[Review] Poison – VAV

Happy Halloween! Have a spooky day!

Once again, I will not dip into the ‘Coming Soon‘ page yet. That might be next week after I wrap up the catch up for last week’s comebacks. Today I want to focus on VAV, who made their return last Monday with Poison. This is the group’s latest 2019 comeback, following Give Me More in July and Thrilla Killa in March. Poison is also the lead title track from their 5th mini-album, which shares the same name.

Given the many releases from last and this week, Poison quickly became masked and hidden away. Only fans of the group would be able to pick out their release from the crowd. But this could have easily been counteracted if the group released a song that stood out from the crowd itself. Though it is hard, it has been done before. Unfortunately, Poison doesn’t hit that mark. The song was rather standard and it isn’t as memorable as it could have been. While the vocal and rapping were fine, they could have used these elements in a way to deliver some impact. We did get a touch of this through their post-chorus hook. The combination of the deep vocals of Lou and the ‘Oh’ repetition gave the song some momentum and texture. I also liked how melodic the chorus was, which is a definite change to the more harsher electronic styles we get often. The piano in the instrumental was a really good direction. It gave me some nostalgia to some early KPOP releases. I just felt the combination of modern instrumentation techniques lost the appeal and nostalgia of the piano as it progressed along. Some good elements, some underutilised elements. All resulting in a typical song at the end of the day.

Likewise, I thought the video could have been so much darker and intense. The song really had that atmosphere, so I am a little disappointed that this was not aimed for. There was a fair bit of colour to the video, which is okay. I didn’t mind it as much. But I felt like if the video was a lot darker, it could have pulled some attention to the visual aid. Especially following that counting sequence at the very start which did have an eerie feel and the creepy smile that ended the video with and carved itself into my memory bank.

Once again, I thought the performance was very standard. Though I am not exactly sure how they would improve upon the performance. They managed to strike a balance with their less intense verses and the dynamic post-chorus hook that I really enjoyed (also my favourite part of the song).

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.8/10

[Review] Give Me More – VAV ft. De La Ghetto & Play-N-Skillz

There was one other comeback from yesterday I couldn’t cover due to tiredness. So, I will kick off my review night with that release! VAV has returned with Give Me More, a Summer single, which features De La Ghetto (an American artist) & Play-N-Skillz (a producer duo). This is the group’s first comeback since Thrilla Killa, which was released back in March of this year. This is also the group’s first comeback as a seven-member group since Jacob has returned from his other schedules that prevented him from participating in their past few comebacks.

Give Me More delves back into the Latin flair that the group visited through their Senorita comeback from last year. Just Give Me More opts for a tropical Summer flavour alongside the Latin flair. Aside from being appropriate for this season, the song doesn’t have much individuality. It becomes quite generic. It went with two complimenting styles that have been done so much in the industry. Furthermore, I felt the song could have been picked up more to become a little more impactful with its sound. That could have helped the song a tad bit. The song did have some hooks that were decently catchy but nothing that really sounds memorable. The song also had lacklustre energy levels, which contributed to that generic feeling. The vocals and rapping were good. But once again, I think they could have been a little more dynamic. I think the most interesting part of the tracks were Da La Ghetto’s featuring and that was mainly because I was unfamiliar with the artist.

The music video was a little more captivating. It too had that generic Summer vibe to it. But its something that you can’t really do differently in a visual sense. A sunny day at the beach is a sunny day at the beach. You can’t really change the beach or the sun into something better. It will just lose the effect. I really like their aerial shots and the camera work really captured the best shots possible for the choreography and outdoor scenes. I found it interesting that they went into the studio for some shots. I thought they added another level of depth into the video and made things a little more interesting, instead of relying just on the already nice looking outdoor shots.

I think the best part of this comeback is their choreography. I find the song takes its time to implement a decent beat, so the choreography seems to follow this path. I really like the movement they do when they span out. It looks fun and interesting.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

[Review] Thrilla Killa – VAV

It is time to also start catching up with reviews for songs released this week! So there is a lot to do! And we start with VAV, who made their comeback yesterday with Thrilla Killa. This is the group’s first comeback since Senorita, which was released late last year. This comeback also features a 6-member lineup, as Jacob has other schedules that prevent him from participating.

