[Review] All Eyes On Me – Hoya

Hoya has officially made his solo debut with his first mini-album, Shower. This is his first major release since leaving Infinite last year. He did previously release a pre-release single, titled Angel, a few weeks back. Shower also features All Eyes On Me, which is the title track of the record.

All Eyes On Me was exceptionally boring. I think that would be my nicest way of describing the track to you all. There isn’t anything holding me there to listen to it. Instead, it feels monotone and grey, which doesn’t really hold well with another R&B track. For a moment, the instrumental did perk my ears up during the chorus with that background echoey sound (not exactly sure what it is). But it just wasn’t enough to keep me interested in the song. His choice of vocals are interesting but it just slows down the song and robs its any energy it could have had. When I listen to his pre-release and the title track, Angel is the more superior track by far. The two of together, however, doesn’t really give off much impression, which has me concerned for the now-solo artist. As harsh as it sounds, those are my thoughts. Though I will admit, we have to see how his future releases stack up to be sure.

Like the song, the music video is quite underwhelming. The only impressive part of the video is when Hoya is literally bouncing towards the camera (at the very start of the video). The video just felt empty and the lack of people doesn’t really reflect well on the minimalistic sounding song. As a result, you get a boring video that doesn’t keep me around.

Hoya is known for his performances and is always seen as the main dancer of Infinite. Unlike the song and video, his dance performance looks quite promising here. While it was fitting for the song, there were moves throughout the video which I thought was cool. The bouncing (mentioned previously) is one of them, another is the pre-chorus build-up.

Song – 4/10
Music Video – 4/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 4.8/10

 

 

 

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[Review] Angel – Hoya

Hoya was the only member of Infinite to not resign his contract with Woolim Entertainment when all the contracts for the members were up for renewal. And hence, Hoya left the group in October 2017. Since then, we have seen various videos of him practising and this week he finally dropped his first single as a solo artist, Angel. He will be returning once again with a mini-album on the 28th of March. Until then, here are my thoughts about Angel.

Angel takes on that seductive style of R&B that we don’t see at all on the KPOP scene. Instead, it sounds like a song that you would hear from an underground artist. What makes this song stand out is the seductive nature of the song. From its sound to its lyrics, you can’t really escape the sensual vibes that come from this song. The vocal work isn’t something I have heard from Hoya at all, singing majority of the chorus in a falsetto voice. There were nice moments of contrast with the deep and hollow effect that put on his voice at certain points of the song.  It is a fair track to listen to on an occasional basis. I say that because the song is already quite dry on its own. With multiple repeats, I would get bored of it quite easily. However, with one or two listens once in a while, the song sounds nice.

Like the song, the music video doesn’t have much to it. The music video is presented in a one-shot format, which definitely works well with the performance. The choreography is only the main thing in the entire video. And you guessed it, it is rather sexy. Hoya has always been known for his dance skills and this performance isn’t something we see that often in the past (with the one or two odd solo performance on shows or at concerts). That ending was probably the peak of the entire performance, completely going off the sexy meter. But despite that, this is an artistic piece that shows off his skills. 

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video & Performance (since they are together) – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

Bad – Infinite

Infinite is back after a year with a brand new comeback and mini album. Bad is their 5th mini album that was released with Back being their last release in July last year. Since Back (hehehe…), Infinite has been very busy with drama filming and promotions. Infinite H made their subunit comeback at the start of the year with Pretty. Sunggyu also made his solo comeback with double title tracks: The Answer and Kontrol. On top of that the boys have been releasing singles in Japan such as Dilemma which I reviewed earlier in the year. So many hyperlinks in the introduction today.

The song is described as a combination of hip hop and EDM elements. And that is something that we got. It honestly feel this is a very powerful song and it matches songs that I and probably many fans associate with Infinite. I also hear hints of classical and rock through the instrumental of the song, which adds to that powerfulness. As for the vocals, they were powerful and very strong, but remained matching to the style of song that the writers were getting at. Often we have a mismatch between vocals and instrumental, but this time around, they blended well with each other. Also, every member seemed to excelled in terms of vocals for this song. Sungyeol and Sungjong got more lines and their voices seem much steadier this time around. The rapping was kept to a minimal in this song, which I don’t fully understand why. I like Infinite’s rap in their song, but funnily not a big fan of their rap/hip hop subunit. Hmmm…

