[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.

[Album Review] Going Seventeen (3rd Mini Album) – Seventeen

Welcome to the final album review of 2017. While there was one major release yesterday, I am currently on holidays and bulk wrote many of the reviews released this week. You will see that particular album review next week, so please be patient. I thought it would be nice to go back in time to one year ago (December 2016) when Seventeen made their comeback with Boom Boom. That was the title track of Going Seventeen, the focus on today’s review.

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Going Seventeen Album Cover

1. Beautiful – The track features Joshua, Hoshi, Mingyu, DK, The8 and Dino. It is an upbeat track that displays vibrant energy and feels great as a Summer track (despite it being released in Winter). I think all the members that featured in the song showcased their vocals and rap skills very nicely. It was quite catchy to listen to. (9.5/10)

2. Boom Boom (붐붐) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Boom Boom. (8/10)

3. Highlight (Performance Unit) – The Performance Unit ended up releasing a music video for this track and ended up redistributing the lines for the entire Seventeen group to perform on stage. I like the mixture of pop and EDM, which allowed the Performance unit a chance to showcase more of their individual talents (including the dancing and the vocals). The drop made it epic and a standout. I usually don’t like autotune but whatever they were singing during the chorus, it sounded amazing. (9/10)

4. Lean On Me (기대) (Hip Hop Unit) – I liked how each member opened the song up with one line by singing (and this was seen a few more times throughout the song). I also liked how harsh Wonwoo’s raps sounded despite the song being more along the lines of RnB and featuring a jazzy instrumental. Mingyu’s vocals for the chorus were fresh, while Vernon’s part during the bridge gave the song some edge. It has head-bopping potential and extremely appealing. (8/10)

5. Fast Pace (빠른 걸음) – This track features the entire group. The song aims to go for a more mature sound with a strong impact from the very first second. Wonwoo’s intro and Mingyu’s 24/7 lines were the two that I remember strongly. The raps were perfect but I felt the vocals could have been huskier to make it even more sensual. (9/10)

6. I Don’t Listen (몰래 듣지 마요) (Vocal Unit) – Structurally, this is a very interesting song. Jeonghan and Joshua have softer vocals, so they had a soft instrumental to compliment the vocals. DK, Woozi and Seungkwan have more powerful vocals and they complimented the louder and more powerful instrumentals. I thought that was an example of good production. Naturally, the emotions could be felt flowing from their vocals and the ad-libs were amazing. (9/10)

7. I Don’t Know (글쎄) – This particular song featured S.Coups, Jeonghan, Jun, Wonwoo, Woozi, Seungkwan and Vernon. I enjoyed the subtle guitar in the background and ‘Woo Woo Woo’ in the chorus. The contrast between verse and chorus, in terms of intensity, was appealing. It just didn’t seem as memorable as their other tracks on the album. (8/10)

8. Flower Smile (웃음꽃) – What makes this song memorable is the fact that each member got some time (regardless of length) to show off some of their vocal talents. The chorus is also quite swayable, something I like when it comes to ballads. The emotions come in an overloaded form. What seals the deal for me is the guitar instrumental and the strong harmonies (particularly in the second chorus). (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9/10

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Highlight Music Video Snapshot

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[Album Review] Teen, Age (2nd Studio Album) – Seventeen

SEVENTEEN is back with their brand new and second full-length album. And I am back with many albums to review, so let’s get cracking. The album, titled Teen, Age, from what I know, leads on from their Al1 comeback earlier in the year. Like previous reviews, I have opted not to write about the respective intro and outro that features on the album.

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Teen, Age Album Cover

2. Change Up (Seventeen Leaders Unit)Click here to read the full review for Change Up (8.5/10)

3. Without You – The performance of Without You felt like Don’t Wanna Cry 2.0, with many moves reminding of their previous title track. Song-wise though, Without You seems to be a whole different track. It is slower than most of their previous dance tracks. But what I like about this track is the melodies that we find during the chorus but also the balance between intensity, giving room for the Hip Hop unit to do their thing without being limited in any way. (8/10)

4. Clap (Title Track) –  Click here to read the full review for Clap (9.5/10)

5. Bring It (Hoshi, Woozi) – If there was one word to describe Bring It, it would be epic. It touches on a more freakish EDM style, which you can hear in the chorus. The verses were still on point, building hype to the chorus. The combination of Hoshi and Woozi seems to be extremely dynamic in this song and would love to see further works between the two members. I would also love to see a stage performance of this as it would definitely be a standout. (9/10)

