Returning to the stage once again is Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk with their latest mini-album and the title track. Danger. It hasn’t been that long since we last saw them through their ‘Bout You promotions but that was 8 months ago, which can be considered to be a lengthy absence especially in the highly competitive industry of KPOP right now. But Super Junior doesn’t need to worry about this as they have a very loyal fanbase who will continually support them years to come! And I am sure the support extends to their subunits. So let’s have a closer look at Danger.
Danger is a song that boasts energy and edginess due to the nature of the instrumental. It takes on rock, trap and other forms of EDM in the song, creating an atmosphere that is best described as intense. The presence of the fast trap elements in the chorus gives it almost an ethnic vibe, which I think is rather interesting. But while intense is the right word, the song could have potentially benefited by extending this intensity by going a little more extreme with it. I think we are given a tiny taster to that potential at the end when it is built from suspense. But I would have liked it if it were gradual. Moving to more of the members, the rapping at the start was a pretty nice opener and sets up the song well. Donghae follows through with some vocals, which I think was also quite good. Sure, there isn’t anything mind-blowing in terms of technicalities and techniques. But they were rather captivating for a song like this. Overall, Danger is a pretty nice song to listen to.
I think the video matches extremely well with the vibes of the song. The edginess is taken on board in the video by going with its dark lighting and the possible participation in gang-like activities (though I don’t that is the exact words they would use to describe the video). Apart from that, I think the video has some great cinematography, especially the scenes where we can see them in a circle by looking up from underneath. I thought it is quite cool.
Performance wise, it is really good. I think the biggest fear with Super Junior (and many senior groups) is that the choreography standards just continually become more intense. To the point where you don’t know if these senior groups will be able to keep up. But for the main dancers of Super Junior, they do a pretty damn good job. The chorus has t be my pick for the highlight of the entire choreography routine.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8.5/10 Performance – 8.5/10 Overall Rating – 8.3/10
I promised you all that I will get around to review Donghae and Eunhyuk’s most recent Japanese release, Sunrise, this weekend and that is where we find ourselves today. Donghae and Eunhyuk have had a few Japanese comebacks since their return from the military but I forgot about most of them. But I put this one on my agenda in hopes of making it up to you all. Sunrise was released approximately one month ago and is part of their 3rd full-length album in Japan.
Like ‘Bout You (their Korean comeback), Sunrise attempts to bring the duo back with sounds that are more relevant to the industry right now. And they do a pretty good job at it. The song does have the same flaws as I had written about yesterday, including repetition and standard chorus with nothing to offer. I am not sure why they put autotune over their own voices, which felt very unnecessary. I understand that it is electronic music but it just doesn’t feel natural and unique anymore (as everyone does it). What I did like about the song, however, was how clean it felt. It didn’t feature any awkward corners or background vocals that felt unwanted. Instead, the song just flowed nicely, which I thought made the song decent to listen to.
The music video, for this song, was really high quality and it felt like I was watching something out a sci-fi movie. Removing the choreography scenes and their closeup in the forest, the duo finds themselves running towards a light structure in the middle of the forest, which I think is the start of every alien based movie. When the chorus kicks in, we are thrown to the choreography shots, purely done in a studio but it looked spectacular, especially with the LCD background. It is a cool video, irrespective of the song, in my opinion.
It was a cool video but it would have been nice to see something a little different. The same comments from yesterday still apply here. They are trying extra hard to fit in with the young crowd, which is a little disappointing. I am quite sure (not referring to the hammer hand dance) that some of the moves were seen in their Korean comeback as well.
Song – 7/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 6/10 Overall Rating – 7.1/10
With an impending comeback expected from the legendary Super Junior (with the return of Ryeowook, who recently came back from his military enlistment) very soon, Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk have returned as a subunit with ‘Bout You. The new song features of the unit’s second mini-album, which also shares the same name. This is the unit’s first comeback since their release of Growing Pains, back in 2015. They have been active in Japan since their return from the military in 2017, with their latest Japan comeback to be reviewed tomorrow.
