Can you already believe it? That we are already in July. Half the year has gone by and it felt like a blur. A lot has happened in the last 6 months that has just past. So, as a treat, I have decided to compile a list (my top 10) of the songs from the first half of 2017. There is no ranking or charting system that has allowed me to come up with this list (though, you might notice it may correspond with the Weekly Charts that I publish every Sunday). This is all just my personal preference and it is simply my opinion. So, in no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 10 songs from the 1st half of 2017.
Today is the 6th day of the month, which means another release from DAY6. After writing 6 reviews for their monthly releases thus far, I am running out of ideas on how to start off these reviews. I already poorly start off each review and I am concerned for the following months. Maybe I shall start experimenting with these introductions. Dancing bear gifs? Sounds like an idea.
Moving back to the song, Hi Hello has a distinctively different sound compared to their past releases. While most of their releases have been heavy with the band sound (either from the get-go or there is a buildup of some sort), this song remains very slow-paced and consistent throughout. The band sound is present, of course. But it is a lot softer and lighter. Soothing, calming are just some of the words that came to my mind when I first heard the song. Their vocals too can be described as above, but it can also be said that they are quite dreamy like. The slower pace actually allows their vocals to shine and this could probably be their best yet. Just listening to the “La la la” featured in the song is evidence of that. I like how airy and drawn out the chorus was. It gives the song a more interesting sound. Overall, the song isn’t my cup of tea. But after a few listens, I can still appreciate its quality and sound.
The music video is an alternate reality of how DAY6 got together. In this version, there was no JYP Entertainment. Just a really long road. Sungjin drives a ute (or pick-up truck) along the road, with Dowoon lying in the back (but we don’t really notice Dowoon until later on). Jae is walking on the road and notices the ute driving by. He successful hitches a ride. The way Jae throws the guitar at the back is a little bit concerning and did he hit Dowoon with the bag if Dowoon was lying in the back? We will probably never know. They drive past Wonpil, who joins them in the car. The offer a ride to Young K, who refuses. However, the ute ends up breaking down and Young K helps them repair the engine. Though initially, he doesn’t join them after the car is fixed, he is seen running after them. He joins them for the rest of the ride and hence, DAY6 is now formed. It is honestly a nice video, which matches the lyrics of the song. The video was edited to fit the tempo of the song, which gave it a more deeper feel. The scenery and background of the video looked pretty nice, for something that is pretty ordinary.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 10/10 Overall Rating – 9/10
A little while back I wrote the review for I Smile, DAY6’s main title track for the month of June. I also had plans to do a half year review of DAY6’s other tracks, which were released alongside the main title tracks each month. But when I heard they were going to release an album consisting of all those songs, I decided to do an album review (which would have been the same thing in the end) instead. Just writing this made me confirm a few things: 1) DAY6 is one amazingly talented band. 2) DAY6 have amazing songs to listen to. 3) I am super excited to see what else the group has installed for the remaining half of the year. So without further ado, this is my review for their first full-length album.
