[Special] Top 10 Personal Favourites Songs from 1st Half of 2020

2020 has proven to be an eventful year so, without a doubt. But since we are at the halfway mark already, let’s have a little reflection post on the last 6 months. In no particular order, here are 10 of my personal favourite KPOP releases since the start of 2020. I have also added some of my favourite sidetracks that I have encountered so far in the year as part of my top 10. This is also irrespective of my reviews and Weekly KPOP charts posts.

[Album Review] The Book Of Us: The Demon (6th Mini Album) – DAY6

Apologies for another day late album review. I was a bit busy yesterday and only got the Weekly Chart Post out before the day was over. But before we proceed with any more reviews, I had to get this out so I don’t fall behind (I had cancelled a few album reviews this year because of this). The album I have chosen to review yesterday/today is DAY6’s The Book of Us: The Demon, which features Zombie. This is the third mini-album release part of The Book of Us series, following The Book of Us: Gravity (title track – Time Of Our Life) and The Book of Us: Entropy (title track – Sweet Chaos). Unfortunately, DAY6 will not be promoting this album, which is a major pity given how good the songs on this album (and any album of theirs) are.

The Book of Us: The Demon Album Cover
The Book of Us: The Demon Album Cover

1. Day & Night (해와 달처럼) – Opening this album is Day & Night. While the track is quite upbeat and bright in terms of energy, I find it to be quite light and really nice as an opener track. It opens up with this synth that resembles harmonizing vocals and some short guitar beats. We are then thrown into a verse with really nice vocals and we hear the track slowly building up to the pop-centric chorus, which features a really appealing blast of energy and keeps in line with the rest of the song. As mentioned, the vocals are quite nice throughout the song, not just the verses. I really liked the melodies in this song, especially when it came to the pre-chorus. I also liked the alternating lines that Wonpil and Dowoon shared (Yes, we should celebrate as Dowoon has lines!!!). I find the lyrics to be very interesting. They sing about opposites happening (hot and cold; getting closer but disappearing from sight; up and down; sun and moon etc.). It is as if them and their partner cannot seem to be on the same page for this relationship to work (but it isn’t at that broken stage yet). Very nice song, overall. (9/10)

2. Zombie (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Zombie. (9/10)

3. Tick Tock Tick Tock approaches ballad territory, but it never really sets foot into that area. Instead, it has this upbeat-ness to it that really holds it back from being a ballad. This slow style isn’t usually my style, but there is something quite captivating in this song. It might be their mature sound, which compliments and adds onto the mature vibes we got from Zombie. The way Young K brings his raspy tone to the song at the very start was extremely impressive and impactful. The instrumental for this song has this really mellow yet heavy feel to it, which I think is very nice. It invokes that swaying effect, which I really enjoy when it comes to ballads (and hence why I feel it approaches that area of music). I also like the synthesizer keyboard that is used in the song, bringing that synth that I just cannot find the right words to describe. But it really makes the song sound unique and charismatic. The lyrics are quite depressing, referencing the moment they notice that their relationship is over. (8/10)

4. Love Me or Leave Me – Out of all the side-tracks on the album, Love Me or Leave Me is probably the one that jumped out at me. It has become my pick for best song (other than the title track) on the album. It starts off slow and it remains in a slow rock mode for about halfway into the first verse. The song then sudden ticks to a much faster tempo for the pre-chorus, with the synth keyboard being the most prevalent sound in this section. It then increases in tempo once again for the chorus, going for a relentless and loaded rock sound. It may sound messy, but DAY6 (given their past work) makes it into a cohesive track that really sticks. This sudden yet accumulating energy really helps push the song forward. The melodies really helped make their vocals shine, especially the post-chorus hook, which featured on the most intense moment of the instrumental. As per the discussion on lyrics thus far, DAY6 asks their lover to honestly decide whether to stay or to leave in their relationship. (10/10)

5. STOP (때려쳐) – DAY6 amps up the rock sound to ensure its influence starts at the very first second on the album. It is a sign that they are not messing around. Like how they are in the lyrics of the song, where they had enough with the lies and inconsistent excuses their partner is telling them. The song is quite good with decent vocals, memorable melodies and a standout chorus (i.e. when they all shout ‘Stop This’ and ‘There Is No Answer’). I really like the harmonies that follows those lines, along with the harmonies present in the bridge of the song. I also really like the electric guitar riffs that acted like accents or details within the instrumental. But while I do give a tick of approval for this song, I was hoping that STOP would build on itself and kick it up a notch as it developed. Unfortunately, it didn’t. So, I am slightly disappointed on that part. (8/10)

6. 1 to 10 – It seems like my wishes are answered in 1 to 10. As above, I wanted the preceding song to step it up. And it definitely feels like 1 to 10 does just that. In addition to that, it seems to take a page from their brighter songs on the album, allowing the song to become memorable in all regards. The guitar riffs and drum beats that make up the song’s instrumental are quite cohesive and consistent throughout the song. There is also a tense vibe to the song, which makes it thrill to listen to. In addition to the instrumental, the vocals are very on point. And that, in combination with the catchy melodies that the song features, makes DAY6 bring their A-game without the use of powerhouse vocals. Another perfect song, in my opinion. As for the lyrics, they change their tune by moving away from heartbreak to declaring their love for their partner. (10/10)

