[Double Review] Paper Umbrella + Hibernation – Yesung (Super Junior)

Yesung from Super Junior has made his return to the stage with a brand new mini-album, Spring Falling. Hibernation was the pre-release single from the mini-album, while Paper Umbrella served as the main title track. It has been a while since we heard from him. He last promoted Here I Am back in April of last year. He also participated in the drama, Voice, earlier this year.

Yesung’s two songs delve back into the ballad genre in music. Hibernation has a nice melody but it fails to reel me. The percussion in the song felt dominate and did take the attention away from his vocals, which should have been the highlight of the track. His vocals are good but they don’t sound as emotional as his other songs. It just wasn’t as memorable. There were actually other tracks on his mini-album which could have easily served as a pre-release single instead and left a stronger impression on me than what Hibernation did.
Paper Umbrella is a much better ballad in comparison. The orchestra based instrumental makes the song sound grand and elegant. His vocals are much better here. You could feel the emotions in his voice. There was also a nice buildup in both the instrumental and Yesung’s vocals in this song. However, similar to the Hibernation, Paper Umbrella fails to capture my attention. It sounds good in the moment, however, it just doesn’t have me coming back for more.

Hibernation’s accompanying video was boring to watch. There wasn’t much to it. Yesung was singing, while the lead actress in the music video went about on her day. There was no interaction between the two in any form. However, the video does seem to suit the song.
Paper Umbrella’s video was far more interesting. The video shows a Yesung and his former lover on a rainy day.  The two seem to remember when they were younger and how they spent their rainy days together. There seemed to be other couples in the video (not too sure about this though). The use of colour in this video is excellent. The present day where they have separated, the clouds are grey and there is barely any light when they meet up on the bridge. Meanwhile, their memories are of days where there was a nice golden glow from the sky and the colours are much brighter overall.

Hibernation
Song – 5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Rating – 5/10

Paper Umbrella 
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

 

[Review] Blah Blah – Kyuhyun (Super Junior)

Kyuhyun has returned with a new ballad. This is his third round of promotions as a solo artist. He has released mini-albums in both 2014 and 2015, with both becoming extremely successful. His latest release has 2 title tracks: Blah Blah and Still (which I will not be reviewing).

Blah Blah is the type of ballad that gets you swaying to the music. As soon as I play it, my head just starts swaying. That is a sign of a good ballad. Hahaha… Honestly, if the verses had a little something to make it interesting, I would have dug into this song a lot sooner. But as mentioned, the verses are quite plain and that gives the song a weak opening. But as the song proceeds to the chorus, Kyuhyun starts showing off his vocals and it sounds wonderful. I love how his voice starts off literally soft and then it increases in power and volume as the song goes on. The lyrics tell a story of nervousness in front of a lover when trying to confess. The use of “Blah Blah” as the title put me off, but overall, it made sense in terms of the lyrics.

Come watch an Asian guy get a hair cut and have his beard shaved. The majority of the video is essentially that. Kyuhyun gets a hair cut in slow-motion. While it is shot in slow-motion to match the speed of the song, it is incredibly boring to watch. The other parts of the video include flashbacks to Kyuhyun wanting to confess to his friend/crush (implied from the lyrics). Finally, the video shows a car crash, where Kyuhyun’s car is flipped. The video made it look like he was on his way to confess. That makes it a sad video to watch. The hair cutting scenes filled in the start but also added to the ‘getting ready’ for the night, which does make it sadder. The video was shot nicely and overall, was also nice to watch.

Rating – 8.5/10

 

[Review] Here I Am – Yesung (Super Junior)

After so long being on stage, Yesung, one of the main vocalists of Super Junior has officially made his debut as a solo artist in South Korea.  I really like Yesung’s voice, so I was extremely pleased to hear that he would be able to debut in South Korea. While I think it is obvious to everyone that his mini album did not do as well as expected, he still feels proud with releasing his own songs and tells everyone to focus on the song rather than the charts.

The song is really good. As I mentioned above, I am in love with his vocals. His voice just sounds so husky and in this ballad, his vocals were used to his benefit. The song was quite slow at the start but it slowly builds up with the instrumental. Everything is quite soft at the start from the vocals to the piano in the background. However as we hit the chorus, we are flung back into what I think sounds like a powerful ballad. The chorus was honestly very beautiful sounding. My favourite part was probably the bridge of the song. It is the perfect climax for the song that doesn’t ruin or change the song up in any way. From start to the end, the song stayed true to its ballad nature. I have to say this, but I say many songs don’t fluctuate from the “straight line”. This one doesn’t as well, but it is a prime example of how the song can still be amazing.

