[Album Review] Map Of The Soul: Persona (6th Mini Album) – BTS

Left right and centre, BTS has been all over social media (for me at least) for their comeback on Friday with Boy With Luv. This title track featured on their 6th mini-album, Map of The Soul: Persona, which was also released on the same day. So, it would be a major pity for me to delay the album review to next weekend, especially since BTS is getting so much attention. They have been confirmed to now be the fastest video to be viewed 10 million times on YouTube, whilst also be the first KPOP act to perform on Saturday Night Live. They have also broken even more records on other platforms since I published my review for Boy With Luv (link below). Phew, a lot of stuff to keep up on! But here is my review as a treat!

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Map Of The Soul: Persona Album Cover

1..Intro: Persona – Performed by just RM, the introductory track to the album centres on rapping, as this is RM’s forte. The song has an urban rock type of vibe to it, which I quite like. And while it does fall into that description and still manages to fall into the hip-hop roots, the song is very light, and this makes it an excellent taster to the album. Unlike most introductory tracks, Persona lasts around 3 minutes but somehow still goes by quite quickly. (8/10)

2. Boy With Luv (작은 것들을 위한 시) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Boy With Luv. ()

3. Mikrokosmos (소우주) – The third track of the album, Mikrokosmos, seems to continue this lightness that we have heard thus far on the album. But while lightness would be a good term to really describe the song, I found it to be quite a vibrant pop track with wholesome lyrics. I think the track does a good job of showcasing the vocals of the members despite nothing technical or over-the-top being shown to the listener. I also thought the rapping was well-tweaked for the track as they still manage to show themselves as rappers but in a more appropriate manner for the track. Overall, I thought the melody was nice and hence it stood out for me. (9/10)

4. Make It Right – Before we jump ahead, Ed Sheeran does not feature in the track. Instead, he is one of the writers of the track. And a collaboration between the biggest boy group and soloist is probably a killer move. Truthfully, I am not a major fan of Ed Sheeran, but I think the song turned out well. That lightness continues from the previous track. I really do like the pop vibes and the unique the instrumental felt with the brass throughout it. To me, the vocals win in comparison to the rapping (not that the latter was disappointing because it wasn’t). I thoroughly enjoyed the low and husky voices of some of the members, along with the amazing harmonies that you can hear between all the members. That final line to the song was superb (and probably the most impactful part of the song). (8/10)

5. HomeHome kicks the energy up a tiny bit, which I greatly appreciated after all those light tracks. The song doesn’t explicitly repeat ‘Home’ in the lyrics. Rather ‘Mi Casa’ which is Italian for ‘My Home’ was used instead. Once again, great vocals and rapping fill up the track. There is this sense of warmth to the song, which I find very appropriate for a song titled as Home. Besides that, however, doesn’t really feel impactful or memorable. It is nice to listen to but isn’t one that I would go out of my way to find. (7/10)

6. Jamais VuJamais Vu features only Jin, J-Hope and Jungkook. The title, Jamais Vu, is a French phrase that means ‘familiar however it hasn’t happened yet’. It is a heartfelt and emotional track with chilling vocals that really leave a lasting impression on you. J-Hope’s raps are also very well done, with the husky rap-speaking concept being well used here. I also enjoyed the minimal instrumental they used in this song, which leaves the vocals to do much of the speaking. My only vendetta against the song is that it feels choppy, which I am not too sure if it was intentional. I don’t really enjoy the flow of it all too much but I would listen to it again for the other elements. (7.5/10)

7. Dionsyus – Ending this album is Dionsyus, the Greek God of grape-harvesting, wine, winemaking, ritual madness and theatre, along with a few other things. But the ones I listed seemed to be referenced in the lyrics of the song. To match the lyrics, the song seems to delve into the rock and hip-hop genres, cultivating into something quite suitable for hyping up a crowd. It is a little heavier than the intro track, which I think is suitable here. But it isn’t too heavy to really make you expect more after this track (and hence is an excellent finisher to the album). I also really like RM’s suspense-building tactic used in the bridge. While the song does kick it up even more for the final chorus, giving the song that peak it needed, I wanted it to go more hardcore, as I think this would literally end the album with a bang. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

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Map Of The Soul: Persona Teaser Image
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[Review] Boy With Luv – BTS ft. Halsey

Making their grand return today is BTS with Boy With Luv. And with their current worldwide popularity, Boy With Luv continues to break even more records than ever before. Topping charts as soon as the song is released, while also doubling the number of pre-orders for their latest mini-album (also dropped today) compared to their previous release, are just some already making news. So, it is super exciting to even be writing review for such a worldwide artist! We last saw BTS through their IDOL comeback in August last year.