7. Afraid – The album ends on a much more emotional note than in comparison to any of the above songs, with Afraid being about the members becoming worried that their partner is becoming like them due their insecurities. The contrast with the rest of the album is quite strong for obvious reasons and this just draws your attention right into Afraid. Their vocal tone is what gives the song that emotional tinge and I felt that each member also brought their A-game this song, just in a completely different sound as the preceding song. The instrumental for Afraid brings together beautiful acoustic guitars and piano melodies, along with intense electric guitar riffs and drums. I thoroughly enjoyed how the song builds on itself, climaxing during the start of the bridge. The bridge is also my pick for the best part of the song, bringing a bit of trendy touch to the song. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.1/10

The Book of Us: The Demon Teaser Image

[Review] Zombie – DAY6

We kick off this week with the return of DAY6, who we last saw through Sweet Chaos. The band from JYP Entertainment released their new single, Zombie, and the group’s 6th mini-album, The Book Of Us: The Demon. The actual album itself includes two versions of the title track, a Korean and English version. It seems like we will only be seeing the members through the music video and the teaser images, as their company announced that the band would be halting all activities (including promotions) so that some of the members can recover their health, as it has been revealed that some of the members are suffering from psychological anxiety. Let’s all wish the members a quick recovery so we can see them on stage soon.

Zombie is best described as a rock ballad, leaning more towards the ballad side of that pairing. It is a little dry at first. But once you delve into it, you will grow to like it. I liked how the song didn’t conform to the usual routine and structure, which was opposite of the songs lyrics of being stuck in the same routine and hence becoming a zombie for living life on repeat. And this way, it made the rock ballad quite unique as well. Every time we heard the chorus (the lyrical sequence that was repeated), it was paired with a different instrumental piece. The first time around it felt like it embedded in the first verse, which was followed by an instrumental break that felt like it should have backed the first chorus (but was delayed). This instrumental break here felt extremely powerful in the English version and I assume it would have the same impact if you understood the Korean version. The second time we heard the chorus, it was back by what felt like the usual chorus instrumentation. And the third time was actually as Zombie was easing out, with just a synthesizer and then a keyboard playing in the background. The other parts of the song were really nice as well, instrumental-wise. But the vocals were definitely the standout element. You can hear the tiredness of the usual routine and the desire for more in this voices. My favourite section of the song, which showed off the vocals the best (in my opinion) has to be the short second verse. Jae’s ‘This Meaningless Life‘ just comes out so smoothly. Overall, it is a really beautiful song. I don’t know exactly when one would play it, given its message. But it definitely a relatable song.

I thought the music video was cleverly produced. In the video, the main character played the role of a ‘zombie’, which is a guy who lives the same routine every single day. He gets up in the morning and goes to work as a businessperson. I like how the video was shot with everything else moving around him in a fast forward motion, while he is in neutral gear and dragging himself towards his job. Another thing I like is when his apartment is filled with water, this corresponds with the ‘Wanna Cry‘ lyrics. However, I liked how the main character does not care that his home is flooded and just goes to bed as per his routine, showing that he is truly stuck in that same routine. I also liked how the members play instruments within the apartment. The set was very narrow, but they managed to get everyone in there. I also liked how they shot closeup of one member standing close to the camera and the next person standing in the background, so that the camera only need to adjusts its focus to get to the next person (and the video doesn’t need fancy transitions to move along).

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist-Based Categories

It is that time of the year again where I announce the winners for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In December 2019, I allowed the audience (you all), once again, to vote for their favourite songs and artists for the December 2018 to November 2019 period. Thank you to all who voted and particpated in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards this time around. Even more people voted this year, making this year more intense than ever in many categories. This post will focus on the artist-based categories, which will involve the New Artist categories, Elemental-focused (i.e. rap, vocals etc.) categories and Best Artist categories. The winners for the artist categories will be posted in an accompanying post today, while the Top 100 songs of 2019 will be posted tomorrow.

Here is how things are going to work. Each category (aside from the non-fan voted categories, which are specified) will have a WINNER (the song/performance/video that ranked first), a Honourable Mention (the song/performance/video that ranked second) and a KPOPREVIEWED Choice (my personal choice if I voted, which I didn’t include this year). And let’s go!

Best New Male Soloist

Nominees: Baekhyun (EXO), Chen (EXO), Ha Sung Woon, HUTA (Lee Min Hyuk – BTOB), Kang Daniel, Kim Jae Hwan.

