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.
Rainbow has finally returned, almost a year after their last comeback, Black Swan.
I actually enjoy listening to this song. Sure, it is not something that many of us expected, but I still think it is a good song. Pretty ordinary and lacking in a lot of areas, but when do we get those songs that tone everything down and takes us back to ordinariness. What I am saying is that sometimes it is good to go back to a lower level and live the good times. Do you understand? Saying that, I thought the song was really bright and catchy, but at times I wanted to listen to something that had a little more flavour to it. For example, the vocals were just meh and quite monotone. Maybe add in some high notes or something to give it life. The rap was too dry and failed to hype me up. Same goes for the chorus, it just fails to hype me up. But I feel like the bridge was the best part of the song for me. I also find it interesting at how girl groups tend to go into more retro songs nowadays, rather than more modernised songs, but that is another topic. Sure, an ordinary song but I still like it.
Regarding the video, wow. It looks like DSP has cut the budget for the girls. Once again. Last time was for the really short promotional period due to “lack of interest” and now DSP probably thinks that the girls won’t get far and decided to put together the cheapest music video ever. White set, with a few black balloons, a few colour screens and one or two props here and there. Heck, even what they are wearing seemed to be picked up from the two dollar store. So, I guess my major complaint is that it might have been too simple (and looks quite cheap). I am going to be honest, but the way they managed to film the video and edit it, gave it a really nice retro feel to it. And how they manage to incorporate their Rainbow theme is most of their comebacks seem quite smart and I think that is why I love them as a group, because they maintain their identity as a group (most of the time). Overall, the end product came out well, just it really did not live up to expectations.
Dance seemed ordinary. Nothing really that special, but it seems like these girls misses the stage quite a bit. I saw their first comeback stage on SBS The Show, and they all looked genuinely happy to be promoting again. Their smiles really reflected the concept they were going for and pretty much showed me their feeling on the stage. But yeah, beside that, there really isn’t much to say about the dance/performance.
Overall, the one word that summarises the comeback is “ordinary”. But it has its perks as well. 7/10
Rainbow is finally back after a whole year and bit disappearance. Last early, they did debut their second subunit group, Rainbow Blaxx, with Cha Cha. After that, the rest of the year was focused mainly on individual promotions. Now after a whole freaking year and a bit, they have returned as a full group to the stage. And move along cutesy concept, the sexy concept is officially in for the girls. Days of Tell Me Tell Me and Sunshine are over. Welcome Black Swan. Well, it was quite obvious. I don’t think anyone was going to expect to see another cute concept from the girls after Cha Cha.
When I first heard this song, I was generally confused. The song was lacking and it really disappointed me. After listening to it multiple times after, I basically fell in love with the song and currently obsessing over it. Watch me hassle that replay button. This song just felt empty but like most songs I don’t like at first, I grew to love it. Overall, the vocals and rapping was pretty good. The vocals had that mysterious feel to it, but at the same time, they sounded really sexual and husky at some parts. I love the instrumental a lot. It is a sound that you find a lot of younger people listening to from the clubs and dance parties. The song structure was also quite different to other songs. If you did not notice, the second verse was quite short but it was featured at the end of the song, instead of after the 1st or 2nd chorus. It is a really interesting structure which got me into the song.
For a group titled as Rainbow, the lack of colour in this video is quite strong. Sorry I had to. But I absolutely love that idea. It gets me into the music video and song. The black and white filter made the video look pretty good. The background for a proportion of the video reminded me of that massive diamond structure in SNSD’s The Boys. I really liked the background of the music video. It made the set look quite large rather than literal corners in the box sets we usually see. How messy was that paint seen with the paint dripping down the wall. I just love it how there is a white wall with black paint, but turn around to the other universe, it is white paint on the black wall. That also reminds me. It seems like the girls are playing total opposites. After the girls look “innocently” through the eye hole of the door, they turn into completely different people. Hence the black and white come into play, because they are opposite and completely different.
The dance is pretty cool as well. It is a slow dance until the song starts to get a little more upbeat and the dance matches that transition very well. I just love the start of the dance. It looks really cool and very different from other dances. There is a lot of butt action as well.
This comeback did actually live up to the expected hype that got me into a frenzy, even though it did not seem to be that way at the start. 10/10
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.
