[Review] No One – Lee Hi ft. B.I (iKON)

Probably one of the biggest comebacks of last week was Lee Hi’s long-awaited return. And unfortunately, I missed it and delayed the review until today. Not to blame other people but I felt like if the comeback didn’t seem too sudden (Her teasers did come out of nowhere for me at least), I would have planned it into my agenda somehow. No One is Lee Hi’s first comeback since 2016 after the release of My Star. Since its release last Thursday, the song has topped charts all over South Korea, showcasing her power has remained the same despite an almost three-year break.

To me, No One starts off with a decent reggae beat. I did feel like the song did lose that particular colour that we normally associate with reggae as we progressed along with the song. While I think that sound compliments Lee Hi’s well-known vocals well, this ‘ loss of colour’ does make way for B.I’s rap feature. It gives the song a blast of intensity, which I think was much needed. Particularly after choruses that did not really seem to be captivating and were significantly underwhelming in my opinion. And it is because of this, I feel like the song hasn’t had the opportunity to stick into my head. It isn’t memorable and it doesn’t have me wanting to replay it. Based on what I have written, I think it is safe to say that I am not exactly into the song. The only thing (at this very stage) that has me interested is the fact that Lee Hi sounds like she curses in the song. ‘Officially’, I think she is singing a Korean word, but there is no doubt that about the presence of the ‘Shit’ in the song (even the English lyrics say so!). I am surprised about the lack of publicity or comments about this.

Not exactly sure what is going on in this video. But Lee Hi seems to be playing a cat with big dreams of falling in love and going on an adventure. While I do think the video is very YG, I felt the video to be extremely bland. I feel like the video is a good reflection of how expressionless Lee Hi’s face, as we have seen throughout her career. On top of that, we are treated to a lot of it throughout the video, as it did a good job of portraying some mystery. Lee Hi looks very pretty and mature in this video, which I think everyone is appreciating. I am not sure about B.I’s hair though. I did catch me off guard and looked messy (I talk from experience as I have a similar shaggy-like haircut as well at the moment).

From memory, Lee Hi doesn’t participate much in the choreography aspect of her performances. So it was nice to see her participate during the chorus. Though, it did seem obvious that she was more focused on live singing and not really perfecting the moves. As for the dance moves, I felt that they were quite bland, channelling the rest of the comeback.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.1/10

[Review] My Star – Lee Hi

Lee Hi has returned with part 2 of her second album. Last time we saw her was in March where she came back with Breathe and Hold My Hand. This time, she is coming back with “My Star”.

Unfortunately, this song was not to my taste. The song did not catch my attention nor did it appeal to me at all. I think because the release was so sudden and I have been drowning in so much work, that it became a song that I just could not keep up with. Anyway, regarding the song itself, there is something about Lee Hi’s voice that really can be described by one word, and that is: soulful. Her husky voice compliments a variety of genre from ballads to pop (as we saw from her previous titles tracks such as Hold My Hand and Breathe). This is more of a pop-jazz track than anything else. The song is much brighter and happier than any other song (and is probably a song that people would listen to, just to crack a smile or turn a frown upside down). I just find the chorus really repetitive and boring. The emphasis of each word in the sentence seems to sound the song ordinary and does really set the song apart from other songs out there right now. The bridge of the song did not really go well with the rest of the song, in my point of view. I think the climax was my favourite song, but the rest of it was just a little too boring for my taste. Sorry, I guess. Lee Hi has a great voice, but as the reasons, I cited above, most likely covered the song’s potential.

As for the video, I thought it was a nice concept. Of course, it looks like and it feels like your ordinary KPOP video, but I think the concept is refreshing and somewhat new. You could feel the awkwardness between Lee Hi and the actor to be honest. Their acting isn’t the best, but given the concept and what I got from the video, the awkwardness might have been on purpose. The video suited the song really well. I thought it a great video. It is just unfortunate that I did not like the song as much. If I had, I probably thought the video was amazingly better. The video shows the two go through dating to marrying phase of their life and the somewhat awkward vibe give the video a nice charm. Love the retro vibe the video has going on and the scenes where she is on stage singing in that suit is hella adorbs. She looks so cute on stage and in that pink suit.

Yeah.. so not really the song for me, but it is good from a point of view of someone who is not busy or overloaded with work atm. 5.5/10

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.

 

[DOUBLE REVIEW] Breathe + Hold My Hand – Lee Hi

POLL BELOW!!!