WINNER – Baekhyun (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Kang Daniel
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – HUTA (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB)

Best New Female Soloist

Nominees: Hwasa (Mamamoo), Jeon Somi, Kim Ji Yeon (Kei – Lovelyz), Oh Ha Young (APINK), Sulli

WINNER – Hwasa (Mamamoo)
Honourable Mention – Sulli
KPOPREVIEWED – Hwasa (Mamamoo)

Best New Male Group

Nominees: AB6IX, CIX, ONEUS, TXT, X1

Honourable Mentions – ONEUS

Best New Female Group


Honourable Mention – EVERGLOW

Best Band

Nominees: DAY6, FT Island, IZ, N.Flying, ONEWE

Honourable Mention – N.Flying

Best Vocals

Nominees: AKMU, Brown Eyed Girls, Chen (EXO), IU, Mamamoo

Honourable Mention – Chen (EXO)

Best Raps

Nominees: J-Hope (BTS); Jackson (GOT7); Mark (NCT); Ravi (VIXX); Zico

Honourable Mention – Zico

Best Subunit

Nominees: Block B Bastarz; EXO-SC, Jus2, NCT 127, NCT Dream

Honourable Mention – NCT 127

Artist With Most Weekly KPOP Chart Wins

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Seventeen (5x)

Rising Star

Nominees: ATEEZ, CLC, N.Flying, UP10TION, VICTON

Honourable Mention – CLC

Most Underrated Artist of 2019

Nominees: A.C.E, Dream Catcher, LOONA, ONF, Pentagon

WINNER – Dream Catcher
Honourable Mention – Pentagon

Best Male Soloist

Nominees: Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), Nam Woohyun (Infinite), Taemin (SHINee), Yesung (Super Junior), Zico

WINNER – Taemin (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Zico
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Nam Woohyun

Best Female Soloist

Nominees: Ailee, Kim Chungha, IU, Park Bom, Sumni, Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention – Kim Chungha
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Chungha

Best Male Group

Nominees: ASTRO, ATEEZ, BTS, DAY6, EXO, GOT7, iKON, MONSTA X, NCT, NU’EST, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, Stray Kids, The Boyz, WINNER

Honourable Mention – BTS, ATEEZ
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Stray Kids

Best Female Group

Nominees: (G)I-DLE, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, IZ*ONE, LOONA, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Honourable Mention – Red Velvet, Mamamoo
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Oh My Girl

And that brings us to the end of the Artist-Based Categories for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t seen the Song-Based Categories yet, click here.

Tomorrow, we will get to see which artist ranked on the Top 100 of the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Charts, where the song that ranks first becomes the ‘Best Song of 2019’. Remember this is decided based on the votes for Best Song of 2019 (50%) and the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post every Sunday (50%). You can find out by clicking here (hyperlink will be updated once the post is published).

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song-Based Categories

It is that time of the year again where I announce the winners for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In December 2019, I allowed the audience (you all), once again, to vote for their favourite songs and artists for the December 2018 to November 2019 period. Thank you to all who voted and participated in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards this time around. Even more people voted this year, making this year more intense than ever in many categories. This post will focus on the song-based categories, which will also involve the Performance categories, Best Music Video, Best Concept and the most voted song (by you all). The winners for the artist categories will be posted in an accompanying post today, while the Top 100 songs of 2019 will be posted tomorrow.

Here is how things are going to work. Each category (aside from the non-fan voted categories, which are specified) will have a WINNER (the song/performance/video that ranked first), a Honourable Mention (the song/performance/video that ranked second) and a KPOPREVIEWED Choice (my personal choice if I voted, which I didn’t include this year). And let’s go!

Best Special Performance

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Egostistic Cover (AOA) at Queendom

Best Concept

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)

Best Solo Choreography

Nominees: Blue (Ha Sung Woon); Focus (Kim Dong Han); Gotta Go (Kim Chungha); LALALAY (Sunmi); L.O.V.E (Park Ji Hoon); Twit (Hwasa – Mamamoo); WANT (Taemin – SHINee); What Are You Up To? (Kang Daniel); What You Waiting For? (Anda & R.Tee); Ya (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB).

WINNER – WANT (Taemin)
Honourable Mention – Gotta Go (Kim Chungha)

Best Male (Group) Choreography

Nominees: All Night (ASTRO); Boom (NCT Dream); HIT (Seventeen); Hollywood (AB6IX); Humph! (Pentagon); Love Shot (EXO); RPM (SF9); Say My Name (ATEEZ); Side Effects (Stray Kids); You Calling My Name (GOT7).

WINNER – Love Shot (EXO)
Honourable Mention – HIT (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Side Effects (Stray Kids)

Best Female (Group) Choreography

Nominees: Bon Bon Chocolat (EVERGLOW); Boogie Up (WJSN); Butterfly (LOONA); DALLA DALLA (ITZY); HIP (Mamamoo); Pinky Star (Run) (GWSN); Sunrise (GFriend); The Fifth Season (Oh My Girl); Violeta (IZ*ONE); Zimzalabim (Red Velvet).

WINNER – Butterfly (LOONA)
Honourable Mention – HIP (Mamamoo)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Zimzalabim (Red Velvet)

Best Collaboration

Nominees: Blossom (Eunha & Ravi); Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey); Don’t Need Your Love (NCT Dream & HRVY); I Wanna Be (Key ft. Kim Soyeon); Spring (Park Bom ft. Sandara Park)

WINNER – Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey)
Honourable Mention – Don’t Need Your Love (NCT Dream & HRVY)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey)

Best Music Video

Nominees: Abandoned (Brown Eyed Girls); Above The Time (IU); Crown (TXT); Feel Special (TWICE); HIT (Seventeen); Love Drunk (Epik High ft. Crush); Noir (Sunmi); Snapping (Kim Chungha); You Calling My Name (GOT7); Zimzalabim (Red Velvet)

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Feel Special (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – HIT (Seventeen)

Best International Song By A Korean Artist

Nominees: Breakthrough (TWICE – Japanese); Flower (GFriend – Japanese); Lights (BTS – Japan); Moonwalk (WAYV – China); Someone’s Someone (Monsta X – US).

