[Review] Bae – Hyolyn

Hyolyn made a surprise comeback with Bae. The announcement of this comeback was out of the blue as she only released See Sea a few weeks back. But I am not complaining because it isn’t Summer without a comeback from any Summer Queen and I will gladly accept multiple if the opportunity comes up.

Bae is another song to add onto the Summer playlist. It isn’t the most experimental or unique track, opting for a more traditional dance-pop style song featuring very Summery and vibrant instrumental. The song itself doesn’t take any moments to relax, going straight in with a consistent and energetic tune. And the consistency isn’t a flaw here,  with the song’s melody being a major driving force that made me enjoy the song.  The song didn’t feel repetitive whatsoever, which I thought was interesting, given how consistency tends to make songs repetitive. I think Hyolyn’s vocals make the song feel different during each section, as she fits perfectly into the song. No flaws or awkward moment presented itself making this another amazing track from the widely known vocalist. Her rapping was also quite unexpected but felt very needed halfway during the song, which gave the song a little texture. In summary, Hyolyn aced Summer, once again.

I saw a few articles today which described the music video was retro. And many elements within the video were quite retro. From the diner and the roller skating rink, that element is visibly present. However, what I liked within the video as well, was how well they made sure to emphasise that this is a video within the present time and that it was modern. I think that is partly due to the people within the video (including Hyolyn herself), who dressed in outfits that aren’t retro but more of this era. I thought that was quite cool and made the video quite nice, overall.

The choreography to this was quite nice. There isn’t a live performance but I would love to see her and the backup dancers perform at the bar, exactly like in the video. It looked awesome and is my pick for the best part of the dance. Furthermore, I thought her chemistry with all the dancers were quite nice, adding an extra element to the video.

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

 

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[Review] ‘Bout You – SUPER JUNIOR-D&E

With an impending comeback expected from the legendary Super Junior (with the return of Ryeowook, who recently came back from his military enlistment) very soon, Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk have returned as a subunit with ‘Bout You. The new song features of the unit’s second mini-album, which also shares the same name. This is the unit’s first comeback since their release of Growing Pains, back in 2015. They have been active in Japan since their return from the military in 2017, with their latest Japan comeback to be reviewed tomorrow.

‘Bout You is duo’s attempt of reinventing themselves to fit into the different music industry that they were last in. Even Super Junior jumped on board with the recent Latin-inspired sound with Lo Siento. ‘Bout You features a tropical inspired instrumental that fits perfectly into both the recent (and ongoing) tropical EDM influx and the Summer season that is supposedly wrapping up soon. And for the most part, the song is quite good. The vocals throughout the song were quite good and the rapping was quite decent. I liked the layering of the piano within the bridge, which was my favourite part overall. The chorus was pretty standard and doesn’t offer much of a hook to really get into. But that isn’t the thing that irks me. It is the fact that they used their autotuned vocal to provide some background effect to the instrumental. It just felt so dated and quite out of fashion, particularly the way they presented it. But overall, it was a good song.

Like most KPOP videos nowadays, they take the camera to the US for their music video. And while it is a Donghae and Eunhyuk music video, the way it was shot reminded me of the way Winner’s music videos are given to us. I am not too sure what the plotline of the video because it doesn’t really establish match except for she is a singer and Donghae warns another guy to not make any moves. Eunhyuk is a third wheel and part way through the video, the girl and Donghae kisses. I also thought the singing scene (where she gets on stage and lip sync to their song) really awkward.

The choreography also fits in with what seems to be on trend in the industry at the moment. The hammer hand dance makes an appearance, alongside the dab and other moves. Not that makes a bad video (their choreography isn’t too bad) but it does make them look like they are trying to fit in extra hard.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10

[Review] YA YA YA – MXM

I was not aware that MXM made their comeback yesterday. It did not appear in my subscription box at all and only saw their release while I was browsing Twitter in bed (Yes, I have a Twitter – Follow it here!). So apologise for this day late review. But MXM is officially back with their first-ever full-length album, More Than Ever, and the title track, YA YA YA. They previously promoted with Gone Cold and Diamond Girl earlier this year.