If you are a longtime fan of the group, you may be familiar with another BTS title track, Boy In Luv. While the titles are similar, the songs are very different. Actually, it is very different compared to any other their past tracks, which were all dance heavy. To me, Boy With Luv still goes towards that dance route but in a lighter and more mellow pop direction. It also seems to focus on more of the vocals, as I thought the rapping wasn’t as prevalent. While we are on the topic of vocals, I thought each member managed to match the lighter sound and I think we got a chance to hear them in a wholesome manner, which contrasts from their autotuned and louder volumes in dance tracks. Suga and J-Hope didn’t shine as much, as their parts didn’t stand out as much. RM, however, benefited from a kick in the beat of the instrumental, which I thought was a major difference between the rapper’s section. The main confusing point has to be Halsey’s featuring parts, which was only certain parts of the chorus. I think she could have been omitted and everything would remain the same, honestly. Overall, the question remains: do I like it? Boy With Luv is different and foreign to me. But it is still pleasant, which I think I can enjoy even more down the road.

The music video seems very typical to me. It didn’t have that wow factor like most of their other videos. Though, there is most likely a hidden storyline in the midst of the video. Maybe it will have that wow factor then! I did like the more down-to-earth and more playful vibes the member got to portray. It did make the video feel a lot more casual and laidback. I think, to me, the most memorable parts had to Suga and RM’s rap parts. The change to darkness to let them be the main focus worked really well, and I wished some of the members got something similar. Well, they did but it didn’t seem as bold as RM or Suga’s.

Also going with the light trend is the choreography. Nothing too complicated or extremely energetic in this performance, which I think is rather nice and probably beneficial for the members, who have been overworked with complicated and intense choreographies. This is all based on what I saw in the video, by the way!

Song – 8/10
Music Video  – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[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] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist 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 first section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best New Groups, Best Female and Male Groups and many others.

Each category will have a WINNER (the artist/group 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 New Male Group

Nominees – ATEEZ, NOIR, Stray Kids, The Boyz, UNB

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WINNER – Stray Kids
Honourable Mention – The Boyz
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Boyz


Best New Female Group

Nominees – fromis.9, (G)I-DLE, IZ*ONE, LOONA, NATURE

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9


Best New Soloist

Nominees – Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), LONGGUO, SOHEE (ELRIS), Yuri (SNSD)

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WINNER – Yuri (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Leo (VIXX)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Dong Han


Rising Star

Nominees – (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Pentagon

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland


Most Underrated Artist of the Year

Nominees – A.C.E, CLC, N.Flying, KARD, Snuper

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WINNER – KARD
Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – N.Flying


Best Unit Group / Subunit

Nominees – EXO-CBX, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Oh My Girl BANHANA, SNSD-Oh!GG

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WINNER – EXO-CBX
Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – NCT 127


Best Male Solo Artist

Nominees – Eric Nam, Hwang Chi Yeul, Jung Sewoon, Samuel, Seungri (Big Bang)

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WINNER – Seungri (Big Bang)
Honourable Mention – Eric Nam
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Eric Nam


Best Female Solo Artist

Nominees – BoA, Hyolyn, Kim Chungha, Sunmi, Taeyeon (SNSD)

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WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Sunmi


Best Band

Nominees – DAY6, IZ, N,Flying, The East Light, The Rose

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WINNER – DAY6
Honourable Mention – The Rose
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – DAY6


Best Raps

Nominees – B.I (iKON), Ilhoon (BTOB), Jooheon (Monsta X), Mino (WINNER), RM (BTS)

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WINNER – RM (BTS)
Honourable Mention – Mino (WINNER)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Jooheon (Monsta X)


Best Vocals

Nominees – BOL4, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeul, Mamamoo, Minseo

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WINNER – Mamamoo
Honourable Mention – BTOB
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Best Male Group

Nominees – BTOB, BTS, EXO, GOT7, iKON, Monsta X, NCT, NU’EST W, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, SHINee, VIXX, Wanna One, Winner

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WINNER – BTS
Honourable Mention – SHINee
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – iKON


Best Female Group

Nominees – AOA, APRIL, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

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WINNER – Red Velvet
Honourable Mention – BLACKPINK
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Artists Who Topped The Weekly KPOP Charts The Most in 2018

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Monsta X, Seventeen & Sunmi


And that completes the Artist Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Song Categories will be unveiled shortly and 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!

[Album Review] Love Yourself: Answer (3rd Compilation Album) – BTS

With BTS making their ‘IDOL’ comeback this past Friday, I think this is the fastest I have ever put out an album review for anyone. And while I had planned to do this as soon as I read the news of their said comeback, I never had expected so many high quality songs. Every new song on the album was a gem and I cannot wait to get straight into the review.

A compilation album is, put simply, a collection of past songs from other albums. BTS did insert 7 new songs into this album, which is the focus of the album review today. Joining these new songs are the song the group previously released as part of Love Yourself: Her and Love Yourself: Tears. Due to the amount of songs on the album (25 songs), it would be really crazy for me to put all the songs on this particular page. So, if you are looking for a particular review for another song from the other two mini-albums, click on the links below. Beside that, let’s get this show on the road!

