[Review] SOSO – WINNER

It is time to catch up on some more reviews. But I am not dipping into my ‘Coming Soon’ page yet as there are a few more comebacks from last week that I wanted to cover. WINNER is a major group that I have yet to review and they made their comeback with SOSO last Wednesday. I am not going to delay their review anymore. We last saw the group through their Ah Yeah comeback, which was released 5 months back.

The way the song was set up was quite promising. But the resulting mix just didn’t work out too well. And I point my finger squarely on the slowdown that was featured as the chorus of the song. It was disappointing and a complete letdown, especially after such a rocking buildup to what could have been an amazing drop. It cut the momentum down to a sluggish pace. The repetition of the ‘So So‘ didn’t help as well. I think in their defence, it would have been interesting to some people. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.  The rest of the track was fine. I really enjoyed the verses. Mino’s rap sequence at the start of the song has to be one of the best sequences of the year. It was fluid and just kept coming at us. The vocals work was also quite good. They did seem to go with a more generic sound this time around, which seems to be the route that they have been aiming for during their last few songs. But WINNER always seems to make it sound good. Just not this time, unfortunately.

The music video is very filled with a lot of symbolism, which is different from what a typical music video coming from WINNER is usually. Based on what I understood from an interview, the video shows scenes of the scars that fans do not see commonly. They are practically isolated from the rest of the world (shown by Mino), entangled in the public life (shown by Seungyoon), dodging scandals to keep that innocent and well-behaved image (shown by Jiwoo) and are hurt and tired underneath all of that name brand clothing that they get to wear (shown by Hoony). It is an interesting video that does manage to speak volumes, especially with what recently happened.

I think the performance is a lot like the song. There were good moments during the verses and pre-chorus thanks to the more upbeat vibes in the instrumental. But the slowdown from the chorus made it rather disappointing and this really dried up the performance for me.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.2/10

[Review] Call Anytime – Jinu ft. Mino (WINNER)

Despite it being a rocky few months for YG Entertainment, it is still business as usual for some artists. Schedules are still going forward for some of the soloists and groups. And now, we have a solo debut in our midst. Jinu, one of the vocalists of WINNER, released his first solo track today. It is titled as Call Anytime and it features fellow WINNER member Mino. Winner previously released Ah Yeah three months back in May of this year.

Interestingly, I had expected Jinu to go with a more profound R&B track for his solo debut track. This is the route that YG Entertainment artists usually go if they don’t delve into the hip-hop genre. But Call Anytime delves into the pop genre. There are those influences in the pop sound. But they aren’t as strong as I had expected it. Apart from that, I thought the song was quite good. I am not too familiar with Jinu, but I know he has a unique vocal colour and he managed to show some of that off in this song. I liked how his singing compliments the lyrics. He is waiting for a call and his voice sounds very bored (yet intriguing for the audience) and tired, matching the emotions the audience should be hearing at that point in time. Likewise, Mino features as a rapper, and while his part changes things up slightly, the lyrics match this change up by encouraging Jinu to text the person. I think that was a smart structure. The ending, when ‘everyone’ joins in, seems to be a very cliche move for WINNER (and YG) now, since they have been doing it so much. But apart from that, I thought Call Anytime was a good song.

The video is a little confusing and opens up with Jinu waiting for a phone call and I think this crumbles his self-confidence. We then see blue suit Jinu who has a consultancy business that deals with how to attract someone’s attention by building one’s confidence and he is advertising his services on TV. His first client is a timid version of Jinu (i.e glasses Jinu), who I assume is a version of the first Jinu we saw and the business aims to build his confidence so he can enter that special room. We see Mino, a special consultant, play the overconfident card by encouraging for a direct text. But Mino’s plan doesn’t work, as Jinu unsuccessfully gains entrance to the special room and Mino is removed from the room (as being overconfident doesn’t work). Somewhere along the line, glasses Jinu appears more confident, teaches Mino one or two things and enters the room without any resistance. Success! I am assuming this means he approached his phone calling scenario as a more confident person, though I am not sure what it means. It is a unique concept but it was fun to watch.

