[Review] Blossom – Eunha (GFRIEND) & Ravi (VIXX)

It has been a while since we heard a collaboration. It seems like this isn’t going to be a recurring thing in 2019, based on the number of collaborations thus far in the year. However, we were provided with some relief with the release of Eunha and Ravi’s collaboration for Pepsi last week on the 11th of April. This is also the second year in a row that Pepsi has asked KPOP idols to come together for a collaboration, with YDPP and WJMK releasing two songs last year with Pepsi at the forefront of both videos.

Despite the visuals of the music video, Blossom is not necessarily that cutesy love song that you are looking for that companies have utilised in their campaigns. This style would obviously not suit Ravi, as per his husky vocals and usually hard-hitting rap style. Instead, Blossom is a subtle pop track with a lot of sweetness mixed into it to make it appropriate for Spring. I really like the rolling drum beats in the moments that the song is building up, which gave the song a sharp incline to the chorus. Other than that, the instrumental was rather light and calming. I also liked the whispering at the start of the chorus, which I thought was rather sleek. While we all know that Eunha is a vocalist (I really liked her in the first verse. The melody was also quite nice) but it was surprising to hear Ravi sing for his chorus and some of his verse. I also like how his rapping wasn’t as hard-hitting as based on his solo and VIXX works. Rather, it was well tweaked to fit the light nature of the song. It felt like I jumped around between different aspects for this part but overall, the song was quite nice. 

Based on the video, cherry blossom season is in full swing. And the video takes full advantage of the pretty sights. The song ‘cheers on young people to achieve their dreams and also their pursuit for romance’ and we get to see those two sides in the video. Ravi is an aspiring artist, while Eunha is auditioning to be an idol. The two do face some hardships but manage to push through. And in the midst of their slumps, they meet each other and become interested. Some awkward meetups happen and they end up dating one another. And it is incredibly convenient that Pepsi sponsors their entire romance storyline. Hahaha…

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

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[Review] Flower – GFriend

It has been a while since I wrote Japanese review despite the influx of Japanese songs by Korean artists. I will try my best to get around to them (I hope). To re-kick things off (hopefully) is GFriend’s third Japanese single, Flower. For those who are wondering, Memoria was their first original Japanese track and first Japanese single, while the Japanese version of GFriend’s Sunrise (their Korean title track from earlier in the year) served as the second single.

Flower starts off miles away from a typical GFriend song. The song opens up with a very strong tango presence. And I quite like this. The song then loses this tango sound, evolving into something along the lines of GFriend that we know of. However, the tango comes back once more for the dance break, which I am so glad hangs around for a slightly longer period than any of their recent tracks (I am deprived of a long dance break from the girls). What makes this track even nicer is that while they do lose that tango sound, they manage to keep the momentum up with some orchestral pop and really keep things upbeat. I thought their vocals were quite refreshing and each member was extremely clear. So big ticks in that aspect. My favourite part has to be the second half of the chorus, as I found the ‘Piriririri’ and the ‘Surururu’ to be extremely addictive. I think the winning element has to be the instrumental but everything else was pretty good as well.

The music video featured a lot of nice colours. It was very vibrant and really matched the upbeat vibes of the song. The comments on the YouTube video also suggests that some of thr patterns and the fabrics are from other countries and cultures. So to think that this is a very multicultural music video makes me very happy. As the song titled Flower, flowers themselves also make a presence in this music video. The best flower in the entire video has to be the flower mural in the background of the choreography shots!! Overall, a nice video to watch with the song.

I also really like the choreography. Of course, the winning part has to be during the start and dance break (i.e. when there was some tango in the song) but the chorus dance was equally as pretty.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Album Review] Time For Us (2nd Studio Album) – GFriend

The album review is for today is on schedule!! Woo!! Today’s album review is focused on GFriend’s latest release, Time For Us. The group made their comeback last week with the title track of their 2nd studio album, Sunrise. The new album also features the Korean version of the group’s latest Japanese single, Memoria. There is a fair bit to get through, so let’s get cracking!