Love Yourself: Her Album Review
Love Yourself: Tears Album Review

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Love Yourself: Answer Album Cover

2. Trivia 起 Just Dance (J-Hope Solo) – If you have been visiting my site for some time, you would know that I tend to prefer vocals over rap. But one of the things I love more than vocals are when rappers sing, as they tend to have a underrated voice. This is exactly what we have here. J-Hope’s verses just pull you in. And while that gets me hook, the chorus is another selling point that gives this song an amazing club vibe. The vibrating synth is also extremely addictive. Overall, the first new track of the album starts off these new releases with a banger. (10/10)

3. Trivia 承: Love (RM Solo) – The song kicks off with a very light hip hop sound that makes it appeal. While the sound might be a little too cheerful for RM (I for some reason associate him with a more dark/serious tone), this does not hinder his delivery and presentation of his lines, which felt very effortless (which is usual for the rapper). Once again, the singing was also top notch. Towards the end, there was an anthem like sound infused into the song, which made it the most exciting part of the song. (8/10)

5. Trivia 轉: See Saw (Suga Solo) – Starting off Seesaw is Suga’s husky vocals which sound like a blessing to my ears. His song takes us on the R&B route, which I think is an excellent move given the previous two songs (above). I like the use of background vocals in the song, which give it a little more backing. The instrumental is nice and smooth. But it is not as interesting as the other songs that I have already reviewed. It is a good track to kick back to, however, which is why I do enjoy it. (8/10)

13. Epiphany (Jin Solo) – Like the other two Love Yourself albums, we have a solo pre-release from Jin. This is one amazing song (and I felt that in just the first few seconds of the track). It gives Jin the opportunity to show something off which he doesn’t have the opportunity (I think I have said this in the past for his other solo releases). I love the instrumental of this, appealing to my taste in rock-ballad music. Overall, this is a show stopper on so many levels. (10/10)

14. I’m FineI’m Fine starts off same as Save Me back in 2016. However, it soon became distorted and we have a completely different sound, which falls along the line of Western pop currently. I liked the fast pace chorus which really gives off a very impactful push. It is also quite addictive. Once again, the rappers shine in this track. Particularly Suga, who had a awesome sequence. But that doesn’t mean the vocalists did not get any spotlight as their vocal work was amazing Going back to how the song is similar to Save Me, the lyrics is like a response to Save Me, which I thought was nice. (10/10)

15. IDOL (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of IDOL. (9/10)

16. Answer: Love Myself – Ending my review today is Love Myself, which is another perfect song from the group. Everything about this song is totally terrific. The vocals and harmonies were superb, while the rapping was toned down to fit this peaceful and more brighter sound from the group. The instrumental is well balanced, which is something I liked quite a bit. The lyrics of the song were quite touching as well. Looking back, my description/review doesn’t do the song justice, so my advice is to go and listen to this amazing song. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.3/10

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Love Yourself: Answer Teaser Image

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[Review] IDOL – BTS

After another highly successful comeback this past May 2018, BTS is back to conquer the stage again. BTS made their highly anticipated comeback today with IDOL and the third part of their Love Yourself trilogy. And with their latest comeback, it is expected that the group will extend their reach into the international market. They have already come so far with collaborations with Steve Aoki and Nicki Minaj, who featured on another version of their title track.

IDOL isn’t what I had expected, given what DNA and Fake Love sounded like. This seems to be more hip-hop dominate and party anthem-like, which sounds pretty good. The song opens up with the rappers taking on the verse. And while they do sound great, it did feel like they were shouting a little too much. The vocals come right after for the pre-chorus buildup and I had similar thoughts in term of shouting, though it provided a great launch into the chorus. I really liked the burst of energy and upbeat nature of the chorus, which takes the track to a whole new level. It was quite catchy to my ears.  I also like the instrumental of the song, which really built up as it went along. If you listen carefully during the verses, they seemed to be a dramatic underlayer, with the upbeat sounds on top. I found that very interesting. The saxophones definitely brightened up the track and provided a nice sense of appeal. I have to admit though, the song isn’t my favourite from the group, but it quite up there.

Right off the bat, the video seemed to be quite noisy as there were more things going in the foreground of the video and the background of the video, than usual. And this video seems to be a little out there, compared to their previous music videos. And I have no idea what is going on in the video, as the scenes seem to be very odd. I have yet to watch any theories on the music video, but I assume they will be plentiful in a few hours. There were some aspects that felt very familiar. Some of the scenes reminded me of Fire and Not Today. For example, the choreography scene where there was a tonne of backup dancers reminded me of Fire. The colour palette and sets in this video reminded me of DNA‘s music video.

Choreography wise, it looks good. We don’t see too much in the music video but there seems to be enough to conclude that this is going quite a performance. There seems to be amazing footwork during the chorus and the overall feel does a good job of hyping up the song. I may return next once I get a better look at the performance!

