Short Album Reviews #22 (Selena Gomez, Mac Miller, Eminem, Halsey, Bombay Bicycle Club)

The twenty-second batch of short album reviews (the first batch for 2020)!

I don’t know if anyone cares, but the last time was July since the last SAR post; it’s been a really long time. After the licensure examination (for teachers), I had a tough time on what 2018 albums to share my thoughts on next so I just decided to f*ck it and stop until the year-end list season came in.

But now that the lists are done, I will try to get back on this one on a regular monthly basis… hopefully.

January is usually a stale month for album releases, but, maybe it’s because it’s the start of the new decade, a lot of big albums are now out… and they’re pretty interesting.

Enough blabbering, here’s the first Short Album Reviews of the year.


Selena Gomez – Rare

The first 2020 album I’ve heard this year, and I’m already going in with a hot take: this is actually a good album. *sheesh* I know a lot of peeps will disagree with me, but I think Gomez found the style that suits her on Rare. I’m glad that she mostly abandoned the horrible EDM drops that can be found in her past songs.

With that said, I think Rare‘s biggest problem is still its lack of flare. Like you’ll expect that after all the problems she’s dealt, you’ll think that she’ll go all out with her emotions; but Lose You to Love Me was unfortunately just a tease of it.

Still though, the production is on the right track with Gomez’s vocal inflections and style. It is still impressive in her behalf. Let’s just be thankful she’s not the topic on JB’s Yummy anymore.

6/10


Mac Miller – Circles

Unlike the other disrespectful cashgrab intentions, Circles felt like an intimate and soulful record that is fully realized from Mac Miller’s artistic visions. The record was entirely laidback yet passionate; vulnerable and broken but it’s still full of soul.

Like his previous projects, it is pretty apparent that Miller put a lot of thoughts on finishing this up until his passing. He bared his sensitivity and depressed emotions on the project, but he still somehow finds some way to be hopeful and look on the brighter side. It is all so compelling yet so sad and hard-hitting knowing the fact on what eventually happened to him.

The lyricism and delivery were heard in a more vivid picture with Jon Brion’s amazing dreamy production. He took a lot of time to make the sound of Circles to be refined and smooth; something that Miller would want to present to his listeners. Brion deserves a nod for this whole thing too.

Circles is a moving artistic statement for Miller. A comforting and compelling conclusion for his discography. Rest in peace.

8/10


Eminem – Music to be Murdered By

After that wrecking ball of mess that is Revival and the angry mediocrity of Kamikaze, Eminem continues to underwhelm with his surprise album but for a different reason this time around: it felt soulless.

Sure, the theme is there; that sounded promising. But I swear I think I just rolled my eyes for three minutes with that long-winded opening track. It was so boring.

A lot of people were saying that this one is a bit of an improvement, but for me… idk. Well yeah, I thought Godzilla and Yah Yah sounded freaking tight; the production was indeed better and the guests were listenable, but there’s still a lot of snoozefest moments and horrible bars in here. Talking euthanasia like kids in Taiwan? Contemplating yelling bombs away on the game like outside an Ariana concert? Come on, now.

Music to be Murdered By wasn’t that horrible compared to Revival and Recovery, but I’m honestly still baffled why this is a thing. He sounded like an a*sh*le, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care. At least he still raps very fast.

4/10


Halsey – Manic

I think this is generic AF.

Seriously though there’s nothing much to say about this one. I honestly think hopeless fountain kingdom is a decent project, but I was just not anticipating this one because of that snorefest Without Me.

And as it turns out, the only songs I genuinely liked here were Graveyard and the one interlude with Dominic Fike. I get that there’s a concept she’s trying to portray here, but it just fell flat. Real flat. Sorry.

3/10


Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong

Once again, I’m on the other side of the spectrum here because despite of its lukewarm reception, I think this album is really good.

Yes, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong may have not brought anything cutting-edge to the table in indie pop and rock, but almost everything just sticks in your ears in the best way. Every element in the instrumentation were brought in together to present something lightheartedly and special. It’s even sounding cinematic at times.

They may be sweet and entrancing, but they still impressively managed to pull off their knack on songwriting about finding inspirations, missed opportunities, and the struggles and the pains of growing up. The jams are pretty relatable which makes it more personally adorning.

I may be in the minority here, but I think this album is an enjoyable and consistently thoughtful one. The direction they took has gone right.

8/10


Listen to these albums!

Great OPM songs of 2019

The best 2019 songs by Filipino artists IN MY OPINION

How’s your 2020 so far, everyone? Well, mine is just happening so fast. There are a lot of good and nerve-wracking things that have been falling on my lap lately. Let’s hope we’ll continue to survive throughout the year (especially with all of these natural disasters and political turmoil going on around the world).