1..Lean On Me (오늘은 내게) – Lean On Me is the additional single that was dropped alongside their main June single, I Smile. The song takes you back to the rock roots of the band, with the dominating electric guitar riffs and banging instrumental. Out of their tracks, this one is probably the one additional single that they have released that I instantly enjoyed within the first listen. Their vocal work is amazing, nonetheless, which will be something that I will mention constantly throughout the reviews. (9/10)
3. Man In A Movie – This is the additional single that was dropped with their May release. Just by comparing the first three tracks, you can tell that DAY6 is extremely versatile with their sound. The song is catchy with a nice retro style. As the song progresses, it builds up very interestingly ends in a very dramatic way, which I liked. The instrumental is striking though and per usual, their vocal work is very good. (8/10)
7. I Would (그럴 텐데) – This song was released as part of their March monthly release. It started off slow and was another song that you could easily sway along to. But the instrumental kicked in and that caught me off guard. Don’t know what I was expecting, but the instrumental did a good job at creeping up on me. It isn’t their best song the album, but it was still amazing to listen to. It did leave a long impression on me with its contrasts between the slower verses and the somewhat faster choruses. (7/10)
8. Goodbye Winter (겨울이 간다) – Goodbye Winter was released alongside I Wait in January. Another song that started of slow but the instrumental turned wild once it all kicked in. It was almost like an explosion and very good one at that. It provided enough intensity to blow my mind away. It does remain slow throughout, but still very intense. (8/10)
10. Say Wow – Say Wow was released in April. If you know me, I am a sucker when it comes to violins and songs with an orchestral sound. This track sounds amazing. It is also fitting for an anime opening, especially during the chorus. Put those together and you have a winning formula. Though the song doesn’t have the level of intensity (which has been mentioned a number of times already), that doesn’t impact the song in any way. But it makes that up by being catchy and an addictive number to listen to. (10/10)
12. My Day – This song was released back in February. Since I have been praising the entire album, I should be extremely critical. The song has a nice buildup, what comes after the buildup was pretty disappointing. It has to be the weakest song out of the lot. But if I was honest, the weakest song (being this one) on the album is still pretty good. (6/10)
It’s that time of the month where we reach the 6th of each month and DAY6 makes their monthly return with a brand new song. But what makes their June release even more special is that their June release is actually their first album! Their main title track is I Smile, but it features all the songs that they have released on a monthly basis since the start of the year including I Wait, You Were Beautiful, How Can I Say, I’m Serious & Dance Dance. I also smell an album review coming your way.
I Smile returns to the emotional side of music which the guys have previously released, before dropping Summer suited tracks. The first thing I noticed while listening to the song for the first time was the buildup, which was beautiful. DAY6 songs are great for rocking out to and this is not an exception. It might not be as intense as their other tracks, but this one hits the mark when it comes to that emotional side. Their best yet, actually. Their vocals are amazing, as usual. But what makes this track even better the instrumental break which they have during the bridge (?). That gave the song the right level of intensity it needed. It also changed the song up a tiny bit by introducing synths. Overall, DAY6 has continuously pushed out great songs each month and this month is not an exception.
Complimenting the emotional side of the song, the music video did a wonderful job of captivating those feelings. Each member did a pretty good job at staring into the camera with a lot of emotion. Essentially, one of the guys sees his former lover at a bar where he is performing with another person. The lyrics show how they continue to smile for her, despite being heartbroken. And the videos ties in nicely with the lyrics. The cinematography was pretty good and the solo shots of the members looked amazing. The first few seconds of silence of the music video was oddly painful for me. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it was their intention, but I thought some of the backdrops during the instrumental break were similar to the ones used in previous music videos. They looked oddly familiar and very cool, nonetheless. And finally, the lead actress in the video was very pretty. I honestly could not stop staring at her.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 9/10 Overall Rating – 9/10
The 6th of May just went by and that means another DAY6 release. It has been 5 months so far and I have to admit that their monthly release system is doing a wonderful job. Sure, they might not be appearing on the charts but I am 100% sure that with their different sounds in the last 4 months, their fanbase has grown exponentially. This month release actually occurred on the 8th, as the 6th was a Saturday and it is rare (but not unheard of) for artists to release songs on the weekend. Last month they released I’m Serious, which seemed to start off the Summer season for them.
If you are looking for a fun rock song to listen to, I think you have just stumbled across the right song. The guys have returned to their rock sound that I think suits them the best. However, instead of an emotional sound, the guys have decided to have a little fun with their sound. Not exactly saying the song went weird but rather they adopted a more bright and happy vibe. The song sounds like it can fit within the soundtrack of any American suburban-set TV show that involves teenagers. The song is extremely addictive and their vocal work has to be the best yet here. That silence part after the bridge of the song does wonders and kept me at the edge of my seat. And then we were thrown back in the head-banging and foot-tapping quality music. The “I Feel Good, baby, I Feel Great” turns it into an anthem and had me singing along to it. The song only came out a few hours ago but I can already see it dominate my playlist this week. Overall, an amazing song.
The music video suits the song perfectly. Essentially, you will witness DAY6 getting a little wild and crazy in the music video, while they perform in their recording booth/room. And that fits the fun and cheerful vibes the song is going for. And I have run out of things to say with this music video. Mainly because I summarised the video within just one sentence, leaving me without much else to say.
