[Album Review] GO生 (Go Live) (1st Studio Album) – Stray Kids

Stray Kids made their comeback a few weeks back with their very first studio album, GO生 (or Go Live). The main title track was God’s Menu, which has proven to be a great song in my books. It has gone on to top the Weekly KPOP Charts thanks to its powerful energy, catchy hooks and dynamism. So it was natural for me to investigate the album which it is featured on. Alongside God’s Menu, you will find familiar tracks such as Top and Slump (which were both previously released Japanese tracks), along with Gone Days and On Track (which were earlier mixtape releases that were released after their Levanter promotions). Links to the reviews for these tracks, along with my thoughts on the other sidetracks can be found below.

Image of Go Live Album Cover
Go Live Album Cover

1. Go Live (GO生) – Stray Kids is known for their powerful tracks, as their entire career so far has been predominately made up of powerful sounds. Go Live, as an introductory track, aligns the album with that association and really kicks off the album in a very suspenseful fashion. A lot of hip-hop influences in this short track. It kicks off with strong rapping from the rappers and the vocalists come in with their vocals autotuned to fit the atmosphere. I.N’s deep voice is probably the most shocking of all (did not know we had another Felix in the group) and Lee Know’s ‘I Know, You Know, We Know, Lee Know’ line has to be the most memorable of all. (7/10)

2. God’s Menu (神메뉴) Click here to read the full review of God’s Menu. (9/10)

3. EasyEasy, without doubt, continue the momentum that God’s Menu ends off with. The rapping in this song is also rapid and powerful. The vocals are autotuned. I am a little torn about this, as I am not a fan of overly autotuned vocals usually. However, as mentioned in the introductory track’s paragraph, this was the obvious direction for the vocals to fit the powerful and fast tempo nature of the song. Regarding the instrumental, it feels fairly plain in comparison to the title track, though I did like the start which added dramatic suspense to the song. I also enjoyed the dance break, which added some energy to the song. The one thing that weighs down the song is the lack of dynamic hooks, which is why I give it a slightly lower rating to their title track. (8/10)

4. Pacemaker – The fast pace instrumental of Pacemaker blasts you at the very start of the song before the members assault you (in a good sense) with their rapping and vocals. It might be overwhelming for some, but that is one of the aspects of the song that I thoroughly enjoyed. The instrumental itself takes a half step back for some of the verses, before returning to that blast of energy for the chorus. I liked how the lyrics liken their lover to a pacemaker by saying things like ‘your end is my end’. It is a captivating track full of energy and one that I recommend if you don’t mind the members and music coming at you. (9/10)

5. Airplane (비행기) – We take a step back from the intensity for something with a pop sound. There does seem to be some hip-hop influences mixed into the song, but I would categorize it more as a pop track by the song stops playing. Airplane is fun-sounding but it is nothing more than a pleasant track. There is an enjoyable level of brightness and energy in this song. And even though it may not conform to Stray Kid’s powerful sound, Airplane has a decent beat and the vocal melodies shine. I am kind of glad that the vocalists (namely Seungmin and I.N) get an opportunity to shine somewhere on this album. Their voices may have had to compete with instrumental, though they did well with what they had to work with. (8/10)

6. Another Day (일상)Another Day is another chance for the Stray Kid’s vocalists to shine. Wait, let me backtrack that statement. All members actually shine throughout this song. Joining Seungmin and I.N as vocalists in this song is Lee Know, Bang Chan and Han. And if this song needs to prove anything, those members can definitely sing. Felix, Changbin and Hyunjin took on their usual roles as rappers. Even though their parts were very constricted, their deep and raspy rap-singing lines were very pleasant and extremely fitting alongside the vocals. This is all over an instrumental predominately consisting of a mellow sounding acoustic guitar. Fitting the atmosphere of the song are the members reflecting on ‘Another Day’ in the lyrics. (8/10)

7. Phobia – Overtaking the other songs that have been branded with a 9/10 rating, in terms of quality, is Phobia. I really like how this track sound. This is a synth pop-dance track. I really like soothing the energy is for this song. While it is upbeat (which might not be a term you would associate with ‘soothing’), I find the melodies and vocals to be glide effortlessly over the instrumental and everything just balances out nicely. Their vocals and rapping in this sound, alongside with the melodies are very dynamic and catchy, which are undoubtedly strong appealing points. The song’s hooks were quite addictive and I really liked how cool the English sound in this song. Jisung handling the high note was a pleasant surprise and another drawing point to the song. (10/10)

8. Blueprint (청사진)Blueprint is the type of song that you want to have playing a theme song as you stroll down a busy suburban street on a sunny day and you interact with the other pedestrians in perfect looking montage. It is also fitting for the current Summery season. Great upbeat energy coming from this song. I like how the synth heavy the song is, but I also enjoy all the actual instrumentations poking through along the way. The members add a dynamic atmosphere to the song, which I find to be very appealing. The melody that their voices carry, especially when it came to the chorus was quite memorable. Seungmin is my pick for standout member in this song. I also like how all the members sing parts of each line at the end of the song, which adds a very happy and joyful tinge of colour to the song. I found it very hard to fault this song, hence a perfect rating. (10/10)

9. Ta (타) – Two 10/10 tracks in a row? Well, I might as well spoil it now and say that this is another 10/10 track. Ta is probably the most straightforward song on this album. The start of the song reminds me of how Miroh started with jungle sounds. But what sets Ta apart from their previous dynamic sounding title track is that it just continually builds on top of those jungle sounds, creating a party-like sound that I can’t stop gravitating to. I would gladly put this one at a party to just get it started. The melodies are addictive. Their voices are amazing. The hooks are catchy. And the atmosphere is exciting and fun. What more can you ask for? (10/10)

10. Haven – Like the previous song, Haven has this addictive and memorable party-like vibe that I am digging. It is great that the two tracks are paired next to one another, as I can play both songs without needing to skip anything in between. Haven has more of a club beat during its more upbeat moments, whilst having more of a pop sound when we are in the verses. The chorus also has this nostalgic sound it, reminding me of a few party-like sounds we have heard in KPOP. I have to admit that the rap/trap sequence in the second verse cut the flow is a slightly undesirable manner and hence I can’t give it that 10/10 rating. But everything else is worthy of a listen. (9/10)

