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
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.
VROMANCE (Honourable Mention)
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).
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Winner)
I.O.I (Honourable Mention)
BLACKPINK (Honourable Mention)
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.
Zico (Block B) (Winner)
Eric Nam (Honourable Mention)
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.
Taeyeon (SNSD) (Winner)
Hyosung (Secret) (Honourable Mention)
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.
GOT7 (Honourable Mention)
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.
Oh My Girl (Honourable Mention)
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.
Wings (2nd Studio Album) – BTS (Winner)
Carnival (5th Mini Album) – B.A.P (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.
Skydive – B.A.P (Winner)
Blood, Sweat & Tears – BTS (Honourable Mention)
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.
Hard Carry – GOT7 (Winner)
The Eye – Infinite (Honourable Mention)
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.
Decalcomanie – Mamamoo
Hard Carry – GOT7
Find Me – Hyosung (Secret)
Secret – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
Windy Day – Oh My Girl
And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……
VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN
Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!
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.
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.
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.
The Rain – Ladies Code (Winner)
Fire – BTS (Honourable Mentions)
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.
BTS (Honourable Mentions)
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).
NCT Dream (Honourable Mention)
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.
Zico (Block B) (Winner)
Suga (BTS) (Honourable Mention)
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.
Sanduel (B1A4) (Winner)
Mamamoo (Honourable Mention)
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.
Hit Me – MOBB (Winner)
Heartbreak Hotel – Tiffany (SNSD) ft. SanE (Honourable Mention)
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.
[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 Décalcomaniereview, 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).
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.
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
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
If You Do
Oh My Girl
Love Me Right
I Need U
Sing For You
Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
Like OOH AHH
Oh Um Ah Yeah
Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
Between Night n Music
Shake That Brass
Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
VIXX LR (VIXX)
Brand New World
Brown Eyed Girls
Ring My Bell
Donghae & Eunhyuk
Catch Me If You Can
Me Gustas Tu
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
Might Just Die
We Like 2 Party
Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
Ice Cream Cake
Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
I Feel You
Wow Wow Wow
Junjin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)
And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!
A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.
AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).
A rising girl group, Mamamoo have made their comeback with Um Oh Ah Yeah. After getting recognition as best rookie girl group last year at the Gaon Chart Awards, and their recent collaboration with e.SNa (Ahh Oop!), the girls have been rising quite highly. This release is the first comeback with the girls topping charts and essentially proving to the KPOP industry that good vocals are still in the game. I really enjoyed their debut and Piano Man and this comeback is the same. As in I totally enjoy it. Not that is the same comeback. You know what I mean. But I’ve been listening to their live stages and WOW. Them fan-chants are getting louder and you can tell that there are more people cheering them on now.
This song is really amazing. I dig all the songs that the group puts out and this song is no exception. I really enjoyed it. I was blown away with the harmonies in Piano Man, so I was a little disappointed when I heard this song, mainly because there was not much of it in the song. From the start to end, I was in awe with the vocal work and the rapping. Each member is pretty good at their thing and their voices work really well with each other. The chorus to me is hella addictive and I liked it how they changed up the song. Maybe the change up slowed down the song a little bit for me, but they girls went straight back to the song and I thought that was really amazing. I loved the end. The cheering that they do is pretty amazing. Another thing I like about Mamamoo’s songs, they can easily be modified for certain stages. And this song with the ending and the mini dialogue towards the end of the song does just that.
I have to be honest. Moonbyul makes a really good looking dude. Many people say she looks like Xiumin from EXO in the video, I think she looks a lot like Minhyuk from BTOB. Also, I love Hwasa’s pervy character and also Wheein’s characters love for food. Disappointing that Solar didn’t cross dress, but she made a very beautiful and sexy maid and air stewardess. It was a little satirical, but I really like how that dialogue part I mentioned before fitted in with the song and music video. It just linked the two so nicely. As for the ending of the video, I thought the girls were rather cute even though they were dressed up as guys, but Wheein with her pizza love. So like me.
