[Album Review] An Ode (3rd Studio Album) – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN returned on Monday during the week with Fear. Channelling their more mature, dark and fierce sides, Fear follows the like of HIT (which is included in this album) and Getting Closer (released at the end of last year). The group is about to embark on their first world tour and the only fitting way to do that is by releasing their third studio album, which is why we are here today. SEVENTEEN’s albums have been a hit for me, so let’s see how this one will play out.

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An Ode Album Cover

1. HIT (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for HIT. (10/10)

2. Lie Again (거짓말을 해) – Between the two amazing lead tracks of the album is Lie Again. It is a surprising addition, as it is very soft and delicate, quite the opposite to both HIT and Fear in any way. The focus on the vocals is amazing and I really enjoyed how the rappers were tweaked to fit this soft song. I thought the electronic instrumental was stunning, going with a similar aesthetic to what Home had (their title track at the start of the year). It was also very dynamic in its own way and paired well with the vocals and rapping we got in this song, it is a gem waiting to be discovered by listeners and their fans. My favourite part is the chorus, with the ‘drop’ a subtle explosion of energy. (10/10)

3. Fear (독) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Fear. (8/10)

4. Let Me Hear You Say – The album continues with another fantastic song. Let Me Hear You Say starts off like any other song. But as the song progresses, you start to hear the song develop. The chorus is completely unexpected, going with a chanting style rather than vocals which dominate the verses. I find the chorus to be like the chorus in Lie Again. There is an explosion of appeal during the chorus of this song that makes it so appealing. The chanting style was very catchy as well, which made it hard to turn away. Energy is still present in this song, but I am kind of glad it wasn’t as intense as Fear, as it would have been an overload. Let Me Hear You Say is kind of the relief that I didn’t know I needed. (9/10)

5. 247 (Performance Unit) – Now we are getting to the other important stuff. The units make their reappearance in this album through a series of tracks. The first one up is 247, sung by the main dancers of the group. It is interesting because I had expected to hear something a lot more upbeat and intense, like Highlight and Lilili Yabbay (their previous unit tracks). I didn’t expect an R&B track from them which really let their vocals shine. They all sounded amazing. But this isn’t a departure from what they do best, as 247 has a dance routine, which has a routine that is equally as beautiful. Like their routine, I find the song to be smooth, elegant and very well-polished. (9/10)

6. Second Life (Vocal Unit) – The next unit up is the vocal unit, which consists of the main and lead vocalists of the group. While I remember them for ballads, it seems like the units are changing expectations by going with different styles. There is more life in this track, in comparison to their heartfelt ballads. I attribute that to their instrumental, which I thought was very cool. It was simple but intense at the same time. It does allow for their soothing vocals to come through, so I can draw some parallels between Second Life and their past ballad unit tracks. I also find the song to be very relaxing. It is something I wouldn’t mind putting on the background and work along with it. Woozi’s randomly higher note does catch you off guard but the song (and the unit) does a good job of recomposing you and getting the track back on track. (9.5/10)

7. Network Love – We take a little breather from the units by introducing a different unit track. Network Love is sung by Joshua, Jun, The8 and Vernon. I don’t think this is an official unit from the group and is a one-off track with the four members. I find that Joshua, Jun and The8 don’t get to shine as often in the title or group tracks. So, Network Love changes that by putting all three members (and Vernon) in the spotlight. Listening to the track, I feel like this is something the Performance unit would perform to but it would have been a good sound for the vocal unit to try something a little different. Their vocals sound nice and the instrumental was bubbly and vibrant in its own way. Vernon’s rapping felt perfect for the tone of the song, not going overboard or holding back too much. The melody during the chorus was also memorable as well. (8/10)

8. Back It Up (Hip-Hop Unit) – It seems like the Hip-Hop unit didn’t get the ‘change it up’ memo that the other units got. But I don’t mind (though I would have loved to hear them try rapping to a ballad or something different to match the other units). Back It Up is intense and very powerful, something completely up the unit’s alleyway. I find each member of the unit brings a very different style to the song, which I think makes this track so much more appealing. It also doesn’t help that each member is filtered differently with the autotune, further proving my point. I really like two parts of the song. Vernon’s very soft ‘Siren’, which was whispered but due to the autotune, it came off as rough. The second has to be the drop in the second half of the chorus, which gave the song an extra infusion of energy that I didn’t know it needed (but I am glad they brought it anyway). (8/10)

9. Lucky – The whole group returns with Lucky, which is another upbeat dance track. It falls into the pop category but there was a bit of funkiness to the instrumental, which made the track enjoyable. It has a classy vibe to it and this vibe becomes more prevalent as you listen to it. I also liked the fast tempo in the verses and then the slowdown, which Jeonghan and Jun ask us to take during their respective parts. It was kind of fun to have them connect to us in this track this way. While the song is great, there was the constant thought that it did feel really neutral and knowing Seventeen, they could have upped something in the song to make it even better. (7.5/10)

