[Album Review] Secret Summer (5th Mini Album) – Secret

As a fan of Secret, it is time for a freaking comeback from this girl group. It is way overdue, with their last comeback from 2014. Secret Summer (the album in which this review revolves around) was released in August 2014 and is the last comeback as a four-member girl group. Since then, there have been no Secret comebacks, which leaves the year feeling empty, in my mind. So, while we wait around for their comeback, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at their 5th mini-album, Secret Summer.

 

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Secret Summer Album Cover

 

1..Feel The Secret (Intro Track) – Intro tracks aren’t really my thing. I usually gloss over them and then get right into the more fulfilling songs that follow. However, Feel The Secret is a show-stopper from the get-go. It launches you into the retro feel that Secret is known for and definitely hypes you up for the following tracks. (9/10)

2. I’m In Love (Title Track)Click here for the full review of I’m In Love (8/10 – at the time of being published in 2014. In 2017, I have decided to bump the rating to 9/10)

3. Look At Me – One of my favourite tracks (other than the title track) on this mini-album. I thought the track was extremely sexy with their soft vocals. The song itself was extremely catchy. The random violin insert was what the song needed and despite it being random in theory, I thought fit in well with the song. The constant glass breaking sound throughout the vocal gave it a more interesting feel. The rapping could have been better in the song, but overall, it was definitely a highlight on the mini-album. (9/10)

4. U R Fired – The English in this song could have been better. However, it is a totally amazing song that is up there with the rest of the mini-album and Secret’s discography. The entire song felt like a mix between pop and country to me (mainly because of the guitar). Once the song hits the chorus, you can feel the song heating up, providing a somewhat intense but good beat. I thought the song grew to be a great song as it progressed, especially during the bridge of the song, where electronic components are brought into play. The song also hits some ‘high notes’ (not literally) with the vocals of the members, their best on the release. (9/10)

5. I Would Do Well – The song fulfils the expectations of a ballad track that is mandatory on every KPOP album. Though, I feel the track does that only. Their vocals are great, with each member (weak or strong) participating in the track. It feels weak overall doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the album. But it does end the song on a more relaxed and sweet not. I am just glad that this ballad still feels somewhat upbeat, rather than it slowing down to a standard ballad. (6/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

 

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Secret Summer Teaser Image (Source: ALLKPOP)

 

 

 

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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!!

Rewind: March 2016

OMG. I am so delayed. This was meant to be out earlier in the month, and now look at the calendar, April is almost gone. I’m still tweaking this segment, but I don’t know if I should any thing or get rid of anything existing, so if you can provide feedback, it will be greatly appreciated. Lots to talk about, to let’s go.

Major News

EXO’s Kai and F(x)’s Krystal were caught dating and SM Entertainment confirmed that the two were in fact an actual couple. After this confirmation, people started to post pictures online as “proof of Kai and Krystal’s relationship”, which I think are either fake or just a blatant invasion of privacy (but what isn’t? They are watched 24/7). But some of these picture claims to have Kai and Krystal kissing in public in a pool and catch the two “checking in” into hotels. Anyway, while this probably heartbreaking to fans of both, we all should be happy for them. Oh and did I mention Dispatch was the one to tell the world about this couple (once again). Who are your reporters and why are they so good about finding these things?

And the industry has been rocked by news of certain singers suspected of being a part of prostitution, which involves dodgy sponsors. I am not in tune with the whole thing and I am quite sure that the news has died down now. It is very hard to retell everything here, so I will just cut to the chase. These singers either go or are introduced to these sponsors that will make an investment into the singers career, in exchange for you know what. That is my understanding of it, and these singers were caught. They were brought into questioning and the news (of course) leaked a description of a particular artist who recently left her company and faced financial hardship in the past. It is sad that people have to result to this (that is if they chose this path) or just horrible if they were tricked into it, which I believe of some of claim to have been.

Comebacks & Debuts

March saw big name bands make their comebacks. GOT7, Jun Hyosung (Secret), Lee Hi, Fiestar, Red Velvet, Hyomin (T-Ara),DAY6, BTOB, Oh My Girl and Eric Nam are just to name a few.