Dance was okay. Wasn’t the best part of the comeback. To me, I felt like more could have been done with the dance for this comeback. It just didn’t match up with the song that well. Their past dances had something iconic. This one just lacked.
Overall the comeback was amazing. Though more improvement on the dance would have been nice, everything else was pretty nice. 9/10
Apologies, it has been nearly a month. Haven’t forgotten these, just been so busy with so much work and studying that I had to push this back so many times. But now, let’s get on with this. This segment recaps the news of last month (April 2015) and let me put my thoughts into each news. This is so badly worded. I am doing this prior to my bed time, so sorry if nothing makes sense. I also lists my favourite songs of the month, and it was very hard for this month. You will be very surprised. Let’s get on with it!!! (yes, I rushed the preview picture. It looks bad, I know. I say sorry in advance!!)
EXO Tao’s departure rumours
Yes, I guess it won’t be 2015 until something EXO related pops up. I believe each Rewind has featured an EXO story so far, and that I kind of concerning, because I don’t think any have been any good for the band. But unfroteutely, there are rumours with another member, Tao. He was injured during promotions of Call Me Baby and he was allowed to return China where he got his time to rest and heal. But while his time in China, there were reports that his father talking with SM Ent to cancel Tao’s contract and according to Tao’s father, Tao gave in and is now wanting the contract to be cancelled. Not that I am opposing Tao’s father, but if you are asking your son to reconsider his job after he has explicitly said that he will forever be with EXO is kind of mean considering what has happened with the band in the last year or so. I understand he is concerned and I don’t doubt him for that. But is just seems sudden like there is something else that fans the public don’t know about it. That is my idea of the whole thing. All we know now is that Tao has left for America and we don’t really have any word from any side. Let’s hope that the talks between the two parties come out with a favourable outcome for Tao, his family, EXO L’s and also the company. Maybe a little hiatus for a few months? But then again, I think that is what he is going through.
Jinusean makes their first comeback in almost 12 years
Yes, legendary duo Jinusean made their comeback with Tell Me One More Time (featuring Jang Han Na) in April. No review for it, but is is a pretty solid song. If you don’t know, the band consists of Kim Jin Woo and Noh Seung Hwan. They basically were one of the first bands in South Korea to bring out the hip hop genre of South Korea and is still managed by YG Entertainment. They did pretty well with their comeback. They topped charts and ranked quite high on charts for a very long time (until other artists made their comeback though). I like the song a lot. Just YG promised Big Bang first, so I was very disappointed, but hey Big Bang ended up making their comeback in May.
Another couple of SNSD
Yuri and baseball player Oh Seung Hwan are reportedly dating. I think it was confirmed by SM but I am not too sure. But if they are, don’t worry about fans and date comfortably. I don’t think Girl’s Generation is a suitable name for them anymore. Best of luck for the couple!!!
EXO’s Instagram dilemma
With rumours of EXO Tao’s departure, some EXO members have gone to some extreme length regarding their instagram accounts. Firstly, Kai opened his prior to the comeback, but while in promtoions, deleted it. From what many speculate that Kai’s account has nothing to do with the rumours and was just a promotion stunt to get more people aware of their comeback. But Lay deleted all his photos and Xiumin deleted his account after a very long time on the social media site. We just will never know if this is in anyway related to the rumours regarding Tao. Let’s hope not. BUT it became a bigger problem, with Tao wiping “EXO” from his profile. Ahh, EXO. What is going to happen to you guys??? Like I said, we will never know what happened, but all this makes rumours sound like they are the truth. But let’s hope not.
Mamamoo was back for a very limited amount of time. Aah Oop! is a collaboration between the group and a very close friend of theirs, eSNa, who previously featured in one of their songs on their last mini album. As I said, they are back for only a limited amount of time, with their promotional run only lasting two weeks. I know, so short. BUT they are due back in May for a new release (from what I remember a new mini album).
