As a fan of Secret, it is time for a freaking comeback from this girl group. It is way overdue, with their last comeback from 2014. Secret Summer (the album in which this review revolves around) was released in August 2014 and is the last comeback as a four-member girl group. Since then, there have been no Secret comebacks, which leaves the year feeling empty, in my mind. So, while we wait around for their comeback, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at their 5th mini-album, Secret Summer.
1..Feel The Secret (Intro Track) – Intro tracks aren’t really my thing. I usually gloss over them and then get right into the more fulfilling songs that follow. However, Feel The Secret is a show-stopper from the get-go. It launches you into the retro feel that Secret is known for and definitely hypes you up for the following tracks. (9/10)
3. Look At Me – One of my favourite tracks (other than the title track) on this mini-album. I thought the track was extremely sexy with their soft vocals. The song itself was extremely catchy. The random violin insert was what the song needed and despite it being random in theory, I thought fit in well with the song. The constant glass breaking sound throughout the vocal gave it a more interesting feel. The rapping could have been better in the song, but overall, it was definitely a highlight on the mini-album. (9/10)
4. U R Fired – The English in this song could have been better. However, it is a totally amazing song that is up there with the rest of the mini-album and Secret’s discography. The entire song felt like a mix between pop and country to me (mainly because of the guitar). Once the song hits the chorus, you can feel the song heating up, providing a somewhat intense but good beat. I thought the song grew to be a great song as it progressed, especially during the bridge of the song, where electronic components are brought into play. The song also hits some ‘high notes’ (not literally) with the vocals of the members, their best on the release. (9/10)
5. I Would Do Well – The song fulfils the expectations of a ballad track that is mandatory on every KPOP album. Though, I feel the track does that only. Their vocals are great, with each member (weak or strong) participating in the track. It feels weak overall doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the album. But it does end the song on a more relaxed and sweet not. I am just glad that this ballad still feels somewhat upbeat, rather than it slowing down to a standard ballad. (6/10)
Welcome to the first ever ‘Special’ segment of my website. Though I have used the category ‘Special’ for other purposes in the past, I thought I could use to expand the content of what I write. So I thought I would make various lists of different aspects of the KPOP sphere, starting off with non-title tracks that should be more appreciated. I have other ideas lined up like “favourite OSTs’ and ‘favourite dances’ etc. If you have any ideas, feel free to comment below and I may just look into your idea. In no particular order, here are 10 (and this particular will be expanded in further editions) favourite non-title track songs by KPOP artists.
Crying – Sistar
Sistar leaves behind many great tracks, so of which barely get enough attention. What makes Crying a great track are the vocals. They were dynamic and gave the song a very unique feel. I thought the chorus was extremely catchy and interesting with how it starts off with a striking delivery of the word “Love”. The instrumental was pretty simple and their vocals/raps matched it perfectly.
One Step, Two Step – Oh My Girl
I personally thought this song has a very nice blend of instruments. It also felt like angels were singing to me. The track ended up being very addictive, becoming a song that I would search for on YouTube for a while. I loved how the track started off very sweet and nice. But as you approach the chorus, we enter a more upbeat phase, making the build-up sound amazing. The violins in the bridge were also amazing, with it being another highlight of the track.
Albatross – B.A.P
Adding to the fun vibes of their 5th mini album, Carnival, Albatross is one track to jam to. It is a very down to earth feel and listening to the song makes you wonder how fun the recording process would have been if there was a stage or music video accompanying it. It was released in February but there is a very vibrant and Summer feel to the song, making it a track that I constantly listen to during Winter when I want to feel some warmth.
Shadow – F(x)
I think out of all the non-title tracks out there and the songs on this list, this is the song that everyone will agree on as the most underrated song ever. It literally catches your attention with its very creepy lyrics. But the lyrics are smothered with the sweetness of the instrumental and their vocals, making the creep factor exceed the highest possible limit. It is extremely addictive and I totally love it.
