[Review] Potion – Eric Nam ft. Woodie Gochild

Eric Nam made his return with Honestly last week. But around 18 hours beforehand (this is just a random guess based on my memory), Eric Nam unveiled a pre-released music video for another track on the album, titled as Potion. This song features Woodie Gochild (whom I have never heard before). After a quick Google search, the featuring rapper was a contestant on last year’s Show Me The Money season.

Potion has this Latin feel with what seems like an instrumental that mashes your typical Latin sound with electronic music. The song is quite addictive, with its upbeat vibes being its main driving force. In a way, the chorus also presents itself as a groovy song, which definitely helps make it memorable. The ‘Pour It Up, Pour It Up” line has me a little confused literally but the way it incorporated into the song does give the song some hype. Eric Nam also sounds good but it isn’t his vocal work in the song that I am a fan of. Instead, Woodie Gochild’s featuring rap was amazing It was at a faster pace than the rest of the song, which definitely was a nice contrast to the normal paced music. It also kept the song going and made it become more interesting, preventing the song overall from getting too repetitive. I think Potion might be the better song out of the two (compared with Honestly), mainly due to the rap.

If you are wondering what type of potion Eric Nam is taking, it is the infamous alcohol. My guess is that the alcohol he is drinking is tequila since he is in Mexico. The lighting in the video is an interesting aspect, as some scenes, you can’t really see much. But I think that is a way of making the ‘drunk’ effect more prevalent. During the rap section, we also see Eric Nam ‘dance’, which I thought seemed like a fun scene to film. Overall, I thought it was an okay video, complimenting with the song.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10

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[Review] Honestly – Eric Nam

Making his first album release since 2016’s Interview is Eric Nam with Honestly. The main title track also shares the same name. Despite it being his first mini-album release in 2 years, Eric Nam has still been on stage and released many digital singles. His latest single was Hold Me, which was released around the Christmas season last year. He also released Potion on the same day as his comeback, which I will hopefully review tomorrow.

Honestly brings back the tropical house genre which hasn’t been heard for the past few weeks (I think. I have been a little preoccupied so everything has been wiped from my head). It manages to incorporate his signature vocals into an upbeat sound, which reminds me of his Can’t Help Myself days, which was an evidently fun and bright song to listen to. But with Honestly, the electronic components are ‘held back’ or a lot softer, in terms of intensity, which definitely compliments his vocals. While it did sound generic for the most part, the song still manages to shine through. Particularly the pre-chorus, where his voice was all raspy and he emphasized each word. The end of the song manages to pick the song up. It does feel somewhat incomplete, however, as I did expect a ‘final chorus’ to follow right after that pickup, which now felt a little late. The final ending also felt abrupt, which doesn’t play well in my books. But Honestly is still a decent track to check out, so do listen to it.

The music video was shot entirely in Mexico. And like most internationally shot videos, a lot of emphases is on the landscape or townscape. And Eric Nam was still the centre of attention, so there was a nice balance. The video did, however, feel quite meh. It just didn’t really highlight the song in my opinion and it just wasn’t as breathtaking as other internationally shot videos.

For those who have longtime fans of Eric Nam, seeing him dance is always a weird feeling. He does look somewhat uncomfortable in the performance. The presence of the backup dancers definitely lifted the song’s energy. The final moments when the song does pick up worked well, managing to further push the energy, making it decent to watch.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.8/10

 

[Review] Hold Me – Eric Nam

There are a number of songs that were released in the last week of 2017, which I have not looked at yet. Eric Nam’s Hold Me falls into that week, dropping on the 27th of December. While the soloist has been active as a singer throughout the year (via a number of collaborations), it is his first solo track since 2016.

Hold Me is a ballad that tells his lover to continue to hold onto him, regardless of whatever he does. There is some warmth to the song, which makes it an ideal song to listen on a cold Winter’s day. This is partly due to the combination of instruments used in the instrumentation and the vocal work. They all work well together, despite being just there is a background. The main focus is on Eric Nam’s vocals. It doesn’t pierce the music in any way, but rather, is gracefully flowing over the top of the instrumentation. His approach to this song plays to his strength and doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. The way he says “Jebal” (Please in Korean) is extremely striking and powerful in my opinion. Furthermore, that section between the second and third chorus was my most favourite bit because it has momentum, something that the song was aiming to build up to (ever so slightly) from the very start.