By the way, my year-end lists were already done, but I still want to do this post since I’m aware that there weren’t a lot of OPM songs on my Favorite 2019 singles post. Filipino music was great last year, and there are a lot of songs that need to be in everyone’s attention.

So before we get to the new projects of the 2020s, I’m sharing my 21 (+4 to make them 25 where I’ll show later) favorite OPM songs of 2019 in alphabetical order. Some of them were already in my previous list, and most of them were on my drafts when I was boiling it from 100 singles. I just thought it would be nice to share this to you in a form of recommendation in case you missed some of these songs. I’m putting one track per artists for variety, so you can check out their other works.

Without further ado, here are the songs!


Because – Direk

Ben&Ben – Masyado Pang Maaga

The Bloomfields – Tutut

Clara Benin – I Rose Up Slowly

ena mori – Break

half-lit, b.p. valenzuela – cruising on a wavelength

Ian Penn – A Love Like Yours

Kamara – Makalimutin

Kolateral – Boy

Mazerboy – Artificial Dreams

MNL48 – Ikaw Ang Melody

Munimuni – Bawat Piyesa

(I know there were technically no 2019 singles by Munimuni [Kalachuchi and Oras initially came out in 2018], but I still want to give them a nod for this one. It’s my personal fave on the album.)

No Rome – Cashmoney

Oh, Flamingo! – Four Corners

Orange & Lemons – Ikaw Ang Aking Tahanan

Ourselves the Elves – Shellfish

Shanti Dope – Amatz

Skusta Clee – Zebbiana

syd hartha – paruparo

Tanya Markova – Stranded

Unique Salonga – Lamang Lupa


Also shout out to the Pop Machine project where various artists were performing their own renditions of the hit songs of Eraserheads. They were so goooood. Here’s my top four:

Reese Lansangan – Huwag Kang Matakot

Munimuni – Minsan

Ciudad – Tindahan ni Aling Nena

Oh, Flamingo! – Julie Tearjerky (this one is my favorite among the four covers)


What are your favorite OPM songs of 2019?

My 25 Favorite Albums of 2019

Best albums of the year IN MY OPINION

I was supposed to post this on December 26, but a lot has happened that causes the delay. I got sick for two days, and the internet connection here in my hometown was freaking slow. But then, as a small personal blog, it doesn’t really matter.

My last installment for year-end lists! Man, 2019 was such a very meaningful year for me when it comes to listening to music for I have discovered a lot of classics and underground gems.

New records didn’t falter either. Like last year, 2019 is great for music. In this post, I’m sharing my top 25 favorite albums of the year. There are a lot of albums that I’ve grown to love, but these, in my opinion, are the best. I continue to do this kind of posts because it’s just fun.

If you disagree with my picks, that’s okay. To each their own. But as I’ve always been saying every time, this is still a form of a “recommendations post” so I hope that you find something that’s going to vibe with your taste. So without further ado, here are the favorites!

Happy 2020, everyone!


25.

BROCKHAMPTONGINGER

The “best boy band” continues to impress with their fifth full-length project, but this one is different from its predecessors. GINGER is slower in pace and deeper in emotions, but this resulted in a more mature and honest lyricism. It’s not really a banger album as a whole, but it’s still Brockhampton.


24.

Lingua Ignota – CALIGULA

Approach this album with caution. As someone who’s still in the midst of discovering albums, CALIGULA has been the most horrifying one I have encountered yet. No, I’m not exaggerating. This is going to be one of the most unforgettable records you’ll ever try, and for that I was so amazed with it. You’ll sleep for the night with the lights on. You have been warned.


23.

Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

Sam Fender’s debut album is a promising presentation of his artistic endavors. Hypersonic Missiles exhibits anthemic hooks and nonconformist narratives on love and society. He didn’t reinvent the wheel on indie rock or anything, but this album is a nice addition to the staple.


22.

Esther Rose – You Made It This Far

I just can’t ignore this adorable country folk gem. The soft and delicate vocals of Rose compliments so well with the gentle instrumentals. The peaceful and sweet ambience that You Made It This Far has evoked would make your heart melt, making it one of the most enjoyable country records you’ll experience. Don’t underestimate the power of yeehaw.


21.

Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated

Continuing to strike gold, Dedicated‘s blend of vintage synthpop sound and lovesick songwriting is what makes it so sticky and stunning. While it’s not as consistent as Emotion, Dedicated has maintained CRJ’s image as one of the decade’s pop darlings. A great philosopher once said, “It’s a bop!” (lol)


20.

