[Review] Spring Memories – N.Flying

One of the more happier stories of the year thus far has to be N.Flying’s unexpected chart-topping single, Rooftop. When that track was first released, not many people paid attention to it. After a few weeks, however, Rooftop was hitting the top of the charts and the group earned many compliments as a result. So, there is a lot of expectations and pressure placed on the release of their next (now latest) single, Spring Memories, which was released yesterday.

It was smart for N.Flying to follow up with something that suits Spring, the season which South Korea is very much in at the moment. And since Springtime love songs tend to huge hits, why not go after another potential chart-topping hit. I have to admit that while other Springtime songs tend to be more light, Spring Memories is on the heavier side. This is because the instrumental is more loaded than the usual acoustic guitar. It keeps their usual band style of instrumental (i.e drums and guitars). But it also incorporates an orchestral section during the bridge of the track (and I think during the final chorus). Hence, it felt there was a lot going on. However, the instrumental remained very breezy and airy, suitable for this season. I thought the paced guitar strumming and that short whistle was a nice way to open up the track. The vocals were pleasant and I liked how they managed to incorporate a slight rapping tone to the moments leading up to the chorus. I personally do not enjoy these songs as much but I think N.Flying put out a nice song that deserves some attention once again.

With a focus on Spring, the music video showcases the cherry blossoms. Apart from the cherry blossoms, the video focuses on a female who is reminded of her past memories after an old friend took pictures of the flowers and sent it to her. Wanting to escape her dreadful office life, she tracks down the locations that he continually sends her through pictures, along with memories of those places are replayed in her mind (and the male lead’s mind, played by Kwak Dong Yeon). In the end, she finds him, catching him by surprise. It was a nice video that did justice to the spring feel the song had.

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

 

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[Review] Rooftop – N.Flying

N.Flying kicks off another year with their second single to their Fly High Project. The single is titled as Rooftop and it joins Like A Flower as part of this music project, with more releases joining the lineup as each month goes by. This is also their first comeback as a 4-member band after Kwangjin recently left the group due to misconduct allegations.

Rooftop does a good job of combining that fun element from the songs which I liked from N.Flying’s discography (Hot Potato and The Real) and the mature side of the group, which we heard in their previous single. It isn’t that most mindblowing combination, however, as it isn’t a song that I would necessarily go out of my way to replay constantly. I think there is some reggae influence in the instrumental, which is smartly masked with the traditional rock instrumentation. I did like the extra insert they did final chorus to give the song a little something extra. But apart from that, the song did feel somewhat repetitive. Their vocals also bring a nice appeal to the song but it does lack some intensity, which I think they could have added via a rapping section.

While I don’t recognise all the members of N.Flying, I must admit that having one less member is extremely noticeable. There is a sense of emptiness that isn’t filled, which I guess is a lot harder for bands to fill as the performances don’t consist a lot of movement (so it would be harder to mask the reduced number of members). Moving along, since the song was titled Rooftop it would make sense for the band to perform on top of a rooftop, which is exactly what we got. And I liked what they did. It isn’t a really fancy music video but they managed to get by in a humble manner. And I liked that about the video, as it keeps it grounded without going over the top. I particularly like the night scenes as they do a better job of showing off that humbleness.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10

[Review] Like A Flower – N.Flying

N.Flying is another group who has made a very busy year so far. They kicked off 2018 with Hot Potato and returned in May with How R U Today?. Last week, the band returned with a special single which begins their Fly High Project, where the band aims to release a new song every two months for a period of a year. I personally apologise for the delay for this review, as everytime I get around to starting this review, I get tired or am busy with other stuff. But here it is, almost a week later.

This isn’t the first time N.Flying has released a ballad. Some of their earlier works have been of the ballad kind, such as Lonely. Like A Flower is a rather nice ballad. Unfortunately, it isn’t one of those mind-blowing ballads that I would search up and listen to it on its own. Rather, having it random appearing on a playlist will be more impactful. That is because the instrumental is very soft and you would want to stop for a second to appreciate the calmness. I personally like that about this track. With a ballad this slow, I kind of expected only vocals, so I genuinely surprised to see some slow rapping in the song. And for the vocals, they were spectacular. Some people may say this is a typical ballad but I can assure it is not.

