[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!!!

 

[Review] Boom Boom – Seventeen

Seventeen made their comeback at the start of December with their title track Boom Boom and 3rd mini album, Make A Wish. They previously made their comebacks in 2016 with Pretty U and Very Nice, which earned them more fans and allowed the group to become more well known.

The song is pretty good. There are parts of the song which I thought were pretty cool. I love S.Coups’ rap in the song and thought DK’s adlibs at the end were quite cool. The song had that catchy vibe with the continuous “Boom Boom” repetition. It seems like the song was designed for the Hip-Hop Unit. Their vocals fit the song more than anyone else in the song. I just felt the song didn’t string together as well. The slowdowns didn’t match with the rest of the song and Dino’s rock part caught me off guard (that also didn’t match with the slowdown, but fitted with the rest of the song). It was another example of songs where there are a lot jammed into one. Also, the song lacked impact. The song just didn’t live up to the “Boom Boom” title. More “Boom Boom” please! I know the group is big, but something needs to be done about the line distribution. The same members keep on getting overshadowed, which is quite unfortunate. But besides those thoughts, I still enjoyed listening to the song.

The video raised one question for me. But what was in that box that led them to do the expedition? Like anything could have been inside that box. And I don’t know if that mission board (on the wall) could help that much either. Tells them what they will need to expect to get to it. I love it how everything is all thought out and going perfectly, until Mingyu steps on a hidden trap and screws everything up. But then they run from the explosions, with smiles on their faces. It looks like they are having fun, rather than worrying about getting blown to bits. But nonetheless, the video was very cool and fun to watch.

The dance is where I will be praising the guys the most today. The dance is quite awesome and looks cool. I love the final chorus with DK showing a little Michael Jackson influence and everyone else circling him. The start looks like a lot of practice for the level of precision. One person too late could make it look like a failure. S.Coup’s rap part fits perfectly with the song. (That final sentence was meant to be joined with another sentence. I just don’t know how to integrate it in anymore).

Rating – 8/10

[Review] Very Nice – Seventeen

Seventeen has returned with their first repackaged album and title track Very Nice or 아주 Nice. They previously made their comeback with their first official album and title track Pretty U in April. 

First time listening to the song, I thought it was rather weird and cluttered. It is a song that you would describe as multiple songs mashed into one. It turns out to be a typical pop song, but there are so many different elements in the song, that sometimes it catches me off guard. But I have grown to love it. It is a song that I constantly play and because of that, it topped the first weekly KPOP charts that I posted on Sunday. I did like the fast chorus and then the slow downs in the song. It worked in their favour. I particular like the start of the song (DK did a pretty good job there and the rest of the high pitch lines before the choruses), Woozi’s ballad breakdown/slowdown and Vernon’s and Dino’s rap in the middle of the song. The one part that I am not feeling is Jeonghan’s part in the bridge. It honestly does not match the rest of the vocals and the “explosive” nature of the song. For sure, I find the song extremely addictive and catchy. Overall, I really liked the song and I honestly recommend this song.

The music video was “Very Nice” to watch. Okay, I will refrain myself from the puns. That is one creepy girl. Of course, it makes senses with their heart exploding since they are singing about her and how she make their heart explodes. But damn, those shots where she appears out of nowhere and walks in the shot. Also, when the guys are dancing in the video and the camera zoom into her staring at them. Tell me that isn’t creepy. And how she stares blankly at them when their heart explodes. It is as if her goal is to kill the guys, rather than be with them. Really liked the exploding heart effect, though. I liked this video more than Pretty U, mainly because they are interacting with the camera. Not exactly sure about the ending when they are all running. KPOP has this odd fetish with explosions. First the lying dude from EXID’s L.I.E and now S.Coups. I think the question that should be asked is: who is next? I also wish to applaud Wonwoo. For a person who is sick and meant to be resting, he appears in the video multiple times and we probably cannot continue the review without some acknowledgement.

The dance was amazing. The chorus probably got some fangirls excited (i.e. hip thrusting and butts everywhere) but I thought the dance fitted the song extremely well. The chorus was amazing and looks too hard to even attempt an attempt.  As if a key and lock. The suspenders (even though looked quite unstylish) were well used.

Final Rating – 9/10

[Rewind] April 2016 & May 2016

Yeah… I know May hasn’t ended yet, but to avoid posting another late ‘Rewind” post 3 weeks after the month finished, I have decided to April and May together. This one is going to be a little informal in terms of format for a few reasons that will appear apparent. And before we move on, just a little reminder that I will try to write and release reviews every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Okay, moving along:

Leaving the Group?

We became shocked with the disbandment (or what we dubbed at the disbandment) of Kara at the start of the year. However, it seems like certain groups are facing member line up changes after one of their members had decided to not resign with their company and have since departed ways with their respective groups. Former member of 2NE1, Minzy, and former member of Miss A, Jia, have both decided to leave their successful group and go onto their own paths.  Minzy will (hopefully) make her solo debut in the near future after confirmation came from her new company in which she signed. Jia was announced today that she would be leaving the band after her contract finished. Miss A and 2NE1 faced disbandment rumours from these two events, but both their companies have stated that is not the case. Not only girl groups are facing these changes, but A-Jax (if we all remember who they were) recently lost 3 members (Sungmin, Jaehyung and Jihu). But the list does not end there. Hyunseung departed from Beast, leaving the group with 5 members. It was kind of expected after the numerous articles and petitions asking for his removal. Hyunseung is expected to return as a solo artist in the near future and is still signed with Cube Entertainment. It is always disappointing to hear these news and it has obviously shocked the industry a lot. These members have been with their band since the beginning, so it is always hard for fans. Hopefully, there won’t be any more of this and I wish the former members luck in their future endeavours (because that is something we all should do and not call them selfish).

