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] Milky Way – VIXX

VIXX has released a brand new song to end their Conception trilogy. The album compromises all the title tracks for the trilogy (Dynamite, Fantasy and The Closer), along with any tracks that were released with the title tracks and the addition of Milky Way.

The song is pretty good. I like it how VIXX does end up releasing a song that more bright and happier than their any of their latest releases. It is a song for the fans, who have supported them. A way to say thanks to their Starlights (VIXX’s fanclub) and other fans. There is a classy and elegant feel that you get when you listen to the song. It is a song that, at least for me, gets my feet tapping along. Everything in the track has this very smooth or sleek feeling. The vocals and even Ravi’s rapping are not hard-hitting, rough or powerful. But each members vocals / Ravi’s rap are shown off and you can definitely hear their talent in this song. The song needs more of a hook, in my opinion. Honestly, it is something that I would forget about it now, but rediscover in a months time and then complain to myself how forgot about this song. But nonetheless, the song is still pretty calming and nice to listen to now.

Since this is a music video for the fans, I don’t think it would be fair for me to be critical about it. After all the track and video itself are presents from VIXX to the fans. The video was shot with 600 fans. It also shows the guys being themselves on stage, with an ocean of fans around them. I assumed the video also uses some of the shots taken by fans. To be honest, given the stories about fans recently, they look very well behaved here.

Rating – 8/10

[Review] The Closer – VIXX

VIXX has made their return with the third part of their “Conception’ trilogy. Previously, the group released Dynamite, which was based on the Greek God of Zelos (God of Jealousy and Rivalry). Then they recently returned with Fantasy, based on the Greek God of Hades (God of the Underworld). Now, they are back with the final part, The Closer, based on the Greek God of Kratos (God of strength, might, sovereign rule, and authority in all its forms – Wikipedia, 2016).

Another amazing song from VIXX. Another fine year for the group. Dynamite was an explosion. Fantasy was unimaginable. And The Closer acts as a final chapter to VIXX’s 2016. The song infuses dance, pop and RnB. In the end, we get a very smooth song that sounds quite classy as well. Vocally, every member shined in this song. You can hear  improvements in Hyuk’s and Hongbin’s vocals. But none of the members shined throughout the song like Ken did. The focus was shifted to him in the song  (vocally) and his vocals fit the song perfectly. I also loved Ravi’s rap. It weren’t as fierce this time and had a more defined rhythm to it. That “Oh Whoa Whoa, That’s no no boy” captured my attention as soon as I heard it. I do love the individual sounds in the instrumental. The church bells, for example,  at the start gave a very eerie and mysterious feel, adding that VIXX flavour that we know quite well of. I don’t know why, but I am drawn to the sound of cymbals in the song. The lyrics are quite sensual as well, which does fit in with the overall sound of the song. The only thing that I don’t seem to like about the track is a lack of energy. Sure, it is pretty much passive but I guess I am more used to the stronger and masculine sound from VIXX.

The music video is amazing. Cinematography for this video is amazing. The effects are incredible. I saw the making of this music video and it surprised me with how they shot the video. You can simply google the making of the video, but let’s just say minimal computer effects were required from the looks of the making video. In the video every member (besides Ken) are frozen. N falling off a ledge, Hyuk’s car crashed into the wall. Everyone, regardless, is frozen. Just Ken isn’t and he moves about. I guess it ties with the lyrics of the song. Everyone is after this girl, but Ken is Kratos, so he stops everyone, just to get to the girl himself. Even lyrics in the song backs this up: “Pushing away everyone else and having you“. When no one is frozen (aka the chorus of the song) the video immediately snaps to the choreography scenes. It defines the intensity of the chorus pretty well. The editing and transitions in this video are amazing, not just the content of the video.

I thought the dance had a lot of class and matched the song quite well. At times, it looked like it was hastily put together and I think some fine tuning could have done to make it even more polished. But nonetheless, this performance is pretty grand already. Just look at N’s spin!

Rating – 9/10

 

[Review] Fantasy – VIXX

VIXX has returned to the stage with the second part of their Greek God trilogy. Last time, they were Zelos, the God of Jealousy and Rivalry and made their comeback with Dynamite. This time, they returned to their dark roots as the God of the Underworld, otherwise known as Hades. The title track for this promotional run is Fantasy.

