[Review] Where I Am Gone – Yang Yoseob (HIGHLIGHT)

Yang Yoseob has finally dropped his first solo comeback since his solo debut back in 2012. Last week, the main vocalist of HIGHLIGHT gave us a small snippet into this latest release with Star. One week later and he has dropped the entire mini-album (White), along with the title track Where I Am Gone.

Once again, Yoseob starts off the song with the traditional ballad route. His first few lines of the song were quite heartbreaking and putting emotions into this vocals is what we know Yoseob for. The song develops more into a pop song once it reaches the chorus and I feel like this is the strongest moment of the song. It was mildly disappointing at first because there wasn’t anything special with the first half of the chorus. The second half, once the autotuned vocals kick in, was definitely more interesting and this gave the song a rougher effect, which contrasted nicely with the rest of the song. It was also quite catchy. Yoseob’s vocals do stand out in this song. It may be a little too plain of the song for us to have a full grasp of his vocal abilities but it enough to prove his status, particularly the bridge and the final chorus. The main issue with this song would have to be its plainness. Yes, it has its moments but you cannot just forget about how incredibly plain the song is. I have a feeling that within a few more listens, I would get bored of it.

I am also on the fence in regards to the video. It is definitely fitting for the song and there were some moments which I did enjoy. It just had a few aspects that should have been more thought out. Let’s start off with the car scene. I personally like the direction but the car seats it used was a little too futuristic for my taste. Maybe one of those olden day cars or something that looked a little more traditional would have worked well with that scene. Also, there is no driver, which is a little concerning. But regarding what I did enjoy, I liked the choreography scenes, particularly those where we only saw the silhouette of the dancers and how Yoseob was the main focus (as he should be) during these scenes.

I did like the solo moment he had with the female backup dancer. Hopefully, that made it into the choreography. But the rest of the performance (judging from the music video only) looked really awkward. He looked stiff and uncomfortable throughout the chorus and this didn’t really relay well back to me when I watched the video. Hopefully, the performance is better.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

 

Advertisements

[Review] Boss – NCT U

NCT has big plans for 2018, with promises for comebacks for all three units. NCT U is the first unit to make their grand return. This is their first comeback for the unit after their debut in 2016 (they were notably absent from stage in 2017). NCT U’s return also features 3 new additions including NCT 127 member Winwin and new NCT members Jungwoo and Lucas.

I wasn’t much of a fan of NCT U’s previous works. But hearing Boss, I find this track quite good. The entire song has a very minimalistic feel to it. It doesn’t have much going on in terms of content-wise. But quality wise, it is quite powerful. The song opens with that really addictive thumping beat which definitely grabs your attention. This thumping is played continuously throughout the song and despite it being repeated, you don’t get tired of it. The vocals and rapping add to the song, building it up from the bare foundations. The vocals added some flair, while the rapping added some intensity to the song, which is why I think the song is so good. The chorus has the rap-speaking technique, almost like a chant. It doesn’t feel like the hook of the song but it works well as the chorus. My favourite part of the entire track is the overlapping of the raps by Jaehyun and Mark for the bridge of the song. To sum up, Boss is an aesthetically pleasing song to listen to (and my new favourite from the subunit). 

And this has to be NCT’s most aesthetically pleasing music video to date. There is something about the visuals in this video that yells out badass. You can tell that there was a lot of intensity from the very start, which gives it a promising start. I like the cinematography quite a bit, which definitely adds the aesthetic to the video. The video does seem to compliment that minimalistic vibe that was coming from the song, as the video doesn’t have much going on. But in many ways, it is still a really good video to watch.

If you want power, edgy and intensity in just one stage performance, I have the perfect one for you. Boss embosses all of that and any other anger associated word that can describe the choreography in a good way. I particularly like the dance at the end of the song (where Jaehyun looks the angriest at 3:06).