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Album Review] Love Yourself: Tear (3rd Studio Album) – BTS

Apologies for the delayed release of this album review. I just had some last minute things to focus on. Here is the long review for BTS’s latest album, Love Yourself: Tear. They had their comeback stage at the Billboard Music Awards this past Sunday and officially kicked off their promotions in South Korea last night. So with no further delays, here is my review!

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Love Yourself: Tear Album Cover

1. Intro: Singularity (V Solo) – Opening the album is an R&B track with a really ‘smooth’ instrumental that does a really good job of reeling you into the song. While this is the case, the song is a tad too slow for my liking. But as it features only V, it allows him to stand out. His vocals are extremely husky here and it sounds awesome when it is on a blank canvas, like this minimalistic instrumental. (8/10)

2. Fake Love (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Fake Love. (9/10)

3. The Truth Untold (전하지 못한 진심) (ft. Steve Aoki) – The group previously collaborated with Steve Aoki for Mic Drop last year, so it was quite surprising to see another collaboration between the two. This around, however, the focus is on the vocal line, who put out a really beautiful ballad. Their vocals alone just amaze me. I loved how it climaxes at the bridge by bringing some percussion into the mix. And the ending was just perfect, giving the song the perfect ending. (10/10)

4. 134340 (Pluto) – The song manages to becomes its own thing by the inclusion of the flute in the instrumental. You don’t really hear them all too often in KPOP, so it definitely has this fresh feel. The song ended up having this jazzy or coffee shop vibe, which I thought was rather cool. I like how the vocals pushed the boundaries of the song, particularly the chorus and how the rapping sat so well within the boundaries. (10/10)

5. Paradise (낙원) – Unfortunately, Paradise didn’t really appeal to my taste, mainly because it became rather repetitive towards the end. The song had thumping from the very start, which I thought gave the song a strong foundation. I think I am going to side with the raps in this song, rather than the vocals. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals were fantastic but the raps felt like they had more edge. I did like the end where everyone was singing together though. (8/10)

6. Love Maze – Once again, the song features great vocals and rap sequences where the emotions that the members put in were easily felt. The harmonies during the chorus were quite nice. But I wasn’t too drawn to the song as it felt quite ‘simple’. The song doesn’t really scream excitement and the instrumental felt plain than anything else. It was a decent song, just not the best. (7.5/10)

7. Magic Shop – As I hear more songs that mixes amazing vocals with EDM or electronic based music, I am definitely falling harder for them. Magic Shop definitely throws in amazing vocals and raps, similar to what we would get from a ballad from the group. But with the addition of a great drop and EDM-based, it just gives the song a boost of life. The song wasn’t exactly catchy but it was breathtaking. The only other thing that I wasn’t keen on were the raps. (9/10)

8. Airplane Pt 2 – This song features a Latin-based sound, which seems to be a growing trend within the industry. In this song, the members take you to a trip around the world with their lyrics. The raps did a good job at keeping the song feel so linear. They also added some roughness through the huskiness of the rapper’s voices. The vocals were nice. But I wasn’t really drawn towards the song. (7/10)

9. Anpanman Anpanman is a Japanese cartoon superhero character, which I assume would be famous throughout Asia. The song falls onto the hip-hop side of the group, however, there was this enjoyable yet fun element to its sound, which made it memorable for me. Not particularly a fan of the vocals of the song, which were drawn out or adjusted to be deep. The rapping and bridge, on the other hand, were great points throughout the song. (7.5/10)

10. So What – Despite it featuring a heavy beat and a house genre instrumental, the song was quite easy on the ears. The song was exceptionally groovy and had a burst of energy from the chorus. It is one of the songs that I would consider to be actual ‘hype songs’ and can easily be slipped into a playlist at a party. Really liked RM’s opening line to the rap. Overall, it was one great song. (9/10)

11. Outro: Tears – The song focuses on the rapper line. Like how movies tend to end on cliff-hangers, this song is probably the equivalent of that. The song basically keeps you on edge the entire time and despite it closing up very nicely, it does make you want the next album release instantly. It also shows off the rappers and their potential once again. The instrumental was a lot darker in comparison to rest of the album. The only section I am not into is Suga’s autotuned rap but it was one damn good outro song. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

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Love Yourself: Tear Teaser Image

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[Review] Fake Love – BTS

This is currently the most anticipated comeback of the year thus far. BTS has returned with their 3rd full-length album, Love Yourself: Tear and the title track, Fake Love. The group is due to make their comeback stage at the Billboard Music Awards this upcoming Sunday, where they are nominated for Top Social Artist for the second year in the running! Not only is this an achievement for both BTS and ARMY, but this is an achievement for KPOP as well! But I am here to review Fake Love, so let’s get on with it!

