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!
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. Sweety – Sweety 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)
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
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).
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)
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
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 promotingLove 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
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
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 wasNavillera 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
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!!
The Seoul Music Awards is one of the award ceremonies held the year after for the year before. For example, the award ceremony for the 25th Seoul Music Award was held in 2016, but celebrates the flourishing artists of 2015. Understand yet? Well now that hard to understand concept has been dealt with, the 25th Seoul Music Award ceremony was held on the 14th of January 2016, in Seoul. It is said that this award ceremony is one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies for the year as it recognises the popular and talented artists of the year. Selection process for winners on the night are as follow: 20% mobile votes, 10% Popularity Polls, 40% music sales (both digital and physical album sales) and 30% judging panel’s scores. Only artists who released singles or albums in 2015 are eligible to win.
Like all ceremonies, a number of actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the event to give out awards. The night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, EXID’s Hani and Honey Lee. All artists that received the award on the night performed on stage (minus those whose awards were accepted on their behalf by label mates – Big Bang is who I am trying to refer to).
Just to recap the awards winners of the night: Bonsang Awards – EXID, Red Velvet, Taeyeon (SNSD), VIXX, Yoon Mi Rae, Zion.T, BTS, EXO, APINK, Sistar, Big Bang & SHINee.
Best New Artist – iKON, GFriend, Seventeen
Performance Award – Hyukoh
Best Trot Award – Hong Jin Young
Best RnB Award – Sane
Best Ballad Award – BTOB
Best OST Award – Jang Jae In (performed with Wonwoo (Seventeen) on the night)
Male Dance Performance Award – Monsta X
Female Dance Performance Award – Ailee
Mobile Popularity Award – Kim Junsu (JYJ)
Hallyu Special Award – EXO
Record Of The Year (Digital Release) – Bang Bang Bang (Big Bang)
Record Of The Year (Physical Release) – Kiss My Lip (BOA)
Daesang Award (Best Artist Of The Year) – EXO
The Bonsang awards seem to be more representative of the mainstream KPOP this year. Finally, Seventeen get their Best New Artist award that I think they truly deserve. Most likely they got it for their record breaking album sales. And finally some people decided to pay attention to BTOB. I am not technically fond of their ballads in the past year, but hey, it looks like South Korea is finally paying attention to them. Ailee’s award is one I am not exactly sure of. I don’t think it was the best dance performance of the year. I think that belongs to a particular rookie who was present on the night as well. Regarding Kim Junsu, who was apparently not invited to the ceremony despite winning a key award on the night, there is some shady business going on. But hopefully, when this matter is resolved, justice for Junsu and JYJ will occur. 2015 was a step forward for them, with the introduction of the JYJ Law.
Ailee should not have been pestered for the cameras catching her “on her mobile”. The netizens make it sound like she was too busy texting another person or was too busy looking at pictures of food. Put simply, she was just downloading an app to support SHINee and was later seen supporting Boa. People should really see the bigger picture (or in this case, wait for it) before making a big deal out it. Also, Boa’s award. Even though it was nice to see her win something, I agree with a lot of people who say she got the award just because of her senior status. It was her 15 year anniversary and she probably wouldn’t have received any award for her album if she debuted later on. Also, Starship should not deprive Sistar of any chances to get on the stage. They looked like they really enjoyed being there and were probably excited for their first stage together in what seemed to be 6 months.
Performance wise, I actually did not pay that much attention to the performances in this ceremony. Some of them were disappointing to watch, while others just did not appeal to me or make me want to watch. All I am going to say is the few that I did manage to watch (mainly the first half) were okay. Just minus the introduction for EXID’s performance. That was shocking. Stand out was probably GFriend’s intro. While their fan chant came to a close second. I don’t why I feel that way regarding the performances, I just was not feeling it. For the past few years which I have been watching the SMA ceremonies, their performances are by far the weakest of all ceremonies. Below I have put a handful of performances that I could quickly find into a playlist from the night.
Well, that is it for my wrap up of the Seoul Music Awards 2016. Hopefully, next year is better. Less controversy and better stages required to make this an award ceremony that I can look forward to.
The MMA or MelOn Music Awards were held on the 7th of November 2015. MelOn does not refer to the fruit but rather the music chart and on-line music store in South Korea. It is held by LOEN Entertainment, which owns the music distribution company. The music award has its own unique criteria where it only calculates digital sales of artists in the past year and incorporate these sales with on-line votes of fans.
The following artists, groups and actors attended the ceremony: Big Bang, Yoona (SNSD), Hyukoh, Hyorin & Dasom (Sistar) (did not perform), Toy (did not perform), APINK, Zion.T, Sane, iKON, GFriend, Mad Clown (did not perform), Hong Jin Young, BTS, Red Velvet, EXID, Monsta X, Winner (did not perform). Actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the night as presenters.