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10

 

[Review] Gorgeous – VAV

Somehow I completely missed this vital piece of information but VAV was to make their comeback with two title tracks. We have already seen Spotlight, which was released on the 28th of January. 13 days later, the group has revealed their second music video for Gorgeous, another track on their Spotlight mini-album.

Gorgeous features a funky instrumental which mashes both retro and EDM together. While this combination has been done for, I don’t think I have heard any songs of the two being so balanced. The EDM provides the dance atmosphere to the song but also adds small details to the song to prevent it from getting too boring or repetitive. It is an extremely bright and vibrant song, energy just endless coming from the song. Vocals and raps were perfect. Not only were they crystal clear throughout the entire track but they did a good job with complimenting the fun side of the track. The song was quite catchy and addictive. All of this earns big ticks in my book. I particularly like the bridge of the track, which definitely hyped the song up and definitely grabbed my attention. The ‘Woo-Hoo‘ post-chorus section was replaying in my head every time the song ended, which made me go back for more. Overall, Gorgeous was one really good song to listen to.

The music video isn’t that fancy but they had really good camera work throughout the whole thing. Most of the video was shot in a warehouse and in front of some large garage. But how the cameras focused on the members and zoomed around felt very unique and cool. I particularly like the coloured smoke in the background for the final chorus, which gave the video an extra cool point. I thought the video would have become too repetitive as I realized the video was just choreography but that was not the case at all.

The choreography was quite great. While it does look complicated, it has a fun element which you can see on the member’s faces, which is definitely fitting for the music. I like the choreography for the bridge the most, as it is timed with the music and that looks amazing.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Album Review] Director’s Cut (Special Album) – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN made their return last week with Director’s Cut and the new title track, Thanks. And as you may know, I am a big fan of SEVENTEEN’s work, so I had to review their latest release. While it can be seen as a repackaged album for Teen, Age, Director’s Cut is marketed as a special album instead. It features 4 new songs, on top of the 13 songs from Teen, Age.

Per usual, I will only be reviewing the 4 new tracks on the album. Only they will contribute to the overall album rating. If you want to read my review for tracks 5 – 17, they can all be found on the Teen, Age album review post, which you can access by clicking here.

seventeendirectorscut-2
Director’s Cut Album Cover

1..Thinkin’ About You – The album opens up with your standard pop song for the most part. There were some good synths, particularly in the final chorus, which did grab my attention. There was a nice rhythm and the post-chorus of the song was quite catchy. I did like the raps in this song over the vocals. The song just wasn’t mind-blowing but rather decent to listen to from time to time. (7/10)

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

3. Run To You (지금 널 찾아가고 있어) – Besides the title track, Run To You is my absolute favourite. The track has a rock-based album which you know that Seventeen would nail on stage with an equally rocking performance. I like the slight pause they include just before the chorus for the raps (which are amazing). The only let down would be the vocals, which seemed to force the song to fluctuate its intensity, which cuts the flow of the song. It was good for contrast though. (9/10) 

4. Falling For U (Jeonghan & Joshua) – For the two members of the Vocal Unit who don’t really get much recognition for their vocals (compared to the other 3 members), it is pretty nice to hear them shine in their own collaborative track. The jazzy instrumental, the singing and rapping. Everything about this track was really cool. I also enjoyed the ‘Falling For U‘ repetition, which I would consider as the highlight of the track. (8/10) 

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

seventeendirectorscut-3
Director’s Cut Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Review] Star – Yang Yoseob (HIGHLIGHT)

After 5 years, Yoseob from HIGHLIGHT will be making his official return as a solo artist. The last time he promoted as a solo artist was at the end of 2012 with Caffeine. Fast forward 5 years and today Yoseob unveiled his pre-release track to his upcoming mini-album, which is due to be released next week. So, let’s begin the countdown to Yoseob’s return by having a listen to his pre-release track, Star.

