[Album Review] New Moon (6th Mini Album) – AOA

So many artists are nominated this year in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, including BLACKPINK, Dream Catcher, Red Velvet, Oh My Girl, CLC etc. Click here to support your favourite artists before the 31st of December.

I am finally getting around to finishing the album reviews that I intended to do from October and November (every album review up from the next one to the end of the year are December releases). The final album from November and the focus of today’s album review is AOA’s New Moon, which was released on the 27th of November. This is the group’s first comeback since reforming a five member. Changing the number of members is always a challenge, particularly if the group has been well known for a previous set of members (i.e. AOA’s OT7). But I found that AOA’s return (through this album) was definitely proves that they haven’t been impacted negatively by the change in lineup and is still a force to be reckoned with.

New Moon Album Cover

1. Come See Me (날 보러 와요) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Come See Me. (7/10)

2. SorryClick here to read the full review for Sorry. (9/10)

3. Magic Spell (주문을 외워봐) – AOA shows an even stronger profile through Magic Spell. It is a typical pop track. But it features a bold and powerful rolling drum beat. There are some rock influences embedded in the instrumental, which really emphasis that strong side I am talking about. Alongside the whistling in the instrumental, I think the track ends up being very dynamic. I thought the vocal work was one of the best yet and the Jimin’s rapping packs a punch as expected from the rapper herself. One other thing I love about this track is the energy that comes off it, which also helps the track to become memorable. (9/10)

4. Ninety Nine – We start off with a sketchy autotune section courtesy of Jimin, with the lyrics just recognizable. The track then changes its tone with a more seductive and attitude heavy verse, on top of some bass guitars. The pre-chorus features some twinkling profiles, while guitars and falsettos are the main component of the chorus and the rest of the song. I thought the melody was quite strong and this helped the song become quite iconic on this album. The lyrics also go towards the suggestive/sensual side of the spectrum, which was definitely interesting. The song ends with another sketchy autotune segment, which I still have not warmed up to, despite it being at the start and end of the song. (8.5/10)

5. My Way – We end the album with My Way, which has a bold retro sound to it. The retro sound can be attributed to the brass present and the very deep thumping in the background helped with giving the song some stability. Though, I think the retro sound was loss towards the end thanks to the electric guitar. It was a catchy song, with strong hooks and a very appealing instrumental. I really like how the song pushed along with its momentum. Jimin’s rap sequence was also an interesting change up to the song, giving it edge and power in a unique sense. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

New Moon Teaser Image

[Review] Come See Me – AOA

Making their comeback yesterday is AOA. It has been over a year since we last heard from this popular girl group through their catchy Bingle Bangle comeback. Since then, the group was reduced to a five-member lineup, after Mina decided to not renew her contract with FNC Entertainment. The group then went on to participate on the TV show, Queendom, where the group reminded the audience that they still around. And this leads to their comeback, Come See Me.

What the group needs after their appearance on Queendom is a comeback featuring a powerful, catchy and addictive track. This would help further propel the group back into the spotlight, especially after some time away from the industry. Come See Me might just hit the mark, fulfiling the specified criteria above. But they only did so barely. I think this is a solid pop-dance track. It can be described as catchy and addictive, thanks to the chorus and that ‘Twilight’ hook. But as much as I would like to throw high ratings at it, the song did come with an overwhelming generic tag attached to it. The instrumental felt very plain and ordinary, while AOA past tracks have instrumentals that made them stand out and different from the rest of the female groups that they once competed with. The only time that the song felt like it was coming from AOA was during Jimin’s rap sequence. The same couldn’t be said with the rest of the member’s vocal work in the song. I was, however, was impressed that Jimin joined the vocal lineup with a singing section. But would all of this affect me from listening to Come See Me? Possibly, but the catchiness of the hooks might be enough to save it.

Based on the similarities between the music video and their final Queendom stage (with Sorry), I guess the company was going to make AOA comeback whether or not they gained anything from the competition show. From the brown outfits they wore on the stage to the use of guns, these were direct hints to the concept. I see the members play assassins in this video, so I assume the thrill of killing is like the thrill they get when their partner approaches them (as suggested by the lyrics). I liked the video as it showcased an edgy look, which is a completely different side of the group that we are used to. At the same time, the group managed to remain sexy, which has always been AOA’s strongest suit.

I am on the fence with this performance. I really liked how they finished the chorus, with the ‘twilight’ move. But I felt their start to the chorus and the verses were pretty weak. As expected, my most favourite part of the performance has to be when they beckon you to follow them (about halfway through the chorus).

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

[Special Review] Queendom – Final Tracks

As promised, here is the first of a few Special posts that I have lined up for the final few weeks of the year. This is also a very long post!

