[Album Review] Perfect Velvet (2nd Studio Album) – Red Velvet

As previously mentioned, Red Velvet made their return with their 3rd major release of the year. It happens to be in the form of their second studio album to date. Everywhere I look, I actually see so many people saying this album to be this year’s best. I don’t actually agree with that. However, I do think it shows that Red Velvet is willing to venture out into genres/sounds that no other KPOP groups are willing to go. And it lands on my recommended list for a few good tracks.

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Perfect Velvet Album Cover

1..Peek-A-Boo (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Peek-A-Boo. (9/10)

2. Look (봐)Look didn’t seem to climax or reach a peak. But while that could have a major flaw, it somehow becomes a major feature of the track. I thought it was a smooth dance track with strong retro vibes. The bridge felt very Michael Jackson-esque, which I thought was a great highlight for the track. The only thing that has me looking the other way with this track is the repetitiveness. (8/10)

3. I Just – Once again, the track felt repetitive and the bridge pretty much saved the day by changing up in such an ideal way. I thought the first few seconds of the song were quite appealing but since it didn’t progress much, I got tired of it quite quickly. The track seems to be a much slower form of electro-pop, Overall, it didn’t seem to be my cup of tea. (7/10)

4. Kingdom Come – This song combines RnB and pop into one song and it turns out to be quite amazing. The choppy start was quite awesome and the song seemed to incorporate that throughout the song with the drum beat. This track also showcases their vocal skills in the song, bumping it up to becoming one of the best on the album overall. (9/10)

5. My Second DateMy Second Date is an experimental track that manages to take unexpected twist and turns, such as the unexpected EDM chorus. It gives that intriguing element to the song, making it worthwhile listening to. It may require multiple listens to get used to if you want to listen to something a little ‘out there’. (9/10)

6. AttaboyAttaboy is extremely heavy handed on the hip-hop influences and is dominated by a lot of rap sequences. The vocals give the song much-needed relief. The instrumental is trap based but there is a small part of me that feels it conforms well to the KPOP sound. It isn’t the best track of the album for me but definitely another track to check out if you want to hear something ‘outside the box’. (5.5/10)

7. Perfect 10 – So far we have heard more experimental forms of RnB, Perfect 10 seems to be more of a traditional style of RnB and much slower, might I add. I would like to say the vocal work was great but I felt Red Velvet were more restricted based on the song style rather than skill. There were some trap elements in the background, making the track a little different from other RnB tracks. (8/10)

8. About Love – Not a major fan of this song, as well. It is pretty much a standard song with a jazzy twist. The vocal work pretty made the song, for me. Besides that, I don’t have much else to say. (7/10)

9. Moonlight Melody (달빛 소리) – In the past few reviews, I made several comments regarding ballads ending the album. This is an excellent example of one doing its job at the end of the album. The slower tempo takes things back from the unexpected and ‘crazies’ that featured throughout the album. The track reminded me of One of These Nights, just a lot better. (8/10)

Overall Album Review – 8/10

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Screenshot from Peek-A-Boo Music Video

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[Review] Runaway – Pentagon

Making their 3rd comeback for this year is Pentagon with Runaway. It follows the release of Critical Beauty and Like This, which has become one of my favourite tracks of this year.  This comeback is a continuation of their previous Demo comeback and the album is titled Demo_02.

Following that serious tone (which I am digging) that featured in Like This, Runaway is a great continuation of it. But what I like more is the fact that the song manages to flow a lot better, despite having a chorus that completely shakes things up. And I don’t say that in a bad way. The structure of the song was arranged nicely. The raps came in just the right time. The vocals in the verses eased to and from the rap quite nicely as well. The buildup to the choruses was superb. That chorus was a little unexpected (I didn’t listen to any previous teasers) but I really enjoyed the intensity and energy that came from the chorus and drop. But despite that, the chorus works well with the song and hence I say it flows well. Regarding the ‘Runaway‘ repetition in the chorus, it is decent but it feels overdone. I would have prefered something that has a little more substance like the Like This chorus, but I know how difficult given the style of electronic music they had gone with in this song.