Like most pre-releases, Star falls under the ballad category. Throw in Yoseob’s vocals and you do have a perfect pairing. And while I did think Star would become a little too straightforward with a consistent ballad instrumental, it did take an unexpected yet welcoming turn. We start off with a slow yet dreamy piano instrumental. From the second verse, the song starts to pick up. Not in a way where it turns into a pop song but rather there is a dramatic buildup with a very deep thumping sound, which resembled thunder. Then came in more classical instruments, which made the song sound so much better. I also liked it how his vocals were at the forefront despite the instrumental change-up, allowing the listener to focus on the vocals and not have it drowned out by the violins. Overall, I really like the ballad.

The music video is essentially a long walk in the snow. That is what Yoseob is doing, which goes well with the song. It just doesn’t work well on the memorability front. They shot at really pleasant places with great camera angles, which visually worked well as well. Besides that, I don’t much else to comment on with regards to the video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] Don’t Be Pretty – 14U

14U made their debut last year in July and I somehow missed out on their debut. On top of that, I somehow missed out on their comeback, VVV, as well. But their second comeback, Don’t Be Pretty, will not be missed. Just some more background information regarding 14U. They are a 14 member boy group currently under BG Entertainment. From the profiles I am looking at, the group is also split into two units 14U-X and 14U-L.

Don’t Be Pretty is another standard KPOP song with its bright and pop feel. While its sound has been done before, for some reason, it manages to stick in my mind. I won’t say it is exactly catchy but it has a decent beat and the instrumental feels refreshing. The vocal work here is quite nice, pairing well with the instrumental. They aren’t the best sounding group out there but there were many great moments in which I thought their vocals were perfect for the setting the instrumental had created (such as the chorus). You don’t need power vocals to stand out and this seems to be a great example of that. However, while I do praise the song, there was a moment which felt extremely awkward. The way the raps were integrated into the song, particularly the first time around in the song, was quite bad. It just didn’t fit right and didn’t feel like it was mixed into the song well enough. But besides that, good song.

The music video has this cringe-worthy feel to it, which I cannot deny. The guys seem to be participating in this game show, which is a decent concept. The way they act in it just seems over-the-top and overly exaggerated. And then the ending, where she somehow gets trapped inside a burning building and one of the members rushes in to save her. Where is the world did that scene come from? They did a good job at showing that vibrant and bright atmosphere but the video was scrambled and confusing.

It seems like any group with a large number of members, who manage to stay in sync throughout their performance is going to get big ticks from me. And 14U is another group who falls under that umbrella. Their moves don’t seem impressive but due to the fact that they managed to stay in sync with each other is quite impressive. It is also great at showing off that bright atmosphere.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 4/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10

[Album Review] To. Heart (1st Mini Album) – fromis_9

Once again, I am delayed with another album review. Fromis_9 made their formal debut with To Heart last month on the 24th of January. They previously made their first appearance on the stage of MAMA in Japan with Glass Shoes and that particular version of their pre-debut song is featured on the album. It is another relatively short review as it is a mini-album but I thought the album had a decent selection of songs that I wanted to write about. So without further ado, here are my comments on Fromis_9’s first mini album.

fromis9to.heart-2
To. Heart Album Cover

2. To Heart (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for To Heart. (8.2/10)

3. Miracle (환상속의 그대) – The first thing that jumps out at me is the use of the EDM instrumental for such a sweet and cutesy song. Its use here is not overwhelming, allowing for the vocals to be heard clearly. The chorus did feel more pop but that isn’t really an issue. I like the slow down for the ‘dugeun, dugeun‘ (just before the chorus) and the ‘Love Me, Take Me, Kiss Me‘ lines at the start of the song. The only thing that I think would have made the track more memorable is a catchier chorus. This particular song relies heavily on the instrumental for both character and appeal. A more defined and catchy chorus would have made relieved the instrumental of that burden. (7.5/10)

