The next SM Station release. Just to put it out there, I am not going to review every single SM Station release, just stand outs. Now for this particular review, I have been asking all week whether it should be reviewed or not. My major consideration is: is it KPOP? Not in my opinion. But I can’t seem to let this song go without reviewing it. This release is written and sung by Amber from f(x). We have been hearing rumours of a solo comeback and this is probably what the rumours were on about. While not a comeback, it is great to see Amber back in the solo car.
And why are I am so glad to see Amber back in the solo wagon? Well, f(x) has amazing music, but most of the time, Amber is very limited to a certain sound and pop style. We really don’t see Amber shine 100% and show her true talents. Not saying that she doesn’t do that in f(x), just she shows her talents and her 100% in a f(x) style. This is track that I would describe as a RnB infused with many different genres that sound like bliss. And it is all in English. And when you think it is the pinnacle of the whole comeback, you are wrong. The lyrics, her vocals and rapping are all so amazing. It really reflect upon the message she is trying to deliver. It is a song that you need to listen to. Sometimes words cannot describe things, and this is one of those times. The song talks about being yourself and that sometimes being on that “rough path” is the only way to get to your destination. As I said her vocals were amazing (for those who say she cannot sing, this proves you wrong). Her husky voice really brings the song to a whole new level. Even the instrumental is really impressive and love the different electronic sounds and influences I can here.
Music video wise, I love it. We see Amber sitting in a cube structure. And the cube acts like borders or the “pressures from the outside” closing in on her. I love it when she sings about her mum, you see this caring image of a mother (doing her job right) and supporting her daughter/son in the video. We see two different people. One guy is depressed and one fixated on her body. While we do not see the aftermath with the girl, who I assume managed to pull through after she realized what she is putting herself into, the guy we see attempts to take his life at the climax of the song. However after, we see him smiling and looking into the distant at the exact spot of his attempted attempt on his life. The video ends nicely with another mother/child seen. I find this a truly beautiful video with the mother/child scenes probably the most powerful.
Overall, a beautiful message within a beautiful song and video. Just listening to the song and watching the video renders me speechless. 10/10
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 :).
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
If You Do
Oh My Girl
Love Me Right
I Need U
Sing For You
Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
Like OOH AHH
Oh Um Ah Yeah
Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
Between Night n Music
Shake That Brass
Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
VIXX LR (VIXX)
Brand New World
Brown Eyed Girls
Ring My Bell
Donghae & Eunhyuk
Catch Me If You Can
Me Gustas Tu
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
Might Just Die
We Like 2 Party
Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
Ice Cream Cake
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
I Feel You
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).
2015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 1 of the BOBs and part 2 will be released tomorrow with the rest of the categories. Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!
These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).
RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention
Each year, artists see a rise in popularity. May that be due to great songs or great publicity (after all: any publicity is good publicity), this year was no difference. Each of these artists, I have personally seen, some sort of boost in popularity this year. And I get to choose two winners (one male and one female) for this certain category. For this year, I have nominated:
My pick is: EXID and BTOB. Both teams saw a rise in popularity due to one particular member, and slowly each member in each group is become well known in the industry. Keep up the good work, EXID and BTOB!!!
A song is not a song without an instrumental. And in KPOP, the instrumental plays a massive part in hooking us in and getting us addicted to the music. Especially for foreign and international fans who don’t understand the Korean language 100%. So many great instrumentals this year, here are the nominees:
Out of all the nominees, there can be only one winner: Wonder Girls – I Feel You. The girls returned to the stage with a brand new band concept, which totally wowed me. This instrumental has its own retro vibe and I personally enjoyed it a lot. From the drums to the keyboard and guitars, the girls totally deserve this. By far one of the most underrated songs, that definitely deserve an award! Honourable Mentions: F(x) – 4Walls
BEST JAPANESE SONG
I also do some Japanese songs on this site. Hahaha… Yeah, I review some Japanese songs from time to time. The variety of singers that I listen to for Japanese songs is usually limited to only the Japanese songs released by Korean artists. This year, the category has been dominated by Korean artists and I hope next year, I can start to review more Japanese artists! Here are the nominees:
I think, I was most addicted to Beast – Can’t Wait To Love You. And that was my pick for Best Japanese Song. It was song that I felt did not fall into the typical Korean Pop or Japanese Pop genres and was pretty unique on its own. As for honourable mentions: BTS – For You.
