Spring Cleaning, 2017
A 10-song round-up of favorite songs from January to March
I got a quite a few personal playlist systems going on to introduce new music in my life, but some songs get stuck in a pile of new finds without a chance to have a proper home. So rather than they get forgotten by the wayside in a sea of songs in my library, I thought I’d at least archive some of my favorite songs from the past three months with quick blurbs.
Here are some non-2017 songs I’ve been into lately.
21 Savage (2016)
Metro Boomin’ is secretly one of the best producers taking on the IDM revival. His insect-like synth fizz in “Bad Guy,” glitching in a hazy digital dream, belongs in the world of Autechre. And when the sonar blips give way to an eerie light show, I lose it like 21 Savage, whose enraged voice gives me even bigger shivers.
Aya Matsuura (2002)
Tsunku sources older idol ballads for this moody single from a more down-to-earth era of Ayaya. Shiny as those synths sparkle, she’s anything but happy after news about an old flame. Though remembered more by her bubbly hits of T.W.O., “Love Namida-Iro” is my favorite so far.
Things haven’t changed much since BoA’s last appearance here. While she’s got the boy, he’s still equally helpless as he is in “Be the One.” She calls out him once more with that powerhouse vocal of hers, but rather than start a heated chase yet again, she decides to show off her cool over a slick UKG beat.
Every Little Thing (1997)
Like a lot of ELT hits, a young Kaori Mochida keeps the energy of “Future World” fresh despite their outdated keyboard/guitar setup. Her youthful heart is also the essential voice to drive home the song’s message to break free for a better tomorrow. And if you thought she sounds unstoppable here, check how she sings live.
Audio, Video, Disco comes alive best when it’s synced to the sensation of speed; I recommend you slap the Justice album on your next drive. And CANADA knew just how thrilling “New Lands” would feel set to a gladiator match with its cheesy riffs rightfully providing a theme of battle.
Miss A (2012)
Miss A is yet another proof to how strong I respond to girl groups with women singing about being fed up with dumb men. Over synths tired and glum as their heart, miss A break it off for good to reclaim their better selves. They hit “no mercy” sharp as if they haven’t sung a more relatable hook.
Morning Musume (1998)
Silliness better suited Morning Musume’s brand of boogie than the group’s early take on a more serious, more adult disco, but it wasn’t without its hits. The girls wear coolness naturally in “Daite!” especially in the song’s intermission, which hints at what they’ll succeed later with “Love Machine.”
Red Velvet (2016)
The red/velvet dichotomy fades in Russian Roulette as the group take on a range of the new, from carnival pomp to tropical swing. But I return to the finale ballad, “My Dear,” the most. A bashful fuzz give way to a big-hearted earnestness, wrapped up in a infectious pop triad: “my dear, my love, my best.”
Silent Siren (2016)
There’s not a better title to befit Silent Siren’s youthful and explosive brand of power pop than “Cherry Bomb.” They pick more on the titular fruit to write about puppy love just as sweet. But their musical chops pack nothing but fireworks, from the nimble bass line, keyboard solos to the guitar riff high on a crush.
Can’t knock a title track to an album titled Positive, filled to the brim with electronic brightness to match, for asking you to put on a smile just for a sec. Even without Dream Ami’s cheery presence, the gleeful optimism flowing in Tofubeats’ retro guitar-pop almost demands a grin as its response.