Thrilla Killa continues the group’s highly satisfying list of songs that they have been releasing since last year. The song draws from funk and retro, combining it a modern pop take of electronic music. I found the track to be very energetic and upbeat, as you would want with most dance tracks. At the same time, I thought the song was very polished and definitely had a classy vibe, which managed to come through via their vocal and instrumental combination. While we are talking about their vocals, I thought it was rather nice. I also like that autotune ad-lib or shout that they used a hook. Definitely addictive but also a very interesting textural component in the song. I also like their melody, which was another reason why the song was polished for me. I also liked how their rap didn’t go onto the ‘hype route’. Instead, it stayed within the boundaries of the song and remained classy like how I mentioned before. There was also an auotuned section in the bridge, which I think counts as a rap sequence. That, once again, gave the song nice texture and felt perfect for the rest of the song.

The music video features DIA’s Chaeyeon (who also made her comeback yesterday with her group. Check out the review here!). She only appears at the start, where she seems like she is looking for something. One of the members is behind her and shines a light at her, which she blocks out. So what purpose does she serve in the video? As you can tell, I am not too sure about the plotline of the music video. The lyrics suggest that they are falling for her and I guess they become hot and bothered in the process. That’s my take on the video though and that is probably not right. Anyway, the music video was very stylish. From the sets (especially the golden hallway with the rapper) and outfits, I think everything was well-aligned to the song.

Another good performance from the group. It wasn’t as spectacular as I had hoped it to be, given the instrumental of the track, however. But there were some good moments, namely the chorus as a whole and the mini dance break, where the autotuned rap sequence was present (this, in particular, looked cool).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] Senorita – VAV

One of my favourite underrated male groups has returned to the stage. If you do not know this group, I highly recommend you check out some of their past tracks (which I have linked at the end of this paragraph). VAV has returned with a brand new single, Senorita. This is their second comeback of the year, after the release of Gorgeous and Spotlight earlier this year.

VAV’s comeback is obviously a Latin-influenced track, which is definitely an undeniable trend now. Last week along, 3 artists (Super Junior, NCT 127 and VAV) made their comeback with the Latin sound. But unlike the other two tracks, I found this one to involve fewer synths and felt a lot more acoustic. I thought that was quite nice, especially in a climate where electronic and Latin tends to be smashed together to become modernised. Instead, it forms a pleasant sounding track that isn’t drowned out by instrumentation. Vocally, I thought it was a good song. The rapping was also quite nice. However, I felt the song could have gone an extra length to be more memorable. There are hooks but there just wasn’t enough of a strong hook to really make it that addictive track that we commonly seek for in a KPOP track. Overall, it was good but it could have been better.

The music video was okay. I really like the golden colour that the video featured which felt very fitting for the song and its roots. Everything else just felt standard and didn’t really become that eye-catching or overly amazing.

I thought the choreography was quite nice. Nothing spectacular once again. But I thought there was enough to be appropriate for the song. I like their air guitar skills that they played at the start of the performance alongside the Spanish guitar instrumental.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.7/10

 

[Review] Gorgeous – VAV

Somehow I completely missed this vital piece of information but VAV was to make their comeback with two title tracks. We have already seen Spotlight, which was released on the 28th of January. 13 days later, the group has revealed their second music video for Gorgeous, another track on their Spotlight mini-album.

Gorgeous features a funky instrumental which mashes both retro and EDM together. While this combination has been done for, I don’t think I have heard any songs of the two being so balanced. The EDM provides the dance atmosphere to the song but also adds small details to the song to prevent it from getting too boring or repetitive. It is an extremely bright and vibrant song, energy just endless coming from the song. Vocals and raps were perfect. Not only were they crystal clear throughout the entire track but they did a good job with complimenting the fun side of the track. The song was quite catchy and addictive. All of this earns big ticks in my book. I particularly like the bridge of the track, which definitely hyped the song up and definitely grabbed my attention. The ‘Woo-Hoo‘ post-chorus section was replaying in my head every time the song ended, which made me go back for more. Overall, Gorgeous was one really good song to listen to.