I had to take a moment to rewatch the previous music video to work how they connect. And I am as clueless as when I started writing this review. From what I can gather, it seems that whatever problems they were experiencing in the Like This music video, they seem to have banded together to help solve or escape from them. The cinematography was amazing in the video. But overall, I thought the video was a little dry and boring to watch.

Whatever the intensity level the song brings to the table, the performance equally showcases through the movements. But other than that, it just didn’t strike me as one to remember.

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

[Album Review] Play (9th Studio Album) – Super Junior

Super Junior made their long-awaited comeback with Play on the 6th of November this year, making it their first comeback in two years. I know I am a little late with my album review, especially since they are nearing the end of their promotional period. However, as they say, ‘better late than never’. Play is their 9th studio album, which marks 12 years in the business as well.

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Play Album Cover

1..Black Suit (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Black Suit. (9/10)

2. Scene Stealer – I think we all felt major Bruno Mars vibes from this song. To me, it is the weakest song out of the entire album. It fits into Super Junior’s usual spectrum of songs but the use of some of the synths, especially at the start of the song, felt quite foreign and odd. I just wasn’t drawn to much in the song, especially since it was between an amazing title track and a great pre-release. (5/10)

3. One More Chance (비처럼 가지 마요) (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for One More Chance. (10/10)

4. Good Day For A Good Day – I love the upbeat nature of the song. It has that happy virus type of feel that automatically makes your day even better. The entire time I thought the song was quite pleasant and this reflected well through the vocals and raps of the song. The second part of the choruses where they all sing together was exceptionally catchy and probably my highlight of the track. (9/10)

5. Runaway – Following the happy vibes is Runaway which is my pick for best song on the entire album. The song is super addictive and full of energy. I love the instrumental of the song, which drew my attention from the very start. It feels like a song that their old subunit. Super Junior Happy, would have put out. But Super Junior themselves does a spectacular job with the song nonetheless. (10/10)

6. The Lucky Ones – The Lucky Ones stands out for its nice harmonies during the chorus. Besides that, there wasn’t much else to the song, which is a disappointment. The verses felt plain and bland in comparison to the chorus. But overall, it was still decent to listen to. (6/10)

7. Girlfriend (예뻐 보여) – Girlfriend is one of two tracks that also feature Kyuhyun who is currently serving in the Korean military. It is another track that is easily forgettable. There was a sleek feel to the song but it just didn’t build-up to any peak. The rap section and bridge provided some relief by allowing the song to change up a bit but I don’t think it was enough to make the song brilliant. (6/10)

8. Spin Up! – The track returns the album to more of that grooviness that I enjoyed so far. And while the song was decent, I wanted to go that extra length and become the next funky hit. If there was a little more energy and more boldness, I am sure this track would have been hard to miss. (7/10)

9. Too Late (시간 차) – Too Late is the other song to feature Kyuhyun. I like the subtle build-up to the chorus and the drop into the chorus. The consistent thumping in the instrumental gives me an excuse to tap my feet throughout the song. Not a major fan of the bridge but everything else was quite nice. (7/10)

10. I Do (두 번째 고백) – I Do has a very nice melody and feels like a nice love confession song to listen to. It is that Summer ballad that can be either good or bad. This one lands on the good side. It is not the ending you expect the album to have, mainly because it feels like there should have been another song leading right off this one. But it was a still a nice ending. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

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Play Teaser Image

[Review] You In Me – KARD

KARD has officially returned with their first comeback!!! Though, it feels like their 4th one. They previously made their debut with Hola Hola but hyped fans up with 3 pre-debut singles. Now, they are back with You In Me, which is the title for both their lead track and mini-album.

To me, You In Me keeps to the typical KARD sound that we have been hearing in their many past releases. But it also feels different. It takes on the tropical house sound, but You In Me showcases a more mature and powerful sound. The main difference is the intensity that features heavily throughout You In Me. We are literally thrown into J.Seph’s rap sequence, which completely caught me off guard. I thought the chorus was pretty cool, especially how they changed it up with the more dramatic sounds the second time we heard the chorus, giving us some more variety in the song. The thumping during the chorus just kept my tapping my foot the entire time. Somin and Jiwoo’s vocal work in the song is spectacular, usually during the verses. I just felt that BM’s part could have been a little more intense and powerful. It was good but compared to the rest of the song, it was quite lacking. Overall, the track does not disappoint and it might become my best personal favourite KARD song to date.