Big name comebacks this occurred and they all managed to rock our socks off. Hahaha… I take into account: song, concept, promotions, looks, impact and a few more categories and suprisngly, the biggest artists that emerge from the Golden Age of KPOP were nominated:
Out of all the comebacks nominated, the one that fitted the criteria the most would have been Big Bang. 2015 was one big year for the band, and they had such an unique concept in terms of promotion. SNSD takes away honourable mention for this category.
Unfortunately, 2015 did not continue the 2014 trend of subunits. However, some new subunits formed from popular bands and some old favourite returned. Here is who I think should be nominated as best subunit:
This one was a little close for me. But I am going to say Donghae and Eunhyuk, which is a subunit belonging to Super Junior. Their song was by far an amazing and left a more long lasting impact on me than the others. The other subunit that gets honourable mention is VIXX LR, which is a duo made up of Leo and Ravi.
2015 saw a new wave of contestant based TV shows around rapping and hence many artists have seen a boost in popularity after appearing on these shows. Other rappers also remained on stage as part of their groups and amazed the audience continuously during each comeback. Here are the nominees:
Out of all the rappers on the light, I picked Mad Clown as a winner. His song was a hit, it was a great song (now) and while he is not part of some group, he still managed to be placed ahead of everyone this year. Zico (Block B) took out Honourable Mention for his active year. Interestingly enough, both selected artists had someone featuring in their song.
When there are rappers, there are also singers. 2015 also saw new programs (and our old favourites) made specifically for the vocalists of all groups. Some vocalists we know have always amazed us, but others have just emerged and became trends for 2015. Based purely on what they sound like, here are the nominees:
I think this category has the most obvious winner, Taeyeon (SNSD). Yeah, she was quite active as an artist, but her debut for I blew everyone away. As for honourable mention, it goes to Solji (EXID). Her performance of Maria still replays in my head. Her powerful vocals in EXID’s performance are also quite amazing.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
While the above category looked like at vocal performance, the Best Male Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:
There is only one artist on this list that managed to wow me the very moment I listened to the song and that artist is Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite). His whole album did wonders and is an album that I am continuously going back to. As for honourable mentions, Lee Hong Ki (FT Island) wins that. His solo debut song was well received and I reviewed it as an amazing ballad.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
While the above category(Best Vocalist) looked like at vocal performance, the Best Female Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:
Once again, I am going to give it to Taeyeon (SNSD). Vocally, stunning. It was memorable and lovely to listen to. Honourable Mention was a close call, but Amber (F(x)) stole it from Gain (Brown Eyed Girls). So catchy and bright.
And that is it for Part 1 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, where I will post the second part of the BOBs, with Best Song, Best Male and Female Rookie; and Best Male and Female groups (plus a few more categories).
*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.
It has been a long wait, but the girls are back. With their unique and interesting concepts and stages, F(x) has returned with an EDM based title track and a smashing album that is something that you all should be listening to. After the withdrawal of Sulli, the girls have relaunched as a 4 member group and are currently promoting their new album.
I love this song. I am addicted to this song. Someone get me help, because the songs this month are just slaying me one by one.Everything about the song is perfection for me. Every single aspect does wondrous things in my head. Let’s start off with the instrumental. When I first heard the EDM concept, I thought it would be like a more heavier track like T-ara’s Sugar Free, but instead it had a much softer sound. A lot of EDM tracks don’t go the right way with me, but this one had a pleasant sound to it and did not hurt my ears. Thanks friends and parties. As for the vocals and rap, I thought they sounded great. They did need to make their vocals a lot softer to fit in with the track, but they managed to keep their own colour and style. The song is pretty unique and it (at the moment) is a one of a kind in the industry.
The music video is really artsy fartsy as people might say. It was very confusing to watch it but I think that was the intention. They start off in their house or apartment and they seem to start off their day as usual. I really like it how pretty down to earth they were in this video. It seems we are witnessing the members in their natural environment. Then all hell breaks loose with Amber breaking her tea cup and the other members pour excessive amounts of tea and suddenly throwing themselves onto the floor. The screens widen as we move out into the forest where the girls wonder around. It all seems like the girls act as if they are all 1 particular person OR they are each other in alternative universes. But the ending says otherwise. Anyway, they get lost but somehow make their way back into the very same apartment at the start and Victoria prevents the same events as Amber tries to break the cup again (as she passes by everyone). Yeah, still have no idea what the video is about. But the cinematography and the shaky focus goes hand in hand, adding confusion to the video. I liked it
The dance is pretty cool. It matched the sound and stlye of the song. I was really interested in what the dance would be like since the music video did not show any of the dance, but it all makes sense and I like it a lot now that I know. I just want a freaking dance version of the music video, or at least some sort of dance or performance version. It is a lot more feminine than I thought it would be and I thought Amber would have some trouble fitting in, but she manages to pull it off with ease.