There is not a proper music video for this track, from what I can see (and what actually popped up in my Subscription box). But rather the main visuals for the song is a video of the live recording filmed as a music video. The colour palette of the music video makes the video feel warm. I like how they filmed Eric with what seems to be a one-shot. But they manage to include various other shots of the guys in the background playing the instruments, which I guess gave the video a wholesome feel as well.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall – 7.6/10

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

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

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


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

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


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

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


BEST MALE SOLOIST

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


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

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


BEST MALE GROUP

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


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

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


BEST ALBUM

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


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

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


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

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

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

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

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

veryniceseventeen.gif

VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

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

[Review] Can’t Help Myself – Eric Nam ft. Loco

Eric Nam has made a surprising return to the stage with a Summer hit. 2016 is proving to be a very busy year for the solo artist, who has collaborated a number of times this year, made two comebacks (Good For You and Can’t Help Myself) and joined a popular South Korean variety show. Eric Nam has proven himself to be one  Korea’s fastest rising stars currently active, putting his name next to rising idol groups and the hottest actors/actresses.

The song totally rocks. It has been a while since Eric Nam’s last Summer track, but this song truly slays. I enjoyed every aspect of this song. From the Summer vibe instrumental that puts you at Hawaii or some other tropical beach to Eric Nam’s smooth yet husky voice, to the well fitting rap of the song. Everything played well with each other and I was not disappointed with the song in any way. The song is quite catchy and addictive to listen to. The instrumental is pretty typical (if we compare it to other songs) but combined with the vocals and this is a winning track. I think the song could have done without the rap, but the rap keeps the song interesting. I have been listening to this song quite a bit lately. Melbourne has been cold (like cold fronts from Antartica cold) lately, so listening to this song makes me picture the sun and Summer. Warmth mainly. This song makes me miss Summer so much. It also puts a smile on my face. The lyrics essentially talks about how a guy or girl becomes nervous when trying to get to know their crush. It likens the nervousness to the heat on a hot Summer’s day.

I notice one thing when it comes to many different videos. I watch them all with a straight face. Nothing makes me laugh. I am a cold, cold person. This video is like all the rest, it failed to make me laugh. But I could tell that it was trying to go down a comedic route. Eric’s character meets his all time crush and he falls for her. He then tries to impress her. With pineapple? Or what he is known for in South Korea (his famous interviews with Western celebrities).   There is also Michael Jackson moves to show off in the video as well. Or him just being handsome? I think there were also parts that made reference to his virtual marriage. I am a little disappointed with the outcome (where I don’t laugh – am still looking for a music video that makes me “roll on the floor laughing”). I did like the parts of the video which shows the dance. The use of that lighting in the background looked pretty cool. Overall, the video was quite simple. There wasn’t anything too complex in it or “crazy” to the point where we actually need to watch the video multiple times. It was clear and easy to understand. And more importantly, it is the small things that make a great video (such as those rolling lights or Eric Nam’s handsome face).

Boy, Eric Nam cannot dance to save his life (as indicated by yesterday’s MCountDown Special Stage). But the actual choreography of this song? I think it is okay for this particular song and the singer himself. It is simple and quite catchy. It does fit the song appropriately and matches Eric’s dancing capacity (sorry).

Final Rating – 8/10

Rewind: March 2016

OMG. I am so delayed. This was meant to be out earlier in the month, and now look at the calendar, April is almost gone. I’m still tweaking this segment, but I don’t know if I should any thing or get rid of anything existing, so if you can provide feedback, it will be greatly appreciated. Lots to talk about, to let’s go.

Major News

EXO’s Kai and F(x)’s Krystal were caught dating and SM Entertainment confirmed that the two were in fact an actual couple. After this confirmation, people started to post pictures online as “proof of Kai and Krystal’s relationship”, which I think are either fake or just a blatant invasion of privacy (but what isn’t? They are watched 24/7). But some of these picture claims to have Kai and Krystal kissing in public in a pool and catch the two “checking in” into hotels. Anyway, while this probably heartbreaking to fans of both, we all should be happy for them. Oh and did I mention Dispatch was the one to tell the world about this couple (once again). Who are your reporters and why are they so good about finding these things?

