Although I've spent the last eight months making World 1-2, that doesn't mean I wasn't listening to new music. In fact, I spent most of my time listening to non-personal stuff. My taste in music, just like in video games, is all over the place: I enjoy mainstream pop, UK pop, experimental rock, chiptunes, jazz, instrumentals ...you get it.
I've been buying a lot of albums as of late and I started to lose track of the music that's flowing into my iTunes Library. So I made a smart playlist with the following settings: show me all of the music I purchased during the last 3 months, and don't update the playlist. This means that once the playlist fetches the appropriate albums, it's not going to be "live", meaning it's not going to be automatically updated each time I add a new album. This actually makes it easier for me so I don't lose albums older than 3 months as the days go by. Once I consume all of the new music, I then tick the "live" box and make it update itself again. (It's called a smart playlist for a reason.)
I'm still going through these albums, but I thought I'd write about some of the ones I'm really digging.
Noisechan & Nugget: Adventure in Chiptunes
A groovy compilation album by Jake 'virt' Kaufman featuring some of my chiptune heroes, including hally, Rekcahdam, Fear of Dark, and others. It's pretty damn good — I like every single track on it. Bonus: pay-what-you-want, with the proceeds going to Child's Play. (Bandcamp)
Eternal Life Vol. 1 & 2 by I Come to Shanghai
Right now, this is my jam. These two are quickly climbing my list of favorite albums in recent years. I can't quite put my finger on what makes me enjoy them so dearly, but maybe that's part of the appeal; I haven't listened to something like this before. The mix of short and long tracks works really well, and reminds me a lot of The Beatles' Abbey Road. Everything flows naturally until it stops — no filler. Quoting them, this is a record designed to be heard 100 times without becoming boring. I Come To Shanghai is a duo, and you're probably familiar with Robert Ashley from the gaming podcast A Life Well Wasted. (Bandcamp)
The Legend of Zelda by Cory Johnson
This is becoming my favorite Zelda remix album. I got to know Cory through his contribution to Stemage's track for World 1-2, and boy — what a talent! The compositions have traces of Metroid Metal, which suits me well. (Bandcamp)
Exile by Hurts
I've been a fan of this duo since their debut, Happiness, and I like the different vibe that Exile is trying to bring. I thought the sound was less catchy and more experimental than their first album (in a good way), and I've always enjoyed their lyrics despite some genericness. (Hurts Store)
The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake
I didn't expect this to be a hard album to get into, but it is, and I think I figured out why: 7 minutes is too long for a track, which is the average in the record. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, quite the contrary, but the long markup makes it hard to grasp the album on a whim. I'm actually glad to see a mainstream musician try something different like this; whereas most new albums feel like they're meticulously crafted to appeal to the trend, this one strays a bit from the norm. Oh, and Let The Groove Get In is fun. (iTunes)
This post will be updated as I listen to more albums.