[Double Review] Selfish + In My Room – Moonbyul (Mamamoo)

Moonbyul made her solo debut 2 weeks ago. Clearly shows how ‘up to date’ I am. But once again, better late than never. Moonbyul is Mamamoo’s well-known rapper (and starting this year, vocalist). The main title track is Selfish, which also features Seulgi from Red Velvet. The two previously participated in Idol Drama Operation Team. Furthermore, I have decided to include In My Room, which also had a music video (hence the review).

Selfish is a nice song that does bring a smile to your face. The song is quite melodic and slowly paced (but not too slow), which makes it pleasant to listen to. When rappers released solo songs, they are usually fierce and energy packed in the way the lines are delivered. However, Moonbyul’s solos tracks are one of the few examples that don’t really conform to that. Seulgi’s vocals in this song pair well with the soft nature. But my favourite part in the entire song is the harmonies, particularly in the final chorus. It is clear that Moonbyul can sing (as seen through her group’s releases this year). But there is something about the harmonies that has me falling in love with the song. Overall, it is quite good.

In My Room takes on an R&B approach. In this song, she takes on both the vocals and raps herself. Though, there seemed to be a male singer featuring in the middle of the song, who didn’t seem to be listed on any of the tracklist or information that I could dig up. I like her vocals in the song and when she changed to rapping as well. The instrumental was also quite nice, which gets me swaying along to the music. Sadly, I don’t find this song as memorable as Selfish was. However, it was still pleasant to listen to and showcases Moonbyul’s talents in a much more softer manner.

The two music videos are polar opposites. Mainly due to the atmosphere the song creates. Selfish’s video was more fun-filled, while In My Room was more emotionally centred. The message of the Selfish video can be seen clearly throughout the video (see the English translations for the song) but I really liked the comedic approach they took in some of the scenes (e.g. the kids intimidating and getting the singers’ money).  In My Room seemed to conform to that typical R&B visual, with the darkness and nightlife scene. On top of that, I thought the loneliness that Moonbyul was easily experienced just by watching.

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

In My Room 
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

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[Review] Easy – Wheein (Mamamoo) ft. Sik-K

Mamamoo seems to be readying themselves for multiple solo releases in the months to come. Moonbyul seems to be releasing something May, while Solar was just confirmed to make her solo comeback. But kicking it all off is Wheein with her solo release Easy. This isn’t her first solo track, however, as she has collaborated alongside with other singers, such as the chart-topping Anymore with Jungkey and Narccius with M&D.

Easy is a very nice sounding R&B track. It features a nice melody, which makes the song flowy and groovy, which is a word I am using quite often nowadays to describe songs. But this is quite groovy, which isn’t something that I commonly associate with R&B. The chorus is also quite catchy, despite it being a style that I am not into. The line ‘Too late too late, your so stupid, stupid‘ is also quite addictive moments in the song. Also featured in the song is her husky vocals. It isn’t something you hear commonly in her Mamamoo work. Instead, she employs a more raspy sound which really sounds alluring and seductive. And while it may not seem like there is any, you could hear some attitude in her voice. She also tries a little bit of rapping, which was really good as well. The ain sequence was handed to Sik-K, who’s featuring is a perfect accompaniment to the other parts of the song.

The music video shows Wheein trying to get the attention of her boyfriend, who doesn’t really seem to care about her anymore. In the lyrics, she sings about how she went after him but now that he doesn’t really care anymore, she is trying to find a way out of their relationship. But what way out are you thinking of? Well, most likely kill your boyfriend using a fist missile didn’t pop into your head. And well, that is what Wheein results to at the very end of the video. Honestly, it makes the video a little more interesting with that quirky and unexpected plot twist. Also featuring in the music video is Hwasa and an amazing colour palette. Overall, it was a good video.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a full performance of this. I don’t think there are any plans to promote this (I am not sure). That small snippet of choreography around the 1:04 – 1:24 seems quite promising. However, as there doesn’t seem to be any hint of promotions (please comment below if I am wrong), I won’t include any performance section in the final rating below.

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

[Album Review] Yellow Flower (6th Mini Album) – Mamamoo

Mamamoo recently made their comeback with Yellow Flower, their 6th mini-album. It is definitely amazing to see how far the girls have come since their debut days and how they managed to rise to the top of the industry. The mini-album consists of Starry Night, Star Wind Flower Sun and Paint Me (which I have all previously reviewed and linked below). On top of that, there are another 3 different songs on the release. There is also an intro track and like normal, that is not included in the review.

