[Album Review] The War: The Power of Music (4th Repackaged Album) – EXO

This is the second album review for today, which hopefully covers last week’s missing album review. EXO is back with their repackaged album, The War: The Power of Music. I also vote this album for ‘cheesiest album title’ of the year. Anyway, I previously reviewed The War album and that will be linked in the post below. I will only be reviewing the new songs for the repackaged album. So let’s get this show on the road!

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The War: The Power of Music Album Cover

For all other tracks on the album (tracks 1, 4-6, 8-12), CLICK HERE!!!!!!

2. Power (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Power (9.5/10)

3. Sweet Lies – It is the odd one out for the entire album. And I am a little torn. A part of me finds the track very interesting. The RnB infused electronic style of sound isn’t something that you find often in KPOP. And it somewhat stands out. The vocals were great and the raps were just on point. But even after a few listens, the track isn’t memorable. I know I highlighted some elements that I liked about the song but that is only when I listen to the song with intent to write about it. Just listening to it with the rest of the album, on the other hand, means it gets swept under the shadows of the catchy Power and disappointing Ko Ko Bop. (7/10)

7. Boomerang – The track is more up my alley. But once again, it does fall short compared to others on the album. The synth-heavy RnB centered instrumental was standard but pretty nice. The vocals were good, bringing a rougher side out of some of the vocalists in my opinion. I am not a big fan of the ‘Hey Hey Hey‘, as they felt awkwardly placed. I don’t think there were any rap portions to the song, as Chanyeol opted for singing in the second verse and Sehun only ended up with 6 words (Tik Tak Boom). In my opinion, if the song had a stronger hook, I would have enjoyed it a little more. And think it would have complimented the other elements. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10 (only songs reviewed in this post)

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Power Music Video Screenshot (Source: Soompi)

 

 

 

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[Review] Power – EXO

The return of the superpowers that EXO debuted with! Per tradition, EXO has made their return with the repackaged album of The War, which has been renamed to The War: The Power of Music. This repackaged album features all the songs from The War (such as Ko Ko Bop) and it also features 3 new songs, one of which is Power.

EXO went with a totally new sound with Power. From their reggae influenced Ko Ko Bop, Power centres itself within the genre of Pop. I personally like this. It is right up my alley. Sure, it isn’t a brand new sound nor does it experiment with anything. But sometimes, you just need to return to the good old days and listen to some pure pop (like what I grew up with). What I initially thought was the song felt like your typical EXO side-track that you would find on the album, not a title track. But don’t get me wrong, this is one really good title track. The intensity from the instrumental was just right and paired well with the other elements of the song. I like the bright atmosphere, which suits the exiting Summer season which just ended in South Korea. The song itself is catchy. The “We Got The Power” line rings in my head even after the song ends, which is indicative that it is going to be one catchy song. Vocally, this is an amazing effort from the group. I felt everyone shined equally and it was definitely one of their best (in my opinion).

But I don’t think the song is the main focus of the comeback. It has to be the music video. I watched 5 minutes of what? I don’t know. No one knows. I personally thought that they despised their superpower debut. But it seemed to return in this comeback. Just it is hard to decide whether this is a recovery from that debut or if it adds to the shame that I believed they expressed in the past in regards to it. The acting was cringy. I’ll say that. And the way they posed for their individual shots. But it all adds to the humorous side of the video which I thought was an aspect of the video that was appealing. I personally felt the robot invasion theme was more suitable for an album titled as The War. Sighs. It has come to the point where I am going to say I like this video quite a bit. It is better than saying I want to roll up into a ball and cringe on their behalf.

[Updated] The performance was not what I expected for some odd reason but I like it. I am actually slightly addicted to it. My favourite part was the slow motion stepping at the end of the song. Besides Kai’s winks going viral, Power gave them room to be a little carefree and that is what I enjoyed the most about it.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10 [Updated]
Overall Rating – 9.5/10 [Updated]

[Album Review] The War (4th Studio Album) – EXO

A few days ago, EXO made their highly anticipated comeback with Ko Ko Bop. I did make a sneaky post in the comment section, saying I would make an album review for EXO’s 4th studio album, The War. So here it is.