The music video is quite nice. The story line is very interesting (for a change, something plot worthy to talk about). The video starts off with Yesung packing up his things, ready to move out. People are coming over to inspect the house and he did not expect his ex to come around with her friend. The two become awkward but pushes through anyway, pretending not to know each other. Yesung remembers all these memories of when they used to  be happy while I am quite sure, the girl does as well, as she turns off the faucet, something she probably remembered doing a lot when she was with him. I personally thought her turning off the faucet was a very powerful scene. Slowly the girl is reminded of her happy memories and the two start becoming awkward when they help out with measuring the window sill. In the end, the girl and her friend had to leave. We cut back to another memory flashback of their previous breakup. Ironically, when the scene is cut back to Yesung singing on the street, it is revealed his ex never left, similar to when they broke up. I have to say, the video was shot beautifully. His acting is really good and those tears he gets at the end was just the tip of the iceberg for me. Honestly, check out the video for this. It is a well-written plot line that goes hand in hand with the song.

Overall, a beautiful comeback. Despite his promotions already ending (I think) and that his album did not chart as well, doesn’t mean that this album is terrible. Do check it out. 10/10

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Little Prince – Ryeowook (Super Junior)

The first release from SM this year and this time, it is also a solo release of a member of a popular band. Ryeowook, one of the main vocalists from Super Junior, has officially made his solo debut, joining the ranks of band member Kyuhyun. Ryeowook is also the second member to make his solo debut from Super Junior.

The song, is what we all expected from Ryeowook, a ballad. For his vocals, I have never been a big fan. His voice seems ordinary and there really is nothing to celebrate every time I hear his voice. He also has a high pitch voice, which never seems to fit in with the rest of the band. But this song highlights his voice and damn does he sound good or what? The song captures his vocals and makes good use of them. As for the song itself, I feel fine listening to just the instrumental. As you can tell, totally digging the orchestral sound. The verses seem a little bland, but the rest of the song (chorus + bridge) sounds catchy and really nice. (Secretly enjoying the chorus) I love how the song starts off super slow and builds up as we listen to more of it. His vocals do a good job at handling and balancing that build up in the song, making it sound as nothing complex is going on. The lyrics of the song are based off that famous French book of the same title, The Little Prince. So, what can you conclude from this paragraph? His voice is too damn good. And his song is amazing as well.

The video was a little boring to watch in my point of view. I have to say, the sets of the video were beautiful artworks that were made to look like the real deal. We see him struggle against his problems in the video, and while his expression is a little dull (we could have seen a little more acting), the way he interacts with the objects around him make up for it and display the “man in pain” that we know from the book. The imagery of the video was amazing, such as the pouring of wine on the white rose and the small snippets of burning pages and pictures from the book made the video look artistic and very beautiful. The colours give off that really nice Autumn night feel, which I think looks fantastic. But as a whole, I am not drawn to the video as I am with the song. I may have yawned when I was watching the video a few times.

Overall, the song was amazing and the video was great. 8.5/10

 

2015 BOBs (Best Of the Best) – Part 1

2015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 1 of the BOBs and part 2 will be released tomorrow with the rest of the categories. Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!

These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).

RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention

RISING STAR

Each year, artists see a rise in popularity. May that be due to great songs or great publicity (after all: any publicity is good publicity), this year was no difference.  Each of these artists, I have personally seen, some sort of boost in popularity this year. And I get to choose two winners (one male and one female) for this certain category. For this year, I have nominated:

risingstar

My pick is: EXID and BTOB. Both teams saw a rise in popularity due to one particular member, and slowly each member in each group is become well known in the industry. Keep up the good work, EXID and BTOB!!!

BEST INSTRUMENTAL

A song is not a song without an instrumental. And in KPOP, the instrumental plays a massive part in hooking us in and getting us addicted to the music. Especially for foreign and international fans who don’t understand the Korean language 100%. So many great instrumentals this year, here are the nominees:

bestinstrumental

Out of all the nominees, there can be only one winner: Wonder Girls – I Feel You. The girls returned to the stage with a brand new band concept, which totally wowed me. This instrumental has its own retro vibe and I personally enjoyed it a lot. From the drums to the keyboard and guitars, the girls totally deserve this. By far one of the most underrated songs, that definitely deserve an award! Honourable Mentions: F(x) – 4Walls

BEST JAPANESE SONG

I also do some Japanese songs on this site. Hahaha… Yeah, I review some Japanese songs from time to time. The variety of singers that I listen to for Japanese songs is usually limited to only the Japanese songs released by Korean artists. This year, the category has been dominated by Korean artists and I hope next year, I can start to review more Japanese artists! Here are the nominees:

bestjapsong

I think, I was most addicted to Beast – Can’t Wait To Love You. And that was my pick for Best Japanese Song. It was song that I felt did not fall into the typical Korean Pop or Japanese Pop genres and was pretty unique on its own. As for honourable mentions: BTS – For You.

