[Album Review] Twicetagram / Merry & Happy (1st Studio Album) – TWICE

 

I’ll make this intro a very quick one due to the length of this post. TWICE has returned with Merry & Happy, which is the re-release of their first album, Twicetagram. Both albums and songs have already topped the charts, showcasing the success and stability of TWICE.

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Merry & Happy Album Cover

 

1. Heart Shaker (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Heart Shaker. (8/10)

2. Merry & Happy – Another upbeat Christmas themed track which didn’t feel too loaded. All the members vocally shined in the song and it felt genuinely cute. Besides that, the instrumental could have been better to keep the song more interesting. (6/10)

3. Likey (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Likey. (7.5/10)

4. Turtle (거북이) Turtle felt like a sweet song. It had a really nice acoustic instrumental which paired well with the vocals. From a song of such nature, the chorus became stuck in my head after a few listens. (8/10)

5. Missing U – Following Turtle is another acoustic song that developed into a somewhat pop-like during the chorus. It also seemed to incorporate some tropical flares in it as well. The transition between the acoustic and electric guitar was nice. In many ways, the song felt quite similar to Turtle, including the vocals and raps. Also, another catchy track. (9/10)

6. Wow – The song features retro vibes that made the song stand out slightly. Besides that, various details stuck out for the wrong reasons. The girl’s pronunciation of the word ‘Wow’ sounded like a dog barking, while the raps were my least favourite parts. Furthermore, the song felt repetitive by the time it got to the final chorus. (4/10)

7. FFW – For those who don’t know, FFW stands for ‘Fast Forward’. Given the title, the song’s tempo does not feel like it fits its name. But it isn’t intolerable. The chorus was quite nice but once again, the vocals didn’t seem to work with it. Come to the think of it, FFW does remind me of a Christmas song for some odd reason. (7/10)

8. Ding Dong – It is the one song on the album that is bound to get everyone dancing. The chorus was quite catchy and upbeat. It goes well with the bright sound that I think you can associate with TWICE. I like how there was an incline during the chorus, which I thought made the track interesting and appealing to my ears. (9/10)

9. 24/7 – The soft start of the song was really well done. Following that was a slight build-up throughout the rest of the song. It is a catchy track with many memorable moments. The addictive chorus, the clean vocal work, the subtle upbeat instrumentation and the cool rap. What more can you ask for? (9/10)

10. Look At Me (날 바라바라봐) – The “Look At Me” lines repeated throughout the song became quite addictive. The raps were also quite nice even though they were of a more standard nature. The falsetto vocals before the chorus and during the bridge were also quite intriguing. The slowdown that made up the bridge contrasted well with the rest of the track. Overall, I thought it was an interesting song. (8/10)

11. Rollin’ – I thought it was a great track but there is a part of me that thinks it could have been better. The greatness is attributed to the retro vibes coming straight from the instrumentals. I actually like the chorus, which reminds of certain songs. The reason why i think the track could have better was that the vocals/raps were underwhelming. (6.5/10)

12. Don’t Give Up (힘내!) – While I thought the instrumental was on the quirky side, there were moments where I thought it overpowered the vocals. The vocals themselves were quite good but it was clear that the rap sequences (especially the one at the end) was the best part of the entire track. The bridge felt like it belonged to a completely different song. It was another passable track on the album. (6/10)

13. You In My Heart (널 내게 담아) – I really enjoyed the fresh feel that the instrumental gave the song but its pop style is something that you hear often. The vocals don’t really add much to the song but they were extremely fitting and clean for the song. I must say that if you want something easy on the ears, this is the song for you. (8/10)

14. Sleep Tight, Good Night (잘자요 굿나잇) – It is time for that mandatory ballad. And it wasn’t as bad as I had expected it. Instead, the track contained nice vocals. It did make me feel sleepy, acting almost like a lullaby. And while that may sound like a bad track, it isn’t. Instead, it is a nice way to say the album is over and to wait for the next release (at least, that is what I got from it). (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

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Twicetagram Album Cover
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[Review] Heart Shaker – TWICE

TWICE is nominated for Best Female Group and Best Japanese Song by a Korean Artist. Have you supported them in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards? If you haven’t, click here for the poll!