The music video isn’t that fancy but they had really good camera work throughout the whole thing. Most of the video was shot in a warehouse and in front of some large garage. But how the cameras focused on the members and zoomed around felt very unique and cool. I particularly like the coloured smoke in the background for the final chorus, which gave the video an extra cool point. I thought the video would have become too repetitive as I realized the video was just choreography but that was not the case at all.

The choreography was quite great. While it does look complicated, it has a fun element which you can see on the member’s faces, which is definitely fitting for the music. I like the choreography for the bridge the most, as it is timed with the music and that looks amazing.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Review] Spotlight – VAV

2017 has been a very busy year for VAV, who has released a number of songs in the last 12 months, such as Venus (Dance With Me), Flower (You), ABC (Middle of the Night) and She’s Mine. Following the same momentum with their first comeback of 2018 (and 2 months after their last 2017 comeback) is Spotlight, which shares the same title as their title track.

Opening Spotlight is this really cool thumping sound, which definitely attracted my attention. In a way, they set up the song to be quite aesthetic (but I am a little disappointed that they didn’t follow through with this). The verses became a total miss for me. It wasn’t terrible. It just didn’t feel as interesting. The chorus managed to pump some energy with a more funky sound which definitely does brighten up the track. The post-chorus was the catchiest part of the entire song in my opinion, which was a cool hook in the song. Interestingly, the song omitted a rap section, which I thought was interesting. In its place seems to be an overwhelming autotune section. They could have toned it down a little to make it feel more fitting for the track, from what I could hear. The vocal work for the track is okay but it doesn’t feel that impressive as compared to their previous songs. Overall, Spotlight is definite another track to add to the list.

I liked it how the music video had a heavy emphasis on the lights, which make sense given that the title is Spotlight. The scenes at the dinner table reminded me of EXO’s Monster, which was definitely interesting. I did like the colour palette of the music video, which was definitely vibrant and (in some areas such as the white gallery) bold. I feel like the symbolism in this video is quite great but personally, I don’t know exactly what I should be looking for.

Once again, since the title of the song (and the lyrics) focuses on the Spotlight, the choreography also does a good job at putting this forward. The most impressive part of the choreography would be when they move forward during the post-chorus (around 1:11 of the music video).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

[Review] She’s Mine – VAV

VAV is back with a new single, She’s Mine. To me, the group is relatively new, as I only heard of them this year and started reviewing them this year, starting with Flower (You) and ABC (Dance of the Night). But you might be surprised that they have been on stage since 2015 with Under The Moonlight.

She’s Mine is another amazing song that is going to get lost in all the competition that they will be facing. Which is definitely heartbreaking, especially since so many people will go without listening to such an excellent sounding track. Particularly, in the first few seconds, I could hear the confidence in their voices, which makes it a whole new song. But what I liked more about the song was the choruses they had going on. The first chorus (or what I like to call ‘the decoy’) was the very simple repetition, which was underwhelming and disappointing at first glance. The second chorus (the actual chorus) followed shortly after with that really bright and explosive beat. It pairs well with the first chorus and gives the entire song a whole new facelift. Vocally, even though I touched on it before, the song is rock solid, while the raps were equally as grand. Overall, the song is addictive and definitely a bop to listen to.

The music video was also quite good and it seems like VAV is the next boy group to join the confusing route that many KPOP music videos go for. It seems they are planning some heist or trying to break their friend out of that ‘up close and personal’ prison. But then I have a feeling that it is an ‘every man for their own’ type of situation in the video. In other words, I have no idea whatsoever on what is going on in the video. But it was pretty interesting to watch. Just not fond of the sound effects that ended up being played over the actual song at the end.