I liked the choreography. Like the last review, nothing really impressive that I could spot in the music video. But there is enough to be fun, suiting the pop side of the track. I guess we have to wait and see with this performance.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 710
Overall Rating –  8.1/10

[Album Review] WE (3rd Mini Album) – WINNER

For today’s album review, we will be having a look at WINNER’s latest mini-album, WE. This was released back mid-May with their title track, Ah Yeah. If you have been a reader of the site for a while, you may have noticed that I have never reviewed a WINNER album before. The main reason for this was because I didn’t think the albums had much to talk about. But WE seem to be changer that may get their albums on my radar. On top of Ah Yeah, the song features 3 new tracks and remixed versions of Everyday and the unreleased track of First Love (which are not included in the album review, per usual).

winner-WE-2
WE Album Cover

1..Ah Yeah (아예) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Ah Yeah. (7/10)

2. Zoo (동물의왕국) – To me, Zoo has this laid-back vibe to it which makes it very pleasant to listen to. I find the song to be less proactive than Ah Yeah was (and this is isn’t a terrible thing). Instead, it is a light song that feels suitable following Ah Yeah. The instrumental is interesting as it relies on a mixture of tropical-like sounds and effects. In reality, the instrumental was made up of brass and flutes. There is some energy that you get via the blast at the end, which was nice. I did think the vocals and raps did not stand out as much. I think it is because I didn’t really identify a strong hook that made the song memorable overall. (7/10)

3. Mola (몰라도너무몰라)Mola starts off with a punch. It is striking and kicks the song on a positive note. The chorus is the second positive part of the track. I find the light yet dramatic nature of the instrumental to be equally as striking as the line that started of the song. Talking about the pop-based instrumental, I found that it does get very repetitive, especially after many listens. However, that can easily be overlooked as I found the energy that comes off it is very strong and impressive in many ways. The vocals and rapping were quite good in this song. Even though the instrumental required to be loud to be this impressive, I thought all the members stood out with their vocal and rapping abilities. (8/10)

4. Boom – I have an affinity for songs that give you an explosive surprise. And with the title ‘Boom’, you expect this. But the song starts off in a slow yet paced manner that makes you recheck if you are listening to the right song. And the verses of this track continue the pattern, which I think was interesting. It is the chorus, however, that is most explosive and rediverts the song to be true to its title. The alternating between soft and explosive to be a very understandable but dynamic effect, giving the song character. The ‘Boom Powwowow’ was very catchy and I honestly could not forget this song after listening to it. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10

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[Review] Ah Yeah – WINNER

Also making their comeback today is Winner with Ah Yeah. This is the group’s first comeback since their Millions single, released back in December of last year. Ah Yeah is also the title track off the group’s second-ever mini-album, which is titled as We. Interestingly, both EXID’s and Winner’s mini-albums released today share the same name. I am not sure whether this will be an issue or everyone will ignore it. But definitely an interesting situation. (Note that EXID previously had a title track titled Ah Yeah as well).

But we are here to focus on Winner’s Ah Yeah for now. Ah Yeah has this brightness that just pops, making it perfect for a Summer’s release. And given that style, I think it picks up nicely from where Millions left off. The way the song starts with the guitar doesn’t seem to be as refreshing as you want. It felt very ‘done before’ and lacked ambition. But once the song starts picking up during the pre-chorus, the song slowly gets interesting. It just doesn’t last too long, however, as the chorus feels very standard in today’s tropical trend. I did think the chorus did fare a little more better as it gave the song that brightness mentioned before and the repetition of ‘Ah Yeah‘ was quite catchy. The vocalists were good but I think the song allows the rappers to really zone in both their rapping and vocals. I did like the background chanting of the chorus at the end of the song, which once again, brings the track together to add an extra vibrant aspect. But other than that, I think the track falls short due to its alignment with the typicalness of today’s trends.

Matching the bright and vibrant atmosphere of the song is an equally bright and vibrant music video. The members all seem to have fun, while playful introduce the song’s lyrics (My interpretation of the lyrics is after a breakup, they can no longer be friends with their ex and rather become strangers, even though their lover wants to remain as friends). There were some wacky moments during their playful poke at the song’s message. I think the weirdest has to be Mino’s lobster hand and leg. Especially the leg. That made me laugh.

Based on what I see in the music video, their performance seems simple in comparison to other choreographies. Not that I am complaining because their instrumental doesn’t really call for anything complicated. Simplicity is key sometimes and I think this is one of the times (and they nailed it). The dance still looks fun, which goes hand-in-hand with the song.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] MILLIONS – WINNER

Winner is nominated for Best Male Group and Mino is nominated for Best Rapper in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards. To support Winner and Mino, click on the link here to start voting! Voting closes in 11 days!