TWICE has returned with their brand new song, Heart Shaker. This song is actually the title track from their repackaged Twicetagram full-length album, which featured Likey as the main title track when it was released back in October. The repackaged album was retitled to be Merry & Happy and you can expect an album review for the entire album sometime in the near future.

Heart Shaker is a decent song. But to me, it is missing that iconic moment that all TWICE songs. You may say that iconic part is the chorus but I would say that lines (such as ‘Shy Shy Shy’ or ‘Me Likey Likey Likey‘) are the parts that everyone knows when it comes to a TWICE song. The ‘You’re My Heart Shaker‘ seems to be the main hook this time but it lacks energy and feels hidden in comparison to the other parts of the song. It does feature an amazing chorus to make up for it. The instrumental feel very KPOP centred, which is a good thing I guess. The vocals are quite nice, with the exception of some members which still catch me off guard every time I listen to the song. The raps are nice but there were moments (such as the intro) that I was not fond of.

I was expecting something Christmas theme (as the title of the album is Merry & Happy) but we got something that was equally as nice. Not exactly fond of the shopping store set but everything else looked quite nice. The editing of the video makes the transitions between scenes quite pleasing to watch and I thought it was quite cool. I did notice the Tyuzu mistake at 2:02 of the music video. The ending where they combine the two TWICE groups completely blew my mind and I wonder how they shot that since they are all overlapping each other. Overall, it was a nice video to watch.

Like the song, it is missing that iconic part. But I thought the choreography during the chorus was good enough, matching the song’s tempo and sounds. I did like how they manage to throw in a sneaky heart sign during the chorus.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

 

 

[Review] Likey – TWICE

After the likes of Signal and Knock Knock earlier this year TWICE has returned with Likey and their first full album. It is definitely a long time coming, especially how far the girls have gone with just their title tracks alone in the past two years. Like all of the group’s track, it is expected (and they will probably achieve this by the time I post this review) that they will top the charts once again with their title track, Likey.

The one thing that I think makes TWICE songs so popular is that key phrase within the song that ends up being so addictive that everyone ends up singing along. And following that same formula is Likey, which starts off the song with that its own catchphrase. I have got it stuck in my head already and it probably won’t be going anywhere. And given that, the song has been on repeat since its release a few hours back. The song isn’t in your face with that signature level of aegyo that the girls have gone for in the past, which is why I like this song. Vocally, the members did a wonderful job and the rappers were pretty good. The only thing they could have done better with are the verses. For the most part, they felt like a blur and very forgettable. But overall, I ‘likey like likey‘ this song.

The home video concept is actually quite pleasing to watch in this video. It also goes well with the neighbourhood sweetheart style they have going. It also seems like they used a little bit of green screen for some parts, which made it intriguing for me to watch. Besides that, I don’t really feel this video. It goes well with the song but there isn’t much to say about it.

TWICE’s dance breaks are to die for. Probably the best part of the entire video. Likey seems to tap into that memorable dance move for the ‘Likey Likey Likey‘ part but it seems complicated compared to their past routines. It does look like a fun dance routine to watch.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] Signal – Twice

The most talked about girl group, Twice, is finally back with a brand new song, Signal. They return with their fourth mini album, which is also titled as Signal. The group previously returned for a short promotional run for their song Knock Knock and their reissue of their third mini album. Twice is also gearing up for a Japan debut, so I am hoping for some original content from them in Japanese!!!

