Not An Easy Girl – Lizzy (After School)

Another After School solo debut. Raina made her debut last year with a ballad song. On top of that, Orange Caramel, the famous subunit of the After School girl group had a very busy year in 2014. The next member to go solo is Lizzy. And she is the first member of the band to attempt the trot genre. For those who don’t know, trot is the Korean folk music genre. It’s a genre that I don’t look at that much and this probably is the first trot song ever that I have reviewed. Forgive me if I am wrong. I have done over 500 reviews, so it is very easy to lose track of the songs I have reviewed.

Like I said before, I don’t review much trot songs on here. To be honest, I don’t listen to them at all. That being said, this song did not appeal to me. Not that I hate it or have anything against the folk genres. Just it just feels like any other folk song and lacks the appeal that modern music nowadays have. Her vocals are pretty good to be honest. After School and Pledis promotes Lizzy as a person who cannot sing and relies heavily on autotune. This song points out to everyone that she can sing. Her vocals may not be strong as other singers, however if she can sing a whole song by herself without her voice going funny, then that is pretty good. The rapping really did not fit in with the song. For those who don’t know, Jung Hyung Don featured in the song for like 10 seconds and rapped in it. Really did not fit in with the song.

The music video was intelligently shot. From what I gather from information, the director took a famous Korean historic drama and photoshopped (or videoshopped) Lizzy face over the lead actress. So basically it has everyone thinking that this was all recently shot, but nope. The music video was shot as a drama years ago and using technology today, we get this music video. Using the trusty help of YouTuber commenters, the drama Seong Chunhyang from 1961. That being said, check out the cool video. Though you may not like the plot behind it (Don’t ask me, I get confused when it comes to movies or dramas), you will be guaranteed to think about the way the music video was shot or edited.

There is a dance to this and from what I can see, it fits the trot genre perfectly. Beside that, I can’t really comment on the dance.

Overall, it was a good debut. I honestly think Lizzy can go for something a little more “out of this world”. Like follow the style of Orange Caramel. Because obviously we all want more After School and Orange Caramel in our lives. 5.1/10

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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.

A Midsummer’s Night Sweetness – SANE ft. Raina (After School)

2014 has been a year full of collaborations. One of the most successful collaborations of the year belongs to Soyou and Junggigo for Some. However, being overshadowed, Sane’s collaboration with After School’s Raina, was also quite a success.

This song is pretty nice to listen to. The voices flowed really well. Despite one being a vocalist and the other was rapping, the song came together quite well. There were some equally catchy parts in the song, which got me to listen to the song over and over again. It was a refreshing song to listen to (it was released in the Summer in Korea). The song was quite cute. I found the cute sound effects really added to the loving sound of the song, especially the sighs and the fly buzzing. The “yum” part also sounded really nice. Even though, it was a little random to me, I thought it made the song quite relate-able and once again, quite cute. Overall, excellent song.

Music video was quite boring. Though it did intrigue me for a bit. There are two types of people in this world. The rusher and the easy going person. I think we know who is who. I am going to be straight forward. I am going to be between. I am the rusher when I have to be, but mostly, I take things slowly. I liked the start when they both get ready for the day ahead. Though, the ending on their date kind of seemed rushed. They could have dragged this video out a little more or made it more dramatic. There was one complaint while watching this video. What is this new trend with the terrible hats? Why are we going back to the 90s when the fashion right now is fine? WHY?

Overall, I liked this collaboration. If I was to decide which collaboration I liked more, I think it would be a hard decision. A decision that I will be making very soon. Actually, the end of the next week. *wink* 7.4/10

My Copycat – Orange Caramel

Orange Caramel made their surprise comeback with My Copycat this month. Last time they promoted on stage was with Catallena. This time they went with an interesting yet pretty playful concept, which has got many people playing and talking about. Going with their usual cute yet quirky theme, they have managed to conquer Where’s Wally, which makes this whole comeback pretty unique. Who does not love Where’s Wally? For those who don’t know, it is a book that contains pictures of a large group of people. And basically, you have to sit down and scan every single person until you find Wally himself, with his distinct clothing, it really is not that hard. Unless they are all wearing the same thing. But anyway, let’s continue.

This song is not memorable is kind of average, even for this band. However, this song still maintains the girl’s quirky sound, because as soon as you hear the instrumental, you automatically know it is going to be a weird one with those really cool, yet annoying saxophones. The chorus changes up the song, but I feel it has a dis-attached feel to the rest of the song. The song sounds quirky, just the chorus sounds really tone down and I dare say, quite normal. The bridge could have been better, it made the song feel more awkward overall as well. Though, overall, the song was pretty cool. Those part right after the chorus are probably my favourite. They just ooze with the quirkiness that we know of from the band. Overall, this has to be an average song, with some okay parts and some really cool parts as well.

