[Special Review] Piece of BTOB

With BTOB making their return in a week or so, I thought it would be nice to take some time to look at some of their solo tracks that they have been releasing since April. Piece of BTOB is a project where each member released a song each month (or so). While I could have reviewed the songs as they were released, I decided one massive post once all the songs are out. And without further ado, here are the short reviews for all of the Piece of BTOB project singles.

At The End – Changsub
(Release Date: 24th April 2017)

changsubatthend

To start off this review, I have to declare that this is my most favourite single out the entire project. Despite this being out for longer, the pop-rock track is extremely addictive after just a few replays. I love the build-up in the background with the instrumental. But it is Changsub’s vocals that make me come back for more.

Fancy Shoes – Ilhoon
(Release Date: 30th May 2017)

ilhoonfancyshoes

Ilhoon brings his signature raps to the table with Fancy Shoes. And we know how good he is, given his track record through the many BTOB releases. But it seems like I am the only person who thought the song was a little disconnected. Like the instrumental and Ilhoon’s rap doesn’t seem to go with each other. Compared to the other songs, I just didn’t feel a connection to the song.

That Girl – Peniel
(Release Date: 27th June 2017)

penielthatgirl

Out of all the members, I wanted to listen to what Peniel would release, mainly because there has never been a chance for the rapper to shine in the main title tracks. That Girl is entirely in English (yes, I can finally understand) and it was a catchy track to fit in the Summer season. I was caught off guard when Peniel went into the chorus singing, as we know him to be a rapper. He has pretty good vocals and it gave the song that refreshing feel.

Swimming – Hyunsik
(Release Date: 24th July 2017)

hyunsikswimming

The ‘Alternative’ genre is very rare in KPOP, but it does exist. And since it has been a while, Hyunsik’s Swimming is a very fresh sound. The alternative rock sound makes the song implant the feeling that you get when you float on water into your mind. It is almost dreamy. I have only stumbled upon Hyunsik’s vocals more recently and this song just further proves his vocals skills to me.

Purple Rain – Minhyuk ft. Cheeze
(Release Date: 10th August 2017)

Minhyuk’s solo is the only release that has a featuring artist, Cheeze, who brings her husky vocals to the song. Minhyuk does a mixture of singing and rapping, which does sound awesome. Paring the two together, you get quite an intense track. Cheeze brings an emotional sound, while Minhyuk brings intensity. Personally, the track was quite good but it just doesn’t have that addictive nature, like other ballads in this mix.

Paradise & Tell Me – Sungjae
(Release Date: 30th August 2017)

sungjaeparadise

Paradise is an upbeat love confession type of song, which I think fits Sungjae’s personality nicely.  The sound just feels very cheerful and bright, something that you come to associate with Sungjae. His vocals just don’t stand out in the song. The more emotionally centred ballad, Tell Me, seems more suitable for his vocals. It is the song type that gets you swaying alone, which is something I like I lot in ballads.

One Day & That Time – Eunkwang
(Release Date: 19th September 2017)

eunkwangoneday

Ending the entire projects is Eunkwang, tackles the very big feat with two ballads. That Time is a spectacular ballad that drew my attention with Eunkwang’s vocals and the impactful instrumental. It ticks all the right boxes in my books for a great ballad! Especially, the choruses which blow me away each time I  listen to the song. One Day seems to replicate that exact same feeling, despite it having a different melody and sound. The chorus is equally as impactful and Eunkwang’s vocals are just spot on.

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[Special] Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2017

Can you already believe it? That we are already in July. Half the year has gone by and it felt like a blur. A lot has happened in the last 6 months that has just past. So, as a treat, I have decided to compile a list (my top 10) of the songs from the first half of 2017. There is no ranking or charting system that has allowed me to come up with this list (though, you might notice it may correspond with the Weekly Charts that I publish every Sunday). This is all just my personal preference and it is simply my opinion. So, in no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 10 songs from the 1st half of 2017.

Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen

Hwi Hwi – Laboum

Never Ever – GOT7

Beautiful – Monsta X

I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Don’t Recall – K.A.R.D

Beautiful – Pentagon

Hobglobin – CLC

Dance Dance – DAY6

I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

 

 

[Special] Number 1 Songs from the First Year of Charts

It’s already been a year since I started the charts! That’s crazy! I know it isn’t the most popular part of my website, but I find it fun to write about each week and some of you guys seem to like it as well, so I guess it is going to be sticking around for some time. But to celebrate the 1st year of the charts, I have decided to compile all of the number 1 songs into one list. You may notice that the first 11 weeks (which I will indicate with an asterisk) were never published but rather we trials. But I kept all the data anyway, so I will also publish those. I also have linked to the appropriate week’s chart (click on the numbers). So without further ado, let’s go down memory lane!!!

