[Review] Uh-Oh – (G)I-DLE

Also returning today is (G)I-DLE, with their latest digital single, Uh-Oh. We previously saw (G)I-DLE through their Senorita promotions back in February this year. However, it felt like they just release Senorita a few weeks back. So my initial feelings regarding the comeback were that it was so soon. Not exactly sure why this was the case but I guess that goes to show how much their previous comeback has grown on me. Let’s see if Uh-Oh will be able to have the same effect.

Uh-Oh takes on a hip-hop sound, reminiscent of the 90s era. There is a lot of aspects like the disc scratching and urban beat that makes it fit perfectly into this era. I also really like the use of violins in the instrumental, which I find to be quite cool and it gives off an epic vibe. I thought Soyeon’s opening vocals were surprising, as I am more used to her rapping. I find their vocals to be quite strong, as they do a good job of filling up the more minimal sections of the instrumental. Soyeon’s rapping is undeniably fire, like always. And the track is quite catchy, ticking boxes that we always knew that (G)I-DLE would have no hard time doing. I want to stay on that point, however, as it may sound like the group is going all over the place with their different sounds for each comeback. But there are a few aspects that make me think otherwise. LATATA does have a hip-hop feel to it, though it might not be explicitly showcased. So I feel like Uh-Oh is a nice revisit to that side. But more importantly (and I know I have mentioned this for a number of recent comebacks), the song contains attitude, which is definitely a (G)I-DLE characteristic. The songs that (G)-DLE already have under their belt are loaded with sass and attitude, which makes this track ideal to continue their portfolio. 

I like how (G)I-DLE channels the 90s hip-hop scene very well. It is a bold video as a result, which is an indication of a successful video. The start did seem like the television/VHS effect that I remember so fondly from that period of time. The use of bikers in the video was ideal and very intimidating, with the backup dancers doing a good job of continuing this intimidation. However, as expected in KPOP, you would expect a splash of colour. So their outfits (whilst still fitting into that era) and bouquet of flowers on the hummer helped offset that by a bit. I also like the underground hip-hop scene that they end the video with. Quite a cool video, overall.

Like the song, there is attitude to the performance, which makes it extremely fitting. I like how bold their outfits are. Given how conservative the Korean public is, I don’t think this would sit well with them. But it is a concept that works in my eyes, and I think we won’t see much of a change despite any forthcoming backlash. I thought the moves were cool, especially Soyeon’s dance break in the middle of today’s performance.

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

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[Album Review] I MADE (2nd Mini Album) – (G)I-DLE

(G)I-DLE returned last week with their brand new single, Senorita, which is featured on the group’s 2nd mini-album, I Made. Today, we will be having a closer look at the album and the other tracks that are present alongside Senorita. But if you don’t want to read the full album review, I got you! Just a very quick summary of the review before we get started – everything is fantastic. Not one bad song present, so the album gets my nod of approval (and that ‘Recommended’ sticker below). But if you want an in-depth dive, continue reading below!

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I Made Album Cover

1..Senorita (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Senorita. (8.5/10)

2. What’s Your NameWhat’s Your Name stands out for its heaviness. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I cannot pinpoint any song with a heavy instrumental like this (i.e. it is somewhat refreshing). And as the song is quite heavy, they didn’t too much to the instrumental to give it an overpowering effect. Instead, I liked the EDM drop, which gave the song some nice texture and energy at the same time. The build-up was also memorable, partly due to the vocals as well. While we already mention vocals, I thought that they stood out based on this element alone in this song. Their vocals were quite simple, but it managed to work well with the instrumental. Likewise, the raps also get the same comments and I think the more melodic approach with their delivery in time around. (8.5/10)

3. Put It Straight (싫다고 말해) – (G)I-DLE’s approach to a ballad is very interesting. And it is the style that I am very into. The first thing that grabs your attention is their vocals. All members take a husky and low tone vocal approach, which I think was amazingly done. I liked how the music worked alongside the members. Usually, the instrumental is laid down first with the vocals following. But for this song, particularly the verses, the instrumental moulds itself around the vocals. Their vocals also seemed to be emotionally driven and with further inspection, the song talks about loneliness in a relationship. But when you read the English lyrics of the song, you just can’t help but notice how eerie the song sounds as a result. (9/10)

4. Give Me Your (주세요) – Once again, the group changes up style with this song. Give Me Your shares the opposite feeling to the previous song, reflecting upon one’s feeling to their partner. And with that, the song takes a brighter tone, which I much appreciate. The style they went for reminds me of the folksy songs that IU releases every now and then. Once again, no rapping in this as rapping would fit this folksy style. Instead, all the members opt for vocals Soyeon does get close to rapping, but it stays close to her preceding vocal section. I personally don’t mind the song but it isn’t my cup of tea. (8/10)

