[Review] WiFi – SATURDAY

SATURDAY made their return the other night with WiFi. This is a relatively new girl group, currently under SD Entertainment. SATURDAY currently has seven members including  They made their debut last year with Sion, Sunha, Haneul, Chohee, Ayeon, Yuki and Juyeon (Juyeon is a new member added this year after the departure of former member Chaewon). They made their debut with MMook JJi BBa back in July of last year and they also released a special Christmas album for the festive season.

WiFi is that cutesy song that reminds you of the work done by Crayon Pop when they were still active. It is an undeniably colourful track that speaks about sending love signals between themselves and their crush. It is a fun tune, filled with the cutesy repetition of the word ‘WiFi’ (which is actually growing heavily on me) and the use of a bazooka or some sort of instrument of a similar nature to get that fun yet intriguing sound in the instrumental break. I also like the mini shout of their group name in the song so they wouldn’t be forgotten. The vocals were good and I personally liked the rapping style for the rap sequence during the verses. As for the trap influence during the bridge, this causes the track to be similar to Boom Boom by Momoland and I am not sure what to think of this (apart from that the bridge does not go with the rest of the song). Overall, I like WiFi but not to the extent of other songs currently hot on the charts.

Once again, we see the low budget nature of the video based on the choreography shots with the window. We cannot blame them or their company for what they had to work with. But they could have gotten rid of those shots and stayed with the built backdrops they had for the rest of the video (which actually fitted the colourful nature of the song perfectly due to their use of colours). For the rest of the video, I liked how they made it look like they applied special effects (like the floating letters) and the cutesy nature of the video.

As for the performance, I thought it was rather good. I liked how they showed the WiFi hook by using the WiFi symbol. I also liked how bouncy the dance was, particularly during the chorus. My favourite bit would have to be during the pre-chorus, as their moves seem to be somewhat more mature and smooth.

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

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[Review] Cold – Key (SHINee) ft. Hanhae

It has been a while since I have reviewed an SM Station track, so it is time to get back to those very special singles and collaborations. This week, we have Key (from SHINee) gracing our screens and music apps with Cold. The song features Hanhae, a well-known South Korean rapper who actually enlisted into the military in the past week. Key previously made his solo debut at the end of last year with One Of Those Nights and you can read my review for his solo debut by clicking the link. But let’s continue on with the review for Cold.

Cold is an R&B track that feels reminiscent of the R&B sound that artists like Crush and Heize have released previously. The song doesn’t seem to be that memorable in my books. There are a number of reasons why I think that. Key presents us with a nice voice in the song but it isn’t as capturing as Heize or Crush’s husky or raspy tone when it comes to their own solo work. The instrumental feels very standard and doesn’t offer anything interesting. There is some soft electronic piano featured throughout the song which did make the song slightly appealing. But that wasn’t enough to really consolidate its overall appeal. It isn’t all bad news though as the song is still pleasantly sound and Hanhae’s rapping did attract some more attention towards the song. I wouldn’t mind listening to it every now and then. Just constant replaying will bore me out of it even more and I wouldn’t personally go out of my way to find the song.

The music video revolves around Key as an artist and that he has fallen in love with a certain camerawoman or director of the music video that he is shooting within the music video. I guess he becomes so invested in his interest that he forgets what is there for and continues to have the video filmed despite all the staff members cleaning up behind him. I thought that was an interesting way to show that his crush wasn’t interested. I liked how they shot everything used vintage cameras and the vintage filter that was applied to the scenes. I found that the music video was suitable for the song, overall but equally as dry as the song.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.4/10

[Review] Clock – Infinite

I previously mentioned in previous reviews that some male groups have reached the point in their careers where they need to enlist into the military. One of these other groups is Infinite. After last year’s comeback with Tell Me, leader Kim Sung Gyu enlisted in May. And it is expected that other Infinite members would follow this year. But before that, Infinite announced their return with a special single, Clock, which was previously performed at their fan meets at the end of the year. Unfortunately, Clock will not be promoted due to busy solo schedules but it still nice to get a new song from Infinite after a year’s absence.