Sadly, I am on the fence with this song. It isn’t their best work out there, but it isn’t terrible as some people would describe it. Unlike all of their past songs, I don’t see anything that can be considered to be catchy. That leaves me a little disappointed because all of the songs that I love from Twice have that over-catchiness that makes it quite appealing. I am not a big fan of the opening or those ‘talking/chanting’ parts throughout the song. They felt awkward and very dull. Once the song starts picking up (and the members actually start singing), it gets a little better. And there is more colour to the song. The chorus was ‘alright’ at best. Like I said before, I can’t feel or hear any hooks in the song. The song also felt very neutral all throughout, with very little fluctuations or changes in the singing style that they go for. While the song felt very pop-centred, the neutralness does kill the track and prevent it from becoming that colourful track that Twice seems to aim for with all their songs. All of that being said, I don’t mind it. I can sit down and listen to it if it appears in my playlist. but I wouldn’t go through the effort of looking for the song.

So I guess the girls get transported to a different world and fall in love with a blue alien. But I love the only face (the  “IDGAF” face) that he gives throughout the video). Like I said yesterday, the music video quality is top-notch. What isn’t top-notch is the acting at the start, where they all faint in the field and the hair that some of the girl sport. Seems like someone ticked off the hair stylist recently. Each the girls also have a superpower (besides Nayeon. The Men In Black called and they want the Neuralyzer back). And I assume they decided to show off their powers to get the alien’s attention, which failed. In the end, it turns out they were all aliens, which explained their superpowers. It creeped me out a bit though. Overall, I thought this video is their cutest yet. And it is quite good!

I think the dance could pretty much be the next TT dance, with the alien ears. Their formations were also quite good. But watching their performance with the song, it felt weak and that left me a little disappointed. I just didn’t find it as cute as their past dances or like the video.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

 

 

[Review] Knock Knock – Twice

Source: https://0.soompi.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/16070312/twice-knock-knock-mv-teaser.jpg

Twice has returned with the release of Twicecoaster: Lane 2 and the title track Knock Knock. The group previously made their comeback in October last year with TTTwicecoaster: Lane 2 is actually a reissue of the mini album released in October, with 2 new tracks. Since TT promotions ended, the group has also performed in a few concerts and swept the end of year awards ceremonies with Cheer Up as the Best Song Of The Year.

Knock Knock is your generic pop song with guitar riffs and a nice retro sound. Out of all their title tracks, this song feels the most vibrant and colourful. And that is something you would associate with Twice, given their personalities (seen through shows and videos) and past hits.We were given a small snippet to this song at the end of the TT music video. The same part was present at the end of the video was present at the start of the song. While I loved the way it sounded, the song took an unexpected turn and ended up being vibrant and colourful. Is that a necessarily a bad thing? No, but I would have loved to hear something a little different from Twice. Moving along, like all their previous songs Twice has used the catchphrase of the song to be the way to sell the song across to the listener. It was successful as “Knock Knock Knock on my door” seemed to be the catchiest part of the song and it was constantly replayed throughout it. I actually like their vocals because they are all clear. None of the member’s voices seemed to be hidden behind autotune in this song. From the raps to the singing vocals, each member did a really good job with no hitches. But then we run into another problem. While I have described a pretty good song so far, a part of me felt the song was too generic. There really wasn’t anything that amazing or necessarily captivating about the song. It just felt overdone and dull. But then again, I said similar things regarding Cheer Up and that song grew so much on me. So I guess only time will tell.

The video was quite generic but not to that extent like what I felt with the song. This video has its up and downs. Some parts felt dull and boring while other parts were funny and actually managed to get a joyful response out of me. The tie in with TT was pretty nice but it didn’t seem amazing. It didn’t blow my mind and I wanted something to blow my mind. Instead, they got locked out of their house and the book somehow changed them (or cursed them) into the characters of TT. Yeah… not really a blockbuster storyline hey! But I loved the humour the girls have. The scenes where the girls are coming down the lines. I recently (today actually) saw a picture that compares some of the moves they pull off while coming down the stairs are actually moves they pulled off in Like Ooh Aah. Likewise, if I was to choose a spirit animal from one of the girls coming down the stairs, it would have to Jungyeon. And if Park Ji Young came over to my house for a sleepover, I would have had the same reaction (I laughed at this part. They looked so disappointed when they saw him). Come over anytime, just not when there is a sleep over or I am preparing to snore in bed.

