[Special] Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2017

Can you already believe it? That we are already in July. Half the year has gone by and it felt like a blur. A lot has happened in the last 6 months that has just past. So, as a treat, I have decided to compile a list (my top 10) of the songs from the first half of 2017. There is no ranking or charting system that has allowed me to come up with this list (though, you might notice it may correspond with the Weekly Charts that I publish every Sunday). This is all just my personal preference and it is simply my opinion. So, in no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 10 songs from the 1st half of 2017.

Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen

Hwi Hwi – Laboum

Never Ever – GOT7

Beautiful – Monsta X

I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Don’t Recall – K.A.R.D

Beautiful – Pentagon

Hobglobin – CLC

Dance Dance – DAY6

I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

 

 

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[Album Review] Girl’s Day Everyday #5 (5th Mini Album) – Girl’s Day

I have been focusing on doing a few album reviews lately. However, the majority of them were albums from boy groups. I have been wanting to do an album review for a female artist or group, so when Girl’s Day confirmed their comeback, I knew it was the one. This is their fifth mini album and the fifth in the Everyday series. This is also their first comeback in nearly 2 years.

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Girl’s Day Everyday #5 Album Cover

1..I’ll Be Yours (Title Track)click here to read the full review for the title track, I’ll Be Yours (9.5/10)

2. Thirsty – First impression told me that this was a good track. It is something that you would find as a B-side of a really popular artist in America. The instrumental has a nice electronic synth that makes it addictive to listen to. The repetitive clicks and synth work really well with each other. And they work well with the vocals. Thirsty isn’t necessary a powerful sounding track, but their light vocals somehow manage to pack a punch. (9/10)

3. Love Again – This is a very interesting song. I am glad they picked this song as their other promotional track because it shows a more vocally talented side of the group. The instrumental is quite simple, with a simple yet amazing guitar sound. But what stole the show for me were the vocals. As mentioned, it showcased their vocals. Everyone sounded amazing. But the member that stood out the most was Sojin and her high pitch lines. The way they manipulated her voice is perfection to my ears. It is harder to describe her vocals in this song, but do check it out! (10/10)

4. Kumbaya (Come By Here) (Sojin Solo) – Finally, the forgotten vocalist of Girl’s Day finally has a solo track to her name. Once again, it is a simple ballad. But the way Sojin sings it makes it many times better. Her ad-libs sound amazing. It is another song that makes me sway along and fall into the music. The song also managed to leave an impression on me. Not sure if it because it is the first track where Sojin shines or of the nice melody, though. (10/10)

5. Truth (Minah Solo) – I am literally shaking from writing this review because as I listen to each song, I am blown away. Minah’s solo manages to blow me away even more. It is yet another ballad, so no surprises there. But unlike their other ballads on this album, this one has a more grand and orchestral instrumental. They also incorporated electronic synths in the song, giving it a modern feel. But we can’t proceed without mentioning Minah’s breathtaking vocals. It is REALLY breathtaking. Was  I too subtle with that comment? (10/10)

6. Don’t Be Shy – The final song on the mini-album is a dance song. It brings Yura and Hyeri back into the track list and gives a more upbeat ending to the mini-album. The song also manages to showcase their vocals. The auto-tuned was probably not needed but they don’t get in the way. The build-up to the chorus is amazing. I am not too sure how to describe the sound of the song. But the instrumental uses the marching band sound as its basis and then adds extra electronic synths as layers on top. You can tell from it that the song tries to sound powerful and tough, but it misses the intended sound by just a fraction. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.5/10

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Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

 

[Review] I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Girls Day has been absent from the scene for nearly two years. They last time they were promoting was for Ring My Bell, their second full-length album. Now, they are back with their latest mini-album, Everyday 5, and the continuation of their Everyday series. Their title track, I’ll Be Yours, joins past hits like Nothing Lasts Forever, Twinkle Twinkle, Something and Darling.

I read somewhere on the Internet that this song oozes attention. And I totally agree with that statement. All elements just grab your attention from the start. As soon as you start listening to the song, there is no break from the energy that they pump out in the song. From their powerful vocals to the incredibly bold instrumental, there is just no stopping it. You may think that I am biased here, but I am not. This is what I felt when I heard the song. The piano usage in the song sounds like it could be annoying, but it works really well in this song by providing that striking element that grabs your attention. Throw in the amazing guitar at the chorus, and it just makes the already strong track even stronger. And I love the instrumental. I described the vocals of the track as powerful before. Minah’s short section at the end of the chorus is a prime example of the powerful nature of the vocals. But if I were to be somewhat critical with this track, it sounded like they pushed their vocals towards breaking point. Their vocals were superb, don’t get me wrong. It just sounds like a long rest is needed after promotions wrap up. If I were forced to wait another 2 years to hear a track that keeps you on the edge of your seat, just like this one, I would gladly wait. I think that summarised my opinion of the song quite nicely.

Matching the song, the video is equally as strong. The video shows Girl’s Day as strong women (at least, that is what I think it shows). Minah makes the first move by leaving her shoe (quite subtly, might I add) behind. Sojin is confident in front of all those men. Hyeri isn’t afraid to knock one out. And Yura… plays the piano so confidently, she set the guys on fire and also the piano. Not sure what she is doing there… The members each look amazing. The video uses colours to highlight the beauty of each member and also provide a level of boldness in the video. Some of the sets looked really cool (especially the choreography ones). But besides that, I don’t have much more to add to the video part of the review. I would have loved it if there was more to the video, personally. But what they have provided here has been more than enough for both the songs and our viewing pleasures.