Clock is a mid-tempo ballad that brings the best out of the remaining Infinite members. I am super excited for this track as I have always been a fan for Infinite’s ballads and this one does not deviate from that memory. The instrumental falls under the category of a soft rock track from what I can hear and it is a very good one. There is some slight reshuffling in this track to fit the missing presence of Kim Sung Gyu and former member Hoya. Myungsoo (or L) and Woohyun takes the reigns as the main vocalists, while Sungjong, Sungyeol and Dongwoo do all the rapping throughout the track. All handle their parts exceptionally well. I am particularly surprised by the rapping done by Sungjong, as I don’t think he has ever rapped before. I also enjoyed the harmonies that they all bring together. I don’t have much else to say regarding the song but wish to reiterate my first statement – it truly brings out the best of each member.

The music video shows the members either awaiting a phone call or waiting to make a phone call (I believe there may be a mixture of each). It doesn’t really show much else besides that. The song is about waiting to be reunited, so I guess the waiting around for a phone call (or waiting for the right moment to call) serves as a mechanism for a reunion in this video. It is a touching song and put together with this video and alongside their foreseeable future, it is even more touching. I am not totally into the hazy filter, however.

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

[Review] Twit – Hwasa (Mamamoo)

In the past year,  we have seen the Mamamoo members through multiple comebacks including Starry Night, Egotistic and Wind Flower. On top of that, we saw the members through solo songs on the albums released throughout the year and through solo works. Moonbyul made her solo debut with Selfish, which Wheein also made her solo debut with Easy. It is time we turn our attention to the maknae of the group, Hwasa, who recently gained attention for her sexy outfit on the MAMA stage. She made her solo debut today with Twit.

Listening to the song, I felt like the song was more suited for the Summer seasons. It is bright and upbeat, something you don’t get too much in these colder months (though Korea is fast approaching the end of the cold season). But that being said, it is a strong song suiting Hwasa’s image from the very second it started playing. The song shows how a person is calling themselves (and others) a dummy and twit for not being able to care for their respective lover. The instrumental is made up heavy beat and dramatic flair, offset by a light panflute that is played over and over again at consistent intervals. I find this to be very intriguing. Alongside the song, we get Hwasa’s raspy vocals that really adds another sound and texture to the song. I particularly like how she kicks her vocals up a notch via the bridge, which is where we get the vocal climax to the song. Overall, Twit is a nice song that showcases the strengths of Hwasa.

The music video opens up with the male actor trying to get the attention of Hwasa. While this does annoy her throughout the video, the guy ends up leaving her at the end of the video, making Hwasa the ‘twit’ of the video for disregarding her lover. Another take on the video (see the comment section for a more detailed explanation) is that Hwasa calls the male actor a twit for being too focused on her (the scenes throughout the video showcases Hwasa as the centrepiece (i.e.e she is the queen, all the guys are staring at her and she is uniquely confident). This causes the guy to become upset and leave Hwasa at the end, despite her best efforts of her showing him that she still cares for him. Throughout the video, we see shots of Hwasa being confidently sexy, which could be an indirect response to her recent controversy regarding her outfits at the MAMAs. Wheein also pops up in the video, where both Wheein and Hwasa are rubbing shoulders with each other. It is a very bold video, which I think suits Hwasa and the song very well.

We don’t see much of the choreography in the video. But from what I can see, Hwasa is going to be bringing sexy to the stage with this performance. On top of that, an element of fun may be present. We won’t know for sure until a live performance is available so I will be back when that occurs.
[Updated] She definitely brought her sexy game to the stage with this comeback. Though, I wasn’t as impressed with the choreography that was chosen for this comeback. It didn’t feel as enticing as I had hoped for, Her moves felt fitting with the song but I couldn’t help but describe the performance as mediocre.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 6/10 [Updated]
Overall Rating – 7.8/10 [Updated]

[Review] PIRI – Dream Catcher

Known for their horror theme comebacks (I previously formed video theory posts regarding their horror ‘Nightmare’ series featuring the music videos of Fly High, You & IChase Me and Good Night), Dream Catcher has made their horrifying return today with PIRI. This is the group’s first comeback since their What promotions back in Septemeber. Since then, the group made their Japanese debut with the Japanese version of What and also released another single (Over The Sky) for their fans in celebration of their 3rd year anniversary since debut.

