[Double Review] Runaway + I Love You – Bobby (iKON)

Bobby from iKON is finally making his solo comeback. Runaway and I Love You are the two title tracks off his self-composed full-length album, which is a surprisingly amazing feat from a solo artist. The album itself is titled as Love and Fall and consist of 10 tracks in total. He previously promoted as a solo artist with Holup!, just before debuting with Mino from Winner as MOBB.

Let’s take a moment and give Bobby an applause for Runaway. Just by reading the title of the song, you can tell that this song is going to go deep. The lyrics are just proof of that. But moving to the song, the main reason to why I asked for an applause because it ticks all the right boxes. The instrumental/melody/ beat was intense and built up to be quite epic. His delivery of his lines and his vocals just fit the song so well, channeling the emotions of the lyrics soundly. I really liked the roughness his voice added, which contributed to that intensity that the song had. Bobby nails this one perfectly.

As for I Love You, the song is more upbeat and less serious compared to Runaway. But it stands out for its own reason. The tropical house sound goes nicely with Bobby’s vocals, which he has turned the roughness down a bit for this song. The song is quite catchy and has a nice drop. I like his changes in tempos, especially during the bridge of the song where he goes from fast to slow and then back to fast. It makes sense and feels right. I do like the song quite a bit, but don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t sound as spectacular and epic as Runaway.

Runaway‘s music video consists of a lot running. Just in case if that wasn’t obvious. But the video, overall, left a deep impression on me. Along with the lyrics, the video is something that I  relate to. Sometimes, you just want to run away from everything that surrounds you. The literal meaning of the quoted Bible verse seems to go well with the video as well. The music video for I Love You is a complete turnaround. Like the song’s sound, it reflects the Summer season nicely. Watching it makes me miss Summer. But honestly, it felt like a standard Summer video, with nothing else to offer.

Hopefully, there will be some performances of these songs. Ideally, Runaway won’t have one and I Love You demands one. I won’t include the numbers for now (because things do look a little bleak with the music shows) but shall return if he does get around to performing them!

Runaway
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

I Love You
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

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[Review] B-DAY – iKON

I previously reviewed iKON’s Bling Bling, which you can view by clicking the link. But this is the review for iKON’s second title track for this promotional run, titled as B-Day.

To me, B-Day is a more dynamic track that sounds a lot better than Bling Bling. Maybe it is because I enjoy the more upbeat feel. But I personally think iKON sounds a lot better with the more upbeat and hyped up songs, which I touched upon in my last review. The instrumental isn’t that amazing but it provides a more fresher and vibrant sound to the group’s portfolio. There is also something familiar about the instrumental, which I can’t really figure out. The vocal work and rapping in this song is a lot better in this song. The raspy voices fit the song quite nicely, giving it a rougher side. But to me, the vocals were at the forefront and not at the back of the song (which I also touched on). Doing that, it gives the song a more active sound and definitely a better push to a more powerful sound. The track itself is pretty catchy. The “Waeng Waeng Waeng” chant catches on pretty quick and it definitely drew my attention to the song straight away. Now, I just cannot get it out of my head. And that goes for the song as well.

I thought the concept of the music video was a little odd this time around. Little being an understatement, as I discover the scenes of bees. Not saying the video is terrible, because it was actually quite nice to watch. Actually (not considering the lyrics in anyway) but the video maybe looking at discovering an ancient civilization (and then they moved into it as well). Just a theory.  It was just the concept that had me second guessing things. Minus the thoughts regarding the concept, the scenes in the video were quite good. Once again, YG has done it again with their music videos. While this one may not be better than Bling Bling‘s, it definitely suits the song and intensity.

Talking about intensity, I felt the choreography was a little lacking. It might have been the editing of the music video, but when the “Waeng Waeng Waeng” started, the dance was great. But towards the end of the line, the energy just plummeted and that disappointed me. But it still looked cool. I may update this part once a full performance is uploaded somewhere.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

[Review] Bling Bling – iKON

iKON has officially made their first comeback since their debut in 2015. The group, since 2015, have had toured across Asia and made their official debut in Japan. They also previously released #WYD last year. Some of the members have also changed their stage names since debut, which surprised some fans. Jinhwan changed to Jay, Chanwoo changed to Chan, Donghyuk changed to DK and Yunhyeong changed to Song. Bling Bling is also promoted alongside B-Day (and a review for that will be published sometime today or tomorrow morning).