11. Top (Korean Version)Click here to read the full review for Top. (9/10)

12. Slump (Korean Version) – The Japanese version of Slump was also released alongside Top to be part of the official soundtrack of the anime, Tower of God. I really like the pop-rock path they took with this song, which is unique and different for Stray Kids. I don’t like how the vocals were autotuned during the chorus to match the autotune that the rappers had. I felt that was unnecessary and robbed the members of a chance to show off their vocals during a powerful chorus. But it is still a good song. (8/10)

13. Mixtape: Gone Days Click here to read the full review for Gone Days. (7.5/10)

14. Mixtape: On Track (바보라도 알아)Click here to read the full review for On Track. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

Group Teaser Image for Go Live
Go Live Teaser Image

[International Song Review] BTS, Stray Kids, TWICE, Dream Catcher, Lee Jun Young (U-KISS)

It has been a while since I stuck my head into the world of Japanese releases made by Korean artists. So today, I will be reviewing Japanese releases from BTS, Stray Kids, TWICE, Dream Catcher and Lee Jun Young (from UKISS). Some of these are recent and some of these dates back to the start of the year. Early this year, I reverted to a bulk review post for International releases by Korean artists as they go global. If you would like to see the two bulk review posts that I have released so far, you can do so by clicking here and here. If you know of any other international releases (that have a music video), please comment them below so that I am aware of them!

Stay Gold – BTS

Out of all the releases on this list that I have chosen to review today, Stay Gold has to be the most generic. While the song does shine a golden light onto their vocals and rapping, the pop ballad just doesn’t have much to hold my attention. The lyrics of Stay Gold directs the song down the inspirational path, but the overall atmosphere of the pop ballad did not have that same feeling. And no amount of good vocals can compensate for that. The instrumental felt very mostly linear and the titular hook was just repeated too much throughout the chorus. Obviously, this is intentional to get the hook stuck in your mind. But by the time we get to the pre-chorus, it just feels too overdone and dried out. Lights (last year’s Japanese release) is quite similar in terms of its ballad direction, but there was a soothing feeling and attractive instrumental. The music video seems to show that no matter what dark place you in, there will always be light somewhere in it. At the end of the video when V touches the tree trunk, the golden lights that come from the tree and into the dark hallways may symbolises that is BTS is the guiding light for their fans (which I am sure is the truth for most fans). It was a nice video, with a good meaning. (7.2/10)

Top – Stray Kids

Top is Stray Kid’s first original Japanese single and since its release, we have seen a Korean and English version. It is also used as a theme song for the Japanese anime, Tower of God. When I listen to Top, I get this really cool epic vibe to the song which leaves a very strong impression on me. It starts off with some dramatic violins before adopting a rough and heavy synth base for the chorus. And it is this combination that really helps makes Top become one of their most powerful releases to date. The rappers benefit with this rough style of music, with both their rough textured delivery and angst shining throughout the song. The vocal moments were meh, in my opinion. But the slowdown we get to give way to the vocalists do help make the drop more epic. For the music video, I really like their spaceship premise. It is fitting with the epic vibes of the song. Standlone, it is still pretty cool setting. It is a song all about gettng to the top, no matter what. We see the members struggle as the road to get to the top becomes difficult, but they always perservere. I do wonder what Seungmin and I.N were meant to represent as they walk into the light. Are they the ones that gave up? Not too sure. As for the choreography, powerful and epic, just like the song. (9/10)

Fanfare – Twice

TWICE’s recent Japanese release is Fanfare. The song’s instrumental just keeps coming for you and it might be overwhelming for some. Even I had to debate whether I should say the instrumental assaulted us with its noise or was just very overpowering but bearable. For the time being, I am leaning towards the latter, as it doesn’t seem to much as everyone else is saying. But if you caught me on a bad day, I might be going with the first option as my description of Fanfare. I really like its energy and powerful upbeat nature, which is all highly suitable for the Summer season. The marching band adds a fun and robust feel to the song. It might be overpowering, but the members bring a bright tone to the song to help level it out. The song’s hooks were catchy and I would gladly add this to my playlist if I wanted to infuse some energy into my day. For the music video, it looks like a bunch of ill-fitting closeup shots and a stage-like set up for their choreography scenes, where the members are dressed in marching band gear. I assume those closeup shots are meant to give off a happy and joyful impression to match the lyrics of the song. Though, I do question Jihyo’s scene, which is a world full of laundry. No one ever enjoys laundry, it is such a chore. For the choreography, I thought it was pretty good. Not their most impressive routine, but still fun and bubbly. (7.4/10)

Endless Night – Dream Catcher

Endless Night is one of the older releases in this post, dating back to March of this year. While Dream Catcher has been long associated with bringing the J-POP rock sound to K-POP, Endless Night feels like it brings a Western rock influence to the Japanese industry, which was rather unexpected. It is also a lot moodier than any of their other title tracks. But while these are different directions, Dream Catcher makes it work. I do just wish their vocals and rapping had a little more oomph to them, which would help make the song more appealing. Aside from the chorus, everything else was rather forgettable and dry. For the music video, I really liked the use of colours. It just makes this otherwise boring music video pop, which definitely helps with the video’s appeal. Wait, but why do I find the video boring? Well, the video takes on that typical closeup and choreography formula that I have grown to dislike. I do admit the closeups seem to try to be aesthetic, but they don’t just hit the mark like other music videos. The choreography looks pretty good and works pretty well with the song. The chorus has to be the best part of the routine for me. (7.4/10)

Come Alive – Lee Jun Young (U-KISS)

Lee Jun Young is probably more known as an actor, rather than UKISS member. At the end of 2019, he reminded fans that he is a singer with the release of his first single album and Curious About U. Right after his domestic promotions, Lee Jun Young also released his first mini-album in Japan, featuring a number of solo singles from the second half of 2019. It also featured Come Alive, which was formally released at the start of 2020. It is a fun hip-hop dance track, that is both bass and brass-heavy. It is quite addictive that I am always nodding or tapping along to the beat when it appears on my playlist. The song is pretty dynamic when it comes to the verses. His rapping is quite captivating and alluring. I really like how the song punctuates some of the lines with the added emphasis of the ‘You‘ and ‘Do‘ (and associated Japanese words). His vocals are also quite good. There is a good beat to this section to help give it a club feel. At first, I didn’t like how dragged out the ‘Come Alive‘ felt. But after multiple listens, it has definitely grown on me significantly. The music video has this urban feel to it, which was nice. It just didn’t have anything more to it worth talking about, unfortunately. For the choreography, it fits in with the urban hip-hop feel that both the song and music video had. I do like how clean and smooth it felt during some parts of the choreography. Other than that, it is just another case of not his best, but still good. (7.5/10)

[Review] God’s Menu – Stray Kids

Stray Kids also make their grand comeback today with their new single, Gods Menu and their first studio album, Go Live. I am definitely excited for this comeback and cannot wait to review both the song (in this post) and their new album (hint hint). Prior to this comeback and since their last comeback Levanter, the group released two mixtape tracks, Gone Days and On Track. The group also released English versions of their song and made their official Japanese debut with Japanese versions of their Korean tracks. In addition to that, Stray Kids also released their first original Japanese single album (which I have yet to review) which will serve as opening tracks for an upcoming anime. Definitely a busy first half of the year for Stray Kids.