Fake Love lives up to its hype. Majority of songs that tend to be hyped up end up falling flat and I think this is the first time that it hasn’t. What sets this apart from their previous title tracks is their vocals and rapping. You can hear the emotions pouring into the song. The singers sound amazing yet there is a sense of heartbreak in their voice. The rapping was powerful yet very fragile. Come together with the instrumental, it leaves you speechless (at least for me). The song mixes trap with grunge rock (according to Soompi) and while the combination does sound foreign, it fits into their long list of songs. The chorus was interesting, how it was split across the song. The second half of the chorus, ‘Fake Love’ repetition was heard earlier in the song, while the first half was heard after. I am not too sure if I am describing correctly but that is how I understood the structure. The chorus was addictive, with the ‘Fake Love’ repetition building up inside my head. It does irk me somewhat with the pronunciation of the word ‘Fake‘, which they make it sound like it is two syllables. But that is how Korean’s usually speak (i.e. emphasis on each syllable). All in all, the song is quite promising and definitely has what it takes to a world player.

I just want to start off by saying that literature and art is not my strong point. But there is a lot of visual aspects that allude to both forms which I am not 100% on talking about. From what I can gather from the video itself and the teasers is that the video talks about fear. Each member has a fear (such as V with technology and Jimin with water). Jungkook seems to be the most interesting, with a fear of the darkness and possible the past (seen by his running away from the collapsing floor). Over the course of the video, we see each member come to terms with their fear. Though I am not sure where the video goes from there. I would love to read theories, so please comment with any that you find interesting. Overall, the video was extremely well done. From the aesthetic to that amazing post-production editing for Jungkook’s running, this video nails that artistic vibe in an interesting wall. I liked the sets and their outfits. The only I strongly dislike is their hair for this video. It doesn’t look too good from what I am seeing.

The performance (from what can be seen) looked amazing. From the very start, all their moves looked so good. I really like how chaotic their move and formation got when it came to the ‘Fake Love‘ repetition which matched the overall vibe of the song at that moment. The start did look funny though.

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

[Album Review] Love Yourself: Her (5th Mini Album) – BTS

BTS has already broken records in just a matter of hours after their comeback, so it only makes sense to have a closer look into their album. And I am not disappointed with Love Yourself: Her. I can definitely see why fans are really into the music, despite it being a changeup. Scroll down for the entire album review. Please note that for certain reasons, I have decided to leave out their skits once again, mainly because they wouldn’t be classified as music.

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Love Yourself: Her Album Cover

1..Serendipity (Intro Track) – While the style of the track isn’t to my taste, Jimin (who is the only singer in this track) opens the album with a breath-taking song. His vocals are amazing in this song, with just the first few seconds branding a deep impression into your mind. It is a song that can be very sensual, given the lyrics and overall sound of it. (9/10)

2. DNAClick here to read the full review for DNA (9/10)

3. Best Of Me – Following DNA is this track. Out of all the tracks on the album, my favourite vote goes to this one. It has a very Western feel to it and I think that is mainly attributed because this is a collaboration between BTS and The Chainsmokers, who happens to be one of my favourite Western artists at the moment. The beat drop is amazing and that “Haru Haru” part just before the drop just takes my breath away. The only word that can describe the instrumental, vocals and raps: perfect. (10/10)

4. Dimple (보조개) – This is probably another hidden gem of the album. The song only features Jimin, Jungkook, Jin and V. And they did a great job with compensating for the lack of rappers in this song. It gave a chance for us listeners to hear something more hearty and wholesome from the vocal line, which was clearly the intended highlight. I really like the instrumental for this track. (9/10)

5. Pied Piper – This is one track to groove to. You can tell that there is a hip-hop influence, but there was also a little bit of funk mixed into it, which made it very interesting (in a good way).  It was easy to get lost in this track due to its great melody and rhythm. Both the vocals and the raps for this song were on point. It could have used some speed, but that may change up the song up a little too much. (8/10)

7. MIC Drop – The one track that was influenced by Barack Obama. That must be the first. I wasn’t much of a fan of the song at first but it grew on me. Quite a bit. It isn’t the first song I think of when I want to listen to the album,  but who knows what a few more listens can do. The track itself is a hip-hop influenced but with an oriental/Middle Eastern twist to it, which makes it memorable. The rappers steal the show in this track (originally, I thought the vocalists were also in the song, but luckily I fact-checked myself) (8.5/10)

8. Go Go (고민보다 Go) – By now, you can tell that the album has a been given a huge dosage of hip-hop. Go Go continues on and it is another song that I don’t think of when it comes to the album but it wouldn’t mean I would shy away from this song. I saw the performance of the song, which attracted my attention to the song. The chorus was probably my favourite bit of the entire song as it sounds weird (in a good way) but very intriguing at the same time. (8/10)

