[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

 

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[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

[Review] Dance Of Month 13 – Seventeen Performance Unit

Seventeen is continuing their unit releases this week with the return of the Performance unit. The Leaders of the group released Change Up, while the Hip Hop unit released Trauma last week.  This isn’t the first release of the Performance unit, however, as they previously released a music video for Highlight at the start of the year.

Dance Of Month 13 is a little different to what I am used to. It is definitely an interesting song that tries to captivate your attention but I think it just misses its target. The song is a musical mess if you can describe a song like that. Let’s just say if you took multiple electronic and dance style songs and combined them together, you will get this particular track. And even then, you are not exactly sure what you are listening to. But somehow it ties together nicely and comes off as a single song. But what did impress me when it came to the song was the vocal work. Sure, some it was masked by autotune. But it wasn’t a bad example off autotune use. Instead, it felt fitting. But it is the pure vocals that blew me away. Jun and Hoshi’s high pitch lines were unexpected highlights for me and Dino’s talk-rap was amazing. I am still on the fence regarding the song but it is another strong effort from the unit.

The music video and performance section of this review will be mashed together. I am not entirely sure about the people in the background of the video (or well, behind the camera). Part way into the video we see them staring at the unit as if they are hypnotised, while at the very end, we see them all lying on the ground. It made no sense to me. But besides that, the rest of the video focused on mainly the choreography. And you will not be disappointed. They are all in the Performance Unit of the group for a reason because their dancing style is just so cool. And this video just proves it. I love the start, where their arms resemble a flame, and during the chorus where they do something along the lines of the helicopter with their legs.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video / Performance –  9/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

 

[Review] Trauma – Seventeen (Hip Hop Unit)

Last Monday, Seventeen released Change Up, a single which starts off their project for the final part of the year.  That particular single features of the leaders of each Seventeen subunits. This week, the Hip Hop unit of Seventeen has released their single, titled as Trauma.

As many of you may know, I am not a major fan of the hip-hop genre. And while I may have that bias working against this song, I don’t actually mind it. Like the name suggests, the song is a lot darker and more serious, compared to Change Up, which was also hip-hop based. Mingyu takes the reins for the vocal parts of the song, which showcases his rough voice, which felt fitting for the rest of the song. He doesn’t sing that much in past songs, so it did feel a lot different then usual. The rest of the team gave it their all in rapping, which I thought was fantastic in this song. There were parts of the song which I hoped they could have rapped a little louder because I found those parts a tiny too soft for my personal liking. But they weren’t as troubling as other songs. Overall, Trauma is pretty good, even though I am not one to listen to the genre as much.

The music video was definitely quite good. Per usual, I like the coloured backgrounds, which evidently gave the song more colour. Due to the tension from the song, they could have gone down that dark route, but they seemed to have gone with some colour to give the music video some life. Not exactly sure of the props that are used (such as the pile of sand or fans) or the way some of the members are positioned throughout the video but you can definitely tell that there is a level of aesthetics associated with the video. It wasn’t as captivating as expected but it did the job.

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

[Review] Change Up – SEVENTEEN

Recently, Seventeen announced their future plans for the rest of the year, which continues on from their previous comeback, Don’t Wanna Cry. The group kicks off the rest of the year with the release of a track, Change Up, that features the leaders of the group’s 3 units, which is this review. Each unit will be releasing a song in the near future and the entire group will then make their official comeback as a whole.

What I expected the track to be was not what it turned out as. While the song pinches the leaders of the 3 units (Hip-Hop, Performance, Vocal) that make up Seventeen, the song felt heavy handed on the hip-hop side. I honestly expected to see a little flare from each unit, but when I think about it now, it would be hard to combine the three units together.  The blaring instrumental literally grabs your attention from the get-go. This is the first time I have heard Hoshi rap and he sounds equally as good as S.Coups. Woozi’s high-pitched vocal parts seem to showcase some contrast with the hip-hop vibe, which I thought had the song more interesting and appealing to listen to. As the song progresses, it seems to hype you up, which leaves you feeling a little empty once the song ends and there is that awkward silence before the next song. Change Up is undeniably catchy, but it could be its downfall as well. While the repetition of the words “Change Up” is keyed into your head by the time the song ends (along with the rhythm), I do see it becoming annoying if the song is blasted on repeat. But that is my personal opinion only. For the time being however, it is definitely on my playlist of songs to put on repeat.

Like the song’s instrumental, the bold colours grab your attention from the very start. From the colour of their tracksuit to the colour of the background, it appeals to everyone’s eyes. There isn’t much to the video. The most I can comment on are the camera angles and the shots of the guys grooving with each other or by themselves. But despite that, I like the video.

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

[Special] Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2017

Can you already believe it? That we are already in July. Half the year has gone by and it felt like a blur. A lot has happened in the last 6 months that has just past. So, as a treat, I have decided to compile a list (my top 10) of the songs from the first half of 2017. There is no ranking or charting system that has allowed me to come up with this list (though, you might notice it may correspond with the Weekly Charts that I publish every Sunday). This is all just my personal preference and it is simply my opinion. So, in no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 10 songs from the 1st half of 2017.

Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen

Hwi Hwi – Laboum

Never Ever – GOT7

Beautiful – Monsta X

I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Don’t Recall – K.A.R.D

Beautiful – Pentagon

Hobglobin – CLC

Dance Dance – DAY6

I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

 

 

[Album Review] Al1 (4th Mini Album) – Seventeen

Seventeen returned last week with their fourth mini album and the title track, Don’t Wanna Cry. The mini-album consists of 8 tracks. These 8 tracks includes 2 tracks from the entire group, 3 tracks from each subunit, 1 track from Jun and The8 and 2 tracks on the CD version only. At the time I was writing this review, I could not find those final two tracks that are present on the physical album only, so they will be omitted. Maybe if I can find them in the near future, I will return to review them.

 

Al1 (4th Mini Album) Cover

 

1..Don’t Wanna Cry (울고 싶지 않아) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Don’t Wanna Cry! (9/10)

2. Habit (입버릇) (Vocal Team) – We all know what the Vocal Team of Seventeen is capable of. Their vocals of various tones and potential have all been highlighted in their past songs, either within songs as a subunit or as a group. Habit re-confirms that statement. Their vocals are amazing in the song. The song itself is soothing to an extent and it makes you want to sway along. The songs buildups quite suddenly, but it manages to work. While I do praise it, I don’t necessary think this is the best song on the album, but it definitely up there. (8/10)

3. If I (Hip-Hop Team) – For those who don’t know me, I tend to stay away from Hip-Hop rooted songs mainly because I don’t really enjoy them. The turn to more hip-hop centred songs has turned back that thought a bit, though. But Seventeen’s Hip-Hop subunit does an amazing job with this song, where they give the song a more deeper feel, which I actually enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed the instrumental, which does remind me of the title track for this album but still remains different in its own way. Their raps aren’t heavy sounding, which is probably why I enjoyed this style more. (8.5/10)

4. Swimming Fool (Performance Team) – Just looking at the title, I could tell it was a quirky track. Quirky just isn’t the right word for it, despite it being more energetic and vibrant compared to the other subunit songs. Instead, it utilises a very catchy and funky beat, which I am loving. The song provides the right bursts of energy at the right time throughout the song through the alternative western inspired instrumental and the team’s vocals. (8.5/10)

5. My I (Jun & The8) – For those who don’t know, Jun and The8 are members of the group from China. And so their Korean isn’t up to par with the rest of the Korean members. Hence, they tend to get the least amount of lines in their songs. And while I was very happy they were getting a song for themselves, I just can’t really fall in love with the track. The song just didn’t have any appeal to me and my mind seems to blank out when this song comes on. Their vocals are finally placed into the spotlight, where they sound pretty decent overall. (6/10)

6. Crazy In Love – This is my favourite track off the album. I am madly enjoying the song. It starts off in a way which I would not like. It’s not until Dino starts off the pre-chorus that has me swooning over this track. There is a very alluring sound with the pre-chorus. The chorus changes up the song giving it an amazing funk sound, which seems to be the highlight of the entire album. It’s super catchy and an addictive song to listen to. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

 

 

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Image from Don’t Wanna Cry Music Video

 

 

[Review] Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen

Seventeen is officially back with their brand new title track, Don’t Wanna Cry. The title track can be found as part of their fourth mini album, Al1. The new mini album consists of tracks from each of Seventeen’s subunits and also features a song performed by both Jun and The8. Seventeen’s last comeback was in December of last year with Boom Boom.

From the very first second, the song’s instrumental felt more western than KPOP and it is a complete change in the sound, compared to Seventeen’s past songs. The song itself sounds similar to some Chainsmoker’s more recent works and hits (emphasis on ‘similar’). But still quite different in its own way. The instrumental itself is right up my alley. What surprised me was that the rappers didn’t really rap, but they sang their lines instead, which caught me off guard the first time around. The vocal work in this song is quite good, but I love that small section just prior to the chorus where DK and Seungkwan sing. The buildup and rhythm there was amazing. I thought the silence just before the beat drops is quite nice, providing more strength to the song despite it also did feel like a gaping hole in the song. Finally, what I loved the most about the song is the bridge. Wonwoo and Minggyu’s part in the bridge provided the punch that the song needed and I thought that was pretty good. Overall, I think it is safe to say that I really like the song. It sounds cool and very modern.

The video was quite nice. I believe it was shot in the U.S (not too sure though). Overall, I thought the aesthetics that was present in the music video and the teasers preceding their actual release of their mini album were superb. There is a lot that is going, most of which I have very little clue to. Together, it is a bigger mystery. Hahahaha… I am really bad at interpreting hidden messages in music videos. The cinematography in this video is also amazing and I really liked the places where they shot the video, especially the choreography shots.

Once again, Seventeen is proving to be competition when it comes to the choreography. I personally think this is their most dynamic performance yet. Everything looks amazing from the very first second to the last. The choppiness present during the chorus matches the song really well. My favourite part would have to be when DK and Seungkwan sing the pre-chorus, which on stage, looked pretty cool.

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

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KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

Click here to see the list of nominees for this year’s awards and scroll down to find out who wins!!!

If you have yet to see Part 1 (which also explains this corner) please click here.


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).


BEST MALE SOLOIST

As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.


BEST MALE GROUP

So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.


BEST ALBUM

Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.

And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……

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VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 1

I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.

I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.

CLICK FOR THE NOMINEES AND CHECK OUT THE WINNERS FOR PART 1 BELOW


RISING STAR AWARD

This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.


BEST INSTRUMENTAL

This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.


BEST COMEBACK

Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.


BEST SUBUNIT

It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).


BEST RAPPER

Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes  Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.


BEST VOCALIST

Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.


BEST COLLABORATION

Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.


BEST NON-TITLE SONG

These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.


To find the second part of the 2016 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, Click Here!!!