The music video is also quite interesting. The guys are tormented by this girl who they are describing as “bad”, hence the title of the song. The make use of mirrors in this video quite interestingly, being a way for the girl to get to them. I find that is an interesting concept. Hence why we see them sitting around, running away and looking around in fear due to the mirrors. And from the very first time I saw the music video, I knew it was the same guy or girl or group of people who filmed Orange Caramel and EXID music videos (and of course countless other music videos for other artists). I was amazed by the teaser for this comeback though. I believe they are the first KPOP group to actually use the 360 degree video format, which I thought was hella cool. I watched it on my phone and could spin around and looking around in the 360 view. Awesome. Just one complaint however, Dongwoo’s rap segment in the music video does not match up with the song. The lips were way off.

The dance is always awesome for Infinite. They are always in sync with each other. When I thought saw the dance, I was thinking that there was no way they would be in sync since there was a lot going on. But, the group managed to prove themselves to be one of the best dance groups ever.

This was a very powerful comeback with a really powerful song, a cool video and of course, per usual, an amazing choreography. 9/10

Pretty – Infinite H

Infinite’s most hottest subunit is back. Infinite H, for those who don’t know, consist of Hoya and Dongwoo and releases songs for the hip hop demographic. They debuted with Special Girl back in 2013. Since then, they have been heavily promoted with the rest of Infinite, with singles such as Man In Love, Destiny, Last Romeo and their latest hit Back. But after a 2 year wait, fans can now get a better look at Infinite’s resident rappers.

This song is claimed to have a “soft hip hop beat” to it. I can hear that it is soft. Just I really can’t see (or hear) much of a hip hop influence. Their last song, Special Girl, had a more hip hop vibe compared to this song. That being said, I feel like this is more of a pop song. But that is just what I hear. I like this song. It really is not that bad.  I really don’t know what else to say about the song. The boys can rap? But this song also points out that they can also sing. The song really is not that catchy however and though it does appeal to me, it really does not have me coming back to listen to it again and again. I just feel that it is cause it lacks the hip hop feel according to my ears. But nice song overall.

Music video, even though was meant to be humorous, really did not make it laugh. Actually, it makes me think the boys are quite clumsy. I just like it how they played out various scenarios in which the girl was so beautiful that it got them nervous and caught them out. Beside having just one plot, there are multiple plots in this one video. I like how the background, even though it was fake and seemed fake, really brought out the back ground in the music video. It actually seemed stylish and a really modern idea. Just making hearts while driving, really does not seem that ideal. The girl, to me, is not that great looking. She has a great face and all, but nothing I would go crazy for.

The dance is okay. It was toned down a little from the Infinite dances we know of, mainly because this has a much softer sound for the song. The two seemed to be having fun on stage and enjoys the dance as well.

Overall, nice song. Though, I think it time that Infinite H makes a comeback with another song that actually has a hip hop vibe to it, that all of us are familiar with. 6.8/10

 

Dilemma – Infinite

It has been so long since I have written a Japanese song review hasn’t it?Well, that drought hopefully will be over today. I am hoping to increase the amount of JPOP or Japanese songs this year that I will actually review. And least break the drought with Infinite’s newest Japanese song: Dilemma.

The song was a collaboration between the famous producer Tomoyasu Hotei and the famous Korean band Infinite. The song has its really cool rock and roll roots, but also includes dance themes and also a really cool modern feel to the song. The song literally hits you as soon as it starts. It is a very powerful song and really oozes out the energy that the boys have. The chorus is really catches my eye, because it seems different from the rest of the song. That is a good thing though, so don’t be mentioned. I am not really a fan of the rapping in the song. They did a good job, just it slows down the song. That really long instrumental part in the song really sounds cool as well and actually picks up from the rapping pretty well. There is just one little complaint. And this complaint kind of goes with many Korean artists. But if the title of the song is an actual lyric in the song than learn how to say the word properly, especially if it is in a different language. Beside that, the song was really good to listen to.

The music video was pretty dark. I don’t know why but the music video gave off the same feel as Last Romeo did for me. Just there was less colour and a lot more close up shots of the member. There is also a mysterious band playing in the music video. Most of the time we only see their silhouette. The music video also had that violent side to it. Hahaha. Yes, glass breaking was a little repetitive in the music video. I am sure one member would have been fine. I really don’t know what to say about this video now. Okay I guess.