Jaw dropping. I am amazed and in awe when I hear this song. I love the orchestra feel of the instrumental. The instrumental itself was sampled from Moonlight Sonata, which in the context of this song, gives it an eerie feeling that really cannot be described in words.I love the slow buildup in this song and that burst of power and sound that we get as soon as we launch right into the chorus. And saying launch makes it underwhelming. More like thrown into the chorus as approx 100 km/hr. Okay, I will stop. The vocal work and the rapping in the song are amazing. None of them felt lacking or  underwhelming. I do have two minor complaints. While I did love the chorus a lot, I felt it was quite overpowering for the vocals. I found it a bit difficult to listen to Ken and Leo the first few times I listened to the song. I am more used to it now, just I do have that thought come into frame every now and then. Ravi had quite a limited part. I am a little disappointed in that. The rap sequence we got is already excellent, though I would appreciate it more if it was a lot longer. But still, it is an excellent song that is right up VIXX’s alley.

Concept wise, I don’t really see much of the “Hades” concept in the video. But when we talk about the Greek God of the Underworld, ‘eerie’, ‘mysterious’, ‘dark’, ‘powerful’ and ‘terrifying’ are all terms we would use to describe him. And once again, VIXX has ticked it all off. The darkness was not there that much in Dynamite, but it is definitely here in this one, which reminds me so well of the old days for VIXX. Though I have no clue on what is really happening in the video, here is my take on the video: the members are like demons from the underworld. They are sent to bring N down to their world, and coerce him into going into the door that leads to the new world. So some of the members (N, Hongbin, Ken and Ravi( had halos at the end but in the form of the prickly metal halos. Once N officially becomes one of theirs, it seems Leo is their next target but somehow manages to avoid it (as he is bandaging up his wounds at the end, where the prickly metal bits are meant to be). Hyuk seems to be someone from above, stopping people before entering the door. That’s my take on the video and if I was even remotely right, I think it is an interesting story to tell.

The choreography fits the song and concept really well. Though I do not see anything memorable, them singing the song and pulling off any dance is bound to blow all our minds. I do think the dance does back up my theory in the music video. At the end of the first chorus, the lyrics “Get back up, off that dream”. They drop down to the stage as if the underworld is calling them, but the eerie vocals make it seem like someone from above is calling them, hence they look up. Just something I noticed that probably isn’t right, but still amazing.

Final Rating – 8.5/10

[Rewind] April 2016 & May 2016

Yeah… I know May hasn’t ended yet, but to avoid posting another late ‘Rewind” post 3 weeks after the month finished, I have decided to April and May together. This one is going to be a little informal in terms of format for a few reasons that will appear apparent. And before we move on, just a little reminder that I will try to write and release reviews every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Okay, moving along:

Leaving the Group?

We became shocked with the disbandment (or what we dubbed at the disbandment) of Kara at the start of the year. However, it seems like certain groups are facing member line up changes after one of their members had decided to not resign with their company and have since departed ways with their respective groups. Former member of 2NE1, Minzy, and former member of Miss A, Jia, have both decided to leave their successful group and go onto their own paths.  Minzy will (hopefully) make her solo debut in the near future after confirmation came from her new company in which she signed. Jia was announced today that she would be leaving the band after her contract finished. Miss A and 2NE1 faced disbandment rumours from these two events, but both their companies have stated that is not the case. Not only girl groups are facing these changes, but A-Jax (if we all remember who they were) recently lost 3 members (Sungmin, Jaehyung and Jihu). But the list does not end there. Hyunseung departed from Beast, leaving the group with 5 members. It was kind of expected after the numerous articles and petitions asking for his removal. Hyunseung is expected to return as a solo artist in the near future and is still signed with Cube Entertainment. It is always disappointing to hear these news and it has obviously shocked the industry a lot. These members have been with their band since the beginning, so it is always hard for fans. Hopefully, there won’t be any more of this and I wish the former members luck in their future endeavours (because that is something we all should do and not call them selfish).