While their official comeback isn’t until sometime in January of next year, Winner has dropped a new single at the request of many fans. MILLIONS was released yesterday as a special pre-release single ahead of their upcoming comeback. We last saw the group during their Everyday comeback earlier this year. Mino also embarked on his solo career with Fiance, which was released a few weeks back.

I think the first thing that really jumps out at me is the use of that tropical house influence. As much as I enjoy the genre, I agree with many people who say that is way past its trendy days and it is becoming a relatively standard sound. And with the past few Winner comebacks being of the tropical nature, it just feels like they digging too much into this rabbit hole. But besides that, I thoroughly enjoyed the song. I really liked the upbeat nature of the song. It does seem a little ill-fitting for the seasonal trend but they did a really good job at balancing out that upbeat nature for the Winter period. I also liked the drums in the instrumental. I think just by the bright nature of the song and the lyrics that you can make out, the song takes a refined romantic route, which was rather nice, in my opinion. I liked the chorus, which had a simple melody but their vocals made it very catchy and addictive in nature. The rapping was also quite nice. Not too much power, which goes back to that balance.

Once again, YG Entertainment delivers with another extraordinary music video. Fitting the brightness of the song, the music video adopts that bright factor with its colourful and vibrant sets. And the all-smiling Winner members made this video pretty much unforgettable. I think the concept is a lot more typical, given the stereotypical nature of KPOP but since WInner doesn’t focus on this style too much, it becomes memorable. I really liked the final set with the fireworks in the background. I thought was quite cool.

The dance is definitely another highlight of this comeback. I like what they are doing with their fingers during the chorus. Not exactly sure what it is meant to represent but it definitely fits the song extremely well. The rest of the performance looks like it is going to be extremely fun and energetic, which are factors that I personally like.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.4/10

[Review] FIANCÉ – Mino (Winner)

Making his solo comeback after 2 years is Mino, the main rapper from Winner. I consider this to be his “comeback” despite it being marketed as it “solo debut”, as Mino started off his solo endeavours through Body, which was released alongside Bobby’s Holup! and MOBB’s (Mino & Bobby’s collaboration) Hit Me back in 2016. This time around, Mino released FIANCÉ, the title track off his first solo studio album, XX. And since its release yesterday, it has topped all the major charts in South Korea!

FIANCÉ opens up with a guitar riff that feels very country-based for the verses, which later progresses into a hip-hop dance track. Along the way, there are trot samples used in the background to give off a very unique effect. It is an interesting take on hip-hop which is Mino’s known associated sound and it makes it into a very colourful song. The delivery of his lines was quite nice. Though, I was wanting some buildup towards the end to really get the energy pumping. I felt like the ‘La La La‘ ending was good as a hype mechanism and definitely fitted the song. But it felt too straightforward. In the end, it felt like it lacked intensity. I would have liked a strong hooker. I didn’t find the main hook of FIANCÉ to be that memorable, so it did feel like it would be a forgettable song, especially in the midst of yesterday’s comebacks.

I think what Mino did nail with his release is the music video. The quality of the music video definitely fits in the YG scope, especially when it comes to set design. While the music video does show Mino surrounded by a lot of ladies (which may or may not allude to some themes based on the way they are dressed), the producers did a good job with making the main focus of the video to be Mino rather than the ladies, which would have caused a public outcry in today’s media. I thought the incorporation of the historical Korean set and outfits was really nice, especially since the song contained samples of Korean trot music.

The choreography looks interesting. With the way the song is presented, there is a form of edginess that I think Mino portrays well. I think the choreography for the second verse, where the soloist dances with each dancer, is going to be a very a very big moment in the performance.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

[Review] Where R U From? – Seungri (Big Bang) ft. Mino (Winner)

As mentioned previously, I will be catching up on some songs and videos that were released in the past few weeks, which I haven’t had a chance to write about yet. And with Seungri’s album review due to come out this week, I thought I look at the second music video released for the artist’s solo comeback, Where R U From?, which features Mino from Winner. Seungri previously returned with his main solo track, 1,2,3 last month.