It seems like KPOP missed Halloween this year. But I am not complaining. The concept of this video is amazing. They are staying at the APEGO motel, which is Spanish for ‘attachment’. And it was quite clear that the girls in the video have some very serious attachment issues. Essentially, the video opens up as they are spending some time as with their respective lovers. But the video takes a dramatic turn when it is revealed that the male members had been dead for some time (my assumption is that the girls killed them) and that the girls stayed with the bodies. You can see J.Seph dead at the dinner table, while Somin is shaving a dead BM in the bathtub. I also liked how the sounds for that exact moment where it turns creepy are included in the song, which gave it the most ideal way to move the story along. I thought the idea was excellent the video turned out amazing.

The choreography was amazing. Once again, they have that key dance choreography that they released ahead of their comeback. It looked quite cool but I felt that all the other moves around the ‘key dance’ were much more epic and better. I also liked their formations and how they got into their formations.

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

 

[Album Review] 1-1=0 (Nothing Without You) (1st Repackaged Mini Album) – Wanna One

The highly sold album of the past week is none other than Wanna One’s repackaged album, 1-1=0 (Nothing Without You). From mostly trainees to a chart-topping team, it is truly remarkable of how far they have come. This post is going to be a relatively short one as I have elected to not review the remixes (Track 5 and 6) and tracks 7 to 9 were on their debut mini-album, 1×1 =1 (To Be One). Thus, these tracks will not be used in the ‘overall album rating’ which I put the end of each album review post. Let’s get the show on the road.

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1-1=0 (Nothing Without You) Album Cover

1. Nothing Without You (Intro) – The intro track basically gives you a little taster of the entire album. To me, it drew various parts of the newer songs on the album and presented them in a much shorter format, which makes a lot of sense. It is nice, but it was a rather forgettable part of the album, mainly because of the following track, Beautiful, steals the show as soon as it starts. (7/10)

2. BeautifulClick here to read the full review for Beautiful. (10/10)

3. I Want To Have You (갖고 싶어) – Continuing the flow of the album thus far, I Want To Have You is another slow dance track, with a few moments that divert away from that direction. Vocally, this is another outstanding effort from the group. I also thought the raps were quite nice, matching well with the ballad-like nature of the song but still maintaining that standard rapping momentum. (9/10)

4. Twilight – Besides the tracks that follow (either remix of their main tracks or tracks pinched from their previous mini-album), this is the closest you get to a dance track. It isn’t that strong of a track, in my opinion. It felt more like a standard pop song. It gives the album some energy and transitions well into the tracks that follow. (7/10)

5 & 6 (Burn It Up Prequel Remix & Energetic Prequel Remix) – Click here for track 5 and track 6.

7 – 9 (Wanna Be (My Baby), Energetic & Burn It Up) – Click here to read full album review for 1×1=1 (To Be One).

8. To Be One (Outro) – They bring it back to the slower side which started off this album with their slowest song yet. It does pick up a bit towards the middle of the raps. It packs a punch and if extended, could have been a decent track to go back to. Also, it closes the album quite nicely, which is the most important job of an outro track. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Beautiful (Performance Version) Screenshot (Source: SOOMPI)

[Review] Peek-A-Boo – Red Velvet

I think if you were to consider the amount of work Red Velvet has done, 2017 has been their year. Two successful comebacks (Rookie and Red Flavour) and 2 SM Station tracks (Would U & Rebirth). Throw in their first solo concert, the group has been extremely busy. Peek-A-Boo is their third comeback of the year which is also the title track for their 2nd full-length album, Perfect Velvet.

First listen in and I am already bouncing around. The track itself is quite addictive and appealing from the very start. It starts off with that tropical sound that we hear so often but rather turning into something pretty much done in the music industry so far, the group seems to divert the track into a dance-pop track. The track is quite bright and vibrant, in terms of its sound. That isn’t something you see often in this season, which usually focuses more on maturity and emotions. Instead, it gives the track that extra pop and makes it stand out in the crowd. Vocally, it doesn’t kick off until the end, when they start layering their vocals on top of each other. But their vocals at the start were still quite good. I also thought Yeri’s rap was perfect for this song, coming at the right time. Overall, Peek-A-Book is one damn good track to listen to.