WINNER – Breakthrough (TWICE – Japan)
Honourable Mention – Moonwalk (WAYV – China)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Breakthrough (TWICE – Japan)

Best Official Soundtrack (OST)

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – We All Lie (Ha Jin- Sky Castle OST)

Most Viewed Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Goblin (Sulli)

Most Viewed Album Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – BXXX (Ha Sung Woon)

Songs With Most Win on Weekly KPOP Charts

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Time Of Our Life (DAY6)
WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)

Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Ten Nights (Mamamoo)

Best Album

Nominees: Love Poem (IU); Narcissus (SF9); Purpose (Taeyeon – SNSD); The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6); Want (Taemin – SHINee)

WINNER – Love Poem (IU)
Honourable Mention – The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6)

Most Voted For Song of 2019

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)

And that brings us to the end of the Song-Based Categories for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t seen the Artist-Based Categories yet, click here.

Tomorrow, we will get to see which artist ranked on the Top 100 of the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Charts, where the song that ranks first becomes the ‘Best Song of 2019’. Remember this is decided based on the votes for Best Song of 2019 (50%) and the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post every Sunday (50%). Will EXO’s Obsession become the ‘Best Song of 2019’ officially? You can find out by clicking here (hyperlink will be updated once the post is published).

[Album Review] The Book Of Us: Entropy (3rd Studio Album) – DAY6

Another Sunday and another album review. It feels weird posting an album review on the weekend after a long break from doing so. But I need to get back onto the routine if I were to catch up on all the albums that I had missed on previously. But as mentioned last time, I will be covering recent albums as well. Today’s artist is DAY6 who returned with Sweet Chaos the other week. Sweet Chaos is the title track off their 3rd studio album (The Book Of Us: Entropy), which is what I will be reviewing today.

The Book Of Us: Entropy Album Cover

1. Deep In Love – I really liked the rock and grungy vibes that came from Deep In Love, which is the route that I enjoyed most from DAY6. The instrumental break during the bridge was awesome! But over the last few comebacks, the band has taken on different routes that I have also thoroughly enjoyed. I really liked the filter they put their vocals in this song, which felt like they were shouting in a subtle way (i.e. not going screamo). Usually, I wouldn’t like the autotune filtered vocals but I really thought it added a really interesting texture to the rocking song. The song packs a punch and opens the album on a memorable note. (9/10)

2. Sweet Chaos (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Sweet Chaos. (9/10)

3. EMERGENCY – I thought that EMERGENCY is a fun little song and a slight change from the more powerful and emotional songs that they have put out. I really like the golden retro sound that comes from this, which bumps the fun out quite well. While I know they aren’t dancers, I can see them perform with some sort of small routine, which would enhance that fun vibe even further. Vocal work was fine and the song was quite catchy thanks to lyrics repetition. (8/10)

4. Rescue Me – After that fun number, the group launches back into the rock vibe with Rescue Me. A few things stood out for me. The first is the instrumental, since the song literally throws the rock vibes at you from the very start. The second must be the chorus, which had a nice ring melodically. The vocal work was nice. Sungjin’s raspy vocals during the chorus was my pick for the best in the song. However, I wasn’t blown away by the entire vocal package. I feel like the rock instrumentation, especially when it came to the verses, drowned out the vocals a tad bit. This might have been my personal preference, however. But still a decent track. (7.5/10)

5. 365247 – I like the song. It is a little unique to me, thanks to the various vocals we heard throughout the song. The normal pitch, the higher pitch and Dowoon’s deep voice (Yes!!! Dowoon is in this song!!!!) really made it feel like a rollercoaster. The instrumental was so so. But I did notice was a lot simpler than their past tracks and this made the vocals shine even brighter. The title of the song was a little odd. I understand the title (i.e. what the string of numbers mean) but I didn’t see the connection between it and ‘jumping into the fire’, which was more emphasised than 365 days, 24 hours and 7 days of the week. (8/10)

6. About Now (지금쯤) – The first thing that jumps right at me with About Now is its calmness. The sound is a lot lighter in comparison to the preceding songs, which I thought was nice. I liked the beat and the acoustic nature of the instrumental, which is a change from what we have heard so far as well. I did like the vocals for the most part. But I felt here the autotune was distracting. I know I have mentioned otherwise for at least two recent tracks. It did give off a nice texture. But I think it took away a wholesome feeling from the song. (7/10)

7. Ouch (아야야)Ouch is another fun song in the mix on this album. It is also another interesting track. It seems to go almost towards a reggae direction, which would have been unique for DAY6 (I think). Some of the vocal work (i.e. the post-chorus hook sung by Young.K) seemed to take the song in that direction, despite the rest of the track being a little more typical. Come to the think of it, Young K’s post-chorus was pretty random. But hey, it caught my attention (and most likely yours as well), drawing your attention back to the song to really understand what had just happened. It is a smart tactic. (8/10)