Wrapping up its run on the air a few weeks ago is Queendom, a new and innovative show that brought together 5 leading girl groups (AOA, (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Mamamoo and Oh My Girl) and one soloist (Park Bom) to have a comeback battle. In the weeks leading up to the final (which was the actual ‘comeback’ battle – where all 6 songs from the 6 acts were released at once to determine who was the Top Artist), the 6 acts participated in various rounds of performances (1st Round – Representative Hit Song; 2nd Round – Cover Song of Fellow Queendom Contestant; and 3rd Round – Unit Performance + Fandora’s Box) to gain points which placed them at an advantage during the ‘comeback’ battle.

The show ended up being very successful, with fans and viewers talking about the show’s performances each week. Each week, there was one or two groups that stole the spotlight. Some notable examples include the fanfare that AOA had when they performed the remixed version of Miniskirt during the first round and how Lovelyz got Sixth Sense and their own name trending after their cover of Brown Eyed Girl’s Sixth Sense in the second round.

Despite my exams and assignments, I tuned in each week to watch the performances as they felt like all the stages were on a whole new level to what we saw on the standard weekly music shows. I hope the show returns with a new female lineup and possibly a male spinoff titled Kingdom, as requested by many fans already. And today, I will be having a look at each of the songs that each act performed in the final round, as there are a number of good tracks that you should not just pass over just because the show is over. I will also be rating the performances and determining an overall score (as I believe these songs will be appearing on each artists’ future comebacks).


Sorry – AOA

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AOA has been riddled with of departures of a few members over the last few years, leading their once strong lineup into a potentially shaky future. So in a way, Queendom was a way to relaunch the five-member lineup and showcase the new era of AOA. They have proven to be strong contenders throughout the preliminary rounds of Queendom and Sorry further highlights their potential. The synthpop instrumentation, their nostalgic and catchy chorus, the very moody verses and strong vocals really made this song into one of the more iconic tracks of the competition. I did think Jimin’s rapping could have been a little powerful, in this song actually. We have seen her do some bombastic solo work and I wished AOA’s releases incorporated some of this.

AOA’s Western outback concept was a pretty strong concept and It seems like they will be continuing this into their upcoming music release next week. I thought the concept showed off a nice mature of the girls, which is reflective in the music as well. While the performance was watchable in a pleasant way, Chanmi’s mini fight sequence was undoubtedly the highlight of this performance and deserves a lot of attention.

Song – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10


Moonlight – Lovelyz

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It was really surprising to see Lovelyz gain attention for their Sixth Sense cover, which goes against every Lovelyz song we have ever heard in their careers thus far. But good for them! Hopefully, this signals as a potential concept for the future, as we now have a valid confirmation that Lovelyz can pull off a powerful concept. But the focus should be on Moonlight, which I, unfortunately, rank as one of the weaker tracks of the final round. It lacked boldness that some of their other contenders had in their performance and it failed to be memorable (I pretty much forgot the song right after it finished playing). It was bearable though, with good vocals and melody, which is usually expected from the group. Just not enough to make this a strong track.

I am not too sure about the concept of this stage. But their outfits reminded me of Greek Goddesses and I thought they were pretty on stage. The dance moves were nice and elegant, which worked well with the melody of the song. At times, it looked like they were struggling within themselves, which worked well with the lyrics of the song. Overall, a good performance.

Song – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating –  6.3/10


Wanna Go Back (되돌릴 수 없는 돌아갈 수 없는 돌아갈 곳 없는) – Park Bom

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I question the producer for bringing Park Bom into the competition. It isn’t because she is a terrible artist. She has great songs and a unique set of vocals that make her stand out. She is just at a disadvantage from the start in Queendom (performing alone, couldn’t participate in the dance unit in Round 3 etc.). She did bring an interesting level of competition (and her interactions with the younger artists made the show fun). Her final song was titled Wanna Go Back, which is an emotional ballad that reflected on her desire to go back to the good old days of 2NE1. It also brings out her vocals, which is an improvement from some of Queendom’s preliminary round. That high note sounded quite good and it was something I didn’t think Park Bom could handle.

Her performance stage was practically a throwback to her time in 2NE1. The four microphone stands, the three other backup dancers to complete a lineup of four. I also really liked how she used that stage platform to show that she will be rising to the top again and her mic drop at the end. Not too sure about her mini performance at the end. But other than that, it was a powerful performance but in a different sense.

Song – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10


Guerilla (게릴라) – Oh My Girl

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Out of all the groups on Queendom, it seems like Oh My Girl was the biggest beneficiary. Since their initial stages on the show, the group have been approached by multiple companies asking them to be their models for their products. They have also been granted an extended holiday, which they undoubtedly deserve after Queendom and their impressive run with The Fifth Season earlier this year. Guerilla is my pick for the best track of all the 6 acts. It showcases a different side of Oh My Girl. A more suspenseful and edgy sound from the group, thanks for the subtle use of trap elements. I also thought their vocals in this song were the strongest out of the 6 acts as well. Mimi’s rapping was a tad too soft for my liking and would have preferred to be a lot louder to match up with the vocals.