BEST COMEBACK

Big name comebacks this occurred and they all managed to rock our socks off. Hahaha… I take into account: song, concept, promotions, looks, impact and a few more categories and suprisngly, the biggest artists that emerge from the Golden Age of KPOP were nominated:

bestcomebackOut of all the comebacks nominated, the one that fitted the criteria the most would have been Big Bang. 2015 was one big year for the band, and they had such an unique concept in terms of promotion. SNSD takes away honourable mention for this category.

BEST SUBUNIT

Unfortunately, 2015 did not continue the 2014 trend of subunits. However, some new subunits formed from popular bands and some old favourite returned. Here is who I think should be nominated as best subunit:

bestsubunit

This one was a little close for me. But I am going to say Donghae and Eunhyuk, which is a subunit belonging to Super Junior. Their song was by far an amazing and left a more long lasting impact on me than the others. The other subunit that gets honourable mention is VIXX LR, which is a duo made up of Leo and Ravi.

BEST RAPPER

2015 saw a new wave of contestant based TV shows around rapping and hence many artists have seen a boost in popularity after appearing on these shows. Other rappers also remained on stage as part of their groups and amazed the audience continuously during each comeback. Here are the nominees:

bestrapper

Out of all the rappers on the light, I picked Mad Clown as a winner. His song was a hit, it was a great song (now) and while he is not part of some group, he still managed to be placed ahead of everyone this year. Zico (Block B) took out Honourable Mention for his active year. Interestingly enough, both selected artists had someone featuring in their song.

BEST VOCALIST

When there are rappers, there are also singers. 2015 also saw new programs (and our old favourites) made specifically for the vocalists of all groups. Some vocalists we know have always amazed us, but others have just emerged and became trends for 2015. Based purely on what they sound like, here are the nominees:

bestvocalist

I think this category has the most obvious winner, Taeyeon (SNSD). Yeah, she was quite active as an artist, but her debut for I blew everyone away. As for honourable mention, it goes to Solji (EXID). Her performance of Maria still replays in my head. Her powerful vocals in EXID’s performance are also quite amazing.

BEST MALE SOLOIST

While the above category looked like at vocal performance, the Best Male Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:

bestmalesoloist

There is only one artist on this list that managed to wow me the very moment I listened to the song and that artist is Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite). His whole album did wonders and is an album that I am continuously going back to. As for honourable mentions, Lee Hong Ki (FT Island) wins that. His solo debut song was well received and I reviewed it as an amazing ballad.

BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

While the above category(Best Vocalist) looked like at vocal performance, the Best Female Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:

bestfemalesoloist

Once again, I am going to give it to Taeyeon (SNSD). Vocally, stunning. It was memorable and lovely to listen to. Honourable Mention was a close call, but Amber (F(x)) stole it from Gain (Brown Eyed Girls). So catchy and bright.

And that is it for Part 1 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, where I will post the second part of the BOBs, with Best Song, Best Male and Female Rookie; and Best Male and Female groups (plus a few more categories).

*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.

 

 

 

A Million Pieces – Kyuhyun (Super Junior)

Kyuhyun, the main vocal from Super Junior, has officially returned with his 2nd solo mini album. He made his solo debut last year with At Gwanghwamun (a song which I never got to review and probably wise to keep it that way). This time around, he returned with a genre which he does best, ballad, with A Million Pieces. While Kyuhyun does have a nice voice, for some reason, I tend to avoid his releases. I made myself watch and listen to this song this time around. My thoughts? Well, the song is pretty good, but I wouldn’t say it is the best. I do prefer the song more than his solo debut though. The fluctuations in the way he sings the chorus and the verses is a pretty nice combination. His chorus is somewhat catchy. But that is all I can say. He has a nice voice, but the song does not do justice to it. I don’t find much that appealing to me. It is bland and honestly sounds a little flat. I am 100% sure that there is a song out there that will prefectly present his vocals skills and also show what I am talking about. Sadly this is not it.