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Time For Us Album Cover

1..Sunrise (해야) (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Sunrise. (9/10)

2. You Are Not Alone – I personally think this track could have been a potential contender for the title track. It is quite up to par with Sunrise when you think about it. It is vocally driven, and the instrumental adds a dynamic dimension to the song. I really like the rock elements in it, despite it being what I would consider a relatively pleasant sound. Together, there is a very interesting depth to the song, which makes the song very interesting. Those ad-libs at the end are phenomenal and its melody was a standout. All of this contributes to the album’s first perfect score. (10/10)

3. L.U.V (기적을 넘어) – There were certain moments of the song that I quite liked. And then there were moments that I thought the song was a little too typical. The verses are an example of the great parts. They featured this hip-hop vibe in, which I thought was a unique touch as it doesn’t really conform to a lot of their previous work. The rapping was my highlight for the song, basically for the exact reasons mentioned. The chorus was my pick for the typical moment. Following the verse, the chorus took a very melodic route that I thought was rather safe and didn’t really carry the same vibes over. (7/10)

4. GLOW (만화경)GLOW, to me, does what the title suggests. The song does glow extremely brightly with its cute voices for the chorus and an instrumental that does pop out. Throw in a catchy melody and you pretty much have a winning formula. I find the song suitable for all climates as it showcases a warming vibe for the colder months but also a refreshing vibe for the hotter months. The only thing that does let me down is the sudden ending. (9/10)

5. Our Secret (비밀 이야기) – Opening up Our Secret is a very addictive high pitch whistle synth, which I really like. It pulled me into the song straight away. The vocals were quite nice, giving the song a lot of different appealing factors to really grab onto. The chorus itself felt fun and energetic (in a subtle way), which was another element that I liked about the song. Altogether, the song was a gem itself, earning the album’s second perfect score. (10/10)

6. Only 1Only 1 doesn’t offer much within the verses. It felt rather typical and didn’t stand out. The first half of the chorus also shared the exact same feeling. But it is the second half of the chorus that really draws my attention to the song, as there was a choppy effect that I have never heard of before. While this does sound rather messy, it works extremely well and felt just right for this song. I thought the instrumental was nice, especially around the bridge of the song. (7/10)

7. Truly LoveTruly Love brings back the cutesy sound in their voices and this gives the song a sweet vibe, which I thought was rather pretty. The song also allows for the focus to be on the vocals with its minimal instrumentation. I like the chorus of the song. It isn’t as strong as their previous tracks on the album, but it was rather pleasant. The instrumental was also another likeable element to the song but I am not really sure how to describe it. (8/10)

8. Show Up (보호색)Show Up has this aesthetically pleasing vibe surrounding some bits of the song, which I find to be quite interesting. It is the rap-speaking verses that I find very intriguing as it isn’t something you hear all too often, especially from GFriend. Unfortunately, the rest of the song felt like a standard pop song, losing that unique touch. The only other memorable part is the second half of the chorus, which was quite memorable. Everything else just didn’t really felt appealing. (7.5/10)

9. It’s You (겨울, 끝)It’s You is a good song but it isn’t their best. It is another passable song on the tracklist as there really isn’t much development to the song, where stillness might be its biggest charm. But as a result, the song doesn’t become appealing due to its lack of momentum. I did like the soft R&B style that they went for and there was a slight warming touch, thanks to their vocals. (7/10)

10. A Starry SkyA Starry Sky is a soft pop ballad that showcases the best of the member’s vocals. The instrumental is very calming and soothing. The harmonies were equally as nice. And like most ballads that I enjoy, there is a slight swaying effect to this song. But that is basically it to the song. To me, there really isn’t much else to discuss regarding the song. (7.5/10)

11. Love Oh LoveLove Oh Love takes me back to their debut days. The song just gives off those vibes and I thought was rather cool. There also seems to be a girl group retro influence in the instrumental of the song. I thought the vocals were amazing in this song and managed to give a pretty and freshening characteristic to the song. I like the chorus for its pack of energy and catchiness. I also really liked the ending of the song. (9/10)

12. Memoria (Korean Version) – I previously reviewed the Japanese version of Memoria. Click here to read the full review of Memoria. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

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Time For Us Teaser Image

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[Review] Sunrise – GFriend

Here is a ‘Sunrise’ that you do not need to wake up early to be able to experience. Today, GFriend made their comeback with Sunrise, the title track off their second studio album, Time For Us. This is the group’s first Korean comeback since Sunny Summer and their first release since the group made their Japanese debut with Memoria and Time For The Moon Night.

I think the major attraction for the Sunrise title track is the vocals. Despite it having GFriend’s signature sound, the song focuses squarely on the vocals of each member. No one sounds overshadowed and stands out all in their own way. But the biggest highlight for the song comes at the very end when they pull off high note after high note to give the song that spectacular climax and ending. Normally Yuju handles these notes but this time around we see Eunha take the reigns. I personally like that rush of energy we get at the end of the song, which really makes the song feel suspenseful at the end and this obviously would go well with the vocals. I also liked how they put the instrumental break at the end of the song, rather than earlier (as this would have made them out of breath for the rest of the song and this could potentially ruin a live performance). I also found the chorus to be extremely catchy. Overall, another great song from the female group.

