[Review] Another Night – Yoo Youngjae

The two days of B.A.P related reviews was not intentional. I was just holding off Jung Daehyun’s You’re My review until I had time to write it. And it just happens to be the day before Yoo Youngjae’s solo debut with Another Night. Youngjae has had solo tracks up his sleeve, such as his collaboration with former Secret member Sunhwa. But he has yet to review a solo album since his debut with B.A.P back in 2012. But that changes today, with the release of his Fancy mini-album. Since departing from TS Entertainment, Yoo Youngjae has signed on with J Harmony Entertainment.

Given my mentality, the main vocalist of a group always ends up going down the ballad route for a solo track. And this has been proven to be incorrect on numerous occasions.  Another Night once again how I should really dump this train of thought. Youngjae’s solo track is another tropical influenced track that suits the warmer climate that South Korea is approaching. I say it is tropically influenced as I think the chorus used electric guitars to give off that effect, rather than using the common tropical house synth. I think that was an interesting changeup to the trend. Youngjae’s vocals are also really nice, with his voice being extremely clear and it also flourished with an instrumental that wasn’t overwhelming.  For the second verse, there seems to be a bit of rapping influence brought into the song. I thought this was rather interesting and it managed to give the song a much-needed change in texture. I personally think Another Night is a decent debut track to start off on, as it manages to throw Youngjae’s charms right at you.

The music video can be taken as a very persistent guy, played by Youngjae, trying to get the attention of his crush. Or be a thriller, with Youngjae being the main star as the creepy stalker. But since the song is suited for a brighter climate, I think the initial option would be a better fitting storyline. I like the crispness of the music video, with the quality being a very appealing aspect to the music video. And I think having a music video being all smiles really pushes the cheerful emotion onto you, which I personally do not mind.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

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[Review] Wake Me Up – B.A.P

B.A.P has returned with a brand new single, Wake Me Up. Following their active promotions of Feel So Good, That’s My Jam and Skydive; this is the group’s first release for 2017. This comeback also marks the return for Bang Yong Guk, who for the Skydive promotions, took some time off due to mental health concerns. And like BTOB’s recent release, I will be doing a review for the entire single (all three songs) and that should be up sometime next week.

The track takes me back to their Young, Wild and Free days. It returned to their days of rock based instrumentals, with electronic synths and hip-hop vibes. The song itself oozes with darkness, another aspect that you would always expect from a B.A.P song. But the difference between this song and (for example) Young, Wild and Free is the intensity. Everything in the track is held back. This ranges from the vocals to the raps. It isn’t as intense as their previous tracks, but by holding back, I feel like it delivers a stronger impact with the message. While I did say they hold back in a few aspects, their vocals and raps are still top notch and have been manipulated to work wonderfully in the song. I did enjoy the build up to each chorus. It isn’t as powerful in other electronic based songs but the same effect can still be felt. The song does open with an interesting sound, that also echoes throughout the song.  In my opinion, Wake Me Up is a great song but it isn’t their best song yet. B.A.P is the best at making explosions in music that leave you gasping for more. If the track was delivered as a more intense and aggressive track, I think I would have enjoyed it even more.

Now, I mentioned the message of the song in the previous paragraph. The lyrics talk about wanting to wake up as a new person in a world that is full of judgement and pain. This is shown beautifully in the video. Body image, mental illness, paranoia, anger and (not exactly sure but) violence of some sort. Each of these people feels like that if they woke up a different person every day, their problems would be forgotten. However, with the help of B.A.P on TV, everyone in society decides to fight these judgements and be who they are. Like what everyone else is saying, they are starting a revolution.  I hope I didn’t butcher the meaning the video, but that is what I got, with the help of comments and research. And even if I am wrong, I can agree it is a very dark and profound video to watch. For what the song lacks in intensity, I think the videos makes it up quite nicely. The car smashing scene was probably the peak of the video, which matched the small instrumental part that was in the video. The acting in the video is incredible. I really liked how B.A.P have taken a step back and only participated in the vocals/close ups, not any acting scenes. Though that does happen time and time again, it also reminded us that anyone can suffer from the problems above and the ending of the video showed that there will always be people out there that share the same concern with you.

