[Review] Rebirth – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has been extremely busy throughout 2017 and we are only in August. Red Velvet as already made two comebacks this year with Rookie and Red Flavour. They have also released 1 SM Station track, titled as Would U. Rebirth is their second SM Station track of 2017. So it will be interesting to see what SM has planned for Red Velvet for the rest of 2017 or if their hard work has finally earned them a break.

If you took Would U and slowed that song down to a very slow tempo but kept everything else the same, Rebirth would be the final product. The cute and sweet sound that they are going for is nailed perfectly. I just felt the song could have done with a little more boldness or something that changes it up. It felt too constant and consistent at the same time. And while that is nice, you do get bored of the same thing over and over again. I think the rap sequence was included to do just that. But it felt awkwardly placed and it didn’t deliver a change that I was after. The vocals are nice but I couldn’t differentiate between the different members for some odd reason. They all sounded quite similar throughout the song. Overall, the song didn’t sound too bad but it just didn’t suit my personal tastes.

The music video was slowed down to match the tempo of the song. It is a little different from the usual videos, in the sense that the entire video is in slow motion. Essentially, Red Velvet is sitting in the middle of the screen at their desk, with all the other students doing other things around them. And the handsome cartoon teacher walks in, which surprises everyone. And while everyone else scrambles to their seats, Red Velvet stare in awe at their teacher. The entire video is pretty good and it suits the song quite nicely. My only issue with the video is the pole that is at the back of the classroom. My mature mind automatically thinks stripper pole. I guess other people would think pole dancing. But out of all the items present in the video, the pole seems to be the most misplaced.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

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[Album Review] The Red Summer (Special Summer Album) – Red Velvet

The Summer is already in full swing and Red Velvet has emerged with their latest release to help fans cool down and put some Red into the atmosphere. Following their mini-album review at the start of the year, Red Velvet becomes the first artist to get a second album review from me. So before we sweat all the water out of ourselves, let’s move on.

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The Red Summer Album Cover

1..Red Flavour (빨간 맛) (Title Track)Click here to view the full review of Red Flavour (9.5/10)

2. You Better Know – I love this track. Besides the title track, I felt like this was the best track on the album. You Better Know is an EDM track that has a great instrumental. Sure, it may have sounded typical in the realm of EDM, but it did its job at delivering the Summer feel to the ears of the listener. The chorus was catchy and the beat drop felt like a burst of bright energy. When the girls sang together, they sounded spectacular and when they sang on their own, they sounded amazing. (10/10)

3. Zoo – Following the EDM sound is the tropical house song, Zoo. Like what the name suggests, the song incorporates sounds you would associate with zoos, for example, animal sounds. The chorus is a little awkward with its delivery. It is short and sweet, but the way they end their lines seemed a little out there. I did like the rest of their vocals throughout the song. Just the rap didn’t sound that great and it could have been tied better to the rest of the song (7/10)

4. Mojito (여름빛) – Mojito feels like a song that you would expect to find from an F(x) album. The song is slower, compared to the previous songs, but it still a strong track in its own way. It felt refreshing and very calming. Their chorus here is amazing and it becomes better when they sing together. It may not have the hype factor, which drove me to like their title track and You Know Better. But it definitely has enough to make it a song to listen to after a long day. (9/10)

5. Hear The Sea (바다가 들려) – The track throws you back to their One Of These Nights. Sadly, the same can be said regarding both songs. The style isn’t my cup of tea. But the song is boring and painfully slow at times. Their harmonies during the chorus are the only thing that I like regarding the song, which does make it feel disappointing. (5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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The Red Summer Teaser Image (Source: ALLKPOP)

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[Review] Red Flavour – Red Velvet

Summer is in full swing with songs suiting the sun, beach and tropical atmosphere that many associate with the season. Red Velvet has joined the long list of Summer comebacks with their special Summer album, The Red Summer. The main title track is Red Flavour, which has topped charts since its release on Sunday. An album review will be published in a few days for their new release!

From the very start of the song, it does not hold back with its upbeat and vibrant sounds. The super catchy and addictive chorus starts off the song. It definitely did the job it was set out for. It grabs your attention with its repetitive and consistent drum instrumental beat. The vocals are explosive throughout the song, in both the chorus and the verses alike. The questionable deep sounding moans in the back of the song that repeat the words “Red Flavour” were a very odd aspect of the song. But it gave a quirky factor to the song, and I liked that a lot. You have to strain extra hard to make out the words, but once you do, you open yourself to a whole new world, which makes the song sound more dynamic and unique. Wendy’s vocals for the bridge and the ending of the song really gives it a polished finish, which makes the song sound so much more better. The song itself had been replayed multiple times already since its release yesterday, and I think it will get much more in the days to come. The smile you get from listening to the song really puts the song into perspective.  It’s fun and cheerful, a great Summertime song to enjoy and listen to.

I don’t want to say that the video felt last-minute. But I can’t just shake off that feeling. But that doesn’t mean that it was a bad video. Actually, it was quite the opposite. I actually like the video. There was a sense of quirkiness to the video, which I thought went well with that same feeling from the song. The concept around fruit is a no-brainer as we associate fresh fruit with the heat. The video overall had a nice refreshing vibe, which I actually did enjoy and the colours made the video appeal to me more.

I thought the dance during the chorus was amazing, matching the fast pace of the chorus. Overall, it was an impressive performance to watch.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

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[Review] Would U – Red Velvet

Red Velvet’s latest release marks the return of the SM Station project for its second season. SM Station is a project where SM Entertainment promised the release of multiple songs on a weekly basis for an entire year. The project saw never-seen-before collaborations between SM artists, along with other artists from other companies, something that seemed foreign when it came to SM. The project saw some big hits and some of the songs released were reviewed on this website, such as Rain by Taeyeon, Spring Love by Wendy and Eric Nam, and Heartbreak Hotel by Tiffany ft. Simon D. While I didn’t get around to reviewing every single song, I do hope that I will be able to do more reviews from SM Station project for its second season.