Based on some of the images we see in the music video, it seems like the music videos for Sunrise and Time For The Moon Night are connected. To quickly recap, we found out that Eunha had died at the end of the latter’s music video (as opposed to my original theory) and that she could only be seen during the night. In Sunrise, we see a lot more scenes during the start of the day. Prior to the Sunrise, the members could see Eunha freely but once Sunrise occurs, she disappears (whilst also taking a chunk of cake). This barrier upsets the members and it seems like they all end up dying to be with Eunha (i.e. they all reunite during the day at the piano which Eunha is playing at). Putting the stories together, I see how well thought out all of this was and I really like that. I also liked the visuals of the members throughout this video.

There seems to be a cutesy element mixed into the performance, which I quite liked. I also really like the elegant lift of Yuju at the first chorus. I also liked the pre-chorus movement, as that looked quite cool. And per usual, the dance break at the end was awesome, sealing the deal as another amazing GFriend dance.

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

[Review] Wow Thing – Seulgi (Red Velvet) x SinB (GFriend) x Kim Chungha x Soyeon ((G)I-DLE)

I am going to take deviate away from ROOKIE WEEK a little more and publish a review for a brand new release. It is the next song in the Station x 0 project which boasts collaborations such as Taeyeon & Melomance, Baekhyun & Loco and Chanyeol & Sehun. But this new release, Wow Thing, probably has the most powerful female lineup any collaboration has ever had. We have Seulgi from Red Velvet, SinB from GFriend, Kim Chungha and Soyeon from (G)I-DLE coming together, so be prepared!

I really like the feel of the song and its presentation. But it is one of those songs that I can’t really gather many thoughts for. The instrumental does set the scene up for the song but it doesn’t really drive the song. Instead, the song uses vocals. Very powerful vocals to drive the song forward and deliver us a very strong track. When they sing together for the chorus, I thought the atmosphere was amazing and very attitude-heavy. Before we go any further, let’s us to take a moment to appreciate Kim Chungha’s vocal abilities. Like how come I don’t know of this? Her solo work doesn’t let her vocals shine, as compared to this song. Soyeon’s rap was also equally as powerful. The is quite catchy and memorable for a number of reasons, some of which I have specified above.

The music video is your standard music video. Nothing too special about it. All four members are present for this collaboration music video, which I guess is a plus. I feel like they could have made this louder if I was int he director chair. I think that would have been more interesting and fun. Though I would have to keep it from going overboard, in order to fit the message of the song, which is about making a strong and confident first impression. The music video did feature some choreography during the chorus and bridge. All looked good and I felt like the attitude was channelled well through their dancing.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

[Review] Memoria – GFriend

This is probably the fastest time I have ever done a review for a Japanese release from its release date. GFriend recently made their Japanese debut with their Korean hit Me Gustas Tu (the Japanese version, of course!) and now they have returned to Japan with their first original song, Memoria. While its music video and full song were released together on YouTube this week, it will officially be out in October. I personally do not know how the Japanese music industry work but since everything I need to write a review is available, let’s get stuck right into it.

Memoria is a little different from their previous Korean songs. Their Korean title tracks have been mostly upbeat and more youthful sounding. Memoria goes for a complete changeup, opting for a more emotional and mature sound while having a slower tempo. It is quite nice, the soothing nature of the song, making this very appeal for my taste. I do find the song somewhat a little too typical of some Japanese releases but that is a common case with most Japanese releases. What I really like about the song’s instrumentation is that while it was soothing and beautiful sounding, there was room for their signature electric guitars during the bridge/climax of the song, which is very GFriend. The vocals in this song are also excellent, as the slower nature allows for the vocals to be prioritised. Overall, their first original Japanese song is definitely one to remember.

I thought this was a very nice music video. The golden colour palette felt very fitting for the nature of the song. The music video seems to show the members struggling through their lives. I think the main point is that each member is lonely but I think injuries, body image, artistic block and other issues were touched upon. At the climax of the song/video, we see each member has a friend, while the other is sleeping, meaning that they still have a friend. Once the member sleeping wakes up, they realize this and starts running to each other, with the ending showing the regrouping of the members. It is definitely a good concept fitting for GFriend.

I thought the choreography was rather nice. We don’t get to see too much but what we could see seemed very graceful, which I think is fitting for the group’s image. I did like their purple outfits during the choreography scenes as they were rather striking.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Album Review] Sunny Summer (7th Mini Album) – GFriend

Two weeks ago, GFriend made their Summer comeback with Sunny Summer. The song features on the mini-album of the same name. Interestingly, the mini-album is also marketed as the girl’s 1st Summer mini-album, which alludes to the fact that there may be more in the future, which definitely sound very interesting and super exciting. But today, we are here to delve a little more into their Sunny Summer mini-album, so let’s just do that!