Descendant of the Sun

Now this is something we all have heard about. The drama has taken Asia by storm and has been proven to be highly successsful. It stars Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Ko, as the main characters. Before you all die from shock, I have yet to watch this drama. So, no spoilers. But I don’t actually have any plans to watch the drama. Because I am not one to enjoy romance and all this lovey dovey sh*t. I just don’t watch the genre (or any mainstream and popular dramas). I prefer the cringeworthy daily dramas. Now, why am I talking about this drama? Well, the OSTs for this drama has literally taken over the charts each time they were released. Not complaining here, but the songs were really good. Like, I really enjoy listening to them and this is probably the first time I have been impressed with the OST for a drama. Anyway, the OST contains songs from Davichi, Gummy, K.Will, Yoon Mi Rae, Chen, Punch, Mad Clown, Kim Na Young, Xiah, MC The Max, Lyn and SG Wannabe. In OST terms, this is pretty much the star studded red carpet. Each song released topped the charts instantaneously and I can see these artists winning the Best OST awards at the award ceremonies already. That is all I am reporting on… Hahaha…

Comebacks and Debuts

For the past two months, many artists have made their comeback and they include ): Block B, Seventeen, History, April, Twice, AOA, Akdong Musician, VIXX, Lovelyz, Up10Tion and so many more.

For debuts, NCT is the big debut for April.  I.O.I is probably the major debut for May. However, we have seen new soloists emerge in KPOP in the past two months. Notably, Jung Eunji from APINK, Woohyun from Infinite and Tiffany from SNSD had their respective solo debuts in the last two months.

Top 5 songs of April

As per normal, these are my top 5 songs of April:

  1. Pretty U – Seventeen
  2. Journey to Atlantis – Laboum
  3. Dynamite – VIXX
  4. Queen – History
  5. Toy – Block B

Top 5 songs of May

May hasn’t ended yet, but it is about to. I will add other May songs to the June list (when I get around to it).

0. Pretty U – Seventeen (I have to. I have been trialling charts and Seventeen has been popping up every single week as the top song for the week).
1. Good Luck – AOA
2. Save Me – BTS
3. Nodding Nodding – Woohyun (Infinite)
4. I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)
5. Fire – BTS

This one was a long one and I tried to keep it short. I am really behind in reviews and will get them out slowly. It will take me some time to catch up. Bad news is that I have exams coming up and I am going to be slower. I will review every major release eventually, so give me some time. Enjoy the rest of May and see you tomorrow!!!

 

Dynamite – VIXX

VIXX has returned with a brand new concept. The set of three or “trilogy” concept has been on the rise in South Korea with BTS, G-Friend, Seventeen and Lovelyz wrapping up their “set of three” concepts. VIXX will be the latest band to join the ranks in this trend and have promised three comebacks within a year which focuses on Greek mythology. They have always surprised us (or scared the daylights out of us) with their concepts, so it will be interesting to see what they will do next. Dynamite begins the trilogy for VIXX.

And is Dynamite a good song or what? One of the few songs that I am obsessing over these days. It is not your typical VIXX song. Actually, it is not a song that you would associate with VIXX. It is many times more colourful than their previous hits and has more of a bright tune to it. It focuses more on the pop side of KPOP, but the meaning (in terms of the Greek God that they are focusing on) is really brought to life with the song. But I will talk about the concept later. Vocal wise, everyone got a decent part of the pie and showcased an excellent standard. Hyuk and Hongbin particular, shined more in this song, as they have more lines than in the past.  The rap was okay. It felt very underwhelming and just didn’t hit the right feels to make me go wow. Everything else was just great. The instrumental is amazing and that small part that Hyuk has before the chorus is really unique and makes the song very interesting. Definitely catchy (like any VIXX song) addictive. VIXX has managed to do it once again with Dynamite.

The Greek God that they are focusing on this time around is Zelos, the God of Jealousy and Rivalry. And the video shows the concept in a very interesting way. So Ravi said in an interview or somewhere for this concept: “Our lead track, “Dynamite,” is about a guy being blinded by jealousy and willing to turn the world upside down to get his ex back.”. And the video shows just that. The video is quite calm at the start, but as it progressed, it literally looked like the world was turned upside down and all hell broke loose. The flying coloured dust and the camera became even shakier. Talking about the camera, I think this was an excellent example of how a shaky camera could be used to their benefit. It worked really well and was in time with their dance moves. The sets were pretty good as well. They were all quite simple but the guys acting gave each set a lot more definition and meaning. I think the video was amazing overall, as you can tell from my comments.