There is a dance in this music video, however we don’t get to see much of the dance in this video. Though from what I have seen, the dance fits Infinite’s style of dancing. Pretty good.

8.7/10 – A really cool release in Japan. Hopefully, they might be able to bring this song to Korea (or at least this style for their future comeback?

Finally, another Japanese reviewed finish. If there are any other Japanese artists that you think I should be reviewing, please comment the name of the artist or group and also a song that they have sang. Will do my life wonders, as I have no idea who is who in Japan (though at the moment I am looking at another artist in AVEX).

Back – Infinite

Infinite is finally back a brand new song. It seems like just yesterday that they were performing. Oh wait, didn’t they just finish promoting Last Romeo just like early last month? That might explain it. Hahahaha…. The group is back with a repackaged album of Last Romeo, which had been retitled as “Be Back”, which contains all their other songs from the Last Romeo album and also 2 brand new songs, Diamond and Back. The latter is being reviewed today. Probably one of the most violent videos ever. If some of you guys remember, last time they promoted Woohyun was injured. This time around, Hoya is injured. So many injuries. And so little time to review this. Sorry, I was drowning in homework when I started this review. Whoops.

This song is freaking amazing. I have no words to describe. I was speechless, but my jaw did not drop a mile. It is a really nice song that is a wonderful mash-up of different genres, just I don’t think it is that memorable overall. However, the song is quite up there as one of my favourites. As soon as the song starts, we get some kind of ballad of some sort, but little over a minute and the beat drops. Basically the thing that really stands out for me is that Infinite is quite known for their dance songs, with all of that heavy choreography. On top of that, myself and probably the rest of the fans really enjoy their ballads as well, so this song combines both of them. Pretty decent. I liked how the song goes from slow to fast and back to slow, and then back to fast. It sounds really amazing. Another thing to note, is that there are no raps. Members Hoya and Dongwo who are known for rapping all end up singing vocally in this song which goes to tell how strong their voices are. All the other members get decent line distributions here in this song. just I think Sunggyu ends up dominating. I also found the “Back Back Back” part really catchy and the instrumental equally as appealing.

Probably a video done right. It has a 19+ rating, but hey there is none of that sexual nonsense here. Just a very young girl is being kidnapped and a fight ensues between the kidnappers and the band, which turns ugly in just about 1 second after the “Back” and Infinite sign took over the video. Just the one thing that is troubling me is that the girl looks like she is still in elementary school. Probably young enough to be the youngest sister of one of the members, not their lover [CORRECTION: The girl actually is the sister. My bad]. Anyway, the boys go into this abandoned warehouse to save the girl. As soon as they walk in they start fighting. Some are throwing punches, some are doing really weird flying kicks. Just Sungyeol is very angry, and pulling the minions hair and Sungjong, are you holding an umbrella? “Hey you got the guns? No. Well what do you have?” An umbrella. Wow. But hey, don’t look down on him because that umbrella is probably the world’s deadliest. However in the end they get overpowered. However, it seems at the end, they start going back into combat when we all first thought they had lost. Amazing what love can do to you. Beside the violent nature of the video, I thought the video was quite nice to watch. The solo shots look awesome and those scenes where the members, one by one, are sitting behind the fence, in the middle of the fight, looked pretty cool to watch.

The dance is pretty good. I really think the start was probably the best out there. It matched the slow start and then when the song started to get quicker and there was more of an electro sound to it, the dance picked up as well and started to be more fitting for a dance song.

By far, probably one of the best Infinite comebacks. Too bad they are currently overshadowed by big name bands in the industry this time around. Congrats on your win today though. 10/10

Last Romeo – Infinite

Infinite has recently made their comeback with a new album. After solo promotions and solo activities such as acting, the group has finally hit the stage as romantic men again. However, this is not the first album from the group this year. In March 2014, the group released “The Origin” which is an instrumental album which consisted of all of their hit songs and other popular non-title track songs. The album itself was split into three version, each with their own category. An amazing album, that you all should check out. But this is there first release of the year that contained their voices and it seems they are getting a lot of love with four awards already and we are still counting the endless number of the awards that are yet to come.