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Sunny Summer Album Cover

1..Sunny Summer (여름 여름해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Sunny Summer. (7.5/10)

2. Vacation – Fitting neatly into the Summer theme of the entire mini-album, the song starts off with sounds you would commonly associate with the beach. It develops into a very bright song and it is the type you expect to be the soundtrack of a holiday music video that KPOP does a fair share of. It is a catchy and lively song, especially with the cute way they spell out the word ‘Vacation’ at the end of the choruses. It also features nice vocals which makes it a very pleasing song. (7.5/10)

3. SweetySweety has a pop sound but it features a very quirky instrumental that is full of various synths and effects that really make it different. These differences occur at varying tempos allowing for a different atmosphere to be present in almost every different section of the song. I must admit the chorus was a letdown, as I didn’t mind it that memorable/catchy. So the saving grace for this song was the instrumental. Vocals were good, overall. (7/10)

4. Windy Windy (바람 바람 바람) – Initially, the song started off with a soft sound but within seconds the song transformed into this upbeat sound. It did end up feeling like a typical pop song from a girl group but there was an unknown element that managed to make it one of the better songs on the album. I did like the melody of the song, but I found the chorus to be quite masked and mashed into the verse, which was a little confusing. Once again, I liked the vocals and really liked the transition between the bridge and final chorus of the song. (8/10)

5. Love In The Air – I think the girls saved the best for last. I really enjoyed how smooth the song was and how it managed to flow overall. There is a nice melody and the instrumental made the song feel promising. It became quite dynamic towards the end (with a number of synths/effects to give texture but maintaining that smooth element. The vocals also contributed to this smoothness, which made it quite memorable. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10

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Sunny Summer Teaser Image

[Review] Sunny Summer – GFRIEND

Joining the Summer rush is GFRIEND with their summer track, Sunny Summer. The track is featured on their 7th mini-album which also shares the same name as the title track. This Summer comeback comes right after GFRIEND made their comeback in May of this year with Time For The Moon Night.

The first time I heard the song I thought it was a very mediocre song. There wasn’t any special with the song, going with a very normal pop-styled Summer instrumental. But with a few more listens, I find the song quite good in some aspects despite my initial thoughts remaining. The pre-chorus was a section of the song which I liked quite a bit and it did its job of hyping the song to the chorus quite well. The chorus was equally as good with the ‘Yeorum Yeorum Hae‘ entrance my favourite moments of the entire song. I also like how the song focuses more on their vocals this time around, allowing us to hear more of their talent. Other than that, the song didn’t really reach out and it failed to capture my attention. It is still a good song but not their best.

Despite being a fitting music video for the song, I find the idea of shooting a Summer video indoors quite unconvincing. And there have been many fantastic studio-shot Summer videos that looked quite good. Just I never had the opportunity to touch upon it. There is also a number of retro/olden day references throughout the video, like Eunha’s impersonation of the video, the quote at the very start of the video (seems to be Old English/Shakespearean-like) and the silent films’ way of telling us the sound in the video (‘Door. Bang’ at 1:48 of music video). I am not exactly sure of the context behind these shots but they must have some meaning!

Unlike all of GFRIEND’s title track performances, this one is a little more cutesy and lacks any dance break, which I look forward to in each comeback. Hence, I found it a little lacklustre. I did like the fanning during the chorus but other than that, it was an okay performance.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.1/10

[Album Review] Time For The Moon Night (4th Mini Album) – GFriend

GFriend made their comeback a few weeks back with their 4th mini-album and their title track, which are both named Time For The Moon Night. While they have officially wrapped up their promotions already, it doesn’t mean I can’t give them an album review. So here it is! (Per usual, I did not talk about the intro track and the instrumental of the title track).

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Time For The Moon Night Album Cover

2. Time For The Moon Night (밤) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Time For The Moon Night. (8/10)

3. Love Bug – To me, this is the hidden gem of the track list. I love the addictive nature of the song, which can be owed to its catchy chorus. The first half of the chorus featured vocals and the second half featured the ladies rapping, which isn’t something that you hear often when it comes to GFriend. And while the rapping does steal the show, there is awesome vocals, particularly in the second half of the song. The opening disk scratching effect is very misleading, despite the song falling towards a retro sound. I also liked the hollow metal drumbeats, which made the instrumental ear-catching. (9/10)

4. Flower Garden (휘리휘리)Flower Garden takes on an orchestral sound, which gives way to a remarkable song with a few epic moments. If you have been following my site for a while now, you know I have a soft spot for songs with amazing orchestral instrumentation and I clearly fallen for this song. I liked the incorporation of the electric guitars in the bridge and the ending felt like a musical ending. All the vocals were amazing in this song. (9/10)