5. Blow Your Mind – When Blow Your Mind first started, it felt like a very straightforward and serious R&B track. Minnie does a good job of making us think this way. But once the song picks up and the chorus kicks in, the song seems to get a retro influence in the instrumentation. The ‘You You You… Oh Oh’ repetition (my favourite bit of the song) that follows the chorus gives it a quirky nature, becoming the second unexpected changeup. Soyeon returns to rapping in this song and manages to slay her lines remarkably in this song. Once again, I think this was an amazing ending to the album. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

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I Made Teaser Image

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[Review] I Wanna Be – Key (SHINee) ft. Soyeon ((G)I-DLE)

As of yesterday, Key (from SHINee) enlisted into the military to begin his mandatory enlistment. But he didn’t part without releasing some new music. I Wanna Be, which features Kim Soyeon from the girl group (G)I-DLE, is Key’s newest release and serves as a parting present for fans. It is one of the three new songs on the repackaged album which shares the same name as the lead title track. The album was formerly known as Face and it featured One of These Nights (ft. Crush) and Forever Yours (ft. Soyou).

I Wanna Be is a very refreshing pop dance track. I say refreshing as I haven’t heard anything like this before. The instrumental carries some familiar EDM influences but together it sounds like something quite new. There is this slight vibrating synth that I find extremely appealing. I also enjoyed the pulsing beating during the verses, which later became more frequent and bolder during the chorus. Talking about the chorus, I wasn’t sure exactly when it begins. I assume it was when the song became upbeat but the preceding section felt like the start due to the vocals/lyrics. So I am going to label the preceding part as the pre-chorus. I found the pre-chorus interesting as it seemed to feature a female voice behind Key’s. Not exactly sure if it Kim Soyeon’s but I thought the harmonies were really nice. Key’s voice is amazing in this track. I think we can all agree that he has vastly improved since his earlier days. Kim Soyeon’s part was very flowy and I like that a lot. Usually, we see her with intensity, and while I do prefer that, it is nice to see her handle something more delicate.

I really like colour, so I enjoy seeing used in a way that is stylish and sleek. So I appreciate a very vibrant looking video. I Wanna Be‘s music video is essentially that. The use of red and green in their respective sets look amazing and gives off a bold impression. This causes both Key and Kim Soyeon to stand out through the video, which I thought was a great way to really allow them to pop and not become part of the sets. Other than that, I am keen to learn more about the content of the video. He holds the globe in his hands and there were a series of numbers that flash over the TV screen in the video. I don’t know what this all means but it left me intrigued.

The dancing in this video is pretty amazing. Particularly the dance break that follows the choruses. His footwork (or rather knees) look very cool. It is a little disappointing that we won’t see an actual live performance (or dance version) of this track any time soon.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Review] Senorita – G(I)-DLE

Last year’s monster rookies have returned with their first comeback of 2019. G(I)-DLE was thrown into the spotlight thanks to their catchy LATATA debut track and continued their popularity with the unique Hann (or Alone). Now, the girl group from Cube Entertainment has returned with their second mini-album, I Made, and the title track, Senorita. Since their last comeback, the group received multiple Rookie of the Year awards, while Soyeon has been busy with collaborations including Wow Thing! (with Sin.B, Chungha and Seulgi) and SHINee’s Key’s upcoming solo release next month.

Given the title of the song, it was expected the comeback will be with Latin flair and that is exactly what we got. The song opens with a very obvious tango influenced sound and this continues throughout the song. I thought the brass in the instrumental was very delightful and adds colour to the already colourful genre that they went with. I enjoyed how the rapping was incorporated into the song, with the verses becoming very sensual with the paced delivery. The chorus had catchy hooks but my favourite would have to be the Senorita and brass combination. Interestingly, the bridge and end of the song contained very little lyrics. Only a repetitive ‘yuhuhuhuu’ was utilised. Not sure why this was the case but it did have charm. The only thing that I wanted more of was a buildup. There seemed to be a suspense-building pre-chorus but I thought a stronger buildup would have made their chorus more explosive.

The music video is quite dangerous. You can say that the girls made you sweat a little through their very close brushes with death in the video. I guess the sweat suits the heated genre of music they selected and the near-death experiences were great to get the attention of the person they are singing about. Once again, I thought the colour within the video was really nice and that applies to both their outfits and sets. I also did notice some product placement within the video with the Kaja cosmetics. It was very difficult to see but after rewatching a few times, it appeared quite frequently.