10. Snap ShootSnap Shoot comes off as a fun song. It isn’t something to deny. I really like the subtle retro style we got from the track, reminding of The Jackson 5’s ABC. The instrumental also sounded like those really happy gospel-like songs we get in movies and musicals. The vocals were nice and I liked the incorporation of the hip-hop segments for the rapping. I think the song could have been more unique if the members started to sing speak to us and engage us in that manner, which would have been fun and something that feels completely like Seventeen would do. But nonetheless, the energy is infectious, and the song is catchy. This track would definitely be awesome to hear in a live performance as well. (8/10)

11. Happy Ending (Korean Version) – I have previously reviewed the Japanese version of Happy Ending. Click here to read the full review for Happy Ending. (6/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

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An Ode Teaser Image

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[Review] Fear – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN is back and you all will probably know this is the comeback I am most excited for. We were all teased with their upcoming mature and dark sound through their pre-release single, HIT, which was released at the start of August. Today, the group released their official title track, titled Fear, which is the first to extend this dark and mature concept into the main promotional track. Furthermore, the title track is featured on the group’s 3rd full-length album, An Ode. The group will also embark into their first world tour later this year.

I am not exactly sure where to start with the song. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions because of this comeback. It took me a number of listens since its release to really get into the groove of the song. I found it slightly underwhelming, in comparison to their more impactful tracks like Getting Closer and HIT. Fear seems to take what those tracks started and gave it a melodic twist. And it is was this melody that allowed the song to focus more on the vocals throughout. The rapping was there but it didn’t feel like a main element to the song. On the topic of rapping and vocals, I thought these elements were quite cool. I liked how loaded and rough the instrumental felt, which definitely gives off a lot of texture. Jeonghan and Joshua had the best parts of the track, with their whispering sections adding a whole new level of suspense to the song. But I wanted more impact, as I mentioned, with that underwhelming feeling still hanging around.

Order up on an artistic video. The teasers gave us a little snippet into it and I totally saw this coming. I am not exactly sure what the video is trying to tell us (I will leave that to all the dedicated Carats out there), but there is a story within this video. The Jeonghan and Joshua scenes were very cool and I am glad they got the spotlight they deserved. In addition to that, the members look awesome. The aesthetics give them a whole new look that was quite unimaginable before. Masculine and attractive are just some of the words I would use to describe the members in this video. Might even throw in mysterious, given the way the ‘story’ is presented to us. I also liked how they expanded and constricted the frame of the video as it went on. It was something a little different. I also liked how they changed the orientation of the video for some scenes.

The performance is intense in a very subtle manner. It doesn’t feel like the choreography this time relies on any bold moves as SEVENTEEN always use. Instead, the moves we would usually consider bold was quite tame and subtle. But everything together makes it into an intense. I really like how they show the ‘poison’ (alternative English title for this track) by using their hands at the start, chorus and end of the performance.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Review] HIT – SEVENTEEN

Also making their return today is SEVENTEEN. As I know I am a little jam-packed this week (and the coming weeks), I don’t want to fall too behind. Hence, the three reviews today. We last saw SEVENTEEN through their Home promotions. The group has since returned to Japan with Happy Ending and just announced their first world tour, Ode To You. And to kick things off for their world tour, the 13-member group brings us with another hit, titled HIT.

Getting Closer has to be the edgiest turn SEVENTEEN went with since their debut. Home, disappointedly, backed away from this edginess. So it is definitely nice to see this side of SEVENTEEN return. The track does not leave you disappointed from the very start. HIT kicks things off with a more subtle intensity. From then on, the song builds up exponentially, launching into a more explicit intensity during the chorus. And boy, this is a very strong instrumentally centred chorus. What I like about the chorus is that every time I heard it, it just somehow grows more intense, which is odd as they all sound the same. And because the chorus is mainly instrumental, the verses are heavily relied upon to showcase the vocals and rapping. And both of them are shown off wonderfully in this track. There is no doubt that the edgy sound would suit the rappers more. But the vocals managed to be the ‘calm before the storm’. And I think this way, the song ends up being more dynamic and captivating. What else do I love about the song? Well, that part where all the members singing together was awesome. It kind of brought everything together and ties everything up with a nice ribbon. Overall, HIT is a hit!

For those who don’t know yet, I am a major fan of the group. Each comeback has seen me pay attention to one or some members. I think this is the first one that didn’t have any member stand out. And I do not mean this in a bad way. Firstly, the scenes moved too quickly. So I couldn’t pinpoint just one member (though I did notice Jun being the centre of attention a lot). But secondly, this is a whole new side of SEVENTEEN. It one-ups Getting Closer and showcases a more wild side. The editing made the video so impactful and the song so much intenser. And thirdly, well, all the members looked amazing. Very masculine and sexy vibes come off the closeup shots and throughout the dance scenes.