Dance wise, I thought it was underwhelming. But saying that doesn’t mean I hate it or the dance wasn’t good enough for the song and concept. It was good, it just didn’t live to my expectations. I guess I did expect more of a kick to the dance. Their facial expressions in this dance is pretty much teasing all of us. N’s smile occurring indirectly to the camera and Hongbin’s smirks were my favourite. They do match the concept and made everyone go wild.

Song and video were amazing and top notch. The dance could have definitely been better, but what we got was pretty good still. 8.5/10

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 Seoul Music Awards 2015 + Thoughts

The Seoul Music Awards is one of the award ceremonies held the year after for the year before. For example, the award ceremony for the 25th Seoul Music Award was held in 2016, but celebrates the flourishing artists of 2015. Understand yet? Well now that hard to understand concept has been dealt with, the 25th Seoul Music Award ceremony was held on the 14th of January 2016, in Seoul. It is said that this award ceremony is one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies for the year as it recognises the popular and talented artists of the year. Selection process for winners on the night are as follow: 20% mobile votes, 10% Popularity Polls, 40% music sales (both digital and physical album sales) and 30% judging panel’s scores. Only artists who released singles or albums in 2015 are eligible to win.

Like all ceremonies, a number of actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the event to give out awards. The night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, EXID’s Hani and Honey Lee. All artists that received the award on the night performed on stage (minus those whose awards were accepted on their behalf by label mates – Big Bang is who I am trying to refer to).

Just to recap the awards winners of the night:
Bonsang Awards – EXID, Red Velvet, Taeyeon (SNSD), VIXX, Yoon Mi Rae, Zion.T, BTS, EXO, APINK, Sistar, Big Bang & SHINee.
Best New Artist – iKON, GFriend, Seventeen
Performance Award – Hyukoh
Best Trot Award – Hong Jin Young
Best RnB Award – Sane
Best Ballad Award – BTOB
Best OST Award – Jang Jae In (performed with Wonwoo (Seventeen) on the night)
Male Dance Performance Award – Monsta X
Female Dance Performance Award – Ailee
Mobile Popularity Award – Kim Junsu (JYJ)
Hallyu Special Award – EXO
Record Of The Year (Digital Release) – Bang Bang Bang (Big Bang)
Record Of The Year (Physical Release) – Kiss My Lip (BOA)
Daesang Award (Best Artist Of The Year) – EXO

The Bonsang awards seem to be more representative of the mainstream KPOP this year. Finally, Seventeen get their Best New Artist award that I think they truly deserve. Most likely they got it for their record breaking album sales. And finally some people decided to pay attention to BTOB. I am not technically fond of their ballads in the past year, but hey, it looks like South Korea is finally paying attention to them. Ailee’s award is one I am not exactly sure of. I don’t think it was the best dance performance of the year. I think that belongs to a particular rookie who was present on the night as well. Regarding Kim Junsu, who was apparently not invited to the ceremony despite winning a key award on the night, there is some shady business going on. But hopefully, when this matter is resolved, justice for Junsu and JYJ will occur. 2015 was a step forward for them, with the introduction of the JYJ Law.

Ailee should not have been pestered for the cameras catching her “on her mobile”. The netizens make it sound like she was too busy texting another person or was too busy looking at pictures of food. Put simply, she was just downloading an app to support SHINee and was later seen supporting Boa. People should really see the bigger picture (or in this case, wait for it) before making a big deal out it. Also, Boa’s award. Even though it was nice to see her win something, I agree with a lot of people who say she got the award just because of her senior status. It was her 15 year anniversary and she probably wouldn’t have received any award for her album if she debuted later on. Also, Starship should not deprive Sistar of any chances to get on the stage. They looked like they really enjoyed being there and were probably excited for their first stage together in what seemed to be 6 months.

Performance wise, I actually did not pay that much attention to the performances in this ceremony. Some of them were disappointing to watch, while others just did not appeal to me or make me want to watch. All I am going to say is the few that I did manage to watch (mainly the first half) were okay. Just minus the introduction for EXID’s performance. That was shocking. Stand out was probably GFriend’s intro. While their fan chant came to a close second. I don’t why I feel that way regarding the performances, I just was not feeling it. For the past few years which I have been watching the SMA ceremonies, their performances are by far the weakest of all ceremonies. Below I have put a handful of performances that I could quickly find into a playlist from the night.