4. Pinocchio (피노키오) – Suiting the title, there is a playful sound to it. The chorus did seem to divert towards a more tropical sound as well, which left me smiling. It actually thought it was a TWICE song before actually remembering whose album I was listening to. The instrumental worked well with the vocals and raps to make the song attention-grabbing. Sadly, I am not that keen on the bridge, as the EDM seemed to come out of nowhere, but it was still listenable. (7.5/10)

5. Be With YouBe With You is your standard pop song, though, for a second I thought they were going with a ballad from the very start. I like the no vocals section of the song and I thought it had a sweet feel to it. For some sections, it reminded me of 90’s KPOP such as Fin.K.LBesides that, there wasn’t anything that special about it. (6.5/10) 

6. Glass Shoes (유리구두) (MAMA version)  – Click here to read the full review for Glass Shoes. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

fromisto.heart-3
To Heart Teaser Image

 

[Album Review] The Perfect Red Velvet (1st Repackaged Album) – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has been promoting their latest song, Bad Boy, for almost two full weeks. And while it has taken me a while, I am officially here with a review for their repackaged album, The Perfect Red Velvet. There are three new songs on this repackaged album and they are reviewed below.

For any other songs from their Perfect Velvet album (tracks 2 – 6 & 8 – 12) can be found on the Perfect Velvet album review post (which you access by clicking here). These songs will have no effect on the ‘Overall Album Rating’ number given at the end of the review.

redvelvettheperfectredvelvet-2
The Perfect Red Velvet Album Cover

1..Bad Boy (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Bad Boy. (8.7/10) 

2. All Right – Taking a complete detour from the title track is All Right. The song itself is quite bright and upbeat in comparison to the main track of the repackaged album. All Right is quite catchy and the atmosphere that comes off from this just makes you want to smile. The vocals were nice but the raps were the main detail I wanted to touch on. Without it, the song would have been repetitive and boring. So, the inclusion of the raps was a really strong point of the song. The instrumental break was equally as cool. (9/10)

7. Time To Love – The RnB song is actually quite nice. What I really liked about the song is the harmonies during the chorus, where all the members sing together. It gives the song a sense of warmth, which is something I like. The song itself reminds me of One Of These Nights, just with a better kick and melody to it. I also find the ending of the song quite nice, which might just be a first for me. It did take a few listens to actually get into it but once I did, I could not stop listening to it. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Review – 8.7/10

redvelvettheperfectredvelvet-3
The Perfect Red Velvet Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Album Review] Faces Of Love (2nd Mini Album) – Suzy

Unfortunately, last week I could not put out any album reviews due to it being a busy week. Now, with more time on my hand, I am aiming to get out 3 album reviews this week. Starting off this trio is Faces Of Love, which is the second mini-album release for Suzy, who is making her first comeback since her solo debut and the disbandment of Miss A.

suzyfacesoflove-2
Faces Of Love Album Cover

1..In Love With Someone Else (다른사람을 사랑하고 있어) (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for In Love With Someone Else. (8.4/10)

2. Holiday ft. DPR LIVE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Holiday. (6.6/10)

3. SObeR – I have no idea why the title of the song is written in that manner. But besides that, SObeR has a really likeable percussion based instrumental. Yes, it gave the song its minimalistic vibe but it still makes it good. I like how the chorus is set apart from the rest of the song by adding just a few more instruments. The vocals throughout the chorus and the bridge were exceptional. More importantly, the changeup towards the end of the song saved the song more boredom caused by repetitiveness. I personally think this is a standout track for this mini-album. (9/10)

4. Bad X (나쁜X)Bad X features an acoustic sound, which I think is quite nice. The chorus was a turn that I did not expect vocally but it sounds good. The vocals are quite nice but I am not a major fan of the final section of the song. The song is quite good when you listen to it as we go through the album but it just doesn’t really stand out on its own as a single. (6.5/10)

