I’ve decided to kick off a new feature! In “Albums You Must Hear,” I plan to spotlight underrated albums that I think deserve a wider audience. I anticipate these will mostly be J-pop since almost all K-pop albums now enjoy a wide global reach. I’ll try to feature albums that are easily available on streaming platforms.
I’m not adding ratings to the individual tracks, but I’ll put an asterisk next to the songs I recommend most. If you enjoy something you hear, make sure to spread it to others. These artists deserve more attention.
I’m kicking off the feature with an album that was released just this week! Since AVEX and Stardust aren’t giving my beloved One Love One Heart any international promotion, I’ll pick up the slack and share this excellent album with you!
1. Glory Dayz *
This was the first song I heard from the group and it was instant love. The punk rock energy melded with glee-club-esque choral vocals is such a fresh and exciting combination, especially over a chorus that hits like a sledgehammer. Glory Dayz has only gotten better with time. It’s a brilliant opening salvo.
2. The Witch *
When fans of quirky K-pop girl groups rave about their favorites, this is the kind of song I always expect (and hope!) to hear. I’m usually a bit disappointed, but The Witch is genuinely weird. It blends electro swing with a huge, theatrical chorus and blistering rap verse to create a larger-than-life sound.
3. Honjitsu Wa Seitennari *
We’re back to the rock energy of Glory Dayz with this standout single. It opens with its fierce chorus and never lets up from there. I love the vocals in this one. That hook is so anthemic.
4. Parade Wa Yameta
This one leans further into the group’s theatrical sound, segueing from poppy verses to a centerpiece that’s more grand and expressive. You really feel the power of ten voices forging as one.
5. You & Me
We move into a more downtempo r&b energy for You & Me. The phrasing in the rap is a bit jarring at first, but the chorus has a warm, brassy texture that works very well.
6. Aoikokoro *
This is the album’s third big rock track and I love its powerful melodies and driving production. Aoikokoro is another song that draws upon the strength of chorused vocals. It’s such an immense sound and One Love One Heart deliver an excellent performance.
This is arguably the album’s first real ballad, though the songs here switch energy often so it’s hard to give them a narrow definition. Breath features some lovely orchestration that elevates it above other songs of this nature.
The first time through, I kept hoping Onomatope would build toward something grander. It feels as if it’s constantly about to explode. Instead, it remains hushed all the way to the end despite quick rhythms telegraphing otherwise. Robust melodies compensate for this unresolved tease.
9. Alright *
I really love this style of J-pop track. It’s effusive and bold and melodically rich. Alright doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but its surging energy is very enjoyable. I love how the end of the chorus melody glides downward. It’s an unexpected – but compelling – touch.
This is a dance instrumental track the group used to introduce themselves prior to their first single. As such, it feels more like an interlude than a song. But as far as interludes go, it’s quite interesting.
11. Now Or Never *
The group’s debut single! Now Or Never is a crowning achievement – the kind of song that sneaks up on you more and more before exploding at its climax. I could rave about this all day long, but I’ll draw special attention to the vocals. To a fault, the performers in One Love One Heart have such gutsy, interesting voices. They’re so expressive.
Glad to see this! I’d seen your tweet recommending it and was interested to hear more of your thoughts.
another amazing feature thats gonna be abandoned in a few months 😍😍😍😍
LOL I already have at least four albums I want to do in the near future, and there are plenty more waiting in the wings.
I do love my features, though!
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Excited to listen to these 😀
Also, I think you accidentally copied #3’s title for #4–I think it should be Parade wo Yameta!
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wa* not wo, my bad 🤦
Thank you! 🤦♂️
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