Dynamite – VIXX
(3rd* Week of April 2016)

Pretty U – Seventeen
(4th* Week of April 2016; 1st*, 2nd* & 3rd* Week of May 2016)

Windy Day – Oh My Girl
(4th* Week of May 2016)

L.I.E – EXID
(1st* Week of June 2016)
(3rd* Week of June 2016)

Stalker – U-KISS
(2nd* Week of June 2016)

I Like That – Sistar
(4th* Week of June 2016)
(5th* Week of June 2016)


Very Nice – Seventeen
(1st Week of July 2016)
(2nd Week of July 2016)
(3rd Week of July 2016)
(4th Week of July 2016)
(1st Week of August 2016)

Aing~ – Oh My Girl
(2nd Week of August 2016)

Fantasy – VIXX
(3rd Week of August 2016)

Shooting Love – Laboum 
(4th Week of August 2016)

Secret Time – Spica
(5th Week of August 2016)

Secret – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
(1st Week of September 2016)

Carnival – Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
(2nd Week of September 2016)

Bobby Doll – Song Ji Eun (Secret)
(3rd Week of September 2016)
(4th Week of September 2016)

Hard Carry – GOT7
(1st Week of October 2016)
(2nd Week of October 2016)
(3rd Week of October 2016)

The Rain – Ladies Code
(4th Week of October 2016)

Very Very Very – I.O.I
(1st Week of November 2016)

Decalcomanie – Mamamoo
(2nd Week of November 2016)
(3rd Week of November 2016)


Last Dance – Big Bang
(1st Week of January 2017)

I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
(2nd Week of January 2017)

Mysterious – Hello Venus
(3rd Week of January 2017)

Hobglobin – CLC
(4th Week of January 2017)
(2nd Week of February 2017)

Don’t Say No – Seohyun (SNSD)
(1st Week of February 2017)

Spring Day – BTS
(3rd Week of February 2017)

Don’t Recall – K.A.R.D
(4th Week of February 2017)
(1st Week of March 2017)

Fingertips – GFriend
(2nd Week of March 2017)

Never Ever – GOT7
(3rd Week of March 2017)

Plz Don’t Be Sad – HIGHLIGHT
(4th Week of March 2017)

I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day
(5th Week of March 2017)
(2nd Week of April 2017)

Beautiful – Monsta X
(1st Week of April 2017)

Hwi Hwi – Laboum
(3rd Week of April 2017)
(4th Week of April 2017)
(1st Week of May 2017)

Dance Dance – DAY6
(2nd Week of May 2017)

Shangri-La – VIXX
(3rd Week of May 2017)

Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen
(4th Week of May 2017)
(5th Week of May 2017)
(1st Week of June 2017)

Happy – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
(2nd Week of June 2017)

Remember – Nine Muses
(3rd Week of June 2017)

What’s My Name? – T-ARA
(4th Week of June 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute To Sistar #ThankYouSistar

Many groups are sadly leaving and disbanding. It will obviously never be the same without these groups. I previously did goodbye posts for some of the bands disbanding. However, I am quite unhappy with them and have decided to redo them. It will take time but you can expect them soon. Essentially, I have decided on a short reflection and then will rank all their title tracks in order of preference, along with some non-title tracks.

But enough with other groups. This post is about Sistar and their amazing 7 year run! The girl group comes from Starship Entertainment and made their official debut in 2009 with Shady Girl. Throughout the seven years, the group became known for their Summer time comebacks, with many fans saying Summer is incomplete without a Sistar comeback. To know that in the future, we will never see a Summer comeback from the 4 girls (Bora, Hyorin, Soyu and Dasom) ever again, it does dampen your day quite a bit. Personally, I am a fan of the group for their bright and catchy songs. But I also love their more sexy and femme fatale sound, as well. While I don’t enjoy their earlier stuff, Sistar has come a long way with their music. As individuals as well, their solo careers have become very big topics. We all know Hyorin’s capabilities as a soloist, Soyu with her collaborations and Dasom and Bora for their acting careers. So its safe to say that while Sistar is breaking up (:() , we can still see each member doing their own thing in the future!

We can’t talk about Sistar’s career without talking about their amazing discography. 2 full-length albums, 4 mini albums, multiple singles and multiple collaborations. Talking about albums, I always wanted to do an album review for Sistar. And since I started doing them this year, I was awaiting a comeback from the girls. But now, I guess I need to spend sometime and revisit some old albums.