5. Sleep Well, For Me Too (잘자 내 몫까지) – The song felt like a lullaby with such great vocals from Suzy herself. It has a nice piano dominate instrumental but it just isn’t the most interesting song on this album. (6/10)

6. Broken Heart (서툰 마음) – It is another ballad. I like this track more than the preceding ballad because of the buildup that was present. This is solely due to her vocals, which she showed a nice spectrum of on this album so far. I feel like the song could have used a flowier instrumental or melody (which I only felt towards the end of the song. I did like the bridge the most but it felt too short for my liking. (7/10)

7. All Night (너는 밤새도록) – I liked the initial effects that were placed on her vocals, especially when they came into focus after a few seconds. Despite the upbeat feels that you get from this song, it is apparent that the emotions from Suzy are quite loaded, making it an interesting song. The ‘Na Na Na’ is a reflection of this. The harmonies in the track were great. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.2/10

suzyfacesoflove-3
Faces of Love Teaser Image

[Review] Thanks – Seventeen

2017 has definitely been a very big year for Seventeen, who made two major comebacks (Don’t Wanna Cry and Clap). They broke their own records with their album sales and released a bunch of subunit tracks for their second full-length album. As a sign of ‘Thanks‘, the group have returned with the repackaged or ‘director’s cut’ album of Teen, Age.

Thanks has this very epic feel with it, which fits in perfectly with Seventeen’s style. Seventeen has continuously blown me away and Thanks is no exception to this. There isn’t anything groundbreaking about this song but when such songs are done right, they speak volumes. The bass in this is purely amazing, giving the song a heavy beat which allows it become extremely addictive. The lead up with the two rappers did hype the song up to a drop but I was quite surprised when Woozi came in with no drop. It gave an interesting feel and the drop came (as if it was delayed). This perked my interest. Usually, I would be irked by the delayed drop but for some reason, it works really well in this track. I also think I have a special place in my heart for when Wonwoo sings, the ending of this basically has me fanboying. Overall, another amazing song by Seventeen once again.

It’s a great video to watch. A tad too dark for my liking, which was the only downside because I had a hard time recognising some of the members in the video. Moving along, the idea behind the video was something that I really liked. The video shows the ‘Behind The Scenes’ for the members, where you can find them in the makeup-room, recording studio, back hallfway or dance practice room. Out of all the scenes, my favourite was the scenes where all the members started dancing in their own areas (rappers in the recording studio, Hoshi in dance practice room), launching us right into the final chorus.

Once again, Seventeen does not disappoint with their performance. Though I am only looking at the parts of the music video, the chorus already looks epic and there is a very dramatic feel to it. I particularly like how they are set up at 2:20 and the movements that followed (See gif below). It looks amazing.

seventeenthanksdance

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

[Review] Timeless​ – NCT U

As you can see for the past few days I have been catching up on a number of reviews which I had planned to do but kept pushing around due to not having enough time. But it always better late than never! Timeless, released two weeks back as part of the SM Station, is the last of these late reviews. It also marks the return of NCT U (in the form of three members – Taeil, Doyoung and Jaehyun), the only NCT subunit who did not have a comeback in 2017.

Timeless is a ballad that I will admit I overlooked when it first came out. However, I am glad I revisited the track after a little while because it truly is a really decent track to listen to. The vocals of each member, particularly those who handled the chorus, were mind-blowing. And that is why I keep on going back to this track now because it is so good. There wasn’t much harmony in the song but when harmonies did appear (particularly the high note at the end), it was so good. The melody was really flowy, which also attracted my attention. The instrumental was your typical ballad instrumental with the piano and strings but gave off that swaying effect, which I tend to comment on in these reviews. Overall, I am glad I returned to relisten to this track because it is definitely a good one.