I freaking love this performance. It is one of the two that I have been coming back to every single day because I cannot get enough of it. From the ropes at the start to their powerful moves during the chorus to the elegant natures during the bridge, it was a solid performance that showcases that there is more to Oh My Girl than what we have heard so far. I also like their styling, which was very bold.

Song – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10


Lion – (G)I-DLE

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(G)I-DLE is the youngest group on the Queendom lineup. But their work thus far, it felt like the group has been in the industry for some time. No wonder they are known as monster rookies when they debuted. Lion probably stands as one of the most iconic and unique tracks of the night. Cube Entertainment went of their way to even produce a music video for it. I feel like if (G)I-DLE returned with tracks that showed feminine power like Lion, rather than Senorita and Uh-Oh, 2019 would have been a pretty successful year for the group. Two things stood out for me in this powerful track: Soyeon’s rapping and Minnie’s high and low sections.

Best outfits and concept for the final night goes to Lion. This was one hell of a performance. And this doesn’t just apply to the singers. The backup dancers rocked awesome manes. I also like how fierce their moves and facial expressions were. It is a powerful song and it is paired with an equally powerful and unique set of moves.

Song – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10


Destiny (우린 결국 다시 만날 운명이었지) – Mamamoo

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I was most excited for Mamamoo, as everyone knows how much of a fan I am of the group. Their stages on Queendom have been consistently my favourite. Their final song was titled Destiny and it actually features on their recent comeback album, reality in BLACK, which I will be reviewing on a later date. Destiny is special as it is probably their most experimental track yet. It mashes different styles together, creating a whole track that brings out all their strengths (vocals, rapping, harmonies and everything else). I really liked the start of the track, where everything felt blue and moody. I like their Western instrumental, followed by that rocking ending.

One thing that Mamamoo can do that not many other artists are able to do is engage the audience into the performance. That and their stage presence is very big. Throw in some live vocals and you have a rocking performance that really doesn’t need choreography. You have already done the hard work by captivating the audience. That being said, there was some choreography and everything they ended up doing looked really cool. Just focus on Hwasa and you can see how that is the case!

Song – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.7/10


And that is my review for Queendom’s final tracks. All of the tracks were amazing in their own way but Destiny by Mamamoo came out on top as my favourite. But what was your favourite? Comment down below and let’s see if we all agree with one another.

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the second section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best Male and Female Choreography, Best Album and Best Song of 2018.

In addition to the fan-voted categories, I have also included 5 categories that were not fan voted and I had personally selected the winners (or were determined throughout the year). They include Best Special Performance, Best Concept, Best Non-Title Track, Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment and Most Viewed Review of 2018. They are labelled clearly.

Each category (with the exception of the non-fan-voted categories) will have a WINNER (the artist that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best Male Choreography

Nominees – Fake Love (BTS), Tempo (EXO), Lullaby (GOT7), Thanks (Seventeen), Now or Never (SF9), Black Heart (UNB)

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WINNER – Thanks (Seventeen)
Honourable Mention – Fake Love (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Lullaby (GOT7)


Best Female Choreography

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), Woman (BoA), I Love You (EXID), Time For The Moon Night (GFriend), Siren (Sunmi), Dance The Night Away (TWICE)

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WINNER – Woman (BoA)
Honourable Mentions – Siren (Sunmi) & Dance The Night Away (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – I Love You (EXID)


Best Special Performance

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dreams Come True (WJSN) at KCON 2018 Japan


Best Music Video

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), DDU-DU DDU DU (BLACKPINK), Fake Love (BTS), Love Bomb (fromis.9), Really Bad Boy (Red Velvet), Now or Never (SF9), District 9 (Stray Kids), The Chance of Love (TVXQ), Yes or Yes (TWICE), Spring Breeze (Wanna One)

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WINNER – Fake Love (BTS)
Honourable Mention – DDU-DU DDU-DU (BLACKPINK)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Fake Love (BTS)


Best Japanese Song Released by a Korean Artist

Nominees – Electric Kiss (EXO), Memoria (GFriend), Chain (NCT 127), Call Call Call (Seventeen), BDZ (TWICE)

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WINNER – Electric Kiss (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Call Call Call (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Call Call Call (Seventeen)


Best Collaboration

Nominees – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung), Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon), Dinner (Suho & Jang Jae In), Page 0 (Taeyeon & Melomance), Love It Like It (YDPP)

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WINNER – Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon)
Honourable Mention – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love It Like It (YDPP)


Song With Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Heroine (Sunmi) & Bingle Bangle (AOA)
[3 Weeks Each]


Most Viewed Review of 2018

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Boom Boom (Momoland)


Best Concept

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Love Bomb (fromis.9)


Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dystopia (Cross Gene)


Best Album

Nominees – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS), Don’t Mess With My Tempo (EXO), The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee), Something New (Taeyeon (SNSD)), 1÷x = 1 (Undivided) (Wanna One)

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WINNER – The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)


Best Song of 2018

Nominees – All title tracks released from January 2018 to November 2018.
The following song had the highest fan votes in the Best Song of 2018 category. The fan votes in this category will also contribute to 50% of the End Of The Year charts.

