[Review] Hello Hello – B.I.G

B.I.G has finally returned with a brand new single. The group previously returned with 1.2.3 in February with just 4 members. With the return of their fifth member, Minpyo, the group has released their 6th single, titled as Hello Hello. This isn’t their first ‘Hello’ song though, as they made their debut back in 2014 with Hello (안녕하세요).

Hello Hello is another standard a song that doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. There is nothing that memorable in the song, which is a disappointment, given how all of their recent releases have been catchy and addictive to listen to. The instrumental seems to try to differentiate itself from others with the uses of synths and its hip-hop sound. If I had to be honest, the synths added to the song made it messy and it overall made the song feel more loaded than what it had to be. The chorus provides some relief from this, which is much appreciated and sounds a lot cleaner. Sadly, as previously mentioned, there wasn’t any catchy parts or hooks. That statement is also applied to the chorus as well.  If there was one thing that I thought was pretty good, it has to be the strong yet clear vocals. The rap sequences were also quite cool, but it did feel like it lacked some energy, which can be said regarding the track overall.

The music video is simply the ‘performance version’, which makes me question whether there was meant to be another version of the video. The video is shot in a barn, which may indicate some things about their company and the band. However, they still manage to turn it into a pretty good music video with the flashing lights (even though, they did feel annoying) and the editing of the video. I don’t have much else to say about the video, though.

The choreography was okay. When I watch the performance with the song, it makes the song feel much more upbeat and  I think that lifts the song up. It wasn’t lacking compared to the rest of the comeback, but it just wasn’t memorable. Some parts looked fine, such as the chorus, but other parts felt slow paced.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 5.5/10

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[Review] 1.2.3 – B.I.G

B.I.G has returned with a brand new single. Last time we saw them they were promoting Aphrodite, which had a much darker concept than their latest release. If you remember clearly, B.I.G is actually a five member group, but you may have noticed that only four members participated this time around. That is because Minpyo is taking a break due to health reasons. Hopefully we will see him return soon.

1.2.3 is a pretty good song. While it is different compared to their past releases, as it goes for a more disco pop sound than hip-hop (which they have done in the past), the song really does suit them. I really like their vocals in this song. While they have shown us their powerful vocals in the past, this time around they show it off on a different level. I like the differences between the verses and chorus. The verses is a little light on the bass and the instrumental isn’t as heavy. But when the chorus comes to play, they through the bass and make the instrumental feel a lot heavier. Knowing me, I probably described as an dysfunctional transition. But instead, it works really well. The chorus is extremely catchy and addictive to listen to. I love the way Benji drags out the words at the end of each chorus. It adds an interesting element to the song. Also really enjoyed his ad-libs, but as I said before, I really like vocals of all the members. Even the rapping was great. They toned that part down but it allows the rapper (Heedo) to shine with his deep voice. If you are looking a new group to get into, check these guys out. Some of their past releases have also been my favourites as well!!

The music video was quite disappointing. I don’t think it lived up to the standard that the music had set. The guys discover a girl on TV and is basically amazed by her beauty. And then they start following her around, which was where the video become confusing. I feel like the video is there to provide some comedy in some scenes (such as Benji’s high note) but then the rest of the video felt like a normal music video with nothing much happening.

The choreography was great. It adds to that more vibrant concept the guys went for and they did a pretty good job. Their costumes does make them look like they were stuck in time but besides that, their dancing was great, like their song. But sadly, no memorable moves.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 3/10 
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Review] Aphrodite – B.I.G

It has been over a year since I last reviewed B.I.G. Last year, they caught my attention with Between Night n Music. They later went on to make a comeback and released Taola, which also caught my attention (I just didn’t have time to review it). Now, they have released their first mini album, with Aphrodite as their title track.

And they did it again for. That is, catch my attention. The song itself reminds me of B.A.P’s No Mercy, with less of a hip-hop beat to it. The traditional drum beats and the use of the subtle sirens in the instrumental made me think of B.A.P song. Let’s move back to B.I.G as this is their review. Instrumental had the “edge of your seat” experience, with the drum beats and electronic sounds. As if I had no idea what was going to come next. The song is definitely catchy and features a different style than any of their previous singles have. I particularly thought the rapper who did the “Fly Fly Fly” part in the middle of the song sounded amazing. Actually, the raspy voices of the rappers (regardless of the autotune) and the smooth vocals of the vocalists made the song sound so much better. The combination of the two at the end was pretty amazing and brought the song to a close quite well.

