[Album Review] The Secret (2nd Mini Album – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Unfortunately, I have run out of my ‘stockpiled’ past album reviews, so I had to write a fresh one up today. And I couldn’t decide which artist to pick from since there are so many. I have done two male groups in a row, so I thought I refocus on the female groups. And so, I picked WJSN’s second mini-album, The Secret, which was released back in September 2016. This was the very first era that WJSN  caught my attention with and since then Secret has been a longtime favourite of mine. So it only makes sense to see what else the mini-album, which Secret comes from, has to offer. So let’s get onto it!

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The Secret Album Cover

1..Secret (비밀이야) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Secret. (10/10)

2. BeBeBeBe is a very memorable track. Unfortunately, it was more about the fact that it was the song that followed Secret. But listening to it now, the track has a very bright pop feel that I don’t mind. It does follow a youthful approach without going overboard in the cutesy domain, which I am glad did not occur. It is quite enjoyable, with nice vocals and the single rap sequence was nice. The track was relatively fast pace and it could have slowed down a tad bit to be a little more favourable. But overall, BeBe is a nice track. (8/10)

3. Would You Kiss Me? (우주키스미)Would You Kiss Me? is a nice sweet pop track. Well, it started off with that thought. And it carried that idea for the majority of the track. But like many listeners, I find that trap breakdown very mismatching and ill-fitting for the tone of the track. I guess it was something formulated to fit the experimental trend. But other songs work because they come together well, which is not the case for this track. If I were to talk about the sweeter moments alone than I would have enjoyed it. (6/10)

4. Prince (짠!)Prince sounds like a standard sidetrack. It is a good track, heavy-handed on the synths in the instrumentation. There are trap-like breaks in the song, which I thought was fitting for the heavy use of synths. But the song does feel weighed down and hence it doesn’t have that necessary pop to be considered as a title track. The vocals are good, but they felt overshadowed by the instrumental. On the other hand, the rap sequence really shined and was my personal favourite part of the song. (7.5/10)

5. RobotRobot is probably my pick for most memorable sidetrack on this mini-album. I liked how they departed from their pop sound and went with something a little more electronic. I think the instrumental was very catching, even though it was quite repetitive. It reminds me of those retro sounds you often got in games. There are some squeaky effects towards the end, which I thought kept the song interesting. The vocals were nice in the song and the rapping was quite cool. I actually liked the high-pitch echo that followed Exy for the rap sequence. It may not be the sound I drift towards, but they pulled it off well enough for me to do so. (8.5/10)

6. Good Night (이층침대) – It is time for that mandatory ballad on most mini-albums. And while sometimes the mandatory ballads are pretty good, other times they are a miss. Unfortunately, Good Night falls under the latter. Like the title, Good Night makes me drift away from the album. I forget about it and hence the ending is also forgotten. The vocals were nice but because it was so light, I didn’t feel a connection with it. (6/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.7/10

 

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[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the second section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best Male and Female Choreography, Best Album and Best Song of 2018.

In addition to the fan-voted categories, I have also included 5 categories that were not fan voted and I had personally selected the winners (or were determined throughout the year). They include Best Special Performance, Best Concept, Best Non-Title Track, Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment and Most Viewed Review of 2018. They are labelled clearly.

Each category (with the exception of the non-fan-voted categories) will have a WINNER (the artist that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best Male Choreography

Nominees – Fake Love (BTS), Tempo (EXO), Lullaby (GOT7), Thanks (Seventeen), Now or Never (SF9), Black Heart (UNB)

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WINNER – Thanks (Seventeen)
Honourable Mention – Fake Love (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Lullaby (GOT7)


Best Female Choreography

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), Woman (BoA), I Love You (EXID), Time For The Moon Night (GFriend), Siren (Sunmi), Dance The Night Away (TWICE)

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WINNER – Woman (BoA)
Honourable Mentions – Siren (Sunmi) & Dance The Night Away (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – I Love You (EXID)


Best Special Performance

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dreams Come True (WJSN) at KCON 2018 Japan


Best Music Video

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), DDU-DU DDU DU (BLACKPINK), Fake Love (BTS), Love Bomb (fromis.9), Really Bad Boy (Red Velvet), Now or Never (SF9), District 9 (Stray Kids), The Chance of Love (TVXQ), Yes or Yes (TWICE), Spring Breeze (Wanna One)

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WINNER – Fake Love (BTS)
Honourable Mention – DDU-DU DDU-DU (BLACKPINK)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Fake Love (BTS)