Below are my TOP 10 songs from SISTAR alone! It’s not influenced by any reviews or any other person. Just my honest and biased opinion!

  1. Give It To Me (2013)
  2. Shake It (2015)
  3. How Dare You (2010)
  4. I Like That (2016)
  5. Loving You (2012)
  6. I Swear (2014)
  7. Alone (2012)
  8. Touch My Body (2014)
  9. So Cool (2011)
  10. Push Push (2010)

There are many other songs that I liked from the girls that were not promoted in anyway. They include (in no particular order):

  • Crying (released in 2013, as part of their second album, Give It To Me)
  • Lead Me (released in 2012, as part of their first mini album, Alone)
  • String (released in 2016, as part of their fourth mini album, Insane Love)
  • Holiday (released in 2012, as part of their Summer special album, Loving U)
  • Ok Go! (released in 2014, as part of their second mini album, Touch N Move)

Within Sistar, they have a subunit named Sistar19, which features Hyorin and Bora. While the future of this subunit is unclear, I had to mention them and their songs:

And that’s all for this short and probably badly written tribute. As I mentioned previously, I am a fan of Sistar and it doesn’t sit right with me that I am not making some sort of tribute for the girls. I always enjoy listening to them. Every now and then, I spend some time out of my day and have a Sistar listening session. Why? Because their songs are too good! I wish the girls the best for all their future endeavours.

I will shortly be posting a review for their final single as a group. And I will be looking forward to their upcoming final stages together. But in the meantime, do check out that final song, Lonely, which was released today!

#ThankYouSistar

Farewell Wonder Girls

Towards the end of last month, it was officially announced by JYP Entertainment, that the Wonder Girls would be disbanding. Another major girl group a few years back would be leaving us. The girls had decided to go their separate ways, despite reports of the girls searching for a new company. Ye-Eun and Sunmi both left JYP Entertainment, while Yubin and Hyelim decided to go on with the company.

This is another farewell post for another amazing girl group. We said goodbye to 2NE1 just last month. We said goodbye to 4Minute last year and now we have to say goodbye to Wonder Girls. It is no doubt that their presence within the industry is large and that they will not be forgotten.

Wonder Girls made their debut on the 13th of February 2007 with Irony. The lineup then included: YeEun, Sunye, Sohee, Hyuna (now former 4Minute member) and Sunmi. After their debut, Hyuna was withdrawn from the group and their company added Yubin to the lineup. The group went on to release Tell Me and So Hot (alongside some other songs).

It wasn’t until Nobody in 2008 that the group rose to the top and became the hottest thing in Korea. In 2009, the group embarked on a world tour and it was decided that JYP would debut the girls in the U.S.A. The girl returned in 2010 after Sunmi left the group and Hyelim was added as a new member. The girls released 2 Different Tears. The girls returned overseas and spent more time releasing English songs and starring in their own TV show. 2011 came and the group returned at the end of the year with my favourite Wonder Girls song, Be My Baby. The girls returned to South Korea in 2012 to promote Like This.

Sadly, the group went on hiatus after 2012. Sunye withdrew from the group to get married and now she is a mother of two children. Sohee also withdrew from the group to focus on her acting career. The group reimaged themselves into a girl band and went on to release I Feel You in 2015.  Sunmi returned to the group and the final lineup now includes: YeEun, Sunmi, Yubin and Hyelim). They later returned in 2016 with Why So Lonely. The girls (with the support on Sunye and Sohee) made the announcement in Jan 2017 of the disbandment and have gone on to release their final song today (10th of February), Draw Me, for their 10th anniversary.

Wonder Girls have a long history and to me, they have released some of the most iconic songs in KPOP to date. Their influence (along with 2NE1 from YG Entertainment and SNSD for SM Entertainment) has shaped and grown KPOP to what it is today. I will also remember the catchy tune of Nobody and will always remember the super addictive dance that accompanied it. I will remember how big of a fanboy I came when it Be My Baby or Like This came on. And I will always feel awestruck watching the girls form themselves into a band.

Like 2NE1’s final song, I choose not to review it. Instead, I choose to look back at their time in the industry. Writing both posts made me sad, as I now know how far they have come, how far KPOP has gone and how much they will be missed. The majority of this post looks at their history as a group, with a few personal comments, but hopefully, it is enough to say goodbye.

Maybe this goodbye is not forever. But nonetheless, I wish all members of the group success and luck for all future endeavours. Given some of their solo careers, I think we can expect great things.