The main intention for Where R U From is to hype up the listeners and be a fun track to listen to. It isn’t meant to be taken seriously, as you can tell from its sound and the music video that was released alongside the track. The song relies on a really simple yet catchy hook that gets you into the song. And this one hook did a good job at it. Seungri does a good job with his lines but I don’t think he was the star of the track. The featuring artist, Mino, was the better out of the two, in my opinion. His lines gave just enough edge to the song to make it not feel too repetitive and added that extra ‘cherry-on-top’ for the listeners to enjoy. The only issues with similar tracks to this one is that multiple listens later, you get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again, which is also happening to this song, unfortunately.

The entire video is a comedic response to the ongoing political tension throughout the world. I am surprised that this video hasn’t garnered much attention for its certain portrayal of two political world leaders. But putting that aside, I thought the video was interesting. I chuckled when Seungri pulled out the YG Entertainment table plaque thing and Seungri/Yoo Byung Jae’s paradoy of BLACKPINK and G-Dragon. In a few other ways, the video felt like it was pushing for a new Psy, which I am a little unsure about at this stage. But overall, it was good to see something different (and fun) for a change.

The performance confirms my last statement. The company is pushing Seungri to be the next Psy, who left YG Entertainment earlier this year. The way Seungri looks when he performs remind me of Psy. I thought some of his moves were good but others were just plain odd. But he did a good job with connecting with the audience and made it look decent overall, at least.

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

[Review] Everyday – Winner

Winner has made their return to the stage with a brand new song, Everyday. Everyday is the title track off their latest full-album return, which is also titled as Everyday (styled as EVERYD4Y). Their last comeback was in September last year with Love Me Love Me. Usually, YG Entertainment would sideline them for a longer period. But with the success of Winner in the past year. it was expected that YG would bring back a lot sooner.

But maybe it isn’t all good. Everyday just fails to make the mark when it comes to the appealing factor. The song reminds me of the R&B tracks that you would get nowadays. Heavily autotuned and something I just want to avoid completely. The chorus just felt over the top with its autotune. It was catchy and possibly addictive. The autotune just went against it and its potential glory. But to base the song solely on the autotune does not seem fair. So if we strip away the autotune, the song has potential. I actually did think the vocals and raps were good. The verses were nice and the buildup to the chorus was decent. The bridge is also quite good. And as mentioned previously, the chorus would have been catchy and possibly fun.

Winner’s music video has me giving one big question, who on earth picks out the clothing for these videos? The video is set by the poolside and beach. The ladies in the video looked their part by wearing bikinis and swimsuits. Winner, however, is decked on with suits and casual clothing consisting of an excessive amount of fabric. They just don’t fit in or look the part. Even the backup dancers looked more casual than them. While I understand they need to look good, it just feels a little outrageous sometimes. Besides that, the video was nice to watch. I don’t have much else to say regarding the video.

That one dance move with the side hopping and fist pumping is back. Like it has taken the entire industry by storm. It was a nice performance to watch, overall. The post-chorus choreography looks cool in the video and I think it would look awesome on stage.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 5.9/10

 

[Double Review] Love Me Love Me + Island – Winner

After their successful comeback of Really Really and Fool at the start of the year, Winner is back to seek the same level of success with Love Me Love Me and Island. And so far, they are on track to reaching the expectations set high by the previous singles, with their songs topping charts in the midst of an intense battle for the top of the charts. The two songs make up Our Twenty For, which is the name of their second single album.

Love Me Love Me is a disco song, but it sounds nothing like that. Instead, I thought it felt more modern in general, compared to disco. Love Me Love Me was set up to be an upbeat and catchy song. It does just that, but it felt underwhelming. It did well to represent that Summer feels, but it doesn’t feel like it could be separated from the pack. The “Love Me Love Me‘ final chorus was pretty good when they made it into a chant/anthem. The vocals were good, but they weren’t amazing. The raps were good, but I felt their pre-chorus build up was a little awkward.

Island follows the same comments as Love Me Love Me. It felt underwhelming, as well. Island is a tropical house song that sounds nice. But the combination of the vocals and the raps don’t mix well. It is an interesting mix but they don’t fit with each other. The build up doesn’t feel like it built on anything and drop didn’t feel that intense as it should have. It sounds a lot better with a heavy bass filter, but it did still feel underwhelming regardless.

Unlike the song, I actually thought the videos were pretty good. The cinematography and various shots made both videos spectacular. Love Me Love Me seemed to focus more on the urban setting, while Island focused on more of nature. Both were equally amazing. The aerial shots in Island basically left me speechless. I just wished they were paired with better songs. Besides that, the videos didn’t have much content in them, mainly focusing on them having a fun in the various settings. It looked fun and enjoyable. My only complaint is Seunghoon’s hair. Not digging it. But other than that, both videos were amazing.

