[Review] Miracle – GOT7

GOT7 is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Male Choreography in the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you have yet to vote for GOT7 and your other favourite groups, click on the link here to do so!

It is December! So it is time to get the Christmas tree out, hang up those stockings and put on your Christmas song playlist. And kicking off the Christmas season for this year is GOT7 with their newest single, Miracle. Miracle is featured on the repackaged album of Present: You (which has been renamed appropriately to Present: You & Me) and is amongst 12 new songs, making this album extra special if you want to give it as a gift (or receive it as a gift).

Following their Confession Song Christmas release in 2014, Miracle was expected to go down down the same stylistic route. It is a ballad and a much slower one if we were to compare. It is quite soothing and has a warm feeling to the song, which is definitely intended. The instrumental was an orchestral based instrumental, with a gradual buildup to its climax (i.e. the end of the song). I thought the vocals were nice, with Yooungjae and Jinyoung being the two members that stood out the most in the song. I liked it when the rappers started, the instrumental was kicked up a notch, adding to the colour of the song without making the rap sequences feel out of place. Based on my comments, I guess I like the song. I am still on the fence because I never expected GOT7 to do anything so ballad-y and hence this new song is foreign to me. Who knows what a few more listens to the song will do.

GOT7 plays the role of Christmas Ghosts for the young girl who is unable to play with the other children when it comes to Christmas times. The reason why? I have no idea. The entire video is rather innocent, giving the young girl a chance to experience the snow and season. Based on the ending, it does seem like it just in her dreams. I thought it was a nicely put together video, with everyone having their own thing to do around her. It isn’t a video to really play repeatedly but it was a nice video to fit in with the song and holiday.

I am not sure if this song will be promoted. My guess is it isn’t, based on the lack of promotions for Confession Song. Hence, I will skip this section.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

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[Album Review] Present: You (3rd Studio Album) – GOT7

It is time for an album review! GOT7 recently returned with their chart-topping 3rd full-length album, Present: You and the title track, Lullaby. The album consists of 15 songs, which include 4 versions of the title track and 7 solo tracks. I will not be reviewing all four versions of the title track, hence this album review will be looking into the first 12 songs on the album. And as a 12 song review is quite lengthy, let’s get right into it.

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Present: You Album Cover

1..Lullaby (Title Track)Click here to read full review of Lullaby. (9/10)

2. EnoughEnough’s starts was a very mediocre at first listen. But once the chorus kicked in and my ears are filled with the upbeat and energetic sounds, I found myself enjoying the song. The chorus definitely was a dynamic component of the song and my favourite section. I thought the vocals were excellent, particularly during the bridge of the song. The rapping gave the song that familiar hip-hop feel that you got from Teenager (from one of their past albums). (7.5/10)

3. Save You (지켜줄게) – The instrumentation for Save You reminds me of ‘90s hip-hop. The same synths were used and some of the rap lines gave off that feeling. I thought the pre-chorus instrumentation was a great build-up technique and grabbed my attention. Following that was the really upbeat and energy filled chorus, which was also memorable. The song did feel somewhat repetitive, with nothing new to offer. The ending was rather abrupt and I feel like they could have eased out, as that would allow us to end the song without this need to relieve intensity. (7/10)

4. No One Else – The first aspect of the song that I noticed was the shuffling effect and smaller details within the R&B instrumentation. The second aspect was the husky vocals during the first verses, which I thought was cool. The third standout aspect was how the song seems to break boundaries by going down a non-traditional route with its choruses. The verses were more upbeat than the chorus, with the chorus feeling almost acapella like. I thought this was really cool and very unique. I also like the pulsing outro, which really fits in well with the song. (9.5/10)

5. I Am Me – I am glad they chose this song as the secondary promotional track during their first week of promotions. Not saying any of the other songs didn’t deserve a chance but this song was impactful. It was the first b-side to really capture my attention. I thought the chorus was rather aesthetic and the drop was extremely dynamic. BamBam’s rapping was beautiful., while Jackson and Mark were given equally as beautiful vocal lines in the song. And this is on top of the usual vocals from the vocalists. I think the final thing to really mention about this track were the lyrics, which I guess were about loving yourself, despite your flaws. (10/10)

6. Sunrise (JB Solo) – The song felt like something you would get from DEAN or Crush. Sunrise is a slow R&B song that brings out JB’s vocal capabilities. During the verses, he goes with a husky approach, while in the chorus, he sings with a falsetto. I like the softness in the bridge. Usually, I would comment by saying how that was easily missed or not audible. However, since the rest of the song is already quite soft, the bridge fits in well. The song had style and you can’t expect nothing less from the leader. (8/10)

7. OMW (Mark Solo ft. Jackson) – With all the solo songs on this album, Mark’s solo song featured Jackson, for some odd reason. While I do like Jackson and his solo track on this album, I wasn’t much of a fan of his section in this song. Firstly, it took time away from Mark and secondly, his delivery in this song isn’t his best (i.e. it felt like he was trying to fit in). Mark, on the other hand, made sure the song fit for himself. His lines were clear and I thought the chorus was the catchiest of all the solo songs. His singing in the bridge was also quite awesome! (8.5/10)

8. Made It (Jackson Solo) – Jumping right at you is a very strong hip-hop connection. This is type of song that I expect to hear when people say hip-hop. And it is surprisingly as there is only a few of these songs in KPOP. Jackson drives the song with his delivery of the lines and the instrumental does a good job, alongside his rapping, of hyping us. It is rather short, which is a little disappointing, as I would have liked to hear more it. (8/10)

9. My Youth (Jinyoung Solo) – Jinyoung’s song is quite upbeat and has this modern pop sound which sounds very nice. While the song does sound like it is the most plain in terms of creativity, the content within has a powerful message and it impacts you. Jinyoung’s vocals were also nice. I haven’t heard his voice shine like this in a very long time. I really like the ‘I’m Still Young’ hook after the chorus, which sounds so dreamy. I thought his deep vocals during the bridge brought contrast to the song, especially after the falsetto hook. (9/10)

