[Album Review] A Delicate Sense (2nd Mini Album) – FIESTAR

The FT Island and BOL4 review that should have been published yesterday and today (respectively) will be published some other time this week. 

It is time for another album review and this time, we will be looking into the past (as per the schedule for Tuesdays). Last week, we looked at HISTORY’s mini-album, HIM, their last release in their careers. Today, we turn to FIESTAR, who was also under the same company as HISTORY. While A Delicate Sense (their second mini-album) was not their last music release in their time as a group, it was their final album release. Released on March 2016, the mini-album features the title track Mirror.  I have also previously reviewed their first mini-album, Black Label, which you can read here by clicking the link.

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A Delicate Sense Album Cover

1. A Sip of Lips (입술 한 모금) – Kicking off their final mini-album is A Sip of Lips. I know I might be getting ahead of myself (and this review) here by making this initial comment but in my head, it makes sense to start off by saying this. When you look over the entire album, A Sip of Lips is a great opener to the album. It eases you into the sensual nature of Mirror that follows without going with a sound that isn’t too heavy or loaded. But it is a different story for the song itself (if I were to consider it standalone), it isn’t the most exciting song on the album (nor ever). It is a little typical. I thought the chorus/melody was rather annoying and I can imagine this annoyance accumulating as I listen to more of it. (6/10)

2. Mirror (Title Track) – Upon rereading my review, the rating there is as per the old system (i..e just the one number and not a breakdown). My comments still stand but to better reflect the ‘song’ section of the review, I have decided to change the rating for this album review. Click here to read my review for Mirror. (9/10)

3. Mr. Black – The group continues their sensual vibe with Mr. Black. It fairs better than the first song on the album as it is easier on the ears and less annoying in many senses. I like how husky their voices get in the song, which adds to the sensual vibes of the song. The instrumental keeps the song from feeling slow, which could have been a problem. But the best part must be Yezi’s rap sequence. Instead of something powerful, she opts for whispering, which I think makes her part so much more impactful. I think both routes would have been fine. Overall, a cool track. (9/10)

4. Thirst (갈증) – Once again, the sensual theme continues through Thirst. It is more of an R&B track, losing the dance element that could have come with Mr. Black. Not that this is any problem, because I think this stage would have been fine without one. Listening to the track for the first time, I thought T-Ara (oh, I miss them as well) was singing the song. The vocals were quite similar, and I had to check several times whether I had the right song and artist playing to write this review. Interestingly, I didn’t like Yezi’s rapping in this song. I know she could only fit in with a softer approach, but it felt a little awkward and not fitting as her whispering did in the previous song. (7/10)

5. Come And Go (왔다갔다)Come And Go ends the album with another, you guessed it, sensual vibe song. This one, however, wasn’t as strong as the rest of the album. I think the upbeat side was a tad overpowering and steals the show from the sensual atmosphere. That being said, the combination of their voices, saxophone and seductive melody worked well together. My favourite part has to be the layering of rap and vocals that wrap the song at the end. It drew moments of the song together in a successful and elegant manner that made me enjoy the song. I did have concerns about its plainness for a while, but I think those thoughts are long gone. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10

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[Album Review] 2/4 (2nd Single Album) – ONEWE

It is time for the Sunday album review. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had endeavoured to get this up by midnight (my time). And since it was a single album, it made things a lot more achievable. ONEWE returned the previous week with Regulus and their second single album, 2/4. And as expected, we can expect the third and fourth quarters in the future. In the meantime, let’s have a closer inspection of the tracks on tier second single album.

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2/4 Album Cover

1. Love Me (내가 처음 만져본 강아지) – The very first thing that popped into my mind when I first listened to the song was that the very first second reminded me of AKMU. And if some past experience is something to go by, it means Love Me will be a pretty nice track. The track has a decent level of brightness that offsets the moodiness and darkness the group opted for their title track. It is also a new side to the band, which I think they should do for a title track. The vocals were fantastic, and I thought the instrumental was fantastically done (that guitar solo section for the bridge is perfect). It is a niche that should be done more in KPOP, as I feel the song manages to form a connection in a unique manner. Upon further research, the song is about a dog. And as a person who enjoys the company of dogs, I think the song is perfect for me. (10/10)

2. Regulus (‘야행성) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Regulus. (8/10)

3. Feeling Good (2019 Version) – Before ONEWE was ONEWE, the band was known as MAS and they released the single Feeling Good back in 2016. It is nice to know that the band is still with their roots and this shows in the 2019 version of Feeling Good. The original version is something I would describe as jazzy. It is also notable bright and totally something I did not expect from the group. The 2019 version loses that jazzy feel, opting for a solid band feel. The chorus feels amped up, which is a good thing. It does maintain that brightness. Despite the changes, both tracks remain pleasant throughout. The vocal work and rapping were also commendable. The bridge does change up the song in an odd manner and I am not too sure what to think of that part as of yet. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

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2/4 Teaser Image

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[Album Review] Emergency: Quantum Leap (1st Mini Album) – X1

So, I have been a bit busy with my week off. A lot do to for my studies, so it wasn’t really a week off. And that means I didn’t get around to posting my album review yesterday. Well, don’t fret as I will be posting it today! I have decided to push the Japanese reviews to next week onwards because of this. Today we will be leaping into X1’s first mini-album, Emergency: Quantum Leap. It seems like both the album and their title track (Flash) is a major hit with fans and listeners alike, as the group have been topping album charts and weekly music shows consistently this week! Congratulations to the group! But let’s see if the album is worth the attention.

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Emergency: Quantum Leap Album Cover

1. Stand Up (Intro Track) – This introductory track opens with a bit of piano, making you think they are going with a soft approach to ease us in. But in a matter of seconds, the group changes into a harsh rock-like track. It is a great opener, full of energy to drive interest towards this new (and expectedly popular) group. We got solid vocals and rapping from the members, which I think did enough to showcase themselves. It is catchy and there was a fun vibe to it. I would have liked to hear this song extended into a full track. With a few changeups, I think this would have been a fabulous contender for the title track position. (9/10)

2. FLASH (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for FLASH. (7.5/10)

3. Like Always (웃을 때 제일 예뻐)Like Always opens with someone typing. It might be random but given the song’s lyrics, it might be alluding to typing out a confession letter/email to their lover. It was also a nice lead in to the rest of the song, as the song opted for colourful and lively percussion synths. The verses were positioned in the pop genre and I thought showcased an impressive set of the vocals from the members. The chorus takes a turn to the industry trends, opting for a synth-heavy electronic dance-based instrumental. It was robust and was a nice changeup in my opinion. Some might think the two styles clash but I thought it was fine. The rapping was pretty good, but I have to admit it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the rest of the song. (8.5/10)