If you have not yet heard Wonder Girls’ final song (which was released today), you can listen to it below.

End of 2016 Music Festivals – Favourite Performances

I am only a month delayed. What’s going on? It has been a month since 2016 ended and I think we can all say that 2016 ended in style with these music festivals. Hosted by the 3 major South Korean broadcasting companies, these festivals celebrate the year that has gone past by inviting some of the biggest acts in 2016. The stages are usually different from the ones that we see throughout the year and new collaborations are formed for these stages. For example, at the KBS music festival, we saw Twice, Red Velvet, GFriend and I.O.I come together and cover Into The New World by SNSD (as shown in the image above). While this post doesn’t cover every single stage for each of the three festivals, it will cover my favourite ones.

SBS Gayo Daejun – 26th December 2016

  • The Korean Girl Group and Boy Group Spectacular Dance Performances were my most favourite stages of the night. For the girl groups stage: Cosmic Girls, CLC, Laboum, Gugudan, Momoland and DIA featured. For the boy groups stage: Pentagon, SF9, KNK, Snuper, Halo and Astro performed. While each group got a few seconds, they all did a great job and with everyone else dancing along in the background, it looked really cool. (Watch the Girl Groups Perform Here)
  • Seventeen was praised for their cover of famous songs sung by female artists. And I too thought they did a pretty good job. It would have been nice to see a longer performance of Boom Boom and have the covers as a separate stage, but it a long show and some groups will have to face cuts. (Watch Seventeen’s Performance Here)
  • Mamamoo performed You’re The Best and Decalcomanie and I love the launch into Decalcomanie. What made it even better were their ad-libs, by sliding in big boy group’s names into their song. Sure it did sound odd at firs, but it is cute and it brought smiles to fan’s faces. (Watch Mamamoo’s Performance Here)
  • Uhm Jung Hwa made her return to the stage at the SBS Gayo this year, performing a few of her songs. The highlight was most likely D.I.S.C.O, which had T.O.P return to collaborate with her. While I liked D.I.S.C.O’s stage, it was unnecessary for T.O.P to do a model walk out onto the stage. (Watch Uhm Jung Hwa and T.O.P’s performance here)
  • Infinite (and Sistar) did get the short end of the stick for the lengths of their performance. But what Infinite delivered looked, as always, beyond infinity.
  • Big Bang‘s mini concert. I don’t think we need to say much here! Amazing as always. (Watch Big Bang’s Performance Here)

KBS Gayo Daechukje – 29th December 2016

  • Red Velvet, Twice, GFriend and I.O.I’s collaboration with their individual songs, along with their cover of Into The New World was amazing. Loved the Irene memes, though. (Watch the collaboration here)
  • Mamamoo’s sexy twist for You’re The Best and rock twist for Decalcomanie were jaw-dropping. (Watch Mamamoo’s Performance Here)
  • The girl’s version of Infinite’s Be Mine and the boy’s version of Good Girl Bad Girl by Miss A was a great collaboration. I did laugh when I saw the guys perform and the girls looked really cool. Both stages were amazing. (Watch the girl’s performance and the boy’s performance here)
  • I personally loved the slower remix of L.I.E by EXID. It did lack the powerhouse vocals since Solji is on hiatus, but Hyerin did a good job covering for her here and on the other stages (particularly the MBC Gayo stage) (Watch EXID’s Performance Here)
  • Ken’s performance with his mother made me cry. Nayeon’s performance with her mother just didn’t leave that same impression on me. (Watch Ken’s Performance and Nayeon’s Performance here)
  • NCT Dream, Cosmic Girls, Astro, Laboum, UP10TION and Oh My Girl’s stage was pretty good as well. I think they could have picked a better collaboration song. Something to get the blood pumping and the party started, you know what I mean? (Watch this collaboration performance here)
  • Han Dong Geun’s stage sounded amazing. I loved the ballad when it started peaking on the charts and still love its swaying rhythms to this day. (Watch Han Dong Guen Here)
  • BTS’s Fire stage. They know what is up. Always amazing when they invite their thousands of backup dancers to join the party. Fits the song perfectly. (Watch BTS’s Performance here)

