[Review] Maria – Hwasa (Mamamoo)

It is one busy Monday with a total of four releases that I intend to review as soon as possible (may need to split over a few days to get them done). First up is Hwasa’s solo comeback. Hwasa made her official solo debut at the start of the year with the hit, Twit. That, however, was only a single and actually features on her first mini-album, which shares the same name as her new title track, Maria. She is also the third member of Mamamoo to release a solo single this year, following Moonbyul and Solar, with Eclipse and Spit It Out (respectively).

If we were to judge the song based on its title, we would be expecting Maria to go full steam ahead with the Latin influence, the trend that KPOP in Summer probably will never escape. Mamamoo too also contributed to this trend with the release of Egotistic in 2018. But don’t be too quick to judge, as the Latin influence is very small. In fact, it localised just to the dance break, which gives off energy in a very fashionable sense for this song. Its presence doesn’t necessarily fit in the rest of the song, but it is definitely needed. The rest of Maria seems like a blank canvas, in terms of its instrumental. Sure, it is an upbeat and, at times, intense track. But apart from a minimal amount of synths, the instrumental is quite plain. It isn’t plain in a dull way though, as the vocals give the song some much-needed action and Hwasa’s vocals help fill in those gaps. I really like her nasally delivery during the verses and her raspy whisper that kicks off the chorus. I also a fan of her vocalisation in the latter half of the chorus, which is where the song gets a little intense and sensual. Together, it forms a decent song that plays towards Hwasa’s strength as a performer and vocalist. Maybe a more captivating instrumental would have been more appealing and made this into a winning track.

The music video reflects the lyrics well. We see Hwasa being hurt by others at the very start of the music video with all the photographers taking photos of her body at a crime scene and all those people providing a lighter for the cigarette she is holding. In the hospital, she is surrounded by all these pencils pointed towards her, as well. But what the music video also shows is that she gets up and stands up for herself. We see that during the hospital scene once again, where she escaped the pointy pencils and walks down the hall as if she never had that encounter. The start where she is serving a heart seems to be her bouncing back as it looked like she just killed the person who hurt her and serving it to other people who are going to hurt her. That is just my take on the video though, so there can be many other views out there. For the other elements in of the video, the sets and the camera work during her solo shots were nice. Some of her closeups in the choregrahpy shots were a little ‘in your face’ for me, as I wanted to see more of the choreography.

The one thing I really like about Hwasa is that she doesn’t hold back. If the performance is going to be sensual, then she will make it happen. We have seen that through her solo stages at award shows. While I am sure this performance will get some flack in Korea, it looks pretty good. There is a fair amount of hip grinding action in the chorus which seems very bold and I liked how the final chorus had a different routine to feature both genders of dancers and end the song with a more powerful vibe.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] Absence – Moonbyul (Mamamoo)

Despite all the Mamamoo members being active as solo artists in the first half of this year, we have yet to see the members together. They did say that they will be focusing on solo activities for the first part of 2020, from memory. But there was no indication for how long. Let’s hope we get one in the second half of the year (I am sure we will!). In the meantime, the members do continually treat us with new solo releases. For example, yesterday, Moonbyul dropped her repackaged mini-album, 門OON, which features the new track, Absence. This repackaged album features all the songs on Dark Side Of The Moon, including Eclipse.

I am genuinely surprised with this comeback. It is another side of Moonbyul that we have never seen before. And that is the beauty of solo releases. They give us different profiles of the singer, some of which will never be shown when they promoting with their original groups. Eclipse gave us a very dark and edgy side of Moonbyul. And Absence gives us an emotional Moonbyul. The instrumental is a bit standard to my ears. There are elements in Absence that reminds me of a ballad, such as the really emotionally charged vocals and the classical setup that forms part of the instrumental. The song does infuse some trap beats into the background, giving the song that ability to bring a dance to the performance (more on that in a bit). And it is this combination that allows the song to come off as moody and somewhat dull. What I really like about this are Moonbyul’s vocals and the song’s melodies, which helps steer the song away from that feeling. She gets more opportunities to show her vocals off in this song. The showcase of her vocals have been on the rise, but this is something we have not heard from her. You can hear the heartbreak in this song through vocals, which is definitely a sign of a good vocalists. And to know that this vocalist is more commonly known for being a rapper is something. As the song builds, her vocals become more powerful and I quite like this. Her nasally tone is very appealing. I also like that bit of rapping she throws into the song. Cliche and typical, but still quite nice. Actually, that summarises all thoughts I have on Absence in a short manner.

For this review, I will be combining the music video and performance sections of the review. The music video is a performance video, as stated in the title of the official music videos. There is a number of closeups of Moonbyul singing into the camera throughout, so essentially it adopts a closeup and choreography formula. I did like the black and white filter that was placed on majority of the video. It added to that moody nature of the song. It also added to the dullness, but I feel like that was a positive for the song, as it allowed Moonbyul and the dancers to be the pure focus of the video. And as a performance video, there is a greater focus on the choreography. And the choreography is quite fitting of the song. The song doesn’t really allow for any impressive moves to come forth, but I really liked the speeds of the moves. It is relatively slow and smooth, but there is a balance that allows it to become powerful. My favourite part has to the bridge of the song, where the dancers become like waves. I thought that was a stunning moment in the entire performance.

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

[Review] Spit It Out – Solar (Mamamoo)

Solar makes her first solo comeback with the release of Spit It Out, which is the title of both her solo comeback mini-album and title track. For those who do not know Solar is, she is one of the members of the talented female group Mamamoo. As the group has become very established in the industry for their amazing vocals and catchy hits, the first half of 2020 has been focused on the member’s solo promotion. Earlier this year, we saw the solo comeback of fellow member Moonbyul with Eclipse, which was an epic comeback. Let’s see if Solar can be epic in her own right with her solo comeback.

Right from the very first second, Spit It Out showcases its edge by a Latin guitar riff and a consistent deep thumping beat. Just launching in with this simple combination and you can tell that the song will be very appealing. The song sounds epic with bass, which is definitely putting my new headphones to good use and I highly recommend you listen to the song with some headphones to get that same epic feel. I do like how they do build on this for the chorus, but I also like how they do keep to this combination for the song. It does raise the concern of consistency and I have to admit that the song very linear, as a result. But there is a sense of refinement if you look on the flip side of this consistency issue, which is a positive in a way. Solar keeps to a husky tone in this song, which I thought was unique. It is very alluring this way and really helps you enjoy the song. Part of me is waiting for a solo release that has her letting her vocal talents loose, knowing that she has that ability to do so. But at the same time, I am glad she doesn’t do this in this song as it would be really cliche. I do have three favourite parts. The first is ‘Set A Fire Fire Fire‘, which acts as the memorable line of Spit It Out. The second has to be the grand feeling of the bridge. The third part has to be the final chorus, where that final chorus really helps makes the drop feel even more impactful and (repetitive term) epic.