Best Japanese Song Released by a Korean Artist

Nominees – Electric Kiss (EXO), Memoria (GFriend), Chain (NCT 127), Call Call Call (Seventeen), BDZ (TWICE)

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WINNER – Electric Kiss (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Call Call Call (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Call Call Call (Seventeen)


Best Collaboration

Nominees – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung), Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon), Dinner (Suho & Jang Jae In), Page 0 (Taeyeon & Melomance), Love It Like It (YDPP)

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WINNER – Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon)
Honourable Mention – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love It Like It (YDPP)


Song With Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Heroine (Sunmi) & Bingle Bangle (AOA)
[3 Weeks Each]


Most Viewed Review of 2018

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Boom Boom (Momoland)


Best Concept

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Love Bomb (fromis.9)


Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dystopia (Cross Gene)


Best Album

Nominees – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS), Don’t Mess With My Tempo (EXO), The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee), Something New (Taeyeon (SNSD)), 1÷x = 1 (Undivided) (Wanna One)

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WINNER – The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)


Best Song of 2018

Nominees – All title tracks released from January 2018 to November 2018.
The following song had the highest fan votes in the Best Song of 2018 category. The fan votes in this category will also contribute to 50% of the End Of The Year charts.

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WINNER – Good Evening (SHINee)


And that completes the Song Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Artist Categories were previously posted so you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Album Review] WJ STAY? (6th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Originally I wasn’t going to post an album review today due to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards posts (to be released in a few hours). But with so many good albums in the past week alone, I decided to slide it in any way to ensure I don’t fall too far behind. Today’s focus will be on WJSN’s latest comeback, La La Love. The album which this title track is featured is titled as WJ STAY? and it is their 6th mini-album. As I still have a fair bit to do today, let’s start moving along with the review.

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WJ STAY Album Cover

1..La La Love (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for La La Love. (9/10)

2. You GotYou Got brings us back to the 70s with its disco-driven instrumental. It isn’t as bright or in-your-face if we compared it with songs from that era, which makes it instantly likeable. I did find they lost that retro appeal when the song progressed (especially during the chorus), conforming to a standard pop dance track. But there were moments that song that returned it to its former self. I like the vocals in the song, as they add a nice smooth texture of the song. The rapper(s) does an amazing job at upsetting this smoothness during the bridge and following the choruses, bringing a much needed and expected roughness to keep the song interesting. (8.5/10)

3. Star (1억개의 별)Star is that ballad on the album. And once again, they bring out the vocals of each of the members. It, like most ballads that I really like, have this swaying effect – which specifically means that there is a flowy vibe to the song. I find it interesting that they allowed Exy to rap in this song. A rap sequence isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to ballads, with other groups giving their respective rapper a vocal line. But that being said, Exy shows how versatile she is and fits perfectly into the song. If I could be any more selfish, I wished they could have pushed themselves vocally. But everything felt perfect. (9.5/10)

4. Memories (그때 우리) – To me, Memories is rather cute. It is a song that when I listen to it, it makes me smile. I also like how they keep everything well balanced and doesn’t ‘overspill’ in any manner. The instrumental gave off pop vibes while remaining orchestral based. It had a beautiful tone to it. Everyone’s vocals were highlighted perfectly. While I am still questioning the need for the rapping in this song, I think it was brought into play when it was needed most, and it keeps the song from becoming too repetitive. I may not have much to say about this song, but it was really amazing. (9/10)

5. Cantabile (칸타빌레)Cantabile is a song that fits extremely well into WJSN’s portfolio. The entire song screams out WJSN”s name with this mystical feel. But it isn’t as ‘innocent’ sounding as their previous works. The verses and the chorus all have that innocent touch to the song. But it is the mini instrumental break that follows the chorus doesn’t seem to conform to their signature sound but rather adding a nice edge to the song. Once again, the vocals and rapping were nice. I think if the chorus had a stronger hook that fits both sides of the song that I have discussed, I would be raving about the song. But as it is now, I still quite like it. (8/10)

6. 12 O’Clock12 O’Clock has this quirky vibe to it that I cannot shake off. That can have attributed to the presence of trumpets at the start and its Broadway/show-time instrumentation during the verses. While I did think the chorus was a blast (drop and melody), I would have liked it if they kept to the theme rather than going with modern synths. I really liked the rapping during the second verse for this track. Definitely a highlight for me. I think the one thing missing for this song is performance because it seems like it will have an amazing routine to go with it. (9/10)