10. Nobody Knows (혼자) (Youngjae Solo) – I have a thing for songs with an epic vibe. Nobody Knows delivers in terms of this ‘epic vibe’. Throwing in Youngjae’s vocals, you have a breathtaking combination. The song starts off eerie and soft. The build-up is practically non-existent, opting to suddenly throw you into the chorus. And this is where the epic vibes come from. His vocals were top notch, there is no doubt about it. I thought the bridge of the song was really interesting, which had this unexpecting Latin feel. It adds a little colour to the song, since the colour is rather grey. (9/10)

11. Party (BamBam Solo) – If you have been a reader of this site for some time, you probably know what is coming. The autotuned vocals in this song do irk me. That is probably going to be my only complaint, as I do like other sections of the song a fair bit. The instrumental has a very strong chill vibe (more than anything else) but is still fitting for a party. There is a hype factor that makes you want to get up and dance. And the parts that aren’t autotuned, such as the chorus, were nice. The song does go through very quickly, which is a little disappointing when you find yourself in the groove of the song. (8/10)

12. Fine (Yugyeom Solo) – I love the eerie vibe that Fine portrays. I personally do not think it is its main intention, but it does a pretty good job at it for me. I kind of expected that he would go down the hip-hop route for his solo track, as that is what I commonly hear is his influence. I thought the build-up to the chorus was amazing and gave off an epic vibe. I like how loud and faster his bridge (or whatever you call the final section of this song) gets, which allows the song to peak and end on a plus. (9/10)

Overall Album Review – 8.5/10

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Present: You Teaser Image

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[Review] Lullaby – GOT7

One of my personal favourite boy groups are finally back and I am super excited. GOT7 is bringing along their third studio album, which has been titled Present: You. In the last week, the group have been dropping teasers to each member’s solo track that is featured on the album AND the title track, Lullaby. This is GOT7’s first comeback since their Look promotions back in March.

If in any chance you are looking for a soothing song to sleep to, this Lullaby is not going to help you tonight. GOT7’s version of a Lullaby is definitely upbeat and extremely intense, words that you don’t commonly associate with the sleepy time tunes. It follows the same style as Look (in terms of instrumentation and vibe), which I thought was rather nice. It was clean and it was well produced. The rapping by the three usual members was quite good but I felt the song was somewhat constrictive of their potential. But I guess that is why we have the solo tracks on the album. Vocally, I thought this is one of their best yet. The ad-libs by the vocalists at the end of the song were amazing. The chorus was very easy to get into and I thought it very smooth. I haven’t yet listened to the song in the other languages if you didn’t know, there is an English, Chinese and Spanish version of the track on the album as well) but I have high hopes if the Korean version sound this good.

It seems like the members are in dreamland with the music video. Yugyeom is in a never quiet train station (reminiscent of BLACKPINK’s As If It’s Your Last), JB’s on a book planet, Youngjae’s living Toy Story, Jinyoung’s flying a car, BamBam’s finds himself at an oasis, Jackson’s performing at a live concert and Mark’s causing flowers to bloom every time he takes a step. The video comes together quite well despite having all these different crazy and random elements. I thought the choreography shots were well done as well.

I thought the chorus was extremely fitting when they went for the sleeping pose for their Lullaby title. As for the rest of the performance, everything was fast pace such as the running moments after the chorus and Yugyeom’s footwork in his solo dance break. It was quite good to watch.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Special] Music Video Theories – GOT7 Flight Trilogy – Part 1

Please note that this theory may not be right and is just my understanding/take on the video. This is also a very long post!

Welcome to my theory for GOT7’s Flight Trilogy, which was released over the 2016-2017 period. A total of 6 videos formed this theory (Departure Trailer, Fly, Turbulence Trailer, Hard Carry, Arrival Trailer and Never Ever). If you have yet to watch the videos, I have linked a playlist below for your viewing pleasure.

For this theory, it will be extremely tedious to write out each member’s name. So I will be using the following key when referring to the members:

MK – Mark
JB – Jaebum (JB)
JS – Jackson
JY – Jinyoung
YJ – Youngjae
BB – Bambam
YG – Yugyeom


Departure Trailer Theory

The entire video starts off the series with GOT7 going on a road trip. JB is driving while the rest of the members are having some fun. Notice what some of the members are doing (JS is filming the road trip, BB’s face is being drawn on, JB is close to a bird and MK is listening to music). In the midst of all of this, JY goes to sleep.

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Snapshot of members having fun

He wakes up in a foggy environment and it seems he is the only one present in this scene.

JY then wakes up in the room, surrounded by the members. Take note of the surroundings and the members, everything seems to be a replication of the van that they were travelling in the initial scenes (the walls are littered with stickers and graffiti of the same kind seen on the van’s windows, JS is still filming, JB is holding a bird etc.). During this time, JY realizes something is up when JS turns to film JY but simply pans the camera over him (as if he isn’t there). He does make eye contact with MK in the room, who seems to know he was there.

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He wakes up again and finds himself in the van. Everyone is outside. Like in the room, JY does not interact directly with the members nor do the members refer to him, regardless of what is going on. Once again, we see a similar replication of the van (i.e. graffiti on the ground is the same type as on the windows of the van and the walls of the room; same goes for the stickers; JS is filming again). JS’s footage catches YJ flying, with JS following soon after. BB, YG and MK are seen flying soon after. JB isn’t seen flying with the others but instead floats on top of a bed, with 5 other birds flying around with him (the birds signify the other members minus JY).

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YJ is the first to fly. JS catches it on camera and starts to fly afterwards
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JB is the last character (apart for JY) to fly and he does so in the presence of 5 birds

JY wakes up once again, this time around he is standing on top of a building and he falls down.