One of God’s Menu flaws is that it is rather short. I wanted more of it, so naturally I am reaching for the replay button. God’s Menu is a hip-hop based dance track. I felt the instrumentation was quite generic for this style, as we have heard many hip-hop centric songs with similar instrumentation in the past. But what we are shown from the start of the song is that the song is very rap intensive. And Stray Kids is one of those groups with a very strong rap line and this helps open the song in a captivating the song instantly lifts up once we get to the chorus. The song slows down but maintains the suspense for the vocalists to show some of their skills (Bangchan and Jisung also join the vocal line in this song, which I really like). But the rapping takes the win in this song. Remember how I mentioned that I found the instrumentation generic? Another skill that Stray Kids has is that they really know how to hold their ground and blasts us with this powerful and bold chorus. The ‘DU DU DU‘ and the ‘TANG TANG TANG‘ just gives the song so much life and energy. Another observation I have made is that the chorus was quite lengthy and this seems to quicken the song. I also like how the second chorus differed from the first and I also note that Felix is getting the lines that he finally deserve! A lot of positive aspects to outweigh its few negatives. And we can agree that Stray Kids can definitely serve it up.

We all know that Stray Kids music videos are interlinked in one way or another. They released a prequel prior to this comeback confirming just that, so it makes you wonder how this video connects with the rest. And while I can spend so much discussing possible theories, I want to step away and think about this music video as a stand alone music video. One day I will return to discuss possible connections between all their music videos. God’s Menu seems to be a song about making an impression. There is a lot of food references in the song to fit in with the concept and they sing about making flavours stand out. And in the music video, they stood out in one way or another. At the start when everything was in slow motion and Changbin was rapping away at normal speed. The odd placement of people in various scenes (i.e. school girls at the race track, scientists at a construction site, marching band in the kitchen) and the member’s non-matching outfits with the scenery (i.e. they wore chefs outfits at the construction site) all seem to make an impression. And that impression was definitely left on me.

From what I can see in the music video, the choreography looks awesome. Definitely dynamic and powerful to fit the energy of the music. The pre-chorus (i.e. the smoother sections of the song) looked very interesting due to its more subdued vibes. The chorus looked very intense and I wonder what the verses look. Though my favourite section has to be the start of the second verse, which looked awesome in the music video with the camerawork.

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

[Review] Mixtape: On Track – Stray Kids

The next comeback to be reviewed is by Stray Kids, who just dropped their second installment in the Mixtape Project as a present for their second anniversary. The title of the new track is Mixtape: On Track and this follows their 2019 mixtape track, Gone Days. 2019 was also another big year for the group, with the release of Miroh, Side Effects, Double Knot, Astronaut and Levanter. This magnitude and high standard of comebacks in 2019 by Stray Kids lead to me picking them for Best Male Group in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards for 2019. Let’s see if Stray Kids can replicate the success of 2019 and possibly go further in 2020.

Gone Days is right up the alley of a mixtape, aligning itself with the genre in which a mixtape is usually strongly associated with. On Track is completely different path, opting to be more a traditional pop track and missing a heavy hip-hop influence. The instrumental that acts as the backdrop for this song is relatively plain and it does bore me. But thankfully, the vocals and limited rapping did help drive the song into a more appealing light. On Track is more vocally driven, as a result for its pop alignment. And I don’t mind this. Since Stray Kids commonly goes for a rough exterior with its sound, I wouldn’t mind any easygoing or melodic tracks from the group. When I am listening to the song, I find myself feeling a little heartbroken with the tone, for some odd reason. The song’s lyrics are a lot more brighter, mustering up courage to chase one’s dream (Source: Soompi). Not sure why I feel that way, but that was the initial impression I got from the song before looking up a translation or the source article.

For the music video, the group are film and acting students and are currently in production for some sort of love story short film (I assume short film). The main characters are Hyunjin (the cameraman), Lee Know (the main actor) and the female actress. Essentially, Hyunjin has this massive crush on the female actress but has never acted upon his feelings. While filming the various acting scenes, he becomes extremely jealous over the scenes that the female actress and Lee Know share. In the end, he makes his move on the female actress while filming. Poor timing, but it matches up with the meaning behind the lyrics of the song (i.e. gaining courage). It is a good plot line and was enjoyable to watch.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

[Special] My Favourite Performances from the 2019 End Of Year Music Festivals

At the end of each year, the three major broadcasting companies in South Korea (SBS, KBS and MBC) organises and broadcast a very fruitful and dynamic music festival, bringing together the top KPOP acts of the year. 2019 is no exception and with a year as busy as 2019, it is often quite hard to get invited to these festivals. And with each show running for a couple of hours, different stages/performances/remixes of the year’s hits and one-of-a-kind collaborations, it is often hard to keep up with these festivals. Today, I have decided to organise a list of performances from each of these three festivals that I thought were excellent, different and worthwhile in checking out. I have done this before but over the years dropped it as I had very little time. Now that I have some time on my hand, I thought I return to this segment for the 2019 festivals.

