[Review] Only U – IMFACT

It is always disappointing to see persistent groups try so hard but not get far with their careers. One of these groups is IMFACT, whose recent music has grown to be favourites of mine (regardless of what I have written in their respective reviews). And now, the group has returned once again with a brand new single, Only U. This is their first comeback since their NANANA comeback in August of last year.

To me, Only U is in line with NANANA and The  Light, both of which were released last year. There is a westernised feel that makes IMFACT’s songs quite unique. Only U  is a very grounded deep house song. The instrumental does provide the song with a blank canvas despite it being a very familiar and standard tone. But it is the vocals and the rap sequences that act like paint strokes and making this song into a decent painting. Their vocals are quite nice, especially during the chorus. The ‘Only U‘ repetition packs a punch with some unique energy. I really like the hoarseness of the rappers’ voice, giving a really strong texture. But the best bit of the entire song has to be the bridge and onwards. The sudden focus on some nice singing and then the sudden flick towards the EDM buildup was actually a very attractive section. And finally, that soft ending contrasts interestingly with the rest of the electronic based song, which I also quite like. Overall, another great song from the group.

I am not exactly sure what the music video is about but it feels like IMFACT are the girl’s guardian angels, helping her and protecting her throughout the video. We can see what they are doing but she cannot – but she is able to sense them. At the end of the video, we see both parties (i.e. IMFACT and the actress) interact, which I guess is that she believes them to be her friends but she doesn’t not about their guardian position. My only issue with the video was the kitchen scene. An exploding pot of boiling hot water does not equate to a food fight. But that is me being picky.

I wanted them to have a more impactful routine, to match that drop we get in the chorus. Instead, I felt like the choreography ended up weak. There were good moves but I don’t think it was enough to really give that fitting feeling.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 5.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

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[Review] NANANA – IMFACT

I am slowly catching up on a number of comebacks which I, unfortunately, missed last week due to being a little busy. I am hoping to get two reviews done tonight, so let’s get cracking! IMFACT are back with their latest single, NANANA. This is the group’s second 2018 comeback, following The Light, which was released earlier this year in April. They performed NANANA, alongside to The Light, prior to the official comeback while at KCON 2018 in LA last weekend.

NANANA is extremely laid back and doesn’t have that explicit peak that you expect to hear when it comes to other songs. There is a moment that the buildup was intense (the bridge of the song) but it soon returns to the chorus’ original instrumentation, meaning there is some consistency. And while it does sound like that would be a boring tactic, it isn’t. There is something with the recent releases as they were all captivating yet able to maintain consistency. The instrumentation was great being very dynamic yet soft all at the same time. I like how their vocals aren’t hard-hitting like other KPOP songs of the EDM genre. They go for a more subtle approach which makes the song very easy on the ears. The combination of the soft EDM instrumentation and subtle vocal work gives the song interesting texture, which makes it appealing to my ears. The rapping gave off a different texture altogether, mixing some roughness to the smooth mix. Overall, I thought NANANA was a great song.

Unfortunately, I can’t really say the same in regards to the video. There isn’t a whole heap going on throughout the video, which I think does pair well with the laidback side of the song. However, with the interesting amount of texture within the song, I felt like this could have called for some visual textures as well. We do see a bit of it through the use of colour and black and white. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough.

 I liked the smooth nature of the choreography, which pairs well with the song. I didn’t think they would go for a very complicated routine for this song but they did and it paid off. The stage looked amazing and their stage presence was exceptional. My only comment would have to be in regards to how tense they look.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

 

[Review] The Light – IMFACT

IMFACT have made their return to the stage with The Light. This is their first comeback since Tension Up, which was released last year. Since their last comeback, 4 members (of the 5) participated in The Unit: Idol Rebooting Project. Jeup ranked the highest at 11th missing out on a position as part of UNB, while Ungjae, Taeho and Jian ranked 26th, 27th and 49th respectively.

The Light combines hip-hop, pop and electronic music, which is a common combination nowadays. The question is whether they make it work. And for the most part, I thought the song was rather cool. I really enjoyed the chorus, which was upbeat and unique. That high pitch synth really made the song stand out, along with the upbeat nature providing energy that I did not expect whatsoever, particular during the opening rap. The rapping parts of the song were okay. They weren’t terrible but they felt mismatched with the rest of the song. They just didn’t feel as captivating but did allow the chorus to take me by surprise. The vocal sections of the song (i.e. pre-chorus and bridge) were pretty nice. I thought they were the better parts of the song. The real winner is the chorus which I cannot stop thinking about.

The music video had this really cool element to it. I really like that holographic lighting they used and the sets were awesome. The stylists also gave them completely different looks, to the point where I couldn’t recognise anyone. I almost thought they got new members. The abandoned sets looked cool and I like how the choreography sets had flashy lights, which felt worked well with the chorus. Besides that, I don’t have much else to say.