We cannot forget about the rookies can we? KNK made their debut with Knock, which it garnering a lot of interest in the band, and I am too.

Polls

A few polls (including the ones in Febuary as well). I asked you guys:

  • Which Winner song did you guys prefer? And the results is as follow: I’m Young (30%); Sentimental, Baby Baby & Pricked (20%); and finally Immature (10%).
  • Which Taemin song did you guys like? Both songs (Drip Drop and Press Your Number) received the same amount of votes.
  • Which Lee Hi song did you guys like? Hold My Hand had an overwhelming amount of votes (87%) and Breathe got 17% of the votes.

Top 5 Songs Of March 2016

Here are my top 5 songs that were released in March 2016, taken straight from the amount of plays in iTunes:

  1. Find Me – Jun Hyosung (Secret) ft. D.Action
  2. Fly – GOT7
  3. Mirror – Fiestar
  4. Spring Love – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)
  5. Knock – KNK

As you can tell, review releases have decreased so much in the past month. I apologise. Just a heads up, I will be releasing reviews on Sundays Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays (provided I am free and have time on those days). The other days are far too too busy for me. I also mentioned on Twitter that once this semester ends, I will be doing a revamp of the site (much needed), so if there is anything you want to see, comment below. All feedback will be appreciated.

 

Find Me – Jung Hyosung (Secret) ft. D.Action

It has been quite some time, but as a die hard fan for the group Secret, I (and all their fans) have all be requesting a comeback from the girls. 2015 was focused primarily on solo work, with a few group appearances here and there. Hopefully 2016 will be more group work. But in the mean time, we have been gifted with a solo comeback from Hyosung herself. It has nearly been a year since we last saw her on stage, with her last promotions being Into You.

Compared to my thoughts last year for her comeback, I am going to say this once and once only. DROP EVERYTHING AND LISTEN TO THIS SONG!!! Too forceful? Yeah, but really, listen to this freaking song. This is the exact song that I want from her. Powerful but still feminine. It is a really nice pop track that has a really solid instrumental. But I love the small things in the song more. Those addictive drum beats and flute whistles are just spot on and really give the song that extra dimension. The song, especially the chorus, is highly addictive (Yep, I have been singing along to the song as soon as I first heard it). The song starts off slow, but at the right volume, the chorus sounds so amazing. As soon as the beat drops, I was in awe. Only one minor thing, the entire rap section done by D.Action from Untouchable (who happens to be from TS Entertainment as well) could have been left out. It suited the song, but it wasn’t necessary. What we have is amazing already.

Music video is beautiful. Her figure is amazing (even though all her fans preferred her before her diet). And the dresses that she where for this video are amazing. The dance set as well is amazing and beautiful. Beside the sets and the dance, the rest of the video sees Jung Hyosung have magical powers or something. On top of that, her reflection shows her tied up, when she is free. It seems like to show if she was taken away or bound to something. We see her also around some water. A little confusing and I am as lost (or distracted by her) as a sheep without Bo Peep. Editing the video is really good. Timed everything to the beat of the song, which made it look really good.

Dance wise, I thought it was amazing. Love the arm waves she makes when the flute whistle comes along.  Dance fitted the beat of the song really well. I thought the dance was quite sexy, but still had that dance element. Once again, TS Entertainment has put too many back up dancers on the stage, so the stage looks quite crowded though. But oh well.

Overall, excellent comeback which is what I wanted to see from her. Amazing. Jaw Dropping. High recommended. 9/10

Catch Up Review #12 – Eunjung (T-Ara), Hyosung (Secret), Park Boram

They are back!!! It has been so long since I’ve done of these and I promised that they were gone. But they are back. Sorry… But this way, I can get more reviews done. Sometimes I have to cancel reviews because I have no time to do it, or newer artists are coming out and therefore, the certain artist’s review would usually be trashed. Yeah… Like for example, Park Boram’s review. I was meant to do that at the start of May, but I have so much work to do :(. Anyhow, I tried to theme them. This theme is female soloists. Yes, if you haven’t guessed, all the artists here are female soloists. Let’s go.

I’m Good – Eunjung (T-Ara) ft. K.Will

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Also under the name of Elise as well, but for my purposes, let’s keep with Eunjung for now. This song features K.Will in the actual song, while K-iO from Speed has helped with the live performances for the first two weeks. I like the song. It is a nice dance ballad that fits in with the current weather in the Southern Hemisphere.  The vocals of both Eunjung and the male artists featuring was really good as well. The music video was of a typical “break up” and “sorrow” type of video, where they used to be lovers, but then they drifted apart for whatever reason. It was okay to watch. The dance was cool as well. It matched the song quite well and the instrumental. However, there just happens to be something missing from this comeback which I can’t really identify. I just feel this entire comeback lacks attention and appeal to the public. 7/10

Into You – Jung Hyosung (Secret)

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Any one who has read my reviews probably know how much of a big fan I am for Secret. I consistently love every song they put out. But this one, yeah, I thought was very boring. I was pumped for a Hyosung comeback, but this was not what I was expecting. There is too much focus on the sexy and not enough on the talent. There was nothing that was amazing from the song. The music video was a total bore to watch and the performances, I just gloss over. I’ve listened to the song once, and have not gone back to it since then. Even writing this review, I am putting the part where I listen to the song and watch the music video off. Sorry, but not this time Hyosung 😦 2/10

Celepretty – Park Boram

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Now, while the last song was terrible and Eunjung was good, this took the cake for a “great” song. I love this song. It is catchy and it is fun to listen to. I am not turned off from it in anyway. Though, that phone vibration seems like what my phone sounds like, so every time I hear it, I think my phone is trying to get my attention. The music video is also quite colourful and matches the summery feel from the song. As for the dance, I don’t expect Park Boram to do much, so this dance took me by surprise. Her debut one had very little movement and it seems like she is becoming more comfortable on stage. Her debut was also another review that landed in the “maybe next time” pile. 8/10

I’m not going to do another Catch Up Review for the next one. Mainly because BOA’s comeback has been sitting on my waiting list for quite some time. And guess what, it is a DOUBLE REVIEW!! So expect Who Are You? and Kiss My Lips for the next review. Bye Bye!!

 

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 ^^

I’m In Love – Secret

At the start of the week, Secret had made their official return after 8 months absence from the stage. Since their promotion of I Do I Do, the group had disappeared from the spotlight (and yes, I was Secret deprived for the 8 months). Hyosung made her official solo debut with Good Night Kiss back in May. She, herself, started acting appearing in the crime drama Ghost-Seeing Detective (which I really liked watching) and at the moment, My Dear Cat (which I also happened to be watching). Member Sunhwa recently restarted her acting career on Marriage not Dating. Besides that, I honestly have no idea what the other two, Ji Eun and Hana were up to. But who cares, they are now back with the sexy concept and a killer song.

This song is mega awesome. I really don’t know why they are not charting. It is driving me insane. But then again, a bigger rookie group just debuted and it seems that group is currently overshadowing Secret’s comeback. It is so depressing. Anyway, the song. Oh yes. I freaking love this song. You could say that “I’m in love”. Hahahaha…. This song is really catchy and is a lift up from their previous two songs that were a part of the cutesy concept. Now, they are becoming serious. Song Ji Eun probably has to be one of my most favourite main vocalists in all of KPOP. Her voice, especially in the bridge sounded so amazing. Talking about main vocalists, Sunhwa has gotten a decent amount of lines in the song, singing parts of the chorus. Hana sang about 1 line and rapped as well, but hey, it is a combination we have been dying to see from Hana. The slow ballad part is something that I don’t mind, but when you look at the song overall, it really does not fit in with the song. I really liked the chorus and the “Think I’m In Love” part was really well done. Overall, the song was amazing.