The entire video was shot live. This time around there were not instrumentations in the background but only the members singing into the microphone. And for some reason, the live vocals were more noticeable than the other live video (performed by 10CM and Chen). It is a relatively simple video in both is visual appeal and style, which is something I tend to like.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10

[Review] Awake – Target

A new group has made their debut on the stage. Target is a 7-member boy group under JSL Company. According to what I can find on the Internet, the group previously released a pre-debut track titled as Please Love Me, which was released 3 years back. Their debut track, Awake, was released last week.

To me, the song’s elements clash with each other, creating an awkward atmosphere. Awake started off a pretty dramatic classical instrumental, featuring some synths. But when the rap kicked in, the instrumental and rap just didn’t connect with each other. It just felt uncomfortable. The vocals were the only time that the song felt comfortable but even then, it was just too plain for my liking. I just felt that they could have gone for something more dramatic or attention grabbing during the chorus. The ending was nice, with the brief pause and high note. But overall, I felt the song was either not memorable due to its lack of momentum or it was memorable but for the disconnected start.

The music video isn’t bad. I am a little confused with the storyline though. The members seem to be in a coma of some sort (for some reason). One of the members seem to wake up from their coma and tries to wake up their friends after realizing something was wrong. That was basically what I got from it and I don’t know how or why they got into that position. The sets were one of those reused ones, which for some reason felt well used in this video (maybe it just fitted the concept). There was also a more dark and mysterious feel to the video, which I don’t think we see much nowadays.

The choreography for this was really cool. I really liked the section where some the members are lying on the ground (while the other half are standing) and then there was a really cool yet smooth switch that happens within a second with the three members in the middle (at 2:18 of music video).

Song – 4/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 5.4/10 

 

[Review] Neverland – Holland

Last week, we saw the debut of Holland, a new soloist in South Korea. He is currently garnering a lot of attention and support from fans and listeners for being the first openly gay KPOP idol, earning over 5 million views in just one week alone (which is really impressive for a debut act). While it is completely fine that he is gay, I am interested in what Korea’s response to the artist would be. But nonetheless, it is clear he has a lot of support already.

I personally don’t mind the song but if I were to be critical about it, I have to say it is rather stagnant. The song just felt flat from start to end and it doesn’t really develop into anything. Both the instrumental and Holland’s vocals don’t really do much to the song, which is why I put it on the backburner for a week to cover the other artists. It just doesn’t have that interesting factor. He does have a nice voice but the song just don’t showcase it. To me, the only reason why I still have this song in mind is that of his sexuality. Besides that, the song doesn’t have that memorable element like other ballads do. There was one thing that I did like that does leave an impression on me, however, and that is how he sings ‘Neverland‘ at the end of the chorus. But besides that, the song just isn’t for me.

You can tell how conservative South Korea is in regards to this issue because of the 19+ rating it was given. But I am not here to get political. I just personally do not agree with such a rating. The song definitely has an effect on the music video, with it not holding my attention for long. There was some development (which were the events building up to the kissing) but that doesn’t seem much of a highlight for me. But good for them.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 4/10
Overall Rating – 4.6/10

[Review] The Boots – Gugudan

Making their return to the stage with their latest single is Gugudan. They were previously on stage with Chococo, which was released in the second half of last year. This comeback, The Boots, also marks the return of Soyee, who had to sit out of the last round of promotions due to an injury.

Right off the bat, you would notice that the group had gone for a much more different sound. Gugudan has done mainly cutesy sounding songs with their previous comebacks. This time around, they opted to remove that cutesy element. While that does usually mean a mature sound, the producers have managed to keep that energetic and upbeat sound that you would also associate with Gugudan. I particuarly like the pre-chorus and the second verse. That being said, the other parts aren’t terrible. They just didn’t stand out as much. I did also like the grooviness of the chorus, which I think also had some funky elements to it as well. The chorus has potential to be addictive and catchy but I feel like the hook could have been more stronger. I did like the dance break as well, the saxophones definitely adding that funk side to the song. Overall, it is a decent song. I think it is a strong effort by the girls with a change in their usual sound.