This song is a pretty good, but it does not exceed the standard that Piano Man created for the band. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the song, despite having me confused as a “fifth” member was being added to the group. All the girls of Mamamoo have really nice vocals. Wheein, is starting to emerge from the shadow and leash what she has hidden from the public for ages. Solar and Whasa, per usual, sound so freaking amazing on stage. Moonbyul, needs more parts (and she gets them, when they are not promoting the song with eSNA), but her rap is still top. eSNa has a very unique voice and it matches well with the retro style song and also the band. I guess we can say she is Mamamoo’s fifth long lost member. Though the song had me a little uneasy at first, I grew to love it and I replay it every now and then.
The music video is okay. It is obviously going for the retro concept with the colours and also their clothing reminding me of the 60s and 70s. Their hairstyles pretty much reminds me of that era as well. The sets as well. So we see a barber shop as soon the video starts and there is this dude who looks like he is very creeped out. I don’t know you, but if I were in his shoes and I was creeped out by the ladies who were observing my hair and look like they are more into being pretty and cutting their hairs, I’d leave. I like the newspaper idea as well. It is very interesting. I know it has been done before, but this video puts a lot of emphasis on it. And sorry, shaving like that is too scary. And to make it worse, her hands had to shake (or is it to represent the tough nature of the guy?). By the end of the video, he looks bored to his bones. Well, that is the case if your hairdresser took like 3 hours to cut, wash, shave and dry your hair. Overall, it was a colourful video and I didn’t mind it as much.
The dance isn’t as great compared to Piano Man. I liked it and all, but it just really lacked style and wasn’t eventful as I expected it. eSNa could have dropped the whole keyboard thing. We can clearly tell that the keyboard wasn’t on. She could have just stood there and still make the performance work.
Nice, it took me 5 days to write this review. I apologise for the lateness. I was just so busy on the weekend and I am still in uni, so it is just so crazy. Assignments here and there. Exams coming up as well. Mamamoo needs to make their comeback and live up to their promises to please me. 8/10
Through this new segment (Finally got to use that one word), we will be looking back at the third month of 2015. I get to rank my top 10 songs. But we also get to look back at other events that happened in the Korean music industry. This way, I can talk about big events in the KPOP industry and rely my thoughts to you all.
Lee Min Ho and Suzy Dating
This by far is the biggest news of March 2015. Just a few days ago, it was confirmed by both companies that Miss A’s Suzy and Hallyu actor Lee Min Ho are officially dating. More importantly, JYP (Suzy’s company) have announced that Suzy would not avoid questions regarding the couple. Now, usually companies try to “Hush” the rumours, so I thought it was a little wierd that JYP would say Suzy would be answering all questions. Though I get that both companies would have to confirm due to the evidence presented, but I think JYP is milking everything they can out of this big piece of news. Dating in the industry is going to be hard but I wish the very best for the two. Now let’s move along with Miss A‘s comeback, shall me?
Red Velvet First Win
The subheading says it all. Congratulations to Red Velvet on their first music show win. At the time I am writing this, they actually have won 4 music show awards. Their latest song is ________________________________________________________________. Sorry. Let’s leave this here and wait for the review to come out. Soon. I promise. I am not YG. It will come soon. Like next week probably.
2AM Members Change Companies
Another big piece of news with the 2AM members splitting up with their company. No, they are not disbanding (though it sounded a lot like it at first) but 2AM members have decided to go with different companies. Jo Kwon decided to stay with JYP Entertainment. Seulong decided to go with SidusHQ and Jinwoon decided with Mystic Entertainment. Changmin signed with Big Hit after his contract ended with JYP last year (I think?). This kind of says something about JYP Entertainment, but at the same time, we should be glad the ballad group are not going away for now. Let’s hope 2AM comebacks with a new song with this different formation with companies. (On a side note: all 2PM members – contract ended around the same time – resigned with JYP).