Song – 10/10 Music Video – 10/10 Overall Rating – 10/10
The 6th of April just passed a few days ago, so guess what that means? DAY6 has returned with a brand new track. The 6th came unexpectedly fast. Maybe it was because I was occupied with my endless amount of assignments, but I just remember How Can I Say being released just yesterday! But who cares! The most important thing is that if you wanted more DAY6, you get more DAY6!
If this song proves anything, it shows everyone how versatile and flexible DAY6 is with their style and sound. While their past songs have been more rock influenced or ballad-like, I’m Serious sounds more upbeat and bright. There is a warm tone, which makes it suitable for the warmer months (which Korea and the Northern hemisphere are approaching). Though I do miss the more powerful sounds, the song is quite nice to listen to. The song also focuses more on the vocals, leaving out any possible rap sequences. All the member sings, even the rapper (Young K) taking the bulk of the chorus, which also shows the versatility of the members. The song itself is quite catchy. You catch yourself nodding along to the song, especially the chorus. But by then, you just nod your way through the rest of the song (with a smile on your face, of course) because you already started. The post-chorus is quite addictive and adds a little more colour to the song. I wouldn’t mind listening to just the instrumental of the song, as well. It sounds quite nice, with the softer and (at times) acoustic music.
The music video just shows the guys having a road trip, down by the beach and singing along to the song. There really isn’t much to say about the video. The idea of it is suitable for the song and it makes sense to go in that direction. The colour palette seemed to be dull, but it probably made things look a lot better than what it really was (the day looked cloudy and not that sunny, like in Summer).
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 7/10 Overall Rating – 7.5/10
DAY6 had been going at 2017 with monthly releases. Now that March is here, it means that DAY6 has a brand new song out for all of us to hear. How Can I Say follows the success that I Wait (January’s release) and You Were Beautiful (February’s release) have created and passed on.
I like the song a lot. It gave the group a chance to return to their rock side, which you could also hear in I Wait (the group’s January release). Actually no, it gave us a little something more than what we got in I Wait. The instrumental here is a lot more impactful, compared to their last two monthly releases. It also gives me an excuse to headbang along to the song. The sound and genre itself isn’t something that is attempted regularly enough in KPOP and it has been a while since something along the lines of this has been released (the main KPOP bands have not been around lately). Hence, there is a somewhat fresh vibe, which is something that the group continually delivers with their releases. The vocals are quite smooth and they sound very nice. Sadly, the track isn’t as memorable as you would have expected. While the headbanging does a lot, listening to the song made me come to realise that something was missing from the track. Even if the track isn’t your cup of tea, it is another track that DAY6 can use to prove their versatility and expanding music domain.
The music video accompanying the release of How Can I Say is pretty good. There is a reason why I don’t see the video as fantastic or as excellent, but let’s start off with what I like in regards to the video. I did like the visual effects that were used. They made the transitions between different scenes look quite nice and more appealing. I liked it when we hit the chorus, the video became a little more chaotic with its imagery and visual effects, which definitely suits the song at that point. The only problem is the simplicity of the video. While a nice simple video can go a long way, I am starting to be somewhat concerned for DAY6’s videos. Sure, the director and producer may have thought the simplicity of the video would have been a more artistic approach. But a part of me feels like it was done due to a lack of ideas. Who knows, I might be wrong. But since they are coming back each month, their music video budgets won’t really be incredible. And there is only so much one can do with a limited amount of money. I personally hope that the videos don’t become too repetitive and similar to the rest because that could become the downfall of this monthly release plan.
Song – 8.5/10 Music Video – 7/10 Overall Rating – 8/10
If you have not yet heard, DAY6 will be making monthly releases this year. They released I Wait as their main track for their January release. You Were Beautiful is now their latest track, released exactly one month after I Wait.
Once again, DAY6 does not disappoint with their song. I think the first thing every noticed was the past tense in the title. It does make a funny joke, but I rather not insult anyone. They went with a rock-ballad song, keeping true to themselves with the rock element, but showing off with a new side to the group with the ballad sounds. The track is much slower this time and you can feel more emotions in their vocals and lyrics in this song. Each member sings wonderfully in this song. I personally like the song a lot. The main issue is that some parts did feel like it was dragged out a bit. While I can overlook it, as everything else was sounded perfect for me, the thought does hang in the back of my head. But still, you all should check out the song. Given this track and I Wait, I am eagerly waiting for next month to come around to see what else the band has up their sleeve.