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Yellow Flower Album Cover

2..Star Wind Flower Sun (별 바람 꽃 태양)Click here for the full review for Star Wind Flower Sun. (9/10)

3. Starry Night (별이 빛나는 밤) (Title Track)Click here for the full review for Starry Night. (7.2/10)

4. Be Calm (덤덤해지네) (Hwasa Solo) – We all know that the Mamamoo members are all talented with their vocals. We have yet to see Hwasa shine on a solo front yet and Be Calm finally gives her the chance. While her husky vocals do this song justice, I just think this song wasn’t that captivating enough. There were some good parts that made this track still good. Firstly, her vocals. Secondly, the electric guitar and drum instrumental. Thirdly, it makes me want to sway along. And fourthly, it is a relaxing track. (7/10)

5. Rude BoyRude Boy is a very catchy song. The first verse just seemed to pass along and I didn’t really care for it. But the chorus brought my attention back to the song. It has an awesome hook and I thought it was cool. From then on, I liked all the other parts of the track. The song had a body roll type of instrumental. Moonbyul’s raps were also amazing. That pause, however, felt too sudden for my liking but the launch back into the final chorus was awesome enough to forget that issue. (9/10)

6. Spring Fever (봄타)  – I can’t help always point out that all members are singing in the song. I don’t know why but it just happens to be the first thing I notice. The vocals aren’t that breathtaking like in Paint Me, however, it still compliments well with the acoustic sound of the song. Harmonies are also spectacular. Oddly (and this will be hard to explain), the acoustic sounds managed to make me feel like I was listening to some dance music. Finally, I didn’t expect the song to have a rap but it ended up being quite fitting. (10/10)

7. Paint Me (칠해줘)Click here for the full review for Paint Me. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

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Yellow Flower Teaser Image

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[Review] Star Wind Flower Sun – Mamamoo

A few days ago, Mamamoo made their comeback with Starry Night. The day before their comeback, Mamamoo dropped a surprise music video for another song on their mini-album. Star Wind Flower Sun is the second track on their latest release. The combination of song and music video allows me to write a review, which is why we are here today.

Mamamoo has made a very big name in the industry for their vocals. Through their many appearances on variety TV shows and music comebacks, they have confirmed this time and time again. Star Wind Flower Sun is just another piece of evidence to add to that list. The ballad showcases the group’s vocals and this includes everyone (even though I will be talking about one particular member only). We see more of Moonbyul singing than ever before and her voice is just amazing. I also love her rap-singing during the second verse, where it literally was more singing than rapping. The harmonies in this track are also remarkable, which gives it another likeable aspect. I also liked the instrumental. Simple, yet really melodic with the piano and percussion combination. It is the type of ballad that gets you swaying along, which if you know me, I am a very big fan of this.

Also shot in New Zealand, the accompanying music video focuses more on Mamamoo rather than the scenery. It’s marketed towards the MooMoos that have been supporting and following Mamamoo. And it is a nice video to watch with the song. You see the girls have fun while on their trip. It is a more down to Earth type video, completely different from their other music video.

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

[Review] Starry Night – Mamamoo

Two months ago, Mamamoo released their single, Paint Me, promising great things to happen in 2018. Upholding their promise is the release of their latest mini-album, which is titled as Yellow Flower. The title track of this mini-album is Starry Night. Unexpectedly, the group also released a music video for another track on the album just before coming back with Starry Night and that will be reviewed at a later date.

Starry Night starts off with some guitar instrumentation which reminds me of Chanyeol & Punch’s highly successful OST track, Stay With Me. In both songs, this introduction really gives the song an intriguing factor, which makes me want to listen to more of it. Compared to their previous songs, it doesn’t really have that wow factor when it comes to their vocals. Instead, they have toned their powerhouse vocals down quite a bit, giving off a more sensual vibe to the song. And in place of their powerhouse vocals, the group went with a lot of texture in their voices (which is still worthwhile to listen to). I love Moonbyul’s raps in this song, which felt so fitting for the song. The main downfall to the track is its lack of energy. Mamamoo’s vocals don’t really push the song along and the instrumentation, despite it being nice and chill, doesn’t really have that momentum as well. There were moments (such as the constant thumping) that did give the song that epic vibe. But it just doesn’t last long enough to leave an impression on you. As a result, this would also have a flow-on effect on the memorability of the song as well.