9. Her (Outro Track) – The rappers take the reins and end the album (“officially”) with another hip-hop based song. The rappers did an amazing job (once again) but I personally think the highlight of this track is the instrumental. It is my style of jazzy music and the raps that lay on top goes really well with it. (8.5/10)

11. Sea (Hidden Track) – Sea is a very deep track. I praised many of the BTS solo tracks in their Wings album for their lyrics and deepness and this is the equivalent of this album. The vocals are beautiful, as usual, and the raps are equally as impactful. But despite the emotion-filled lyrics and vocals, the instrumental was quite calming and interlinked well with each other (9/10)

Overall Album Review – 9/10

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Serendipity Teaser Video Screenshot

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[Review] DNA – BTS

BTS has made their return to the stage with their latest mini-album release, titled as Love Yourself: Her. The lead title track from Love Yourself: Her is DNA. Ths is their first major release since winning the Billboard’s Top Social Artist award and Internation Artist at the Teen Choice Awards. Congratulations to BTS once again for their wins but for also representing KPOP at the big stage!

Once again, BTS has put out a great song. It is their most upbeat song, in my opinion. You can tell from the song’s brighter start with the guitar and pop-based instrumental. The whistles at the very start capture your attention and give a little mysterious vibe to the song. Interestingly, the song takes a turn and becomes EDM based, with a pretty good drop only after the chorus. I personally thought the mix between the two was quite nice and refreshing even though it seems a little mainstream nowadays. Per usual, the vocals and raps were quite good but they don’t seem as captivating as their previous songs. I am in love with the bridge where V, Jin, Jungkook and Jimin slide in for their parts and that jaggered instrumental that followed for the final chorus was amazing. Overall, I liked the direction in which the song was going, up until that point. The “La La La‘  that followed was the most awkward part and didn’t fit in with the rest of the song. But minus the disappointing ending, the song was amazing overall.

This is their most colourful video to date. The colours that they used in the background popped out to grab your attention, which was like the song. I also liked the member’s interactions with the camera, which I thought was pretty cool. Even Suga smiled for a second in the video. The camera work was definitely another wow factor, especially the tricks used to film the V to J-Hope transitions at the start. And while I have only watched the video a few times so far, I wonder how they told the story this time. A part of me like BTS releases because of their concepts and storylines. And the fan theories, which make the video different each time you view them. So if you know cool ones, pop a link in the comments below so I can read about them!

[Updated] The performance for DNA is exactly as we all expected. All very cool moves and quite sophisticated in some parts. My favourite part was when they tangled their arms together and moved their arms as if an electric wave was passed through their arms.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10 [Updated]
Overall Rating – 9/10 [Updated]

[Album Review] Wings / You Never Walk Alone (2nd Studio Album) – BTS

My vote for best album of 2016 went to Wings, BTS’s second studio album.  Hence, today I decided to take some time to look back on their award-worthy album. However, as the album was re-released with new songs in 2017, I have decided to combine the two albums and make one long album review for it. The Wings album was dropped on October 10th of 2016. It was then re-released as You Never Walk Alone on 13th of February 2017. Please note that this is a very long review and that I apologise for that.

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Wings Album Cover

1..Intro: Boy Meets Evil – J-Hope opens the entire album with Boy Meets Evil. And while it is just an intro track, it deserves to be an entire song on its own. J-Hope does not hold back, throwing his lines out at us in a manner that makes it sound so dark and intense. That intensity matches the string/dubstep instrumental of the track. The lyrics themselves are quite deep. (9/10) 

2. Blood, Sweat & Tears (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Blood, Sweat & Tears (9.5/10)

3. Begin (Jungkook Solo) – While Jungkook does seem to go down the ballad route, he manages to add synths and elements that could potentially make it into a dance song. The lyrics are definitely something to look at here, as he references the members whom he basically grew up with. The track is amazing but there is just one minor detail. It seemed a little repetitive. It kept to itself, which was good, but I was expecting some change up to make it more interesting to my ears. (9/10)

4. Lie (Jimin Solo) – That classical orchestra instrumental. It gives the track a very grand and epic feel. I love the twist and turns that this track provide. Everything felt so mysterious and dark through the verses, but the chorus caught me off guard because it went higher than what we have heard. Jimin’s vocals have always shined throughout BTS releases, but it managed to shine brighter here. Good enough that I give it a (10/10).

