[Review] If You Are Only Fine – Nam Woo Hyun (Infinite)

Nam Woo Hyun is officially back with his first solo comeback since his solo debut (Still I Remember) back in May 2016. Since May 2016. Woohyun has been participating in a range of musicals and making comebacks with Infinite, with the most recent being at the start of the year (Tell Me). Woo Hyun’s latest title track, If You Are Only Fine, is featured on his second mini-album, Second Write….

If You Are Only Fine is a ballad, following his solo debut track. And it is a very serious and emotional ballad from the very start. There isn’t anything upbeat or lively about this ballad, confirming the fact we are approaching that time of the year when every ballad that is released comes from an emotional or moving perspective. I personally do not mind as it allows seems fitting for the season. The song doesn’t get to the exciting territory until we get to the second half of the first verse, as this is when the instrumental slowly picks up. It builds up to be a nice orchestral ballad piece but feels very typical. Woohyun’s vocals do also buildup, giving us some power vocals that have a heavy dose of sadness throughout it. I will have to be honest though. It is a good song to listen to but it doesn’t have that wow factor that gets me wanting more or returning for further listens.

The music video recounts the moment a couple meets for the first time and the events in between, up until when the couple sadly splits up. It does a terrific job of encapsulating the saddening elements of the song and present it to us within a 4-minute video. I would have liked to see some more acting when it came to the sad ending because it doesn’t feel enough. What we got was good but I wanted more to further illustrate the heartbreak. However, it was good to watch.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.7/10

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[Album Review] 10 Stories (1st Studio Album) – Kim Sung Kyu (Infinite)

Kim Sung Kyu has been one of my favourite artists in the industry for a long time. That includes his works as part of Infinite and his solo career. 2018 marked the start of a new era for Sung Kyu with the release of his first full-length album, 10 Stories. As this review is quite lengthy, I am going to get straight into it.

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10 Stories Album Cover

1..What Did I Say? (뭐랬어) (ft. Punchnello) – The album opens up with your standard ballad. It unfortunately wasn’t memorable and was the most passable track on the album. His vocals did have an echo-like effect which gave some colour to his vocals. Punchnello’s raps were heavily autotuned but was felt fitting for the song. The instrumental didn’t really have anything spectacular, which contributed to its small impression. (6/10)

2. Stay (머물러줘) – This song reminds me of his past works. I really liked the electronic keyboard in the background, which gave the song a really nice texture. His vocals were at the forefront of the song and I really liked the chorus of the song. Talking about the chorus, it had a great opener and nice rhythm. The saxophone in the bridge was a nice touch and kept the song from becoming too repetitive. In a way, the track is quite relaxing and for that, I like it a lot. (8/10)

3. True Love (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of True Love. (8.4/10)

4. Attraction (끌림) – Despite the other instrumentations, the keyboard stood out quite a bit. The chorus was quite interesting. The defining points in this song aren’t his vocals but rather the instrumental breaks throughout the song. Definitely the song’s unique charm. The slight autotune here was nice and is something that I tend to associate with Kim Sung Kyu’s solo work. There was also a faint whisper in the background for the final chorus that added something a little extra to the song. (8.5/10) 

5. Vanishing Days (지워지는 날들) – When you first hear Sung Kyu sing, you can feel the emotions that he pours into his vocals. These strong vocals are balanced well with the piano instrumental. The second verse adds violins, which you all know I am into. The vocal build-up alongside the instrumental make this song stand out even more. That extra-long pause at the end of the song did catch me off guard but it was such an epic moment because the song returned to how it started initially, just with a guitar instrumental instead. Very fitting for a sad movie. (10/10) 

6. Tall Sunrise (ft. JW of Nell) – The song opens up with Sung Kyu autotuned too much for my liking. However, I did like the “Can You Stay” lines which felt so smooth despite the heavy-handed autotune. I really like the chorus which was upbeat in comparison to the verses, yet still managing to connect well with the verses. The other negative that I wanted to make about this track was the autotune made both Sung Kyu’s and JW’s vocals so similar, it was quite hard to distinguish the different parts. (6/10)

7. SorrySorry combines various synths to create the fine details for this track’s instrumental. That, the consistent hollow thumping and the vocals (which were on point all throughout) made this one of my favourites. My only complaint would be the first chorus felt too short. While not a complaint, the bridge was quite interesting, using only real instruments as opposed to the rest of the track which was synth heavy. Foreign but interesting. (10/10)

8. City of Angels (천사의 도시)City of Angels is another song that reminds me of his past tracks. The instrumental for this track was relaxing and calming, yet I can’t pinpoint what cause this effect on me. The vocals, once again, nice, with some lines being quite melodic (such as the opener), leaving a strong impression. (9/10)

9. Sentimental – When you listen to the song, you get a hint of happiness. The instrumental did a good job conveying this to us. Vocals were also good; however, it was relatively plain when you look at the entire track. On top of that, the song did get a little repetitive due to the consistency of the vocals and instrumental. There was an added effect at the end of the track but it felt too late as an attempt to change up the song. (7/10)

10. Mirror (거울)– The album ends with a ballad. While I tend to think ending albums with ballads tend to be a weak point, this has to be an exception. His vocals are quite unique in this particular track, like no other on this album. I particularly like the push his vocals gave during the chorus. The piano only instrumental was also quite nice. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

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10 Stories Teaser Image

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[Review] True Love – Kim Sung Kyu (Infinite)

Kim Sung Kyu has finally made his solo return to the stage with his first studio length album, 10 Stories. The title track featured on this album is True Love. His comeback was a little unexpected, with Infinite just recently wrapping up their promotions for Tell Me at the end of January and his teaser pictures just coming out of nowhere. This is his first comeback since his last mini-album and double title track promotions of The Answer and Kontrol.

To me, True Love is the midpoint that I would imagine if Kim Sung Kyu and Ed Sheeran joined forces to make a song. While the song’s sound and instrumental seems to lean more heavily towards Kim Sung Kyu’s side, there were a few moments throughout the song that felt like the song could have gone down that Ed Sheeran route. I like how calming the song feels during the verses. The build-up just before the chorus was nice but my favourite bit has to be the launch into the chorus. It is where the song comes together and it is the strongest point of the song which reminds me fondly of Kim Sung Kyu’s previous works. There is a slight catchy hook to the chorus, which I can see myself singing to in a few days time. His vocals are great but they don’t really shine as much in this song. Overall, the expectation (for me) is that Kim Sung Kyu would have a really good song as his title track and True Love seems to live up to that expectation.

The music video was shot in Hong Kong, which seems to be the number 1 destination to go to, for shooting a music video. A number of artists in the past year alone have shot their music video in Hong Kong. And I can see why. Despite it being featured so much last year, the sites of Hong Kong always look breathtaking and fresh. In the video, it seems like Sung Kyu is looking for his lover, whom he has been trying to track down from a letter he got from her. The ending was a little confusing, how he reads the letter. It makes me question whether he was looking for his ‘True Love‘ or whether he was looking for closure. The walking around on the streets is aesthetically pleasing and sets it up to be a good video (especially with all the great sites around him).

Song – 8/10
Musc Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10 

[Album Review] Top Seed (3rd Studio Album) – Infinite

Another very long album review for you all. Infinite returned last week with their third album and I intended to publish this at the end of last week. A few things popped up which prevented me from doing so. Regardless, the review is completed and published for your viewing pleasure. I won’t write anymore due to the length of this review.

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Top Seed Album Cover

1..Begin (Intro Track) – Starting off the album is your Infinite styled mash-up between an orchestral piece and something similar to their title track. While I don’t tend to review the intro track to most albums, I have to say I really like the clashing cymbals in this one.