SBS Gayo Daejun – 25th of December 2019

When we talk about the SBS Music Festival, we need to address the issue of safety. After all, it costed Red Velvet full group promotions for their Psycho comeback, due to injuries sustained by Wendy due to the unsafe nature of SBS stage. We did manage to get one full lineup of the group performing Psycho on stage as it was pre-recorded. because of that, I put Red Velvet’s Psycho performance on my list of favourite performances from that day. Other performers also had falls on the SBS stage, from what I remember reading. Other stages at stood out for me were:

  • Stray Kid’s Miroh – I did not know how Stray Kids could top Miroh’s intensity by rearranging the performance to be even more intense.
  • NCT Dream’s Boom & NCT 127’s Superhuman – Both tracks had a really cool dance addition to it. On top of that, we got to see the same ‘switching of jackets’ that Mark did at the 2018 SBS Music Festival between Dream and 127’s performance. Only this time, it was Haechan!
  • Oh My Girl’s Bungee (X-mas Version) – Always good to have a X-mas themed remix on Christmas Day. It made Bungee, an already vibrant and colourful track, more suitable for the season.
  • Mamamoo’s Gogobebe – The rock remix for this performance was superb.
  • Seventeen’s Home and Snapshoot – We got to see a warmer side of the group and the more joyful side, especially after all the darkness we got from HIT and Fear.
  • TWICE’s Medley of Tracks – I really liked the band element to their performance and how they tweaked the concept for Fancy and their more light hearted tracks. I just wished the band was DAY6 (where is DAY6 in all of these festivals), which would have made the performance even more worthy of a view.
  • BTS’s Dionysus – I have always been a fan of BTS’s darker side. This performance is a return this side, which I greatly appreciate.

KBS Gayo Daechukje – 27th December 2019

I personally did not have much interest in the KBS Music Festival as I thought the stage looked really bad and the camera work wasn’t the best. This wasn’t also the only problem that occurred that same night. APINK’s %% performance was cut short, disappointing fans, APINK and viewers in general. If I were to choose one standout stage, it would have Golden Child’s Wannabe stage. Their dance intro was very good and showed off intensity that was aligned with their new look/concept. And I really liked how smooth the transition between dance intro and actual song was. Only a few toehr performances caught my attention and they include:

  • Song Gain’s Introductory song – Song Gain, for those who don’t know is a trot singer that trended this year. For Song Gain’s performance, she managed to incorporate all artists into her song, which I think would be a challenge.
  • NU’EST Love Me – It wasn’t so much their choreography or song that caught my attention. But I thought the raised stages for the end really highlighted the good parts of their overall choreography, providing what could be said as an epic end to their stage.
  • ASTRO’s All Night + Blue Flame – I was waiting for ASTRO to do All Night in some capacity during these festivals. But with Moonbin out of action, it seems like the group would opt for the 5-member Blue Flame instead. So automatically, ASTRO’s stage for All Night alone would make this list. Blue Flame ended up being very epic as well, which is why their entire segment is on this list.
  • Oh Ha Young, Joy and Yerin Mr. Mr. collaboration – I haven’t heard this song for some time now and I really enjoyed this throwback. Also surprised that they covered the entire song, which usually isn’t the case.

MBC Gayo Daejejeon – 31st December 2019

MBC’s Music Festival is one to always watch. Their stages always have a look that shows that they have been planning for a while. The collaborations for this festival are always something to talk about. And why not watch it live as the year goes out! There is nothing like ending 2019 and start 2020 with KPOP! However, the MBC Music Festival was also plagued with an early termination issue. This time around the victim was Kim Jae Hwan, who only got to perform Nuna (he should have performed The Time I Need as well. For standout performance, I am putting down ASTRO and Oh My Girl’s creepy and jazzy cover of IU’s Red Shoes. It was different and colourful. Other stages to check out:

  • Stray Kid’s Side Effects – Another intense song that they managed to upgrade and make darker. The creative minds that put together these stages for Stray Kids are killing it (and need a pay rise instantly).
  • Seventeen & Mamamoo Collaboration – Two of my favourite groups have come together to form one dream team. And this was such an amazing stage.
  • Seventeen’s HIT – Mingyu shouldn’t be playing with fire. It is dangerous. But one epic opener to the stage. Also, somehow Seventeen managed to insert a dance break in the midst of the stage, which I think earns a mention at the very least.
  • Hyuna’s Flower Shower – Her choreography is essentially the same as the one she performed in the past. But the chorus instrumental is changed slightly, which I thought made the stage a lot cooler for the end of year festival.
  • Taemin’s Move & Famous – MBC’s Music Festival had a theme, The Chemistry. And you can’t have a theme about Chemistry without Taemin. While he didn’t do anything special to Move‘s stage, his dance alone is already 100% fitting for a ‘Chemistry’ themed music festival.
  • (G)i-DLE’s Lion – Another reason to why we need to look out for this girl group is their special stages. Lion is practically a game changer for the group.
  • Lovelyz’s Beautiful Day – I really like their ballad start to their stage and how they built it back up to the original song in an effortless manner.

[Review] Mixtape: Gone Days – Stray Kids

Once again, Stray Kids is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Male (Group) Choreography. Miroh, Side Effects, Double Knot and Astronaut are also eligible for Best Song of 2019. To support Stray Kids, click here to vote if you haven’t before voting closes next Tuesday!

Stray Kids is currently in the midst of their Levanter promotions, as the only just recently made their comeback with the song and Clé: Levanter just earlier this month. But now, Stray Kids have made a surprise single release. Today, the group dropped their next mixtape track title as Mixtape: Gone Days (henceforth referred to as Gone Days).

Based on what I am gathering, Gone Days is a play on words with the Korean term, kkondae. It refers to a person who continually pushes outdated thoughts and expectations onto the younger generation purely based on their age and status. When you look at the lyrics of the song, it is definitely a diss track and probably is directed to someone. The song falls into the hip-hop genre and showcases the rappers in a very strong limelight. The vocals don’t get much of an opportunity to shine, mainly because their parts is so heavily doused in autotune. And given my past track record with heavy autotune, I am not much of a fan this time. I have to admit there is a nice ring to Gone Days and it might catch on in a few weeks, since there is a very bubbly atmosphere and active beat. But the heavy autotune is a very big fence to get over for me.

I am not too sure who Stray Kids is dissing in this track. But based on the music video, it seems like this person works at JYP Entertainment. After all, the horse figure in the music video is wearing a JYP Entertainment tag. I find this to be a fun video, showing the members rebelling against the horse figure in many ways. I also feel like Woojin is meant to be part of this video, based on the layout of the desks, but he was edited out due to his departure. My favourite part is Bangchan patting the horse figure, which seems like Bangchan is feeling sorry for the horse, who’s head is full of outdated thoughts and expectations.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10

[Album Review] Clé: Levanter (5th Mini Album) – Stray Kids

Stray Kids is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Male Choreography in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Miroh, Side Effects, Double Knot and Astronaut are also eligible for Best Song of 2019. To support Stray Kids, click here to vote if you haven’t before voting closes next Tuesday!