The edginess in this video just from the first few seconds of the music video really shows. That whole routine with the feline claws look very intense. They look so sharp that if one move was ill timed, there would have been some blood. Moving aside from that disturbing thought, I thought the use of fluorescent colours was really nice. Combined that with the really ‘out there’ fashion choices (i.e. spaghetti dress, cat claws, rubber gloves) in this video, Solar really knows how to stand out. This actually goes hand-in-hand with the lyrics of the song, which is all about being yourself and not worrying about what other people. The most jaw dropping moment was her bald look. That is a step that I don’t think any female idol has gone for a concept, but I think it is definitely wonderful that she is going to such lengths to make that statement. It definitely serves its purpose and caught everyone’s attention.

I feel like the performance could have been taken a step towards that that wild side more. It seems like it is held back so Solar can put on a live performance with a microphone. There is definitely potential behind this choreography. There is a fair amount of stomping and fierceness mixed into it. And heck, those cat claws come out.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] Q – ONEWE ft. Hwasa (Mamamoo)

Since ONEWE’s last comeback with Regulus in August 2019, we have not heard too much from the band. The only thing I do remember coming from the band since their last comeback was their cover of MAMAMOO’s Hip, which they performed a number of time on the live stage. Today, the band returns with their 3rd single, Q. It features their Hwasa from MAMAMOO, their senior label-mate. I just dug up some information that Q is a pre-release single for their upcoming album, which will be released some time in the future. So keep your eyes peeled for ONEWE’s impending comeback.

As a band, ONEWE is quite rare in the KPOP industry. So to hear some R&B with actual instrumentation in Q is probably the rarest of rare treats, especially with the current synths and dance music environment. At first glance, the song does fall on the dry side. But with the many listens that I need to write a review, I am slowly warming up to the song. Overall, the song felt very restrained, which is where my initial ‘dry’ reaction to the song came from. But as I listened on, I felt the restrained feel of the song was definitely a charm, rather than a flaw. The use of actual instrumentation really makes the song feel warm, a feeling that would not possibly be achieved if it was artificial. The instrumental itself enables the singers to use a lower tone. This means that they showed off a huskier and raspier tone in their voices, which compliments very neatly with Hwasa’s widely known husky voice. That high note in the background was a memorable part, as well. There is a really neat melody and ‘ga’ hook in the chorus, which I find to be catching on. The song gets very interesting at the bridge, with the vocals going with a slightly different melody and the guitar solo brings a bossa nova feel to the song.

The video seems to reflect well with the lyrics. Based on the lyrics, it seems like the guys are in love with partner (who is played by Hwasa) and vice versa. But it is not a good relationship. The guys question why their lover acts differently every time they meet up, while Hwasa’s lyrics basically shows us that she is fed up. In the video, we see Hwasa putting make up on, making an effort with a very pained and depressed facial expression. We then see the members experience some ‘pain’ as she puts make up on. After Hwasa finishes, she throws things around the room in anger. Both of these represents how bad their relationship has gotten, but they don’t know how they got to that point.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Album Review] Dark Side Of The Moon (1st Mini Album) – Moonbyul (Mamamoo)

It is time for another album review (and I am in the process of drafting another one for Sunday!). As you can see I am busy catching on album reviews that I should have published weeks ago (major hint for the next album review). As you can also tell from the title, I will be reviewing Moonbyul’s very first mini-album release, Dark Side Of The Moon. It features the title track Eclipse, which was also released on the 14th of February 2020. Moonbyul has since wrapped up promotions for her solo release (which is another reminder of how overdue this album review is). So without further delay, here is my album review!

Dark Side Of The Moon Album Cover

1. Eclipse (달이 태양을 가릴 때) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Eclipse. (9/10)

2. Mirror – When there is a choreography routine, the vocals and rapping are usually ‘reduced’ in KPOP to facilitate a flawless routine by the artist. And Moonbyul’s Eclipse is no exception, especially since the choreography was very powerful. Mirror, a song about the realization of the need to let go in a relationship, zones right into Moonbyul’s rapping and vocals, layered on top of a very soft and delicate R&B instrumental, filled with piano and synths to add definition to the song. I really liked how Moonbyul went into a higher tone for the end some of her lines. It really creates an interesting melody and also demonstrates more of Moonbyul’s range. Her rapping gave the song some edge and the way her rapping was packaged was perfect for the softer tone. (9/10)

3. ILJIDO ILJIDO provides the album with a little more light-heart nature, which was definitely absent through the two songs preceding. From what I understand, the song is about wanting more in life. I find the song to be very well balance and I think Moonbyul’s huskier vocal tone was very fitting for this song. The song features another light instrumental and featured a jazzy instrumental break. Prominently featured in the instrumental are flutes and I believe they sampled Hwasa’s Twit, as the flutes here sound very similar to the latter song. I do think the song is a little safe and traditional, but it is still pleasing to listen to. (8/10)

3. Moon Movie – How awesome is Moon Movie? I am declaring this is the hidden gem of the album, even before we dive into the song. Kicking it off is a really alluring piano piece that replays throughout the song. The track’s beat is equally as alluring. The combination of all makes this track stand out in my opinon. As mentioned many times previously, I am not a major fan of the hip-hop genre. But Moon Movie delves into the genre in such an appealing fashion that I cannot help but enjoy it. Moonbyul’s rapping is so rhythmic and it just pulls you into the song even more. (10/10)

4. Weird Day (낯선 날) (ft. Punch) (Pre-Release Track) – We get a simple jazzy instrumental in Weird Day. It is then paired with the sweet vocals from Punch, along with Moonbyul husky vocal tone and soft rapping. And you effectively have created a really amazing track. The track shows how versatile Moonbyul can be, a key skill needed in the industry nowadays. The melodies are really nice and the track is very peaceful to listen to. The only problem, it goes by so quickly despite it going for 3:15 minutes. Other that, I liked this pre-release track (9/10)

5. Snow (눈) (Pre-Release Track) – We end the album with a ballad that was first unveiled in December. And this is a beautiful ballad that focuses purely on Moonbyul’s vocals. I like how Snow manages to incorporate some rhythm to the song, as if Moonbyul is rapping. The harmonies with the backing vocal really make this a strong track. I was going to say that the song feels very versatile, but the Winter theme kicks in later in the song in my opinion, which restricts it to only the Winter season. If it didn’t do that, I think I would have given the song a slightly higher rating. But it is still amazing nonetheless. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

Dark Side Of The Moon Teaser Image

[Review] Eclipse – Moonbyul (Mamamoo)

Apologies for the 3-day late review. I know I promised the reviews would only be a day late last week, but I took some time off over the weekend as I needed to recover from a lack of sleep. One of the reviews that were meant to be published on Saturday is Moonbyul’s solo comeback, Eclipse. The Mamamoo rapper and vocalist made her solo comeback back in 2016 with Selfish (which featured Seulgi from Red Velvet). It has been a while since we heard any solo work. I do need to warn you. If you are expecting something along the lines of Selfish, I would quickly change those expectations now.