I really like the modern and mature look they went for this comeback.  Even the sets were made to reflect this, which made the video feel as if it was by another artist. That chess set looks awesome and something I would buy to style an apartment (that one day I will hopefully own). I really like the effect post-production had placed onto the items of interest and the background images for that large screen was really cool. Overall, I like the video. It did feel like there wasn’t much in it to comment on but it was still a very stylish and cool video.

Great footwork in their choreography. I know it are just some swirls but they make it look complicated. The other standout part is pre-chorus, which pushed for that edgier side of the concept.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating  – 7.9/10

[Review] NEGA DOLA – BoA

BoA is known as the Queen of KPOP, proven by her massive portfolio of releases Korea. In the past few years, her promotions in South Korea have dwindled to only a few singles as part of the SM Station releases, most notably Camo (released last year). But after 3 years of no music promotions in Korea, BoA is back with her latest single, NEGA DOLA.

NEGA DOLA is a dance track that mixes electronic synths and a Latin twist to the song, which ends up giving the song a lot of character. This Latin twist is present throughout the song but it is the most dominant during the start, the bridge and the very end of the track. The concoction is a little quirky, but very fitting for the song (more on that in just a moment). While the rapping to this song is definitely a potential downfall for this track, the vocal elements by BoA are really good. I love the way she sings ‘Nega Dola‘ in the song, which means ‘Going Crazy’ (from what I can find out about it). It does feel like a little crazy. I also particularly like the when she brings out her power vocals at the end of each chorus, which I think also adds to that character comment I mentioned before. Overall, it is quite a nice song to listen to, particularly if you want to listen to something that is a little more different to your usual releases.

There is nothing as crazy as an upside down room. Essentially, the video is an odd mixture of an upside down room, your standard choreography shots and a lot of target practice. But I feel, given how the song does sound, they could have gone for a wackier concept, which would have fitted well with the meaning of the song. I am not a major fan of her panda ears hairstyle but her outfits are on point.

BoA has not disappoint with any of her performances from what I remember (don’t fact check that by reading up on the old reviews. I don’t remember what I wrote 5 years ago). I really liked the dance moves during the chorus, particuarly the very start of the chorus. The start and end of the performance was also quite cool looking.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

[Review] Spotlight – VAV

2017 has been a very busy year for VAV, who has released a number of songs in the last 12 months, such as Venus (Dance With Me), Flower (You), ABC (Middle of the Night) and She’s Mine. Following the same momentum with their first comeback of 2018 (and 2 months after their last 2017 comeback) is Spotlight, which shares the same title as their title track.

Opening Spotlight is this really cool thumping sound, which definitely attracted my attention. In a way, they set up the song to be quite aesthetic (but I am a little disappointed that they didn’t follow through with this). The verses became a total miss for me. It wasn’t terrible. It just didn’t feel as interesting. The chorus managed to pump some energy with a more funky sound which definitely does brighten up the track. The post-chorus was the catchiest part of the entire song in my opinion, which was a cool hook in the song. Interestingly, the song omitted a rap section, which I thought was interesting. In its place seems to be an overwhelming autotune section. They could have toned it down a little to make it feel more fitting for the track, from what I could hear. The vocal work for the track is okay but it doesn’t feel that impressive as compared to their previous songs. Overall, Spotlight is definite another track to add to the list.

I liked it how the music video had a heavy emphasis on the lights, which make sense given that the title is Spotlight. The scenes at the dinner table reminded me of EXO’s Monster, which was definitely interesting. I did like the colour palette of the music video, which was definitely vibrant and (in some areas such as the white gallery) bold. I feel like the symbolism in this video is quite great but personally, I don’t know exactly what I should be looking for.

Once again, since the title of the song (and the lyrics) focuses on the Spotlight, the choreography also does a good job at putting this forward. The most impressive part of the choreography would be when they move forward during the post-chorus (around 1:11 of the music video).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10