Comebacks for April
BIG BANG HAS BEEN CONFIRMED!!! Though, not exactly sure when the comeback is exactly. But BIG BANG HAS BEEN CONFIRMED to be the first YG artist making their comeback in 2015. On top of that, EXID will be making their comeback. Miss A and EXO just made their comeback at the end of the month. Dal Shabet, Mamamoo, Cross Gene have also be confirmed. SNSD (Girl’s Generation) will also be making their comeback in May BUT they will be releasing a track during April in both Japan and Korea.
Yewon and Lee Tae Im Scandal
This scandal I am not familiar with. Essentially what happened is that Yewon spoke informally to Lee Tae Im. After Lee Tae Im got angry and left, Yewon decided to curse out at Lee Tae Im, and hence causing this controversy. Essentially, Yewon is more of a younger person in the industry, so she had to be formal. I get it sometimes. I come from as Asian background and sometimes I don’t think the formality thing is right. Just because they are older does not mean they are right. Imagine this: the older person is cursing the daylights out of you and your loved ones, and you “disrespectfully” defended yourself and your family. Is the older person right and you are at fault? Though this is not what had happened, it seems like the industry zooms in on one part and leave the rest out for every bad situation. We don’t know 100% what happened. We will never know what 100% happened. Something could have happened before that got both angry. Those are just my loosely put together thoughts on the whole thing. Maybe Yewon is in the wrong. But what if she isn’t? Remember I am not siding with her. I am just being “opened minded” about things.
Through this new segment (Finally got to use that one word), we will be looking back at the month that opened the year of 2015. I get to rank my top 10 songs. But we also get to look back at other events that happened in the Korean music industry. This way, I can talk about big events in the KPOP industry and rely my thoughts to you all.
Sadly, January saw many bands (more than usual, that is) announce their disbandment from the industry. This technically means that they are no longer a group (for whatever reason) and would no longer promote together. The list is extreme and includes: Jewelry, Wonder Boyz, GLAM and Airplane. Wonder Boyz and Airplane are probably considered as “rookies” still. Though they have popular songs, both bands announced their disbandment in January. GLAM, a 4 member girl group under Big Hit Entertainment, who clearly had so much potential, was revealed through their agency to have disbanded. Member Dahee has been sentenced to jail recently for her involvement in the Lee Byung Hun blackmail case. Some speculate that this was the reason why the band broke up. Finally, the longest running KPOP girl group has called it quits after 14 years on stage. The girls, including past members had a photo shoot as their last schedule as a band. Jewelry was well known for their hit, One More Time.
EXO-L’s in the wrong spotlight
EXO-L (EXO‘s fanclub) was accused of swearing at Girl’s Day Sojin at the Gaon Chart Awards for dating rumours with EXO member D.O. On top of that, EXO L was further accused for using other concerts and events as ways to check their ticket buying accounts were still working. Naturally, Korean neitzens “had a go” at the fanclub for their mean and rude gestures in both instances. EXO-L’s hit back by claiming not all of them were involved. Though I agree with the EXO L’s who are saying that not all of them did it, those fans who were involved are doing a pretty good job at ruining the fanclub’s and the band’s image.
Suing war continues…
For once, I have to agree with SM. Kris and Luhan who both asked for their contracts to be nullified last year, have been used by SM for illegally working in China with lawsuits in Korea. I personally don’t have a problem with them working. But I do have a problem with how quick they launched the lawsuit and how quick they started working in China. If your claiming to be overworked, I understand why you would ask for your contract to be nullified. Just why would you go to another country almost straight away and work there?
EXID’s jump in fame
EXID has been enjoying their newly found fame after a fancam of Hani dancing to the song went viral. This launched the girls to the top of the charts and becoming on the most successful bands for the year so far. Up and Down have still seen no end, as it still remains steady on the charts. Though, it is funny how they reached their new fame, I just want to congratulate the girls on their wins. Up and Down was amazing, and I hope EXID’s next song is equally as popular.