Descendant of the Sun

Now this is something we all have heard about. The drama has taken Asia by storm and has been proven to be highly successsful. It stars Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Ko, as the main characters. Before you all die from shock, I have yet to watch this drama. So, no spoilers. But I don’t actually have any plans to watch the drama. Because I am not one to enjoy romance and all this lovey dovey sh*t. I just don’t watch the genre (or any mainstream and popular dramas). I prefer the cringeworthy daily dramas. Now, why am I talking about this drama? Well, the OSTs for this drama has literally taken over the charts each time they were released. Not complaining here, but the songs were really good. Like, I really enjoy listening to them and this is probably the first time I have been impressed with the OST for a drama. Anyway, the OST contains songs from Davichi, Gummy, K.Will, Yoon Mi Rae, Chen, Punch, Mad Clown, Kim Na Young, Xiah, MC The Max, Lyn and SG Wannabe. In OST terms, this is pretty much the star studded red carpet. Each song released topped the charts instantaneously and I can see these artists winning the Best OST awards at the award ceremonies already. That is all I am reporting on… Hahaha…

Comebacks and Debuts

For the past two months, many artists have made their comeback and they include ): Block B, Seventeen, History, April, Twice, AOA, Akdong Musician, VIXX, Lovelyz, Up10Tion and so many more.

For debuts, NCT is the big debut for April.  I.O.I is probably the major debut for May. However, we have seen new soloists emerge in KPOP in the past two months. Notably, Jung Eunji from APINK, Woohyun from Infinite and Tiffany from SNSD had their respective solo debuts in the last two months.

Top 5 songs of April

As per normal, these are my top 5 songs of April:

  1. Pretty U – Seventeen
  2. Journey to Atlantis – Laboum
  3. Dynamite – VIXX
  4. Queen – History
  5. Toy – Block B

Top 5 songs of May

May hasn’t ended yet, but it is about to. I will add other May songs to the June list (when I get around to it).

0. Pretty U – Seventeen (I have to. I have been trialling charts and Seventeen has been popping up every single week as the top song for the week).
1. Good Luck – AOA
2. Save Me – BTS
3. Nodding Nodding – Woohyun (Infinite)
4. I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)
5. Fire – BTS

This one was a long one and I tried to keep it short. I am really behind in reviews and will get them out slowly. It will take me some time to catch up. Bad news is that I have exams coming up and I am going to be slower. I will review every major release eventually, so give me some time. Enjoy the rest of May and see you tomorrow!!!

 

[Review] Pretty U – Seventeen

Seventeen has returned to the stage after their last comeback last year with Mansae and their debut with Adore U. Now, they have returned with a brand new (and their first) album. And this time around they won a few trophies for their latest release. Proving to many (while some are quite sceptical of this) that Seventeen is gaining popularity.

Pretty U is a pretty ordinary track at first. I agree with many people, it just doesn’t sound as intense as Mansae or Adore U. It lacked a lot of power. It was, at first, a disappointment. But, the song grew on me. I’ll tell you why later on. Anyway, but the song grew on me and now I am pretty much addicted to the song. I tweeted last night about how I have been trialling a chart system (based on my preferences). For the past three weeks, the song has been out, it has topped those three weeks, proving how much I actually am addicted to the song. Vocals were amazing (with some of the members getting their moment to shine). The raps were a little disappointing. They just didn’t hit the right “notes” with the rap. It was only  the end that I pretty much happy with. The rest of the rapping in the song just didn’t suit the members. Seungkwan’s massive IU style high note was amazing (as I said yesterday in Berry Good‘s review, I am a sucker when it comes to the high note). Even the instrumental had a nice ring to it. Overall, a pretty good song. But I still stand by my first statement, it just didn’t have the intensity as their last songs.

The music video was disappointing. I thought it was just not the right video to end off their “trilogy”. They have focused on that school boy look and this video just shows them off as being rebellious and fun. Nothing really connecting with the school boy look. Now I know their trilogy isn’t based on the school boy concept but rather the lyrics of the song. Just, when I first heard trilogy, I heard school boy look. The video showed the boys having fun, but the slow motion and camera work did not reflect that. The tone of the video (in terms of that Instagram-like filter) really dampens the mood. It just didn’t provide that bright or happy vibe that the boys were having. And I reason why I thought the song was really weak at first was the song quality that came with the video. I can’t watch the video anymore because of this. I honestly thought my speakers were broken, but seeing many people comment on this sound quality, I think my speakers are working just fine. Having a party looked quite fun but I did expect them dancing to the song (like a dance version) throughout the video, but I never got that. Honestly, sometimes those fake set videos really do a good job.

Where did I fall in love with the song? Well the stage, of course. The song sounds 100% better than alone or with the music video. Dance wise, I thought it was really good. I liked the sofa and how they used it. Not really unique, but hey, it made the stage look quite fun and enjoyable. I would describe the dance as easy and safe, though. To date, Seventeen has shown great dances, but they don’t consist of anything that I would describe as risky. Maybe it is just the concept talking to me, but I would like to see more variance in terms of the dance style next time.

Seventeen, you are fast becoming one of the top groups in the industry for me. And I think I am a little obsessed. I do have my doubts (namely, your company in general) and I hope you do stay for a long time. 7/10

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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