Red Velvet is a girl group well known for their more retro and upbeat based songs. On occasion, they have also returned with much slower and ballad-like songs. While this particular song does seem to fall into the ‘slower’ category, it is a nice mix of style between the slow and upbeatness. The instrumental is quite bright, and it makes you smile while you listen to it. The song uses a sweet melody that is hard to miss. The piano adds a more classical touch to the song. While it isn’t anything new or impressive, its addition makes the song sound a lot better. But the thing worth mentioning in this song are the vocals. The girls sound amazing. Sure, it isn’t powerhouse vocals, or none of the members is belting out a high note. It is simple yet still, leaves an impression on you. Their harmonies sounds amazing and probably the one reason why I keep on returning to this track. Also the “Would U, Would U” is unavoidably cute and catchy as well.

The music video features Irene and actor Kim Min Jae. The video is probably based on a well-known French story that I probably have no idea existed. Essentially, Irene has to find clues on where the mysterious man, who keeps on leavings these clues about. As she solves one, she gets a step closer to the man. I don’t like the video but I don’t mind it. It is very fitting for the song and the video does make you smile, as well. Irene is quite pretty too and she did look like an angel in the video. Loved the use of lights. I think the video was shot outside, but there was the use of artificial light. But the combination made Irene look like she was glowing and it made the video feel fresh.

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

[Album Review] Rookie (4th Mini Album) – Red Velvet

Welcome to the first ever album review. I asked many of you to complete a survey at the end of 2016. Guess what was most voted for! Album Reviews! Honestly, I wanted to do the first album review for another group, who releases their newest album later this month. But after listening to Red Velvet’s latest album, I couldn’t pass the chance of reviewing it!

 

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Rookie’s Album Cover

 

Rookie (title track)check out the review published for the song yesterday. (6/10)

Little Little – The track is a really nice and slow RnB track. The track shows off the group’s vocals quite nicely, with that being the main point of the whole song. From the member’s individual parts to their amazing harmony during the chorus, the girls do stand out with this song. The entire song has a nice rhythm that is easy to the ears and is a nice track to listen to when you want to relax. (10/10)

Happily Ever After – I think this track could have been the title track. It has that fun and vibrant sound that I liked with Red Velvet’s past title tracks. It suits the group a lot. I love the wacky sounds here, from the use of xylophones to the “beep beep” sound that your car makes when you lock it. Once again, their vocals are great here. I just feel the chorus could have been a little catchier and less traditional. It would have made the track wackier, suiting the girls even more. (8/10)

Talk To Me – While I don’t think this track would have been successful if it was the title track, I would love to see a performance of this song. The instrumental sounds very interesting and promising for a good choreography routine. While Little Little was slow and Rookie/Happily Ever After was more colourful in terms of sound, Talk To Me is a mixture of both. It is a lot slower, but there are sounds that make it colourful, as well. (9/10)

Body Talk – Hands down everyone because this has to be the best track on the whole mini album. It blew me away when I first heard the song. It may be slow, but it packs a punch, especially when you reach the chorus (especially the last one). The song has a more serious tone than any other track on the album. While it is a lot different, this track does remind me a lot of Heartbreak Hotel by Tiffany from SNSD (ft. SanE). (10/10)

Last Love – This track is actually not by Red Velvet but Wendy’s solo. It’s a ballad and it is honestly a nice way to finish off the album. It sounds very nice, with some people agreeing that this could possibly be in a Disney movie. And I agree with that comment. She has a very nice voice. The song makes you sway along with it. What more do you want from a ballad? (9/10)

Overall Rating of Album – 8.5/10

 

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Red Velvet’s Teaser Image

 

So how do you like Red Velvet’s latest album? Any favourite tracks? Comment below!!

 

 

 

 

[Review] Rookie – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has returned with a new mini album, which shares the same title as the title track, Rookie. 2016 was another big year for the girl group with countless solo work and two successful comebacks. This review will a part of my first album review for their mini album – Rookie.

From what I am reading, some people think this is their worst track to date. I personally wouldn’t go to that extent. I wouldn’t say it is their worst track, but rather it is not their best. I liked the instrumental. It fits Red Velvet’s sound really nicely. It has a vibrant sound that matches with Red Velvet’s past hits like Dumb Dumb and Russian Roulette. It sounds similar to Hey Mikey by Toni Basil (just with modern processing and more upbeat). Some of the vocals I liked, especially when they are singing. Joy and Irene’s part in the first verse was, by far, big no-no’s. Would you consider it rapping? Because I would and if it is actually them rapping, maybe they should stay away from it for a while (or start practising a little more). Just by listening to the song only a few times, I can already hear the annoying ring with the chorus. The constant repetition of the word Rookie just sounds annoying here. It isn’t flashy or appealing. There isn’t any tone to it, expect for that one tone. Dumb Dumb had repetition in it, but the repetition was sung. This just sounds like more like shouting. To be honest, it does turn me away from the track a bit. They mispronounce the world Rookie all throughout the chorus. And while that is frustrating for an English speaker (like myself), we can’t really blame them for that (Note: Asians tend to mix up their R and L’s). Honestly, I think if they redid the chorus to something like in Russian Roulette, I think the song would have been better. The song isn’t terrible, but as I said, not their best.