4. I’m Here For You (괜찮아요) – It is expected that there is a ballad on the album. I think all the Produce 101 resultant group’s first albums contained a ballad that says thanks to their fans. It is also a very different sound to the group, given that all the songs were more dance tracks on the album. I am sure fans of the group (and of the survival show’s latest season) would find the song touching. For the song, I thought the vocals sounded nice throughout the track. The ballad melody was fluid and well-paced. I thought the rapping was a nice touch. Not many individuals can tweak their rapping abilities to fit ballads, but X1’s rappers do a splendid job here. Instrumentally, the track was a little dry. But still, a nice track for fans. (8/10)

5. U GOT IT (X1 Version)U GOT IT was first released during Produce X 101. I have previously reviewed it and you can find the review for it by clicking on this link. As it forms part of this album review, I will give it a rating based on X1’s version. (8/10)

6. Move (움직여) (X1 Version)Move was first released during Produce X 101. I have previously reviewed it and you can find the review for it by clicking on this link. As it forms part of this album review, I will give it a rating based on X1’s version. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

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Emergency: Quantum Leap Teaser Image

[Album Review] HIM (5th Mini Album) – HISTORY

Today, we return to the PARs (Past Album Reviews), where I look closely at an album from the previous years. This way, I am able to revisit artists who have disbanded or inactive, rediscover old songs and introduce to you (and myself) the unsung b-side tracks on different albums. Today, the focus will be on HISTORY, who officially disbanded in 2016. HIM was their final release ever and this occurred in 2017. It is a pity to see HISTORY disband, especially since I was a fan of many of their title tracks. So it will be interesting to see what their B-sides tracks are like.

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HIM Album Cover

1..Wild BoyWild Boy starts this mini-album on a very strong front. Wild Boy is a dance track that consists of a heavy and intense EDM instrumental. It adds to History’s style, with the next release always building on top of the previous. It is a pity that they are no longer around to continue with this vibe. The singing was quite good. But there is no doubt that the rapping was the real winner in this song. The rapping added more intensity and roughness to the song. And I like it how they didn’t hold back. All these elements together tapped into the group’s wild side, which fits the song’s direction perfectly. (9/10)

2. Queen (Title Track) – I decided to bump the original rating from 7.5 (the combination of song, video and performance) to 9 (just the song). The song has remained a favourite in my books since its release, so many of my comments in the review still stand to this day. Click here to read the full review for Queen. (9/10)

3. Baby, Hello – Diverting from the intensity that we have felt so far is Baby, Hello. It goes for an R&B style, instead. It is typical in some senses. But it is a nice break from that intense sound that I just mentioned. And while the previous two songs allowed the rappers to come to the forefront, a song of this style allows the focus to shift towards the vocals. The members sound smooth, with the rappers still doing a really good job. What makes this song kind of unique is that it extends itself using an additional dance break. Around the 2:30 mark, we get a bit of electric guitars to ‘finish’ the R&B style. But we are given an additional jazzy outro, which paired really well with the rest of the song. (8/10)

4. Whenever (그럴 때면) (Dokhyun Solo) – Continuing on with this ‘break’ from intensity is Dokhyun’s solo song. If I remember correctly, he was the member that was often hidden away. Their debut with Dreamer put Dokhyun into the limelight as a strong vocalist. But from every release from then on, I didn’t get to recognise or see him as much, which is a little disappointing. Whenever proves that he does have a really good set of vocals. I wished that History’s title track gave him a little more opportunity to flourish. It does feel like he strains his vocals towards the end. But apart from that, this R&B number was well polished and was very light in tone, suiting this ‘break’ nicely. (7.5/10)

5. LOST – I was under the impression that I had written a review for LOST, as it was a track that they promoted within Japan. It is also a return to intensity, as the song launches into a grand start through the classical instrumented driven start and probably one of the most intense EDM launches that I have ever heard. The song stabilises out once the vocals are brought into play. But not for long, as the EDM instrumental and classical lineup joins forces for the most drown-able chorus ever. I couldn’t even hear any of the vocal work during the chorus as the instrumental was too much. Apart from that, the verses were fine. Just the chorus was the biggest letdown. (6/10)

6. LiarLiar is significant as this is the final song we ever heard from the male group. After the release of this album, the group went away and was never heard of again (until the news of their disbandment). I find this to be a nice mix between the R&B side of the group and the dance side of the track. It isn’t too much of a slow song, nor is it overly intense. Some might think this is rather typical of a KPOP track. But with History’s style, this pop style track was something different for the group (as far as I was concerned). I like how the rapping gave some roughness to the song, while the vocals evenly smooth out the song. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

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HIM Teaser Image

[Album Review] The ReVe Festival: Day 2 (7th Mini Album) – Red Velvet

I hope to be back on the normal schedule last week. But due to my studies, that was put on hold for a bit. So I am now hoping that I am able to return to that normal schedule this weekend, with this album review kicking it off. Red Velvet made their comeback 10 days ago with Umpah Umpah and their second album release in The ReVe Festival series. Per usual with any Red Velvet release, they have managed to come on top on this week’s music shows so far. But it is now time to see how the album faired.

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The ReVe Festival: Day 2 Album Cover

1..Umpah Umpah (음파음파) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Umpah Umpah. (9.5/10)

2. Carpool (카풀) – While I was briefly listening through the album to see whether it was worth writing an album review for it, I was drawn to Carpool. It was bright and upbeat, two of the things I totally like when it comes to KPOP tracks. Sprinkle in with some funk, give the track to Red Velvet and let them own it. I really enjoyed the vocals in this song, as it was rather clear and the instrumental (to a degree) took a backseat approach, allowing the vocals to be capitalised. I also enjoyed the melodies throughout the song, making this a standout track, in my opinion. My pick for the highlight has to be the part of the chorus where they sing together. (9/10)

3. Love Is The Way (사랑은 길이다)Love Is The Way slows down considerably but continues the bright tone that we have heard so far on the album. This time around the track opts for a retro style, which reminds me of a lot of SNSD’s Lion Heart. To be honest, some of the Red Velvet members reminded me of some of the SNSD members throughout the track. I really like the ‘Your lips say no, but your heart says yes’ line that is featured before each chorus. I think the biggest flaw of the track is that its slowness was very evident, particularly since it was following Carpool, which was a lot faster and snappier. It did cause the retro track to come off as sluggish and dry. (7.5/10)