The music video is a dark and it is a style that I think many boy groups are now going for. It seems like the cute concept is officially dead and only one or two groups could succeed with the concept nowadays. Anyway, for a dark video, the use of colour makes it seem very vibrant and alive. It gives an added depth to the video. Besides the video falls into the “typical” folder. The boys are simply dancing in a few rooms. Throw in a few close up shots and that is essentially the video. And guess what, that means it can be categorised as a “typical KPOP video”. I feel like an extra something could have been done to set the video apart and throw it into the “unique” folder. Like a little more action or content to talk about. Well, it won’t necessary mean it will go straight into the “unique” folder, but hey, it would give us fans more to talk about.

As for the dance, parts of it seemed to be really good, but other parts seemed to be weak. The dance break was probably the coolest part of the whole choreography. The simultaneous kicks looked amazing.

Overall, it is a solid comeback and I thoroughly liked it. 7.5/10

End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

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

Taola – B.I.G

This song is definitely a “new chapter” for the B.I.G boys. Even though it is a style of song that I did not expect from the group, they managed to rock it. I actually like it a lot. From what I hear, it is some of sort of funky and hip hop type of mash-up, which sounds better than what I am currently describing. Does it live up to their earlier track in the year? Probably not, but it has the potential to be up there as their second best track to date. The vocals are clear and quite dominate. The rap on the over hand, sound like they have muted somewhat. I don’t know, but it sounds like the rap brings down the song for me. It is not as powerful as the vocals (or as loud), but that could just be my speakers (I have been using the same computer for nearly 10 years now!). It is pretty catchy. One minor complaint, but the song could have done with the dial tone sound that is scattered throughout the track. But overall, I liked it.

The music video was a lot darker and more mysterious compared to Between Night n Music. Each member is centred around something that makes them look tough, from the looks of the video. Sorry, I don’t know names, but one member is shown as a boxer, motorcycle rider, sitting around a large countdown timer, sitting around and on top of television and pumping gas. Okay, the last three make no sense whatsoever. I personally love the simplicity of the dance scenes. Literally was just a concrete wall they performed in front of. The only member I can put a name to is Benji and can I just say that it took me multiple times to be able to pin point which member was Benji. Actually all the members, look so different, I thought I clicked on the wrong video. The video can be rated good to great. I wouldn’t mind watching it over and over again, even though there isn’t much to it.

The dance is a brand new style for the guys. It seems like they adopted the infamous sexy concept but managed to keep it classy and fits their new dark image (seen the eyeliner, might have gone a little too far with it). I think the dance fits the song as well and I personally think it is an amazing choreography.

I feel like my review is a little lacking here. But I manage to write what I feel about the song. Overall, it is a great comeback, just not one I had expected (Honestly, I thought they keep the bright concept). 8/10

 

Rewind: March 2015

Through this new segment (Finally got to use that one word), we will be looking back at the third month of 2015. I get to rank my top 10 songs. But we also get to look back at other events that happened in the Korean music industry. This way, I can talk about big events in the KPOP industry and rely my thoughts to you all.

Lee Min Ho and Suzy Dating

This by far is the biggest news of March 2015. Just a few days ago, it was confirmed by both companies that Miss A’s Suzy and Hallyu actor Lee Min Ho are officially dating. More importantly, JYP (Suzy’s company) have announced that Suzy would not avoid questions regarding the couple. Now, usually companies try to “Hush” the rumours, so I thought it was a little wierd that JYP would say Suzy would be answering all questions. Though I get that both companies would have to confirm due to the evidence presented, but I think JYP is milking everything they can out of this big piece of news. Dating in the industry is going to be hard but I wish the very best for the two. Now let’s move along with Miss A‘s comeback, shall me?

Red Velvet First Win

The subheading says it all. Congratulations to Red Velvet on their first music show win. At the time I am writing this, they actually have won 4 music show awards. Their latest song is ________________________________________________________________. Sorry. Let’s leave this here and wait for the review to come out. Soon. I promise. I am not YG. It will come soon. Like next week probably.

2AM Members Change Companies

Another big piece of news with the 2AM members splitting up with their company. No, they are not disbanding (though it sounded a lot like it at first) but 2AM members have decided to go with different companies. Jo Kwon decided to stay with JYP Entertainment. Seulong decided to go with SidusHQ and Jinwoon decided with Mystic Entertainment. Changmin signed with Big Hit after his contract ended with JYP last year (I think?). This kind of says something about JYP Entertainment, but at the same time, we should be glad the ballad group are not going away for now. Let’s hope 2AM comebacks with a new song with this different formation with companies. (On a side note: all 2PM members – contract ended around the same time – resigned with JYP).