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WINNER – Good Evening (SHINee)


And that completes the Song Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Artist Categories were previously posted so you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Special] Personal Favourite Songs from the First Half of 2018

With the first 6 months of 2018 officially over, it is time to look back at my personal favourite songs from the first half. Last week, I recapped the top songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts. But some songs that I personally liked didn’t really make that list. So here are 15 songs released over the last 6 months that are my personal favourites AND continually listen to (irrespective of the charts and the reviews – as opinions do change).

[Review] Bingle Bangle – AOA

Making their comeback after over a year’s absence from the KPOP scenes is AOA. Their last comeback was at the very start of last year with Bing Bing and Excuse Me. This time around, they return with Bingle Bangle, which is the title for both their title track and 5th mini-album. This is also the group’s first comeback since the departure of ChoA, which was confirmed about a year ago.

The last few days I have been talking about a list of songs that I am currently on a replaying binge. And it seems like the list is growing longer by the day. AOA’s Bingle Bangle finds itself on that very same list. The song, well-suited for the Summer period that is approaching imminently, is extremely catchy with its very simple and easy repetition. It doesn’t help that the section in question is super bright and features catchy whistling as well. I really liked Yuna’s parts just before the chorus kicks in, which shows us she is capable of taking over the main vocalist position. The one member I was most concerned was Jimin, as her rapping style doesn’t really compliment the song’s sound. However, I was quite wrong with that assumption and also thought her section was one of the best. I am totally digging the song and just want to continue listening to the song.

AOA takes on a concept change with the music video. And I really like what they did. The concept seems to be retro gaming, where the members of AOA (excluding Mina) are characters within the game. Mina spends the entirety of the day playing the games, only taking a break when she falls asleep. Within the game, the members notice how far Mina is levelling up and once she reaches 4000 points, she too enters the game (but takes on an 8-bit form). What also makes this music video feel more retro is that the members are on rollerskates and the game is set at a diner. It was a well-produced video and it had a fun concept, which made it even more likeable.

I love the choreography for this comeback. Especially during the Bingle Bangle repetition, which was my favourite bit of the entire performance. The members also looked like they were enjoying themselves on stage.

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

 

[Review] Excuse Me – AOA

AOA has made their return to the stage with their first album, Angel’s Knock. Their first album includes two title tracks: Bing Bing (released earlier) and Excuse Me (currently being reviewed). This is their first Korean comeback since Good Luck, released back in May last year.  Since then, Youkyung (drummer) left the group and the girls released a Japanese album as well.

While Bing Bing failed to live up to my expectations, Excuse Me does just what Bing Bing did not do. The song itself is amazing, catchy and very addictive to listen to. The chorus was the highlight of the entire song. The song brings you back the days where the disco and retro vibes were the strongest. Mix in a hint of electronic influences to give that retro a more modern, rather than outdated feel and the song really hits a home run. The vocals here, along with the instrumental are blaring perfectly. None of those two let you down when you listen to the song. However, Jimin’s rap sequence did ruin the song for me. For once it wasn’t Jimin’s rapping but rather the unfortunate mash-up attempt of EDM in the song. The producer should have kept with that disco and retro vibe for her rapping. But besides that, the song is amazing and it is a song that makes you wanting more.

The girls go for the detective concept with the Excuse Me music video. All of them share the mission of finding a mysterious guy whose hat is always tipped at an angle. If that doesn’t shout shady to everyone else, I don’t what would. I know you probably think I hate Jimin because I always have something to say about her. But, the way she walks out with the cup of water splashing all over the place gave made me nervous of the cup of water. Hahahaha.. What am I talking about? My other problem with the video is that Seolhyun’s dress doesn’t look like it comes from that era. Rather, it looks too modern. But besides that, the video has a unique concept and it looks quite cool.

While I did like the Bing Bing dance, I am not much of a fan. The small twirling around and prancing-like steps really don’t look mature or sensual. Instead, it looks cutesy and doesn’t go well with the concept. However, it is quite memorable, to be honest.

Rating – 7/10

[Review] Bing Bing – AOA

AOA has made their return to the stage with their first album, Angel’s Knock. Their first album includes two title tracks: Bing Bing (the one being reviewed) and Excuse Me (will be released later). This is their first Korean comeback since Good Luck, released back in May last year.  Since then, Youkyung (drummer) left the group and the girls released a Japanese album as well.