Rainbow recently unveiled their new subunit, Rainbow BLAXX this month. It is the band’s second subunit after Rainbow Pixie which was a subunit for the cutesy version of the band. Rainbow BLAXX features Jaekyung, Seungah, Woori and Hyunyoung. Now, I am not really troubled with this subunit. Mainly because I really disliked Rainbow Pixie’s Hoi Hoi, which was a terrible song on all levels for me. This subunit is much better than the other subunit to me. On top of that, this is not the first time Rainbow attempted the sexy concept. Though this is a more extreme of the concept compared to their other songs, Sweet Dreams and A were actually sexy concepts. Looking back and now, you can see how far they have come.
Honestly, I actually like this song. Though yes, there are large influxes of girl groups doing sexy, this song to me was not that bad. It did not catch my eye straight away, but I have recently been listening to non stop. Maybe since I am a guy, it will make me fall for it more, but I like it. That “Cha Cha Cha Cha” at the start was pretty catchy. Woori’s rap on the other hand was not as great as I would have expected it to be. I love the line “You feel, I feel, We feel what is coming to us”, I don’t know why but that just makes me happy. Creepy hey. The chorus is pretty catchy as well.The song is quite upbeat than the previous songs that were released this year. Compared to Something, BBB and Miniskirt, this song sounds more fun and light hearted (Not sure if a song like this can be light hearted though).
Okay, I like food. But honestly, this kind of ruined it. I think they went a step too far with the food part, where they took bites and tried to look seductive. Though it may work, I was more interested in the macrons than anything else. I am not joking, I was seriously. The also feed themselves and start being sexy on the chairs. Yeah, I think the music video should have toned it down a little. The music video has really classy feel to it. I don’t but it looks really retro in some parts which is pretty cool. Beside that, I have no idea what is happening in the music video. Like, an old lady comes out and decides to takes diamonds from the girls. And the diamonds come out of the girls by the mouth. Ummm… Say what??? And the old lady acts as if she is rich, when the diamonds are probably fake. Yeah, hmm… I want to erase all images of the old lady making her move towards the girls. The images are overwhelming me, -cries-.
The dance yes I quite too explicit for broadcast. And yes, it was requested by the companies to tone the dance down a little. I like the dance though especially the use of scarves in this dance. From the performance last night, it seems like the boys are raging all about this dance. Hahahaha…
8/10. Not bad honestly, which is great especially the amount of hate for girl groups. However, I like the pose a question for you: which sexy concept did you enjoy the most this month? Select our answer down below.
Hi all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wow, 2013 is finally over. Can you believe it. With days to go, I will be unable to update this over my “break”. Beside that I have scheduled a whole heap of reviews. I promised you guys an End Of Year Charts, and with that very day 3-4 days away, I think it is time unleash the beast. Party hard! Welcome the new year in style! I will wish to see you all back on the 2nd of Jan 2013 (subject to change). At the very bottom of this post, there will be two links. One is a playlist for the winners of the BOB’s and the other is the top 20 songs of the year, as selected by this chart. Yay!!!!
Ivy recently made her anticipated comeback with a new style of a song that is one of the most amazing songs of the year so far. The actual song features Yubin from Wonder Girls. Woori from Rainbow took over Yubin after the first week of promotions, for those who don’t know. This song is one of those mashups that we all don’t like of, however this song carries a different feel of the song. This song, I admit, will not be for everyone, however I think it will be one of the hottest songs of the year. Have been quite disappointed with any songs, but I also quite like this one.
I love the instrumental of this song. It is totally amazing. The Spanish feel of the song is totally one of my favourite feels of the year. Well, not Spanish, but rumba or tango, I don’t know which is which. As you see, and probably have noticed, my knowledge of dances are quite limited. I love the vocals of Ivy in this song. It showcases her vocal talent in one go without need to of autotuning. Seriously, why have I not found such a great artist before! Her high note at the end was one of the most amazing notes that I have heard. I totally love the addition of the rap in this song. It fits in with the song and gives that song the extra beat of electro music which I totally love in this video. “I got to keep on dancing, cause tears are coming down my eyes” and the lines of the raps that follow are the actual highlight of the song, for me. It was catchy and kept into my mind. Great work Ivy and Yubin (and of course, the other artists that will join Ivy on stage).
The music video, I don’t really understand that well. The whole idea of technology with the song’s instrumental is kind of “not there”. She seems to be trapped in some kind room with some sort of torturing device that is growing her mad. Also, cameras are taking picture of her and the whole music video solo scenes seem quite quirky when you have the music right there. That or she is a drama queen and is stuck in the corner of her elevator. Also, did you see that nude tone dress with the black ropes (?) around her? Quite extreme in my point of view. Though Yubin’s scene in the music video seem quite appropriate. The ending was a little too much for me. But overall, I think the music video, beside the really weird parts, do quite well. But I am still weirded out.