From what I have read, the music video was shot in New Zealand, with some of the scenery recognisable in some other music videos. Once again, the sceneries are breathtaking and definitely an amazing sight. The cinematography is also quite good. But besides that, there really isn’t that much to the video. In addition, however, there was another track that did feature at the end for a few more beautiful shots and the credits of the video.

From what I can see, the choreography looks nice and seems to fit the song quite nicely. It fits the slowness of the track but there were some moves that were impactful in its own way (such as the 3:22 – 3:24 dance move). I also liked the flowy feel of the dance.

Song – 7/10
Music Video -7/10 
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

 

[Review] Paint Me – Mamamoo

Despite still being in the first week of the year, we have already seen some amazing comebacks so far. Joining the growing list is Mamamoo with their new single, Paint Me. From what I can gather, this is just the start of what Mamamoo will be putting out this year. So if you are like me and barely made it through today’s song, I have major concerns for the year ahead. But nonetheless, let’s continue.

Paint Me is an amazing song. The very first second literally doesn’t hold back. Mamamoo’s vocals just come at you. Powerful yet beautiful. It is really intense and you barely know about it. I love how they go extra powerful during the first line of the chorus. It truly grabs your attention. The instrumental pace allows the song to become so flowy and melodic. It starts off with a piano and builds up to include a guitar and (I think) violins. It isn’t much but it is so damn impactful. But let’s return to the vocals for a second because there is a bigger elephant in the room that we have yet to address. Moonbyul put aside her rapping talents and allowed her vocals to shine. FINALLY. I have a soft spot for when these rappers sing in Korean. Their voices are so unique, it draws my attention. Here is a fantastic example of that and it just makes me love it even more.

And the music video is equally as beautiful. Each member looks stunning. I am not qualified in fashion in anyway or form, but each member looked like they are ready to walk the red carpet and receive some prestigious award. I love the boldness of the colours on the black and white. Even some of the other scenes where the light is shone brightly onto them from the back to the light strobes all about, they looked perfectly fine in all the scenes. It is a simple music video (when you think about it) but it works wonderfully.

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

[Review] Charm Of Life – Heechul, Shindong, Eunhyuk (Super Junior) & Solar (Mamamoo)

Did you know the KPOPREVIEWED AWARDS for 2017 are officially open? If you haven’t voted for your favourites, click here and do it quick!

The next SM Station release is officially here. While SM Station focuses primarily on ballads and softer sounds, there have been instances of more energy packed songs. And such songs tend to be quite good. This time around, SM Station shares a collaboration between Super Junior members Heechul, Shindong and Eunhyuk who rap alongside Solar from Mamamoo.

The song is quite funky, a little unexpected. But then again, it should have been expected as the song features 3 people, of whom I regard as the funniest members of Super Junior. The song opens up as like any type of song with a solid vocal intro from Solar herself and everytime she pops up in the song, she blows me away. Solar’s addition to the song keeps it from going over the top if I assume the raps lyrics from the 3 male artists are comedic in nature. what does catch me off guard is the raps and instrumental. Shindong, Heechul and Eunhyuk’s rap-talking is nice but they do feel cheesy (and I don’t know what they are talking about). The funky drop sounds foreign but it makes me laugh with its brightness and energy. It is quirky but it suits the 3 members quite well.

I like the flashy style of the music video. The gold colouring is nice and I thought the retro vibes brought together by the cam-recorder and old fashion televisions looked quite cool. From the lyrics, Killagramz makes an appearance in the video, alongside Shindong, who seems to be parodying him. Nucksal also makes an appearance and is also parodied by Heechul (I think it is them. Not confident). It made for a fun atmosphere.

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

[Album Review] Purple (5th Mini Album) – Mamamoo

Mamamoo has returned with their 5th mini-album to date, which is titled as Purple. The min-album consists of Yes, I Am (their title track), along with four other songs. I have been waiting for the chance to write a full album review for Mamamoo because they have such awesome songs that need to be in the spotlight for once. There are a few surprises in the album, so I can’t wait to get this review started.