Ummm… Stalker alert. In this music video we see Kyuhyun seemingly popping up  coincidently throughout the music video around this girl. The girl is generally confused. It turns out Kyuhyun picked up a map from the girl who dropped it earlier in the video and have been following her around. If I was her, I would have gone to the police station and mentioned a stalker, but for the sake of the video, let’s go on. He likes her (talk about love at first contact) and proceeds to hang out with her, with her approval. They go a mini date. The next day, Kyuhyun waits around the mountains for her (as per her map indicates), but it seems like she totally forgot her plan to the mountains. Well, it turns out she had some terrible migraine the night before and I think that may have prevented her from going to the mountains. Not entirely sure, but it looked like she had a pill in her hands at the end video, but she was crying so much that she couldn’t bring herself to take the pill. I am genuinely confused. Just 1 question: why didn’t she fill up her bottles of medication before she left? Surely she would have done a bit of planning ahead of time? To me the plot seems to be worthy to become the next Korean Drama.

But beside all of that, the video itself was pretty entertaining. Kyuhyun’s face though. So much make-up. I was just like, it is so white and smooth. How??? The scenery was amazing. The video managed to capture beautiful shots of Swenden?? I don’t know my geography, I apologise.

Song was technically a miss for me. Music video was entertaining. 5/10

Magic – Super Junior

If you have not heard, some members of Super Junior will be enlisting into the army later this year. That is quite sad, but the members aren’t ready to say goodbye yet, as they released their repackaged album of Devil at the start of September (one month ago). On the repackaged album is the song Magic, which also serves as their title track. This is the last album before Donghae, Siwon and Eunhyuk enlist into the army. There was also minimal promotions for this album as it only served as “thank you” from the members to the fans (10 years since debut as well. Time flies when you are having fun).

This song was pretty mediocre. It wasn’t bad, but it did not really stand out. It was catchy, but it oh so annoying to listen to. I will explain myself. There really is nothing fancy about this song. Super Junior has put out much better songs in the past and honestly, this song falls into the “typical KPOP song” category. It was nice to listen to, but it just did not have that wow factor or anything interesting, where it makes me want to go back and listen to it some more. When I do listen to it, I find it catchy and I often repeat the lyrics over and over in my head. But the English in this song is so awful. “She so hot, She so fire”? It is 2015, not when KPOP is just reaching foreign shores and Korea did not have that American influence anymore. That one line is probably the catchiest line, but it just annoys me so much. Arghh!!! The vocals and pop instrumental is pretty standard. It’s nice to see Yesung seem to have his voice back in this song, unlike in Devil.

The music video was okay. It seemed a little too generic and while we are probably so happy that SM is venturing outside of a studio for their music video, the production value of this video looked quite minimal. The pop influenced effects with the number coming out of Yesung’s ear and also the movement of the basketball added a nice touch to the video. The music video has that “magic” aspect to it, but rather than being romantic with the magic, the members are using it to their advantage to get the girls attention or for their own pleasure. Well that sounded weird.  The video should have been a little better. There is no hype or excitement that I see from fans. It seems like the video was released and everyone ran to it, but then it disappeared from existence. The dancing was okay. Not amazing and grand but it matches the style of the song.

Overall, it’s their 10 year anniversary. It is also the last album for a while for some members. I feel like they should have gotten something a little better. While it was a bright song and video, not feeling it. 5/10

Devil – Super Junior

Uni has officially restarted for me, so I will be a little slower with getting the reviews up now. BUT, I will try my best, of course, to get them out as fast as I can. And finally the group that did it all and conquered the industry has returned with a special album. Now while this is a special album and all, but SM, I think it is time to talk. Honestly, quit worrying about being a profit machine. Honestly, you have the biggest acts in the industry. You will be making profit, regardless of the amount of times you will be promoting your artists. Why am I saying this? SNSD, Super Junior, TVXQ and possibly SHINee have released a song or album within the month of July. Now, I don’t what your true motives are about this, but this has to stop. For fans and probably for your artists and staff. And this is not the first time it has happened. Promotions have overlapped in the past, but this is the first time where your artists are coming out every single week for 1 month.

That was my rant. Now, this is the first release for Yesung (as part of Super Junior) since he finished his military service. And for those who don’t know, I am a pretty big fan for Yesung. Mainly because of his vocals. But wow, do I believe he was shunned. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, because we see members of Super Junior who we usually don’t see sing, sing quite a bit in this song. However, I feel like this song just disregarded the main vocalists of the group. I felt like the song held them back and really did not do them any favours. To me, the song has its good points, but also disappointed me. Devil sounded like a rock track or something quite upbeat. Further hype was added when the group suggested that Devil could become the new Sorry Sorry. BUT I was so disappointed when Devil came out. Mainly because it does not have the kick that I was promised, as in Sorry Sorry. Actually, no, this would not be a song that I would classify has the pop sound that Super Junior usually has. It has no similarities to Sorry Sorry whatsoever. But while you probably think I am criticising the song, I am not. I enjoyed the jazzy sound that the song has and also how the song compliments the other singers of the band that we do not see/hear much.