The music video is the part where I want to focus on. This music video has been done beautifully. It is interactive and it just probably amazes everyone when they watch it. I have to be honest though. Staring at the screen with this colourful music video is just going to kill your eyes. But nonetheless, this is probably one of the best music videos of the year. The “Spot the Difference” and “Where’s Wally (renamed appropriately as Where’s Rania, Nana and Lizzy?) theme is really unique and pretty cool. Some parts, particularity the spot the difference, weirded me out a lot. Those eyes and eye lids were pretty freaky. To be honest, I tried looking for them the first time, but (put racist Asian joke here). Let’s just leave it at that. It is really colourful, just ease off on the colour next time.

As for the dance, it looked cool. They pretended to blow their saxophones and do other things that fitted the feel of the song. Overall, a pretty good dance.

As for the score, 8/10. It was a nice surprise. And it paid off pretty well.

 

Catallena – Orange Caramel

Source: http://modernseoul.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/orange-caramel-catallena-food-packaging.jpg

I am back and so is Orange Caramel. It has been quite a while since we have seen the trio on stage, with their last promotions occurring in October in 2012. And it seems like the girls become much more popular everytime they make a comeback. They are the resident cute girl group, who always go for an extreme. Like I have never seen the girls do anything that we would deem as not weird. And it seems this time is no different as they make a comeback on stage with a fish costume. Wow, that is pretty cool. But on with the review.

This song is freaking amazing. Those who condemn this song as a horrible song I think have no clue that “sexy” does not need to be included in the song. It is so nice to see a cute girl group make their comeback for something that they are known for, not for following the trend and jumping on the bandwagon. This song is utterly amazing. Everything in the song from the vocals and the instrumental makes the song so fun to listen to. To are insternately smiling when you see or hear this song because it carries that feeling with it. It may be a little hard to understand the lyrics, but from reading the English translation and getting a few tips from people, it (and this is sonly a suggestion) but the song talks about being someone who you think is cool, and at the same time losing your uniqueness and individuality. Interesting.

To link the above meaning of the song to the music video, I think that the girls see the “Catallena” as the octopus. This “octopus” is seen as cool and amazing, but in matter fact, the octopus seems to be shallow. The fishes (or Orange Caramel) try their best to be like the octopus, by putting themselves up on the market and then being made into sushi. I actually like the music video. It was cute. They made objects that would be really small into life size objects like the soy sauce dish which was really cool. Also the big glad wrap scene (which was banned by KBS because they thought it was a way to depict the music industry) was really amazing as well. Also, loving the costumes. Not sure about the end of the video though, where they eat the sushi. They seem to dislike it so maybe they instead tried to be someone else which they thought was cool, but in the end, they did not like it as well. Really cool music video which was colourful and amazing.

The dance is really cute. My favourite part of the whole song and the dance would have to be Lizzy’s part. The dance is super catchy.

Super catchy dance. Check. Really meaningful video. Check. Amazing song that is widely popular. Check. Guess what, 10/10. 

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc0UX7U1M04rYaFol-ZLhcz7fKeqgETfU%5D

 

First Love – After School

Source: http://i2.wp.com/24-7KPOP.COM/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/BMHF-dyCYAARmU4.jpg-large.jpg?resize=980%2C654

After School recently made their well demanded comeback since Flashback last year. Released on the 13th of June (just a 2 weeks ago), the girls have made a huge impact upon the KPOP scene since coming back, giving Sistar, MBLAQ, Rainbow, EXO and other widely known bands a run for their money. However that I what the fans think of the whole comeback. I myself, have a completely different view on the song. The comeback itself is unique, but really lacking overall. Though they know how to get a guy excited, for me, it did not do as well. Well, that kind of came out wrong. Don’t think dirty guys. The whole comeback for me is “not as good” as the other comebacks to date. (I like cute girls more).

The song was too freaking slow. Am I only the one that felt that the song was dragged out over the 3 minutes and 40 seconds length? I do see how the song has the bit if addictiveness to it, however the song overall, to me was a complete failure. I do like my RnB music and I do like my ballad music, but these two sound awkward together. The vocals were quite fine, actually. Which I liked about the song and was completely surprised that this song contained no rap but just pure vocals. For groups, I don’t see that much in KPOP. Vocal’s only songs are mainly for soloists. Also, that gospel high note at the end seems out of place but at the same time fits in the song. Crazy, right?However, my ears say “KILL THE GUY!!!”. Which guy? The guy who throughout the song goes “Get Funky, Get Down”. What is a DJ going to do to the song? Appeal to the female demographic? What in the world? And that disk scratching sound. Seriously, this song is meant to sad, so why even? If I wanted to hear a disk scratching, I would go to a club or hear a remix!

