[Review] Thank U Soooo Much – Yubin

Yubin has returned with a brand new single, Thank U Soooo Much. Earlier this year, the artist made her long-awaited debut as a solo artist with Lady. There were a few bumps along the road with the cancellation of the b-side single due to plagiarism concerns and a number of articles criticising her of her singing capabilities. Hopefully, this time around she won’t get the same comments with her latest single, which is featured on the mini-album, TUSM (Thank U Soooo Much).

Thank U Soooo Much takes on the disco beat that originated back in the 70s. It is quite an upbeat and funky track to dig into. I really like the whistles used in the background, which is kind of the ‘go-to’ sample if you want an addictive nature to your song. I do like that while it has that dominate retro disco feel, it doesn’t feel too much. Instead, the producer managed to keep it well balanced and free from any extremities, allowing the song to thrive and shine. Yubin sings in the majority of the song and I honestly do not understand the criticisms as she sounds wonderful in both this and her past songs. She does rap-talk the bridge, which I think is a great throwback to her more well-known side as a Wonder Girl’s member. Overall, I really like the new song.

Surprisingly, the video doesn’t really tap into the retro sci-fi imagery as much as I expected it to. The effects on the screens during the choreography shots was probably the most retro the video got. Her futuristic outfit and technology seemed to also be ideas from that era. But everything else felt quite modern. Maybe it is because the quality of the video was so high definition that makes it feel modern. I say that because some other retro-based music videos (such as SHINee’s releases earlier in the year) seem to use that home video or old cassette tape quality as a filter to really bring the videos back to that era. Overall, I liked the video though I wasn’t too sure what the storyline was going for.

The dance for this comebacks looks really cool. You can tell there is some attitude to the moves through her facial expressions, which go nicely with the lyrics. I really like how her arms flail about during the start of the chorus. It looks really cool.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

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[Review] Lady – Yubin

How haven’t I brushed everything (studies, personal commitments) to the side and write anything about this amazing song? Let’s backtrack, firstly. Yubin is the well-known rapper of the iconic (and now disbanded) Wonder Girls. Since the announcement of the end of the group, Yubin has been preparing for a solo debut. And this past Tuesday, it officially occurred with the release of Lady.

I personally don’t think we have seen anything as retro as this for a while now. Yubin’s solo debut track really takes you back to the disco era, especially (what I assumed to be) the Korean or Japanese disco era. The track does not hold back from the very first second, opting to throw you right into its addictive instrumental and hook. Both the verses and choruses were quite good but they don’t really live up to the standard set by that opening sequence/post-chorus. I personally love the slow-down in the bridge, along with the fact that Yubin, Wonder Girl’s resident rapper, does not rap at all in the song. I find that very interesting and surprised that she sounds so good.  On top of that, I love the ‘Baby Baby’ that connects the pre-chorus to the actual chorus. I am hooked onto this whether I liked it or not and I can see myself constantly replaying this song in the weeks to come.

Fitting with the song’s sound, the music video is retro themed. From her outfit to the lighting in the video, everything points directly to the 70s or 80s. Even the filters placed on the video post-production (that hazy effect) and the overall cinematography just lines up with that era. There isn’t much else to the video. No plotline. Just Yubin and the retro vibes.

I really like how simple the choreography for that opening sequence/post-chorus instrumental section. But despite that, it worked perfectly to seem like a catchy dance move. I also like the chorus’s accompanying move as well, which seems to be a more angled version of previously described dance move.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

 

Farewell Wonder Girls

Towards the end of last month, it was officially announced by JYP Entertainment, that the Wonder Girls would be disbanding. Another major girl group a few years back would be leaving us. The girls had decided to go their separate ways, despite reports of the girls searching for a new company. Ye-Eun and Sunmi both left JYP Entertainment, while Yubin and Hyelim decided to go on with the company.

This is another farewell post for another amazing girl group. We said goodbye to 2NE1 just last month. We said goodbye to 4Minute last year and now we have to say goodbye to Wonder Girls. It is no doubt that their presence within the industry is large and that they will not be forgotten.

Wonder Girls made their debut on the 13th of February 2007 with Irony. The lineup then included: YeEun, Sunye, Sohee, Hyuna (now former 4Minute member) and Sunmi. After their debut, Hyuna was withdrawn from the group and their company added Yubin to the lineup. The group went on to release Tell Me and So Hot (alongside some other songs).