Well, that is it for my wrap up of the Seoul Music Awards 2016. Hopefully, next year is better. Less controversy and better stages required to make this an award ceremony that I can look forward to.

 

Depend On Me – VIXX

VIXX has made their return to Japan with a new song, which coincides with the release of their first Japanese album. The album includes the Japanese versions of some of their past Korean hits, such as Chained Up and Error. The album has includes some Korean songs that VIXX has released as extra tracks. But even better, the album includes some Japanese tracks: Can’t Say, which was their first official original Japanese release and Depend On You, their second official original Japanese release and the whole reason of today’s review.

VIXX’s song is good but I keep on asking myself is it good enough? Depend On Me has this very dramatic orchestra sound, mixed with elements of electronic, which gives it a good sound which I like. The chorus beat drops and it sounds more like a pop song than anything else. It flows with the rest of the song, but to me, it just seems like it misses the cake. It was so dramatic sounding at the start, but then that same dramatic feel just disappears. Sure, I listen to the song if it comes on, but I don’t think it is something that I would get caught on. The bridge is okay, but it feels mis-matched with the rest of the song. The vocal work is pretty well damn good in this song. All the members sound great and Ravi’s rap is always sounding hardcore and bad-ass. I don’t know, I feel like I am let down with the chorus in this song. It is great to see such a powerful song from the band in Japan (thought they would stay with their Can’t Stay sound).

The music video is simple. Put the guys in an overused room to dance in and shoot majority of the dance scenes. Throw in some solo shots up close in the dark room and then more solo shots in a white room with red strings everywhere. And that is your video. There were some shots in the video of N just talking to a girl. N notices she becomes disinterested in what is going on, and then this flash forward (or back) of the red strings come along. And then at the very end, we see him whisper something to the girl, and that room flashes back with N whispering the same thing to the camera. So what is going on? Am I meant to look at the lyrics or something because I am a little confused. The strings make sense, since the lyrics talk about cutting strings that join the two together, but what about that N scenes? A little too simple for my liking, but still pretty nice to watch.

But here is what we do actually watch in that video, and that is the dance. While the video below does not capture the whole video for us (still waiting patient for the official upload though), the dance is pretty cool. The highlight of the dance though, the violin introduction where Ravi imaginary plays the violin. It looks so cool. The rest of the dance fitted in with the electronic components of the instrumental. A lot of powerful and strong moves.

Overall, little iffy on the song, video is good and VIXX never lets us down with the dance. 7/10

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 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.

 

 

 

Chained Up – VIXX

VIXX new song is not what I expected. Usually they have a song that we can describe as dark and mysterious. However, this particular song is more upbeat and possibly “happy”, even though the lyrics do not go in that direction. I feel like the instrumental can be also be used for a less darker or more fun concept. Do you understand? It is rather odd to think that way, but it seems to be the only way I can describe it. Nonetheless, this song is pretty solid. I absolutely love the rap segments before the chorus. They build up to the chorus pretty well. The vocals are pretty solid in this song and I feel like the autotune works really well with the song. The chorus is catchy, but it did require a few listens for me to get into the groove of the song. At first I thought it wasn’t a VIXX song and that it sounded rush. But after extra listens, they managed to chain me up in their music (no pun intended – is this how puns actually work?). I feel like Hongbin and Leo got their time to shine in this song, vocally.

Visually, I think the music video is stunning. The outside scene where they are on top of building at the start looks really well shot, and the members individual scenes seems to bring the concept pretty well. They all seem like good places to hang out at, to be honest. Who doesn’t want to run through Leo’s chains and those pieces of plastic hanging about. The members also bring out a whole new level of sexy. Their costumes, even though they seem simple and easy to copy, bring out that side of masculinity in the guys that we have not seen yet. I’m kind of iffy on the topic of the chokers. Yeah, they look cool and fit the concept really well. BUT they look so damn uncomfortable. Or maybe that is just me and in reality they are cuddly as heck. In the song paragraph, I said Leo and Hongbin stood out. Visually, I think Ken looked the most awesome in this comeback. Everyone else looked fine, it is just Ken looked like he was suited for this concept.