Why would I lead into the review with a change in expectations? Well, Moonbyul goes full blast with Eclipse. We have never seen her like this. Not in Selfish and definitely not as part of Mamamoo. I think the relevant way of it saying it nowadays (Internet jargon/slang is not my thing) is that ‘She snapped’. The song has this intense trap-based dance instrumental as its backdrop. While this is typical in the industry, the way the song manages to come together makes it sound epic and helps breathe new light into the style/sound. There are also some smaller details such as the song’s slow down moments (which provide relief from the intensity) and the deep voice in the background during the chorus that helps with this. We see a mixture of Moonbyul rapping and singing in this song. I won’t describe this as an extension of what we have seen so far. Not when she raps with such intensity and her vocals shine through thanks to the raspy nature of her voice. I feel like Moonbyul created her own identity through Eclipse, far away from what we are used to. The song itself is also catchy and has a nice rhythm, which appeals straight to my tastes.

Talking about ‘sides’, Moonbyul presents two sides of herself in the video. I think the first is Moonstar, which is represented through the white outfits and her much lighter makeup. The second is Monster. This side of the artist is presented by the black outfits and heavy eye makeup. I definitely thought this was a very strong concept. Two sides of an artist has been visited before. But this one feels a lot more fulfilling once you finish watching the music video. I am not usually a fan of the flashy nature of music videos, but I thought it was very well used in this video and helped with the intense aesthetics.

I liked how despite the fact that Moonbyul still had to rap and sing throughout the performance, she delivers with her moves. No moves stood out to me. But I thought it was a cool performance, regardless.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song-Based Categories

It is that time of the year again where I announce the winners for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In December 2019, I allowed the audience (you all), once again, to vote for their favourite songs and artists for the December 2018 to November 2019 period. Thank you to all who voted and participated in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards this time around. Even more people voted this year, making this year more intense than ever in many categories. This post will focus on the song-based categories, which will also involve the Performance categories, Best Music Video, Best Concept and the most voted song (by you all). The winners for the artist categories will be posted in an accompanying post today, while the Top 100 songs of 2019 will be posted tomorrow.

Here is how things are going to work. Each category (aside from the non-fan voted categories, which are specified) will have a WINNER (the song/performance/video that ranked first), a Honourable Mention (the song/performance/video that ranked second) and a KPOPREVIEWED Choice (my personal choice if I voted, which I didn’t include this year). And let’s go!


Best Special Performance

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Egostistic Cover (AOA) at Queendom


Best Concept

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)


Best Solo Choreography

Nominees: Blue (Ha Sung Woon); Focus (Kim Dong Han); Gotta Go (Kim Chungha); LALALAY (Sunmi); L.O.V.E (Park Ji Hoon); Twit (Hwasa – Mamamoo); WANT (Taemin – SHINee); What Are You Up To? (Kang Daniel); What You Waiting For? (Anda & R.Tee); Ya (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB).

WINNER – WANT (Taemin)
Honourable Mention – Gotta Go (Kim Chungha)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – LALALAY (Sunm
i)


Best Male (Group) Choreography

Nominees: All Night (ASTRO); Boom (NCT Dream); HIT (Seventeen); Hollywood (AB6IX); Humph! (Pentagon); Love Shot (EXO); RPM (SF9); Say My Name (ATEEZ); Side Effects (Stray Kids); You Calling My Name (GOT7).

WINNER – Love Shot (EXO)
Honourable Mention – HIT (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Side Effects (Stray Kids)


Best Female (Group) Choreography

Nominees: Bon Bon Chocolat (EVERGLOW); Boogie Up (WJSN); Butterfly (LOONA); DALLA DALLA (ITZY); HIP (Mamamoo); Pinky Star (Run) (GWSN); Sunrise (GFriend); The Fifth Season (Oh My Girl); Violeta (IZ*ONE); Zimzalabim (Red Velvet).

WINNER – Butterfly (LOONA)
Honourable Mention – HIP (Mamamoo)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Zimzalabim (Red Velvet)


Best Collaboration

Nominees: Blossom (Eunha & Ravi); Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey); Don’t Need Your Love (NCT Dream & HRVY); I Wanna Be (Key ft. Kim Soyeon); Spring (Park Bom ft. Sandara Park)

WINNER – Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey)
Honourable Mention – Don’t Need Your Love (NCT Dream & HRVY)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey)


Best Music Video

Nominees: Abandoned (Brown Eyed Girls); Above The Time (IU); Crown (TXT); Feel Special (TWICE); HIT (Seventeen); Love Drunk (Epik High ft. Crush); Noir (Sunmi); Snapping (Kim Chungha); You Calling My Name (GOT7); Zimzalabim (Red Velvet)

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Feel Special (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – HIT (Seventeen)


Best International Song By A Korean Artist

Nominees: Breakthrough (TWICE – Japanese); Flower (GFriend – Japanese); Lights (BTS – Japan); Moonwalk (WAYV – China); Someone’s Someone (Monsta X – US).

WINNER – Breakthrough (TWICE – Japan)
Honourable Mention – Moonwalk (WAYV – China)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Breakthrough (TWICE – Japan)


Best Official Soundtrack (OST)

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – We All Lie (Ha Jin- Sky Castle OST)


Most Viewed Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Goblin (Sulli)


Most Viewed Album Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – BXXX (Ha Sung Woon)


Songs With Most Win on Weekly KPOP Charts

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Time Of Our Life (DAY6)
WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)


Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Ten Nights (Mamamoo)


Best Album

Nominees: Love Poem (IU); Narcissus (SF9); Purpose (Taeyeon – SNSD); The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6); Want (Taemin – SHINee)

WINNER – Love Poem (IU)
Honourable Mention – The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6)


Most Voted For Song of 2019

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)


And that brings us to the end of the Song-Based Categories for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t seen the Artist-Based Categories yet, click here.

Tomorrow, we will get to see which artist ranked on the Top 100 of the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Charts, where the song that ranks first becomes the ‘Best Song of 2019’. Remember this is decided based on the votes for Best Song of 2019 (50%) and the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post every Sunday (50%). Will EXO’s Obsession become the ‘Best Song of 2019’ officially? You can find out by clicking here (hyperlink will be updated once the post is published).