PIRI, after a very quick Google search, is a Korean instrument made from bamboo,  which is often heard in Korean folk music. I am not 100% sure but it seems like PIRI opens up with a whistling sound, which I think could be an actual piri instrument. But it is used as a detail, on top of the group signature rock instrumental sound. It is another intense song that really showcases another powerful side of the group. I did like the moments where the rock instrumental was stripped away for a soft piano. But the best bit was when the instrumental went for a full rock out during the chorus. The vocals were superb in the song. But the rapping is what caught my attention, once again. We all know how good Dami is, as per the group’s previous comebacks, but Dami is joined by Gahyeon in this song and she gives Dami some competition. Overall, PIRI is another amazing song from the group.

I think of the reason why I am drawn to Dream Catcher comebacks is for the visuals. Sure, the song is always a selling point but to this date, no other girl group has attempted the horror concept to a successful degree. In this video, the group is trying to make their way out of the mansion and come across haunting corridors and objects. Connected corridors that lead to the same spot, creepy dolls that turn their heads by themselves, multiple ringing phones and ticking clocks and a TV that shows a second version of yourself. I find the contrast between the darkness in the plot scenes and the brightness form the choreography scenes very interesting for this video.

I thought the choreography for this comeback was quite cool. Dream Catcher always has fitting dance moves for their rock-influenced songs. I like the many waves they made during the verses and the introductory sequence looked really cool. I also liked the touch of power they gave during the chorus.

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

[Review] Wake Up – TST

There are many groups from smaller companies that just don’t the attention they deserve. Many of which releases amazing songs that deserve a place on charts but never get the chance. One of these many groups is TST (formerly known as TopSecret). TST has returned to the stage with Wake Up. This is the group’s first comeback since their amazing Paradise comeback last year. Once again, they have returned short with one member, as Wooyoung has taken some time off to focus on health recovery.

Wake Up is a very bright and youthful song. It is the type of song that makes you want to smile within the first few seconds of the song and the energy is quite appealing. It does fall under the category of a typical pop song but it is done in a way that leaves me wanting more. I really liked the instrumental of the song. It was slightly funky and had retro elements that remind me of what KPOP actually used to be.  Actually, the song reminded me of Infinite’s Man In Love and I think this song could have been part of Infinite discography. The vocal work for this track was pretty good. But it was the rapping was the highlight for me. The rapping here is definitely my preferred style and boosted the song’s appeal to a whole new level for me. Overall, Wake Up is a very energetic track that I will be continually returning to in the future.

The music video doesn’t have the same budget as some of the other music videos we have seen where the budget is obviously much higher. But they seemed to do a good job with handling that aspect. I am not sure if they actually built sets for this music video. In fact, the setting felt pretty much a contemporary art gallery. And I think is even more impressive than a high budget video if it is done right (and guess what, I think it is). I would have liked something more to really drive up the appeal of the video. But for something to fit an all smiling and positive energy song, this is already quite nice.

One could say their performance is fitting for the song. Youthful and fun. And I pretty much agree with that. But I can see the side of how it is quite cheesy and cliche. As a standard pop song, you would be constricted in terms of style and I guess this is what happened here. Maybe they could have gone for a more chill and laid-back approach.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

[Review] WANT – Taemin (SHINee)

Finally, after a year’s wait, Taemin has finally returned to South Korea with his second mini-album and title track of the same name, WANT. His last Korean comeback was back in 2017 with the sexy Move and Day and Night. But Taemin wasn’t completely absent from the scene in the year break from his solo Korean works. In fact, he participated in SHINee’s 10-year anniversary comeback last year and also released a solo album in Japan.

The first thing that popped into my head while listening to WANT was how perfectly suited Taemin was for this track. In fact, it fits extremely well into his portfolio of songs so far. It is a powerful track but the powerfulness into explicitly apparent. Instead, it takes a subtle approach, which is similar to what Move ended up demonstrating. Want has this element of funkiness to it, which I thought was alluring. The song is described to be ‘space disco’, which I think is a new genre to really discover. His vocals are amazing in this song as they sounded flawless throughout the track. My favourite bit has to be the peak at the very end of the bridge (and the end of the second verse). It caught me off guard as it doesn’t fit the atmosphere but it left an impression on me where I ‘wanted’ more of the song.