7. UJUNG (우주정거장) -UJUNG is a sweet ballad to end the album with. It was a nice song vocally and I like what they did with the rapping in the second verse (despite it not being needed in the song). They could have been more adventurous and done something to the rapping in the bridge to keep it in line with the rest of the song as it did sound quite plain (but once again – not necessary for the song). There is also a cute vibe to it, which makes me smile quite a bit. While it seems to be the most passable song on the album, it does round out the album with a likeable tone. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

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[Review] La La Love – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Returning today with a brand new song is WJSN, with La La Love. WJSN has had a pretty successful last year with the release of Dreams Come True and Save You, Save Me, which both helped grow their fanbase considerably. The latter song also earned the group’s first win on a weekly music show. And once again, only 10 members are involved in the promotions for the album, with  Cheng Xiao, Mei Qi and Xuan Yi missing out due to conflicting schedules and involvement with Rocket Girls 101.

La La Love slightly departs for the group’s usual fanatical and mystical sound.  It does maintain that influence but it ends up on an edgier route this time around. With Exy’s rap-talk introduction along with the dance instrumentation, the opening section of the song was amazing. I am currently waiting to see the lyrics for of the song as I am not sure what Exy was trying to say in the second line (‘They blended in the heart like a Cadillac’?). I liked the upbeatness of the song, which is one of the attractive points of the song. Another attractive point has to be the rap-talk sections just prior to the choruses, which really built up the suspense for the explosion of energy we got from the chorus. The one thing I felt could have been better was Exy’s actual rap sequence at the start of the second verse. She already had a rap-talk section at the start and end of the song, so to hear another rap-talk sequence was a little disappointing. I was expecting something with intensity and complete edginess to further offset the usual WJSN influence that we could hear. But La La Love was a song to La La Love for.

La La Love‘s music video takes on a circus concept, which actually looks amazing. That same mystical feel you get from their past video is also present in this music video. But this time around, they added a level of both edge and elegance to the video through their outfits, which I actually really liked. Their visuals are on point throughout the video. I did like the scenery and sets they had in the video, which definitely added to the visuals of the video. I wonder if there is symbolism in the video as the video felt more like a choreography/close up shot type video, which is the only negative that I point out about it.

Another great routine from the girls but there wasn’t anything memorable about this performance, like in both of last year’s releases. I did like the two pinches they did for the chorus. But that was far from memorable.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Album Review] WJ Please (5th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WJSN recently returned with this latest title track, Save Me Save You and mini-album, WJ Please. WJSN also confirmed they are a growing group this week as they won their very first weekly music show award on SBS The Show. While The Show is a relatively small weekly music award, it shows the groups appeal to the public with their music and concepts. Congratulations to the girls! And to celebrate, let’s take some time to have a closer look at the other songs on their mini-album.

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WJ Please? Album Cover

1..Save Me Save You (부탁해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Save Me Save You. (Originally a 7/10. However I wish to change this to a 8/10. It has grown on me a fair bit)

2. You, You, You (너, 너, 너)You You You changes up the album with a ‘sunnier’ track that is filled with so much more brightness and innocence. The track feels like it is perfectly suited for the Summer season, which South Korea had just left. To me, the instrumental felt like a well-balanced mixed between their fantasy concept/sound and that Summertime vibe, which I have already mentioned too many times. This means it is well suited for the group’s portfolio. You You You featured nice vocals and a really cool rap sequence, which I really enjoyed. For once, I thought the fading out at the end was perfect as the leading out moment. The track just felt like it ended too quickly and was mushed together at some parts. But overall, great b-side track. (8/10)

3. I-YAH (아이야) – Once again, an orchestral instrumentation automatically earns points with me (as you may know). And it doesn’t stop throughout the song, maintaining a consistent level of energy throughout the entire track. I like how powerful this track was. It reminded me of Infinite’s instrumentation, which is well known to incorporate (or find a way to incorporate) the orchestral side of music. The instrumentation is only one part of the deal, with the vocals and rapping being the other part. Both aspects were extremely powerful. As much as I loved the vocals in this song, I think the rapping had the edge. This song is memorable with all these parts working together. (10/10)