Purple Album Cover

1..Yes, I Am (나로 말할 것 같으면) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Yes, I Am. (8/10)

2. Finally – This track is as Summer as you can get. Very bright colours and sounds, which are all associated with the season in question. The track felt more upbeat in the teaser, but as a whole, it does feel quite generic.  That high note at the end was definitely a blessing to our ears and gave the song that punch it needed. But it was a little too late, unfortunately. There were hooks present but they just weren’t enough. Overall, it’s generic-ness does make me dock some marks, but it was still great overall. (7/10)

3. Love & Hate (구차해) (Moonbyul Solo) – Yes, this is a Moonbyul song. And a Moonbyul singing also makes her appearance in the song. It is an amazing track. To be able to hear two sides of the main rapper of the group is a very neat surprise on the album. And given her vocals here, she should definitely sing more. The song itself has a nice fresh feel and a melodic flow, which made it a nice song to sit back and listen to. (9/10)

4. Aze Gag (아재개그) – There is also a side of Mamamoo that all fans know. It’s their crazy side. This song (along with Taller Than 1cm) seem to be songs that showcase that particular side of the group. The song is funky with its synths and instrumental. I love the instrumental breaks of the song. It is also extremely addictive and catchy, after a few listens, which is great! (8.5/10)

5. Da Ra Da (다라다) (Wheein, Jeff Bernat, B.O)– The song ends off with a ballad that features the vocals of Wheein, Jeff Bernat and B.O. It is a very nice song that I wouldn’t mind listening on a nice, sunny day when there is a little cool breeze present. The vocals in this song are amazing and soulful at times. Though it does seem to end the entire mini-album on an extremely slow note, the song itself is one to check out if you want something nice to listen to and to chill with. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

Purple Teaser Image

 

[Review] Yes I Am – Mamamoo

Mama~ Mama~ Moo~. Mamamoo is officially back with their latest mini album, Purple and title track Yes I Am. This is their first comeback since Decalcomanie, which was released back in November 2016. The group previously did release the music video for Aze Gag, an accompanying song featured on Purple.

Love the funkiness that is coming out from the song. It is quite upbeat and it definitely fits the Summer season quite nicely with its bright and quirky sound. Just listening to it for the first few times makes me want to dance. We know Mamamoo for their amazing vocal talents and they delivered with that talent in this song, while managing to incorporate a bright and fun sound. Moonbyul finally sings for once (even though it last for literally a second) and them high notes that Solar deliver sound spectacular. The post-chorus, Yes I Am, is quite catchy and addictive. All of that being said, the bridge changes up the song by incorporating a slow section, which did cut the flow of the song in my opinion. Not exactly fond of the bridge. While it is good on its own, it does sound like it would have fitted another song. But that is just my thought. Overall, Mamamoo brings out another song that will be loved by fans and myself.

Fitting the song is this music video. The bright and bold colours of the backgrounds match the bright and vibrant sounds in the song. What I love about Mamamoo is that they somehow manage to throw their quirky personalities in the music video and they genuinely looked like they had a blast filming this music video. The song is a message for all the ladies out there to be confident with themselves. And while I think the video could have done a somewhat better job at making that more apparent, their presence on the stage and in the video reflects that message quite nicely.

As mentioned previously, their stage presence fills the stage very nicely. I don’t think it is their best performance routine. I think Decalcomanie has that honour for the time being. But who knows, the performance may end up catching on for me. What should be noticed is that they managed to dance while singing live, displaying a great performance nonetheless.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

[Review] Honey Bee – Luna (f(x)), Hani (EXID) & Solar (Mamamoo)

Honey Bee is a cross-company collaboration, which features Luna (from f(x) – whose is under SM Entertainment), Hani (from EXID – who is under Banana Culture) and Solar (from Mamamoo – who is under Rainbow Bridge World). The producer of the song (Park Guen Tae) is under Mystic Entertainment and is the same producer/writer for Baekhyun and Suzy’s collaboration, Dream. 