But before we delve into the album review, I just want to take this moment to notify you all that album reviews will be released on a weekly basis every Monday starting on the 31st of July. This is so I can keep track of things and not go overboard with the number of album reviews as I did in the past few weeks! Now, onto the review.

 

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The War Album Cover

 

1..The Eve (전야) – The album opens up with one killer track. As soon as the song plays, you are attacked with amazing vocals from the members. The slowness of the track was also another interesting aspect. While I don’t the track changed much, you could feel the build up through the instrumental, which creates a tense atmosphere, which ended bringing their vocals/raps into the spotlight. (9/10)

2. Ko Ko Bop (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Ko Ko Bop (6/10)

3. What U Do? – This is my personal favourite of the entire album. Like the first track, the vocals of the members are put into the spotlight. I love the dynamics of the track, which made me want to get up and dance. The chorus was super catchy and has the ‘What U Do‘ (which all the members participate in) ringing in my head after the song finishes up. (9/10)

4. Forever – This track could have received the same comments as What U Do and The Eve. But I wasn’t impressed with the introduction. It was intriguing but it didn’t feel like it leads well into the rest of the track, which turned into one epic song, which could have rivalled the two songs mentioned. Once again, the vocals are on point, but I thought the first half of Chanyeol’s raps could have been better. The raspiness and speed during the second half were felt needed in the first half. (8/10)

5. Diamond (다이아몬드) – A part of me wants to like the track. It has an interesting yet strong beat. The instrumental has a Middle Eastern influence, which you should know, usually ticks the box for me. However, I didn’t like how the rappers kept on adding small parts throughout the song. To me, it gets annoying after a while and just feels likes a ‘remember me’ technique. It also wasn’t a memorable song, compared to the predecessors in this album. (7/10)

6. Touch It (너의 손짓) – And like Diamond, this song wasn’t that memorable. Instead, it seemed to have gotten lost in the mix of good and disappointing songs. Which was a pity because when it is by itself, I got a good sense of its groovy and funk vibes. The vocal work and rapping were pretty good. I love the ‘na na na‘ at the end of each chorus. It was the catchiest part of the entire track and the accompanying female background vocals suited the groovy vibe, so nicely. (7.5/10)

7. Chill (소름)Chill is a chaotic mess and I say that in a bad way. To me, it felt like all the aspects you could ask for just did not work well together. The instrumental felt like one mess, with all the different elements not coming together well. Furthermore, there was an odd mix of styles, which didn’t sound ear-catching to me. The same could be said about the raps and vocals. Overall, not a song that I would want to revisit. (4/10)

8. Walk On Memories (기억을 걷는 밤) – This is one amazing song. The melodies in this song are definitely one to die for. The vocals in this song are just blissful, where all the members are singing. The harmonies as well. Even the instrumental was beautiful. The aesthetics of the song is on another level and it just leaves me breathless and speechless. (10/10)

9. Going Crazy (내가 미쳐) – Two things caught me by surprise with this track. Firstly, the sudden breakdown. It was unexpected but I felt it went with the rest of the song nicely (unlike in other tracks). It did give the track a more ‘out-there’ feel, which I guess is the ‘crazy’ side of the track. The second thing was that sudden high note at the end of the song. And everything else in between sounded like a really good. It is safe to say that the album ends on a good note. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.7/10

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The War Teaser Image

 

[Review] Ko Ko Bop – EXO

EXO has made their return to the stage with their brand new fourth album, titled as The War. The main title track for the album is Ko Ko Bop. Unfortunately, Lay was unable to participate in the album due to his schedule in China, hence why he is missing from the promotional activities. This album alone has already broken a record, prior to the release of the album, proving to everyone the group’s popularity and fandom’s dedication.

The song was disappointing at first glance. A number of listens later and the same perception still holds. I am not exactly into the reggae style that they went with, but I am not turned off by it, as well. It gave the song its unique side. There were some catchy moments, but I don’t think there was enough to make me fall for the song immediately. While the breakdown did make the track interesting to an extent, it just didn’t work with the rest of the track. Their vocals don’t seem that great this time around, which was a disappointment. I was expecting some sort of intensity from the members, but the energy felt very lacking. I know it was a more chilled song, but that doesn’t mean the energy has to be low. The only member I felt did a good job was Chanyeol, whose rap suited the song. I may not have enjoyed Lotto, but this does make Lotto seem like a decent song.