Flume – Hi This Is Flume

Flume’s mixtape is brief, but his take on glitch hop sounded more excitingly profound and more idiosyncratic than ever. It’s a visceral and creative album that makes you wanting for more. I’m just glad that Streten didn’t sell out with his sound as he got commercially bigger; he continues to produce his sounds in an original and exciting take, and I’m applauding him for that.


19.

The Comet is Coming – Trust in the Life Force of the Deep Mystery

One of the mistakes I had this year was sleeping on this wonderful record for months. Trust in the Life Force… is an exhilirating nu jazz odyssey that explores ethereal and hip rythms and pulsating drumworks. The sections are gorgeously performed but they sounded so adventurous and thrilling like you’re in a space action movie. It’s a fun wild ride that you have to check out.


18.

Denzel Curry – ZUU

Less than a year after the amazing TA13OO was released, Denzel Curry released another freaking banger. ZUU may not be as strong and deep as its predecessor, but it still is damn impressive considering that most of what he’s done here is freestyled! He had fun making this project, and I have too.


17.

Angel Olsen – All Mirrors

You know, 2019 has a lot of great heavenly-sounding chamber pop records, and All Mirrors just adds to that statement. Olsen has ventured to new direction with her latest album and it’s simply breathtaking. The embodied strings in this project are so pristine and excellently done. Chance, as a closer, also snatched my freaking soul. A soulful and amazing record that you need to experience.


16.

Hatchie – Keepsake

Hatchie fuses the sound of 80s synthrock and subtle nuances of modern pop to craft a delicate, irresistible project in epic feather-laden proportions. Records like this are special, and Keepsake is a tender project that’s worthy to be treasured. It’s the definition of pure dream pop bliss.


15.

American Football – American Football (LP3)

Baring deprived sensitivity and depressing emotions, American Football has set the goal on hitting the painful spot right in the feels with their latest project. But along the feeling of misery and all, the lush instrumentations that Mike Kinsella and co. have done make this record an incisive and nostalgic experience. Yes, you’ll feel sad and emo while trying this, but you’ll also feel the warmth and comfort of their gentle yet dashing sound.


14.

Deerhunter – Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

What a grower this album is! I remembered trying this project and I thought it was just decent, but for some reason, I kept on coming back to it. This is their psychedelic and playful take on the sound of hypnagogic pop, but they have discussed the subject of industrialism and how it affects the environment in a compelling manner. Totally one of their strongest records along with Halcyon Digest.


13.

SeeYouSpaceCowboy.. – Songs for the Firing Squad

It’s kinda off that I have loved this more than their debut album, but here we are. This compilation project is just eighteen minutes in length, but it’s an intense and eclectic experience. The instrumentation is heavy, the guitar riffs are insane, the vocals are demented; it’s a super tight grindcore record that would blow the hell out of your mind. Just stop calling them screamo.


12.

Lana del Ray – Norman fucking Rockwell

The thing about Lana is that she has become one of the artists that has shown growth over the years. Searching for new love and timeless memories, she has figured out to embrace the burning feelings while trying to escape the anxiety and pressures of the society in her latest album. The subtle and mellow sounds capture these themes in a fascinating way. NFR is Lana del Ray in her vulnerable form, but it’s also self-aware and majestic at best.


11.

Madeon – Good Faith

A dreamy and laidback album that somehow manages to be groovy and catchy? An electronic project that shows bright and melancholic emotion that feels uplifting and inspiring? I may have a clear bias on Madeon’s music, but Good Faith is a distinct and breathtaking listen that creatively helps in overcoming adversity and doubt. It’s not overwhelming; it’s just subtly phenomenal. It’s rare to have an electropop album like this anymore.


10.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – INFEST THE RATS’ NEST

King Gizz continues to prove their versatility with this one. Their take on thrash metal is as hardcore as it gets, but they also have impressively displayed their running theme about the elite society damaging the earth and finding “Planet B”. Did they succeed though? You have to check out the whole thing to find out while being impressed by the abrasive instrumentation and the hell-bent and politically-charged storytelling.


 

9.

Charli XCX – Charli

Charli is the vision of pop music in the future. Amalgamating the different styles and different take on the genre, Charli XCX has brilliantly masterminded the mainstream pop appeal to greater heights with astonishing experimentation and variety of great features. Almost everything goes so well with one another, and it exhibits the potential on what’s to come in PC camp. Pop 2.0 is here and I’m ready for it. *cue E-E-X-C-X whispers*


 

8.

Anamanaguchi – [USA]

Feeling the adrenaline rush in EDM is still possible, and Anamanaguchi makes it sugar-pumping than ever. [USA] showcases the explosive and exciting sound on the chiptune scene, and it results to an adventurous direction that feels like a climactic scene in an anime movie. As you experience the main parts of every songs, it’s just an ascending bliss and euphoria all over again. I’m just so happy that I get to experience something like this again.