MBC Gayo Daejejun – 31st December 2016

  • MBC Gayo Daejejun brought back some of the first generation KPOP groups such as Shinhwa, S.E.S, Turbo and Ha Hyun Woo. They performed some of their past hits but also more recent songs. (Watch Shinhwa’s Performance here)
  • Not only that but some of the big name groups in the industry at the moment performed their past hits and also their 2016 songs. And of course, some groups did special stages, performing very popular and famous Korean songs.
  • Once again, Mamamoo made it onto this list as well. Their stage is always exceptional and I love the mini orchestra intro for Decalcomanie. (Watch Mamamoo’s Performance Here)
  • Sistar’s I Like That stage here was amazing as well. I loved the dance break. It got rid of that awkward “I’m So Fine” bridge and they look sexy. (Watch Sistar’s Performance here)
  • APINK’s short medley of their hits tracks and Only One was spectacular to listen to. The medley led into Only One perfectly. (Watch APINK’s Performance Here)
  • Monsta X’s All In + Fighter stage was another really good stage. It looked cool and very tough. They just needed a few more seconds as I felt the stage ended a little too soon. (Watch Monsta X’s Performance here)
  • BTOB’s change up for I’ll Be Your Man was really cool. They kept the song whole but added a few extra ad-libs and harmony parts to make it feel fresh. (Watch BTOB’s performance here)
  • B.A.P’s performance had an amazing remix for Young Wild and Free. Skydive was shortened but had a cool dance break inserted into it. Daehyun’s adlib was extraordinary. (Watch B.A.P’s performance here)

 

2016 End Of Year Charts

Better late than never, I guess. Welcome to the End Of Year Charts for the year of 2016. This took a little longer to do than what I had anticipated. I do this annually to rank the songs released in the year and see which songs top the year.

As usual, I utilised the original review score, but also re-reviewed the song, videos and performance (where applicable). An increment was given to songs released in the last four months of the year. However, this year’s way of ranking is a little different to previous years. This is because this year I took time out to try to record the number of times I listened to the song (as accurately as I can). Also included is the weekly charts that I did since May (while they weren’t launched until July 2016).

The final addition to this year’s chart (i.e. the weekly charts) also meant that the songs released after May would have been ranked higher than songs released prior to May. One of the few things I observed with the charts. I have also coloured and bolded the songs that I put forward in the KPOPreviewed awards (Part 1 here and Part 2 here) as Best Song of the years to see how they ranked on the charts.

Here are some other facts/rules for the songs to be on the charts:

  • 215 songs were included in the chart (but only the top 100 is published this year).
  • The first song to be included in this year’s chart is iKON’s Dumb and Dumber. The last song eligible to be on the charts is EXO’s For Life.
  • To appear on the charts, the song must have been replayed for over 10 times. Some songs were removed as they failed to make that requirement.
  • EXO had the most songs (6 songs) on the charts this year (Lotto, Lucky One, Monster, Hey Mama, For Life and Dancing King (ft. Yoo Jae Suk)). Mamamoo, Seventeen, BTS, Oh My Girl and VIXX followed behind with 3 songs on the charts each.

So without further ado, I present to you the final chart of 2016.

No. Title Artist
1 Very Nice Seventeen
2 Decalcomanie Mamamoo
3 TT Twice
4 Hard Carry GOT7
5 The Rain Ladies Code
6 Blood, Sweat & Tears BTS
7 Very Very Very I.O.I
8 The Closer VIXX
9 Hey Mama EXO-CBX
10 Sky Dive B.A.P
11 Pretty U Seventeen
12 Secret Cosmic Girls
13 Russian Roulette Red Velvet
14 The Eye Infinite
15 Windy Day Oh My Girl
16 Find Me Hyosung (Secret)
17 I’ll Be Your Man BTOB
18 Confession Astro
19 Playing With Fire BLACKPINK
20 Fantasy VIXX
21 Fighter Monsta X
22 Tell Me What To Do SHINee
23 You’re The Best Mamamoo
24 I Like That Sistar
25 Last Dance Big Bang
26 Why So Lonely Wonder Girls
27 Ti Amo T-Ara
28 Beside Me Davichi
29 Navierilla GFriend
30 Toy Block B
31 Chewing Gum NCT Dream
32 Carnival Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
33 For Life EXO
34 Boom Boom Seventeen
35 Rough Gfriend
36 Dynamite VIXX
37 Fri.Sat.Sun Dal Shabet
38 Secret Time Spica
39 L.I.E EXID
40 White Night UP10TION
41 Fire BTS
42 FxxK It Big Bang
43 Listen To My Word (Aing~) Oh My Girl
44 Don’t Believe Berry Good
45 Paradise Hyorin (Sistar)
46 Fly GOT7
47 Give It To Me Seven
48 Stuck Monsta X
49 Save Me BTS
50 Oh NaNa K.A.R.D
51 Feel So Good B.A.P
52 Destiny Lovelyz
53 Lollipop IMFACT
54 Can’t Help Myself Eric Nam
55 Stalker UKISS
56 One More Day Sistar
57 Hit Me MOBB ft. Kush
58 Lucky One EXO
59 Doo Doom Chit Crayon Pop
60 Queen History
61 On The Way Home Sunny Hill
62 Shooting Love Laboum
63 Bobby Doll Song Ji Eun (Secret)
64 Love Is Davichi
65 Ribbon Beast
66 How People Move AKMU
67 Whatta Man I.O.I
68 Monster EXO
69 1 of 1 SHINee
70 Free Somebody Luna (f(x))
71 Take Me Now FT Island
72 It’s Raining Snuper
73 Lotto EXO
74 Journey to Atlantis Laboum
75 Angel Berry Good
76 Knock KNK
77 Nodding Woohyun (Infinite)
78 Liar Liar Oh My Girl
79 U KNK
80 Aphrodite B.I.G
81 Letting Go Day6
82 Home Run GOT7
83 I’m Fine VICTION
84 Here I Am Yesung (Super Junior)
85 Borders Amber (f(x))
86 Lip 2 Lip Nine Muses A
87 Only One APINK
88 Bingo 24K
89 Dancing King EXO x Yoo Jae Suk
90 Body Mino (Winner)
91 Cheer Up Twice
92 Heartbreak Hotel Tiffany (SNSD) ft. Simon D
93 Better Day 100%
94 She Vromance
95 Gorilla Pentagon
96 11:11 Taeyeon (SNSD)
97 Dream Suzy (Miss A) & Baekhyun (EXO)
98 Good Luck AOA
99 New York Mamamoo
100 Somebody Like U Dal Shabet