I feel like the music video would raise a few eyebrows. Not referring to the abs or the chest exposure, though, which I am sure would have fans replaying the video purely for observation purposes. But how the video seems to allude to some ways of ‘having a good time’. I am referring to how some of the members look a little stoned. I honestly hope that I am looking at the video is a completely wrong way, but that is what I am getting from it. I say that because of the perception of drugs in South Korea is extremely looked down upon. Personally, I thought the video was could have been better. The guys displayed a carefree and hippy-like image, which I thought was okay. When I look at other EXO videos, I do see more flashy or intense concepts, so this seemed like a step back, though they may not be a bad thing. It seemed fitting for the song, but I am not sure if it is a concept that suits the members. Not a major fan of some of their outfits or hairstyles, as well.

Although we only saw glimpses of the choreography, I think I can say it is quite good. I will return to this part once a stage performance has been uploaded. And while I did not like the breakdown music wise, the accompanying dance for it looked amazing. It calls for some intensity and I think the parts I saw brought just that.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

 

[Review] Young & Free – Xiumin (EXO) & Mark (NCT)

SM Station tracks have been continuously released on a weekly basis. However, I haven’t reviewed them for a while because I don’t really consider some of them as KPOP. If they feature a KPOP artist, such as this track, the likelihood of it being reviewed will increase vastly compared to tracks that feature indie artists (such as the releases of the past month). Young & Free is this week’s release, which features Xiumin from EXO and Mark from NCT.

Young & Free sounds okay. That is probably the best I can say about the song. It has a nice piano instrumental that remains consistent throughout. While I did describe it as nice, there wasn’t anything that made it interesting. And that left it feeling a little bland and dull in nature. Xiumin’s vocals are okay. I have heard songs where his vocals ended up shining a fair bit, such as in EXO-CBX’s Hey Mama. Here, it didn’t have that backing or support from another artist and that is why I thought it fell a little short. Mark’s rapping is probably the one thing that I did like from the track. Though, I have to admit that Mark’s rapping did feel a little disjointed from the instrumental. His raps do suit more refined or upbeat songs, such as his works in his respective NCT subunits. The song tried its best to remain catchy. But while I do acknowledge that some people would find it catchy and addictive, the hooks present in the song didn’t do much for me.

That paleness is back once again. Once again, it is not bothering but just another observation. Throughout the video, we see Mark and Xiumin hang out with each other and show off their budding friendship. So, there isn’t much else to say about that. Not sure about the ending. Does it mean that they have a very strong imagination? As if they were outside the whole time, but believed they were on stage? Overall, it was a nice video to watch and the song felt fitting for the video.

The video did also show a small section of the choreography. I thought it was nice and also fitting for the song. It’s something simple and easy-going for the song and I personally like that.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

[Review] Ka-Ching – EXO-CBX

EXO-CBX will be making their official debut on the 24th of May, with the drop of their first min-album, Girls. While that date is two weeks away, they have already released the short version of the music video and gave a full performance for their debut track.  The EXO subunit previously made their Korean debut with Hey Mama last year. This is the third JPOP review of the four I promised, with the last one being released later today.

I was genuinely curious what style the subunit would go for. Hey Mama was so good and was a song that was more up my alley. Given that this release is more for the audience in Japan, it would be interesting to see what style the song delves into. And I am glad that I clicked on this song. Ka-Ching really catchy to listen to. Even after the song ends, I want more of it. The instrumental sounds like a soundtrack for the playboy who just arrived at a Las Vegas casino and has a bit fun in the casino. Which is obviously appropriate for a song that revolves around money. I love the vocal work in the song, especially the buildup during the pre-chorus. The “Ka-Ching” that is engraved into our minds by the end of the song sounds alluring and does a good job of keeping that catchiness of the song. Trust me, but “Ka-Ching” is probably the one thing you will remember for a while after listening to the song. The one thing that doesn’t sit well with me is the rapping in the song. It was pretty bad, to the point where I has to be one of the worst rap sequences I have heard in a long time. The song needed a rap sequence, just not that one. But overall, the song was pretty good.

