[Review] Doll – Kangta, Seulgi & Wendy

This is the second track that I have picked to do a review for. As mentioned yesterday, I am taking some time to catch up on the SM Station releases which I have missed out on in the past few weeks. Today’s pick is Kangta, Seulgi and Wendy’s collaboration, Doll, which is actually a remake of another track of the same name.

For those who don’t know, Doll was previously released in 2001 by Hyseung (from Shinhwa) and Lee Ji Hoon. Interestingly enough, Kangta actually wrote the lyrics to the track as well. The 2017 version is performed by Kangta, Seulgi and Wendy, who all bring their vocals to the table for this song. I searched for the original track on YouTube and it seems like they used the same instrumental. But I felt the original was empty (but I don’t mean that in a bad way). That may be due to the original singers’ similar vocals, while the 2017 version had variations with the male and female combination.  And I like that a lot because it feels like the track has a lot more going through it. I will admit the song was a little dry, in my opinion, at the start. But once the song climaxed and each vocalist was belting their vocals out, everything seemed to click into place. Obviously, for the song to work, there has to be amazing vocals in the ballad and the trio delivered with that making it an amazing song to listen to.

The music video accompanying the release of the track is a recording of the live performance that Kangta, Seulgi and Wendy gave at the SMTOWN Live concerts. I don’t have much else to say regarding the video. Mainly because they can’t shoot a full music video at a concert.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

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[Review] Would U – Red Velvet

Red Velvet’s latest release marks the return of the SM Station project for its second season. SM Station is a project where SM Entertainment promised the release of multiple songs on a weekly basis for an entire year. The project saw never-seen-before collaborations between SM artists, along with other artists from other companies, something that seemed foreign when it came to SM. The project saw some big hits and some of the songs released were reviewed on this website, such as Rain by Taeyeon, Spring Love by Wendy and Eric Nam, and Heartbreak Hotel by Tiffany ft. Simon D. While I didn’t get around to reviewing every single song, I do hope that I will be able to do more reviews from SM Station project for its second season.

Red Velvet is a girl group well known for their more retro and upbeat based songs. On occasion, they have also returned with much slower and ballad-like songs. While this particular song does seem to fall into the ‘slower’ category, it is a nice mix of style between the slow and upbeatness. The instrumental is quite bright, and it makes you smile while you listen to it. The song uses a sweet melody that is hard to miss. The piano adds a more classical touch to the song. While it isn’t anything new or impressive, its addition makes the song sound a lot better. But the thing worth mentioning in this song are the vocals. The girls sound amazing. Sure, it isn’t powerhouse vocals, or none of the members is belting out a high note. It is simple yet still, leaves an impression on you. Their harmonies sounds amazing and probably the one reason why I keep on returning to this track. Also the “Would U, Would U” is unavoidably cute and catchy as well.

The music video features Irene and actor Kim Min Jae. The video is probably based on a well-known French story that I probably have no idea existed. Essentially, Irene has to find clues on where the mysterious man, who keeps on leavings these clues about. As she solves one, she gets a step closer to the man. I don’t like the video but I don’t mind it. It is very fitting for the song and the video does make you smile, as well. Irene is quite pretty too and she did look like an angel in the video. Loved the use of lights. I think the video was shot outside, but there was the use of artificial light. But the combination made Irene look like she was glowing and it made the video feel fresh.

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

[Review] Russian Roulette – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has made their comeback with their third mini-album, Russian Roulette. Their title song is the same title as their mini-album. The girl’s most recent release and comeback was back in March of this year, with One of These Nights.

Interesting song. My feelings a little confused. One part of me doesn’t like some aspects, but another part of me wants to get up and dance along with the song. The first impression, I thought it was quite catchy and more of the Red Velvet style that I like. The second time around, I thought the song was quite choppy and would become annoying to listen to over time. Third time around, I just sat there deciding whether I like the song or not. And I am still deciding. The choppiness, which I was thinking would become annoying, was the charm of the song. The chorus was amazing. So catchy and it makes the song quite addictive. I love the 8-Bit sound as if this was taken out from one of those arcade games. The vocals in the song were pretty solid as well. Each member was flawless in the song. I don’t if my theory is right yet. Mainly because it is the song that I have been playing on the loop consistently for the past few days. Maybe in a weeks time, maybe never. But so far, I can say that I think the elements in the song come together quite nicely, even though I was never a big fan of the choppiness in other songs. The girls have put out such a catchy song that I think delivers the right form of Red Velvet that I grew to like in Dumb Dumb.