Goodbye, 2NE1

I take this moment to drop my other reviews for the time being and honour this girl group. This will not be a review, however. But rather an ode to one of the most important groups (yes, I said that!) in KPOP ever.

For those who haven’t heard, 2NE1 has officially disbanded. Minzy left the band in May 2016 and it was announced that 2NE1 had disbanded on 25th of November 2016, with Park Bom leaving the company. Both CL and Dara resigned solo contracts. 2NE1 was one of the biggest bands of South Korea during their time.

It is no doubt that their songs have been influential in the industry. Songs like Fire, I Am The Best, I Love You, Lonely (just to name a few) have shaped KPOP greatly. They became a group that had a massive following and had hoobae (junior) groups look up to them. Their success has taken them extremely far. Even as soloists, the girls have conquered and fought on alongside each other with their own activities.

But what makes the group so different to others? They pushed for a tougher image. When they debuted, girl groups went for more cutesy and girly concepts. Not 2NE1 though. They were the first (if I remember correctly) to take on the hip-hop concept successfully. They were the ones that wore crazy clothes and had the craziest hairstyle (referring to I Am The Best video).

Goodbye  was released today, as the group’s final song (which features CL, Park Bom and Dara only). While YG has marketed this as their final song, the girls have mentioned that a possible reunion (with Minzy) and comeback in the future is still possible. Given the ongoing trend of first generation groups returning with their full line-up, this is highly possible and I do look forward to that day.

That being said, I do like to see what the four members have in store for us in the future. I know Dara has restarted acting, CL has her solo career (even though I am not much of a fan of her songs, I do like to see what else she can do. If 2NE1 has anything to prove, these girls have endless potential as solo artists), Minzy has her upcoming solo debut and Park Bom has a solo career that she can continue (if she chooses to). Thank you 2NE1 for the past 7 years. And if you are looking for the music video for Goodbye, it is linked below!

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

Click here to see the list of nominees for this year’s awards and scroll down to find out who wins!!!

If you have yet to see Part 1 (which also explains this corner) please click here.


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).


BEST MALE SOLOIST

As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.


BEST MALE GROUP

So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.


BEST ALBUM

Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.

And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……

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VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 1

I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.

I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.

CLICK FOR THE NOMINEES AND CHECK OUT THE WINNERS FOR PART 1 BELOW


RISING STAR AWARD

This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.


BEST INSTRUMENTAL

This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.


BEST COMEBACK

Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.


BEST SUBUNIT

It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).


BEST RAPPER

Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes  Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.


BEST VOCALIST

Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.


BEST COLLABORATION

Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.


BEST NON-TITLE SONG

These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.


To find the second part of the 2016 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, Click Here!!!

 

Goodbye 2016, Welcome 2017

What is that I hear in the distant? Fireworks, countdowns and people cheering?