I am honestly not too sure about the music video. A part of me likes it. Another part of me wants to ask what was going on during the circus scenes. Not exactly sure about those backup dancers and their creepy makeup. Sure, they added a little colour to the video to give it a more vibrant feel, but it looked really scary. The green screen for the circus background has a lot going on, so it felt overwhelming and complicated. The casino scenes looked a lot simpler and felt more open but those backup dancers were still there. I like the speech bubbles and the comic themed writing that appeared. Just not the word art for the line “We’re on a payroll”.

Getting on the trend of body rolls, Ka-Ching makes use of the body rolls during the chorus. It actually looks quite cool. My favourite part of the dance is the end, which isn’t shown in the music video linked below but rather the live performance that you can search up on YouTube, where Baekhyun starts off, then Chen and Xiumin, then the backup dancers.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

 

[Review] Take Me Home – Baekhyun (EXO)

Baekhyun’s recent solo release is the third song in the SM Station Season 2 project. Red Velvet’s Would U and Ten’s Dream In A Dream are also other songs in the project. For a review, I don’t think I ever repeated the artist’s name so many times before.

Baekhyun went with a ballad that does a pretty good job at bringing out his vocal’s capabilities. His vocals are on point throughout the song. Take Me Home fits perfectly into the season of Spring, with its more upbeat and brighter melody. Complimenting the Spring season, you can hear the romantic vibes that Baekhyun and the instrumental try to get across to the listener. But the instrumental is pretty standard, and there isn’t anything to comment on. I love how his voice buildups in the song, rather than the instrumental. That, or you can hear the buildup in his voice more apparent here. The song doesn’t have me coming back for though. It is the type of song that you would be happy to listen to, but you don’t necessary go back to replay it. There wasn’t a memorable moment that I tend to look for in ballads. Overall, it is a beautiful song but probably not one for me.

The video compliments the song quite nicely. I expected the video to be more on the dull side, but it wasn’t. The entire song was about how Baekhyun wanted to help his friend (the girl) get over her ex. The whole video shows Baekhyun’s attempt of moving her attention away. In the end, he successfully drags her away from the memories that sadden her by getting her to do a small dance and finally sharing a smile with each other. The end shows him holding the picture and the flower, but no friend was present, suggesting that she had moved on and his job was completed. My initial thoughts of Baekhyun’s attempts to get her mind off of things was that he was flirting and was consistently rejected. I guess lyrics and some fan comments do go a long way. As I previously said, it is a nice video to watch.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10 

[Review] Let Me Love You – Junggigo & Chanyeol (EXO)

Another cross-company collaboration has been unveiled (last week). Last time it was Soyu & Baekhyun’s Rain. Recently, I reviewed Honey Bee, which featured Luna, Solar and Hani. Now, Junggigo and Chanyeol from EXO has come together to give us a new song. Both of these artists are quite successful in their solo work. Junggigo is one-half of the ‘Some’ collaboration and Chanyeol has been ranking high on the charts with his solo OSTs. Hence, making this song something to look forward to.

Let Me Love You is a ballad and RnB infused track. It sounds very smooth and ‘easy on the ears’ (if you understand what I am trying to get at). The song itself is pretty simple, with no aspects of the song overcomplicating it, hence something that is quite nice to listen to. The song also is the type that gets you swaying along to the music. That is one of the signs it is a pretty good ballad, in my point of view (which when I say it, sounds a little odd). Both Junggigo and Chanyeol sounds amazing in the song. This is expected of Junggigo (just haven’t been digging his recent releases) but I get surprised every time I hear Chanyeol sing, though. He is a rapper in EXO yet he has a very nice voice when singing, which was unexpected when I discovered that he could sing. There really isn’t much else to say about the song. I will just happily listen to the song in the background, while I continue on with the review.