4. Masquerade (가면무도회) – Starting off this track is a ballroom piece of instrumental which felt elegant. This elegant feeling continued to feature as the song continued into a smooth sounding dance track. The verses were nice but not major standout sections of the song. Instead, that honour is given to the chorus which has a burst of energy which makes it extremely appealing. I would have liked to have heard a stronger hook, as what we have doesn’t really hold me in place (I am more there for the burst of energy). But once again, amazing vocals and rapping from the members again. (8/10)

5. Hurry UpHurry Up is an upbeat retro song that is their most direct contact with the familiar and popular style in KPOP. And while it is bright and sunny, like You You You, it is their most lacking track. It just feels like a song that you get on Hairspray but was easily forgotten. There were some good vocal moments in the song and I like how the rap was incorporated into the song. But besides the retro instrumental and their vocals, the song was quite plain. It didn’t feel catchy or addictive, like other retro songs from other artists. (6.5/10)

6. You & I (2월의 봄) – This serves as the ballad on the album. You & I has this soothing feeling from the start and I like how they carried that throughout the entire song. It is a good track to end what seemed to be an upbeat album. It was a tad slow for my liking and it did feel rather plain. The instrumental could have been a little more interesting, but it paints a calming atmosphere, which goes back to my previous points. I like the harmonizing in the song. But I feel like the rapping and high-note felt unnecessary and cut the atmosphere in a way that spoiled the ending. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10 

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WJ Please Teaser Image

[Review] Save Me Save You -WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Making their comeback today was WJSN with Save Me Save You. The new release features on the group’s fifth mini-album, WJ Please?. You may notice that there are fewer members promoting this time around.  Due to schedules in China, Cheng Xiao, Mei Qi and Xuan Yi are unable to join the rest of this group for this set of promotions. The last time we saw the entire group on stage was for their Dreams Come True release in February this year.

One of my biggest fears for WJSN is that due to their similar concepts, the songs end up being quite similar. But I am glad that feeling hasn’t become a reality yet as the group continues to put out new sounds consistently.  The instrumental take on synth-pop which isn’t unfamiliar territory for the girls, however, they manage to bring a more mature and serious sound to their song which we haven’t got from the girls at all. I may have said the same thing for their last comeback but this takes it even further. Vocally, I thought the song a little bland for my taste. Without the rapping or the vocal parts within the bridge, I most likely would have passed over this song. I feel like the instrumentation could have kicked it up a notch, making the song more appealing to my taste and possibly allowed the vocals to go in a direction in which they could have been more highlighted.  The rapping was probably my most favourite bit and I am glad it got split across two sections, rather than be constricted to one part of the song (as in the past).

Concept wise, WJSN does have they have been doing best. The fantasy concept really works with them due to their past videos. This one seems to be a cross between their usual fantasy concept and the Harry Potter universe. The classroom gives off massive Hogwarts vibes, which I totally like (as I am a Potterhead!). As for the rest of the video, I have no clue as to what is happening. They end up disappearing at the end once the glowing butterflies were set free. But I have no idea why? I would like to hear theories, so if you have any, comment down below and share with us!

This choreography looks like its their most mature yet. And they are in sync throughout the entire performance, which instantly makes it look cool. I thought the footwork entering into the chorus was awesome and the rest of the chorus looked quite nice. And finally, the start of the final work with the very intense walking looks epic (Click here to see the performance).

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

[Review] Strong – WJMK

As mentioned over the weekend, I will be going back to review some songs that I have missed over the past month. Today’s review is Strong, a collaboration between WJSN (Cosmic Girls) and Weki Meki. A total of 4 members make up their project group: Seola and Luda (from WJSN) and Choi Yoo Jung and Kim Doyeon (from Weki Meki). While I am not exactly sure as to why they collaborated, it may be the female version of YDPP, who ended scoring a CF deal with Pepsi.

I thought it would be an interesting collaboration and my expectations for the project single skyrocketed given how much I enjoyed YDPP’s Like It Love It. But the song ended being more boring and typical. It is still listenable, so don’t worry. However, I think the song could have been more dynamic and interesting. The song did have some strong moments and I wished the song built on top of these moments. Yoojung’s rap was pretty good, giving the song some momentum and managed to make it less repetitive. The chorus had a nice melody, which can become someone’s new ringtone. I just wasn’t impressed with the singing. Maybe it was the amount of energy that the song could have used via the vocals which could have given the song some more life into it. The pre-chorus was just a little too dramatic for my taste. Overall, Strong isn’t my cup of tea.