[Special] My Favourite Performances from the 2019 End Of Year Music Festivals

At the end of each year, the three major broadcasting companies in South Korea (SBS, KBS and MBC) organises and broadcast a very fruitful and dynamic music festival, bringing together the top KPOP acts of the year. 2019 is no exception and with a year as busy as 2019, it is often quite hard to get invited to these festivals. And with each show running for a couple of hours, different stages/performances/remixes of the year’s hits and one-of-a-kind collaborations, it is often hard to keep up with these festivals. Today, I have decided to organise a list of performances from each of these three festivals that I thought were excellent, different and worthwhile in checking out. I have done this before but over the years dropped it as I had very little time. Now that I have some time on my hand, I thought I return to this segment for the 2019 festivals.

SBS Gayo Daejun – 25th of December 2019

When we talk about the SBS Music Festival, we need to address the issue of safety. After all, it costed Red Velvet full group promotions for their Psycho comeback, due to injuries sustained by Wendy due to the unsafe nature of SBS stage. We did manage to get one full lineup of the group performing Psycho on stage as it was pre-recorded. because of that, I put Red Velvet’s Psycho performance on my list of favourite performances from that day. Other performers also had falls on the SBS stage, from what I remember reading. Other stages at stood out for me were:

  • Stray Kid’s Miroh – I did not know how Stray Kids could top Miroh’s intensity by rearranging the performance to be even more intense.
  • NCT Dream’s Boom & NCT 127’s Superhuman – Both tracks had a really cool dance addition to it. On top of that, we got to see the same ‘switching of jackets’ that Mark did at the 2018 SBS Music Festival between Dream and 127’s performance. Only this time, it was Haechan!
  • Oh My Girl’s Bungee (X-mas Version) – Always good to have a X-mas themed remix on Christmas Day. It made Bungee, an already vibrant and colourful track, more suitable for the season.
  • Mamamoo’s Gogobebe – The rock remix for this performance was superb.
  • Seventeen’s Home and Snapshoot – We got to see a warmer side of the group and the more joyful side, especially after all the darkness we got from HIT and Fear.
  • TWICE’s Medley of Tracks – I really liked the band element to their performance and how they tweaked the concept for Fancy and their more light hearted tracks. I just wished the band was DAY6 (where is DAY6 in all of these festivals), which would have made the performance even more worthy of a view.
  • BTS’s Dionysus – I have always been a fan of BTS’s darker side. This performance is a return this side, which I greatly appreciate.

KBS Gayo Daechukje – 27th December 2019

I personally did not have much interest in the KBS Music Festival as I thought the stage looked really bad and the camera work wasn’t the best. This wasn’t also the only problem that occurred that same night. APINK’s %% performance was cut short, disappointing fans, APINK and viewers in general. If I were to choose one standout stage, it would have Golden Child’s Wannabe stage. Their dance intro was very good and showed off intensity that was aligned with their new look/concept. And I really liked how smooth the transition between dance intro and actual song was. Only a few toehr performances caught my attention and they include:

  • Song Gain’s Introductory song – Song Gain, for those who don’t know is a trot singer that trended this year. For Song Gain’s performance, she managed to incorporate all artists into her song, which I think would be a challenge.
  • NU’EST Love Me – It wasn’t so much their choreography or song that caught my attention. But I thought the raised stages for the end really highlighted the good parts of their overall choreography, providing what could be said as an epic end to their stage.
  • ASTRO’s All Night + Blue Flame – I was waiting for ASTRO to do All Night in some capacity during these festivals. But with Moonbin out of action, it seems like the group would opt for the 5-member Blue Flame instead. So automatically, ASTRO’s stage for All Night alone would make this list. Blue Flame ended up being very epic as well, which is why their entire segment is on this list.
  • Oh Ha Young, Joy and Yerin Mr. Mr. collaboration – I haven’t heard this song for some time now and I really enjoyed this throwback. Also surprised that they covered the entire song, which usually isn’t the case.

MBC Gayo Daejejeon – 31st December 2019

MBC’s Music Festival is one to always watch. Their stages always have a look that shows that they have been planning for a while. The collaborations for this festival are always something to talk about. And why not watch it live as the year goes out! There is nothing like ending 2019 and start 2020 with KPOP! However, the MBC Music Festival was also plagued with an early termination issue. This time around the victim was Kim Jae Hwan, who only got to perform Nuna (he should have performed The Time I Need as well. For standout performance, I am putting down ASTRO and Oh My Girl’s creepy and jazzy cover of IU’s Red Shoes. It was different and colourful. Other stages to check out:

  • Stray Kid’s Side Effects – Another intense song that they managed to upgrade and make darker. The creative minds that put together these stages for Stray Kids are killing it (and need a pay rise instantly).
  • Seventeen & Mamamoo Collaboration – Two of my favourite groups have come together to form one dream team. And this was such an amazing stage.
  • Seventeen’s HIT – Mingyu shouldn’t be playing with fire. It is dangerous. But one epic opener to the stage. Also, somehow Seventeen managed to insert a dance break in the midst of the stage, which I think earns a mention at the very least.
  • Hyuna’s Flower Shower – Her choreography is essentially the same as the one she performed in the past. But the chorus instrumental is changed slightly, which I thought made the stage a lot cooler for the end of year festival.
  • Taemin’s Move & Famous – MBC’s Music Festival had a theme, The Chemistry. And you can’t have a theme about Chemistry without Taemin. While he didn’t do anything special to Move‘s stage, his dance alone is already 100% fitting for a ‘Chemistry’ themed music festival.
  • (G)i-DLE’s Lion – Another reason to why we need to look out for this girl group is their special stages. Lion is practically a game changer for the group.
  • Lovelyz’s Beautiful Day – I really like their ballad start to their stage and how they built it back up to the original song in an effortless manner.

[Album Review] reality in BLACK (2nd Studio Album) – Mamamoo

Mamamoo is nominated for in 3 different categories (Best Female Group, Best Vocals, Best Female Choreography), while Hwasa is nominated for Best New Female Soloist and Best Solo Choreography for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Click here to support Mamamoo, Hwasa and your other favourite artists!!!