Just by looking at the artists who participated in this song, you can definitely expect an amazing song which shows off the vocal abilities of each person. Sure, you may not expect Hani to be in that mix but she did a really good job of the song. She gave the song stability and kept the song grounded. Solar and Luna were exceptional in the song themselves but they kept making the song go higher and higher via their high notes. Hani’s vocals is sort of a platform to start at and as the other two hit the higher notes (starting from Hani’s level), it highlighted the high notes and allowed the song and vocal talents to further blow us away. The song itself uses a heavy dosage of saxophones, which gives off a nice jazzy vibe. I love the snaps in the song, as it was definitely needed to make sure the saxophones don’t dominate the song. The song does seem to lack something and it goes back to the vocals. The song needed something deep, either some bass or deeper tone. It just kept on getting higher, which in the past, I would have love. But since listening to more songs, I am starting to love songs with a much more darker or even gothic sound (I am referring to songs outside of KPOP here). It probably weird to want a deeper tone (probably just a phase) to accompany this song. It probably won’t work because it would just make the song feel standard. But what the girls have presented us with sounds pretty good and do showcase their vocals.

The music video is okay. It was shot in a bowling centre, which also showcases pool and possibly other games. Maybe it was meant to add to the fun vibes the song had going on. The girls each add their own charm to the video, in my opinion. Luna had a very mature yet charismatic gaze, Solar had a bright smile and Hani made the surroundings a lot hotter (and sexier if you didn’t understand what I meant). I liked the one shot video layout that featured for part of the video.  It was definitely lacked a lot and honestly, I thought it could have used a little more colour to match that fun and vibrant vibe. They didn’t have to go full on bright because it wouldn’t match the sensual nature, but a little more probably could have lifted the video from the darkness it suffered. But besides that, I don’t have much else to say about the video.

The dance is quite simple. A lot of hip snapping to the side and running on the spot. But in a more dancey way and not exercising/sweaty way.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Choreography -7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

Click here to see the list of nominees for this year’s awards and scroll down to find out who wins!!!

If you have yet to see Part 1 (which also explains this corner) please click here.


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).


BEST MALE SOLOIST

As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.


BEST MALE GROUP

So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.


BEST ALBUM

Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.

And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……

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VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 1

I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.

I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.

CLICK FOR THE NOMINEES AND CHECK OUT THE WINNERS FOR PART 1 BELOW


RISING STAR AWARD

This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.


BEST INSTRUMENTAL

This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.


BEST COMEBACK

Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.


BEST SUBUNIT

It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).


BEST RAPPER

Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes  Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.


BEST VOCALIST

Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.


BEST COLLABORATION

Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.


BEST NON-TITLE SONG

These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.


To find the second part of the 2016 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, Click Here!!!

 

[Review] New York – Mamamoo

[This review was written and scheduled a few months back in preparation for my absence in December. The standard posts for the end of the year (comebacks I have missed in November & December, the end of year charts + KPOPreviewed awards will be written and posted after my return. No weekly charts will be uploaded for the last week of November and all of December.]

Mamamoo returned with a pre-release single, New York back in September. It has definitely taken me a while to get around to reviewing it, but here I am. Mamamoo went on to include this track as part of their latest mini album, Memory, which contains the title track, Décalcomanie.

New York sounds pretty good. Don’t you love it when I start reviews off like that? No, but seriously, the song is quite catchy and the words “New York” do echo in your mind when you finish listening to the song. There was a very nice balance between all the elements in the song. Their vocals didn’t drown out the instrumental, nor did the instrumental overpower the vocals. There is a clash between multiple genres in this song. I can hear disco, funk, Jazz and a little pop… well… to make it pop. No, this doesn’t make the song bad, but rather interesting (but the first time listening to the song, it was confusing) to listen to. The vocals are quite nice (as I mentioned before – well balanced) and the rapping by Moonbyul was solid as well. The song overall, quite nicely. My only concern is that the song didn’t have that strong Mamamoo feel. Harmonising and loud (as some would say). It was something that I mentioned in the Décalcomanie review, but that song was still managed to sound quite strong. It is a track released prior to their main come back, so I can’t really bang on about who it feels distant from the artist’s usual style and you could even say that Mamamoo is trying to shine through a different style. I just miss that harmonising and backup vocals that sound amazing live.

The music video tells a story, but nothing that I would stick around to watch. But I forced myself to watch it in the end. Wheein has a crush on this guy, but the girls seem to persuade her to have some fun without him. So the girls set up this elaborate plan to pretend Wheein is in New York and the girls go out to have fun. In the end, the guy finds out that the girls were still in South Korea, eating at a food stand. The acting is quite off here. I have to admit it. It looks exaggerated and quite cringy at times. I am also glad that Solar’s hair is fake and that is it simply a wig. I had to give myself a moment when I first saw it. What I liked about the video: the connection between their live performance and the music video. It felt unique and different. It also added to the level of fun in the video, which was something that I also enjoyed as well.

