Friday, January 31, 2014

My Top 50 Albums of 2013: 40-31

So I’m back with the next ten (finally)! I’ll try to get the rest posted asap, soon followed up by my review of January 2014! So without further rants, let’s get to it! Once again, here is the link to the video playlist on YouTube!

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 |

39. Block B – Very Good [171 Points] Released: October 2, 2013
 I was excited for Block B’s comeback with their new company. I loved what they did with Very Good, just the craziness I’ve come to like and love from Block B. The song is very fun, as well as the music video. I like the almost 50/50 split between rap and vocals, and boy do they have some talent from both spectrums. It just has me dancing and singing along. Releasing this album also got me back into their older songs and I became addicted to Go Crazy again (probably my favorite of their songs so far). As for the rest of the song, on a more ballady side they also released a music video for Be The Light. It’s a slower song, but still powerful, just not in their usual way. I liked it a lot, just not as much as Very Good. If you haven’t see any of their videos and like some of the more hip-hop styled K-pop, definitely check them out!

39. Lee Hyori – Monochrome [171 Points] Released: May 21, 2013
 The return of Lee Hyori definitely started off the summer hits. I was excited to see what she was coming back with and I wasn’t disappointed at all. She pre-released Miss Korea and it completely blew me away. The message just said more than anyone could’ve possible expected, and even though I’m a Caucasian woman living in America, I found a lot of perspective and empowerment through Miss Korea. Hyori’s next music video release and promotion song was Bad Girls. This music video was gold. With the comic book styling and just outrageous situations I was hooked. The song was really good as well and every time I heard “bad” I would instantly sing “b-b-b-bad girls” in my head. She also released another music video for Going Crazy which included Hyori cross-dressing. I found the music video entertaining, but I think I was more impressed and hooked with Miss Korea and Bad Girls. Below I have Bad Girls, but if you want to check out Miss Korea or Going Crazy, click one of the links posted throughout this rant!

38. MBLAQ – Sexy Beat & Love Beat [176 Points] Released: June 4, 2013
 So I've included the repackage here since they’re pretty much the same album (as I did with other repackages), but this album has one of the best songs of the Summer (in my opinion). Smoky Girl just hooked me right from that first beat and the R&B flavored with smooth vocals and dancing quickly morphed into a type of electronic club song and you couldn't help but start dancing.

37. Master’s Sun OST [182 Points] Released: August 2013
 Oh, Master’s Sun. This drama was magic and the soundtrack was as well. First of all, I think Master’s Sun is the best drama of 2013, and I even got my roommate Billy to watch it with me! And she doesn’t watch Korean Dramas. Funny side note, I was watching Answer Me 1994 the other night on the Roku, and she turns to me and says, “I want a second season of Master’s Sun.” How cute! I think I got her hooked! Anyways, the soundtrack really brings a lot of good fluffy memories back for me, both in the drama and the experience of watching it! Probably my favorite song on the compilation is Seo In Guk’s single (big surprise). Tasha a.k.a. Yoon Mirae’s song also popped out of nowhere and surprised me completely. I knew she could sing, but I’ve mainly only heard her more R&B and rap stuff she’s put out, but I loved her drama ballad florae. Other notable artists from the soundtrack are Gummy, Hyorin (SISTAR), Jung Dongha, and Melody Day. I’ll post Seo In Guk’s glorious ballad, but definitely check out the other songs I've linked too if you enjoy drama soundtrack songs!

36. Hong Jin Young – Boogie Man [183 Points] Released: March 22, 2013
 Boogie Man is a piece of Trot amazingness. I am a fan of trot, Korean’s almost precursor to pop music. It’s more of a traditional type of music, but I love it soooo much. Especially this song. I will say this was my favorite Trot song released this year. As soon as it was released I had this song on repeat. It’s just good Trot, and a little modernized to attract younger crowds. I just wish she would release more. Here’s hoping Hong Jin Young will release something else in 2014! If you like Trot and haven’t heard this song, definitely check it out! Plus she sang it this year at one of the Daejun’s! Totally surprised me!