As soon as it starts, you will notice YA YA YA has a playful tone to it. I personally thought Diamond Girl was pretty playful but this song has a more light-hearted feel to it, which makes it likeable from the get-go. I like the brightness of the song, which aided in that light-hearted feel just mentioned. The song takes on a hip-hop sound. The instrumental is very typical but I liked how it doesn’t employ too many synths nor does it feel heavy. I liked the use of the pipes, which gave it an intriguing side. The rapping was quite good and the vocals were pretty nice. I particularly liked their ‘YA YA YA‘ hook throughout the song. It is plain and unimaginative but its simplicity makes it work and stand out. The odd sample of classical music (my brain isn’t registering what the piece is but it very familiar sounding) was a rather unexpected turn but it wasn’t necessarily off-putting. Overall, YA YA YA was a very enjoyable song.

The music video contains very cool graphics. I applaud the people behind this video because it looks very unique and cool. It gives a modern look to the video, despite it being shot on a basketball court and in plain coloured rooms. Besides that, it was a light-hearted video, fitting for the song. However, it lacks interesting moments, making it a tad dry after a few replays.

The performance was literally a massive smile from start to end. And that really makes you want to smile along to the song (and their performance). I feel like they could have put their backup dancers in something a little nicer than tees with the name of the song printed on it. The chorus showed cool footwork and I don’t think they rested one bit during the performance.

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

 

[Review] HANN – (G)I-DLE

Prepare yourselves as this year’s monster rookies are making their first ever comeback today. HANN, which translates to Alone, is the first digital single released by the girls. This comes after the group dominated charts with their debut track LATATA a few months back, which directed a lot of attention towards the group and earned them a very large following.

HANN is one interesting song. I think the expectation was for the group to come back with a similar track to LATATA to consolidate their following and position within the industry. So, it was a little shocking to hear a completely different sound. HANN is a lot less in-your-face that LATATA, opting for a melodic approach for their chorus. I personally do not find this song as catchy as the hook doesn’t seem to be that strong. But who knows, maybe the song will grow heavily on me as time passes. However, it is how exotic the song sounds that makes me drawn to the song. The track seems to be Latin-influenced unlike any other we have heard thus far. The verses had this tango vibe to it, which I liked. The rapping was awesome and the vocals were decent. I particularly like the verses, especially the way Soyeon started off the song (that tango vibe was amazing!). A little unexpected but still a decent step forward.

The first thing I thought of in this video was vampires. I liked the concept a lot and this is definitely an amped up version of Volume Up (by the now disbanded Cube Entertainment girl group, 4MINUTE). I like the dry setting where the video was set (though I am thinking it was shot in a studio – but it is the idea that counts). I liked the overload of charisma the girls had which really paid off, for me at least. Overall, the video showed off a very strong side of the girls without the need for a powerful song, which was something I liked.

The music video showed a few scenes of choreography, which I thought were quite good. Per usual, I liked how it was incredibly fitting for the song. There was definitely a consistent exotic vibe throughout their choreography, which they also had going on during their debut video. Might need to wait for a full performance but I think it is it going a smashing performance.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

 

[Album Review] Sensuous (5th Mini Album) – SF9

SF9 made their very impactful comeback two weeks ago week with Now Or Never. They have also topped the Weekly Music Charts post for this week (thank you for all the retweets and likes on Twitter! My phone wouldn’t stop buzzing this afternoon). Fun fact (and I am not making this up) but I actually planned to review this album prior to its release. I was so drawn to the album by just listening to the highlight medley.  I even fast-tracked the album review release, as well. Hence, why we are here today. Onwards with the review!

