[Album Review] 1 Billion Views (1st Studio Album) – EXO-SC

Today’s album review focuses on EXO-SC’s latest album release, 1 Billion Views. It has been a while since I promised this album review for a reader of this blog. The long delay was mainly because I wanted to write reviews for each of their duo’s solo tracks that are featured on this album (as they had music videos). I just kept on running out of time to write them and ended up delaying them until earlier today. Please accept my apologies for the long wait! And before I delay it any further, here is my review for the 1 Billion Views album, which features the title track of the same name.

1 Billion Views Album Cover

1. 1 Billion Views (10억뷰) (ft. Moon) (Title Track)Click here for the full review of 1 Billion Views. (7/10)

2. Say It (ft. Penomeco) – There are two main appealing elements in Say It. Unfortunately, neither of those two elements are actually EXO-SC. They are good in this melodic hip-hop track, but I just don’t have much to say about them. The first element that I enjoyed was the instrumental. It is quite laid back and has a lazy vibe to it (a compliment). Interestingly, it is also quite upbeat. Say It manages to find a well-balanced middle ground between having an active consistent beat and that lazy carefree vibe. The second element is actually Penomeco’s featuring. He comes into the track during the song’s chorus and helps smooth out the song quite nicely. I also like his voice and how it compliments that lazy vibe that I mentioned (also another compliment). But as this is an EXO-SC track, I am left wanting more from the main pair. (6/10)

3. Rodeo Station (로데오역)Rodeo Station jumps right out at me with its guitar melody that kicks off the song. The rest of the instrumental builds on this, bringing in some brass and bass to give the song that oomph that I am always looking for in upbeat tracks. The song is more vocal centric, with both Chanyeol and Sehun focusing more on vocals for the most part in Rodeo Station. Both members sound pretty nice in this song. It also helps when the melodies is actually quite catchy and fun to listen to. There is a bit of rapping towards the end of the song and they do give the song a bit of a punch. Overall, I found the track to be quite likeable and each element in the song was appealing. (9/10)

4. Telephone (척) (ft. 10cm) (Pre-Release Track) Click here to read the full review for Telephone. (4/10)

5. Jet Lag (시차적응) Jet Lag is a sentimental R&B track, which is all about wanting to return to their lover in their home country whilst they are overseas. The song is brought to life with pleasant acoustic guitar melodies, which I quite like. My only major complaint with this is that both Chanyeol and Sehun’s vocals seem to overpower the instrumentation at times and I would have preferred a finer balance between vocals and instrumental. However, the duo’s execution of vocals in this song is nice and enjoyable. Their harmonies throughout and the melodies are quite appealing in this song. It is a bit slow paced for my liking, but there is enough in this song to put it on the superior end of tracks. (9/10)

6. Fly Away (날개) (ft. Gaeko) – We get into even moodier territory with Fly Away. I really liked the instrumental for this song. It seems to delve into the R&B realm, featuring classical instrumental in addition to drums and R&B centric percussion. It is a stunning backing piece. Chanyeol and Sehun return to their status as EXO’s rappers by rapping throughout the song. It is a nice change up to their vocal-focus approach with their songs on the album thus far. Gaeko (one half of Dynamic Duo) actually does most of the singing in this song and his voice helps smooth out the intensity that the main pair add to the song. I quite like this contrast and this makes it a powerful track. Given its position, I would put this down as EXO-SC’s hidden gem. (10/10)

7. Nothin’ (Chanyeol Solo)Click here to read the full review for Nothin’. (8/10)

8. On Me (Sehun Solo)Click here to read the full review for On Me. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.6/10

1 Billion Views Teaser Image

[Review] On Me – Sehun (EXO)

In preparation for the album review later today, I will be reviewing both Chanyeol and Sehyun’s indvidual tracks that appeared alongside their 1 Billion Views and Telephone releases last month. I had promised these two reviews for some time now, but I just kept on running out of time to post them. But as I always repeat on this blog, it is always better late than never. As you can tell by the title, this particular review post will be focusing on Sehun’s On Me.

Unlike Chanyeol, Sehun has yet to release a solo track in the 9 years since his debut. So On Me is a great gift to all the Sehun fans out there. The song finds itself in hip-hop domain, settling with a trap-based instrumental. Not really a ground-breaking combination or instrumental by today’s standard. But it had good ryhthm and energy that makes the song very appealing. A great thing about solo tracks that I am sure that all of you are aware of is that we get to hear the artist in all their glory. For Sehun, in On Me, we get to hear a lot of his husky rapping voice. It was harsh (a compliment) and added amazing texture to the already rough texture we got from the instrumental. We also got to hear Sehun sing briefly during the chorus. It adds a layer of smoothness to the song. Intererstingly, I liked how his rapping and vocals remained low throughout the song. It is his best sound and he really captialised on this. I also liked how the hooks of Sehun’s solo track (the ‘Forever Love Sad Happy‘ and ‘Work Work Work‘) were all emphasised versions of the huskiness and low tone. This added some depth to the song that I wasn’t sure we would be getting from Sehun. Overall, On Me really puts Sehun’s best foot forward.