Mamamoo made their comeback two weeks ago with their second studio album, reality in BLACK (where BLACK is an acronym for Bless Life and Carry Knowledge). Their concept this time around showed us what the members of Mamamoo would be like if they were not part of Mamamoo in multiple universes. It is a very interesting concept that you should also check out in the music video below. HIP is the title track from this album, which also features their Queendom final track, Destiny (links all below). In addition to these 2 tracks, there are 9 other songs on the album. So let’s check them out!

reality in BLACK Album Cover

1. Destiny (우린 결국 다시 만날 운 명 이었지)Click here to read the full review for Destiny. (10/10)

2. Universe Universe is a straightforward pop track that has a nice pleasant melody and fun beat to it. It might not sound like there is anything special within the track if you just gloss over this track. But a more in depth listen to the song will yield awesome vocals, catchy vocals and an easy-going rap segment courtesy of Moonbyul. Two things caught my attention. This is very smooth, compared to songs released/promoted currently. Also, I really like how they personalise their songs. In Universe, they subtly incorporated their names into the lyrics, which I somehow managed to pick up within the first listen (Note: my Korean isn’t good). (8/10)

3. Ten Nights (열 밤) – The first ballad on the album is Ten Nights. And per any Mamamoo track (let alone ballad), the song features breathtaking vocals that captivate you. I honestly felt like it was well-suited for drama OST. The instrumental is standard for a ballad, so most of the appeal is made through their vocal work. Both Moonbyul and Solar’s high note really shocked me. I think Moonbyul’s high note was her first on stage ever, while Solar’s caught me off guard for a moment. Both Wheein and Hwasa were enthralling as well. The harmonies during the bridge between Solar/Hwasa and Wheein/Moonbyul was another highlight worth mentioning. (10/10)

4. HIP (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of HIP. (9/10)

5. 4x4ever 4x4ever is a very strong song. It makes sense as the song is all about self-empowerment, which is definitely one of Mamamoo’s domains. I really like the textures that the song features. From the heavy nature and crunchy rock elements found in the instrumentation, the breathy and raspy vocals and a rap sequence that aligns itself with the hip-hop genre, everything was powerful on its own and really worked together well to amplify this. It is a great track to listen to, but I wish there were one or two catchier hooks in this song. (9/10)

6. BetterBetter is decent 90s vibe track. I don’t hate it, but it isn’t my ‘go-to’ track on this album. I just prefer it when Mamamoo does something with a little more definition or oomph (if you understand what I mean). While the vocal work was awesome (Solar’s high notes and the member’s adlibs, as some examples in this song), I thought the melody was a little forgettable. I wished they did something more with the verses, which should have been better aligned with the powerful nature of their vocals during the chorus. (7/10)

7. Hello Mama – The second ballad of the album is Hello Mama. It is a ballad, with a jazzy influence, which I thought was nice. The member keeps their vocals from going into ‘powerful’ mode, which I think it is very fitting for the style. It feels like something that would have come from the 30s or be a theme song for someone with a well-known elegant image. It was beautiful to an extent. I just wished they dropped the rapping because it felt out of place in this track. But apart from that, it was good. (7.5/10)

8. ZzZz (심심해) – The title of the song essentially refers to being ‘bored’. And I thought the lyrics of the song encompassed this theme very well. It features a quirky instrumental, made of instruments that you wouldn’t find in a standard song. And while it is quirky, I found it very interesting that the energy levels of this song was kept down to a minimum (which in hindsight does go well with the title and lyrics). It is almost like the quirky moments of the instrumentation was made due to the sheer boredom, while the producers were lying down on the floor or half their body was hanging off their bed. The melodies were nice and pleasant. (8/10)

9. rEALITY – The next track on the album is the reggae influenced rEALITY. But the reggae influence is not strong, and nor do I find anything too special about the instrumentation. Instead, it is the vocals that do most of the appealing in this track. I really like how they brought different textures within their voices to the song, giving each section a unique and different feel, relatively to what we had already heard in the song. I really like Hwasa’s ‘I’m Fine, I’m Hurt’ line that follows the chorus. It felt very loaded, despite the instrumental being stripped back to nothing and Hwasa singing that line very softly each time. (8/10)

10. High Tension (춤을 취)High Tension is a groovy and jazzy R&B number. The song contains good vocals and rapping. Harmonies are probably High Tension’s strongest point. The instrumental also pushed along nicely. But other than that, there wasn’t anything worth pointing out, honestly. It is a standard track and probably my personal pick for the track to skip over on the album. (6/10)

11. I’m Your Fan I’m Your Fan has a very addictive and alluring beat, despite it being like any other pop track we have listened to. I liked how the chorus continued with instrumental of the verse with very little fuss or added elements, keeping the song relatively consistent. There was a mini breakdown in the middle of the song, which I did like, which gave the song a break from becoming too consistent and overly tiring over multiple listens. The song’s main hook has to be the ‘I’m Your Fan, Your Fan, Your Fan’, which followed the chorus and provided a cute element to the song through its autotune. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

reality in BLACK Teaser Image

[Special Review] Queendom – Final Tracks

As promised, here is the first of a few Special posts that I have lined up for the final few weeks of the year. This is also a very long post!

Wrapping up its run on the air a few weeks ago is Queendom, a new and innovative show that brought together 5 leading girl groups (AOA, (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Mamamoo and Oh My Girl) and one soloist (Park Bom) to have a comeback battle. In the weeks leading up to the final (which was the actual ‘comeback’ battle – where all 6 songs from the 6 acts were released at once to determine who was the Top Artist), the 6 acts participated in various rounds of performances (1st Round – Representative Hit Song; 2nd Round – Cover Song of Fellow Queendom Contestant; and 3rd Round – Unit Performance + Fandora’s Box) to gain points which placed them at an advantage during the ‘comeback’ battle.

The show ended up being very successful, with fans and viewers talking about the show’s performances each week. Each week, there was one or two groups that stole the spotlight. Some notable examples include the fanfare that AOA had when they performed the remixed version of Miniskirt during the first round and how Lovelyz got Sixth Sense and their own name trending after their cover of Brown Eyed Girl’s Sixth Sense in the second round.

Despite my exams and assignments, I tuned in each week to watch the performances as they felt like all the stages were on a whole new level to what we saw on the standard weekly music shows. I hope the show returns with a new female lineup and possibly a male spinoff titled Kingdom, as requested by many fans already. And today, I will be having a look at each of the songs that each act performed in the final round, as there are a number of good tracks that you should not just pass over just because the show is over. I will also be rating the performances and determining an overall score (as I believe these songs will be appearing on each artists’ future comebacks).


Sorry – AOA

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AOA has been riddled with of departures of a few members over the last few years, leading their once strong lineup into a potentially shaky future. So in a way, Queendom was a way to relaunch the five-member lineup and showcase the new era of AOA. They have proven to be strong contenders throughout the preliminary rounds of Queendom and Sorry further highlights their potential. The synthpop instrumentation, their nostalgic and catchy chorus, the very moody verses and strong vocals really made this song into one of the more iconic tracks of the competition. I did think Jimin’s rapping could have been a little powerful, in this song actually. We have seen her do some bombastic solo work and I wished AOA’s releases incorporated some of this.

AOA’s Western outback concept was a pretty strong concept and It seems like they will be continuing this into their upcoming music release next week. I thought the concept showed off a nice mature of the girls, which is reflective in the music as well. While the performance was watchable in a pleasant way, Chanmi’s mini fight sequence was undoubtedly the highlight of this performance and deserves a lot of attention.

