[Review] BDZ – TWICE

It has been another busy for TWICE with multiple comebacks in both Japan and South Korea already this year. And they recently made their return to Japan with the single BDZ, with the title track off their 1st Japanese album, which will be released in a few days time! TWICE has already returned with What Is Love?, Dance The Night Away, Candy Pop and Wake Me Up (which I have all reviewed!). For this review only, I have decided to review the music video first and then the song, as I think my thoughts would flow better that way.

Opening up the music video is a very dramatic and dark voiceover, which details how the Lovely was kidnapped and locked up by some disgruntled people, causing the world to enter very unpeaceful time. TWICE is here to save the day, as they hatch a plan to free these Lovely from capture and restore happiness. They distract some of the guards, while put laxatives in the bosses food to cause him to be locked in the toilet. Some of these situations were a little ridiculous but quite funny, which pairs well with TWICE’s image. Once they had successfully completed the mission, they were cornered by all the guards. But with the help of Jeongyeon, who was overseeing the entire mission remotely and the Lovely themselves, the mission ended with happiness. As cheesy as the story sounds, it was honestly put together and interesting to watch.

Moving onto the song, I thought the girls honestly changed up their concept this time around given the dramatic introduction to the video. However, as soon as the ‘Like a bulldozer, Like a tank, Like a soldier’ kicked in, I felt very betrayed. Sure, the song is definitely right up TWICE’s alleyway with its cutesy sound and upbeat pop vibes. But I thought there would be an edgy factor (at the very least) to this comeback. That being said, I have to admit, the song was quite catchy and all the normal elements I talk about (vocals, rap, instrumental, memorability etc.) were pretty well done. Oh, as for the title, I think BDZ stands for Bulldozer, which is the took the literal spotlight in the hook of the song and the music video itself.

I thought the choreography for this comeback was quite good. I like the chorus with the small jumps and the overall aesthetics of it. It isn’t one of their catchiest dances but I like how it wasn’t as simple, allowing the girls to showcase their skills.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

 

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[Review] Chaser – UP10TION

UP10TION made their Japanese comeback one month ago today with Chaser. Yeah, it has been some time since its release and I apologise for the delayed review. Actually, it was meant to be reviewed last Saturday but due to personal reasons (and most likely tiredness), I decided to delay it until this week. Hence, it will be one of the two JPOP reviews published this week. So, let’s stop chasing the review so you can have a read of my thoughts about it.

At first, I thought it would be the Japanese version of Runner as the two words used in the titles are essentially synonyms of each other. However, they turned out to be different. Chaser has a very intense feel to it, which I actually like. The suspense built during the pre-chorus and the actual drop to the chorus definitely made the song sound so good. I liked how the vocals were louder than the instrumental, as it could have been easily drowned out during the chorus if it was any lower. I liked the vocals to the song, especially how breathy the verses were. And I liked how the rapping gave some impact and wasn’t just thrown into the song. It could have had some more individuality, considering the use of EDM by Korean artists in the JPOP industry. But overall, Chaser is definitely a great song.

The music video was good but it could have been a little more interesting by throwing in a short storyline. We are shown a very dark city (possibly futuristic), Wooshin running, a golden stopwatch slowly dropping to the ground and time reversing. I have no idea what to make of this. There was some intensity but I think it would have been better with some more background. I like the use of lights in the open space for the choreography shots, which matched the sound of the song very well.

The choreography is another positive aspect of the comeback. I personally do not have much else to say in regards to choreography. But I liked its energy and (once again) the intensity it delivered alongside the song.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] Livin’ It Up – MONSTA X

Monsta X is back with another original Japanese release. Livin’ It Up was released two weeks ago and is the group’s 4th Japanese single to date. I was going to review another artist’s Japanese song this week but decided to go with Livin’ It Up because it was a far more interesting song. The group previously released their first full-length album in Japan (Puzzle was the title track of the album) and are currently on their world tour, if I am not mistaken.

What is becoming evident is that some groups (including MONSTA X) are releasing more intensified EDM songs in the Japanese market. And the release of Livin’ It Up confirms this. The song falls into that EDM category, mixed with some hip-hop vibes and a groovy instrumental. Note that it isn’t retro groovy built does give the song a more light-hearted energy, opposed from something a little more hard-hitting you expect from EDM. Jooheon and I.M’s raps definitely give it some roughness and edge from their deeper tone, while the vocalists bring some melody in their parts. Overall, I thought the song was rather appealing. I feel like if the song chorus had a stronger hook, I would have picked up the song a lot sooner (as I thought it was relatively plain when I first heard it).