I thought this music video was perfect. Disregarding my thoughts about the song, I thought the teasers were funny (despite not understanding a single thing). The music video itself, I thought was pretty cool, with the movie teaser/poster effects. I thought they played very well with the actual song and concept. The devil is the female lead, while the male leads (Super Junior) themselves, are the main characters and trying to solve their problems. Gun fights, robbing and a whole heap of other action ensues. SM did not hold back for this music video. And that I am grateful for, and it seems like a new thing for SM. The one thing I do need to say is that: that hat Yesung wears at the end, needs to go. That is all.

The dance is alright. It fits the song, but I am not really drawn to the performances. Mainly due to the fact that they are going to be rare since SM is only allowing them 1 week on the stage, which has already past and now there is nothing me to look forward to each week.

While the promotional phase for this album was rather shot and it is the company that we can only blame it fall, Super Junior managed to comeback with a solid song, even though it seems like I disagreed with it, in certain aspects. 7/10

Growing Pains – Donghae & Eunhyuk (Super Junior)

Super Junior is back!! Wait. Let’s back track for a moment. Donghae and Eunhyuk is back!!! Yes, it has been a while since we last heard from the duo. Their latest Korean releases includes Oppa Oppa and Still You; and the two have been quite busy and successful releasing songs such as Motorcycle and Skeleton in Japan. The song Growing Pains is the title track of their first album titled as “The Beat Goes On”. And beside that, Super Junior has been quiet lately. Sungmin got married in December 2014 and he, alongside Shindong, will be enlisting this month (I think). Other than that, Kyuhyun wrapped up successful promotions for his solo debut. I believe Siwon is filming something (when isn’t he in front of a camera for a drama). Heechul and Jungmo (from TRAX) is also set to return as the duo M&D.

This song is pretty good. I did not like Oppa Oppa and Still You rings no bells in my mind (probably wasn’t that memorable). This one is the style that I love and like. Like seriously, most songs take time to be implanted into my mind and brainwash me into thinking it is good. This was just immediate. It just clicked in my mind. The rock influenced instrumental was amazing and really fitted the song lyrics so well. As for the vocals Donghae sounded amazing. Eunhyuk was pretty good as well, just I felt the rap could have been left out. The rapping wasn’t bad and fitted into the song quite well. But still, I think a full vocal/singing concept would have been just fine. I absolutely love the  bridge of the song. I honestly would tell everyone to go check out this song. It is so good.

As for the music video, I haven’t watched it. So everything I say here will be first impressions.  SM is finally moving away from box sets. This music video and Red Velvet’s music video was shot all outside. We see the boys struggle with their break up. When they bump into each other, they looked like they were willing to punch each other. But really, if you looked that pissed off every time someone bumped into you (or you bumped into someone), I won’t be surprised that they dumped you. I liked the dancing scenes on top of the roof. Them lights look beautiful. The girl’s rejection for Eunhyuk was quite cruel. False hope hey. Finally we see the guys go seek some help with some erasing memory expert. Overall, the video was nice shot. Donghae’s forehead looked too smooth, but it was a pretty nice video to watch.

As for the dance, it was pretty cool. Don’t get why the microphones were there. They really did nothing to the performance. But I have to mentioned one thing. Their costumes (along with the dancers) looked quite cheap. Okay maybe not the dudes cause they are probably wearing high end stuff. But the dancers looked very cheap. And that got me distracted.