I Wanna Fall In Love – Song Ji Eun (Secret)
Song Ji Eun’s tracks have always been intriguing for their dark messages. Her more recent releases haven’t followed that path, which is quite disappointing. But there are a few that have caught my attention, such as I Wanna Fall In Love. It is much better than many of her recent title tracks and her strong vocals resonate throughout the entire track. It dominates the entire track, which I think is amazing and the song is quite catchy after a number of listens.
Get The X Out – Sunny Hill
Judging from the title, I would never have thought of the song being what it is. It is extremely unexpected, as the instrumental is reminds you of toys and dolls. Very innocence. But instead, it holds a very scary message telling their partner to just leave. I love how they cut the swearing out (or else it would be banned) but it makes everything feel more intense. And this is another reason to why I love Sunny Hill’s songs. They take uniqueness to a whole new level.
Before The Song Ends – JJ Project ft. Suzy (Miss A)
To hear that JJ Project will be getting a unit comeback stage before the end of the year makes me extremely happy. But before that, I must show you all this extreme party-vibe track. Sure, it may be overpowered by autotune but it one hell of a song to jam to. Suzy’s featuring in this song makes it so much better. But the real winners are JJ Project, who has such a dynamic track under their belt.
Maze – VIXX
I tried to include some old tracks and some more recent tracks on this list. Maze falls under the “more recent” category, with it being one intense track to listen to. That is mainly because every time I listen to the song, I feel a rush of adrenaline as if I am actually running through a maze myself. It is a super catchy track and dynamic at the same time.
Switch – NCT 127
Switch is the only song on this particular list that has its own music video. From memory (and what I read a few months back) that this song and music video was recorded before the debut of NCT. I was totally into (and still am) the instrumental of the song. It sounded different to other songs that I have listened to. It’s another track that gives off a nice Summer feel, which I am totally digging at the moment, as I freeze each morning.
One Minute Back – SHINee
This, by far, is up there as one of the best songs ever released. It is such a unique song on so many levels. Their vocals are on point throughout the track, especially during the entire chorus. The lyrics of the song depict a guy catching his partner cheating on him and wanting to turn back time. Overall, listening to just once will not be enough as it leaves a very long lasting impact that makes you want to go back and listen to more.
Song Ji Eun is another member of Secret that has been active in promotions (the other being Hyosung) since Secret’s last comeback. While this review will be for Song Ji Eun’s latest song, Bobby Doll, some sad news has emerged. Sunhwa, has unfortunately decided to leave the group and company once her contract is up. Secret is a 4-member girl group and with Sunhwa’s departure, the group will be continuing on as a 3-member girl group. And now, let’s move back to Song Ji Eun’s solo.
It is a nice song, but honestly, it was not what I was expecting. A side of me really likes the songs for a range of reasons. Another side just feels like this song lacks a bit. Let’s start with the good. Love her vocals (as I have always had). Her voice is quite smooth like what you expect a doll would sound like, but rough at the same time (that probably makes no sense), which complements the instrumental. There are slight parts where she is rapping, which I think she handled pretty well. Her vocals herself have given the song another dimension. The song was quite catchy and addictive to listen to. Though, the overall shape and sound of the song make it quite memorable for some odd reason and I quite like that. However, the instrumental feels quite dead and she feels like she is holding back. That brings the song down quite a bit and it, unfortunately, gives off a dull vibe. Her pronunciation of ‘Bobby’ still irks me. I understand it was probably to prevent the song from being banned from the music shows (since Barbie is a brand), but it sounds a lot like she is mixing up between the two. I understand in Korean, the two words sound quite similar, but it does give off a different impression of the song.
Finally, a dance centred comeback with the traditional dark vibes that I (and many fans) love Song Ji Eun for. In the video, Song Ji Eun is a doll (who is controlled – not too sure about this part – by a sadistic Joker-like guy). One night, she manages to find her way out of her doll house and enjoys the freedom she has been deprived of. I don’t understand why she didn’t run away, but the Joker will manage to get her back (against her will) anyway. I liked the plot, which made the video much more interesting than it is. The main issue is the dullness of the video. There isn’t anything else to comment in the video. And that I am quite disappointed in.