4. Jumpin’ – We return to something a little more upbeat. Given how its tempo seems to be in between Carpool and Love Is The Way, I think this would have been a suitable song to have in between the two so that the latter song did not come off as sluggish. Despite that observation, however, with a song titled as Jumpin’, I would have expected a little more energy to come from the track. It wasn’t sluggish. But it wasn’t eventful, I could say. Their vocals were quite strong in this track, which I guess helped offset. But it felt more abstract with this approach. I would also say this track is moderately catchy and I wouldn’t mind listening to the song occasionally. (7/10)

5. Ladies Night – It is a night that I am not invited to. But Ladies Night seems to bring out the good side of Red Velvet. I really like their slight retro approach with this R&B track. It seems to match the rest of the album nicely. The brass gives it a lot of colour and character, making the instrumental stand out. I also thought their vocals, which was a lot softer than the previous tracks, were well presented. And I liked how their vocals and instrumental blended together nicely. (8/10)

6. Eyes Locked, Hands Locked (눈 맞추고, 손 맞대고) – When I was checking out the album, the final track caught my attention. Its title is rather intriguing. And I didn’t know what to really expect with a song titled Eyed Locked, Hands Locked. It ended up being a ‘love at first sight’ ballad with delicate vocals, fitting for the softer instrumentation that the ballad had opted for. Throughout this album and within this track, all the members have been singing together for the chorus, which I think works very well with Red Velvet. Other groups do this, but they tend to inefficiently or overuse this technique. It does feel a rather typical way to end the album, but I can’t deny that it is a good track to end the album on. (8/10

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

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The ReVe Festival: Day 2 Teaser Image

[Album Review] The Night In The Park (Part 3) (3rd Mini Album) – GWSN

Apologies everyone for the delay for this album review. It was meant to be published last Sunday. But I had pushed that because I was busy. And I was very occupied over the weekend. And now, I am here to publish this review (before I hold onto it for another week)! GWSN debuted last year with a really cool title track (Puzzle Moon). I do remember that I was intrigued so much by it, so I checked out their debut mini-album. But I wasn’t satisfied with it to write an album review. Their comeback at the start of the year also shared the same fate. But third time is the charm, as today we review their 3rd mini-album, the 3rd (and final) part of their The Night In The Park trilogy.

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The Night In The Park (Part 3) Album Cover

1. Red Sun (021) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Red Sun (021). (9/10)

2. All Mine (Coast of Azure) – GWSN has always stood out for their different style title tracks. So, to hear something a little more typical from the group felt nice, which is rather odd, considering my past comments on every other ‘typical’ sounding track. All Mine is a Summer track that is bright and makes you think of the beach and sun thanks to its upbeat energy. I thought the track was quite nice and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a slight quirk in the song, with the pre-chorus sounding like a music box with a downward gradient. That stood out for me, alongside the colourful vocals and rapping. (8/10)

3. Night Aviation (밤의 비행) (The Interpretation of Dreams) – The group now takes a new direction with Night Aviation. It is a dance R&B track that also a very smooth feel to it. It is very mature, which I think is that ‘new direction’ that I mentioned. The instrumental is standard, with no impressive moments that stick out. But it is their vocals and rapping that really give this song some character. It might also be the fact that I am impressed with their performances and a song like this seems will be portrayed exceptionally well on stage by such a strong dance group. I think the only thing that I would consider a flaw in this song is that standard instrumental, but as mentioned, other elements (and expectations) make up for this. (8.5/10)

4. Total Eclipse (Black Out)Total Eclipse returns the group to their aesthetics and dance style that their title tracks always go for. However, this track seems to be a little more ‘out-there’ and wacky, so I think it was well-played by the producers to keep this as a side-track instead. Nonetheless, I think this was very interesting and I did enjoy it. The chorus was very cool, especially with the start. The crunchy ‘Black Out’ effect was a strong highlight for me. I liked how it also contrasted with the rest of the song, as the other parts felt like a ‘normal’ track. And thanks to that highlight, there was a fun vibe to the song. (8/10)

5. Birthday Girl ~ 19 Candles – Through Birthday Girl, we get to see a different side of the group. If you are more familiar with their title tracks, you might not expect this direction. It is a more delicate style, which calls for a soft vocal approach. And the group nails this. I think this was a very nice track that brings their vocals, rather than their performances and catchy hooks, to the forefront. In a sense, the track acts as a magnifying glass, as it allowed us to hear the husky tones some of the members brought to the song. The harmonies heard in the chorus was very beautiful. (9/10)

6. Kind Of CoolKind Of Cool isn’t exactly the most appealing track. It is a little bland upon first glance at its tropical-like instrumentation and is kind of neutral throughout. Their vocals and rapping aren’t also their most impressive work. But despite the negativity, I must emphasise that this track isn’t terrible. It is still quite listenable. It just doesn’t ping as something to ‘put on repeat’. It is also on the weaker side of the spectrum compared to their other songs on the album. Despite that, I did like the chorus as it was somewhat catchy and I thought the flutes were a nice instrumental detail in the song. (6.5/10)

7. Black H●le – If you were to compare Kind Of Cool and Black Hole (I won’t be inserting the darkened circle while referring to the song within the review), you might think I would be repeating my comments. But I am not going to. I find Black Hole to be very appealing, mainly because we get to hear more of that delicate style from the group. Once again, it is different, and I am not really ready to hear them return to their usual sound just yet. I really like the flowy nature of this track and the acapella in the background. The rapping was also well blended into the track, which I think is always a tricky aspect to tackle in these types of tracks. (8/10)

8. Recipe ~ for Simon – Ending the album is once again, another delicate track. I cannot get enough of these tracks!! I find the harmonies in this track to be superb. I am not as impressed with the incorporation of the rapping as I was with the preceding song. It is good but not as great as Black Hole. The chorus has that flowy nature and I find them all singing to together to be a real standout element in this track. It feels wholesome, cohesive and brings the album to a close on a slower but nice note. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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The Night In The Park (Part 3) Teaser Image

[Album Review] WOLF (1st Mini Album) – Woosung (The Rose)

As mentioned during the week, I announced that I would be reviewing Woosung’s debut mini-album. And that is where we find ourselves today. Woosung is the main vocalist of The Rose and made his solo debut with FACE on the 25th of July. FACE is the title track featured on his first mini-album, titled as WOLF. During the week, The Rose also made their comeback with RED. If you want another song that shows off Woosung’s voice, as I will reiterate throughout this album review, then I highly recommend the band’s newest track! While you are there, check out the rest of the band and their other tracks (which I have linked in that review as well).