Bing Bing is like an upgraded version of Like A Cat, released back in 2013. The chorus gave me those feels and sound similar enough to make their previous song pop into my head. There is that sensual feeling to it. Bing Bing is, however, more retro sounding and attempts to appeal to that genre of pop music. But it doesn’t hit the right targets. Instead, I think the has a messy element to it. The first part of Chanmi’s rap was pretty good, then they repeated it. Then they chopped her part up and made it choppy and jagged. Jimin’s vocals throughout were okay. That whininess that I used to complain about is back. I don’t know about her long note in the bridge. A part of me thinks it is interesting, while the other part thinks just doesn’t work at all. It sounds like those long sounding monotone “beeps” you would imitate when you are younger to act as if you are swearing or cursing. There isn’t anything in the song that makes it appealing or makes me want to return to replay the song. The vocals are okay and there isn’t anything else worth talking about.

The video is okay. I like the magical element and how everything seemed to shot on the one or two sets that appeared in the video. Like magic in general, I question the validity of the magic tricks. But then again, thanks to the power of editing and CGI nowadays, we have the Bing Bing music video. The video is quite simple and the girls went for a very sensual but classy look at the same time. Everything looks retro, fitting the song quite nicely. But like the song, it just lacks the appeal and isn’t memorable as you would expect it to be. But if you are a fan of the girls of AOA and their sexier side, do check out both Bing Bing and Excuse Me.

The dance makes sense. “It’s dizzy. Bing Bing. In My Head. Bing Bing“. And then they do motions around the head as if they had a headache or dizzy because of a guy. The dance itself looked quite cool overall. I know it is only the start of the year, but it sets the standard high. The girls themselves looked spectacular performing this song.

Rating – 5.5/10

 

 

[Review] Good Luck – AOA

AOA has finally returned with a new track and they are not getting the attention they deserved. AOA started off their promotions for Good Luck, on a sour note, with two of their members somehow wounded up in a controversy regarding a lack of historical knowledge. One comment on that: History will never be everyone’s strong point, regardless if you come from a country that prides itself for its history. AOA (along with KBS’s Music Bank) was questioned for their win for first place, which was later confirmed by KBS that it was a mistake and that Twice (AOA’s contender that week) should have won. Again, it made their promotions sour ever further. AOA’s company ended  AOA’s promotion suddenly and said it was not related to the latter incident. I let you be the judge for that one.

But honestly, I thought it was a really good song and that AOA does deserve the win (especially given my thoughts towards Twice’s song). It was the perfect way to enter the Summer season. It was an upbeat track with a really nice and refreshing EDM style instrumental. Their vocals were pretty good (but the line distribution was a little skewed). I have to say, for once, I am starting to like Jimin’s rapping. It was ideal in this song and fitted in well. AND it DID NOT feel whiney whatsoever. It was a really catchy track and sounded really sexy at the same time. Much better than Heart Attack, and probably can be declared as my most favourite AOA song to date.

This is not a music video. It was a Sprite commercial. Get it right! Regardless of how I watch the video (while I am awake, extremely busy, just woken up etc.), I can only see the Sprite bottles. That is exactly what a commercial is meant to do. Draw your attention to the product being marketed. That whole start of the video, that mimcked Baywatch (and included Sprite) was not necessary. In other words, this whole video was a big mess and is asking for the wrong attention. Toyota and Jimin’s boob was also marketed (but both got blurred out or removed) in the final video that was released. Also, you go to Guam for their beaches and bars, not to their fire department. I don’t why, but half the scenes shot could have been taken out and we would have gotten a much better (and more relevant video) with the shots on the beach remaining.

Dance wise, more sexy than anything to talk about. Really disappointed in that, but then again, what did I really expect with this dance? The chorus part looks unimaginative and as if it was slapped together 5 minutes prior to them releasing the video.

Overall, I like the song a lot more than the rest of the comeback package. I think that sums up my review quite nicely. 5.5/10

[Rewind] April 2016 & May 2016

Yeah… I know May hasn’t ended yet, but to avoid posting another late ‘Rewind” post 3 weeks after the month finished, I have decided to April and May together. This one is going to be a little informal in terms of format for a few reasons that will appear apparent. And before we move on, just a little reminder that I will try to write and release reviews every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Okay, moving along:

Leaving the Group?

We became shocked with the disbandment (or what we dubbed at the disbandment) of Kara at the start of the year. However, it seems like certain groups are facing member line up changes after one of their members had decided to not resign with their company and have since departed ways with their respective groups. Former member of 2NE1, Minzy, and former member of Miss A, Jia, have both decided to leave their successful group and go onto their own paths.  Minzy will (hopefully) make her solo debut in the near future after confirmation came from her new company in which she signed. Jia was announced today that she would be leaving the band after her contract finished. Miss A and 2NE1 faced disbandment rumours from these two events, but both their companies have stated that is not the case. Not only girl groups are facing these changes, but A-Jax (if we all remember who they were) recently lost 3 members (Sungmin, Jaehyung and Jihu). But the list does not end there. Hyunseung departed from Beast, leaving the group with 5 members. It was kind of expected after the numerous articles and petitions asking for his removal. Hyunseung is expected to return as a solo artist in the near future and is still signed with Cube Entertainment. It is always disappointing to hear these news and it has obviously shocked the industry a lot. These members have been with their band since the beginning, so it is always hard for fans. Hopefully, there won’t be any more of this and I wish the former members luck in their future endeavours (because that is something we all should do and not call them selfish).

