Farewell Wonder Girls

Towards the end of last month, it was officially announced by JYP Entertainment, that the Wonder Girls would be disbanding. Another major girl group a few years back would be leaving us. The girls had decided to go their separate ways, despite reports of the girls searching for a new company. Ye-Eun and Sunmi both left JYP Entertainment, while Yubin and Hyelim decided to go on with the company.

This is another farewell post for another amazing girl group. We said goodbye to 2NE1 just last month. We said goodbye to 4Minute last year and now we have to say goodbye to Wonder Girls. It is no doubt that their presence within the industry is large and that they will not be forgotten.

Wonder Girls made their debut on the 13th of February 2007 with Irony. The lineup then included: YeEun, Sunye, Sohee, Hyuna (now former 4Minute member) and Sunmi. After their debut, Hyuna was withdrawn from the group and their company added Yubin to the lineup. The group went on to release Tell Me and So Hot (alongside some other songs).

It wasn’t until Nobody in 2008 that the group rose to the top and became the hottest thing in Korea. In 2009, the group embarked on a world tour and it was decided that JYP would debut the girls in the U.S.A. The girl returned in 2010 after Sunmi left the group and Hyelim was added as a new member. The girls released 2 Different Tears. The girls returned overseas and spent more time releasing English songs and starring in their own TV show. 2011 came and the group returned at the end of the year with my favourite Wonder Girls song, Be My Baby. The girls returned to South Korea in 2012 to promote Like This.

Sadly, the group went on hiatus after 2012. Sunye withdrew from the group to get married and now she is a mother of two children. Sohee also withdrew from the group to focus on her acting career. The group reimaged themselves into a girl band and went on to release I Feel You in 2015.  Sunmi returned to the group and the final lineup now includes: YeEun, Sunmi, Yubin and Hyelim). They later returned in 2016 with Why So Lonely. The girls (with the support on Sunye and Sohee) made the announcement in Jan 2017 of the disbandment and have gone on to release their final song today (10th of February), Draw Me, for their 10th anniversary.

Wonder Girls have a long history and to me, they have released some of the most iconic songs in KPOP to date. Their influence (along with 2NE1 from YG Entertainment and SNSD for SM Entertainment) has shaped and grown KPOP to what it is today. I will also remember the catchy tune of Nobody and will always remember the super addictive dance that accompanied it. I will remember how big of a fanboy I came when it Be My Baby or Like This came on. And I will always feel awestruck watching the girls form themselves into a band.

Like 2NE1’s final song, I choose not to review it. Instead, I choose to look back at their time in the industry. Writing both posts made me sad, as I now know how far they have come, how far KPOP has gone and how much they will be missed. The majority of this post looks at their history as a group, with a few personal comments, but hopefully, it is enough to say goodbye.

Maybe this goodbye is not forever. But nonetheless, I wish all members of the group success and luck for all future endeavours. Given some of their solo careers, I think we can expect great things.

If you have not yet heard Wonder Girls’ final song (which was released today), you can listen to it below.

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[Review] Why So Lonely – Wonder Girls

Guess who is back??? Wonder Girls!!! Yep, the ladies have returned to the stage. Last time, they promoted I Feel You and introduced us to the band version of Wonder Girls. Once again, the band version of Wonder Girls have returned with Why So Lonely and have also brought a dance along with them. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

The girls went with such an amazing song. They have constantly pushed out songs that have always been deemed as unique and like no other. KPOP is a very large industry, but this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have actually heard someone attempt the reggae genre.  Yeah, it sounds like it wasn’t released in the right era nor does it sound modern and upbeat. But it definitely  is unique and it drew my attention (and most likely, yours) in straight away. The vocals were great. Yubin also has singing parts, on top of her rapping parts. Yubin’s rap was amazing. South Korea also likes the new sound as well, as their song topped the charts as soon as it was released and received certified perfect all kills. I love the harmonies during the chorus. The song isn’t heavy on the ears and is a song that I wouldn’t mind listening to every now and then. With such a unique song under their belt, the girls have done a great job with it.

The music video is made up of a simple story and close up shots of the girls. I particularly like this video because of the story line. It makes me laugh. The girls find the their “partner” cheating on them (if you go by the video) or their partner has lost interest in them (if you go by the song). The girls, either way, take matters into their own hands and deal with the situation. They kidnap him, slam a car’s bonnet on top of his arm and proceed to chain him up. But that ain’t the peak of it. They wrapped him up and then chop his arm off. But the peak is where they just start performing in front of him and then leave him there to… I don’t know what plastic dolls do… rot? It was such a freaky video, but the ending could have been dramatised a little bit, don’t you think? There is also a very kinky or sexual side to the torture, though , and I guess that alludes to the fact that he hasn’t been paying attention to the girls in any way. I thought the idea of the video was amazing and most of it was. Just a little disappointed with the ending performance and then just leaving him behind. Why not bury him in a hole? He lost an arm and in real life, he would have bled to death, so might as well just get rid of him?

There are two versions to this song when we refer to the performance. First is the band version, and second of all, is the dance version. Can’t say anything about the band version, but their blank facial expressions, for some reason, fit in really well with the song. The dance gives their facial expressions a lot more freedom. But the dance is very bland and lackluster. It was kind of expected from the sound of the song. The song doesn’t necessary have the dance feel, so I don’t know why they wanted to make a dance version of this song. If anything, they should have promoted I Feel You with a dance version.

