[Review] Only U – Laboum

Laboum has returned with their second comeback of 2017. They previously released Hwi Hwi back in April and earned their first win on the weekly music shows. Now, they are back with a special Summer album, which shares the same title as their title track, Only U.

The girls join a long list of Summer themed comebacks, which automatically make the expectations of the song quite high. For the most part, I think the song manages to hit that mark. The instrumental just screams Summer from the very start. It has a very nice retro vibe and it definitely makes you smile when you listen to the song. The catchiness of the chorus really does hook you to the song, which I am absolutely loving. I also like how they bring back their cute sound in the song, which I think fits nicely with the style and theme of the rest of the comeback. But honestly, I am a little disappointed. While I did say the song is catchy, I felt like the song didn’t have anything else that was interesting. It felt like it only hit that high standard, rather than overshoot it. Another reason requires me to go back to the vocals in Hwi Hwi. While the vocals here are good, the vocals in this song are not as explosive in the previous song and that does let me down a tiny bit. But regardless, it is definitely a Summer song I am putting onto my playlist.

I don’t mind the video but I think it could have been better. The video shows each girl form a massive crush on the guy, who is waiting for his lover to come (which I am assuming from the two fairy floss sticks he is holding). And that is basically the video summarised in one sentence. Besides the outfits they wear, the video doesn’t feel like it can be associated with the season of Summer. Though, I did think the menu was funny. If you do get a glimpse of the menu, you do notice they sell ‘homemade’ and ‘homemade vegan’. But my favourite: Sno cones.

The choreography is a completely different story. I am totally loving it. While I think they could have gone with a better start to the chorus, the whole thing comes together quite nicely. It does bring back the cute side of the girls that were missed. My most favourite part was the 2:40 mark of the music video. I thought that looked really cool.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10 

 

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[Special] Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2017

Can you already believe it? That we are already in July. Half the year has gone by and it felt like a blur. A lot has happened in the last 6 months that has just past. So, as a treat, I have decided to compile a list (my top 10) of the songs from the first half of 2017. There is no ranking or charting system that has allowed me to come up with this list (though, you might notice it may correspond with the Weekly Charts that I publish every Sunday). This is all just my personal preference and it is simply my opinion. So, in no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 10 songs from the 1st half of 2017.

Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen

Hwi Hwi – Laboum

Never Ever – GOT7

Beautiful – Monsta X

I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Don’t Recall – K.A.R.D

Beautiful – Pentagon

Hobglobin – CLC

Dance Dance – DAY6

I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

 

 

[Review] Hwi Hwi – Laboum

Laboum has returned with a brand new song and mini album. 2016 was a big year for the band as they released multiple songs such as Journey to Atlantis, Shooting Love and Winter Story (didn’t get around to reviewing this song, unfortunately), which all help grow their fan base. Now the girls have returned with their second mini album, Miss This Kiss and the title track Hwi Hwi or 휘휘.

Laboum, in the past year, has consistently put out great songs. And they continue that level of success with Hwi Hwi. Just listening to the song for the first time, I could tell it is a part of another league. No, it doesn’t have a new sound or an element to make it stand out. To be honest, it uses very generic and traditional pop sounds. But what makes it sound so good is that it is done right. It ticks off all the boxes as a fun, addictive and fun song. The whistles and level of brightness that the track starts off with really sets the tone of the song from the very start. I love the overlapping between the raps and vocals just before each chorus. Oh, and don’t me get started on the chorus. It is the definitely the part of the song that shines the brightest, especially with the “Miss This Kiss” part. There may not be anything new in the song, but the song manages to cement itself in being one of the top songs of the years. And as a final plea, do not sleep on this song. I recommend it to anyone who wants to listen to a bright song, that actually also prepares us for the coming Summer months.