I thought the performance was very suiting for the song. They went with moves that we commonly associate with the Latin genre and tango itself, which I think was smart. They didn’t necessarily do it a cliche way and mixed over moves into the choreography as well.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the first section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best New Groups, Best Female and Male Groups and many others.

Each category will have a WINNER (the artist/group that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best New Male Group

Nominees – ATEEZ, NOIR, Stray Kids, The Boyz, UNB

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WINNER – Stray Kids
Honourable Mention – The Boyz
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Boyz


Best New Female Group

Nominees – fromis.9, (G)I-DLE, IZ*ONE, LOONA, NATURE

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9


Best New Soloist

Nominees – Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), LONGGUO, SOHEE (ELRIS), Yuri (SNSD)

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WINNER – Yuri (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Leo (VIXX)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Dong Han


Rising Star

Nominees – (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Pentagon

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland


Most Underrated Artist of the Year

Nominees – A.C.E, CLC, N.Flying, KARD, Snuper

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WINNER – KARD
Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – N.Flying


Best Unit Group / Subunit

Nominees – EXO-CBX, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Oh My Girl BANHANA, SNSD-Oh!GG

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WINNER – EXO-CBX
Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – NCT 127


Best Male Solo Artist

Nominees – Eric Nam, Hwang Chi Yeul, Jung Sewoon, Samuel, Seungri (Big Bang)

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WINNER – Seungri (Big Bang)
Honourable Mention – Eric Nam
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Eric Nam


Best Female Solo Artist

Nominees – BoA, Hyolyn, Kim Chungha, Sunmi, Taeyeon (SNSD)

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WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Sunmi


Best Band

Nominees – DAY6, IZ, N,Flying, The East Light, The Rose

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WINNER – DAY6
Honourable Mention – The Rose
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – DAY6


Best Raps

Nominees – B.I (iKON), Ilhoon (BTOB), Jooheon (Monsta X), Mino (WINNER), RM (BTS)

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WINNER – RM (BTS)
Honourable Mention – Mino (WINNER)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Jooheon (Monsta X)


Best Vocals

Nominees – BOL4, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeul, Mamamoo, Minseo

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WINNER – Mamamoo
Honourable Mention – BTOB
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Best Male Group

Nominees – BTOB, BTS, EXO, GOT7, iKON, Monsta X, NCT, NU’EST W, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, SHINee, VIXX, Wanna One, Winner

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WINNER – BTS
Honourable Mention – SHINee
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – iKON


Best Female Group

Nominees – AOA, APRIL, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

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WINNER – Red Velvet
Honourable Mention – BLACKPINK
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Artists Who Topped The Weekly KPOP Charts The Most in 2018

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Monsta X, Seventeen & Sunmi


And that completes the Artist Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Song Categories will be unveiled shortly and you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[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] HANN – (G)I-DLE

Prepare yourselves as this year’s monster rookies are making their first ever comeback today. HANN, which translates to Alone, is the first digital single released by the girls. This comes after the group dominated charts with their debut track LATATA a few months back, which directed a lot of attention towards the group and earned them a very large following.

HANN is one interesting song. I think the expectation was for the group to come back with a similar track to LATATA to consolidate their following and position within the industry. So, it was a little shocking to hear a completely different sound. HANN is a lot less in-your-face that LATATA, opting for a melodic approach for their chorus. I personally do not find this song as catchy as the hook doesn’t seem to be that strong. But who knows, maybe the song will grow heavily on me as time passes. However, it is how exotic the song sounds that makes me drawn to the song. The track seems to be Latin-influenced unlike any other we have heard thus far. The verses had this tango vibe to it, which I liked. The rapping was awesome and the vocals were decent. I particularly like the verses, especially the way Soyeon started off the song (that tango vibe was amazing!). A little unexpected but still a decent step forward.

The first thing I thought of in this video was vampires. I liked the concept a lot and this is definitely an amped up version of Volume Up (by the now disbanded Cube Entertainment girl group, 4MINUTE). I like the dry setting where the video was set (though I am thinking it was shot in a studio – but it is the idea that counts). I liked the overload of charisma the girls had which really paid off, for me at least. Overall, the video showed off a very strong side of the girls without the need for a powerful song, which was something I liked.

The music video showed a few scenes of choreography, which I thought were quite good. Per usual, I liked how it was incredibly fitting for the song. There was definitely a consistent exotic vibe throughout their choreography, which they also had going on during their debut video. Might need to wait for a full performance but I think it is it going a smashing performance.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

 

[Special] Personal Favourite Songs from the First Half of 2018

With the first 6 months of 2018 officially over, it is time to look back at my personal favourite songs from the first half. Last week, I recapped the top songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts. But some songs that I personally liked didn’t really make that list. So here are 15 songs released over the last 6 months that are my personal favourites AND continually listen to (irrespective of the charts and the reviews – as opinions do change).