On Me‘s music video only goes for a certain length and doesn’t capture the entire song. But as it is still considered a music video, it enables the release to earn a review on this blog. The music video is choreography based and focuses on Sehun’s performance skills. Can’t argue with that, given that we haven’t see Sehun have an opportunity to officially show off his dancing skills in a solo release. His performance really intensifies the song, which is fantastic. I also like the various camera angles and transitions employed, which adds to that intensity. Best part of his music video is when he is moving forward to the front of the dancers with one hand holding a hat on his head. That parts needs to be made iconic and should be appreciated more!

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

[Review] Nothin’ – Chanyeol (EXO)

Excuse me while I divert our attention to releases from a while back now. In preparation for an album review later today, I will be reviewing both Chanyeol and Sehyun’s indvidual tracks that appeared alongside their 1 Billion Views and Telephone releases last month. I had promised these two reviews for some time now, but I just kept on running out of time to post them. But as I always repeat on this blog, it is always better late than never. As you can tell by the title, this particular review post will be focusing on Chanyeol’s Nothin’.

Despite having a number of solo tracks already, Chanyeol manages to show off a different side to his rapping skills through the easygoing yet subtly intense Nothin’. The song starts off with the catchy vocal hook of ‘I will never worry about nothin’‘. I am not a fan of autotune usually, but his autotuned vocals added some texture to the song. The verses come into play and we hear Chanyeol slow rap along to slow trap instrumentation that the song is backed with. There are some guitar that is present in combination with the trap instrumental. Together, these two elements pretty much make Nothin’ sound like straightforward R&B. Unfortuately, the instrumental is repetitive and plain. It is disappointing to an extent, but I also find that this acts as a blank canvas for Chanyeol’s rapping, which is what gives the song some variety and appeal. We do get some profound electric guitar riffs at the very end, which was nice and much appreciated. As the song felt relatively short, the placement of this additional instrument actually felt appropriate. I couldn’t imagine what the song would have been like if this explicit electric guitar was brought into play earlier. Going back to his rapping, you could feel the emotion in his voice as the song progresses. It is subtle, but definitely present. It is also quite captivating. Overall, I quite like the song. It fits the chill nature of the album and direction of the subunit. Yet it manages to add a bit of Chanyeol flair to the song.

The music video is noticeably shorter than the actual song itself. But as there is still a music video, it earns itself a review. The song itself is about not worrying what people are saying and to stick to being yourself. And I thought that the path to the song’s meaning was well shown in the music video. The music video depicts Chanyeol as a photographer. His pictures seem to represent the thoughts and comments of others. After he develops them, he puts them on this wall, which acts like his thought bank. In this life, it is rather monotone and repetitive. We see Chanyeol clearly wants change. Once we see him certain of this, he rips a picture off the wall, revealing a bright light. It is uncomfortable, which is the harsh reality. But he gets used to it and runs away from the underground studio setting. He slowly gets used to it and this becomes a stroll, as shown at the start of the video. Moving away from my interpretation, I liked how the atmosphere we get from the video really suits the moody nature of the song.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] 1 Billion Views – EXO-SC ft. MOON

Finally making their official comeback today is EXO-SC with 1 Billion Views. This new track is part of the EXO unit’s first studio length album, which also shares the same name as the song. The release of the music video and album today comes after EXO-SC teased us with the pre-release single, Telephone. Both Chanyeol and Sehun also had solo music videos (Nothin‘ and On Me, respectively) at the end of the week. I have yet to review them and hope to get to them soon. But we are hear to listen to 1 Billion Views, so let’s get to that first.

Right from the very start, I can already say that 1 Billion Views fairs better than EXO-SC’s pre-release Telephone. Though, it still does suffer some of the issues I had previously noted in the Telephone interview. Let’s start on the positive that 1 Billion Views had. The chill R&B instrumental had a more of a beat to it, which was quite nice. With this kick in the instrumental, the song is more likable. I would gladly listen to the song given that there is more colour to the song. Their vocal work, in this instance, was quite good. The chorus featured really smooth melodies and I really liked how the vocals and rap segue-way into each other. Their harmonies during the verses was definitely one of the stronger moments of the song. I also enjoyed Moon’s featuring towards the end of the song, as her vocals do compliment the style that EXO-SC went for. However, as mentioned at the start, there are some issues that EXO-SC just haven’t fixed up. First, the song suffers from that ‘more’ concept (i.e. I wanted more). I think we all know of the potential that Chanyeol and Sehun have. 1 Billion Views (nor any of their unit releases so far) just doesn’t seem to capitalise on this, which results in the song coming off dull-ish. Even though I praise the instrumental earlier, I also wanted more from this element. I wanted it to be rougher and a lot meaner, that way the song could get to that style that I wished for the duo to go with. I get it that EXO-SC’s style is more chilled than your average Korean release, but I find that this song also lacks character. Thirdly, I find the song to lack memorable hooks and lines. They were heading in the right direction, just it didn’t feel like there was enough. The lack of character and hooks in 1 Billion Views do contribute to a dullness. But it isn’t as bad as previous tracks, given the instrumental and its more positive aspects that I mentioned above.

The music video is set at an arcade that would be best described as a hole in the wall. It also incorporates a few modern elements including virtual reality and Instagram live broadcasts. I also noticed that there were a few viral trends hinted throughout the video, such as the In My Feelings trend. All of these elements seemed to make sense, as the duo sings and raps about thinking of their lover for the billionth time. It was a nice video to watch overall. I found the editing to be suitable for the song, smooth and sleek. No choppiness, which I am thankful for. I also note that some of the post-production effects that were added to the video should have made the video feel choppy (such as the coloured static in the background). But it ended up being quite smooth, overall.