The choreography was also intriguing. Not in a bad way, though. I actually quite liked it. Per usual, everything was fitting to the song, which is by far the most important aspect of the dance. What makes it interesting is the chorus. I don’t know what they are doing but it looks like they are holding onto someone and trying to wake them up. Or they are slowly crouching down into their hands. I am a little unsure but it looks superb. The way they incorporated Bang Yong Guk without making it hard for him deserves praise as well.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

 

[Review] That’s My Jam – B.A.P

B.A.P has returned after 5 months with a brand new single. Earlier in the year, the guys made their first comeback of 2016 with Feel So Good. After finishing promotions for the song, they went on a world tour and recently completed it. Now, back in South Korea, launched right back in with their song.

It is a totally cool song that will totally be anyone’s jam. B.A.P has done it again. Their last song had a similar style but this one is more upbeat and party anthem like. It is a great song to rock to at a party or just to dance around the house. There are many components to the song that when you step back sounds like a horrible mashup. But when you listen to the song, it somehow manages to work. The chorus is quite upbeat and poppish. The raps were hip-hop oriented. The song slowed down at some parts and made it sound dramatic. Let’s move onto the rapping. Yong Guk and Zelo used to stand out, however, the raps in this song were quite lacking. I didn’t really enjoy their raps as I wanted to. But the vocal work in this song was amazing. Per usual Daehyun got the most parts but Jongup’s forever improving vocals were put into the spotlight. Youngjae and Himchan basically got the short end of the stick. Not much time to shine at all (or barely noticeable in the song). But overall, it is a good song to just have a dance around to. Quite catchy and has a great hook.

Parts of the video make sense to me. Some parts have me going “huh?”. The guys at the start look like they are about to die from boredom. But Daehyun’s plays his songs, which gets everyone in the mood for partying. Then the videos move to them going to some holiday. Okay, makes sense. But why the cheesy close-up shots to make them look like they are doing some commercial throughout the whole video.For a few parts, I get. But like Daehyun, Youngjae and Jongup on the beach chairs. Was that necessary?  And where do they plan to go for the holiday? Cause it looks like the desert and the middle of nowhere. Anyway, finally comes to the shooting scene. What? I don’t see the connection there. Just because you are having fun doesn’t equate it to shooting guns… You see my reasoning? I am lost for parts of the videos and that does impact my viewing experience. The fun element in the video, however, is through the roof and I do like that. While it is all staged (and you cannot deny it), the boys look like they are genuinely having fun and making the best out of the situation. Oh, and I like apple juice as well (thought I somehow add that in there).

The dance was more of a “let’s party” on stage kind of dance. Sometimes I can appreciate it. Sometimes, I can’t. With this performance, the backup dancers have a set routine that they had to follow, but the performance I watched today was incredibly messy. I am going to blame the guys for that one because they were running about and having fun. While the concept was good, the overall look of the stage was disappointing.

Final Rating – 6/10

Feel So Good – B.A.P

B.A.P has returned as promised with a brand new mini album, Carnival. The group has been busy with concerts in Seoul, which also coincide with the comeback. Feel So Good is the title track for the new mini album and the song in which we will be reviewing today.

A really bright and fun song. It seems like KPOP is going 100% retro with these comebacks. Exactly, my initial feelings with the song. It really makes you want to get up and dance. It just puts a smile on my face. The song is extremely catchy and addictive. I just want to listen to this track over and over again. Everything within the song goes really well together. I hear spoons clicking, but I feel like cow bells would make this song 100 times better. But I think we got what we all wished. Everyone’s vocals were perfect (per usual though, Daehyun and Youngjae were amazing). The rapping fits in very well as well. Yeah, sometimes the rapping can be a little awkward in these sorts of song, but this is just a prime example of how good the rapping can be in the bright style. Also loved the slow down at the bridge. Sure, I miss the dark and powerful B.A.P, but these fun and bright songs really suit them as well.

The music video also paints this really happy feeling. It was bright and fits with the song quite well. Very quirky video. Himchan pulling the trolley with the members in it (or on it) with his ‘tongue” and the hiding in that store. Yeah, acting in that particular scene was cringeworthy.  But overall, I think the members did a pretty good job with having a good time and also “hanging around”. My attempt to utilise that coat hanger scene. Hehehehe… I am going to be honest as well, but the members look hella attractive in this video. Daehyun looks handsome as hell in this video and his smiles. Okay, let’s get back on track. Minus the fact that some of the scenes looked a little forced, I think this is a great video that goes well with the bright and fun song.