For 3/4 of the video, a black and white filter was used. I don’t know why they decided to go with colour at the end but I guess it was done to add some impact and match the peak of the song. I also liked how some of the scenes were slowed down, making it quite fitting for the song. All of this, along with the acting by the members, you can get a sense of how emotional the song is. Personally, I thought the music video was good but it took on board very typical components of a music video for a slow song.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

[Album Review] How Are You? (4th Mini Album) – N.Flying

N.Flying makes their second comeback this year with How R U Today?, which is the title track of 4th mini-album, How Are You? (the reason why we are here today). I previously reviewed Hot Potato and their 3rd mini-album, The Hottest, back in January, so if you missed those reviews, click the hyperlinks above.

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How Are You Album Cover

1..How R U Today? (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of How R U Today?. (9/10)

2. Up All Night – Following their sentimental song is a song that you can have a good rock along to. Despite it being performed by a band, it felt like a song that any other boy group could take on and perform with. I thought the chorus was awesome, with the explosive vocals giving the song some momentum during the chorus (actually, for the entirety of the song). Most memorable parts of the song had to be the “You Keep Me Up All Night” and the part following the first and final choruses. Overall, great song. (8/10)

3. Love Fool (팔불출) – The song is a lot brighter and upbeat. To me, it felt like a great mix of their ‘fun’ side (seen in their last two comebacks) and their more serious songs. The chorus was really catchy (once again) and this attracted my attention quite a bit. The vocal work was good. The only thing that didn’t really work with me was the lack of changeup during the bridge. It doesn’t have to be over the top, however, the song could have used a  changeup to avoid it becoming too repetitive. (9/10)

4. Anyway – The first thing that jumped out at me was the energetic feel that the song had going on. It was explosive, which made it so much more appealing to me. The raps during the bridge were totally awesome. It hit the Summer vibes perfectly and felt very refreshing. I must say that the song felt like it could have been a typical western boy group song. Just N.Flying probably did it a lot better. (9/10)

5. Fall With You (너 없는 난) – Following the same final comments for the previous song, this also felt like another Western boy group’s Summer single, which N.Flying nails perfectly. The only major issue is that the instrumental felt quite loud. As a result, the vocals had to compete with the instrumental in order to be heard. That being said, the instrumentals (in their own right) created an intense atmosphere, which might be the reason why it was so loud in the first place. The vocals and raps were amazing (again). I have to admit though, the bridge gave me some relief after the full-on intensity. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

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How Are You Teaser Image

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[Review] How R U Today? – N.Flying

Making their comeback after 4 months is N.Flying, who asks you ‘How R U Today?’. Their last set of promotions was at the start of the year with Hot Potato. The title track, How R U Today?, is featured on their 4th mini-album, How Are You?. Since their awesome comeback at the start of the year, Hwesung collaborated with FT Island’s Hongki, releasing the power-vocal ballad Still Love You. Thought I mention it here since it is a collaboration that you should not miss out on!

N.Flying has had an energetic and fun-filled run with The Real and Hot Potato. How R U Today? tones it down to a very mature sounding level, which I totally think it is a great thing. Firstly, it provides some variety and it does take you back to their debut sound, which was a lot more serious and mature sounding. The alternative rock song does found a little foreign at first. However, it is one of those songs that you really get into after just a few listens. I really liked the buildup from the very start of the song (which was quite soft and almost fragile sounding) to that rock vibe in the chorus (which brings that strong feeling that they have portrayed in their previous title tracks). They did an awesome job with the incorporation of the raps, which I thought wouldn’t go with the song. And like their previous tracks, their vocals are amazing. I am just in awe of the chorus as it has that rock-able element that you seek in most Korean band songs.