34. Arashi – LOVE [185 Points] Released: October 23, 2013
 Oh Arashi. This album honestly should be a lot higher in the rankings. If only it’d come out sooner in the year. Starting with the main song PARADOX, oh my goodness fangasm. The moment I watched the PV for PARADOX I 100% back on the Arashi train. I always love Arashi, but PARADOX has such a  great beat and melody. On top of all that, the dance is sexy and Sho’s low register rap, holy cow! I don’t want to fangirl too much, but oh my gosh is this song good. On top of collecting their single released since their previous full album, we also got a small collection of new songs, including solo songs for each of the members. I think my favorite solo song would have to be either MatsuJun’s Dance in the Dark or Sho’s sugar and salt. I think besides those my other favorite song of the album is Rock Tonight. Also, as a side note it has been officially 11 years since I first listened to Arashi. And this year in September will be their 15th Anniversary. If you haven’t joined the Arashian fandom, please join me now! I promise it’s awesome!

34. Henry – Trap & 1-4-3 [185 Points] Released: June 7, 2013
 Another Happy Birthday to Me this year was Henry’s first solo EP. I was super excited for Henry to get some more spotlight in Korea, and I was completely blown away by this EP. I love Trap, especially the different openings he did on the music programs. I love the original piano opening, but the violin one also had a special twist to it. Also, his back-up dancers wear Bronco Jerseys in the video (and on a couple live performances). GO BRONCOS AT THE SUPER BOWL! Anways, I also really enjoyed 1-4-3. I placed them together since 1-4-3 was on Trap, but then later released as a digital single. The digital single included an Englishversion of Trap as well as an acoustic version and remix of 1-4-3. And as those who know me are aware of, I love acoustic versions of songs. It’s just so magical. Anyways, I’m linking 1-4-3 so definitely check it out beside Trap!

32. f(x) – Pink Tape [186 Points] Released: July 29, 2013
 First of all can I just say I was skeptical of the promotion song Rum Pum Pum Pum since I am not a fan of The Little Drummer Boy, AT ALL. But I was pleasantly surprised with Rum Pum Pum Pum and that there were no other references to Drummer Boy. f(x) really hit it out of the park with their quirky style again. I love this song, both through the awesome metaphor and the cool round robin verse they had in there (my favorite part of the song). For those that haven’t seen lyric translations of the song, it’s drawing similarities between first love and someone’s first wisdom tooth. Hence the headache lines and such. I also enjoyed Shadow off the album, but my favorite song is Rum Pum Pum Pum.

32. Dal Shabet – Be Ambitious [186 Points] Released: June 20, 2013
“Boys be ambitious!” This was another song that was a summer anthem for myself. Dal Shabet returned with another mini-album of amazing. I really like Be Ambitious. I found the music video hilarious, and just enjoy the more disco-y feel of Dal Shabet’s sounds. I was excited to see what they were going to release since the last thing they did was Have, Don’t Have (also made of amazing). I wasn't let down at all, and still listen to Be Ambitious quite a bit. The other song I really enjoy is Let It Go, which actually had the lyrics written by Serri, one of the members! Please join me in the amazingness that is Dal Shabet! (Side note: They’ll be in my January countdown with their new song B.B.B. Preview: I love it!)

31. Seo In Guk – I Can’t Live Because of You [187 Points] Released: February 4, 2013
Bringing up the end of Part 2, I bring you Seo In Guk’s single I Can’t Live Because of You. This song features Verbal Jint, a good rapper and perfect for this song opposite Seo In Guk’s vocals. I can’t tell you specifically what it is about the song I like the most, but this is most likely my favorite of all of the songs Seo In Guk has released so far. I love this song, it almost has a ballady feel, but it’s a little more up-tempo and has a little bit of a pop feel to it. It just makes me feel happy and warm when I listen to it and I can’t help but sing along and give in to the feels!