The dance, on the other hand, was amazing. It starts off sensual and then it just kicks down the door when the chorus comes on. I personally love the dance. They are stomping around and showing off their toughness, while also their feminine side at the same time. I thought those chairs were a nice addition at the start, but their use at the end (where the backup dancers stand on top made) the ending look a whole heap cooler.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

 

End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

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 :).

1 Ah Yeah EXID
2 Paradise Lost Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
3 If You Do  GOT7
4 Closer Oh My Girl
5 You G.Soul
6 Love Me Right EXO
7 I Need U BTS
8 Sing For You EXO
9 Shake It Sistar
10 4 Walls F(x)
11 Dumb Dumb Red Velvet
12 I Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
13 Like OOH AHH Twice
14 Oh Um Ah Yeah Mamamoo
15 Mansae Seventeen
16 Just Right GOT7
17 Crazy 4Minute
18 Insensible Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
19 Run BTS
20 Yey Beast
21 Between Night n Music B.I.G
22 Shake That Brass Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
23 Hot Pink EXID
24 Beautiful Liar VIXX LR (VIXX)
25 Brand New World Brown Eyed Girls
26 Ring My Bell Girls Day
27 Hurt Locker Nine Muses
28 Growing Pains Donghae & Eunhyuk
29 Run Away Royal Pirates
30 Black Swan Rainbow
31 Congratulations DAY6
32 Catch Me If You Can SNSD
33 Me Gustas Tu Gfriend
34 The Answer Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
35 Dope BTS
36 Pray FT Island
37 Cinderella CN Blue
38 You’re Pitiful Fiestar
39 Hopeless Love Jimin (15&)
40 Bad Infinite
41 Might Just Die History
42 We Like 2 Party Big Bang
43 Chained Up VIXX
44 Fire Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
45 Bell Bottoms PSY
46 Ice Cream Cake Red Velvet
47 Break Ya LU:KUS
48 Kontrol Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
49 I Feel You Wonder Girls
50 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).

Ring My Bell – Girl’s Day

Girl’s Day is another girl group that has been added to the endless list of Summer comebacks for 2015. The girls have returned with their second album titled as Love and their title track is Ring My Bell. This is their first comeback since Girl’s Day released I Missed You in October(ish) last year. Minah also made her Minah’s Solo as a solo artist in March. Hyeri has been busy with drama roles, while Yura recently finished her part on We Got Married show. Sojin has been out and about and was recently on Mask Of Singers. This comeback has also faced criticisms, for some of which I will discuss below. While I do understand many girl groups get criticism, out of all, I feel like Girl’s Day is taking the mother load.

This song is a really weird song. I know from the get go that I love this song. It is catchy and addictive. But at the same time, I am just like “what is happening?”. The song open up to that cow boy/country kind of sound, but then the song loses that sound and goes straight into a pop song and I barely hear the cow boy sound anymore.  Also, while I was listening to the audio only version, something occurred to me. If you can barely say the title of your track properly, then why even bother in the first place. The live was much better, but I was thinking “Ling my bell” really does not appeal to me that much. But beside those two complaints, I am glad Yura is back rapping and also the vocals were quite strong. It is not an awful song (in reference to my weird statement) and I like it quite a bit. So much that it made it on my forever repeating playlist.

One criticism that the girls got for this comeback is wearing the swim wear during the music video. Fine. I get it. But I know people who say that the girls look slutty for wearing that swim wear, but SNSD made their comeback with Bikini’s and yet not one criticism? I don’t think it that fair. To me, swim wear = bikinis. I really don’t want to start a fan war, but this is just a clear example of why some fans shouldn’t really post anything on the Internet, because they sound really stupid. No offence to anyone. It is just the one thing I hate reading about in the comments. The video overall was quite colourful. I like how they stand out and how the music video comes together for this song. I don’t think that extra dude was necessary for the video. I liked their dance sets, especially the one with the thousand hoops. And since when was darts consider as sexy?

The dance is pretty cool. Horse riding is probably the main dance for this comeback. Sojin’s pants on the other hand for that showcase. Yeah. No comment.

Honestly, nice comeback. I really should ignore them haters. I think I am bias now. But honestly, my rant was just basically built up from other videos as well. 8/10

I Am A Woman Too – Minah (Girl’s Day)

Girl’s Day has promised a comeback for us around June. Originally it was meant to be mid April, but due to the member’s solo activities, they decided to postpone the comeback. While members are busy with hosting gigs, photo-shoots, commercial and dramas, Minah made her solo debut on the stage with I Am A Woman Too. She made her solo debut mid March. Something interesting about this promotion of the song though is that usually there are large showcases that many artists do to promote their song. Minah, promoted her new solo single on the streets of Seoul, in areas to which she has had strong attachments to. These areas turn out to be places that Minah sang at prior to her debut with Girl’s Day.  This is actually becoming a trend with many new groups. This allows them to connect on a more “ground” level with fans. Hehehehe… I had to.

At first this song seemed lacking and really did not appeal to me at all. It had the power vocals that we associate with Minah, but it lacked a lot to me. But after listening to it a couple more times, the song warmed up on me quite well. Though I still think the song could have been better. The song has no “drop”. It just sounds really monotone and disappointing at first. It is a song that I would play again and again, but it’s nothing to put on repeat for. I guess the only timed it change was when Minah started belting out her vocals for “I love love love you” parts towards the end of the song. The instrumental was okay and the vocals were like usual for Minah. The song talks about how she is a girl and wants to be loved. I thought the lyrics were quite nice while looking over the English translations.