6. Dance of Month 13 (Seventeen Performance Unit)Click here to read the full review of Dance of Month 13 (8/10)

7. Trauma (Seventeen Hip Hop Unit)Click here to read the full review for Trauma (8/10)

8. Pinwheel (Seventeen Vocal Unit)Click here to read the full review for Pinwheel (8/10)

9. Flower (Dino, Jeonghan, S.Coups, Seungkwan, The8, Wonwoo)Flower has a very alluring and striking instrumental which drew my attention from the very start. It has all the elements perfectly aligned with one another to ensure a top quality track. The raps of the song were amazing and the vocals, particularly the chorus, were on point throughout the entire track. (9.5/10)

10. Rocket (Joshua, Vernon) – The combination of autotune and upbeat instrumental seems to go hand-in-hand most of the time. But in this track, they seem to overload the track. Hence, I am not fond of the verses for the track but the more simplified chorus does attract my attention. (7/10)

11. Hello (DK, Jun, Mingyu)Hello is a sweet confession song that aims to put a smile on listener’s faces. The bright atmosphere that the song gives off is quite strong, going nicely with the presence of DK and Jun. I do find Mingyu’s parts to be a little underwhelming and overshadowed by the vocalists in the song. But it is still a good song to listen to. (7/10)

12. CampfireCampfire is the most underwhelming song on the entire album. Compared to the rest of the album, it falls short with its sound. It does give off a nice atmosphere and showcases a nice melody to complement the lyrics of the song. Just not my cup of tea. (6/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Clap Music Video Screenshot

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[Review] Clap – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN has made their return to the stage with Clap. They have also dropped their second full-length album, titled as Teen, Age. Featuring alongside Clap are the 4 singles the group had released starting a few weeks back, giving fans a taste to each subunit. The singles include: Change Up (Leaders Unit), Trauma (Hip Hop Unit), Dance of Month 13 (Performance Unit) and Pinwheel (Vocal Unit).

Seventeen hasn’t disappointed yet and they maintain that streak with Clap. The track features a dance rock instrumental that is bound to get the energy pumping in the crowd. The intensity of this song is no joke, contributing to that edgy vibe that rock-based songs tend to bring to the table. The chorus was catchy and addictive to listen to. What I liked were how the rappers managed to get singing lines during the chorus. Actually, the entire line distribution seems to be more even this time around, unlike some of their past comebacks. Favourite part of the entire song would have to be Seungkwan’s solo for the bridge. While the entire song had that roughness, the bridge featured a smoother (and one damn good high note/pitch) touch to the song. Overall, I really enjoyed this song and will continually be playing this in the weeks to come.

Clap’s music video features all of their previous unit releases in some form or another. So naturally, it made it an interesting experience to watch and identify some of the connections. There were video cassette tapes throughout the video labelled with the title of each song. Hoshi was wearing this chessboard outfit from Change Up while singing in the car. The set of the Trauma featured at 2:25, alongside Change Up. That same scene featured the Hip Hop members wearing white, which I think connects Dance of Month 13 to the video. Some of the props from the Pinwheel (i.e. telephone) are also seen. All in all, it was definitely a very cool and intriguing video to watch, which also managed to come off as fun at the same time.

From what I can see, the boys bring back that awesome in-sync aspect of their choreography that has wowed us in the past. Furthermore, their dance break was awesome. On top of that, they had some time to shoot some hearts out to their fans. Clap for their choreography!

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.25/10

 

[Review] Pinwheel – SEVENTEEN Vocal Unit

In the past few weeks, SEVENTEEN have been busy with their unit releases. The Leader unit kicked things off with Change Up. A week later, the Hip Hop unit made their release with Trauma, while another week after that, the Performance Unit made their release with Dance of Month 13. Lastly, comes this week’s release, which is from the Vocal unit of the group.

The good thing about Seventeen’s work is that they don’t play around. Regardless of the direction the group (or the units) go in, everything plays out nicely for them. Pinwheel is a clear example of this. Despite the unit releasing what could easily have been described as a ‘usual ballad’, the group manages to put their vocals in the forefront of the song. And it is an undeniable strong effort from the unit. First of all, the vocals were soft, which plays well with the emotions that can be heard strongly throughout the song. The instrumental was bland but there was that soothing nature within it. The main thing that I felt was missing was the peak of the song. Everything sounded good but it just didn’t reach that climax that it needed. It might have been the soft nature of the song but I was quite confident that high note leading into the final chorus was going to be it. Besides that, everyone shined strongly in the song.

The music video was a little dry to my standards, but it seemed to be shot in a similar manner to their Don’t Wanna Cry video. For the most part, the members are pretty depressed throughout the video, which I think actually helped the emotional side of the ballad to come out. The cinematography was also quite nice. The major difference with this video, compared to the previous videos, was that montage towards the end. Does that give some hint towards the future release? I don’t know. On a completely different side note, I confused Jeonghan for Wonwoo a couple of times throughout the video. Was anyone else seeing things with me?

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6/10
Overall Rating – 8/10