[Review] Sunset – KNK

KNK seems to be handling their own careers quite well. Late last year, the group established their own company after leaving YNB Entertainment (it was assumed that their former company was not managing them well). This year, the group returned with Lonely Night, making it their first comeback in almost 2 years. After 6 months, the group returns with Sunset, another digital single. On top of that, the group will be embarking Europe tour as well next month (and Wikipedia states that the group had also wrapped up their USA tour and Japan tour).

Sunset is a bold track that makes you instantly associate it with the modelling world or at least, a runway. We have had a number of tracks that take this route in the past. And each of them turned out to be very dynamic but in a subtle manner. Sunset definitely follows the trend. But may I add that the song also has a certain level of intensity that gives it a sensual feel. The chorus has to be my favourite part. Not only do they seductive whisper ‘Sunset 4 4 Y’all‘ repetitively, the instrumentation I found to be quite cool (though typical for the style of music they chose). Listening to the track, you find the actual singing and rapping within the verses. While they don’t really sound amazing, I do think they showcase a good side of themselves in the song. I have been impressed with KNK’s title tracks so far in their career and it seems like Sunset is another addition to that list.

The music video is captivating. Though there wasn’t much going on content-wise (i.e. the video was made up of artistic close-ups and choreography shots), the atmosphere they created with the minimal lighting and use of silhouettes was amazing. The visuals we saw in the music video made the song sound so much more thrilling. The sensual vibes that I identified with the song were carried throughout the music video is a manner that feels perfectly right (e.g. Heejun’s abs and the choreography shots).

Based on what can be seen in the music video, the choreography seems to show some voguing and homme fatale vibes. And to pull off those vibes and moves perfectly, the members have to look visually amazing, which I think they do. And I suppose the performance is going to look very charged, which fans will undoubtedly enjoy. There are some interesting bits that I am keen to see live, such as the hanging member at the very start and the full chorus routine.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

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[Review] Lonely Night – KNK

After a year and a half absence from the stage, KNK has finally returned with a brand new single, Lonely Night. Their last comeback was in July 2017 with their digital single Rain. Since then, a number of events have occurred for to the male group including their Japanese debut, 3 of the members (Seungjun, Inseong & Heejun) participated in Mix Nine survival show, Youjin left the group, Seungjun changed his stage name to Seoham, the group also parted ways with YNB Entertainment and this latest comeback sees the addition of a new member, Lee Dongwon, to the group.

Lonely Night reminds me of their previous single, Rain. I am attributing that to the instrumental, due to the saxophones in this song. Rain was more lowkey, however, while the saxophones in Lonely Night is more profound and give off an upbeat vibe. Lonely Night also has a darker feel, along with an intense hip-hop influence, which is definitely a trend ongoing in KPOP for the past few years. Altogether, the song does present as an attractive package to me. It has that dark vibe in its sound which I enjoy while also remaining upbeat to really have something for me to catch onto. I can see the song becoming catchy for me. The vocals were superb. Everyone sounded great. But my best part of the entire song has to be the rapping that featured just before each chorus. It sounded cool and just lead nicely into the chorus.

There could potentially be some meaning behind each of the member’s solo parts as I see some distorted imagery and reflections (as if something was haunting them). But that might just have been my misinterpretation. They did a good job of showing loneliness and the feelings that come with it. I liked how they toned down the colours in the video. It really keeps that dark concept in check with the song and consistent throughout the entire video.

I think I might need to wait until there is a live performance for this particular comeback. But from what I can see during the choreography shots, everything looked quite good. There were some body waves and some deliberate slow motion within the dance moves that look promising!

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] Rain – KNK

Dropping their comeback today is KNK, who returns with Rain. The group previously made their return with Sun, Moon, Star a few weeks back, which was the main track from their second single album, Gravity. Today, the group has dropped the repackaged issue of Gravity, which has been retitled as Gravity, Completed, which also serves as their 3rd mini album to date.

The track follows nicely from Sun, Moon, Star, in terms of style. They honestly could have returned with any style of the song of their choice, but they kept it consistent, which made me very happy. I think it is because you don’t hear this sound often anymore since the music industry has now been overrun with electronic synths and influences. I love the instrumental of the track. The use of the saxophone made the heavy instrumental feel a little lighter and gives it a more dynamic appeal. Like the name, I can see myself listening to this one a rainy day. The vocal work of this track is commendable, where each member shone brightly. Seungjun’s part right after the first chorus was my favourite. The verses could have been more memorable, as it was easily forgotten when it jumped to the chorus or when I watch the performance. What made me laugh (even though it was my fault) was that I misunderstood the English in the song. I honestly thought it said ‘I’ll cancel tonight’, which to me made sense. But when I watched the performance, the lyrics were actually ‘I can’t sleep tonight’. That’s my short story that bares no relevance to the review, but overall, it was one amazing song.

As suggested previously, how else to set this music video but with lots of rain. That’s exactly what happened here. It seems each member got into a breakup and the scenes show how they react to it. Some of them end up sulking, while the others end up running after. It is a pretty self-explanatory video and it does have a few KPOP cliches in it. For example, why is there a piano at the end of a tunnel and why do KPOP idols look so detached from the world when they cut themselves? But what I really liked was how each member had a dramatic contact with water, it was edited so they look like they fell into a large body of water. The editing there was amazing and it looked pretty cool. While it did feel like a cliche, I thought it add to the emotional vibes that were coming off from the song.

There were a few artists that made their comeback today. But what got me to write the review for this particular one first (over the others) was the choreography. I freaking love it. I love their use of the umbrellas to aid their transitions and it just perfectly clicks with the song’s style. The performance (from today) left me speechless and this could possibly take my vote for the best choreography of this year.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

[Review] Sun, Moon, Star – KNK

KNK is back with a brand new single, titled as Sun, Moon, Star. The group made their debut last year with Knock and made comebacks with Back Again and UTheir latest single is said to pay homage to HIGHLIGHT (formerly known as Beast). The writer of KNK’s latest song, Kim Tae Joo, has previously worked with HIGHLIGHT and the choreography is also said to be inspired by Ribbon.

True to the claims, the song has distinct similarities to HIGHLIGHT’s tracks such as 12:30 and Ribbon. These two songs have grown to be one of my favourite tracks in KPOP and it seems like this one is fastly rising to join that list. I won’t say it is amazing or on par with the other songs, mainly because there is one thing that didn’t feel right (more on that shortly). KNK does manage to put a twist on the sound to make it different at the same time. The string and classical based instrumental suits the member’s vocals very well, considering how the group has so far made more powerful and intense songs. The song has no rap section, which is something that I agree with. There is no room for a rap sequence given the nostalgic instrumental and great vocals (i.e. a rap sequence would have made everything feel overwhelming). All of that being said though, this song doesn’t captivate me. There is dull feel to the song, which I can help but notice every time I return to the song for another listen. I say this because it is the one and only criticism I have regarding the song. I am quite sure that if the song somehow shook off that dull sound, the song would have been much better.

Returning to that dull point I was making, the haziness of the video doesn’t really help. I know that they are trying to put out a different video entirely, but I felt it was too hazy at times and the lighting was a little too bright for an emotional song. That’s me being narrow-minded. The darker choreography scenes seem to fit the track more. The video shows the guys trying to adapt to a breakup with their lovers. Everything else returns to normal (such as that chair moving back in place) but the guys are having a hard time doing so. The video also consisted on choreography shots and closeups of them singing, which all look good (minus the lighting).

The choreography is fitting for the song, so I don’t really have much else to say. On stage, they seem to convey their emotions both through the dance and their vocals, which is pretty cool. The link between HIGHLIGHT’s choreography and KNK’s dance is extremely subtle and I had to watch extremely carefully to catch it. Not too sure if that is a good thing yet, but it has me coming back to performances to see what else could be a connection between the two routines.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

[Review] U – KNK

KNK made their debut at the end of February of this year with Knock. They made their first comeback in May with Back Again. Now, they are back with a new single, U.

U is a very popping and strong track. The son reminds me of their title track. The song tried to feel as intense as their debut track but fell short of that goal. The vocal work and the rapping in the song were okay. The song did feel a little bland and monotone. They didn’t deviate from that straight line analogy and it did become boring. It was as if the later parts of the song were copied and pasted over and over again. There wasn’t anything that seemed different from the first chorus and the last chorus, which is commonly using different lyrics or ad-libs are added to give the song that final peak or impact. [Relistening to the song one more time, there are ad-libs. They were just completely drowned out]. Also the instrumental sounds good but it is as if the producers could not decide on it and decided to join multiple instrumentals. Some parts were fast tempo, others were slow. It just did not flow well together. It was almost sounded as if it was jagged. I do still think the song is still worth listening to as it does share that common ground with Knock and Back Again (i.e. all their songs do remind you of KPOP a few backs and do aim / are intense to listen to).

No music video was released for this track due to poor editing and quality. That is a pretty dangerous move for a rookie group from a small company. I understand that they might not need a budget, but a music video goes a long way.

However, they did release a Performance Version, which I have included below. But that just shows the choreography. And yes, KNK was shown themselves off again with they sharp dance moves and fast footwork. Did you see the “U, U, U” part of the dance?  While I have seen it in the industry before, it still looks amazing each time.

Rating – 7/10

[Review] Back Again – KNK

KNK made their debut with Knock, back in February.  They have since returned with Back Again during the month of June.

The boys are back at it again with another powerful song. Comparing to Knock, Back Again is not as catchy or addictive. However, the guys still sound amazing. Reading through the comments, I agree with many fans who are saying this is a song that you have expected to be released years ago. Not saying the song is currently outdated, but it sparks the memories of the many boy groups that released songs similar to this, like Beast or Infinite. Oh, the good old days. Vocals and raps were highlighted and emphasised in this song. They sounded great! The instrumental is already quite powerful by itself. There was a great balance between the vocals/raps and instrumental. Either one did not drown the other out and it sounded quite nice. As I said above, it just wasn’t something that I would describe as a memorable song. It just did not contain the punch in the chorus as I had observed and heard in Knock.

Music video was a little boring to watch. I was more into the song than video. The standard formula of choreography, close up shots and a tiny sprinkle of acting on top. Those overused sets are back at it. I don’t mind them, but it would be a little nice to see many KPOP videos change it up. I understand that usually, they go for these sets because they are convenient and cheap to use, but you can only change a template so many times.  Besides that, I don’t have much to comment about the video.

The dancing is spot on. Another group with knife-like precision and accuracy. 100% synchronisation. Thought the dance for the chorus was spot on. The dancing that KNK has done so far with their two promotional runs have shown their powerful side and it is a side that I want to continue seeing from the guys, because it suits them a lot.

Final Rating – 6.5/10

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.

 

Knock – KNK

Let’s add a new band to the review list! KNK is a boy group that is currently under YNB Entertainment, which also houses Noel and BESTie. They are made up of 5 members: Kim You Jin, Park Seung Jun, Jeong In Seong, Kim Ji Hun and Oh Hee Jun. They made their official debut on the 16th of March. Surprisingly for a newly debut band, they have already established their fanclub: Tinkerbell. But let’s move along now.

The song is pretty nice to listen to. It doesn’t blow me away, but the song probably shows a lot of potential in itself and the band as well. The song starts off with a nice piano medley and very soothing vocals. The song starts to get a little more impactful with more harmonies and stronger vocals. As the song progresses along, the song starts to build up pretty well. The chorus just smacks you across the face (well, it did for me). It just sounds extremely powerful, but in a subtle way (is that just polar opposite then?). Their vocals sound very mature,  powerful and as if they have been performing for a very long time. The rapping fits very well with the song. It adds to that powerful nature of the song. Suprisinly, when I watch over the music video, I find that they way they intergrated their name into the song quite smart. It flowed very well and doesn’t sound like they over advertising themselves (cough-Brave Sound-cough-JYP back in the day-cough). I am coming down with a cold. Actually, it sounds like it was meant to be a part of the song. Saying all of that, great song. Very hard to see any flaws in it.

The music video was pretty good. Once again, not enough to make it amazing, but it had its charm. The powerful and dark vibe carries through from the song to the video. The sets were phenomenal. Yeah, we see them a lot, but the way they used the sets for their solo shots and dance scenes were pretty much their “style”. It just fits them really well. Usually, you see that certain scenes don’t fit in or the sets didn’t just suit the video. But here, wow. The lightings in background emphasised them and made them that much manlier and stronger. That very typical “Let’s look for her when she is obviously gone” scenes where they run around and look completely lost when they probably are still in their houses were in the video and I can say I was a little disappointed in that. I expected maybe a different way to present that scene.

The dance is pretty good as well. Yet again, not the most jaw dropping choreography I have seen to date, but damn, it is still pretty good. When they walk around in the circle, with their chest held up high, that seemed very good. Their movements were very sharp. The dance just showed off their manliness and oozed with charisma. That ending (when they are rapping) looked awesome and cool.

Overall, I think it is a very good debut with great aspects and all. They have so much potential and I think they will do well for a very long time. One thing I will say: check out their mini album. They have good tracks on it. As for this one: 9/10