The music video, in my honest opinion, could have been done a little better. It seemed rather confined and boring to watch. There is like little to no plot in this video and I feel the sexual concept could have been taken to another level with this music video. It felt plain and lacked that excitement of knowing what is going to happened next. The music video opened up with a scene of what the girls portray as innocent, wearing white and being quite sad and shy about things. They are seen to be interviewed by a guy who looks pretty intimidating. After a while, they turn into evil ladies, who turned sexual and it seems like the girls instead of being innocent and shy, they torment the man and also tries to flirt with him. I really liked the solo shots and the blue lighting in the background. That looked really cool. The dance sets are really not that great overall. They are big, just really don’t have that great feeling to them. Also, Hyosung had nude scenes in the music video. But yet it has very little views.

The dance is pretty good. The twerking, not so much, but hey, it is not a slutty job. I really don’t understand why Hyosung always have to have a little solo dance time in the choreography, it really takes her away from the group. I Do I Do, Talk That and now this. On top of that, I think the chorus dance was pretty good.

As I wrote this review (which spanned over what seems to be like 4 hours) I slowly realized that the group has been absented for far too long and no longer garner the same amount of views as before. Their company really needs to direct some more attention to them and get them back to the spotlight. They were at their peaks in 2011 and 2012, but now they are just going to be another forgotten group. 8/10

[Update] As part of my 2017 review of Secret Summer, the group’s 5th mini album, which features the title track I’m In Love, I had decided to ultimately increase the rating of this song to 9/10. This can be attributed to the changing perspective of the author.

Good Night Kiss – Jung Hyosung (Secret)

As many of you guys know, I am a vivid fan of the girl group Secret. We all know that one group is also a solo artists, while still working with the band, and now another one has decided to go solo. Hyosung, the leader of the band, has finally gone solo with a really cool rocking song. You should how I have been dying to review this song. Now it has been out for  3-4 weeks now, further indicating how behind I am with my reviews, but hey guys, I am on a roll. And June was meant to be the World Cup and not that many bands are meant to be making their comeback. *Cough Cough* Beast, Boyfriend, Z:EA, UKISS, B.A.P, Davichi, Taeyang, AOA, Psy, Infnite, VIXX, Jiyeon, the list just goes on. (Unimpressed face).

But do you hate did impress my face, this song. Awesome link!!! Nah, but seriously. At first when I heard this song, I thought it was really awkward and not that catchy, but this song has grown a lot onto me. Like a lot. From a cringing face to a guy who now officially smiles when he hears this song. The song is described to be a “hip hop trend trap crossover”. I think someone used Google Translate for that. But this song does have the very subtle hip hop feel to it and it also has this really cool dance number sound to it. The vocals are really good, in fact, this song brings out the good qualities of her voice. As I said before, I did cringe when I first heard the song. I really did not like that part right after the chorus with the really high pitch vocals. It sounded weird and off putting. Now, I dig that part. I don’t know what is wrong with me. The chorus is really catchy and the “Baby Kiss Oh My, Baby Kiss Oh My” was also really catchy. Overall an amazing song.

The music video is so so. Not that memorable and not that outstanding, but it does have its good point. So we see a girl trying to seduce a guy. And I guess she succeeded in her mission. That is all. That was basically the plot. Okay, so lets get analysing. The scene where she rips the rose off the wall and also that heart beating on the painting scene reminded me of Song Ji Eun’s (fellow member of Secret) Hope Torture. The lighting and the background looks really similar and  the darkness of both really showed something that is underlying and obviously troubling them. Okay, it was also said that Hyosung had 12 different outfits for the music video, transforming from cute to sexy within seconds, and I think that actually fitted the video. The sets for the video overall were not that great and reminded me of a large medieval party, which I don’t think it the right place to have a party overall.

The dance is pretty upbeat and it matches the song really well. It is slow and matches the clicks when they occur. Just come to the stage, there are a lot of people on the stage, making it hard to see things. But I love the dance, though sometimes it does seem a little too face (such as the dance for the last chorus seems like one that would suck the energy out of you).

8/10. Amazing solo debut. Can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us. Maybe a Secret comeback? After B.A.P and the new girl group? Maybe? Yes? No? Please?