How aesthetically pleasing is this music video? I am extremely amazed at the quality and work put into this video. The song calls for an aesthetic video and that is what we definitely got. The video seems to play on temptation, which is essentially what the song is about. We got Taemin acting all sexy and homme fatale throughout the video as if he is tempting fans with his sexiness. The inclusion of snakes in the video hints back at the temptation of Eve. The sets were elaborate and looked breathtaking, especially that final choreography scene with the big screen behind him and the dancers.

The dance takes on sexy once again. It is what Taemin does best. His movements are rather sharp when needed but smooth when it is time to be tempting, which I think was quite fitting for this entire comeback. The dance looks quite complicated yet Taemin manages to pull it off effortless, especially during the choruses, which I quite liked form the music video.

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

[Review] DALLA DALLA – ITZY

The performance It is expected to be an intense year with new groups debuting from 2 of the Big 3  (YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. Note that SM Entertainment hasn’t confirmed any debuts as of yet). And kicking off this particular competition is JYP Entertainment, with their brand new five-member female group, ITZY. The group is made up of Yuna, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, Lia and Yeji. You may find Ryujin familiar as she earned first place in the MIXNINE survive show for the female side, while Chaeryeong would be familiar due to her presence of SIXTEEN. The group made their debut earlier today with DALLA DALLA.

DALLA DALLA is a hip-hop techno infused track that really grabs your attention for its trend instrumental from the very start. And I like this uniqueness about the track as it is something you haven’t heard in KPOP at all yet. And as expected, the song is very catchy with its addictive melody and lyrics just practically in front of you the entire time as you listen to the track. It is vibrant and it surely does pop from the rest of the competition. I thought the vocals were good, while the rap gave the song more intensity that I had expected. But that isn’t a bad thing as I thought it was cool. I also like their message of self-confidence in the lyrics. However, that ‘Keep your chin up. We got your back‘ line during the bridge felt too cheesy for this song. I had expected some sort of chanting as we progressed through the song but what we got didn’t fit the song’s vibes in the end. Apart from that, it is a fun song.

The music video is a good opener to really introduce the girls in a visual manner.  However, I couldn’t help but think how mediocre the entire video was when you reflect back on it. It just didn’t have any memorable moments. But I did like the graphics that were used for the different sets. I also liked their edginess, while keeping that direction that JYP girl groups tend to have (look at TWICE at the moment and Miss A’s earlier days).

The performance accompanying this debut is quite good. From what I can see in the music video, it is energetic, bold and well suited for the song. They also seem to go with some complicated moves, which I think looks good. I am excited to see the whole performance in full!

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

[Review] HALA HALA – ATEEZ

Last month, ATEEZ returned with their first comeback since their debut, Say My Name. As part of the teasing process for their comeback and second mini-album (album review coming later this weekend), the group had released a Performance Video for the track HALA HALA, which lasted 1:29 minutes. Now, almost a month later, the group has released a full music video (or another performance video) for entire HALA HALA track that was also featured alongside Say My Name on the Treasure Part 2: Zero to One mini-album.

I liked how the song first started off soft. Knowing ATEEZ and the tracks they have done so far, this softer start really creates a tense atmosphere. It gradually builds up, peaking off during the pre-chorus vocal part. Vocals here were superb and this showcased more of the group on that side of things. The chorus has one of those fake drops, which I think was an interesting choice and definitely gives the song some aesthetics. The rapping in the second verse and bridge was perfectly rough for the song. And I liked how they changed the final chorus up to really give the song that peak ending. I think the song was a really good track to follow up with. The hip-hop influence was strong and I felt like this further extends their potential. It isn’t your typical song, so I understand how this may not be for everyone. But for someone who is looking for a new group to follow, this song just solidifies the need to pay attention to ATEEZ.

I will be completely honest. The black outfits, along with the mask and wide brim hats really give me the creeps. It is actually quite mysterious. The same outfit appeared in the Say My Name video but I am still a little confused on why they don the outfit in the earlier video. They do take it off towards the end, showing a smear of blood on the corner of one of the member’s mouths, so I guess the idea of vampires has to be thrown into the possible theory mix. This video just leaves me with more questions. Apart from that, I thought the performance video was well put together.

I don’t know about you but I wanted more stomping in the performance. The song was perfect for just that. But everything else we got was equally as good. I really liked that slow fist slash that appeared during the first pre-chorus. I thought that was rather cool to watch. The chorus itself looked dynamic and the entire performance does a good job of showcasing their skills in dancing.