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JY falls off the building

Personally, I do not think we can really interpret much from this. It isn’t until we get to the later videos that we can start connecting things together to form a proper story (i.e. why the members are flying; why JY is alone and cannot interact with the members; what really happened to the van).


Fly Music Video

The music video continues on where we left off in the trailer. It is assumed that JY falls off the building and join in with the flying fun. But it turns out he is the only one unable to fly and this only becomes a realization once he continues to drop while his friends continue to fly about. Also, I think at this moment he realizes that something bad happened to his friends, which can be implied through the teardrop while falling down. The rest of the members see JY falling down very fast. He then eventually falls into the mist and wakes up once again.

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As JY falls down, he cries. Most likely because he realized something happened to his friends.

The music video’s second half is all we got to contribute to the storyline but it is probably one of the most defining moments of the trilogy. However, what did actually happen to his friends has not been explicitly visualised in the music video. It has only been implied. All we know for now that JY is alone and he knows he is separated from his members. 


Turbulence Trailer

We deviate a little from the storyline in this video with the entire GOT7 group on a flying plane. The members are mucking around of the plane in a similar manner to the car trip (JS is filming once again, BB’s face is drawn on again and cushions are thrown about). JY, on the other hand, is watching their antics once again but sitting away from the members. He also listens to music, which he does with MK during the car trip.

The plane then experiences some turbulence. JY tries to get to warn his friends however the flight attendant tells him to remain put. The rest of the group, ignoring the warning messages and lights, continues mucking about. The turbulence gets worse, so JY tried to warn the members once again but was held down by the same flight attendant (who also forced an oxygen mask onto him).

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Flight attendant tells JY is stay put. 

The video then shows JY sliding into a tank filled with water. He then wakes up, realizes where he is and struggles within the tank. We then are shown YJ opening a birdcage and removing the bird from its confines. We are then returned to the plane with the other members, along with flashbacks from both the Departure Trailer and Fly music video.

JY then wakes up at the scene of a plane crash. He is saved by paramedics but none of the other members are around. He turns to the side to see JS’s video camera lying about with footage from the trip.

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JS’s camera found at crash site

I think this is the video that confirms that the members (excluding JY) are dead. The plane isn’t real but rather another representation of the van seen in the Departure trailer (proven by the presence of the footage on the camera).  The video also gets somewhat cryptic with the YJ’s scene. My guess is YJ is freeing JB from the confines of the cage, as JB is the only member with a bird during the Departure trailer (and isn’t represented by a bird when he dies). 


Due to the length of this post, I have decided to split it into two different sections. This is Part 1. To view Part 2, click here!

 

[Special] Music Video Theories – GOT7 Flight Trilogy – Part 2

Please note that this theory may not be right and is just my understanding/take on the video. This is also a very, very long post!

THIS IS PART 2 OF THE GOT7’S FLIGHT TRILOGY THEORY. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ PART 1, CLICK HERE!

Welcome to my theory for GOT7’s Flight Trilogy, which was released over the 2016-2017 period. A total of 6 videos formed this theory (Departure Trailer, Fly, Turbulence Trailer, Hard Carry, Arrival Trailer and Never Ever).

For this theory, it will be extremely tedious to write out each member’s name. So I will be using the following key when referring to the members:

MK – Mark
JB – Jaebum (JB)
JS – Jackson
JY – Jinyoung
YJ – Youngjae
BB – Bambam
YG – Yugyeom


Hard Carry Music Video

 

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All members outside of car, with JY the only member suck inside car

Throughout this video (and Never Ever) we get a glimpse into what happened during the accident.  The first thing we see in this video is the members at the wreckage site. Firstly, notice how we don’t see a plane but rather a car, which suggests that in this scenario, the plane represents the car. Secondly, every member is outside of the car with JY being the only member stuck in the car. Given that only JY survived, it is likely that the rest of the members returned to save JY but perished in the process.

The following I didn’t pick up until I watched the YouTube link and read some of the other theories below. We see JS on the plane, which suggest he may have died in the vehicle. BB grabs onto the oxygen mask in the ambulance, suggesting he died on route to a hospital. JB’s surroundings (floating green trees) suggest he made it to the surface but went back to save the others. He is later seen surrounded by the same trees but they are dead. JY, in the midst of this, starts to float up like how JB does in the Departure trailer but is dragged back down by the members (which confirms that the members went back).

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JY flies up like how JB does in the Departure Trailer, but is pulled down by the other members right after

MK, during the second verse, is seen only in the plane wreckage, suggesting that he may have gotten stuck when trying to save JY (this becomes a little more clearer in the Never Ever video). YG was seen outside of the wreckage (which becomes an important detail in the next video). Note that both MK and YG’s scenes alternate between the plane and car wreckage. In JB’s next scene (with the dead trees), we also see him opening the bird cage and getting into the bird cage, which instantly transitions of YJ’s scene where he takes out the bird (which confirms that JB dies as well). We also see for a very small fraction of a second worth of YJ and the birdcage at the wreckage site (with YJ in white). In my culture, white is commonly worn as the colour of mourning. But I am not sure if this is relevant.

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JB was previously in the same scene with green trees. Here, the trees are dying.

JY is in a box filled with water, representing the car filling up with water. YJ is outside of the box (in the ocean) and smashes the glass (i.e. break a window) to get JY out. From the Departure trailer, YJ flies first so he dies first. Hence, this very act caused him to lose his life. The other members (apart from YJ) swims to JY to help him.

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YJ smashing the glass box in which JY is trapped inside of

Hard Carry is filled with different details which may look very complicated. But once you kind of list things as they happen in the video, you see bits and pieces come together. One of my working theories is that YJ represented teamwork in this (and Never Ever) as when he smashes the window, all the members come along to help JY. While this is plausible, I may have put too much thought into the one scene, hence why I didn’t include it into the main section.