The music video goes into the cutesy side of KPOP. And while there have been some great cutesy videos from KPOP, I think this one misses the mark. While I like the sets and the colours of the video (which was all very vibrant and bold), I didn’t enjoy the acting. It was awkward and felt too exaggerated in some parts. And the addition of the serial killer in the background and long-haired Grudge lady was an attempt to serve as the humorous relief. But instead, they add to the video’s exaggeration.

I think the cutesy concept worked the best in the performance. I thought the choreography was nice and it didn’t seem to be as exaggerated as the music video turned out to be.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 4/10
Performance –  7/10
Overall Rating – 5.1/10

[Album Review] Dream Your Dream (4th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WJSN has returned with their 4th mini-album, Dream Your Dream. This is their first comeback since their Happy promotions last year. I honestly do not know what else to say in this introductory paragraph. I am glad that I have been writing more album reviews for female groups and by the end of this month, I should have a few more for male groups. But we are here to look at WJSN’s comeback, so let’s get back on track for that!

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Dream Your Dream Album Cover

1..Dreams Come True (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Dreams Come True. (8.3/10)

2. Love O’Clock – The track opens and closes up with a classic clock ticking. But within seconds, the song takes a turn by developing into a fun, energetic and upbeat track. I absolutely love the cutesy feel of the song and the catchy nature of the chorus. The vocals were nice, particularly the ad-libs. What the song also needed after a while was a rap sequence and it delivered that during the bridge with a smashing sequence. It is a great song that I am dying to see a live performance. It is my favourite track and a definite highlight of the entire album. (10/10)

3. Renaissance – This particular song feels like a direct follow-up to Secret, in my opinion. Despite that, however, there were moments in the song that didn’t feel right. The transition between the rap and vocals in the second verse felt awkward and cut the flow of the song. Don’t get me wrong, though, because the raps and vocals were amazing. Repetitiveness also seemed to be an issue as the song failed to have a slight change up to keep me interested as we got to the final chorus. (7/10)

4. Starry MomentStarry Moment in another standard KPOP song. I did like the retro vibes that were channelled throughout the instrumental. The vocals and raps during the end of the choruses were good. I just feel like the song could have had a catchier hook to get me more into the song. The bridge of the song was also another strong point of the song. But despite all of that, this track seems to be the most passable when you look at the album as a whole. (7/10)

5. Thawing – Really good song despite it falling into that cutesy domain which tends to be a hit or miss for me. There are some quirky sounds in the song to add to that cutesy feel. They were nice details that I enjoyed.  There were three stand-out parts in this track that I would like to point out. First, Cheng Xiao’s rap just before the first chorus. Secondly, the ‘tuttutu‘ repetition. And thirdly, the bridge which had a retro twist. All these parts made the track more fun and enjoyable to listen to. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

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Dream Your Dream Teaser Image

[Review] Dreams Come True – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Making their comeback today is WJSN (aka. Cosmic Girls) with Dreams Come True and their 4th mini-album, titled as Dream Your Dream. This is the girls first comeback in 9 months, the last being their Happy promotions back in June last year.

Dreams Come True is actually another great song to add to WJSN’s portfolio. I actually really liked the instrumentals at the start of the song, which gives the song a serious tone. Furthermore, the synths used gives off an epic vibe as well. Talking about synths, their usage in this video is quite heavy. Not that is a problem, though. I love the use of the synthesizer during the post-chorus hook (‘Trust In Me, Trust In You‘), which I think is the main highlight of the entire track. That hook is also quite addictive in nature and draws my attention to the song. Vocal work is quite good but the rap segment was the one to surprise me. And it is a good surprise. Exy was amazing during the rap section, portraying a very serious yet powerful side during a more quiet section of the song. It allowed Exy to show more style and at the same time satisfied my yearning after WJSN and Monsta X’s collaboration a few years back. While it does fit in with their past aesthetically pleasing songs, it does show off a more mature sound, something that we knew the group was capable of (just we didn’t see any of it until now).

Once again, aesthetic videos are right up WJSN’s alley. And this video is pretty much that. I am not much of a fan of filters. They are either a hit or miss for me. In this video, they seem to be a miss entirely. But besides that, it is a nice video to watch. In the video, the girls seem to be going about their day until they can some sort of call to follow these light orbs, which are sent out from above. I am not exactly sure what happens then. They come together in some field where all the light orbs are and using these light orbs they manage to shut down a purple storm cloud. That is my literal explanation of the story but if there are any other theories out there, please feel free to comment and share what you think is happening in this video!

