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.
Sorry about another day late album review. It was a bit busy yesterday, so I couldn’t finalize and publish it in time. But here it is now. The album that I had chosen to focus on this weekend was EVERGLOW’s Reminiscence. This is the group’s 1st mini-album since debut. For those who missed my song review, I was astounded by the explosion of energy for Dun Dun. So, it definitely got me excited for the rest of their album. I can give a short teaser to the album, which is pop. What does that mean? Continue to read to find out.
1. Salute – This is the KPOP that I loved so much back in the day. It is very energetic and bright, very different to the tough and charismatic side of the group that we see through their title track. However, at the very time, the song aligns with what we know of the group without a doubt. The song has this anthem like feel during the verses, while the chorus takes a really pop turn that I find so catchy and lively. The vocal work in this song is amazing. Definitely a standout on this album. I do feel that I cannot listen to this song repetitive as I would get tired of it, which is essentially the only flaw I can see in the song. But for now, I am loving it. (9/10)
2. Dun Dun (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Dun Dun. (10/10)
3. Player – With EVERGLOW, the mini-album is expected to be loaded with intensity and toughness. But the first song and the last song on the album (read below) really goes against this expectation. Player doesn’t, which I think is a side-track that we can say was coming our way. The chorus is very intense, expressing that they are the main character/player. Definitely a unique show of confidence. There is a nice ethnic sample during the chorus, which we were teased with towards the end of Dun Dun. What I personally don’t like is the pop pre-chorus. It sounded very immature and lacked finesse that the rest of the song had oozing. (7.5/10)
4. No Lie – The verses in this song for some reason remind me of the pop songs that Western songs had during the ‘00s. The chorus, however, is more during this era. I do find it an odd mix of R&B and pop. But it works really nicely, and I do enjoy the song. It does lack boldness, which was heavily employed during the first two tracks of the song. There seems to be a slight foreign touch through the chorus, which I like. The song is rather catchy, which helps the song become very appealing. (8/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10
Did EVERGLOW take the Best New Female Group Category for 2019? Click here to find out!
One of the groups that I am going to be keeping an eye on throughout 2020 is EVERGLOW. Why am I keeping an eye out for them? Well, their debut track (Bon Bon Chocolat) and Adios comeback puts them on a whole new level. And it is EVERGLOW’s goal to continue this or even top it through their next comeback and beyond. Well, the group has returned with Dun Dun today. So it will be interesting to see if it does.
I read an article headline today where the group stated that the first time hearing the song, they loved it. And I think I can say the exact same thing. Once again, EVERGLOW manages to blow my mind with Dun Dun. It is bolder than their other title tracks, which basically means they achieved their goal mentioned in the first paragraph. There is a ethnic vibe to the song in the opening that filtered throughout the song as it progressed along. The song then threw us one of the best lines in KPOP so far at the very start. I say that because that line just oozed so much attitude. But the part that blew my mind was the chorus. There is a delay drop and we get one of the most memorable moments of the song through this (i.e. where they sing softly ‘You Are So Done Done Done‘. The chorus was explosive and their shouting really makes it memorable. I also liked how they didn’t repeat the delayed drop for the second chorus, which help prevent the song from becoming repetitive. Towards, we do get a instrumental break which basically encompasses all the adjectives (i.e. bold, explosive, attitude-heavy) that I have mentioned in the review so far. There is a lot to this song and I definitely think it is another amazing track from the group that is one up from their previous tracks.
The music video definitely fits in with the song. It is bolder and helps define the song in a way that makes it so much more explosive. That is why I consider visuals to be a very important of KPOP. The music video also no doubtfully made them look very stunning, with their outfits and closeups highlighting the individual members. I really liked their sets in the music video looked really cool, as they helped the video to become even more memorable. I think the icy set, with the black background and their black dresses were the best in the video.
All the adjectives that I have mentioned thus far were actively portrayed throughout the performance. I have honestly run out of things to mention, as I have basically describe the dance already. I think the only word that I haven’t mentioned is edgy, but I use that term a little too much nowadays. I really like the swaying thing they do when they delay the drop and the dance break at the end was really cool.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.7/10
Reviews for The Boyz, VIINI (Kwon Hyun Bin), Red Velvet, UP10TION will be published from Thursday onwards.