Never Ever Music Video

I skip to the Never Ever video because it follows on from the Hard Carry video. The Arrival Trailer seems to occur after and concurrently with the Never Ever video. 

The video starts off with JB inside a car on the passenger side, filled with plants. But no one is driving. This suggest that JB had no control over the van prior to the accident. We then see JY inside the car, surrounded by plants. If you skip forward, JY is in a similar glass box as Hard Carry, surrounded by plants. Hence, the glass boxes represents the confines of the car. We also see MK with the reflection of water on his face, standing outside the car (which goes back to MK dying in/next to the plane wreckage while saving JY). Finally, JS’s impact with the wall occurs at the same time as the car/van makes impact with the bridge, which is also the same bridge which the group was driving along in the first video.

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JS breaks concrete wall on impact

At the end of the first chorus, we see JB drowning on the outside of the car, alongside the sinking car, which confirms that he drowned. We then see YJ (dressed in white) smashing the glass once again, with MK being the one to save JY this time around. After smashing the glass, we do see YJ unable to do much because he is on the other side of the fence, which prevents him from helping MK, which confirms his final actions were the ones that killed him.

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MK swimming to save JY

In the bridge and final chorus, we focus more on the hospital scenes (i.e. aftermath of the rescue mission). Only YG, BB and JY appear here. BB is shown to breathing through another gas mask, suggesting he died due to lack of air. YG seems to be the only member (other than JY) to make it to the hospital bed but dies while the staff are trying to save him (shown through the transition between the two), while the video ends with JY waking up once again. There is something about his face that has me thinking that he finally works out what happened to the other members.

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BB and the gas mask
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YG in the hospital hallway

So here is an extremely quick rundown of the order of events, which doesn’t make that much sense, out of all honesty. Car goes underwater, all the members (excluding JY) gets out. YJ realizes JY is left behind and goes back to smash the windows to get him out but dies along the way. JS dies next, for unknown reasons. BB most likely drowned but does get picked up by some rescuers, who are unable to save him. JB makes it to shore but realizes what is happening to the members, so he goes back in to search for them. MK goes back and saves JY by going through the hole created YJ. MK’s successful rescue attempt manages to get JY out but he gets stuck and drowns as a result. YG manages to get rescued but dies on route/at the hospital. It is presumed that JB got lost while still searching for the others but no one can find him. As a result, he is presumed to have died. 

That is my understanding of the order of events. JB dies last as shown by his scene with the 5 birds in the Departure trailer. JS’s death is the only one that doesn’t fit the timeline exactly. We can assume his impact with the concrete shown in this video signifies he died on impact but that would mean he is the first to die (whereas YJ is shown to die first with JS following shortly after). It is plausible that the impact caused his injuries which lead to his death (assuming that the impact collision hindered his possibility of swimming back to the surface). 


Arrival Trailer

The end of the entire trilogy seems to be presented in the Arrival Trailer. Note that parts of this video occurs concurrently with the events in Never Ever (i.e. mainly the following paragraph).

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JY washed up on the beach, alone

JY wakes up on the beach and realizes he is alone. This scene is a little ambiguous as it could be the scene in which he makes it to shore. Using this thought process, he remembers the events in the water, which leads to the written commentary of ‘I was trapped’. He also says ‘I failed’, which seems to be in reference to him not being able to get to his friends. The more likely scenario of what is happening can be told through the line ‘I don’t exist anymore’, as he believes he is in limbo (and why the video seems to emphasis the loneliness of JY in this scene). This is further proven by the next scene, where he wakes up in the hospital (same ending as the Never Ever video).

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JY wakes up in the hospital

We then move back to JY in the snow. The following commentary is given. ‘Most people when they fail, they just give up and don’t challenge themselves. But I’m different. I will never give up. I am not afraid of anything because you were there. I am ready to fly‘. We then see the other members playing off in the distance with JY noticing them and looks at them from a distance. There is a smile on his face.

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JY smiling while watching the others
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GOT7 members (excluding JY) having fun in the snow

The above scene could easily be a message for fans to not give up, even during life’s hardest moments. It also shows JY commitment to continue living, as he has everyone around him, even though they are not physically there. But I think otherwise. I think JY is still barely holding on and that he still slips in and out of consciousness. He has only seen the other members in one scenario, when he was in danger of dying (i.e. unconscisouness). Hence, the only possible way for him to see them is if he is unconscious. But in all of the other scenarios, JY directly attempted to help them or be with them (i.e. getting up on the plane, struggling to get out of the confines of the box, jumping off the building to fly). The other members saved him in each scenario (JY waking up at the end of each scenario). So rather than trying to be with them in the moment, he learns that this around he has to accept death, whenever it comes. This does mean he gets to live but accepting death is the only way he can one day join them, without alerting the others to his dangers. 


And that is my take on the Flight trilogy. What do you think of the music videos and the storyline?

[Special] Missed Reviews – Music Videos

Please note these special posts are designed to be long and may require some time to read (if you plan on reading the entire post).

In some cases, some groups extend their promotional period by promoting a new song. And in some of these cases, the groups also released a music video for the follow-up song. Usually, these music videos are released after I have published my album review and hence I don’t go back to do a separate review (as I have already done a short one for the song). So, I dedicate this week’s special post to return to some of those missed music videos and do a quick rundown.

Initially, my plans for this post would be over two weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is enough for two weeks. So I have scrapped the second week and will do the entire list of 6 songs today. I may return to do more ‘Missed Reviews’ special posts in the future, in case I find myself in a similar position.


Lady – Golden Child

As part of their Miracle album promotions, Golden Child followed up their It’s U promotions with Lady, which received a 9.5/10 rating on the respective album review. I actually think the group, despite their youthful charms, can do extremely well with this mature concept. The heartbreak can be seen throughout the video, as the members deal with their one-sided love. While dancing on top of a building has been done before, it looks really good here. I feel like when the members all sing together, the video could have focused entirely on all the members in the choreography shots (like for the first chorus) as they enhance the epic sound of the chorus. But overall, it is one good video that compliments the song perfectly.