As expected from the title, there is a lot of knocking in this dance. Nothing that impressive, though the very start of the performance when Nayeon starts singing looked cool. The penguin dance intro looked really cool and cute as well.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 1

I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.

I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.

CLICK FOR THE NOMINEES AND CHECK OUT THE WINNERS FOR PART 1 BELOW


RISING STAR AWARD

This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.


BEST INSTRUMENTAL

This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.


BEST COMEBACK

Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.


BEST SUBUNIT

It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).


BEST RAPPER

Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes  Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.


BEST VOCALIST

Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.


BEST COLLABORATION

Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.


BEST NON-TITLE SONG

These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.


To find the second part of the 2016 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, Click Here!!!

 

[Review] TT – Twice

One of the trendiest girl groups of the year has finally returned. Twice is currently killing the charts as we speak with their latest song, TT. They previously came back with Cheer Up. Any records set by Cheer Up was broken with TT, proving the force and impact Twice has in the game.

Another song that was recently released that I just shoved into my playlist because it is so great. Cheer Up was a disappointment for me, but I recently started warming up to it. TT just reels me in straight away and hooks me with the really catchy rhythm. First of all, “ba-ba-baby” is really catchy. I don’t understand what was so good with the “shy shy shy” phenomenon, but “ba-ba-baby” is a very simple and addictive part of the song. Secondly, the house genre instrumental was quite nice. It added colour, cuteness (kind of) and a vibrant feel to the song. It backed the vocals quite nicely, giving support and structure to the song. The vocals were okay, not the best, but okay. The ending felt quite messy with the ad-libs.  Minus the underwhelming vocals, I do like this song a lot and have been listening to it non-stop. It’s so damn catchy.

The music video is perfect of the Halloween season. Following a similar style as Cheer Up, the girls dress up as different characters. The one that caught my attention and made me smile as soon as I saw it was the cute as Dahyun bunny. Highlight of the video was probably the shuffling bunny. Moving along, I didn’t like the massive Jack-O-Lantern,in which they were dancing in. It looked cringeworthy. Also didn’t like their dull clothing which they wore while doing all the choreography scenes together. They look boring and unfitting for video. But besides that, everything else looked amazing. The ending has a “Coming Soon” label on it. I honestly didn’t know that there was going to be a second part. I am intrigued to see what they have in store with the next part. I also wonder how they plan on continuing the Halloween theme, since Halloween is basically over until October next year.

I love how they included the TT emoji in the choreography. Also liked the “ba-ba-baby” part. But besides that, the rest of the dance was quite boring to watch.

Rating – 8/10

[Review] Cheer Up – Twice

One of the power rookies of 2015 has finally returned with their long awaited comeback. Yes, I am referring to Twice (if you completely missed the title) and they have managed to do it again with their latest song: Cheer Up. Since release, it has stayed at the top of the charts and managed to crush any artist who dares to even attempt to compete for first place. They have managed to receive multiple certified perfect all kills and won many weekly music show charts. Just more to add to their power rookie status which probably has flung them into the ranks of the artists that took many years to gain momentum and popularity.

While many people are feeling this song, I am quite disappointed with what they release. We all expected a song that was even more addictive and catchy, a song that could top Like Ooh Aah. Some people do think it is a track that can do that, but I don’t think it is a good enough track to top their debut single. This song isn’t bad or anything, it just didn’t captivate me as Like Ooh Aah did. First of all, these girls can sing, but their pronunciation of the words threw me off. Cheer Up sounded a lot like “Turn Up” or “Cher Up” (with a heavy c sound). I have a very big problem with artists who can’t even pronounce the name of the song with bad pronunciation. Call me harsh, but honestly, I am sure the main vocalist can do a better job. The rapping fell below expectations and that the song wasn’t catchy enough. The “Shy Shy Shy” part was ridiculously embarrassing and childish, and I don’t even know why everyone like that one line. And that “Be A Man” breakdown during the bridge just did not fit in with the song. It felt disconnected. Their vocals were good though (just something needs to be done with their live voices) and the song was equally as bright as Like Ooh Aah. From everything you have read thus far, you can probably see that the song doesn’t sit well with me and the flaws (in my opinion) outweigh the good.