The music video was mainly made of choreography shots and some close-ups. Some of the dance shots gave me Beautiful vibes, mainly due to the platform they were performing on. I have to be honest though, but I thought the video was rather plain. I didn’t really feel the energy like some other videos from watching the video, which left it underwhelming. If the camera work showed some more energy and punchiness, it would have matched the vibes of the song a lot better.

The choreography was good. It wasn’t as intense as I hoped for but it was a perfect balance between that level of intensity that I wanted to see and the lighthearted sound that came from the groovy nature of the track.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

[Review] Summer Night – 100%

Last week, I decided to review 100%’s recent Korean comeback, The Grand Bleu, instead of the intended Japanese week. With some shuffling around, I will be reviewing their recent Japanese comeback, Summer Night, which is their 4th original single in Japan. The music video for this track was released at the end of June, so apologies for the really late review.

The song has this pretty decent tropical influence club beat as its instrumental which makes the song explosive, particularly around the chorus of the song. It does feel very standard around the verses which seems to show more of that tropical influence. But that isn’t too off-putting, especially with a cool chorus like this that picks up the song just at the right time. However, the vocals are the one aspect that had me diving for more. The way Rokhyun sings the chorus feels very JPOP-like, reminding me of some Japanese pop vocalists that I listen to. The other members do a pretty good job. One way of describing the song is that it is like their Korean vocal-driven songs were smashed with this style of EDM (which works really well). The rapping was also quite good and was another moment that I really liked. Overall, 100% did an amazing job with this song.

As much as I find the colour blue very refreshing, I can’t help but notice how blue the music video was (literally!). It felt like it should have been overused, particularly at the start. But after the first chorus, they changed to multiple shades of blue (in their outfits), which really cuts the heaviness of the blue. And for that, I actually thought it was an interesting of colour. I did like the helipad setting for the choreography, which I still think is really scary yet really beautiful at the same time.

The choreography was good and felt fitting for the song. Not else to say other than that, to be honest.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

 

[Review] Stay – Taeyeon

I took a little break from my JPOP reviews last week because I was honestly running out of reviews to write. During that week off, I did find a few others so the JPOP reviews live on! Today’s focus will be on Taeyeon’s solo debut in Japan, Stay, which was released on the 30th of June. Taeyeon also recently made her solo return in South Korea and I reviewed both her title track (Something New) and album (Something New).

Right off the bat, the first impression I had of Stay was that it could be the Japanese counterpart for Taeyeon’s iconic I. While Stay does not have the explosive vocals, the energy and colour between the two are commonly uniform. It does do a good job at showing off the soloist’s vocals, which does serve as a good reminder of how she started off in KPOP as a solo artist (especially given how all her Korean releases have been more of the unique nature). What I also liked about the song was its peaceful nature. It didn’t employ EDM or synths, instead opting for a more traditional sound and instrumental, which allows her vocals to shine more. I did think the bridge was a little too different from the overall feel of the song and I haven’t been able to get used to it so far. Other than that, it was a good song.

I really liked the golden lighting that they had throughout the video, which does compliment the song. It gives a warm atmosphere, which does go quite well with the song. Going back to the idea that this is the Japanese counterpart of the I debut, the music videos are quite similar. In both videos, it seems like she is rediscovering herself by putting herself into a foreign environment. Likewise, the golden fields in this video remind me of the green fields in the I video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] #Cookie Jar – Red Velvet

We have seen a number of Korean artist make their first step into the Japanese market. Joining artists such as Seventeen and GFriend, Red Velvet will be release their anticipated Japanese debut mini-album and single, #Cookie Jar, in July. This is the group’s first Japanese release since their debut in 2014 and it features the Japanese version of some of their biggest Korean hits, such as Russian Roulette, Dumb Dumb and Red Flavour. Today we are here to have a closer look at their debut single, so let’s get going!

#Cookie Jar was a little tame from what I had expected. Given Red Velvet’s portfolio of different and unique Korean hits (combined with the well-known oddness that Japanese media is known for), I had expected the track to be wild, at the very least. But instead, the song takes a more standard pop sound. I would have liked if the song had a little more colour to it. While the song is colourful, I little pinch of quirkiness would have allowed the song to become more memorable and unique in my opinion. That being said, the song does feature a decent retro instrumental, which gave it some colour. The chorus felt fun, with the ‘#Cookie Jar‘ opening to the choruses and the ending of the song being the most memorable moments of the song. For the vocals and the raps, I just didn’t feel like it was their best effort but they still sounded good. Overall, #Cookie Jar was a decent track for their debut but it doesn’t live up to what I had expected.