Descendant of the Sun

Now this is something we all have heard about. The drama has taken Asia by storm and has been proven to be highly successsful. It stars Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Ko, as the main characters. Before you all die from shock, I have yet to watch this drama. So, no spoilers. But I don’t actually have any plans to watch the drama. Because I am not one to enjoy romance and all this lovey dovey sh*t. I just don’t watch the genre (or any mainstream and popular dramas). I prefer the cringeworthy daily dramas. Now, why am I talking about this drama? Well, the OSTs for this drama has literally taken over the charts each time they were released. Not complaining here, but the songs were really good. Like, I really enjoy listening to them and this is probably the first time I have been impressed with the OST for a drama. Anyway, the OST contains songs from Davichi, Gummy, K.Will, Yoon Mi Rae, Chen, Punch, Mad Clown, Kim Na Young, Xiah, MC The Max, Lyn and SG Wannabe. In OST terms, this is pretty much the star studded red carpet. Each song released topped the charts instantaneously and I can see these artists winning the Best OST awards at the award ceremonies already. That is all I am reporting on… Hahaha…

Comebacks and Debuts

For the past two months, many artists have made their comeback and they include ): Block B, Seventeen, History, April, Twice, AOA, Akdong Musician, VIXX, Lovelyz, Up10Tion and so many more.

For debuts, NCT is the big debut for April.  I.O.I is probably the major debut for May. However, we have seen new soloists emerge in KPOP in the past two months. Notably, Jung Eunji from APINK, Woohyun from Infinite and Tiffany from SNSD had their respective solo debuts in the last two months.

Top 5 songs of April

As per normal, these are my top 5 songs of April:

  1. Pretty U – Seventeen
  2. Journey to Atlantis – Laboum
  3. Dynamite – VIXX
  4. Queen – History
  5. Toy – Block B

Top 5 songs of May

May hasn’t ended yet, but it is about to. I will add other May songs to the June list (when I get around to it).

0. Pretty U – Seventeen (I have to. I have been trialling charts and Seventeen has been popping up every single week as the top song for the week).
1. Good Luck – AOA
2. Save Me – BTS
3. Nodding Nodding – Woohyun (Infinite)
4. I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)
5. Fire – BTS

This one was a long one and I tried to keep it short. I am really behind in reviews and will get them out slowly. It will take me some time to catch up. Bad news is that I have exams coming up and I am going to be slower. I will review every major release eventually, so give me some time. Enjoy the rest of May and see you tomorrow!!!

 

Call You Bae – Jimin (AOA) ft. Xiumin (EXO)

Jimin from AOA has made her comeback with a brand new song as a solo artist. For those who don’t know, she made her solo debut last year with GOD, along side N.Flying’s J.Don. Now, for this comeback, she enlisted the help of EXO’s Xiumin. Such a surprising collaboration.

As I said the collaboration was unexpected. But the quality of the song and the collaboration itself  is pretty good. Not once was I disappointed with the song, the vocals, the rapping or the concept. I usually complain about Jimin’s rap, but she sounds fine in this song. It didn’t give me shivers or causes any headaches for me. Xiumin’s vocals (in this song) just shows to you how he deserve more lines in EXO. Someone commented somewhere (forgot where) that he got more lines in this song than his entire EXO career. Seems a little far fetched to me, but in reality, we might as well believe it. I do pray that was Jimin was singing (not exactly sure she can, but I assume she can sing) at the chorus when they both go high pitch (and not some stand in). The song made me smile. My only complaint is not really a complaint, but the lyrics seems a little childish in my opinion. Not immature, but the part where Jimin asks Xiumin whether he wants chicken (I assume this is KPOP’s version of Netflix and Chill) and how she raps about “Beep Bop” (alarm) in the second verse, kind of felt more like a child’s song than anything else. But those lyrics do fit very well with the song and make sense, so I am not going to make any deal of it. Oh another reason why I like the song, because I can relate to it. Not going to say much, but currently, I am in Xiumin’s position everytime I see a particular someone.

As for the music video, it matched the song really well. Don’t really have much to say about the video. It is bright, cheerful, happy. What more do you want? That chicken and alarm all played a part in the video. The emojis’ were cool, but I don’t know. Angry face when they were together doesn’t seem like that guy wanted them two together. And Jimin’s wall (or window) just conveniently became some sort of stage for Xiumin to sing on and jump into the frame. Also, I have yet to read any articles or comments that curses the daylight out of Jimin. But I am not going to say anything beside that, because that is obviously a good thing. Let’s leave it there. If you are confused, I’ll explain another day. But great video, which made sense with the song.