I didn’t like the cheerleading concept they were going for, but I loved the rest of the video. I would have been fine if just one member did the cheerleading concept, like how every member had a different theme (or movie reference) and then the girls regrouped for a different movie reference. I liked it how everyone had their own thing. Refreshing and different from every other video. The girls each parody another female movie character who became iconic female characters in a variety of genres. I would list the different movies out, but I can’t actually the list of the movies anymore (Yes, I have been browsing the comments on YouTube). The music video was much brighter and fitted the season more, than their debut video, which had a bright song but a dark video. Only thing creeped me out was the camera dude. Much creepy. But overall, I liked the video a lot.

The dance was underwhelming. Not as catchy or cool as Like Ooh Aah. This dance had the awkward rope pulling dance for the chorus and that just looked a little too weird. Also, the breakdown at the bridge  was a little too unfitting for me. I have no trouble with what they are going for, but I thought they could have been a little more creative. Well, that last point really is what I felt when I watch the performances.

Sorry Twice. I had a lot of high expectations and Cheer Up just did not live up to those expectations. But congratulations on the success. You girls definitely deserve it after last year. 4/10

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!!

 

Recap of MAMA 2015 and Thoughts

Did you forget about the MAMA awards held by MNET in 2015? Or are we all trying to forget it for its bias and unfair system? Well, don’t fret, I am here to remind you of the disappointment or joy that you felt.

The MNET Asian Music Awards (or MAMA) was held on the 2nd of December in… Hong Kong. Again. Voting for the awards began in October of the same year and I thought there was a fair range of nominees and the committee selected a variety if talents for each award.

The following artists attended and performed at the awards ceremony: Taeyeon (SNSD), GOT7, BTS, Hyuna (4 minute), Park Ji Young, Seventeen, Monsta X, F(x), SHINEE, EXO, Big Bang, iKON, Zion.T, Crush, Sane. 2NE1 & Psy. Pet Shop Boys were invited as special guest performers on the night. Red Velvet, Twice, Tiffany and Seohyun from SNSD also attended by did not perform.

I have recapped the winners below. I shall give some comments afterwards regarding the winners.
Best New Male Artist – iKON.
Best New Female Artist – Twice.
Best Male Vocal Performance – Zion.T (Eat)
Best Female Vocal Performance – Ailee (Mind Your Business)
Best Male Dance Performance – SHINee (View).
Best Female Dance Performance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Solo Dance Performance – Hyuna (Roll Deep).
Best Collaboration / Subunit – Zion.T & Crush (Just)
Best Rap Performance – Sane (Me You)
Best Band Performance – CN BLUE (Cinderella)
Best Male Group – EXO
Best Female Group – SNSD
Best Male Artist – Park Jin Young
Best Female Artist – Taeyeon
Best Music Video – Bang Bang Bang
Best Album (Album of the Year) – EXODUS
Best Song (Song Of The Year) – Bang Bang Bang
Best Artist (Artist Of The Year) – Big Bang

Best New Male Artist is probably the category that has me shaking my head the most. iKON is slowly showing their capability, but I feel like Seventeen is already two steps ahead of them and deserve the award more. Best Female Vocal Performance should have gone to Taeyeon and Taeyeon should have received 2 awards that night. Not dissing Ailee, but it wasn’t her best song or vocal performance. Best Music Video should have also gone to F(x). Best Male Dance Performance is an iffy category for me. SHINee did have a great dance, but sadly, I felt that BTS was missing out due to the lack of nomination in that category. Big Bang took out most of the awards, but I don’t think it matters. Big Bang dominated summer in South Korea last year with their continuous releases and had one of the most popular songs of the year (according to download and streaming charts). JYP’s award caught me a little off guard but I guess out of all the nominees, he had a good song. Besides the categories I mentioned, I think the awards were “fair”. Okay maybe not, but who MAMA awarded that night, I mostly agree with (given the nominees).