8. Not Fine (나빠)Not Fine is good song. I do admit that this one was a little plain and hence, I have very little to say about it. There was some grand vibe to it. But it just didn’t blow me away. The vocal work was good and the melody was nice. I just wished there was a little something more to this song. It also seems like we are in the heartbreak zone as this has seemed to be the theme for the last few songs. (7/10)

9. Stop Talking (막말) – We fuse some colour that I guess was lacking in the previous song. Stop Talking instantly feels more appealing and as the song progressed along, the likeable aspect continued to develop. The progression to the punk rock vibe for the chorus was really cool and this was thanks to the suspense building ‘pause’ that the instrumental took prior to actually launching into the chorus. Every other element was good, minus the rap that featured in the middle of the song. Sorry Young K, but it was a miss from me. (7.5/10)

10. Not Mine – Opening the track seems to be some violins. Slightly different from the usual band instruments we hear. Though, I am not sure if this is the electronic keyboard working its magic. It does make Not Mine intriguing. The band instruments come in a little later. Together, it develops into a promising track. The vocal work was quite fitting, and the chorus was catchy. The ad-libs at the end were top-notch, especially with the instrumental segment that it was paired with. (9/10)

11. Like A Flowing Wind (마치 흘러가는 바람처럼) – The final track on the album is Like A Flowing Wind. And given the album that they just put us through, a track like this one ends the album on a very pleasant note. The instrumental never ticks over to overwhelming or overbearing, which is why pleasant was used as a descriptive term. The same could be said about the vocals, but they do take it up a notch when it came to the chorus (bless Sungjin’s raspy vocals as they work so well with the style). (9/10)

Overall Album Rating = 8.1/10

The Book Of Us: Entropy Teaser Image

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[Review] Sweet Chaos – DAY6

The next comeback which I really wanted to cover today is DAY6’s Sweet Chaos. The band have had one successful year. It also seems like the Korean public is finally recognising the talents that we have known DAY6 had for ages now, with the band finally topping album charts and finally placing on the digital charts! And this was all done with the Time Of Our Life and The Book Of Us: Gravity comeback earlier this year. Alongside Sweet Chaos, the band has returned with their third studio album, The Book Of Us: Entropy.

It is going to be hard to top Time Of Our Life. Not just for DAY6 but almost every other artist will have that hurdle to get past if they want me to vote them for Song Of The Year (hint hint). Though, I admit that Sweet Chaos is a good followup. Just not good enough to exceed their previous title track. Having a very familiar instrumental that I just cannot pinpoint in my mind, Sweet Chaos manages to push the right buttons. Firstly, the song’s punk genre roots feel like something only DAY6 could do because they have that Western background. Secondly, I think the genre really sets the bands vocals up nicely. Thirdly, I am loving the post-chorus hook, which really tied up the chorus well. The intensity and energy rush the song has is definitely a side of DAY6 I enjoy, as per my past reviews. I also find the drums to be a really dynamic part of the song. Overall, I find Sweet Chaos to be really good and something that I wouldn’t mind blasting (and headbanging to if I wanted to).

The video contrasts to what we got last time from the band. To fit in the grungy vibes, the music video is shot in black and white at the start. Apart of me wanted it to stay that way but I liked what they did, as well. I find the way they brought colour to the video to be nice. But the way they gave colour to Sungjin felt rather cheap. Apart from that, I can only say positive things about the video. I really like the special effects they had in the video and I liked how the video got progressively intense as it went along.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Album Review] The Book Of Us: Gravity (5th Mini Album) – DAY6

I am going to start off my album review which is essentially a spoiler for what is to come. This is DAY6’s best album ever! And probably one of the best albums of the year! DAY6 returned last week with The Book of Us: Gravity, their 5th mini-album, which features the title track, Time of Our Life. This is also the comeback that earned their first music show win, with Time of Our Life win the number 1 spot on both Show Champion and MCountdown for the week. Congratulations to the band and let’s hope there is more on the way!

The Book of Us: Gravity Album Cover

1..For Me – The album opens up with For Me. It isn’t a full-on head-banging song. But its upbeat nature seems to be a great way to ease us into what is upcoming in the next track. Instead, the track a little more warm and mellow. One of the things that stand out in this track is the instrumentation. It is the defining element that gives the song its easy-going and pleasant nature. The vocals were what have the song its mellow characteristic and I really enjoyed the melody in the track. It is definitely a nice opener that you need to check out! (9/10)

2. Time Of Our Life (한 페이지가 될 수 있게)Click here to read the full review for Time Of Our Life. (10/10)

3. How To LoveHow To Love strips away the intensity that we were inundated in the preceding track. It also stirps away that energy, opting for something more carefree and flowy. With this feeling in mind, the chorus stands out by miles and sounds amazing. The vocals in the chorus were beautifully done, with those falsettos sounding perfect for the song. I really like the atmosphere they created with not only the melody and their voices but also the background shouting they used to divide the chorus. It is a little unique and the way they utilised this really help boost the interesting side of the track. (8.5/10)