‘Bout You is duo’s attempt of reinventing themselves to fit into the different music industry that they were last in. Even Super Junior jumped on board with the recent Latin-inspired sound with Lo Siento. ‘Bout You features a tropical inspired instrumental that fits perfectly into both the recent (and ongoing) tropical EDM influx and the Summer season that is supposedly wrapping up soon. And for the most part, the song is quite good. The vocals throughout the song were quite good and the rapping was quite decent. I liked the layering of the piano within the bridge, which was my favourite part overall. The chorus was pretty standard and doesn’t offer much of a hook to really get into. But that isn’t the thing that irks me. It is the fact that they used their autotuned vocal to provide some background effect to the instrumental. It just felt so dated and quite out of fashion, particularly the way they presented it. But overall, it was a good song.
Like most KPOP videos nowadays, they take the camera to the US for their music video. And while it is a Donghae and Eunhyuk music video, the way it was shot reminded me of the way Winner’s music videos are given to us. I am not too sure what the plotline of the video because it doesn’t really establish match except for she is a singer and Donghae warns another guy to not make any moves. Eunhyuk is a third wheel and part way through the video, the girl and Donghae kisses. I also thought the singing scene (where she gets on stage and lip sync to their song) really awkward.
The choreography also fits in with what seems to be on trend in the industry at the moment. The hammer hand dance makes an appearance, alongside the dab and other moves. Not that makes a bad video (their choreography isn’t too bad) but it does make them look like they are trying to fit in extra hard.
Song – 6.5/10 Music Video – 7/10 Performance – 6/10 Overall Rating – 6.6/10
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).
2015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 1 of the BOBs and part 2 will be released tomorrow with the rest of the categories. Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!
These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).
RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention
Each year, artists see a rise in popularity. May that be due to great songs or great publicity (after all: any publicity is good publicity), this year was no difference. Each of these artists, I have personally seen, some sort of boost in popularity this year. And I get to choose two winners (one male and one female) for this certain category. For this year, I have nominated:
My pick is: EXID and BTOB. Both teams saw a rise in popularity due to one particular member, and slowly each member in each group is become well known in the industry. Keep up the good work, EXID and BTOB!!!
A song is not a song without an instrumental. And in KPOP, the instrumental plays a massive part in hooking us in and getting us addicted to the music. Especially for foreign and international fans who don’t understand the Korean language 100%. So many great instrumentals this year, here are the nominees:
Out of all the nominees, there can be only one winner: Wonder Girls – I Feel You. The girls returned to the stage with a brand new band concept, which totally wowed me. This instrumental has its own retro vibe and I personally enjoyed it a lot. From the drums to the keyboard and guitars, the girls totally deserve this. By far one of the most underrated songs, that definitely deserve an award! Honourable Mentions: F(x) – 4Walls
BEST JAPANESE SONG
I also do some Japanese songs on this site. Hahaha… Yeah, I review some Japanese songs from time to time. The variety of singers that I listen to for Japanese songs is usually limited to only the Japanese songs released by Korean artists. This year, the category has been dominated by Korean artists and I hope next year, I can start to review more Japanese artists! Here are the nominees:
I think, I was most addicted to Beast – Can’t Wait To Love You. And that was my pick for Best Japanese Song. It was song that I felt did not fall into the typical Korean Pop or Japanese Pop genres and was pretty unique on its own. As for honourable mentions: BTS – For You.
Big name comebacks this occurred and they all managed to rock our socks off. Hahaha… I take into account: song, concept, promotions, looks, impact and a few more categories and suprisngly, the biggest artists that emerge from the Golden Age of KPOP were nominated:
Out of all the comebacks nominated, the one that fitted the criteria the most would have been Big Bang. 2015 was one big year for the band, and they had such an unique concept in terms of promotion. SNSD takes away honourable mention for this category.
Unfortunately, 2015 did not continue the 2014 trend of subunits. However, some new subunits formed from popular bands and some old favourite returned. Here is who I think should be nominated as best subunit:
This one was a little close for me. But I am going to say Donghae and Eunhyuk, which is a subunit belonging to Super Junior. Their song was by far an amazing and left a more long lasting impact on me than the others. The other subunit that gets honourable mention is VIXX LR, which is a duo made up of Leo and Ravi.