As for the dance, I think we can agree on that it is either Leo on his own OR the whole entire group. From flying members to body waves, now hip rolls. Now what on earth is left in terms of key dance moves that the boys can attempt next? Out of all the dances by VIXX to date, I think this is the most literal dance for any of their comebacks so far. And I think I am going to say this, but it is probably one of their strongest dances to date. And finally, damn it was sexy. And this is coming from a guy’s point of view.

VIXX seems to bring out brand new dark concepts that we have never seen before and manage to impress everyone with their continuously creative and imaginative comebacks. And this is no exception. 9/10

Beautiful Liar – VIXX LR (VIXX)

VIXX is back, but in the form of Leo and Ravi. Yes, VIXX has launched their LR subunit, which I totally thought stood for Left and Right. For those who don’t know, Leo is the very capable main vocalist known for his quiet and “calm” persona, while Ravi is the rapper of the group, who is known for his sexual lyrics. Yeah, if you can’t tell, I am a bit of a fan of VIXX. But I am not bias. Trust me. It has been a while since we heard of VIXX. At the start of the year, they made their comeback and has since ventured into Japan and the group has focused mainly on solo work.

This is a song that I would highly recommend. Not because I am bias, but this is a beautiful song that mixes the ballad genre with more a rap and hip hop type of vibe. Yeah, not a big fan of the whole rapping in ballad type of songs, but this song really does it well. Leo, we all know, has this wonderful voice and Ravi is known for his powerful rapping style. Put the two together and you get a really powerful ballad. Each member is given equal opportunities to show off what they have under their sleeves. Leo’s high notes that he belts out during the song is truly amazing. Ravi’s powerful rapping did wonders. And them two when they come together and sing together at certain parts, match each other so well. The instrumental won me over. It is by far definitely one of the brightest highlights for the song. I really enjoyed how they mixed the ballad song with a more electronic type of sound during the second verse when Ravi is rapping. The lyrics for this song is quite ingeniously written as well. We hear “Beautiful Lair” throughout the song, but the final words of the song is actually “cowardly liar”.

Odd place to end the final paragraph, but it leads nicely into the plot of the video. In the video, Ravi and Leo is one person. Kind of like the Jekyll and Hyde concept they were going for in the past. Leo is the lie, while Ravi is the truth. The truth is, Ravi is an accurate representation of the feelings Leo have. But Leo wants to let her go, so she can have a great life (she is going to get married to another guy). They struggle throughout the video, but Leo ends up winning. In the end, he sings “cowardly liar” because that is what he is. Because he did not have the guts to tell the girl his true feelings. Love the play on the black and white in the video. Their acting is pretty impressive in this video as well. Their “struggle” scene is pretty good and was an impressive way to showcase the plot. I also love it how they give you two kind of ending. One shows Ravi dying (strangled by the Leo, probably wanted to do that for some time) and the other is where Ravi “slips” away. I thought this was an amazing video. Well showcased.

Not really going to mention the dance, mainly because there isn’t anything to talk about. The members focus on singing and rapping, which I felt was enough. The need for the backup dancers was nice but I don’t think they were needed.

Wow. I wrote so much. But honestly, check out this song. 10/10

Love Equation – VIXX

Despite being on stage just a few months ago with Error, VIXX has returned to the stage in 2015. But I agree with everyone. You can never have too much VIXX. But seriously, these poor boys (and it is not just these boys. Countless other idol groups, big or small) are probably working their asses off to get their name in place within the industry. Big name bands usually have only 1 or two comebacks within a year with massive gaps in between. This allows them to focus on individual work and rest. And that is one downside to the industry. Wait, this is now a rant? Okay. I shall end here. Bottom line: VIXX is working extremely hard and they deserve a break. Maybe not as bad as 2013 was a more hectic year. And maybe not to the extent that B.A.P needed a break. But still, they are pretty tired.