Love Me Love Me had a more captivating performance. It felt like it suited the song more and the moves seemed a lot more polished. Island had the boring performance. While it did fit the song, it felt looser compared to the other performance in terms of structure. It just didn’t suck me in like the other performance.

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

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

[Double Review] Really Really + Fool – WINNER

WINNER has returned with 2 brand new title tracks Really Really and Fool. This is the group’s first comeback since Baby Baby and Sentimental, which was released over a year ago. This is also their first comeback since Taehyun withdrew from the group due to health issues. Hence, WINNER has returned as a four-member group instead.

Really Really is a ‘really really’ addictive track. Hahahaha… I had to. The song falls under the tropical house genre and is the more upbeat track out of the two title tracks. The instrumental itself is already quite appealing, and it reeled me in. I absolutely fell for the song with the first listen, mainly because of the instrumental. Chuck in the vocals and raps and you have an almost perfect song. I say ‘almost’ because there is a little concern from my end of how long can the track stay on my radar. While I praise and compliment the track, I do see myself losing interesting in it (as fast as I fell for it). I am not too certain if the hook is strong enough, but we will see as time goes by.

Fool is the slower track of the two. Fool falls into the ballad category. This is also the track that seems to fit in nicely with their past releases, due to its slowness and style. However, it also sets itself apart from their previous tracks. Their vocals are quite impactful in this song, and that makes the song stand out. I have been bored with Winner’s past releases mainly due to the vocals, so it is finally nice to hear two songs (from Winner) where I actually like the vocals. The only problem is that it fails to attract my attention. I enjoy listening to slower ballad songs as much as I like the fast and upbeat tracks, but this one just doesn’t pique my interest.

Really Really looks classy with the black and white filter. However, its track demands attention, and while the aesthetics do the job, the lack of colour does make the video feel dull. The settings where the video was shot looked quite nice. When all the ladies started walking into the filming area and started to dance around the members looked quite cool. It felt simple, but it worked. I find some of other stuff in the video quite cringeworthy. Mainly the dabbing and bouncing cars. But besides that, the video was nice to watch.

Fool felt more like a YG video. Mainly due to the camera angles and cinematography. It was much more interesting to watch, compared to Really Really, due to the many scenes and small details that you find scattered throughout. Actually, after rewatching the entire video, it seems like there is a lot more to the video than what I expected. But don’t ask me what it means, I don’t know. It seems like the members are reflecting on some past actions where they somehow hurt (maybe possibly killed) their partners, which is why the members are singing about themselves being ‘Fools’. If you do have some sort of understanding the video, please do share in the comment section below! But overall, a very interesting video to watch.

[UPDATED] I don’t think Really Really‘s choreography was intended to be ‘fun’. But that is what I got out of it. The main dance during the chorus is simple and has the potential to become the next dance move at a party. There was also a nice sexy vibe and the interaction between the dancers and Winner themselves is quite noteworthy here. Fool didn’t need a dance, but it had one. It was extremely fitting for the song and still beautiful to watch. But it not necessary.

Really Really
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10 
Performance – 8/10 [UPDATED]
Overall Rating – 7.5/10 [UPDATED]

Fool
Song – 6/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
[UPDATED]
Overall Rating – 7/10 [UPDATED]

 

[Review] Body – Mino (Winner)

The other half of the MOBB collaboration has made his solo debut with Body. Yes, I am talking about Mino, who is a member of the group, Winner. I previously reviewed Bobby’s solo debut, Holup!. A review  for their collaboration, Hit Me, which should be out tomorrow or Monday.

This song was promised to sound very sensual. And that is what we got. Well, at least the lyrics said so. Mino’s voice shows the sexual vibe quite well in this song. The instrumental is basically chillstep but still has a nice buildup. The buildup isn’t big and it doesn’t really build up the momentum of the song (since the song has a consistent beat and does not change up that much). Since the song started off very soft and it ended very softly, the small buildups made the song flow even better. I do like the song more for its chill and laidback feel, while at the same time, still delivering a sexy sound for us to here. The chorus of the song is amazing. While the song already has a calming effect, the chorus of this song makes me feel calmer and is very “easy on the ears”s. I personally don’t see any flaws in the song. I guess the calming does make it somewhat forgettable, but overall, it is an excellent song.  I don’t want to pick between the Bobby’s or Mino’ s (but I am going to anyway) song, but I do prefer Mino’s song more. Mainly for the calmness. But there is always a time and place for either song.

