Thursday, 30 April 2020

A Moment To Look At The Blue Sky with Gunjou no Sekai's 'Aozora Moment' (Single Review)

*All thoughts and opinions are my own, and you are in no way obligated to agree with me. I have my preferences, you have yours, but the common ground we have is our love of idols and music. Please respect what it is said, and I will in turn respect your thoughts and opinions. Thank you.

**As a human and not a robot, I am subject to mistakes. Typo's, misspellings and the like are more often than not littered here, so if you find any of them, please let me know and I will do my best to quickly edit it! I try to improve each day with catching out my spelling errors, however I have blunders and do not expect any post I publish to be perfect. I also suck at grammar, so there is that. Punctuation placement is also not my strong-suit. In advance, I thank you for pointing out my errors.

In which Chiima finally reviews her favourite single of 2020, thus far...

Marking the second release for the group - and the first single to be distributed nationally - four member idol group Gunjou no Sekai are ready to paint a picture of the blue sky in Aozora Moment, an upbeat and somewhat orthodox idol release. With seven tracks in total, (five of which are variants of the title song) this release will please those who enjoy the simpler songs in life, and enjoy a little sweetness from their J-pop.

Sophisticated and stylish in all they do, Gunjou no Sekai debuted in December of 2018 and have since released 2 physical singles, as well as 10 digital songs, all of which encompass a variety of sounds. From fresh and pretty to cool and refined, there is something to enjoy from the group that look up at the sky.

Their catchphrase is "Looking up, there is still something missing in the endless blue sky".

I have wanted to review this single since hearing it in full, and whilst I took my sweet time doing it - about 4 days, because this is me we're talking about - I'm glad that I was able to finish it juuuuust before April could end. With it being the release month of the single itself, and with my ability to listen to it in full thanks to it being on Spotify, I'm happy that I could actually achieve this goal, and deliver a review to everyone from a group that I know so little about, and for a single that I am absolutely crazy about right now.

I adore it, and Aozora Moment is currently my favourite single of 2020 thus far. But why is it my favourite, and what is it about the release that makes me enjoy it so much? Well, dear readers, let's log in to our Spotify accounts and give this single a listen, and maybe - juuuust maybe - I will convert you to the world of Gunjou no Sekai's Aozora Moment...

Are you ready? It's time to press play and give this single a whirl. Let's go~

Link: Spotify

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Music Digest: 1st Quarter 2020

In which Chiima creates another list-based series where she displays the music she enjoys from the year that is, and shares some thoughts with everyone about the releases...

Around the middle of April an idea sparked in my mind regarding a new form of favoured music updates for the months gone by, one that would essentially allow me the time to compile it without having to dedicate myself every other week, or even within a months period. And because I liked this idea so much, I decided to implement it into my regime for 2020.

Pretty much the love-child of my Music Selection series from 2017, Digest Quarterly was born from the desire to keep myself updated with my favourite releases of the year, whilst also pandering to my laziness in updating this blog. It's a win-win situation here, because I can now keep a log of my favourites from the months gone by, yet still not have to dedicate myself to it every single month. Instead, I will update it every three months, because supreme laziness!

I will have to note that, despite listing my favourite songs here on a quarterly basis, does not mean that they will allbe present in the Year End overview of my favourite songs from 2020. This is because, more often than not, I will fall in love with a single or album well after its release date, or I will fall out of love with something as time goes by. It is just the way it is.

Anyways, the ultimate aim of this list is to:
  1. Log my favourite songs for the impending Favourites of 2020 list.
  2. Share my music favourites with everyone! Because sharing is caring, y'all~
  3. Write my quick thoughts on the release, and why I think it's good (without having to write a full-on review).
  4. Because I wanted to fill a void, one that is ultimately there because I miss my Music Selections.
  5. Mambo #5.
  6. It's also a fun way for me to recommend music to people, and a reason to make lists. Because lists are good.
... And that's it. Those are the reasons why I wanted to create this, though I never needed to explain it. I just wanted to, because words and writing and all that rambling fun.