5. Stigma (V Solo) – Out of all the BTS members, I always thought that V’s vocals were the most interesting out of all the members. And this song proves just that. His raspy vocals and higher tones just blow you away. The slow jazz based instrumental is quite good. But if you ever get the chance, try looking into the English translation for this song. Following the other tracks, this one is equally as deep, dark and mysterious. (10/10)

6. First Love (Suga Solo) – I am not really into songs that are mainly based around raps. But there is always something about Suga’s songs that catch me off guard. The instrumental is relatively quiet at the start but his voice adds the dynamic side to the song. As the song progresses, the instrumental build up into a grand orchestral piece, which I thought was spectacular. Listening to it by itself, you can hear the emotions. But once you look up the lyrics, you can tell the level of emotion that was put into the song. (10/10)

7. Reflection (Rap Monster Solo) – The instrumental of this song is 100% eerie and I love that. It slowly becomes a nice instrumental that is calming and soothing. However, it was still powerful enough to fit Rap Monster’s delivery of his lyrics, while maintaining that calmness. Once again, the lyrics leave a huge impression on you. Just try searching up the translations for these songs and you will be blown away. The just felt very neutral throughout and after listening to Suga’s solo, it needed some sort of buildup to keep me there. (9/10)

8. Mama (J-Hope Solo) – Unlike the previous songs, which went down the emotional route, J-Hope takes a different direction with a more upbeat and happier sound. That being said, the same level of emotions are present, just delivered in a different manner. It was super easy to get into the groove of this song and it was really catchy. He writes about his mum in the song, which made it extremely touching. His voice sounds so good and it shows a softer side, compared to his powerful and strong raps that we hear often in BTS title tracks. (10/10)

9. Awake (Jin Solo) – The most underrated member (vocally, that is) finally get justice by having his own solo track. That is a celebration in itself. This song just proves that the group needs to use his vocals more. Here it is so dreamy and so damn amazing. The melody of the song is the type that I really enjoy. That is, the type that gets you swaying along to it. He also appeals to my taste of violins and classical type instrumentals, which I love. Combine them together and you got a winning combination. (10/10)

10. Lost – This is a song that features the vocal line of BTS (Jungkook, Jin, Jimin & V). Given their vocals in the solo songs that featured before this track on the album, it was a given that they would sound amazing. And they did. The song delivers a burst of energy, that was needed after listening to the slow, ballad-like tracks. It was a song that was easy to get into and the second half of the chorus (the ‘lost my way, way, way~’) was super duper catchy. (9/10)

11. BTS Cypher Pt. 4 – I am quite sure this is meant to follow on from the rest of the Cypher tracks in which BTS releases on their albums. I don’t really listen to them, so I am not going to include this track in the final album rating score. But if you want to hear a hip-hop centred track from the 3 rappers of BTS, do check this one out. It is pretty good from first glance.

12. Am I Wrong – My most favourite track off the entire album. And no, it is not wrong to fall for this song. I first heard it watching it on stage at one of the weekly music shows. While the rest of the album was serious and on the emotional side of things, it was nice to hear a few lighthearted and fun sounding songs to lighten up the mood. The raps and vocals in this song are pretty good as well. And most importantly, it is really catchy, which makes me go back for more. (10/10)

13. 21st Century Girls – All you ladies put your hands up! I personally thought the song was quite good. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, though. The song itself provided empowerment for the female listeners, hence may be the reason why I am not into the song as much. But the rapping here was good and the vocal work was amazing. I feel a little rude to describe the song this way, but it had a carefree feel to it, while also maintaining a level of seriousness. (8/10)

14. Two! Three! (Still Wishing There Will Be Better Days) – From what I am reading, this particular track is a song for their fans. And it one pretty good song. Just the lyrics alone already pack a punch with their meaning. The rapping fitted the more mellow song, while the vocals contributed to the sweeter melodies during the chorus. What makes the song even better is that it ends with all the members singing to the chorus, making it a worthwhile song for anyone who identifies as an Army. (10/10)

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You Never Walk Alone Album Cover

16. Spring Day (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Spring Day (9.5/10)

17. Not Today (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Not Today (9.5/10)

15 & 18. Outro: Wings – This track is the Interlude on the Wings album but an extended version is present on the You Never Walk Alone album. And it too is a damn good track. It ends both albums on such an upbeat and fun-sounding note. The instrumental is striking and BTS sounds amazing. (10/10)

19. Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone – We have reached the final song on this review. And they managed to finish off the album with one fantastic song. Suga and J-Hope sang in the song, which caught me off guard. What I loved about the track was the “Walk, Walk…Walk, Like it, like that” part which the vocalists each sing. It was super catchy and gave the song a nice pop vibe, which I totally dig from time to time. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

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You Never Walk Alone Teaser Image (Source: ALLKPOP)

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[Review] Not Today – BTS

Unlike the title of the song, it is a review that needs to be released today!!! For this repackaged album, BTS returned with two title tracks. The first, Spring Day was reviewed last week as its accompanying music video was released. With today’s release of the music video for Not Today, I can now review their second title track for their repackaged Wings album.