Am I the only one disappointed with the video? We were promised a very sexual music video to compliment the song. But personally, the video fell short. It didn’t feel as sexual or erotic as I thought it would be. High expectations… argh… The camera shots move around a lot as if they were memories of Mino’s about his ex, just floating around and disconnected. While I see the point of these disconnected memories, I don’t think they worked well together. There wasn’t much focus on one scene for too long. Each shot took about one or two moments before I can appreciate what I could see. This video felt more artistic than sensual. The majority of the “sexual” scenes were the two of them “gliding” over each other (which I get –  I don’t they wanted the video to be banned), but come on. I know many people prefer the video this way and found the video quite like what they were promised. I just was disappointed and expected too much. [Okay, this video is the edited version. Explains a lot of my thoughts. Still, they promised us a sexual video and then we get this…]

[Note: In exciting news (?), apparently there is a r-rated and unedited version of the video coming out soon. I never get these memos but I might come back here and make a few comments about it (it’s YG we are talking about here. “Coming soon” – check back in a few years)]

Final Rating – 7/10

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.

 

Recap of MelOn Music Awards 2015 and Thoughts

The MMA or MelOn Music Awards were held on the 7th of November 2015. MelOn does not refer to the fruit but rather the music chart and on-line music store in South Korea. It is held by LOEN Entertainment, which owns the music distribution company. The music award has its own unique criteria where it only calculates digital sales of artists in the past year and incorporate these sales with on-line votes of fans.

The following artists, groups and actors attended the ceremony: Big Bang, Yoona (SNSD), Hyukoh, Hyorin & Dasom (Sistar) (did not perform), Toy (did not perform), APINK, Zion.T, Sane, iKON, GFriend, Mad Clown (did not perform), Hong Jin Young, BTS, Red Velvet, EXID, Monsta X, Winner (did not perform). Actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the night as presenters.

The show on the night was hosted by Yoo Byung Jae and Seo Kang Joon. They were shortly joined by Lee Boo Yi, Kim Shin Young, Kim So Hyun & Irene (Red Velvet). The red carpet was hosted by Youngji (Former Member of Kara) and Seo Yuri.

Below are the winners on the night. Afterwards, I have left some comments regarding some awards:
Top 10 Artist – SHINee, Girl’s Generation, Hyukoh, Toy, Big Bang, Sistar, EXO, APINK, Zion.T, Sane.
Best New Artist – iKON & GFriend
Best Rap/Hip Hop – Mad Clown ft. Jinsil (Fire)
Best Ballad – Baek Ah Yeon ft. Young K (Shouldn’t Have)
Best RnB – Naul (Living In The Same Time)
Best Rock – Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer)
Best OST – Loco & Yuju (Spring Is Gone By Chance)
Best Trot – Hong Jin Young (Love WiFi)
Best Pop – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk)
Best Male Dance – BTS (I Need U)
Best Female Dance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Folk – 10cm (Sseudam Sseudam)
Best Indie – Standing Egg ft. Wheein & Obroject Yundak (The Sunlight Hurts)
Netizen Popularity Award – Big Bang (Bang Bang Bang)
Hot Trend Award – Infinite Challenge (Yeongdong Expressway Music Festival)
Best Music Video – Park Jin Young ft. Jessi (Who’s Your Mama?)
Song Writer Award – Teddy
MBC Music Star Award – EXID
1theK Performance Award – Monsta X
Album Of The Year (Daesang) – EXODUS
Song Of The Year (Daesang) – Bang Bang Bang
Artist Of The Year (Daesang) – Big Bang

I personally think above is a fair spread for award winners. While I am not knowledgeable to comment on categories such as Best Indie and Best Folk, the rest show 2015 in its glory. Once again, I think Seventeen deserves the Best New Artist award and GFriend finally got what they deserved (it’s a good thing. Kind of sounded like I was hinting at something bad). Sistar and APINK’s Top 10 awards caught me off guard since they were quickly taken over by other artists on the digital charts and failed to be up to par with the other artists. I am glad to see Kim Sung Gyu win something for his album. It was really good.