Once again, Red Velvet has gone with a vibrant and colourful video, which does fit the song quite nicely. I have no idea what is going on in the video. It’s wacky and crazy, something that Red Velvet has been doing for some time. It seems like whatever they were smelling at the start, got them into Narnia, which leads them to an alternative universe, with a flower man running about. Besides that, the rest doesn’t make any sense. Watching the video over and over again doesn’t help to decipher the video, but it adds to the confusion. For a while, it seems like SM threw together some colourful sets and just hoped that the video would solve itself. Some of the sets were stunning, some of them were very plain and boring. That scene where Seulgi walks out of the closet and then joins into the choreography straight away was meant to look cool. But instead, it just looks really staged. Like the song, I would watch the video, but I wouldn’t say this is their best.

Only saw small snippets of the choreography, but what I saw looked good. I have a feeling (and this is from what I saw) but the dance could be a lot simpler. I hope that isn’t the case. I have grown to love Red Velvet’s dances for its complexity and its own flare. Let’s hope they continue with it. I will add more once the stages start.

Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Dance – 7/10 (may change)
Overall Rating – 6/10

 

[Review] Russian Roulette – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has made their comeback with their third mini-album, Russian Roulette. Their title song is the same title as their mini-album. The girl’s most recent release and comeback was back in March of this year, with One of These Nights.

Interesting song. My feelings a little confused. One part of me doesn’t like some aspects, but another part of me wants to get up and dance along with the song. The first impression, I thought it was quite catchy and more of the Red Velvet style that I like. The second time around, I thought the song was quite choppy and would become annoying to listen to over time. Third time around, I just sat there deciding whether I like the song or not. And I am still deciding. The choppiness, which I was thinking would become annoying, was the charm of the song. The chorus was amazing. So catchy and it makes the song quite addictive. I love the 8-Bit sound as if this was taken out from one of those arcade games. The vocals in the song were pretty solid as well. Each member was flawless in the song. I don’t if my theory is right yet. Mainly because it is the song that I have been playing on the loop consistently for the past few days. Maybe in a weeks time, maybe never. But so far, I can say that I think the elements in the song come together quite nicely, even though I was never a big fan of the choppiness in other songs. The girls have put out such a catchy song that I think delivers the right form of Red Velvet that I grew to like in Dumb Dumb.

Certain parts of the video I liked, others I didn’t. Let’s start off with the intersection of the song and video. The song likens the game of love (well, when people fall in love with the same person, all at the same time) to the game Russian Roulette (the more violent game, of course). The video does a splendid job of showing us that, but saving us from the gore and consequences. I’ve read the video was inspired by Tom and Jerry (one of my all time favourite animations) and the video did just that. There a cat and mouse cartoon in the video, but it was much more interesting seeing everything occurring between the girls.  From throwing dodge balls at each other, to cutting rope that is attached to a fridge dangling from the roof, to cooperating with each other to cause a series of lockers to fall over, the girls pretty much have this game sorted. The video fits the choppiness of the song quite well. I love their blank facial expressions when they all turn to the camera and start lip-syncing to the song. Wait, I love their facial expressions in this video. Especially when  each other them put their respective plans into full effect. It gives you shivers.Those are just some highlights of the video. What I didn’t like was some of the close-up shots during the choreography parts. They looked amateurish and really showed a more “unpolished” side of the girls.

Which leads me to the dance that accompanied the song. Sadly, not loving it. There were a few scenes in the video that made it look chaotic and an eye sore. Watching the stages, it was a bit better. I liked the start of the chorus. I just thought that this time, there was too much going on and it kind of took the fun out of it.

Final Rating – 8/10

One Of These Nights – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has returned with a brand new album, The Velvet and a brand new music style. They had a very successful last year with their promotions of Dumb Dumb and Ice Cream Cake, showing the industry their mass following and popularity. A force not to be reckoned with.

Now, this is a ballad. I was expecting a dance track or something with a pop feel to it. This caught me (and probably everyone in the world) off big time. And I totally do not dig this style from them. I love them with a loud or pop concept, not slow and monotone.  It was flat and very weak from the girls. At least there is one good thing from the girls. Their vocals, while not be the most appealing to draw my attention to the song, were pretty good vocal work wise. Their harmony was pretty good. But that is all. Nothing else about the track I like. It was too slow and felt drawn out too much to listen to. No matter how hard I try, I get distracted when I listen to the track. It just had no appeal. The instrumental was nice and all, but for the most part it seemed like it lacked an instrument or two, to make it better and more appealing. As you can tell, not exactly keen on this song (more like I don’t like the song at all).

The music video was by far more interesting than the song itself. I love the concepts t that the girls have in their videos and this one is like no other. It draws your attention to it and makes you guess what is going on. Now, I am going to turn it into a serious topic and that above comment is going to make me seem ignorant. Someone has found a connection between the video and the Sewol Ferry incident which occurred nearly 2 years back. While it can be disputed, I read the theory and thought it was rather interesting. Do I agree with it? I don’t even know. I can’t decide. If is true, than the video becomes quite sad for me. But the concept is extremely smart and it would be  a video I would love to go back to pick out the details. If it wasn’t, well, damn, the video is still interesting to watch. If you have not read the theory, click here and decide for yourself. Do I still like the video regardless? Yes, it is a very interesting concept and it probably tells a story that we have all yet to see properly. But what do you think? Is it just a coincidence or is there really a connection with the tragedy?

Dance wise… I can’t watch the performances. I have this thing with ballads and dances. They don’t really go together. This song is far too slow and very “depressing” to listen to. A dance have never and might never pair well with the song. I think the girls look stunning on stage though. If that counts…

Overall, not digging the song, but the video has me going back and forth. I probably contributed most of the views. Hahaha… 5.5/10 (Most of the marks went to the video). 