I liked how elegant the entire performance was. It made for a very cool performance to watch. I love the post-chorus hook’s accompanying dance. Also really cool formations were the moves for the entire bridge, particularly how one-by-one some of the members joined a ring around the vocalist during the start of the bridge and the 3 member lineup at the end of the bridge (2:54 of music video).

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

 

[Review] Kiss Me – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WJSN (Cosmic Girls) has made a surprise to the music scene, just weeks after the end of their promotions for Happy. The new single, titled as Kiss Me, continues on with their Summer sound. The music video itself is also an advertisement for Kiss Me Cosmetics.

I usually do not review songs that come under the advertisement realm. Not that I am against it, but rather I find some of the songs very cheesy. That being said, there are always exceptions and this song is obviously an exception (hence, I am writing this review). Over the entire song, there were many aspects of the song that felt very standard. Their vocals were good, but not amazing. The instrumental gave off a cute and Summery atmosphere, but it wasn’t different in any way from a standard Summer song. But it stands out for different reasons. The cute and sweet sound is a little different from their usual portfolio of songs. Kiss Me felt very warm and lively. The chorus itself felt very catchy. While it was standard in nature, it could have been easily passed as a normal track on their albums. It didn’t necessarily feel like an advertisement. The ‘Kiss Me‘ brand was used in a non-obnoxious way, which I thought was pretty nice.

Once again, there were no obnoxious product placements in the video, which is something that I thoroughly enjoyed. While the cosmetics did get a small section in the video, it felt like a small detail. Hence, I find the music video similar to the song, in a way, it could have been passed a Summer music video. And there was a plot line in the video, which made it more interesting. First of all, the guy in the water park takes notice in one of the members (don’t know the names, my apologies). The girls each take notice in the same guy, but they don’t know that until they share the pictures. Then they start to compete (my assumption) to get his attention. In the end, the guy finds the girl he was after. Okay, maybe it wasn’t an overly interesting plot-line. But when I watched it, it did not feel like a music video centred over a brand. There was some choreography to the video, but I think it would be considered a minor aspect of the video, hence it won’t get its dedicated part. But it looked very simple and feminine, which goes well with the song.

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

[Special] Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2017

Can you already believe it? That we are already in July. Half the year has gone by and it felt like a blur. A lot has happened in the last 6 months that has just past. So, as a treat, I have decided to compile a list (my top 10) of the songs from the first half of 2017. There is no ranking or charting system that has allowed me to come up with this list (though, you might notice it may correspond with the Weekly Charts that I publish every Sunday). This is all just my personal preference and it is simply my opinion. So, in no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 10 songs from the 1st half of 2017.

Don’t Wanna Cry – Seventeen

Hwi Hwi – Laboum

Never Ever – GOT7

Beautiful – Monsta X

I’ll Be Yours – Girl’s Day

Don’t Recall – K.A.R.D

Beautiful – Pentagon

Hobglobin – CLC

Dance Dance – DAY6

I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

 

 

[Album Review] Happy Moment (1st Full Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WJSN (or Cosmic Girls) are back with their brand new album. It also happens to be their first full-length album, which was released a little over a year after their debut. The girls have drawn my attention with their title tracks Secret and I Wish. From what I have written for this album review, I feel like the album is a step in the right direction for the girls.

 

Image result for WJSN Happy Moment
Happy Moment Album Cover

 

1..Happy (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for the title track, Happy. (7.5/10)

2. Miracle (기적 같은 아이) – I think most people agree that Miracle is a more suitable title track for this album. It was similar enough to follow the standards that Secret and I Wish had set. But at the same time, they managed to turn the song into a much brighter and light sound, which made it a refreshing song to listen to. Exy’s rap here is totally more badass and suitable for her voice. I did really like this track and thought it was really great amazing as well. (9/10)

3. Mr. BADBOY – The songs keep on getting brighter as well. While it is a cute and bubbly song, I don’t really fall into it. It didn’t have that much appeal to my tastes (which I admit, are picky at times). I did like how they included a reference to their debut song, Mo Mo Mo. The bright feel makes this a very Summery song. (7/10)

4. SUGAR – The same comments for the above song can be applied to this song as well. Quite a sweet (see what I did there?) song, but it doesn’t have that level of appeal to make me search for this song listen to it. The vocal work was good though. (7/10)