The music video is pretty good. The video is shot in a similar style to Shooting Love (i.e. camera angles and cinematography made the video look more amazing than if it was shot with a camera moving back and forth). While I do want something more to the video that really grabs people’s attention, the video’s level of brightness and colour really does fit the song’s vibes. The sets look pretty ordinary, but somehow they managed to make it all look good. Watching the girls perform the song in the video alone brought a massive smile to my face. The song did as well, but not to the extent of my grin after watching the video. Some of the props they used did remind me of a few videos released by other girl groups. I don’t know if I overemphasised them in my mind or if it was intentional, but it seemed like a clever.

The dance is also quite simple, but it goes a long way. I am totally in love with it, as I am with the rest of the comeback. It is cute but it doesn’t overdo it, which is a mega plus. It doesn’t necessary standout, but it compliments well with the song.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 8/10
Dance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

 

[Review] Shooting Love – Laboum

Laboum has returned to the stage with a brand new song. They made their first comeback in 2016 with Journey to Atlantis, which I totally loved. Just 4 months later, they returned with a new mini album and their newest title track Shooting Love. Furthermore, Laboum topped my weekly KPOP chart for last week. That was just my way of sliding my charts into these posts!

They came back with a pretty good song. I have to admit. It was catchy and addictive to listen to. I totally fell for it. But there are a few things that did disappoint me. The song sounds more childish (and at parts, cringeworthy). Journey to Atlantis was still that cutesy aegyo concept, but there was a more mature vibe to it. Parts of Shooting Love sounded like a kid was making shooting sounds. Some parts would have sounded a lot better in cheerleading format, but instead, we got kiddy format. I did like the rest of the vocals. The “Bang Bang Bang Boy” reeled me in pretty fast (though it did take me a while to figure out what they were saying, which I don’t really know why, though). The rap was unnecessary and was probably the other part of the song which I did not like. The pop vibe in the song was pretty great. I liked the instrumental to the song. Consistent throughout and the extra beats added for the chorus came at the right time. Really made me happy to listen throughout the rest of the song (minus the rap).

We really need to address this ongoing use of guns in the videos. I get they try to avoid the rating officials and want something cute rather than violent to be in the video, but honestly, it is getting pretty damn embarrassing and ridiculous. Have no clue on what is occurring the video. I get that they are split into teams. One of the teams comes with bombs and spy gear, while the other team comes with grenades and pink guns. I guess they are competing for someone’s love and trying to eliminate the other team. While my idea is ridiculous, I am going with what I think. And though that is pretty cringeworthy and really childish to watch, I find the video quite interesting and amusing. Plus dropping the bomb in the bin somehow managed to stop the bomb from blowing everything on camera to bits. Yeah, I don’t know. I loved the camera work in this video. It made the video look quite cool at some parts. In regards to the ending, I don’t know if the video was actually meant to be the “shooting of a (terrible) movie”.

The dance was great. The editing in the music video made the dance look quite cool and really made me expect a lot. I was a little disappointed with the stage performances, but only a little bit. Overall, I thought the dance was fitting for the song. Though I do have to ask, what were with the random “place hands under each boob” part of the chorus? Got a little lost there, but I loved the use of the handguns (makes sense) and the imaginary bow and arrow (also makes sense) in the dance. Just that random move I don’t find any sense in it.

Final Rating – 7.5/10

 

[Rewind] April 2016 & May 2016

Yeah… I know May hasn’t ended yet, but to avoid posting another late ‘Rewind” post 3 weeks after the month finished, I have decided to April and May together. This one is going to be a little informal in terms of format for a few reasons that will appear apparent. And before we move on, just a little reminder that I will try to write and release reviews every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Okay, moving along:

Leaving the Group?