Comebacks for April

BIG BANG HAS BEEN CONFIRMED!!! Though, not exactly sure when the comeback is exactly. But BIG BANG HAS BEEN CONFIRMED to be the first YG artist making their comeback in 2015. On top of that, EXID will be making their comeback. Miss A and EXO just made their comeback at the end of the month. Dal Shabet, Mamamoo, Cross Gene have also be confirmed. SNSD (Girl’s Generation) will also be making their comeback in May BUT they will be releasing a track during April in both Japan and Korea.

Yewon and Lee Tae Im Scandal

This scandal I am not familiar with. Essentially what happened is that Yewon spoke informally to Lee Tae Im. After Lee Tae Im got angry and left, Yewon decided to curse out at Lee Tae Im, and hence causing this controversy. Essentially, Yewon is more of a younger person in the industry, so she had to be formal. I get it sometimes. I come from as Asian background and sometimes I don’t think the formality thing is right. Just because they are older does not mean they are right. Imagine this: the older person is cursing the daylights out of you and your loved ones, and you “disrespectfully” defended yourself and your family. Is the older person right and you are at fault? Though this is not what had happened, it seems like the industry zooms in on one part and leave the rest out for every bad situation. We don’t know 100% what happened. We will never know what 100% happened. Something could have happened before that got both angry. Those are just my loosely put together thoughts on the whole thing. Maybe Yewon is in the wrong. But what if she isn’t? Remember I am not siding with her. I am just being “opened minded” about things.

Top 10 songs of the month

1. Paradise Lost – Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)

2. Between Night n Music – B.I.G

3. FM – Crayon Pop

4. You’re Pitiful – Fiestar

5. Donghae & Eunhyuk – Growing Pains

6. I Am A Woman Too – Minah (Girl’s Day)

7. Ice Cream Cake – Red Velvet

8. Apple – Gain (Brown Eyed Girls) ft. Jay Park

9. Growing – K.Will

10. Bounce – Boyfriend

Between Night n Music – B.I.G

It is time to review a brand new band. B.I.G is a 5 member boy group that debuted last year with Hello. The members of the group include J-Hoon, Benji, Gunmin, Minpyo and Heedo. They have been around for less than a year (they made their debut in July 2014). They also released the single Are You Ready? back in October. In terms of activities, we don’t hear the band much. I don’t think they have been on many variety programs that much and they don’t get that much recognition. Essentially, they are still nugu (like ultra rookie). But their latest song has got my attention and that is why we are here today.

The song was amazing. From start to end, I found it to be a really amazing dance themed song with its disco and pop influence. I take the “14 feet, still look very good” away from the song. I don’t get the significance behind it and it distracted me from the songs many times. The instrumental of the song is pretty strong and it just so freaking amazing. The drums (I don’t know) that repeat throughout the song was really good and addictive. As for the dance break, it was a very interesting part of the song. I really like it how it sounds really modern but at the same time, quite retro. Their vocals are quite strong, though sometimes they sound quite weak. The rapping was really deep and it managed to fit the song quite well. Overall, the song flowed quite well (including the dance break which made the song a lot more interesting). It would be a song I’d play at a party (hopefully, that is the point of the song. To be a party anthem).

The music video was okay. You could tell that there was not much put into it. I like the setting and how the music video still had that dance party feel to it with the lights. I would like to go onto a bus with a party in it. The buses I take just have people sitting around and minding their own business. Not that exciting. I don’t like their shiny silver jackets. It was just too much of a throwback to the space days. I don’t feel like the editing of the music video was up to par. This is not a thing I talk about much and the editing was not terrible. It just felt choppy and did not flow as well. It also seemed like parts were zoomed in and focused on that weren’t even meant to be shot at. That could have been mine perspective from watching the video. Flashing lights have never been a great thing for me, so maybe they distracted me from enjoying the whole music video.

As for the dance, I liked it. It matched the style of the song. The dance break was amazing. It utilised the instrumental really well. During the dance break, there were sounds that were like balls bouncing. The dance used that to their advantage and I thought it made the whole stage a lot better and interesting.

Overall, a really amazing song and dance. Music video could have been a little better but it was still pretty good. 9.5/10