It wasn’t until Nobody in 2008 that the group rose to the top and became the hottest thing in Korea. In 2009, the group embarked on a world tour and it was decided that JYP would debut the girls in the U.S.A. The girl returned in 2010 after Sunmi left the group and Hyelim was added as a new member. The girls released 2 Different Tears. The girls returned overseas and spent more time releasing English songs and starring in their own TV show. 2011 came and the group returned at the end of the year with my favourite Wonder Girls song, Be My Baby. The girls returned to South Korea in 2012 to promote Like This.

Sadly, the group went on hiatus after 2012. Sunye withdrew from the group to get married and now she is a mother of two children. Sohee also withdrew from the group to focus on her acting career. The group reimaged themselves into a girl band and went on to release I Feel You in 2015.  Sunmi returned to the group and the final lineup now includes: YeEun, Sunmi, Yubin and Hyelim). They later returned in 2016 with Why So Lonely. The girls (with the support on Sunye and Sohee) made the announcement in Jan 2017 of the disbandment and have gone on to release their final song today (10th of February), Draw Me, for their 10th anniversary.

Wonder Girls have a long history and to me, they have released some of the most iconic songs in KPOP to date. Their influence (along with 2NE1 from YG Entertainment and SNSD for SM Entertainment) has shaped and grown KPOP to what it is today. I will also remember the catchy tune of Nobody and will always remember the super addictive dance that accompanied it. I will remember how big of a fanboy I came when it Be My Baby or Like This came on. And I will always feel awestruck watching the girls form themselves into a band.

Like 2NE1’s final song, I choose not to review it. Instead, I choose to look back at their time in the industry. Writing both posts made me sad, as I now know how far they have come, how far KPOP has gone and how much they will be missed. The majority of this post looks at their history as a group, with a few personal comments, but hopefully, it is enough to say goodbye.

Maybe this goodbye is not forever. But nonetheless, I wish all members of the group success and luck for all future endeavours. Given some of their solo careers, I think we can expect great things.

If you have not yet heard Wonder Girls’ final song (which was released today), you can listen to it below.

[Review] Why So Lonely – Wonder Girls

Guess who is back??? Wonder Girls!!! Yep, the ladies have returned to the stage. Last time, they promoted I Feel You and introduced us to the band version of Wonder Girls. Once again, the band version of Wonder Girls have returned with Why So Lonely and have also brought a dance along with them. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

The girls went with such an amazing song. They have constantly pushed out songs that have always been deemed as unique and like no other. KPOP is a very large industry, but this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have actually heard someone attempt the reggae genre.  Yeah, it sounds like it wasn’t released in the right era nor does it sound modern and upbeat. But it definitely  is unique and it drew my attention (and most likely, yours) in straight away. The vocals were great. Yubin also has singing parts, on top of her rapping parts. Yubin’s rap was amazing. South Korea also likes the new sound as well, as their song topped the charts as soon as it was released and received certified perfect all kills. I love the harmonies during the chorus. The song isn’t heavy on the ears and is a song that I wouldn’t mind listening to every now and then. With such a unique song under their belt, the girls have done a great job with it.

The music video is made up of a simple story and close up shots of the girls. I particularly like this video because of the story line. It makes me laugh. The girls find the their “partner” cheating on them (if you go by the video) or their partner has lost interest in them (if you go by the song). The girls, either way, take matters into their own hands and deal with the situation. They kidnap him, slam a car’s bonnet on top of his arm and proceed to chain him up. But that ain’t the peak of it. They wrapped him up and then chop his arm off. But the peak is where they just start performing in front of him and then leave him there to… I don’t know what plastic dolls do… rot? It was such a freaky video, but the ending could have been dramatised a little bit, don’t you think? There is also a very kinky or sexual side to the torture, though , and I guess that alludes to the fact that he hasn’t been paying attention to the girls in any way. I thought the idea of the video was amazing and most of it was. Just a little disappointed with the ending performance and then just leaving him behind. Why not bury him in a hole? He lost an arm and in real life, he would have bled to death, so might as well just get rid of him?

There are two versions to this song when we refer to the performance. First is the band version, and second of all, is the dance version. Can’t say anything about the band version, but their blank facial expressions, for some reason, fit in really well with the song. The dance gives their facial expressions a lot more freedom. But the dance is very bland and lackluster. It was kind of expected from the sound of the song. The song doesn’t necessary have the dance feel, so I don’t know why they wanted to make a dance version of this song. If anything, they should have promoted I Feel You with a dance version.