We became shocked with the disbandment (or what we dubbed at the disbandment) of Kara at the start of the year. However, it seems like certain groups are facing member line up changes after one of their members had decided to not resign with their company and have since departed ways with their respective groups. Former member of 2NE1, Minzy, and former member of Miss A, Jia, have both decided to leave their successful group and go onto their own paths.  Minzy will (hopefully) make her solo debut in the near future after confirmation came from her new company in which she signed. Jia was announced today that she would be leaving the band after her contract finished. Miss A and 2NE1 faced disbandment rumours from these two events, but both their companies have stated that is not the case. Not only girl groups are facing these changes, but A-Jax (if we all remember who they were) recently lost 3 members (Sungmin, Jaehyung and Jihu). But the list does not end there. Hyunseung departed from Beast, leaving the group with 5 members. It was kind of expected after the numerous articles and petitions asking for his removal. Hyunseung is expected to return as a solo artist in the near future and is still signed with Cube Entertainment. It is always disappointing to hear these news and it has obviously shocked the industry a lot. These members have been with their band since the beginning, so it is always hard for fans. Hopefully, there won’t be any more of this and I wish the former members luck in their future endeavours (because that is something we all should do and not call them selfish).

Descendant of the Sun

Now this is something we all have heard about. The drama has taken Asia by storm and has been proven to be highly successsful. It stars Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Ko, as the main characters. Before you all die from shock, I have yet to watch this drama. So, no spoilers. But I don’t actually have any plans to watch the drama. Because I am not one to enjoy romance and all this lovey dovey sh*t. I just don’t watch the genre (or any mainstream and popular dramas). I prefer the cringeworthy daily dramas. Now, why am I talking about this drama? Well, the OSTs for this drama has literally taken over the charts each time they were released. Not complaining here, but the songs were really good. Like, I really enjoy listening to them and this is probably the first time I have been impressed with the OST for a drama. Anyway, the OST contains songs from Davichi, Gummy, K.Will, Yoon Mi Rae, Chen, Punch, Mad Clown, Kim Na Young, Xiah, MC The Max, Lyn and SG Wannabe. In OST terms, this is pretty much the star studded red carpet. Each song released topped the charts instantaneously and I can see these artists winning the Best OST awards at the award ceremonies already. That is all I am reporting on… Hahaha…

Comebacks and Debuts

For the past two months, many artists have made their comeback and they include ): Block B, Seventeen, History, April, Twice, AOA, Akdong Musician, VIXX, Lovelyz, Up10Tion and so many more.

For debuts, NCT is the big debut for April.  I.O.I is probably the major debut for May. However, we have seen new soloists emerge in KPOP in the past two months. Notably, Jung Eunji from APINK, Woohyun from Infinite and Tiffany from SNSD had their respective solo debuts in the last two months.

Top 5 songs of April

As per normal, these are my top 5 songs of April:

  1. Pretty U – Seventeen
  2. Journey to Atlantis – Laboum
  3. Dynamite – VIXX
  4. Queen – History
  5. Toy – Block B

Top 5 songs of May

May hasn’t ended yet, but it is about to. I will add other May songs to the June list (when I get around to it).

0. Pretty U – Seventeen (I have to. I have been trialling charts and Seventeen has been popping up every single week as the top song for the week).
1. Good Luck – AOA
2. Save Me – BTS
3. Nodding Nodding – Woohyun (Infinite)
4. I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)
5. Fire – BTS

This one was a long one and I tried to keep it short. I am really behind in reviews and will get them out slowly. It will take me some time to catch up. Bad news is that I have exams coming up and I am going to be slower. I will review every major release eventually, so give me some time. Enjoy the rest of May and see you tomorrow!!!

 

Journey to Atlantis – Laboum

Laboum has finally returned. They last promoted Aalow Aalow back in November and December last year (which I failed to review). This time around they have returned with a mini album titled as Fresh Adventure.

Probably one of the freshest songs this year. For some reason, there was this “wave of newness” that probably the reason why this song stood out for me. It had that bright feel and make you picture sunflowers and grassy fields. Okay, maybe not that extreme. But every time I listen to this song, it makes me grin so much. Yeah, the song lands perfectly in the typical KPOP song genre but there is a lot more to it. The chorus is freaking catchy and beautiful. Love how they all sing the chorus, giving it that brighter feel. I am just lip syncing the chorus everytime I hear the song. The high notes at the end (both of them) are stunning. The rapping is very limited (and it isn’t really a rap, more like a chant) but it changes up the song. It fits the season perfectly and it is a shame that it is not getting as much love as it deserves. Overall, I think this is an amazing song and definitely think everyone should listen to it.

I think there is one word we can describe this video and that is: cheesy. Lots of cheese. The girls in the video are bored at home and decide to pitch a tent, pretending as if they are in the outdoors. Who didn’t do that when they were younger? Oh childhood, why did you go away? The girls fall asleep and somehow are transported to their “dream land” or the outdoors. And that is about as intense the plot gets. Yeah, very cheesy. But the sets were nice. They are the ones you see every single time a KPOP video comes along, but they have been brightened up and made to look like they fit into the video. But damn, those outdoor scenes (well, I am assuming they were outdoors and not in some studio) look amazing. I don’t have much else to say regarding the video. It just looks beautiful.

The dance is great as well. They are in sync from start to the end. Loving it. I love the chorus and damn, it is very confusing to follow along. Because that is what I do all day… I watch video and dance to them while sitting down. But it fits that fresh and cute concept they are going for.

For some reason, these girls are not getting love. They need love. Because just listening to this song shows me how capable they are. 9/10

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 ^^

Catch Up Review #11 – LABOUM, Mamamoo, EXID

 

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Finally, another review after so long. Hahaha.. Thought I dropped out unannounced again did you and return in like 5 months? Hahahahaha… No silly, I just returned from a well deserved holiday and the MAMA awards were on last night, so I guess I skipped writing a review for like 3 days or so. However, now I am back and writing more reviews more than ever, and that is promise I make, after I return from my other holiday. Only kidding. Long reviews today so let’s go!

What About You – LABOUM

LABOUM is a new group in the industry. As there are so many new groups coming into the industry, I don’t get any chances to review them, because there are so many groups debuting and making their comeback at the same time. Fortunately, I finally got to review this group, just with their first comeback song. This song is so freaking good. The song is catchy and likewise all of the songs in today’s review is really catchy. It is a song that I have been playing on the loop consistently. The rapping was so so but the vocals were superb. As for the music video, there really was nothing there and I was quite disappointed with that. It was just the girls acting all distant and doll-like during the whole video. As for the dance, I really liked how they took the “doll” concept and made the dance around it. It was really cool and amazing. 7/10

Piano Man – Mamamoo

Mamamoo is back and wow, this song really raises the bar. How are these girls not freaking getting awards yet, really beats me. This whole comeback blew my mind. The song was really addictive and catchy. This song impresses me. The vocals and the rapping did the job wonderfully. The girls harmonised really well and showcased their vocals. I was blown away with this song. As for the music video, it reminded me a lot of Secret’s Poison, just without the sex appeal and the violence. However, it was a little dull to watch. We see Gongchan from B1A4 getting drawn into the girls throughout the music video. Not really exciting.  As for the dance, I liked how they mimicked the instruments used in the song and also its simplicity. 10/10. 

Up & Down – EXID

EXID is finally back after a disappearance of nearly 2 years and this time it seems they have finally started to get more recognition then before. More on that later. This song is hella addictive and really fun to listen (and sing) to. Though, this song is LE dominated for like 80% of it, I thought the whole song, from vocals to rap, was amazing. As for the music video, wow. It was really suggestive towards the male sexual organ. Well, that or I have a really dirty mind. Overall, I love the music video. I love the half body idea and since the same director directed this music video and also Orange Caramel’s recent videos, the music video had that Orange Caramel feel to it. As for the dance. It was amazing. It was deemed as sexy, however this time, I kind of agree with it. This dance however, is what the band is now officially known for. EXID is now ranking on the charts in the top 10 because a fancam of member Hani dancing to the song at an event. Now they are due to retrun to the stage, a few months after the song is released, they are going viral. 10/10

THIS IS IT. IT IS OVER. The catchy up reviews are finally done. I can now sit back and write the next 45 reviews at a slow pace (however one that gets you guys to read consistently). Thank you for staying this long with me and now I hand you back to the normal reviews. See you tomorrow!!!