I guess this song takes rock and roll, brings down the level of power of the song and mushes it into a love song. Okay, if I put it that way its sound like a horrible type of song doesn’t it? But I think it is a cool Infinite style song. It was quite upbeat, powerful like their past songs. I really liked the drums throughout the whole thing. Though to me, the song was not as memorable as their past songs, but it sounded pretty good. Dongwoo and Hoya sound like they are really good professional rappers and to me, they improved greatly.  I find the vocals of this song pretty good as well. The rock feel of the song makes it a stand out compared to the rest of the songs that have been released recently. The whole song to me seemed to be written around Romeo’s point of view of Romeo and Juliet. Overall a pretty cool song, however it could have been better.

The music video is pretty cool I loved the short intro they had at the start. The music video is back to the dark ages which I really enjoy from the band. The music video tells the story of a couple who seems to be lost in time (I assume that is what the start was) and somehow they conjure themselves up at a library. At the library, Woohyun find clues to find the missing girl. They meet but unable to reach other, so Woohyun goes running after her, to which the girl just walks off, as if she is teasing him. The she disappears and he reaches the middle of the libaray, where he is so angry that he unleashes the 1000 years of fury and blows everything up, to which he is transported back to wherever he first was (or he died). Not sure. The plot seems to fit in partly to the song, but really some things could have been much better. I like their dance scenes, with the fake White House like structure and those pillars. Without the reasoning with the song, I think the music video was much better than expected, but with the song, not so great.

The dance is pretty cool. It is such a pity that Woohyun got injured and now he looks really awkward dancing the whole thing with his hands gripping his belt, but that can’t be helped.  But overall, I liked the dance.

7.5/10. A pretty cool comeback this time around, it just needed that something more to add to it to make it sound and look better.

Ooh Ooh – Eric Nam ft. Hoya (Infinite)

Source: http://www.love-kpop.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/31.jpg

Eric Nam is back with a brand new song. It has been over a year since we last saw the man himself on stage promoting a song, the last being his debut single: Heaven’s Door. Since then, he has picked up on being a host for a show called After School Club and I believe have sung many OSTs. Now that he is back, we see what seems to be a more fun side to him. If you don’t remember him, he is that contestant on one of those variety music competitions in Korea which got him well-known. Eric Nam also collaborated with labelmate Spica’s BoA for a cover of Say Something, which was amazing and that you can watch it HERE. I also believe it is my first review for a Monday where I have school the next day. I still have school tomorrow, I just cannot be a whole day in the rain for athletics. Oh the joy.

This song is pretty good. I really enjoyed and it sounds really, really well done. Giving off that 70-80 vibe in the song, the song is pretty cool. The song itself also features Hoya who does a pretty amazing job with the rapping in the song, while at the same time, not ruining the “vocal” line of the song. The start of the song is a really good start to an amazing song, which leads to a really soft vocal part from Eric, but then bam, the chorus. It makes you want to dance along. Another thing I want to mention, is that throughout the whole song, the instrumental remained constant. There were no major fluctuations between the speed of the instrumental or the loudness which makes it a pleasant song. Well, expect for the bridge, but that lasted for like 15 seconds until it picked up again, which was pretty good. The song talks about how this guy finds the perfect girl whom he (or she) does not even know, but everything about her is perfect. I have no complaints what so ever.

The music video. Oh boy. I think you know what I am talking about. Those socks have to go. LOL. Just joking. That stereo with the click of a finger needs to be in my house NOW. Wait, I can’t click my fingers together. Wait, not that. Anyway. The music video is pretty cool (not for that reason, I am not perverted). But that first scene was mildly hilarious for me, mainly because I am trying to see if he had buttoned up any extra buttons, cause it looked like it either fell out or he completely failed. And also, I really like how Kevin, BoA and Brian from Busker Busker was used in this video. Well I shouldn’t say it in that way. But their appearance gives off a good vibe for the video. The set is amazing (though I think one was a little too dark for me, but the flashing lights lightened up the place). But beside that, not really tough complaints.

The dance is pretty catchy. A lot of clicking, and I think it only consisted of the hand movements. Also the dude filling in for Hoya is pretty good.

Anyway, the school managed to cancel the athletics think I was talking to about (at the worst hour possible), so I am in a somewhat happy mood. 9/10