Overall, the perfect song, a nice video and a great dance. 9.5/10

End Of Year Charts 2014

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)
1 Something Girl’s Day
2 Sugar Free T-Ara
3 Up & Down EXID
4 Monday Blues Sunny Hill
5 Piano Man Mamamoo
6 Darling Girl’s Day
7 I’m In Love Secret
8 Mr. Chu A Pink
9 Yasisi NS Yoon G
10 Red Light F(x)
11 One More Fiestar
12 Good Night Kiss Hyosung (Secret)
13 Ain’t Nobody HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
14 Eternity VIXX
15 You Don’t Love Me Spica
16 So Wonderful Ladies Code
17 This Is Love Super Junior
18 Luv APINK
19 Like A Cat AOA
20 B.B.B (Big Baby Baby) Dal Shabet
21 Good Luck Beast
22 Cha Cha Rainbow BLAXX
23 Full Moon Sunmi ft. Lena
24 Error VIXX
25 Catallena Orange Caramel
26 My Copy Cat Orange Caramel
27 Don’t Look At Me Like That Song Ji Eun (Secret)
28 Back Infinite
29 8Dayz Megan Lee
30 What About You? Laboum
31 Dont Touch Me Ailee
32 I Swear Sistar
33 Singing Got Better Ailee
34 1004 (Angel) B.A.P
35 Danger BTS
36 12:30 Beast
37 Mr. Ambigious Mamamoo
38 Lonely B1A4
39 Beep Beep BTOB
40 Mamma Mia Kara
41 I Need You Bestie
42 Solo Day B1A4
43 Whatcha Doing Today? 4Minute
44 Pretty Age 25 Song Ji Eun (Secret)
45 1 Minute 1 Second Jiyeon (T-Ara)
46 Peppermint Chocolate Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
47 FxxK U Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
48 Touch My Body Sistar
49 Evanesce Super Junior
50 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 ^^

Catch Up Review #9 – AOA, Hello Venus, Zhou Mi (Super Junior M) – Celebrating 500 reviews…

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Finally getting to the end of these reviews.  Did you know that I am actually not writing them up and posting them straight away? I am currently on holidays…. But hey, at least I got these scheduled out over the time I am going. Just I expected these to be done by Wednesday night, and here I am on Thursday… But yeah, there are 11 of these catch up reviews, so two more to go. Let’s do this!!!

Like A Cat – AOA (THIS IS MY 500TH SONG REVIEW)

This is a recent song that came out last week. This song is a really catchy song and is basically a more fun version of their song that boosted them to popularity (Miniskirt). This is the song that I was waiting for. It is really upbeat and probably top all of their previous songs. I have one complaint, but Jimin’s introduction still sound whiny and her voices annoys me when I listen to the song. The music video is where the girls try to break into the vault to steal the diamonds. Firstly, the dude has too many tattoos. Secondly, some of the girl’s jobs are werid. Why is the girl in the air ducts playing phone games and manage to knock herself out with the gas? Why isn’t she crawling away? As for Jimin, she would have better off using a gun rather than the whip. The dance fitted the song title really well, and I actually like the dance. 8/10

Sticky Sticky – Hello Venus

This song was very boring. There is nothing appealing from the song. Well beside the cow bells. I don’t know why I am so drawn into the cow bells for? The bridge of the song, really did not fit in with the rest of the song. The music video was really boring. The dance was equally boring as well. I think Hello Venus needs to go back to their Venus or past concepts. They got popular using those concepts, so why change now? 0/10

Rewind – Zhou Mi (Super Junior M)

This probably has to be one of the catchiest songs of the 2014 year. “Stop, rewind, rewind” is the one line that is stuck in my head at this very moment. The chorus is pretty catchy. I prefer the Korean version over the Chinese version for this song. Mainly because Chanyeol’s rap suit the song more rather than Tao’s rap. There really is not much of a plot with the music video. Mainly of Zhou Mi remembering his lover. That or him being shirtless of the ending of the video. That probably got fan girls screaming or fainting. The dance was also pretty cool as well. The sharp movements and the “rewinding” motion fitted the song really well and made the dance pretty memorable in my head. 9/10

Next set of reviews are girls groups. Well, these were the girl groups that I promised that I would review such as Ladies Code, BESTie and Tiny G. See you next time!!! Let’s hope for another hundred review guys!!!!

Catch Up Review #5 – Super Junior

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Ah, finally. Probably the reviews you have been waiting for. Super Junior is finally back after 2 years. What have they done in the past two years? A lot of solo work, military enlistment, dramas, and a Super Junior M release. On top of that: Congrats to Sungmin for announcing his marriage for December. Though I don’t know how this is going to play out, best wishes to his future wife. But enough talking.

Mamacita

This has to be the worst song on the list. I just have to say it. I did not like this song, music video or dance. It completely weird me out and I thought there was like some really bad thing going on in the KPOP industry. That being said, I did not enjoy this song. It had that like of latin feel, but it was kind of awkward when you heard it. Also Shindong’s line: “Just close your lips and shut your tongue”. HOW??? -shivers-. The music video was okay to watch, just it bored me out and I really was distracted by that lady in the music video. And by lady I meant Kangin. That is one buff lady who is really sensitive to her watermelons. That actually sounded a lot better in my mind. Anyway, the dance was so so. Wasn’t the best dance but at the same time it did the job for the song. 2/10