Song – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10


Moonlight – Lovelyz

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It was really surprising to see Lovelyz gain attention for their Sixth Sense cover, which goes against every Lovelyz song we have ever heard in their careers thus far. But good for them! Hopefully, this signals as a potential concept for the future, as we now have a valid confirmation that Lovelyz can pull off a powerful concept. But the focus should be on Moonlight, which I, unfortunately, rank as one of the weaker tracks of the final round. It lacked boldness that some of their other contenders had in their performance and it failed to be memorable (I pretty much forgot the song right after it finished playing). It was bearable though, with good vocals and melody, which is usually expected from the group. Just not enough to make this a strong track.

I am not too sure about the concept of this stage. But their outfits reminded me of Greek Goddesses and I thought they were pretty on stage. The dance moves were nice and elegant, which worked well with the melody of the song. At times, it looked like they were struggling within themselves, which worked well with the lyrics of the song. Overall, a good performance.

Song – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating –  6.3/10


Wanna Go Back (되돌릴 수 없는 돌아갈 수 없는 돌아갈 곳 없는) – Park Bom

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I question the producer for bringing Park Bom into the competition. It isn’t because she is a terrible artist. She has great songs and a unique set of vocals that make her stand out. She is just at a disadvantage from the start in Queendom (performing alone, couldn’t participate in the dance unit in Round 3 etc.). She did bring an interesting level of competition (and her interactions with the younger artists made the show fun). Her final song was titled Wanna Go Back, which is an emotional ballad that reflected on her desire to go back to the good old days of 2NE1. It also brings out her vocals, which is an improvement from some of Queendom’s preliminary round. That high note sounded quite good and it was something I didn’t think Park Bom could handle.

Her performance stage was practically a throwback to her time in 2NE1. The four microphone stands, the three other backup dancers to complete a lineup of four. I also really liked how she used that stage platform to show that she will be rising to the top again and her mic drop at the end. Not too sure about her mini performance at the end. But other than that, it was a powerful performance but in a different sense.

Song – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10


Guerilla (게릴라) – Oh My Girl

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Out of all the groups on Queendom, it seems like Oh My Girl was the biggest beneficiary. Since their initial stages on the show, the group have been approached by multiple companies asking them to be their models for their products. They have also been granted an extended holiday, which they undoubtedly deserve after Queendom and their impressive run with The Fifth Season earlier this year. Guerilla is my pick for the best track of all the 6 acts. It showcases a different side of Oh My Girl. A more suspenseful and edgy sound from the group, thanks for the subtle use of trap elements. I also thought their vocals in this song were the strongest out of the 6 acts as well. Mimi’s rapping was a tad too soft for my liking and would have preferred to be a lot louder to match up with the vocals.

I freaking love this performance. It is one of the two that I have been coming back to every single day because I cannot get enough of it. From the ropes at the start to their powerful moves during the chorus to the elegant natures during the bridge, it was a solid performance that showcases that there is more to Oh My Girl than what we have heard so far. I also like their styling, which was very bold.

Song – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10


Lion – (G)I-DLE

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(G)I-DLE is the youngest group on the Queendom lineup. But their work thus far, it felt like the group has been in the industry for some time. No wonder they are known as monster rookies when they debuted. Lion probably stands as one of the most iconic and unique tracks of the night. Cube Entertainment went of their way to even produce a music video for it. I feel like if (G)I-DLE returned with tracks that showed feminine power like Lion, rather than Senorita and Uh-Oh, 2019 would have been a pretty successful year for the group. Two things stood out for me in this powerful track: Soyeon’s rapping and Minnie’s high and low sections.

Best outfits and concept for the final night goes to Lion. This was one hell of a performance. And this doesn’t just apply to the singers. The backup dancers rocked awesome manes. I also like how fierce their moves and facial expressions were. It is a powerful song and it is paired with an equally powerful and unique set of moves.

Song – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10


Destiny (우린 결국 다시 만날 운명이었지) – Mamamoo

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I was most excited for Mamamoo, as everyone knows how much of a fan I am of the group. Their stages on Queendom have been consistently my favourite. Their final song was titled Destiny and it actually features on their recent comeback album, reality in BLACK, which I will be reviewing on a later date. Destiny is special as it is probably their most experimental track yet. It mashes different styles together, creating a whole track that brings out all their strengths (vocals, rapping, harmonies and everything else). I really liked the start of the track, where everything felt blue and moody. I like their Western instrumental, followed by that rocking ending.

One thing that Mamamoo can do that not many other artists are able to do is engage the audience into the performance. That and their stage presence is very big. Throw in some live vocals and you have a rocking performance that really doesn’t need choreography. You have already done the hard work by captivating the audience. That being said, there was some choreography and everything they ended up doing looked really cool. Just focus on Hwasa and you can see how that is the case!

Song – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.7/10


And that is my review for Queendom’s final tracks. All of the tracks were amazing in their own way but Destiny by Mamamoo came out on top as my favourite. But what was your favourite? Comment down below and let’s see if we all agree with one another.

[Review] HIP – MAMAMOO

Another very exciting comeback today is by Mamamoo. The female quartet returned with HIP and their second studio-length album, reality in BLACK. This is their first comeback since their gogobebe comeback earlier this year and their participation in the girl group competition show, Queendom. (which the group ended up winning as well). I do have a Queendom-related post coming your way, so keep your eyes peeled for that. In the meantime, let’s have a listen to HIP.

I already think HIP is an excellent addition to Mamamoo’s discography, despite it only being released a few hours ago. The track brings their edgy side in an elegant manner. It doesn’t get too wild but it doesn’t get too soft like some of last year’s releases. There is a hip-hop influence that we have seen from the group through their last comeback. I think that hip-hop style really brings out a different side to the group. We get to hear more of Moonbyul rapping, while the other members got to showcase a softer rap-speak style, which I thought was rather cool. We also can’t really talk about their vocals. HIP doesn’t sound like their strongest vocal performance. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great vocal performance. The softer vocals that they went for is rather smooth. I also dig the upbeat dance instrumental, with a lot of ear-catching moments including the guitar riff and the brass to just name a few. Overall, I find it a fun and catchy song that might find itself on top of a few charts over the coming weeks.

In preparation for this comeback, the teaser images showed us what Mamamoo would be like in 3 other alternative universes. These alternative versions were also the main star of the video. Moonbyul could potentially be a music video director, choreographer or a CEO of a successful entertainment company. Hwasa either could be a mother, the president or a music actor. Solar’s alter-egos were a rock star, boxer or a princess, while Wheein was either an environmentalist, indie artist or a painter. Though, I think we all prefer Mamamoo in the 1st universe, where they are the performing group. I did like the concept and I thought it made for an interesting video.  I liked how each universe didn’t feature the member’s alter-egos alone and showed them interacting with one another. For example, Hwasa and Moonbyul paused to take a picture at Wheein’s rally, while Solar is running away from the palace guards. I think the video also shows off the meaning behind of the lyrics well. No matter the outer gear, they will be rocking it because of their confidence. And so should you!