The second last album review of the year focuses on Stray Kids latest mini-album, Clé: Levanter. This third part has brought their Clé series to a close, following the release of Clé: Miroh (featuring the title track Miroh) and Clé: Yellow Wood (featuring the title track Side Effects). To help raise anticipation for the new release, Stray Kids released Double Knot in October and Astronaut in November, before dropping Levanter in December (all links below). This is also the first album release without Woojin, who left unexpected in November, which delayed the comeback to December. Let’s have a deeper listen to the album and its new tracks that we haven’t heard at all yet.

Clé: Levanter Album Cover

1. STOP – A commanding title to a very bold start to the mini-album. I am already sold. And it is even better as the song delivers intensity, energy and suspense through its fast tempo beat. To me, it feels dirty but in a good way. I also liked how they amp all those elements up by including that brief pause in the instrumentation just prior to the drop. Something that I did notice was that I associated the sound and vibe straight away to Stray Kids, which is definitely a good sign, as this means Stray Kids have a sound (at least, to me). The rapping and vocal work were equally superb. I am just not keen on the abrupt ending, though I had a feeling it was coming.  (9.5/10)

2. Double Knot (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for Double Knot. (9/10)

3. Levanter (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Levanter. (9/10)

4. Booster – The group throws punches with Booster and they land these punches perfectly each time. It brings back the more powerful synths and definitely packed a lot of energy within its instrumental composition. I do think it could have been bolder, as it did feel a little tame. I found the vocals to be more melodic, with the melody in the chorus reminding me of ‘00s tracks. The rapping is a little more robust and gives it that roughness that I have come to expect with Stray Kids. (8/10)

6. Astronaut (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for Astronaut. (9/10)

7. Sunshine Sunshine is a ballad with a typical Stray Kids touch. And quite a soothing one at certain moments. Ballads tend to draw out more of a delicate side of a group. And this was definitely apparent when it came to the vocal sections of the song. The rapping and autotune is that twist I mentioned, and it prevented that delicate side to fully flourish. I wished that maybe they kept the autotune to a minimum so that Sunshine can be a little more impactful. I did like the pulsing beat and appreciate their execution for this song, overall. (7.5/10)

8. You Can STAY – For those who don’t know, the group’s fandom name is STAYs. And given the emphasis of the word STAY in the title, You Can Stay is essentially a track for their fans, thanking them for making their members better. It is a nice track. I find it particularly refreshing, but that might be me experiencing sweltering temperatures in the past week. I did like the brightness that came from the track, thanks to the vibrant and bouncy instrumental. I particularly like the ‘uh-like’ synth in the instrumental, helping make the song memorable. (8/10)

9. Mixtape #5 – In the past, I never reviewed their Mixtape tracks. However, that changed earlier in the year when I sat down to review them as part of the Yellow Wood album review. So, I made the executive decision to also review them on their original albums from now on. It essentially is a song abut the colder weather and some of the lyrics is about their outfit. There is a fun touch to the band instrumentation, and it felt jazzy in some cases. I also found the track to be quite lively, which is something different in the season of emotions. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10

Clé: Levanter Teaser Image

[Review] Levanter – Stray Kids

Stray Kids is nominated for Best Male Group and Best Male (Group) Choreography. In addition to that, all their 2019 releases (Miroh, Side Effects, Double Knot and Astronaut) are eligible for Best Song of 2019. To support Stray Kids, click here to vote for them and your other favourites of 2019.

Stray Kids has had a jam-packed year. The group have previously released 2 mini-albums this year, with Miroh and Side Effects leading the albums released in March and June (respectively). And now, the group have moved onto their 3rd mini-album of 2019, Clé: Levanter. The title track of the new album is Levanter and it also features Double Knot and Astronaut as pre-release singles. The album was also scheduled for release at the end of November. But due to the sudden and unexpected departure of Woojin, it was pushed back to 9th of December (today). Their first concert went ahead at the end of November prior to this comeback, as well.

After the release of everything mentioned above, Stray Kids have a lot of shoes to fill when it comes to Levanter. And within one listen to the new song, I was confident that the group had managed to fill those shoes without any issues. Levanter manages to find the middle ground between Double Knot and Astronaut, in my opinion. The song opts for a lighter than usual instrumental, going with mixture of synth and rock vibes in the background. I liken this element of the song to Astronaut, which was notably light in comparison to the rest of their discography. However, it is undeniable that the song features a strong level intensity. The chorus also has these epic vibes that remind me of Double Knot as well. The song is also very much vocally centered, with the vocalists of the group pushing their voices further during the chorus to enhance the epic impression of the song. I found their voices to be very piercing and this stood out during the chorus. The rappers, even though felt limited, sounded really cool during their parts. Overall, Levanter is an awesome track.

Once again, I do not want to dwindle on the music video for long as I will be returning with a Stray Kids music video theory post some time in the new year for you all. While doors have been a recurring theme in their past few music videos, I am still equally as confused as before when it comes to how the Leventer music video plays into the existing story line (and possible connection to their past music videos). But I hopefully shall unravel the story line some time in the new year (though, I would love to read about any theories you may have). Visually, this is a really good video. The members looked good and the sets looked really cool (and I think they were designed to remind us of the previous videos). I thought the graphics in this video was very cool and it felt pretty much different to anything that we got before.

Something that I felt very strongly when watching the choreography was how loaded it felt. It seemed to match the heaviness and deepness of the lyrics in a way that felt powerful and strong. Also, Felix gets a mini solo moment, which I am looking forward to! And the rest of the dance break looks really cool!

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

[Review] Astronaut – Stray Kids

Last month, Stray Kids made a start to their upcoming Clé: Levanter comeback with the release of Double Knot. The second pre-release single and official comeback was scheduled for November 9th and 25th, respectively. However, due to the unexpected departure of Woojin from the group, the release of both parts of the comeback was postponed. Their comeback is not been rescheduled for 9th of December, which gives times for the group to replant their new tracks in preparation for an 8-man lineup. Today, we see the release of Astronaut, the second pre-release single expected on their upcoming mini-album.