The music video is quite okay. It seemed rushed. Any set that had the pole dancing in it seemed quite rushed. Floral wallpaper on the walls and the roof? The used of flowers on the grid like walls? It does not contribute to the feel of the song. However, I totally loved the feel of the closeups of the members. The coloured background added that extra impact and the water dripping down the side of the camera seemed like tears falling down. The members too also look quite sad. But beside that, there is nothing else to say.

The dance does seem sexy. The whole idea of pole dancing seemed quite interesting but also extreme, but the girls seemed to pull it off quite well. After all, pole dancing is a very demanding activity and the girls had 6 month to prepare for the comeback. However, the song did overall ruin the dance. The start of the performance and dance was amazing. How on earth are you meant to be twirling around there, not feeling blisters or being burnt by the metal pole.

3.5/10. Sorry girls. Better luck next time. I actually personally liked their past songs more than this one. Hope they win at least one award, since they are so low on the numbers and jope both Lizzy and Nana get well soon.

Ma Boy 3 – Electroboyz ft. Nana (After School)

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nzbICZ2m5rY/UVJZaebivgI/AAAAAAABOZw/tA1i7YPq8IE/s1600/electroboyz.jpg

Another version of Ma Boy is finally out. Electroboyz has finally made their comeback with a fresh new version of the sexy song that was once belonged to Sistar19, now I think differently. It seems like the guys bought the song. Well, hopefully they have enough ideas up until Ma Boy 25. Is that some kind of world record though? 25 versions of the song? What about Ma Boy 0? That looks cool!!! <– Me being weird.

Ma Boy 3 is much slower than Ma Boy and Ma Boy 2. This time around, they added a softer, squeakier voice to the  song, rather than the husky voice that Hyorin is known for. But I have to make this clear. Out of all the versions of Ma Boy that I have heard, this one is not exactly my favourite. I like this version, but the whole Sistar group version and the remix version of Ma Boy 2 sounds really good, exceeding this one so much. I really do like Nana’s voice in this song. which is completely different to what I have heard of her in the past. The guys sounds pretty cool as well, not much to complain there. I particularly like the ending of the song. I gives a new flavour to the song and adds that extra bit that we all want. Right? So overall is the song is pretty good.

The music video fits the speed of the song. Like come on. This is a really slow song, but it has a slow music video which enhances the song. Nana does not really make an appearance in the music video, instead an actress took her part, which I really don’t understand. The music video itself seems really low budget. The camera work is kind of rough in my point of view. It is basically scenes of the members singing and rapping. There is nothing more to the video. Beside that, there are the club scenes, but it seems that the music video could’ve had something else except of the club scene. You understand? Also, I am not particularly keen on the bridge of the music video. Like, that vase of flowers are such a distraction. LOL I kid. It just the white background really does not fit that dark club scene before and after the bridge.

The live sounds amazing. I am surprised that all 4 people managed to pull the lyrics off. I think Nana should be the only artist to sing her part. When Girl’s Day Sojin (I think that is her name) sang, it felt awkward and not really there. Nana’s stage presence makes the performance much better and the dance they did at the end is pretty cool.

Yeah, it could’ve been better. 5.5/10. But overall, it is okay.

Here is a little thing. What version of the song do you like? Ma Boy or Ma Boy 2 or Ma Boy 3? Videos are linked below. Put your preference down in the comments!!!

Flashback – After School

Song

This must be one of the better songs on After School in my point of view. The other songs were kind of bland and did not go straight ot the point, yet still winning many awards. This song is much different. It is like the other songs (Diva, Bang, Shampoo) but is much more updated. It is more straight to the point in a way. I really love the actual song altogether. The start to beginning. Nothing technically ruined or spoiled the song for me. Despite not winning any awards for this song. I stilled liked it.

Music Video

The music video is kind of like T-Ara’s Day by Day, where they dance and close-up were shown of the members. However there were scenes of the girls dancing around the guy, while the guy was tied up in a chair. Also scenes of the girls singing to themselves in front of mirrors, and that really long walk they had in the music video. I just wished to say, that the camera was kind of shakey. Not like SM’s Earthquake camera used in A-Cha, but watch where the all the girls are just posing, kind of shakey. Out of all the scenes, I loved UEE’s scene at the very end of the music video, where she shoots the guy. No wonder she is my favourite in the group.

PS. Also, I hated those lights in the back. I know that they are meant to be making the girls look beautiful and quite sexy, but no, just a big distraction and turn off.

Live Performance

I loved that Panorama dance. I think that is what they call it. (Correct me please,) but that is one of a line up. It looks so freaking cool and quite original. I also liked what the girls where on each stage, kind more casual than suits and dresses. ( I am referring to their more recent performances on the music shows).

And The Rating?

8/10. Just the music video was quite a let down for a really good song.

Have Fun Watching. Troy 😀

Live Performance:

Music Video Here: