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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
VROMANCE (Honourable Mention)
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).
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Winner)
I.O.I (Honourable Mention)
BLACKPINK (Honourable Mention)
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.
Zico (Block B) (Winner)
Eric Nam (Honourable Mention)
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.
Taeyeon (SNSD) (Winner)
Hyosung (Secret) (Honourable Mention)
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.
GOT7 (Honourable Mention)
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.
Oh My Girl (Honourable Mention)
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.
Wings (2nd Studio Album) – BTS (Winner)
Carnival (5th Mini Album) – B.A.P (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.
Skydive – B.A.P (Winner)
Blood, Sweat & Tears – BTS (Honourable Mention)
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.
Hard Carry – GOT7 (Winner)
The Eye – Infinite (Honourable Mention)
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.
Decalcomanie – Mamamoo
Hard Carry – GOT7
Find Me – Hyosung (Secret)
Secret – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
Windy Day – Oh My Girl
And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……
VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN
Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!
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.
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
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 :).
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
If You Do
Oh My Girl
Love Me Right
I Need U
Sing For You
Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
Like OOH AHH
Oh Um Ah Yeah
Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
Between Night n Music
Shake That Brass
Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
VIXX LR (VIXX)
Brand New World
Brown Eyed Girls
Ring My Bell
Donghae & Eunhyuk
Catch Me If You Can
Me Gustas Tu
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
Might Just Die
We Like 2 Party
Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
Ice Cream Cake
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
I Feel You
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).
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
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.
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
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
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).
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)
Up & Down
I’m In Love
NS Yoon G
Good Night Kiss
HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
You Don’t Love Me
This Is Love
Like A Cat
B.B.B (Big Baby Baby)
Sunmi ft. Lena
My Copy Cat
Don’t Look At Me Like That
Song Ji Eun (Secret)
What About You?
Dont Touch Me
Singing Got Better
I Need You
Whatcha Doing Today?
Pretty Age 25
Song Ji Eun (Secret)
1 Minute 1 Second
Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
Touch My Body
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 ^^
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Popular boy band, Infinite, has finally unveiled their new subunit in South Korea, Infinite F. Composed of members Sungyeol, L and Sungjong, the subunit made their debut recently with Heart Beat.
This is an okay song. They put together the youngest members of Infinite (and coincidently, the ones that are not vocally talented but are visuals of the band). Not that I am complaining, because it is these members that usually get less lines in an actual song sung by the entire group. However Sungyeol, only got 2 lines in the whole song. I am pretty disappointed. This song really does not showcase his vocals and I have heard many songs where his voice was much better than compared to this song. The start sounded like the start of the OST for the drama that Woohyun and Sungyeol are currently in (Yes, I have been watching a little bit of dramas recently. I finished school and refuse to go out). It is a catchy song, but it really does not have me coming back for more. Overall, song is okay. Just it could have been enhanced or a little more better.
A video about a bunch of guys being cute. Yay!! (Heavy sarcasm). But a video about a magic pen… Now that is interesting. It magically rolls out of nowhere and can draw anything that the members need. An old radio, a piano, a fridge fully loaded with food and a hot air balloon. Actually, the hot air balloon was not actually drawn with the magic pen, but magic paper and crayon. Another thing. When Sungjong was cooking and sprinkling sprinkles on top of the cupcakes, I loved how no sprinkles were on the other trays, however when he went to sprinkle that certain cupcake, he completely missed. That was just my observation. Oh lastly, what freaking dark filter was used? This video I am sure when meant to be bright, but it seems like they took the dark filter from some of their previous videos. Okay video overall.
Not that impressive. I did not know what I was expecting. Maybe something I am used to, like a normal Infinite dance rather than dancing around.
Have no idea why I expected a hardcore Infinite style comeback. But overall, it was an okay comeback. 4.7/10
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