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

[Review] Why – Kim Hyun Joong

It has been almost 5 years since we last saw Kim Hyun Joong on the stage in Korea. But due to Japanese promotions and a number of scandals, he put his solo career on hold. On top of that, he also enlisted in the military and completed his duty in 2017. And now, he has returned with his new mini-album, New Way and the title track, Why. This is his first comeback since Beauty Beauty was released in 2014.

Why is a completely different sound to what Kim Hyun Joong used to release as a solo artist in the earlier in the decade. It is a vocally driven ballad. I personally did not expect this vocal style from him. Sure, I knew he could sing but not in this manner. The song gives off Roy Kim or John Park vibes, which I thought was a very interesting approach. I also liken his vocals to those artists. He doesn’t nail it perfectly but he is in that vicinity if we were to put all vocalists onto a spectrum of some sort. I liked the soothing nature of the ballad but I felt like the instrumental could have been a little bolder. I wanted a stronger orchestral touch to the song, which I think could have helped the song to sound more emotionally driven. Overall, Why is a nice song. It could have been more but it was still good nonetheless.

The music video was also quite interesting. We see Kim Hyun Joong and a female break up and they part ways. He spends a lot of his time walking in his chosen direction and this continues until the final chorus, to which he turns back and starts running in the direction of his former companion. But he lost her in the crowd and it comes until then that their relationship is no longer possible. The music video also features French (correct me if I am wrong) subtitles for all of the Korean that he sings but English subtitles when he sings words or phrases in English. Don’t really understand the point of that but thought it was intriguing. Another thing I noticed is that a lot of the people in the background are staring at him throughout the video. That has never bothered me before but I guess it is a lot noticeable due to the slow nature of the video.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10

[Review] We Must Love – ONF

After their release of an absolute favourite, Complete, ONF has returned with We Must Love, their latest title track. It has been 8 months since the release of the previous track, which has set the bar extremely high in regards to the high quality of the title tracks for the group. Since their last promotions, the group have been relatively quiet with the exception of their Japanese debut back in July 2018 with the Japanese version of On/Off.

We Must Love is not a relatively quiet song, however. In fact, it is a dance track with smashing instrumental. It doesn’t necessarily pop as much as Complete but it has a show-stopping chorus which I am already hooked to. The instrumental for the chorus is staggered in a way that is unique. It is quite profound and the combination with the vocals from the main vocalists definitely makes it a highlight. I also like the piano featured within the verses, which made them feel very different from the chorus. The vocals here are equally as amazing as the chorus. On top of that. I also enjoyed the squeaky post-chorus instrumental hook, which provided the song with energy. But my absolute favourite part of the song has to be the rapping. I thought the instrumental in this section was perfect. I really enjoyed the dramatic buildup and it really highlights the rapper’s voices. We Must Love is a must love song, based on how much I have enjoyed it so far.

I find the music video quite confusing as all the members are all over the place. And I think time travel might be an element within the storyline of the video. The members used to all be part of this group in this futuristic place. But one of the members (the guy wearing the aqua jumper) uses a wrist device to travel to a different time era, to which he runs into himself at the local train station, identifiable by the barcode tattoo. I assume the other members too travel to this other time period in search of the missing member but instead run into his old self, who doesn’t recognise them. That’s my take on the video but I am not too sure. It is still a good video with amazing scenery shot in the video. It is also filmed in Hue, a beautiful city in Vietnam.

Interestingly, the performance video for their comeback has already been released. This is highly unusual due to the fact that the performance video is usually released either a few days or weeks after the actual music video release. But this gives us a great insight into their performance, which looks amazing. The dance break looks really cool and the synchronisation of the performance really makes it stand out even more.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10

[Review] I Want To Say I Love You – IZ*ONE

What makes IZ*ONE unique,, in comparison to I.O.I and Wanna One, is that they incorporated trainees from Korea and Japanese members from AKB48. This allows the project group to debut in Japan, which their other Produce 101 counterparts have yet to do. And this event occurred last week with IZ*ONE making their Japanese debut with I Want To Say I Love You or Suki to Iwasetai. The actual song isn’t available until later this week but as the music video has been revealed in full, I thought we might as well have a closer listen/look at it.