Spring Love – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)

A brand new song from SM station has just been released (but like last week). I am starting to really like this new idea (which I did have initial doubts to) as the artists of SM (who are not kept in their dungeon) are not usually able to collaborate with other artists unless they are within the same company. This biweekly thing that they have going on allows us to see unique and really cool collaborations with different artists. This time around, Wendy from Red Velvet and solo artist Eric Nam (both who have or will make their respective comebacks) have come together to perform such a nice song.

Actually, nice might be an understatement. But it probably the only way to describe the song without turning it into a EDM style track or make it seem like it is a totally another genre. Moving away from that awkward intro, it isn’t necessary the best song out there, but what we get is sufficient enough to please a lot of fans. Particularly those who have been yearning for a solo work from Wendy and a solo comeback from Eric Nam (all in due time). Their voices go well with each other and them together gives off this happy tune, which the song is trying to portray. The soft guitar sounds that make up 90% of the instrumental, with the other 10% are the drums to give it some bass and dimension, really do give off that Spring feel. When I listen to the song, I can just imagine singing it with my lover under the beautiful trees that are sprouting nice flowers. Wind breezing over us and the blue sky as blue as ever. And that obviously makes me want to smile! Great feelings from the song!

As for the video, I liked it. There is only one small complaint with the video. As I said I loved it, and these videos turn out to be very artistic. They are unique video with different transitions, that fit in well. So in this case, the pages flipping added a really nice rustic and vintage vibe to the video. Fits in totally well. But the one thing that did not fit in were the over-the-top and unnecessary effects that were added post production. Bubbles popping really did not need the effects of it occurring in cartoon form. Them playing the piano, we can use our brains that they are playing musical notes and not some farm animal sounds. It just turned what I thought was a great video into some kid like and just plainly un-needed. Rant over. Complaint over. Everything else was great!

Great song and video. 9/10

Unfortunately, I am behind with a lot of reviews. This one was meant to be released a few weeks back and they have been piling up. I am getting to them, just been so busy. Easter is around the corner (or actually right in front of us) and I will be using the week I have off as some time to catch up on these reviews.

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

Probably one of the biggest award ceremonies for music and also probably one of the most prestigious, the 30th Golden Disk Awards (GDA) was held on the 20th to the 21st of January 2016. The GDA was supposed to be held in China but was moved back to South Korea due to the recent earthquakes that occurred there just 1 or two weeks before the scheduled event. Even though many people were shocked and feared the award ceremony would be either postponed or cancelled, the ceremony went off without a single hiccup and was broadcast live in both Korea and China.

What I like about this particular awards is that is focuses on both the physical albums and downloaded songs of the year. In other words, more awards for everyone. It is also nice to see who excelled in what (hahahaha…). The digital awards were handed out on the 20th of January, while the physical album awards were handed out on the 21st of January. The award show on the first night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Kim Jong Kook and Seohyun (SNSD). The second night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Leeteuk (Super Junior) and Krystal (F(x)) I have recapped the award winners on the two nights below.

Disk Daesang (Album Of The Year) – EXODUS (EXO)
Digital Daesang (Song Of The Year) – Loser (Big Bang)
Disk Bonsang (Best Artist) – APINK, VIXX, F(x), BTS, CNBLUE, Jonghyun (SHINee), EXO, Beast, Super Junior
Digital Bonsang (Best Artist) – Red Velvet, EXID, AOA, Zion.T, Park Jin Young, Sistar, Taeyeon (SNSD), Kyuhyun (Super Junior), Big Bang, Girl’s Generation
Best New Artist – GFriend, iKON, Seventeen, Twice
Popularity Award – SHINee
Best Rap / Hip Hop – SanE
Best Rock – Hyukoh
Global Popularity Award – EXO
Best Group Vocal Award – BTOB
Best Solo Vocal Award – Jung Yonghwa (CN Blue)
Best Male Artist Award – Big Bang
Best Female Artist Award – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Next Generation Star Award – Monsta X

Once again, this wide spread of award winners seem to be more representative of main stream KPOP. Not that I am complaining. Most of the award recipients were similar to the Seoul Music Award 2016, however a lot more artists won in this ceremony, since their was more rewards. Not that I am being a hater or anything, but Kyuhyun’s bonsang award seems a little far fetched. From memory (correct me if I am wrong though), his song never charted high on the charts and likewise Super Junior barely makes an impact on the digital side of the music industry. So I am a little suspicious of how he managed to get an award for a digital bonsang. Saying that, he did sell a lot. Like a lot on the physical side. But beside that, I think it was a nice range of artists who won and I think it is accurate (as in which artists managed to shine the brightest in 2015).

I really need to think of ways to start off the different sections, but once again… I think out of the all the ceremonies that have already been broadcast (NOTE: I am typing this prior to the Gaon Chart Awards), GDA has the best performances. Why? Because many of the artists performed multiple songs and I really enjoy how some artists (or their producers) integrate different songs together. GFriend, Red Velvet, EXID, Seventeen and BTS had the best stages on the nights. Some artists performed some songs that were released in the past (in previous years, such as EXID’s Up & Down, VIXX’s Error, Sistar’s Touch My Body etc.), which I kind of liked, but, the songs were released last year… so maybe a little outdated. But overall, the performances, I think, were to a very high standard and pleased me (*points at myself* and *acting as the biggest critic of all time*).

Below are just the few performances that I found and slapped together in a playlist format in no particular order.

For a last minute change to the ceremony, it managed to do pretty well in my books. Awards, performances. Everything was just great. There is one more to go of this season’s award ceremonies, which will be coming out in the coming days. Until then, bye!!

