[Review] 11° – Minah (Girl’s Day)

Minah has made her solo return with 11°. It has definitely been a while since we heard a solo single from the main vocalist of one of my personal favourite girl groups. The last being I Am A Woman, Too. That being said, Minah hasn’t been on the sidelines over the large gap between solo releases. Alongside her work with Girl’s Day, she has been busy acting in a number of dramas such as Beautiful Gong Shim (which also stars Nam Goong Min). 

11° is not the first ballad of the season, but it is one of the few that has me sticking around. It may because of bias, but this track has me sticking around for other reasons. The song is actually quite good. Minah’s vocals go well with the softer guitar-based instrumental and you can hear the heartbreak that she is trying to convey throughout the song in her voice. Put simply, it is extremely easy to get lost in this track and there is a soothing effect which I desperately need featuring in this song. There is something that I am not 100% keen on in this song. In the middle of the song, Minah attempts to change it up (to avoid repetitiveness and blandness) with a change in delivery. But honestly, I thought that slight change was a little too awkward sounding. It was needed but I personally didn’t think that was the particular way to go. 

The music video beautifully portrayed the meaning behind the lyrics. Essentially the song is about the immediate thoughts that go through people’s heads after a breakup. And throughout the video, you can grasp that solemn feeling that followed her and her breakup. As she cleaned the house, I assumed she felt the emptiness. The ending, when the lights went out, made her think of her ex-lover. Probably how he would have fixed it for her, but now she had to do it alone. I just thought the video went well with the song.

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

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[Album Review] Girl’s Day Everyday #5 (5th Mini Album) – Girl’s Day

I have been focusing on doing a few album reviews lately. However, the majority of them were albums from boy groups. I have been wanting to do an album review for a female artist or group, so when Girl’s Day confirmed their comeback, I knew it was the one. This is their fifth mini album and the fifth in the Everyday series. This is also their first comeback in nearly 2 years.

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Girl’s Day Everyday #5 Album Cover

1..I’ll Be Yours (Title Track)click here to read the full review for the title track, I’ll Be Yours (9.5/10)

2. Thirsty – First impression told me that this was a good track. It is something that you would find as a B-side of a really popular artist in America. The instrumental has a nice electronic synth that makes it addictive to listen to. The repetitive clicks and synth work really well with each other. And they work well with the vocals. Thirsty isn’t necessary a powerful sounding track, but their light vocals somehow manage to pack a punch. (9/10)

3. Love Again – This is a very interesting song. I am glad they picked this song as their other promotional track because it shows a more vocally talented side of the group. The instrumental is quite simple, with a simple yet amazing guitar sound. But what stole the show for me were the vocals. As mentioned, it showcased their vocals. Everyone sounded amazing. But the member that stood out the most was Sojin and her high pitch lines. The way they manipulated her voice is perfection to my ears. It is harder to describe her vocals in this song, but do check it out! (10/10)

4. Kumbaya (Come By Here) (Sojin Solo) – Finally, the forgotten vocalist of Girl’s Day finally has a solo track to her name. Once again, it is a simple ballad. But the way Sojin sings it makes it many times better. Her ad-libs sound amazing. It is another song that makes me sway along and fall into the music. The song also managed to leave an impression on me. Not sure if it because it is the first track where Sojin shines or of the nice melody, though. (10/10)

5. Truth (Minah Solo) – I am literally shaking from writing this review because as I listen to each song, I am blown away. Minah’s solo manages to blow me away even more. It is yet another ballad, so no surprises there. But unlike their other ballads on this album, this one has a more grand and orchestral instrumental. They also incorporated electronic synths in the song, giving it a modern feel. But we can’t proceed without mentioning Minah’s breathtaking vocals. It is REALLY breathtaking. Was  I too subtle with that comment? (10/10)