Black On Black – NCT 2018

I wanted to review Black On Black like a normal song-mv-performance review, however, they didn’t get around to promoting the track until weeks after the album (and album review) was released. On the album review, the song was given a 7/10 ranking. Black On Black was a relatively simple video, which showcases a very complex choreography. The members were all wearing black, fitting for the song’s title. What I did like was the set of the video. Despite it being the one set, it was shown in 3 different lighting settings, which made it feel like 3 different sets entirely. I know the ending was meant to show all the member but I found the random zoom up into Taeyong’s belt really odd. Other than that, pretty good video.


Yestoday – NCT U

It was clear that NCT received a large budget for their multiple music videos and I guess there was enough left over for a 6th music video. Yestoday is sung by NCT U (made up of Taeyong, Doyoung, Lucas and Mark) and received an 8/10 rating. It is okay to say that I like this music video more than some of the others? Because I was very impressed with what was given to us. While the song had this jazzy feel, I felt like the video was more edgy, which I thought was a great contrast. Simplicity was the key but they did a lot of the video post-production which made it likeable and interesting. I liked the random inserts of images that flash by throughout the video.


SObeR – Suzy

At the time of writing any of the reviews, I don’t think I was aware of any news that Suzy had shot three different music videos for four of her tracks. The first of which is SObeR, which received a 9/10. And with that title, it kind of makes sense that the video will be set partly in a bar. To me, it was a ‘fun’ themed video, where Suzy acted wild and drunk, in order to woo her interest. In the end, she confessed that she wasn’t sober, which I guess could be a fun game at the club (PS. Not a club person here). I thought the various sets or places she filmed at had this elegant vibe which suits Suzy, who is considered to be South Korea’s top actresses. I also liked it how she didn’t go over the top in this video, which could easily have occurred. But it kept to her image and ended up being a nice video to watch.


Teenager – GOT7

This is the one video released last year which I never got the chance to look at. Teenager was featured on GOT7’s 7th mini-album (7 for 7) and I gave the song an 8/10 rating. The video focused primarily on the choreography. Despite that, it was still a high-quality video which I thought it was rather cool to watch. I really liked the visual effects that were shown at the start of the video. I like how the video cuts between black and white to colour. Also liked how the background complimented the hip-hop style of the song, while also adding an edge. The members also looked good (including Jinyoung’s golf pants). It is a simple video done well.


One and Only One – GOT7

One and Only One is the pre-release single for GOT7’s 8th mini-album, released earlier this year. It received an 8/10 rating, as well. What we have isn’t technically a music video. Rather, it showcases the song for a minute and that is all. I did like the blue background and how simple the video was (like above). I think if we got a longer video with some flashing lights and maybe a few different colours in the background, along with Hyolyn actually featuring the video and some choreography, the video would have been amazing. Or at least, what I think the video could have been.


Distance – CLC

Distance is a single off their 7th mini-album and the accompanying music video was released after promotions for Black Dress ended. In the respective album review, Distance received a 7/10 rating. The music video, on the other hand, would have received something much higher. I don’t know how to exactly describe the video. It can either be about heartbreak or something more sinister. The cutting of the rope can be about breaking up and physical distance. But the members disappearing, the blindfolding and just the fact they wear white alludes to something else. I have no idea what it is, though. On top of that, I thought it was a really nice video that complimented the softer nature of the song.


Thanks to all who stuck around to the end. This wraps up this special post (for the time being as I may bring it back as more music videos or songs accumulate). I will be back in two weeks time with special posts dedicated to even more music videos, so do keep an eye open for those! (Or make it easier by following me!)

[Review] THE New Era – GOT7

GOT7 has returned to Japan with a brand new single, THE New Era. This marks their return to the Japanese market with Turn Up in October of last year. Promotions this time does not include Jackson, who most likely could not do so due to schedules in China. The group previously made their Korean comeback with Look, earlier this year.

THE New Era falls in line with their previous Japanese releases. It falls perfectly into the hip-hop genre. I feel that the song felt very cluttered and I felt, almost, liked a lost child. I felt this most strongly during that section where they all started chanting. Anyway, while I do feel that way, the individual elements of the song were good. I liked how the song does bring out the vocal abilities of JB and Youngjae, while it also adds a little melodic flair to the song. The rapping was quite good, particularly in the chorus. That being said, the rapping was pushed to be the hooks of the song. But it really didn’t work out, as the song didn’t seem that memorable after multiple listens. On top of that, I don’t understand why they made Mark have a deep tone. It seemed to replicate what Jackson sounds like and it doesn’t showcase Mark’s sound. Overall, I am on the fence for this song. While it isn’t terrible, it is still decent.

Not a major fan of the music video. There just didn’t have anything that stands out. Instead, it keeps relatively safe in terms of concept and doesn’t really all too much to the song. Though, Mark’s walk (while holding the bottle) does remind me of the bottle flip in one of their previous videos.

The choreography does seem to be the saving grace for this comeback. While I don’t have too much to say about it, it was the most captivating part of the comeback. It doesn’t have an iconic label on it however it suffices. It looked good and felt fitting for both the song and GOT7.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.1/10

 

[Album Review] Eyes On You (8th Mini Album) – GOT7

GOT7 has made their return with their latest mini-album, Eyes On You. The release features Look as their title track, their collaboration single with Hyolyn and another 4 songs. This particular album seems to focus more on the vocalists of the groups, as they stand out more (and are mentioned throughout the entire review constantly). So here are my thoughts on the songs of the Eyes On You mini-album.