 

Recap of Seoul Music Awards 2015 + Thoughts

The Seoul Music Awards is one of the award ceremonies held the year after for the year before. For example, the award ceremony for the 25th Seoul Music Award was held in 2016, but celebrates the flourishing artists of 2015. Understand yet? Well now that hard to understand concept has been dealt with, the 25th Seoul Music Award ceremony was held on the 14th of January 2016, in Seoul. It is said that this award ceremony is one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies for the year as it recognises the popular and talented artists of the year. Selection process for winners on the night are as follow: 20% mobile votes, 10% Popularity Polls, 40% music sales (both digital and physical album sales) and 30% judging panel’s scores. Only artists who released singles or albums in 2015 are eligible to win.

Like all ceremonies, a number of actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the event to give out awards. The night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, EXID’s Hani and Honey Lee. All artists that received the award on the night performed on stage (minus those whose awards were accepted on their behalf by label mates – Big Bang is who I am trying to refer to).

Just to recap the awards winners of the night:
Bonsang Awards – EXID, Red Velvet, Taeyeon (SNSD), VIXX, Yoon Mi Rae, Zion.T, BTS, EXO, APINK, Sistar, Big Bang & SHINee.
Best New Artist – iKON, GFriend, Seventeen
Performance Award – Hyukoh
Best Trot Award – Hong Jin Young
Best RnB Award – Sane
Best Ballad Award – BTOB
Best OST Award – Jang Jae In (performed with Wonwoo (Seventeen) on the night)
Male Dance Performance Award – Monsta X
Female Dance Performance Award – Ailee
Mobile Popularity Award – Kim Junsu (JYJ)
Hallyu Special Award – EXO
Record Of The Year (Digital Release) – Bang Bang Bang (Big Bang)
Record Of The Year (Physical Release) – Kiss My Lip (BOA)
Daesang Award (Best Artist Of The Year) – EXO

The Bonsang awards seem to be more representative of the mainstream KPOP this year. Finally, Seventeen get their Best New Artist award that I think they truly deserve. Most likely they got it for their record breaking album sales. And finally some people decided to pay attention to BTOB. I am not technically fond of their ballads in the past year, but hey, it looks like South Korea is finally paying attention to them. Ailee’s award is one I am not exactly sure of. I don’t think it was the best dance performance of the year. I think that belongs to a particular rookie who was present on the night as well. Regarding Kim Junsu, who was apparently not invited to the ceremony despite winning a key award on the night, there is some shady business going on. But hopefully, when this matter is resolved, justice for Junsu and JYJ will occur. 2015 was a step forward for them, with the introduction of the JYJ Law.

Ailee should not have been pestered for the cameras catching her “on her mobile”. The netizens make it sound like she was too busy texting another person or was too busy looking at pictures of food. Put simply, she was just downloading an app to support SHINee and was later seen supporting Boa. People should really see the bigger picture (or in this case, wait for it) before making a big deal out it. Also, Boa’s award. Even though it was nice to see her win something, I agree with a lot of people who say she got the award just because of her senior status. It was her 15 year anniversary and she probably wouldn’t have received any award for her album if she debuted later on. Also, Starship should not deprive Sistar of any chances to get on the stage. They looked like they really enjoyed being there and were probably excited for their first stage together in what seemed to be 6 months.

Performance wise, I actually did not pay that much attention to the performances in this ceremony. Some of them were disappointing to watch, while others just did not appeal to me or make me want to watch. All I am going to say is the few that I did manage to watch (mainly the first half) were okay. Just minus the introduction for EXID’s performance. That was shocking. Stand out was probably GFriend’s intro. While their fan chant came to a close second. I don’t why I feel that way regarding the performances, I just was not feeling it. For the past few years which I have been watching the SMA ceremonies, their performances are by far the weakest of all ceremonies. Below I have put a handful of performances that I could quickly find into a playlist from the night.

Well, that is it for my wrap up of the Seoul Music Awards 2016. Hopefully, next year is better. Less controversy and better stages required to make this an award ceremony that I can look forward to.

 

Recap of MelOn Music Awards 2015 and Thoughts

The MMA or MelOn Music Awards were held on the 7th of November 2015. MelOn does not refer to the fruit but rather the music chart and on-line music store in South Korea. It is held by LOEN Entertainment, which owns the music distribution company. The music award has its own unique criteria where it only calculates digital sales of artists in the past year and incorporate these sales with on-line votes of fans.

The following artists, groups and actors attended the ceremony: Big Bang, Yoona (SNSD), Hyukoh, Hyorin & Dasom (Sistar) (did not perform), Toy (did not perform), APINK, Zion.T, Sane, iKON, GFriend, Mad Clown (did not perform), Hong Jin Young, BTS, Red Velvet, EXID, Monsta X, Winner (did not perform). Actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the night as presenters.

The show on the night was hosted by Yoo Byung Jae and Seo Kang Joon. They were shortly joined by Lee Boo Yi, Kim Shin Young, Kim So Hyun & Irene (Red Velvet). The red carpet was hosted by Youngji (Former Member of Kara) and Seo Yuri.