This music video was okay. Boring maybe. Did not wow me so much. It was a much more serious comeback in my point of view than compared to Darling and Something. I am used to seeing a Bubbly Minah not Serious Minah. Nevertheless, it seems like the music video had some thought to it. When she sings about time, there are clocks in the music video and her face looks like it was frozen in time. I like the abandoned nature of the set, but it just looks so like a set. Not exactly sure why she was in a glass box. It kind of looked really wrong to see her in a glass box seductively trying to get our attention. I get the song, but that part kind of throws me off a bit. The big bear was tragic to be honest. It needs some love. So why don’t we give love to Minah (to get her happy again) and the bear (so it looks more like a bear and not a rag)?

The dance was pretty cool. I liked the start with it matching the instrumental. The song doesn’t necessary yell out “BODY WAVES” but the body waves are quite nice. She does these hip thrusts, which people are calling slutty. Wow. Like for serious. So many male KPOP dances have thrusts and fans call it hot, but when one lady does it, it is slutty? Please elaborate. I liked it. The dance was classy and so were the clothes she was wearing. I actually like the oversized jumper. It made me guess every time if she is wearing any shorts.  -hides from all fangirls and fanboys-

Overall, the comeback was good. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible. 6.5/10

Rewind: February 2015

Through this new segment (Finally got to use that one word), we will be looking back at the second month of 2015. I get to rank my top 10 songs. But we also get to look back at other events that happened in the Korean music industry. This way, I can talk about big events in the KPOP industry and rely my thoughts to you all.

YG says comeback for Big Bang will happen in April

This month, YG “promised” us that the first artist to make their comeback would be Big Bang, who has been scheduled for April. Yes, I put “promised” in quotation marks because half the time, we really cannot take his words as the final story. Hopefully, this time Big Bang will make their very long awaited comeback in April and for once Yang Hyun Suk say something we can actually could have relied on. iKON will always be make their debut this year, just we don’t have a clear time frame yet.

Comeback announcement for April?

About 343425946 bands in the KPOP industry have announced their comeback in April. Yes, there have been so many already that I can’t remember. As mentioned above, Big Bang is. Joining them is Girl’s Day, Miss A and Dal Shabet. B1A4‘s sister group will be making their debut in April as well. FT Island is also due to make a comeback in April as well. iKon is also another band rumoured to make their debut in April. As we look further into the future, SNSD and Infinite are both aiming for May comebacks. April is going to be one hell of a month with all the bands coming back for me. And April is going to be one busy month for me already…

Kim Hyun Joong’s Domestic Violence Scandal + Pregnancy rumours

Another turn for the worse for Kim Hyun Joong. Late last year, it was reported that his former girlfriend was a victim to domestic violence attacks from the KPOP star. She sued him for what she had alleged that he has done to her. Now, it was revealed that the former girlfriend had withdrawn the lawsuit and the two proceeded to meet up with each other. Now the ex girlfriend is claiming to be pregnant with Kim’s child as he prepares for military enlistment.  His side has been asking for the girlfriend to come out and do pregnancy tests, which from what I read, she refused (but she ended up,  through her lawyer,  giving out “her” test results). I am going to be honest, this sounds very suspicious on her part. Since she had sued and withdrew the lawsuit basically means she has a free ticket to get away from Kim Hyun Joong. Unless she is that crazy in love for him, this progression in their relationship is putting both parties in a bad light.

Top 10 Songs Of The Month

1. Black Swan – Rainbow

2. Crazy – 4Minute

3. Shake That Brass – Amber (f(x)) ft. SNSD Taeyeon

4. Love Equation – VIXX

5. 너무 Very 막 – MYNAME

6. Just – ZionT ft. Crush

7. Always – A.Kor

8. Because Of You – Berry Good

9. Beautiful – KXIS (DMTN)

10. Sniper – Shinhwa

Rewind: January 2015

Through this new segment (Finally got to use that one word), we will be looking back at the month that opened the year of 2015. I get to rank my top 10 songs. But we also get to look back at other events that happened in the Korean music industry. This way, I can talk about big events in the KPOP industry and rely my thoughts to you all.

Disbandment

Jewelry Members Get Together One Last Time for Final Photo Shoot

Sadly, January saw many bands (more than usual, that is) announce their disbandment from the industry. This technically means that they are no longer a group (for whatever reason) and would no longer promote together. The list is extreme and includes: Jewelry, Wonder Boyz, GLAM and Airplane. Wonder Boyz and Airplane are probably considered as “rookies” still. Though they have popular songs, both bands announced their disbandment in January. GLAM, a 4 member girl group under Big Hit Entertainment, who clearly had so much potential, was revealed through their agency to have disbanded. Member Dahee has been sentenced to jail recently for her involvement in the Lee Byung Hun blackmail case. Some speculate that this was the reason why the band broke up. Finally, the longest running KPOP girl group has called it quits after 14 years on stage. The girls, including past members had a photo shoot as their last schedule as a band.  Jewelry was well known for their hit, One More Time.

 

 

EXO-L’s in the wrong spotlight

EXO-L (EXO‘s fanclub) was accused of swearing at Girl’s Day Sojin at the Gaon Chart Awards for dating rumours with EXO member D.O. On top of that, EXO L was further accused for using other concerts and events as ways to check their ticket buying accounts were still working. Naturally, Korean neitzens “had a go” at the fanclub for their mean and rude gestures in both instances. EXO-L’s hit back by claiming not all of them were involved. Though I agree with the EXO L’s who are saying that not all of them did it, those fans who were involved are doing a pretty good job at ruining the fanclub’s and the band’s image.

Suing war continues…

For once, I have to agree with SM. Kris and Luhan who both asked for their contracts to be nullified last year, have been used by SM for illegally working in China with lawsuits in Korea. I personally don’t have a problem with them working. But I do have a problem with how quick they launched the lawsuit and how quick they started working in China. If your claiming to be overworked, I understand why you would ask for your contract to be nullified. Just why would you go to another country almost straight away and work there?