I really like the choreography for this comeback. The routine for the ‘Closer Closer Closer‘ chorus hook looks super cool and the dance breaks (yep, there are a few) adds an extra level of appeal to the performance. I also really like their portrayal of the edgy concept, which is very cool.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Review] Good Bye – Wheein (Mamamoo)

Due to the nature of the video, I have typed up the bulk of the music video section in white font. To read this section, simply highlight the text. 

Mamamoo is back in the form of one member! Wheein has returned to the music scene with a solo release titled as Good Bye. Her last solo single was 25, which she released in May of this year. That release went completely unnoticed by many (including me) due to a lack of promotions in the lead-up and after the release of the single. Let’s hope that Good Bye doesn’t share the same fate! Her last solo single officially reviewed by your faithfully was Easy, which was released last year.

Good Bye takes on the ballad side of the industry. And it does so in a way that feels fitting for Wheein. We know of her impressive vocals through her works with Mamamoo and her solo stages on shows like Duet Song Festival. Her raspy vocals come through in this song, whereas they usually don’t during the group promotions. And I thought they brought some really nice warm colour to the song. The instrumental is pretty plain and ordinary for a ballad, but her vocals do a fair (as you would expect with any ballad) to make up for this pitfall. I also like how her voice builds as the song progresses, which I is something I enjoy when it comes to most ballads. Okay, it sure sounds like the Good Bye confirms to most ballads in many ways. But Wheein’s execution of Good Bye makes it stand out from the rest of the ordinary bunch.

The attention-stealing component of this comeback is the music video. IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE VIDEO YET, I RECCOMEND YOU DO BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO SPOIL IT!!! We see the lead female actress adjust to a singles life for the majority of the video. At the start of the video, we see she flip a picture frame over angrily, make a meal for two when she should have just a meal for herself and removed all of the couple stuff from the house. It seems like her former lover was an artist, as she trashes the painting on the wall with fresh paint. This is the turning point of the video and if you want to read the rest of the plotline, you will need to highlight it as I have typed it out in white. So essentially, a couple arrives at the house to see it trashed. The entire time, we were lead to believe that she returned to her own place. But instead, it turns out it was her lover’s house. The guy runs out, to alert people (I assume), leaving his girlfriend in the house. It actually turns out to be her house and that she was the painter. As this girlfriend enters the room with the painting, she picks up the same picture frame from the start of the video, revealing a huge patch of orange paint over her boyfriend’s face, while her own face is uncovered. We are then shown clips of the lead actress drunk, crying over her lover and she lives the house. If you still don’t get the story, don’t worry. Essentially, the lead actress loves the girlfriend, not the boyfriend. It is another video similar to Please Don’t by K.Will. And it is a really good plot twist that I had to rewatch a couple of times. I also like the warm colours that feature in this video, fitting for the first ballad that I have reviewed on the site for the Autumn season!

Song  9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10

[Review] Gleam – Mamamoo

Idol groups and artists are usually brought on board to model a brand or product in the industry. I don’t usually focus on these songs because their lyrics tend to be cheesy and the entire music video is literally a product placement gold mine. However, I do make some exceptions. The most recent one would have to be the Pepsi and Starship Entertainment collaboration (Eunha & Ravi, Ong Seong Woo, Hongbin & Hyungwon) from this year. Another group that I will be adding to this list is Mamamoo, who has released the single Gleam today to help promote Davich Bibiem.

The consensus with comments on YouTube is that Gleam manages to come off as a well-polished single that suits Mamamoo on stage. I completely agree. While the track doesn’t have that powerhouse vocal vibe to the song, I find the track to showcase a very stylish sound for the group. It is a pop track, a genre that practically every group has touched upon during their careers (well, it is after all KPOP). So the instrumental isn’t that special sounding. Rather typical, if I were to describe it. But with Mamamoo’s vocals, they end up making this very traditional genre stand out, fitting for their discography. The chorus is quite upbeat, while the verses are a little more contemporary. I really liked the melody in the chorus, which ended up being decently catchy. Moonbyul’s rap gives the song that little extra kick. And altogether, you have a great CF track that manages to double up as a possible promotional single on stage.

Davich Bibiem is actually a sunglasses brand. So it makes sense that the music video heavily features glasses of all assortments throughout the video. The girls don them in a bowling alley and end up having fun wearing said glasses throughout the video. I find the bowling alley (along with their outfits) highlighting that stylish factor that I mentioned as part of the song review. In this review, I will be combining the choreography section with the music video (as we most likely will not be seeing any stages for this track). There is a bit of dancing in the video, which looks very good. Nothing too extreme or crazy, because it is a CF after all. But definitely, a routine that I wouldn’t mind seeing on stage.

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

[Review] 4:44 – Park Bom ft. Wheein (Mamamoo)

If Park Bom was still under YG Entertainment, we wouldn’t be able to see much of her in the near distant future. But the good news is that Park Bom is no longer under YG Entertainment and therefore we are able to see her more often. Back in March, Park Bom returned with her first solo single in 8 years, titled Spring and featured fellow 2NE1 member Sandara Park. Within a month and a half, the soloist has returned with 4:44, which features Mamamoo’s Wheein. And in a recent interview, Park Bom hinted towards other comebacks within the year! So rejoice Park Bom fans, she is here to stay!

From the very start of 4:44, you can tell that there is a heavy emotional tone to the song. It also tells you what type of direction the song would go into. Despite being in a time of sudden changes, I think vocally-centred and emotionally-based songs don’t become affected by such trends. But a trend that did affect the song is the use of an electronic instrumental for this R&B ballad. Even some of Park Bom’s vocals are autotuned. I am not too bothered by as they all blend well together. But they could have been a little lighter with the autotune. I find 4:44 very interesting for two reasons. Part of me finds certain moments quite nostalgic as it brings me back to her earlier solo works. Leading right after is that the Park Bom’s voice is very husky and airy in this track, reminding me of Soyou’s vocals when her collaborations were the go-to track to download. I think Wheein gave the song some lightness and crispness. Her part had a slightly faster tempo and this gave dynamic appeal. I also liked Park Bom’s ad-libs during Wheein’s feature, which I thought were rather cool.