I didn’t like the how the stages were set up for her comeback week. Pink doll houses? The song is more suited for the dark concepts honestly, and something like the music video would have been ideal. Love the use of the fans though. It gave the stage a more interesting and elegant feel. Overall, it did come off a little dry.
Welcome to the end of the 2014 charts. This chart has every single song that was released from the 1st of January 2014 to the 1st of December. I left the nitty gritty stuff out (aka. the numbers I used for the ranking) and made sure that everything was fair. So that means for songs that were released towards the end of the year would have received some extra increment to make sure that they were levelled out with the songs released in January. Other numbers used included whether songs were on the YouTube Playlist of The Month and each song was re-reviewed in categories of “song, music video and dance”. Below are just some interesting facts that you may enjoy in regards to this chart.
The very first song released to be included on the charts are Rain’s 30 Sexy and La Song. The last song released before the cut off date was Infinite F’s Heartbeat.
T-Ara’s Sugar Free (2) was the only song throughout the whole chart to score the maximum of 40 for the song re-review.
VIXX is the first boy group to appear in the charts at 14th place with Eternity.
As touched on above, this year the charts are dominated by the girl groups, with 13 boy groups versus 37 girl groups (repeated groups not excluded).
Heavily promoted songs tend to rank higher than songs that were released as a single and not promoted.
The following artists achieved the next few positions after 50th place: SPEED, Crayon Pop, Z:EA, Zhou Mi (Super Junior), BTOB, Infinite, UKISS, AOA and Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
Up & Down
I’m In Love
NS Yoon G
Good Night Kiss
HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
You Don’t Love Me
This Is Love
Like A Cat
B.B.B (Big Baby Baby)
Sunmi ft. Lena
My Copy Cat
Don’t Look At Me Like That
Song Ji Eun (Secret)
What About You?
Dont Touch Me
Singing Got Better
I Need You
Whatcha Doing Today?
Pretty Age 25
Song Ji Eun (Secret)
1 Minute 1 Second
Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
Touch My Body
Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms
HIGH4 ft. IU
THAT’S IT!!! 2014 IS OVER AND 2015 IS APPROACHING. WISHING YOU ALL (IN YOUR RESPECTIVE TIME ZONES) A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I only have 6 hours to go and I am excited. Party hard (but not too hard) and I will see you next year!! aka. in the next few days ^^
Code: RED FONT – WINNERS BLUE FONT – HONOURABLE MENTION
BEST ROOKIE GROUP
2014, like the past few years, have seen so many new KPOP bands debut. So many new bands, so much that I have a really difficult job to select certain artists and also keep up with the old styles. 2014 saw the big 3 companies debut their own groups, but I have to be honest, the stand outs came mostly from the smaller companies. One group in particular stood out from the rest: Mamamoo. Harmony and totally different style from what we are used to. Honourable mentions go to GOT7.
The one song that is overlooked by everyone on the album is the instrumental. I freaking love instrumentals, and this year, KPOP decided to tease me with so many new instrumentals. That being said, this year the winner of Best Instrumental is Ain’t Nobody by Ye-Eun (Ha:tFelt). Honourable mentions go to Sugar Free by T-Ara.
KPOP = Singing. There for it is only right for this year to have an award for Best Vocals, right? Well, the winner goes to Ha:tfelt – Ye Eun (Wonder Girls). I was so amazed by here singing this year that it blew my mind, particularly her title track Ain’t Nobody. Honourable mentions go to IU (yes, I think most of us agree).
Many KPOP songs have many rapping parts. At the same time, rappers need some recognition. Though, I feel my choice this year could be a little odd, only one person (in my opinion) did a really amazing job. Junhyung from Beast did a wonderful job in Good Luck, 12:30 and the many songs he featured in. Zico from Block B takes Honourable Mentions.
Since 2013, many subunits have been on trend. Even though subunits have been losing trend, many bands this year debuted their own subunits. However, I think we should move away from the new subunits. Cause this year an old subunit wins. Orange Caramel steals Best Subunit with release of three different songs. Honourable mentions goes to Rainbow Blaxx.