Kicking off the new week is EVERGLOW’s latest comeback. This is the group’s first comeback ever, following their debut with Bon Bon Chocolat. The group has received a lot of attention for their edgy debut, which was unlike any other debut that I could recall. And now, they are back to show us who is in charge with their latest track, Adios.
The group says goodbye with some attitude in this track. And this concept no doubt follows nicely from the edgy Bon Bon Chocolat that the group debuted with. I think the best compliment I can give the group with this release is that brings them in align with some of the toughest sounding female groups currently active at the moment. The song is full of hip-hop. It was pretty much oozing from the song. The verses were more of the traditional form of hip-hop we hear in KPOP, while the chorus manages to mix it up with some dance influences. In addition to that, the chorus ended up being very heavy and attracted a lot of my attention. I did like the vocals that dominated the pre-chorus. That was the closest we got to something melodic in the song and I think that part did have an opportunity to shine (to an extent) amongst the more tougher sounds of the song. I also really like the contrast that whispers set up, which helped build suspense as well. The question is whether I like the song. And I do, as it manages to top Bon Bon Chocolat in terms of toughness and essentially confirms that we should be looking out for EVERGLOW in the future.
The music video I thought was rather interesting. There is a storyline, featuring the two balls (the yellow and blue ones) that were dropped at the start of the music video. But apart from that, I couldn’t really interpret the rest of the video. But it is intriguing and I will be investigating it as soon as I can get my hands on more information. Apart from that, there was really cool sets in the music video. And on top of that, the editing made it look so much cooler. I also thought the group looked really fierce in this video, thanks to their outfits.
This group does not hold back with their performance. If the song can be described as tough, then the choreography has a lot attitude to it. Well, at least for the music video. It does look like some of the moves were weakened so that the group could actually sing on stage. But the form was still there and it looked really cool.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
EVERGLOW is a brand new female group to grace the stage. They made their debut last Monday with Bon Bon Chocolat and their very first single-album, Arrival of EVERGLOW (which I think is named very appropriately for a debut). The group consists of 6 members (E:U, Sihyeon, Mia, Onda, Aisha and Yiren) and are currently under Yuehua Entertainment. Some of the members may look familiar including Sihyeon (participated in Produce 101 and Produce 48), Yiren (participated in Produce 48) and Onda (participated in Idol School).
Bon Bon Chocolat is not a sweet song as one would expect, based on the translation of the French title. Instead, EVERGLOW goes with an extremely edgy style that is surprisingly addictive. The instrumental is an electronic centred piece with a robust and tough hip-hop influenced drop. I think this is one of the elements that give the song its addictive nature. I did want more to the chorus, however, despite me already enjoying the simplicity of it. Another thing I enjoyed about this release is the vocals. Particularly the pre-chorus, where they go with some slight chanting before one of the members start singing. I also liked the drum beats during the same part. I did think the autotune did fit the song very nicely, though I hope they don’t become dependant on it in the future. While the vocals were all good, notably missing was a rap sequence. Surely a powerful and tough song like this could have used a rap sequence to really pull the track together. But they didn’t and I am not sure what to really think of that. I mean, the song handled it fine without one but it was an expectation to have one given its edgy nature.
Can we take a moment to look at the views for this music video? Almost 12 million views for a newly debut group not from the Big 3 within a span of a week? They must be doing something right! While the song is already doing a lot in gaining attention, the music video is extremely visually appealing. The quality is extremely crisp and something I expected from a larger company. I also like how they managed to showcase the beauty of each of the members. Usually, KPOP companies will focus on one member but everyone seemed to have a fair go, which I think is amazing. As far as I can tell, this is a debut done right.
The performance is on par with the song. It is edgy and powerful, as you would expect. I really like the chorus section of the performance. It feels very ‘in-your-face’, which I think matches with the song’s style. I also like the bridge of the performance. While they do they sing the exact same part as the pre-chorus, their formation is completely different and isn’t ‘towards the audience’. I think this is quite cool and a little different from other performances where everyone is usually facing the audience.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10