Once again, the emphasis is on the colour blue. It definitely made itself the centre of attention. Apart from that, there isn’t a whole heap going on. Park Bom, for the majority of the video, walks around. I like the idea but I think she could have been a little less rigid while walking, which would have made the video appear softer. I also understand that Wheein wasn’t in the video. Many times, featuring artists cannot fit music video filming into their schedule. But getting the main actress to lip-sync doesn’t really cut it for me. And the small opening of the mouth really annoyed me. Maybe there was an artistic reason for this. But I just thought the lip-syncing was unnecessary.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Album Review] White Wind (9th Mini Album) – Mamamoo

Mamamoo returned last week with the very last instalment to their 4 Seasons 4 Colours project. It is in the form of their 9th mini-album, White Wind, and the title track, gogobebe (link below). It definitely has been an interesting and worthwhile project, as we got enjoyable and well-liked tracks every few months. This is something MooMoos have been appreciating from the group. And now that it is over, I think everyone hopes the girls will be able to have a long rest before for their future activities. But before we say goodbye to the project for one last time, let’s have a look at their album!

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White Wind Album Cover

1..Where R U – To me, Where R U is a flowy R&B track that showcases the lighter side of the group’s vocals. If you are looking for a song that showcases their signature power vocals, then this isn’t the song for you. Instead, the softness is what speaks volumes in this song. The instrumental say compliments the softness of their vocals, opting for a simple and light house instrumental. I think another thing that I don’t speak too much about Mamamoo is the fact they manage to be extremely cohesive as a group in their songs. And this is a recipe for success, as established by this song. My personal favourite part of the song has to be the bridge, due to the presence of the heavy drum beats, which is what the song needed. (9/10)

2. gogobebe (고고베베) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of gogobebe. (8/10)

3. Waggy (쟤가 걔야) – Mamamoo goes softer with Waggy. The song feels like it is one of their gag songs and I think the live stages lead us in that direction. But rather, the song seems to like their crush to an extremely cute puppy. Or that they are directing the lyrics just at a puppy. It is a light-hearted song that really makes the song sound fun. I thought the trumpets were a nice addition to the light song. There are two other things about the members that I want to quickly point out (and yes, their vocals are superb here). Moonbyul shines the most for me. I really like her vocal lines that came out so smooth and her rapping was quite fitting. Finally, I love how Hwasa sang some French and Solar responded with ‘what are you saying?’. It made me chuckle and gives confirmation of that fun vibe. (8.5/10)

4. 2525 is Wheein’s solo song on the album. And she does a really nice job with this ballad-like track. From what we know already, Wheein has a very nice voice. And 25 does an amazing job of highlighting this. I thought the slight breathiness to her vocals gave the song a very nice texture. I think the main issue with the song for me was the instrumental. It didn’t necessarily captivate me, which left Wheein’s vocals a very large gap to fill. Yes, there was some buildup along the way, but I felt like it wasn’t enough and hence it felt too consistent from start to end. Unfortunately, that was the case and it left feeling slightly disappointed with the song. (6/10)

5. Bad ByeBad Bye deviates from what we heard so far on the album. It is a power ballad, showcasing that noticeably absent powerful vocal form that the group is more commonly known for. They put a lot of emotion into the song, fitting in the with the clear message that comfort isn’t always a good thing in a breakup. There is no doubt that their vocals were flawless. But can we take a moment to discuss the amazing rap sequences that Moonbyul got to bring to the song? I was floored with her delivery and how it managed to also pack a punch during this emotionally-driven song. My favourite part, once again, is the bridge. Why? Well, we hear all the members in a short time frame and it shows how well they compliment each other. (10/10)

6. My Star – When I think of a song named My Star, I don’t think of something dramatic, edgy or powerful. But that is what Mamamoo’s version of My Star is. And it is extremely drawing, as a result. The extremely heavy beat really makes this song stand out, alongside their vocals which take that powerful form once again. It is one of those songs that you need to listen to really feels its energy and punches. No text description would do this song justice. It left me speechless. (10/10)

7. 4Seasons (Outro Track) – I don’t review outro (or intro) tracks as they tend to be instrumental-based only. This has vocals, hence I felt the need to talk about. On top of that, 4Seasons is the final song of the entire series, so I think that is a bigger motivation to quickly describe the track. The song is an R&B track with an airy feel. It has great vocals and wraps up the entire series in a breezy manner, which I think was very suiting for a series about seasons and the weather. I like it for its length, which felt just right. I think this is the style that I don’t enjoy at full length. But this was good and satisfying to my ears. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

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White Wind Album Teaser

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[Review] gogobebe – Mamamoo

Unfortunately, I was a little busy this week (particularly last night) to write up multiple reviews (on top of the scheduled album review), so I had to push back the reviews to today. Hopefully, I hope to catch up on them today and tomorrow. But today, we are here for Mamamoo, who returned with their new single, gogobebe, just yesterday. The song is featured on their 9th mini-album, White Wind, which also happens to be the final instalment in their 4 Seasons 4 Colours series. gogobebe joins Starry Night, Egotistic and Wind Flower in that lineup.

Each of the songs we have seen in the series thus far compliments the season in which it was intended to be released. gogobebe doesn’t fit this trend at all, opting for a very upbeat and somewhat fun sounding track, atypical if we were going to consider just the season. Note how I say ‘somewhat fun-sounding’. I felt that it was borderline but there were times where the song (without the aid of the music video) didn’t necessary gave the right colours to be ‘fun sounding’. The track has this slight hip-hop influence, which was rather nice. It is slightly different from what we have seen so far. Another aspect I liked about the song was the chorus. It switches between a’ singing to chanting and back to singing’ chorus and it managed to flow effortlessly. I also liked the post-chorus hook (the ‘illuwa illuwa‘, which was rather catchy to my ears. I also thought that they didn’t use their powerhouse vocals, which I think gives the song a light feel. And this choice allows the song to really flourish more. Personally, I don’t think it is their best song ever but it is still a nice song.

If you are are a MooMoo (Mamamoo’s fanclub name), you will probably have a great insight into their playful and wild personality off the stage. And I feel like the music video does a good job of drawing on that aspect. We see the members have a boring and tiring week and it finishes off with a party invite to house number 99. The members frantically prepare themselves to attend this party (with Moonbyul’s head getting stuck in the pavement in that mess – say what?) and have a little bit of fun in the meanwhile. When they rock up to the ‘house 99’, they crash a book club meeting (which is all very peaceful), whilst a party was very obviously occurring at house no. 66 (right next door). But knowing Mamamoo, they literally started the party in house no. 99, causing everyone to have a great time. It urns out that the girls at the start of the video (featured in Wheein’s solo scene) decided to have some fun themselves and switch the house numbers. It is a very fun and colourful video, fitting with the song.

Like the video, the performance features a fun performance. There was a lot of nice moments to enjoy (sorry I don’t know the names of any of these moves, so I am just going to list the song parts) including the start of the bridge, the chanting part of the chorus and the ‘illuwa’ illuwa‘ parts of the performance. I liked their energy and their smiles make everything better.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10