The dance also seems to have that fun and bright feel to it. Nothing complex and nothing that is too loud. Just right for the song and the concept that they were going for. Love the passion these guys have when performing. Also love the leg swinging and the whole dance in general.

Woah, I think it is safe to say that everyone who watched this video “Feel So Good” afterwards. Hehehehe… 9.5/10

Young, Wild & Free – B.A.P

B.A.P has finally returned with a brand new mini album. And they have maintained their strong and widely recognised powerful comebacks with Young, Wild & Free. This time around they went with a rock based song. I am totally liking this, since I am head banging (not literally though, just the feels) to the song all the way when I hear it. The break they had is worthwhile, cause this comeback shows off new talents. The most obvious, Jongup has a much more stable voice than compared to their previous releases and Zelo seems to have a deeper voice. The chorus to the song is pretty catchy and addictive. I am always singing along to the “We are Young~ Wild and Free” and it sounds a lot like some kind of anthem where everyone needs to be chanting. There is a whole heap of anger that is present in the song. The song reminded me of their first few singles. While it might not be as bright as those first few songs, the dark nature in which the song has and the rock/hip-hop themed songs is still present.

The music video is okay. Dark themed, checked. I am a little disappointed with the music video. I expected something action packed and it feels like this song can have some kind of rebellious music video plot. I personally hope their company can properly promote them and return the band to their old style (as in music) . I just the feel the video seems to be a last minute things in term of sets. The video to me seems empty. The sets do give off that independent and strong power that the boys are trying to sing about, but I don’t know. It just seems to need something else. I think the paint/play scene and drifting cars give off that “young, wild and free” feel the strongest out of the all. Not exactly sure about the “dead” Youngjae scene that we see, where he uncovers his body that is in a suit. It is like saying the constrained version of them are gone and now left behind is the free version of them? Tad confusing. But the ending with them as Kings seems very cool!!!

The dance fits in well with the rock performance. It isn’t really that impressive and doesn’t make me go wow. But the group manage to carry that rock performance style of the free style bouncing on the stage and all. Did I expect something else? Yeah, I expected them to make me go wow, but what we have here is fine. It fits in well and does what it is needed to keep that rock theme.

The song to me exceeds my expectations. The video and dance does not really. 7/10

Badman – B.A.P

Source: http://www.mtvk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/130806_bap.jpg

B.A.P recently made released their final title track of their latest mini album, BADMAN, with a song of the same title. Their previous two releases, Coffee Shop and Hurricane have been successful pre releases. It seems like the band is going back in time with another hip hop release, but this time a lot more “hard core”. It seems like Bang Yong Guk, the leader of the band, has been involved largely on the production of the band. The song was released on the 6th of August and I am running out of things to say. On with the review:

The song does have its hip-hop roots. The song itself talks about a “dark” personality person who has been imprisoned (so like a prisoner). Meanwhile, Bandg Yong Guk said that he wanted people to hear the “other side of the story” with criminals, rather than the media’s side of the story which may be corrupt. Not trying to hint at anything. Despite, that i like the whole idea of the message, but I am quite torn about the song. Well, not really. This is pretty good overall, but there were some parts that I an not that fond of. For example, that part where the band starts krumping with one arm. That instrumental part made the song really awkward. The vocals was okay this time around. I found that the vocals were lacking that genuine feel to the song. It seemed that vocalist of the groups were trying too hard or that rock feel of the song is not that great. I also felt that Zelo’s part was not as awesome as in One Shot or Warrior. But overall, I liked the song. It just lacked and did not feel right in some parts.

As for the music video, it was really cool. Not over really fond of the makeup as well but I think the music video was pretty well done. It is like a crossover of Brown Eyed Girl’s Sixth Sense and Big Bang’s Fantastic Baby, in terms of rebellion. That place where they dance seemed like a big abandoned theatre, it did fit the feel of the song but not the actual style of the video. For those scenes towards the end when car blows up, the extras in the music video have horrible acting skills. They ‘act” as if they were dying. I think my dog does a much better job than what half of these actors have done. They probably were like “Do we go down now? Now, right? Go with the flow? Hey, how was lunch?” or something. The policemen at the start we taunting the “rebellious” people to come at them? I don’t think that is how police do it, my friend. That poor teddy bear under the car, awww….. It is also weird how the others are fighting and the band just happens to stand there, with no one hitting them or shooting them. Like those are pretty cool henchmen you got there. I also think they did a few scenes in normal daily life, which probably did occur prior to this world war that broke out, which is pretty cool.