And the industry has been rocked by news of certain singers suspected of being a part of prostitution, which involves dodgy sponsors. I am not in tune with the whole thing and I am quite sure that the news has died down now. It is very hard to retell everything here, so I will just cut to the chase. These singers either go or are introduced to these sponsors that will make an investment into the singers career, in exchange for you know what. That is my understanding of it, and these singers were caught. They were brought into questioning and the news (of course) leaked a description of a particular artist who recently left her company and faced financial hardship in the past. It is sad that people have to result to this (that is if they chose this path) or just horrible if they were tricked into it, which I believe of some of claim to have been.

Comebacks & Debuts

March saw big name bands make their comebacks. GOT7, Jun Hyosung (Secret), Lee Hi, Fiestar, Red Velvet, Hyomin (T-Ara),DAY6, BTOB, Oh My Girl and Eric Nam are just to name a few.

We cannot forget about the rookies can we? KNK made their debut with Knock, which it garnering a lot of interest in the band, and I am too.

Polls

A few polls (including the ones in Febuary as well). I asked you guys:

  • Which Winner song did you guys prefer? And the results is as follow: I’m Young (30%); Sentimental, Baby Baby & Pricked (20%); and finally Immature (10%).
  • Which Taemin song did you guys like? Both songs (Drip Drop and Press Your Number) received the same amount of votes.
  • Which Lee Hi song did you guys like? Hold My Hand had an overwhelming amount of votes (87%) and Breathe got 17% of the votes.

Top 5 Songs Of March 2016

Here are my top 5 songs that were released in March 2016, taken straight from the amount of plays in iTunes:

  1. Find Me – Jun Hyosung (Secret) ft. D.Action
  2. Fly – GOT7
  3. Mirror – Fiestar
  4. Spring Love – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)
  5. Knock – KNK

As you can tell, review releases have decreased so much in the past month. I apologise. Just a heads up, I will be releasing reviews on Sundays Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays (provided I am free and have time on those days). The other days are far too too busy for me. I also mentioned on Twitter that once this semester ends, I will be doing a revamp of the site (much needed), so if there is anything you want to see, comment below. All feedback will be appreciated.

 

Good For You – Eric Nam

Eric Nam has returned to the stage. It has been a while since we heard from Eric Nam. He last promoted at the start of last year with I’m Okay and has since been active as a reporter, gaining a lot of popularity through this. 2016 started with a collaboration between him and Wendy from Red Velvet with their song, Spring Love. And now, just a few weeks later, he has dropped his second mini album since his debut in 2012 with Good For You.

Lovely song. His husky vocals match the hard (and quite loud) piano notes really well. He changes the tempo of his voice to give the song a lot more depth. His husky vocals give the song that extra dimension, which sounds really good. It was also quite soft and easy going on the ears, a change from the pop songs and more upbeat songs that I tend to listen to. For a ballad, there is a kick to it that makes it catchy. It is definitely more rhythmic than other ballads. There are different a really strong RNB vibe channelling through the song, which I think makes it so good. I think an important reason to why I like this song so much is due to the fact that I have been wanting to listen to a new ballad like song. I have found a few, but this just came out at the right time.

Music video wise. Not that memorable. I have watched it a few times, and I barely remember anything from it. So, let’s have a refresher and let me make some comments -goes watch the video- It seems Eric Nam is a radio broadcaster and that there are many people who enjoy listening to his channel. But I think people find it a great source of encouragement and the music (i.e. the song playing) really makes people feel good about themselves. We have a dancer (who falls so gracefully), a cafe owner, a girl who works endlessly and another girl who just broke up with a partner. They all listen to the song and it helps them go on with a smile. It is as if the song is “Good For You”. I did enjoy watching the video, though as I mentioned above, it isn’t memorable. But I do have one more complaint. Eric Nam playing the piano. He seems to be rocking a little too much to the song. Not a rock song, but a ballad. Love his enthusiasm, but it just doesn’t fit.

Overall, great song and good video. 8/10

Spring Love – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)

A brand new song from SM station has just been released (but like last week). I am starting to really like this new idea (which I did have initial doubts to) as the artists of SM (who are not kept in their dungeon) are not usually able to collaborate with other artists unless they are within the same company. This biweekly thing that they have going on allows us to see unique and really cool collaborations with different artists. This time around, Wendy from Red Velvet and solo artist Eric Nam (both who have or will make their respective comebacks) have come together to perform such a nice song.