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WOLF Album Cover

1. Wolf – One thing that I really want to hear when it comes to new releases is something that really amazes me in some way. The fact is that I am amazed about a lot of things, so it doesn’t have to be a major detail or aspect of the track. Well, Woosung kicks off the album with a track that pretty much satisfied the above. It is a pity that the song is only an introductory track as there is such a strong aesthetic vibe to it that would have been epic as part of a full track. On the other hand, the track would have been repetitive. I like how the verses and choruses contrast, bringing together acoustic and electronic instrumentation. The combination works well. The chorus was full of that aesthetic, while the verses felt paced, like how you expect a pack of wolves to circle around you. The best part would have to be when Woosung utters the song’s title, Wolf. It is creepy and goes well with the modern twist of the chorus. (9/10)

2. Moon – There is no doubt that Woosung’s vocals are on full display on this album. Moon manages to take this up a notch for me. There is something about his vocals that are so alluring. It might be as simple as the melody being able to highlight the strengths of his vocals. Or it could be the raspy nature that gives the song texture. And texture was needed. It started off as a minimalistic instrumental and it built up from there. But it was relatively plain and without the texture, the track would not have been as good. I also like how he doesn’t hold back lyric-wise for this track. While it isn’t as explicit as some other tracks, the ‘Bitch’ is rather striking, and you can tell by his tone that he is disapproving of his former lover. Overall, Moon was a pretty cool track. (9/10)

3. FACE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for FACE. (10/10)

4. Lonely – The final song on this mini-album is Lonely. It takes more of that typical approach for main vocalists, as the track is a ballad. But I am not complaining. We get to hear various styles of Woosung’s vocals throughout the album. And I did not know that I needed to hear a heartbreaking side of the artist. I really like the song’s melody. I also like how the instrumental didn’t really develop into something more. It is an odd predicament. But think about it, not building up almost felt like the song was trying to portray a sense of hopelessness, which was the direction in which his vocals and lyrics were trying to showcase. It makes perfect sense and pulled off well. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

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WOLF Teaser Image

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[Album Review] Hello Chapter 1: Hello, Stanger (1st Mini Album) – CIX

It is always exciting to write album reviews for groups that had just debut. As there is a very high chance that I will be following their careers through albums reviews for as long as they are around. CIX debuted two weeks ago with Hello Chapter 1: Hello, Stranger. They have also won a music show award with their new track, Movie Star. This made them the fastest male group to win a music show award after debuting (i.e. 7 days). Let’s see the album that helped contribute to this win!

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Hello Chapter 1: Hello Stranger Album Cover

1..What You Wanted – Kicking off their debut mini-album is What You Wanted. The song has a very nice sleek feel. The instrumental is very standard and feels very weighted. But this is a good thing as it gives rise of their ‘downward melody’ that they feature in the chorus. And this downward melody was very catchy, meaning the album opened with a memorable tone. Likewise, the vocals were quite good. The rapping was a little hit and miss for me. I thought the first half of the rapping was good. But things got messy during the second half of the chorus. (8/10)

2. Movie Star (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Movie Star. (9.5/10)

3. Like It That Way – We move to something a little brighter through Like It That Way. The instrumental primarily features a reggae beat. There is a little more percussion to it as the song progresses. But overall, I would consider the track to be light in terms of its tone. Other than that, I thought the singing was okay. It doesn’t really showcase anything new, which is my overall impression of the song as well. The rapping manages to give it a little more definition. But it really isn’t enough to really make it memorable. It is more of a skippable song if I was to describe it in some way. (6.5/10)

4. Imagine – And now we move onto a track with a more upbeat nature, in conjunction with the song’s previous brighter tone. With the way the song directs itself to the pop genre, I already find it more captivating than the preceding track. There are a little disco and groovy influence on the song instrumental, which really helps make the song slightly more memorable. Unfortunately, I did think the member’s vocals were a little weak. I think if they managed to boost their vocals with some sort of definition aid, I think they would have stood out more. With that said, I find the rapping and Jinyoung’s whispering in the bridge to be my picks for more captivating moments of the song. (7.5/10)

5. The One – To me, The One finds itself within a very typical territory. It does have a feel of a ballad, as it does lack loudness and energy. But the instrumental was more dance centred, with synths present and an R&B tone to really bring everything together nicely. I find their execution of the different elements to be very interesting. I have been unimpressed with the vocal work for the last two tracks on the album. But I found the vocal work to be very nice here. Sure, there aren’t new techniques being shown off. But it sounds really well balanced over the synth R&B instrumental. The rapping had some oophm to it, which I thought was very cool as well. It ended the album in a wholesome way, based on its message as well. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Hello Chapter 1: Hello, Stranger Teaser Image

[Album Review] Lion Heart (5th Studio Album) – SNSD

SNSD is one of the groups that have members under different companies. Based on history, groups like these don’t come back at all as schedules just do not align. However, it seems like SNSD could potentially be one of the first to return. There are ongoing rumours of a 2019 comeback and it seems like the 8 members are actively speaking to one another despite their different schedules. Fingers Crossed!!! Let’s hope for a comeback from this legendary group! In the meantime, I decided to review their Lion Heart album, which was released in 2015. This was also the first album after Jessica departed from the group.

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Lion Heart Album Cover

1..Lion Heart (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Lion Heart. (6.5/10)

2. You Think (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for You Think. (8/10)

3. Party (Pre-Release Single) – The track ended up being one of my most favourite tracks of the album. To the point where it surpassed their other title tracks. Whenever it is Summer where I am, I end up playing this track because it puts you into a good mood. So I decided to bump up my rating from a 4/10 (shocking much) to a 9/10. (And yes, I identified the wrong title track for the album in the Party review). Click here to read the original review for Party. (9/10)

4. One Afternoon (어떤 오후) – There is a sense of elegance to One Afternoon, which is different from the three preceding tracks before it. The track features soft jazz instrumental that I find to be quite likeable. Usually, I am not a fan of a song like this. But this one surprised me as being quite pleasant and enjoyable. The vocal work was also quite pleasant, with the member using a lighter tone to compliment the soft nature of the track. Visually, I think the song would pair well with the 1920s style outfit they wore for Lion Heart. (8/10)

5. Show GirlsShow Girls was previously released as a Japanese song. But since the album goes for an old fashion retro theme, the track is very suitable for the album. The verses take a sensual 1920s approach, which I think was very interesting. But what I love the best is the blast of energy we get from the catchy and energetic chorus. The contrast ended up being bold and I think that is a defining characteristic of the track. So bold that when you think about it, the two shouldn’t really go together. But somehow SNSD managed to pull it off well. (9/10)

6. Fire Alarm – We now get something a little more modern, joining the ranks of You Think and Party. Fire Alarm is a pop dance track that brings out the vocal dynamics of the group. The vocals during the chorus were loud to avoid being covered up by the instrumental. The vocals on the album thus far have been on the softer side, so it is nice to hear something a little more hard-hitting. And in combination with the instrumental, Fire Alarm becomes punchy, making this a standout for me. (8/10)