2015 saw a new wave of contestant based TV shows around rapping and hence many artists have seen a boost in popularity after appearing on these shows. Other rappers also remained on stage as part of their groups and amazed the audience continuously during each comeback. Here are the nominees:
Out of all the rappers on the light, I picked Mad Clown as a winner. His song was a hit, it was a great song (now) and while he is not part of some group, he still managed to be placed ahead of everyone this year. Zico (Block B) took out Honourable Mention for his active year. Interestingly enough, both selected artists had someone featuring in their song.
When there are rappers, there are also singers. 2015 also saw new programs (and our old favourites) made specifically for the vocalists of all groups. Some vocalists we know have always amazed us, but others have just emerged and became trends for 2015. Based purely on what they sound like, here are the nominees:
I think this category has the most obvious winner, Taeyeon (SNSD). Yeah, she was quite active as an artist, but her debut for I blew everyone away. As for honourable mention, it goes to Solji (EXID). Her performance of Maria still replays in my head. Her powerful vocals in EXID’s performance are also quite amazing.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
While the above category looked like at vocal performance, the Best Male Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:
There is only one artist on this list that managed to wow me the very moment I listened to the song and that artist is Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite). His whole album did wonders and is an album that I am continuously going back to. As for honourable mentions, Lee Hong Ki (FT Island) wins that. His solo debut song was well received and I reviewed it as an amazing ballad.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
While the above category(Best Vocalist) looked like at vocal performance, the Best Female Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:
Once again, I am going to give it to Taeyeon (SNSD). Vocally, stunning. It was memorable and lovely to listen to. Honourable Mention was a close call, but Amber (F(x)) stole it from Gain (Brown Eyed Girls). So catchy and bright.
And that is it for Part 1 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, where I will post the second part of the BOBs, with Best Song, Best Male and Female Rookie; and Best Male and Female groups (plus a few more categories).
*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.
If you have not heard, some members of Super Junior will be enlisting into the army later this year. That is quite sad, but the members aren’t ready to say goodbye yet, as they released their repackaged album of Devil at the start of September (one month ago). On the repackaged album is the song Magic, which also serves as their title track. This is the last album before Donghae, Siwon and Eunhyuk enlist into the army. There was also minimal promotions for this album as it only served as “thank you” from the members to the fans (10 years since debut as well. Time flies when you are having fun).
This song was pretty mediocre. It wasn’t bad, but it did not really stand out. It was catchy, but it oh so annoying to listen to. I will explain myself. There really is nothing fancy about this song. Super Junior has put out much better songs in the past and honestly, this song falls into the “typical KPOP song” category. It was nice to listen to, but it just did not have that wow factor or anything interesting, where it makes me want to go back and listen to it some more. When I do listen to it, I find it catchy and I often repeat the lyrics over and over in my head. But the English in this song is so awful. “She so hot, She so fire”? It is 2015, not when KPOP is just reaching foreign shores and Korea did not have that American influence anymore. That one line is probably the catchiest line, but it just annoys me so much. Arghh!!! The vocals and pop instrumental is pretty standard. It’s nice to see Yesung seem to have his voice back in this song, unlike in Devil.
The music video was okay. It seemed a little too generic and while we are probably so happy that SM is venturing outside of a studio for their music video, the production value of this video looked quite minimal. The pop influenced effects with the number coming out of Yesung’s ear and also the movement of the basketball added a nice touch to the video. The music video has that “magic” aspect to it, but rather than being romantic with the magic, the members are using it to their advantage to get the girls attention or for their own pleasure. Well that sounded weird. The video should have been a little better. There is no hype or excitement that I see from fans. It seems like the video was released and everyone ran to it, but then it disappeared from existence. The dancing was okay. Not amazing and grand but it matches the style of the song.