The dance was pretty cool. Krumping with one arm for a guy though is not the ideal dance move that I expected. There were not amazing choreography like their past releases. I do like the scarecrow dance during the chorus. That was pretty original. However, one complaint that I think would help the band, lose the makeup on the stage. You guys look scary as. Particularly Bang Yong Guk when he is in the mood.

Not the best B.A.P release to date, but not the worst. 7/10. Pretty good overall. My question is though: Which B.A.P song do you like? Coffee Shop, Hurricane or Badman? Comment below!!!!!

Coffee Shop – B.A.P

Source: http://static1.allkpop.com/upload/af_org/BAP_1371691563_af_org.jpg

B.A.P will be returning with a brand new album, I think it is with 3 title songs. However, instead of leaving their fans drooling over the band members, the group has done what they do best, make fan girls drool over the band members. The first of the three title songs from their next release was released on the 28th of June. Their next album or something like that will be released sometime this month. For some reason, this month gives me the feels of a lot of B.A.P reviews, and I am going to start it up with this very song, Coffee Shop.

Wow. This is a much softer side of the boys that we don’t see at all. This jazz feel slash hip hop slash originality is awesome. I think all of my KPOP friends are all digging this song at the moment,and I hope every other song o their album has the same feels that this one have. We are all used to their hardcore, rock pop side. They have also tried aegyo and ballads, which were not as great, but this song is amazing. I usually like the instrumental feel of the song. It is much different. While many KPOP songs are energetic, serious and jam packed. This song however steps back and has that really pleasant feel to it. This is something that I would see solo artist like John Park or Roy Kim do, but not B.A.P, hence why I am suprised. I am totally digging the vocals as well and the raps fit in very well. Its relax and calming, not like One Shot or any of their past releases. I will totally recommend this song to anyone. Like seriously anyone. To me, this is the song to put on, on a rainy day. It matches the feeling of a rainy day quite well.

The video was filmed in Las Vegas and few other places in USA. The only thing I can say about this video is: it is flawless. There is nothing to complain. The whole video has that sepia tone to it which fits the song amazingly. the camera angles are extraordinary and a lot of thought has been out into the editing of the video.

10/10. I don’t think I have given a 10/10 in a very long time. Also, I think this is the shortest review for quite some time. Yay for short reviews!!!

Everything Is Pretty – Youngjae (B.A.P) & Sunhwa (Secret)

Source: http://d1i45kki000yqu.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/122712_youngjae_sunhwa.jpg

Towards the end of December 2012, an announcement was made by TS Ent about a secret collaboration between the companies two main groups, Secret & B.A.P. Later, it was revealed that Sunhwa and Youngjae had collaborated for a song which was later promoted in January of 2013. Talk about some boring talk, it is a good song, just did not fit well at all.

Now let’s get this straight, I really like B.A.P and Secret, and all the members for both groups. Just this song, was definitely not the best choice for these two particularly good voices. Both Youngjae & Sunhwa are pretty good singers, but this song was not the best option. I think this song would’ve have been much better for Daehyun (who I believe in being shoved to the side by TS to promote Youngjae) and JiEun. Youngjae’s vocals are very husky, while Sunhwa has a hint of cutey, aegyo voice in this song, just they both did not go well together. Actually, my ears kept saying something like, “They are not singing in the same harmony, Youngjae’s voice was too empowering for Sunhwa.” The instrumental was okay, but not as good. The song was not epic as I expected or anticipated. A major letdown.

The music video is just the singers singing and “recording” their song. Nothing much. So I will focus on the performance.

Let’s just say, this was one cute song. Sunhwa holding a picture of Kwanghee for Z:EA and Youngjae holding a piture of B.A.P’s fan group, BABYs. I liked the stage, and I think Youngjae actually toned down his voice just a bit for the performances, so it was okay. Nothing major though.

5/10. Sadly. But I am always sure that a better song or another couple can be chosen next time, if the two bands do collaborate again.