What we saw in the music video choreography-wise seems to be quite good. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of the choreography (i.e. the verses), so I am intrigued to know what the duo have up their sleeves. But if the chorus of the music video was to be the basis of my thought, I think this will be a pleasant routine suitable for the music.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] Telephone – EXO-SC ft. 10CM

The second SM Entertainment release came unexpected last night. EXO-SC has been confirmed to making a comeback and will be releasing an album on the 13th of July (that’s just under a week!). And while fans are preparing for that release, EXO-SC released a pre-release track that no one saw coming titled Telephone, which features 10CM. This is the unit’s first comeback since their debut with What A Life last year (another review which I haven’t gone back to update once the live performance came out).

What A Life came off as dull and lackluster. That is essentially all I remember about their debut song. And it is looking like Telephone is shaping to be the exact same. It delves back into the hip-hop genre, with the duo going with a rap-sing delivery of the lyrics. More specifically, Telephone delves into the chilled side of hip-hop, with the entire track going with a laid-back vibe, similar to their debut track. Though, I felt the song might have gone many steps too far into the chilled spectrum, that both Chanyeol and Sehun’s vocals were pretty expressionless and this really dulled out the song. Same comment can be made with the instrumental. It is pretty much straightforward, with the repetitive and simple tapping of a piano key. Not really the most exciting piece of music. It was pretty much empty and sparse of sounds, besides some phone sounds and the duo echoing the lyrics and providing some ‘few words’ in the background. And even they didn’t do a good job of filling up the song. The most exciting bit of the song is when 10CM joins in, providing smooth vocals and this leads to Chanyeol and Sehun doing a little more with their own vocals to close off the song. But by then, I had already tuned out and became distracted. It sucks that I have to echo the disappointment I gave in their debut review, but that is the reality. Hopefully on Monday, the pair will give us something a little more exciting to breakdown.

I felt that the music video had a lot more substance than the song. The lyrics is all about their reservation to the phone, which everyone (including their crush and themselves) to communicate to other people. Chanyeol and Sehun are trying to get their crush’s attention. When they are together, their crush to too busy looking at their own phone. When they are not and Chanyeol/Sehun are trying to communicate with them, they blame their phone and use phone-related excuses for not being able to answer (i.e. the phone was charging, I was driving so I couldn’t pick my phone etc.). This leads to Chanyeol and Sehun entering the phone and destroying the attention stealing stuff on the phone, leading their crush to have nothing to do, other than message the two guys back. At least that is my take on the lyrics and the visuals from the music video. I also think there is some sort of hidden message at the start of the video, that we would be too busy doing one thing (i.e. reading the messages that popped up on the screen) to notice some of the stuff the pair were doing, such as applying wood filler to a toothbrush, overfilling a bowl, wearing odd socks and oversalting food.

Song – 4/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 5.6/10

[Album Review] Delight (2nd Mini Album) – Baekhyun (EXO)

Making his return at the end of last month was Baekhyun. This comeback was in the form of his second mini-album, Delight, which features the title track, Candy. And as you can tell by the title of this post, we will be focusing on his album (as I have already reviewed Candy – link to this review is down below). I have previously reviewed both Baekhyun’s solo debut title track (UN Village) and mini-album (City Lights) when it was released last year. His first mini-album contained really memorable side tracks such as Psycho and Diamond. Continuing his R&B influence, let’s see unwrap the new album and see if it is truly a delight.

Delight Album Cover

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

2. R U Ridin’ – At first, R U Ridin’ begins like a straightforward R&B track. As the song progresses, it defuses into a dance track, thanks to the use of percussion during the chorus. At large, the song would fit neatly into the R&B genre. The chorus actually reminds me of those trends that people used to put up online, where they danced whilst next to a slow-moving car (excuse my old person’s way of describing this). There seems to be some good energy coming from the track and there is a decent appeal to the song. While there is a likable vibe, the song isn’t my cup of tea or personal style. Sure, there are many R&B tracks that I listen to, but this one comes off as rather plain. It is just not something that I would go out of my way to seek and play. Though, Baekhyun’s vocal work here was really good, particularly those ad-libs he threw into the song at the end. (7/10)

3. BungeeBungee gets a slightly more positive review despite it being quite similar to the preceding song with the R&B genre. I find Baekhyun’s use of falsetto to be an attractive aspect of the song. I also find the piano and drum beat synth to help create a dynamic yet soft instrumentation. This separates this and the preceding song apart in a very distinctive manner. Just listen to the piano in the bridge sequence as an example of how more dynamic the instrumental feels. Pairing the vocals and instrumental, we get a pretty smooth track overall that I enjoyed. (8/10)

4. Underwater – What drew my attention to Underwater is that the synths come together to make it feel like we are underwater. It has that wavy type of feel that feels like the bubbles that come about when we try to talk under water (I am sure that most people would know what I am referring to). Just the synths in the background aren’t consistent, so it feels like those bubbles are of varying sizes. Apart from that analogy, the song adopts the R&B genre, once again. He has an impressive display of vocals in this song, go into falsetto during some parts and opting for a slight breathy approach in other parts. I also liked his ad-libs and ‘Ooo’ at the end of the song, which helped ease the song out in a unique manner. (8/10)

