[Review] Kiss Me Like That – SHINHWA

With some groups in the industry at the moment, we are seeing unfortunate disbandment or the departure of some select members who want to venture on a different path. On the other hand, we see some groups sticking together by resigning their contracts. Shinhwa is prime example of this, especially since they are celebrating their 20th year anniversary. The legendary group has returned with Kiss Me Like That and with their special mini-album, Heart.

I am not sure what their portfolio was like prior to their 2012 comeback with Venus (though I know some of their old tracks such as Perfect Man, T.O.P and Brand New). Kiss Me Like That is a complete change up in their sound, going for a more acoustic sound with their release. And it is a very promising like that. It feels like a nice song to listen to if you want to escape the reliance on EDM nowadays, Even their rap section follows the acoustic sound, which I thought allowed the song to remain consistency (this is also another example of how consistency can be a good thing). The chorus felt like an Western pop song’s chorus, reminding me of a few songs. I like their vocals and the rapping in the song, overall. Having listened to the song a number of times prior to writing this review, I haven’t grown bored of it and it happens to be the case that I cannot find myself being bored of it. Overall, an amazing song.

There is nothing more peaceful than sounds from the sea and that is what we get in this video. The entire video is set on a cruise ship. And for a celebration for their 20th year since debut, the video doesn’t go for any saddening plotlines. Instead, they use dance scenes and fireworks to showcase their celebration, which I thought was cool. The orange sunset made the video feel golden, which I thought was nice. It is a good video, suiting the song quite well.

I liked the dance during the chorus, which was very classy from what I see. They way they signify the ‘Kiss Me Like That’ hook and the ‘Touch Me Like That’ line was pretty nice (the latter probably showing how comfortable they are with each other).

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

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[Review] Touch – Shinhwa

Shinhwa has returned with their 13th album since debut. The album itself was released in two parts. The first part was released back in October 2016, as Unchanging Part 1 – Orange. The second part, released on the 5th of January 2017, comprises of all the songs released as part of Unchanging Part 1 – Orange and five new songs, including Touch, the title track for this album.

I am a little torn about the track. Once again, it is a track that doesn’t really appeal to me vocally. Honestly, that aspect is quite forgettable. But the track does stand out for other reasons. The EDM based instrumental is something that the boys haven’t really done before. It’s modern and trendy, suiting the current times. Going hand-in-hand with the instrumental is the structure of the song. The main reason why the instrumental does stand out is that there is no chorus to the song. Instead, the beat drops and we get a very complicated but powerful instrumental break each time. It is a little different, but it isn’t the first time an unconventional song structure has caught my attention (Check out Rainbow’s Black Swan). That being said, with no chorus, the song felt empty and did lack that hook. While the instrumental breaks were interesting, they didn’t do much to fill that empty void that the chorus would have filled from the start. Half of me is disappointed for that reason, but the other half did fall for that uniqueness.

The first thing I noticed after watching the video for the first time is that the video is very slow. I understand the slowness during the verses of the song because the verses are slow. But the scenes for the instrumental breaks are just too slow. Those parts sound almost as if it is choppy, fast-paced and impactful. But the video didn’t match those feelings. The majority of the video consist of the guys acting sad and heartbroken. There really isn’t anything to complain about there, but it does make the video become more boring if I was to continually watch it. There were a few scenes added where they act a little angry (with the now cliché ‘slow-motion-of-the-object-made-out-glass-smashing-on-the-floor’ or the ‘damage-the-mirror-somehow-and-stare-into-a-cracked-mirror’). But like the instrumental breaks, they don’t do much when it came to captivating me. The anger I guess ended up being a little more extreme by the end of the video. The guy burning the letter from his lover ends up burning his house out and the guy who lied in the bath tub (which again is in the middle of the room) completely flooded the room.