Afer 3 years, YG has let Lee Hi out of his dungeon. Only kidding. Only kidding. It has been 3 years since her last album, but don’t fret. She is finally back with a brand new mini album, titled as Seoulite. This mini album and this promotional run features 2 title tracks, Breathe and Hold My Hand. Both of which will be reviewed today!!!

Breathe is a slow ballad track. And damn is it beautiful or what? The whole time listening to this song, I was captivated by her wonderful vocals and the beautiful instrumental which accompanied the song. The song was free flowing and just felt like perfection to my ears. I read the English translations for most songs I review but this one… The words just roll off the page and I think that is the beauty of the song. Regardless of whether I read the lyrics or not, Lee Hi captured the right emotions and expressed them in the song. It’s one of the few songs where the monotone throughout the song suits it so well. The chorus deviates a little from the rest of the song, but it just adds to that emotion. Beautiful is probably the only word to describe it.

Hold My Hand is a jazzy number that sounds equally as good as Breathe. Her voice definitely fits the jazz genre and this is just evidence of that. “Let me hold your hand…” That line started off the song really well and the rest of the song fell into place after that. It is a much brighter song, which I thought suited her age more. The husky voice just did wonders in this song. Okay, I think it is more like I love the song, but I love the chorus even more. Highlight of the song for was (obviously) the chorus. And the way the song ended was just amazing. The soft “again”s were really nice and added a very fancy feel to the song.  The bridge as well, as a really nice change compared to the rest of the song, but done amazingly right. Okay, I think I am just repeating myself. Both songs equally amazing.

The music videos were both equally amazing. The video’s camera work was probably the best I have ever seen in KPOP. The shots just fitted the song really well. The video goes from Lee Hi singing to shots of random people who are quite sad or upset. Highlighting that “sigh” she sings so often about. The room which she sings from looks like heaven. Well not literally, but as if she was an angel from above, looking down on these people. There were a lot of shots of her on the roof and a few shots look down onto the roads, so I guess it is like she is an angel looking down? That’s my take on the video. Hold My Hand had a really unique video, where we are actually the guy and we see Lee Hi. It is shot with a video game (but like 90s video games) feel to it. A little random, but it looks pretty unique and amazing at the same time. The graphics were really cute nonetheless. The spinning around at the chorus probably was my favourite part of the video. Mainly because we got to see Lee Hi all cute and happy (totally the image I associate with her).

There is a dance for Hold My Hand, but her live singing captivates me a little too much. Hehehehe…

Overall, beautiful comeback that probably raises the bar for all.

Breathe – 10/10

Hold My Hand – 10/10

So, Lee Hi fans… Which song did you prefer more? Should you “Hold My Hand” or just “Breathe”? (lame puns) VOTE BELOW!!!

I’m Different – Hi SUHYUN ft. Bobby (IKON)

YG is known for putting artists together to form collaborations and subunits within the company nowadays. Recently, the company has put together two female artists together. Lee Hi and Suhyun from Akdong Musician joined forces with the help of Bobby from YG’s yet to debut new boy band, IKON. The three later went on to dominate the charts with their new single, I’m Different.

Like the song I last reviewed, this song has a really strong jazzy feel to it. I was reminded of this other song, like a long time ago, just I can’t pinpoint a name to the song. Another thing that sets this song a part from the others is that this song is a lot more cheerful and different rather than sad and depressing. Basically saying, the lyrics and the style the song was presented in falls in the 10% of songs released this year that had a happy side to it, rather than the 90% of song released this year which was about breakup or really dark love. I have to say this song is pretty catchy. I like Bobby’s rap in the song, despite only having like 3 lines in the whole song. His voice complimented the girl’s voices and also the song. Overall, this was a really nice song to listen to.

The music video cracked me up. Not to the extreme side, but it did make me laugh. Here are some observations I made. Bobby reminds me on Himchan a lot in this video. The girls were super cute in this video. And the whole plot line was really funny. The two girls play stalkers in this video and they end up stalking Bobby, who in turn has a girlfriend revealed at the end of the video. They at the end try to get back at the guy for wasting their time by bumping into their dodgem cars. This whole video was really cute, especially their facial expressions which I absolutely love. Particularly, the ending and the scenes were they are stalking him. Overall, nice video.

There is not much of a choreography for this song.

Overall, I liked the song and video. It was much different from the sad or dark comebacks we usually get during winter. Well, Winter for you Northern folks, while down here in the South Hemisphere, we are sweating it out over summer. But still… 7.4/10

 

Rose – Lee Hi

Source: http://www.allkpop.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/20130328_leehi_rose.jpg

Lee Hi recently followed up with her promotions of her song from her 2nd mini album (?) with Rose. This too, also achieved really high on the charts and the charts is starting to become similar to the Hunger Games arena. Who will volunteer as tribute, we will soon find out. But Lee Hi recently started promoting Rose, which is quite the opposite of It’s Over. Want more info? Read on.

