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plastic_rainbow's 2019 Favorites

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Don't know if people were interested, but I mentioned a few weeks back that I was compiling my 2019 favorites and so here it is. Just a warning though, I probably only went through a third of the releases I had my eyes on so I may have missed a few good things. Also, I tend to cherry-pick songs so my top song list is rather lengthy. Anyway, I'm gonna try to make this as short and sweet as possible. Ranking is in no particular order unless stated.


Top Albums





If there was one album I could choose from 2019 it would be PEUR ET PUELLA by BAROQUE hands down. Even though I was still feeling sulky about their music direction, PEUR ET PUELLA honestly took my be surprise. The album feels like a mixture of everything both the members have done in the past, from early baroque to kannvalism, and even Kei's solo work. I'm definitely looking forward to their new album coming out next week.






MONO - Before The Past • Live From Electrical Audio


Okay, maybe if there was one other album I could choose from 2019 it would be this commemorative album of which MONO re-recorded three songs from their early days. I never remembered much of the song "Halo" but the new energy they have put into it really brings it to life. You can really feel their loud and raw sound in this entire album. Also, I will say that I enjoyed this much more than the new album they actually released, probably due to the fact that "L'america" and "Com(?)" are some of my favorites of theirs.





仮病 (Kebyou) - 毒針 (Dokushin)


This might have been the release where Kebyou really caught my attention. I feel like this is the best VK album I've heard in a while that aren't from veterans in the scene. There are so many good tracks here but my favorites might be "Q" and "冷凍保存". If you haven't checked them out yet I would start with this album of theirs.




Top Singles



gulu gulu - 変なメリーゴーランド (Henna Merry Go Round)


Best newcomer of 2019? Hell yeah! Gulu gulu starts with a bang with all great tracks from this single. They released a second single too, but I enjoyed this one more.





Develop One's Faculties - ephemeral


I'm glad that Develop One's Faculties are still going off strong, they deserve so much more recognition. The second track is a lot of fun and stands out more than the title track. I just love what Yuya does with his vocals sometimes.





ペンタゴン - カルチャーショック (Pentagon - Culture Shock)


After not enjoying their poppy and synth sound from previous releases, I was surprised by how good this single of Pentagon's was. The title song showed a lot of promise so I gave this single of there's a go for once. Although it still largely has a pop sound it is much more listenable and shows how the band has really matured. Quite a shame that they're now disbanding.




Top Songs



ザアザア - 光 (Xaa-xaa - Hikari)

from 破裂 (Haretsu)


Xaa-xaa is more of a hit or miss for me, but when they hit boy do they hit HARD. Out of the bajillion singles they released last year there was only one track that I really liked and that is "光" from their single Haretsu. A very lovely ballad that sort of makes me feel nostalgic for oshare kei from the 00s. I don't know, there's just something kind of familiar about it. 





ロマン急行 - 歪む太陽 (Roman Kyuko - Yugamu Taiyou)

from 人間失格 (Ningen Shikkaku)


Roman Kyuko was one of my most anticipated bands and although everything they released has been good, "歪む太陽" from their album might be my most favorite. I think I will miss hearing Yudai's voice in Toru's playing style though, but I'm glad that Izumi's voice works just as wonderfully.





仮病 - Yellow Tokyo


I was trying to avoid putting artists twice on the list but I just had to put Kebyou again here. They really showed their potential in 2019 and I'm hoping that this live-limited track of theirs, available to listen on Youtube, will show up in one of their future releases. The CD cover looks ugly and low-budget af but I promise you the song is good.





DADAROMA - 嫣然 (Enzen)

from Dadaism#5


Dadaism#5 was not bad overall, but "嫣然" blew me away right off the bat. Might be just me but it feels kind of close to Crazy☆shampoo. Always wanted to hear Yoshiatsu belting like that again.





蘭図 - ドグラ・マグラ (Rands - Dogra Magra)

from Leda Atomica


Can't express my joy to see Karma back and bringing the old-school sound back on top of that, not that I'm totally familiar with old-school bands but it feels very refreshing in the scene. I love how "Dogra Magra" starts with the fluttering of a fly/moth and kind of introduces a solitary and barren atmosphere to this lovely ballad.





nurié - モノローグ (Monologue)

from モノローグ


Can anybody tell me who these guys are 'cause they're amazing! Feeling such an art-kei vibe from this track. I hope more of their releases will be accessible because I seriously need to hear more!!





キズ - 夢 (Kizu - Yume)

from 平成 (Heisei)


It felt like 2019 was a bit weak for Kizu imo, but I'm happy that "夢" finally got a recording. If only it wasn't recorded in whatever special equipment they used, but it's still very listenable as it's one of my favorite songs of theirs.





ユメリープ - でっどばーすでー (Yumeleep - Dead Birthday)

from ばーすまたー (Birth Matter)


I will admit that Yumeleep got a bit boring and same-y for me, but "でっどばーすでー" caught my attention this time around. I might even say this is the best song they've done so far. It feels like the vocalist experimented more with his vocals instead of sounding monotone all the time, making this track much more interesting and even catchy.





DIMLIM - 離人 (Rijin)

from 離人


To be honest, this song took a few listens for it to grow on me. It's true that the instrumentals feel a bit mashed up in a few places but I'm not complaining because now I'm in love with it.





NITRODAY - ダイヤモンド・キッス (Diamond Kiss)

from 少年たちの予感 (Premonition of Kids)


The only non-vk band on the list, well other than MONO. NITRODAY are one of the few indie bands that I've been keeping a real close eye on. Their entire EP Premonition of Kids is great, but "Diamond Kiss" is such a sweet summer song. The addition of the bassist's back vocals work wonderfully and sometimes I'll easily find myself singing along. I didn't even realize how short the song was.





Well, that about sums up my favorites from 2019. And now I'm gonna head out and dig through the rest of the stuff I missed!

Edited by plastic_rainbow

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I'm surprised to see yumeleep and pentagon here :D culture shock is still stuck in my head, if only they had a couple more releases like that before disbanding! 


I must've overlooked Dokushin (I wasn't even aware of the band lol) seems interesting so I'll have to check it out. 

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