Not Today is a very intense track. Literally, it doesn’t hold back with its intensity. To me, it feels a lot like Fire’s sequel. It is as if they felt they didn’t do justice with Fire (which they obviously did) and decided to go with a track with that same intensity, but with a much cleaner and consistent sound. The instrumental is all EDM based and it standing alone packs a punch. Throw in their (per usual) rapping and vocal work and you can guess what type of track this would be. That being said, due to the intensity and instrumental, the vocals (including the rapping here) did feel a little inferior, as opposed to Spring Day, where the vocals/raps were at te forefront of the song. But regardless, I am totally digging it. I have been replaying it constantly this past weekend and getting hyped for the music video release. I love the transition between the rapping and vocals in this song. While EDM does have a reputation for not being smooth at times, the transitions give it a very smooth feel. And even though it feels smooth, the buildup of the track is something that catches your ears. But what makes this song so good is the ending. Even though it returns to the exact same chorus that we have been hearing in the song, it ended perfectly and left me at the edge of my seat.

My assumption is that Not Today and Spring Day will go hand-in-hand with each other since Spring Day provided us with a 1 or 2-second teaser of the Not Today video. Knowing BTS and Big Hit Entertainment, there will be some sort of connection that I am going to need help interpreting. I rely on fan theories for BTS music videos because there is so much to research and make sense of. The video starts off with them running (along with a group of ninjas or what I am going to assume – their bodyguards). And they are running away from someone or something that is out to get them. And that is all I have. Maybe they are trying to say “you will not catch me, not today”. But even though the plot doesn’t make sense, the video is still good on its own level. Why? Well, have you seen the cinematography and camera shots in this video? They look spectacular and stunning. You wonder how an underground car park or concrete slab can look good? Well check out this video and you will find out!

Like the song, the choreography is equally as intense or even more! The choreography that I saw in the music video has left me speechless and I can’t even get my thoughts for this section into words. But regardless, I smell a potential ‘Best Male Dance Performance” award for this. They have set the standard for 2017 pretty high.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video -9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

[Review] Spring Day – BTS

BTS has returned with their repackaged version of Wings (title track was Blood Sweat & Tears), which was probably one of the best albums of 2016. Spring Day is their title track off the repackaged album. The group will also be releasing a music video for Not Today (another track off their repackaged album), which I will review next week (once the video is released on the 20th). I was also planning on doing an album review for their repackaged. But since I am already reviewing 2 of the 4 new songs and I think it probably too late to do an album review for the entire Wings album, I’ve decided to cancel it instead. My apologies if you had expected it.

Spring Day is a lot different to the group’s past hits. This time, they went with a song that is more vocally centred. And they do a smashing job of it. The song is something right up my alley. It has a really emotional melody, which you can hear through both the softer instrumental and vocal work. The instrumental is toned down (as already mentioned) quite a bit, almost resembling a soft electronic track infused with a ballad (also really like the drums). Even the rappers, who are known for their extreme toughness and power raps, have toned it down. The star of the show has to be the vocals of Jungkook, Taehyung and Jimin. Their vocals work, in the song, is amazing. You can hear the emotions in the vocals, being consistent throughout the song. J-Hope seemed to get the short end of the stick. When I first listened to the song, I noticed that I could not detect J-Hope’s voice anywhere. It turns out that J-Hope was the backing vocals for the chorus. While that does seem a little unfair, once you notice it, you can’t really unhear it. Now when I listen to the song, I move my focus between the different vocals, especially during the chorus. His backing vocals do a really good job of echoing the member who was singing at the time (usually Jungkook). It added a level of complexity and depth to the song. And honestly, if you strip J-Hope’s backing vocals from the song, the song would have felt empty and too simplified.

Let’s all put forward our best theories, shall we? Hahaha.. As per usual, this BTS music video is confusing as heck. So I decided to do some reading and watching, trying to see what others make of it.  I found a video that really explains the story quite well. Watching the music video by itself made no sense. But with someone breaking it down (and basically doing the hard work for me) made more sense and more understandable. Now, I am unfamiliar with the story of Omelas (the name of the motel in the video) and will probably do a shocking job at explaining it. So for an explanation of the video, CLICK HERE!!! I think what BTS (and when I refer to the band, in this case, I am also referring to the producer, director etc) has been doing with their reference to these mythological stories is really cool and unheard of (as a series) in KPOP. Now moving away from the plot, this video is beautifully shot. Everything from the camera angles, wide shots to the quality of the video made it look amazing. It makes the video look stunning and worthwhile to watch.

[UPDATED] The dance for this song is amazing. I am not too sure, but I am assuming they did a form of interpretive dancing and every time I watch the performance, I am in awe at their stage presence and fluid motions. I loved how the song is more on the softer side, but their dancing is leaves a very strong impression on you. It might be a tad early, but this is worthy of a Best Dance award already.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10 
[UPDATED]
Overall Rating – 9.7/10
[UPDATED]

 

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

Click here to see the list of nominees for this year’s awards and scroll down to find out who wins!!!

If you have yet to see Part 1 (which also explains this corner) please click here.


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).


BEST MALE SOLOIST

As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.


BEST MALE GROUP

So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.


BEST ALBUM

Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.

And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……

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VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!

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!!!

 

[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!!!