5. Tik Tik (틱틱) – It is another bright song that suits the group. There were retro vibes at the very start and the instrumental sequence at the end of the song, which I thought was great. But while it seems okay at first, the chorus takes a somewhat unexpected turn. While the song does flow well, it seems like the verses and the choruses were from different songs and smashed into the song. I have to give props to the production for making it work. Their vocal work is nice (but it isn’t their best on the album). (8/10)

6. Bye – This song serves as the ballad on the album. While the instrumental and vocals were nice, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting song on the album and was also the most skippable track. I did, however, think the harmonies and when all the members sung together were highlights for the song. (7/10)

7. You Are My Star (별) – Like in the previous track, I liked it when they all sang together for the chorus. The alternating vocal and rap lines were very strong moments of the track. The track did feel quite linear (which may be its one downfall) but the happiness and gracefulness in their vocals do make it up. Overall, it was a great ending to the album. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Time For The Moon Night Teaser Image

[Review] Time For The Moon Night – GFRIEND

Making their comeback today is GFRIEND with Time For The Moon Night. This is the title track and title for their 6th mini-album, which I yet to decide whether I will be writing an album review for (the highlight medley sounded really good). Hands up if I should!!! 2017 was a very busy year for the group with hits like Fingertip, Love Whisper and Summer Rain.

Time For The Moon Night initially felt very underwhelming. It just lacked energy in my point of view. But after a couple of listens, I think it is safe to say that Time For The Moon Night is definitely growing on me. Joining their usual dance side with classical-based instrumental, the group managed to showcase great vocals from each member. Yuju’s high note was superb. The chorus is still growing on me but there is definitely a nice ring to it. I like how Eunha sang the first part of the chorus at the start but it had a completely different feel, which was definitely interesting. Also, the lyrics take on a very depressing note. The song is described as being about thinking about a lover during the night. To me, it felt like the members were wondering about their friendship with this person who is no longer by their said (for unknown reasons). Do check out the lyrics to the song when you get a chance to listen to the song and see what you think of it. Overall, it was a nice song to listen to.

I think watching the music video first influenced my take on the lyrics. We see Eunha spending a lot of time alone during the video. This may be because her friends (the other members) all left here (for unknown reasons) and she imagines them being there. Sowon kisses her on the head when she sleeps like how someone would say goodbye to someone (and no, it isn’t a good night type of kiss). Eunha realizes she is alone at 3:23 of the video and the members are shining a light into her eyes but she is unfazed (they are also outside). That is my take on the video. I actually thought the dried up grassland was a nice place to set the video, with the room’s colour matching the colour of the grassland. Overall, it is also a nice video to watch.

I love the start of the performance with Eunha facing the front and the others are in the curved formation that shows the ascending moon.  The chorus was quite fast-paced but their moves remained graceful. Just mildly disappointed by the length of the dance break just before the bridge (which has always been my favourite part of the performance).

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

[Review] Summer Rain – GFriend

GFriend has made their return with their repackaged album for Parallel, which has been titled as Rainbow. The girls were last on stage a month ago promoting Love Whisper. This time around, their lead title track is Summer Rain.

Summer Rain, in my opinion, takes a step back from the girl’s usual style. I say that because the song lacks intensity and focuses on a more ‘innocent’ sound. Why do I think that way? The lack of electric guitar is one the one thing that got me from thinking that. Despite the group already mastering the innocent concept, the infamous electric guitar has always been featured in their title tracks and that provided a blast of intensity. Instead, for this song, the intensity seems to be spread evenly throughout the song through the more orchestral based instrumental. Their vocals, which is quite good here, also lends a hand in that aspect. That is just my rough analysis/thoughts and comparison to their past songs (and by no means am I an expert in music, so that could all be wrong). Overall, I like the song because it is different (though the electric guitar will be missed). I think the sample that they used gave a bitter- sweet sound that almost reminds you of rain droplets, which matches the song quite nicely.

The music video, like the song, was captivating. I felt drawn to the music video due to the music. While it doesn’t seem that different compared to other GFriend music videos out there, their concept was quite nice. The pairing of the two could be described as refreshing almost. The video features the girls waiting for their special someone to come but towards the end of the video, each of them realizes that special someone isn’t going to come for them, leaving the girls standing in the rain alone. I think it is a video done right for the song.