Perfection. Even the whole album can be described as perfection. 10/10
F(x) has to be one of the most overlooked bands of Korean Pop. Well, not overlooked by fans but by their own company. Last year, F(x) made their comeback with Red Light, but promotions were cut short after Sulli “went on a hiatus” and that is basically code for “going against your company”. But now, I guess we will see the revival of F(x) with Amber, the group’s resident rapper, making her solo debut with Shake That Brass, which features SNSD’s Taeyeon. Amber is the first member of the group to undergo formal promotions for solo work. Other F(x) members are widely known for their OSTs and also acting works.
I think anyone listening to this song could tell it is very Americanized. There is no KPOP feel to it, but really a very big mass American appeal to it. In my last review, I did talk about the ongoing trend about mashup between various genres. For this song, I think all of the sounds went really well together. This song flowed soundly and I could not feel awkward or did not cringe at some places. Amber’s rap is pretty good and I really love the “na na na”part. That is pretty cool. Taeyeon’s part was okay. I am sure it could have been left out and Amber put in another rapping segment or another “na na na” part. As for the title, I am 100% Amber changed the wording around to avoid getting cricisted and banned from the networks. That or she really wants to shake some brass. Literally. But it was a very catchy songs and those trumpet sounds were really appealing to my ears.
This is one very bright and colourful video. You can tell that Amber brought the youth to her video. I like it how she invited most her friends to the shoot. It is pretty smart and at the same time, shows that she is very connected in the industry. So many people including Jackson, Joon from G.o.D, Rome from C-Clown, Min and Jia from Miss A, Brad from Busker Busker and many more celebrities that I cannot name from the top of my head attended. I love the little comic sound effects that they added in. That laundro-mat scene was pretty interesting. I would like some glasses that gets everyone to party, but that last part was embarrassing. Guess the glasses last only a few times. I like it how they took the gold brass colour and used that throughout the video. I believe in every scene there was something gold or made of brass. Nice video.
The dance was cool. I honestly don’t know what to say. It guess it is catchy. I just can’t really imagine a different dance routine in place of this one.
F(x) is finally back with a brand new album. Last year they had a very unappealing promotion of Rum Pum Pum Pum, which did record some success, but with a majority of people disliking the song (I was not alone). Now they are back with a brand new song that is described as an electro style song with a mashup of another genre. I have to be this song is much better than their last song and their album this time contains pretty cool song. I really love Paper Heart which sounds amazing. This comeback has also caused a little criticisms to which I will discuss below. And It also seems the girls are back with a more edgier concept, one that I think the girls need to stick to.
This song is freaking amazing. Who cares if their entertainment company bought the song? IT IS FREAKING AMAZING. Must remain calm. To me, this is a good mashup of 10 different songs into one. Like seriously, there are like 10 different songs in this song. Sometimes it is fast other times it is slow. Sometimes there is not instrumental, other times there are. I find the song matches my taste and style. Another thing is their vocals in this song sound quite good. It matches the tempo of the song and I find it is a good thing. The lyrics, to me, make somewhat some kind of sense, but at other times it sounds like something that came out of multiple different books. The lyric is what go them banned however. KBS cited the reason that the song contained the word “Caterpillar” which happens to be a brand of machinery in Korea. WOW. great freaking excuse. Next we can start banning songs for containing names of people. The vocals were nice and I think it manages to show off the member’s talent. Overall, an amazing song.
Their music video has been criticised for burning the Bible at the start. Though is a legitimate excuse to cause an outrage, I don’t think we should be jumping to that conclusion. Aren’t most of Koreans and the band (well some members, if not all) are people who follow the Church? Anyway, the music video is quite dark and for once the band is having their music video outside of a box. Wow. How amazing is that. A non box-y video. Hahaha… I like the start with the telephone, it sounded creepy. I love it when they are filmed dancing and only their silhouettes are shown. And the inclusion of red lights is pretty smart. Though I am not a fan on the colours effects that they add onto the solo shots. Once again, quite distracting. I just feel that something else is needed in this video. Maybe more of a plot or something to make it more memorable. That or the plot of the video was the girls were modelling and then started to run away from flashing lights. But I think it was an alright video to watch.
The dancing could have been way better than what we have been presented with. Not that I am saying what we have already is bad, because it is pretty okay. But I think the dance should have been ground breaking and had more of an impact towards it, then it would have secured the girls a really high spot in terms of popularity.