2016 is finally coming to a close. Can you believe it that another year has gone past? It is crazy. Time has literally flown by so fast. 

2017 is fast approaching so I guess it is time to take out those New Years resolutions that we have packed away in the past year. 

I will be back very soon (which means reviews and charts galore). I just want to take this opportunity to thank you all for joining in with me for 2016. I promise you that 2017 is going to be an even bigger year.

In case you have not done the survey yet, please click here. I look forward to reading your responses and improving the site. 

And finally, it won’t be a new year until I start writing this in caps lock. But:

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOODBYE 2016 AND WELCOME TO 2017!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!

 

Yes, I may have gone a little crazy with the picture above. But hey, it’s Christmas!! 

Hi all,

I just wanted to wish you guys a Merry Christmas to you all!! I hope that wherever you are, you are having an amazing day with family and/or friends. May Santa (Ho Ho Ho) bring you all presents and festive cheer.

🙂

Announcement + Survey

Hello all,

A few weeks back I said that I would have an important announcement to make. I should make that announcement before I completely forget about making it entirely (because I think I said it would be up last week).

Well, the announcement is basically as follows: I will be going away for the entire December month and hence will not be able to review any of the comebacks during the last week of November and any comebacks in KPOP that occur during December. Now that doesn’t mean that I will stop reviewing. I have scheduled a lot of reviews and wrote them ahead of time. They carry a message to inform you all that I wrote them a few months back. They will be mainly tracks or comebacks that I missed or passed over due to time constraints.

This will also mean that I will not be able to do any of the end-of-year charts or KPOPreviewed awards until after I return, which will be in 2017. Once I return, I should also attempt to knock out the reviews for December as fast as I can.

In the meanwhile, I ask for your help. I am looking at ways to improve the site in the new year. I just need some feedback or thoughts about this site and the reviews I write. It is a simple survey that as basic questions about you (nothing too personal hopefully –  I just want to know about my demographic that I am writing to). I also ask questions about my reviews and the weekly charts. I’d appreciate it if you complete the survey and look forward to reading your responses.

Click to access the survey here

Enjoy, Troy.

5 years…

So today I decided to go onto WordPress.com and see what is going on. In the corner of the web page was an orange square, with a trophy on it. I click on it and it pops up a message. It congratulated me on the past 5 years. 5 years of KPOPreviewed. Wow, has time went by quickly or what?

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Yeah, the progress  is slow and the site doesn’t seem to have grown much. But I enjoy what I do. I like it when you guys follow this website. I like it when you guys comment or like my post. More importantly, I like it when you guys read my posts. Sometimes you agree with them, sometimes you don’t. In my memory, I don’t think I ever got one bad message. Given what I  post, I am honestly surprised, but at the same time relieved I haven’t faced that yet.

To be honest, I am in a slump. I honestly do not know what I am doing in life at the moment. I live concerned for my future ( i.e. financial stability, social life, health). A lot of those things I am currently trying to work on (or in the near future), but it stills scares me. Having this site means a lot to me. It is a thing that I picked up 5 years ago and have continued with it. You could say a hobby or an activity that takes my mind off things. By you reading, liking, following and commenting; it puts a smile on my face. And for that, I thank you.

Thank you for the memories! I am sure some of you guys have stuck around for some time and others may have just followed this site recently. It all means a lot to me and I cannot say this enough, but thank you!

I am sorry if I came off depressed in this post. It just hit home when I saw fives years. I personally don’t know how long I will be on here. 5 more years? Maybe just 1? Who knows? Life is spontaneous this way. Just I do have a few plans for a few more things for the website, so I think I will be around for a while.

Once again, thank you for the past five years. Enjoy reading my posts and of course, KPOP. Make sure you guys like, comment and follow my site. All appreciated. I also have a Twitter, which I will try to update every now and then, especially, if I disappear for exams or an overload of work. That can be found down below (just click the Twitter bird). And sorry if you are expecting a post today :D.

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End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).