And as per usual, there were performances that night from the groups who won awards. Performers included: Hyukoh, Big Bang, APINK, Zion.T, Sane, BTS, EXID, Red Velvet, Monsta X, iKON and GFriend. It would have been nicer to see some more artists who won from the night perform. I think best performance of the night was BTS with their cool jackets that had light coming off them. A very large portion of the show was dedicated to Big Bang, which had people talking. Sure, they won a lot of award, but I agree with majority of the audience. Big Bang’s performances just made it feel like one Big Bang concert. Sure, they won prestigious awards, but it just robbed the other artists of their night, who also put hard effort into making 2015 their year. Would have I gotten angry over the fact they turned the award show into a mini concert? No, but maybe they should have dropped one or two songs.

Overall, I think MMA15 was pretty fair. They had a large variety of winners (mainly because they have a lot of categories) and minus that small complaint regarding the performances, the show was great. Oh, but damn was the presentation of the awards cringe worthy. Probably this ceremony takes the award for  “Worst Presentation of Awards” award. Could have done it in a way where the presenters did not feel that ashamed of themselves.

 

 

I’m Young – Taehyun (WINNER)

I promised you guys I would review this particular video and song and here it is. This is a song off Winner’s newest album, “Exit:E”. This song only features Taehyun, one of the vocalists of the band. I previously reviewed Baby Baby and Sentimental, just a few days ago.

This is such a great ballad. I do say it is a little bland for my taste, but I think it is still a great song. Taehyun did a great job with the lyrics of the song. Actually, just from listening to the song, I can feel the heartbroken-ness and emotions that Taehyun poured into the song when he both wrote and sang the song. This is why love (both sides) is always an ongoing topic that can produce such great songs.  The lyrics were also quite good in my opinion, well the English translation which I found.  His vocals were quite soft in this song, and I think that complimented the piano instrumental quite well. It almost has this jazzy sound to the song, in some parts. Overall, I think this was a great song to listen to. Just take a few minutes out of your day and listen to the song.

This music video is like a mini drama and it is the one thing about the whole song/video package that I wanted to talk about. Taehyun gets out of his car with a bouquet of flowers.  He goes into a building and meets his former girlfriend. We cut to scenes of him lying in bed with her and we can safely assume that both had an awesome time (hmm… where am I going with this) back when they were a couple. In other words, their romance was heated and going smoothly. Until, they break up from fighting too much. We get these scenes now and again in the video. The video cuts back to the present time and I feel like I am writing the review for this one part. I FREAKING LOVE HER COMMENT. Okay, she says “You look good. The hair’s still stupid.” That one freaking line made my day. Why? Because I agree with it. But is that the one thing you really have to say to him after meeting up for who knows how long? Taehyun does not say anything throughout the video (probably because he was reviewed as one of the worst idol actors to date), but I personally think he did a good job in the video. While in the bathroom, he gets a sort of flashback where, and I don’t know, but either she is cheating on him or (more likely) moving on. Taehyun goes back to confront her about this, but she ends up crying. While crying, I guess she realize that she still misses him. But at the moment, her fiance comes to her apartment and almost walks in on them. Taehyun is hiding in her closet. The fiance notices something is off when she is staring at the wardrobe, but (since the girl really wants Taehyun to live and go on), she holds her fiance back and kind of declare that they are “in love” and also expecting a child together. I guess this suggests to Taehyun that there is no going back. Taehyun, expectedly cries and leaves. I feel like this such a great story line. Probably one we see too many times, but still, the way the video was shot and edited made this a really good story. That line though, made me laugh.

That is one long paragraph. But not the longest review. Great song and prefect music video. 9.5/10

[DOUBLE REVIEW] Baby Baby + Sentimental – Winner

Winner has finally ended their long 1 year and 6 months hiatus with their first ever comeback. Winner has released Exit:E on the 1st of Feb and have plans to promote with double title tracks. While on their hiatus, the members have been promoting as solo artists or actors. Taehyun, Kang Seung Yoon and Jinwoo have been acting on different dramas. Mino have been particpating in Show Me The Money and released the song Fear as a solo artist. This review consist of both Baby Baby and Sentimental.

Baby Baby is a very soulful RnB ballad track that gets you swaying from side to side. It really does not appeal to me though. I don’t feel like listening to this song and I am not drawn to click on it when I see it on YouTube or my phone. It has this nice jazzy sound to it though. I personally feel their vocals in this song is lacking. I expected something a little more complicated to listen to. It just feels like a more upbeat version of their debut song, which to date I still do not like. While it does get me swaying, I think the song is pretty boring and I get this dull feeling every time I listen to it.

