Hello everyone! I have created a combination of a top numbered list and a general list of things I enjoyed in 2012. There is gonna be a mix of J-pop, K-pop, C-pop, hip-hop, and a bit of regular pop music that I will give my nod to.
Utada Hikaru – Sakura Nagashi
Utada Hikaru sure is a tease. While still officially on her hiatus, in conjunction with the new Evangelion movie, releases Sakura Nagashi, the theme song for the movie. I have no idea how well this song does in the context of the movie, but the song itself I really liked. I realize it was released as a promo, but a part of me thinks (or wants to believe) that this song is meant as a reminder. Just because she’s taken a break from the music doesn’t mean that her singing has deteriorated in any way. You step to the Queen, you best not miss! Well, okay it’s probably not meant as a shot across the bow.
Namie Amuro – Go Round
The B-side to this single, YEAH-OH was alright. Go Round, while not her best outing, still is one of her better electro-pop songs. This has kept me interested on what she is gonna do once 2013 goes into full effect.
SPEED – 4 Colors
I’m just gonna put the entire album here. Fully bias choice here, but it’s their first album in almost 10 years. New material plus bonus DVD features that Speed fans should probably have. Yeah, there are songs that they have released previously so buying the whole album if you already have the other songs is a bit of a money sink. My real complaint about the album is that it wasn’t promoted at all. No new PV for any of the new songs, no performance on any Japanese TV. Outside of a press release, a teaser video, and the women tweeting about the album, we got nothing. I know the J-pop landscape has greatly changed since they were on top, but how can someone expect any success for the release if there isn’t any push for it?
This list is a bit different. Along with myself, you can see Greg and Paul over at JPH!P.com and on their forums right now is for people to list their 10 favorite K-pop songs of the year, and I have that list.
1. Wonder Girls – Like This
2. Secret – Poison
3. T-ara – Lovey Dovey
4. Brown Eyed Girls – A Midnight Summer’s Dream
5. IU – Peach
6. Miss A – Touch
7. T-ara – Day By Day
8. BoA – Only One
9. TaeTiSeo – Checkmate
10. f(x) – Electric Shock
The Wonder Girls top my K-pop list for 2012. I struggled between Wonder Girls and Secret for number one, because both releases were really strong. But I ended up choosing Like This because it got my attention in different ways. Secret’s Poison certainly scratches my Noir film love with the MV and it has some of those musical elements in it. Like This however, not only is a good hip-hop dance number, but the beat knocks. I love the beat so much that I have considered putting pen to paper and writing my own rhymes to it.
The surprise to me was Miss A. I gotta admit, I wasn’t feeling their music before 2012. You can say that I was sleeping on them, because once I heard Touch, I went back and listened to the entire catalog, and I was pleasantly surprised and sad at myself. I should have seen it earlier. Hell, even Greg reviewed A Class last year. I’m awake now.
I know that S.H.E put out a new album in 2012 but I haven’t gotten to it. There was a good chance that if I did, it would have made it in this list.
What I did get to however, was finding Kimberley Chen.
I’m gonna keep my eyes and ears open on her. She has that IU appeal with her image and this video. Can’t go wrong, right?
Gotta be honest, I don’t listen to a lot of it. But I have to show The Ting Tings some love here. Sounds From Nowheresville is a good example of an album done right. Head over to the review for more details.
I know that Selective Hearing’s main appeal is the Asian Pop. But, we go get readers who come for the urban music so this section is for my hip-hop heads.
Big K.R.I.T. – Live From The Underground & 4EvaNaDay
Outkast told us that the South has something to say. The Mississippi Native has been dominating the mixtape circuit for a couple of years now, continuing it with 4EvaNaDay. But he did also release a studio album in Live From the Underground. Some may criticize the quality of the album not being better than the mixtapes he has put out. While I agree with that sentiment, it’s also a testament to the quality of his music.
The bass hits while maintaining a definite smooth Southern sound. If he continues with releasing this kind of material, he may actually be remembered in time.
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
I’ve seen this compared to Nas’s Illmatic. Too soon to even classify it as a class or compare it to other classics. But the Compton kid has released a great album. I mean that in the strictest sense, it’s an ALBUM. Each song logically makes sense on the album, and it’s position in the track listing. There’s a compelling story arc, a story that shares a lot of similarities to my own life. Go get this album if you don’t have it already.
Nas – Life Is Good
You can go read my review. Definitely one of the best albums of the year.