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Old 2014.12.21, 04:13 PM   #41
deadgrandma
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^ woah, is your list order on purpose?

Anyway, nice read, there's only one album on there I haven't heard (In Conflict). I rally have a love/hate affair with LP1... in many ways it's quite exciting and in many ways it's pretty overrated/entry level. I did consider it for my top 20 but ultimately realized that I'd only listened to it 3 or 4 times in full in the end.

I already checked out Imogen Heap, and like I said, love the music, still getting into her voice. Interesting to know there's instrumental versions though, might try them out instead.

As for the Oomori album at times losing the stamp of Oomori... noone with this opinion can ever list what tracks they mean, so it's hard to say. Like I said to TeslaGuy, there's a little bit of her trademark on every single song. And it's definitely a better album than Zettai Shoujo (which, while amazing, feels like Sennou but not quite there) for me. I'd say now that she is on AVEX, a lot of these new sounds WILL BECOME Oomori TM sounds, or she'll go and do something completely different. It's hard to say what she will do from here.
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Old 2014.12.21, 04:26 PM   #42
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Imitation Girl is a great song, and I've listened to it countless times. But I can't honestly say it's an Omori song, for one. It's just a highly crafted J-Pop tune with some great lyrics. But most likely if someone else were to release/record the song, then I would dismiss it. But like you said, a LITTLE trademark. I'm looking for Omori to be more inventive, not create idol pastiches. I do have to credit her wtih bending the avex mold as far as it could though, but who knows, maybe she'll bend it even farther??

If you notice, a lot of these albums were "great, but not quite there yet". Azealia Banks, St. Vincent, FKA Twigs, Seiko Omori, all of them released albums that showed POTENTIAL more than anything else. And Lazaretto is hardly the best album of Jack White's career.

Ultimately, the reason why Beyonce and Imogen Heap are the top 2 is because they released what I believe will be called their magnum opus.

There's another important thing about Imogen Heap: like I said, each song has a story, and knowing that story is not essential to enjoying it but definitely enhances the experience. Imogen has been blogging about making the album for a couple of years, and I've eagerly followed along as it was built brick by brick. It's a sound engineer's wet dream, and she really pushed the envelope. It's basically what Bjork TRIED to do with Biophilia but failed at.

I seriously could write pages and pages about Sparks, going through each song and breaking down the background, how she made it, etc. but I'll spare you that. You can look up the blog posts yourself.

Last edited by TurtleFu : 2014.12.21 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 2014.12.21, 04:49 PM   #43
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I really dunno man, you're critiquing against the entire point of Sennou's existence... (to be an Oomori take on idol pop)- it's basically the new Suki Suki Daisuki- seems a bit of a weird criticism to me. But each to their own I suppose.

You bring in Biophilia... OK, maybe it doesn't work 100%, but I don't think it's a failure either- it still has some truly inspired moments thoughout. I feel Bjork has nothing to prove anymore anyway, she made both Vespertine and Medulla, both of which are unmatched (particularly Medulla) in their concept and execution to this day.
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Old 2014.12.21, 05:31 PM   #44
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I was referring more to the engineering aspects of Biophilia, how Bjork sought to create new instruments and incorporate them into songs. Imogen did similar things for Sparks, she invented a set of motion-controlled gloves that can make music on the fly, and she used the gloves to compose Me the Machine. Many songs on Sparks are also built using recordings Imogen made of everyday life, which she used as building blocks to create the songs. Xizi She Knows was made entirely with recordings Imogen made in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, she didn't create any part of the song from scratch, just manipulated the recordings. Propeller Seeds does the same thing. Run-Time, like Bjork's Virus, was made with a generative music application that she helped to program.

I have issues with Suki Suki Daisuki that you would not like to hear, so let's leave it at that.

But I believe firmly that if Avex were to release Senno under some other random idol singer's name and I had no idea about Omori's involvement, I would still like it, but not a lot. I would just think that's it's very good pop music, with some idiosyncrasies.
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Old 2014.12.21, 06:54 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by deadgrandma View Post
As for the Oomori album at times losing the stamp of Oomori... noone with this opinion can ever list what tracks they mean.
Truth bombs: its every single track of Sennou. I'm not saying the songs aren't good or the albums not either (its good!) but it is surprisingly straight. You say that each track has a little trademark, but no song has her big trademark. For all that was good about Sennou, that she never went "Oomori Unchained" for a moment on a single track was disappointing.

In Conflict did not click with me. Granted, I only spent 1 car ride with it so there's nothing else I can legally say.