I actually like the choreography for this song. It was very captivating to watch and extremely fitting for the song.  The dance break was quite cool and that confidence I spoke of before was definitely seen in the performance.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

[Review] ABC (Middle Of The Night) – VAV

VAV has returned with their third single. The group has already put out three singles already in just 6 months of the year, which is an impressive feat, considering the company that they come from. So far, they have returned with Venus and Flower. But move aside, ABC (Middle of the Night) is their third and most recent track (just released yesterday).

ABC (Middle Of The Night) has a very nice refreshing sound, on top of its modern tropical house elements. The start of the song and the verses were quite good, already replicating the playful sound that you would associate with Summer.  But it felt like it was missing something, which I felt very strongly. But once the beat dropped, the chorus felt just right. It had that missing element, which I now think was more upbeat-ness. And it is because of that, I really like the song. From ‘a very nice refreshing sound’, it turned into ‘a very nice refreshing bop’. While it was just released, I do see myself replaying this song constantly in the near future. It had a bit of catchiness, but I think I enjoy the song purely for its instrumental. I did like the short instrumental break. It made everything become serious all of a sudden, which contrasted nicely with the more vibrant and happy vibes coming from the song. The slowdown was done a nicely as well. It probably was one of the few slowdowns that I felt was done right. And that launch back into the upbeat chorus was amazing. The vocal work and raps were quite good, but did feel lacking in some parts.

The music video was okay. It reminded me of their Flower video (especially the solo shots). I did like the darkness that surrounded the choreography scenes. For some reason, it looked quite cool and the members did stand out in their white shirts.  I thought the sets and the outfits really went well with the retro feel. Not exactly sure of the girl who goes around, sneakily staring at the members. I felt that to fit the more Summer centred sound, the music video could have been a lot brighter, but instead, there was paleness throughout the video during the scenes where the background was white. It strikes me as odd that many videos go with that pale look, despite the song calling for a more bolder and vibrant positioned music video. There wasn’t much going on in the video, which did dull the experience (i.e. there wasn’t anything captivating).

The song doesn’t call for an amazing choreography, but what we got was pretty good. It looked fun for the most part. Though we don’t really see much in the video, I think there was enough to make that comment.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10 
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

 

 

[Review] Flower (You) – VAV

VAV has returned with a new single titled as Flower (You). This is my first time reviewing the group, who made their debut back in 2015 with Under The Moonlight. The group has since returned with a few songs such as No Doubt and this year’s comeback Venus (Dance With Me). The seven-member boy group is currently under A Team Entertainment and their name stands for Very Awesome Vampires. This is a warning for all fans of VAV, I did not enjoy the song.

The song uses the reggae sound that has been an emerging trend in KPOP lately. And while the instrumental was easily identified, it lacked… everything. It attempts to be trendy with its more chill and laidback vibes, but that didn’t work out well. With my first listen, it came off as an ‘okay’ track. But with the second and third listen, you can hear the boring side of the track and more descriptively, the dryness of the track. It lacked energy, which is something the instrumental tends to give. The vocals and raps sequences were okay, but they don’t impress me in any way. If anything, it contributed to the dryness of the song. They threw in the somewhat catchy line “yoo hoo hoo”, which attempts to save the song, but it doesn’t do enough to save the track. But I can overlook all of that. I honestly can. But the one thing I cannot overlook is the bridge of the song. Their tone in their voices was the same as the rest of the song and its return to the final chorus was expected. But what I didn’t expect was that mismatch of the bridge. It was so evident that it left an impression on me and regardless to say, is was not a great impression. I may sound harsh, but that is what I genuinely felt when I listened to the song.

Say that I am close-minded, but the concept of the video was completely different to the song style. I have to say they were close, but it was not the right season for the genre. The song fitted more of a Summer concept. However, the video portrayed a spring concept, which just doesn’t go with the reggae sound. That being said, I thought the colours in the video made it seem appealing. The video shows the girl rejecting the guys on numerous occasions, which I found a little funny. That sounds mean, but she seems like a hard person to impress.

Song – 3/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Rating – 4/10