Tuesday, 12 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 10 Albums

During a time where falling into the sound of music was one of our greatest escapes, I make a bid to continue yet another stupidly long Year End list in order to throw you into a world of music courtesy of some wonderful albums in all of their glory.

It is time to embrace the albums and truly immerse ourselves in the sound of 2020.

Though I question why I create these lists at times thanks to the stress they cause me, I am happy to finally deliver my third and penultimate list for the music of 2020, yet again filled with nonsense and words that you will likely skip over in favour of finding out how poor my taste is in my #1 choice.

Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty of this list, I do want to point out that this is my first dedicated album year end list, mostly because I had an inability to acknowledge albums in the past. Now, after the ass-kicking of a year we've had, I finally took the time to fully understand and appreciate the merits that an album has, and thanks to finally listening to quite a few of them - maybe around 30? - from beginning to end, I was able to come up with Top 10 Albums of the year, thus allowing its own dedicated list, finally.

Granted, I still think some albums are pointless - I mean, look at Houkago Princess My Princess II, an album that serves no other purpose than to just exist for the sake of sales. Yeah, I bought it just because, but I'm a sucker for anything HouPri at this point, and despite some albums serving the purpose of only making ¥¥¥, a lot of the albums I listened to served the purpose of either introducing me to the singer, group or act in question, as well as entertaining me with new, album-exclusive songs alongside those familiar tunes from previous releases.

In one way or another, these albums have offered all who listen to them a sense of escapism and happiness, and in the year of 2020 that has been sorely needed, and with that all said and done, I am here to talk about the Top 10 album releases of the year gone by that allowed me to enter a new world and escape the reality we are experiencing for a little while.

Before we get into the list however, let's check my annoyingly present criteria that you can easily ignore:

⮞ Albums that I enjoy either in their entirety, or most of
⮞ Replay it til the CD breaks-factor
⮞ The time and emotional investment I throw into that album
⮞ How memorable the release is as a whole
⮞ Nostalgia, mate
⮞ Mini-Albums included. We don't discriminate here, loves.
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020
⮞ It can be a physical or digital album release.


As per, just because an album ranks high on this list or not at all, does not mean the albums songs will be featured higher up or lower on my final Master List of songs. How I feel about the individual tracks is a whole different kettle of fish, to put it simply. Whether they appear on the final list or not though, it does not matter; in one way or another, these albums and the songs featured within them have brought me some form of joy throughout the year.

Of course I hope that you find a new album or something interested to delve into from this list, or perhaps a rediscovery that you will happily fall into once again. I also implore you to think of your own favourite album from 2020, and hope that you enjoy this list of album releases that I enjoyed from yester-year.

Turn up the volume for the 2020 Music Edit: Albums Edition. Where will the music take you today?

Thursday, 7 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 20 Singles

In a year filled with music that broke away the silence, I return with another obnoxiously long Year End list of the singles that truly made my 2020 so much brighter.

Let's celebrate the happiness these single releases have brought us in such a tiring year.

In one of the easier lists that I have tackled I bring you my second post of the New Year, as well as the second music of 2020 list that took far too long to complete because I have an inability to contain my words.

Anyway, despite the difficulties of 2020 in regards to our favourite musicians, idols and artists releasing music, the year gone by has actually been very fruitful in regards to releases and the variety that it has given us. Yes, some groups and singers delayed the release of their singles until much later in the year for the sake of release events, but we got them one way or another and cherished said releases all the more.

Much like the digital tracks released throughout the year, these singles have aided us in one way or another and allowed us to look forward to something from our favourite groups and singers. It has also been a way of support in a very trying year, and whilst we certainly could not listen to or even buy everything that all of these groups and singers have released, we have done our best in keeping up with and supporting those that are important to us all.

I have lost count of how many singles I heard in 2020 alone, but I can honestly say that with a lot of time on my hands I was able to sit through plenty, to a point where I could pin-point the 20 favourite singles of a year gone by. Before I bore you with the actual list though, I have some criteria for this list that you will probably skip over:

⮞ Singles that I have enjoyed the entirety - or most - of
⮞ The Loop Factor
⮞ How invested I am in the entirety of the single
⮞ How intense my emotions are when I listen to it
⮞ How memorable the single is as a whole
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020
⮞ It can be a physical or digital release. If digital, multiple songs must be included; it can not be a stand-alone song.

I like listing the criteria, for some reason.

As always, just because a single has ranked highly in this list does not mean that all songs will appear in my Master List for my favourite songs of 2020. This list is purely based on the single as a whole and the joy it brought me, and how much I enjoyed the single from beginning to end. Honestly, some of these songs may not appear on the final list at all, but that's okay; it's all about the entertainment these singles delivered when I needed to feel happiness or even sadness at any given moment.

I hope that you all find something interesting in this list, and perhaps something new to enjoy as well. I also hope that it inspires you to think about the single that dominated your 2020, so please enjoy this list that I have created and indulge in some wonderful releases.

Let's dive into The 2020 Music Edit: Singles Edition. What will you discover this time?

Friday, 1 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 25 Digital Songs

With so many digital releases to enjoy and many new artists and groups to discover in the year gone by, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly which song has become one of many favourites...

Are you ready to endure another Year End list from Okay! Musume Time?

It has been a long time coming everyone, but we finally made it to this point. Happy New Year. I hope you are all safe and well and celebrating in an appropriate manner~

After a heavy year that has taken a toll not only our mental wellbeing, but also our physical and financial well-beings, music has become a much needed solace for many of us. Whether we use it for escapism, relaxation or to simply help us keep calm, the music that has been delivered to us from around the world has been a much appreciated gift. For the Japanese music industry especially, the current state of the world became a topic of inspiration and allowed Idols and artists alike to create music that delivered hope for their fans and the people around them.