The dance looks cool and very precise. It matches the beat of the song really well. I have to admit, though, it does look pretty slow and lazy (at the instrumental breaks). The dance doesn’t really peak until the end of the song during the two solo parts. But still, the dance looked cool nonetheless.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 5.5/10

roco drama – Shin Hye Sung (Shinhwa)

Shin Hye Sung has returned back onto the stage by himself for solo promotions with his brand new mini album. For those who don’t know, Hye Sung is the main vocalist of the band Shinhwa which made their debut back in the late 90s. He made his official solo debut in 2005 and since then have been a highly sought after vocalist.

roco drama is a very slow song. A little too slow for my liking. I can’t really seem to get into it. The slowness really prevents me from “feeling the beat or the music”. Personally, I feel like if the song had a somewhat faster tempo, the song would have been more enjoyable. Once again, it sounds like a song that you could hear in a more cafe like setting.  But given my circumstances where I listen to songs on a daily basis to avoid being bored or to enjoy my work more, this song just does not do it for me. It’s rather soft and the clicks that we hear throughout the song gives off a nice contrast.The vocal work of Hye Sung is pretty much on point. Not once did I think his voice was a problem. To me, he sang the song within his own range and did not, at all, push his voice to the limit to impress people or to show off. Nonetheless, he did manage to impress me with what I heard, just not really digging the song as I would like to.

The darkness of the video fits in really well with the video. I love how the light bulb places the attention on Hye Sung in the video and love even more the effects to make it look like a cloudy night or foggy. Honestly, a dark background plus one glowing light bulb sounds quite boring, but to me looks really abstract and simple in my point of view. There really is not much else to the video, beside that. There are a few extra scenes of what seems to be random but from what I can tell, it fits in with the lyrics. There really isn’t that much else to the video. The song gives off a sense of a heavy plot in the video, but I guess that is not the case.

However, the video is also very dance oriented. The dance is pretty nice to watch. His face throughout the dance is very serious and there is this mysterious side to it as well. I think the sexy concept describe the dance really well, but it is more of an urban style of dance. The use of the chair is not that spectacular, but it places the right amount of emphasis on the artists and how the back up dancers dance around the chair adds the emphasis on the artist as well.

Overall, pretty good comeback. Song could have been better, the video was simple and the dance was pretty much solid. 7/10

Du Du Du – Kim Dong Wan (Shinhwa)

Just a little while back, Kim Dong Wan made his solo comeback with I’m Fine and Piece. Having promised back to to back mini album promotions, he was due to release his comeback last month. But I am assuming something along the lines of preparations affected the potential “back to back” promotions. However, he made his solo comeback with Du Du Du earlier this month, fulfilling the promise he made.

Like I’m Fine, Kim Dong Wan brings out his guitar for the song. The other song has that more emotional aspect to it and has sad lyrics to it. This song, however, is much more cheerful and includes the lovingly sounds of his vocals. Honestly, it is a really nice song that suits the season of snow. I would imagine myself listening to this song to just cheer myself up. Lately, I have been saying that the sound “Du Du Du” has to be one sound that makes any song pretty catchy. And well, it makes the song really vibrant and happy. The chorus is quite high pitch but at the same time is quite simple to listen to. Probably be an ideal song to catch any girl’s feeling. His English is quite nice as well.

The music video has this story line to it, which confused everybody the first time they watched the video. Essentially, the video starts off with Kim Dong Wan hanging out with Girl #1. But then, Girl #2 starts to come along and ruin Kim Dong Wan and Girl #1’s happy date. We see Girl #1 disappointed and sad, while it is revealed that Girl #2 and Kim Dong Wan are joking around and wren’t actually a couple. But it was later revealed in the video, that in fact Girl #1 was in on the whole thing and Girl #2 was actually the girl that Kim Dong Wan likes (shown when Girl #1 joins in on in the dancing and Girl #2 was the one he was pointing at). Plot twist much? Yeah it is a little confusing but it makes more sense when you watch the video. That or the bunny was his one true love. Don’t you love it when you read YouTube comments? They clear everything up but at the same time still have that playful side to them. Beside the story line, the video was quite fun to watch. Once again, it was a bright and cheerful video that matched the song’s sound.

Overall, a perfect song and video in my opinion. Little confusing on the video, but hey, it is part of the charm. 10/10

[DOUBLE REVIEW] I’m Fine + Piece – Dongwan (Shinhwa)

Kim Dong Wan is a member of Shinhwa and has made his solo comeback with two brand new songs. Interestingly he is due to make another comeback with a brand new mini album right after he wraps up promotions for these two songs, I’m Fine and Piece. Shinhwa has had a busy year with a group comeback at the start of the year and also JunJin making his solo debut just a few months ago.