Okay, well this wraps up part 2. Look for part 3 soon (very soon) since I’ll want to finish posting them before I start on January’s countdown! Here is the link for the YouTube playlist one more time! Till then!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Top 50 Albums of 2013: 50-41

Well, here we are kicking off the countdown! I bring you albums 50 through 41, complete with thoughts about the songs and even accompanying music videos! WARNING: will quite possibly be video heavy. And with no further ramblings, I bring you Part 1! If you just like to skip my ramblings, or read them all and then watch the videos, here is a playlist I'm updating with each post on YouTube!

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 |

50. Lee Jung Hyun - V [156 Points] Released: July 22, 2013
I love this song and music video. It's so creepy and weird. Despite being a single, this ranked pretty high on my list (considering there ended up over 100 that I looked at specifically). The music video is directed by the same guy that directed the original Old Boy. It's dark, but funny, and definitely creepy. I don't know why, but I always have a soft spot for the music videos and songs that have a darker side.

49. Zion.T - Red Light [159 Points] Released: April 9, 2013
I enjoyed Red Light overall, but I think that Babay is the best song on their and probably my favorite song released in the Spring. It's crazy and funny music video paired with the funky rhythm and beats is just pure gold. I found myself singing along pretty quickly and it became on the jams I listen to while folding laundry. I haven't listed to it in a few months, but going through everything for this has boosted it back up to my everyday list. I love the sound and tone of Zion.T's voice, and it pairs really well with Gaeko (from Dynamic Duo) in this song. Prepare to have your funky groove bust out!

48. Shinee - Everybody [160 Points] Released: October 14, 2013
Despite coming out later in the year, Shinee's Everybody has made the top 50 list! I wasn't as impressed with Everybody as much as I was with Dream Girl and Why So Serious? at first, but this song really grew on me. Plus anytime I hear someone say "everybody" I can't help but singing it. As with Shinee the dance is really cool, I love the toy soldier beginning. It gets a little repetitive, but I found that I'm not as bothered by it anymore, especially since it makes it easier for my Mom to sing it with me! The EVIL Shawol. Anyways, the music video is pretty simple (as we come to expect from SM), but really Shinee's music videos are watched for the dancing. I also enjoyed watching the Dance Practice video (the dance starts around the 1:45 mark), so check it out if you really want to see the choreography without all the other distracting bells and whistles! The rest of the album is good as well, some other favorites off the mini album being Symptoms and Destination. A lot of people are surprised, but Shinee has some really nice ballads under their belts.

46. Super Junior EunHae - I Wanna Dance [162 Points] Released: June 19, 2013
I Wanna Dance is the 2nd Japanese single that Super Junior's subgroup (affectionately called by ELFs as) EunHae. This song is just what we would come to expect from them, especially after Oppa Oppa in 2011. It's got a good dance beat, the pair being their crazy personas in the music video, and is just plainly a lot of fun. The music video has some good funny moments between the two and even includes some cameos from other Super Junior members. The other song released on the single features Henry and I enjoyed it as well, just not as much! I was excited to hear with what they were doing after Oppa Oppa (it's still on of my favorite Super Junior songs) and I wasn't disappointed at all. Plus it doesn't seem weird that it's Japanese and not Korean (sometimes you can tell it's not their native language or just sounds odd). I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

46. Akdong Musician - Kkong Ddeok Bing Soo [162 Points] Released: May 23, 2013
So the translation for this song comes out to Bean Rice Cake Bing Soo. For those not familiar with the popular Korean summer time treat, Bing Soo is shaved ice that is topped with various things, commonly fruit or ice cream. This song was actually released as a promo for Paris Baguette, a cafe chain found around the world. The accompanying music video is more of a behind the scenes shots of the duo during a photo shoot set to the song. The song is very happy (as most of Akdong Musician's music) and just has a good summer time feeling to it. Plus every time I listen to it I want Bing Soo. :( Go ahead listen, bringing some summer to this cold winter!