The video is quite simple. A female office worker finds (or is sent) videos of her past relationship with this guy. While all the memories are happy and she spends the majority of the video smiling, she ends up crying after remembering her break-up with him. The video is very clear cut. The band members are thrown into the video, scattered amongst the memories. Their presence in this video was underwhelming and honestly, not needed at all. The video would have been fine with just the memories and the female crying. Their presence through the song is more than enough here. An interesting theory seems to be that this is the continuation from their Congratulation video. In this video, the girl reflects on the past relationship she had with the guy, while in Congratulations, they meet unexpectedly in the future. While the actor does look familiar, the actress doesn’t. Nonetheless, it would still make for an amazing plotline and an awesome connection between the videos.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8.5/10
DAY6 has started off 2017 with a brand new song. But it isn’t the only thing they are starting off with a new song. They announced that they will be releasing a new song at the start of each month (approximately the 6th of each month) and will prepare concerts for each month. They previously made their comeback back in May 2016 with Letting Go.
If you want your fix of rock in the Korean music industry, you just happened to click on the right review. Let me introduce you to I Wait by DAY6. The song starts off slow, but builds up until it reaches the chorus. Now if you want to start head banging, then the chorus is perfect for that. I am a person who don’t generally listen to rock music. But this song has been one that I have been going back to every single day. The vocals in this song are perfect and shown off really nicely. There is no rap and I am glad that is the case. There is a rock song full of emotion and mellowness. A rap would not have fitted the song. The song overall isn’t that complex, in terms of sound. Easy to rock to and for some reason, it is quite easy to mouth along with the lyrics. The English just rolls off the end of each line effortlessly (I guess that is what you get when you have members who speak English every day). Listening to the song, I could not hear any flaws. Everything was perfect and hopefully, it is a sign of great things for DAY6 and their monthly releases (and everything beyond).
The music video seemed a little cheesy to me. It isn’t a terrible video and I guess that since they will be doing releases per month, the company doesn’t want to go over budget and make everything fancy. But the video could have done with a little more impact. The cloud background was cheesy and didn’t match the video. I believe they tried to match the tempo at each part of the song (other members who sung during more faster pace parts had city scenes and fast-forwarded backgrounds, while Jae was stuck with the slow moving clouds). The faster backgrounds suited the song more, in my opinion, and gave more energy to the song. But what made it cheesy was the way they stood and lip-sync to the song. There was an air of awkwardness during Jae’s part, in particular, which gave me those thoughts of cheesy. The band scenes were amazing, though. They looked cool, hip and trendy, which gave the video a more modern feel (Otherwise, the colour of the video would have given the video a more vintage look).
I should find new ways to start off my reviews. They all sound the same… DAY6 is back after debuting last year with Congratulations. Since then, they have been performing gigs in South Korea and also around the world. Earlier this year, member Junhyuk was withdrawn from the group for personal reasons, and I believe JYP Entertainment had yet to make a statement regarding this. This leaves only 5 members in the band. Also DAY6 confirmed that they will be promoting on music shows for this comeback, as opposed to their debut, which JYP Entertainment claimed that they would not promote to keep it authentic. Guess who gave in JYP. But it is nice to see them back and performing on the stage.
So the song, I think it is great. Everything seems to be up to the standard that Congratulations had set. The vocals, the rapping, the instrumental. Everything was great. The song itself sounds like its story that it has intended for the audience to hear. It sounds like a person reflecting on a relationship that just had to end or the end was unavoidable. And I like the song for that element. I also love the instrumental. The continuous drum beats and guitar strings during the chorus is probably my favourite part of the song. It gives the song that strong feel and impact that I tend to talk about. It is a powerful song, while the message may be a little soft. However, I just cannot pinpoint what is missing in the song. The song has this one thing missing from it that I think would make the song 10 times more better, but I just cannot work it out. Every time I listen to the song, I have this thought and try to dig my way through the song trying to find what is missing, but I can’t (unless the song is intended to be that way – more that later). But overall, I think this is a great song.