My experience with the JPOP culture and industry is very limited. But Suki to Iwasetai does remind me fondly of the sounds and music that I commonly associate to mainstream JPOP, particularly girl groups. I don’t know how to exactly describe this particular JPOP sound, however, so that ends that observation. But I did like the piano and violins in the background during the chorus. Talking about the chorus, I also enjoyed the small blast of energy they give us.  I did think the vocals were nice. They didn’t seem as clear as their Korean releases but it works with this JPOP sound that I have linked to the song. And the combination of the vocals and instrumental does make the song quite catchy. There is a side to me where I think they could have gone beyond this but it was a good track to start off their careers in Japan, from what I know of.

The music video is the main element of this debut that I wanted to talk about. I really liked the colours in this video. The backgrounds and scenery the producer chose for this video was definitely a highlight of the video, as they looked spectacular. The cinematography also complimented the choreography and amazing scenery. I liked how that choreography scene with the light strobes was set up. Aesthetics through the roof. I also thought the landfill set looked really cool and pretty with the colours. But my question is – did they really film at a landfill site? But once again, aesthetics.

There might be two choreography version to this debut, which I think is really interesting. The first would have to be the one performed on the road, whilst the second one is with the long coats. And I thought both were equally cool looking and definitely left a longing impression of their style.

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

[Review] TicToc – NEONPUNCH

NEONPUNCH made their comeback yesterday with TicToc. This is the group’s first comeback since their debut single, Moonlight. Since then, the only major piece of news that has affected the group was in regards to Terry leaving the group for unspecified reasons. However, NEONPUNCH has been able to remain as a 5-member female group due to the addition of the Dohee this year.

The first thing that comes to mind when I listen to TicToc is that it is a rather fun song. There is no serious tone to the song whatsoever. Instead, it gets onboard the 90s train and really pops with its vibrant sound. I thought the ‘Na Na Na‘ was a very memorable part of the song and it definitely is my pick for the catchiest moment of the song. I thought the lead up to the chorus was quite nice and dynamic. The chorus was a little disappointed, as I expected something a little more loaded and energetic. But it was still good enough for the song. I thought the vocals were really nice on this track, going nicely with that said vibrancy. I think the song could have done with a longer and intensified rap sequence, as that could have kicked it up a notch. But I quite like TicToc as it is right now.

It seems like the main theme for this music video is time warps, as that is what we are thrown into at the very start of the video. Besides that, the emphasis is largely on clocks, which I think makes the most sense given the title. I liked how fast paced the scenes were in the video, matching the fast tempo of the song. I also thought many of the closeup shots made the members look pretty and highlighted their visuals.

I think the choreography during the ‘Na Na Na‘ part was really well done. It kind of has what it takes to be the next trendy move. As for the rest of the choreography, there really isn’t anything memorable to mention. It was nice but quite passable for the most part.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] No – CLC

Picked as the runner up for Most Underrated Artist of 2018 in the 2018 KPORPEVIWED Awards, CLC has returned with their latest single, No. It is featured on the group’s 8th mini-album, No. 1 (read as No One). After their amazing Black Dress release last year, I was wanting to hear more from the group. Today, it was revealed that the group was planning a comeback after Black Dress but that was ultimately cancelled. If their company could learn anything from their other groups, it should be that CLC will benefit from multiple promotional activities in one year. They deserve some attention for their edgy uniqueness.

And No is basically just that. I find it very edgy, which is in line with their more recent releases and it has this unique tone on to it, which I think draws listeners into the song. The song kicks off with a checklist, to which the members respond ‘No’ to. It is a very bold way to start the song and I quite like it. The chorus is the next best bit, with the “I Love Me‘ line quite memorable for me. The vocals are quite good. But I think the winning element, once again, is the rapping. It just works wonderfully in this track and it gives the edgy song even more edge! The instrumental reminds me of a confident model strutting their stuff on the runway. I attribute that to the deep bass in the background It also felt like it was Madonna or Kylie Minogue influenced as well. Overall, I thought No was that confident song that the group needed, especially following up from Black Dress. My only major complaint is that the song felt too short and that it went by too quickly!

Going back to how the song felt like a model strutting their stuff on the runway, it is the exact visual we get in the music video. I thought the video was quite powerful, especially when they came to the point of burning everything in the said checklist. I also like the coloured sets, which contrasted nicely with their black outfits (which added the edge to the video). I think they could have had more edge to the video (if I was going to be critical in any way) but what they did was pretty good itself.