Certain parts of the video I liked, others I didn’t. Let’s start off with the intersection of the song and video. The song likens the game of love (well, when people fall in love with the same person, all at the same time) to the game Russian Roulette (the more violent game, of course). The video does a splendid job of showing us that, but saving us from the gore and consequences. I’ve read the video was inspired by Tom and Jerry (one of my all time favourite animations) and the video did just that. There a cat and mouse cartoon in the video, but it was much more interesting seeing everything occurring between the girls.  From throwing dodge balls at each other, to cutting rope that is attached to a fridge dangling from the roof, to cooperating with each other to cause a series of lockers to fall over, the girls pretty much have this game sorted. The video fits the choppiness of the song quite well. I love their blank facial expressions when they all turn to the camera and start lip-syncing to the song. Wait, I love their facial expressions in this video. Especially when  each other them put their respective plans into full effect. It gives you shivers.Those are just some highlights of the video. What I didn’t like was some of the close-up shots during the choreography parts. They looked amateurish and really showed a more “unpolished” side of the girls.

Which leads me to the dance that accompanied the song. Sadly, not loving it. There were a few scenes in the video that made it look chaotic and an eye sore. Watching the stages, it was a bit better. I liked the start of the chorus. I just thought that this time, there was too much going on and it kind of took the fun out of it.

Final Rating – 8/10

Rewind: March 2016

OMG. I am so delayed. This was meant to be out earlier in the month, and now look at the calendar, April is almost gone. I’m still tweaking this segment, but I don’t know if I should any thing or get rid of anything existing, so if you can provide feedback, it will be greatly appreciated. Lots to talk about, to let’s go.

Major News

EXO’s Kai and F(x)’s Krystal were caught dating and SM Entertainment confirmed that the two were in fact an actual couple. After this confirmation, people started to post pictures online as “proof of Kai and Krystal’s relationship”, which I think are either fake or just a blatant invasion of privacy (but what isn’t? They are watched 24/7). But some of these picture claims to have Kai and Krystal kissing in public in a pool and catch the two “checking in” into hotels. Anyway, while this probably heartbreaking to fans of both, we all should be happy for them. Oh and did I mention Dispatch was the one to tell the world about this couple (once again). Who are your reporters and why are they so good about finding these things?

And the industry has been rocked by news of certain singers suspected of being a part of prostitution, which involves dodgy sponsors. I am not in tune with the whole thing and I am quite sure that the news has died down now. It is very hard to retell everything here, so I will just cut to the chase. These singers either go or are introduced to these sponsors that will make an investment into the singers career, in exchange for you know what. That is my understanding of it, and these singers were caught. They were brought into questioning and the news (of course) leaked a description of a particular artist who recently left her company and faced financial hardship in the past. It is sad that people have to result to this (that is if they chose this path) or just horrible if they were tricked into it, which I believe of some of claim to have been.

Comebacks & Debuts

March saw big name bands make their comebacks. GOT7, Jun Hyosung (Secret), Lee Hi, Fiestar, Red Velvet, Hyomin (T-Ara),DAY6, BTOB, Oh My Girl and Eric Nam are just to name a few.

We cannot forget about the rookies can we? KNK made their debut with Knock, which it garnering a lot of interest in the band, and I am too.

Polls

A few polls (including the ones in Febuary as well). I asked you guys:

  • Which Winner song did you guys prefer? And the results is as follow: I’m Young (30%); Sentimental, Baby Baby & Pricked (20%); and finally Immature (10%).
  • Which Taemin song did you guys like? Both songs (Drip Drop and Press Your Number) received the same amount of votes.
  • Which Lee Hi song did you guys like? Hold My Hand had an overwhelming amount of votes (87%) and Breathe got 17% of the votes.

Top 5 Songs Of March 2016

Here are my top 5 songs that were released in March 2016, taken straight from the amount of plays in iTunes:

  1. Find Me – Jun Hyosung (Secret) ft. D.Action
  2. Fly – GOT7
  3. Mirror – Fiestar
  4. Spring Love – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)
  5. Knock – KNK

As you can tell, review releases have decreased so much in the past month. I apologise. Just a heads up, I will be releasing reviews on Sundays Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays (provided I am free and have time on those days). The other days are far too too busy for me. I also mentioned on Twitter that once this semester ends, I will be doing a revamp of the site (much needed), so if there is anything you want to see, comment below. All feedback will be appreciated.