 

7.

Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains

David Berman came back in the music scene with Purple Mountains, and he pulled off an amazing but depressing record about the misery of life and how he’s dealing with it. As he monotonously talks about how he’s having enough with the world and how he was thinking of being sucked into oblivion, Purple Mountains is still sticky to the ears. It is honest and wrenching, but accesible and catchy. Most of all, it was a cry for help.

Less than a month later after this was released, David Berman committed suicide. His sentiments were heard but it was all too late. Rest in peace.


 

6.

Ourselves the Elves – Self is Universe

In the past four years, I have been introduced to a lot of indie OPM acts that strive to share quality music for the listeners, and the number of those artists that have been leaving a mark on me has been steadily growing in time. This year, the band I’ve discovered that impressed me the most is Ourselves the Elves.

From front to back, Self is Universe is a super enjoyable and cheeky indie folk-rock project about maturity and selflessness. The chill but grungy instrumentation was paired with this beautiful vocals that transcend to different emotions. Everything is an entrancing jam, and it would be a bummer if you miss out on this one.


 

5.

Julia Jacklin – Crushing

I can’t stress this hard enough: Julia Jacklin’s intimate sophomore album is true to its title; it’s freaking heart-crushing. Listening to this project makes you feel like you are the one experiencing the toxic relationship with her lover.

It’s grungy at times, and mostly mellifluous at another; Crushing is intimate and personal, honest and vulnerable. Once you’re done listening, it will leave you with a heavy heart, but you’ll listen to it again anyway. The sad things that makes you go, “awwww”.


 

4.

black midi – Schlagenheim

I bet you haven’t experienced a math rock record like this. One of the bands that made big buzz this year is black midi, and for freaking great reasons. They have released a debut album that’s full of playful twists and turns, making it one of the weirdest and creative rock projects this decade. Schlagenheim is just really one-of-a-kind; it’s a challenging listen, but you’ll have a wild and enjoyable ride. They can’t help it; they move with a magnificent purpose.


 

3.

Munimuni – Kulayan Natin

In their latest project, Munimuni continues to show the beauty and wholesomeness of life through their gentle yet powerful sound and poetry in Kulayan Natin. The whole thing is like a healing process, something that’s like taking you to a safe haven or something; which makes it damn incredible considering the fact that they still haven’t played safe with their “makata pop” sound. As what I have said in my review, Kulayan Natin is the album we need in the midst of emotional chaos. This record helped me to recover and get through one of the hardest times of my life this year, and for that I am very thankful.


 

2.

KOLATERAL – KOLATERAL

On the other side of the spectrum, Kolateral gives you a different emotion, and it’s far from security and comfort. This OPM hiphop project has captured the ugly face of the Philippine drug war in bloody color. It’s an album that’s meant to be listened with an open mind as it brilliantly tackles the ineffective Oplan Tokhang and how it affects the lives of the victims and their families in a dramatic but factual setting.

The production complemented so damn well with the storytelling in every songs. You can really tell their strong emotions and the desperation for justice. It’s a really unapologetic and eye-opening album that Filipinos need to check out, but it’s not for the ignorant and unreasonable.


1.

Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

If you personally know me, I know you’ve seen this coming. I remembered the time while I was still studying, and I can’t shut up about this album to my classmates. This album is such an immaculately done chamber pop project that’s just special and one-of-a-kind, and it’s my favorite of the year.

From front to back, Natalie Mering’s stunning vocals accompanied with these gorgeously bold instrumentals and profound lyricism about loving and living in this chaotic world make this feel like an otherworldly cinematic experience. Doom is indeed inevitable in everyone of us in some form or another, but Mering finds hope and beauty of life and she expresses all of these in an absorbing and captivating way.

Titanic Rising is an ambitious work; a precious gem that’s submerged into the depths. A beautiful album that has moved me into tears, and only Weyes Blood was able to do that.


What do you think of this list? What are your favorite albums?

My 50 Favorite Singles of 2019

Best songs of the year IN MY OPINION

The season of year-end lists marches on! Before I share my favorite 2019 albums, here are my favorite singles of the year. Out of all the posts I have done, I think this one is the most difficult to finish. Ranking the songs took me like a week to do it (LOL).

Mind you that these songs in the lists are 2019 singles. If I didn’t put “it should be a single” in my criteria, it would be twice harder to achieve.

Also I have to remind that these are my favorites. These are my opinions. If you don’t agree with it, then I am sorry. There are a lot of amazing songs released this year but some just didn’t make it in the cut. I had 100 songs in my drafts and half of them couldn’t be mentioned. It is what it is.