7. Talk TalkTalk Talk is a standard pop track. There isn’t anything that great about the song that blew me away or got me interested in the track. There were a few minor things but they don’t really change my initial feelings regarding the song. There are some Western pop vibes in the track which I managed to catch. It does give a tinge of nostalgia, which was nice. The vocals were also pretty good, especially with the ad-libs at the end. But as I said, these weren’t enough to keep me from skipping to the next track. (7/10)

8. Green LightGreen Light, at first sounded like another pop track. But I found the melody of the chorus to be very appealing. It is a very fluffy type of song, which isn’t my style at all. But I guess we all have our guilty pleasures occasionally. I also liked the epic style of the countdown that launched us into the chorus. It is a different pairing than usual but it sounded good. I also enjoyed the rapping, giving the song some texture and preventing it from becoming too repetitive as a result. (8/10)

9. ParadiseParadise is actually an impressive track. I did not expect something to be so catchy out of this one, given how it started with the ‘P P P Paradise’. I thought it was childish and potentially annoying. But rather, it grew on me and I quite enjoy it (to the point where I sing along). It is another pop track, so the instrumental doesn’t really make it memorable. But the vocals were fantastic in the track. The melody was very pretty and allowed for the vocals to shine in this bright song. (9/10)

10. Check – If you read through my Party review (link above), I mistakenly identified that this was the title track for the album at the time of writing the Party review. I think I got some information from a forum. Based on this, I don’t think I will ever use a forum as a ‘source of information’ for several reasons. The first, the group and company opted for a different title track. Secondly, Check is a very sluggish song that would not have gotten much fanfare if it was selected for continuous promotion for 3 or 4 weeks. The vocals weren’t great, and I pretty much remember skipping over the track when I saw the side promotion of it during the first week of the comeback. (4/10)

11. Sign – Positioned after the disappointing Check, Sign comes off as cool and dynamic. There is an edgy sound to the track thanks to the electric and synth-based instrumental and I think this track directly compliments the likes of You Think. I particularly liked the vocals in the song. While the instrumental seemed to go for a mid-tempo speed, the vocals were dragged out. I liked the contrast and thought it created a very alluring atmosphere. The song doesn’t have a catchy element too, but I think the vocal and instrumental combination makes it memorable. (9/10)

12. Bump ItBump It starts off as a ballad. And then it takes a 180° turn to become a hip-hop/R&B dance track. Come to the think of it, Bump It doesn’t sound like a ballad whatsoever, so I guess the change is definitely a step in the right direction. And reading the lyrics, I feel like that ballad extension at the start could have been left out entirely as it didn’t contribute much to the track (both musically and lyrically). For the upbeat parts, I thought there was nice edgy energy running through it and I felt this was very memorable. I like the rap-like pre-chorus launch and the melody was quite catchy. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

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Lion Heart Individual Teaser Images

[Album Review] SUM(ME:R) (9th Mini Album) – Pentagon

It is surprising that Pentagon has yet to release a studio album. You would expect them to do so after eight mini-albums, right? Well, I guess we just have to wait a little longer for that album. In the meantime, the group has released their 9th mini-album, SUM(ME:R), which features the title track, Humph!. There are two additional singles on the album, along with a special bonus track (which I have reviewed today as well). Hopefully, by keeping this review short, we will be able to fast track ourselves to another Pentagon release (finger crossed for a studio album). But until then, here is my album review!

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SUM(ME:R) Album Cover

1..Humph! (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Humph! (8/10)

2. Fantasystic – While I personally do not like the way the title of the song is spelt (me being picky once again), Fantasysic is a bumping track. It is a little more traditional when it comes to its pop genre. But I really like its upbeat atmosphere. It does beg for a little something extra. That something extra (I am thinking intensity or something to make it feel a little tighter) could have really lifted this song to another level. I liked the vocals (Yan An, who is absent from the promotions, participates in the song) and the rapping really hit the mark perfectly. I find the track fitting for the Summer season, which makes it ideal for a Summer themed album. (8/10)

3. Summer!Summer! isn’t another dance track. Instead, it seems to zone right into the vocals of the group. There is also a melodic appeal to the song, which I think really sets this track apart from the rest of the group’s discography. I also liked how they didn’t take the ballad route to focus on the vocals, which is a cliché move done by many groups. Talking about the vocals, I think this was a really good track on that front. The rapping isn’t as good as per their dance tracks. But I liked how they tweaked the rappers to fit the track’s more melodic style. The instrumental is the main reason why I don’t pinpoint it as a dance track. It is a little more acoustic. But, I can imagine a little fun choreography on the side. (8/10)

4. Round 2 – For those who don’t remember, Pentagon previously released Round 1, which was a bonus track which made fun of one another. They continued that exact theme with Round 2. Though, if my memory serves me right, Round 2 is a little more outrageous than Round 1. My favourite part has to be Shinwon screaming (which I am assuming is an enactment of Hui, who he is is making fun of). And Yeo One’s ASMR for Hongseok was hilarious. I want them to continue doing this in future releases. It is different from an outro and it really shows their budding friendship and closeness with one another. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

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SUM(ME:R) Teaser Image

[Album Review] What A Life (1st Mini Album) – EXO-SC

While it does seem like I was very unimpressed with some title tracks, the title track ends up being on small factor when it comes to deciding which albums to review. Instead, I do a quick listen through the album to hear what it has to offer. If I am satisfied there is enough to write about, I put it on the list. This is the case for EXO-SC’s album. The title track (What A Life) wasn’t to my standard. But a number of the tracks on the album were. And hence, we find ourselves here today to have a run through the album, which shares the same name as the title track. Let’s see if you agree with my thoughts!

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What A Life Album Cover

1..What A Life (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of What A Life. (4/10)

2. Just Us 2 (있어 희미하게) (ft. Gaeko from Dynamic Duo) – With the addition of Gaeko in this track, there is no doubt that EXO-SC would continue their hip-hop venture with Just Us 2. And I think the hip-hop genre was heard loudly and clearly in this track, which I think is fantastic. I am still not exactly sure about Chanyeol and Sehun’s approach with their rapping. It just isn’t exciting for me. Though, they do manage to mellow out the song. My favourite bit is Gaeko’s chorus. His voice just seems to extend beyond the primary duo and I really like the twisty accent that he finishes with his lines. There is a lot more colour in the chorus, which I really like. And surprisingly, this colour speaks volumes, as I think this is my favourite track (with a music video) from this album from EXO-SC. (8/10)