This is a remake of the 1995 of R.ef’s hit single Farewell Formula. And for those who don’t know, R.ef was a widely known group back in the day, though I don’t think they are active anymore. Though I have not heard the original song yet, I am going to take a massive stab in the dark that VIXX’s version is going to be modern and sound quite similar to the original. At the same time, I believe Ravi wrote the rap to the song, which was a great addition because that “Ha Ha Ho Ho” part of the rap was freaking amazing. Actually, all the members stood out for once. For a moment, I was kind of concerned that Hongbin was the only member to get one part of the song but my worries were at ease when I saw the live performances. Ken’s high notes just keep on getting higher and pretty sure is competing against Leo for the best high note belt-er. The English in this song really needs to be worked on. “Love is incomplete” but when Ravi says it: “Love is incompetent”? Also “Love Ekation” kind of made me go insane. Not making fun of his poor English, just it needs a little more work.

The music video is okay. Damn, I miss the dark side of VIXX time and time again when I see concepts like this. But then again, they bring in fresh air for those who quickly tire of the same old thing time and time again. I guess they went for the “boy next door” image this time around. They played basketball, played video games. However, they are reminded of the past with their exs. N got rejected in the video, while Ken was completely heartbroken when he realized his girlfriend was not next to him anymore. I have no idea what Hongbin was doing. He seemed to be un-phased (at the start of the video only) about the whole love idea. He was later reminded of his love when he packed all the things that belonged to her away though. Hyuk, on the other end, tried his best to make Ravi happy. But something tells me that he made Ravi go a little to the angry side. Overall, the video was light and fun, which is fitting to the song. It was a little boring, but it did its job pretty well.

As for the dance. I liked it. It was difficult like VIXX’s normal dances and had a VIXX feel to it. I love it how they included the Error concept in this dance as well. A big part of the choreography (and I kid you not) is the amount of smiles made by Leo at the camera.  Though N looks a lot serious now, so I don’t really know anymore.

That was a long review. I badly want to review Memory off their mini album this time. That song was totally an amazing song on the mini album. But nevertheless, the comeback was pretty good. Changed up from their signature dark concepts, but still pretty solid. 8/10

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 ^^

Best Of The Best 2014 – Winners

Announcing the winners of the 2014 Best Of The Best. Click here for the full list of nominees!!!

Code: RED FONT – WINNERS BLUE FONT – HONOURABLE MENTION

BEST ROOKIE GROUP

2014, like the past few years, have seen so many new KPOP bands debut. So many new bands, so much that I have a really difficult job to select certain artists and also keep up with the old styles. 2014 saw the big 3 companies debut their own groups, but I have to be honest, the stand outs came mostly from the smaller companies. One group in particular stood out from the rest: Mamamoo. Harmony and totally different style from what we are used to. Honourable mentions go to GOT7.

BEST INSTRUMENTAL

The one song that is overlooked by everyone on the album is the instrumental. I freaking love instrumentals, and this year, KPOP decided to tease me with so many new instrumentals. That being said, this year the winner of Best Instrumental is Ain’t Nobody by Ye-Eun (Ha:tFelt). Honourable mentions go to Sugar Free by T-Ara.

BEST VOCALS

KPOP = Singing. There for it is only right for this year to have an award for Best Vocals, right? Well, the winner goes to Ha:tfelt – Ye Eun (Wonder Girls). I was so amazed by here singing this year that it blew my mind, particularly her title track Ain’t Nobody. Honourable mentions go to IU (yes, I think most of us agree).

BEST RAPPER

Many KPOP songs have many rapping parts. At the same time, rappers need some recognition. Though, I feel my choice this year could be a little odd, only one person (in my opinion) did a really amazing job. Junhyung from Beast did a wonderful job in Good Luck, 12:30 and the many songs he featured in. Zico from Block B takes Honourable Mentions.

BEST SUBUNIT

Since 2013, many subunits have been on trend. Even though subunits have been losing trend, many bands this year debuted their own subunits. However, I think we should move away from the new subunits. Cause this year an old subunit wins. Orange Caramel steals Best Subunit with release of three different songs. Honourable mentions goes to Rainbow Blaxx.

BEST COLLABORATION

The new trend for 2014. Collaborations between artists have been on the rise. This year though, if you were a KPOP fan for a while, you would know already who the winner is. Soyu & JungGiGo’s Some steals the show, topping the end of year charts conducted in South Korea and winning Best Song as well on the SBS Music Festival. Well of course they would win, considering that they SLAYED the charts. Honourable Mentions go to Sane and Raina’s collaboration, Midsummer Night’s Sweetness.