Below are the winners on the night. Afterwards, I have left some comments regarding some awards:
Top 10 Artist – SHINee, Girl’s Generation, Hyukoh, Toy, Big Bang, Sistar, EXO, APINK, Zion.T, Sane.
Best New Artist – iKON & GFriend
Best Rap/Hip Hop – Mad Clown ft. Jinsil (Fire)
Best Ballad – Baek Ah Yeon ft. Young K (Shouldn’t Have)
Best RnB – Naul (Living In The Same Time)
Best Rock – Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer)
Best OST – Loco & Yuju (Spring Is Gone By Chance)
Best Trot – Hong Jin Young (Love WiFi)
Best Pop – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk)
Best Male Dance – BTS (I Need U)
Best Female Dance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Folk – 10cm (Sseudam Sseudam)
Best Indie – Standing Egg ft. Wheein & Obroject Yundak (The Sunlight Hurts)
Netizen Popularity Award – Big Bang (Bang Bang Bang)
Hot Trend Award – Infinite Challenge (Yeongdong Expressway Music Festival)
Best Music Video – Park Jin Young ft. Jessi (Who’s Your Mama?)
Song Writer Award – Teddy
MBC Music Star Award – EXID
1theK Performance Award – Monsta X
Album Of The Year (Daesang) – EXODUS
Song Of The Year (Daesang) – Bang Bang Bang
Artist Of The Year (Daesang) – Big Bang

I personally think above is a fair spread for award winners. While I am not knowledgeable to comment on categories such as Best Indie and Best Folk, the rest show 2015 in its glory. Once again, I think Seventeen deserves the Best New Artist award and GFriend finally got what they deserved (it’s a good thing. Kind of sounded like I was hinting at something bad). Sistar and APINK’s Top 10 awards caught me off guard since they were quickly taken over by other artists on the digital charts and failed to be up to par with the other artists. I am glad to see Kim Sung Gyu win something for his album. It was really good.

And as per usual, there were performances that night from the groups who won awards. Performers included: Hyukoh, Big Bang, APINK, Zion.T, Sane, BTS, EXID, Red Velvet, Monsta X, iKON and GFriend. It would have been nicer to see some more artists who won from the night perform. I think best performance of the night was BTS with their cool jackets that had light coming off them. A very large portion of the show was dedicated to Big Bang, which had people talking. Sure, they won a lot of award, but I agree with majority of the audience. Big Bang’s performances just made it feel like one Big Bang concert. Sure, they won prestigious awards, but it just robbed the other artists of their night, who also put hard effort into making 2015 their year. Would have I gotten angry over the fact they turned the award show into a mini concert? No, but maybe they should have dropped one or two songs.

Overall, I think MMA15 was pretty fair. They had a large variety of winners (mainly because they have a lot of categories) and minus that small complaint regarding the performances, the show was great. Oh, but damn was the presentation of the awards cringe worthy. Probably this ceremony takes the award for  “Worst Presentation of Awards” award. Could have done it in a way where the presenters did not feel that ashamed of themselves.

 

 

Recap of MAMA 2015 and Thoughts

Did you forget about the MAMA awards held by MNET in 2015? Or are we all trying to forget it for its bias and unfair system? Well, don’t fret, I am here to remind you of the disappointment or joy that you felt.

The MNET Asian Music Awards (or MAMA) was held on the 2nd of December in… Hong Kong. Again. Voting for the awards began in October of the same year and I thought there was a fair range of nominees and the committee selected a variety if talents for each award.

The following artists attended and performed at the awards ceremony: Taeyeon (SNSD), GOT7, BTS, Hyuna (4 minute), Park Ji Young, Seventeen, Monsta X, F(x), SHINEE, EXO, Big Bang, iKON, Zion.T, Crush, Sane. 2NE1 & Psy. Pet Shop Boys were invited as special guest performers on the night. Red Velvet, Twice, Tiffany and Seohyun from SNSD also attended by did not perform.

I have recapped the winners below. I shall give some comments afterwards regarding the winners.
Best New Male Artist – iKON.
Best New Female Artist – Twice.
Best Male Vocal Performance – Zion.T (Eat)
Best Female Vocal Performance – Ailee (Mind Your Business)
Best Male Dance Performance – SHINee (View).
Best Female Dance Performance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Solo Dance Performance – Hyuna (Roll Deep).
Best Collaboration / Subunit – Zion.T & Crush (Just)
Best Rap Performance – Sane (Me You)
Best Band Performance – CN BLUE (Cinderella)
Best Male Group – EXO
Best Female Group – SNSD
Best Male Artist – Park Jin Young
Best Female Artist – Taeyeon
Best Music Video – Bang Bang Bang
Best Album (Album of the Year) – EXODUS
Best Song (Song Of The Year) – Bang Bang Bang
Best Artist (Artist Of The Year) – Big Bang

Best New Male Artist is probably the category that has me shaking my head the most. iKON is slowly showing their capability, but I feel like Seventeen is already two steps ahead of them and deserve the award more. Best Female Vocal Performance should have gone to Taeyeon and Taeyeon should have received 2 awards that night. Not dissing Ailee, but it wasn’t her best song or vocal performance. Best Music Video should have also gone to F(x). Best Male Dance Performance is an iffy category for me. SHINee did have a great dance, but sadly, I felt that BTS was missing out due to the lack of nomination in that category. Big Bang took out most of the awards, but I don’t think it matters. Big Bang dominated summer in South Korea last year with their continuous releases and had one of the most popular songs of the year (according to download and streaming charts). JYP’s award caught me a little off guard but I guess out of all the nominees, he had a good song. Besides the categories I mentioned, I think the awards were “fair”. Okay maybe not, but who MAMA awarded that night, I mostly agree with (given the nominees).

But wait, there were a few more awards that were given out that night:
Worldwide Favourite Artist – Big Bang
Global Fan’s Choice Male Artist – EXO
Global Fan’s Choice Female Artist – F(x)
Best World Performers – BTS
Next Generation Asian Artist – Monsta X
Best Asian Style – EXO
Worldwide Inspiration Award – Pet Shop Boys
There were also other awards which were awarded to artists from other countries as Best Asian Artist. Best Engineer, Best Live Entertainment and Best Producer awards were also given to 3 people for each award from different countries.