And while they went with a bright and vibrant sound, the music is nothing like that. Instead, they play with the Peek-A-Boo and probably will give some pizza delivery people some nightmares. Red Velvet during the day interview and listen to what fruits have to say about their lives. At night though, they turn dark and collect pizza delivery persons. There is a little side-order of a ritual offering of the pizza delivery person they manage to kidnap. There is probably some meaning to the video but I thought it was quite cool just the visual concept alone. I also liked their smiles in the choreography scenes, which offsets the cold stares we see for the rest of the video. And stay away from Irene when she is holding razor blades. That gave me chills.

Such a great choreography to go with the song. I love the eye hole they make when slow Peek-A-Boo comes into play and how the more upbeat part of Peak-A-Boo goes.

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

 

[Review] Candy – Samuel

Samuel is back with his first full-length album, Eye Candy and the title track, Candy. Samuel is a newly debut soloist who made his debut a few months back with Sixteen. With his debut receiving a lot of attention due to his Produce 101 days, his return has been highly anticipated by many fans.

And I am hugely disappointed with the song. It has a nice sound that would have fit perfectly into 90s music. And for that, the song can be described as upbeat. But for the most part, the song could easily be forgotten for its lack of memorable moments. It doesn’t have strong hooks nor does it have that catchy nature that could have made it addictive. It stays relatively neutral and standard. His vocals are okay but they seemed to be less audible when paired with the upbeat instrumental, which appeared to become a little too overpowering overall. If we were to compare his debut track with this one, Sixteen comes out as a more superior track because it had lines that were catchy and there was a stronger sense of appeal within the song. So to summarise, I am not a fan of the song.

Like the song, the music video falls victim to the ‘standard’ content. There really isn’t much to mention regarding the videos. The sets were great their clothing matched the era that the song is trying to take on (oh, baggy sweatpants). Samuel does look good in the video, I will admit. The video does its best at painting a cool picture of the solo artist. Not sure how some people will react to motorcycle scene, though I hope they won’t misunderstand. It seems to be there for comedic effect.

It is a good performance. Just the song felt more upbeat and his performance didn’t seem to be channelling the same level of energy. It may be due to his selection of singing live over the choreography but the backup dancers seemed to lack the energy as well.

Song – 4/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 4.5/10

 

[Album Review] The Code (5th Mini Album) – MONSTA X

Time to catch up on the backlog of albums that I should have reviewed over the last few weeks. First one up is Monsta X’s The Code, which is their latest release. Their title track, Dramarama, has earned them their first win on a weekly music show a few days ago. On with the review.

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The Code Album Cover

1..Dramarama (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Dramarama (8.5/10)

2. Now or Never – Now or Never seems to be that track that fits nicely within typical song lineup that Monsta X usually puts out. It has that toughness and intensity that you would associate with the group. It is a pretty standard track for the most part but there were moments when I thought the track was ‘lit’. The bridge added a nice touch to the song as well. (8/10)

3. In Time – In Time is that compulsory ballad that I keep on mentioning. Mixed nicely with it, however, is some RnB, which makes the song feel a lot more emotional. The chimes were somewhat creepy at the start, but they felt like the perfect ending. Overall though, the track does seem like it can easily be forgotten. (7/10)

4. From Zero – The track taps into that tropical house genre that we see in every other release in KPOP at the moment. I love the contrast between the minimal verses to the upbeat chorus, which makes it extremely addictive to listen to. The drop is awesome and I think it is because of that minimal verse that makes the drop sound so much cooler than what it would have been if the verses were not stripped down. (9/10)

5. X – The hidden gem on this entire mini-album. X is everything you would want in a song. Everything felt perfect in the song. From the intensity to the vocals/raps, everything came together to form one damn good head-banging track. I would love to see this performed as the energy that comes off it is something you should not mess around with (10/10)

6. Tropical Night (열대야) – What I love about this song is that chorus. It doesn’t go in that direction that you expect to go from the verse. But it works and it sounds so much cooler than what I had intended. I.M and Jooheon deliver smashing rap sequences that felt just right for such a cool song. (9/10)

