Best Of The Best 2014 – Winners

Announcing the winners of the 2014 Best Of The Best. Click here for the full list of nominees!!!

Code: RED FONT – WINNERS BLUE FONT – HONOURABLE MENTION

BEST ROOKIE GROUP

2014, like the past few years, have seen so many new KPOP bands debut. So many new bands, so much that I have a really difficult job to select certain artists and also keep up with the old styles. 2014 saw the big 3 companies debut their own groups, but I have to be honest, the stand outs came mostly from the smaller companies. One group in particular stood out from the rest: Mamamoo. Harmony and totally different style from what we are used to. Honourable mentions go to GOT7.

BEST INSTRUMENTAL

The one song that is overlooked by everyone on the album is the instrumental. I freaking love instrumentals, and this year, KPOP decided to tease me with so many new instrumentals. That being said, this year the winner of Best Instrumental is Ain’t Nobody by Ye-Eun (Ha:tFelt). Honourable mentions go to Sugar Free by T-Ara.

BEST VOCALS

KPOP = Singing. There for it is only right for this year to have an award for Best Vocals, right? Well, the winner goes to Ha:tfelt – Ye Eun (Wonder Girls). I was so amazed by here singing this year that it blew my mind, particularly her title track Ain’t Nobody. Honourable mentions go to IU (yes, I think most of us agree).

BEST RAPPER

Many KPOP songs have many rapping parts. At the same time, rappers need some recognition. Though, I feel my choice this year could be a little odd, only one person (in my opinion) did a really amazing job. Junhyung from Beast did a wonderful job in Good Luck, 12:30 and the many songs he featured in. Zico from Block B takes Honourable Mentions.

BEST SUBUNIT

Since 2013, many subunits have been on trend. Even though subunits have been losing trend, many bands this year debuted their own subunits. However, I think we should move away from the new subunits. Cause this year an old subunit wins. Orange Caramel steals Best Subunit with release of three different songs. Honourable mentions goes to Rainbow Blaxx.

BEST COLLABORATION

The new trend for 2014. Collaborations between artists have been on the rise. This year though, if you were a KPOP fan for a while, you would know already who the winner is. Soyu & JungGiGo’s Some steals the show, topping the end of year charts conducted in South Korea and winning Best Song as well on the SBS Music Festival. Well of course they would win, considering that they SLAYED the charts. Honourable Mentions go to Sane and Raina’s collaboration, Midsummer Night’s Sweetness.

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR

This year there has been so many stars that have started to become more popular. The nominees tend to be bands that have debuted in the previous year, and with help of comebacks, started to become well known in the industry. I think for the first time ever, I am going to be honest and put forward two winners to this category. First of all, BTS say a boost in popularity and have become a band that I look forward to listening to. Second of all AOA saw new popularity with release of Miniskirt, Short Air and Like A Cat. Both bands, obviously, rose a lot this year and I found it hard to differentiate them.

BEST JAPANESE SONG

If you don’t know (I won’t be surprised) I also review some Japanese song. 2015 will be the year where I start to review more Japanese songs for you all. However, 2014 also had a lot of catchy and cool Japanese songs. The winner for this year is Korean boy band MYNAME’s F.F.Y. Such a catchy song. As for honourable mentions, it goes to AAA’s Showtime.

BEST DANCE

KPOP is also known for its dancing. 2014 saw some interesting dances, catchy dances, and some dances that have no words to describe it. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. This year, T-ara took the position as best dance. It was probably the most addictive dance and it was pretty easy as well. It matched the song and most importantly, I loved it. Honourable mentions to Infinite’s Back.

BEST ALBUM

A brand new category for 2014. Every award show or some kind of award giving platform has the “best album” award. And yes, this year, there are so many freaking great albums (like any other year). In my opinion, the best album of the year goes to F(x)’s Red Light. All, if not most, of the songs were amazing to listen to and were so great. Every freaking song was different, and though that maybe risky, F(x) pulled it off as a flowing album. Honourable Mentions goes to AKMU’s Play.

BEST MALE SOLOIST

Solos don’t tend to be the trend this year. Some bands saw new members branch into a solo career, however it seems like more and more KPOP idols (whether male or female) are branching out to acting or variety shows. However, the winner to this category is a person who started offically his own solo career with a lot of experience in the music industry. Crush is the winner. Damn, this dude’s songs are so good. You should check them out. Honourable mentions: JungGiGo.

BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

It seems like more and more females are branching out onto the stage. We saw many KPOP divas making their solo debuts on the stage with new and fresh songs from bands like T-Ara or Secret. We already have divas who have accomplished a start to their solo career and saw comebacks of very big names. This year, one solo stood out and that is Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Releasing her first solo mini album, she did quite well considering the competition she was going through. Honourable Mentions goes to Sunmi.

BEST FEMALE GROUP

Sexy concept by girl groups have been on the rise. If you know me well, then you probably already know my pick. However, so many girls groups made their comeback this year. Some picked up a lot of popularity and saw massive wins for the first time. Girl’s Day hitted big with their amazing single Something. They later went on to release Darling and I Miss You. Being one of the biggest girl groups of the year, they were sure to pick some prize up. APINK steals honourable mentions this year with their massive single Mr Chu and their latest hit Luv, which blew up and swept all the December trophies for 2014.