Sentimental is a different song altogether. This song can be described as more pop based, but still keeps that vocal side of the group that they debuted with. This song had a lot more colour and was much more upbeat then Baby Baby. I much prefer the instrumental to this song. The drums (which make up most of the instrumental) is pretty good. The vocals in this song isn’t that much different to the ones in Baby Baby, but they fit with the song more and the vocals fit in really well with the upbeat sound. I think it is safe to say with my comments above, which song I liked a lot more.

The music videos were nice to watch though. Baby Baby seemed like a drama in such a short video. The video starts off with the members making their return on the stage at the MMAs (article regarding that coming soon). And then it cuts to the members being lonely. And it seems like Mino cannot get rid of that singlet. It just reminds me of their fashion in their Empty days. Shivers. We see them being lonely or trying to find ways to get rid of their problem (i.e. sleeping around, go out partying and drinking etc). But I guess nothing will make up for good time they had in the past.

For Sentimental, the sets for this music video are, first of all, amazing. Secondly, I think it is quite smart at how they filmed the whole thing. It gives it a whole different perspective, while they are just on the ground. Seunghoon got the short end of the stick with the way his acting with his instrument. Made me laugh though, how everyone is focused on their instrument, and the poor fellow behind them is just doing his own thing. It would be interesting to see a dance to this. We get a small glimpse of what I assume to be a dance, but not exactly sure.

Overall, I am kind of torn on their comeback. Yeah, they have great voices which some songs capture, but other songs just don’t do it for me. Also, Taehyun also released a song on the mini album, with a music video. I may have left it out of this review, because, well, I want to do a separate review on it. I have lots to say. Review for it will come soon.

Baby Baby – 5/10

Sentimental – 7/10

Which Winner song did you like more for this comeback?

Colour Ring – Winner

 

This is the second review for Winner this week (and probably this is the last review for the band for this promotion round. Let’s hope they don’t come out with another 6 music videos, like Big Bang or 2NE1. I need a break). My last review was of their official title track, Empty. Now it is their other song. Colour Ring!!! Hopefully, this review is a lot better than yesterday. One thing is for sure, these boys should have debuted ages ago. Like no kidding. Doesn’t YG have plans for like 3 other debuts and also a comeback from 2NE1, Epik High, Psy and Big Bang. Kind of cramped up for the end of the year don’t you think? Hopefully, YG does not over do it and undermine their power. Also another thing, what is YG’s new approach. I like ballads and RnB but where is the good hip hop stuff that we liked. But enough that, on with the review!!!

I honestly think this song is much better than Empty. Though the start sound really bad (runs away from all the fans). Mainly because I absolutely have no tolerance to rappers singing. They sound so bad when they try to sing. I understand sometimes bands do so to fit in a line for the rapper, particularly in the ballad, just something that I don’t want to hear. The rapping in this song sounds really good and loads better. Also, the chorus has a bit more of a rhythm to it and feels like it can become pretty catchy. The vocals are pretty soft and it actually fits the song. No hard vocals that ruin the tempo of the song, which is a pretty good thing. The ending when they kind of all come together and make that mess of a sound (and it is a pretty nice sounding mess to be honest) makes the song sound so much better. The instrumental sounds pretty good with the gradual addition of each instrument. The lyrics talks about what seems to be like the exact same thing as Empty did. Kind of creepy hey.

The music video this time contained only a little more colour compared to the last one, giving it a vintage look. The music video is okay, just nothing I would watch over and over again. The scenes of them seeing, were filmed with a really bad camera. The quality was good, but was it necessary to have the extreme close shots. Also, the product placement in this video is pretty bad. Is there like at least one scene when they are acting they are not holding a phone. I liked the transition of the sofa into the pool or bathtub. That looked pretty cool. I liked the setting of the whole music video. From that place that seemed like limbo and the city, everything looked cool. Also the ending. Gah… why do they try so hard to contact the girl and then give up. Umm maybe that everyone is calling her and your calls are not going through????

No extremely short shorts. That is a bonus right here.

8/10. So much better than compared to their title track. But here is my question I wish to put forward to you: which Winner song did you like out of the promotional singles? Empty or Colour Ring? Put your preferences down below.