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR

This year there has been so many stars that have started to become more popular. The nominees tend to be bands that have debuted in the previous year, and with help of comebacks, started to become well known in the industry. I think for the first time ever, I am going to be honest and put forward two winners to this category. First of all, BTS say a boost in popularity and have become a band that I look forward to listening to. Second of all AOA saw new popularity with release of Miniskirt, Short Air and Like A Cat. Both bands, obviously, rose a lot this year and I found it hard to differentiate them.

BEST JAPANESE SONG

If you don’t know (I won’t be surprised) I also review some Japanese song. 2015 will be the year where I start to review more Japanese songs for you all. However, 2014 also had a lot of catchy and cool Japanese songs. The winner for this year is Korean boy band MYNAME’s F.F.Y. Such a catchy song. As for honourable mentions, it goes to AAA’s Showtime.

BEST DANCE

KPOP is also known for its dancing. 2014 saw some interesting dances, catchy dances, and some dances that have no words to describe it. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. This year, T-ara took the position as best dance. It was probably the most addictive dance and it was pretty easy as well. It matched the song and most importantly, I loved it. Honourable mentions to Infinite’s Back.

BEST ALBUM

A brand new category for 2014. Every award show or some kind of award giving platform has the “best album” award. And yes, this year, there are so many freaking great albums (like any other year). In my opinion, the best album of the year goes to F(x)’s Red Light. All, if not most, of the songs were amazing to listen to and were so great. Every freaking song was different, and though that maybe risky, F(x) pulled it off as a flowing album. Honourable Mentions goes to AKMU’s Play.

BEST MALE SOLOIST

Solos don’t tend to be the trend this year. Some bands saw new members branch into a solo career, however it seems like more and more KPOP idols (whether male or female) are branching out to acting or variety shows. However, the winner to this category is a person who started offically his own solo career with a lot of experience in the music industry. Crush is the winner. Damn, this dude’s songs are so good. You should check them out. Honourable mentions: JungGiGo.

BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

It seems like more and more females are branching out onto the stage. We saw many KPOP divas making their solo debuts on the stage with new and fresh songs from bands like T-Ara or Secret. We already have divas who have accomplished a start to their solo career and saw comebacks of very big names. This year, one solo stood out and that is Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Releasing her first solo mini album, she did quite well considering the competition she was going through. Honourable Mentions goes to Sunmi.

BEST FEMALE GROUP

Sexy concept by girl groups have been on the rise. If you know me well, then you probably already know my pick. However, so many girls groups made their comeback this year. Some picked up a lot of popularity and saw massive wins for the first time. Girl’s Day hitted big with their amazing single Something. They later went on to release Darling and I Miss You. Being one of the biggest girl groups of the year, they were sure to pick some prize up. APINK steals honourable mentions this year with their massive single Mr Chu and their latest hit Luv, which blew up and swept all the December trophies for 2014.

BEST MALE GROUP

There have always been a large influx of boy groups and this year it is no different. I was so impressed I was just going to choose all 10 nominees as winners. However, there can only be one winner (well, technically), so I guess I have to choose one. I am going to put down VIXX. They released Eternity and Error this year and both songs were hits for the band. Not only that, they displayed great dance moves and skills. Beast takes out honourable mentions with Good Luck and 12:30, both being very great songs that also delivered like what VIXX had to show. (Just VIXX nudged a head a little bit).

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

This year, most of my Best Music Video Nominees saw the depressing side of KPOP. 8 music videos had this sad or dark storyline to tell. 2 music videos were made in a soft hearted and were really cheerful. G.o.D’s music video for The Story Of Our Lives, told the amazing bond between family and that the outside will never be able to define the inside. Megan Lee features in the song and both band and soloist did an amazing job singing and pouring out their emotions. By the way, SM made a video outside of the box. F(x)’s Red Light, takes honourable mention.

BEST SONG

25 songs were nominated for Best Song for 2014. All were to an excellent standard. There were clear stands out. Something by Girl’s Day, EXID’s Up and Down and Beast’s Good Luck are this year’s honourable mentions. However, which song took Best Song category for 2014? Check the song and music video down below.