 

 

EXID’s jump in fame

exid1stwin

 

EXID has been enjoying their newly found fame after a fancam of Hani dancing to the song went viral. This launched the girls to the top of the charts and becoming on the most successful bands for the year so far. Up and Down have still seen no end, as it still remains steady on the charts. Though, it is funny how they reached their new fame, I just want to congratulate the girls on their wins. Up and Down was amazing, and I hope EXID’s next song is equally as popular.

 

 

 

Award Ceremonies Everywhere…

January is the month for award ceremonies. The first was the Golden Disk Awards, in Beijing, which was planned so horribly that members of GOT7, BTS and the whole of Beast could not perform on stage due to the “wrong visa being given out”. Seoul Music Awards and Gaon Music Awards followed after in Korea. When we combine the three awards ceremonies, they gave out theawards to the right people. Mamamoo got their rookie of the award year at the Gaon Music Awards, while other bands such as Girl’s Day, APINK, Beast, AOA, VIXX and etc. got the awards they deserved at the other award ceremonies.

 

Top 10 songs of the month

1. Up and Down – EXID (released in August 2014)

2. You – G.Soul

3. Break Ya – LU:KUS

4. Fire – Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Soul Child)

5. Drama – Nine Muses

6. Apologize – Eddy Kim

7. Why – 4Ten

8. Coming Soon – N.Ca

9. Pretty – Infinite H

10. Child In Time – Sunny Hill

End Of Year Charts 2014

Welcome to the end of the 2014 charts. This chart has every single song that was released from the 1st of January 2014 to the 1st of December. I left the nitty gritty stuff out (aka. the numbers I used for the ranking) and made sure that everything was fair. So that means for songs that were released towards the end of the year would have received some extra increment to make sure that they were levelled out with the songs released in January. Other numbers used included whether songs were on the YouTube Playlist of The Month and each song was re-reviewed in categories of “song, music video and dance”. Below are just some interesting facts that you may enjoy in regards to this chart.

  • The very first song released to be included on the charts are Rain’s 30 Sexy and La Song. The last song released before the cut off date was Infinite F’s Heartbeat.
  • T-Ara’s Sugar Free (2) was the only song throughout the whole chart to score the maximum of 40 for the song re-review.
  • VIXX is the first boy group to appear in the charts at 14th place with Eternity.
  • As touched on above, this year the charts are dominated by the girl groups, with 13 boy groups versus 37 girl groups (repeated groups not excluded).
  • Heavily promoted songs tend to rank higher than songs that were released as a single and not promoted.
  • The following artists achieved the next few positions after 50th place: SPEED, Crayon Pop, Z:EA, Zhou Mi (Super Junior), BTOB, Infinite, UKISS, AOA and Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
1 Something Girl’s Day
2 Sugar Free T-Ara
3 Up & Down EXID
4 Monday Blues Sunny Hill
5 Piano Man Mamamoo
6 Darling Girl’s Day
7 I’m In Love Secret
8 Mr. Chu A Pink
9 Yasisi NS Yoon G
10 Red Light F(x)
11 One More Fiestar
12 Good Night Kiss Hyosung (Secret)
13 Ain’t Nobody HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
14 Eternity VIXX
15 You Don’t Love Me Spica
16 So Wonderful Ladies Code
17 This Is Love Super Junior
18 Luv APINK
19 Like A Cat AOA
20 B.B.B (Big Baby Baby) Dal Shabet
21 Good Luck Beast
22 Cha Cha Rainbow BLAXX
23 Full Moon Sunmi ft. Lena
24 Error VIXX
25 Catallena Orange Caramel
26 My Copy Cat Orange Caramel
27 Don’t Look At Me Like That Song Ji Eun (Secret)
28 Back Infinite
29 8Dayz Megan Lee
30 What About You? Laboum
31 Dont Touch Me Ailee
32 I Swear Sistar
33 Singing Got Better Ailee
34 1004 (Angel) B.A.P
35 Danger BTS
36 12:30 Beast
37 Mr. Ambigious Mamamoo
38 Lonely B1A4
39 Beep Beep BTOB
40 Mamma Mia Kara
41 I Need You Bestie
42 Solo Day B1A4
43 Whatcha Doing Today? 4Minute
44 Pretty Age 25 Song Ji Eun (Secret)
45 1 Minute 1 Second Jiyeon (T-Ara)
46 Peppermint Chocolate Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
47 FxxK U Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
48 Touch My Body Sistar
49 Evanesce Super Junior
50 Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms HIGH4 ft. IU

THAT’S IT!!! 2014 IS OVER AND 2015 IS APPROACHING. WISHING YOU ALL (IN YOUR RESPECTIVE TIME ZONES) A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I only have 6 hours to go and I am excited. Party hard (but not too hard) and I will see you next year!! aka. in the next few days ^^

Best Of The Best 2014 – Winners

Announcing the winners of the 2014 Best Of The Best. Click here for the full list of nominees!!!

Code: RED FONT – WINNERS BLUE FONT – HONOURABLE MENTION

BEST ROOKIE GROUP

2014, like the past few years, have seen so many new KPOP bands debut. So many new bands, so much that I have a really difficult job to select certain artists and also keep up with the old styles. 2014 saw the big 3 companies debut their own groups, but I have to be honest, the stand outs came mostly from the smaller companies. One group in particular stood out from the rest: Mamamoo. Harmony and totally different style from what we are used to. Honourable mentions go to GOT7.