This Is Love 

Whoever gave this song to the band to do was a lifesaver. This song is so freaking amazing. It has this smooth feeling and also a really classy feeling as well. It has this Justin Timberlake kind of feel to it, well in my eyes. I thought the vocals were amazing. As for the music video, it was pretty good. I like how it was all that one set and they managed to add a different feel to different scenes. The one problem I have is the use of the one shot camera. Actually, this also has the 360 camera (correct me if I am wrong), in it as well. As for the dance, I thought it was cool. Dream Girl by SHINee also incorporated microphone stands  but it was a more of a flashy style of dance. This dance, on the other hand, complimented the smoothness and classy feel of the song, as I mentioned above.  10/10

Evanesce

This was another song, as a part of their repackaged album and was used a side promotion single with This Is Love. Though it was a ballad, there was a performance and also a music video released, which kind of lets me do a review for it. This song really highlights the vocals of each member. Now only if Yesung came back during this time, then everything would have been perfect. But seriously, these voices in this song really amazing. The chorus of the song was really well done. As for the music video, they used the same set as This Is Love, which when you think about it, that idea is really original. But this time, the set looks abandoned and fits into the song really well. There was no dance, but Eunhyuk did get a little moment during the performance and music video to dance with a girl, which I thought was cool. It was not over done and his moves fitted the speed of the song. 9/10

Well, that is another review done. Now onto the next review. The theme shall be: Rising Girl Groups. See you next time!!!

 

 

Fantastic – Henry Lau (Super Junior M)

Last year Henry promoted Trap and 1,4,3 as his songs on stage. On top of that, Super Junior M recently made their comeback at the start of the year with Swing where all the songs reached moderate success. Now that it has been around a year, SM Entertainment had announced a comeback for the male soloist. After reading the news, it seems that SM Entertainment is trying to rush a lot of things and have comebacks and debut lay over each other recently. For example, while Henry is promoting, F(x) and J.Min were also promoting. Now that SM Entertainment has announced that their next rookie girl group will be debuting on Friday, it seems like a very big mess. Have they not learnt anything since EXO and F(x) had their comebacks at the same time last year? But this review is about Henry and I shall keep it that way.

This song is pretty good. But it really is not a song that I would go back to listen to. That being said, I don’t think it is a song that I find memorable. The instrumental with the violins is pretty good and finally they actually incorporated a violin into the performance and song, something that Henry is quite well known for. But beside that, I think the vocals did not do a good job of promoting Henry’s ability and I don’t remember much from the song after listening to it a number of times. I think this song was written to be more of a MPOP song rather than be a KPOP song, especially when you listen to the chorus. The “It’s Gonna be Fantastic” feels very monotone and awkward. It disrupts the feel of the song I find it really awkward. Honestly, I would have expected this song to be much better and the chorus made it sound really good, but this is a letdown for me. The bridge also did not fit the feel of the song at all as well. Disappointed.

The music video seemed like a normal SM video, with the infamous box sets. Guess this time, it makes for the last year’s “out of the box” sets. I see no apparent reason why the “maze scene” which I am sure was taken from the EXO music video and slammed right into here. I just see that there is hardly any connection between the rest of the video and the introduction, beside that fact the girl disappears and turns into a violin which I used in the rest of the video. It just seems like SM Entertainment videos are getting far too repetitive. Those wirings that connects the violin with Henry make him look like a Doctor Oct kind of prop which is pretty cool, just I really don’t see the whole point why it had to be connected to him. I think holding the violin with the violin stuck to the wires is sufficient enough, it just gives that extra sci fi look to the video that really is not needed. The flashing lights did a good job of accompanying the song in the video. Just there were a lot of things that I thought were not needed weighing the video down for me this time around.

The dancing here was pretty cool and I really like how the violin was incorporated into the dance as well. It looked pretty fancy and really professional.

3.5/10. It is such a pity because I was looking forward to the comeback and was quite disappointed when I got to hear and see it.

Swing – Super Junior M

Super Junior M has recently made their comeback with a brand new song. It has been a long time since we heard a Super Junior song to be honest, and I would really love to see what would happen if they were to come back, but I assume they are currently awaiting Leeteuk’s return from the army. Anyway, back to M. After promotions last year for Break Down, the group has had a successful return, winning two awards on weekly shows in China. Congrats. And while we are on the topic of winning awards, I recently got 100 followers on this website. THANK YOU GUYS. LOVE YOU ALL!!! Hahahaha… But, yes. This song has been proven to be really successful in China winning these two awards. And I know, this song came out like a month ago, and I am that delayed. At first I was like “I am not going to review this song’. Slowly I dropped off the “not” and it became “I am going to review this song”.