5. Poppin’ – We re-enter energetic territory through Poppin’. A much-needed boost for this album as more consecutive R&B tracks could easily drag this album out and would result in a bore. Poppin’ isn’t an overwhelming injection of energy, which keeps it in line with the previous songs. I liked the simple beat of the instrumental and what seems to be a muffled 8-bit type of sound. It gives texture in a subtle way. Overall, the instrumental feels very easygoing and lively, relative to the other songs on this album. The vocals also feel a lot more dynamic and brighter, which helps add additional energy into the song. The chorus is undoubtedly the strongest part of the song, with a catchy ‘Here Now’ hook, though it sounds more like ‘Hey Now’ to me. (8.5/10)

6. Ghost – This is the song that attracted my attention the most prior to listening to the album. I just liked the title of the song. I have a dark soul like that. My expectations were that this would be a grungy or angst number. But that wouldn’t fit into a predominately R&B number. Instead, Ghost opts for an upbeat dance number. And before I go any further, this set up exceed any expectation I had. The instrumental for this song is very attractive, incorporating hand drums, guitars and synths. These seem to be an odd combination, but they come together very nicely and each of these elements have a boldness to them throughout the song. Vocally, Baekhyun sounds amazing. He has the support of a strong chorus with catchy melodies. Together, this song becomes the memorable number of the entire album (and dare I say, a better track that the main track). (10/10)

7. Love Again – The final song the album predominately features acoustic guitars and a deep drumbeat (there is a bit of piano infused later on). Baekhyun’s vocals start off muffled by some autotune, before it goes low and deep. Once the chorus comes along, his vocals stay quite low. But the instrumental seems to go into a soft pop mode. I liked how the acoustic guitar gave the song texture and it became the bold element of the instrumental. For the final moments of the song, Love Again changes it up to infuse little bit of angst before diffusing out back to the acoustic guitar. While this change doesn’t make sense initially, it grew on me and became a very interesting manner to end the song and album with. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

Delight Teaser Image

[Review] Candy – Baekhyun (EXO)

The second solo artist to be reviewed today is Baekhyun from EXO. He makes his solo comeback with Candy and second mini-album, Delight. Baekhyun made his debut last year with UN Village and City Lights, which all formed one of the most successful solo debuts ever. Baekhyun’s comeback follows Suho’s solo debut last month and Chanyeol’s recent solo collaboration with Raiden, Lee Hi and Changmo. Baekhyun also recently participated in a collaboration (Leo) himself with BOL4, for her solo comeback which also occurred this month.

Baekhyun’s solo debut track highlighted a lot of his vocals. And it is expected that his solo comeback would do the same. Candy does just this, but in a more laid back manner. More on this later though. The song falls under the R&B realm as well, as per his debut song. But this one is a lot more upbeat and straight forward in terms of its instrumental. I really liked how sleek the overall song felt, which can be attributed to a really refined instrumental and his smooth vocals. The thumping bass and the light twinkling pop in the instrumentation was really nice. I do have my issues with the song. I did feel that by going this straightforward and direct R&B route, the song feels a little more typical. I wanted something that ‘one-up’ UN Village, which was unique and characteristic of him. Candy didn’t have momentum, unfortunately. That that is only a minute issue. His vocals do a lot in this song and I thought this vocal chops were well used throughout this song. Those ad-libs during the bridge and ending of the song were on point and effortlessly beautiful. Those deep ‘Candy, Candy, Candy‘ chants give some texture and depth to the song. Furthermore, Candy likens Baekhyun to various sweet food items. While this sounds rather childish in some ways, his vocals really put a mature spin on it, which I really like. Overall, Candy shows off that Baekhyun is highly capable of variety and a more upbeat style (i.e. he isn’t just your typical ballad main vocalist).

To reflect the more upbeat style that we heard in Candy, the music video opts for colour, which makes total sense. After all, this song does not deserve anything dull. It is set in a urban area of the neighbourhood, which has an old arcade and movie theatre, like the ones we see in movies. And this suits the more laid back vibes the song has. Baekhyun looks really good in this video. It might be his hair or his smiles he flashes towards the camera. The music video does seem to approach with the dreaded choreography and closeup formula. But I didn’t it mind as much, as some of the closeups seemed to flow through to the choreography scenes cohesively.

Unlike his solo debut, this comeback features choreography. It isn’t anything complicated, which again matches the laid back and easy going vibes of the song. The instrumental of the song also wasn’t complex, so there isn’t any need for overly complicated moves to wow us. I do note that the moves do all work together to create a cool performance. There was a part of the performance where he dances opposite female dancers. I thought that was a strong moment in the choreography and I would have liked to see a more prolonged sequence of that, as there seemed to be some chemistry between the two sides.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

[Review] Yours – Raiden & Chanyeol ft. Lee Hi & Changmo

Two weeks ago, Raiden and Chanyeol collaborated on a single titled Yours. We got less than a week’s notice and I had not picked up on its earlier, so I was caught off guard with the release of Yours (my excuse for posting a late review). For those who don’t know Raiden, he is a DJ and producer under SM Entertainment. For those who don’t know Chanyeol, he is the main rapper of the widely known KPOP group EXO (who is also under SM Entertainment). Credited as a featuring artist in Yours is Lee Hi and Changmo. Lee Hi is a former YG Entertainment solo artist, who has recently signed with Makeus Entertainment (home of Sunmi), while Changmo is a very popular rapper in Korea. Together, this is a very star studded collaboration, adding another to the month of May.