3. Closer To You (부르면 돼)Click here to read the full review for Closer To You. (6/10)

4. Roller Coaster (롤러코스터) – Something I suspect is coming true. I am starting to like the tracks that aren’t getting the spotlight. Roller Coaster is a ‘return-to-form’, for me (at least the hip-hop that I know of when it comes to KPOP). I find their delivery a little more captivating. The instrumental, which is does feature that common xylophone synth sound, is a little more dynamic as well. The best part has to the flute-featuring chorus. The ‘Express Yourself’ shout was very subtle yet very memorable. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few people found it plain. But I actually thought the song was very really cool. (9/10)

5. Borderline (선) – It is a short one. The delivery of the lines is a little plain, like their primary title track. Yet there is an intriguing factor to the song that manages to ‘save’ the song from plainness. The instrumental is very minimal. Yet I would consider this to be an upbeat song due to the fast tempo from the tapping in the song. There is a little more to the instrumental with the brief pauses and the periodic wail-like sounds (which was okay but fairly plain). But other than that, thanks to the instrumental, the song manages to speak volumes. (7/10)

6. Daydreamin’ (夢) – I guess to make up for the short preceding song, Daydreamin’ is extended to be a little longer. I like the guitars in the R&B styled instrumental. It gives off a nice atmosphere. There is a bit more to the instrumental as there are many sections, such as the classically styled ending. But they all come together quite nicely. I also like the member’s voices in this song. There are very different textures thanks to the use of autotune, which all assisted the song in becoming very soothing and calming. In summary, one of the better songs of the album. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7/10

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What A Life Teaser Image

[Album Review] Exodus / Love Me Right (2nd Studio & Repackaged Albums) – EXO

As this is a studio/repackaged album review, this post will be lengthy. 

I have probably repeated myself so many times but EXO has recently focused on unit and solo promotions since they are at the stage of impending military enlistments. However, in the midst of all these solo debuts, special singles and unit formations, I have been craving an EXO group comeback. But I don’t think that is going to happen any time soon given the circumstances. So I decided to revisit one of their old albums. EXODUS was released in March 2015, with the lead single Call Me Baby (link below). Love Me Right was the repackaged version of EXODUS, was released on June 2015 and it featured Love Me Right as the title track. With these two singles in mind, let’s have a look at the other songs on the album as well.

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EXODUS Album Cover

1..Love Me Right (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Love Me Right (10/10)

2. Tender LoveTender Love dabbles into the retro-funk genre. It is a nice piece overall that had a few good moments, such as electronic 8-bit tune-like. There were some moments that I wasn’t that fond of, such as the crowd clapping sample they used for the bridge. It showed off some nice vocal and rapping work, which I enjoyed. The song did feel like it went for a longer length than its 3.5-minute run, thanks to the ‘Tender Love’ repetitive chorus. Not exactly sure how I feel about this prolongment feeling but I guess no negative feeling towards it is a good thing. (7.5/10)

3. Call Me Baby (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Call Me Baby. (7/10)

4. Transformer – To me, Transformer was a passable track. It does have an interesting melody, something I wished should have shined more brightly with a more dynamic set of vocals. The lyrics were begging for something more interesting yet what we ended up getting felt monotone to an extent. The instrumental delved into the hip-hop genre, which I thought was nice considering that EXO doesn’t often go that route (i.e. they are not necessarily known for their hip-hop tracks). What I thought was nailed was the rapping, which stood out over everything. Good job to Chanyeol, Sehun and Kai for that. (6/10)

5. What If (시선 둘, 시선 하나)What If is a ballad. It was quite slow, and this is probably the only thing that works against the song. Apart from that, the song features amazing vocals and the harmonies are to die for. The song had a fragile touch thanks to the lyrics. It is a song heavy on emotions without being emotional. While the vocals were amazing, the vocals didn’t overpower the track, giving it a well-balanced aspect. The chorus featured whispering vocals, allowing all the members to come together in a way that gave a delicate touch to the song. (8/10)

6. My Answer – Following What if, My Answer is an even slower ballad that features the vocals of Baekhyun, D.O and Suho only. And if I was, to be honest, you only need these three vocalists from EXO-K to make a standout ballad. The melody was nice and flowy, as you would hope for any good ballad. What sets this track apart further from What If that it only features a piano as its instrumental. No need for violins or classical instrumentation, the piano does all the tone set here. (8/10)

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Love Me Right Album Cover

7. Exodus – Returning the album to its upbeat form is Exodus. It is a good track, only suffering from the ‘standard’ issue that I feel like EXO does suffer from time to time. There were a few aspects that made this track stand out, including the slight hip-hop tinge to the instrumental, the catchy chorus and the showcase of vocals. It might sound like I am praising the song, but when I compare this track to the rest on this album, it felt ordinary at best. (7/10)

8. El Dorado – Listening to El Dorado, I think the track has the potential to be part of an action-packed fantasy show, thanks to the epic vibes. I liked the vocals in the song and how they opted for the inclusion of all the members for the chorus. The rapping was very cool, especially the trio’s part at the end of the bridge. The only part that I still don’t like to this day is the ‘Find the El dorado’. It just feels like an awkward opener to the chorus. (8/10)

9. Playboy – To me, one of the most skippable songs on the album is Playboy. There really isn’t anything too interesting about the track. The rapping and vocals would be my pick for the highlight. But that is something I would mention quite often. The jazzy, almost elevator-music like instrumental felt like it was repeating itself as the song went by in a fashion that felt boring. I did like the direction, but the track felt underwhelming overall. (6/10)

10. First LoveFirst Love was included in the repackaged version of Exodus (Love Me Right). It is a cheerful track that takes the form of a pop track. I acknowledge that the instrumentation brings forth the happy vibes, but it felt plain. And I think the plainness rubbed off on the vocals and rapping (which felt like it was an unnecessary part in general). Sure, the song wasn’t set up to show high notes and fast rapping. But I felt these elements were not shown off as well as they could have been. (6/10)

11. Hurt – I find EXO is better with either straight up ballads or upbeat dance tracks. Hurt goes for the latter and showcases a track that could have easily been a contender for the title track position (if it was slightly more aggressive). The member that shone the most was Chanyeol, whose deep voice was well presented and utilised, such as the ‘So Bad So Bad’ detail in the chorus. One thing I did notice was that the song lacked intensity during the vocal sections of the song. But they compensated by providing the intensity during the dance break in one dynamic go. (8/10)

12. Lady Luck (유성우)Lady Luck is probably the surprising standout track on the album besides the title track. This too could have been a title track (and there isn’t a need to polish it in any way!). I really like the guitar that featured in the instrumental. It kept the song from going overload with synths and provided an acoustic touch to the dance track. The glitchy breakdown came out of nowhere but it managed to show how the song was building as it went along. It was also catchy and memorable. (9/10)