BEST INSTRUMENTAL

The one song that is overlooked by everyone on the album is the instrumental. I freaking love instrumentals, and this year, KPOP decided to tease me with so many new instrumentals. That being said, this year the winner of Best Instrumental is Ain’t Nobody by Ye-Eun (Ha:tFelt). Honourable mentions go to Sugar Free by T-Ara.

BEST VOCALS

KPOP = Singing. There for it is only right for this year to have an award for Best Vocals, right? Well, the winner goes to Ha:tfelt – Ye Eun (Wonder Girls). I was so amazed by here singing this year that it blew my mind, particularly her title track Ain’t Nobody. Honourable mentions go to IU (yes, I think most of us agree).

BEST RAPPER

Many KPOP songs have many rapping parts. At the same time, rappers need some recognition. Though, I feel my choice this year could be a little odd, only one person (in my opinion) did a really amazing job. Junhyung from Beast did a wonderful job in Good Luck, 12:30 and the many songs he featured in. Zico from Block B takes Honourable Mentions.

BEST SUBUNIT

Since 2013, many subunits have been on trend. Even though subunits have been losing trend, many bands this year debuted their own subunits. However, I think we should move away from the new subunits. Cause this year an old subunit wins. Orange Caramel steals Best Subunit with release of three different songs. Honourable mentions goes to Rainbow Blaxx.

BEST COLLABORATION

The new trend for 2014. Collaborations between artists have been on the rise. This year though, if you were a KPOP fan for a while, you would know already who the winner is. Soyu & JungGiGo’s Some steals the show, topping the end of year charts conducted in South Korea and winning Best Song as well on the SBS Music Festival. Well of course they would win, considering that they SLAYED the charts. Honourable Mentions go to Sane and Raina’s collaboration, Midsummer Night’s Sweetness.

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR

This year there has been so many stars that have started to become more popular. The nominees tend to be bands that have debuted in the previous year, and with help of comebacks, started to become well known in the industry. I think for the first time ever, I am going to be honest and put forward two winners to this category. First of all, BTS say a boost in popularity and have become a band that I look forward to listening to. Second of all AOA saw new popularity with release of Miniskirt, Short Air and Like A Cat. Both bands, obviously, rose a lot this year and I found it hard to differentiate them.

BEST JAPANESE SONG

If you don’t know (I won’t be surprised) I also review some Japanese song. 2015 will be the year where I start to review more Japanese songs for you all. However, 2014 also had a lot of catchy and cool Japanese songs. The winner for this year is Korean boy band MYNAME’s F.F.Y. Such a catchy song. As for honourable mentions, it goes to AAA’s Showtime.

BEST DANCE

KPOP is also known for its dancing. 2014 saw some interesting dances, catchy dances, and some dances that have no words to describe it. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. This year, T-ara took the position as best dance. It was probably the most addictive dance and it was pretty easy as well. It matched the song and most importantly, I loved it. Honourable mentions to Infinite’s Back.

BEST ALBUM

A brand new category for 2014. Every award show or some kind of award giving platform has the “best album” award. And yes, this year, there are so many freaking great albums (like any other year). In my opinion, the best album of the year goes to F(x)’s Red Light. All, if not most, of the songs were amazing to listen to and were so great. Every freaking song was different, and though that maybe risky, F(x) pulled it off as a flowing album. Honourable Mentions goes to AKMU’s Play.

BEST MALE SOLOIST

Solos don’t tend to be the trend this year. Some bands saw new members branch into a solo career, however it seems like more and more KPOP idols (whether male or female) are branching out to acting or variety shows. However, the winner to this category is a person who started offically his own solo career with a lot of experience in the music industry. Crush is the winner. Damn, this dude’s songs are so good. You should check them out. Honourable mentions: JungGiGo.

BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

It seems like more and more females are branching out onto the stage. We saw many KPOP divas making their solo debuts on the stage with new and fresh songs from bands like T-Ara or Secret. We already have divas who have accomplished a start to their solo career and saw comebacks of very big names. This year, one solo stood out and that is Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Releasing her first solo mini album, she did quite well considering the competition she was going through. Honourable Mentions goes to Sunmi.

BEST FEMALE GROUP

Sexy concept by girl groups have been on the rise. If you know me well, then you probably already know my pick. However, so many girls groups made their comeback this year. Some picked up a lot of popularity and saw massive wins for the first time. Girl’s Day hitted big with their amazing single Something. They later went on to release Darling and I Miss You. Being one of the biggest girl groups of the year, they were sure to pick some prize up. APINK steals honourable mentions this year with their massive single Mr Chu and their latest hit Luv, which blew up and swept all the December trophies for 2014.

BEST MALE GROUP

There have always been a large influx of boy groups and this year it is no different. I was so impressed I was just going to choose all 10 nominees as winners. However, there can only be one winner (well, technically), so I guess I have to choose one. I am going to put down VIXX. They released Eternity and Error this year and both songs were hits for the band. Not only that, they displayed great dance moves and skills. Beast takes out honourable mentions with Good Luck and 12:30, both being very great songs that also delivered like what VIXX had to show. (Just VIXX nudged a head a little bit).

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

This year, most of my Best Music Video Nominees saw the depressing side of KPOP. 8 music videos had this sad or dark storyline to tell. 2 music videos were made in a soft hearted and were really cheerful. G.o.D’s music video for The Story Of Our Lives, told the amazing bond between family and that the outside will never be able to define the inside. Megan Lee features in the song and both band and soloist did an amazing job singing and pouring out their emotions. By the way, SM made a video outside of the box. F(x)’s Red Light, takes honourable mention.