4. Wanna Go Back (돌아갈래요)Wanna Go Back talks about the desire to return to the early days and childhood when life was a lot more fun. This is always a desire for many adults who regret not doing anything (and something that I have been thinking about lately). And the band shows this fact by having every member (including Dowoon) singing throughout the song. Besides the relatable message, the song is a lot slower than the previous track. Everything seems paced (i.e. the drumbeat is far apart, which I don’t mind). The guitars (particularly the acoustic one that started off the song) was probably the biggest highlight of the track, being at the forefront for most of the song. (8/10)

5. Cover (포장)Cover is the album’s slowest track, almost like a ballad. However, there is a slight touch of energy to the instrumental, as when you compare it to DAY6’s other ballads, this one isn’t as slow. I do find the instrumentation to be a tad boring, However. But it is the vocals that reel me into this track. You can sense the emotions behind their voices, especially during the chorus. And it is this emotionally charged atmosphere that gets me intrigued about the lyrics, which is about hiding one’s insecure self to be with another person and the regrets that follow because the relationship didn’t follow through. My favourite part of the song has to be the drums sequence launching the final chorus. (9/10)

6. Best Part – Kicking off the final song is a strong introduction that garners your attention in an instance. There are grand and epic vibes to this track, making it very appealing to me. I really like the melody for this track and the vocals, as well. Both are very pleasant, which is a little surprising as the song does develop to become upbeat and there is potential for it to be a little head-banging worthy. Them all singing together towards the end was probably the best highlight of the entire track for me and it ends the album on a very positive note. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.1/10

The Book of Us: Gravity Teaser Image

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[Review] Time Of Our Life – DAY6

One of the most exciting comebacks of the week is also one of the first to kick off the start of the week! DAY6 makes their official comeback with Time Of Our Life and their 5th mini-album, The Book of Us: Gravity.  This is the band’s first comeback since their retro Days Gone By comeback at end of last year. In addition to news of their latest comeback, DAY6 will be going on a world tour later in the year, bring their songs to many more cities than ever before!

I have always been a fan of DAY6 more energetic and upbeat tracks. So Time Of Our Life ticks that imaginary checkbox for me. The track has an awesome rush of energy that makes the track stand out in the crowd. It is very head-banging worthy. Trust me, it is the only thing you would be doing when listening to the track. One of the best parts of the track has to be the piano introduction that opened up this rock track. It gave off an elegant vibe and opened the track on a nice note. It is repeated throughout the instrumental, so that elegance was maintained. I also found the drums to be a very prominent part of the song. Drummers don’t get a lot of fanfare from me on this blog, but Dowoon manages to stay on top of everything, allowing him and his skills to shine. In addition to the energy, the hooks of the track are very infectious. The post-chorus hook was probably my pick for the best hook in the track. I also liked that brief slow-down during the bridge. Overall, Time Of Our Life is amazing.

The music videos focus on the band playing their instruments. They also look like they are enjoying the track a fair bit, with the odd headbanging, many smiles and a lot of bouncing on the spot. I like how there is a book as a centrepiece in some of the shots, making sense with the lyrics and the title of the album. Though, I wished they somehow built upon it, as it did feel really random for a massive book to be in the video. I also liked the set they are playing in. The dome looked really cool, especially with all the lights and effects.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10

[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


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


Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9

Best New Soloist

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


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

Rising Star

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


Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland

Most Underrated Artist of the Year

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


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


Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG

Best Male Solo Artist

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


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

Best Female Solo Artist

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


WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi

Best Band

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


Honourable Mention – The Rose

Best Raps

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


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

Best Vocals

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


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


Honourable Mention – SHINee

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)


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


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] Remember Us: Youth Part 2 (4th Mini Album) – DAY6

DAY6 is nominated for Best Band in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Voting closes in 9 more days, so support DAY6 by clicking this link!

DAY6 made their retro comeback last week with Days Gone By. And once again, I have returned to have a closer look at the album in which Days Gone By is featured on (Remember Us: Youth Part 2). The mini-album is the continuation of their Youth series, which follows from their Shoot Me: Youth Part 1 and Shoot Me single release back in July of this year. Remember Us also features Beautiful Feeling, which was also another single release during the year (and I have provided some more background information when it comes to that song below).

Remember Us: Youth Part 2 Album Cover

1..Hurt Road (아픈 길) – The album starts off with a ballad. Like any song that starts off an album, it has to be a good ballad as it is the first impression to the entire tracklist. I think the build-up in this song was done in a very nice manner. The vocals are at the forefront of the song and they do sound spectacular. But while Hurt Road does line up with other ballads DAY6 has released in the past, I thought the song was rather dry and forgettable. It just felt like a normal ballad and didn’t really have any outstanding factors that really make it suitable to be the first track on the album. (7/10)

2. Days Gone By (행복했던 날들이었다)Click here to read the full review for Days Gone By. (9/10)

3. Headache (두통)Headache is not a headache-inducing track, so don’t you worry. However, it is a more hardcore rock sound that DAY6 hasn’t really gone to yet. And I think, given the quality of this song, I would love to hear more of it. It is energetic and extremely dynamic. I thought their vocals were good in this song. They were slightly filtered to give the song an additional electrifying layer. While they kept the momentum going for most of the song, there was a pause to really amp up the final chorus. But I thought that just cut the flow. But other than that, an amazing song. (9/10)