Astronaut is probably their most generic and standard track yet. That is not a bad thing, though. I still had a kick-ass time listening to the track. There is an infusion of energy in this generic form of EDM that really makes you think of good times. Actually, it makes you want to have a good time. But while the instrumental was typical, their vocal work and rapping delivery had the very important job of not making the track feel that way as a whole. And I think they successfully nailed it. The vocals were quite smooth, adding a nice contrasting to the standard EDM we got. The rapping was rather dynamic. I liked the melody they brought in via the rap sequences. It also brought in character to the song, which made it even more appealing. Overall, I thought Astronaut was a great pre-release single. Though it makes me wonder. With two very different tracks (Double Knot and Astronaut), how will the upcoming album pan out?

Eagle-eyed fans noticed that there were nine members in the music video, which is definitely a treat for fans. Though for the most part, Woojin was edited out of the music video and I wouldn’t be surprised if some scenes were reshot. As part of the Clé series, you know Astronaut is somehow connected to rest of the video. Hyunjin is the main character, as suggested by the ending of Side Effects. We also see a glimpse of the vehicle that the members rode in in Side Effects, which shocked Hyunjin for a moment (it looked like a prequel, but that scene seems to suggest otherwise). Bangchan and I.N are also now seen as important figures in the story, shown in this music video. We also get an additional suggestion that this series is somehow linked to District 9 (which I pointed out in Side Effects) based on their white clothing at the end.  Other than that, I am not too sure about the ‘storyline’ of the video. Theories would be nice. And you can expect an upcoming ‘Music Video Theory’ post about this series sometime in the next year once I am a little freer to sit down and analysis every single detail of this confusing series.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Review] Double Knot – Stray Kids

I will post my review for Kei’s solo debut tomorrow. 

A lot of male comebacks this week from what I have noticed. And to add to the influx of male groups is Stray Kids. They are gearing up for a future comeback as they released a mysterious teaser which featured Double Knot, District 9: Unlock, Astronaut and Clé: LEVANTER. Double Knot was confirmed to be a single release and District 9: Unlock is going to be their first concert. No word on what Astronaut and Clé: LEVANTER are but my guess is another single (or possibly title track) and mini-album. Double Knot is also the first release from Stray Kids since Side Effects.

The way Double Knot is presented to us is slightly different from the upbeatness and energy that we got from Miroh and the intensity that we got from Side Effects. At the exact same time, however, I think the energy and intensity are still there. But rather, it is very subtle in this hip hop dance track. I found the track to be fierce and very masculine, a side of Stray Kids that I would say we haven’t from the group since their debut days. The rapping is very well in this song, which I think is a common thing when it comes to hip-hop like tracks from Stray Kids. The vocals were also equally as nice. I also want to comment on the fact that the song felt like it held itself back. Obviously, it wasn’t as powerful or explosive like their two title tracks from this year. But, in a way, it creates suspense for their impending comeback that we know will either happen in November or December this year.

That fierceness is definitely transformed into their more urban edgy music video. In this video, it looks like Stray Kids is a gang in the back alleyways. I also feel like the subtle nature of the song really brings out a different tougher vibe to the group, which makes them look very good. I liked the many transitions that were used in this video, which made things feel so much smoother. It isn’t something that you would expect in this video, however. One clear example has to be when the video transitioned between Jisung, Bangchan, Jisung (again), Woojin and Seungmin (around 0:30 of the video). That looked cool and really drew my attention to the rest of the video. There are clues to what Astronaut might be and also elements that tie this video to their previous videos. So it will be interesting to see how Double Knot fits into the storyline.

The dance was equally as impressive. One thing I haven’t mentioned is that the entire comeback comes off as epic. But I  held onto that comment until the choreography because that is what I felt when I watched the choreography for the first time. The initial pose looked really cool. And I like how tough their chorus looked, aligning itself with their previous comebacks despite the different nature of the song.

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

[Special] Top 10 Personal Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2019

As I have been mentioning over the past 2 weeks, I reflect over the 1st half of 2019 through two posts. The first post is the recap of the Number 1 songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts for the period between July 2018 to June 2019 and this was published last week. The second post is my pick for most favourite songs from the first half of the year. This is irrespective of the charts (or any charts for that matter) and reviews, as sometimes my favourite songs don’t reach the top. I have listed 10 songs below, in no particular order, which I believe represent the best of the best that 2019 has offered to us so far.

Boogie Up – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Q&A – Cherry Bullet

Woowa – DIA

Side Effects – Stray Kids

The Fifth Season (SSFWL) – Oh My Girl

Zimzalabim – Red Velvet

Valkirye – ONEUS

No – CLC

Sunrise – GFriend

L.O.V.E – Park Ji Hoon

I wanted to add a few more but think limiting myself to 10 would probably be best, otherwise, I’d be copying and pasting majority of 2019’s releases onto this page.

Do you agree with my picks? What about your favourite tracks of 2019 so far? Comment down below!

[Album Review] Clé 2: Yellow Wood (1st Special Album) – Stray Kids

Today’s album review will be focusing on Stray Kids’ latest release. As you can tell by the title of the post, this isn’t the traditional album release from Stray Kids, like in past comebacks. Apart from three new songs (which includes their latest title track, Side Effects), the album also compiles their 4 past mixtape tracks, which were previously only found on the physical version of each of their 4 past mini-albums. Usually, I do not review these mixtape tracks. But as this is a special album, I have decided to make an exception.

Clé 2: Yellow Wood Album Cover

1..Road Not Taken (밟힌 적 없는 길) – Kickstarting Yellow Wood is an introductory track that throws you into the deep end, with the song featuring a very energetic and robust electronic dance instrumental. Interestingly, we do not get that same level of energy that comes from the vocals or raps. But the seriousness in their voices reminds us that they are not here to mess around with. And I think this contrast is spectacular, matching the inspirational nature of the lyrics. I really like the drop, foreshadowing the exact same glitchy effect in the title track. It is rather disappointing that it was a short one, as I would love to hear a full track out of it. (9/10)

2. Side Effects (부작용) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Side Effects. (10/10)

3. TMT (별생각) – The third new track on this mini-album is TMT. The first thing I noticed about the track is that it takes a more ordinary approach, compared to the previous two tracks. It relies less on theatrics and a dramatic instrumental, refocusing on the vocals and rapping techniques of the group (which I did enjoy). With this more ordinary and less intense approach, the track feels like a potential GOT7 title track, especially after the release of Eclipse. I really like whiney synth in the background of the chorus, giving the song a memorable sound. It is not necessarily a stand out track from the group but it still contains a kick that I enjoyed. (8/10)

