Three Must-Own VGM Albums

There are plenty of VGM albums that have released over the past few years, but these three hold a special place in my heart. If you haven’t heard them yet, I implore you to stop what you’re doing, find a copy, and discover the music for yourself.

AHlbum 1 by AHmusic

'AHlbum 1' by AHMusic

If you’re not already familiar with AHMusic, I envy you, because you’re about to discover one of the most clever and talented artists in the VGM scene. This album is a testament to Alejandro’s creativity, wit, and chops with each track so staggeringly diverse that it’s a wonder one person put this all together. On the surface, it’s a metal album, but when you dive a little deeper, you can hear musical influences from almost every genre and every part of the world. In my original review, I said “AHlbum 1 is a ‘metal cover’ album like Radiohead is a ‘rock band.’“,  and I still stand by that statement. I don’t know whether he’s been working on AHlbum 2, but I know I couldn’t be more ready.

Read my full review.

The Wild by Ro Panuganti

'The Wild' EP by Ro Panuganti

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve probably listened to this album over 50 times. There is something so satisfying about this album, and I can’t place my finger on it. Perhaps, it’s the track interludes that create unparalleled cohesion or perhaps it’s Ro Panuganti’s ability to deftly pair familiar melodies with progressive rock influences or perhaps it’s the crystal clear production on the album. Whatever the case, this is one of those rare albums where I don’t have a favorite track because every track offers something unique and extraordinary.

Read my full review.

Alola That Jazz by insaneintherainmusic

‘Alola that Jazz’ by Insaneintherainmusic

I’ve only ever played two Pokémon games in my life, but even I recognize the brilliance of Junichi Masuda and, thankfully, so does Carlos Eiene aka insaneintherainmusic. Of all the albums on this list, this might be my favorite. Carlos’s arrangements are second to none, and he shines no matter what the instrumentation. Compare “Cityscape’s” simple piano arrangement to the boisterous “A Battle for Beasts” (my favorite track on the album). Carlos manages to perfectly balance emotion, intensity, and creativity on each of these tracks, and all the tracks on the album for that matter. To be honest, I’ve been meaning to review this album for some time, but I’m too intimidated by the prospect. After all, what can I say that would do this album justice?