13. Beautiful – I think Beautiful was another great track. It is one of the few tracks that don’t fall within that preferred ‘ballad or dance track’ scenario. Instead, there it is a nice soothing track. It is slow but not enough to be considered a ballad. Its instrumental feels like it is flowing over you as you are listening, like water flowing over you while you are swimming in the ocean. I like the overlapping of the vocals for the chorus, which gave off an interesting texture and gave it some memorability. (9/10)

14. EXO, 2014 (약속) – This song, otherwise known as Promise, was sung by all the members of EXO (including what was left of EXO-M). I found the ballad to be extremely touching and you can feel the emotions behind the members’ voices. Chanyeol’s rapping was probably my favourite part. His delivery was so intense, bringing the emotions of the song to another level. However, every member sounded amazing nonetheless in this ballad, which reaffirms their commitment to their fans who stuck by them during the hard times. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

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Love Me Right Teaser Image

[Album Review] BXXX (2nd Mini Album) – Ha Sung Woon (HOTSHOT)

It is time to return to solo acts. Hahaha… As far as I know (at this stage), this is the only solo act album review I will be doing for the time being (I have decided to drop Kang Daniel’s solo debut mini-album as I didn’t find anything interesting on the album. Apologies ahead of time, if that is what you are expecting). Today, we will be looking closely at Ha Sungwoon, who is already onto his second mini-album, BXXX. I skipped his first mini-album (My Moment) for the exact same reason why I am skipping Kang Daniel’s. But this time around, with a more dynamic title track, I thought the album had a little more to offer. And that is why we are here today!

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BXXX Album Cover

1..Bluemaze – Starting off the BXXX album is Bluemaze. I have listened to it a few times now and I am slowly falling for it. There are a few reasons to why Bluemaze. The song has a very soothing and chilled tone, which makes it so appealing to listen to. There is a modern touch to the song, thanks to the instrumental. It’s a complex mix from what I can hear. But they do it without feeling too heavy, which is totally great! Ha Sungwoon’s vocals shine throughout. His falsetto helps makes the track extra soothing and (to an extent) help form a memorable sound to the song. (8.5/10)

2. Blue (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Blue. (9/10)

3. Riding (Pre-Release Track) (ft. Gaeko from Dynamic Duo)Riding was released 5th of June, a month prior to the release of the album. It is a pop track that seems to dabble a bit into R&B as well. It is a pleasant tune to put on in the background. I thought Sungwoon was well-showcased, vocally. Especially in the choruses. I really like the song’s melody, which I can thank the amount of listens I have given the song already (as we have been listening to the track for almost two months now). Gaeko’s part was probably the most forgettable and he didn’t really seem to add much to the atmosphere. (7/10)

4. Excuse MeExcuse Me starts off with some acoustic guitars, which were then masked away into the background of this nice sounding track. While the song did have a nice tone to it and a somewhat playful vibe, the instrumental gave it a very typical feel. Sungwoon sounds nice but it seems like this typical feel just spread over to the vocals as well. Basically, what I am saying is that Excuse Me had a ‘done before’ type of aura coming from it. So, it wasn’t impressive. But don’t get me wrong. Excuse Me is not a horrible song and still has a pleasant atmosphere surrounding it. I found the chorus to have a nice ring to it, thanks to the ‘Excuse Me’ repetition found at the end of each chorus. (7/10)

5. What Are You Doing Today? – Right from the very start, we are shown the more playful and whimsical side of Ha Sungwoon for the track. There is bright energy from the song, suitable for Ha Sungwoon to ask his lover to have some fun and run away from the stresses of life. It’s upbeat and puts you into a good mood as soon as the chorus is played. I liked his vocals in this track, as it is something we haven’t heard on this album. I like his falsettos. Come ot the think of it, his vocals do remind me of his last title track, Bird. Overall, a nice ender to the album. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

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BXXX Teaser Image

[Album Review] The Book Of Us: Gravity (5th Mini Album) – DAY6

I am going to start off my album review which is essentially a spoiler for what is to come. This is DAY6’s best album ever! And probably one of the best albums of the year! DAY6 returned last week with The Book of Us: Gravity, their 5th mini-album, which features the title track, Time of Our Life. This is also the comeback that earned their first music show win, with Time of Our Life win the number 1 spot on both Show Champion and MCountdown for the week. Congratulations to the band and let’s hope there is more on the way!

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The Book of Us: Gravity Album Cover

1..For Me – The album opens up with For Me. It isn’t a full-on head-banging song. But its upbeat nature seems to be a great way to ease us into what is upcoming in the next track. Instead, the track a little more warm and mellow. One of the things that stand out in this track is the instrumentation. It is the defining element that gives the song its easy-going and pleasant nature. The vocals were what have the song its mellow characteristic and I really enjoyed the melody in the track. It is definitely a nice opener that you need to check out! (9/10)

2. Time Of Our Life (한 페이지가 될 수 있게)Click here to read the full review for Time Of Our Life. (10/10)

3. How To LoveHow To Love strips away the intensity that we were inundated in the preceding track. It also stirps away that energy, opting for something more carefree and flowy. With this feeling in mind, the chorus stands out by miles and sounds amazing. The vocals in the chorus were beautifully done, with those falsettos sounding perfect for the song. I really like the atmosphere they created with not only the melody and their voices but also the background shouting they used to divide the chorus. It is a little unique and the way they utilised this really help boost the interesting side of the track. (8.5/10)

4. Wanna Go Back (돌아갈래요)Wanna Go Back talks about the desire to return to the early days and childhood when life was a lot more fun. This is always a desire for many adults who regret not doing anything (and something that I have been thinking about lately). And the band shows this fact by having every member (including Dowoon) singing throughout the song. Besides the relatable message, the song is a lot slower than the previous track. Everything seems paced (i.e. the drumbeat is far apart, which I don’t mind). The guitars (particularly the acoustic one that started off the song) was probably the biggest highlight of the track, being at the forefront for most of the song. (8/10)

5. Cover (포장)Cover is the album’s slowest track, almost like a ballad. However, there is a slight touch of energy to the instrumental, as when you compare it to DAY6’s other ballads, this one isn’t as slow. I do find the instrumentation to be a tad boring, However. But it is the vocals that reel me into this track. You can sense the emotions behind their voices, especially during the chorus. And it is this emotionally charged atmosphere that gets me intrigued about the lyrics, which is about hiding one’s insecure self to be with another person and the regrets that follow because the relationship didn’t follow through. My favourite part of the song has to be the drums sequence launching the final chorus. (9/10)

6. Best Part – Kicking off the final song is a strong introduction that garners your attention in an instance. There are grand and epic vibes to this track, making it very appealing to me. I really like the melody for this track and the vocals, as well. Both are very pleasant, which is a little surprising as the song does develop to become upbeat and there is potential for it to be a little head-banging worthy. Them all singing together towards the end was probably the best highlight of the entire track for me and it ends the album on a very positive note. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.1/10

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The Book of Us: Gravity Teaser Image

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[Album Review] Touch N Move (2nd Mini Album) – Sistar

For the past few weeks, I have been alternating between female artist/group and male artist/group for these PARs. Mainly so that I am giving the female artists some love as I am starting to think I am neglecting their more recent albums. Hopefully, this makes up for it. On top of that, I will be revisiting groups that have disbanded or are on hiatus. For instance, this week I will be looking at Sistar’s second mini-album, Touch N Move, which was released back in 2014. It featured their popular Touch My Body as the title track.  Let’s go and have a trip down memory lane.