If there is one word that I can think of when it comes to Bling Bling, it has to be ‘swag’. While I am not an everyday user of the word, the song embodies the word quite accurately. From the very first listen, it is an extremely intense track. The instrumental of the track is very interesting, despite it being slow at some parts, which overall made it feel quite dull. The use of brass provides the song something more, which accompanied the drawn out ‘Bling Bling’ repetition. The song remains the same from start to about the bridge. Starting at the bridge of the song, the song turns into a much more upbeat track/anthem style track, which I think sounds a lot cooler. However the contrast between the two segments and tempo is pretty cool. As for the raps and vocals, I am not really into that aspect of the song. They seemed to be on the back burner rather than the forefront of the song. It just didn’t seem to capture my attention. Only the ‘Bling Bling’ does. While I did say it was intense and tough, I think the dullness is probably the main aspect that turns me away from this song. I don’t mind it, but if there was a more hyped up sound, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

The music video is another video that is okay, at best. YG Entertainment have always put out great videos. And they are great for a specific reason. Here, I thought the great aspect are the sets and the backgrounds. It looked pretty cool and provided support to that toughness and intensity in a more subtle way. But I am not too sure why I think this, but they felt awkward in front of the camera. The interactions with the camera didn’t seem to feel natural and more like they were thrown in front of the camera with no guidance. Maybe it was the song style that didn’t allow them to be as natural or the editing just didn’t make it seem right, I don’t know. And that is essentially the video. The choreography shots with the amazing backgrounds but awkwardness for the solo shots.

I think there is enough in the video to write about the dance and possible performance. I don’t really talk about stage sets, but YG always seem to have an amazing idea which makes the stages for their artists look stunning. I particular enjoyed the more faster parts of the song, hence I am more drawn to the dance at those parts. However, the slowness in their choreography matches the song really well!

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 4/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 1

I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.

I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.

CLICK FOR THE NOMINEES AND CHECK OUT THE WINNERS FOR PART 1 BELOW


RISING STAR AWARD

This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.


BEST INSTRUMENTAL

This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.


BEST COMEBACK

Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.


BEST SUBUNIT

It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).


BEST RAPPER

Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes  Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.


BEST VOCALIST

Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.


BEST COLLABORATION

Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.


BEST NON-TITLE SONG

These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.


To find the second part of the 2016 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, Click Here!!!

 

[Review] Hit Me – MOBB ft. Kush

MOBB is a subunit that compromises two rappers. One coming from Winner and the other is from iKON. if you have been following the site for the last few days, you probably can tell who is who. That’s right, Mino from Winner and Bobby from iKON have joined forces to create a subunit that will be engraved into the minds of their fans. Both have previously returned with their own solo song and released their collaboration the day after their solo releases came out. Check out those reviews by clicking their underlined names above.

Out of all their releases for this subunit, this song really takes the cake (because party = cake). This is such a freaking amazing song. Once I started listening to the song, it is pretty hard to move onto another song. This song just continued to be on repeat. And when I do move onto another song, a part of me wants to go back and listen to it again and again. This song fits joins the great party vibe of Bobby’s and the laid back feel of Mino’s solo releases. The song is bright and vibrant, suiting that party vibe. It isn’t too hard hitting and not over the top in terms of production. The instrumental was at the right balance and didn’t feel too overpowering. From Mino’s and Bobby’s rapping to the vocal work done by Kush (who is Kush? – According to Wikipedia, he is a producer signed to a sub-label that falls under YG), it all fits very nicely and the distribution is quite even. All I can do is praise this track because I think it is flawless.

I did say Mino’s song was flawless yesterday. But the music video was a major let down. This song is flawless and I think the music video fits in well with the song. Essentially, what happens in the guys make sudden plans at night to go partying and we see them get ready, meet, ask politely for the taxi driver to change songs on the radio and arrive at the party in style. Then they proceed to bring the party to the streets. There isn’t anything to complain about in the video. It goes hand-in-hand with the song. It is pretty simple and makes sense without blowing a budget or overdoing it. I do honestly wonder if an actual party is going on in the video or if everything was staged? Because (while I don’t do parties), it would honestly be interesting to go to one of these parties and be in a music video.

Final Rating – 10/10 (Simple and vibrant. Yet still managing to hit the right vibes for a party or club). 

 

[Review] Holup! – Bobby (iKON)

The first member of iKON to go solo is Bobby. He debuts as a solo artist alongside Mino from Winner, who released his own solo single the next day. The two go on to form the subunit, MOBB, and released their subunit debut album the day after Mino’s solo debut. It has been a long time coming, with rumours of the two forming a subunit and talks of Bobby’s solo debut for quite some time now.