[Album Review] I Am (1st Mini Album) – (G)I-DLE

(G)I-DLE is definitely this year’s monster rookie. Despite only just debuting, the ladies have already won a handful of weekly music show awards and have definitely already made a name for themselves in both domestic and international markets. They are still promoting at the moment and are still being nominated left, right and centre.

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I Am Album Cover

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

2. $$$ (달라 )$$$ is a great continuation of the hip-hop genre that is (G)I-DLE is clearly owning. One of the first things that is most apparent is that the song feels like it is a mashup of multiple songs. Despite that, the song flows neatly and there are no overlaps to create awkward moments. The song has amazing hooks and the differing styles between parts make it memorable. The rapping was pretty good in the song. I think the major issue is that while they had strong moments, it felt short-lived with the constant changes. I wished they continued with the strong moments rather than cutting it up. (8.5/10)

3. MazeMaze is a R&B track infused with their hip-hop styles mentioned above. Honestly, I liked everything about the song. I really liked the instrumental of the entire track, including the very end, which I thought was extremely dynamic. The explosive nature of the chorus really gives the song some energy, which goes well with their softer guitar verses. Both the rapping and vocals were on point. I cannot fault this at all and is my favourite track off the album. (10/10)

4. Don’t Text Me – While the song takes on the R&B genre, likes its predecessor, it is a lot softer. It also has good rapping and vocals here. The instrumental reminds me of R&B back in the day but the use of synths really gives it a modern feel. You can also describe the instrumental as smooth with the synths added some texture. It does get a little dry towards the end but it is another great song from the group. (9/10)

5. What’s In Your House? (알고 싶어) – The song opens with a funky and groovy beat, which features the extremely catchy ‘What’s In Your House‘ repetition. It is another R&B track but I find it extremely soft to the point where you can include this in a café’s playlist.  The rapping gives the song some texture and also prevented it from becoming too boring. The bridge was a complete slowdown (which I am not really a fan of) but they managed to recover the energy by going back to the catchy hook. (9/10)

6. Listen To Me (들어줘요) – Here we have the one song that conforms the album to a typical girl group album. The presence of the mandatory ballad. I am not disappointed by it, however, as it does show that the girls can be versatile. The song showcases amazing vocals and harmonies from each member (including the rapper). This makes the song captivating and end the album on a soft yet delicate note. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.8/10

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LATATA Music Video Picture

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[Review] LATATA – (G)I-DLE

There is a new girl group in town. (G)I-DLE, which has been shortened from GIRL-I-DLE, is the latest girl group from Cube Entertainment, which houses KPOP idols such as Hyuna, BTOB, CLC and Pentagon. Their debut single is LATATA, which is featured on their first mini-album titled as I Am. The group consist of 6 members: Miyeon, Minnie, Soyeon (who has debuted as a solo artist and participated in Produce 101 Season 1), Soojin, Yuqi and Shuhua.

It seems like Cube Entertainment has taken notice of the disappointing performance of CLC’s cutesy tracks that they started off with. LATATA takes on a more fierce and strong sound, which aligns well with the more popular and successful sound that is garnering CLC attention at the moment. It starts off with a very minimal instrumental but quickly builds up to the intense chorus. I find the way they sang the first verse very interesting. And while it was interesting, it also did capture my attention. While the chorus wasn’t that strong in my point of view, I am enjoying the post-chorus instrumental, which is definitely the catchiest moment of the song. The ‘LATATA‘ part of the chorus seems okay but I am unsure whether it will grow on me or not. The vocals and rapping were quite good. I really liked the combination of the two during the bridge of the track, which was a great moment for the song.  Overall, LATATA seems to be a strong track for a debut and it definitely puts the girls on the map, in my opinion.

The music video seems to be a weak point for this debut. It feels very typical and doesn’t really offer anything new to get the audience’s attention. Like the visuals are nice and the members all looked good. But I expected something a little more from the background that would have either enhanced the member’s visuals or enhanced the song. None of that happened in the video. Instead, we see a lot of overused sets and some cheesy acting (though the acting did add a twist to their strong and fierce concept).

The post-chorus instrumental featured some nice choreography. It was probably their strongest part as well. The rest of the performance was okay but it just doesn’t live up to the same standard as the post-chorus choreography.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10 
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.1/10