45. Infinite - Destiny [166 Points] Released: July 16, 2013
*Sings* "You are my Destiny woo~~ wooo~" This song grabbed me from the first beat and took me on a wild ride. With Infinite's amazing choreography, catchy chorus, and Sung Gyu's many solo parts I was stuck. Destiny is my favorite song of the year from Infinite. I can't say how much I like it without repeating myself. It really just grabbed a hold of my ears and lulled them into a sense of security before stripping them of all cells. I don't know....that metaphor just got weird, but back to the song. The choreography is really, really cool with the members weaving in and out of each other like one organism. As for the other songs on the album I also really enjoyed Inception. It's got a great beat and just makes someone bob their head along without really noticing. Plus the flutes in it really give it a cool twist paired with the electronics. The video below is version B, which was the only one that was released officially. There is a version A, you can find it on Youtube, but around the time of the release there was a plane crash and version A is set around some junked planes and stuff. Hence the creation of a version B that was released instead. "You Are My Destiny!"

44. AA - Come Back [167 Points] Released: March 27th, 2013
AA (pronounced "Double A") really struck gold with this mini album. Come Back is a good song and I like the music video (which is the one below), but reason why this album is ranked so high is for the sixth, and last, track of the album: Call Me. This song. Oh my gosh this song is so pretty and I think is the best song that AA has released. I would classify it as a fusion song, with ballad lyrics and undertones, but with a quicker and more upbeat melody. I can't quite find the right words to convey how much I love this song. It's good. You should listen to it (the link) and revel in the amazingness I stumbled upon. The music video below is the promotion song and showcases their dance talents well. Don't get my unenthusiastic rants wrong, I think it's a good song, but it just can't compare to Call Me. (See that! I liked it again. That's how much I want you to listen to it! XD)

43. Vanness Wu - Different Man [169 Points] Released: June 7, 2013 (My Birthday!)
The first Chinese album on my list comes from Vanness Wu! Released on my birthday, I jammed out to the Different Man music video when I got home from work. Shortly after I listed to the full album, quickly adding Different Man and one other song to my everyday playlist. The other song that I latched on to is Love Overtime. Love Overtime is an awesome song that has it's own music video and I highly recommend you watch it as well. Vanness did it as a tribute to Michael Jackson and Prince, so it's no wonder I like it. I still have Love Overtime on my everyday playlist, one of a few songs to last so long. I also like the song Let It Go featuring Flowsik. Please listen, and if you're a fan of Michael Jackson or Prince, definitely also check out the Love Overtime music video! (See, I posted it again! XD)

41. C-Clown - Shaking Heart [170 Points] Released: April 18, 2013
Tying at #41, we have C-Clown's hit of the year, Shaking Heart. This song has a good R&B feel to it with the vocals, paired with some really solid rapping throughout. And instead of the rapping just being a small verse or a "cameo," instead about half the song is rapping, which I actually really enjoyed. There are only a few other songs on the album, another one being Do You Remember, a collaboration with ALi (my favorite female solo singer). Her unique voice paired with C-Clowns smooth raps and vocals really made a great pair for another great song.

41. John Park - Inner Child [170 Points] Released: July 3, 2013
John Park, for those that aren't up on Kpop, but have watched American Idol, he should sound familiar. John participated in the 9th season of American Idol, leaving as a semi-finalist. He then went to South Korea and competed on one of their music shows. Inner Child is his first full album, and holy cow do I love this album. The entire thing is pure magic and just makes me feel warm and cozy. Like curling up on the couch with a hot cup of tea, good book, cat on my lap, and snow slowing falling outside. Out of all the songs, I really like Baby the best. It's the promotion song and he has such a good, yet unique tone that really stands out to me. I the song Baby, and for some reason I found the music video funny, especially at then with all the things falling down in the background. Don't ask me why I found it funny, I just did and almost died laughing. But back to the song, it's just an all around feel good song with a great melody, John Park's amazing voice, and just leaves a warm feeling in your soul. I know I'm repeating it, but really guys, really. If you haven't heard it already, please listen to it and join me in the cozy feels.