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Sensuous Album Cover

1..Now Or Never (질렀어) (Title Track)Click here to read the review for Now Or Never. (10/10)

2. Different (달라) – This is the type of sound that I associate with Summer when it comes to KPOP. It is a very upbeat, vibrant and colourful song that feels just right. And while the song isn’t as mind-blowing as the title track, the song does a good job of maintaining the same level of energy and power, which I think it totally awesome. The song features a catchy chorus and showcases really good vocals, as well. The rapping is also equally as good but I felt they were too short. (8.5/10)

3. Unlimited – The start of this song is a tad underwhelming, given how the song progresses. It feels like a start to a slow yet dramatic song, not an upbeat dance track. Once the song does pick up (mid-way of the first verse), I was very impressed with the quality and intensity of the sound. I personally liked the prolonged drop into the choruses. Once again, there was great vocals and raps. I did notice the bridge of the song featured the guitar instrumental that was heard at the start. While I thought it as a start was underwhelming, its presence within the song was more appreciated. Overall, another good song. (8/10)

4. Photograph – Following the characteristics of the previous tracks, Photograph also takes on a bright sound and is another dance track. It is the type of KPOP song that you listen to yet smile to because of its energy, despite not knowing what the lyrics mean. I didn’t like the slow down they used for the pre-chorus, which felt a little awkward for me. It just felt like something more towards the end of the song, rather than before a decent drop. The chorus, made up of the ‘My Photograph’ hook and the twinkling instrumentation, was also quite catchy and was my pick for the highlight of the song. Overall, it was still a decent song. (8/10)

5. Shadow – Interestingly enough, the album ends on a more serious note which was a surprise given their brightness level on the album so far. And that is also why the song stands out. The song also follows a different formula, opting for a dragged-out chorus consisting of the rapping only. It is a little different from what we heard so far, making the song unique and interesting. On top of that, the vocal and rap sequences outside of the chorus gave the song an extra punch of impact, which I thought was good. My most favourite part is the vocal/rap combo for the bridge, which really brought together. Overall, it worked really well and ended the album on a unique note. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

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Sensuous Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

 

[Review] Page 0 – Taeyeon (SNSD) & Melomance

SM Station is back and they are delivering us with songs from a brand new project known as Station x 0. While I am not sure of the difference between this project and SM Station itself, 6 new songs will be unveiled (starting today) of collaborations between various artists. We will see Chanyeol and Sehun from EXO collaborating with each other, Baekhyun and Loco releasing a track and a 4 member single performed by Red Velvet’s Seulgi, GFriend’s SinB, Chungha and GI-DLE’s Soyeon, just to name a few. However, kicking things off today is Taeyeon (from SNSD) and chart-topping duo, Melomance.

Their song is Page 0 and I am totally digging it. I thought they would go with some boring ballad route but their song ended up being very vibrant and cheerful, which I really liked. It can also be described as refreshing, which fits neatly into the Summer releases we have been getting. Melomance’s signature vocals to the song, which automatically lifts the energy of the song up. Taeyeon sounds amazing, per usual. I thought their harmonies were amazing throughout the song. I really like the keyboard in the instrumental, particularly the keyboard-only start for the second verse. The chorus was really catchy, making me sing along within the first few listens of the track.

The song shares one simple message, to take on the world as it is your own life. And that is what we are shown here. It shows people comfortable in their own skin, regardless of whoever they are. And I think that is something we are all striving to do, making sure the world is a better place for everyone. For that, I think it is a really beautiful video. I like how the video makes your smile, which goes well with the sound of the song, overall.

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

 

[Review] Woo Woo – DIA

DIA joins the Summer comeback rush with a brand new mini-album, Summer Ade. Featuring on their 4th mini-album to date is the title track Woo Woo. The group was previously meant to make their comeback last month but ultimately delayed it to August to ensure a higher production quaility. This is DIA’s first comeback since Good Night was released and the departure of Eunjin. Some of the members of DIA also participated in The Unit, with only Yebin making into the project group, UNI.T.

Woo Woo is a very Summery song with the instrumental providing a very refreshing feel. Initally, I thought the song was quite boring. However, within a day, I can say it is quite catchy and can potentially become addictive. It isn’t their strongest release to date but it does a good job trying to catch up to their strongest release (Can’t Stop). I thought the chorus had a nice melody and the ‘Woo Woo‘ hook was really cute. On top of that, I really liked the vocal sections of the song, which were quite itneresting section. I thought the rap sequence was rather dry but did like the incorportation of Lee Hyori’s famous line of ‘Just One 10 Minute‘ from 10 Minute. Overall, I thought the song was good and as I said, I think the song has potentially to be replaying in my head (it has already started).

