I went through a complete writing buzz at the beginning of August which, of course, drastically dropped once I came back to Uni Land. I think it's because I had the time to do stuff, and honestly, when I have time... I do nothing. I'm terrible with that. When I don't have time, I'm the most productive person ever, and I get shit done even if I don't have the time to do it. Ah, the joys of being able to work effectively under pressure...
Unless it's for, y'know, an assignment; then I panic, and I panic hard.
Welcome back to the Music Selection post, where I try and post two articles a month featuring the music tracks and music videos that I have enjoyed from the month gone by! Here I share with you the music I have loved and enjoyed, in the hopes that you will love and enjoy it, too! Of course I am only one person, so I will not have listened to every bit of Japanese music that has come out, so if I have missed out on something you enjoyed greatly, well... that's how it is.
If you have any music that you have enjoyed that is not listed here, though, please feel free to share and let me know about it! Sharing is caring, and the more we share, the more we can let great music be known, and then we can give the groups and singers creating these songs the love and support they deserve!
And with that said and done... shall we listen to some Idol Pop? LET'S GO!!!
Aside from a period of time where I basically just listened to musical music, my time with August in the J-pop world has been a bunch of fun! I definitely found some favourites here, possibly a few staples that will be played to the death, and some hidden gems, too! Surprisingly, I really didn't listen to much outside of my August Selection, meaning that my July Roll-Over and the U-Turn for the past month are pretty scarce in comparison to what I listened to from August's releases.
Personally, I think there is a decent selection here, with a good mix of sounds and tones that will appeal to a variety of listeners. Hopefully, there will be something in here for everyone, and if not... welp! I failed!
Anywhoo, it's time to check out a bit of music! Who is ready for the August Selection? Pop in those earphones, and let's take a listen together! LeIt's time to Jaaaaam!
Re:Call by i☆Ris (2016.08.03)
I'm throwing in this entire single in here, because gosh darnit, this whole release has been my August jam. Okay, so I have a bigger love for the title track, but honestly, I enjoy this whole release for its diverse sound and energetic feel. From mature and cool to a little bit Idol, and then finally to extremely cute, this single contains three songs that are sure to entertain you at some point. Plus, it shows off the members of i☆Ris' vocals abilities well, too!
This is an awesome release for August, and one of the most memorable by i☆Ris thus far. It's probably their best single yet, period... at least, it is for me. It packs a bit of a punch, and shows you that these girls are far more than what their 'Idol' personas in the PriPara soundtracks beforehand had to offer. A surprising release from this group, but a promising one that has left a great impression in its sound, look and feel.
Lotus Pain by Mashiro Ayano (2016.08.03)
... I didn't expect to like this. Upon my first hearing, I was a little bit like 'Nah, bruh', but on further listens, Lotus Pain kind of grew on me as a song. The vocals are not my favourite, granted, however there is a beauty to this song that I can't quite pin-point.
Actually, there is a beauty to this entire single, despite the fact I find Mashiro's voice a tad grating. But, overall, Lotus Pain as a song is quite pretty, and somewhat soothing. It's the song I have listened to most on this single, I admit, though I do think it's not the best; the other two are much nicer, I think, but I do enjoy the title track quite a lot.
... Might need to give the other two more of a chance, though.
Recall THE END by TRUSTRICK (2016.08.10)
Okay, so aside from Re:Call by i☆Ris, TRUSTRICK's own Recall song has been another favourite from the month gone by. It's dark and alluring, mature and cool, and it sounds absolute amazing. This is a single I have been anticipating since I saw its Music Video because, c'mon, it's TRUSTRICK and I seem to have fallen in love with them since December of last year. Plus, how can I not adore this song? It's different to my usual Summer jams, yeah, but for August, I really did enjoy the cooler tones, and this fit into my tastes for the past month.
I think this is a great song. The vocals are, as per usual, wonderful, the instrumental is powerful and thrumming with energy, and honestly, I just love it so much. It's a winner for me, and another August favourite, though admittedly it was not played s much as what Re:Call by i☆Ris was.
Love Trip by AKB48 (2016.08.31)
This sounds so Tsunku with the added 'Love Trip' lines thrown into the instrumental, that I kind of can't help but enjoy it... in general, I enjoy this song in its entirety; it's simple, it's cheesy, but it's also very catchy, and very freakin' sweet, though honestly, the impact of it does indeed lie in the accompanying video, for obvious reasons. It's an enjoyable song alone, but honestly, I might not listen to it after this month leaves us.