Out of these awards, I am a little confused with the Best Asian Style award. Out of all that walked the red carpet, I was shocked when EXO came along. Also, Pet Shop Boys. I am with majority of people who have never heard of the band before.

Per usual, there were many different performances on the night. The show opened up with Taeyeon’s I, which I thought was a really beautiful stage. She sounded flawlessly on the stage. BTS made their comeback on the night and collaborated with GOT7, who also performed If You Do. JYP had a special stage which probably scarred both GOT7 and Twice and he went a little wild towards the end of his performance. iKON performed a medley of their songs. Monsta X and Seventeen collaborated, while F(x) and Pet Shop Boys joined hands together. We also saw Sane perform with Hyuna and Jessi. Also a stage with both Show Me The Money contestants and Unpretty Rapstar. EXO, SHINee, Big Bang each had their stages with multiple songs and got the audience really hyped up. Psy also made his comeback and performed alongside with his new songs, Gangnam Style. Probably the most talk that night was 2NE1’s performance which caught everyone off guard. It was nice to see them, but whether it was appropriate is just another topic all together.

Out of all the stages, I thought Taeyeon had the most beautiful stage. For the dance aspect, Seventeen and Monsta X’s performance was really well polished and amazing.

Overall, I thought the night was worth it. It may seem like YG has a lot of influence over the MAMA awards and that is probably true. But whether it is right or not, is another discussion in its self. Just regarding the invitations to the awards, it did seem like someone did forget to invite people. Some stages seem like they could have used a little more attention to give it that grand feel that the MAMA awards is meant to uphold, like in previous years. But overall, I thought the night was pretty good. Wait… Did I just repeat the first sentence of this paragraph? Guess I am going to call it a day now. Hope you enjoyed my recap!

End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

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 :).

1 Ah Yeah EXID
2 Paradise Lost Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
3 If You Do  GOT7
4 Closer Oh My Girl
5 You G.Soul
6 Love Me Right EXO
7 I Need U BTS
8 Sing For You EXO
9 Shake It Sistar
10 4 Walls F(x)
11 Dumb Dumb Red Velvet
12 I Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
13 Like OOH AHH Twice
14 Oh Um Ah Yeah Mamamoo
15 Mansae Seventeen
16 Just Right GOT7
17 Crazy 4Minute
18 Insensible Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
19 Run BTS
20 Yey Beast
21 Between Night n Music B.I.G
22 Shake That Brass Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
23 Hot Pink EXID
24 Beautiful Liar VIXX LR (VIXX)
25 Brand New World Brown Eyed Girls
26 Ring My Bell Girls Day
27 Hurt Locker Nine Muses
28 Growing Pains Donghae & Eunhyuk
29 Run Away Royal Pirates
30 Black Swan Rainbow
31 Congratulations DAY6
32 Catch Me If You Can SNSD
33 Me Gustas Tu Gfriend
34 The Answer Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
35 Dope BTS
36 Pray FT Island
37 Cinderella CN Blue
38 You’re Pitiful Fiestar
39 Hopeless Love Jimin (15&)
40 Bad Infinite
41 Might Just Die History
42 We Like 2 Party Big Bang
43 Chained Up VIXX
44 Fire Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
45 Bell Bottoms PSY
46 Ice Cream Cake Red Velvet
47 Break Ya LU:KUS
48 Kontrol Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
49 I Feel You Wonder Girls
50 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).

2015 BOBs (Best Of the Best) – Part 2

015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 2 of the BOBs and part1 was released yesterday (Click Here). Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!

These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).

RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention

BEST MALE ROOKIE

Once again, 2015 saw many debuting groups enter the KPOP scene. And this category obviously allows me to pick who i saw as the best new male artist of 2015. And boy were the standards high this year. The nominees are:

bestmalerookie

I have to give it to Seventeen. They were the only new boy group on the block that left a massive long impression on me since their debut at the start of the year til now. At first 13 members may have sounded a little too much, but the songs they were releasing proved otherwise. Honourable mentions goes to Monsta X who only popped on my radar in the past few weeks. Yeah, their debut did not do much, but what they released after did a lot.

BEST FEMALE ROOKIE

Same as the above category, many new girl group emerged from the shadows and wowed a lot of people. Most not if all female rookies managed to amaze me and picking the nominees for this category had been one of the hardest things to do this year. The nominees are:

bestfemalerookie

Hands down, it automatically goes to GFriend. As soon as they started, they had the press all over them and their comeback proved to be highly successful, ranking high on the charts. As for honourable mention… I am literally torn between Oh My Girl and Twice. Yeah, Oh My Girl did not do as well for this debut, but their comeback exceed my expectations so much (why? Find out later) but I am going to give it to Twice, as they have only released one song and also ranked incredibly high on the charts.

BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

One of the things that make KPOP so unique is obviously the choreography and performances. And this year saw an amazing variety of performances and dances that made fans all for certain groups harder than ever. Each of the nominees that made it onto the list truly deserve to be the winner as they were all equally unique and amazing. I nominated:

bestdanceperformance

Screw the MAMA awards. The male category was a mess for Best Male Dance Performance. However, I am here to fix it. I am putting BTS – Dope as the best dance of the year. Yes. BTS was not nominated at all and that is so disappointing. Dope was such as “dope” dance that was in sync and perfectly executed. As for honourable mention, GOT7 – If You Do takes it away. Though it was nominated, but it did not win. And I was incredibly disappointed. Anyway, I can say this: all of the nominated dances deserve an award.