Overall, I give it a 8/10. It is a pretty cool comeback at the moment, but with a few things extra, and the “perfect comeback” would have been established.
Hi all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wow, 2013 is finally over. Can you believe it. With days to go, I will be unable to update this over my “break”. Beside that I have scheduled a whole heap of reviews. I promised you guys an End Of Year Charts, and with that very day 3-4 days away, I think it is time unleash the beast. Party hard! Welcome the new year in style! I will wish to see you all back on the 2nd of Jan 2013 (subject to change). At the very bottom of this post, there will be two links. One is a playlist for the winners of the BOB’s and the other is the top 20 songs of the year, as selected by this chart. Yay!!!!
Even though this song does not have a music video, I believe it is worthy for a review. This song was promoted in conjunction with Rum Pum Pum Pum, the band’s only comeback song for the year. Rum Pum Pum Pum was a disappoint to me as it was not as catchy as F(x) past songs. On top of that, I am not a big F(x) songs as I have been disappointed once before. It is also quite sad that this band does not get the attention they need from their own company. But anyway, this song (plus every other song on the album) did make up for the disappointment I had in RPPP. Below you will see why!
This song is another amazing song. I absolutely love this song. It has this fresh summery feel to it which RPPP lacked, a lot. Though, I am wondering if the band will next come out with a song called rocket or something, I am really happy everytime I hear this song. There is not one bit that is wrong with the song. The song is really quite modern and the vocals in this song is not that bad. The start gets you to sway along with the song and the when the song drops everytime, it just sounds like an orgasm to my ears. Yes, I went there. The chorus is really classy and sounds just right for such a cool song. I also like Amber’s vocals the most, mainly because she has an amazing voice that is not showcased in many songs. “Come With Me, Airplane, Love“.
The dance is quite weak compared to the song, but still looks amazing. I love the use of the chairs and the dance moves with the chairs. The song has that little “spring in your step” kind of beat, and I am pretty happy that they included that “spring in your step” in the choreography.
9/10. Obviously much better than Rum Pum Pum Pum. Why not “Come With Me” and listen to this song together?
Henry, the latest solo act from SM Entertainment, recently made his comeback with his re-released 1-4-3. He previously released this song on his mini album, with only himself in the song, but as his repackaged and follow up song, he (or the company) had added Amber to the song, to give it a much cool feel to it. A lively summer song, 1-4-3 basically means “I Love You” (yes I do) and symbolises the amount of letters there are in each word. Pretty smart as well. The song also mentions 4-8-6, which basically means the same thing, but in Korean and it symbolises the amount of strokes it takes to write each letter or syllable. The rap of the two songs are completely different and made the song completely different, Understand or not?
The song was released twice, once with Henry’s rap and the other with Amber’s rap. Both raps make the song mildly different. To me, Henry’s version sounded great, but the rap kind of sounded out of place with the rest of the song. In Amber’s version, the song sounded lie it flowed much better and sounded great as well. It can be agreed, in my head, that this is a really good summer song that sounds amazing. The only thing I am going to pick on even further is that the song sounded like it went forever. Maybe a great thing, but the song seemed to be dragged out quite a bit and really did not have the same level of impact to me at the end, as it did at the start. It was a great song. but I really lost my mojo after the first chorus. Maybe the instrumental was the problem, but I loved the pop beat to it. The chorus is also quite catchy and honestly, the song is title is quite smart. BLOW YOUR MIND!
Despite being a music video outside of the box, I thought it was quite boring. I seriously did not like the music video as much as I thought I did. It really did not live up to the exact standard as the song created, which was quite disappointing. The music video basically tells the story of how a girl got confused, but soon realized about what the number 1,3,4 basically mean. (To be honest, I didn’t realize as well). Honestly, I thought Amber looked much better in this video than what henry looked like and that blonde hair does not suit him. I think I have to settle with this decision, but for really dry plot music videos, please put them in a box. Seriously, I don’t get all the different scenes and that it seemed quite choppy.
I cannot resist myself, but there were quite a lot of crotch grabbing in this dance. Essentially, this dance is much more jumpy and lively and better, compared to Trap. The dance at at the chorus was pretty cool and I think this actually helps Henry live up the standard of being a dancer.
7.5/10. I liked it and all, but had to deduct marks off for the music video. Sorry. My question to you is: which Henry Lau song did you enjoy? Trap? 1-4-3? Or maybe another song off his mini albums?Put your say in the poll below! ^^ Also, both 2NE1 songs were liked equally. Both getting 2 votes each. Let’s see which song will win for Henry, shall we???