Surprisingly, there weren’t much choreography scenes in the music video. While that isn’t a problem, I would have expected more choreography. At the moment, I can’t seem to find a showcase or live performance, so I shall return once I find one.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – To Be Updated
Overall Rating – 7.3/10

[Review] Tension Up – IMFACT

There seems to be a possible emerging trend where artists make monthly releases during the year. DAY6 and Loona are currently groups that are participating in this trend. Joining them is IMFACT, who made their debut last year with Lollipop and returned at the end of the year with Feel So Good. Unfortunately, this is my first review of the year for the group, meaning I have missed two of their monthly releases, In The Club (never got around to it) and Please Be My First Love (never actually listened to it). I’ll get around to them though, so don’t worry.

Tension Up serves as a return to their Lollipop days. Feel So Good was terrible and their first two monthly releases ended up being ballads. And this is the type of sound that I actually like from the group. It suits them, more than their other tracks. The instrumental is synth heavy and I wouldn’t mind this song at a KPOP themed party or the KPOP night at the club. It is quite funky and attempts to be hard-hitting, though some parts did feel a little lacking. From the start, the song launches into a very intense sound, which makes you want to get up and dance along to the music. It slows down a bit just prior to the chorus to provide a buildup, but the slowdown doesn’t fit the song that much. They then launch right into the groovy chorus, which where I spent the majority of the time head banging to the song and lip-singing to the lyrics. Their vocals and raps are pretty good here. There is a side of ordinariness to the song, which regardless of how much I want to shake it off, it remains there. If you want a song to just let loose a bit, this one is probably the one. If you enjoyed Lollipop, then I think you would also enjoy Tension Up.

While the song does seem to have that party-filled feeling, the music video lacks that feel. Sure, the setting at the club, flashing lights and the song playing in the background does give that feeling. But the lack of people at some of these KPOP parties in many music videos always confuses me. I don’t see why the manager in the video needed to be tough on the guy. If your club has no patrons, then I would fall asleep, DJ or not. But jokes aside, they actually managed to do a good job at filling the emptiness that I could see in the video. Them having fun looked real and not fake (like in some other videos). I wouldn’t mind going to their roller skates club (though I should pick up the skill first). And the club actually looks nice during the choreography shots. Overall, the video suits the song quite nicely.

Unfortunately, the performance didn’t share the same feelings as I described in the song review. Sure, the routine looked quite intense. But it just didn’t have than fun side to it. The dance itself is not that memorable and it feels like the performance would be lost amongst the other stages.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 4/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

[Review] Feel So Good – IMFACT

IMFACT has returned with a brand new song. They made their debut at the start of the year with Lollipop. This is their first return since their debut.

IMFACT’s debut put them on the map for me. Feel So Good is a complete change around and it does take them off that map. They went from a completely bright and fun sound to a dark and boring feel. Usually, I listen to songs multiple times before even attempting a review (hence why my reviews are like 5 weeks behind schedule), but I have only listened to the song a total of 3 times (give or take). So what is the song? The song is a deeply infused hip-hop song that is trying to go to underground and failing miserably. The only part which I like about the song is the vocal part just prior to each chorus. The chorus itself consist of a deep and slow sounding “Feel So Good“. The chorus either feels dragged out too much OR completely empty (literally). I didn’t like the change to ballad/RnB for the bridge. Vocals were okay. Rapping was a little too try-hard. I feel completely terrible with this review. But that is what I feel about the song. Disappointed.

Someone do something about the dreadlocks. WHY??? Why are you doing this?? TThey clearly went back in time and collected their entire wardrobe from the 90s. Maybe back even further. I don’t even get why one of them is bearing a beret. I guess this is what you get for wanting to be fashionable to everything you go to. Even nightly fights. Oh, right, the plot. The video consist of slow motion running, planning and fighting. It seems like they are infiltrating a base of some kind, but you don’t really know what is going on because everything (minus the choreography scenes) is edited with slow motion slapped across it. It makes the entire video painful to watch.

Okay, I feel exceptionally mean today. But let’s move onto a part of the comeback which I think is a solid effort. The choreography. Given how the song is, the dance moves all fit the song quite well. Slow dance moves for the slow chorus. Fast dance moves for the more faster parts of the song.

Rating – 2/10 (I apologise)

Rewind: January 2016

2016 has started and we are already one month into the year. Damn time flies. And by the time you are reading this, we already be 1 and a half month in. Is that Christmas bells I hear in the far distant? Hahahaha… This is my revamped Rewind post for the month of January of the year 2016. Let’s go!