The show on the night was hosted by Yoo Byung Jae and Seo Kang Joon. They were shortly joined by Lee Boo Yi, Kim Shin Young, Kim So Hyun & Irene (Red Velvet). The red carpet was hosted by Youngji (Former Member of Kara) and Seo Yuri.
Below are the winners on the night. Afterwards, I have left some comments regarding some awards: Top 10 Artist – SHINee, Girl’s Generation, Hyukoh, Toy, Big Bang, Sistar, EXO, APINK, Zion.T, Sane.
Best New Artist – iKON & GFriend
Best Rap/Hip Hop – Mad Clown ft. Jinsil (Fire)
Best Ballad – Baek Ah Yeon ft. Young K (Shouldn’t Have)
Best RnB – Naul (Living In The Same Time)
Best Rock – Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer)
Best OST – Loco & Yuju (Spring Is Gone By Chance)
Best Trot – Hong Jin Young (Love WiFi)
Best Pop – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk)
Best Male Dance – BTS (I Need U)
Best Female Dance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Folk – 10cm (Sseudam Sseudam)
Best Indie – Standing Egg ft. Wheein & Obroject Yundak (The Sunlight Hurts)
Netizen Popularity Award – Big Bang (Bang Bang Bang)
Hot Trend Award – Infinite Challenge (Yeongdong Expressway Music Festival)
Best Music Video – Park Jin Young ft. Jessi (Who’s Your Mama?)
Song Writer Award – Teddy
MBC Music Star Award – EXID
1theK Performance Award – Monsta X
Album Of The Year (Daesang) – EXODUS
Song Of The Year (Daesang) – Bang Bang Bang
Artist Of The Year (Daesang) – Big Bang
I personally think above is a fair spread for award winners. While I am not knowledgeable to comment on categories such as Best Indie and Best Folk, the rest show 2015 in its glory. Once again, I think Seventeen deserves the Best New Artist award and GFriend finally got what they deserved (it’s a good thing. Kind of sounded like I was hinting at something bad). Sistar and APINK’s Top 10 awards caught me off guard since they were quickly taken over by other artists on the digital charts and failed to be up to par with the other artists. I am glad to see Kim Sung Gyu win something for his album. It was really good.
And as per usual, there were performances that night from the groups who won awards. Performers included: Hyukoh, Big Bang, APINK, Zion.T, Sane, BTS, EXID, Red Velvet, Monsta X, iKON and GFriend. It would have been nicer to see some more artists who won from the night perform. I think best performance of the night was BTS with their cool jackets that had light coming off them. A very large portion of the show was dedicated to Big Bang, which had people talking. Sure, they won a lot of award, but I agree with majority of the audience. Big Bang’s performances just made it feel like one Big Bang concert. Sure, they won prestigious awards, but it just robbed the other artists of their night, who also put hard effort into making 2015 their year. Would have I gotten angry over the fact they turned the award show into a mini concert? No, but maybe they should have dropped one or two songs.
Overall, I think MMA15 was pretty fair. They had a large variety of winners (mainly because they have a lot of categories) and minus that small complaint regarding the performances, the show was great. Oh, but damn was the presentation of the awards cringe worthy. Probably this ceremony takes the award for “Worst Presentation of Awards” award. Could have done it in a way where the presenters did not feel that ashamed of themselves.
2016 has started and we are already one month into the year. Damn time flies. And by the time you are reading this, we already be 1 and a half month in. Is that Christmas bells I hear in the far distant? Hahahaha… This is my revamped Rewind post for the month of January of the year 2016. Let’s go!
Probably the biggest news of the month is in regards to Tyuzu’s controversy in China. Now, while most of this is political, here is just a brief run down of what I know is going on. Tyuzu was seen on a broadcast holding a Taiwan flag and saying proudly that she is Taiwanese. China (and I say its people) did not like the idea and decided to censor her. She issued an apology, but some people think JYP forced her to do so, as now all his artists (GOT7 and 2PM were reported in the news) have been “shut out the country”. It has gone far as Twice’s stage being left out of the Golden Disk Awards when it was broadcast live in China, which for who do not know, is a Korean award show that was supposed to be held in China, but due to certain circumstances was moved back to South Korea. All I have to say is that she is probably now scarred for life. Everyone always talk about equality and to be proud of who you are. And sadly this is a reflection of how hypocritical the world is.
GFriend made their slaying comeback in January with Rough and have since been stealing all the music show’s trophies this week (which happens to be February, but since they officially made their comeback stages in January…). They have proven to be a powerful force and given that they only made their debut last year, makes this an amazing feat. Congrats 여자친구.