Award Ceremonies Everywhere…
January is the month for award ceremonies. The first was the Golden Disk Awards, in Beijing, which was planned so horribly that members of GOT7, BTS and the whole of Beast could not perform on stage due to the “wrong visa being given out”. Seoul Music Awards and Gaon Music Awards followed after in Korea. When we combine the three awards ceremonies, they gave out theawards to the right people. Mamamoo got their rookie of the award year at the Gaon Music Awards, while other bands such as Girl’s Day, APINK, Beast, AOA, VIXX and etc. got the awards they deserved at the other award ceremonies.
Welcome to the end of the 2014 charts. This chart has every single song that was released from the 1st of January 2014 to the 1st of December. I left the nitty gritty stuff out (aka. the numbers I used for the ranking) and made sure that everything was fair. So that means for songs that were released towards the end of the year would have received some extra increment to make sure that they were levelled out with the songs released in January. Other numbers used included whether songs were on the YouTube Playlist of The Month and each song was re-reviewed in categories of “song, music video and dance”. Below are just some interesting facts that you may enjoy in regards to this chart.
The very first song released to be included on the charts are Rain’s 30 Sexy and La Song. The last song released before the cut off date was Infinite F’s Heartbeat.
T-Ara’s Sugar Free (2) was the only song throughout the whole chart to score the maximum of 40 for the song re-review.
VIXX is the first boy group to appear in the charts at 14th place with Eternity.
As touched on above, this year the charts are dominated by the girl groups, with 13 boy groups versus 37 girl groups (repeated groups not excluded).
Heavily promoted songs tend to rank higher than songs that were released as a single and not promoted.
The following artists achieved the next few positions after 50th place: SPEED, Crayon Pop, Z:EA, Zhou Mi (Super Junior), BTOB, Infinite, UKISS, AOA and Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
Up & Down
I’m In Love
NS Yoon G
Good Night Kiss
HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
You Don’t Love Me
This Is Love
Like A Cat
B.B.B (Big Baby Baby)
Sunmi ft. Lena
My Copy Cat
Don’t Look At Me Like That
Song Ji Eun (Secret)
What About You?
Dont Touch Me
Singing Got Better
I Need You
Whatcha Doing Today?
Pretty Age 25
Song Ji Eun (Secret)
1 Minute 1 Second
Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
Touch My Body
Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms
HIGH4 ft. IU
THAT’S IT!!! 2014 IS OVER AND 2015 IS APPROACHING. WISHING YOU ALL (IN YOUR RESPECTIVE TIME ZONES) A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I only have 6 hours to go and I am excited. Party hard (but not too hard) and I will see you next year!! aka. in the next few days ^^
Code: RED FONT – WINNERS BLUE FONT – HONOURABLE MENTION
BEST ROOKIE GROUP
2014, like the past few years, have seen so many new KPOP bands debut. So many new bands, so much that I have a really difficult job to select certain artists and also keep up with the old styles. 2014 saw the big 3 companies debut their own groups, but I have to be honest, the stand outs came mostly from the smaller companies. One group in particular stood out from the rest: Mamamoo. Harmony and totally different style from what we are used to. Honourable mentions go to GOT7.
The one song that is overlooked by everyone on the album is the instrumental. I freaking love instrumentals, and this year, KPOP decided to tease me with so many new instrumentals. That being said, this year the winner of Best Instrumental is Ain’t Nobody by Ye-Eun (Ha:tFelt). Honourable mentions go to Sugar Free by T-Ara.
KPOP = Singing. There for it is only right for this year to have an award for Best Vocals, right? Well, the winner goes to Ha:tfelt – Ye Eun (Wonder Girls). I was so amazed by here singing this year that it blew my mind, particularly her title track Ain’t Nobody. Honourable mentions go to IU (yes, I think most of us agree).