With the title of #Cookie Jar, it was expected there be a sweet theme for the video. And that is what we got exactly. Though I am not sure how the sweet theme presented in the video reflects the lyrics of the song, especially the ending of the video when they find out all their foods isn’t that fresh and edible. I really liked the colours that they used in this video, with some of the sets reminding me of the colour palette that they used in Russian Roulette. It was a decent video to watch, overall.

From what I could see in the music video, the choreography can be described as mediocre as best. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed with what they had presented us with.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10

 

[Review] Stop The Rain – DAY6

If you haven’t heard yet, DAY6 will be making their Korean comeback next week and I am super excited. But before we get there, today we will be reviewing their upcoming Japanese comeback, Stop The Rain, which is due for release on the 25th of July. DAY6 also recently released their first compilation album in Japan, which features their past Korean hits and some ‘new’ Japanese versions of their Korean tracks.

Stop The Rain follows neatly in the footsteps of If We Can Meet Again, their 1st Japanese single released earlier in the year. It takes that craved rock sound that I really want to hear from the group from their previous song and kick it up a notch. The song felt like your mainstream rock song. Nothing more or nothing less. The entire track from the get-go was definitely taking that rock element on board and basically throwing it at you, with the only moment of relief being that 15 seconds worth of slowdown during the bridge. Other than that, the song gave me personally a rush of adrenaline and really left me wanting more at the end (and this is what I want). Vocally, the band was spectacular. I really liked the electric guitar solo during the instrumental break and the harmonies that followed soon after. Overall, I felt I wasn’t let down by the song at any moment and this made it an amazing song for all to listen to (that is if you like rock).

I like the way the music video is shot. I particularly like the white scene with the many light strobes, which looked really cool when it was flashing along with the song. I also liked how they were performing in water and in some scenes, you could see a ripple effect in the water. The darkness and storm clouds we see throughout the video goes hand-in-hand with the lyrics of the video. On the other hand, I am not too sure about the members falling down. It would make sense with the members representing raindrops in the storm, however, that feels a tad too obvious. Other than that, it was a good video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

 

[Review] Call Call Call – Seventeen

Seventeen has been hugely popular in Japan for some time now. And now they have returned to Japan to make their official Japanese debut. The group recently released their first mini-album there, titled as We Make You. The title track is an original Japanese single, Call Call Call. The album also features Japanese version of some of their Korean side tracks.

For those who don’t know, I practically am a major fan of Seventeen and their work. Since their debut, they haven’t disappointed with any of their title tracks. And it seems like their Japanese releases hold the same effect on me. Call Call Call is a fast-paced dance track that fits in really well with their Korean portfolio. The song has some rock elements on top of the dance elements, which gives the song some drive and momentum. Their vocals are really great. But I think the true stars of the song are the rappers in the song. The entire hip-hop team had amazing sections from S.Coups and Wonwoo’s starting lines to Mingyu’s extremely addictive whisper-ish type of line. The song is super catchy and with its release a few weeks back, it has been a song I have been replaying constantly. It makes me wonder what their next release in Japan would be (since most artists tend to deviate from their Korean sounds in Japan and make their music more appealing for the Japanese audience).

Great music video as well. It was clear that they would go with a phone concept, given the title of the song. I liked how they mixed up the units and still split up into three small groups, like opposing gangs waiting for that phone call from their lover. We have neighbourhood boys (Vernon, Jun, Dino, Joshua), the ‘suited up’ dudes (Mingyu, S.Coups, Hoshi and Seungkwan) and the motorbike gang (Woozi, Wonwoo, The8, Jeonghan and DK). And the competition for the phone call was really intense. I really like the umbrella grab that someone from the ‘suited up’ group did and the Woozi transition with Mingyu’s punch.

Another section of the video that I really liked was the choreography. Seventeen doesn’t let you down in that aspect. I really liked how they moved into their different formations. Favourite part would have to be Wonwoo throughout the first chorus in the music video. Actually, the entire chorus was quite cool to watch.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

 

[Review] THE New Era – GOT7

GOT7 has returned to Japan with a brand new single, THE New Era. This marks their return to the Japanese market with Turn Up in October of last year. Promotions this time does not include Jackson, who most likely could not do so due to schedules in China. The group previously made their Korean comeback with Look, earlier this year.