In an interview that was released prior to their music video release, the members said that their concept for this comeback was ‘sentimental’ and ‘sexy’. And I think they nailed both quite well. While I am not 100% sure of the ‘sexy’ side of their comeback, they do visually look good. And the visuals don’t just apply to themselves. The video has great natural scenery and views that just leave this video feeling amazing. As for the sentimental side, it fits both the song and their acting. They are still heartbroken about their past relationship, which was well portrayed by all members. Overall, the video does seem to fall towards the boring side, however, it does fulfil the intended concepts of the group.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] Still Love You – Lee Hong Gi (FT Island) & Yoo Hwe Seung (N.Flying)

FNC Entertainment recently launched FNC Lab, which gives an opportunity, for artists who participate, to experiment with music and release new songs for listeners to hear. In a way, the program seems to be the company’s own version of SM Station. The first song to come from FNC Lab is Still Love You, a collaboration between FT Island’s Lee Hong Gi and N.Flying’s Yoo Hwe Seung.

Obviously, the main focus of this review will be on the vocals. But before we get to that, the song is a ballad with such an amazing instrumental that really gives the song that solid foundation to build on. And now we snap back to the vocals. We all know how capable Lee Hong Gi is with his voice. We have seen in it his amazing solo debut and through FT Island. Per usual, he sounds spectacular in this song. I really liked the way he started the song and the chorus. However, the true winner in this track has to be Yoo Hwe Seung. While he does seem like a capable vocalist in N.Flying, I did not expect him to outshine Lee Hong Gi by miles away. That high note was amazing. I may not be a singer but damn, that was something. I also listened to the audio before watching the video, so imagine the surprise I got when I realized who did the high note. Even after all this time, I am still blown away by that particular section. He managed to pair so well with Lee Hong Gi and this is a collaboration that I am happy to see again (fingers crossed) in the future. 

It seems like the Lee Hong Ki and Yoo Hwe Seung is in some sort of love triangle with the lady. Interestingly, it seems like she parts way with both of them in the video after seemingly realized that both vocalists are in love with her. She is clearly distraught about making the decision and ends up leaving them both. It is a relatively simple video and storyline that still manages to be captivating but lets the song do the talking.

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

[Album Review] The Hottest: N.Flying (3rd Mini Album) – N.Flying

 

This is my first N.Flying album review. When I first heard the highlight medley prior to the official release of the mini-album, I knew I had to sit down and review the album. This is their 3rd mini-album to date and titled as The Hottest: N.Flying.

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The Hottest: N.Flying Album Cover

1..And So, We (그러니까 우라) – Opening up the album is a track that felt so similar to an OST to a cheesy drama. The song overall, especially the chorus, felt very poppy. It was also quite bright and refreshing, similar to songs that you would get during the Summer season. It is a great song to nod along to, with great vocals and raps. For some reason, I really like how the song ended. It seems like your standard ending but I am somehow digging it. (8/10)

2. Hot Potato (뜨거운 감자) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Hot Potato. (8.6/10)

3. In The Back Alley (골목길에서) – The song opens up with a very serious rap sequence which did a good job at gaining my attention. Compared to the previous two songs, the level of energy is toned down, which provides some relief, since it could have been overwhelming. I thought the raps and vocals were well balanced. Despite the presence of the thumping drum beats, the song is soothing to listen to. The best part of the song would have to be the bridge, which gave the song its needed peak. The only downside to the song is the abrupt ending. (8/10)

4. I Know U Know – There are many elements of this song which I liked. I liked the guitar in this song. But more than that, I loved the build-up for this song. At first, I thought it was just going to be a ballad but it ended up turning into a pop song. The unexpected turns the song take do give it an appealing touch. The hollow electronic drum beats during the chorus were really nice. I also liked the high note at the end. (9/10)