When you think of Summer, you think of the beach. And that is what the video starts off with. There seems to be a mini competition embedded in the music video where you have to find some items (like a scavenger hunt). Something similar popped up in Momoland’s BAAM but I don’t there were any prizes invovled. It progrsses into a very typical music video shot on sets we have seen many times and the overall feel doesn’t relly allow it to be differentiated much. There were a number of cute scenes that I thought were nice, such as the hiding from pizza scenes at the end. I am a tad confused with the ringing telepohone at the end. But other than that, it was a fair video.

I thought the choreography for this comeback was quite nice. It falls into the cutesy category but it works well with the song, especially the moves for the hook. Furthermore, I really thought the dance break was really cool.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10

[Album Review] Ride On The Wind (3rd Mini Album) – KARD

I usually publish my album reviews on Thursdays and Sundays. However, I am a day late due to the release of the Dream Catcher music video theories yesterday. Today’s album review will focus on KARD’s recent comeback and Ride On The Wind. The album cover, shown below, is probably my pick for one of many unappealing covers to do date. It looks so plain and the image of them looks like it was just pasted on it. But we are not here to talk about the album cover but rather the songs on the album. So let’s get going! (Per usual, I have left off their Humming introductory track).

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Ride On The Wind Album Cover

2. Moonlight – What this song does nicely show a fair amount of contrast between the female and male members of the group. Jiwoo and Somin have higher pitch vocal parts which pair well with the usual deep tone of BM and J.Seph. I like how it is very easy on the ears as the song relies on a softer instrumental, compared to their past releases. I have to admit the song does lack something, which I cannot determine the nature of. I feel like with an additional element, the song could have been kicked up a notch. Also, I felt the song was repetitive but it wasn’t too bad. (8/10)

3. Ride On The Wind (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Ride On The Wind. (8/10)

4. Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Like the first song, Somin and Jiwoo had their parts at a higher than normal pitch and the male members had their usual rap. What is different, however, is the amount of energy that comes from this track. It makes the song so much more comfortable. Not saying that the first song was uncomfortable but the feeling is so much more present here. What also draws my attention (and possibly everyone else’s) to the song is the autotuned ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ line just before the chorus. I thought it was rather cool and makes the song quite addictive. I also liked how the ladies added their own twist to that same line at the end of the song, which gave us a little something different at the end. (9/10)

5. Dimelo –  Dimelo means ‘Tell Me’ in Spanish. And it is a good song overall. However, it was very typical for the most part. And it would have remained typical if it didn’t include that really uncomfortable high pitch synth which can be heard during the post-chorus/second verse rap. The vocals and raps were decent. Just that one synth could have been forgone. Besides that, there isn’t much else to talk about. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Ride On The Wind Teaser Images

[Review] favOriTe – LOONA

For me, LOONA is now the most anticipated debut of 2018. So I am a little disappointed with the fact that this isn’t a debut but rather a pre-release or taster to what is about to come. For those who do not know LOONA, they are an 12 member girl group who spent the last 2 years releasing solo tracks and subunit mini-albums, whilst also building up hype to their end-goal, their debut.

favOriTe is the title of this pre-release single and it is going to knock your socks off. It is an interesting yet very jam-packed song, featuring what I would call an intense instrumental. I am not sure how to exactly describe the instrumental besides a cluster is synths that work extremely well together. I think each section (minus the pre-choruses) have something different within them, which in turns prevented the song from becoming repetitive, which I was slightly concerned about. For example, the second chorus featured the high pitch screeching (which resembles mosquitoes for me, hahaha…), whereas the first chorus didn’t. While we are on the topic of the instrumental, the very start felt like it was a throwback to a number of the solo releases, with a very LOONA sound being heard. Vocally, the song was quite good. I did expect more rapping though, given the intense nature of the song. I also found the song very easy to get into, which should be hard given the number of synths featured. But hey, if they managed to make it easy on the ears, imagine what else they can do.