THE New Era falls in line with their previous Japanese releases. It falls perfectly into the hip-hop genre. I feel that the song felt very cluttered and I felt, almost, liked a lost child. I felt this most strongly during that section where they all started chanting. Anyway, while I do feel that way, the individual elements of the song were good. I liked how the song does bring out the vocal abilities of JB and Youngjae, while it also adds a little melodic flair to the song. The rapping was quite good, particularly in the chorus. That being said, the rapping was pushed to be the hooks of the song. But it really didn’t work out, as the song didn’t seem that memorable after multiple listens. On top of that, I don’t understand why they made Mark have a deep tone. It seemed to replicate what Jackson sounds like and it doesn’t showcase Mark’s sound. Overall, I am on the fence for this song. While it isn’t terrible, it is still decent.

Not a major fan of the music video. There just didn’t have anything that stands out. Instead, it keeps relatively safe in terms of concept and doesn’t really all too much to the song. Though, Mark’s walk (while holding the bottle) does remind me of the bottle flip in one of their previous videos.

The choreography does seem to be the saving grace for this comeback. While I don’t have too much to say about it, it was the most captivating part of the comeback. It doesn’t have an iconic label on it however it suffices. It looked good and felt fitting for both the song and GOT7.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.1/10

 

[Review] Chain – NCT 127

NCT recently wrapped up their album promotions in Korea, which involved all members from the 3 NCT subunits (NCT 127, NCT U & NCT Dream). But the members of NCT 127 are not on a break yet, with their return to the Japanese music scene with their first single, Chain. The album officially dropped during the week (May 23rd) but the music video has been available online since the start of the month, so it is about time I got around to reviewing it.

If I had written a review for this song when it was first uploaded on YouTube (May 8th), it would have had the comments ‘very messy’ and ‘not that great’ written all over it. But with a lot of replays and time to take in this ‘mess’, it is a decent track that fits in well with NCT 127’s past work in Korea. That being said, it still isn’t the greatest song, mainly because you still have to work your way through its metallic clanging to get to the good stuff. The raps were decent and the vocal work was quite good. When the drop kicked in, I thought the high pitch screeching was extremely fitting for their rap-heavy track. The only issue that I have is the metal clanging, which is really in-your-face throughout the song and I wished they toned it down. The moments where they did stop the clanging gave the song some relief and allowed me to have a better grasp of the song. I like how they did keep their roots for their Japanese song, which is something you don’t really see all too often.

The music video for this release showed off a different persona that we don’t really see often in their Korean promotions. From what I can see, the video taps into their masculinity and dominant side. It definitely fits in with the intensity and fierceness of the song. And because fangirls don’t find anything sexier than a bunch of men posing with tools (I guess). Maybe this is my science mindset kicking in but there were moments that I wasn’t sure about the safety of the members. Don’t think holding a saw or a drill up close to your safe is considered safe in the manual. But overall, I thought it was a good video for the song.

The performance was surprisingly good. At first glance, the moves seemed rather slow. But watching it a few times, I thought the choreography did a good job at contrasting with the tempo and intensity of the video. There were some slow movements (more of the sexy slow though), while still balancing out with some fast moves.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating –  7.5/10

[Review] Wake Me Up – TWICE

Recently making their return to Japan is TWICE with Wake Me Up. They just wrapped up their promotions for their expectedly popular What Is Love? and have gone forth with a new song already! This is the group’s 3rd Japanese single and their second comeback in Japan for 2018 (the first being Candy Pop).

While it does have that catchy beat and simple hook that may get you singing along, the song doesn’t really feel that special. Instead, it feels mediocre and very typical, at best. The song started off with chanting (and this repeated throughout the song) and it felt quite cheesy, which left a lasting (not-so-great) impression on the rest of the song. It does sound quite childish, come to the think of it. The lyrics seem to have a supportive message. But given the cheesy nature of the song, I just can’t help to connect with the song. The instrumental, which felt very poppy, just feels a little disconnected with the song. Instead of going hand-in-hand, they just simply felt like they were layered underneath the vocals. Vocally, the song isn’t that bad. They sounded decent. The rapping was okay, not their absolute best. If I were to pick one moment that I thought was the best was Mina’s ‘dramatic life‘ line. 