When I saw images of the music video, I thought the song was a soundtrack for the new Power Rangers film that is due to come out this year (who else is excited about the new Power Ranger film?). But then it turns out to be just a simple music video with a Power Ranger type of setting. The video does make me chuckle a bit, though. The moustached Power Rangers battle a giant cockroach. Actually, now I think about it, the Power Rangers are probably just pest control dressed in funky clothing to make their work a little more interesting. But it turns out there is a romantic twist with the guy playing the cockroach having a mad crush on one of the rangers. It seems like she is also interested as she is the only person to pay attention to him (the other rangers and staff don’t seem to care about him). While the two hang out, everyone packs up, leaving the two ‘friends’ behind. They spend even more time together, to the point where the girl can’t seem to kill her love when they working on set for the film or show they are shooting. They are a very cute couple and watching the guy walk around with the costume on made me go “awwww” for most of the video. Couple goals 2017? Wait… Sorry, it should be #CoupleGoals2017. That’s the way to write it in 2017.

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

[Review] Rain – Soyu (Sistar) & Baekhyun (EXO)

Another collaboration between two of the biggest idol names in the business at the moment. Soyu (from Sistar) has many collaborations to her name, such as Some with JungGiGo and Stupid in Love with Mad Clown. Baekhyun (from EXO) collaborated with Suzy for Miss A for Dream and have participated in OSTs for popular dramas in the past. All the collaborations and songs that the two have participated ended up being successful and high charting songs.

As expected given their portfolio, the two went with a ballad. It is one of those extremely slow ballads that people tend to shy away from. Even I do that to some of the songs of that nature sometimes. The combination between Baekhyun’s sweet vocals and the huskiness you hear with Soyu’s vocals is something you expect to be fantastic. And for the latter half of the song when they sing together for the final chorus, we got that fantastic feel. But the start of the song just didn’t have that same feeling. You could hear their vocals in the purest form (i.e. there is nothing shadowing or covering their respective parts) and that is good. But with a slow ballad, that seemed to drag out the song. While I am not too troubled by that now, it was something that I had to get used to after multiple listens to the song. But there is something else. Changing from Soyu to Baekhyun felt too instant and too fast. There was a second of silence and that was it. That silence felt like it two songs were ‘joined’ together as the two have different voices. A nice transition that eased in Baekhyun’s part would have made the song nicer as I felt the song needed that transition.

I am not a big fan of the video. There wasn’t anything of interest in the video. I just play the video mainly for the song. But you guys may like it. The video simply shows a young girl wandering around in the rain (or course with an umbrella). We do see that she is thinking about someone as shown via her drawings in her book and on the blackboard. While the video is not my cup of tea, the video is beautifully shot. Just by watching the video, you can’t help but smile when the girl in the video is happy and joyfully jumping around, which is quite cute.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

[Review] For Life – EXO

EXO made their return with a special Winter album and the title track, For Life. This is not their first time releasing a Winter album, with Miracles of December and Sing For You preceding the track. The release also serves as their 5th mini album, to date.

EXO returned to their ballad songs with the release of For Life, which makes the most sense as ballads give you warmth and suit the colder season in South Korea. And what they are doing is amazing. Not saying that they should just go to ballads now on (I don’t think many people would react well to that), but what they do every Winter with their ballads is amazing. For Life consists of a very nice balance of strings and piano in its instrumental. It doesn’t sound grand, but rather simple, which I think is a charm of the song. The guys sang the song beautifully, even the rappers participating in the vocal work this time around. The verses sounded a little dry and boring. But the chorus was what blew my mind. It caught my attention from the very start and it sounded amazing. It is a little hard to explain in words here, but if I were you and you wanted that ballad fix of yours, this is the song to go to at the moment.

I like the plot of the video. One-half of the video was made to look like the guy was looking for the girl, with the bracelet as motivation to finding her. The second half consisted of her looking for the guy, to give the bracelet to so he can find her in the future. The video stars an actress to whom I don’t know the name of and the following EXO members: Chanyeol, Kai and Suho. Each of the members and the actress did an amazing job in the video. While the song is quite slow (and the video is quite fitting in terms of tempo), the video was surprisingly interesting to watch. I thought the video would be boring, but in the end, the video was a stand-out for ballads overall.