Overall, it’s their 10 year anniversary. It is also the last album for a while for some members. I feel like they should have gotten something a little better. While it was a bright song and video, not feeling it. 5/10
Uni has officially restarted for me, so I will be a little slower with getting the reviews up now. BUT, I will try my best, of course, to get them out as fast as I can. And finally the group that did it all and conquered the industry has returned with a special album. Now while this is a special album and all, but SM, I think it is time to talk. Honestly, quit worrying about being a profit machine. Honestly, you have the biggest acts in the industry. You will be making profit, regardless of the amount of times you will be promoting your artists. Why am I saying this? SNSD, Super Junior, TVXQ and possibly SHINee have released a song or album within the month of July. Now, I don’t what your true motives are about this, but this has to stop. For fans and probably for your artists and staff. And this is not the first time it has happened. Promotions have overlapped in the past, but this is the first time where your artists are coming out every single week for 1 month.
That was my rant. Now, this is the first release for Yesung (as part of Super Junior) since he finished his military service. And for those who don’t know, I am a pretty big fan for Yesung. Mainly because of his vocals. But wow, do I believe he was shunned. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, because we see members of Super Junior who we usually don’t see sing, sing quite a bit in this song. However, I feel like this song just disregarded the main vocalists of the group. I felt like the song held them back and really did not do them any favours. To me, the song has its good points, but also disappointed me. Devil sounded like a rock track or something quite upbeat. Further hype was added when the group suggested that Devil could become the new Sorry Sorry. BUT I was so disappointed when Devil came out. Mainly because it does not have the kick that I was promised, as in Sorry Sorry. Actually, no, this would not be a song that I would classify has the pop sound that Super Junior usually has. It has no similarities to Sorry Sorry whatsoever. But while you probably think I am criticising the song, I am not. I enjoyed the jazzy sound that the song has and also how the song compliments the other singers of the band that we do not see/hear much.
I thought this music video was perfect. Disregarding my thoughts about the song, I thought the teasers were funny (despite not understanding a single thing). The music video itself, I thought was pretty cool, with the movie teaser/poster effects. I thought they played very well with the actual song and concept. The devil is the female lead, while the male leads (Super Junior) themselves, are the main characters and trying to solve their problems. Gun fights, robbing and a whole heap of other action ensues. SM did not hold back for this music video. And that I am grateful for, and it seems like a new thing for SM. The one thing I do need to say is that: that hat Yesung wears at the end, needs to go. That is all.
The dance is alright. It fits the song, but I am not really drawn to the performances. Mainly due to the fact that they are going to be rare since SM is only allowing them 1 week on the stage, which has already past and now there is nothing me to look forward to each week.
While the promotional phase for this album was rather shot and it is the company that we can only blame it fall, Super Junior managed to comeback with a solid song, even though it seems like I disagreed with it, in certain aspects. 7/10
Through this new segment (Finally got to use that one word), we will be looking back at the third month of 2015. I get to rank my top 10 songs. But we also get to look back at other events that happened in the Korean music industry. This way, I can talk about big events in the KPOP industry and rely my thoughts to you all.
Lee Min Ho and Suzy Dating
This by far is the biggest news of March 2015. Just a few days ago, it was confirmed by both companies that Miss A’s Suzy and Hallyu actor Lee Min Ho are officially dating. More importantly, JYP (Suzy’s company) have announced that Suzy would not avoid questions regarding the couple. Now, usually companies try to “Hush” the rumours, so I thought it was a little wierd that JYP would say Suzy would be answering all questions. Though I get that both companies would have to confirm due to the evidence presented, but I think JYP is milking everything they can out of this big piece of news. Dating in the industry is going to be hard but I wish the very best for the two. Now let’s move along with Miss A‘s comeback, shall me?
Red Velvet First Win
The subheading says it all. Congratulations to Red Velvet on their first music show win. At the time I am writing this, they actually have won 4 music show awards. Their latest song is ________________________________________________________________. Sorry. Let’s leave this here and wait for the review to come out. Soon. I promise. I am not YG. It will come soon. Like next week probably.
2AM Members Change Companies
Another big piece of news with the 2AM members splitting up with their company. No, they are not disbanding (though it sounded a lot like it at first) but 2AM members have decided to go with different companies. Jo Kwon decided to stay with JYP Entertainment. Seulong decided to go with SidusHQ and Jinwoon decided with Mystic Entertainment. Changmin signed with Big Hit after his contract ended with JYP last year (I think?). This kind of says something about JYP Entertainment, but at the same time, we should be glad the ballad group are not going away for now. Let’s hope 2AM comebacks with a new song with this different formation with companies. (On a side note: all 2PM members – contract ended around the same time – resigned with JYP).
