeks ago. And here I am reviewing everything they’ve released officially.
Apart from “Be Mine” and “Destiny“, I hadn’t really liked any of Infinite’s songs. That changed when they changed up their sound with “Bad”. I’m usually easily caught by backtracks and instrumentals that include strings/orchestral elements in them, which “Bad” uses very much to Infinite’s advantage.
On top of that, their mainly high range vocals and lower range rappers were used in the quieter sections of the instrumental, whilst the more pop-friendly hook and chorus vocals were kept sparse and repetitive as the instrumental got busier. It really helped to keep the full, epic sound built up in the intro.
The video also matched the lyrics and atmosphere of the song well, and made use of 360VR, albeit in a slightly lazy way.
I’ll leave the music theory gushing to MRJ if you’re interested. Please Infinite, give me more of these kinds of songs.
Since I’ve essentially been inactive in the blog area but been paying a load of attention to K-pop this, and last year, I figured I should at least write a summary post for last year. In an attempt to be an unbiased writer and try out Youtube APIs, I wrote a script to pull all the K-pop releases of this year into a couple of playlists. There were 355 releases this year(albums, singles, OSTs included) so it’s quite the listen. Enjoy after the skip…
This is a post that has been a long time coming. Basically, its been on the way since No More Dream was released.
In the absence of my bias group, Bangtan was just the right amount of hip-hop, swag, rap, cute and funny that I needed. The one downside to this group for me is I am now experiencing some EXTREME noona-fan problems. Only three of the members, J-Hope and Suga and Jin, are around my age. So…I just feel like a creeper. All the time.
Anyway, on to the reasons why I have become a BTS stan.
The N0 Bubblegum Edition
As time has gone on, I realised that my obsession with K-Pop and Korean music in general is not helping my Japanese Language skills. Therefore, I went in search of Japanese music that I would actually like. I write this with a small dose of sarcasm because, in my opinion, the majority of Japanese pop music is fluffy, bubblegum-popping electronic music with extremely high-pitched vocals layered on top. Don’t even get me started on Vocaloid. Now, if that’s your thing, have at it! It is not however my thing.
That said and out of the way, I can tell you what I do like about Japanese music: real bands. Japanese rock music(not Visual Kei, not pop-rock) is pretty damn good and if there is English involved…well now I can sing along too! Although this list may not be all of your favorites, and may well be very old bands/songs, but it’s what I like. Here’s my list of favorite Japanese artists to the date of this post.
The funny, corny, cheesy, making-fun-of-yourself video from my favorite troublemakers!
Block B‘s new album, BLOCKBUSTER, came out last November. As a BBC(no, not the BBC you’re thinking of) I was completely excited! It had been 8 months since Block B put anything out as they were hiatus because of certain comments…
Anyway, I had been expecting an album like their past albums: hip-hop influenced, rap-heavy and all round awesome. Instead, they blew away my expectations in making the most polished album I have seen from them to date. The album takes Block B on a wild curve from their former style of music and gives us all new everything! Well, Nillili Mambo and No Joke maybe an exception to that, but otherwise all the songs were a complete surprise. Here’s my(very biased, quick) rundown:
So my current favorites, in no particular order:
So, considering this blog is about my Otakuness, it is inevitable that I would feature some J-Rock(Japanese Rock). Why not J-Pop? Because Japanese pop tends to be toooooo cutesy for me. There’s only so much rainbow candy a person can take 😛 On the other hand, there are some really awesome Japanese Rock bands out there. I would really like to also feature Abingdon Boys School(the band not the actual school) on here, but alas no official sources to point you towards.
Moving on…here’s the song I speak of:
This is the first music recommendation in a while that is in English! Anyway, you may know B.O.B from “Airplanes” ft Haley Williams from Paramore. That’s where I first learned of him too! Ironically, despite the lyrics of Airplanes mostly being about his nostalgia of the past when he wasn’t famous, B.O.B is very famous because of that song.