Actually, nice might be an understatement. But it probably the only way to describe the song without turning it into a EDM style track or make it seem like it is a totally another genre. Moving away from that awkward intro, it isn’t necessary the best song out there, but what we get is sufficient enough to please a lot of fans. Particularly those who have been yearning for a solo work from Wendy and a solo comeback from Eric Nam (all in due time). Their voices go well with each other and them together gives off this happy tune, which the song is trying to portray. The soft guitar sounds that make up 90% of the instrumental, with the other 10% are the drums to give it some bass and dimension, really do give off that Spring feel. When I listen to the song, I can just imagine singing it with my lover under the beautiful trees that are sprouting nice flowers. Wind breezing over us and the blue sky as blue as ever. And that obviously makes me want to smile! Great feelings from the song!

As for the video, I liked it. There is only one small complaint with the video. As I said I loved it, and these videos turn out to be very artistic. They are unique video with different transitions, that fit in well. So in this case, the pages flipping added a really nice rustic and vintage vibe to the video. Fits in totally well. But the one thing that did not fit in were the over-the-top and unnecessary effects that were added post production. Bubbles popping really did not need the effects of it occurring in cartoon form. Them playing the piano, we can use our brains that they are playing musical notes and not some farm animal sounds. It just turned what I thought was a great video into some kid like and just plainly un-needed. Rant over. Complaint over. Everything else was great!

Great song and video. 9/10

Unfortunately, I am behind with a lot of reviews. This one was meant to be released a few weeks back and they have been piling up. I am getting to them, just been so busy. Easter is around the corner (or actually right in front of us) and I will be using the week I have off as some time to catch up on these reviews.

I’m Okay – Eric Nam

Eric Nam is back on the stage once again with a brand new song. It has been a while since Ooh Ooh last year. Since this last promotions, he released a Christmas/Winter sing for his fans as a preview of what was coming up for the artist himself. He has been singing quite upbeat songs in this past promotions so this is the first ballad that Eric Nam has promoted on stage. Lastly, I think the company has started to promote him more in the past year by letting him feature in shows such as We Got Married etc. About time, because Eric Nam has a freaking great voice.

Even though Eric Nam did do a ballad this time and also has a voice that fits into ballads, I really wanted more of a upbeat ballad style song like his debut single: Heaven’s Door. Honestly, this seemed very boring. This ballad did not captivate me like other ballads. His vocals are good, but they don’t seem to poor the emotions that the song needed to be amazing. Beside that, I don’t have much to say about this song.

2 things I hated in this video: a) people’s odd obsession with showing ankles when wearing pants. Like seriously, it looks like you are wearing really short pants and don’t have enough money to buy new pants. Maybe because my ankles are bony so I get jealous, but seriously, it makes the pants look short on you. b) Sorry Eric Nam, but those shiny black shoes with the buckles don’t look that great. Actually, they don’t seem to fit in with the video. I don’t know they decided to shoot his shoes/feet when he started to walk. I really like the idea of the video. How he walks in some kind of memory art gallery and see all these pretty memories of him and this girl. Also loved the “empty picture frame plus chair” set. It looked quite stylish. The black and white filter also added that final stylish touch to it.

Sorry about how short this review is. I have lots to do and lots of reviews to put out. But overall, it was an okay comeback. Though I want something more upbeat to fit with his personality. 6.5/10

Ooh Ooh – Eric Nam ft. Hoya (Infinite)

Source: http://www.love-kpop.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/31.jpg

Eric Nam is back with a brand new song. It has been over a year since we last saw the man himself on stage promoting a song, the last being his debut single: Heaven’s Door. Since then, he has picked up on being a host for a show called After School Club and I believe have sung many OSTs. Now that he is back, we see what seems to be a more fun side to him. If you don’t remember him, he is that contestant on one of those variety music competitions in Korea which got him well-known. Eric Nam also collaborated with labelmate Spica’s BoA for a cover of Say Something, which was amazing and that you can watch it HERE. I also believe it is my first review for a Monday where I have school the next day. I still have school tomorrow, I just cannot be a whole day in the rain for athletics. Oh the joy.