There are OPM songs mixed here as well so check them out if you may. In the end, this list is still in a form of “recommendations post” so I hope you’ll find something to enjoy. This intro is going too long, so here is the list. I have a playlist of the songs in the list at the end of this post if you want to listen to them.


50. HAIM – Summer Girl

49. Katy Perry – Never Really Over

48. No Rome – Cashmoney

47. Shanti Dope – Amatz

One of the controversial OPM songs this year, Amatz is something deeper than the glorification of drugs. In fact, it’s not really something about that. Tackling about the dangers of temptation, the feeling of intoxication, and getting out of this addiction, it’s one of the conscious hiphop songs that need your attention. And most of all, it’s a banger.

46. Coldplay – Champion of the World

45. EXO – Obsession

44. Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

43. clipping. – Nothing is Safe

42. Matmos – Plastic Anniversary

41. Mark Ronson – True Blue (ft. Angel Olsen)

40. Billie Eilish – bad guy

39. Caroline Polachek – Door

38. Ben&Ben – Masyado Pang Maaga

37. Albert Hammond, Jr. – Hard Times

36. Red Velvet – Zimzalabim

35. Esther Rose – Only Loving You

34. Tierra Whack – Only Child

33. Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen

32. Skusta Clee – Zebbiana

Yes, it’s a great song.

31. Purple Mountains – Darkness and Cold

30. Carly Rae Jepsen – Julien

29. PUP – Free At Last

28. Squid – Match Bet

27. Aldous Harding – The Barrel

26. Lizzo – Juice

One of the highlights of 2019 music is Lizzo’s career, and deservingly so. It’s unabashedly fun and empowering and it’s all because of her charm and talent. Don’t blame it on her juice.

25. Kishi Bashi – Summer of ’42

24. Injury Reserve – Jailbreak the Tesla (ft. Amine)

23. The National – You Had Your Soul With You

22. Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall

21. Xiu Xiu – Pumpkin Attack on Mommy and Daddy

While I was not totally impressed, Xiu Xiu released one of the most tormenting albums of the year, and this particular song shows that unsettling feeling they’re conveying. It’s a low-key banger, but listening to the unpredictable production and creepy lyrics, it’s unforgettable and it makes you uncomfortable.

20. Hatchie – Stay With Me

19. NCT 127 – Superhuman

I never thought a kpop song could be this visceral and mind-numbing. SM is still on the top when it comes to quality and concepts (the horrible promotions and management should be discussed though).

18. Lana del Ray – The Greatest

17. Denzel Curry – RICKY

16. Anderson .Paak – Make It Better (ft. Smokey Robinson)

15. ROSALIA, J Balvin – Con Altura (ft. El Guincho)

Rosalia continues to thrive! While she has departured with her established flamenco pop sound on Con Altura, her take on the trending Latin dancehall is still immaculately and enjoyably done. It’s just really fun.

14. Stella Donnelly – Tricks

It’s a catchy and cute indie rock song humurously tackling the dumbness and the trashiness of men in romantic relationships. While I didn’t love her debut album this year, she still impressed me as one of the better and wittier singer-songwriters I’ve known so I’ll watch out for her upcoming projects in the future.

13. Deerhunter – Element

12. American Football – Uncomfortably Numb (ft. Hayley Williams)

11. Ourselves the Elves – Shellfish

10. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Planet B

A really exhilirating and heart-pumping thrash metal track about the consequences of neglecting the environmental problems and finding “Planet B”. It’s a song full of charged instrumentations and conscious lyricism. Just open your eyes and see.

9. XIUMIN – You

Okay, this is one of the songs that I always play before I sleep or when I just want to feel mellow. I always know that he has a powerful voice but I think this is the first time where I was so impressed with Xiumin’s performance. It’s gorgeously sincere and melancholic; my favorite EXO-side song of the year. It’s sad that it’s one of the more underrated songs in SM station.

8. Taylor Swift – Lover

After all the songs about heartbreaks, broken friendships, and toxicity, it all comes down to this: her most genuine love song to date. You can feel the happiness and the exuding love in Swift’s singing. It’s my favorite song from her in my opinion.

7. Oh, Flamingo! – Four Corners

One of the hardest choices in making this post is choosing an OhFlam song to put in this list. The three of them (i’m including the cover they did for Eheads) are brilliantly different in their own ways but they’re still packed with the sonical substance in their sound. Four Corners, however, just won me over in the end.

This should be a freaking ghosting anthem. I just can’t tell you how much I was mindblown with their take on the subject. It’s not only done lyrically, but also instrumentally. You’ll get it once you hear it. OhFlam just did a stroke of genius with this one I swear.