The different artists participating in this song are all very different in usual content that they release as standalone artists. But Yours converges them all into a light funky R&B track. There is a bit of retro vibe to the instrumental, but it is very subtle. In terms of overall impressions of the song, I found Yours to be very upbeat and fresh. It has a nice Summery vibe, which I think is suitable for this time of the year (for South Korea). In addition to all of that, Yours is also has a pleasant and calming tone. Chanyeol predominately sings. Usually, I find his voice to be very husky. But it sounds quite smooth in this song. Lee Hi’s airy vocals sounds very innocent and sweet, unlike any Lee Hi release I remember from the top of my head. Both singers do a really good job of harmonising together, helping bringing the track together. I really like the vocal layering during the chorus. They both sing and harmonise in the top layer of the chorus, while Chanyeol sings in the background. It may appear to be a little messy, but it actually gives the song additional definition. Somehow, this becomes a clever hook, in addition to the two singers singing the ‘I’ll Be Yours‘ in the chorus. Changmo adds more of that rap roughness and his vocal segments give the song some texture. Adding to the texture of Yours at the very end was the heavily electronised robot-sounding vocals, which felt like a ‘just right’addition. I don’t think Yours is my personal cup of tea, but it a really nice song to kick back to.

I thought the music video was rather artistic. While Chanyeol and Lee Hi shines in the actual music, I feel like the music video does a great job of highlighting Raiden’s presence in this collaboration. The sets and cinematography when we see him perform the various instruments looked really cool. The only artist to feature alongside Raiden in the video is Chanyeol, who takes pictures of the various sets which we see him in. All looked quite good and I am sure there is a deep meaning to each of the images he hang up at the end, which looks like they represent the seasons.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] Leo – BOL4 ft. Baekhyun (EXO)

May is going to be one intense month given the popularity of many acts that have been confirmed a release for the month. And we have just saw the competition get a little more intense with the release of another big collaboration. This one is between BOL4 and Baekhyun from EXO. BOL4 has been a huge artist, dominating the charts over the past few years with songs like Galaxy, Some, Travel and Bom. More recently, BOL4 was reduced to one member (Ahn Ji Young) with the departure of Woo Ji Yoon. Despite that, it was confirmed that BOL4 (now a solo act) would return later this month, with Leo being a pre-release single. Joining her later this month in a solo comeback of his own and Leo is Baekhyun from EXO, who no doubt every knows of due to EXO’s popularity and through his past digital hits such as UN Village and Dream (with Bae Suzy).

As this is a pre-release single for BOL4’s upcoming album, Leo is very much in her willpower. Her unique vocals shine throughout this song from the very first moment we hear her. There is something about that slight nasally voice that just makes many of her songs so captivating. The song has this really light and floating feeling, which really compliments her vocals that doesn’t make it tiring. It pretty much throws you back to BOL4’s early days with the songs in which grew the name and got her to the top of the charts. The song’s instrumentation is jazzy and I find suits the Summer season quite a bit. And Leo‘s brightness compliments the lyrics is about being happy when seeing the person you love. But BOL4 only makes up one half of the song. The other half is occupied with Baekhyun who sounds really sweet in this song. I don’t really have much to say about his voice. But I do find that his voice keeps the song grounded in a way, which was an interesting thought I had. It might have something to do with the contrast between BOL4’s high tone and Baekhyun’s deeper tone. When they sing and harmonise together, I find that they manage to bring the the floating feeling and grounded feeling together quite neatly, creating a very balanced atmosphere and relaxing in the song.

The video only features BOL4, who portrays that happy feeling that the song expresses. It seems like she is a homebody in the music video who doesn’t enjoy going outside. She keeps to herself and practically lives on her own. Not sure why she doesn’t leave her sanctuary. But she has her up and down moments living alone. She has her happy moments when she listens to the little stereo (which is how Baekhyun made a cameo in the video – without even appearing physically – I thought that was very well planned). But she has her low moments (i.e. when she was winding the wool and got board). A butterfly (i.e. something that she loves a bit) flew into her apartment and attracted her attention. From then on, she was quite happy. So happy that she followed the butterfly outside and enjoyed her time. I like how the video sends a simple message of that if you are with someone you love, it will make anything you worry or are scared about meaningless, allowing you to overcome that hurdle. Overall, a nice video.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Album Review] Self-Portrait (1st Mini Album) – Suho (EXO)

I guess you didn’t see this one coming. Another album review! And it isn’t a Sunday or Friday, which is when I usually publish my album reviews. Given that I had a day off work today and I didn’t want to fall behind in the schedule as I find a lot of albums recently released to be worthy of an album review. Today’s focus will be on Suho’s recent solo debut mini-album, Self-Portrait, which was released at the end of March. It features the title track, Let’s Love, which I reviewed on the same date of its release. Let’s see how the rest of the mini-album is.