5. Babyface – Babyface is a ridiculously catchy song. It also has a very quirky instrumental, which makes it quite interesting. The vocal work was also quite good in this song. I don’t have much to say about this song, besides that it is awesome and totally a song that I would go back to (9/10)

6. Plop Plop (퐁당퐁당) – Another song with amazing vocal work from the members. When I first saw the tracklist, I was surprised that they would go with a song with such a title. Being the mature person I am, I actually thought that they were referring to the sound of something (you should guess what) dropping into a bowl of water (again, guess what bowl). Never once did it occur to me that they were going for the “drip drop” sound of water. Anyway, the song is much slower compared to the rest, which makes it refreshing on the album. It ended a little too abruptly, which did disrupt the flow of the song for me (it should have faded out). (7/10)

7. Follow Me – While it does have a very generic name, this track is not generic whatsoever. One way to describe the song would be fluffy. It is quite catchy, with the chorus being the main hook of the song. I would love to see a stage performance of this song because it is a great song! (9/10)

8. B.B.B.Boo – Everything in this song sounds amazing and quite cool. The only thing I would change up if I had the rights to do so, would be the very boring verses. Comparing the chorus and the verses, it felt too different and with a very loaded chorus (in terms of instrumental), there wasn’t anything interesting in the verses. Also thought the song was cool and cute at the same time. (8/10)

9. Geeminy – Another great track that also adds to the cute sound that the girls went for in this song, however, it can also be seen as a mature sound from the girls. Compared to the previous song, I liked the verses here. The chorus were much better though, in comparison, as it felt more dynamic and upbeat. The overall sound was much smoother. (9/10)

10. Closer To You (지금 만나러 가요) – The girls finish their first album with a much slower song, almost ballad-like. It has a very sweet melody and adds an extra hint of freshness to the album. I love that elongated note that they included to lead into the chorus. Also thought the instrumental and vocals were quite nice. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

 

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Teaser Image

 

 

[Review] Happy – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

After their comeback in January with I Wish, Cosmic Girls are finally back with their latest title track, Happy and their very first album. Like the previous two reviews, there will be an album review coming for this album as well. Just expect all the album reviews to come out after the 19th of June. But until then, let’s start the review.

For a song titled as Happy, it is extremely cheerful and ‘happy’ which to me is a big plus. Some songs try to change it up and be unique. That sometimes takes the feelings and emotions away from the song. Happy keeps its real by sticking with the sound all throughout. As a fan who thoroughly enjoyed their last two comebacks for its more ‘cosmic’ sounds and concepts, I was a tad disappointed to learn that they were not going continuing with that sound. To the point where I sat through the first listening of Happy not feeling that happy. But with more listens to the song, I have officially fallen in love with it. It may not be their best sound, but it is still quite a nice song to listen to. Their vocals and raps are okay. Bright but not memorable. The instrumental shared the same fate but I did think it was quirky sounding for a while. It may not sound like I am enjoying the song, but I can assure you that the chorus has started to catch on. Within a few more listens, I am sure I will be singing and dancing to this song constantly.

I love the video. The teaser had a bit of plagiarism issue, where they have been accused of copying JPOP’s Perfume concept. But we are not here to talk about a teaser. We are here to talk about the dodgeball fun in this video. I believe the concept they were going for was cheerleaders, which was reflected on stage as well. It matched the bright and vibrant sets and the sound of the song as well. What I also loved about the video was the girls in the scenes or backgrounds. While it has been done before, it looks fresh and cool. What I am exactly referring to how there are multiple members in one scene. One would get the centre postion because it was their part to sing, while the rest of the members carry on doing their own stuff. I know. Nearly all music videos do that. But it legit looked a unique thing was going on here. Overall it was a great video to watch.

The performance matched the song. It used that cheerleading concept and applied a more cute style to it. Overall, it was memorable but it is was still nice to watch. I liked the pom poms (not exactly sure what they are called in cheerleading). They added a more realistic touch to the stage and music video.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

KPOPREVIEWED 2016 Awards – Part 2

Click here to see the list of nominees for this year’s awards and scroll down to find out who wins!!!

If you have yet to see Part 1 (which also explains this corner) please click here.


BEST MALE ROOKIE GROUP

2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.


BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP

Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).


BEST MALE SOLOIST

As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.


BEST MALE GROUP

So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.


BEST FEMALE GROUP 

As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.


BEST ALBUM

Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.


BEST DANCE/PERFORMANCE

And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.

 


BEST SONG OF THE YEAR

The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.

And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……

veryniceseventeen.gif

VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN

Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!

