[Album Review] D-HOURS AM 7:03 (3rd Mini Album) – Kim Dong Han

Here is the album review for today! (It is on time, so I am quite happy). Today’s album review will be for Kim Dong Han. This is the first time I am writing an album review for him, since his debut last year. And I managed to skip his first two mini-albums as I didn’t find them interesting enough to talk about. I was planning on skipping this mini-album as well and focus on other artists. But I had an empty slot and needed a short album to review, so I decided to go with it. I did enjoy a few of the tracks on the album, as you will see below.

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D-HOURS AM 7:03 Album Cover

1..BebeBebe kicks off the album with a groovy R&B tune. I would have described the song to have a smooth texture but the instrumentation they went with didn’t really have that smoothness. Instead, the vocals are the main driver for the smoothness in the track. Talking about the vocals, they were nice. Kim Dong Han doesn’t strike me as the best vocalist of all time, but Bebe manages to showcase a pretty good set of vocals. The build-up to the high note at the end of the bridge was impressive. I just wished he changed up the final chorus a bit to really carry that same momentum, instead of returning to something we have already heard a few times. (8/10)

2. Focus (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Focus. (9/10)

3. Make Me Crazy – My first impression with Make Me Crazy was that it was a typical pop R&B track. Nothing too special. But it is one of those songs that you need to listen to it a couple of time to really get into it. I thought the instrumental did have dynamic appeal through its use of many synths and effects. From what I heard, some were quite in-your-face, while others were subtle in nature, which created a very loaded yet appealing atmosphere. I also enjoyed the acoustic guitar in the instrumentation. I did like the bright energy that came from the song as well, which made it even more appealing as I listened to it some more. His vocals were really nice, especially that short falsetto at the start of the chorus. (8/10)

4. Everyday, Everyday (매일매일) – Once again, the mandatory ballad returns. Everyday, Everyday is a soothing and delicate ballad, which forces Kim Dong Han to take a completely different route when it comes to his vocals. Like most dance tracks, Kim Dong Han’s vocals tend to be very rough and harsh, fitting for the dance style of music. But in this track, he opted for a more fragile and pleasant touch, which is obviously more fitting for the slower genre. But while the instrumental provided the slowness, it was rather light. This made his vocals become the centre of attention. And this is his best presentation of vocals thus far on the album (and in any of his other title tracks). (9/10)

5. IdeaIdea returns Kim Dong Hand to his usual dance style. But the track seems to conform to the current Latin trend that is still ongoing in KPOP. It isn’t as strong, with the trend being quite subtle in nature. There is a certain level of brightness to the track, which I think was a drawing point for me. I also like the quirky nature of the instrumentation, especially during the chorus. It isn’t a crazy style of quirkiness, as the song does have a definite matureness to it. But it is enough to make the usual synths feel very different and showcases a different effect on them. I am not too into the hook of the track, which I thought attempted to be impactful but ended up being weaker than expected. Similarly, his vocals share the same comment. (6.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

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D-HOURS AM 7:03 Teaser Image
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[Review] Focus – Kim Dong Han

For the first time this week, I am able to post two reviews on the same night! This review will be for Kim Dong Han’s latest release (which just dropped a few hours ago). The song is titled Focus and is featured on the artist’s third mini-album, D-HOURS AM 7:03. We last saw Kim Dong Han through his Good Night Kiss promotions back in October 2018. Deviating from the review slightly, I like to inform you that Kim Dong Han was my pick for Best New Soloist in the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Now back on the review!

Focus is rather interesting. The song is all about focusing on your lover, yet the instrumental was rather choppy, creating a nice contrast to the usual expected peaceful conditions when you want to focus on something. And this definitely gives off more texture when compared to other songs. I really liked how they used the ‘Focus on You’line as p[art of the instrumentation as well. A dynamic touch to the song, if you ask me. Kim Dong Han also showcases his vocals in this song, which I thought really popped on top of this electronic instrumentation. I particularly like the way he sang (or maybe rapped) the pre-chorus section, which was another textural device but also very captivating when compared to the other sections of the song. I think the song could have benefited from a rap sequence via a featuring rapping. I think this could have boosted the song and made it more intense. But what we got is already very good, so definitely no complaints from me.