Self Portrait Album Cover

1. O2 O2 opens the album in what I would describe as a spectacular manner. The start of the song really feels like an atmospheric piece that is very aesthetic, while the subsequent energy that comes from this song really wanted me to continue listening onto the album and is extremely thrilling. The combination of the rock band instrumentation, the heavy bass and the classical orchestra gives off a grand and epic vibe that makes it so appealing. Suho’s voice is very light in this song and just manages to be heard over the instrumental at the end. A fine track to begin the album off with. (10/10)

2. Let’s Love (사랑, 하자)Click here to read the full review for Let’s Love. (8.5/10)

3. Made In YouMade In You is a song for Suho’s fans. I thought his vocal style in this song was very nice and you can feel his intent to really want to connect with the audience through his voice. The melody that he sings was very pleasant and beautiful. The instrumental is more of a typical pop style, so there was nothing that special in that regards. But the drumbeats were very prominent and this made song captivating to me for a while. I don’t really have much else to say other than it is nice sound song. (8/10)

4. Starry Night (암막 커튼)Starry Night is a rock ballad takes time to build up to its final form. But it is a ride that I am willing to take again and again as one of the charms of Starry Night is essentially that music journey that Suho takes us in this song. At the start, the song keeps to that ballad side and driven by just piano. A band influence kicks in when he enters the chorus region. More of that rock influence comes in as the song progresses. Once we reach the final chorus, the epic vibes return as the song reaches the climax during this part. I also like how the song returns to how it started at the end, which gave it a nice ended. Suho also sounded very dreamy in the song. (10/10)

5. Self-Portrait (자화상) – The album’s title is Self-Portrait and is also the same name of the fifth track on the album. The song has a rock ballad-like instrumental and it had a very pleasant melody which I enjoyed. The instrumental was also very complementary to Suho’s vocals, which were quite blissful. The harmonies in the bridge with the backing vocals really helped bolden this rock ballad and I really liked the autotuned echo during the chorus. There is a sentimental feel to the song, which you also get from the lyrics as well. Altogether, the song came together quite nicely. (8.5/10)

6. For You Now (ft. Younha) (너의 차례)For You Now finishes the album with an piano dominant track. There is a bit more to the instrumental, but everything else sounded very minor to the piano. The song also features Younha, a well-known vocalist in the Korean music industry (I will get around to reviewing her comeback earlier in the year sometime in the future). I also find this track to be breathtaking. The two singers go extremely well with one another. Their harmonies blend nicely with one another. During their individual segments, there is a good sense of stillness that comes over me as I listen to the song. Altogether, it is a captivating ending to the album. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

Self Portrait Teaser Image

[Review] Let’s Love – Suho (EXO)

We kick off the new week with a solo debut that I am sure many fans will be overjoyed to hear about. I am talking about Suho’s return to the music scene with Let’s Love. For those who may not know Suho, he is the leader of EXO. Recently, the group was announced to be focusing on solo promotions this year and Suho’s solo debut would be the first of the many solo activities we can expect from the EXO members. We last saw EXO and Suho through their Obsession comeback in late November/December.

Let’s Love takes on the modern rock genre and it sounds amazing. There is a level of aesthetics in the sound profile to this song that amazes and floors me at the same time. And it is genre that I need to get back into as Let’s Love just shows me how blissful the genre can be. But enough about the genre. Let’s Love capitalise on Suho’s vocals, as you want to in a solo release. I have never really been a fan of Suho’s voice, as I do find it plain in most EXO’s songs. But here, there is a sense of balance that just makes his voice feels right. He doesn’t push himself too hard, which definitely compliments the softer rock style. His ad-libs are definitely within his range and adds that ‘main vocal’ touch to the song. My favorite part has to be the ending, where he sings in a very huskily manner, ‘You’re My Dream, You’re My Dream‘. The main concern I have with the song is its lack of a strong hook to really make listeners want to return to the song. There is a decent melody that makes me sway along to the music, but I don’t think it will serve in that purpose. But other than that, this is another great solo debut.

The song itself is about the desire to go back to a previous relationship. It talks about how his former partner completed him and how he followed them to get their attention at first. We essentially see the aftermath of the relationship, that period of desire in the video. Now that his partner had left, his world is barely nothing. We see his world is full of infinite darkness and the long concrete corridor extends further and further as he looks into the distance. But as they always say, there is light at the other end of the tunnel. And that is what Suho experiences at the end of the video, that there is that chance to go back. But that chance is reliant on that former partner. That is is my interpretation and understanding of the song’s lyrics and music video. Please note: I may be completely wrong (I have been told many times previously) and would like to hear what you thought the video. I thought the imagery was quite nice and the monotone colour palette to be very suiting.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist-Based Categories

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

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


Best New Male Soloist

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

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


Best New Female Soloist

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

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


Best New Male Group

Nominees: AB6IX, CIX, ONEUS, TXT, X1

WINNER – TXT
Honourable Mentions – ONEUS
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – AB6IX


Best New Female Group

Nominees: BVNDIT, Cherry Bullet, EVERGLOW, ITZY, PURPLEBECK

WINNER – ITZY
Honourable Mention – EVERGLOW
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – EVERGLOW


Best Band

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

WINNER – DAY6
Honourable Mention – N.Flying
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – DAY6


Best Vocals

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

WINNER – IU
Honourable Mention – Chen (EXO)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – IU


Best Raps

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

WINNER – Mark (NCT)
Honourable Mention – Zico
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Zico


Best Subunit

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

WINNER – NCT Dream
Honourable Mention – NCT 127
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – NCT Dream


Artist With Most Weekly KPOP Chart Wins

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Seventeen (5x)


Rising Star

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

WINNER – ATEEZ
Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – CLC


Most Underrated Artist of 2019

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

WINNER – Dream Catcher
Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – LOONA


