The next release to be in the reviewing spotlight is Aloha Oe by Cherry Bullet. The track was released on Thursday this past week and follows the release of Hands Up earlier this year. Not much else happened with the group since their last comeback, so this introduction is quite short. So why don’t we just get straight into the review?
Cherry Bullet’s Aloha Oe is what I would consider to be a more upbeat and exciting Summer season track, unlike the previous Summer track that I just reviewed. It is colourful and definitely catchy with its addictive melodic and instrumental hook. One might say this instrumental hook might be squeaky, but I didn’t mind it. Specifically, the chorus features a bright blast of pop energy that makes this song extra appealing. And this blast of pop energy carries throughout the chorus, from start to end, which gives the song an overall boldness that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wished the verses also reflected this, as they did feel quite plain. But this is a good example of how the chorus really compensate for the verses’ plainness (as mentioned in my previous review that came out just before this one). The members had nice vocals in this song, with the lightness and higher pitch suitable for the Summer brightness and energy. There was a brief rapping sequence embedded in the second verse that I felt could have been left out. The instrumental backing for this was slightly over dramatic and Aloha Oe didn’t feel like it needed that dramatic backing (or a rap sequence in general). It did feel overwhelming and scared me during the first listen as it came out of nowhere. But apart from that, I really enjoyed Cherry Bullet’s new song.
While the music video features the closeup and choreography formula, I personally thought it was a really good video. Each member was doing their own thing in this music video, as if it was emphasising the idea of social distancing, which we are all actively doing (I hope). We have a member editing videos, food blogging, camping, partying, watching movies (more specifically horror flicks) and playing tennis amongst other individual activities. We also got the mirror wiping Tik-Tok trend that I am sure everyone has already seen on their social media. One element I really enjoyed was the video’s play on colour. During the individual shots, everything was quite colourful. However, when we got to the choreography shots, the set was more of a blank canvas and the members’ outfits gave that spruce of colour it needed.
Once again, given that the song has that cutesy feel to it, the performance aligns itself with that vibe and adds some aegyo into the performance. When Cherry Bullet does this on stage, it actually looks good. I say this because when other idols do this off stage as a challenge or dare, it is pretty cringy. I also liked how sharp their movements were and how good this made the performance looked.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 7.5/10 Overall Rating – 7.9/10
My reviews are going to be a day late, unfortunately. With that warning in place, I start this review for Cherry Bullet’s Hands Up, which was meant to be written yesterday as it was released yesterday. But as I say quite often on here, better late than never. This is the group’s second comeback, which follows their addictive Q&A debut and their alright Really Really comeback. Since their last comeback, the group reformed into a seven-member lineup after the departure of Mirae, Kokoro, and Linlin. Let’s see what seven-member Cherry Bullet has to offer us.
If I were to put their last two title tracks into list, Hands Up will fall into the Q&A list. Why? Well, I was blown away by the song from first listen. The most memorable aspect of this new song has to be the sample of Beethoven’s Für Elise. I thought it was a one time thing in this song but it kept on reappearing in the background. It had a very unique charm and gave the song some class. I particularly liked how the vocals merge with the sample at the very end of the bridge, which I thought was very cool. In addition of that sample, the song takes a mature profile, compared to their earlier works from 2019. And I thought that this was a nice change. It is another one of those songs that you expect a massive drop for, but they never delivered this drop, which adds to the suspense of the song. The vocal work and slight rapping we heard in the song was very good. The melodies give off a polish feel, further highlighting the mature side of the group. Overall, enjoying the song.
What I think the group is also nailing are their concepts. We first got a video game centred music video for their debut. Their comeback showcased the virtual reality aspect of gaming. And now, we are given a look into their Cherry Bullet Development, where videos games are made. I liked how to match their mature sound, the group is given mature colours to wear. Their sets are definitely less colourful (but not dull in anyway). Overall, I thought this was both a very visually and conceptually video to watch. I wonder if the group will extend their video game concept further somehow with their next release.
I thought the choreography was good. Not really the most unique performance out there or the most captivating. But it does the job in my opinion, especially for a song that does not drop.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 9/10 Performance – 7.5/10 Overall Rating – 8.7/10
As I have been mentioning over the past 2 weeks, I reflect over the 1st half of 2019 through two posts. The first post is the recap of the Number 1 songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts for the period between July 2018 to June 2019 and this was published last week. The second post is my pick for most favourite songs from the first half of the year. This is irrespective of the charts (or any charts for that matter) and reviews, as sometimes my favourite songs don’t reach the top. I have listed 10 songs below, in no particular order, which I believe represent the best of the best that 2019 has offered to us so far.