Music video. It is interesting and fits the feel of the song. There isn’t anything “loud” or bold in the video, which suits the song really well. Not exactly keen on the many copies of the members, but still, it makes the video very interesting. Now, there is a theory about the video and song that I think makes sense (but may not actually by the true meaning of the video). As I mentioned above, the song may have been intended to be left “empty” as the one of their members was announced that they were to leave the band. Fans seem to comment on how the song was like a message of “letting go” of this particular member. Junhyuk, also plays the keyboard, and in the background in some scenes when the band is together, there is actually a keyboard there, standing by itself. A sign that they must let go, but they just cannot. It also seems like the many copies of the members seem to mean that however the other try to fill his void, they just cannot replace me like that. Really interesting and totally make senses with that one piece of evidence. Whatever the meaning of the video is, I think what fans have theorised is exceptionally sad and would make sense given the rumours that surrounded his departure.
Overall, interesting video and great song. But what are your thoughts on the video? What do you think is the meaning behind the video, because writing this makes me feel sad 😦 8.5/10
Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
If You Do
Oh My Girl
Love Me Right
I Need U
Sing For You
Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
Like OOH AHH
Oh Um Ah Yeah
Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
Between Night n Music
Shake That Brass
Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
VIXX LR (VIXX)
Brand New World
Brown Eyed Girls
Ring My Bell
Donghae & Eunhyuk
Catch Me If You Can
Me Gustas Tu
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
Might Just Die
We Like 2 Party
Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
Ice Cream Cake
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
I Feel You
Wow Wow Wow
Junjin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)
And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!
A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.
AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).
JYP is definitely on a roll this year when it comes to getting his artists back on the stage (or in this case on the stage). DAY6 is JYP’s newest boy band, waiting to grace the hearts of fan girls and boys. But I don’t think they will be doing that any time soon (more about hat later). DAY6 is a 6 member boy band, which includes: Sungjin, Jae, Junhyuk, Young K Wonpil, Dowoon. I know some of the members appeared on WIN (YG survival show for boy groups) in the past. I also know Young K from YouTube videos back when he was doing them. Any Third Degree fans out there? Anyway, they made their debut but we won’t be seeing them on stage that much. JYP Entertainment said that the boys will be start from the bottom to prove their talent etc. But that sounds a lot like ” we won’t be promoting them at all”. Due to the competition nowadays, you need to get them onto the stage. Look at the artists and songs that are released but never forgotten. Unless you have made yourself a safe spot in the industry, you are not going to get far. But who knows, maybe these guys have what it takes to shake the industry.
This song is a pretty solid song for their debut. Everything about this song is just on point. There is a lot of things that stand out about this song. They are vocally prepared. To me, I guess they can rival big name bands in the western media at the moment. This song is much more lovey dovey compared to the likes of Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5, but I see DAY6 suiting that type of style. The rapping is pretty good and suited this song quite a bit. The beat and rhythm of the song eases you into it, and it flows from left to right perfectly. The instrumental is actually sounds quite nice and seems to match the impacting feels of the lyrics. The song mainly speaks about how the guy sees his current (or actually past) relationship. Honestly, the lyrics were quite something when I first read them. Did not expect them at all, but hey, all the parts of the song come quite nicely together.
The music video tells the story that the lyrics are telling us. Essentially, the dude on the train recognises the girl who sits opposite as his ex. And she came on with her current boyfriend. He gets all these flash back images in his mind of their time together. He then sees reality where he is alone and she is enjoying her time with her current boyfriend. While he doesn’t want to leave cause he has feelings for her still, seeing how she is, he had to. And hence Congratulations mean that he is wishing her the best for the future, while he moves on. Hoenstly, that members acting is pretty cool. Performing on the train was quite nice as well, since most of the video was shot there. Music video was pretty well made for their debut. It was like watching a mini movie. Kind of. One that went for 3 minutes. Not that much of a movie.
Honestly, this band has so much potential (and yet their company decided to not actively promote them). Check out their whole mini album because their tracks are pretty neat. Freely and Congratulations were my favourite. As for this song and music video: 9/10