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Touch N Move Album Cover

1..Wow (Intro Track) – Opening the album is an R&B number that feels suitable for the Summer season. I did find it is a little unconventional as the song’s pace is a little slower than what you would expect but the elements of the instrumental really give it that Summer vibe. The only member to feature in this track is Hyolyn herself (not surprised). But her vocals were quite nice. Pity that we didn’t hear any of the other members. (7/10)

2. Touch My Body (Title Track) – Originally, I gave the track a 2/10. I have to admit that the song wasn’t to my taste for a while and it wasn’t until one or two years ago did I really start to enjoy it. What changed? Well, the song became quite catchy after many listen and the dance became very memorable. I am sorry I doubted the Summer Queens. As a result, I have decided to bump the rating to 8/10. Click here to read the original review for Touch My Body. (8/10)

3. Naughty Hands (나쁜손) (ft. Verbal Jint) – What I think the song manages to accomplish is bringing out the husky and raspy nature of each member’s voice. And the dominance of this type of vocals really makes the song feel polished and smooth. The instrumental is upbeat and reflects the Summer season well. The lyrics ask a guy to slow down by telling him to put his hands away. The song could have been fine back 5 or more years ago. But now, I think the lyrics would spark a political debate nowadays. But we are here to review the song only and not get into a political debate. Song-wise, I really enjoyed it. (8/10)

4. But I Love YouBut I Love You started off as a ballad. But the song built up to become a decent pop track. And I really liked how they approached this. The verses felt very loaded with emotions, which made the chorus sound somewhat explosive as a result. While their vocal work wasn’t exactly the best on the album, this approach really made the song pop. Bora, who I have yet to mention on this review, did well with her rap sequence. Though, I wished she was given more parts in some of these songs. This could have used another moody rap sequence from Bora, wrapping up the song neatly (and not repetitively). (7.5/10)

5. OK GO! – My favourite track on the album is OK GO!. I loved it when it was first released and had to question why they chose Touch My Body over this amazing track, though this thought has now interestingly vanished. I really like its consistent and repetitive nature, something that I often do not enjoy. The rapping that featured during the rap, the explosive instrumental, the touch from the autotune all made the track stand out for me. The hooks are amazing, and I found the song very easy to follow. (10/10)

6. SunshineSunshine is a nice end to the album. It features a pleasant tune with a rather typical instrumental. It featured nice vocals from the member, with the members singing about their love for their partner. While the song was a little ordinary, the track did feel like it was suitable as an OST for some romantic drama which we all know Korea for. It was also rather fitting for Summer, which ended up being one of the few drawing points of the song. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

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Touch N Move Teaser Image

 

[Album Review] Fever Season (7th Mini Album) – GFriend

Making their comeback a few weeks now is GFriend, who returned at the start of July with Fever and Fever Season (their 7th mini-album). While I still stand by my comments regarding the comeback track, the group managed to score a number of wins on the weekly music shows with Fever since their return. Congratulations to the girls for these achievements. To explain why the album review is out a little later than usual, I had always planned to write an album review. Just my snap decision to focus on the solo artists bumped the review down the road. But here it is!

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Fever Season Album Cover

1..Fever (열대야) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Fever. (6/10)

2. Mr. BlueMr. Blue opens over a dance instrumental with violins incorporated as an interesting detail. I thought they were a nice addition to the song, adding an extra dimension to the dynamics of the dance instrumental. The track is quite upbeat and the instrumental also provides the song with some intensity. The vocals were quite good, blending in well. The track does have a typical feel about it. But despite that typical feel, I think Mr. Blue had more potential as a title track, as it felt more defined and had substance. (8/10)

3. Smile (여자친구)Smile is another upbeat dance track to join the album that evokes a smile while listening to the song. But it isn’t the dance instrumental that does that. Instead, it is the vocals that make me smile. It is both cute and playful. I really like the higher-pitched vocals during the chorus, as they consolidate these cute and playful vibes, whilst adding to the catchy nature of the song (i.e. memorability). I also really like the dance break, with the electric guitar reminding me of their earlier dance breaks they promoted with. My favourite bit is Yuju’s ‘You know what meaning’ during the bridge. It is a short moment but damn, it stole my attention. (9/10)

4. Wish (바라)Wish takes the exact pathway as the preceding tracks. The album is now starting to look repetitive and bland with what seems to be very similar tracks. Before moving onto the negatives of the track, I wish to point out some positives. Wish has nice vocals and a decent beat. This is all good, except for one major problem. It fails to stand out. While Mr. Blue had saxophone and Smile had a very catchy hook, Wish doesn’t have anything to really lift it out of the generic category. And since the track felt very similar music-wise to the tracks before it, Wish falls behind the rest of its counterparts. (6/10)

5. ParadiseParadise takes more of a retro approach with its instrumental, which is different to what we have heard so far. I liked the bold start and thought the verses were well-presented. The hook they started off the song with was revisited throughout the track and it was quite decent. But the track is far from perfect. The chorus felt like there was a little too much going on. There seem to be a tad too many cymbals in the mix, which ends up drowning out the delicate vocals that they went with. It is an odd pairing in my point of view, as I stress that the combination just doesn’t work. (7/10)

6. Hope (기대) – If you wanted a track that brings you nostalgia, then Hope is a pretty good track to do exactly that. The entire track gives me those girl group vibes from the 2000s to early 2011s. The track also feels highly suitable for the group, as they seem to be the benchmark of that type of girl group nowadays. The track is quite soothing at times and yet it remains upbeat for the majority of the track. I also like the vocals, which takes a page out of the typical book. But I felt the consistency of the vocals was one of the song’s strong points. The instrumental was very pop and enjoyable, due to the nostalgia factor. (7/10)

7. Flower (Korean Version) – I have previously reviewed the Japanese version of Flower. Click here to read my review for Flower. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.4/10

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Fever Season Teaser Image