The ultimate goal of this Quarterly Music Digest is to simply share my favourite music finds with everyone, as well as to keep a log and recommend music that I think people will like. At the end of the day, I think that sharing what we enjoy in J-Pop, K-Pop an any damn bop is a good thing, and will further our music interests along the way. It's also a great way to discover new musicians, idols and artists to follow, or perhaps help you to rekindle a long lost interest in a group you abandoned way back when, for one reason or another. Either way, this Music Digest is here for both myself and my readers as a means to keep ourselves occupied with music, and to find new groups and singers to invest our time (and maybe even money) in.

So please read on, and enjoy! Hopefully you find some new groups and music to lose yourself in, or perhaps rekindle your love with an old favourite. Heck, you might just return to the same old groups, idols and artists you have been following for the last half decade. Whatever it is you happen to enjoy, we won't judge you...

Let's listen to some music~

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Updates in Blogging (19.04.2020)

*This post was created because I personally felt the need to update you all on some things. Though I feel it's not that necessary a post, I needed an outlet for my thoughts on this blog, its updates and a little more. It's a whole-ass word dump if anything, but it's needed. I apologise for the useless drivel that will ensue, haha.

My last Updates in Blogging was in August 2017.

Sounds about right...

It has been almost three years since I posted one of these, and whilst I'm aware that I have not needed to update you all - because I've kind of neglected this blog, oof - I do think that now is better a time than any to at least give you some small updates, let you know what's going on... etc, etc.

So, let's talk about random things and update you all on what is happening. On the internet and real life, let's talk about a few of the things that have brought me to this point.

All The Way Way in LOVE, Mind & Body - KOKORO&KARADA / LOVEpedia / Ningen Kankei No way way (Single Review)

*This is a completely subjective post in which I state my thoughts and opinions on Morning Musume's most recent single. Please do not take what I say as fact, and do not get personally offended by whatever is said just because it does not fit within your own opinions or feelings. I do this for fun, to share my love of J-pop and Idols with others, and to pass the time. It's a hobby, that's all. I don't do this for anything but my own pleasure. At the end of the day your opinions are just as valid as mine, but we are not all made to think the same way, and we should all respect that. Thank you.

**I also make mistakes like any human, so if you see any littered within the post, don't feel shy about calling me out. We all have room to improve, myself included. Thanks for your help and understanding, my loves.

A post in which Chiima finally writes that one review she started in February, but was too lazy to finish until a month into her countries lock down.

With new members to introduce and a new year to tackle, Morning Musume 20's latest single proves to be a refreshing change of pace for the group. With a catchy trio of songs to listen to, the groups 68th single certainly delivers more than we may have bargained for.

But is it really as great as some make it out to be, and is it really worth the repeat listens that some fans put it through? That's up for you to decide, though I'm certainly going to give the single a test-run (or 50) to find out myself.

Though it has been a few months since the singles official release, I'm finally finishing this review in the last quarter of April, because I never got around to writing up this review around the time I initially planned to post it. It's a bad habit of mine to leave review drafts in a pit of uncertainty, but with how the current situation of the world is right now, I decided that now was a better time than never to talk about this single.

It's been present since the start of the year, a frequent visitor on many playlists, I'm sure, and it's a single that I know a fair few people love. Finally, I will tackle the triple A-side that is KOKORO & KARADA / LOVEpedia / Ningen Kankei No way way, and dole out my unwanted thoughts on the release. It's time to plug in the headphones, take in the music and type out the words. Are you ready to forget the world exists and enter a place filled with colour, music and fun?

Let's go~

Saturday, 18 April 2020

An Introduction to MeniPara: The Group That Will Shift the Paradigms of Their Dreams and Possibilities (Updated on January 7th, 2021)

'An Introduction to' is my random, passion-project fueled series here on Okay! Musume Time, - and sometimes Selective Hearing - where I bring together my love of idols and research in order to create a document filled with information and idol goodness.

My aim here is to introduce a variety of groups to my readers, as well as to document and give insight to who they are, what they do and more. It doesn't matter what their tenure within the entertainment world is, nor does it bother me how well-known or unknown they might be; if they pique my interest, I'm probably going to write about them at some point, and what better way to write about them than an introduction post to share with everyone here?

And with that, let's introduce today's group. Shifting the paradigms of their dreams and possibilities to become a group with no boundaries, today's group introduction is MeniPara!