Other artists that made their comeback in January are: Teen Top, Dal Shabet, Zico (Block B), Stellar, Cross Gene , The Legend, Shin Hye Sung (Shinhwa) and many other artists.
Ryeowook from Super Junior made his official solo debut this past month (28th of January) with The Little Prince, a ballad. While quite popular, he is currently competing with GFriend on the music shows and unfortunately been placing second.
IMFACT is also another rookie group that made their debut on the 27th of January. Their song, Lollipop, is currently one of my most played songs and I am actually listening to this song while I am writing this. Hahaha..
Other debuts in the past month include: Yezi (Fiestar), SUS4, & CocoSori
I did ask you all which iKON song you guys liked the most since their debut. The results are in and the most liked iKON song is: Airplane and Dumb & Dumber. Both scored 25% of the votes. My Type, Rhythm Ta, Anthem and Apology all scored 13%. What’s Wrong did not receive any votes.
GFriend has made officially made their first comeback of the year with Rough. After collecting numerous “Best Female Rookie” awards, the girls are back and have hit the top of the charts with their new song, showing how capable they are at taking over the industry.
This is probably my most favourite track of the year (so far). GFriend has unveiled a really addictive and catchy song to listen to. It has been replaying on my phone and computer. It is the first song that I want to listen to when I jump on YouTube and literally the last song that I want listen to , just before drifting to sleep. The instrumental is just an amazing orchestra type of style, which if you don’t know, I tend to dig. It reminds me a lot of Me Gustas Tu, but with a more of a warmer feel. It truly does suit the season a lot. The vocal work of the band is a lot stronger and powerful in this song, and the balance between the vocals and instrumental is just perfect. It really gives off a sense that the girls have matured, since they are going for this more mature sound. I literally have no complaints with the song. The ending is abrupt, but it is the song’s charm. I personally feel like the clock ticking sounds were a little random, as they only appeared towards the end, but it finishes off the song quite nicely. Totally a fan and totally digging this song.
The music video theory is honestly a good one. If you have not heard, people are speculating that GFriend’s concept, school girl, is ending after this comeback. Why? Well, many people believe that Glass Beads is when the girls first started off with their schooling, Me Gustas Tu is when they are attending school (or in the middle of their schooling) and now Rough is the end (hence a lot of scenes of them leaving and reuniting/their mature sound). Interesting theory, but something that I am a little concerned about. If the theory is true, what concept will they attempt next? They have owned this concept and literally made it their own, so what will they rely on next? But this video was beautifully shot. The fake snow even looks so real in the video. The set is honestly amazing and realistic. Their shots in the outside was so beautifully done. Even the colour of the music video gives it that Winter feel and/or that really warm feel that makes the song so nice. And that teddy bear scene. Don’t leave him behind.
Honestly, GFriend has always amazed me with their dances and this one is no exception. The start where they unveil one member at a time can be described as genius in my book. The ending, where it looks like the evolution of man kind (okay, very bad example), looks amazing and fits in with the song so much.
Overall, this is by far their most amazing comeback to date. But I am 100% sure that the next comeback will wow me even more. Amazing! 10/10
Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
If You Do
Oh My Girl
Love Me Right
I Need U
Sing For You
Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
Like OOH AHH
Oh Um Ah Yeah
Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
Between Night n Music
Shake That Brass
Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
VIXX LR (VIXX)
Brand New World
Brown Eyed Girls
Ring My Bell
Donghae & Eunhyuk
Catch Me If You Can
Me Gustas Tu
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
Might Just Die
We Like 2 Party
Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
Ice Cream Cake
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
I Feel You
Wow Wow Wow
Junjin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)
And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!
A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.
AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).
015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 2 of the BOBs and part1 was released yesterday (Click Here). Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!
These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).
RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention
BEST MALE ROOKIE
Once again, 2015 saw many debuting groups enter the KPOP scene. And this category obviously allows me to pick who i saw as the best new male artist of 2015. And boy were the standards high this year. The nominees are:
I have to give it to Seventeen. They were the only new boy group on the block that left a massive long impression on me since their debut at the start of the year til now. At first 13 members may have sounded a little too much, but the songs they were releasing proved otherwise. Honourable mentions goes to Monsta X who only popped on my radar in the past few weeks. Yeah, their debut did not do much, but what they released after did a lot.