[Review] I Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Cosmic Girls, otherwise known as WJSN, have made their return to the stage with I Wish. They made their debut in 2016 with MoMoMo. A few months later, the girls made their first comeback with Secret.

I Wish, to me, is a combination of both their debut song and Secret. It had the seriousness of Secret but also the cutesy and brightness of MoMoMo. It is also a perfect song to lead from Secret. Honestly, it is a song, that as you listen, it gets better and better. Let’s look at my criticisms of the song. The sounds in the song aren’t hard. Nothing is overpowering, even the vocal work is performed at a higher pitch than their past songs. But that is a problem. It makes the song forgettable. It just made the song fluffy and too light on the ears. The rapping was okay. It’s just everything was sung at a high pitch and then Exy’s deep rapping voice comes in. Can’t really blame her for that, though. I also watched those line distribution videos for the song and it seems like Yeonjung is more favoured. I like her voice and all, but I feel like she is overshadowing some of the group’s other vocalists (slowly remembering names). I know for a fact, through this song, that the other members have great vocals. Let’s look at the highlights of the song. A moderately catchy chorus, a very upbeat (and interesting) instrumental for this season and nice use of autotune during the chorus.

The music video is a mixture of weird and Secret. My assumption with the video is that it is about dreams or our imagination. Only dreams would appear that wacky. And since the song is called I Wish, it makes senses. Kind of. It would make more sense if it was titled as I Dream. Anyway….. There is one thing I noticed about this video and Secret. It’s just they zoom out a lot during the choreography scenes. There are some closeups, but when I watched this video, it was the only thing I could remember from it. For this video, when they zoomed back in, they went quite close to the girls, which made it feel somewhat uncomfortable. Maybe I am just being a little harsh and naive there. Moving along, I do hope Cosmic Girls continue with these videos. They make you think about what is going on here and I always return to try to figure out what is going on.

The dance is okay. Not that impressive, but matching with the cutesy and bright vibes I mentioned earlier.

Rating – 7/10 (This review was meant to be released a few days back. But it has been so hot where I live, I could not function properly).

 

[Review] Secret – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WSJN (Cosmic Girls) have returned to the stage with their brand new mini-album, The Secret. This is their first comeback since their debut. It is also Yeonjung’s first time performing with the group. She was previously a Produce 101 trainee and was also chosen to be part of the lineup of I.O.I. She had taken time off from I.O.I to promote with Cosmic Girls and will return to the temporary group once her promotions (for Secret) with her group are over.

I freaking love this song. I am in awe. I am amazed. I can barely contain my excitement while I write this. Because everything in this review will be praising the song and the entire comeback. For those who don’t remember, I was not  fond of Mo Mo Mo (their debut track). This is definitely an improvement in all aspects. I loved the funky/retro instrumental that I would have associated with Space and the universe when I was younger. The vocal work (especially in the chorus) was superb. The rapping here is 100% improved from their last release. There was a nice kick to it this time that really drew my attention to it. The song was catchy and addictive. As soon as I heard it, I fell for it and this song has been replayed every day ever since it was released. I was satisfied from start to end and I have no complaints about anything in the song.

That Space sound that I mentioned before, it was definitely incorporated and reflected in the video. The video reminded me of  Lovelyz’s Destiny for the camera angles and the way the video was shot. It also reminded me of Brown Eyed Girl’s Brand New World for the futuristic and universal concept. I am not saying that they copied the mentioned videos, just it reminded me of them. Anyway regarding the content of the video, I have no idea with what is going on. It seems like they are wishing upon a star (hopefully) or doing some weird astrology mashed up with witchcraft. There was an air of mysteriousness in the video, which looked really cool and I also liked that a lot. Even though the majority of the video was shot with a green screen and some shots were cheesy to watch, I thought it was a nice looking video. I am not disgraced or disappointed by anything in the video, though. I love the choreography scenes a lot. While I am quite sure they shot that in a studio with the green screen (I may be wrong), they made it look so much like outside but with an artificial component to it as well.

Dance wise, I loved it. A lot of likes and love with this review. Since there are so many members, it is very hard to get everyone proper screen time and the movement around the stage is always hard for a group with many members. But Cosmic Girls have done it effortlessly. I love the start of the dance, where they split into groups and strut out in diagonal lines. Also liked the chorus dance as well.

Final Rating – 10/10. I will recommend this to anyone who wants to get into WJSN (Cosmic Girls).