It's still really adorable though, aand probably the most memorable A-side from any 48 unit I've heard this year (and that's not a lot). Plus, it's Sasshi's Senbatsu song! Of course it's going to be incredibly catchy, and stupidly hard to get out of your head!
It's a fun song, and whilst it's not the best Sasshi has had as a Senbatsu winner, it's still a good jam for her. Another catchy, cute song that will surely get stuck in your head, thanks to its easy instrumental and memorable Love Trip lyrics. Hopefully, it won't get annoying fast... fingers crossed?
Love is MY RAIL by Suzuki Konomi (2016.08.03)
First off, I really like the cover on this single. It's simple, but very pretty and eye-catching. It's the cover that had me wanting to listen to this single, obviously, and whilst I may not always like what a prettily packaged single contains, that is not the case for Love is MY RAIL, the title track in Konomi's 11th single release.
It's an energetic and fun song, and I really love Konomi's vocals, too. She's sweet, but there is a power there as well that is undeniable, and I can't help but be impressed by her. She isn't the most powerful singer out there, granted, but there is a lot of passion and drive in this song that makes it a fun, solid listen.
That said, I doubt she'll take the place of my Ray. Not yet, anyway... >o>
Cerulean Squash by Aisaka Yuuka (2016.08.03)
There are only two songs on this single (that I know of), so I'm going to put both of them here, because I enjoy both an equal amount. Sure, this isn't my favourite from August, but it's an enjoyable release overall. It's a bit nostalgic of my anime-loving days, in that the music sounds so-very anime-ish. Well, surprise surprise, it's the opening theme of an anime! That familiar generic anime tone will never die, not from my mind... -sniff-.
Cerulean Squash, the title track, is a unique title, and is the main reason I decided to check the song out. It's as upbeat as I'd expected, and shows off Yuuka's vocals quite nicely. It isn't a cutesy song, by any means, and it fits the summer tone quite well. This song has good energy and pace, and yeah, I enjoy that anime vibe I get from it.
Dependence was a bit unexpected, and honestly, I thought I wouldn't like it. The overall tone is a lot more mature, despite the fact Yuuka's voice is a bit higher, here. That said, the song packs a punch with its awesome use of what I want to say is an electric guitar, which captures your attention immediately and brings you in. It feels a lot more rock than pop, this song, and I do think that is the appeal. It's a good song, possibly the better of the two, and certainly shows off Aisaka Yuuka's vocals nicely.
Overall, this is a pretty solid single, and I do like it. I'll probably listen to it a bit more and fall even further in like with it, if it doesn't get lost in September's wave of single releases.
un secret by Shimotsuki Haruka (2016.08.10)
I'm going to call this my 'Fairy Tale Music', because it just makes me think of story books and ballets, theatrical plays and fantasy. It's quite ethereal and mystical in sound, and just oh-so attractive to my ears. The moment I heard un secret, I was taken in. It's just so, so pretty to hear, and it puts images into my mind. It's a song that I could totally write to, so of course that draws me in quite a lot.
I just find this type of song enjoyable to listen to, and very pretty. Once again, I was drawn into this single by its cover and the name, and I'm rather happy the songs sound matches the simplistic beauty of the image on the cover. It's a gentle piece, but it creates so much life in my own mind, and makes my imagination run around. I enjoy that a lot about this piece, and also... I quite like this singers voice! Gonna have to check her out some more, I think.
Yume no Nukegara by Shimotsuki Haruka (2016.08.10)
A lot softer and more serene than the title track, the first of the two coupling songs continues that fantasy-like theme, and of course entertains me greatly. Yume no Nukegara is a lot more soothing than the first track, and probably my favourite of the two because of how sweet and sentimental it sounds. It's a gorgeous piece, and I absolutely adore the backing vocals used to create that ethereal, harmonious sound that makes me think of fairies in the woods and becoming lost in an enchanted place.
I admit that I have not listened to this song as much as the other, however I do think that I will get a few loops out of it, because it is absolutely stunning. This is hands down my favourite track on this single, and a winner in my heart.
Sayonara ga Utsukushikute by Shibata Aya and 4th Generation (2016.08.17)
Last month when I did my PV selection, I found the short music video for Sayonara ga Utsukushikute, the graduation song for Shibata Aya. I honestly have no clue who she is, but when I watched that video, I was captivated by the song and the video itself. It's a very lovely piece, and of those that have recently graduated the 48 Factory and had Graduation songs to celebrate their time within the group, this one has to be my favourite, by far. It's simple, but pretty, light, but emotive, and of course quite powerful in both sound and image. Well done, AKS!