But wait, there were a few more awards that were given out that night:
Worldwide Favourite Artist – Big Bang
Global Fan’s Choice Male Artist – EXO
Global Fan’s Choice Female Artist – F(x)
Best World Performers – BTS
Next Generation Asian Artist – Monsta X
Best Asian Style – EXO
Worldwide Inspiration Award – Pet Shop Boys
There were also other awards which were awarded to artists from other countries as Best Asian Artist. Best Engineer, Best Live Entertainment and Best Producer awards were also given to 3 people for each award from different countries.

Out of these awards, I am a little confused with the Best Asian Style award. Out of all that walked the red carpet, I was shocked when EXO came along. Also, Pet Shop Boys. I am with majority of people who have never heard of the band before.

Per usual, there were many different performances on the night. The show opened up with Taeyeon’s I, which I thought was a really beautiful stage. She sounded flawlessly on the stage. BTS made their comeback on the night and collaborated with GOT7, who also performed If You Do. JYP had a special stage which probably scarred both GOT7 and Twice and he went a little wild towards the end of his performance. iKON performed a medley of their songs. Monsta X and Seventeen collaborated, while F(x) and Pet Shop Boys joined hands together. We also saw Sane perform with Hyuna and Jessi. Also a stage with both Show Me The Money contestants and Unpretty Rapstar. EXO, SHINee, Big Bang each had their stages with multiple songs and got the audience really hyped up. Psy also made his comeback and performed alongside with his new songs, Gangnam Style. Probably the most talk that night was 2NE1’s performance which caught everyone off guard. It was nice to see them, but whether it was appropriate is just another topic all together.

Out of all the stages, I thought Taeyeon had the most beautiful stage. For the dance aspect, Seventeen and Monsta X’s performance was really well polished and amazing.

Overall, I thought the night was worth it. It may seem like YG has a lot of influence over the MAMA awards and that is probably true. But whether it is right or not, is another discussion in its self. Just regarding the invitations to the awards, it did seem like someone did forget to invite people. Some stages seem like they could have used a little more attention to give it that grand feel that the MAMA awards is meant to uphold, like in previous years. But overall, I thought the night was pretty good. Wait… Did I just repeat the first sentence of this paragraph? Guess I am going to call it a day now. Hope you enjoyed my recap!

End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).

1 Ah Yeah EXID
2 Paradise Lost Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
3 If You Do  GOT7
4 Closer Oh My Girl
5 You G.Soul
6 Love Me Right EXO
7 I Need U BTS
8 Sing For You EXO
9 Shake It Sistar
10 4 Walls F(x)
11 Dumb Dumb Red Velvet
12 I Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
13 Like OOH AHH Twice
14 Oh Um Ah Yeah Mamamoo
15 Mansae Seventeen
16 Just Right GOT7
17 Crazy 4Minute
18 Insensible Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
19 Run BTS
20 Yey Beast
21 Between Night n Music B.I.G
22 Shake That Brass Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
23 Hot Pink EXID
24 Beautiful Liar VIXX LR (VIXX)
25 Brand New World Brown Eyed Girls
26 Ring My Bell Girls Day
27 Hurt Locker Nine Muses
28 Growing Pains Donghae & Eunhyuk
29 Run Away Royal Pirates
30 Black Swan Rainbow
31 Congratulations DAY6
32 Catch Me If You Can SNSD
33 Me Gustas Tu Gfriend
34 The Answer Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
35 Dope BTS
36 Pray FT Island
37 Cinderella CN Blue
38 You’re Pitiful Fiestar
39 Hopeless Love Jimin (15&)
40 Bad Infinite
41 Might Just Die History
42 We Like 2 Party Big Bang
43 Chained Up VIXX
44 Fire Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
45 Bell Bottoms PSY
46 Ice Cream Cake Red Velvet
47 Break Ya LU:KUS
48 Kontrol Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
49 I Feel You Wonder Girls
50 Wow Wow Wow Junjin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)

And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!

  • A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
  • The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
  • A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
  • There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
  • BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
  • Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
  • The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
  • And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.

AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).