4. 121U – We return once again to the rock sound. Just this one isn’t as hardcore as the previous song. It is also a style that I am used when I listen to rock music, so there is a sense of familiarity. The song starts off well and it builds up to an explosive and driven chorus, which left like it could have just kept on going. I really liked that edging effect that the instrumental gave us in the chorus. I felt like their vocals could have been slightly louder, as the instrumental did overshadow the vocals for the most part. I think the standout moment (aside from the chorus) was the bridge, where the vocals completely smashed it out of the park. (8/10)

5. So Cool (완전 멋지잖아) – To me, So Cool takes on the punk rock genre, with a lot of the elements and sounds in the song reminding me of the said genre. It isn’t pronounced, however. Instead, it goes for a subtler approach. I thought the vocals were nice, especially the falsetto during the verses. The rapping added a nice touch of edge to the song, which I think was needed as the song felt very linear in nature. I think the song could have been more energetic and gone for some interesting details in the instrumental. It is a satisfying song, but it felt held back for the most part. (8/10)

6. Marathon (마라톤) – Personally, Marathon is one of the weaker songs of the bunch. And it isn’t because it is a terrible song. Marathon has this feel-good vibe to it that makes the song feel bright and carefree. It doesn’t feel like it pushed boundaries and given how the songs so far have been more of the edgy type of something a little more energetic, I felt like this was a weak progression for the track list. The vocals were really nice, especially when everyone is singing together for the first section of the final chorus. I thought the bridge made the song feel a little too disjointed and the sudden ending was a miss for me. (7.5/10)

7. Beautiful Feeling – I think Beautiful Feeling would have been a better song to move onto from So Cool. Beautiful Feeling was released back in September for the fans in celebration of the band’s 3rd anniversary. I really liked the melody of the song. Sure, it didn’t push any boundaries and wasn’t edgy but you could feel their gratitude in the song. The vocal work of the song was amazing, with the featuring of Dowoon in the bridge being the highlight of the song for me, which makes the song more meaningful to fans and DAY6 themselves. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

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[Review] Days Gone By – DAY6

Before we get into the review, I just want to let you know that DAY6 is nominated for Best Band for their Shoot Me comeback earlier this year. Click here to vote for DAY6 and your other favourite artists

DAY6 has returned with the part 2 of their Youth series, Remember Us. The title track for this album release is Days Gone By. This is the band’s second comeback of the year, after their Shoot Me comeback in June. Since then, the band has been busy in Japan with their first album and comebacks. 2018 also seems to be a very big year for the band, as they won the Best Band award at the MMA and are nominated for the same award at the MAMA’s (with the winner will be announced later this week). Let’s hope they have the same success for this comeback and 2019.

From the very first second, Days Gone By screams out retro. The first few seconds reminded me of the style of song that I would associate with Michael Jackson, especially from the 70s and 80s era. I think we can attribute this to their rocking instrumental, which used that retro synthesizer on the keyboard. Kind of the go-to instrument/sound if you want something very retro. And I liked how they stayed with the sound and did not stray away from it, which is the more common thing to do in today’s music industry. I liked how their vocals blended well with the instrumentation. Neither felt overpowering but both were equally strong. Jae’s husky vocals, in particular, were my favourite. I think want makes me a major fan of the band is their versatility. We have seen a range of sounds, especially through their monthly releases. And now that they have ticked retro off that list, I am excited to see what is next.

Following the retro concept, the music video was very retro as well. The use of green screen through this, giving off a kaleidoscope effect of each member’s shots was definitely something very big from that era. For once the lower quality footage was intentional and fitted in well with the concept. I also liked the instrumental section, where they played their instruments and had a little fun, while all we could see was the silhouettes of each member. It isn’t technically the most amazing music video ever. But you can tell that they thought through this concept logically and managed to incorporate many ideas into the video.

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

[Review] Breaking Down – DAY6

DAY6 has returned to Japan with a brand new single titled as Breaking Down. Earlier this year, the band their Japanese debut with If We Can Meet Again and returned with Stop The Rain after a few months. Now, the band has returned with not just a new single but will be releasing a new album, titled as Unlock, shortly.

It seems like DAY6 is sticking to that one style for their Japanese comebacks, as the songs have approached the spectrum of rock in one way or another. Breaking Down is their most intense Japanese release yet, with energy and intensity thrown right at you from the very start. There is also an electrifying feel to the song, attributed to the electric guitars of course, that really makes me sit on the edge of my seat for this song. The chorus was really exceptional, kicking the song to a new level and that short vibration-like synth in the middle of the chorus was well-placed and somehow filled an empty void which I did not know exist. I also like the instrumental breaks and the way their vocals leapt out at you. Lastly, I liked the mixture of English and Japanese in this song. The verses at the start were purely in English, while the pre-chorus and chorus itself were Japanese. While that doesn’t sound that amazing, I personally felt it was very cool.