1 Ah Yeah EXID
2 Paradise Lost Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
3 If You Do  GOT7
4 Closer Oh My Girl
5 You G.Soul
6 Love Me Right EXO
7 I Need U BTS
8 Sing For You EXO
9 Shake It Sistar
10 4 Walls F(x)
11 Dumb Dumb Red Velvet
12 I Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
13 Like OOH AHH Twice
14 Oh Um Ah Yeah Mamamoo
15 Mansae Seventeen
16 Just Right GOT7
17 Crazy 4Minute
18 Insensible Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
19 Run BTS
20 Yey Beast
21 Between Night n Music B.I.G
22 Shake That Brass Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
23 Hot Pink EXID
24 Beautiful Liar VIXX LR (VIXX)
25 Brand New World Brown Eyed Girls
26 Ring My Bell Girls Day
27 Hurt Locker Nine Muses
28 Growing Pains Donghae & Eunhyuk
29 Run Away Royal Pirates
30 Black Swan Rainbow
31 Congratulations DAY6
32 Catch Me If You Can SNSD
33 Me Gustas Tu Gfriend
34 The Answer Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
35 Dope BTS
36 Pray FT Island
37 Cinderella CN Blue
38 You’re Pitiful Fiestar
39 Hopeless Love Jimin (15&)
40 Bad Infinite
41 Might Just Die History
42 We Like 2 Party Big Bang
43 Chained Up VIXX
44 Fire Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
45 Bell Bottoms PSY
46 Ice Cream Cake Red Velvet
47 Break Ya LU:KUS
48 Kontrol Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
49 I Feel You Wonder Girls
50 Wow Wow Wow Junjin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)

And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!

  • A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
  • The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
  • A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
  • There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
  • BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
  • Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
  • The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
  • And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.

AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).

End Of Year Charts 2014

Welcome to the end of the 2014 charts. This chart has every single song that was released from the 1st of January 2014 to the 1st of December. I left the nitty gritty stuff out (aka. the numbers I used for the ranking) and made sure that everything was fair. So that means for songs that were released towards the end of the year would have received some extra increment to make sure that they were levelled out with the songs released in January. Other numbers used included whether songs were on the YouTube Playlist of The Month and each song was re-reviewed in categories of “song, music video and dance”. Below are just some interesting facts that you may enjoy in regards to this chart.

  • The very first song released to be included on the charts are Rain’s 30 Sexy and La Song. The last song released before the cut off date was Infinite F’s Heartbeat.
  • T-Ara’s Sugar Free (2) was the only song throughout the whole chart to score the maximum of 40 for the song re-review.
  • VIXX is the first boy group to appear in the charts at 14th place with Eternity.
  • As touched on above, this year the charts are dominated by the girl groups, with 13 boy groups versus 37 girl groups (repeated groups not excluded).
  • Heavily promoted songs tend to rank higher than songs that were released as a single and not promoted.
  • The following artists achieved the next few positions after 50th place: SPEED, Crayon Pop, Z:EA, Zhou Mi (Super Junior), BTOB, Infinite, UKISS, AOA and Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
1 Something Girl’s Day
2 Sugar Free T-Ara
3 Up & Down EXID
4 Monday Blues Sunny Hill
5 Piano Man Mamamoo
6 Darling Girl’s Day
7 I’m In Love Secret
8 Mr. Chu A Pink
9 Yasisi NS Yoon G
10 Red Light F(x)
11 One More Fiestar
12 Good Night Kiss Hyosung (Secret)
13 Ain’t Nobody HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
14 Eternity VIXX
15 You Don’t Love Me Spica
16 So Wonderful Ladies Code
17 This Is Love Super Junior
18 Luv APINK
19 Like A Cat AOA
20 B.B.B (Big Baby Baby) Dal Shabet
21 Good Luck Beast
22 Cha Cha Rainbow BLAXX
23 Full Moon Sunmi ft. Lena
24 Error VIXX
25 Catallena Orange Caramel
26 My Copy Cat Orange Caramel
27 Don’t Look At Me Like That Song Ji Eun (Secret)
28 Back Infinite
29 8Dayz Megan Lee
30 What About You? Laboum
31 Dont Touch Me Ailee
32 I Swear Sistar
33 Singing Got Better Ailee
34 1004 (Angel) B.A.P
35 Danger BTS
36 12:30 Beast
37 Mr. Ambigious Mamamoo
38 Lonely B1A4
39 Beep Beep BTOB
40 Mamma Mia Kara
41 I Need You Bestie
42 Solo Day B1A4
43 Whatcha Doing Today? 4Minute
44 Pretty Age 25 Song Ji Eun (Secret)
45 1 Minute 1 Second Jiyeon (T-Ara)
46 Peppermint Chocolate Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
47 FxxK U Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
48 Touch My Body Sistar
49 Evanesce Super Junior
50 Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms HIGH4 ft. IU

THAT’S IT!!! 2014 IS OVER AND 2015 IS APPROACHING. WISHING YOU ALL (IN YOUR RESPECTIVE TIME ZONES) A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I only have 6 hours to go and I am excited. Party hard (but not too hard) and I will see you next year!! aka. in the next few days ^^