2018 continues to be amazing with regards to music releases, across continents, but a few older releases have snuck into the mix recently!
Monsta X – The Connect
This album is amazing from start to finish. I mean, it helps that I love the group, but it’s the first time in a while I’ve listened to a whole album, track by track, in the order it was meant to be listened to. I need to get back into doing that. I generally just fire on shuffle and see where it takes me!
Pentagon – Positive
Shine has become one of the standout songs of 2018, for me. I have been listening to Pentagon’s music since they debuted, but was a casual listener, neither here nor there on them. Then they dropped Shine, and I knew within the first few bars that this was a winner. It has since rocketed too, and stayed, at the top of my most played list. This is the song that opened up the rest of Pentagon’s discography for me. I’ve since gone back and listened through everything (they have an extensive track list for such a new group) and I cannot fathom why I didn’t get into them sooner – their music is so good! I was missing out! Because of my previous Pentagon apathy, I also missed out on Triple H’s, 365 Fresh. What a song!
Now That’s What I Call Music 99
In the UK, the Now series has made it to 99 – who saw that coming? It seems like only yesterday that Now 50 was released! As an expat, I make a point of downloading the Now albums, just to keep track of what’s going on musically back home. I have to say, Now 99 was one of the better ones!
Audiomachine – Volturnus
Of course any new release from Audiomachine was going to feature on here. Volturnus is a darker, more ominous album than 2017’s Life, which is more uplifting, but that is in no way a complaint.
Kylie – Golden
Kylie is back, and better than ever. The sound of this album is so different to what has gone before, but Kylie kills it, as she always does, and I’m loving the country vibes. A stand out song for me is Live a Little.
The Rose – Void
The Rose is a pretty new group to come out of Korea, and they’ve arrived just at the right time, as CNBlue aren’t going to be promoting together for a good few years thanks to their military service, there is a gap in the market. That’s not to say that The Rose are in the same vein as CNBlue. In fact, I feel the tread the ground between CNBlue and NELL. Both are popular in Korea, but NELL isn’t “mainstream”. I’m not sure The Rose will ever be truly mainstream, either, but their music is Excellent. Their title track, Baby, is – to me – redolent of early Friendly Fires and White Lies, and Woosung’s vocals are stunning!
Various Artists – Revamp: Re-imagining the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin
I love Elton John a whole lot, and this album is a just so good! Elton John’s songs have been covered left, right and centre, and it’s nice to have a selection grouped together. Some covers are traditional, some less so, but all are magical!
Vixx – Eau De Vixx
If you are into your Korean music, you may well know Vixx as the group that own whatever concept they go for. This release is no exception. This is, however, a new direction for the group, musically. And it works. It reminds me a lot of music that came out of the UK a few years back, but here on this album, it’s been tightened, some korean elements have been thrown in, a little of Vixx’s sparkle sprinkled on top, and voila: another magical Vixx album. It’s not all an instant love album, I will admit, but it’s a grower, and if anything that makes it a whole lot better. The one downside to this album is that it comes ahead of contract negotiations, and mandatory national service is looming for Vixx. As always with favourite groups, you hope that their current release isn’t their last!
Pentatonix – Top Pop, Vol. 1
A long time fan of Pentatonix, I was sad when Avi decided to leave the group. The timbre of his bass was just beautiful. Mike, PTX’s new bass, fills his shoes beautifully, and this is an excellent new offering from PTX that is very much back to their roots. It feels a little like a re-set, which is no bad thing. It’s feel good, it’s summery, and dripping with delicious vocals!
So these are currently doing the rounds on my recently played – there’ll be more music mentioned in the upcoming Best of… | April 2018 post (yes, there’s been a wee re-brand there).
What have you been listening too recently? And are there any upcoming releases that you’re excited for? Thankfully, we’re headed for a small lull in the next few weeks. After all the bops Korea has been throwing out, the processing time is kind of needed!