6. Charli XCX – Gone (ft. Christine and the Queens)

Charli pulls all the stops to achieve an unabashed and fully-charged pop banger. The glitchy and energetic sound she’s established in her more recent works are still there, but with her sultry exchange of lines with Chris, the intensely personal emotions still flourishes all throughout. It’s hard-hitting, but it’s the intelligible kind of hard-hitting.

5. Julia Jacklin – Pressure to Party

Teasing from her heartbreaking Crushing, Pressure to Party is one of the few fast-paced tracks on the album. Despite of its catchy tune and hooks, it still feels raw and anguish about dealing with other people in the midst of toxic relationship. It’s one of those songs where you’ll bob your head and tap your feet while feeling bad of Jacklin’s persona throughout the track.

4. Anamanaguchi – Air On Line

What a thrilling and pulsating electronic odyssey! The soundscapes that Anamanaguchi has produced felt like you’re on a scene in an anime movie where the evil boss was about to be defeated in a spectacular way. It’s a very bright and exciting track. You have to check it out.

3. TWICE – FANCY

BOP. OF. THE YEAR. You see, songs like this are the reason why I’m still clinging to KPop. It’s catchy; it’s sweet and cute; it makes you want to memorize the dance steps of the chorus with your mind. It’s one of my most played songs of the year and it would be a crime to not include this on my top three. I fancy this song so much.

2. Tanya Markova – Stranded

I have always appreciated their music since my grade school days, but I have to say, this is the best one I have ever heard from them yet. Singing about having a hard time to move on is nothing new ESPECIALLY in OPM, but Tanya Markova just did it so simply yet it’s still sounding heartfelt and anthemic. Yes, it’s my favorite OPM song of the year.

1. Weyes Blood – Movies

Man, this is such an immaculately produced song. The tackling subject about finding the meaning of life like in the movies is just so masterfully done. The gorgeous instrumentation and the profound take on the contradictions of life and desires are just exquisite. It feels like you’re ascending to the freaking heavens.

Movies is just on a league of its own. It’s deep and mystical and Natalie Mering did it in an incredibly enthralling and beautiful way. Just prepare for the entrance of the orgasmic piercing strings on the second half as it leads up to an explosive yet gentle concluding moment that’s just moving and repulsive. Yes, it’s my favorite single of the year.


How about you? What are your favorite songs of the year?

Here’s the playlist for my list:

Happy holidays!

Honorable Mentions 2019

Amazing albums that didn’t make my “favorites” list but they still need your attention.

Yes, more lists. lol

I’ve heard a lot more albums this year than the usual; it’s like my favorite hobby now. Since, yes, this blog is still alive and well, I figured I should make my favorite albums list. But I’ve loved a lot of albums this year so before I post my proper top 25 list, here are 2019 honorable mentions.

I’ve actually ranked my top 25 now, but I think I’ll be able to post it after Christmas since the writing is what makes it take a lot of time. There are very few readers on my personal blog so I think they wouldn’t mind that. lol

Anyway, like I said, here are the albums that didn’t make the cut for my top 25, but I still loved them so much. That’s why they have a special post. I hope this will give you some recommendations on what to listen and enjoy.


Big Thief – Two Hands

Indie Folk

As far as I’ve seen, Big Thief is one of the indie darlings of the year. They released two massively acclaimed albums and they’re well beloved by many listeners. I admit, I was not a big fan of UFOF, but Two Hands was a pleasant revelation.

The songs feel personal and raw and the instrumentation is pretty slick. I did not love it as much as their superior 2017 record Capacity though so there’s that. If you’re in for some lush indie folk music, this one’s for you.


The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

ElectronicAfter their slightly underwhelming Born in the Echoes, Chem Bros have shown to electronic listeners that they are still in the game. No Geography is groovy and pulsating; it felt like you’re in an electronic odyssey in the midst of dystopia.

It may not be that consistent on the second half, but No Geography still impressed me as the better electronic albums released this year.


Cigarettes After Sex – Cry

Dream Pop (sadboi pop lol)

Cry is for a particular mood; that moment where you’re just in your bedroom on a saturday night. You can’t sleep so you’ll just stare at the ceiling while thinking that person you’re in love with… but you’re also feeling sad and lonely at the same time. lol idk

There are moments where it’s something like that, and the music of Cigs After Sex heightens that particular feeling with their hazy and slow instrumentation and the soothing androgynous voice. This album is for the weak… and I’m very very weak.


Coldplay – Everyday Life

Alternative Pop

I’ve been listening to Coldplay for years now, but I think this is the first time where I’ve been impressed by their whole album. You see, I’ve enjoyed Ghost Stories and Head Full of Dreams in small doses, but Everyday Life is a nice change of pace.