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Eyes On You Album Cover

1..One And Only You (너하나만) (ft. Hyolyn) (Pre-Release Track) – Unfortunately, I never got around to reviewing this pre-release track, mainly because only a short video was released for it. So, this is my chance to say that this another great track. The song has this deep autotuned vocal lines that are scattered throughout the song, which I really liked. In a way, it makes the song a little more non-traditional. There is also this energetic and bright energy, which makes it a great opener to the album. The vocals are really nice, particularly when Hyolyn and GOT7’s vocal line sing together during the chorus. (8/10)  

2. Look (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Look. (7.7/10)

3. The ReasonThe Reason is another song that highlights the vocal ability of GOT7. It starts off with a soft sound but builds up instantly to the chorus. The song has an epic pop drop, which contrasts nicely with the soft preceding sound. Likewise, the rappers also were quite soft in their delivery but this fitted perfectly into the song. As a whole, the song is awesome and is a track that I won’t mind coming back for more. (9/10)

4. Hesitating (망설이다) – This particular song is another soft song, which resembles ballad with a more upbeat instrumental than usual. Both vocalists and rappers sounded good but it wasn’t that captivating as the other songs on the album. In fact, I think this is the most passable track of the entire album. Mainly due to the fact it is bland and not that memorable. (6/10)

5. Us (우리) – Once again, the vocalists are at the forefront of the song, particularly in the verses. And they hold their ground pretty well. But the rappers are the true winners in the track, despite being hidden away and receiving smaller parts in the song. All three rappers just sounded so smooth in the song. The song also had a nice melody and was also catchy without the energy that you would associate with a catchy song. (8/10)

6. Thank You (고마워) – The usually say the quiet people are the people we need to watch for. It might also apply to songs, which this one is a good example. What we have is a beautiful R&B track to end the mini-album. Per usual, the vocalists sound amazing. The rappers don’t get really get their chance to shine, mainly due to their limited sections. However, Mark manages to deliver a punch during his part. I love the background humming in the song, which seemed to get me swaying along to the music. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10

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Eyes On You Teaser Image

[Review] Look – GOT7

“Look” at who is back. GOT7 has made their comeback with their latest song, Look, which is the title track off their Eyes On You mini-album. This is GOT7’s first comeback since You Are in October last year. In preparation for this comeback, GOT7 released a pre-release single (One & Only You) last week, which featured Hyolyn (former member of Sistar).

Once again, GOT7 does a pretty good job with their latest song. At least, in my opinion. There are a few things that stand out when I listen to the track. Firstly, it is a vocally centred song, like You Are. And I really like that because we get to hear the vocalists bring out their talents. On top of that, the rappers also do an amazing job with their limited parts. Sure, I would have liked to hear a little more rapping because a rap (in this song especially) can input some hype into the song. Moving to the next highlight of the track, we have to talk about the chorus. That burst of energy when the chorus starts and the intense upbeat instrumental does wonders for the song. That drop, each time, is my most favourite part of the entire song. The chorus was quite catchy, mainly due to the instrumentation. At this moment in time, I am on the fence when it comes to the post-chorus, which seems to incorporate some hip-hop into the song. It sounds better each time I listen to it, mainly the first time around, it felt a little too unexpecting. Despite that, however, Look is definitely one to Look out for.

There were many shots throughout the video where the GOT7 members looked into the camera in a very intense way. Reading the lyrics at the bottom, it coincidently was the line ‘Keep your eyes on me’. I am not personally sure what the video is about but I have a feeling that they were the main focus despite the changing backgrounds in Youngjae’s solo shots or the sunset in JB’s parts. It did make for a cool looking video, particularly the background during the second chorus with the blue lights in the background.

Their accompanying dance moves to this song is amazing. I particularly like the footwork and hand motions during the chorus, which both incorporated intensity and smoothness at the same time. I am also looking forward to the bridge’s choreography with Jinyoung and Yugyeom. From what I can see in the video, it looks like another standout moment.

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

[Review] Turn Up – GOT7

GOT7 is nominated for Best Boy Group and My Swagger is nominated for Best Japanese Song by a Korean Artist fir this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t supported them yet, do so by clicking here. Voting ends in 3 days, so get voting!

GOT7 recently made their return to Japan with Turn Up, which was released in November. This is GOT7’s first comeback in Japan since My Swagger  (released back in May). A month prior to the release of Turn Up, GOT7 made their Korean comeback with 7 for 7 and You Are.

In my perspective, GOT7’s Japanese releases tend to be more centred around hip-hop genre more than their Korean releases. While it doesn’t have feature dominantly the more powerful EDM synths that were present in My Swagger, Turn Up was firmly rooted in the hip-hop genre. It did have some of those EDM synths but there were more in the background, giving a smoother feel to the song.  The chorus was definitely the most memorable part, while the verses (including the rap sequences) were the most forgettable part of the song. The overall sound of the song does manage to hype you up or make you ‘Turn Up“, which I think is the point of the song.

To me, the music video attempts to be edgy and cool. And while they did manage to illustrate that, it looks somewhat unnatural. They did look like they were having fun but it just didn’t feel that convincing. Some of the flashy scenes were nice and there was really good editing between various scenes in the video. I actually managed to stumble across BTS footage of the music video shoot and the bottle flip scene was extremely painful to film (interesting fact) and nailing that is admittedly cool.

The choreography was nice, especially the moves during the chorus. I like the simplicity of the ‘Turn Up” part, which gave a more fun vibe to the dance. The ending also looked fun as well.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.7/10

 

 

[Album Review] 7 For 7 (7th Mini Album) – GOT7

GOT7 is officially back with their latest mini-album, 7 for 7.  While this is their latest release to date, I have plans (over my Summer holiday) to go back and review some of their past releases (like what I have already done with their Departure album). And this does not apply to just GOT7 but other artists as well!! But until then, here are my thoughts on GOT7’s 7 for 7.