For those who don’t know me, I find it hard to get into hip hop or rap based songs. Not exactly my style. But nonetheless, here is what I thought of the song. It is honestly not that bad, but it really isn’t the best. Bobby does have a great husky vocal which this song did justice to. Some parts almost sounded like he was growling and that gave a tougher feel to the song. I did like the rhythm and instrumental. It does give a party-like vibe to the song as expected. You would expect this to be played at a party or club. It is perfect for that setting and bound to get everyone bouncing to it (I assume people bounce to songs at parties or clubs. And when I say bounce, I mean dance). Not a big fan of the autotune in the song. Very little times have I felt the autotune was meant for the song. Particularly that part towards the end with him singing and straight up autotune, not feeling it.  The autotune was probably the biggest turn off for me. But then again, the autotune was needed to keep up with that tough and masculine feel. For a rap song (in my books at least), it is okay. I do prefer the other releases though.

This music video just backs up the fact that I hate dreadlocks. Sure, they will look good on certain people, but when Asians do it, I just stare blankly at them and just fade away from the situation. Okay, with the video. I guess that house looks exactly like other houses after a house party. Like a really wild and “lit” party. I don’t know, I am only assuming, because the parties I have been to, we all clean up and make it look presentable before leaving. Anyway, another thing (if you haven’t watched the video yet) that may draw your attention to watching it later on is the abs available in this video. The background does distract you quite a bit but I am sure if you focus strongly enough, you will see only the abs. Hahahaha… Though yes, Bobby does have good abs. Yeah, there really isn’t much else to talk about beside pointing out every single detail now. So I am just going to end it here, before I start boring you (if I haven’t yet).

Final Rating – 6/10

[Review] #WYD – iKON

iKON has returned with a brand new song. And then they disappeared. Like, where are they at the moment? Isn’t a pre-release? Where is the actual release then? Why am I asking these questions, when I know they are from YG Entertainment? But honestly, this was released in May and it is the start of July. And all these teasers were released in between for Bobby’s solo debut, so what is really happening?

It sounds a lot like a sadder version of My Type, which they debuted with last year. Didn’t like My Type, but I dig this song. It has a better beat and flows a lot better. The vocals here are a lot smoother and the rapping is pretty nice. The only problem I see with the track is the bridge of the song. It isn’t bad, but it sounds completely different from the song. It does contribute to the flow, but every time I hear it, it takes me by surprise, as if it comes from another song. The ending of the song was nice. The title is what you would commonly use in a text message and the ending of the song makes it sound like the whole song was part of a text message. Bobby signs off with “Good Night” and I think that is a pretty smart thing to do. I also noticed, but finally an iKON song, where the rappers aren’t singing and they just stick to rapping. It is one of the things I pointed out with My Type and I am glad that there is a change in their song.

For the music video, it just compromises of shots of the guys playing around with their love. Damn, it makes me want to be in a relationship. Can’t really complain about anything in the video. The only thing I will complain about is Bobby’s 70s style shirt and his hair. I have to be honest, though, I personally think B.I look hot in this video. Fanboy in the making? But then again, Korea has a lot of hot men (and ladies… you can never talk KPOP without the ladies) and if you are a dude into KPOP, there is probably a guy out there in the KPOP industry that you have felt some sort of attraction towards. I’ll end it there.

Wow, I wrote started this review yesterday and I was meant to spend a good amount of time on the music video part today. But, guess who wrote the music video part in less than 10 minutes? 7/10

What’s Wrong? – iKON

This is iKON’s second song for their full debut album. Check out their other release: Dumb & Dumber, which was has been reviewed. But on with the review.

I really don’t know how to start off this review and I tried my best to avoid starting it this way. But, I just can’t think of any other way to start off the review. So, compared to Dumb & Dumber, this song was a let down. “If you ever loved somebody, say yeah” sounds like an awkward start to an awkward song. I don’t know, but there are more creative ways to get the audience into the song and have them participate. The song has the rock and hip hop vibe to it, which sounds nice, but sounds so generic. There really is nothing that sets this song a part from the other songs that you get throughout KPOP. It seems boring and quite unappealing to me. Beside Junhoe’s vocals, I feel like everyone else had to strain their voices to get it into the way the vocals are presented in the song. Once again, that complete halt in the song is back to haunt us. Only once, but damn, it ruined the flow of the song for me. But other good points of the song: it is great head banging music.