Best Male Soloist

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

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


Best Female Soloist

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

WINNER – IU
Honourable Mention – Kim Chungha
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Chungha


Best Male Group

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

WINNER – EXO
Honourable Mention – BTS, ATEEZ
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Stray Kids


Best Female Group

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

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


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

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

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song-Based Categories

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

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


Best Special Performance

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Egostistic Cover (AOA) at Queendom


Best Concept

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)


Best Solo Choreography

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

WINNER – WANT (Taemin)
Honourable Mention – Gotta Go (Kim Chungha)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – LALALAY (Sunm
i)


Best Male (Group) Choreography

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

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


Best Female (Group) Choreography

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

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


Best Collaboration

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

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


Best Music Video

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

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


Best International Song By A Korean Artist

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

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


Best Official Soundtrack (OST)

This is not a fan voted category.

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


Most Viewed Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Goblin (Sulli)


Most Viewed Album Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – BXXX (Ha Sung Woon)


Songs With Most Win on Weekly KPOP Charts

This is not a fan voted category

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


Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Ten Nights (Mamamoo)


Best Album

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

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


Most Voted For Song of 2019

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)


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

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

[Album Review] Obsession (7th Studio Album) – EXO

EXO is nominated for Best Male Group, Best Music Video, Best Male Choreography. Baekhyun and Chen are nominated for Best New Male Solo, with the latter also nominated for Best Vocals. Finally, EXO-SC is nominated for Best Subunit. Click here to support EXO and its members in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. 

Despite being downgraded to 6 members due to military enlistment and Lay’s continuous Chinese promotions, EXO has remained strong through their latest promotions. The group returned with Obsession, the title to both their 7th studio album and title track. This is the group’s first comeback since their return at the end of last year with Love Shot (which is also eligible for Best Song of 2019 in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – see above paragraph). The group, however, has been active through individual and unit promotions. So let’s see what their comeback after a year offers.

Obsession Album Cover

1. Obsession (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Obsession. (8/10)

2. TroubleTrouble features a slight reggae beat and mixes it with some trap elements, resulting in an epic vibe. This also got me intrigued, as it merges two styles that we often hear in KPOP into one and the combination does come off as unique. I liked their approach with the chorus, sounding anthem like. But the song did feel weighted. While this isn’t an issue for some songs, the weight in Trouble made it feel slightly sluggish and takes away the energy that the song could have potentially channeled. (8/10)

3. Jekyll (지킬) – I really liked how sleek the start to Jekyll sounded. It really sets the mood and tone of the track. The suspense it built was awesome and the members sounded really good. I just didn’t see the chorus coming. It continued that sleek sound, but the vocals opted for shouting and a rougher texture. This kind of makes sense, as the verses would represent the calmer Jekyll, while the chorus changes to a scarier tone, representing Dr. Hyde. Overall, another unique sound. (8/10)

4. Groove (춤)Groove is not what I had expected. It opts for a jazzy R&B number when we arrive at the chorus, whilst keeping it more R&B centred during the verses. There was also a sensual vibe to the song, which I thought the group nailed very well. Their vocal work was really good, with Chen’s vocals being a definite highlight. Chanyeol and Sehun’s rapping helped give the song some rhythm, I also loved the flute and how it transformed the song without going for an extreme change. (9/10)

5. Ya Ya YaYa Ya Ya had a good feel to it. It is a lot brighter in terms to sound and tone, when compared to the preceding tracks on the album so far. And I liked this energy, as a result. The vocals in the background were nice, giving the song’s already upbeat 90s influenced instrumentation. Their vocals were nice (once again) and the rapping had a good push to it. But I don’t think it is the most exciting track on the album. And that has stayed with me since my first listen to the album on the day after it was released. (7/10)

6. Baby You Are – I think the vocal work shined the brightest in Baby You Are. The harmonies were top-notch, and the chorus was very smooth. The vocal work was also very complimentary to the instrumental, which was funky and groovy. It just felt weighted. This time, I use this word in a more positive context, as this allowed the song to match with the more mature and serious sounds we have heard on the album thus far. I did think the song was rather fragile, but the rapping really gave this song some stability and that fragility that I felt was no longer present. (9.5/10)

7. Non Stop – For a second, the piano at the started sounded like Non Stop was going to be a ballad. But within a split second, the song transforms into a funky beat. I also love the retro vibe that the song throws in, thanks to the brass and percussion. The ‘Hey. A Little Bit of Love. My Love Non Stop’ line is amazingly catchy. I think the song could have went a little further, giving us a stronger chorus. But the hook that we got did enough and it is another great song. (8.5/10)

8. Day After Day (오늘도)Day After Day is another song that showcases the group’s vocals, singing over a simple instrumentation that opts for acoustic guitar to be the main centerpiece. The song has a nice melody. Given what EXO has showed us in the past, the song obviously sounds very nice and pleasant. However, it just doesn’t sound as amazing as before. It just feels like something we have heard before and hence I don’t find it special this time around. (6/10)

9. Butterfly Effect (나비효과) – We end with another amazing track, featuring great vocals and appealing harmonies that hook you onto the song within the first listen. The instrumental for Butterfly Effect places the song into pop territory and everything sounds so smooth in this track. I also quite like the melody and the beat it had. And given its position at the end of the track list, I put this down as a hidden gem. I feel like any other description I give will not give it justice, so I recommend you listen to this track. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

Obsession Teaser Image

[Review] Obsession – EXO

EXO is nominated for Best Male Group, Best Music Video, Best Male Choreography. Baekhyun and Chen are nominated for Best New Male Solo, with the latter also nominated for Best Vocals. Finally, EXO-SC is nominated for Best Subunit. Click here to support EXO and its members in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. 