7. Deja Vu – Not part of my usual vocabulary, but the best to encapsulate the song is by saying ‘badass’. The chorus was jaw-dropping and like in the past few songs, the rappers were the main highlight. But that doesn’t say that the vocalists didn’t shine as well. Another stand-out track to end the album. Woo! (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

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The Code Teaser Image

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[Double Review] Girl Front + Sweet Crazy Love – Odd Eye Circle (LOOΠΔ)

I have decided to scrap my initial plans to compile all the LOOΠΔ releases into a couple of reviews. Instead, I will be doing the unit reviews separately and gather all the solo reviews into one. Today, I will be focusing on the recent unit of LOOΠΔ, Odd Eye Circle, consisting of Kim Lip, JinSoul and Choerry. Their first single, Girl Front, was released on 21st of September and their second single, Sweet Crazy Love, was released on the 31st of October.

Girl Front

What makes Girl Front stand out is the very poppy chorus. In a way, it does feel in your face but there is a balance that keeps it from being excessive. There were also quirky moments in the chorus which you don’t hear often in KPOP which makes it so appealing. The synths are thanked for giving the song such a bright and vibrant atmosphere. Vocally, it pairs well with the instrumental, as the members are at the forefront of the song, rather than hidden by the synths. But if you take the chorus away from the song, it ends up being very forgettable.

The music video seems to be very confused. It feels like they tried to overload many concepts into the one video such as mysterious, aesthetics, artistic and bold. And while there are videos that have mashed up these concepts successfully in the past, this video just doesn’t really get to the point. They seem to be in search for some eclipse in the sky, but that is the most I can get out of it. The scenery in the background was very nice, which was a plus.

The choreography is good but it isn’t outstanding. The pop vibes do come through nicely. There just wasn’t anything memorable when I watched it.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10


Sweet Crazy Love

The violins in the background just make my day so much better. The track is quite dynamic in its own way.  The instrumental is a mixture of classical sounds (from what I can identify) and synths, creating a very smooth and sleek rhythm.  The synths used on the track doesn’t feel over-the-top or can be described as ‘loud’, which is a good thing because it helps portray a more innocent sound. Vocals were very melodic and fits nicely onto the canvas that the instrumental provided. The only thing that I felt was missing was a climax. It felt too consistent from start to end and a climax would have made it more appealing. But overall, it is a great song.

Looking at the concept, it reminds me of F(x)’s Red Light (the eye badge and dark vibes) and anything Ladies Code has present us in their recent comebacks. I actually like the music video for this one more than Girl Front because it sticks to just one style and does a good job of portraying it. The cinematography in the video is also quite amazing.

The choreography isn’t that memorable as well, which is a little disappointing, given how good the song is. Like above, there isn’t anything worth mentioning.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

 

[Review] Twinkle – Lovelyz

Lovelyz has made their comeback with Twinkle. They were last on stage promoting WoW! and Now, We (the latter earned them their first win on a Korean weekly music show) earlier this year. The entire comeback is probably a sign of what is about to come. I am a firm believer of Christmas in December only, so this is going to be interesting.

Twinkle is probably that love child that comes about when JPOP is mixed with the Christmas season. It starts off with that exact feeling. But as the song progresses along, it starts losing that identity, which is a little disappointing. But they manage to make it up in an extremely powerful chorus filled with a dominant synth. And it is the chorus that makes me enjoy the track more (rather than that Christmas start). The vocals are superb in this song, matching extremely well with that powerful chorus. Not once did they feel become overshadowed by the instrumental. The raps, on the other hand, were the weaker moments of the song. They felt more awkward and cheesy more than anything else. As mentioned previously, as well, I am not a fan of abrupt endings and this is probably the most abrupt an ending of a song can be. It just didn’t feel complete and felt like the song was cut-off. Personally, I think it is a song right up my alley.

The music video is mainly of the girls just preparing for the upcoming holiday season after receiving some sort of confession note. There really isn’t much else to talk about in the video. It is standard video overall. Unless you want me to make comments about what the girls are doing as preparation. Knitting scarfs, sorting through Winter clothing, selecting the right ornament to hang at the door and gently caressing a snowglobe. Wait, what was that last one?