I’m Fine is a really nice song. At first, I thought it would be a very bland and dry song, but a few listens into it made me think otherwise. I think an accurate way to describe it is to say it is a soulful song. There is so much soul. I love the guitar instrumental and also how relaxing the song is overall. To me, it seems like a cheerful song, but the lyrics seem to be quite sad (in a way). His vocals suits the song, and the chorus is pretty catchy and has a nice tune to it. I enjoyed how the song just launches itself straight into the chorus as soon as the It the song that has me swaying me head to the music and I like that about the song. Piece is like a ballad and a rock song that has been mashed up. There are parts in both. While I don’t think it is as catchy as I’m Fine, it is still catchy and has the nice ring to it. If I were to describe the song, this might be the rock version of I’m Fine. The rapping sits nicely in the song and the vocals in this song for me seem to show more of his vocal talent compared to I’m Fine. Overall, I like both songs, but I’m Fine seems to be my favourite.

The music videos of both are quite nice. I’m Fine was about dealing with a break up and it matches well with him lying about in his bathtub. It seems to be an artsy video somewhat with the staggering and random scenes of boxes being the odd one out in terms of position. I really like the very neutral colours. Everything regarding the video was thought out very nicely and matched with the song. As for Piece, well, I don’t like the tattoos. As I mentioned before, ballad and rock mash up, but the rock seems be shown more and it doesn’t really fit in well with the song. The large cage and the sets looks pretty nice (though I think I can list 10 other music videos using that old warehouse set). I thought the rain in the warehouse (even though there is a fixed roof on top of them) added a nice touch and added more sad emotions to the video.

Overall, this comeback was really nice and relaxing. Now we shall sit back, listen to his songs and wait for this impending comeback.

I’m Fine – 9/10

Piece – 8/10

Wow Wow Wow – Jun Jin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)

Shinhwa has been around for quite some time and so have their members which all have some sort of solo career as well. Shinhwa was particularly busy at the start of the year with a group comeback and I also believe they have had concerts last year and this year as well. But for some odd reason, some of their members are lining up for solo comebacks (back to back). To kick it off, it is Jun Jin, with Wow Wow Wow. He is the dancer, rapper and vocalist of the band, and he manages to pull all of that off in this solo song. Other members that have confirmed comebacks are Kim Dong Wan and another member (but I obviously forgot who).

This song is amazing. I kind of dread writing reviews for Shinhwa for some odd reason. This year, I started to review them with Sniper and I kind of hesitated putting this song the list. But once I fell for the song, I added on there immediately. Yes, I had to listen to this song a few times to actually like it. It didn’t catch my eyes (or ears) the first time around, but after a few listens I thought it was a really powerful and addictive track. It is a powerful techno song that has a lot of modern vibes with it, which is pretty good. Not sure about the “na na na” bit slapped into the middle of the song. It was the only part of the song which got me going “huh?” when started liking the song. His a rapper but he has good vocals to carry himself throughout the song.  The rapping was superb (both Jun Jin’s and Eric’s rap). The “Looking at you” over and over again is so damn catchy and I really dig that. I think this song is really good and nice.

It was a very simple yet very dark music video. I guess the darkness fits really well into the concept and also his image. It did go against me a few times because I thought for a while that some scenes could have used a little bit more lighting.  For some scenes, I could barely see anything. I really liked how low that screen is. It was so low that it was basically touching their heads. I thought the camera work in the video was really good. It gave the sense that low screen was moving away as they danced, but it stayed in place. But hey, it gave off a nice illusion for this song. Same goes for the dance scenes with the hanging fence (I have no idea what they are called). I feel like those scenes with the girls could have been omitted. They really don’t add much to the music video anyway. I would have paid to watch him dance.

As for the dance, I thought it was very powerful and suited the concept quite a bit. I absolutely loved how it built up to the ending and it just smacks you across the face. That moves where they come together from the sides towards the end of the song looks so cool. It fitted the powerful vibe the song had going and I thought the “Wow Wow Wow” thumb movements were pretty cool and looked simple as well. Me trying the thumb movements, not that cool.

Amazing song, amazing music video, amazing dance. What an amazing comeback. 9/10

Sniper – Shinhwa

I, once again, apologise fro my absence. I try to tell you before hand, but sometimes, work just gets the better of you. But now it is the weekend and some time has popped up for this.