I think the way the video was put together was even cooler. The song was intense and they managed to use only a strip of the screen to really show off some edge. It felt just right and watching the video, you would expect no less. The use of colours in the background only allowed for the individual scenes to really pop out and it allowed for each of the members to be emphasised as they ‘scroll’ pass. The editing was awesome and it is a very original idea.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10

[Special] Personal Favourite Songs from the First Half of 2018

With the first 6 months of 2018 officially over, it is time to look back at my personal favourite songs from the first half. Last week, I recapped the top songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts. But some songs that I personally liked didn’t really make that list. So here are 15 songs released over the last 6 months that are my personal favourites AND continually listen to (irrespective of the charts and the reviews – as opinions do change).

[Album Review] Shoot Me: Youth Part 1 (3rd Mini Album) – DAY6

Today’s album review is DAY6’s latest release, Shoot Me: Youth Part 1. Given the title, it suggests there will be a continuation of this album, which I am highly anticipating.  While there are a few albums released prior to this one that I should be reviewing, I had to push this one up due to the quality of the music! On top of that, Young K penned each song, which I thought was really cool. If you want some good music, continue reading cause that is what you will get!

Shoot Me: Youth Part 1 Album Cover

1..WARNING! – Starting off the album is a rock number. It is a great yet very intense opener. There were a few interesting aspects that make the song stand out. The opening words (‘It’s dangerous’) were sung in a way that I thought was very intriguing and appealing. The silence just before the choruses created suspense and really allowed Jae’s voice to pop. I thought the ‘Warning’ (sung by Dowoon, according to comments on YouTube) was highly appropriate and what I had expected with a song titled as so. The execution of the vocals and melody was also well done. (9/10)

2. Shoot Me (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Shoot Me. (10/10)

3. Somehow (어쩌다 보니) – The presence of the keyboard throughout the song what drew me to the song initially. Despite that, the song can be described as a breakup song with an intense rock instrumental. The build-up to the chorus was spectacular and this can be attributed to the presence of the drums (which was amazing throughout the entire song). The bridge brought everything down, which was rather interesting in my opinion. It cuts the intensity, providing some relief and gives a moment of fragility to the song, which in turn compliments the lyrics (though I am not sure if this is its intention). (9/10)

4. Feeling GoodFeeling Good tones down the explosive nature seen in each of the three preceding songs, opting for a much more poppy and brighter instrumental. There is also an experimental nature within its sound, which I thought worked really well. The atmosphere that came off from the song was rather positive, which makes it quite attractive. I liked the catchiness of the hooks, which makes it become an addictive side track to listen to. I also liked the ‘zap’ into the chorus. While this is just a small detail within the song, it definitely goes a long way for me. (9/10)

5. Talking To (혼잣말)Talking To felt retro to me. Not sure if it is even a valid description to the song but I thought that was the case with the hollow/echo-y effect placed onto the vocals at the start. I really liked the inserts of background vocals throughout the verses, which felt cool. I also thought it was interesting how this was the only song with rapping in it, which was decent sounding. Standout vocals from Jae, particularly during the bridge. Other than that, I thought the song could have benefited from a more exciting drop. But it still a good song. (8/10)

6. Still (원하니까) – At first, I had my doubts about the song but with multiple listens afterwards, it turns out to be a quite beautiful sounding song. Still is the closest song to a ballad. It reminds me of some of the songs from their monthly project last year. The emotions could be felt via the vocals. I thought the instrumental was well balanced and didn’t overpower the vocals (which were amazing). Its calm nature ended the album on a good note. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

DAY6 Shoot Me: Youth Part 1 Teaser Image

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[Review] Shoot Me – DAY6

Who is excited for DAY6’s comeback? Ever since I heard the album highlight medley, I have been wanting to hear this song and finally, it is here!!! DAY6 returns with Shoot Me and the mini-album, Shoot Me: Youth Vol. 1. This is the band’s first comeback since wrapping up their 2017 monthly releases. On top of that, the band also made their Japanese debut with If (We Can Meet Again) and will be returning the Japanese market with their Stop The Rain comeback in July.

I have been wanting a song to be described as a powerful rock sound for quite some time and I think DAY6 has managed to deliver with Shoot Me. And Shoot Me is really good on so many fronts. The chorus is undeniably catchy with its ‘Bang Bang‘ and ‘Bullet Bullet Bullet‘ start and explosive due to the drums. I have replayed it a number of times already since its release already, excited to relive the chorus each time. In really liked the pre-chorus which built up perfectly to the chorus. Jae’s vocals in this section was also amazing. I also really liked the intensity of the bridge, which was definitely another moment which I really enjoyed. My only one complaint would have to be how short the song was . But other than that, Shoot Me is a damn catchy song.

The music video shows a couple arguing. And from the combinations of the lyrics and the visuals, it seems her words have become bullets which continually wound him. I thought this was great imagery that showcases the lyrics in an interesting manner. But rather than limiting this to just lovers, everyone else in the cafe takes aim at him, which may suggest that harsh comments were said to him (irrelevant to the romantic storyline). He fights back with his fair share of bullets but he doesn’t hit any of them, suggesting that his comments back didn’t offend them directly or that he stood up for himself. The concept was rather intriguing and unique, which also has a strong message within it. Not sure about how violence seemed to be downplayed towards the end of the video (i.e. bullet holes through his shirt vs. paint splashing about) but this may allude to the nature of his comments that he fired back.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10