2. Tell Me (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Tell Me. (7.9/10)

3. Synchronise – I am on the fence in regards to this song. It seems like the instrumental (particularly during the chorus) drowned out the vocals and it also felt overwhelming, Despite that, the rolling drum beat was nice and the transition between verses to the chorus was pretty good. I like the extension of the instrumental at the end of the song. The only other thing I am disappointed in was the lack of a rap segment, which felt expected. (6/10)

4. No More – I felt that this song wasn’t that interesting. Despite that, it had some elements which made it a decent song. It features great harmonies from the members. In regards to the previous songs, it is definitely nice to hear a song that is tone down. The vocals were nice and so was the rap sequence. (5/10)

5. TGIF (Dongwoo Solo) – This is first of three solo songs that featured on the album. The song does a good job at presenting the vocal and rapping talents of Dongwoo. I thought the chorus was really well done. The buildup to the bridge was nice but the instrumental break was too awkwardly placed and broke the flow of the song. (8.5/10)

6. Pray (Maetal’s Sorrow) (기도 (메텔의 슬픔)) Pray has a dramatic start to the song, which is something that drew me to it. The orchestral instrumental had an interesting tango twist to it. I really enjoyed the epic feel to it but I felt that the song could have used more powerhouse vocals to make it even better. (8/10)

7. Why Me (왜 날)– It is your typical ballad but I have to say that the vocals were on point throughout the song. In particular, Sunggyu stood out during his parts in the chorus. Once again, it is a great song to sway to, which makes it a good song in my book. (7/10)

8. Wind (분다) – Starting off the track are whistles along with some acoustic guitars, which draw your attention in. Once the upbeat chorus is unleashed, the acoustic guitar takes a turn and transition into electric guitars, which I thought was incredibly cool. The harmonies during the post-chorus were awesome. Sungjong shined the brightest, particularly in his part during the bridge. I particularly like this song a lot. (9/10)

9. I Hate – The rock-based song adds another genre to the album and they nailed it. And despite me liking the song, there isn’t much to comment on. The vocal work from each member is amazing here as well, but Dongwoo’s rough vocals fit the song so well. (9/10)

10. Reminisce (지난 날 ) (L Solo) – L has always had a great voice when I hear him in Infinite songs, so his solo work obviously put forwards his underrated vocals. And while it shows off his capable vocals, the song is rather plain for my taste. (6/10)

11. Love Song (고백) (Sungjong Solo) – Sungjong gets the honour of being the last member to have a solo song featured on the album. Love Song is like that Spring ballad that gets released each year. It has a very bright feel, accounted for by the instrumentals. And both vocals and instrumental complement each other really well. (6/10)

12. Begin Again – We began the album with Begin and now we must Begin (another chapter) Again. It is an upbeat song that has a really great chorus and the vocals (along with the harmonies during the chorus) just made so much better. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

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Top Seed Teaser Image

[Review] Tell Me – Infinite

Infinite has made their first return since 2016 with their latest mini-album, Top Seed. This particular album along with the title track, Tell Me, is the first to not feature Hoya, who did not re-sign with Woolim Entertainment last year during the contract renewal. Hence this is the first comeback for Infinite as a six-member boy group.

With the departure of a member, I wondered how the 6-member Infinite will differ from the 7-member Infinite. And the direction that Tell Me went in seemed to depart from that traditional Infinite sound. The traditional Infinite sound is much more jam-packed and intense. Tell Me seems to be a little more spaced out and doesn’t feel as intense, hence why I say it doesn’t conform to the past. It has a more pop-centred sound, which actually sounds nice. The song is quite catchy with the “luv, luv, luv’ post-chorus segment. The fast repetition of the ‘naega, naega’ during the chorus just rolls so effortlessly in the song, it has become the main highlight. I liked the instrumental which definitely gives off a different side of the group. All the members sound nice but I feel like their vocals are as strong as before. It might be the song style but I feel like a tighter set of vocals could have brought more of that intensity and Infinite-esque sound to the song. A similar comment could have been made regarding the rap. But overall, I am really digging this track.