Boogie Up – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
Q&A – Cherry Bullet
Woowa – DIA
Side Effects – Stray Kids
The Fifth Season (SSFWL) – Oh My Girl
Zimzalabim – Red Velvet
Valkirye – ONEUS
No – CLC
Sunrise – GFriend
L.O.V.E – Park Ji Hoon
I wanted to add a few more but think limiting myself to 10 would probably be best, otherwise, I’d be copying and pasting majority of 2019’s releases onto this page.
Do you agree with my picks? What about your favourite tracks of 2019 so far? Comment down below!
Another big (and one that I am highly anticipating) comeback during the week that I, unfortunately, have yet to review. Cherry Bullet made their very first comeback with Really Really on Wednesday. Previously, the group made their debut with their very addictive and catchy Q&A, which I still replay (around) once or twice a week. Let’s see if the group can continue with what they left off with their new single, Really Really.
If I were to compare Really Really with Q&A (as that is my standard, given that they don’t have any other title tracks), the new single doesn’t really match or continue the momentum that their debut track had. But it did tick a few boxes. Really Really is another fun song in its own way. It is bright and bubbly, highly suitable for the Summer season once again. The vocal work was pretty good and the rapping was decent. The instrumental was a lacking aspect. While Q&A had a very powerful build-up (in my opinion), Really really had a lacklustre buildup. And because of that, I felt the chorus instrumentation wasn’t as dynamic as it could have been. I also felt that the chorus felt like a typical girl group release, as it didn’t have anything unique. Finally, I think the hooks could have been a little more powerful. I do feel like it is growing on me but ever so slowly. To sum up, Really Really is an okay song. It just didn’t fare well when compared to Cherry Bullet’s debut track.
What the music video continued with was the technological concept. Their debut music video had a futuristic video game concept embedded in it. Really Really opted for a video set more in the present but featured a lot of that electronic concept through the presence of augmented reality. And in a way, the video game concept continued on. Though, I guess their goal was to turn every heart into a cherry. The video also managed to incorporate some cuteness into it. While I do not enjoy this too much, I thought the song really allowed for the cuteness to filter through in a manner that didn’t feel overwhelming. After all, I did mention the song was bright and bubbly.
I did think the dance for this song was a little weak (For example, I thought the moves starting the chorus were a little slow and uneventful for the song). But watching it a number of times already, I am starting to think it is actually more fitting. Sure, I still like it to be a little more energetic and a little more powerful. But I can’t really think of the performance as any other way.
Song – 7/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 7.5/10 Overall Rating – 7.4/10
It is time to review a brand new group in the KPOP industry. And this particular group comes from FNC Entertainment, which is widely known for FT Island, CN BLUE, N.Flying, AOA and SF9. They are Cherry Bullet and is the company’s first girl group since the formation of AOA. The 10 member girl group consists of Haeyoon, Yuju, Mirae, Bora, Jiwon, Kokoro, Remi, Chaerin, Linlin, and May. They made their debut with the single Q&A on the 21st of January. So, let’s dive a little more into their debut package.
Q&A is what I would call a bubbly song with a very nice typical yet refreshing instrumental. I say that because the instrumental is rather techno-infused pop and isn’t that mind-blowing when I think about it. But I love the direction of the song. The verses were quite nice. The pre-chorus rap sequences were very ear-catching. To also add to the fun of the song, the chorus was very catchy with its melodies and amazingly addictive hook (I am already humming along to the ‘DaDaDa’ despite listening to it a few times. The bridge really brings out the vocals capabilities of the group, which I think were really nice. I think if they added an extra element into the instrumental to make it really pop and colourful, the song would have gone extra miles for me. But other than that, this is one rocking debut track.
Cherry Bullet’s debut music video is a fresh take on AOA’s music video for Bingle Bangle. Both music videos feature the retro video game concept. Instead of going completely 8-bit, Cherry Bullet’s video went with a retro-futuristic video game, which I think looked really cool. Added on top of that, they managed to make everything look and feel high-tech, which I think would be appealing to the audience of today. I really like the backdrop for the choreography shots for this music video, as they looked like the coolest parts of the music video.
The choreography was quite good. Nothing too new or mind-blowing here, once again. But it seemed energetic and lively, like the song. I personally like the skip they did during the chorus to get out of the formations and that they genuinely looked like they were enjoying every second of their time on the stage.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8.5/10