Among the two sides of the album, Sunset is the better part since the first half of Sunrise sounds like those tiring bland efforts they’ve done in the past. But still, Everyday Life doesn’t sound safe compared to its predecessors. While it was far from amazing, this is a good step-up for their discography.


EXO – Obsession

Korean Pop

It always came into my mind that I’ve never really loved a KPop album, but EXO’s materials have always almost given me a grasp for that. Along with their minimilly stellar title track, the blends of RnB, Electronic, Hiphop, and Pop in their songs incorporate very well with the smooth yet powerful vocals of the members.

I admit there are some songs that underwhelmed me (that’s why it didn’t make it to my top 25), but Obsession is still a well-crafted album. The members may be less in numbers for now, but their project still feels that they’re complete.


Harry Styles – Fine Line

Alternative Rock, Pop

Harry goes on thriving as one of the One Direction members who keeps a better solo material. Like his debut album, Fine Line is an enjoyable piece of pop and indie rock. This time, though, it seems like Styles have now shown his identity as a musician in a clearer form.

There still are some out-of-placed songs here, and the opener is bland and forgettable, but Styles is still growing as an artist. Hopefully, he’ll continue on finding his sound and *finally* release his magnum opus.


Injury Reserve – Injury Reserve

Experimental Hiphop

I am so frustrated because I’ve had a hard time choosing this album and my chosen number 25 on my year-end list. So maybe I can technically say this album is number 26 on my favorite albums? lol

Injury Reserve finally released their commercial debut album after all their digital mixtapes and EPs, and they did not freaking disappoint. If there’s a description I can give to their production, rapping, lyricism, and even their features: it’s “out-there”. Injury Reserve is out there killing the game, and I’m excited to what is in their store for us in the future.


Jay Som – Anak Ko

Dream Pop, Alternative Rock

“Anak ko” is the Filipino phrase that Melina Duterte has always heard from her mom (they’re actually not that related to the PH President). In some way, like how her mother comforts her, it is what she was trying to achieve in her sophomore album.

It’s dreamy and laidback; Anak Ko is one of the solid indie rock records this year and it needs your attention. The songs are great when you’re on a long road trip. It’s a nice album. The sincere and better Duterte.


Rich Brian – The Sailor

Pop Rap

The thing about The Sailor is that it is actually profound but it is not trying to be. It just wants to have fun, but it does it with full charm and swagger. It’s one of the albums that’s suited well for your longing summer jams.

Rich Brian is now trudging on the pop rap landscape but he does it so well with confidence and sweetness. Again like the other honorable mentions, there are some dull moments in here that feels out-of-place; but still, it’s a solid listen overall. You’ll have some good time with The Sailor.


Swain – Negative Space

Alternative Rock, Grunge

One of the better emo records this year, Negative Space is a solid project. Shifting from their aggresive and raw musicality on their previous efforts, their latest project is more moody and melodic, but they still didn’t drift from the alt rock sound.

The hooks are what makes the songs in this album so remarkable. They’re heavy or soft on the right time and direction. If you’re into some grungy and moody rock projects, this one is for you. Swain is one of the versatile yet underrated bands out there that’s worth to be in everyone’s radar.


☃️🌲 Happy holidays! 🌲⛄

The Overlooked Albums of 2019

Underrated records that you need to check out.

Hello! It’s December as you all know. It’s not only the holiday season that’s been celebrated, but music lovers have also been watching out these precious little year-end lists for music. I’m one of those people that’s hyped for that kind of thing.

I’ve already began posting my top 20 albums last year, and I have a plan to make something like that again this time around. I know my posts still lack of reach, but it’s my little personal blog and I can do nothing about it. hahaha

But still, I’m really into listing my favorites I’m very excited for that. For now, I’ll be sharing with you the good albums of 2019 that I thought were underrated. Not going to talk much about them; this is more like a recommendation post.

I may not be head-over-heels on some of these albums, but I still loved them and I thought they’re worth your attention. With the album titles and its artists are the spotify links. There are two OPM albums here so I hope you’ll check them out too. I hope you enjoy. 🙂


Ian Penn – From the Rear View Mirror

Singer-Songwriter, Indie Folk


Clara Benin – I Rose Up Slowly

Singer-Songwriter, Indie Alternative


Shinichiro Yokota – I Know You Like It

Deep House


Esther Rose – You Made It This Far

Country


The Comet is Coming – Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery

Nu Jazz, Jazz Fusion


Swain – Negative Space

Alternative Rock


Anamanaguchi – [USA]

Electronic, Chiptune


CHEN – Dear my Dear

Ballad, Contemporary RnB


Alfa Mist – Structuralism

Nu Jazz


Kishi Bashi – Omoiyari

Chamber Pop, Indie Folk


Check out these albums.