5. The Best (이보다 좋을까) – Unfortunately, The Best seemed to be my pick for the least interesting song on this album. It opens up as a jazzy number and quickly turns into a pop band track. I thought the vocals and raps were nice. The chorus had a sweet sounding melody. Besides that, I don’t have much else to say about the song. (6/10)

6. Just This One Day (딱 하루만) – I think the one thing we must comment on in this song is the chorus. It was that rock sound that seemed to be missing from this album. When I first heard it, I was digging the head banging vibes. I like the scratching record which you heard throughout the raps sequences. The way the ad-libs were layered at the end gave the song a more appealing manner. The vocals were a little plain during the verses, but they contrasted nicely with the chorus. The only thing I am not keen on is the rap-speak during the bridge. (8/10)

Overall Album Review – 8/10

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Hot Potato Music Video Screenshot

[Review] Hot Potato – N.Flying

N.Flying has returned with their latest single, Hot Potato and mini-album, The Hottest. This is the band’s first comeback since their return in 2017, The Real (which is one of my favourite songs from 2017). And following their concept for the last comeback, it seems like N.Flying is continuing on with their wackiness, given their title of the title track.

And N.Flying has done it again, with what seems to be another amazing track. It is super addictive to listen to, especially once the chorus kicks in. It has me rocking to it. It seems like N.Flying has found their sound, which is definitely that playful and bright sound which you don’t really hear when it comes to bands across South Korea. There were a few moments that I liked throughout the rock-based The first being the small rock sequence which Seunghyub raps to for the bridge. That was an amazing section of the song. The second part was that extra instrumental at the end, which felt more like a tease. Vocally, the song is on point. So are the raps, which I felt (besides the chorus) is a very strong element to the song. The ‘Hot! A Hot Potato’ line at the end of the post-chorus (at 1:11) is so damn good, it still rings in my head.

Playing to that wacky side, N.Flying plays a group with not much to do (i.e. unemployed bachelors). A lot of the time, throughout the video, is of the group imagining how their lives would be shaped if they were famous. Portable fans vs. helicopters, money vs. bills. The reality vs. expectation scenarios makes the video funny to watch. Some of the sets looked quite cool, particularly the ones where they are performing. The helicopter and red carpet were my favourites. Overall, it was a good video to watch.

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

 

[Review] The Real – N.Flying

It has been a while since we last saw N.Flying on stage. 2015 was their last promotional round (Lonely) before the group went on hiatus for almost 2 years. Since then, the group has announced the addition of a new member, Yoo Hoe-Seung, who participated in Produce 101 Season 2. This comeback is for their second mini-album, The Real: N.Flying and features the title track, The Real.

It’s been so long since their last comeback, that I don’t even remember what their previous two tracks were. But if they were to release more songs like The Real (with a shorter time between releases), I would gladly jump on board the N.Flying train. The song is amazing and their best yet. It is super upbeat and extremely catchy. There seems to be a nice mix between pop and rock in this song, which catches my attention immediately. The vocal work, raps and instrumental work well with each other. I love the short rap sequence and bangs before each chorus. But what makes this song sound so memorable is that the song has so much energy and the delivery of that energy is spot on. Right from the start, the energy that launches us into it was already exceptional. And since it felt like they maintained that same level of energy and momentum, the group managed to score big points (in my book, at least) with this perfect song.

The music video was hilarious and ridiculous (in a good way). Essentially, the group are trying to catch a mermaid. It felt like a play on the whole ‘there are plenty of fish in the sea’ phrase, but the guys are fixated on this particular mermaid, who according to the lyrics, is stunning. Quite a few unsuccessful attempts were made before they decided to sacrifice one of the members to the mermaid (which was the part I started laughing at). The mermaid turned out to be Jang Moonbok, who was a fellow Produce 101 Season 2 trainee. That was one unexpected plot twist that made me laugh even more. What I liked was every time they launched into the chorus, they incorporated that burst of energy by jumping onto their instruments and playing their song. But they incorporated it in a way that worked with the video and I liked that.