The new trend for 2014. Collaborations between artists have been on the rise. This year though, if you were a KPOP fan for a while, you would know already who the winner is. Soyu & JungGiGo’s Some steals the show, topping the end of year charts conducted in South Korea and winning Best Song as well on the SBS Music Festival. Well of course they would win, considering that they SLAYED the charts. Honourable Mentions go to Sane and Raina’s collaboration, Midsummer Night’s Sweetness.
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
This year there has been so many stars that have started to become more popular. The nominees tend to be bands that have debuted in the previous year, and with help of comebacks, started to become well known in the industry. I think for the first time ever, I am going to be honest and put forward two winners to this category. First of all, BTS say a boost in popularity and have become a band that I look forward to listening to. Second of all AOA saw new popularity with release of Miniskirt, Short Air and Like A Cat. Both bands, obviously, rose a lot this year and I found it hard to differentiate them.
BEST JAPANESE SONG
If you don’t know (I won’t be surprised) I also review some Japanese song. 2015 will be the year where I start to review more Japanese songs for you all. However, 2014 also had a lot of catchy and cool Japanese songs. The winner for this year is Korean boy band MYNAME’s F.F.Y. Such a catchy song. As for honourable mentions, it goes to AAA’s Showtime.
KPOP is also known for its dancing. 2014 saw some interesting dances, catchy dances, and some dances that have no words to describe it. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. This year, T-ara took the position as best dance. It was probably the most addictive dance and it was pretty easy as well. It matched the song and most importantly, I loved it. Honourable mentions to Infinite’s Back.
A brand new category for 2014. Every award show or some kind of award giving platform has the “best album” award. And yes, this year, there are so many freaking great albums (like any other year). In my opinion, the best album of the year goes to F(x)’s Red Light. All, if not most, of the songs were amazing to listen to and were so great. Every freaking song was different, and though that maybe risky, F(x) pulled it off as a flowing album. Honourable Mentions goes to AKMU’s Play.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
Solos don’t tend to be the trend this year. Some bands saw new members branch into a solo career, however it seems like more and more KPOP idols (whether male or female) are branching out to acting or variety shows. However, the winner to this category is a person who started offically his own solo career with a lot of experience in the music industry. Crush is the winner. Damn, this dude’s songs are so good. You should check them out. Honourable mentions: JungGiGo.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
It seems like more and more females are branching out onto the stage. We saw many KPOP divas making their solo debuts on the stage with new and fresh songs from bands like T-Ara or Secret. We already have divas who have accomplished a start to their solo career and saw comebacks of very big names. This year, one solo stood out and that is Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Releasing her first solo mini album, she did quite well considering the competition she was going through. Honourable Mentions goes to Sunmi.
BEST FEMALE GROUP
Sexy concept by girl groups have been on the rise. If you know me well, then you probably already know my pick. However, so many girls groups made their comeback this year. Some picked up a lot of popularity and saw massive wins for the first time. Girl’s Day hitted big with their amazing single Something. They later went on to release Darling and I Miss You. Being one of the biggest girl groups of the year, they were sure to pick some prize up. APINK steals honourable mentions this year with their massive single Mr Chu and their latest hit Luv, which blew up and swept all the December trophies for 2014.
BEST MALE GROUP
There have always been a large influx of boy groups and this year it is no different. I was so impressed I was just going to choose all 10 nominees as winners. However, there can only be one winner (well, technically), so I guess I have to choose one. I am going to put down VIXX. They released Eternity and Error this year and both songs were hits for the band. Not only that, they displayed great dance moves and skills. Beast takes out honourable mentions with Good Luck and 12:30, both being very great songs that also delivered like what VIXX had to show. (Just VIXX nudged a head a little bit).