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7 For 7 Album Cover

1..Moon U – This particular song can be described a very smooth track, which is perfect for the start of the mini album. And while does sound great with its synth dominating instrumental and the clear vocals/raps, the song is relatively plain. It doesn’t progress much and it did make me yawn a few times. (7/10)

2. Teenager – I’ll admit it, Teenager is not my song style. But I actually think it is one of the few stronger songs on the track. It starts off with the same tempo and smoothness as Moon U but it quickly builds up at the pre-chorus. Once the beat drops for the chorus, a catchy hip-hop beat captured my attention. The vocal parts in the midst of the “You make me teenager” lines by the rappers are probably my most favourite parts of the song. (8/10)

3. You Are (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for You Are. (8/10)

4. Firework – Firework is a low-key hit in my books. Everyone sings. And hence it shows off a different side to the group, which has basically been dance and hip-hop centred in majority of their tracks. The sound effects within the song along with the instrumental give the song some momentum. Firework sounds like it should be a song that blows up (pun unintentional) when you listen to it but its subtle nature here makes it a standout instead. (9/10)

5. Remember You – The song centres between a subtle RnB track and a ballad. The vocals were quite good but those raps sounded so dreamy. The song doesn’t really capture my attention. It does feel dry and (once again) doesn’t seem to get far. There was a moment where the song does manage to catch me off guard (i.e. the sudden jumps in the bridge and before final chorus) but they didn’t continue with that surprise and went back to the boring side. (6/10)

6. To Me (내게) – This is where things start picking up, once again. The track could have done with a more interesting instrumental, to be honest. It felt very bland and colourless throughout the song. The vocals and the raps were pretty good, which in turn gave some colour to the song. But I don’t think there was enough to do the track justice. (6/10)

7. Face – They left the best song (besides the title track) to the very end. The song starts off slow but it was temporary. The song manages to launch itself into a strong chorus with a really catchy hook. Like the others, the song manages to show the vocal and rapping talents of the members. Jinyoung and Yugyeom managed to wow me with their vocals in the bridge. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

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Screenshot from You Are music video

[Review] You Are – GOT7

GOT7 has made their return to the stage with their brand new mini-album, 7 for 7 and the title track, You Are. This is the group’s first comeback since wrapping up their Flight Log trilogy with Never Ever at the start of the year. Since then, Jackson made his solo debut in China, while JJ Project made their long-awaited return with Tomorrow, Today.

I am going to be honest, I think this is their weakest song yet. The group’s previous tracks have been centred around strong concepts and sounds. This upbeat dance track just doesn’t seem to fit that pattern. And while I am not too fussed about that aspect, there are elements that keep me from saying that this is their best track yet. The verses were bland and dry. They didn’t seem to captivate me as much as I hoped. The pre-chorus seemed a little awkward. It just didn’t fit in with the rest of the song, in my opinion. The chorus was probably one of the few decent parts of the song, but it wasn’t that intriguing. Instead, it was relatively straightforward. However, I do think the chorus suggest the group went for a more vocal approach, as their vocals seem to be the spotlight even more. The raps seem fitting for the song, though it could have gone for more energy. The lyrics seem to point towards a more cheerful side of the song as well, which is a nice change. So far, I can say the song has grown on me considerably and maybe a few more listens will change my perspective of the song. But for now, what I wrote above seems to be my views.

The music video is quite refreshing to watch. Though I do miss that tough and strong side of the group, the video gives off a more relatable and nice side of the group. The scenery in Hong Kong makes this a cinematic video to watch. The camera angles and the drone shots not only capture the members but also the incredible views. Though we have seen those windmills in the past, they still look amazing time and time again. The sunset scene, where they perform the choreography looked quite nice as well. I thought their incorporation of their chain accessories (what do you call them?) into the video was quite interesting.

The choreography was also quite good. It suits the upbeat nature of the song and I thought the moves during the chorus was quite impressive. When the members did the many turns for the final chorus, I was impressed.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

[Album Review] Verse #2 (1st Mini Album) – JJ Project

It has been 5 years since we last saw them. But finally, JJ Project has launched their comeback with their first mini-album. Of course, being a fan, I would not miss out on this opportunity to review their mini-album, which is titled as Verse #2. Just one comment about the album before we start. But every single track, regardless of any differences, end up making this one damn good albumt to listen to. Everything works well with each other and it did not leave me disappointed. Now, on with the review of each song!

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Verse #2 Album Cover

1..Coming Home – The album opens up with an aesthetically pleasing and RnB influenced song. I love the instrumental of this song, from the rolling drum beat to the very chilled chorus. I also loved the layering in the song. The different layers of vocals in this song, which gave the song some depth, which I thought was pretty nice. Just when you consider the entire track as a whole piece, it does come off a little dry. (9/10)

2. Tomorrow, Today (내일, 오늘) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Tomorrow, Today. (8/10)

3. On & OnOn & On feels like another song that fits the tropical house trend that is ongoing in the industry. But the verses/chorus felt a lot more serious and more RnB influence. It wasn’t until the instrumental chorus break that it took that trend on board. What was more interesting was how they changed up the ending. Their efforts felt a little late and that ending personally could have been omitted. But it was still nice to listen to. (8/10)  

4. Icarus – The best part of the track was definitely its chorus. The energy explosion once the beat dropped made it feel so much more lively, compared to the extremely boring verses. Their vocals managed to just appear in front of the instrumental and provided an attraction to make me go back for even more. It could have easily been hidden behind in the instrumental. (9/10)

5. Don’t Wanna Know – This was my personal favourite of the entire album. Their vocals suit the RnB genre and this song gives their vocals the right amount of spotlight without going overboard. The instrumental also gave the song some energy, which made it one for me to go back for. The ending could have faded out, rather than feel abrupt, but overall, the song was too good to overlook, in my opinion. (9.5/10)

6. Find You – Like the previous song, I thought the vocals from both Jinyoung and JB were showcased to be the highlight of the song. It was upbeat and felt like an urban track that I wouldn’t mind listening to from time to time. But I fear listening to this song on repeat could leave the track feeling bland and boring in the long run. The instrumental was decent but pretty standard. (8/10)