Call me crazy but I am dubbing this as the ‘Infinite’ concept as basically what happens in the video just continues on and never ends. I think the storyline of the video is being stuck in that memory of a chance at love and having to relive that until you finally reunite. The video came out to be aesthetic with the various ways they displayed the concept, such as the never-ending blue triangle corners and the various upward camera angles for the choreography. Overall, it is pretty interesting and definitely eye-catching (in my point of view).

Despite the more spaced out song and less intense nature, we can’t talk about Infinite and not acknowledge the synchronisation between the members. They brought such knife-like moves back to the table, which I think is amazing. Not as impressive, I must admit, but still quite captivating to watch. Woohyun’s solo body roll in this performance is on point (big Woohyun fan here)!!!

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

 

[Album Review] Infinite Only (6th Mini Album) – Infinite

With a rumoured comeback for January next year, I thought it would be nice to have a little trip back in time and look at Infinite’s last comeback. Infinite Only is the group’s 6th mini-album, released in September 2016. This was the last comeback to feature Hoya, who did not renew his contract with Woolim Entertainment earlier this year.

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Infinite Only Album Cover

1..Eternity (Intro Track) – This track will not be included in the review. It features a really dramatic orchestral piece that is very Infinite-esque that eases you into the title track.

2. The Eye (태풍) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for The Eye. (9.5/10)

3. Air – Song starts off slow and eerie. But that lasts only for a few seconds before you are launched into an epic dubstep/EDM styled drop. It made the entire track become instantly intense. While the instrumental did remain dubstep/EDM based, the chorus sounded a lot like a traditional pop song. The bridge slowed the song down, but it made the song appear nicer. (10/10)

4. One Day – This track is a soft rock style ballad, which is quite pleasant to listen to. I liked how the instrumental was dynamic. Rather it is the minor details that make me think the instrumentation is dynamic. The vocal work is great but I felt the raps stood out, adding a more intense touch to the song. (9/10)

5. True Love – Out of all the tracks on the album, I felt like this one is the most out of place. It has a jazzy sound, which feels like it suits a more elegant tracklist. Not saying that EDM and rock are not elegant but it just doesn’t fit the overall feel of the album. I have to admit, however, the vocal work in this song is the best on the entire album. (7/10)

6. Thank You (고마워) – It is a fan-service song. A way to say ‘thank you’ to the fans. It is very nice on the ears and feels suitable for a warm Spring day or Autumn day. The harmonies during the chorus of the ballad and the lyrics made the song feel a lot more wholesome and warm. (8/10)

7. Zero – The album ends with another epic track. It grabs you from the very first second with its explosive synths and (yet again) EDM based instrumental. I thought the vocals would have drowned out in comparison to the rest of the song but they were nicely balanced. The high note at the end was spectacular. As the final song, it brings you to the edge of your seat and creates an intense finale. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

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Infinite Only Teaser Image

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KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

Click here to see the list of nominees for this year’s awards and scroll down to find out who wins!!!

If you have yet to see Part 1 (which also explains this corner) please click here.


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).


BEST MALE SOLOIST

As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.


BEST MALE GROUP

So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.


BEST ALBUM

Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.

And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……

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VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!

[Review] The Eye – Infinite

Infinite has finally returned to the stage for the first time in nearly a year. Since Bad (their last comeback), they have been quite busy. Promotions were carried out in Japan for their Japanese releases, concerts, solo promotions and digital singles released are just some of the things these guys have been doing since ‘Bad‘. “Okay, Okay”, let’s get moving!