Many KPOP songs have many rapping parts. At the same time, rappers need some recognition. Though, I feel my choice this year could be a little odd, only one person (in my opinion) did a really amazing job. Junhyung from Beast did a wonderful job in Good Luck, 12:30 and the many songs he featured in. Zico from Block B takes Honourable Mentions.
Since 2013, many subunits have been on trend. Even though subunits have been losing trend, many bands this year debuted their own subunits. However, I think we should move away from the new subunits. Cause this year an old subunit wins. Orange Caramel steals Best Subunit with release of three different songs. Honourable mentions goes to Rainbow Blaxx.
The new trend for 2014. Collaborations between artists have been on the rise. This year though, if you were a KPOP fan for a while, you would know already who the winner is. Soyu & JungGiGo’s Some steals the show, topping the end of year charts conducted in South Korea and winning Best Song as well on the SBS Music Festival. Well of course they would win, considering that they SLAYED the charts. Honourable Mentions go to Sane and Raina’s collaboration, Midsummer Night’s Sweetness.
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
This year there has been so many stars that have started to become more popular. The nominees tend to be bands that have debuted in the previous year, and with help of comebacks, started to become well known in the industry. I think for the first time ever, I am going to be honest and put forward two winners to this category. First of all, BTS say a boost in popularity and have become a band that I look forward to listening to. Second of all AOA saw new popularity with release of Miniskirt, Short Air and Like A Cat. Both bands, obviously, rose a lot this year and I found it hard to differentiate them.
BEST JAPANESE SONG
If you don’t know (I won’t be surprised) I also review some Japanese song. 2015 will be the year where I start to review more Japanese songs for you all. However, 2014 also had a lot of catchy and cool Japanese songs. The winner for this year is Korean boy band MYNAME’s F.F.Y. Such a catchy song. As for honourable mentions, it goes to AAA’s Showtime.
KPOP is also known for its dancing. 2014 saw some interesting dances, catchy dances, and some dances that have no words to describe it. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. This year, T-ara took the position as best dance. It was probably the most addictive dance and it was pretty easy as well. It matched the song and most importantly, I loved it. Honourable mentions to Infinite’s Back.
A brand new category for 2014. Every award show or some kind of award giving platform has the “best album” award. And yes, this year, there are so many freaking great albums (like any other year). In my opinion, the best album of the year goes to F(x)’s Red Light. All, if not most, of the songs were amazing to listen to and were so great. Every freaking song was different, and though that maybe risky, F(x) pulled it off as a flowing album. Honourable Mentions goes to AKMU’s Play.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
Solos don’t tend to be the trend this year. Some bands saw new members branch into a solo career, however it seems like more and more KPOP idols (whether male or female) are branching out to acting or variety shows. However, the winner to this category is a person who started offically his own solo career with a lot of experience in the music industry. Crush is the winner. Damn, this dude’s songs are so good. You should check them out. Honourable mentions: JungGiGo.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
It seems like more and more females are branching out onto the stage. We saw many KPOP divas making their solo debuts on the stage with new and fresh songs from bands like T-Ara or Secret. We already have divas who have accomplished a start to their solo career and saw comebacks of very big names. This year, one solo stood out and that is Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Releasing her first solo mini album, she did quite well considering the competition she was going through. Honourable Mentions goes to Sunmi.
BEST FEMALE GROUP
Sexy concept by girl groups have been on the rise. If you know me well, then you probably already know my pick. However, so many girls groups made their comeback this year. Some picked up a lot of popularity and saw massive wins for the first time. Girl’s Day hitted big with their amazing single Something. They later went on to release Darling and I Miss You. Being one of the biggest girl groups of the year, they were sure to pick some prize up. APINK steals honourable mentions this year with their massive single Mr Chu and their latest hit Luv, which blew up and swept all the December trophies for 2014.