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
This year, most of my Best Music Video Nominees saw the depressing side of KPOP. 8 music videos had this sad or dark storyline to tell. 2 music videos were made in a soft hearted and were really cheerful. G.o.D’s music video for The Story Of Our Lives, told the amazing bond between family and that the outside will never be able to define the inside. Megan Lee features in the song and both band and soloist did an amazing job singing and pouring out their emotions. By the way, SM made a video outside of the box. F(x)’s Red Light, takes honourable mention.
25 songs were nominated for Best Song for 2014. All were to an excellent standard. There were clear stands out. Something by Girl’s Day, EXID’s Up and Down and Beast’s Good Luck are this year’s honourable mentions. However, which song took Best Song category for 2014? Check the song and music video down below.
As many of you guys know how much of a fan I am for Secret, this review has two parts and (sadly), one song will live up to the standard the world has, while the other really does not. I know I know. But as these reviews tend to get a little long, let’s just carry on shall we?
This song was amazing. I freaking love this song. All of her past singles were always dark themed and had powerful yet emotional lyrics. This song is no different. The vocals were superb. However, let’s take some time to look at the lyrics and the music video. The lyrics were well written with the lyrics hinting towards relationships such as homosexuality, large age gaps and interracial relationships. It was really meaningful and very “on point” as these are relationships that some us hides from. The music video was equally well done. We see Song Ji Eun chained up and put on display. With everyone around her wearing masks, it seems like Song Ji Eun is different in a way. When they see her, they are shock, but then start to bid for her. However, as she struggles, and manages to break free, everyone flees as if they are trying to get away from the different person. This occurs quite a lot in real life and I am pretty sure that many can relate to this. 10/10
Okay, I just want to start off buy saying that this was not the actual comeback I was expecting. Song Ji Eun had multiple comebacks that had a dark themed running through them, yet she made a comeback with a bright song. As you can tell, I was pretty disappointed. However, the song was still pretty catchy but it is definitely not her best song at this very moment. There was another problem. The music video was cutesy and “flower girl” like. The song had this potential to be a sexy style kind of song, so there was this mismatch of ideas I believed. The dancing was okay. It could have been a little more to it. Also, one of the performance that put her in a dress which exposed her shoulders, made her look really skinny. Too skinny to the point where every comment on that one video was concerns over her health. 3/10
Well, now that we got some of the girl groups out of the way and female solo artists, why don’t we move back to boy groups for the next review? Rising boy groups, it is then. See you next time!!!
At the start of the week, Secret had made their official return after 8 months absence from the stage. Since their promotion of I Do I Do, the group had disappeared from the spotlight (and yes, I was Secret deprived for the 8 months). Hyosung made her official solo debut with Good Night Kiss back in May. She, herself, started acting appearing in the crime drama Ghost-Seeing Detective (which I really liked watching) and at the moment, My Dear Cat (which I also happened to be watching). Member Sunhwa recently restarted her acting career on Marriage not Dating. Besides that, I honestly have no idea what the other two, Ji Eun and Hana were up to. But who cares, they are now back with the sexy concept and a killer song.
This song is mega awesome. I really don’t know why they are not charting. It is driving me insane. But then again, a bigger rookie group just debuted and it seems that group is currently overshadowing Secret’s comeback. It is so depressing. Anyway, the song. Oh yes. I freaking love this song. You could say that “I’m in love”. Hahahaha…. This song is really catchy and is a lift up from their previous two songs that were a part of the cutesy concept. Now, they are becoming serious. Song Ji Eun probably has to be one of my most favourite main vocalists in all of KPOP. Her voice, especially in the bridge sounded so amazing. Talking about main vocalists, Sunhwa has gotten a decent amount of lines in the song, singing parts of the chorus. Hana sang about 1 line and rapped as well, but hey, it is a combination we have been dying to see from Hana. The slow ballad part is something that I don’t mind, but when you look at the song overall, it really does not fit in with the song. I really liked the chorus and the “Think I’m In Love” part was really well done. Overall, the song was amazing.