Once again, SEVENTEEN has proved themselves to be amazing dancers. This entire routine blew me away. Especially the chorus. I keep on coming back to see how they effortlessly pull this routine off. I also wonder how they are going to sing this performance live, especially with a crazy routine like this one.

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

Wonwoo is my bias of the group (yes, I made THE very difficult decision). Out of all the members, I find him to be the most attractive (both visually and intellectually). So, when I look at my featured image and see that Wonwoo is wearing a sleeveless top, I am left speechless and need a good few months to recover. Literally. 

[Review] Happy Ending – SEVENTEEN

Once again, we find ourselves on a Saturday, which means it is time for another Japanese music review. Unfortunately, I missed out on last week’s review due to some time constraints. And while I do know there are some more recent releases, I can’t get to them until I clear one more review. So, today we will be focusing on SEVENTEEN’s return to Japan with Happy Ending, which was released at the end of May (Sorry that it took one month for me to publish this review). Their previous Japanese release was their debut with Call Call Call.

To me, I am not a fan of Happy Ending. I felt the track was an extremely typical pop track that honestly did not offer anything to extend SEVENTEEN’s discography. This is a disappointment, as I expected something more along the lines of their Japanese debut track. What does set Call Call Call and their many amazing Korean title tracks apart from the rest of the competition is that the energy they expel is usually phenomenal. It gives me excitement. Happy Ending had an instrumental that was underwhelming and best described as tame. I just don’t get that rush of excitement in this track. On a more positive note, I did like the vocals and rapping in this track. I liked the more serious tone but I wished there was more energy to add definition the serious tone. Vernon’s opening ‘Happy Ending‘ was quite striking and ended up being one of the more memorable moments of the track. But I guess that the track, as a whole, just doesn’t do it for me, especially since I had a whole month to warm up to it.

From the lyrics that I found, Happy Ending is the end goal of the members, who are the main characters of their films. They want the best possible outcome for themselves and their lovers so that they can have their happy endings. With this mind, you would expect a film concept, which they practically did. It seems like some members are watching the movie, some members are behind the scenes creating, while others the main characters in front of the camera. I have to admit, while the song doesn’t suit my preference, the members look really good in this music video. Very charismatic and charming at certain points of the video.

I thought dabbing is dead. But I guess it isn’t if SEVENTEEN is bringing it back for this routine. I did like the choreography but I have to admit it isn’t as impressive as their previous dance performances. Can’t really blame them when they don’t have an impressive song to work with.  I did like how flowy the verses felt and how the chorus picked up, matching the music of both sections.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Album Review] You Made My Dawn (6th Mini Album) – SEVENTEEN

It is time for another album review! SEVENTEEN made their return to the stage with Home last week, which is featured on their 6th mini-album, You Made My Dawn. The album also features Getting Closer, which the group previously performed at some of the awards shows they were invited to. The album also refocuses on the 3 units of the group (Vocal, Hip Hop and Performance) and I will be having a closer look at each of these songs.

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You Made My Dawn Album Cover

1..Good To Me – Kicking the album off is Good To Me, which is an R&B dance track that really brings out the vocals and rapping capabilities of the group. I really liked the chorus for its rush of energy and the melody that portrays. But while I do like their execution and the song overall, I did think it was standard in comparison to the title track and the pre-release track, which are tracks that really stand out for their uniqueness when it comes to Seventeen’s discography. (7.5/10)

2. Home (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Home. (9/10)

3. Hug (포옹) (Vocal Unit) – We now turn to the individual units of Seventeen. Hug focuses on the vocalists in a light that is quite delicate and fragile, which isn’t anything we usually get from the members. I liked the acoustic nature of the instrumental, which provides a feeling of warmth throughout the song. I was expecting it to pick up but I liked how they kept with the guitar throughout the track, as this lets us focus on the vocals of the Vocal unit primarily. (8/10)

4. Chilli (칠리) (Hip Hop Unit)Chilli attempts to spice the album up. And it manages to just do that. Like I have mentioned numerous times before, I am not a major fan of autotune. But I personally do not mind it in this song. It contributes to the instrumental and creates what I think is a fun sound. It does maintain that hip-hop feel that the unit promises to bring along. The track also manages to be quite upbeat but in a rather subtle way, which I think is one of its appealing points. I also enjoyed the soft delivery from each of the members. (8.5/10)