Rating – 9.5/10

[Review] Hey Mama – EXO-CBX

EXO has made a comeback with the reduced form of 3 members. Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin had joined forces to form a new subunit and perform as a trio on stage.  It has been previously rumoured that EXO would launch a subunit.This is not their first release as a trio. The three has released an OST for the drama – Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. As per any EXO release, the song and album have topped charts as soon as the release was dropped.

The song is freaking amazing. I liked everything about it. I had my doubts about some aspects, but those doubts were crushed as soon as I started listening to the song for the first time. The song has a very dominate retro vibe (very funky and reminds me a lot of the disco era), which I like a lot. I loved the very dominate guitar sounds in the instrumental. It made the instrumental interesting and added an extra layer of depth to the song. Even the vocals of the song were really good. Baekhyun and Chen are known to be the powerhouse vocals in EXO. This song does justice to that fact very nicely. Chen even got the spotlight on him for his amazing high note at the end of the song, which does show to the world the hidden gem in EXO. Xiumin sounds amazing here and it is a pity that the line distribution for EXO songs isn’t in his favour sometimes. Even his rapping caught me off guard (but for good reasons). Baekhyun rapping is something that I am on the fence with. Works in this song, but sounded weird. An excellent song, in my books. And extremely catchy. Definitely, a song that will be replayed constantly.

The video shows a more playful side of the trio. EXO music videos are quite dark or masculine. This video moves away from that and gives the members a more colourful side to them. Have little to no clue on what is going on in the video. It seems like Chen and Xiumin are hard at work, but with a little persuasion from Baekhyun, they join Baekhyun in some sort of rebellion against society. The red papers seem to be important, but the pages are ultimately trashed. Even the rest of society are too busy banging their drinks on the tables. But with the trio stepping up onto television, everyone breaks free from the really boring drinking-banging ritual and join on in with the fun. Because life is only great, when you have fun. They even threw in a side romance for Chen in there. There is also a nice refreshing feel from the video. I feel like this is a music video that is easily relatable to and it isn’t over the top or complex to read. It’s simple and straight to the point (provided my interpretation is right).

The choreography is pretty cool as well. It looks cool and fits nicely with the song as well. The love their hand movements during the “Ooh, Ooh” that appears at the end of each chorus.

Rating – 9.5/10

 

 

 

[Review] Lotto – EXO

EXO has returned with their latest repackaged album, Lotto. If you don’t remember, EXO made their previous comeback with Monster and Lucky One back in June. In the brief absence, the band have been busy with international and domestic concerts (both solo and company). Unfortunately, though, this comeback have been riddled with problems. The majority of the members have been injured or currently sick. Yet they still manage to pull through and perform every week for this promotion run. It shows their passion and determination for the fans, but like any human being, they need rest and a break. A long massive break! And that goes for all artists, KPOP or not!!!

For those who don’t know, I am not a big fan of autotune. Yes, I do enjoy it to some degree, especially when it is used interestingly and in small doses. However, a song that is autotuned from beginning to end really irks me. Not all the time, as a few songs with autotune all the way through it, have been my favourites. But from experience, the majority of the songs of that kind do disappoint me. Moving back to this song, though, I am a little torn. I am extremely disappointed with the copious amount of autotune, but I am digging the instrumental and it is quite catchy. From the vocals and rap, everything has been laced in autotune and I can’t help but shiver from it. I do much prefer the live versions (or the stage version) where the autotune is reduced and you can clearly hear the vocals and rapping work. With that alone, the song is quite good. We (and I) already know that the group is capable enough with the autotune. I just cannot get over the autotune. The instrumental (at the start) sounds a lot like RnB back in the day. I do like the electronic components in the background. I am totally in love with the short instrumental bit for the dance break.

The music video is a lot dark and shot in a way that resembles Monster’s music video. The camera angles, the wide panning and the overall way the camera moves (should have said that from the start) seem quite similar (probably the same director). I like it very much in this video. It captures the scenes pretty well and gives the video a nice “story” feel to it. Anyway, like the song title suggests, the video is made purely with the idea of gambling and money surrounding it. Yes, even Suho is burning money.  The guys went for a more edgier look and style for this concept and I do think it suit them. I am a little surprised about the content of the video. For a video which promotes gambling, the people who rates the music video put down a rating of 15+. That’s okay an all but doesn’t this video send a bad message to the younger kids. I am quite sure there are many mature fans who know what is right and wrong. But I am a little concerned about the younger generation. I won’t hate on the video for showing all of that plus some activites that are illegal (in my country at least), but I think something should be said about those who puting ratings on the video. Minus the ethics of behind the video (will refrain from going into a huge debate), I actually do like this video quite a bit (more so the imagery and viewing pleasure).