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

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Lonely – N.Flying

My first impression for this song were not that great.But after a few listens to the song, I found it really addictive and pretty catchy. It is a rock themed ballad which I personally thought did not suit the season of Autumn (but that is just me). The start of the song (with the piano) sounds a lot like CNBLUE’s Can’t Stop. The other members started to sing. in this song, which was a surprise for me. I remember their previous song, only the main vocalist sang the entire song.  So when I heard different voices, I thought there was someone did not mention a featuring artist in the title and articles The song has me swaying along to it and I liked it. The slowness of the instrumental and the beat fits in really well with this song and the style they were going for. And the English seems to make sense for me. 

The music video was very boring. I like the idea of the transition to a new set (in a way) giving it a large scale stage performance kind of feel. Not a big fan of the sets. While they do have that “lonely” feeling to them, I just thought it was weird. I really did like that scene where they open the doors, but each door formed the 4 sides of a square. Quite interesting. But that rice field set just did not carry the same feeling. It would have been much better if they went out of their way to go there, like in FT Island’s Madly. Beside talking about the sets, there wasn’t much else to the video. There could have been a nice plot to the video, like what were they running away from?

The performances were them just playing on stage, but that main vocalist. While I think the emotions were necessary for this performance, I felt like his constant arm flailing (at least that is what I am calling it) and movement as if he was drunk really annoying and over the top. Maybe it is just me. I do agree it was required but he may have gone a little overboard.

Great song, not so great for everything else. 6/10

Catch Up Review #15 – MONSTA X, Seventeen, N.Flying

I believe this will be my final Catch Up Review for now. I don’t I missed out on a lot of comebacks and new songs during the last two weeks, so I shall start getting a move on with Big Bang and EXO’s reviews, since I promised that I would do them (to myself) since they have come out. As per usual, if you click on the subheadings below, they shall take you the music video.

Trespass – MONSTA X

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If you guys know me, I am not a big fan of the hip hop genre. And why I even bother reviewing such songs beats me as well. I know there can be some great songs from the genre, me being a fan of many songs and artists, but this really does not impress me. It is a powerful song and their skills in rapping and singing just is amazing. The only problem is that, I find the song lacking in parts. There is hardly any backing vocals in the song, especially for the rap. I don’t know how exactly rapping works, but I personally feel like it there was some sort of backing vocal, there could have been more depth. Music video and dance fitted the style of song though, so not everything was a disappointment for me, for this debut. But I honestly think that they can do better, cause beside that it just sounds “typical”. 3/10

Adore U – Seventeen

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Seventeen has finally debuted!!! After 5476593 years of making fans wait, the 13 member band, called Seventeen has been unveiled. WAIT what??? Hmmm… we were promised 17 members with an average age of 17, not 13 members with the average age of 17. And they are going to age, so that 17 number is going to become useless soon. Don’t kill me for saying that. Amazing song. It drew me in from the very start and I have been playing this song so much. I put this song as the best song for May. Sure, it does kind of fall in the typical boy band debut song category, but I feel the spread between vocals and rapping in this song is pretty even. For the instrumental, it was a really nice pop-ish sound. Music video could have seen a little more investment. It just looks cheap. I am amazed at how they managed to fit all the members into the dance and song. Yeah, some of them have the 1 line (which should be improved on), but considering the amount of members, it was bound to happen. 8/10

Awesome – N.Flying

nflyawesumAfter CN Blue and FT Island, comes N.Flying. This band has finally made their own debut as well, after being promised for a year or two from FNC Entertainment. I love the mix at the start with the classical piano, the rapping and also the rock sound. The song is very catchy and I got hooked on. I don’t listen to them much, but the song did enough to put them onto my radar and list of best rookies. I like the bridge of the song. They are a band, so there is no choreography, unless you consider bouncing around on stage to the music a dance, which technically means, I must be a professional, since that is what I do. Too many commas. The music video was good. I love the glass box at the end. You could tell they got something decent in terms of budget. 8/10