I think I have given it a near-prefect review. Disappointed that there are no live performances for this song, because I would love to see it. And is doesn’t matter if Xiumin is unavailable. Other artists can fill in. 10/10

 

I’m Jelly Baby – AOA Cream

AOA is back in the form of 3 members. They just launched their newest subunit AOA Cream, which consists of Chanmi, Hyejeong and Yuna.

Boy, does this song grow on you or what? When I first heard the song, I thought it was a really bad interpretation of a 90s Girl Groups’ songs. It honestly sounded really bad and cringe worthy. But, as every other song, I replayed it and started to fall for it. Now, it just sounds really cringe worthy and bad. Yeah, I can’t get over the fact about how bad the song is. It is catchy and addictive (I probably only gives marks on that), but that rap sequence really needs to be stomped on and thrown out. I complain about Jimin’s whiny rap, but this is just something that does not fit in with the song and does not give off that feeling of a great song. It was recorded and then it sounds exactly like the producer autotuned it with the maximum possible setting. The vocals are not exactly bad, it is just the “hip hop” feel or whatever genre they are trying to attempt with the “La La La Lady” parts. So yeah, this isn’t right for me.

The music video is just so cringe worthy, once again. First of all, I feel like it the wrong concept. The acting in this video was pretty bad. The last thing I think we all want to see is the return of the aegyo and cutesy girls that was probably ditched and became outdated years ago. And furthermore, they went with the Sailor Moon or Power Puff Girls inspired heroes concept, which I thought was a really bad idea. And the fact that they use their powers to their own pleasure, seems very selfish. It looks like the guy doesn’t even notice the girls, yet, they decide it is right to torture him and embarrass him. Girl, there is a scenario, where he might not even know who you are, so scaring him and turning into a superhero with a wand, is not going to help your case. It was a very bright video (matched the tone of the song), just I think the concept should have either been something else or otherwise thought through a lot better.

The dance was another major problem in my point of view. Too sexualised. What were they even doing in the chorus? What can you even call that? Is that even a dance? I have no idea regarding that. I just thought it was an odd dance to have with such a cutesy and aegyo concept. In addition, their clothing really don’t match the dance was well.

Overall, this whole comeback as a whole, missed the whole point. Sorry. 2.5/10

 

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

Probably one of the biggest award ceremonies for music and also probably one of the most prestigious, the 30th Golden Disk Awards (GDA) was held on the 20th to the 21st of January 2016. The GDA was supposed to be held in China but was moved back to South Korea due to the recent earthquakes that occurred there just 1 or two weeks before the scheduled event. Even though many people were shocked and feared the award ceremony would be either postponed or cancelled, the ceremony went off without a single hiccup and was broadcast live in both Korea and China.

What I like about this particular awards is that is focuses on both the physical albums and downloaded songs of the year. In other words, more awards for everyone. It is also nice to see who excelled in what (hahahaha…). The digital awards were handed out on the 20th of January, while the physical album awards were handed out on the 21st of January. The award show on the first night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Kim Jong Kook and Seohyun (SNSD). The second night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Leeteuk (Super Junior) and Krystal (F(x)) I have recapped the award winners on the two nights below.

Disk Daesang (Album Of The Year) – EXODUS (EXO)
Digital Daesang (Song Of The Year) – Loser (Big Bang)
Disk Bonsang (Best Artist) – APINK, VIXX, F(x), BTS, CNBLUE, Jonghyun (SHINee), EXO, Beast, Super Junior
Digital Bonsang (Best Artist) – Red Velvet, EXID, AOA, Zion.T, Park Jin Young, Sistar, Taeyeon (SNSD), Kyuhyun (Super Junior), Big Bang, Girl’s Generation
Best New Artist – GFriend, iKON, Seventeen, Twice
Popularity Award – SHINee
Best Rap / Hip Hop – SanE
Best Rock – Hyukoh
Global Popularity Award – EXO
Best Group Vocal Award – BTOB
Best Solo Vocal Award – Jung Yonghwa (CN Blue)
Best Male Artist Award – Big Bang
Best Female Artist Award – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Next Generation Star Award – Monsta X

Once again, this wide spread of award winners seem to be more representative of main stream KPOP. Not that I am complaining. Most of the award recipients were similar to the Seoul Music Award 2016, however a lot more artists won in this ceremony, since their was more rewards. Not that I am being a hater or anything, but Kyuhyun’s bonsang award seems a little far fetched. From memory (correct me if I am wrong though), his song never charted high on the charts and likewise Super Junior barely makes an impact on the digital side of the music industry. So I am a little suspicious of how he managed to get an award for a digital bonsang. Saying that, he did sell a lot. Like a lot on the physical side. But beside that, I think it was a nice range of artists who won and I think it is accurate (as in which artists managed to shine the brightest in 2015).