As for the dance, I like it as well. It suits the song pretty well. Love the “pokie machine handle” dance. It fits in with the sound/concept of the song but at the same time, emphasises the sexy and ediger side of the guys. I do also like the dance break they have. That is probably the most memorable part of the dance. If I were to use a word to describe the dance, I would say “cocky”. Their facial expressions and some of their dance moves give off that vibe.

Final Rating – 6.5/10

[Review] Monster – EXO

EXO is back and I will be reviewing both Lucky One and Monster. Not in the ‘double review’ format, though, since I want to talk about both songs. Their album has managed to break records that the group has set themselves including massive pre-sale numbers and the highest selling numbers in the first week alone. They, of course, conquered the charts and once again, proved to Korea and the world that they are not a force to be reckoned with.

Monster is the track that is more associated to EXO. It is a powerful track that is more of EXO’s style than anything else. Once again, the vocals and the rap roll smoothly in this song. The raps, in particular, suit the song a lot more. Chanyeol’s and Sehun’s husky and raspy voices really do wonders to this song. The vocals come together quite well and the power behind the vocals suit the song quite well. It is a song that oozes energy and the vocals exhibit the perfect amount of that power needed. I can’t say this song is catchy. It is fine as it is at the moment, but the chorus needed more of a hook to reel me in. It just doesn’t wow me or amazes me in any way. Just a standard chorus to be honest. I particularly love the ending of the song. It is a complete change up from the powerful side of the song. The song becomes much slower as Chen’s “creeping” dominates the foreground of the song. It kept the song interesting and yeah, it hooked me to the song. However, a hook at the end of the song doesn’t really mean anything to me, because the song is basically finished and most likely I have made my mind up in regards to the next song I want to listen to.

Okay, here is what I see from the video. EXO is some sort of squad that goes to war with the force. We see them sitting around a table at the start. I assume that war or fight occurs a little after that table shooting scene because the table and all the things on it is badly damaged at one point in the video. In the end, Baekhyun remains at the table, while the rest of them is being carted off to jail. This means Baekhyun betrayed the others (for his freedom, I assume). But wait! Plot twist alert. It is revealed that Baekhyun is a double agent and he ends up letting everyone go. That is my basic rundown of the video and what I saw. I think it is a great video overall. The story is there and everything was chaotic, as expected. The really like the dance scenes. Another fine video, where the darkness works really well. I also liked how in all the scenes, despite the darkness, they emphasised all the members that were in the scene. I liked the use of colour and the contrast between them. Also liked that huge pole with all the security cameras. Don’t know why, but it seems cool to sit on top of that.

Dance wise, I thought it was pretty cool as well. Fitting the song, it was quite powerful. It wasn’t obvious and the ‘power’ was very  subtle, but it was there. I loved the start of the dance with the violent swaying and the ending with Chen’s “creeping” part. And everything in between. Particularly the X formation they did in the first chorus. That blew my mind.

Another long review. Final Rating – 8.5/10

[Review] Lucky One – EXO

EXO is back and I will be reviewing both Lucky One and Monster. Not in the ‘double review’ format, though, since I want to talk about both songs. Their album has managed to break records that the group has set themselves including massive pre-sale numbers and the highest selling numbers in the first week alone. They, of course, conquered the charts and once again, proved to Korea and the world that they are not a force to be reckoned with.

My favourite track off the entire album. Lucky One caught my attention almost immediately and I essentially fell in love with the track. It is so damn catchy and addictive to listen to. The song brings you back to the funky days of disco. It is a style that is more retro than any of their other tracks or releases, so it is quite different from the normal EXO sound we would associate with them. The funky instrumental is also a favourite of mine. The vocals and rapping were smooth and fitted the song quite well. I love the change in tempos for different parts of the song. Even the change in tempo matches up with the vocals and I think that gave the song a great effect overall. Usually, different tempos do not string together well, but everything in this track flows quite well. Out of all the EXO tracks that I have heard, I think this has to be one of best ones (for my personal taste) and put it up there with Love Me Right, which I loved so much from last year.