What I did like about the video was how high definition it was. I know, it says a lot about me. The video centres around Chaeyoung, who is editing the video for uploading. I guess even the top KPOP stars have to make some sort of living when they aren’t promoting. Hahaha… Besides that, there isn’t much else to the video.

The choreography, at least, looks like it was the most decent part of the whole comeback. It looked quite fun and the members looked like they enjoyed the entire routine, which in turn, speaks volume in its presentation and energy. It isn’t the next TT or Likey but it does the job just fine.

Song – 4/10
Music Video – 5/10 
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 4.9/10

[Review] Puzzle – Monsta X

Monsta X just wrapped up their promotions for Jealousy and is preparing for their upcoming world tour. However, in the midst of their Korean promotions, Monsta X dropped their next single and first album since their debut in Japan. The title of this new song is Puzzle, while the album has been named Piece. Their most recent comeback in Japan was Spotlight, which was released earlier in the year.

Contrary to the majority of their Korean releases and Spotlight, Puzzle is a much more colourful and bright song. While the song doesn’t feel Monsta-X-like, they do a pretty good job at bringing some of their well-known intensity to the table in this song. The song starts off with this autotuned whispering effect which is extremely repetitive but downright ear-catching. It actually turned out to be quite addictive. It then turns to Jooheon’s rapping, which does sound really awesome here. From then on, the rest of the song is a blur. I just can’t get into it and the rest of the song ends up being forgettable. The most memorable part was the bouncy chorus but that doesn’t say much. The rest of the vocals and the rapping was nice but they are pulling me back into the song. That is just what I feel personally about it and despite many replays after, the same events occur.

Similar to their song, the music video takes a different turn. In many ways, it has that Summer-time feel that Newton had channelling throughout it. So there isn’t anything special about it. Just a bunch of guys having fun in front of a camera. There is not really much that could go wrong here. However, the entire video feels a lot plainer in comparison to the said Korean counterpart. The paler colour palette just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe something more colourful (or brighter to say the least) could have given more energy to the video.

As far as I could tell, there is no performance for this comeback.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Rating – 5.6/10

[Review] Horololo – EXO-CBX

With the subunit just finishing up their unit promotions in Korea with Blooming Days, EXO-CBX is looking at Japan for their next hit. Horololo is the title track off their upcoming first album in Japan, which is titled Magic. This is the subunit’s first comeback in Japan since their debut with Ka-Ching!. This is also my first JPOP review in a very long time. I have allocated Saturdays in the month of May for Japanese songs sung by the Korean singers that I review often on this site.

I think the first thing that jumps out at you is the chorus. It had me a little speechless the first time I heard it and it felt a little ridiculous the many listens that followed. But hey, they made it work and now it is the one thing that I am constantly hearing my head. The vocals and raps were nice. The chorus also added some intensity and energy into the song, which made me enjoy it to an extent. However, when you take the chorus away, the song was rather plain. It was like a rollercoaster. Song started off on a low and once we reached the chorus, we were at a peak. And then this repeated once we got back to the verse.

I wasn’t exactly sure what they were trying to get through with the video. It just felt like a bunch of sets purchased randomly and the production team just went with it. One moment they are in an olden styled reporter or detective office, the next they are on the streets and then they stop at a countryside train station. The cinematography did manage to channel the energy with the camera angles, so I guess that is a plus. But it just felt like a standard music video.

The choreography was extremely well suited for the song. Especially with the hook like that in the song, it doesn’t really offer much room for creativity. It also worked well with the intensity and energetic vibes highlighted earlier in the review.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.2/10

 

[Review] Song For You – 100%

Time for another Japanese review. There were a number of Japanese releases since January which I have yet to have a closer look at. 100% has primarily focused their attention on The Unit (Special Review Coming Soon) for the last few months, so it is nice to see the entire group return as one for a new song, Song For You. It was officially released on Valentine’s Day and marks the group’s first return since their Japanese debut and comeback

Song For You stands out for its freshness as a song. Despite the song starting off and is filled with synths throughout, I honestly thought the song was taking something like a ballad route (but with some dance twist to it). And I liked that. The first verse just felt calming and relaxing, which is definitely something I enjoyed. The chorus is when the song gains some momentum with its EDM-centred instrumental. But that relaxing feel remains. It isn’t over the top nor obnoxious, just at the right level. Their vocals definitely go well with this style, particularly Rockhyun’s. The rapping is also quite nice but I wanted more of it. I am not a major fan of the sudden stop in the song, which acts as a transition between the chorus and bridge. It cuts the flow of the song for me. But despite that one detail, the entire track is definitely something I enjoy.