Well that's it for videos 50-41. I hope you enjoyed my small rants and listening to some of the music that got me through this past year. We're only going to get bigger and better from here! Once again if you would like to watch all the videos in succession with out worrying about my rants, here is the playlist I will update with each post. Stay tuned for more of the countdown!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Surprise!! 2014 Comeback & Top 25 Most Played Songs in 2013!

Happy New Year!! 

So to start 2014, I wanted to try to get back into blogging again. Although with more purpose. For those that have read my blog previously, I love music. It's been a life affair and I though I would starting trying to review and put my own thoughts out there. Anyways, I've been working on some formulas and have finally came up a with a good system. I'm going to try to do a post for each month, and  possibly quarters and halfway through the year and stuff. Anyways, they'll probably be pretty video heavy or just have a lot of links, so I'll separate them out. Anyways, to give a little sneak peak while I finish preparing the rest of the posts, I'll give you the top 25 most played songs of 2013!! Stay tuned for....

My Top 50 Albums of 2013!
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 |

Oh, and just a side note. These list will be a mixture of Kpop, Jpop/rock, American Releases, and even some random Cpop. Who knows! Maybe they'll be other speckled in! Until then....

My Top 25 Most Played Songs in 2013!

24. Dream Girl - Shinee (Misconceptions of You Chapter 1) [49 Plays]
24. I Wanna Be Like Me - Sara Bareilles (The Blessed Unrest) [49 Plays] 
23. Rat a Tat ft. Courtney Love - Fall Out Boy (Save Rock & Roll) [50 Plays]
21. Boogie Man - Hong Jin Young (Boogie Man) [51 Plays]
21. Alone - U-Kiss (Alone Single) [51 Plays]
19. It's You - Super Junior M (Breakdown) [52 Plays]
19. Breakdown - Super Junior M (Breakdown) [52 Plays]
18. I Can't Live Without You ft. Verbal Jint - Seo In Guk (Y.BIRD from Jellyfish Island) [53 Plays]
17. I Love You - Akdong Musician (All About My Romance OST) [54 Plays]
16. Ghost - Gackt (Best of the Best Vol. 1 Mild) [55 Plays]
14. One Kiss - Kim Jae Joong (I) [56 Plays]
14. Standing Still - U-Kiss (Collage) [56 Plays]
13. Kill Bill - Brown Eyed Girls (Black Box) [57 Plays]
12. Where Did The Party Go - Fall Out Boy (Save Rock & Roll) [58 Plays]
11. Paradise - Kim Jae Joong (WWW) [60 Plays]
10. G.R.8.U. - Vixx (Jekyll) [61 Plays]
8. This Love - Shinhwa (The Classic) [67 Plays]
8. You Fill Me Up - Kim Jae Joong (I) [67 Plays]
7. All Alone - Kim Jae Joong (I) [68 Plays]
6. Healing For Myself - Kim Jae Joong (I) [79 Plays]
5. Incredible ft. Quincy - Xia (Incredible) [81 Plays]
4. What's Happening? - B1A4 (What's Happening?) [90 Plays]
3. On & On - Vixx (On & On) [95 Plays]
2. Hyde - Vixx (Hyde) [117 Plays]

And last but not least, my most listened to song in 2013 is:

Mine - Kim Jae Joong (I) with 119 Plays!

So that was a little snippet. I'm still listening to Hyde. Outside of plays, my favorite song from 2013 hands down is Vixx's Hyde. I love that song and it's still on my playlist. Also to put it into perspective a little more, Jae Joong's I was released in January and Hyde was released in May. Just sharing. Anyways, I haven't synced my iPod for a couple weeks, so there might be a few more plays on some of these, but I didn't want to risk adding 2014 plays onto.

I'll stop here. Definitely stayed tuned if you're interested and keep you eyes open for more posts!

Stasi XD