EXO is officially back with a brand new studio album and the title track, both titled as Obsession. It has been some time since we heard from the group, who have been reduced down to 6 members for this comeback as Lay is still promoting in China, while D.O and Xiumin have both enlisted into the military. It has been a slightly busy year for the group, with each active member focusing on solo projects. Chanyeol and Sehun debuted as EXO-SC, both Chen and Baekhyun made their respective solo debuts, Kai and Baekhyun debuted as part of SuperM. And now that EXO has regrouped, let’s see what Obsession (the song) has to offer.

Obsession bombards its angst and edginess right at you from the very first second and still, it manages to hook you on at the exact same time. The song is described as a hip-hop dance track. Despite its initial impression of being a completely new sound, I found the track to be very EXO as I listen to more of it. Obsession’s foundations seemed very familiar, reminding me of Monster in a way. What sets the song apart is the repetition of ‘I Want You’ that is heard throughout the entire song (including the chorus). It doesn’t get annoying and is well used to help the song become addictive in the few listens that I have given the song. The ‘I Don’t Think So‘ during the verses had a similar effect. The verses were actually quite cool, showcasing a powerful side to their vocal and rapping profile. The only part that left me shaking my head in a disapproving way was Suho’s part in the first verse. He didn’t sound right under any light. I really liked the chorus, even though it felt hidden in this song. It gave Obsession that melodic and smooth side, contrasting heavily with the roughness that we got in the verses. I don’t think I am obsessed with Obsession. But I think there is enough to make this one of EXO’s strongest songs yet.

I am quite sure, as you are reading this and that I am reviewing this comeback, eagle-eye fans are making some sort of theory video. There has to be some sort of storyline or meaning behind this very dark, intriguing and unique side to the group. All I know is that the members (EXO) are in a war with their other counterparts (X-EXO), as it was depicted in their teaser images. One side might show an obsessed side of the group (X-EXO), while the other shows a more sane side (EXO). I think at the very end, we see the obsessed side (X-EXO) win, as it burns up the planet and we finish with that look. I have to give props to their stylists for explicitly setting the two sides of each member apart in a very sophisticated yet extreme manner that makes the video become even more intriguing.

We don’t get to see much of the choreography in the music video, so I will return to the update the review once a full stage it out. But I found the moment in the music video to be very promising. I am definitely looking forward to the Kai and Sehun moment during the bridge. I also like the flowy nature that is alluded for the chorus.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance –  8/10 [Will Update Later This Week]
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Review] Jopping – SuperM

This has to be the biggest release of the week. After all, fans and the media are dubbing this as the Avengers of KPOP. SuperM has made their debut, consisting of many familiar faces. Featuring Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, Taemin from SHINee, Mark and Taeyong from NCT and Ten and Lucas from WayV (the Chinese subunit of NCT), this very special unit group has dropped their first single, Jopping. It seems like this is SM’s approach to the American market, especially with the growing fanbase for many male groups in the American market. So why not kick start the career of a new group in the Western music industry with the fanbases of four different and established groups?!

Jopping almost didn’t make the cut for a review. To this day, I haven’t reviewed any songs released in only English by any KPOP group. I am in the process of reconsidering, especially since I do Japanese music videos by KPOP groups. But that’s not the point here. Despite the song almost being in just English, there are a few Korean phrases scattered throughout. It is almost inverse of what we see in the KPOP industry (where the English phrases are the sprinkles instead). The title is a mash-up of jumping and popping, which I think makes senses with the song’s meaning of going all out on stage. Anyway, Jopping starts off true to the group’s nickname. It felt almost fitting for the Avenger’s soundtrack. It promised a fair amount of epicness and I think the song delivered this superbly as its progressed. The electro-pop track was fast tempo, powerful, impactful and very energetic. I think the track managed to showcase really good rapping and vocals from each member, with the two being massive highlights for me. I also like their rock ending, which I thought gave the song the chance to end with a bang. Overall, it is a memorable track and definitely one I will be listening to in the coming weeks.

The video manages to pull out some of the best special effects I have ever seen in the KPOP music video universe. You would expect the producers to do that when they are combining the forces of several of the popular KPOP groups in the world at the time. I did think some of them were questionable, such as the green screen stadium they performed in. Liked the idea but it felt cheesy. There is definitely a lot of tension and intensity in the video, matching the song in a very logical manner. A part of me wanted the producers to bring elements from NCT, EXO, SHINee and WAYV videos, which I think would have been a special treat for fans and made the video even more epic. But this is already as fantastic as it is.

With such an intense song, there was no doubt that the choreography would match this. There hasn’t been a live stage for this just yet (I am anticipating their Hollywood debut showcase but that won’t be for another two days where I am), so I am basing everything off the music video. The entire dance looked very cool, with the members looking almost like animals (I say that with total respect). Their charisma flows through. But that would be expected, especially since SuperM brings together some of the best dancers in SM Entertainment.

Song –  10/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.7/10