7. The Day (Jinyoung Solo) – This could easily be played on repeat in a small, indie cafe somewhere. Jinyoung has nice vocals, but they aren’t the best compared to other people in his group. But what we hear here is a great display of his talents and skill. I like how he kept the instrumental from becoming too boring, by adding and taking out instruments. It has a nice RnB sound, which goes nicely with every other track on this album. (9/10) 

8. Fade Away (JB Solo) – Musically, JB’s track starts off with an ear-catching sound, which draws my attention. But sadly the interesting vibes from it faded out quick;y and the track felt like it was repeating itself. JB’s husky vocals made this song sound pretty good. The instrumental had a nice creepy vibe, which when I think about it now, doesn’t sound like that should have been the intended effect. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

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Tomorrow, Today – Teaser Image

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[Review] Tomorrow, Today – JJ Project

It has taken the JJ Project duo five years to make their first comeback since debut. But as the saying says: ‘better late than never’. JJ Project is made up of JB and Jinyoung, who went on to debut as GOT7, released Bounce in 2012. Their latest release, Tomorrow, Today, was released today as part of their first mini-album, Verse 2. This is also the start of the many solo and unit promotions that GOT7 will be undertaking for the second half of 2017.

If you are after a dance track such as Bounce, you have come to the wrong place. Tomorrow, Today is a completely different track, with a completely different song style that we have yet to hear from JJ Project or GOT7 themselves. The song itself is stripped of its standard dance and electronic elements and feels more ballad-like. The instrumental seemed like it was pinched from a DAY6 album, which is a good thing because we all know how good DAY6 instrumentals are. The guitar and the rolling drum beat in this song make me want to go back for some more. But what I liked, even more, is that the song felt pure and untouched. The song gets you into that swaying motion, which I have recently announced my love for.  The melodies just make you feel warm and bubbly. And don’t get me started with their voices. Even as a guy, I find their voices so dreamy and soothing. My favourite part of the entire song was Jinyoung’s part in the chorus, which provided an amazing hook that caught me for the rest of the song. The only part which I felt could have been better or scrapped entirely was the rap. It wasn’t needed and didn’t fit in with the rest of the song.

I am going to be brutally honest here, I found the video extremely boring to watch. Sure, it fits in perfectly with the song’s overall sound and style. Sure, it felt like it gave the viewers some raw footage of the guys while they were on some holiday trip, which I am sure fans enjoyed. But there wasn’t anything amazing to hold me there and make me want to watch and rewatch it some more. Unless I find idols lying on the ground quite captivating, this video just didn’t feel like your standard music video. It felt like a home video that I was awkwardly made to watch when visiting some relatives. Though the scenery was nice and some of the symbolism made sense.

I did like the choreography for this the performance though (I staked out the live stream for the first stage). The symbolism of past and present was more apparent here than the music video, with each member doing selected movements before the other. It too fitted the song and for the rest of the performance, they were in sync with each other, which I thought was cool. Hopefully, what I saw hold and it wasn’t the members missing the timing to sit down or step off the chair together!

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

[Album Review] Flight Log: Departure (5th Mini Album) – GOT7

GOT7 and JYP Entertainment recently announced that their subunit JJ Project will be making their return and over the weekend, it has been confirmed for the 31st of July. While it does make a little more sense to revisit JJ Project’s first release, I decided to go with GOT7’s Flight Log: Departure mini album, which was released in March of 2016. It went on to win the Album of the Year (for the First Quarter) at the GAON Chart Music Awards.

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Flight Log: Departure Album Cover

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

2. Can’t (못하겠어) – This song showcases their vocals quite nicely. All the members sounded crisp and clear as a whistle in the track, applicable to both the vocals and raps, which I liked. The instrumental of this track was easy to the ears. It is relatively quiet with the drum, violins and horns added to give it some character. It was easy to get into but very difficult to get out of your head once you are in. (9/10)

3. See The Light (빛이나) – See The Light has a nice mellow sound, which contrasts nicely with the rest of the tracks. Like the previous song, this one also shows off the abilities of each member. It was the slowest song on the album, but it still had a level of energy to allow it to fit in with the other tracks. If I were to describe the song in my own terms, it is the type where you sway along with its sound, soothing and very calming. (9/10)

4. FISH – Yes, let’s take this small moment to acknowledge the title of the track. How odd. But let’s move back to the content of the song. I personally liked the song. However, there were things that made it awkward. The first verse felt very quiet, in comparison to the rest of the song. JB and Youngjae give it the needed energy through their explosive vocals, which did kick start the experience for the rest of the song. Everything else felt just right, just exclude the chorus. It wasn’t necessarily bad, I just thought a better drop and some sort of melody could have given a more polished feel to the song. (7/10)

5. REWIND – From the get-go, the song blew me away. Parts of the music reminded me of the bands back in the late 90s, such as N.Sync and Back Street Boys. But there was a modern twist, in the form of that epic breakdown. Their vocals and raps were shown off nicely, as well. It was super addictive and catchy, giving me more reasons to return to the track every now and then. (10/10)

6. Beggin On My Knees – Out of all the songs, this one felt like it had the most energy and it did not fail one bit with that aspect.  It had a bright atmosphere, which I thought made it a unique track on this album. What makes it an even more unique track is the lyrics tell a completely different story, which completely contradicts the bright atmosphere. This track provided a knockout with the combination of the instrumental, raps and vocals. (10/10)

7. Something Good – Like the name suggests, the track gives off a feeling that you could describe as ‘Something Good’. That was my bad attempt at making a pun. It has a very smooth sound, which I like. You can imagine yourself in a cafe or bookshop, listening to the song. Their vocals/raps were nice but it wasn’t the standout example on the album. (8/10)

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Home Run Single Cover

8. Home RunClick here to read the full review for Home Run (8/10)

Overall Album Review – 8.5/10

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Flight Log: Departure Teaser Image

[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)