The video here is quite good. The video opens up with these futuristic nurses or experimenters rolling in EXO, who are lying in bed. They get injected with some blue magic fluid, which seems to awaken something in their body (I wrote that last part 5 different times, each time giving off a perverted and dirty feel). There is a moment where scenes of the moon and space. Kind of links it back to their original concept from having superpowers and being from another planet. Something clicks and they start to escape from the hospital/experimentation centre. Using superpowers that they probably recovered and from what I see from the majority of the second half of the video, their good looks. It is as if they tempt the nurses/experimenters in the video. Once the girls get distracted by the guys, well, they self-destruct. In the most painful (but instantaneous way possible. Kind of similar how fangirls/boys will “self-destruct” of their favourite band or bias looks at them. They find every way possible to escape and tempt the females (for example, Kai dancing. Pretty cool yet no one (I repeat, NO ONE including Kai) knows why he was to dance there). The other problem was finding a way out of the area. Well, because it (and quite cleverly) is a maze in the form of the EXO symbol. Overall, I thought it was a great video that matched the tempo of the song. When the song was slow, the video was slow and so on. I love the different camera angles at the start as if the camera man was floating in space and the use of editing in the video.

I am starting to realise that there are no flaws to Lucky One. Everything so far is just perfect. And if you are wondering about the dance, I think it is was perfect as well. I would have liked something with more power (maybe more hip thrusting). So many hip thrusting in the video. But what we see matched the song perfectly. And the start where they are all moving their heads side to side (it looks funny, but it fits the song).

Longest review I have written in ages. Final Rating – 10/10

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.

 

Call You Bae – Jimin (AOA) ft. Xiumin (EXO)

Jimin from AOA has made her comeback with a brand new song as a solo artist. For those who don’t know, she made her solo debut last year with GOD, along side N.Flying’s J.Don. Now, for this comeback, she enlisted the help of EXO’s Xiumin. Such a surprising collaboration.

As I said the collaboration was unexpected. But the quality of the song and the collaboration itself  is pretty good. Not once was I disappointed with the song, the vocals, the rapping or the concept. I usually complain about Jimin’s rap, but she sounds fine in this song. It didn’t give me shivers or causes any headaches for me. Xiumin’s vocals (in this song) just shows to you how he deserve more lines in EXO. Someone commented somewhere (forgot where) that he got more lines in this song than his entire EXO career. Seems a little far fetched to me, but in reality, we might as well believe it. I do pray that was Jimin was singing (not exactly sure she can, but I assume she can sing) at the chorus when they both go high pitch (and not some stand in). The song made me smile. My only complaint is not really a complaint, but the lyrics seems a little childish in my opinion. Not immature, but the part where Jimin asks Xiumin whether he wants chicken (I assume this is KPOP’s version of Netflix and Chill) and how she raps about “Beep Bop” (alarm) in the second verse, kind of felt more like a child’s song than anything else. But those lyrics do fit very well with the song and make sense, so I am not going to make any deal of it. Oh another reason why I like the song, because I can relate to it. Not going to say much, but currently, I am in Xiumin’s position everytime I see a particular someone.

As for the music video, it matched the song really well. Don’t really have much to say about the video. It is bright, cheerful, happy. What more do you want? That chicken and alarm all played a part in the video. The emojis’ were cool, but I don’t know. Angry face when they were together doesn’t seem like that guy wanted them two together. And Jimin’s wall (or window) just conveniently became some sort of stage for Xiumin to sing on and jump into the frame. Also, I have yet to read any articles or comments that curses the daylight out of Jimin. But I am not going to say anything beside that, because that is obviously a good thing. Let’s leave it there. If you are confused, I’ll explain another day. But great video, which made sense with the song.

I think I have given it a near-prefect review. Disappointed that there are no live performances for this song, because I would love to see it. And is doesn’t matter if Xiumin is unavailable. Other artists can fill in. 10/10