Shinhwa is back on the stage once again. Way back, like two years ago, I ended reviewing their song: This Love. I wasn’t a big fan of it. Hopefully, this time around they did a much better job at this song. Anyway, so we all know how long Shinhwa has been around. They debuted back in 1998 and have been going strong since (minus their hiatus in the middle of that time period). Back in 2013, member Andy Lee went on a hiatus for a gambling scandal and this makes his first promotions with the group since his scandal at the end of 2013. (In other words, he wasn’t around with the band in 2014).

When I first heard the teaser, I just wanted those damn whistles is the song. They cowboy kind of sound made it really awesome and something that was very different and probably never done before in the industry. The whistles were in the song and it made the song a really good song. I just love it. It gave the song that more eerie feeling and pretty much set the song away from the others making it a stand out. The vocals were amazing. I just like how the song started off with the “Bam”. Also love the high note, normal note and then rap combination, just before the chorus. The chorus is pretty good itself. I thought the song flowed quite well from start to end. It was a roller-coaster in terms of the pitch they were singing at, but as I said, it is pretty good.

The music video was pretty good. I love how eerie the music video looked. It matched the eerie sound that the whistling sound gave to the song. The rest of the music video was also quite creepy. With like how the girl is always blindfolded and the members are looking at them closely and being very creepy around the girls. Like in the lyrics “Towards your heart, without no one knowing”, the members only see the girl while everyone (and the girl herself) are oblivious. I like the individual scene. What really threw me off is the dancing platform. It was stylish and classy but it was pretty open (in terms of space) while everything else seemed quite confined. But, a pretty good video.

The dance is pretty cool as well. The awkward crab walk as some have dubbed it was pretty cool. I need new words. The chorus dance was okay and it seemed more like a hit or miss type of choreography. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I think it is weird. I like how they gradually let each member joins and for the most part they are standing on the sides (beside the ending). It was cool, but it saw members wait for until the whole song to end before they actually got to move their limbs on stage. But still pretty cool.

Okay, first review in 6 days. And I am pretty tired. Going to write a few more so I can release something during the week. This was “pretty cool” as I repeated 56439 times in this review. 9/10

This Love – Shinhwa

Source: http://www.soompi.es/wp-content/blogs.dir/8/files/2013/05/Shinhwa-this-love-2.png

Shinwa recently made their comeback with a whole new style. This Love was released on the 16th of May, meaning that this review is around a month overdue. Sorry. I would like to start off that I prefer this song only over Venus. Venus was dark and creepy for me. This song has more life to it. Yet, this is also another tragic review that I am going to write. Despite me preferring this song over another, I must warn you that this will be a really crappy review. If you are  sensitive for comments that would put a bad name for Shinhwa. Yeah: Sorry. Once again, let’s continue the review.

The song is catchy. But it is not appealing. To me, this is quite a bad song to be a song for comeback. I actually liked one of the other songs on the album, after this song. However, I disliked this song. Many aspects in this song, video and dance give off that Madonna feel, which sadly, to me is not a great as topic to sing about. More on the other part later in the review. The song was too slow at the start and the verse, however I kind of liked that transition between verse to chorus. But then my feels plummeted down after hearing the chorus. It was just too cheesy. The rap was okay, not great. It did not really fit within the song at all, but did stand out for some areas, but that second rap part. Yeah, did not feel like the song. Basically you just took the first half of a ballad and jammed it with not transition effects to a dubstep track. Not cool. As for the ending. Not that impressed at all. It ended the song well, but not as well as I thought it would be.

As for the music video, it was empty. I can’t really review a bunch of guys just standing around and dancing. I don’t understand the lighting in this video. Especially at the start where the guys in the front row were all in the dark, but the lonely guy at the back had all lights on him and he was not even singing. With that stage feel set, that is seriously not original anymore. The camera shots were pretty cool. I liked that. But as for the set, not really.

The dance on the other hand, was a tragic feel. Props for them trying what is known as the “Vogue” dance which may make them look homosexual, but seriously, they seemed awkward dancing around there and stuff like that. I guess KPOP does not have that kind of openness for “gay” concepts. The poses were not great, and technically, I have not seen a girl pull off a pose like these guys yet at all. I would also like to say: I support homosexuality. However, this dance seems to give the whole issue and idea a horrible image.

3/10? Sorry. Guys. I am really sorry. Don’t kill me. Shinhwa has had better concepts than this. Also, I would like to mention: the jackets and all that in the music video, don’t really help at all. Actually, they contributed to my dislike of the song.