BEST MALE GROUP
There have always been a large influx of boy groups and this year it is no different. I was so impressed I was just going to choose all 10 nominees as winners. However, there can only be one winner (well, technically), so I guess I have to choose one. I am going to put down VIXX. They released Eternity and Error this year and both songs were hits for the band. Not only that, they displayed great dance moves and skills. Beast takes out honourable mentions with Good Luck and 12:30, both being very great songs that also delivered like what VIXX had to show. (Just VIXX nudged a head a little bit).
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
This year, most of my Best Music Video Nominees saw the depressing side of KPOP. 8 music videos had this sad or dark storyline to tell. 2 music videos were made in a soft hearted and were really cheerful. G.o.D’s music video for The Story Of Our Lives, told the amazing bond between family and that the outside will never be able to define the inside. Megan Lee features in the song and both band and soloist did an amazing job singing and pouring out their emotions. By the way, SM made a video outside of the box. F(x)’s Red Light, takes honourable mention.
25 songs were nominated for Best Song for 2014. All were to an excellent standard. There were clear stands out. Something by Girl’s Day, EXID’s Up and Down and Beast’s Good Luck are this year’s honourable mentions. However, which song took Best Song category for 2014? Check the song and music video down below.
Finally, another review after so long. Hahaha.. Thought I dropped out unannounced again did you and return in like 5 months? Hahahahaha… No silly, I just returned from a well deserved holiday and the MAMA awards were on last night, so I guess I skipped writing a review for like 3 days or so. However, now I am back and writing more reviews more than ever, and that is promise I make, after I return from my other holiday. Only kidding. Long reviews today so let’s go!
LABOUM is a new group in the industry. As there are so many new groups coming into the industry, I don’t get any chances to review them, because there are so many groups debuting and making their comeback at the same time. Fortunately, I finally got to review this group, just with their first comeback song. This song is so freaking good. The song is catchy and likewise all of the songs in today’s review is really catchy. It is a song that I have been playing on the loop consistently. The rapping was so so but the vocals were superb. As for the music video, there really was nothing there and I was quite disappointed with that. It was just the girls acting all distant and doll-like during the whole video. As for the dance, I really liked how they took the “doll” concept and made the dance around it. It was really cool and amazing. 7/10
Mamamoo is back and wow, this song really raises the bar. How are these girls not freaking getting awards yet, really beats me. This whole comeback blew my mind. The song was really addictive and catchy. This song impresses me. The vocals and the rapping did the job wonderfully. The girls harmonised really well and showcased their vocals. I was blown away with this song. As for the music video, it reminded me a lot of Secret’s Poison, just without the sex appeal and the violence. However, it was a little dull to watch. We see Gongchan from B1A4 getting drawn into the girls throughout the music video. Not really exciting. As for the dance, I liked how they mimicked the instruments used in the song and also its simplicity. 10/10.
EXID is finally back after a disappearance of nearly 2 years and this time it seems they have finally started to get more recognition then before. More on that later. This song is hella addictive and really fun to listen (and sing) to. Though, this song is LE dominated for like 80% of it, I thought the whole song, from vocals to rap, was amazing. As for the music video, wow. It was really suggestive towards the male sexual organ. Well, that or I have a really dirty mind. Overall, I love the music video. I love the half body idea and since the same director directed this music video and also Orange Caramel’s recent videos, the music video had that Orange Caramel feel to it. As for the dance. It was amazing. It was deemed as sexy, however this time, I kind of agree with it. This dance however, is what the band is now officially known for. EXID is now ranking on the charts in the top 10 because a fancam of member Hani dancing to the song at an event. Now they are due to retrun to the stage, a few months after the song is released, they are going viral. 10/10
THIS IS IT. IT IS OVER. The catchy up reviews are finally done. I can now sit back and write the next 45 reviews at a slow pace (however one that gets you guys to read consistently). Thank you for staying this long with me and now I hand you back to the normal reviews. See you tomorrow!!!