BEST MALE GROUP

There have always been a large influx of boy groups and this year it is no different. I was so impressed I was just going to choose all 10 nominees as winners. However, there can only be one winner (well, technically), so I guess I have to choose one. I am going to put down VIXX. They released Eternity and Error this year and both songs were hits for the band. Not only that, they displayed great dance moves and skills. Beast takes out honourable mentions with Good Luck and 12:30, both being very great songs that also delivered like what VIXX had to show. (Just VIXX nudged a head a little bit).

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

This year, most of my Best Music Video Nominees saw the depressing side of KPOP. 8 music videos had this sad or dark storyline to tell. 2 music videos were made in a soft hearted and were really cheerful. G.o.D’s music video for The Story Of Our Lives, told the amazing bond between family and that the outside will never be able to define the inside. Megan Lee features in the song and both band and soloist did an amazing job singing and pouring out their emotions. By the way, SM made a video outside of the box. F(x)’s Red Light, takes honourable mention.

BEST SONG

25 songs were nominated for Best Song for 2014. All were to an excellent standard. There were clear stands out. Something by Girl’s Day, EXID’s Up and Down and Beast’s Good Luck are this year’s honourable mentions. However, which song took Best Song category for 2014? Check the song and music video down below.

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Memory of Fragrant Summer Wind – AAA

 

I would like to take this moment to express my condolences with the recent events that occurred in Ukraine in regards to flight MH17. What happened there was definitely tragic and the whole world will come together to give our support. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the crash and hope that they will all recover in the way they have been affected.

So today, I decided to review a song with some warmth within it. On top of that, it has been quite a while since I have reviewed a Japanese song and also a song from AAA. Months, I think it has been. AAA is back with a brand new single with the most accurate summery feel that I think everyone needs to hear. To me, this song makes me feel happy inside. Though I don’t understand any Japanese at all, I still have this really nice feeling evolve within me an turn into a smile, and I guess many people really need this now during such times like this.

As mentioned above, this song has a really cool summery feel to it that makes it ideal for a season like this. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere that is. I am too busy freezing down here in Australia, that lonely island at the bottom of the world. Anyway, I really like this song. I think this is the first song ever that the girls actually get the bulk of it and the group has put it up as a promotional single. Usually, the guys would dominate the song leaving the girls with very limited parts, but it seems this time they decided to change it around. I think the change is pretty nice, since when you think of Summer, you associate it with girls more than guys. The vocals in the song are really good. Not sure about the rapping in the song. I get that maybe the rapper can only rap in songs, but it just really does not feel like a song that necessary needs the rapping in it. The chorus is pretty catchy and sounds pretty nice. I have dying to find an instrumental to the song but can’t really. It sounds freaking amazing. To be precise, the whole song sounds freaking amazing.

The music video is a little awkward. Let’s get on with the plot first. It opens with a girl in a kimono in the night scenery that is actually quite beautiful. I love how the lanterns are positioned to give the music video more depth and colour. The girl, at the very start, looks like she is an ex girlfriend or current girlfriend and spots this guy (who in the whole video, we actually don’t get a full look on his face, further indicating that this song is actually based around the girl) and a younger girl. And it looks like jealousy has taken over. Well, it hasn’t. Turns out that the first girl is some kind of guardian angel and looks out for the girl. When the younger girl wants to hold hands with her lover, the angel decides to help and actually scares the younger girl, who turns around and searches for the mysterious person who helped them. However, that poor thing got so petrified that the guy carrying a bucket full f multi colour balls fall over and basically a really beautiful arrangement (or maybe a lot of cgi work) of bouncing colour balls formed. Honestly, this video is quite beautiful shot and fits the feel of the song. HOWEVER. If you watch the solo shots of the members lip-syncing, you will notice that they lip-sing horribly. The rapper and another male member was no where near the right lyrics and it looks like they were singing a totally different song. That or the editor got their parts mixed around with other parts and just managed to stuff up the video. But overall, a beautifully shot video.

I think it is fair enough to give it a 9/10. However I think I might be a little too generous especially with the solo shots in the video, but I totally think the song and the rest of the music video makes up for the painful scenes. I kid, but they definitely make up for the hole in the video.

 

Koi Oto to Amazora – AAA

Source: http://www.asianstyle.cz/upload/clanky/59f3e/slider_b365680a2182dd11a53710fed927cc7b.jpg

AAA is back with a new song. It has been some time since I last reviewed on of their songs, Party It Up being the last one. Since then, they have released their eighth album and another single called Love Is In The Air. Koi Oto to Amazora is their 38th single to date, which peaked on the charts at 3rd place. The band has been around for like 8 years now and still ranking very high, being one of the many successive bands in Japan at the moment. I know I have been lacking in my JPOP reviews recently and wanted to review other JPOP artists, like Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, but was quite unsure how to even start writing about them. Thankfully, Perfume recently just released a new single, so who knows, maybe a Perfume review is coming really soon.