GRAMMYS 2020 Nominations: Who should / will win?

pffft grammys

It’s that time of the year again. The nominations for Grammys have recently been announced. While this awards show do not define the worth of the artists, I figured it would be fun if I share my thoughts on this. They have always been disappointing, so “unexpect everything” as the Grammys’ tagline says. lol

Anyways, so here are my predictions and my personal picks for the nominees. AND ALSO: These are my opinions so you could agree or disagree.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Should win: We’ve Got to Try, Cellophane, and yes, Glad He’s Gone were amazing music videos. They may have not done something politically deeper than the nominees last year, but the concepts of their videos were worthy for the win. I’m more inclined with Cellophane though.

Will win: Cellophane for sure.

Old Town Road‘s MV was corny af.


BEST RAP ALBUM

Should win: I may have not loved Igor as much as the others, but the widespread adoration makes it truly worthy for the win. I even expected the album to be nominated for the AOTY. I may liked The Lost Boy more, but Tyler should get it this time for now.

Will win: Igor.


BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Should win: Alternative is great this year, but while it’s predictable that these are going to be the nominees, these albums did not stand out for me sadly. It would be cool though if U.F.O.F. or Father of the Bride would get it since they’re the better albums on the list.

Will win: I, I or Father of the Bride will bag it, especially since these two albums are nominated for the AOTY. I feel like Bon Iver has a higher chance though.


BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM

Should win: I really loved No Geography and Hi This Is Flume, but the Chemical Brothers has to have it this time. House music has been relatively weak this past few years, and the brothers still managed to make a good comeback.

Will win: To be honest, I’m not sure. If there’s anything unpredictable in grammy nominations, it would be this one. But I guess Flume will have it? idk


BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

Pop did great this year, I have to say.

Should win: When We All Fall Asleep… or Lover. Billie did something groundbreaking and she made a mark in the industry with her album, and it’s not a usual pop project than its contemporaries so this would be a fresh air to breathe. Lover, while not amazing, is a nice return to form by Taylor. The nomination is more deserving than reputation. lol

Will win: When We All Fall Asleep… or thank u, next. I really really loved sweetener and it won last year; since thank u, next has received more acclaims than the predecessor, this has a HUGE chance to bag it.

If freaking Ed Sheeran win it again, that would be terrible.


Now for the big 4 awards…

BEST NEW ARTIST

Should win: Damn, so many artists deserve to win this this time around. I wouldn’t mind if Billie Eilish or Lizzo grabs it. BUT LET ROSALIA COME THROUGH, SHE REALLY DESERVES IT.

Will win: Billie, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and yes, Rosalia have high chances to win it. It’s a tough competition, but I’m going to cross my fingers for Rosalia.


SONG OF THE YEAR

Should win: I’d say Lover or Truth Hurts. The former has become one of my favorite singles this year, so I’m hoping for it to win.

Will win: Lover, Truth Hurts, or Bad Guy.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Should win: I’d say Norman F***ing Rockwell is the best album in this category by a large margin. I wouldn’t mind though if Cuz I Love You wins it. Emotions and empowerment are big themes for the albums this year and these projects depicted that.

Will win: A pop album will surely win this year. It’s either When We All Fall Asleep…, Cuz I Love You, or thank u, next. I wouldn’t disregard NFR though, it’s an underdog. Whoever wins the Alternative Album (Vamp Weekend or Bon Iver) also has a chance to win it. It’s kind of unpredictable, to be honest.


RECORD OF THE YEAR

Should win: Old Town Road is a worldwide phenomenon. It showcased the wonders of crossing genres and plethora of features. It’s actually also a good song, so yeah this takes the spot. Truth Hurts deserves to have it as well.

Will win: Yeah, it’s going to be Old Town Road. Truth Hurts and 7 rings have high chances to win it as well though.


Final thoughts:

  • Pop music really did great this year so I’m actually not surprised that they’re having the big categories this time around.
  • While it’s been a great year for Rock and Alternative, I was personally not the most impressed for the nominations.
  • Albeit I’m not the biggest fan of the album, they should have nominated Igor for AOTY.
  • Someone You Loved is not a good song at all. I still don’t get the hype it gets.
  • The judges should think hard for choosing the best pop vocal album. If they choose Ed Sheeran again, there will be riot for sure.
  • It’s one of those rare moments tgat SOTY and ROTY are not very similar. Kudos to them, they may have actually figured it out. lol
  • The lack of Titanic Rising saddens me, but oh well.
  • Wow, they really liked H.E.R.

What are your thoughts on the Grammy nominations? Who do you think will win? Should win?