This song is very interesting (in a very good way). I totally digged this song the first time I heard it. While I have had my history with songs that mash multiple genres of different extremes, Infinite has always put out songs that do just that but still manage to amaze me. This is a prime example of another one. The song starts off with a very intriguing eletronic sound. The rest of the song moves between pure classical sounds, pure electronic sounds and the mzture of both. In the end, the song becomes very dramatic in the way they set the sounds up and the combination. The start of the song is amazing and dramatic, especially when Dongwoo starts to sing and the violins are brought into play. The vocals in the song are amazing. Interestingly enough, a rap was not part of the song. It does feel a little empty and I am quite sure a rap sequence from Hoya, Dongwoo or the both of them would have been amazing in this song. The song does throw you back to their earlier days. Yes, the sound is quite different and the compositon is not similar to any of their previous songs, but the style from back then is kept as a whole. Overall, I think it is an excellent song. It’s different, but still has that Infinite sound and powerful style that we had assicoated with them.

The music video is quite interesting points. I think the prominate theory that the members of Infinite had died in the video and are trying to prevent L from going into the light and dying with them makes the most sense. That or they all discover L is a vampire. Yeah… I think the dead theory makes sense. Browsing through the comments on the video, I came across this page with puts everything into plot into perspective quite nicely.  If you want to find out about what is going on in the video, that site explains it quite clearly. This video is probably one of the darkest videos by Infinite yet. In terms of the concept, plotline and cinematography it was quite suspenseful and interesting. The whole idea of the video would potentially be a Hollywood blockbuster. The acting by the members was superb and sets looked amazing. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic video that suprisingly stayed true to the Infinite’s roots.

Infinite is quite known for their dance (how many times have I started of the choregraphy part for Infinite with those words?) and they have proved that they still have it. Even though they mentioned that they felt their age with this comeback, everything looks refined and well polished. Everything falls into place quite nicely. Their precision is still on point. Oh and breathtaking. Their performances are always breathtaking.

Rating – 9.5/10

[Review] Still I Remember – Woohyun (Infinite)

Another solo debut that has been deemed as long awaited. Nam Woohyun, the main vocalist of Infinite, has officially made his solo debut with the new mini album,Write…

Song was disappointing at first, but it grew on me. Woohyun has a really nice voice, regardless of the song he sings. This ballad really brought out his voice really well. It was the first thing I noticed when I first listened to the song. The song just failed to appeal to me, at first. However, soon after, the song started to become catchier and I slowly got into it. Okay, so back to his vocals. It sounds so emotional. An excellent singer can convey his or her emotions through the vocals in the song. Woohyun did just that and I am amazed at the outcome. You can definitely hear the sadness in the song. The instrumental consisted of soft drum beats that were pretty consistent and gave the song that extra dimension, in terms of bass. The chorus, by far, was where he sounded the best. And those parts after the chorus where he sings “끄덕끄덕” sounds freaking amazing. 

Another video which I have yet to watch. So more initial reactions. Woohyun returns to a house to find an old camera. And of course, the camera holds a lot of memories. I guess literally but also mentally as well. He slowly goes through old images, which gives us flashbacks, to when he was an intern/assistant for some camera man. He was distracted and loved a girl who was a customer to the camera man. Turns out that she also liked him and that Woohyun failed to see these feelings. So technically, the girl thought he wasn’t into her, so that is why she left. After he realises, he turns into a man full of tears and regret. Beautifully shot video. Loving the filter and colours in the video. Interesting thing is that we never actually see her face. It is always hidden and I don’t exactly why, but my guess that it could be so that people can relate to the video. I definitely can. Not that I have turned into a man of tears and regret yet, but I have a feeling I am getting there. I should really just man up. Hahaha… Moving back to the video, Woohyun’s acting (well, crying mainly) in this video is quite nice to watch. Not over the top and over dramatic.

Overall, the song was quite good and the video was excellent. A great solo debut for him. 9/10

End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).

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

And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!

  • A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
  • The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
  • A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
  • There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
  • BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
  • Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
  • The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
  • And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.

AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).

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

[DOUBLE REVIEW] The Answer + Kontrol – Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)

It is another Double Review. I have a few more lined up, so this is going to be fun. Anyway, too much to write and review. so let’s move along. Kim Sung Gyu is the leader of Infinite and has returned with his second solo mini album, after 60 Seconds, which was released back in 2012. Since then, he has been promoting alongside Infinite. Fans have been requesting a comeback from the singer since his solo debut.

The first song I will be talking about it The Answer. Actually, I am going to say this about all the songs on the album. It has been sometime since I have listened to a whole album. This whole mini album was so perfect. Every song was produced and presented to an exceptional standard. The Answer is a ballad, with a bit of pop sounds in it, but it stayed more on the classical ballad side throughout. The song was very beautiful and I could feel the emotion from Sunggyu in the song.  Many people know I have a soft side for ballads and this song just ticks all the boxes for an amazing song. Vocals blew me away, the instrumental was so calming and powerful. Though I prefer this song over the rest (as this is beyond perfect), all the other songs are so well done, so go and check out his mini-album guys. As for Kontrol, it had more of an electronic funky style of beat to it. I guess it is more of a ballad, but it has that additional feel to it as a pop and electronic style song. Once again, the vocals are amazing here. I particularly like the chorus. The song builds up to the chorus and I just love it. From start to end, this was also another exceptional song that did it’s job very well. On top of that is was quite unique. It would be hard to pick a personal favourite, but I go for The Answer any day.

As for the music videos, both was pretty good. The Answer was more monotone. It was shot in a grey scale filter (not the whole video though) and only really contained shots of Sunggyu singing throughout the video. There were shots of him being distant and lonely, but it matched the song’s feel really well. The video seemed like it was warming up, because we started to get this old brown vintage colour and then full colour was introduced. I honestly thought it was a very beautifully shot video. However, not sure about the floating diamonds. I really did not know what they represent. Maybe memories or something?

Kontrol’s music video was another beautifully shot video. From a foreigner’s perspective, I hope that was Sunggyu’s lover. But at the same time, the girl being his sister matched the story line really well. The move into this alleyway, which consisted of nothing, but I guess with a bit of imagination, you can turn nothing into your own space. It seemed like they live there as well. The decoration for this alleyway suited the sounds of the song really well. I enjoy the choppy camera shots in this music video, as they matched really well with the instrumental. From the video, we see that she goes missing and Sunggyu goes to find her, or in fact the place that she “went on”. It turns out it was the seaside and that the girl probably drowned and Sunggyu could not leave her. Now many people have speculated that this song and music video was done in honour of those who passed away on the Sewol Ferry Accident last year. But Sunggyu said it wasn’t and just a song about a lover. But nonetheless, the music video did have many shots that corresponded to the accident and either way, it was a sad video still. But still amazing.

There is a dance for Kontrol, but I am going to gloss over the dance. Mainly because Sunggyu  doesn’t participate in the dance himself that much.

Overall, I think this by far, has to be one of the best comebacks of the year. As I said, not just these songs, but the whole mini album from Sunggyu was perfect and so amazing to listen to.

The Answer – 10/10

Kontrol – 10/10

Pick a song that you enjoyed 🙂 For this poll and the past two polls, I will put the results in the Rewind posts for the month.

Rewind: February 2015

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

YG says comeback for Big Bang will happen in April

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

Comeback announcement for April?

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

Kim Hyun Joong’s Domestic Violence Scandal + Pregnancy rumours

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

Top 10 Songs Of The Month

1. Black Swan – Rainbow

2. Crazy – 4Minute

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

4. Love Equation – VIXX

5. 너무 Very 막 – MYNAME

6. Just – ZionT ft. Crush

7. Always – A.Kor

8. Because Of You – Berry Good

9. Beautiful – KXIS (DMTN)

10. Sniper – Shinhwa

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).

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 ^^