The song is a different style that AAA has hardly attempted before. It is a ballad, but it sounds really amazing. Party It Up was a pop song that had me dancing, but this song, you can feel right down to the emotion of it. It is  basically like a 180 degree change for the band. Miss You, another previously released song, that was also a ballad has a more sadder feel to it, whereas this song carries a more happy feel that makes the song sound great. The word “Koi Oto to Amazora” I think translate to wishes to the skies or something like that. I just took that from an English translation website. The vocals sound amazing in this song, particularly the rapping, where it was incorporated really well into the song. Usually, I would say things about the rap being in the wrong place, but it seems they fitted the rap perfectly into the song, a rap that was not too powerful or too soft.

The music video fits the feel of the song. It is dark and mysterious, which emphasis the same emotions found in the song. Honestly, I think it is an awesome video and love the close up shots of the members. Pretty amazing. I am, however, not sure about them walking about the abandoned circus. Though it looks cool, the plot line for that is really confusing and came out of nowhere. Disappointed? No not really. I was actually surprised they decided to upload the full version of the music video. Probably made a mistake, because for some reason, the shot videos are released onto YouTube, not the actual full ones. I love the brown colour that was emphasised in the whole video making it look pretty cool and amazing.

It would only make sense for me to give it a 9.5/10 right? Not a 10/10 for the plot of the video, but still 9.5 is pretty high and I think it is the highest a JPOP song has ever gotten on my scale.

Party It Up – AAA

Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6t9UsLR1xqQ/US9Um249K1I/AAAAAAAAeqo/V60EhYzhMmU/s1600/AAA+Party+It+Up+Wallpaper.jpg

AAA has finally made their comeback and return with a totally new single which is not off their latest album. “Party It Up” is much different from its previous songs, as it contains a club beat. In my case, I missed a song that they promoted at the start of the year. Not sure if it was a special song for Christmas or something. I have to say that this is their best song yet. I have been “stalking” their albums and Wikipedia page getting up to date with this band who debuted in 2005. That was like 8 years ago.

I really like the song. It has a club beat, that I am not just into at this moment, but how this song uses the beat is really addictive. But beside, I have to talk points off for the instrumental. It is not up there as much as other aspects of the song, but still pretty good. I also must say that when the main vocalist sings “clap your hands now”, I actually hear “crap your hands now”. Anyone else???? The vocals are pretty good. Not the best but do sound pretty good. The rap was awesome as well. The rapper of the group always sounds good, regardless. But then again, to me, Japanese rappers all have the same sound. Actually come to think of it, rappers always sound different when they speak normally, when compared to rapping. But the song really does sound pretty good. I liked it, and basically to me, that is what matters.

The music video is quite on the same level of the song itself. It is pretty dark, but I love the use of flashing lights. It gives that dark club feel. At first that background was a whole bunch of mirrors, but after looking at the “Making of Music Video” video, I soon worked out that the “mirror” background was just a very thin frame. The ending of the video seems somewhat creepy. It was empty. You know? And at 3:12, who is the guy laughing at? It makes the whole scene look awkward and funny. There is one thing that I am not that happy about. That is that effect that they used mainly at the start and bit in the video. Yeah, headache written all over it.

The live is pretty cool. There is a cool dance that fits the beat of the song really well. The formations which they have are pretty cool as well and it overall is quite addictive. Sucks that Japanese artists only promote for a short amount of time on the music shows.

9/10. Really good, nearing perfection.

Still Love You – AAA

Source: http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/302/117/302117055_640.jpg

Now, if you don’t know this band, I am not surprised. I only found out this when I subscribed to Avex on Youtube, and boy what was I missing out on. Most of the time I review K-POP songs, and sometimes songs that are by KPOP artists just in Japanese. This is the actual first J-POP band I will be reviewing, and particularly one of the songs they just released in July or earlier. Yes, I am missing out on a lot and you are too, if you do not know this band!

The song is like a K-POP song, in terms of its instrumentals. I mean, like a K-POP song. There really is not much difference between J-POP or K-POP, well beside the fact that they are in Japanese or Korean. I really like the calm and soft instrumental, which really complimented the females’ voices. The guys’ really fit the chorus in the song, and their “Tell Me Why” was quite catchy. I don’t really know the members yet, but they are pretty good. I think, in my point of view, are better than many of the Korean artists that I have heard. Their high notes fit the song, but are not that spectacular compared to the Brown Eyed Girls. Oh what am I saying, guess who just hit my number one spot in Japan!!!!

Now, the music video does not exist. So far, I have found the short version, but there is no long version, which sucks, because I love the red stage props they had. The music video is quite different to Korean ones, but I don’t know why, they have some kind of different aspect that makes it a bit different. I really liked their close-up solo shots, and that mysterious blue background. Also, those computer effects for the camera, are pretty good as well. Something that KPOP videos lack, good camera shots. If you guys can find a full version of the music video (or how Japanese call it: Promotional Video), please leave me a link, I would love to watch it.

They can sing live, I really loved the formations which they had when they were dancing. And boy, can they dance!!!!

8/10. Everything was all good!!!!