The music video was mainly choreography shots in an abandoned warehouse and a number of closeup shots in a grayscale filter. Not a bad video for a pre-release. If I was to be critical, their outfits look very plain and poorly chosen for this video. Sure, they have that supposedly cutesy and youthful side but the song calls for something edgier.

The choreography was amazing. Really enjoyed all the sections that I saw in the music video. The most favourite part was the dance break, which definitely added more of that edge to the performance than any other section. I would like this to be performed on stage (But I believe this was already performed on stage before but I like to see it in more HD – with fan chants).

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

[Review] Power Up – Red Velvet

With the major success of Red Flavour last year, it was expected that Red Velvet would make another Summer comeback. And today, the girl group released Power Up and their newest mini-album, Summer Magic (which also features the English Version of Bad Boy – their previous 2018 comeback). And in a matter of hours, the song had already topped charts, reconfirming their status as a popular girl group and potentially the next Summer queens.

Power Up is a very upbeat and brightly filled Summer pop track. That being said, the song felt very  typical. It might be because I haven’t really caught onto the song, as I do acknowledge that it has a cool hook (the ‘Ba Banana Ba Ba Banana nana‘) which I can see growing on me within a few days time. The verses and chorus don’t really have that memorability factor that most KPOP songs are known for. I did notice that the instrumental didn’t change-up as much, which may contribute to the lacking feeling I felt.. However, I do find some moments that I really like. For example, the pre-chorus. vocal work and the rapping were all promising segments of the song. And the previously mentioned hook as well. At the moment I feel like I am on the fence with this song. But knowing me, it will grow on me a fair bit.

The visuals for this comeback are really good. Like all Summer comebacks, the colours in this video are extremely vibrant. They went with pastel shades of each colour, which gave the video a very retro feel. I like how they presented the heat in the music video, shown by the melting props (done through editing). It looked cool and I thought it was rather interesting. And it is also rather different to see the members outside for once, as it felt like it has been a long time since we have seen them outside for a music video.

The performance looked quite nice. Very fitting for the cutesy concept you can say they approached with their comeback this time around. The chorus choreography was also quite good. Overall, I liked the looks of the performance.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Review] My Pace – Stray Kids

Stray Kids are back with their very first comeback since their debut, District 9, in April this year. My Pace is the name of the title track for their second mini-album, I Am Who, which follows in the footsteps of their rap-heavy and hip-hop dominated debut track. In between the promotions for District 9 and My Pace, the group also followed up their debut promotions with Mirror (a single from their first mini-album).

From the very start, the one word that can describe the song very accurately is ‘energetic’. There is no moments in the song that felt it lacked energy or intensity, for that matter. And that makes it a perfect fit for the most active season of the year. Even the start of the song, the rough and deep ‘NaNaNaNa‘ by Changbin really grabs your attention and kicks the song off with a punch. The rapping in this song continues this momentum with the vocals giving a moment of relief from the punches we keep on getting. The chorus was very simple but works extremely well with the rap heavy side of the song. I really like the very heavy-handed approach on the instrumental which basically goes back to that energetic aspect of the song. My most favourite part was the suspense filled launch into the final chorus which just nudged the song along that bit further. Overall, the song was awesome and impactful.

The various scenes that make up the video are stringed together so well that it made the music video feel that much edgier when paired with the song. I liked how the camera shots got up close and personal with the members, giving us different angles that we don’t see so much of today. The uNDerground street racing concept was really good as well, fitting both the song and their image. Not too keen on the random break we got just before the bridge, because that cuts the energy. But other than that, a really good video.

The choreography reminds me of Block B. Maybe because it has that wild side that I do recognise from the senior boy group. And like the song, the performance does pack a punch, leaving us energy depleted (because listening to an energetic track and watching a very active performance is really energy draining!) and wanting more.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Album Review] Sunny Summer (7th Mini Album) – GFriend

Two weeks ago, GFriend made their Summer comeback with Sunny Summer. The song features on the mini-album of the same name. Interestingly, the mini-album is also marketed as the girl’s 1st Summer mini-album, which alludes to the fact that there may be more in the future, which definitely sound very interesting and super exciting. But today, we are here to delve a little more into their Sunny Summer mini-album, so let’s just do that!