The dance was a little weird, but watching it a few times, I felt like it was just perfect for the song. They promoted the song once or twice, which I don’t really understand why. The dance does look like it was slapped together within minutes (yes, I think dances are slapped together hahaha…), but it still ended up okay (I guess).

Rating – 6.5/10

[Review] Décalcomanie – Mamamoo

Mamamoo have finally returned to the stage with their brand new mini-album, Memory. Their latest title track is Décalcomanie, which refers to a decorating technique used by the French (for engraving or transferring designs from one material to another). Their last comeback was with You’re The Best (back in March) and the group has since released singles, which are included in the tracklist of this mini album.

I love the song. The song is amazing. If you want another Mamamoo song that showcases their vocals, this is the one for you. The only difference is that there are not many harmonising or backup vocals in this one as their previous songs. To me, it is like the upgraded version of Piano Man, which they released in 2014. Quite classy and more mature sounding. The song starts off somewhat slow. And honestly, if the song remained that way, I would have been disappointed. But this is Mamamoo we are talking about and they don’t mess around. As soon as the chorus drops, the beat drops and everything sounds amazing. I would describe the verses in the song quite bland and sounded “copied and pasted”. The song itself relies heavily on two things: there (expected) amazing vocals and the chorus (which if you have not gotten the message to yet, sounds amazing). Without those two, the song would have fallen short and have not attention paid to it. Moonbyul’s raps were pretty good, but if they had more of a punch or a little more fierceness, it would have made it even better. One more thing the song lacks. Some sort of high/long note to add to that final chorus. the song itself sounded perfect, but that would have taken the song to a whole new level. But overall, amazing song.

The music video was quite a disappointment. The video became a hot topic in South Korea due to a certain scene involving Solar and the male actor, who aggressively made move on the Mamamoo member. It was taken the wrong way in South Korea (and could have been taken the wrong way by anyone in the world), hence why the video was re-edited and re-released within a few hours of initial release. I did not understand the need for the scenes where the girls meet and end up sharing a kiss with the male lead. Yes, I may be jealous there (confession much?), but they ruined the mood of the video and the flow of the song. The song choruses were fast-paced and then the video cut to the slow piano pieces. I do understand that they did add meaning to the video, but putting them in like that just didn’t work out. What did I like? I enjoyed watching the choreography scenes. I thought they looked cool.

I like the dance. It isn’t the best dance out there but what they gave us really fit the song. I really enjoyed watching the chorus. Their live performances are something on another level as well. Not once did I hear their vocals falter at the microphone whilst performing the dance at the same time.

Rating – 8/10

You’re The Best – Mamamoo

Mamamoo has returned with a brand new song and their very first album. With their unexpected (or was it expected?) success and surge in popularity for their catchy and very retro songs when they last promoted with Um Oh Ah Yeah, the group is riding the wave of popularity, earning them their first perfect all kill on the Korean charts and until the 6th of March, their first ever music show win. And yet they still manage wow even more people and bring them into their unique fanclub, Moo-Moo.

And with you are like me little to no bias whatsoever, this is by far one of the best songs that I have ever heard in KPOP’s history. Yep, I went there and I am not afraid at all. Why I think that? Their retro songs do a really good job of putting a smile on your face. Their songs are extremely cheerful and happy. Their catchy and hella addictive to listen to. The fluctuations between high and low pitches, notes etc. is amazing to listen to. Not once was I let down with any aspect of the song. Their vocals and rapping is full of energy and we should praise. them for that.Bonus marks for fitting in references to Mr Ambiguous, Um Oh Ah Yeah and Piano Man. The only smallest complaint (and this me trying to be critical, so I cannot give them the perfect 10/10 for song) I can find with the song is that really random start which the grand entrance of the “boom”or “bang”or whatever you would call it.  I don’t know, it was a bit random and gave off this grand feel to the song, but really did not fit the song at all. But beside that, I have been singing the song and listening to the song so much, that I have probably listened to it over 50 times in just the last few days. Which I would say is borderline unhealthy, but it is so catchy.