 

One Of These Nights – Red Velvet

Red Velvet has returned with a brand new album, The Velvet and a brand new music style. They had a very successful last year with their promotions of Dumb Dumb and Ice Cream Cake, showing the industry their mass following and popularity. A force not to be reckoned with.

Now, this is a ballad. I was expecting a dance track or something with a pop feel to it. This caught me (and probably everyone in the world) off big time. And I totally do not dig this style from them. I love them with a loud or pop concept, not slow and monotone.  It was flat and very weak from the girls. At least there is one good thing from the girls. Their vocals, while not be the most appealing to draw my attention to the song, were pretty good vocal work wise. Their harmony was pretty good. But that is all. Nothing else about the track I like. It was too slow and felt drawn out too much to listen to. No matter how hard I try, I get distracted when I listen to the track. It just had no appeal. The instrumental was nice and all, but for the most part it seemed like it lacked an instrument or two, to make it better and more appealing. As you can tell, not exactly keen on this song (more like I don’t like the song at all).

The music video was by far more interesting than the song itself. I love the concepts t that the girls have in their videos and this one is like no other. It draws your attention to it and makes you guess what is going on. Now, I am going to turn it into a serious topic and that above comment is going to make me seem ignorant. Someone has found a connection between the video and the Sewol Ferry incident which occurred nearly 2 years back. While it can be disputed, I read the theory and thought it was rather interesting. Do I agree with it? I don’t even know. I can’t decide. If is true, than the video becomes quite sad for me. But the concept is extremely smart and it would be  a video I would love to go back to pick out the details. If it wasn’t, well, damn, the video is still interesting to watch. If you have not read the theory, click here and decide for yourself. Do I still like the video regardless? Yes, it is a very interesting concept and it probably tells a story that we have all yet to see properly. But what do you think? Is it just a coincidence or is there really a connection with the tragedy?

Dance wise… I can’t watch the performances. I have this thing with ballads and dances. They don’t really go together. This song is far too slow and very “depressing” to listen to. A dance have never and might never pair well with the song. I think the girls look stunning on stage though. If that counts…

Overall, not digging the song, but the video has me going back and forth. I probably contributed most of the views. Hahaha… 5.5/10 (Most of the marks went to the video). 

Spring Love – Eric Nam & Wendy (Red Velvet)

A brand new song from SM station has just been released (but like last week). I am starting to really like this new idea (which I did have initial doubts to) as the artists of SM (who are not kept in their dungeon) are not usually able to collaborate with other artists unless they are within the same company. This biweekly thing that they have going on allows us to see unique and really cool collaborations with different artists. This time around, Wendy from Red Velvet and solo artist Eric Nam (both who have or will make their respective comebacks) have come together to perform such a nice song.

Actually, nice might be an understatement. But it probably the only way to describe the song without turning it into a EDM style track or make it seem like it is a totally another genre. Moving away from that awkward intro, it isn’t necessary the best song out there, but what we get is sufficient enough to please a lot of fans. Particularly those who have been yearning for a solo work from Wendy and a solo comeback from Eric Nam (all in due time). Their voices go well with each other and them together gives off this happy tune, which the song is trying to portray. The soft guitar sounds that make up 90% of the instrumental, with the other 10% are the drums to give it some bass and dimension, really do give off that Spring feel. When I listen to the song, I can just imagine singing it with my lover under the beautiful trees that are sprouting nice flowers. Wind breezing over us and the blue sky as blue as ever. And that obviously makes me want to smile! Great feelings from the song!

As for the video, I liked it. There is only one small complaint with the video. As I said I loved it, and these videos turn out to be very artistic. They are unique video with different transitions, that fit in well. So in this case, the pages flipping added a really nice rustic and vintage vibe to the video. Fits in totally well. But the one thing that did not fit in were the over-the-top and unnecessary effects that were added post production. Bubbles popping really did not need the effects of it occurring in cartoon form. Them playing the piano, we can use our brains that they are playing musical notes and not some farm animal sounds. It just turned what I thought was a great video into some kid like and just plainly un-needed. Rant over. Complaint over. Everything else was great!

Great song and video. 9/10

Unfortunately, I am behind with a lot of reviews. This one was meant to be released a few weeks back and they have been piling up. I am getting to them, just been so busy. Easter is around the corner (or actually right in front of us) and I will be using the week I have off as some time to catch up on these reviews.