The performance looked really cool. Not only does it feel 100% fitting for the song but they seemed to put their own modern take on some voguing in their routine. I thought that was cool. Of course, they do some strutting as well. I also like the sexiness they bring without it going overboard in any form.

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

[Review] Faker – LU:KUS

It is time for me to quickly write up another review for a release many days ago. Today’s focus will be on LU:KUS (formerly L.A.U), who returned with Faker on the 14th of January. Faker is actually a previous Japanese song of the group. It has also been a while since I last reviewed them for their comeback track, Break Ya. A lot has happened since then including the group moved companies, lost and regained their original name (hence why they promoted with the name L.A.U for a while),  had lineup changes and multiple comebacks that I have somehow all missed. Currently, they are a four-member group comprising of J.One, Donghyun, Kyungjin and Choi.

Faker is a mid-tempo dance track that uses guitars primarily in the instrumentation. I thought the use of guitar was very interesting as it manages to express the emotions from the lyrics quite nicely. I read somewhere that it sounds ‘tortured’ and I thought that was a nice way of describing the song overall. For those who don’t know, the lyrics are about not wanting to depart from a one-sided relationship. I personally like the chorus a lot. The song starts off quite acoustic but once the choruses come into play, they insert some energy into the song, contrasting in a memorable way. The melody was also quite catchy despite it being quite short and not that explicitly strong. I also liked the vocals and the raps in the song.  Putting my thoughts aside, I would understand why some people would not enjoy the song as it does lack an appealing element (i.e. it is quite plain). But I am on the side of the fence that hears the great execution of song, from its lyrics to its fitting atmosphere.

The music video managed to fit in a small plotline, alongside the use of those overused sets we see commonly in music videos. Two of the members, along with the lead actress, work together in a car garage that specialises in car tinting.  At the start, they seem to be shown as close friends. The two fall for her but she chooses to be with the grey-hair dude. This causes the other guy to become jealous, causing a rift in the three’s friendship. After a while, I guess they realized that their friendship is broken and they all trade in their rings, thus breaking their bond. My question is when did the black-hair guy get his ring? Slightly confused for that part but I thought it was still a good storyline to watch.

The choreography for this comeback looked quite fitting for the song. I did think it was rather weak at times but I am not too sure if that was due to the song. I really like the hand movement across the face when they sing ‘Faker” in the chorus, which kind of indicates a mask. I also like the post-chorus body roll that they remade.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

[Review] Only U – IMFACT

It is always disappointing to see persistent groups try so hard but not get far with their careers. One of these groups is IMFACT, whose recent music has grown to be favourites of mine (regardless of what I have written in their respective reviews). And now, the group has returned once again with a brand new single, Only U. This is their first comeback since their NANANA comeback in August of last year.

To me, Only U is in line with NANANA and The  Light, both of which were released last year. There is a westernised feel that makes IMFACT’s songs quite unique. Only U  is a very grounded deep house song. The instrumental does provide the song with a blank canvas despite it being a very familiar and standard tone. But it is the vocals and the rap sequences that act like paint strokes and making this song into a decent painting. Their vocals are quite nice, especially during the chorus. The ‘Only U‘ repetition packs a punch with some unique energy. I really like the hoarseness of the rappers’ voice, giving a really strong texture. But the best bit of the entire song has to be the bridge and onwards. The sudden focus on some nice singing and then the sudden flick towards the EDM buildup was actually a very attractive section. And finally, that soft ending contrasts interestingly with the rest of the electronic based song, which I also quite like. Overall, another great song from the group.

I am not exactly sure what the music video is about but it feels like IMFACT are the girl’s guardian angels, helping her and protecting her throughout the video. We can see what they are doing but she cannot – but she is able to sense them. At the end of the video, we see both parties (i.e. IMFACT and the actress) interact, which I guess is that she believes them to be her friends but she doesn’t not about their guardian position. My only issue with the video was the kitchen scene. An exploding pot of boiling hot water does not equate to a food fight. But that is me being picky.

I wanted them to have a more impactful routine, to match that drop we get in the chorus. Instead, I felt like the choreography ended up weak. There were good moves but I don’t think it was enough to really give that fitting feeling.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 5.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10