BEST ALBUM

Albums. Not my favourite thing to talk about. Mainly because there are songs on some albums that disappoint me, and hence I sometimes stay away from albums because of that. Each album is looked at as a whole and also each individual song is looked at in detail. I don’t listen to entire albums a lot, but here is a list of just some albums I did manage to listen to as a whole. The nominees are:

bestalbum

At of all of those albums above, there were two stands out. The winner was F(x) – 4Walls, their 4th album. I have to say each and every song on this album I adore to the point where all the songs on there have become more memorable than certain comebacks of big name artists. Honourable mentions goes to Brown Eyed Girls – Basic, their 6th full length album. The album came extremely closely to being the winner, but I do not personally feel the same level of excitement when I listen to the album.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Music videos per usual is an artists main form of promotion. And this year, the music videos released were to of an extremely high standard. Each of these music videos have some unique about them and that is what stood out to me. I chose these based on plot, cinematography, sets or scenery, acting (if applicable) and editing. The nominees I saw fit these categories were:

bestmusicvideo

I think the simplicity was the key for me this year. G.Soul – You won Best Music Video in my point of view. There is essentially nothing in this video beside the singer himself and some lights. But yet it managed to become such an amazing video. Honourable mentions goes to FT Island – Pray. Their concept was so amazing that it was incredibly hard to pass up this video.

 

BEST FEMALE GROUP

Now let’s get down to business. I like to call this and the next category “the best artist of the year”. But since KPOP is highly populated with groups, I split them up into genders and call the categories “group”. The female groups this year have successfully wowed me (and probably everyone else this year), with many people being able to pick a favourite. The nominees for Best Female Group are:

bestfemalegroup

I think I am going to agree with the ongoing trend and give it to EXID. From Up and Down, released last year, EXID shot into the limelight with a fancam of Hani and have since re-promoted Up and Down, came back with Ah Yeah and more recently Hot Pink. Each time they make a comeback, they go on to prove their popularity. As for Honourable Mention: Red Velvet. Their successful year yet, and I am 100% sure that better years will come. Ice Cream Cake and Dumb Dumb will remain as favourites for me.

BEST MALE GROUP

Now let’s move onto the guys. The competition was so tough this year. At first, I managed to list around 20 different male groups that I think deserve this award, but I only ended up choosing 10 nominees. It was so hard. But here are my choices:

bestmalegroup

I am going to choose GOT7 as the best boy group of the year. GOT7 released three songs: Just Right, If You Do and Winter’s Confession. Put together, GOT7 had one busy year and I saw a very large amount of growth in terms of the boys’ talents and sound. As for honourable mention, it would got to BTS. For this year, BTS has definitely matured and showed an ever fiercer and more powerful side of the group.

BEST SONG

This category, each year proves to be my worst enemy. It is so hard to choose my most favourite song. This particular category is not influenced (in any way) by the charts that I am releasing tomorrow. The “best song of the year” chosen here are like my subconscious mind speaking, whom I really want to see be given the title. The charts tomorrow are more calculated and take into account my reviews during the year and what my current thoughts about them are. But as I said choosing this category is the hardest. So many songs deserve this title and if I could choose to give out multiple “Best Song” awards I can. The nominees are:

bestsong

Let’s start with the honourable mentions: GOT7 – If You Do, Oh My Girl – Closer, EXID – Hot Pink & Seventeen – Mansae.

And finally, I give to you, 2015’s Best Song of the Year, which you can probably tell already by the video linked below.

EXID – Ah Yeah

Congratulations, EXID. 2015 has been proven to be your year. You can watch the music video for this year’s Best Song below!

 

And that is it for Part 2 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, for the End Of Year Charts. And then, lets all wait for the New Year to come rolling through? Got your New Year’s Resolution yet?

*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.

Dumb Dumb – Red Velvet

The girls are back with Dumb Dumb. Only a few months ago, the group returned to the stage with Ice Cream Cake. After such a successful comeback, they are back and ready to conquer again. The members also been getting solo work as well. I know for a fact that Irene and Yeri have been hosting music shows for the last few months. I don’t here much about the other girls, but I am sure they have some work on their hands as well. But now, on with the review.

This song is actually pretty cool. It is pretty addictive and catchy. Everything about this song catches my eyes (well, more like my ears). It is a really nice song that shows the lighthearted side of the band that we saw in their debut. For some reasons I thought of those Thumb Thumbs from Spy Kids when I first heard of the song and its title. But honestly, once again the girls have done a pretty nice job vocally and their rapping is pretty solid as well. I just love their Michael Jackson homage in this song. Pretty smart. While there is some talk in the world about whether the girls plagiarized, I still think that this song is pretty unique in its own way. yeah it sounds similar to Bang Bang at some parts, but at the same time there are many parts that are completely different.  I am absolutely adoring this song and I think you all should as well.

As for the music video, it looks pretty cool. It seems like SM Entertainment have defienitly stepped out of their comfort zones for many music videos in the past year and I think it is paying off. Sure they are still inside a box for this particular video, but the way it is has been presented is completely different from what the company and the band has done previously. Though I am going to put it out there, the girls look very creepy as robots. But it is a smart way to present the “Dumb Dumb” song as many people only know one way of doing things. I really loved the sets and it seems there is some sort of circle theme going on in the videos. I believe Automatic had the girls sitting around a table. Ice Cream Cake saw the girls take a slice of a circle ice-cream cake and now the table is back in this video. I don’t know why but it intrigues me. I do have one complaint. One of their outfits look particularly cheap. It seems like the company ran out of fabric and decided to not sew the extra leg on. It just makes them look … well… dumb. But all their other costumes are amazing.

The dance for this song is amazing. They managed to pull off such a great dance that looks fun but mature at the same time. I love their chorus and how they managed to fit in one or two Michael Jackson dance moves during the rap part.

Overall, this comeback is perfect. Amazing song, great music video and to top it off, a awesome dance. 10/10