I really need to think of ways to start off the different sections, but once again… I think out of the all the ceremonies that have already been broadcast (NOTE: I am typing this prior to the Gaon Chart Awards), GDA has the best performances. Why? Because many of the artists performed multiple songs and I really enjoy how some artists (or their producers) integrate different songs together. GFriend, Red Velvet, EXID, Seventeen and BTS had the best stages on the nights. Some artists performed some songs that were released in the past (in previous years, such as EXID’s Up & Down, VIXX’s Error, Sistar’s Touch My Body etc.), which I kind of liked, but, the songs were released last year… so maybe a little outdated. But overall, the performances, I think, were to a very high standard and pleased me (*points at myself* and *acting as the biggest critic of all time*).

Below are just the few performances that I found and slapped together in a playlist format in no particular order.

For a last minute change to the ceremony, it managed to do pretty well in my books. Awards, performances. Everything was just great. There is one more to go of this season’s award ceremonies, which will be coming out in the coming days. Until then, bye!!

 

Flame – Choa (AOA)

For a while, we all thought that Choa would be officially make her solo debut with Flame, but rather she is only credited as an artist featuring on a project album. Which is somewhat disappointing because Choa was good vocals that managed to wow audiences last year when she participated in King Of Masked Singer. Flame is a remake of a song released by Jang Hye Jin back in 2006 which featured Gary from Leessang (or Running Man). Unfortunately, Choa’s single did not make much of an impact when it was released (even though the anticipation was high) and was sadly forgotten.

And I am going to be truthful, I was one of the people who have forgotten about the song. You all probably know that I am a major sucker when it comes to ballads, falling for them almost instantaneously. This ballad, even though the melody was great and the song had me swaying for it, did nothing to satisfy the need for the song to be addictive or somewhat catch my attention to continue going back to the song to listen to it. The orchestral instrumental was really good, but the drums that were playing throughout the song were either overpowering or had the bass turned up quite a bit. The original song is said to be quite emotional, carrying the sorrow feeling. Choa did an excellent job of carrying the same feeling over for the remake, but as I said before, failed to make the song more appealing to the listeners.

The music video is amazing. I don’t think any other video would have suited the song anymore. We see a vampire, who used to be a young girl and at certain times can become deadly and kill people. Since becoming a vampire, she cannot go into the sun and hence sets up all these lights and candles in her room to remind her of the memories of the past. Of course it is not enough and she finally decides to venture out into the sun, even though she knows she will die. I can say that the her memories of the sun and light are like lovers who want to be with each other, but cannot due to some sort of barrier. Essentially, the flame is still there to rekindle their love but it is up to the people to make that flame become a fire. That is how I interpreted the video, and thought it was rather nice. I love it how Choa was singing in the caged area in which the girl had kept as a place to keep her prey. It adds that extra excitement to the video. How it does? I sat here wondering if Choa was the prey.

The package was great, but if the song appealed to me a lot more and was not easily forgotten, it would have been perfect. 8.5/10

Heart Attack – AOA

Summer is also the season for many girl groups to comeback in. And this Summer, it is no exception. AOA is one of the groups that have dared to enter the battle field and is ready to shake the field up. With their forever expanding popularity after a highly successful year of promotions, Seolhyun’s acting success and Jimin’s rapping success as well, the girls are back with Heart Attack. Let’s hope they only give metaphorical heart attacks and not the real deal. Yeah, that was my highly lame joke for you all.

When I first heard the song, I thought it was an ear-sore. It was a horrible mess and I was very disappointed. Well, let me fast forward a few days later where I was playing this song on repeat. It grew so freaking much on me. But I can assure you, this would not be a song that I would recommend to someone. It left a horrible impression on me first and I doubt anyone who dislikes the group or KPOP would go back to it. Honestly, it is an addictive track. Once again, I don’t see the fascination with Jimin and her rapping. It is just so whiny. The really high pitched notes for the chorus really got to me. A part of me is like “YESSS” and another is like “Damn, you just ruined the track”. I am still going to keep my initial thoughts and say it is a mess. The song was squashed together and it felt like a group of people talking to you at once. It felt way to sudden (especially the start) and fast for me. I don’t find it an ear-sore anymore, but I honestly say, a slower pop track could have been much better in my opinion.

I sat down and watched the music video and I found it a total bore. AOA is a lacrosse team and fails terribly when they play. Some of the girls are not cut out and other times they are distracted. First of all and some of you may think I am going against equality here, but why are AOA playing against a group of guys? A) how did they get to that game? and B) why are they playing against guys? Isn’t that a bit too much for the girls? It would make more sense to have the girls play against other girls. So in the video, one girl confesses her feelings for the opposite team player and learn how to play very well. Which raises a question: did the girls even know what to do in the first match? And that is all. No more questions from the video. I honestly felt so bored watching the music video and also quite distracted by the song.

As for the dance, it really isn’t amazing. It just feels like a typical dance and I thought it matched the song. A lot of boob pointing though. Of course, I would point that out.

Hmmm… I think to summarise, the girls could have done way better. The song was okay. It was a mess of a song, but it did have its good points. The music video and dance could have been way better. 4/10 I think this is my most confusing review ever. Apologies for that.

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 ^^