Major News

Probably the biggest news of the month is in regards to Tyuzu’s controversy in China. Now, while most of this is political, here is just a brief run down of what I know is going on. Tyuzu was seen on a broadcast holding a Taiwan flag and saying proudly that she is Taiwanese. China (and I say its people) did not like the idea and decided to censor her. She issued an apology, but some people think JYP forced her to do so, as now all his artists (GOT7 and 2PM were reported in the news) have been “shut out the country”. It has gone far as Twice’s stage being left out of the Golden Disk Awards when it was broadcast live in China, which for who do not know, is a Korean award show that was supposed to be held in China, but due to certain circumstances was moved back to South Korea.  All I have to say is that she is probably now scarred for life. Everyone always talk about equality and to be proud of who you are. And sadly this is a reflection of how hypocritical the world is.

Major Comebacks

GFriend made their slaying comeback in January with Rough and have since been stealing all the music show’s trophies this week (which happens to be February, but since they officially made their comeback stages in January…). They have proven to be a powerful force and given that they only made their debut last year, makes this an amazing feat. Congrats 여자친구.

Other artists that made their comeback in January are: Teen Top, Dal Shabet, Zico (Block B), Stellar, Cross Gene , The Legend, Shin Hye Sung (Shinhwa) and many other artists.

Major Debuts

Ryeowook from Super Junior made his official solo debut this past month (28th of January) with The Little Prince, a ballad. While quite popular, he is currently competing with GFriend on the music shows and unfortunately been placing second.

IMFACT is also another rookie group that made their debut on the 27th of January. Their song, Lollipop, is currently one of my most played songs and I am actually listening to this song while I am writing this. Hahaha..

Other debuts in the past month include: Yezi (Fiestar), SUS4, & CocoSori

Polls

I did ask you all which iKON song you guys liked the most since their debut. The results are in and the most liked iKON song is: Airplane and Dumb & Dumber. Both scored 25% of the votes. My Type, Rhythm Ta, Anthem and Apology all scored 13%. What’s Wrong did not receive any votes.

Top 5 Songs for the Month!

  1. Rough – GFriend
  2. Lollipop – IMFACT
  3. Someone Like U – Dal Shabet
  4. Don’t Forget – Crush ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
  5. Warning Sign – Teen Top

And that is it for the January of 2016. February’s rewind is going to be a long one with all these confirmed comebacks.

 

 

 

Lollipop – IMFACT

2016 has officially began in KPOP with the debut of IMFACT (This is the first group  from a major company to make their debut this year). Yeah, it would be a boring year if there were no new debuts. IMFACT is a 5 member boy group, that is under Star Empire Entertainment, the home of Nine Muses & Z:EA. Let’s hope their company can do a better job with the promotions of this band than certain others. Anyway, the band is made up of Lee Ji An, Kim Tae Ho, Lee Sang, Park Jae Up and Na Ung Jae. They officially made their debut on 27th of January, with the release of their mini album Lollipop.

I had my suspicions with the song and I guess what I had in mind was kind of right. Like the song title suggest, the song has a very bright sound and the boys would attempt a bright concept. The song kind of irked me a little bit when I first listened to ti, but damn, it grew on me. First off, the song, from start to end, had powerful vocals and that rapper was such a deep and husky voice. That high note at the end really made my jaw drop and saying that, I am quite sure that this debut song showed the member’s talents really well. The song itself has this funky sound to it and I thought the song sounded very modern and cool. Even with the funky sound, the song has the dance element sound to it. The trumpets really fit in well with the song. The chorus was really addictive and catchy to my ears. To the point, where I am listening to this song constantly.  A little disappointed with the “Come On, Yeah, I Like Lollipop, Okay, Leggo” part in the song (just before the bridge). That is the only part of the song that I would love to get rid of, but beside that small 5 second part, I think this is a solid debut song!

As for the music video, I’m a little torn. Overall, I think it is a good video, but there were some scenes that had me doubting the whole concept. For example, the scene that consisted of just the girl’s ass and they were all staring at it. Ummm… You do know that you are attempting a high school concept, and I don’t staring at a girls ass and saying that she is your “lollipop” is appropriate. Further more, why were they stripping the poor dude and making him run out into the arms of another shirtless member and then capturing right at the nipple area. Yeah, call me dirty mind, but I personally did not think it was needed to go to all that length for the video. I am sure someone could have thought something a little more appropriate for the setting and concept. Sure it fits in with the fun concept of the video, but not the school boy. However, I would only consider them as minor problems with the video. The video was very bright and the amount of fun that they were having coincided with the song. Nothing felt like it was forced (i.e. their expressions all seemed genuine and that they were having way too much fun filming the video). Maybe some of the video (especially with the teacher dancing) could be described as cliche, but I think overall, it was an excellent video to introduce the band with.

The dance is what I want to speak more. Too much Nae Nae in my opinion, but overall, I think the dance looked really cool and fitted in with the song. Even on stage, their expressions don’t seemed to be forced. I think the dance was really well done and highlighted the boys capabilities even more.

Definitely a band to look out for in the future. Looking forward to what songs and concept they will be going for next. Solid and amazing debut. 9/10