I don’t think there is much of a plotline to the video. But all the close-up shots that focus on Kim Dong Han seem to fit aesthetically with each other. Kim Dong Han’s visual game is rather strong, making this very appropriate for a song titled as Focus. I really liked the emphasis on the colour blue during those choreography shots with the blue set and Kim Dong Han’s blue pants. I think the music video is definitely captivating despite there not being much content int eh video besides close-ups and choreography shots.

But something that I am extremely excited for is the performance. It is his strongest effort and display of energy yet. His enthusiasm alone in the music video really makes me keen to watch his live performances. As for the dance, a lot of complex moves are present. My favourite so far has to be the jumpy moves during the post-chorus. But everything else looks amazing!

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10

[Review] Good Night Kiss – Kim Dong Han

Kim Dong Han had a successful solo debut with Sunset after the disbandment of JBJ earlier this year. He won a music weekly show with his solo debut song and became one of the memorable debuts of the year (for me at the very least). And now he is officially back with Good Night Kiss, which is featured on his second mini-album, D-Night. So let’s have a very quick dive into his new song.

Good Night Kiss is quite good though it lacks in some areas. I thought the future bass genre was quite nice and offers a little something different in this climate of EDM songs. He showcases good vocals and there is a slight rapping tone in the second half of the verses, which was a nice spin on the song. I liked the melody of the chorus which felt smooth. But I didn’t get the need for autotune for the song, especially the chorus. While it isn’t as bad as some other songs, it did feel unnecessary. Also, the song lacks impact. I wanted a strong drop that would wow me. But it felt slightly weak and underwhelming.  I feel like if the song was somehow made punchy (not sure if it is possible for future bass but creativity knows no boundaries), I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It is still a good song, however.

I liked the style the video went with. It is sensual, which went well with the song. It was also quite mysterious which makes it enjoyable to watch for some odd reason. The kisses were left everywhere, which was definitely a mystery in itself. I do know the song is about the feelings of a first kiss but the video gives this an interesting spin. The one thing that bugs me, howeer, is Kim Dong Han’s outfit. That lack of fabric in his chest area is very distracting because it looks so weird. While it isn’t necessarily terrible, it isn’t my cup of tea.

I thought the dance was cool. I liked everything about the routine as it felt extremely fitting for the song. The thing I would like was some smugness at the very start of the choruses, which would lift the concept to a new level and fill the odd void during those closeup shots.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

 

 

[Review] Sunset – Kim Dong Han

Last week, we saw the start of the return of the JBJ members as solo artists after the disbandment of the group, 2 months ago. Today, former member Kim Dong Han made his solo debut with Sunset (as the title track) and D-Day, his 1st mini-album. The album also features Kim Sang Hyun in the 4th track, who was also part of JBJ.

Sunset starts off soft and almost silent. There wasn’t much to the instrumental, simple clicks being the centre stage of the first verse. There was a slight incline in the route that the song was going to go with and I was hoping that the song would have a grand drop. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. It did pick up but I personally thought it wasn’t bold enough. Despite that, however, the song does gain some momentum (ever so slowly) afterwards and it does evolve to be a really nice song. The most unexpecting section of the song is when it climaxes at the instrumentation EDM break. That caught me off guard and quickly drew my attention. It just felt a little too extreme for the rest of the song, hence why I was caught off guard. It did give the song some edge but I think there would have been other ways to show some edge without going to a bridge like that. Other than that, I did like how Kim Dong Han sounded in the song, with his voice being another strong element of the track. Sunset was, overall, a great song, minus the theatrics of the dance break.

The music video was quite good. With the Sunset being the title of the song, you expect the music video to go with an orangey-red colour palette, which is exactly what we got. However, there were other colours employed throughout the video which I thought gave interesting contrast, such as the blue/purple (which I assumed represented night time) during some of the scenes and the dance break. His solo shots and overall cinematography of the video was nice.

I didn’t pay too much attention to JBJ as I hoped for. And for that, I am not really well-versed in each member’s abilities. However, Kim Dong Han can dance and thought that the choreography does the job with the song perfectly. My favourite move, out of the entire routine, was the start of the second half of the verses (see GIF below).

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