4. Mixtape #1Mixtape #1 (originally from their first mini-album, I Am Not) is a standard track, structure wise. It is surprising to hear such a pleasant sound from the group, which is very different from what we are used from Stray Kids. It showcases the vocals of the group, which I think was very nice, especially in an album that features District 9 (which was loaded with raps and intensity from memory) as its title track. Mixtape #1 talks about self-deception into thinking that you got everything under control to achieve what you want later. Overall, a nice track. (8/10)

5. Mixtape #2Mixtape #2 featured on the group’s second mini-album, I Am Who. The track features acoustic guitars, miles away from the dance tracks that Stray Kids have presented us. It focuses purely on vocals, with the rappers even opting for a more melodic form of rapping for the track. The lyrics focus on the bonds created between the members of the group and the bond formed between Stray Kids and Stays (their fan club), along with how they will not give up. I find them all singing at the end to be a very impactful moment, given the message of the track. Soothing and peaceful, a stand out track that I can’t believe I opted to miss out on when I reviewed I Am Who. (9/10)

6. Mixtape #3 – I know these songs are probably not connected in any way. But Mixtape #3 takes the acoustic nature from Mixtape #2 and redefines it into an upbeat sound. Once again, it is vocally driven. But I find the rapping in this track to be impactful and attention-grabbing, emerging as a strong component. But ruling the track has to be the beautiful sounding melodies. I also like how it doesn’t necessarily feature the members singing together but you can feel their presence as a group at the end of the track. (8/10)

7. Mixtape #4 – Featured on the group’s fourth mini-album (Clé 1: Miroh), this is the style I had expected more when it comes to the term ‘mixtape’. The track is more intense than any of the other mixtapes on this album and it feels more aligned with the title tracks we have heard thus far. The track talks about pushing forward regardless of any troubles. The rapping is more dominant, which is a nice change up to line-up. The vocals were good, but I felt like they were a little weaker, especially around the chorus. But still good, overall. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

Clé 2: Yellow Wood Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Review] Side Effects – Stray Kids

One of the two big-name artists in the industry at the moment making their comeback today is Stray Kids. While Stray Kids may not be exactly established yet (a few more successful comebacks will be needed to consolidate that), there is no denying their growing popularity, especially after the success of their last comeback, Miroh. Their comeback today is featured on the second part of their Clé series, Yellow Wood, which is the group’s first ever single album.

The title track for this comeback is Side Effects. I find the trance elements that the song features to be undeniably appropriate for the Summer season, the season filled to the brim of energy. Just Stray Kids manages to mould the intensity into something that I personally have never seen. The song does not stop with its boldness and bass, which I think makes it so unique. There were brief moments of silence or slowness throughout the song that did provide some relief but there was always another element (let it be vocals or raps) to continue the momentum. Talking about the vocals and raps, this song is just another example of the group’s talents and potential. If Side Effect‘s instrumental throws its intensity at you, the vocals and rapping slap you across the face. Props to Seungmin and Felix for their deep tone moments, with the latter finally getting an opportunity to shine in a title track. As you can tell, I am extremely enthusiastic about this track and the energy that comes off on it keeps me on the edge of my seat (despite the many listens that I have already gone through).

There seems to be a complex story brewing within the series. It seems to be connected to Miroh, with Hyunjin fighting another member in both videos. So clearly, the centre member in this series is Hyunjin. I did notice some similarities to their debut music video (District 9), which was very interesting (i.e. bus, security camera view, the lyrics talk about a pill, fencing etc.). My brief understanding is that the members are roaming around freely. Hyunjin seems to be on edge for some reason, attacking Seungmin and becoming frustrated with Felix. The reason why, well, I guess we have to wait until the next comeback to see what is going on. (I did read a few theories on Instagram, which seems to connect back to District 9). Standalone, I think the video does a good job of conveying the tone of the song.

But what is the message of the song? Well, it is all about being overly insecure and worrisome, especially about how this mind state could influence how you perceive the world (i.e. Hyunjin vs. the members in the video). Someone pointed out (in the comments on YouTube) that there are 9 additional backup dancers in the background, potentially representing the demons of each member. Very interesting theory. As for the routine, I think this is another fully captivating performance to keep your eyes open for. 

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.7/10

[Album Review] Clé 1 : MIROH (4th Mini Album) – Stray Kids

Apologies for the missed album review on Sunday. As a result, I will be publishing another tomorrow to compensate for it, or else I will fall very behind on my schedule. In the meantime, this is the weekly Friday album review post! Stray Kids made their comeback on the 25th of April with both Clé 1: MIROH and the title track, Miroh. Since then, they have been releasing special videos for a number of the tracks on the album. It seems like this is a common thing for Stray Kids and I may compile a special review of these videos later on. However, for now, here is the album review for Clé 1: MIROH.

Clé 1: MIROH Album Cover

1..Miroh (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Miroh. (9.5/10)

2. Victory Song (승전가) – Stray Kids throws you intensity right, left and centre in Victory Song. Listening to the track, it is loaded with that hip-hop sound that Stray Kids started off with their mixtape. And it honestly been a while since I have personally heard a hip-hop dance track like this and really enjoyed it. Starting the song off are some sirens, which just tell you that it is going to be one hell of a track. The song then moves onto rapping and we are treated to a very deep whisper by Felix, who does a really good job building suspense for the track. The way the song is set up allows for the rappers to really shine, but the vocals were also quite good. The chorus is extremely strong, with their chanting union of the line ‘Listen to this Victory Song’ very memorable. (9/10)

3. Maze of Memories (잠깐의 고요)Maze of Memories is also very intense. But it takes a different approach that Victory Song or the title track. The song starts off with a light-ish piano piece to build up the song (To me, the piano piece reminds me of the waiting music you hear when you are waiting for a computer game to load up). But the song takes a sudden turn for the chorus, delving into a rock instrumental. Interesting, it returns to the piano piece for the second verse, which I thought was rather cool. And this allows for the rock instrumental to be even more profound when it returns once again. Even more impressively, all the members rap throughout the song. I don’t think I heard any vocals and I think that is quite cool. Felix, Seungmin and Bangchan’s English lines did take me by surprise, which I don’t really understand why. But I guess it is might be because I have not heard an extended sequence like so that much. (10/10)