2015 BOBs (Best Of the Best) – Part 2

015 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 2 of the BOBs and part1 was released yesterday (Click Here). 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

BEST MALE ROOKIE

Once again, 2015 saw many debuting groups enter the KPOP scene. And this category obviously allows me to pick who i saw as the best new male artist of 2015. And boy were the standards high this year. The nominees are:

bestmalerookie

I have to give it to Seventeen. They were the only new boy group on the block that left a massive long impression on me since their debut at the start of the year til now. At first 13 members may have sounded a little too much, but the songs they were releasing proved otherwise. Honourable mentions goes to Monsta X who only popped on my radar in the past few weeks. Yeah, their debut did not do much, but what they released after did a lot.

BEST FEMALE ROOKIE

Same as the above category, many new girl group emerged from the shadows and wowed a lot of people. Most not if all female rookies managed to amaze me and picking the nominees for this category had been one of the hardest things to do this year. The nominees are:

bestfemalerookie

Hands down, it automatically goes to GFriend. As soon as they started, they had the press all over them and their comeback proved to be highly successful, ranking high on the charts. As for honourable mention… I am literally torn between Oh My Girl and Twice. Yeah, Oh My Girl did not do as well for this debut, but their comeback exceed my expectations so much (why? Find out later) but I am going to give it to Twice, as they have only released one song and also ranked incredibly high on the charts.

BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

One of the things that make KPOP so unique is obviously the choreography and performances. And this year saw an amazing variety of performances and dances that made fans all for certain groups harder than ever. Each of the nominees that made it onto the list truly deserve to be the winner as they were all equally unique and amazing. I nominated:

bestdanceperformance

Screw the MAMA awards. The male category was a mess for Best Male Dance Performance. However, I am here to fix it. I am putting BTS – Dope as the best dance of the year. Yes. BTS was not nominated at all and that is so disappointing. Dope was such as “dope” dance that was in sync and perfectly executed. As for honourable mention, GOT7 – If You Do takes it away. Though it was nominated, but it did not win. And I was incredibly disappointed. Anyway, I can say this: all of the nominated dances deserve an award.

BEST ALBUM

Albums. Not my favourite thing to talk about. Mainly because there are songs on some albums that disappoint me, and hence I sometimes stay away from albums because of that. Each album is looked at as a whole and also each individual song is looked at in detail. I don’t listen to entire albums a lot, but here is a list of just some albums I did manage to listen to as a whole. The nominees are:

bestalbum

At of all of those albums above, there were two stands out. The winner was F(x) – 4Walls, their 4th album. I have to say each and every song on this album I adore to the point where all the songs on there have become more memorable than certain comebacks of big name artists. Honourable mentions goes to Brown Eyed Girls – Basic, their 6th full length album. The album came extremely closely to being the winner, but I do not personally feel the same level of excitement when I listen to the album.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Music videos per usual is an artists main form of promotion. And this year, the music videos released were to of an extremely high standard. Each of these music videos have some unique about them and that is what stood out to me. I chose these based on plot, cinematography, sets or scenery, acting (if applicable) and editing. The nominees I saw fit these categories were:

bestmusicvideo

I think the simplicity was the key for me this year. G.Soul – You won Best Music Video in my point of view. There is essentially nothing in this video beside the singer himself and some lights. But yet it managed to become such an amazing video. Honourable mentions goes to FT Island – Pray. Their concept was so amazing that it was incredibly hard to pass up this video.

 

BEST FEMALE GROUP

Now let’s get down to business. I like to call this and the next category “the best artist of the year”. But since KPOP is highly populated with groups, I split them up into genders and call the categories “group”. The female groups this year have successfully wowed me (and probably everyone else this year), with many people being able to pick a favourite. The nominees for Best Female Group are:

bestfemalegroup

I think I am going to agree with the ongoing trend and give it to EXID. From Up and Down, released last year, EXID shot into the limelight with a fancam of Hani and have since re-promoted Up and Down, came back with Ah Yeah and more recently Hot Pink. Each time they make a comeback, they go on to prove their popularity. As for Honourable Mention: Red Velvet. Their successful year yet, and I am 100% sure that better years will come. Ice Cream Cake and Dumb Dumb will remain as favourites for me.