6. Don’t Be Shy – The final song on the mini-album is a dance song. It brings Yura and Hyeri back into the track list and gives a more upbeat ending to the mini-album. The song also manages to showcase their vocals. The auto-tuned was probably not needed but they don’t get in the way. The build-up to the chorus is amazing. I am not too sure how to describe the sound of the song. But the instrumental uses the marching band sound as its basis and then adds extra electronic synths as layers on top. You can tell from it that the song tries to sound powerful and tough, but it misses the intended sound by just a fraction. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.5/10

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Teaser Image

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[Review] I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Girls Day has been absent from the scene for nearly two years. They last time they were promoting was for Ring My Bell, their second full-length album. Now, they are back with their latest mini-album, Everyday 5, and the continuation of their Everyday series. Their title track, I’ll Be Yours, joins past hits like Nothing Lasts Forever, Twinkle Twinkle, Something and Darling.

I read somewhere on the Internet that this song oozes attention. And I totally agree with that statement. All elements just grab your attention from the start. As soon as you start listening to the song, there is no break from the energy that they pump out in the song. From their powerful vocals to the incredibly bold instrumental, there is just no stopping it. You may think that I am biased here, but I am not. This is what I felt when I heard the song. The piano usage in the song sounds like it could be annoying, but it works really well in this song by providing that striking element that grabs your attention. Throw in the amazing guitar at the chorus, and it just makes the already strong track even stronger. And I love the instrumental. I described the vocals of the track as powerful before. Minah’s short section at the end of the chorus is a prime example of the powerful nature of the vocals. But if I were to be somewhat critical with this track, it sounded like they pushed their vocals towards breaking point. Their vocals were superb, don’t get me wrong. It just sounds like a long rest is needed after promotions wrap up. If I were forced to wait another 2 years to hear a track that keeps you on the edge of your seat, just like this one, I would gladly wait. I think that summarised my opinion of the song quite nicely.

Matching the song, the video is equally as strong. The video shows Girl’s Day as strong women (at least, that is what I think it shows). Minah makes the first move by leaving her shoe (quite subtly, might I add) behind. Sojin is confident in front of all those men. Hyeri isn’t afraid to knock one out. And Yura… plays the piano so confidently, she set the guys on fire and also the piano. Not sure what she is doing there… The members each look amazing. The video uses colours to highlight the beauty of each member and also provide a level of boldness in the video. Some of the sets looked really cool (especially the choreography ones). But besides that, I don’t have much more to add to the video part of the review. I would have loved it if there was more to the video, personally. But what they have provided here has been more than enough for both the songs and our viewing pleasures.

The dance, on the other hand, was amazing. It starts off sensual and then it just kicks down the door when the chorus comes on. I personally love the dance. They are stomping around and showing off their toughness, while also their feminine side at the same time. I thought those chairs were a nice addition at the start, but their use at the end (where the backup dancers stand on top made) the ending look a whole heap cooler.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

 

Ring My Bell – Girl’s Day

Girl’s Day is another girl group that has been added to the endless list of Summer comebacks for 2015. The girls have returned with their second album titled as Love and their title track is Ring My Bell. This is their first comeback since Girl’s Day released I Missed You in October(ish) last year. Minah also made her Minah’s Solo as a solo artist in March. Hyeri has been busy with drama roles, while Yura recently finished her part on We Got Married show. Sojin has been out and about and was recently on Mask Of Singers. This comeback has also faced criticisms, for some of which I will discuss below. While I do understand many girl groups get criticism, out of all, I feel like Girl’s Day is taking the mother load.

This song is a really weird song. I know from the get go that I love this song. It is catchy and addictive. But at the same time, I am just like “what is happening?”. The song open up to that cow boy/country kind of sound, but then the song loses that sound and goes straight into a pop song and I barely hear the cow boy sound anymore.  Also, while I was listening to the audio only version, something occurred to me. If you can barely say the title of your track properly, then why even bother in the first place. The live was much better, but I was thinking “Ling my bell” really does not appeal to me that much. But beside those two complaints, I am glad Yura is back rapping and also the vocals were quite strong. It is not an awful song (in reference to my weird statement) and I like it quite a bit. So much that it made it on my forever repeating playlist.