Now onto the video, where do I start with these random and crazy girls who are known for everything I just described them as? Not fond of the really pale nature of the video, but the rest of the video is just fine. The girls move into a hotel (I assume) and basically fall in love with the pool sweeping guy. So they all take turns in trying to whoo hang out with him, but I think he is not interested in them. But the guys praise him and turns him into a holy grail or something along the lines of that. Every time he does nice to them, the girls feel way so comfortable, to the point where they let loose. And when I say that, I refer to Wheein eating at that restaurant, where she inhales (yes, not chew, but inhale) her meal and drink. But it is such a comic video that makes me smile and laugh when I watch to it. In a way, the video kind of mirrors Um Oh Ah Yeah’s video in many ways, but at the same time, still manages to keep that songs unique nature with it.

The dance is so sassy and has this really great attitude to it. I freaking love watching these girls dance on stage and sing flawlessly on stage. Chorus is simple and easy to follow, while the other dance moves fit well with the particular tempo of the song at that time. One of the things I love about watching Mamamoo’s stages is their improvisation. Each week, they do something different on stage (somewhat like the ending of Um Oh Ah Yeah). First week, they did that thing where the members take a selfie, one of them being pretty and the rest of them bring “ugly”. Second week into their comeback and they are slapping each other. It makes you want to watch the weeks that follow and see what they have up their sleeves next.

What a long review, but they are worthy of it since their song is epic and by far one of the best that I ever heard. 9.5/10

Rewind: February 2016

Welcome back to another monthly rewind. February is officially gone and it went super fast (despite it having an extra day, as this is a leap year). Before we all know it, March is gone and April passed us like the wind. Let’s get started shall we?

Major News

I think there are two major news that we need to cover. One that talks good about one band, and the other isn’t that good. But bad publicity is good publicity right?

GFriend made their comeback at the end of January 2016, but managed to sweep the charts with their newest mini album and title track, Rough. And when I mean “sweep the charts”, the girls stayed at the top  of the digital for over hundreds of hours, a proportion of those hundreds of hours were actually perfect all kills (which are apparently extremely hard to get, but the girls did it somehow). This led them to win their first music show trophy since debut and they managed to do pretty well. And when I mean pretty well: Triple Crown on Show Champion, MCountDown and Inkigayo, 4 trophies on Music Bank and 2 on SBS The Show. That is a lot. Their hard work has finally paid off, with the help of their fanclub and fans.

In other news, Beast is in the limelight for the wrong reasons. Hyunseung was caught falling asleep during an interview, which disappointed fans and garnered a lot of criticisms. Falling asleep in an interview seems a little too much my opinion, but it just shows how tired they artists are with multiple schedules in one day, concerts, comebacks, practice, interviews, the lot. Junhyung also saw some criticism when he failed to attend a fanmeet due to sickness, but somehow managed to attend his friend’s (Jung Joon Young) birthday party. While it was cleared up with Junhyung, Cube Entertainment and Jung Joon Young each making a statement saying how he came for only a few moments, just to drop off a present. Honestly, some people need to give these guys a break. Sometimes, you need to take a sickie (or sick day) just to go somewhere or to relax and take it slowly. So why are these people so annoyed with that, when they probably do it too, when everything becomes too overwhelming?

Major Comebacks

Number of groups made their comeback this month. 4Minute, Winner, Mamamoo, B.A.P, Taemin (SHINee), NU’EST, Rainbow (even though some are speculating this will be their final release) and many other smaller, rookie bands.

Major Debuts

Astro is the first group that comes to mind with their debut this month. Actually, it is probably the only group that debuted in February that I have reviewed thus far. Their title track is Hide & Seek.

AOA has been around since 2012, but they recently debuted a brand new subunit called AOA Cream. Odd name for a subunit though. Chanmi, Hyejeong and Yuna make up this group. They made their debut with I’m Jelly Baby.

Polls

I am skipping polls this month as I am a little busy. I will be able to write about one of the polls that I have made in next month’s review.

Top 5 Songs of The Month

  1. You’re The Best – Mamamoo (reviewing coming soon)
  2. Feel So Good – B.A.P
  3. Whoo – Rainbow
  4. Hate – 4Minute
  5. Galaxy – Ladies Code

Just a small note: I have started university again, so the rate at which reviews come out will decrease dramatically. And I have to go in everyday, so it is going to be hard to make some time.