BEST FEMALE ROOKIE
Same as the above category, many new girl group emerged from the shadows and wowed a lot of people. Most not if all female rookies managed to amaze me and picking the nominees for this category had been one of the hardest things to do this year. The nominees are:
Hands down, it automatically goes to GFriend. As soon as they started, they had the press all over them and their comeback proved to be highly successful, ranking high on the charts. As for honourable mention… I am literally torn between Oh My Girl and Twice. Yeah, Oh My Girl did not do as well for this debut, but their comeback exceed my expectations so much (why? Find out later) but I am going to give it to Twice, as they have only released one song and also ranked incredibly high on the charts.
One of the things that make KPOP so unique is obviously the choreography and performances. And this year saw an amazing variety of performances and dances that made fans all for certain groups harder than ever. Each of the nominees that made it onto the list truly deserve to be the winner as they were all equally unique and amazing. I nominated:
Screw the MAMA awards. The male category was a mess for Best Male Dance Performance. However, I am here to fix it. I am putting BTS – Dope as the best dance of the year. Yes. BTS was not nominated at all and that is so disappointing. Dope was such as “dope” dance that was in sync and perfectly executed. As for honourable mention, GOT7 – If You Do takes it away. Though it was nominated, but it did not win. And I was incredibly disappointed. Anyway, I can say this: all of the nominated dances deserve an award.
Albums. Not my favourite thing to talk about. Mainly because there are songs on some albums that disappoint me, and hence I sometimes stay away from albums because of that. Each album is looked at as a whole and also each individual song is looked at in detail. I don’t listen to entire albums a lot, but here is a list of just some albums I did manage to listen to as a whole. The nominees are:
At of all of those albums above, there were two stands out. The winner was F(x) – 4Walls, their 4th album. I have to say each and every song on this album I adore to the point where all the songs on there have become more memorable than certain comebacks of big name artists. Honourable mentions goes to Brown Eyed Girls – Basic, their 6th full length album. The album came extremely closely to being the winner, but I do not personally feel the same level of excitement when I listen to the album.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Music videos per usual is an artists main form of promotion. And this year, the music videos released were to of an extremely high standard. Each of these music videos have some unique about them and that is what stood out to me. I chose these based on plot, cinematography, sets or scenery, acting (if applicable) and editing. The nominees I saw fit these categories were:
I think the simplicity was the key for me this year. G.Soul – You won Best Music Video in my point of view. There is essentially nothing in this video beside the singer himself and some lights. But yet it managed to become such an amazing video. Honourable mentions goes to FT Island – Pray. Their concept was so amazing that it was incredibly hard to pass up this video.
BEST FEMALE GROUP
Now let’s get down to business. I like to call this and the next category “the best artist of the year”. But since KPOP is highly populated with groups, I split them up into genders and call the categories “group”. The female groups this year have successfully wowed me (and probably everyone else this year), with many people being able to pick a favourite. The nominees for Best Female Group are:
I think I am going to agree with the ongoing trend and give it to EXID. From Up and Down, released last year, EXID shot into the limelight with a fancam of Hani and have since re-promoted Up and Down, came back with Ah Yeah and more recently Hot Pink. Each time they make a comeback, they go on to prove their popularity. As for Honourable Mention: Red Velvet. Their successful year yet, and I am 100% sure that better years will come. Ice Cream Cake and Dumb Dumb will remain as favourites for me.
BEST MALE GROUP
Now let’s move onto the guys. The competition was so tough this year. At first, I managed to list around 20 different male groups that I think deserve this award, but I only ended up choosing 10 nominees. It was so hard. But here are my choices:
I am going to choose GOT7 as the best boy group of the year. GOT7 released three songs: Just Right, If You Do and Winter’s Confession. Put together, GOT7 had one busy year and I saw a very large amount of growth in terms of the boys’ talents and sound. As for honourable mention, it would got to BTS. For this year, BTS has definitely matured and showed an ever fiercer and more powerful side of the group.
This category, each year proves to be my worst enemy. It is so hard to choose my most favourite song. This particular category is not influenced (in any way) by the charts that I am releasing tomorrow. The “best song of the year” chosen here are like my subconscious mind speaking, whom I really want to see be given the title. The charts tomorrow are more calculated and take into account my reviews during the year and what my current thoughts about them are. But as I said choosing this category is the hardest. So many songs deserve this title and if I could choose to give out multiple “Best Song” awards I can. The nominees are:
Let’s start with the honourable mentions: GOT7 – If You Do, Oh My Girl – Closer, EXID – Hot Pink & Seventeen – Mansae.
And finally, I give to you, 2015’s Best Song of the Year, which you can probably tell already by the video linked below.
EXID – Ah Yeah
Congratulations, EXID. 2015 has been proven to be your year. You can watch the music video for this year’s Best Song below!
And that is it for Part 2 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, for the End Of Year Charts. And then, lets all wait for the New Year to come rolling through? Got your New Year’s Resolution yet?
*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.