The song is pretty good. I really love the everything in this song, minus the dubstep dance break. Was it necessary? I really don’t think so. Great the group can dance, but honestly, this song is quite lacking. The vocals are not there. The rapping is so so. The instrumental is amazing. But how the song just takes 15 different genres and smash them into each other to make the “perfect” song really is not my piece of cake. I really enjoyed the song, everything, up until the dubstep break and that really “Shall We Dance” in slow motion vocals. The chorus at the end made up for that little disappointment, as it allowed the song to return to its original state. And for a Chinese song, I would have expected SM entertainment to focus on using the Chinese members of the band, but instead they look like they are in the bands just for SM Entertainment to debut off some of their trainees. That are my thoughts. I am literally sacred every time I write a review for a popular group. Fans get crazy.

As for the music video, I actually liked the set. The box set, not so much, but the yellow and white and black colour is amazing. It fitted the overall feel of the song and kept the whole music video quite simple. We have an office setting, which actually looks quite modern, which I actually like. In this certain officer there are 8 workers: the “I-can-not-use-the-photocopier” , the “sleepy-head”, the “Eat-all-the-lunch”, the “I-can-help-and-do-everything-for-you”, “”I-will-forever-be-romantic”, the “normal” person, the :keep-everyone-on-track” and the “I-get-distracted-easily” person. Your mission is to link a face to the personality that they play. Hahahaha!!! The video was shot in a way to make it feel like a one shot video, but it really did not have a desirable effect. But lighting was pretty cool. Especially during the dubstep dance break. And the use of the tables was really creative. I have to be honest there. How they set it up, so it can easily be dragged into the next scene was really cool. Also want to know who the boss was in that video. Lee Soo Man or some other dude? Hahaha…

The dance was also quite awesome. Super Junior M always have a pretty good dance to have alongside their dance. The towels at the end was a really cool addition to the dance, I have to say.

9/10. A song that sound pretty good from SM Entertainment. We need more songs like this for their artists.  

1.4.3 – Henry (Super Junior M) ft. Amber (F(x))

Source: http://www.soompi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/henry143_teaser-540×304.jpg

Henry, the latest solo act from SM Entertainment, recently made his comeback with his re-released 1-4-3. He previously released this song on his mini album, with only himself in the song, but as his repackaged and follow up song, he (or the company) had added Amber to the song, to give it a much cool feel to it. A lively summer song, 1-4-3 basically means “I Love You” (yes I do) and symbolises the amount of letters there are in each word. Pretty smart as well. The song also mentions 4-8-6, which basically means the same thing, but in Korean and it symbolises the amount of strokes it takes to write each letter or syllable. The rap of the two songs are completely different and made the song completely different, Understand or not?

The song was released twice, once with Henry’s rap and the other with Amber’s rap. Both raps make the song mildly different. To me, Henry’s version sounded great, but the rap kind of sounded out of place with the rest of the song. In Amber’s version, the song sounded lie it flowed much better and sounded great as well. It can be agreed, in my head, that this is a really good summer song that sounds amazing. The only thing I am going to pick on even further is that the song sounded like it went forever. Maybe a great thing, but the song seemed to be dragged out quite a bit and really did not have the same level of impact to me at the end, as it did at the start. It was a great song. but I really lost my mojo after the first chorus. Maybe the instrumental was the problem, but I loved the pop beat to it. The chorus is also quite catchy and honestly, the song is title is quite smart. BLOW YOUR MIND!

Despite being a music video outside of the box, I thought it was quite boring. I seriously did not like the music video as much as I thought I did. It really did not live up to the exact standard as the song created, which was quite disappointing. The music video basically tells the story of how a girl got confused, but soon realized about what the number 1,3,4 basically mean. (To be honest, I didn’t realize as well). Honestly, I thought Amber looked much better in this video than what henry looked like and that blonde hair does not suit him. I think I have to settle with this decision, but for really dry plot music videos, please put them in a box. Seriously, I don’t get all the different scenes and that it seemed quite choppy.

I cannot resist myself, but there were quite a lot of crotch grabbing in this dance. Essentially, this dance is much more jumpy and lively and better, compared to Trap. The dance at at the chorus was pretty cool and I think this actually helps Henry live up the standard of being a dancer.

7.5/10. I liked it and all, but had to deduct marks off for the music video. Sorry. My question to you is: which Henry Lau song did you enjoy? Trap? 1-4-3? Or maybe another song off his mini albums?Put your say in the poll below! ^^ Also, both 2NE1 songs were liked equally. Both getting 2 votes each. Let’s see which song will win for Henry, shall we???