One criticism that the girls got for this comeback is wearing the swim wear during the music video. Fine. I get it. But I know people who say that the girls look slutty for wearing that swim wear, but SNSD made their comeback with Bikini’s and yet not one criticism? I don’t think it that fair. To me, swim wear = bikinis. I really don’t want to start a fan war, but this is just a clear example of why some fans shouldn’t really post anything on the Internet, because they sound really stupid. No offence to anyone. It is just the one thing I hate reading about in the comments. The video overall was quite colourful. I like how they stand out and how the music video comes together for this song. I don’t think that extra dude was necessary for the video. I liked their dance sets, especially the one with the thousand hoops. And since when was darts consider as sexy?

The dance is pretty cool. Horse riding is probably the main dance for this comeback. Sojin’s pants on the other hand for that showcase. Yeah. No comment.

Honestly, nice comeback. I really should ignore them haters. I think I am bias now. But honestly, my rant was just basically built up from other videos as well. 8/10

I Am A Woman Too – Minah (Girl’s Day)

Girl’s Day has promised a comeback for us around June. Originally it was meant to be mid April, but due to the member’s solo activities, they decided to postpone the comeback. While members are busy with hosting gigs, photo-shoots, commercial and dramas, Minah made her solo debut on the stage with I Am A Woman Too. She made her solo debut mid March. Something interesting about this promotion of the song though is that usually there are large showcases that many artists do to promote their song. Minah, promoted her new solo single on the streets of Seoul, in areas to which she has had strong attachments to. These areas turn out to be places that Minah sang at prior to her debut with Girl’s Day.  This is actually becoming a trend with many new groups. This allows them to connect on a more “ground” level with fans. Hehehehe… I had to.

At first this song seemed lacking and really did not appeal to me at all. It had the power vocals that we associate with Minah, but it lacked a lot to me. But after listening to it a couple more times, the song warmed up on me quite well. Though I still think the song could have been better. The song has no “drop”. It just sounds really monotone and disappointing at first. It is a song that I would play again and again, but it’s nothing to put on repeat for. I guess the only timed it change was when Minah started belting out her vocals for “I love love love you” parts towards the end of the song. The instrumental was okay and the vocals were like usual for Minah. The song talks about how she is a girl and wants to be loved. I thought the lyrics were quite nice while looking over the English translations.

This music video was okay. Boring maybe. Did not wow me so much. It was a much more serious comeback in my point of view than compared to Darling and Something. I am used to seeing a Bubbly Minah not Serious Minah. Nevertheless, it seems like the music video had some thought to it. When she sings about time, there are clocks in the music video and her face looks like it was frozen in time. I like the abandoned nature of the set, but it just looks so like a set. Not exactly sure why she was in a glass box. It kind of looked really wrong to see her in a glass box seductively trying to get our attention. I get the song, but that part kind of throws me off a bit. The big bear was tragic to be honest. It needs some love. So why don’t we give love to Minah (to get her happy again) and the bear (so it looks more like a bear and not a rag)?

The dance was pretty cool. I liked the start with it matching the instrumental. The song doesn’t necessary yell out “BODY WAVES” but the body waves are quite nice. She does these hip thrusts, which people are calling slutty. Wow. Like for serious. So many male KPOP dances have thrusts and fans call it hot, but when one lady does it, it is slutty? Please elaborate. I liked it. The dance was classy and so were the clothes she was wearing. I actually like the oversized jumper. It made me guess every time if she is wearing any shorts.  -hides from all fangirls and fanboys-

Overall, the comeback was good. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible. 6.5/10

Rewind: March 2015

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.

Top 10 songs of the month

1. Paradise Lost – Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)

2. Between Night n Music – B.I.G

3. FM – Crayon Pop

4. You’re Pitiful – Fiestar

5. Donghae & Eunhyuk – Growing Pains

6. I Am A Woman Too – Minah (Girl’s Day)

7. Ice Cream Cake – Red Velvet

8. Apple – Gain (Brown Eyed Girls) ft. Jay Park

9. Growing – K.Will

10. Bounce – Boyfriend