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Sunny Summer Album Cover

1..Sunny Summer (여름 여름해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Sunny Summer. (7.5/10)

2. Vacation – Fitting neatly into the Summer theme of the entire mini-album, the song starts off with sounds you would commonly associate with the beach. It develops into a very bright song and it is the type you expect to be the soundtrack of a holiday music video that KPOP does a fair share of. It is a catchy and lively song, especially with the cute way they spell out the word ‘Vacation’ at the end of the choruses. It also features nice vocals which makes it a very pleasing song. (7.5/10)

3. SweetySweety has a pop sound but it features a very quirky instrumental that is full of various synths and effects that really make it different. These differences occur at varying tempos allowing for a different atmosphere to be present in almost every different section of the song. I must admit the chorus was a letdown, as I didn’t mind it that memorable/catchy. So the saving grace for this song was the instrumental. Vocals were good, overall. (7/10)

4. Windy Windy (바람 바람 바람) – Initially, the song started off with a soft sound but within seconds the song transformed into this upbeat sound. It did end up feeling like a typical pop song from a girl group but there was an unknown element that managed to make it one of the better songs on the album. I did like the melody of the song, but I found the chorus to be quite masked and mashed into the verse, which was a little confusing. Once again, I liked the vocals and really liked the transition between the bridge and final chorus of the song. (8/10)

5. Love In The Air – I think the girls saved the best for last. I really enjoyed how smooth the song was and how it managed to flow overall. There is a nice melody and the instrumental made the song feel promising. It became quite dynamic towards the end (with a number of synths/effects to give texture but maintaining that smooth element. The vocals also contributed to this smoothness, which made it quite memorable. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10

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Sunny Summer Teaser Image

[Review] SEE SEA – Hyolyn

It was expected that we would see Hyolyn back on stage during the season of Summer, given how her former group had a really grand reputation for Summer releases and how Summer will be able to give her the opportunity to show off some of her sexiness. She returns with See Sea, which was released mid-July. Hyolyn ends her three singles project with this release (the other two singles were To Do List and Dally).

See Sea is another Summer song released that really grabbed my attention (just don’t ask me why it took me a number of weeks to actually write the review). To me, I don’t think this falls into the broad genre of KPOP. Instead, I personally think the sound falls neatly into the Western market. There is something about it that makes it feel very distinct and refreshing from the usual Summer songs that we get. I am not too sure about what that ‘something’ is but whatever it is, it is doing its job. I really like the chorus, which was quite addictive. The way she sang her lines during the chorus left an impression on me. It was quite melodic but that was delivered through her vocals rather than the instrumental (which was borderline typical for me). The pre-chorus/buildup was awesome as well. Overall, I like the song quite a bit.

The music video was very typical for a Summer release. There was a lot of focus on Hyolyn, who showed a fair bit of skin in this music video (but I am not complaining!). There were also some nice shots of scenery (with Hyolyn) in them which felt very urban. Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like Hyolyn filmed this video somewhere in the US (most likely LA or Hawaii). The video does a good job of reflecting Summer but I am sure she could have avoided the typical route.

The performance was quite captivating. It isn’t an overtly sexual performance, which Dally touched upon. Instead, the performance was quite smooth and I liked the tone down touch fo sexiness. Her use of Western backup dancers confirms the Western influence on the comeback, which I don’t mind.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] When It Rains – BTOB-BLUE

BTOB-BLUE has finally returned with a brand new single titled as When It Rains. The subunit, which comprises of BTOB’s vocalists, made their subunit debut in 2016 with Stand By Me. While it has been two years since their last release, BTOB’s comeback have proven to be quite popular with Movie, Missing You and this year’s Only One For Me topping the charts.