The song is much more darker than It’s Over. It’s Over (which review is here!!!) was much more of a bright song, full of life and happy emotions. Rose took a turn for the good, and changed dramatically. Her soulful vibes in this song matches the whole genre really well. However, I am actually more used to her voice being more lively. I personally don’t think this is possible, but the song kind of felt like it was sung with a monotone voice. There seems to be emotions in some part, nothing really to give me the pleasure of listening to it.  But hey, the song is still good. Her mini English part took me sometime to work out. It sounds more like stem, in a way. The instrumental is okay, nothing major, but I still think the song is pretty good.

The music video relied on a lot of white. It was like white everything, but their use of other colours, red, and the shade of black, was pretty good, and really was bolded in the who video. The music video was pretty beautiful. Just I have some concerns. I like the scenes with the blood dripping from the thorns of the stems of the white things (don’t really think you can call them a stem). What I don’t get is why there are half naked soldiers running through this bush or thing? And why were they covered in white paint? Is this some kind of specialty paintball park or something  Where there is only white paint, places where you can prick yourself and bleed and you must be half naked at all times. Ouch. Also, I really don’t get the point of the female dancers in the video. I just want to say this: Don’t you hate it when outside is so windy, and you try to hang bedsheets on the clothes line? Just me? Oh.

The live is kind of weird. I don’t really like the start of the MCountdown performance, mainly because of the black and white effect. It makes the whole performance look outdated and dull. The female dancers make their return, in what seems to be much thicker bedsheets. Honestly, I think YG is cutting back on the amount of money they are spending for clothes on the dancers. The guys in Big Bang’s performance for SBS Gayo last year, only wore pants and a jacket, not even a shirt underneath. Concerned. I thought Gangnam Style made you guys a lot of money… The stage is pretty good as well, but the dance is nothing that great.

6/10. Dark, but okay.

It’s Over – Lee Hi

Source: http://www.billboard.com/files/styles/promo_650/public/media/lee-hi-650-430.jpg

Lee Hi has made her long awaited comeback after around a 4-5 month break from the industry. Last time it was 1,2,3,4 and now it is It’s Over. Seriously, this is one cute song with one cute music video.  Unfortunately she does not perform on Inkigayo until Sunday. The thing is, I am typing this on the 15/03/2013, which means I write these reviews way in advanced. Let’s continue, because I have dying to write something about this song’s music video.

Lee Hi achieved a lot of success with 1,2,34, earning her the top spot on her actual debut stage (She is the first artists to do that) and also (I think) the first rookie to achieve an all kill and a triple crown on MCountdown. Anyway, this song does carry over her vocal talent from her previous single. However, from my eyes, this song is actually more performance/dance base than vocal talent. She is moving a lot more than what she did for 1,2,3,4. Actually, now I think I am going off topic. Anyway, the song is pretty superb. I was not a fan of the retro sound which she went for in 1,2,3,4. However this song really changed me. I like her voice. The lyrics are meh, for me (To be honest, I skimmed through the lyrics). I only listened to this song for voice and the instrumental. Overall pretty good.

The music video was so cute. But that blue bear really needs someone to cheer him up. Have you seen his facial expression? It is like an angry bear’s face. Hahahahaha. I kid. No, but that bear, while this music video is so cute, is quite a let down. but how the bear (cough-the-person-cough) dances around is so cute. YG did the right thing to include the bear, without it, the music video would be quite plain and really would not be appealing at all. I would like you to refer to 0:50. Did he drop Lee Hi? And not only that, but did he drop that pink teddy bear? The one he was nurturing a moment ago? At 1:45, I now know what truly happened to my big bowl of jelly babies. 1:52, where he throws the shopping trolley down, because Lee Hi was making funny of his fat tummy. Who wouldn’t? So overall, I am trying to say that this music video is hilarious because of the bear. But beside that, my complaint is how random the rest of the costumes are. Seriously? Ice-cream?  Cereal Box? And there are also back up yoga dancers? WTF?

Okay, even though this song is dance heavy, I find it quite basic and quite boring. It is nothing much considering other artists at the moment. However, it is much better to see her move more than 1,2,3,4. I think if this dance was more complex, than it would’ve ruined the whole song. So pretty cool. Oh the cute bear.

Opps (G.Na reference), forgot to rate the song. I give it a 7.5/10.