BEST SONG

25 songs were nominated for Best Song for 2014. All were to an excellent standard. There were clear stands out. Something by Girl’s Day, EXID’s Up and Down and Beast’s Good Luck are this year’s honourable mentions. However, which song took Best Song category for 2014? Check the song and music video down below.

Catch Up Review #6 – Girl’s Day, Ailee, Spica S

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These girl groups are potentially rising girl groups or rising solo artists (some may argue that they are already there as one of the hottest groups in Korea at this very moment). So of course, I had to review them… Cause they are basically the future of KPOP (no offence to any other bands out there) -runs away from fangirls and fanboys-

I Miss You – Girl’s Day

This song was released in a way to allow the girls to say thank you to the fans recently. On top of that, this is the first major release from the band that is basically a ballad. And this ballad was amazing. The vocals were superb. Sometimes, some groups have very unclear vocals when they sing ballad, but these girls are really clear. I have to say one thing though. The rapping should not have been included. It was autotuned and really did not fit the ballad style. The music video was also quite boring to watch. There really was nothing going on during the video at all, beside the girls remember past memories of their boyfriends. Not really that memorable. And that final scene with the snow. It really was a mismatch with them smiling, when the song and the rest of the video having a really sad mood. 7/10

Don’t Touch Me – Ailee

Ailee should always come out with really strong songs. And these type of songs really compliment her empowering voice making everything sound much better. Her vocals here, once again, are top notch. The chorus was really catchy from the song to the dance. The music video was a disappointment. I expected a little more beside “Ailee” close-ups. The dance was really good, especially at the chorus. Though, something that every single person has asked regarding this comeback, what the *%$? are the back up dancers wearing? Why are they in witches hat and stuff? What is this concept??? WHY??? WHY??? 7/10

Give Your Love – Spica S

This is by far not their memorable comeback to date. Spica S is essentially Spica with Boa missing, so really… But anyway, we all know how vocally powerful the band is but this song fails to highlight this exact skill that the members have. The song really was not a stand out and is something that will be forgotten easily. The music video was over sexualised. Like I don’t see what is so sexy about binding over filing cabinets, filing papers, shredding paper. The dance was okay, nothing really grand or memorable from this area at all. (Though, the rapper can sing and rap). But beside that, this comeback really does not fit into what the girls usually do, and unfortunately, that was a disappointment for me. 3/10

So the next review theme is actually a solo artist that is a part of a girl group. After promotions with her band, Song Ji Eun, made her solo comeback with her first mini album. But more on that tomorrow. See you next time!!!

 

 

Darling – Girl’s Day

Girl’s Day, after a very successful run on promotions for Something, which launched them into having the status of one of the top KPOP bands to date are back with a brand new song. This time they have taken a step back from the sexy concept which they have been promoting for the past year and a bit; and one step forward back into the cutesy girl image that they were originally known for (see Twinkle Twinkle and Hug Me Once). This has to their most successful song to date, which earned them their first All Kill (where they topped all the major charts) and were very close to achieving their first Perfect All Kill. Not only that, but hey managed to top the weekly Gaon chart for this week. Success everywhere.

This song is freaking amazing. I may be biased in a way, but I find this song really awesome. It just brings back the memories of the Summer and the sun, which is basically why this song was written. It is light hearted and none of that serious business. Their voices are unusually high throughout the song, but I think it suits this style as it flaunts their aegyo around for the world to see. The girls sound all vocally superb and each of them have a fair share of lines this time. The chorus sounded pretty cool and was basically the best bit for me. If I were to look back and change anything from this song, I would not even change a single thing. Thank you for whoever decided to omit a rap for this song, I am so thankful. If there was a rap, the song would not sound as great. All the hype for this song made the song pretty good and I think for once the hype has not let me down.

The music video was so so. The girls were being filmed doing “cute” stuff like washing the car with bubble guns and playing darts. Move over fangirling over hot guys or trying to get a guys attention, because using your shower hose as a microphone will make the boys run over to you. Hahahaha… Random stuff. Anyway, the music video could have been a little more better. I just felt, despite it being a fun-filled and very bright, the music video felt quite monotone throughout the whole thing. I guess this what flashing lights and club beats do to you. The one thing, out of many, that I am very impressed with in this video, is how the girls have kept their sexy image with this music video. They look cute, tick, but the way the video was filmed focused on what made them popular, and I think it turned out quite nice.

The dance of this is really cool. Maybe the exaggerated faces should go, but I really love the dance. Especially the chorus, it gives the song that really cutesy feel and also brightens it up quite a bit.

Despite me loving them for their sexy concept, I really think that this comeback was really well done. If they do the right chess moves and manage to go back into the cutesy era successful, or continue their ongoing success with their sexy concept, I think Girl’s Day have a very huge path a head of them. 9.5/10

 

‘End Of Year Music Festivals’ Favourite Performances

Woah, 2013 is over (Soz, a tad late) and each year KPOP fans always end up looking forward to the end of year music festivals. These “festivals” are held on the final days of the year by the 3 major boradcasting companies of South Korea (ie. KBS, SBS, MBC). It is a stage where the artists who are active during the year can come together and celebrate by putting on some music and performing different stages from the ones that they had promoted during the year. So this means there are many different collaborations between artists or remix stages which would have fans screaming for. Because there happens to be little songs to review at this time of the year (end of Jan, don’t ask why), I thought I do this and release it in time for the Vietnamese (Or Chinese) New Year!!!!!