The choreography is quite nice. The music calls for a softer side of their choreography and that is exactly what you get. Some of the moves, from the music video, (what I think) were ballerina moves. You can also tell that they elegance is portrayed through to the dance as well. The ‘flower ending’ looks very nice and has become my favourite part so far (and I haven’t seen a full performance yet!).

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

[Review] Love Whisper – GFriend

GFriend is back with a brand new Summer time song. It has been three years since their debut and each of those three years, there has been Summer comebacks from these girls, Me Gusta Tu and Navillera. Is it me, or are they slowly becoming the Princesses of Summer with their comeback? Joining the GFriend Summer lineup is Love Whisper, the title track off their 5th mini-album, Parallel.

The girls with a sweeter sound with this comeback. While the group have had successful singles in the Summer, this one sounds less dynamic and intense as their previous tracks. While there is a GFriend sound to this song, it seemed a lot weak and I can’t help but be disappointed with that (for now). There didn’t seem to be much of a hook to the chorus, which did leave the song hanging. The verses didn’t seem memorable, as well. They, instead, bring out the guns towards the end of the song, when it came to the bridge and final chorus. But then, it was too late to have an impact on the rest of the track. Let’s move onto the better parts of the song. Per usual, the short instrumental break for the infamous dance breaks was included and I thought that alone brought more impact to the song than the other parts. Their vocals seemed really consistent throughout the song, which was something I liked. There is a fresh and vibrant sound that suits the Summer season very nicely, which I liked as well.

The music video seemed a little interesting. The girls find an old radio under the bed and go on an adventure to figure out the source of some sound. Why? That makes it interesting. I guess they heard some sound (i.e. the love whisper) and wanted to know where it came from. In the end, it was a butterfly, which told them there was a tape in the radio. Now, that was pretty disappointing. But it gave a nice touch to the story. What drew my attention of the video though was how it reminded me of the music video for Me Gusta Tu. The scenery and the countryside really do take you back to memories from two years ago.  What I thought was even better was their choreography scene, where they danced in water. It seemed unnecessary in this video, but I can’t help but think how empty the video would have been without it. They are known for their complicated dance moves and if they can pull off this choreography well in the water, I think that gives more than enough reasons to include that in the video.

Just the small snippets alone shows the complexity of the dance. The heel dance move seems hard to pull off in the midst of everything else (Refer to the 1:36 part of the dance and focus on their feet for a few seconds). And when it comes to GFriend, you can’t miss out on the dance break. It looks impressive and 10 times better with water spraying about in the music video.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Review] Fingertips – GFriend

GFriend has officially returned with a more confident and mature image. GFriend is probably most well known for their school trilogy, which ranges from Glass Bead to Rough. Their most recent comeback was Navillera in July of last year.

When I first listened to the song, I wasn’t that amazed by it. I thought it was kind of childish and unsatisfying. It also has an entirely different sound to their typical songs, which made me sceptical with their latest comeback. But once again, I gave it a few extra tries. But then those initial feelings were just lost and I fell for the song. It is incredibly catchy. The “Tang Tang Tang” chorus entrance was fantastic and it just made want even more from the song. I loved the mini rap line that Umji received. GFriend hasn’t really rapped before in any of their title tracks in the past, so it caught me off guard. Sure, their previous songs didn’t and probably wouldn’t need a rap sequence. But I was blown away with that one line. I wasn’t much of a fan of Umji’s singing vocals, but everyone else sounded amazing. The track is a lot stronger, regarding sound, which is something that I think made the song sound quite epic. The instrumental of the song delved into the funk genre. The guitar riffs are something that I noticed in the song and once I picked up on those riffs, it genuinely felt more like a typical GFriend song. (The girls have used guitar riffs before, especially in the instrumental for their dance breaks). I would have liked an added layer of epicness to the instrumental break for their dance break. In the song, it felt so sudden and would have been nice if there was a bridge between the song and the dance break. Overall, another amazing song that GFriend can add to their portfolio of hits.

I had to take a step back when I saw them bring out the guns in the teaser. The concept of the video felt so foreign but at the same time, felt very fresh for the girls (and probably much needed). I think the video alludes to the old friendship between them. Throughout the video, the girls seem to battle it out in gun battles that highlighted the intensity between the girls. Eunha is the hunted one. Sowon and Yuju are hunting her down. SinB and Yerin are protecting her (or also hunting her down). Umji seemed to have moved away from the group. At the end of the video, we see the clock hands move backwards and we time travel back in time to when the girls all used to friends. Not sure if that is the actual plot, but that is what I got from the video. The space setting made the video look quite cool. I know this sounds sad but the highlight of the video was definitely any choreography scenes in the mirror set. It looked fancy and impressive. And it seemed to be very matched the video’s concept quite nicely.