This song is pretty good. I really enjoyed and it sounds really, really well done. Giving off that 70-80 vibe in the song, the song is pretty cool. The song itself also features Hoya who does a pretty amazing job with the rapping in the song, while at the same time, not ruining the “vocal” line of the song. The start of the song is a really good start to an amazing song, which leads to a really soft vocal part from Eric, but then bam, the chorus. It makes you want to dance along. Another thing I want to mention, is that throughout the whole song, the instrumental remained constant. There were no major fluctuations between the speed of the instrumental or the loudness which makes it a pleasant song. Well, expect for the bridge, but that lasted for like 15 seconds until it picked up again, which was pretty good. The song talks about how this guy finds the perfect girl whom he (or she) does not even know, but everything about her is perfect. I have no complaints what so ever.

The music video. Oh boy. I think you know what I am talking about. Those socks have to go. LOL. Just joking. That stereo with the click of a finger needs to be in my house NOW. Wait, I can’t click my fingers together. Wait, not that. Anyway. The music video is pretty cool (not for that reason, I am not perverted). But that first scene was mildly hilarious for me, mainly because I am trying to see if he had buttoned up any extra buttons, cause it looked like it either fell out or he completely failed. And also, I really like how Kevin, BoA and Brian from Busker Busker was used in this video. Well I shouldn’t say it in that way. But their appearance gives off a good vibe for the video. The set is amazing (though I think one was a little too dark for me, but the flashing lights lightened up the place). But beside that, not really tough complaints.

The dance is pretty catchy. A lot of clicking, and I think it only consisted of the hand movements. Also the dude filling in for Hoya is pretty good.

Anyway, the school managed to cancel the athletics think I was talking to about (at the worst hour possible), so I am in a somewhat happy mood. 9/10

Heaven’s Door – Eric Nam

Source: http://annyeongeurope.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/mv.jpg

I have been dying to review this song since forever. Sadly it got cut from my list, because of some factors (i.e. most likely because I did not have enough time to be able to sit down and right a full proper review of this song). This was his debut song into the KPOP world and wow, was it an amazing song. Released way back in January 2013, which technically means it has been around a year since this guy promoted his song. Yeah, so I guess my review is “kind of” a year late. Oh well, at least I am doing it. Hahahaha… Please feel sorry for me. I am writing this is 40 degree weather which is extremely hot. Not thinking right.

I don’t know why. But I like Eric’s voice. There is a bit soul and a lot of feelings in the vocals. It actually took me surprised when I first heard the song. I agree with most of the comments under the music video. I do believe that “Heaven’s Door” actually mean “Gateway to Death”. So… I think everything just go so awkward. Though it seems in this context, “Heaven’s Door” actually means the “Gateway to Happiness”. A literal or a subtle way of thinking it. Your choice hahaha… The instrumental is quite upbeat, so it gave it a fresh feel. While songs in Winter tend to be warm or sad, this song is like a Summer song, where it is upbeat and bound to make you happy. South Korea at that time would be in Winter, hence why I made they comment. I actually liked the song in both Summer and Winter. The song is amazing.

The music video is so so. It looks amazing, but at the same time so cheesy. It seems like he has no idea where he is going. Deciding which road to go down. And why are the signals for both directions on his car flashing at the same time???? WHY??? (Sorry, I have been learning how to drive a car here, so…) I think he leaves clue for the girl to find so she can go to him. But wouldn’t that be weird. Like stalk-ish weird? Anyway, his facial expression in some scenes are quite funny, but I have to admit, he is quite handsome. Damn, I am jealous. Look how cheesy the music video was when he is lying in the snow and thinking of this “girlfriend”. Why in quotation marks? Cause I have no idea if he is confessing his love and that he seems to be more comfortable with his love around his dog. At the end, when the dog outside was barking to get Eric’s attention… Umm… He looked quite warm in that jumper, so why did he change into something more thinner? The mysteries of life.

There is no dance to this song, which is a good thing, because if there was a dance, it would ruin the song. Seriously.

8.5/10. This debut was awesome and seriously, we all have high expectations for this guy in the future. Can’t wait until his next release.

Eric Nam was nominated for Best Male Rookie and Best Soloist! Did he win one of them at the BOBs (I am blowing this out of proportion a lot)? Find out HERE!!!!