The people in the video, looked so scary with their colourful socks on top of their head. I know YG has a habit of covering their dancer’s faces and all, but this just looks so low budget and slapped together at the last minute. The video fits in well with the song. The boys are singing what happened to us and the video showed the boys and girls (or their partners) battling out. In what seemed to nearly escalate into a food fight, a massive fist fight and also a little bit of dodge-ball. Ahhh dodge-ball. It has been years since I last played that game. All them painful memories of always having the ball slammed into my nose/face. The video was nice and reflected the song pretty well.

I am glad they got rid of those socks for the live performance. Much cringe worthy. Beside that, I could not see much of the dance. The camera work manage to avoid most of the dance and filmed all the parts where they are avoiding the girls and running around. I don’t have much to say about the dance until I see more.

Quite disappointed with this particular song. To me Dumb & Dumber was much better. 5.5/10

Which iKON song did you like more? I have decided to include all of their promoted songs to in the below poll, so vote away.

Dumb & Dumber – iKON

Opening the 2016 year with fresh new reviews of acts that either made their comeback in the later half of December 2015. For those who don’t know, I stopped reviews for newly released songs after the 15th of December and went on to focus on End of Year charts, the BOBs and also finish the year off with some reviews that I managed to miss out. iKON is one of those groups that released their official full debut album after the 15th.

I think I can now safely say that iKON is a group that I think has improved greatly with each release. Their debut wasn’t that great in my standards, but every single song they have released so far has shown a new talented side of them to me. This song feels like a party anthem made specifically for the boys. Their rapping and vocals match the song really well. Not exactly fond of the complete halts that the song has throughout it. While they ahve their charm, I also think that something can be used to fill that void. Don’t take me the wrong way, there are some songs out there that need the halts or utilise the silence really well, but this isn’t one of them (at least that is what I think). The song is catchy and addictive. I have a feeling that this song can become trendy as it has that feel to it. The same feel I get when I listen to viral songs like Psy’s Gangnam Style. Like the title suggest, the song sounds wacky and for some reason, completely out of context for a YG group. But they manage to keep to their roots and style.

Every single time I watch the video, I get a feel of the weird and wacky side that Big Bang gave us in Bae Bae last year. Their previous releases have all been serious or light-hearted, but this. Only wacky and crazy can describe this video. The video was well shot and had a great concept to it. I just feel like for some reason, that the Dumb and Dumber duo style would have been a more well suited concept given the title of the song. But I did say that the song was like a party anthem and this video manages to channel in that feel as well. I personally like the ending of the video where the song drops its final beat. Everything becomes down to earth but at the same time still manage to have that wacky feel to it. The video as a whole, is great and suits the song exactly.

The dance for this song makes me think they had a bit to drink just before going onto the stage. Their stage presence is quite large when they performed the song for the first time. (I am watching the performance that performed at the 2015 SBS Gayo Festival). I like how tough they managed to showed themselves to the audience, but with use of fun and a very odd concept. There really isn’t a thing about the dance that sets it apart, but it something that goes well with the song.

Great comeback to start off the year. 7.5/10

 

Anthem – B.I & Bobby (iKON)

Anthem is an okay song. It does not have me raving about it such as in Apology, the song has its good and bad points. What is good in the song: it is catchy (like an other anthem song), has a nice foreign sound/vibe to it and the rapping is on point. Bobby and B.I, as well all know, are talented rappers and they have proved themselves and probably pushed out their limits with this song. The song reminds me of the singles that T.O.P, G-Dragon and other famous rappers have put out in the past, but to me, this one has a much stronger hip hop vibe to it than those. The bad points: the catchiest part of the song has to be the most annoying part of the song. “iKON is coming to town” just bugs me everytime I listen to it. It is drawn out excessively and just sounds like a part that was smashed into the song for the other members to be included. Furthermore, I personally don’t like songs that is just full of raps. I personally like it when there is a bit of vocal work in the song, so I was already a little “biased” (in a way) regarding the style of song. So in conclusion (my personal thoughts only), not a fan of the song, but the song has its own good points.

The music video reminds me of the black and white videos that YG usually do for the rappers. And reminds me of videos of GD. T.O.P and GD&TOP released back in the day. Maybe it is because I am not a fan of the boys, but I don’t find anything interesting in the video. It has this grand feel to it and fits the style of the song, but beside that, I don’t really see what is great about it. Many fans and comments are like “omg, their facial expressions are amazing and funny” and here I am thinking “what is amusing?”, “what is funny?”. Though talking about comments, I love it how majority of the comments are about how the number of views are down. Ummm… Even I tried to watch the video (while not paying attention to the view count) and manage to appreciate what the channel put out (even though I am not linking it). Yeah, so… Not a fan of the video.

Overall, not a big fan of the song or video. 3/10. If you want to see the review of Apology, click here.