I really liked how they incorporated the guns into their choreography. Sounds very shady but it gave a nice tough vibe. There was also parts that did seem a little cute, but I don’t know if that was intended to be perceived that way (or I have an odd definition of cute). Their dance break, once again, amazes me and is the one thing I look forward to with every GFriend performance.

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

[Review] Navillera – GFriend

GFriend has returned with their first album. The girls are currently the hottest trend in South Korea and have confirmed their popularity with the release of Rough at the start of the year. Now they are back and are looking to further cementing their title as one of the most popular groups in South Korea at the moment.

Initially, the song felt quite dead and boring. It really did not yell out GFriend or sound as similar to their previous 3 songs. However, after listening to multiple times, the song has grown quite  a lot. To the point, where it claimed 4th place on my weekly charts. For a song that I did not quite get for most of the last week, it rose pretty fast towards the end of the week. Anyway, the song is really good. I love the “na-na-na-navillera” part of the song. So catchy. I would have liked it more if the chorus had some sort of bass or some other instrument to make it “heavier”. The vocals were great, though I felt at times during the song, it felt quite flat. But what we have already sounds amazing and I really enjoy listening to the song. The instrumental itself is pretty good as well. The start sounds a lot like Infinite’s The Chaser. Is it just me, when it comes to that observation? And I think I have figured out the formula for GFriend’s successful song. Each of their songs has allowed for an instrumental break. This gives the girls to showcase their moves while on stage, but also hype the crowd with what is to come (i.e. the high notes).

This video reminds me of Me Gusta Tu quite a bit. Not that is a bad thing because this video is shot in a completely different style and manner. Both videos showcase the girls having fun with each other. The other video followed their school trilogy, while this one shows a much more mature look and rollerblades. I love how one girl sings, and while the girls have fun, it spans to another member to sing the next line. Okay, it sounds terrible in words, but it is as if the camera is a person looking around the room and seeing the next member sing each time. Not fond of the home video concept, though. There is also an air of mysteriousness that hovers around the video, though I am not really sure why I have that feeling and why that is the case. Everything else looks quite polished, but those scenes filmed with the home camera (back in the day) kind of ruins that feel. But I guess it fits with the retro vibe the song had going. Overall, I think it is a great video which gives off a fresh feel, well fitting for the season of Summer in Korea.

The dance was a little underwhelming. I think the chorus could have followed on with their previous dances. Each of their previous dances has had a memorable dance move, but this one doesn’t have one. Or I have yet to see one that I can associate with this song. But that dance break was amazing. I love GFriend dance breaks. They look so cool and it shows different sides to the group that we do not commonly see.

Before I leave, these girls have basically started the new trend of dancing to songs at 2x the speed. Did you guys see their latest Weekly Idol appearance where they danced to Navillera, Glass Beads and Me Gusta Tu at 2x the speed? Amazing.

Final Rating – 8/10

Rewind: February 2016

Welcome back to another monthly rewind. February is officially gone and it went super fast (despite it having an extra day, as this is a leap year). Before we all know it, March is gone and April passed us like the wind. Let’s get started shall we?

Major News

I think there are two major news that we need to cover. One that talks good about one band, and the other isn’t that good. But bad publicity is good publicity right?

GFriend made their comeback at the end of January 2016, but managed to sweep the charts with their newest mini album and title track, Rough. And when I mean “sweep the charts”, the girls stayed at the top  of the digital for over hundreds of hours, a proportion of those hundreds of hours were actually perfect all kills (which are apparently extremely hard to get, but the girls did it somehow). This led them to win their first music show trophy since debut and they managed to do pretty well. And when I mean pretty well: Triple Crown on Show Champion, MCountDown and Inkigayo, 4 trophies on Music Bank and 2 on SBS The Show. That is a lot. Their hard work has finally paid off, with the help of their fanclub and fans.

In other news, Beast is in the limelight for the wrong reasons. Hyunseung was caught falling asleep during an interview, which disappointed fans and garnered a lot of criticisms. Falling asleep in an interview seems a little too much my opinion, but it just shows how tired they artists are with multiple schedules in one day, concerts, comebacks, practice, interviews, the lot. Junhyung also saw some criticism when he failed to attend a fanmeet due to sickness, but somehow managed to attend his friend’s (Jung Joon Young) birthday party. While it was cleared up with Junhyung, Cube Entertainment and Jung Joon Young each making a statement saying how he came for only a few moments, just to drop off a present. Honestly, some people need to give these guys a break. Sometimes, you need to take a sickie (or sick day) just to go somewhere or to relax and take it slowly. So why are these people so annoyed with that, when they probably do it too, when everything becomes too overwhelming?