4. Boxer – Following the intense trend on this album, Boxer seems to be a very appropriate title for a track on this album. And like the title, the song centres itself around boxing, with the chorus acting like a boxing tutorial that I think might just work if you are wanting a workout (though, don’t trust me on this as I do not work out in any way). Once again, the rappers are at the forefront of the song, dominating for most of the verses and choruses. But the vocalists were still quite good in their limited sections. As for the instrumental, there is a more electronic influence, with the scratchy chorus and very intense fast vibrating synth accompanied by the bells you hear commonly in boxing matches. To me, it isn’t the stand out track on the album but it still quite good. (8/10)

5. ChronosaurusChronosaurus is appealing for several factors. The song starts off with a tone that seems to refocus on the vocalists of the song. It is much more melodic, and the rappers appeared to be scattered throughout the song, rather than the vocalists like in the previous tracks. The song isn’t as intense, providing some relief after the overload of intensity we have gotten so far. It also has a slower tempo, which allows us to really appreciate the song in a more wholesome way. I also liked the instrumental. Still quite dynamic but it’s different in its own way. I think the best part has to the eerie bridge. I really liked Bang Chan, Woojin and Seungmin’s vocals in this section. It really goes well with all the Western songs that I listen to and it makes the final chorus even more impactful once it comes along. (9/10)

6. 19 – When you see the number 19 in the context of KPOP songs, you automatically think of the strict broadcasting laws video content must be branded with. However, this is not the case for Stray Kid’s 19. The song is a slow R&B track that showcases both the rappers and vocalists evenly. I think the song talks about their hardship at the age of 19, which I think is the final age before people become ‘adults’ in Korea (don’t quote me on this, however). I really like the moody instrumental of the track which seems emotional and reflective, but the deep R&B vibes also fit Stray Kids’ portfolio. It didn’t appeal automatically to my taste, but the song grew on me after a while and I think, now, is quite good. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

Clé 1: MIROH Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Review] Miroh – Stray Kids

Stray Kids have returned with their first 2019 comeback. Last year, the male group made their debut with District 9, and continued promotions throughout the entire year with My Pace and I Am YOU. If you ask me, that is an extremely busy year for a rookie group. Today, the group dropped their 4th mini-album, Clé 1 : MIROH. But they released the music video for Miroh 18 hours prior to the album drop, which was extremely unexpecting. But hey, I am not complaining.

Miroh is an even more intense sound than any of their previous releases. But we don’t really get a sense of that intensity at the start but you can definitely sense the exponential buildup as we head towards the chorus. Instead, we open with Felix’s deep tone voice and sirens layered over birds tweeting. We are then lead into a nice vocal verse. Out of nowhere, the intensity picks up and the rappers come at us with a very powerful rap pre-chorus (also my favourite part of the song). Continuing the momentum is the chorus, which takes a half-instrumental piece and half singing approach. I actually quite like this and thought the song was extremely dynamic due to the dance influence the instrumental featured.  I also find the ‘Woah-Oh-Oh’ very addictive as well, as it seems to provide relief after all the intensity. The fade-out was also nice. Not too typical for a dance song like this but given its heavy-handed nature, I think it works excellently, My personal biggest issue with the song has to be how short it felt. Two choruses in and I actually wanted more, though I am not sure how I would handle more.

I am personally not sure what the song is 100% about. My interpretation of the lyrics is that the song talks about reaching new heights and being yourself in the process (but this may be wrong). I like how the video relates to the song in a more literal sense, however. The members are singing about the concrete jungle and how they ‘ran to the next city’ to go ‘higher in the next city’. And we see that. We see the members taking over the city from the rich men who run it by leading another rebellion. We see them on top of buildings, performing their choreography. It all works out well. I like how the edgy feel of the song seeps onto the video. Furthermore, I enjoyed the editing in this video, which made everything feel so intense.

Big ticks for this choreography. The best part has to be the chorus for me, where the song peaks. And there is nothing better than the peak of a song! Definitely intense and I always like a jump that is timed with the song.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the first section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best New Groups, Best Female and Male Groups and many others.

Each category will have a WINNER (the artist/group that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.

Best New Male Group

Nominees – ATEEZ, NOIR, Stray Kids, The Boyz, UNB


WINNER – Stray Kids
Honourable Mention – The Boyz
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Boyz

Best New Female Group

Nominees – fromis.9, (G)I-DLE, IZ*ONE, LOONA, NATURE


Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9

Best New Soloist

Nominees – Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), LONGGUO, SOHEE (ELRIS), Yuri (SNSD)


Honourable Mention – Leo (VIXX)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Dong Han

Rising Star

Nominees – (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Pentagon


Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland

Most Underrated Artist of the Year

Nominees – A.C.E, CLC, N.Flying, KARD, Snuper


Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – N.Flying

Best Unit Group / Subunit

Nominees – EXO-CBX, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Oh My Girl BANHANA, SNSD-Oh!GG


Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG

Best Male Solo Artist

Nominees – Eric Nam, Hwang Chi Yeul, Jung Sewoon, Samuel, Seungri (Big Bang)


WINNER – Seungri (Big Bang)
Honourable Mention – Eric Nam
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Eric Nam

Best Female Solo Artist

Nominees – BoA, Hyolyn, Kim Chungha, Sunmi, Taeyeon (SNSD)


WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi

Best Band

Nominees – DAY6, IZ, N,Flying, The East Light, The Rose


Honourable Mention – The Rose

Best Raps

Nominees – B.I (iKON), Ilhoon (BTOB), Jooheon (Monsta X), Mino (WINNER), RM (BTS)


Honourable Mention – Mino (WINNER)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Jooheon (Monsta X)

Best Vocals

Nominees – BOL4, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeul, Mamamoo, Minseo


WINNER – Mamamoo
Honourable Mention – BTOB
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo

Best Male Group

Nominees – BTOB, BTS, EXO, GOT7, iKON, Monsta X, NCT, NU’EST W, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, SHINee, VIXX, Wanna One, Winner


Honourable Mention – SHINee

Best Female Group

Nominees – AOA, APRIL, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)


WINNER – Red Velvet
Honourable Mention – BLACKPINK
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo

Artists Who Topped The Weekly KPOP Charts The Most in 2018

This is not a fan-voted category


WINNER – Monsta X, Seventeen & Sunmi

And that completes the Artist Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Song Categories will be unveiled shortly and you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!