Comebacks for April
BIG BANG HAS BEEN CONFIRMED!!! Though, not exactly sure when the comeback is exactly. But BIG BANG HAS BEEN CONFIRMED to be the first YG artist making their comeback in 2015. On top of that, EXID will be making their comeback. Miss A and EXO just made their comeback at the end of the month. Dal Shabet, Mamamoo, Cross Gene have also be confirmed. SNSD (Girl’s Generation) will also be making their comeback in May BUT they will be releasing a track during April in both Japan and Korea.
Yewon and Lee Tae Im Scandal
This scandal I am not familiar with. Essentially what happened is that Yewon spoke informally to Lee Tae Im. After Lee Tae Im got angry and left, Yewon decided to curse out at Lee Tae Im, and hence causing this controversy. Essentially, Yewon is more of a younger person in the industry, so she had to be formal. I get it sometimes. I come from as Asian background and sometimes I don’t think the formality thing is right. Just because they are older does not mean they are right. Imagine this: the older person is cursing the daylights out of you and your loved ones, and you “disrespectfully” defended yourself and your family. Is the older person right and you are at fault? Though this is not what had happened, it seems like the industry zooms in on one part and leave the rest out for every bad situation. We don’t know 100% what happened. We will never know what 100% happened. Something could have happened before that got both angry. Those are just my loosely put together thoughts on the whole thing. Maybe Yewon is in the wrong. But what if she isn’t? Remember I am not siding with her. I am just being “opened minded” about things.
Super Junior is back!! Wait. Let’s back track for a moment. Donghae and Eunhyuk is back!!! Yes, it has been a while since we last heard from the duo. Their latest Korean releases includes Oppa Oppa and Still You; and the two have been quite busy and successful releasing songs such as Motorcycle and Skeleton in Japan. The song Growing Pains is the title track of their first album titled as “The Beat Goes On”. And beside that, Super Junior has been quiet lately. Sungmin got married in December 2014 and he, alongside Shindong, will be enlisting this month (I think). Other than that, Kyuhyun wrapped up successful promotions for his solo debut. I believe Siwon is filming something (when isn’t he in front of a camera for a drama). Heechul and Jungmo (from TRAX) is also set to return as the duo M&D.
This song is pretty good. I did not like Oppa Oppa and Still You rings no bells in my mind (probably wasn’t that memorable). This one is the style that I love and like. Like seriously, most songs take time to be implanted into my mind and brainwash me into thinking it is good. This was just immediate. It just clicked in my mind. The rock influenced instrumental was amazing and really fitted the song lyrics so well. As for the vocals Donghae sounded amazing. Eunhyuk was pretty good as well, just I felt the rap could have been left out. The rapping wasn’t bad and fitted into the song quite well. But still, I think a full vocal/singing concept would have been just fine. I absolutely love the bridge of the song. I honestly would tell everyone to go check out this song. It is so good.
As for the music video, I haven’t watched it. So everything I say here will be first impressions. SM is finally moving away from box sets. This music video and Red Velvet’s music video was shot all outside. We see the boys struggle with their break up. When they bump into each other, they looked like they were willing to punch each other. But really, if you looked that pissed off every time someone bumped into you (or you bumped into someone), I won’t be surprised that they dumped you. I liked the dancing scenes on top of the roof. Them lights look beautiful. The girl’s rejection for Eunhyuk was quite cruel. False hope hey. Finally we see the guys go seek some help with some erasing memory expert. Overall, the video was nice shot. Donghae’s forehead looked too smooth, but it was a pretty nice video to watch.
As for the dance, it was pretty cool. Don’t get why the microphones were there. They really did nothing to the performance. But I have to mentioned one thing. Their costumes (along with the dancers) looked quite cheap. Okay maybe not the dudes cause they are probably wearing high end stuff. But the dancers looked very cheap. And that got me distracted.
Overall, the perfect song, a nice video and a great dance. 9.5/10