When It Rains taps into a under appreciated treasure chest. While we do get a fair bit of amazing vocals from the vocalists when they perform as BTOB, you don’t get too many heartfelt vocals. When It Rains allows this to occur and it makes the song quite strong. The song, for the first verse, second verse and first chorus, remains very linear like most ballads. They do push a bit during the first chorus but it isn’t that spectucalr to really dwindle on. But it is the entrance into the second chorus that really comes out of nowhere for me. And it is this section that really grabs my attention. And I like how they maintain this energy through to the end of the song. I like the background vocals and the instrumental, which does get me swaying along to the song. Overall, I think it is a really good song that protrays their vocals in a very good light, which didn’t really occur in their debut track.

The music video opens up on a rainy day with Hyunsik getting ready before the sun rises in his cafe. Throughout the video, we see the rest of BTOB-BLUE go about on their day on the rainy day. There is a lot of staring into the sky and rain, which works well with the song. Interestingly, at the end of the video, we are shown that all the members are converging to the cafe, which is where they all work. I think this was a very interesting plot-twist. I do like how they manage to cut the sadness from the song when they interact together at the end, which was nice.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] Killing Me – iKON

It is rare for a YG group to make multiple comebacks within a year. IKON actually acknowledged this in an interview today. But it seems like YG Entertainment has finally allowed their groups to fully take on the industry with comebacks within months of each other. IKON returned at the start of the year with Love Scenario and Rubber Band. And within 5 months, iKON has returned with their 1st mini-album and the title track, Killing Me.

The song took me by surprise. Not in the sense where I was caught off guard by the style of song but rather how the instrumental just creeps up at you. The song opens up with a very minimal instrumental and it slowly builds up. The buildup isn’t anything that special taking on a more typical approach. However, once the chorus drops, we get this funky concoction that draws your attention in and delivers an impactful blow of addictiveness to your ears. And it is this chorus that really holds me in my seat for the entirety of the song. The vocals were really good and the rapping was superb. The ending feels more like a club and anthem vibe combined together and I think this makes the song feel a lot like iKON’s usual sound. Overall, I thought the song was amazing.

YG Entertainment always releases high-quality music videos. So expectations were quite high for this video. But out of all the music videos I can think of, this one feels the most typical of a KPOP music video. There aren’t any elaborate sets that really make you go wow. And there are no really smart shots or amazing editing that grabs my attention. So I am a little disappointed. I did like the camera work, with the more upbeat parts getting the shaky camerawork whereas the rest of the video gets smoother camerawork.

The performance looks good, from what I can see in the music video. I don’t think there was a live performance yet, as the song just came out. I particularly like how the choreography for the chorus goes as it channels the change of energy quite well. It is a complicated drop but the simple change in the choreography was definitely impactful.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] SoulMate – ZICO (Block B) ft. IU

This is probably the collaboration of the century. Zico is a very well-known producer known for his chart-topping hits such as I Am You, You Are Me and Boys and Girls. IU is the digital queen, with all her songs taking over the charts as soon as they are released. So it was no surprise that their collaboration rose quickly to the top of the charts. And that is why we are here today – to review this highly anticipated (yet very unexpecting) collaboration.

SoulMate begins with the vocals of both collaborators. Zico’s vocals seem to change a little each time, complimenting the style of the song. IU’s signature husky vocals are definitely impactful here. Together, there is this extremely smooth feel. The instrumental has this subtle jazz vibe, which was nice. I liked how despite the song being notably Zico (as he produced it), it could easily have slipped into IU’s albums. Zico’s rap was nice and I liked how IU sang along with some of the rap lines. The choruses wasn’t that memorable in my opinion, however, it reminded me of Spring, which is fast approaching. My favourite bit of the song was the bridge, where both singers seem to push themselves a little further, allowing that section of the song to resonate with me. Overall, the song does really speak volumes when you listen to it as a whole and with this quality of music, it is no wonder why they always top charts.

While this may look like the longest elevator wait ever, you all should come to my university. You will be able to replay the song a few times before any elevator opens up. Putting that aside, I thought the video was a nice way of presenting the idea of finding soulmates. I liked the small cameo that Crush made, with this blue hair being a very obvious giveaway (I know he recently returned but I couldn’t think of anything regarding his song). I was also surprised as both artists appeared in the video, which isn’t a usual case for some collaborations (i.e. one artist is usually absent).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Review – 8/10