The choreography for Twinkle is very cool. It was graceful to compliment the start of the song and then it changed appropriately to match the more upbeat chorus. I loved the side-stepping move they did towards the start of the chorus (where they did it 4 at a time).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Review] Beautiful – Wanna One

Wanna One have officially made their highly anticipated return with Beautiful and their repackaged mini-album, 1-1=0 (Nothing Without You). Wanna One has wowed fans with their power, topping charts as soon as their debut, Energetic, was released. Even when I am writing this review, Beautiful has gone on to top majority of the charts, 2 hours after their release. It is clear that Wanna One is a powerhouse rookie for 2017.

The title of the track summarises the song very accurately. Beautiful is a very smooth song that makes me want to sway along to the melody and instrumental. It touches on the ballad side of music but also maintaining that dance component really well. It isn’t as poppy as their debut track, but instead, it feels more emotional and how many people would say “from the heart”. I really enjoyed how Daniel started and ended the song with this rap speaking autotune part. I really liked how soft the song was during the first verse and how that ended up contrasting the louder and powerful “I Miss You Much” pre-chorus. And the chorus was just so damn good. The vocals in the song were flawless and equally as breathtaking are the raps. The song itself felt flawless. And in my eyes, they probably cemented themselves as one of the best rookies of the year.

If you haven’t watched both the prologue and the music video, you are missing out. The prologue basically starts the story off by showing how two young brothers were separated. Talk about making it emotional. The actual music video shows how the two brothers are living separate lives. One of the studies to become a policeman (Seungwoo), while the other (Daniel) is doing odd jobs (one of them is at a boxing gym). The two brothers end up reuniting one rainy night, which was a nice sight to see. They end up catching up and spending some time together. Daniel, with his odd jobs and maybe Seungwoo, managed to buy his dream motorbike. Until one day, Daniel’s crew get into a big fight with a gang, leaving the gang either dead or very injured. Seungwoo, who walks by with an ice cream ends up helping Daniel and his friends by letting them get away and takes the blame for what happened. This results with Seungwoo unable to take the police exam and ends up working at a construction site to rebuy the motorbike that his brother had to sell in order to pay back the gang. Daniel goes onto to join a boxing competition (I assume it is for the monetary reward and to make up for what he did to his brother). Seungwoo ends up falling down the stairs and Daniel ends up badly injured in the match. The video ends there and I am hoping for some extra video that ties up the story. Amazing storyline and the acting is captivating. A must watch.

The performance is too good. I just am speechless with the dance routine. I freaking love the chorus, with how they seem to be hugging someone but in a solo format. The choreography matched the music perfectly and gracefully.

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

[Album Review] Teen, Age (2nd Studio Album) – Seventeen

SEVENTEEN is back with their brand new and second full-length album. And I am back with many albums to review, so let’s get cracking. The album, titled Teen, Age, from what I know, leads on from their Al1 comeback earlier in the year. Like previous reviews, I have opted not to write about the respective intro and outro that features on the album.

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Teen, Age Album Cover

2. Change Up (Seventeen Leaders Unit)Click here to read the full review for Change Up (8.5/10)

3. Without You – The performance of Without You felt like Don’t Wanna Cry 2.0, with many moves reminding of their previous title track. Song-wise though, Without You seems to be a whole different track. It is slower than most of their previous dance tracks. But what I like about this track is the melodies that we find during the chorus but also the balance between intensity, giving room for the Hip Hop unit to do their thing without being limited in any way. (8/10)

4. Clap (Title Track) –  Click here to read the full review for Clap (9.5/10)

5. Bring It (Hoshi, Woozi) – If there was one word to describe Bring It, it would be epic. It touches on a more freakish EDM style, which you can hear in the chorus. The verses were still on point, building hype to the chorus. The combination of Hoshi and Woozi seems to be extremely dynamic in this song and would love to see further works between the two members. I would also love to see a stage performance of this as it would definitely be a standout. (9/10)