KBS Gayo Daechukje

  • Honestly, I was not satisfied with any of the collabs. They seem to be a last minute thing which made the show rather messy. They had good songs, but Iw as not satisfied with the way they were presented.
  • Crayon Pop’s Bar Bar Bar was a good stage. The start got everyone hyped up and when the song actually started, boy was the screams loud! It was rather fresh and different stage that everyone must’ve had enjoyed.
  • EXO’s Intro + Growl sounded amazing. Now if only they were not replayed 563495630295634092560 times this year and everyone talking about them, I would not think poorly of them. However the intro and the performance was really good.
  • APINK was one of the few bands to throw in a new instrumental for their “sexy version” of No No No. I enjoyed the dance and I liked the new mix.
  • Beast had a pretty cool stage as well. They kept their normal instrumental but made something interested out of it.
  • Sistar’s “femme fatale” Give It To Me looked really good. Minus the not so good looks of the dancers, I really liked their dance break and Dasom has my heart beating even faster.
  • Miss A’s remixes were amazing this year. I like them much better than the actual song. Amazing right?Well, honestly it is just a new instrumental over some parts and then the actual song itself. And Min, walking away like a boss and carrying on singing after getting hit in the face.

SBS Gayo Daejeon

  • First stage which I enjoyed was VIXX’s On & On and VooDoo Doll. I honestly thought that Hyde and On & On would have been a better match, but they still seemed to pull it off pretty well. I think I am turning into a fan. Damn.
  • Z:EA and Nine Muses collaboration stage with Ghost Of The Wind, Glue and finally hit song Bounce was another stage that literally got me into it. It is such a good stage with the two bands together, where it was Nine Muses first time and Z:EA’s second time since debut.
  • Another collaboration stage goes to Girl’s Day and APINK’s Expectation and No No No. Honestly, it seemed APINK had less airtime than Girl’s Day. Not sure about the detail, but it kind seems unfair. But both suited the stage every well singing each other’s song.
  • Crayon Pop’s Bar Bar Bar was pretty good. But the camera work destroyed the good stage.
  • T-Ara had a lot of hate, but I seemed to enjoy this stage. Number 9 but vampire version. Not much change to the song, except for really creepy dance breaks. And BOOOOBSSS!!!!!
  • 2NE1 had an alight stage. Though they just sang Missing You and Do You Love Me?, this still had remarkable stage preference.
  • Taeyang and G-Dragon seemed to had some fun on stage. I liked the lineup of songs they had coming. They sung 1AM, Crooked, Ringa Linga and Bad Boy. Considering that the whole group as not there, they did a good job filling up 3 other parts as well.

MBC Gayo Daejejeon

  • Miss A’s classy club mix for Hush sounded the best and probably has to be my most favourite stage out of all the stages listed here. It sounded to sexy and cool all at the same time.
  • T-Ara’s Number 9 and What Should I Do was a great stage. They combined the two songs into a club beat kind of song which flowed pretty well, considering the two extreme opposites for each song.
  • Ailee’s rapping before her performance , U&I, was da bomb.
  • F(x)’s Rum Pum Pum Pum was pretty good as well. Was not as impressed with the original version though.But the instrumental and ending of this stage was awesome!!! And finally F(x) gets a stage remix for an end of year festival.
  • B1A4’s rock remix for What’s Happening? was also a pretty cool performance. Literally got me going with the beat.
  • Infinite brought a new thing to the stage with Destiny remixed with the instrumental of Deception. Something that was quite unexpected but sounded pretty good despite the two songs sounding completely different.
  • Give It To Me by Sistar was pretty cool as well if the little bit of dubstep (I think) mixed in the song as well. Hyorin’s intro with Sweet Dream was pretty cool.
  • Kara’s medley of songs was pretty good. And considering the departure of two members, it fitted the occasion. They performed Lupin, Step, Damaged Lady, Mister and Honey (not sure about the last one though.

If you watched the performances, which one did you like? Honestly, when I was watching the performances on YouTube, all I thought was that it seemed too much like a normal music show rather than something to be called a “End Of Year Festival”. I think these stages are losing their purpose. But anyway, still a fantastic line-up and amazing stages!!! What were your favourite stages of the three nights?

Hug Me Once – Girl’s Day

Source: https://kpopreviewed.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/f7361-everyday2.jpg

All throughout this week will be me releasing reviews for past songs. It is great to look back on the past and see how everything changed. Oh look at that, Girl’s Day is the first group up with their song Hug Me Once. Wow, did you catch the review just a few weeks ago for their latest release? Something? Well, may I shock you that this is the same band? Hahahaha… It is the same band and they went from cute to a sexy style (which they were still criticised for. They can’t be cute or sexy, so what should they go for then? Serious?)That and they also lost a member who left the group at the end of 2012. But while turning over a new leaf the girls have proven to be a success, picking up 3 awards for their latest release, boosting their ranking up high.

This song is really catchy. So freaking catchy that I keep on singing along to it everytime it is released and it has been freaking 3 years since this song was released. It is so cute as well. The chorus is really catchy and the vocals are amazing. Not sure about the degree of autotune in this song, but it still sounds amazing. I am sorry, if my inner fanboy is coming out. The song itself is really catchy and cute, I just feel like dying. I don’t I ever took Girl’s Day too seriously with their releases prior to Don’t Forget Me. Maybe because I first heard the band through Oh My God! which was a terrible song.

The music video was really pretty cool. I loved the first perspective. I also enjoyed watching the interactive video, which I will link the playlist below. It is a bit cheesy, but hey, I like my things interactive. Like this keyboard, so high definition. You all should check it out if you ever find it. The actual music video are just cuts that you can see, and it looked rather cool, back when the group and its company did not have enough money to actually film a better music video. But it looked fresh. However the dance scenes to me did not fit well with the couple scenes. That is just my preference. But I still liked the video and will not complain at all.