Final Rating – 8.5/10

I Feel You – Wonder Girls

Probably one of the most sought after comebacks for a very long time. It has been over two years since we heard anything from the Wonder Girls, and now they are officially back with a brand new member. I kid. A former member, Sunmi, who we all probably know as the artists who sang 24 Hours and Full Moon. She left the group a while back and has returned as the fourth member. Why fourth? Well, Sunye and Sohee both decided to leave the band officially after a lot of speculation with their departure. Sunye now has a child and Sohee says she wants to focus on an acting career. Fans did get a little Wonder Girl’s feel when Ye-Eun made her solo debut last year with Ain’t Nobody, as HA:TFELT. And beside all of that, I haven’t heard much from the band themselves in the past 2 years. But they are back with a brand new concept and new album for fans to listen to.

This time around, while they were known for their dances, Wonder Girl’s had gone for the band concept. Interesting. Regarding the song, it is totally their style. These girls have retro down as if it was child play and they once again proved to the audience why they are so great at the retro sounds. Honestly, I love this song. It is damn catchy and addictive. The instrumental, while there really isn’t anything that grand within it, managed to blow my mind away. The drum beat and the electro sounding keyboard was a pretty nice combination. The guitars were a little more subtle, but they managed to tie everything together quite well. The vocals, that we know pretty well, was pretty good as well.  The rapping fitted into the instrumental/song pretty well. However, the vocals. While they are good, they really feel like they are holding themselves back. While I cannot point to a certain style, I felt this song limited their abilities and failed to show off who they really are. Particularly Lim, she definitely held back the most, as we know her vocal capabilities, but there was none of it here. And I am going to be honest, I might have the slightest belief that this song may be a little too dry, compared to their past releases. But still, great song.

As for the music video, tick for retro.  Everything from the stage set and their clothing looks pretty retro. Minus their instruments. They do look a little too modern, particularly the drums. That start though, with Sumni, unzipping her shorts, and then there is a massive zooming in effect, really took the cake for me. Was that seriously necessary? I thought back in the day, they opened doors for that sort of effect, not unzip pants. Also, they looked very bored. They don’t seem to enjoy themselves. One stage and in the video. I am not expecting them to be having the time of their lives, but their facial expressions tell me that they rather be somewhere else. Their instrumental playing, kind of ruined their performances. While I do understand that the performances were not live instrumental performances, at least some effort to give off the illusion would have been nice.

It was a nice retro return for the retro queens with a great song. However the music video, hmmm… Maybe not so much. 8/10 (I am being too nice)

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.

Ain’t Nobody – HA:TFELT (Yenny – (Wonder Girls))

Wonder Girl’s is finally back  in the form of one member. OMG. Only joking. Yenny has returned as a solo artist under the stage name HA:TFELT, but for simplicity and efficiency reasons (and avoid using the colon), I will be referring to her as Yenny. This is the like the first major production that involves Wonder Girls, since leader Sunye got married and gave birth to her child. Since that time, former member Sunmi made her debut with 24 Hours and returned with Full Moon. Some time later, member Sohee announced that her contract with JYP ended and that she would be perusing acting, just under a different company, which resulted in the departure of Sohee from the band. Despite the future looking quite bleak from anyone’s eyes, Yenny has returned to give some hope to her fans.

This song is spot on. I don’t think anything can be compared to this song. I think it has to be one of the best songs to date for the year. It basically takes a ballad, but it mashes it up with a dubstep drop. It is a pretty interesting concept and it may sound awful, but this is one type of the song that works out. I don’t think there are any flaws at all. I also think for this song “drop the beat” is an appropriate way to describe the song. ‘The song “drops the beat'” – I quote myself. The start is slow and ballad like. But then when you get to the chorus you gets this huge punch in the face with the change in instrumental. Then it slows down and goes back becoming a cycling. I particularly like the lyrics. Though for a group that speaks fluent English, sometimes the pronunciation gets to me a little bit.

The music video is pretty cool.  I really like the symbolism at the start. I think the butterfly at the start symbolised her boyfriend. When she careless broke the jar, letting the butterfly go, it kind of tells us that she was on one part careless and that a part of this problem is her fault. The images of the people that she walked past down the street was quite similar to a trip down memory lane. The nights waiting alone and the nights where they fight are all in this “trip down memory lane”. Though I don’t see the reason why someone that sad would start dancing on the street when she was just seconds from being run over. I think for the music video, when the song breaks into the second chorus the phone really needed to be shown cracked or something. It would fit the hype of the song, to be honest. The ending was pretty creepy. She stops before her ex boyfriend’s room, to which the doors open and the music video cuts out. Only moment before did she struggle getting up the stairs of the apartment. Hahaha…

The dance is where I want to focus on. Did any of you guys notice, particularly for KBS’s Music Bank stage, the set was distinctively (well exactly) the same as Sia’s Chandelier for her live stages? The bed, the table. It just looks the same to me. The only difference was the star of the dance. I like the normal stages where she just stands up on stage by herself. Much better. Though I for the time being, don’t use playlists any more, I shall link each of the videos down below for you guys.

Beside the dance, I would have given the whole comeback a 10/10. Though for the time being, I think I shall dock two rating points off for the dance. You will see why. 8/10