6. Dance of Month 13 (Seventeen Performance Unit)Click here to read the full review of Dance of Month 13 (8/10)

7. Trauma (Seventeen Hip Hop Unit)Click here to read the full review for Trauma (8/10)

8. Pinwheel (Seventeen Vocal Unit)Click here to read the full review for Pinwheel (8/10)

9. Flower (Dino, Jeonghan, S.Coups, Seungkwan, The8, Wonwoo)Flower has a very alluring and striking instrumental which drew my attention from the very start. It has all the elements perfectly aligned with one another to ensure a top quality track. The raps of the song were amazing and the vocals, particularly the chorus, were on point throughout the entire track. (9.5/10)

10. Rocket (Joshua, Vernon) – The combination of autotune and upbeat instrumental seems to go hand-in-hand most of the time. But in this track, they seem to overload the track. Hence, I am not fond of the verses for the track but the more simplified chorus does attract my attention. (7/10)

11. Hello (DK, Jun, Mingyu)Hello is a sweet confession song that aims to put a smile on listener’s faces. The bright atmosphere that the song gives off is quite strong, going nicely with the presence of DK and Jun. I do find Mingyu’s parts to be a little underwhelming and overshadowed by the vocalists in the song. But it is still a good song to listen to. (7/10)

12. CampfireCampfire is the most underwhelming song on the entire album. Compared to the rest of the album, it falls short with its sound. It does give off a nice atmosphere and showcases a nice melody to complement the lyrics of the song. Just not my cup of tea. (6/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Clap Music Video Screenshot

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[Review] Remember Me – VICTON

Making another comeback this year is VICTON, with Remember Me. After their Eyez Eyez and Unbelievable comebacks this year, VICTON’s title seems to be a little irrelevant. How could we forget them after the two comebacks we have already been given? That was my lame pun. Maybe I should just continue on with the review, rather than make a fool of myself (if I haven’t yet).

Remember Me seems to be a track that brings you back to the past. It doesn’t feel like a 2017 release but rather something you would have heard a few years back as a B-side. Not saying it is bad, it just feels old and ‘done before’. But it sounds like one of their better songs, given their releases so far. The chorus was decent and the following “Eh Oh Eh Oh” part was pretty cool. The piano instrumental introduction was intriguing, at first, leading onto what felt like a pretty standard instrumental overall. I think if the instrumental had some kind of punch to it, the song could have been much better. The vocals were okay but the star of the show was the raps, which gave the song a little more colour and energy.  Overall, they missed the mark in some areas but appeared successful in others.

I have to say that the video was fairly boring to watch. It features APINK’s Hayoung, who is the second APINK to feature in one of VICTON’s video (the first being Naeun). The video, itself, pretty much has been done before as well (but there is only so much you can do when touching on the same topic of breaking up). There isn’t much to talk about, in regards to the video. The only wow factor in this video was when the members were dancing in the pool of water, but as mentioned in some previous reviews, that has been done before as well.

The performance was good, borderline on weak though. It did suit the song but it just didn’t have that memorability element to it.

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

[Review] Chococo – Gugudan

Joining the long list of comebacks this past week is Gugudan with their latest song, Chococo. The sweet-filled comeback follows their Ice Chu unit promotions and the release of A Girl Like Me, at the start of the year. For this comeback, Soyee did not participate due to injury.

Chococo stands out for its addictive and catchy chorus. It is that one moment of the song that is constantly replayed in your head and this is an element that I tend to look for in a song. However, that chorus is not enough, in my opinion, to keep the song on my radar. The rest of the song feels borderline standard and that there didn’t seem much else going on in the song. I did like the bridge, though. But instead of being awesome and building up, the bridge of this song shows off some vocal flare. It also provided some relief between the choruses, which I guess is okay. Just by the time you get to the final chorus, you realize things do get a little repetitive in the song. The song does fit Gugudan’s image but I don’t think it really extends their portfolio out far.

The music video for this comeback steps into that weird domain. I normally joke about stepping into that weird side of YouTube through the recommendations on the side. Guess this video would fit into it quite well. It also sums up what happens when I don’t eat for 6 hours, I take bites out of my calculator and daydream about chocolate. Not sure about the explosion business at the end but my guess it shows the energy that they gained after having some chocolate. Meaning-wise, I have no idea. But the creative side of this video is pretty good. My favourite bit was how the members dress up as little Hershey kisses and start dancing.