With live shows halted and an order to stay at home, it was no surprise to see digital tracks becoming a popular way to release music for many that would typically release their music physically, and whilst we could not hear every track that has been released, these digital songs have aided us in one way or another. So, for my first End of Year list for the year that was 2020, I will introduce my first 'Top Digital Songs' ranking and share with you all the songs that made my 2020 a little more bearable.

With well over 40+ songs to enjoy and many more that did not even clock onto my radar, I will take a look at the 25 Digital tracks that delighted me the most throughout 2020. As always, I have certain criteria that I go by when creating these kinds of lists, so without further ado:

⮞ The song was released by itself digitally
⮞ It can be a part of a single or album release later on
⮞ Replay factor
⮞ How invested I am in the song and the emotions I have tied to it
⮞ How memorable the song itself is
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020

As always, my criteria is fairly basic and self-explanatory, but it's nice to keep it here as a refresher for myself when creating these types of lists.

Of course I hope that you all find something new or interesting to check out in this list, regardless of what is mentioned here, and I hope that this list allows you to think about your own favourites from 2020 when it comes to Digital music. For now though, it's time for this opinionated blogger to pass her own judgement on the Digital tracks of 2020 and share her favourites with you all. Are you ready to head into a brand new Year End list?

Welcome to The 2020 Music Edit: Digital Songs Edition. What will we tune into today?

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Idols of Advent: Spending This Winter Holiday with You - Celebrating A 'Very Merry Happy Christmas' with Ogura Yui (Pic Spam Review)

Despite all that is going on in the world, we can still celebrate the winter holidays with our loved ones even when they are a screen away...

Before the bell tolls and the festivities begin despite the harsh realities of the world at present, let's take a look at a heartwarming and intimate celebration of the winter season. Yes, most of us will be taking the time to celebrate with family and friends either in-person or a screen away, but for some today will be about joy we share with our significant others, wherever they might be.

In todays Idols of Advent review we celebrate with the cute and charismatic Ogura Yui, who has gifted us with the wonderfully merry Very Merry Happy Christmas, which celebrates the close bonds of a couple in love as they prepare for their own holiday festivities. Though the holiday season is certainly different to ones that we have previously experienced, Yui will instill a sense of hope within us all that we can spend our days with our beloved ones again sometime soon.

Let's prepare for the day ahead and get ready to celebrate the most festive day of the year in Ogura Yui's sweet yet intimate Very Merry Happy Christmas. Are you ready to get into the winter spirit and celebrate with the ones you love?

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Idols of Advent: The Tranquility of A Winter's Day - A Gentle 'Snow Flake Remind' by Jewel☆Neige (Pic Spam Review)

Despite the world being askew and the loss we feel from the disconnect and distance, let's come together in a moment of quiet and find the peace that we have all been craving since life was thrown off-balance for us all...

In a hectic and uncertain world it can become difficult to find time for yourself. Where peace feels fleeting and moments of solace are so few and far between, we must not forget that we need to take a moment and breathe. Of course our Idols are working hard to create a brighter world for us all, one where we can relax and forget about the news and strife that other people are putting us through right now.

In todays Idols of Advent review I want to allow these idols to give me that peace of mind I need and step back to take a moment of quiet and beauty this winter. Away from the bright lights and cold snow, I now look to Jewel☆Neige to deliver a reminder of the peace and tranquility a snow flake can bring, and the longing I hold for a relaxing winter day at home without the worries of the world weighing down my mind.

It's time to close the door on the world and find solace with Snow Flake Remind. Are you ready to remember the beauty of a quiet winter's day?

Monday, 21 December 2020

Idols of Advent: A Land of Winter and Heartbreak - The Loneliness of 'Tiamo' by T-ARA (Pic Spam Review)

Even though it looks beautiful from the outside, a world covered in snow is still cold and lonely when you are unable to be with the ones you love...

Despite winter being a wonderful time of the year for some, it can be the cause of much heartache for others. Winter can create a lonely world for people and whilst I would like to reflect on the happiness that this season brings me, I also want to look at a music video that deals with heartbreak and this ever-growing sense of being lost in a world that is as cold and lonely as her heart feels in that moment.

Of course where there is darkness there is light, and whilst you may feel lost and alone in this world right now, there will be a path for you to follow until you find the warmth you so desire. So with all that in mind, today we will look at T-ARA's Tiamo and fall into a world of loneliness and snow where the key to your escape lies in the understanding of your emotions.

It is time to fall into a wintry world of cold beauty and quiet sadness, but don't worry; I have every bit of faith that you will find your way out and come back to a world of love and warmth...

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Idols of Advent: Beneath A Starry Winter Sky with You - The Beauty of a 'secret star' by amatsuuni (Pic Spam Review)

Even when we are apart we are still connected by the sky and the stars that will eventually guide us to each other. Though the world is a dark and scary place right now, please let the shining stars in the winter's night sky lead you to happiness...

Though the world is still at an odd place our Idols continue to work hard and create fun, memorable content for us all in a bid to escape from the trials of the world around us. Of course we can not always escape our own reality, but when it is time to relax and lose ourselves a little the comfort of an idol or musicians music is always there to spirit us away to a sparkling world unlike any other.

In the case of anisong singer and coverist amatsuuni, we will be taken to the sky to experience the magic of the stars on a chilly winter's eve. Though it may not be the festive, wintery music video you imagined you would be watching, amatsuuni has the ability to transport you far from the loneliness of this world to create an enchanting experience for her viewers and listeners.

It's time to step away from the world and fall into the beauty of a starry night sky during the winter. Want to join me for a walk and see if we can stumble upon some magic?