5. Shhh (Performance Unit) – I think out of the three unit tracks on the album I am most satisfied with Shhh. The main reason to why that is the case is that while the Performance Unit focuses primarily on their dancing, the 4-member team also manages to bring good vocals and raps to the song. And their track has a very attractive instrumental that really fits their main goal. It is upbeat and techno, like their previous tracks. But that is also an aesthetic appeal to the track, which I quite liked. (9/10)

6. Getting Closer (숨이 차) (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review of Getting Closer. (8/10 – The review originally had a 7/10 but I have decided to bump this up to an 8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

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[Review] Home – SEVENTEEN

After the highly anticipated release of their darkest sound and concept (Getting Closer) yet, all fans are waiting to see what SEVENTEEN would promote for their upcoming album release. Well, the wait is over as SEVENTEEN is officially back with a brand new song, Home. It is featured on the group’s, You Made My Dawn, which is a continuation of their 2018 album You Make My Day (which features their previous Korean comeback title track, Oh My!).

Home is a rather interesting track, mainly because we haven’t heard anything just like it KPOP. Based on what I am reading, the song is an R&B urban fusion. And this a fusion that I would gladly check out in the future, as Home is quite memorable. The song doesn’t feel as hard-hitting as their previous title tracks. Instead, there is an emotive side to the song that you can just sense. It creates an interesting atmosphere. The chorus was probably my favourite bit. With SEVENTEEN’s songs, you expect them to go with a hard-hitting drop. But with this track, the chorus felt more spaced out and aesthetically pleasing. We don’t get that kick until the end, which I thought was very appropriate. Once again, the vocals and rapping were amazing. I think the winning members of the song is either Wonwoo, who got to sing in this song as opposed to his usual rapping, or DK, who voice just stands out from the pack. Overall, Home is another solid track from the group.

I just watched the music video very briefly. But I don’t see much connection between Oh My!, Getting Closer or Home. The earlier two videos were shown to be connected. So I am interested to see how Home fits in, as the aesthetics from this video seem to point towards the same producers of the other two music videos. One clever individual on YouTube noticed that there were elements from every SEVENTEEN music video to date within Home, such as the sofa from Pretty U, the beach imagery that was shown in Don’t Wanna Cry etc. I really like the start with individual shots of each member and then the cinematography throughout the rest of the video.

Every time I write a review for SEVENTEEN, the comments when it comes to the performance section of the review is basically the same. Amazing choreography to really draw in the crowd. And this is no exception. I like how they made the routine chill at the start and once the kick at the end was delivered, the performance also featured a kick in energy and power.

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

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the second section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best Male and Female Choreography, Best Album and Best Song of 2018.

In addition to the fan-voted categories, I have also included 5 categories that were not fan voted and I had personally selected the winners (or were determined throughout the year). They include Best Special Performance, Best Concept, Best Non-Title Track, Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment and Most Viewed Review of 2018. They are labelled clearly.

Each category (with the exception of the non-fan-voted categories) will have a WINNER (the artist that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best Male Choreography

Nominees – Fake Love (BTS), Tempo (EXO), Lullaby (GOT7), Thanks (Seventeen), Now or Never (SF9), Black Heart (UNB)

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WINNER – Thanks (Seventeen)
Honourable Mention – Fake Love (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Lullaby (GOT7)


Best Female Choreography

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), Woman (BoA), I Love You (EXID), Time For The Moon Night (GFriend), Siren (Sunmi), Dance The Night Away (TWICE)

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WINNER – Woman (BoA)
Honourable Mentions – Siren (Sunmi) & Dance The Night Away (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – I Love You (EXID)


Best Special Performance

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dreams Come True (WJSN) at KCON 2018 Japan


Best Music Video

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), DDU-DU DDU DU (BLACKPINK), Fake Love (BTS), Love Bomb (fromis.9), Really Bad Boy (Red Velvet), Now or Never (SF9), District 9 (Stray Kids), The Chance of Love (TVXQ), Yes or Yes (TWICE), Spring Breeze (Wanna One)

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WINNER – Fake Love (BTS)
Honourable Mention – DDU-DU DDU-DU (BLACKPINK)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Fake Love (BTS)


Best Japanese Song Released by a Korean Artist

Nominees – Electric Kiss (EXO), Memoria (GFriend), Chain (NCT 127), Call Call Call (Seventeen), BDZ (TWICE)

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WINNER – Electric Kiss (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Call Call Call (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Call Call Call (Seventeen)


Best Collaboration

Nominees – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung), Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon), Dinner (Suho & Jang Jae In), Page 0 (Taeyeon & Melomance), Love It Like It (YDPP)

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WINNER – Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon)
Honourable Mention – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love It Like It (YDPP)


Song With Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Heroine (Sunmi) & Bingle Bangle (AOA)
[3 Weeks Each]


Most Viewed Review of 2018

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Boom Boom (Momoland)


Best Concept

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Love Bomb (fromis.9)


Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dystopia (Cross Gene)


Best Album

Nominees – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS), Don’t Mess With My Tempo (EXO), The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee), Something New (Taeyeon (SNSD)), 1÷x = 1 (Undivided) (Wanna One)

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WINNER – The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)


Best Song of 2018

Nominees – All title tracks released from January 2018 to November 2018.
The following song had the highest fan votes in the Best Song of 2018 category. The fan votes in this category will also contribute to 50% of the End Of The Year charts.

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WINNER – Good Evening (SHINee)


And that completes the Song Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Artist Categories were previously posted so you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the first section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best New Groups, Best Female and Male Groups and many others.

Each category will have a WINNER (the artist/group that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best New Male Group

Nominees – ATEEZ, NOIR, Stray Kids, The Boyz, UNB

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WINNER – Stray Kids
Honourable Mention – The Boyz
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Boyz


Best New Female Group

Nominees – fromis.9, (G)I-DLE, IZ*ONE, LOONA, NATURE

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9


Best New Soloist

Nominees – Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), LONGGUO, SOHEE (ELRIS), Yuri (SNSD)

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WINNER – Yuri (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Leo (VIXX)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Dong Han


Rising Star

Nominees – (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Pentagon

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland


Most Underrated Artist of the Year

Nominees – A.C.E, CLC, N.Flying, KARD, Snuper

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WINNER – KARD
Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – N.Flying


Best Unit Group / Subunit

Nominees – EXO-CBX, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Oh My Girl BANHANA, SNSD-Oh!GG

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WINNER – EXO-CBX
Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – NCT 127


Best Male Solo Artist

Nominees – Eric Nam, Hwang Chi Yeul, Jung Sewoon, Samuel, Seungri (Big Bang)

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WINNER – Seungri (Big Bang)
Honourable Mention – Eric Nam
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Eric Nam


Best Female Solo Artist

Nominees – BoA, Hyolyn, Kim Chungha, Sunmi, Taeyeon (SNSD)

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WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Sunmi


Best Band

Nominees – DAY6, IZ, N,Flying, The East Light, The Rose

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WINNER – DAY6
Honourable Mention – The Rose
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – DAY6


Best Raps

Nominees – B.I (iKON), Ilhoon (BTOB), Jooheon (Monsta X), Mino (WINNER), RM (BTS)

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WINNER – RM (BTS)
Honourable Mention – Mino (WINNER)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Jooheon (Monsta X)


Best Vocals

Nominees – BOL4, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeul, Mamamoo, Minseo

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WINNER – Mamamoo
Honourable Mention – BTOB
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Best Male Group

Nominees – BTOB, BTS, EXO, GOT7, iKON, Monsta X, NCT, NU’EST W, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, SHINee, VIXX, Wanna One, Winner

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WINNER – BTS
Honourable Mention – SHINee
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – iKON


Best Female Group

Nominees – AOA, APRIL, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

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WINNER – Red Velvet
Honourable Mention – BLACKPINK
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Artists Who Topped The Weekly KPOP Charts The Most in 2018

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Monsta X, Seventeen & Sunmi


And that completes the Artist Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Song Categories will be unveiled shortly and you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Review] Getting Closer – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN is nominated for Best Male Group, Best Male Choreography and Best Subunit in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards. There are less than 10 days to go for the voting period, so quickly vote and Support Seventeen by clicking here!

SEVENTEEN is back with a small teaser for their upcoming comeback (which has been tipped to occur early 2019). Getting Closer was unveiled to the public one week ago when SEVENTEEN performed the new song for the first time at the MAMAs in Hong Kong. This release and their upcoming comeback have been linked to their last comeback in South Korea, Oh My! and the mini-album You Make My Day, through the accompanying hashtag – #Prequel_YMMD. What this means will be revealed to us soon. In the meantime, let’s have a closer look at their new single.

I think just by listening to the song, you can get a sense that this is their edgiest comeback yet. I haven’t heard SEVENTEEN do a hip-hop infused dance track that is this angst before. They have gone close to it before but there was always a subtle immature vibe. Hence, I find this to be a great mix of that never-heard-before style and a mature side of the group. And due to the hip-hop side of the song, there is a heavy emphasis on the rappers in the group for this. I think that is great considering how they end up with the least lines in most of their past title tracks. That being said the vocals do a pretty amazing job at adapting to the changes and they fit in well. I thought the bridge was a good example of this. The instrumental was also great, giving a dynamic and powerful canvas for the group to stand on. I did have some issues with the song. The chorus felt underwhelming. The hooks weren’t as memorable as I hoped they would be. I also felt the song was too short and that the track was jammed into the 3 minutes span.

The music video seems to hint towards that connection between their previous comeback. The Rubiks Cube, for example, that Wonwoo plays a part in the choreography for Oh My! was seen on the table in this video, taking on a grey and silver appearance instead. I do question the number of clocks and their respective times in this video. Something is up and I can’t pinpoint what. Though, any question raised about the connections between the two releases will probably be answered in the upcoming comeback. The aesthetics fo the video made it powerful and bold. Also, the use of the shade black throughout the sets, the props and their outfits really give definition to their new concept, which I thought made it quite memorable.

Has SEVENTEEN ever disappointed us with a performance? I don’t think so. The start of the performance with Hoshi reaching out in front reminded me of EXO’s Wolf. But from that point forward, everything definitely takes a turn and SEVENTEEN amazes us with another powerful set of moves. I liked how sharp everything was during the chorus. But the dance break was definitely the highlight of the entire performance (especially when Jun jumps up!).

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

[Album Review] You Make My Day (5th Mini Album) – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN have returned with their 5th mini-album, You Make My Day. Their new album release has been topping charts and Oh My! have won a few weekly music shows already, further proving their status in the industry. Unfortunately, my introductory paragraph is a little short today as I am in a rush. So, let’s get a move on with this review!

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You Make My Day (Album Cover)

1..Oh My! (어쩌나) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Oh My! (8/10)

2. Holiday – I really like this song. It has a catchy chorus that stands out for its simplicity. It does have a very standard pop song instrumental but those flutes during the post-chorus really give it a side of uniqueness and is a great hook. I really liked the melody and bright energy, which is truly fitting for the Summer season. I did feel like the verses were a tad empty, which does impact memorability of the song but I did like the ‘Baby Baby’ pre-chorus. The rapping and vocals were pretty good, but I loved Seungkwan’s fast incline to his high note in the bridge. (9/10)

3. Come To Me (나에게로 와) (Vocal Team)Come To Me is tropical house song which the vocal team of the group performs. I thought this was an interesting yet fitting for the normally ballad-dominated unit of the group. It also shows that they have great diversity in their sound. However, the use of the typical tropical instrumental was a disappointment. It wasn’t special, especially with the ongoing trend. I did like how they toned down the instrumental, however, which fitted their choice for soft vocals in this song. I liked it when they sang together during the chorus. It would be interesting to see a performance for this song, as either a no choreography or light choreography would be suitable. (7/10)

4. What’s Good (Hip Hop Team) – In their past unit track, Minggyu took the reins of vocalist during the chorus (from memory). So I was kind of expecting the same thing. But surprise, surprise. Instead, all the members contributed to a smashing chorus and everyone having their own rap sequence in the song. I really liked the ‘What’s Good’ repetition in the chorus which made the song addictive and memorable. The members have great delivery (as normal) but would have showed off more if the song was longer. (9/10)

5. Moonwalker (Performance Team) – Can I start off by saying how much I love the funky instrumental of this song? It is an aspect of the song that really draws my attention to the song. Likewise, the vocals and the catchiness of the ‘Moonwalker’ chorus hook really do a good job of selling the song. Honestly, I would love to see a performance for this song, as the song (along with the reputation of the unit’s dance skills_ promises a worthwhile choreography routine. Like most abrupt endings, I am not too keen on the ending. But it is one of the group’s strongest songs on the album. (9.5/10)

6. Our Dawn Is Hotter Than Day (우리의 새벽은 낮보다 뜨겁다) – After a series of unit songs, the entire group comes back together to what seems like the longest title for a song (that I have seen in a very long time). I am not too sure about the song. One part of me really likes the overall feel of the song as it doesn’t really take too much of any aspect. I really liked the chorus for this song and how everyone had their moment in the song. But I feel like the song could have had something more to make it more appealing and become a greater closer. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

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You Make My Day Teaser Image

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[Review] Oh My! – Seventeen

Seventeen are officially back with their brand new song! While a comeback was rumoured for some time now, the company denied such these claims for May or June. So I was genuinely surprised when they announced their return earlier this month, as I assume it would take a little while for preparations, especially since they are dubbed as ‘self-producing idols’. But I am not complaining! Their title track is Oh My! and it is the lead track off their 5th mini-album, You Make My Day.

The first thing that comes to mind with Oh My! was that it isn’t as powerful or impactful as their previous title tracks such as Clap or Thanks. Instead, it relies on a melodic drive, which I think is a nice change. The rappers were the exception to this change, who went for a busier yet well fitting rap sequences, which does keep the song feeling too cheesy. The melody of the song really makes you smile and it is something that I can find myself humming to after a few listens. It does suit the brighter season a lot. What really makes this song pop are the vocals of all members, particularly DK and Seungkwan, who are known to be happy viruses off the stage (what I mean is that this is more of their element). Where the song lacks in impact, it makes up in cheerfulness and melody, which still makes a memorable track.

I love it how with 13 members, a warehouse looking room was adopted to be the makeshift ‘bedroom’ for them. The concept for the video seems to be a sleepover and/or dreamland, which the members do find themselves on. And I think the message of the video is that the members still think of their crush while dreaming (at least, that is what I think when you combined the visuals of the video and the lyrics). It was a nice video to watch and definitely reminds me of the Summer nights in which you cannot sleep.

And once again, we find ourselves at the choreography section of the review. I liked it, quite a bit. There was a level of cuteness to it that wasn’t overbearing. It also felt remarkably fun. Vernon’s injury was considered for the performance, which I thought was rather nice than sitting out of it. Really like the shuffling of the members are the start and when Vernon rejoins the performance at the end of the song (DK has this part during the music video).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

[Special] Personal Favourite Songs from the First Half of 2018

With the first 6 months of 2018 officially over, it is time to look back at my personal favourite songs from the first half. Last week, I recapped the top songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts. But some songs that I personally liked didn’t really make that list. So here are 15 songs released over the last 6 months that are my personal favourites AND continually listen to (irrespective of the charts and the reviews – as opinions do change).

[Review] Call Call Call – Seventeen

Seventeen has been hugely popular in Japan for some time now. And now they have returned to Japan to make their official Japanese debut. The group recently released their first mini-album there, titled as We Make You. The title track is an original Japanese single, Call Call Call. The album also features Japanese version of some of their Korean side tracks.

For those who don’t know, I practically am a major fan of Seventeen and their work. Since their debut, they haven’t disappointed with any of their title tracks. And it seems like their Japanese releases hold the same effect on me. Call Call Call is a fast-paced dance track that fits in really well with their Korean portfolio. The song has some rock elements on top of the dance elements, which gives the song some drive and momentum. Their vocals are really great. But I think the true stars of the song are the rappers in the song. The entire hip-hop team had amazing sections from S.Coups and Wonwoo’s starting lines to Mingyu’s extremely addictive whisper-ish type of line. The song is super catchy and with its release a few weeks back, it has been a song I have been replaying constantly. It makes me wonder what their next release in Japan would be (since most artists tend to deviate from their Korean sounds in Japan and make their music more appealing for the Japanese audience).

Great music video as well. It was clear that they would go with a phone concept, given the title of the song. I liked how they mixed up the units and still split up into three small groups, like opposing gangs waiting for that phone call from their lover. We have neighbourhood boys (Vernon, Jun, Dino, Joshua), the ‘suited up’ dudes (Mingyu, S.Coups, Hoshi and Seungkwan) and the motorbike gang (Woozi, Wonwoo, The8, Jeonghan and DK). And the competition for the phone call was really intense. I really like the umbrella grab that someone from the ‘suited up’ group did and the Woozi transition with Mingyu’s punch.

Another section of the video that I really liked was the choreography. Seventeen doesn’t let you down in that aspect. I really liked how they moved into their different formations. Favourite part would have to be Wonwoo throughout the first chorus in the music video. Actually, the entire chorus was quite cool to watch.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

 

[Review] Just Do It – BSS (SEVENTEEN)

SEVENTEEN is keeping the momentum going for 2018 with another special subunit debut. BSS or Boo-Seok-Soon is made up of three members, and judging by their subunit name, you could guess is it made up of Seungkwan, DK and Hoshi. It is expected that with the three funny characters of SEVENTEEN in one subunit, there must be ‘fun’ written all over this single.

And if you too expected that, then the trio delivers with Just Do It. The song has this fun vibe to it, which makes it enjoyable to listen. Listening to the song, you just can’t help but smile, even if you don’t understand a single word that is coming out of their mouths. It just has that cheerful element that is extremely hard to not notice. Certain moments reminded me of EXO-CBX’s Hey Mama, which also had a similar level of fun to it. The song itself is super duper catchy with my feet just tapping along to it as I listen. The instrumental is rather standard, with pop vibes and electric guitars supplying some details to the song.  DK and Seungkwan, who are in the vocal unit of SEVENTEEN, do put on a display of their vocals and the smoothness that they deliver really suits the song. Interestingly,  Hoshi and Seungkwan share the rapping load in this song. Hoshi was expected but Seungkwan was rather unexpected (but he can definitely rap). Overall, the song was awesome to listen and something I would love to play again and again when I am in a good mood.

We don’t actually have a music video for this song. Instead, we are treated to a live performance (but the audio is studio recorded for the video) of the trio performing on stage at their recent official fan-meeting. I am a tiny bit disappointed because I was expecting a proper music video. So I am going to just review the performance here. I think it was awesome. While it doesn’t have flashy moves or crazy stunts, they manage to get the performance to do its intended job, be fun. Acting like the cool dude on the street that is always combing his hair and the running on the spot aren’t your everyday moves. But it is simple and seems like something that could catch on.

Song – 10/10
Music Video & Performance (because they are together) – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10

 

[Album Review] Director’s Cut (Special Album) – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN made their return last week with Director’s Cut and the new title track, Thanks. And as you may know, I am a big fan of SEVENTEEN’s work, so I had to review their latest release. While it can be seen as a repackaged album for Teen, Age, Director’s Cut is marketed as a special album instead. It features 4 new songs, on top of the 13 songs from Teen, Age.

Per usual, I will only be reviewing the 4 new tracks on the album. Only they will contribute to the overall album rating. If you want to read my review for tracks 5 – 17, they can all be found on the Teen, Age album review post, which you can access by clicking here.

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Director’s Cut Album Cover

1..Thinkin’ About You – The album opens up with your standard pop song for the most part. There were some good synths, particularly in the final chorus, which did grab my attention. There was a nice rhythm and the post-chorus of the song was quite catchy. I did like the raps in this song over the vocals. The song just wasn’t mind-blowing but rather decent to listen to from time to time. (7/10)

2. Thanks (고맙다) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Thanks. (9.5/10)

3. Run To You (지금 널 찾아가고 있어) – Besides the title track, Run To You is my absolute favourite. The track has a rock-based album which you know that Seventeen would nail on stage with an equally rocking performance. I like the slight pause they include just before the chorus for the raps (which are amazing). The only let down would be the vocals, which seemed to force the song to fluctuate its intensity, which cuts the flow of the song. It was good for contrast though. (9/10) 

4. Falling For U (Jeonghan & Joshua) – For the two members of the Vocal Unit who don’t really get much recognition for their vocals (compared to the other 3 members), it is pretty nice to hear them shine in their own collaborative track. The jazzy instrumental, the singing and rapping. Everything about this track was really cool. I also enjoyed the ‘Falling For U‘ repetition, which I would consider as the highlight of the track. (8/10) 

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

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Director’s Cut Teaser Image

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2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Results

**drum rolls please**

It is time to announce the winners of the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. This is the first year ever that you (the readers) got the opportunity to vote and pick out the winners of each category (excluding a few). Let me just start by saying thank you for all those who participated in the voting process, as you all made this possible.

This will be an EXTREMELY LONG post and it will be gif heavy so it may take a while to load up. If you have a slow internet connection (like me), you can still view the winners (along with the nominees if you missed the voting period/want a reminder) by clicking the link here.

The respective gifs for each category represent the winners which you voted for, while I have put down my pick for the category. I have opted to not do a commentary this year due to the already long length of this post.

BEST MALE GROUP DEBUT

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Wanna One

Author’s Choice – Wanna One


BEST FEMALE GROUP DEBUT

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Dream Catcher

Author’s Choice – Dream Catcher


BEST SOLOIST DEBUT

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Kim Chungha

Author’s Choice – Jung Sewoon


RISING STAR

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Monsta X

Author’s Choice – NU’EST W


BEST SUBUNIT

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SEVENTEEN Performance Unit

Author’s Choice – Gugudan 5959


BEST CO-ED GROUP

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KARD

Author’s Choice – KARD


BEST MALE SOLOIST

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G-Dragon (Big Bang)

Author’s Choice – Bobby (iKON)


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

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IU
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Sunmi

Author’s Choice – Sunmi


BEST VOCALS

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BTOB

Author’s Choice – DAY6


BEST RAPPER

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Zico (Block B)

Author’s Choice – Bobby (iKON)


BEST JAPANESE SONG BY A KOREAN ARTIST

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One More Time – TWICE

Author’s Choice – One More Time (TWICE)


BEST COLLABORATION

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Honey Bee – Luna, Solar, Hani

Author’s Choice – Bye Babe (Chen & 10CM)


BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

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Don’t Wanna Cry – SEVENTEEN

Author’s Choice – Gashina (Sunmi)


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

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Peek-A-Boo – Red Velvet

Author’s Choice – You In Me (KARD)


BEST MALE GROUP

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B.A.P
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EXO

Author’s Choice – SEVENTEEN


BEST FEMALE GROUP

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Red Velvet

Author’s Choice – Red Velvet


BEST NON-TITLE TRACK SONG

Beautiful – Pentagon


BEST ALBUM

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Palette – IU (4th Studio Album)

And there you have it, the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Award Winners. Congratulations to all! Hopefully, the artist’s that you picked came out on top and were victorious.

As for the BEST SONG OF THE YEAR award, it will be published in a separate post. For this year, the winning song will be the song that tops the End Of Year Charts (to be published on the 15th of January).
NOTE: YOUR VOTES MAKE UP 50% OF THE END OF YEAR CHARTS, WITH THE OTHER 50% CONTRIBUTED BY ME.