Listening to the song, you expect they go down the cutesy route and that is exactly what we get. The performance was okay, just nothing too spectacular about it.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating –  6.5/10

[Review] Shall We Dance – Block B

Block B has returned with a brand new song, Shall We Dance, and mini-album, Montage. It has been almost a year since they last released a song (Yesterday) from the entire group and has been a while since we last saw them on stage. The group has been quite busy with overseas schedules and a number of releases in Japan.

Shall We Dance is a groovy track that attempts to get people up and dancing. I think it is safe to agree that I have not heard of a track like this at all in KPOP. It is different which attracts your attention and you end up giving into your curiosity to enjoy the track. That being said, its uniqueness is a highlight but it could be its downfall. It opens Block B’s portfolio to a wider range of music but it could also mean that many fans and listeners will require some ‘getting used to it’ time, which may or may not help them. But while those are concerns for the song’s performance, it is a lot different on a personal level. The track has its moments but it doesn’t feel like it is building up to much. Instead what we hear at the start of the song is basically the same thing through the rest of the song.  Probably the most interesting element was the vocals (such as those prior to the chorus), which contrasted nicely with the raps. The “Shall We Dance” chorus was also catchy enough to get me listening to the song. I think the foreignness of the track was just so overwhelming.

I like how the video is set in the backstreets or the abandoned areas. That, too, isn’t something you see that often in the music videos designed for the Korean audience. And it just felt like one underground party, where everyone is having fun. There was some seriousness in there but I think there were enough smiles to offset that seriousness (which was somewhat creepy). And Block B did a great job with fitting into the crowd with their hairstyles and outfits. Though there is one thing that I have to say. This mullet trend really needs to go.

Why am I somewhat surprised that they didn’t go for freestyle? While it was pretty nice to watch, asking the question “Shall We Dance” and going with a set routine is a little constricting, in my opinion. I personally think some freestyle flexibility would suit the song more.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Review] Dramarama – Monsta X

Monsta X has returned with their latest mini-album, The Code (album review coming soon). The title track of the mini-album is Dramarama. This is their first comeback since their release of the Summer single, Newton. This particular comeback was met with a speed bump, with Wonho missing out on the comeback showcase due to illness. But Wonho managed to pull through and promoted alongside the rest of the members for their comeback week.

The opening of the song was just a teaser to what was to come. Dramarama had an epic start, leading to another excellent song. The intensity of the song was just right. It didn’t feel over the top but it wasn’t underwhelming. The guitars in the instrumental were extremely catching. The vocals (starting off with that introduction) was extremely nice and showed off some technique which I don’t think the entire group has given to us yet. The chorus was pretty decent but I don’t think that was the standout of the song. I am completely drawn to the rappers in the song. Jooheon and IM do a fantastic job with their segments but the bridge of the song was definitely the amazing bit. It gave the song hype and built up perfectly to the final chorus. Dare I say that I think I found the best rap sequence for 2017? 

But what I think has got everyone talking is Monsta X’s video. It is set in the future (2047 to be exact) and time travel is possible then. And it seems like the way to get through time is by using old-fashion watches, which seemed to be outlawed in the 2047 society, judging by the AI voice in the background at the start. But some of the members end up with the watch. And it seems these members go back in time to specific points. Wonho goes back to a Kendo match, where he battled against Shownu. Kihyun goes back to when Jooheon was killed in a car accident (The Chaser vibes, anyone?) and Minhyuk goes back to when IM was killed.  I am not exactly sure what happened with the Minhyuk and Wonho scenarios but their attempts just didn’t work out. Kihyun, on the other hand, managed to swap places with Jooheon (with the help of Hyungwon, the mysterious and missing time traveller) and he ends up dying instead, as we don’t see Kihyun at the end when Jooheon appears in the broker workplace. A tad confusing but it sounds like a great storyline.

The performance was pretty nice. You could feel the seriousness and focus through their facial expressions. Once again, I don’t think the performance had enough to make it memorable. It isn’t that mind-blowing like their jacket routine earlier in the year with Beautiful.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10