I actually do adore this song. I like it a lot more than Love Trip, if that means anything at all, and it's even given me some inspiration for some stories I need to write for my dissertation. So, yeah. This is a beautiful song, I like how it looks in the video, I like how it sounds, and I've found it's given me a bit of fodder for my stories, inspiring me to tap away at this laptop, and write out some stories! Yahoo!
(I'm quite sad I never knew of Shibata Aya... her eyes intrigue me, I might have liked her quite a bit).
The Roll-Over portion of the post is dedicated to songs from the month prior to the one gone by (in this case, July) that I have also enjoyed along with the most recent releases. These songs could be returns, or songs I did not pick up until the next month, but enjoyed so much, I wanted to talk about them.
Hakoniwa Dramatic by Amatsuki (2016.07.27)
Okay, so firstly; Holy shit, this Album! And, secondly: HOLY SHIT! THIS. THIS!!! ALBUM!
Hakoniwa Dramatic has been, to put it simply, my crack. It's been my addiction throughout all of August, and it's been the reason I've been so god-damn happy, despite whatever circumstances might have arisen since the beginning of last month till now. This is the album that has made me smile and dance, pull stupid faces and para-para in my chair like an absolute idiot. I've sang along to it, and loved every damn moment of this album, from beginning to end, because hot damn, there is not a bad song in this. Seriously.
Of course, that's subject to taste and person, and we all know I have shit taste in general, but HEYLL, if you like male singers, enjoy energetic, upbeat, fun songs that will bring smiles to your face, deliver positivity to your door and have you jumping around like my 4 year old niece on a sugar high, then this is the album for you! It's amazing, and hey, the vocals are greas I have t, too!
The fact Amatsuki is a little cute helps, too! ;)
Seriously though, this album is awesome, and one of my favourites from the year so far. It's just amazing, and I've loved every moment of it. I doubt I'll get sick of it any time soon, either, it's just THAT good! (to me, at least. Dunno about you :p)
The U-Turn side is where I gush over the songs from weeks, months, or even years back. These can be from any era, any group... as long as I have enjoyed it, but it does not fit within the time frame of the past two months, it goes here! Sometimes this list is small, sometimes it does not appear at all, and sometimes it is filled with anything other than J-pop. Depending on my mood and what I have enjoyed, anything can be here, basically. Typically, it's music I already enjoyed a great deal, however some songs from the past I have never heard do pop up from time to time.
Footloose: The Musical OST from the Original Broadway Cast (1998)
I don't know if y'all know, but right now, I'm in the process of becoming a Musical nut. I have always loved musical soundtracks, whether they are from Disney or Broadway. Most of the time, I know the songs, but not the plays, depending if I've heard the OST, that is. Like, I've never seen Wicked, but I know the songs. I hadn't seen the Legally Blonde Musical until after I'd heard the track list a good three years before I was able to see it on stage, the same goes for Avenue Q. Other songs from other musicals I have heard here and there, and I want to hear more, see more... this month gone by, I was hooked on the Footloose soundtrack, because I actually got to see it, and holy shit, IT WAS AWESOME!
This soundtrack is great, too. I have a few favourites, of course, but overall, I enjoy this OST and what it has to offer. It's fun, at times emotional, and very powerful, too. The story is great, too (I like both films, by the way. Just an FYI XD), but I found going to see the musical enhanced that story and gave it so much more depth, and the songs definitely helped define and flesh out characters, and show their emotional sides a lot more. This is a great OST, and I'll probably listen to it even more, because that's what I do; I don't give up on what I love, ya hear!
Now err'body CUT LOOSE! XD XD XD
... Okay, where the heck is La Pompon and Cheeky Parade!? I mean, they're a staple on these posts now, because damn, I don't shut up about them or stop listening to them... or do I?
In all honesty though, August has been a good month for me with the music. What I listened to, I enjoyed immensely, so much so that I didn't actually go back to many other songs from subsequent months or years. Hakoniwa Dramatic, I discovered more in August than July, so for me that was a brand-spanking new listen, too, and I never heard the Footloose Musical OST until a week or so ago, so yeah... all of the music here is new to me, even if the dates aren't necessarily recent for one of them. So, for me, this has been a month of complete discovery, rather than a month of returning to music I know I love and adore already.
So, with that said and done, for the month of August 2016, what music picks have you been enjoying, and do any of them match mine? Please feel free to leave your own selection lists below, or share them with your friends and family, and spread the love for songs and groups that you adore! Whatever it is, don't hesitate to love what you love, and share with the world the music of your Idols!
And until I speak to you next time, please enjoy your music, love the Idols you adore, smile and stay happy, and of course, be healthy and wonderful, always!
Much Love and Laughter,