[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

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[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