Reading you call 2014 underwhelming makes me feel even more vexxed about missing my write up because I thought it was pretty strong.
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Old 2014.12.21, 07:27 PM   #46
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Hmm, there's just no way I can agree with that, I mean... serious brah??? :-p You say that Oomori doesn't go all out on ANY of these new songs... seems like a pretty far fetched call when you listen to Zettai Zetsubou Zekkouchou, Kyuru Kyuru, Watashi wa Omoshiroi, Zettai Omoshiroi Tabun, and most especially Omake ~Super Free Pop~... As for the rest, well, playing it down is working a charm. Even in the softer, slower moments of the album, I cannot for one second think that the Oomori trademark isn't present. Can you seriously listen to Noroi wa Mizuiro and tell me anyone else could have pulled it off more perfectly and with as much charm? It's basically Amai on steroids. And it gives me mad feels!

But whatever. I seriously think that noone can really say to a point of 100% certainty what Oomori's signature sound is right now (including Oomori herself) -I mean, what would you say if you had heard this first???, or even the pre-debut punk stuff?... shes changed so much in 2 short years that I think it's a bit hard to say right at this point. It really is like listening to them first few Jun Togawa albums where she covered a billion genres in 2 years until she found a mid-ground that people now claim is the TM Togawa sound. I expect the same to happen in Oomori's case. Overall though, still cannot say I have any major complaints about Sennou (I love the thing), just isnt Mahou Ga (which I think is a masterpiece) to me. I don't know whether we will get that acoustic sound as a main sound to an album ever again (under her solo name anyway) now (look at all her newfound fans from the sound of this album...)- and if she did I can just imagine the future complaints about her 'regressing'. (Then again, there's always some acoustic bonus discs being given out like with this album) I think there is still hope for a harder rockier sound with potential PINK TOKAREV albums (which no doubt will happen- fingers crossed theyre more like Yapoos than Jihen though). She also has that collab coming out in June and if the snippet of the first song is to go on, it's pretty much the 'oldschool' Oomori style.

TL;DR/Blah blah/cut out the BS: What I'm trying to say in a nutshell: Sennou is every much part of Seiko Oomori as Mahou Ga. They're different sounding but they're still her. Both are essential listens. (Zettai Shoujo too, which is basically half of each) And that's why she's so damn interesting to follow.

Anyway, after I stop my rant, in the end my favorite Oomori related song this year was this one (the album it was on would have been 21 I reckon), pity everyone seemed to overlook it:
ダブル・ファンタジー


Now I come to think about it, there's quite a few songs that I loved this year that were on albums that weren't great or were just singles without an album attached. I might actually list them in a bit if anyone is interested (but dont wanna do it if people are sick of reading my 2014 lists already)
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Old 2014.12.22, 01:24 AM   #47
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10. Creative Adult - Psychic Mess
grooving post-punk with a hint of psychedelia. bonus points for being recorded by Efrim of Godspeed You! Black Emperor
full stream https://runforcoverrecords.bandcamp....psychic-mess-2

9. Happy Diving - Big World
Fuzzed out indie punk. Feels like being a young adult, feeling small and lost in a big world. Very much in the vein of Weezer's first 2 records.
The songs sort've blend together but in a good way. The album is short and sweet, filled with lots of anthemic hooks.
full stream https://happydiving.bandcamp.com/album/big-world-2

8. Locust Toybox - Stringland
You'd never guess it, but this is produced by the same mind that created the demented online animated cartoons Salad Fingers, Spoilsbury Toast Boy, and the video for Flying Lotus' "Ready err Not". This being David Firth's 10th album under this project name, he has moved further away from AFX-esque glitchiness and has developed his own brand of ambient and playful electronic music. To me it feels as if somebody took a very playful and colorful, but oddly twisted childhood and turned it into atmospheric electronic music.
full stream https://locusttoybox.bandcamp.com/album/stringland

7. Passepied - MAKUNOUCHI-ISM
Dance pop with rock instrumentation. I absolutely love the keyboards on this album. I constantly find myself humming these songs. I'd be full on singing them if could speak/remember the Japanese language (I guess I could listen to the newly released english versions of some of these songs that they just put out as an ep but, eeh ill stick with the originals). This album makes me want to party.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--pQC5XH2-E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4P1JsHOe88

6. Brand-new idol Society - WHO KiLLED IDOL?
I'll go ahead and agree with deadgrandma that this is BiS at their best. Lots of great energy and a good amount of variations in style. Solid final album.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P91AD3y6GyM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zqc0pKsVQ8

5. Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
Been following this band since before they released their first ep. I was blown away from the very first time I saw them live. They energy of their shows was absolutely invigorating. I've seen them 23 times total now and it's amazing every single time. The music is a sort of indie punk. Drawing from all over place, Weezer, The Smiths, Jawbreakers, Rancid, New Order, etc. This album is less aggressive than their debut, but just as catchy and even more thought out. A great summer jam album.
full stream - https://joycemanor.bandcamp.com/albu...hungover-again

4. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
I've been really into her since Actor came out. This self-titled record sees her really honing her craft. Every moving carefully calculated but still managing to radiate with a haunting catharsis. The collaboration she did with David Byrne has had its effects on her style and it shows at several moments here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVAxUMuhz98
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idllxjHbX7w

3. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Pika Pika Fantajin
I discovered Kyary just before the Candy Candy single was released and I've been keeping up with her ever since. I like basically everything she's done. The mixture of the interesting production, her cute voice, and catchy melodies, are essentially my main reasons for loving this. The awesome music videos and everything else are just (rad) bonuses. I don't know where this album ranks in comparison to her others, but it's definitely a great addition.
Family Party probably has my favorite verse of any of her songs, period. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paHGjIe2Wms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEsMVpDw2OQ

2. Aphex Twin - Syro
an ever evolving mass of psychotic detuned synths and spastic percussion. vastly dense. i feel liking i discover something new during every repeated listen. also the closing track is brilliant.
(theres a million fake tracks on youtube for this album that are so frustrating to sift through. so dont believe everything you find on there to be real)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUAJ8KLGqis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJHsT8kEyzs

1. Longmont Potion Castle - Volume 11
Since the late 80's, this man (who's real name is unknown to the general public) has been releasing albums of hilarious prank calls. At first, it may be hard to listen to for people who aren't into that sort've thing, but after long enough of a listen, one will start to recognize that this is much much more than your average obnoxious prank caller. He strays away from throwing empty profanities at the receiving party and takes a more subliminal approach. These calls each play out like individual surrealist, absurdist pieces of art. He takes common subtleties of common american dialect and cleverly twists them to the point of hysteria. Sometimes he uses effects to manipulate his voice to add a great effect of confusion makes things even more ridiculous.

A highlight of the album are 3 separate conversations where Longmont sets up calls between Jeopardy host Alex Trebek and 3 other celebrities. Alex is totally perplexed on how somebody could be connecting 2 other people to each other, both of their phones ringing, without either party having had called the other. He never once realizes that its actually a three way call, where the 3rd person (person who initiated the call) is also on the line but is simply listening (and recording) but not speaking.

There are also a couple interludes in a metal style, using a drum machine with looping samples in the background that give you a few minutes to breathe between laughing your butt off at the phone conversations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hnlDY2Ltws
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFtoEiUAO7Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9StlOJQghc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkQ3HQvDxPI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iXCLvqK1s

Honorable mention
Perfume - Cling Cling: longer than a typical single. 4 full songs, plus their instrumental counterparts. These 4 songs do a good job at showing different sides of Perfume. Love it.
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Old 2014.12.22, 07:26 AM   #48
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Also just an FYI: I was out of the country (in Japan) for half of this year. I didn't really keep on music while I was there, so I missed most things.

Geez, DG. It's like you're a teenage girl and Omori is One Direction or something.
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Old 2014.12.22, 03:10 PM   #49
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Re. Teenage girl stab: Oh, Turtle, That's cause she IS the one direction :-p

@Cowboydan: Nice list. Believe me, I have tried so hard to get into that Passepied album/band in general. They show up on quite a few 2014 lists and musically, I can enjoy them to an extent. But I noticed something every time I listen to their stuff: I get about half way through an album and then out of nowhere I get a blinding urge to listen to (Phase 2) TOKYO JIHEN. I don't know what it is- they kind of sound familiar I guess- maybe it's the keys. They do have a certain Izawa tinge to them. I'm also not the greatest fan of the vocalist, though people who have pushed the band onto me keep saying that she'd be right up my alley- which she really, really should be. She has the qualities that would usually appeal to me, but I dunno- just can't stand her for more than a few tracks. But I will persist a bit longer.

Not criticizing your number one pick, but it is an interesting statement on your musical experience of 2014 when you put a prank call album as your number 1 choice :-p

Just looked at Pitchfork's top 10. No alarms and no surprises. That said, out of the top 10, The Grouper album was good... albeit in the end a weaker White Chalk. Syro and To Be Kind are undeniably both good albums too. The rest I've listened to at one point or another but don't remember much of. The Todd Terje album seemed alright but never got the desire to repeat listen. Sigh. Was hoping there'd be at least something I hadn't already listened to in that top 10.

This is why I need USERS to give top lists, at least that way there will no doubt be something new to hear. Turtle's got me listening to Sparks, Jihen has gotten me onto Gist Is (Pigeon Skulls is so good! - where he got the Jihen comparison is anyone's guess though, maybe a troll cause of the bands name? :-p) and so far Cowboydan's list has me listening to Big World (the Weezer comparison is legit) on repeat!
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