Major Comebacks

Number of groups made their comeback this month. 4Minute, Winner, Mamamoo, B.A.P, Taemin (SHINee), NU’EST, Rainbow (even though some are speculating this will be their final release) and many other smaller, rookie bands.

Major Debuts

Astro is the first group that comes to mind with their debut this month. Actually, it is probably the only group that debuted in February that I have reviewed thus far. Their title track is Hide & Seek.

AOA has been around since 2012, but they recently debuted a brand new subunit called AOA Cream. Odd name for a subunit though. Chanmi, Hyejeong and Yuna make up this group. They made their debut with I’m Jelly Baby.

Polls

I am skipping polls this month as I am a little busy. I will be able to write about one of the polls that I have made in next month’s review.

Top 5 Songs of The Month

  1. You’re The Best – Mamamoo (reviewing coming soon)
  2. Feel So Good – B.A.P
  3. Whoo – Rainbow
  4. Hate – 4Minute
  5. Galaxy – Ladies Code

Just a small note: I have started university again, so the rate at which reviews come out will decrease dramatically. And I have to go in everyday, so it is going to be hard to make some time.

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

Probably one of the biggest award ceremonies for music and also probably one of the most prestigious, the 30th Golden Disk Awards (GDA) was held on the 20th to the 21st of January 2016. The GDA was supposed to be held in China but was moved back to South Korea due to the recent earthquakes that occurred there just 1 or two weeks before the scheduled event. Even though many people were shocked and feared the award ceremony would be either postponed or cancelled, the ceremony went off without a single hiccup and was broadcast live in both Korea and China.

What I like about this particular awards is that is focuses on both the physical albums and downloaded songs of the year. In other words, more awards for everyone. It is also nice to see who excelled in what (hahahaha…). The digital awards were handed out on the 20th of January, while the physical album awards were handed out on the 21st of January. The award show on the first night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Kim Jong Kook and Seohyun (SNSD). The second night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Leeteuk (Super Junior) and Krystal (F(x)) I have recapped the award winners on the two nights below.

Disk Daesang (Album Of The Year) – EXODUS (EXO)
Digital Daesang (Song Of The Year) – Loser (Big Bang)
Disk Bonsang (Best Artist) – APINK, VIXX, F(x), BTS, CNBLUE, Jonghyun (SHINee), EXO, Beast, Super Junior
Digital Bonsang (Best Artist) – Red Velvet, EXID, AOA, Zion.T, Park Jin Young, Sistar, Taeyeon (SNSD), Kyuhyun (Super Junior), Big Bang, Girl’s Generation
Best New Artist – GFriend, iKON, Seventeen, Twice
Popularity Award – SHINee
Best Rap / Hip Hop – SanE
Best Rock – Hyukoh
Global Popularity Award – EXO
Best Group Vocal Award – BTOB
Best Solo Vocal Award – Jung Yonghwa (CN Blue)
Best Male Artist Award – Big Bang
Best Female Artist Award – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Next Generation Star Award – Monsta X

Once again, this wide spread of award winners seem to be more representative of main stream KPOP. Not that I am complaining. Most of the award recipients were similar to the Seoul Music Award 2016, however a lot more artists won in this ceremony, since their was more rewards. Not that I am being a hater or anything, but Kyuhyun’s bonsang award seems a little far fetched. From memory (correct me if I am wrong though), his song never charted high on the charts and likewise Super Junior barely makes an impact on the digital side of the music industry. So I am a little suspicious of how he managed to get an award for a digital bonsang. Saying that, he did sell a lot. Like a lot on the physical side. But beside that, I think it was a nice range of artists who won and I think it is accurate (as in which artists managed to shine the brightest in 2015).

I really need to think of ways to start off the different sections, but once again… I think out of the all the ceremonies that have already been broadcast (NOTE: I am typing this prior to the Gaon Chart Awards), GDA has the best performances. Why? Because many of the artists performed multiple songs and I really enjoy how some artists (or their producers) integrate different songs together. GFriend, Red Velvet, EXID, Seventeen and BTS had the best stages on the nights. Some artists performed some songs that were released in the past (in previous years, such as EXID’s Up & Down, VIXX’s Error, Sistar’s Touch My Body etc.), which I kind of liked, but, the songs were released last year… so maybe a little outdated. But overall, the performances, I think, were to a very high standard and pleased me (*points at myself* and *acting as the biggest critic of all time*).

Below are just the few performances that I found and slapped together in a playlist format in no particular order.

For a last minute change to the ceremony, it managed to do pretty well in my books. Awards, performances. Everything was just great. There is one more to go of this season’s award ceremonies, which will be coming out in the coming days. Until then, bye!!