The music video made them look nice. It was fitting for the relaxing nature of the song but sadly the video didn’t do the song justice. The choreography scenes were the highlights and everything else just felt too airy for me. Maybe the video would benefit if the guys were confessing their love to their lover. Maybe not that cliche but still something that would at least make me wonder ‘what’s going on’.

The choreography is also quite nice. Once again, extremely fitting for the song. The song doesn’t ask for something mindblowing or complex. So I like it for that it stuck to the boundaries of the song. There isn’t much you can do with this style but they did well with it.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

 

[Review] If We Can Meet Again – DAY6

2017 was one busy year for DAY6, who successfully released new songs every single month and 2 full-length albums in the past year alone. With the new year already in full swing, DAY6 is starting off 2018 with their Japanese debut and latest track, If We Can Meet Again.

If We Can Meet Again brings us back to the I Wait and How Can I Say releases. It isn’t necessarily your heavy rock track that you would put on to drown out society. But rather it combines that ballad side DAY6 has demonstrated us with their more recent releases, just combining it with that rock element. I actually like this rock side more, mainly because it satisfies this rock craving feeling that I have from time to time. Their ballad side is still quite good and should be greatly appreciated still. Anyway, back to the song. It maintains momentum and feels quite consistent. While I have suggested in the past that too much consistency might be a track’s downfall, this track does feature a few details here and there that does supposedly change it up to keep it interesting. The bridge adds a touch of EDM to the song, which definitely gives the song that intriguing factor. There were slight tempo changes throughout the song but nothing too major as we tend to see in some Korean releases. Per usual, DAY6’s vocals and raps were pretty good. My only one major request for this song would be to have the band go that extra mile with the rock instrumental. I feel like the track can be lifted to a whole new level if they went that extra mile.

I feel like that possible ‘extra mile’ in the song would have also complimented this video. The song (as we are presented with) does match the music video. But I felt like a stronger rock sound would have worked well with the wind blast and shaky camera work during the chorus. I like those elements and also the visual effects in the video, such as the train just going at them at full speed. But as I said, the song currently still works well with the video. The ending was a tad cheesy with some of the members flying backwards and the slow motion not really matching well with the intensity coming from the song. But still, a decent video to watch.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

[Review] Electric Kiss – EXO

EXO kicks 2018 off with their return to the Japanese market with Electric Kiss and their 1st full-length album, Countdown. The album contains all of EXO’s previous Japanese singles (Coming Over, Love Me Right ~romantic universe~, Drop That etc.) that they have unveiled during their concerts and other performances. Like their promotions in 2017, Lay did not participate in the comeback due to scheduling conflicts.

I love the instrumental to this track. It is the first thing that popped out at me when I first listened to the track, which had this heavy yet powerful feel to it. In a way, it is definitely really dramatic and it shapes the track into something spectacular. The instrumental asks for something rough and edgy, which is delivered through the vocals. I love the roughness of some of the member’s vocals, especially D.O’s, whom I think compliments the instrumental really well. Of course, the other members all sound often but I feel like D.O’s is a perfect example for this explanation. Per usual, Chanyeol’s and Sehun’s raps were on point in this song, catching me off guard with their raspy voices. Sure, there was definitely some editing to them but it is an electronic song, which makes senses. The chorus was definitely the main highlight of the song and I like how they approached it by inserting the ‘It’s going to be electric‘ line between each line of the chorus. And the bridge was also quite good. While this is just a Japanese release, if they were to come back with something like this in South Korea, I think they could even perform better than what they have already achieved.

I like the fast-paced nature and the flashy style they have gone for. It is really is fitting. I setting is also fitting, going well with the edginess that you can feel from the song. The video was quite good and had that cool factor to it, which went well with the song. I know this is rather short but that was the main comments which I wanted to make in regards to the video.

With the performance, I expected something with a whole heap of intensity. And while they did tick that box, I just don’t think the choreography as a whole was the best fit. I wanted something more to it which would have made me go wow. The formations and how they go into those formations were remarkable, especially during the chorus. Everything was quite sharp but it just didn’t seem enough to me.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10