This dance is so freaking cute and so easy to do. Even a guy can dance well to this song. Seriously, these girls, why did you guys not win anything back in the day???

8/10. Pretty cool comeback. It would be amazing to see if the band can go backwards in time and redo something cute. Please Don’t Go was not as successful. If they are a band who can go between sexy and cute, they they will be superstars!!! Tomorrow’s review will be: Sistar’s So Cool!!!Please anticipate.

 

Something – Girl’s Day

Source: http://modernseoul.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/girls-day-somethings-dance.jpg

Girl’s Day is back with a new song. After successful promotions for Expectations and their success song Female President, the girls once again have up the ante to become of the biggest groups of Korea. The girls released Something at the start of 2014, and have earned their first award just on Wednesday for their song. After receiving much love from fans boosting them to the top of the charts, it seems like this group is one to beat. But the competition in just January alone is quite fierce. Must I remind that TVXQ, Ailee, Rain, Dal Shabet and many other bands will be making their comeback and it seems that all of the groups will be having a run for their money.

When I first heard this song, I thought it was a total let down. Female President had this really catchy tune, while Expectation had guys screaming for more. This one seemed like a sexy video posted up in the 1960’s and everyone criticising it. It was not until I listened to it over and over again to understand that this song is a freaking awesome song. Though I have to be honest, I did get a little confused with another song by the same title quite a few times when I am listening to it online. However, I have been listening to this song on repeat and literally have fallen in love for it. May be a little bias (okay, a lot of bias here) but I freaking love every aspect of this song. The vocals were really good and they matched the expected standard of huskiness for a “sexy” song. The instrumental did make me go back in time, and that reminded me of a lot of videos and culture back then. I would’ve expected a rap, but it seems they did not fit it in. Instead they got a really good part at the end, where it seems like they are whispering (prayers, from the look of the dance) and that is totally awesome.

The music video is quite something. People are always criticising the sexy comeback. Saying that they are overusing the word. But it the same people who criticise this exact band for their debut song, which happens to be the other end of the spectrum, saying that they are tryhards. I am quite disappointed with the audience of the video. Not all, but the minority. Which leads to the next point. I don’t find this video “sexy”. Sexy was not the right word to use. I don’t see how sitting in a bathtub, ripping up an audio tape or picking up a phone, “sexy”. There are only two things that I found were quite suggestive. The dance at the start and Minah’s slowly scene where there is a camera on the bed. Ummm…. Yeah, but in today standards, this is just the starting point. No where near the climax yet. I like the setting of the dance scenes. Not sure about the alley ways though, they look okay, but rather awkward in this song.

The dance. The start. The freaking start had me screaming into the computer. I am sorry, but girls if you’re going to rub your body over the floor like that, how on earth do you expect your fanboys to live? And that is where the dance kind of goes weird. Most of the dance I thought: “Hey Cool”. But the bouncing dance in the chorus, what is going on? It feels awkward and weird. Does not show off the elegance that we were promised. It does not fit well with the song, but beside that everything else was okay.

Congrats girl on your first place win on Wednesday. 9/10. Was planning on giving them a 10/10, but I seemed to have rambled on about the music video and dance and pointing out the flaws a little too much. So a perfect 10/10 would not have suited the review.

Happy New Year!!!

 

Hi all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wow, 2013 is finally over. Can you believe it. With days to go, I will be unable to update this over my “break”. Beside that I have scheduled a whole heap of reviews. I promised you guys an End Of Year Charts, and with that very day 3-4 days away, I think it is time unleash the beast. Party hard! Welcome the new year in style! I will wish to see you all back on the 2nd of Jan 2013 (subject to change). At the very bottom of this post, there will be two links. One is a playlist for the winners of the BOB’s and the other is the top 20 songs of the year, as selected by this chart. Yay!!!!

Position Title Artist
1 Female President Girl’s Day
2 G.R.8.U (Your Impressive) VIXX
3 Tonight Spica
4 Hush Miss A
5 Damaged Lady Kara
6 24 Hours Sunmi
7 Voodoo Doll VIXX
8 Give It To Me Sistar
9 Expectation Girl’s Day
10 Only One Gummy
11 Be Ambitious Dal Shabet
12 Red Shoes IU
13 Number 9 T-Ara
14 Very Good Block B
15 Everybody SHINee
16 Kill Bill Brown Eyed Girls
17 Destiny Infinite
18 I Don’t Know FIESTAR
19 Only You VIXX
20 U&I Ailee
21 Madly FT Island
22 Love Blossom K.Will
23 Love Options BESTie
24 What’s Going On? B1A4
25 Growl EXO
26 Gone Not Around Any Longer Sistar19
27 Yoo Hoo Secret
28 While You Were Asleep JeA (Brown Eyed Girls)
29 1.4.3 Henry (Super Junior M) Feat. Amber F(x)
30 Dream Girl SHINee
31 Wild Nine Muses
32 Thriller BTOB
33 Goodbye Dasoni (EXID)
34 Insane A-Jax
35 One Shot B.A.P
36 Lonely Christmas Crayon Pop
37 Confused AOA
38 Bar Bar Bar Crayon Pop
39 Glue Nine Muses
40 Twenty Four / Seven 2Yoon
41 Jeon Won Diary T-Ara N4
42 I Like That GLAM
43 Tell Me Tell Me Rainbow
44 Stupid In Love Mad Clown ft. Soyu (Sistar)
45 Rocking Teen Top
46 No No No A-Pink
47 Why So Serious? SHINee
48 Baby I’m Sorry MYNAME
49 Dreamer History
50 The Letter Davichi

PLAYLIST 1: 

PLAYLIST 2: 

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM KPOPreviewed!!!