BEST MALE GROUP

Now let’s move onto the guys. The competition was so tough this year. At first, I managed to list around 20 different male groups that I think deserve this award, but I only ended up choosing 10 nominees. It was so hard. But here are my choices:

bestmalegroup

I am going to choose GOT7 as the best boy group of the year. GOT7 released three songs: Just Right, If You Do and Winter’s Confession. Put together, GOT7 had one busy year and I saw a very large amount of growth in terms of the boys’ talents and sound. As for honourable mention, it would got to BTS. For this year, BTS has definitely matured and showed an ever fiercer and more powerful side of the group.

BEST SONG

This category, each year proves to be my worst enemy. It is so hard to choose my most favourite song. This particular category is not influenced (in any way) by the charts that I am releasing tomorrow. The “best song of the year” chosen here are like my subconscious mind speaking, whom I really want to see be given the title. The charts tomorrow are more calculated and take into account my reviews during the year and what my current thoughts about them are. But as I said choosing this category is the hardest. So many songs deserve this title and if I could choose to give out multiple “Best Song” awards I can. The nominees are:

bestsong

Let’s start with the honourable mentions: GOT7 – If You Do, Oh My Girl – Closer, EXID – Hot Pink & Seventeen – Mansae.

And finally, I give to you, 2015’s Best Song of the Year, which you can probably tell already by the video linked below.

EXID – Ah Yeah

Congratulations, EXID. 2015 has been proven to be your year. You can watch the music video for this year’s Best Song below!

 

And that is it for Part 2 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, for the End Of Year Charts. And then, lets all wait for the New Year to come rolling through? Got your New Year’s Resolution yet?

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

Like OOH AHH – TWICE

A new KPOP girl group is in town. Under JYP Entertainment, this is a 9 nine member girl group that has been promised by the company for 2 years now. Twice is made up of Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Daehyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu. Only one of the members was born in 1995 and the rest of the members were born during November 1996 (my age) or after. Somewhat scary that they are now my age… The girls, with a number of others, featured in the competition survival show, SIXTEEN, where TWICE was formed. And the group itself is already making a name for themselves, with them being nominated already for first place on the charts.

This song is really catchy. It is a fun, bright and vibrant song that has me singing along and dancing in my seat everytime I hear it. It has a really cool pop sound to it, but some additions of a cute yet mature sound. While the title of the song has me kind of doubting the song when it first came out, I am glad I listened to it. I feel in love with it as soon as I heard it and it has been a song that I am constantly searching for on my phone and computer. The vocals are quite strong and their rapping is good. While they don’t stand out in those area (doesn’t really make me go wow), when the song comes together, it all works extremely well. Imagine a chocolate cake. You have the right ingredients, you make a good cake. Same here. Put a great song with a group that is able to carry the same feelings the song has, and it bound to work. Great job, girls.

For the music video, I actually liked it. I love the zombie theme it went for. But to see it being nominated as a scary video has my head shaking. I am just like, how? The zombies don’t eat anyone and they do nothing remotely the same like in the Walking Dead. It seems the girls ain’t afraid of some zombie apocalypse and they seem fine roaming around (and even going for that extra mile of dancing) with them. My favourite part is that “expectation and reality” part of the video where the ballerina is doing all those hard stretches and moves, but the girl in the cheerleader outfit not exactly getting the the “bar”. Please tell me you got that pun. I spent some time thinking of what to write. I love the zombies behind the fence and then they extend their arms sharply in the background at the start. That was pretty cool. The video was fun and enjoyable. Putting the girls into the a great light.

For the dance, I thought it was rather cool. The timing and all that was spot on in this video. Not 100% sure but they all seem to be in sync with each other. It was disappointing for me to hear that were not doing their debut stages live, but they managed to do a good job after their debut stage week.

Great song, video and dance. Remember that chocolate cake? These girls and their company have made a smashing recipe for a successful debut. 9/10