The music video, in my honest opinion, could have been done a little better. It seemed rather confined and boring to watch. There is like little to no plot in this video and I feel the sexual concept could have been taken to another level with this music video. It felt plain and lacked that excitement of knowing what is going to happened next. The music video opened up with a scene of what the girls portray as innocent, wearing white and being quite sad and shy about things. They are seen to be interviewed by a guy who looks pretty intimidating. After a while, they turn into evil ladies, who turned sexual and it seems like the girls instead of being innocent and shy, they torment the man and also tries to flirt with him. I really liked the solo shots and the blue lighting in the background. That looked really cool. The dance sets are really not that great overall. They are big, just really don’t have that great feeling to them. Also, Hyosung had nude scenes in the music video. But yet it has very little views.
The dance is pretty good. The twerking, not so much, but hey, it is not a slutty job. I really don’t understand why Hyosung always have to have a little solo dance time in the choreography, it really takes her away from the group. I Do I Do, Talk That and now this. On top of that, I think the chorus dance was pretty good.
As I wrote this review (which spanned over what seems to be like 4 hours) I slowly realized that the group has been absented for far too long and no longer garner the same amount of views as before. Their company really needs to direct some more attention to them and get them back to the spotlight. They were at their peaks in 2011 and 2012, but now they are just going to be another forgotten group. 8/10
[Update] As part of my 2017 review of Secret Summer, the group’s 5th mini album, which features the title track I’m In Love, I had decided to ultimately increase the rating of this song to 9/10. This can be attributed to the changing perspective of the author.
Song Ji Eun, today, made her official comeback as a solo artist, with Hope Torture. It has been two years since we have seen anything from the singer, beside her usual Secret promotions. Back then, she paired up with Bang Yong Guk for Going Crazy, which became a hit to fans of both artists. Since then however, she returned with her group through songs such as Starlight Moonlight, Love Is Move, Poison, Talk That and YooHoo, along with numerous Japan singles like Madonna (Jap Ver), Love Is Move (Jap Ver) and Twinkle Twinkle, just to name a few. It is so great that we finally get to hear a song from her and with the official album release and music video release today, making fans, along with me excited. Not to mention that she has already made her comeback on the weekly music shows, last week.
Okay, the song is rather slow. I listened to the live performance, the music video and the release, but I find way too slow for me. I find it too does not fit Song Ji Eun’s style. However, I still find the song attractive and great to listen to. Yeah, I maybe bias just a little, but hell, I find this song so great. Many songs are about falling in love or an emotional breakup, but not many songs focuses on that thin ice or that thread of string that many people hold onto. In this song however, it is referred to that last piece of hope that is thrown away by one, but their partner holds onto it, facing the torture of love. Really poetic. I love the little English phrases scattered throughout the song, it adds that extra RnB touch to it. Also, her little al-lib at the end was pretty cool, on top of that the pretty epic sounding instrumental. As I said, I dig violins. I should learn how to play one, shouldn’t I?
Wow, the music video is really artistic. They portrayed in her in a way, where she looks beautiful in the video, but when she looks sad, we feel the emotion too. To me, the ending is such a show stopper. They use a light background, but then fade into a depressing and sad tone. That scene where that cake was destroyed (what a waste of cake) really showed the build up in the emotion, which actually links in the music video, where at one part she remembers her lover, but the very next moment, she hates him again. The dead spiral of leaves and branches, along with the burning guitar and sunflower added more to the scene that really gives that extra umph to to which makes it pretty cool. I am not sure about the hole in the hand part and the nail. Are they trying link something to Jesus, cause I don’t really understand much. Torture yeah, but that would raise a lot of controversies would it not?
As for the performance, she sounds amazing live. Great for all. Not sure about the dancers, because despite being a slow song and the dancers are dancing with very slow movements, this song really does not need the use of dancers. Oh and the dresses she wears are pretty beautiful. Not from my experience, but the point of views of others.
8.5/10. Pretty amazing. Maybe a little fine tuning in some parts, but seriously overall, I think she is going to do really well. That or I blame the slaughter of comebacks and debuts all schedule for tomorrow and beyond. Sorry, I was rather busy with my homework yesterday, so i could not upload Leessang’s review, but I will try to get it done tonight.