Rumba or Tango, the dance is amazing. From the traditional dance of rumba or tango to the more modern version of the dance after Yubin’s addition to the song. Also Miss A’s Jia and Rainbow’s Woori have joined Ivy in place of Yubin to be the rapper and all three of them do quite a splendid job. If I want to choose one, it would most probably be Yubin because she sounds most natural, but as I said, all three sound really good.
8.5/10. Only the music video. Blame the music video. But beside that, I love everything else. I have included the music video and the three different rappers into the playlist, so check it out.
Rainbow has finally made their comeback, with the second part of their newest album. Tell Me Tell Me (Review Here) was released in March earlier this year, while the latest single from the girls were released on the June 4th. Sunshine is like a direct copy of Tell Me Tell Me, continuing the cute style which the girls have adopted for their first half of the album. Wow, the song is really great. It did lack in some aspects (the song itself, the music video and the dance/performance) however was equally quite pleasant to hear and quite nice to relax to. The girls, truly, did put a lot of effort into this album, which is quite successful as well. Why they have not won any awards yet, likewise to many bands, is still a question everyone asks themselves!
The song itself is much similar to their March counterpart. The instrumental has that violin to it, like what I pointed out in my previous review of the girls. I love the violin in the start. That beat may seem a little lacking, however to me was beautiful. The part before the chorus was amazing as well, giving that song a little punch leading up to the chorus. The chorus itself is pretty cool as well. It has that popish feel to it, which Rainbow has brought in from the To Me and A days. The “Go Jerry Go” part was really cute and nice to listen to. I have to say, if you are into the popish classical mashup of songs, this is a song that you must check out. It has both elements. However, the rap seemed too much for the song to handle. It really does not complete the puzzle as well as I thought it did. Tell Me Tell me had a really good rap sequence, however the rap really was not it for the song. The ending too was okay. Different and unique. However, if I was to sum up the song, I would say this: I like it, but the cute feeling which the song carries is not great. There are other songs on the album which are worthy as a title song that this song.
The music video carries that cute feeling along with it really well. They display the girls as the stereotypical girl: taking selfies of themselves, acting overly cute etc. It is revealed that the girls are some kind of spy agency cracking down on unworthy guys or in the current world, players. They get their weapons are very serious about their job. I absolutely love the scene where the third girl in line is asking for a huge as weapon, but insteads gets a small water gun. Does she cry over her weapon though? No she does not, instead, she makes the best of the weapon. And it was so cute!!!! I also love the last girl, who gets her face as a weapon. Well, obviously the group needs a visual to get the guys. (Why am I defaming guys? I am a guy myself!!!!). Next they discover the poor fellow at a deserted and unrealistic cafe, where one of the girls start to fall for the guy, and despite the other girls pleas, she follows the guy. Talk about being the weakest link. And then, nothing else happened. Wow, that escalated quickly.
As for the dance, it was pretty catchy, particularly the chorus bit. I guess the cute style does fit these girls. I was not much of a fan of their diva moments anyway.
8/10. I think I am quite satisfied with this song. It is catchy, cute and damn right fun to listen to. Here is my question for you guys to answer in the comments: Which Rainbow comeback did you occur? Tell Me Tell Me or Sunshine? I have linked the actual music video, the dance version video, a live performance from Music Core and the Tell Me Tell Me music video. Have fun watching!!!!
The girls are back with another song after a year and a bit. It has been a very long time since their last song, which I think is To You (please correct me if I am wrong). I don’t follow the band, but I really thought they were quite horrible, until this song came out.
The song is pretty cool. Though I am not the type to fall for the aegyo type of song, this one is an exception. There was definitely a bit of sexiness within the song. I am not sure what it is, but there was something that sets this song different from other songs. Anyway, the use of violins in this song is pretty cool. I think that won me over. Beside the instrumental, this song divides rap and vocal sequences quite well. There was 3 rap parts to the song, while other songs only tend to have one part. So pretty good.
The music video to me was a let down. I was not quite happy with it and it did not live to its standard that it set. I actually think A and To You were much better music videos than this. It is them dancing and close ups and quite a few scenes of them waiting for their boyfriends or something. Not really the best music video in my point, but I guess it will do well.
The dance is quite cool, but I found it .quite repetitive. There was not much of a change throughout the song, particularly the chorus part. They are meant to make the song look good, but with the same dance, it kind of bores the person to death.
8/10. It was a pretty strong comeback to be honest. Pity it did not win any awards (yet, since MBC and SBS plan to bring the ranking and award system back in the coming weeks).