*In no way am I an expert on MeniPara, nor do I claim to be one. I am simply a fan of the group and did all I could in terms of research to get as much as information as possible, though there may be some mistakes. This post was simply made for fun and out of my love for both idols and research, as well as to create awareness for this amazing group. Please be aware that this document is not perfect, but simply a passion project from an over-eager fan.

The Origin Story

Though they would not debut until September of 2019, MeniPara's journey officially began in June of 2019, when general manager Natsuno Kanami made the announcement that she would be returning to her roots as an idol with a new group that would be completely self-produced. In order to find new members for the group, Kanami held 'secret auditions' on her official YouTube channel, where she would invite various guests with different entertainment backgrounds for interviews, only to reveal her intentions at the end of the interview. She would then ask the interviewee if they would join her idol group. Among the interviewees, a former idol, gravure model and voice actress were included.

Kanami revealed the winners of the audition on July 8th 2019, and introduced members Aisawa Rinna, Minami Yuri, Maako Miwa and Ogusu Rienna as the final formation for her up-coming group. On July 10th, Kanami uploaded a video where the members decided on the groups name together, where they revealed that they would be called MeniPara - many many paradigm -. The group is generally known as 'MeniPara'.

After announcing their formation, MeniPara began working on creating the lyrics and choreography for their original songs, all prior to their live debut. The process of the groups up-coming September debut, including costume creation, song recordings, dance rehearsals and MV shootings, were uploaded to the groups official YouTube channel. As a part of their image, the group aims to document as much of their journey as possible, as well as deliver fun content that shows off their bond and individual personalities.

On August 15th, 2019, MeniPara uploaded their first official music video for their song Taiyoukei Cinderella, which has been coined as an orthodox idol song. A month later, the group made their official live debut at Shibuya Star Lounge on September 8th, 2019 with five original songs.

During the New Year of 2020, the characters in MeniPara's name changed from メニぱら to めにぱら. The official reading of the name is めにぱら - many many paradigm -

Completely self-produced, MeniPara's aim is to become a group where each member can realise what they want by working without restriction, and to throw away the stereotypes that are connected to the word 'idol'. As each member has a different age, background, experiences and preferences, the ultimate aim of the group is for MeniPara to become a place in which each member can share their own thoughts and perspectives, whilst also realising what they want to do as individuals. For this reason, MeniPara is a group that has no theme or stereotype attached to it in regards to their image, music genres, etc.

On August 1st, 2020, MeniPara released their first digital mini-album, titled First Paradigm Shift.

As the group is completely self-produced, all funding, event bookings, promotions and music production, etc, is sourced by the members themselves.

MeniPara's official slogan is: 'A paradigm shift of dreams and possibilities'

Monday, 6 April 2020

A Ritual Of Nightmares Continues in Dreamcatcher's 1st Album 'Dystopia: The Tree of Language' (Album Review)

*Where there is room to make mistakes, there is also room to improve. If you see any mistakes riddled throughout this post, please be sure to call me out on them. I am human, therefore imperfect, however I am always wanting to improve my spelling and more. Thank you for your help and understanding.

In which Chiima finally finishes her review about Dreamcatcher's Dystopian album, whilst also experiencing the odd changes within her own world thanks to a certain pandemic...

With an abundance of new songs to experience, Dreamcatcher's latest album Dystopia: The Tree of Language explores the depths of their nightmares with a variety of sounds, dystopian themes and epic vocals.

And yes, it's as incredible as it sounds. Or maybe I'm just biased. Who knows?

Acting as the first release of 2020 for the group, this is the groups long-awaited first feature-length album filled with new tracks, as well as a handful of previous releases. Impressive in its sound and srtyle, atmospheric and appropriately eerie when it needs to be, Dystopia: The Tree of Language is a great addition to Dreamcatcher's discography, and a must-hear for anyone who cares to give it a try.

And before I give any more away, I am finally going to sit my butt down and write out this review, which has been collecting dust since February. With no excuses left to give - because it's clear the real world is as fragile as Dreamcatcher's nightmare world - let's finally get into this review and type my thoughts on the songs, the album and everything that pleases or annoys me about it.

The world isn't ending, but when it feels like things are falling apart we should listen to some music and escape into another universe that parallels our own. Are you ready to fall into this world of dreams and music?