Final Rating – 8.5/10

I Feel You – Wonder Girls

Probably one of the most sought after comebacks for a very long time. It has been over two years since we heard anything from the Wonder Girls, and now they are officially back with a brand new member. I kid. A former member, Sunmi, who we all probably know as the artists who sang 24 Hours and Full Moon. She left the group a while back and has returned as the fourth member. Why fourth? Well, Sunye and Sohee both decided to leave the band officially after a lot of speculation with their departure. Sunye now has a child and Sohee says she wants to focus on an acting career. Fans did get a little Wonder Girl’s feel when Ye-Eun made her solo debut last year with Ain’t Nobody, as HA:TFELT. And beside all of that, I haven’t heard much from the band themselves in the past 2 years. But they are back with a brand new concept and new album for fans to listen to.

This time around, while they were known for their dances, Wonder Girl’s had gone for the band concept. Interesting. Regarding the song, it is totally their style. These girls have retro down as if it was child play and they once again proved to the audience why they are so great at the retro sounds. Honestly, I love this song. It is damn catchy and addictive. The instrumental, while there really isn’t anything that grand within it, managed to blow my mind away. The drum beat and the electro sounding keyboard was a pretty nice combination. The guitars were a little more subtle, but they managed to tie everything together quite well. The vocals, that we know pretty well, was pretty good as well.  The rapping fitted into the instrumental/song pretty well. However, the vocals. While they are good, they really feel like they are holding themselves back. While I cannot point to a certain style, I felt this song limited their abilities and failed to show off who they really are. Particularly Lim, she definitely held back the most, as we know her vocal capabilities, but there was none of it here. And I am going to be honest, I might have the slightest belief that this song may be a little too dry, compared to their past releases. But still, great song.

As for the music video, tick for retro.  Everything from the stage set and their clothing looks pretty retro. Minus their instruments. They do look a little too modern, particularly the drums. That start though, with Sumni, unzipping her shorts, and then there is a massive zooming in effect, really took the cake for me. Was that seriously necessary? I thought back in the day, they opened doors for that sort of effect, not unzip pants. Also, they looked very bored. They don’t seem to enjoy themselves. One stage and in the video. I am not expecting them to be having the time of their lives, but their facial expressions tell me that they rather be somewhere else. Their instrumental playing, kind of ruined their performances. While I do understand that the performances were not live instrumental performances, at least some effort to give off the illusion would have been nice.

It was a nice retro return for the retro queens with a great song. However the music video, hmmm… Maybe not so much. 8/10 (I am being too nice)

I Dance – Ivy ft. Yubin (Wonder Girls)

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Ivy recently made her anticipated comeback with a new style of a song that is one of the most amazing songs of the year so far. The actual song features Yubin from Wonder Girls. Woori from Rainbow took over Yubin after the first week of promotions, for those who don’t know. This song is one of those mashups that we all don’t like of, however this song carries a different feel of the song. This song, I admit, will not be for everyone, however I think it will be one of the hottest songs of the year. Have been quite disappointed with any songs, but I also quite like this one.

I love the instrumental of this song. It is totally amazing. The Spanish feel of the song is totally one of my favourite feels of the year. Well, not Spanish, but rumba or tango, I don’t know which is which. As you see, and probably have noticed, my knowledge of dances are quite limited. I love the vocals of Ivy in this song. It showcases her vocal talent in one go without need to of autotuning. Seriously, why have I not found such a great artist before! Her high note at the end was one of the most amazing notes that I have heard. I totally love the addition of the rap in this song. It fits in with the song and gives that song the extra beat of electro music which I totally love in this video. “I got to keep on dancing, cause tears are coming down my eyes” and the lines of the raps that follow are the actual highlight of the song, for me. It was catchy and kept into my mind. Great work Ivy and Yubin (and of course, the other artists that will join Ivy on stage).

The music video, I don’t really understand that well. The whole idea of technology with the song’s instrumental is kind of “not there”. She seems to be trapped in some kind room with some sort of torturing device that is growing her mad. Also, cameras are taking picture of her and the whole music video solo scenes seem quite quirky when you have the music right there. That or she is a drama queen and is stuck in the corner of her elevator. Also, did you see that nude tone dress with the black ropes (?) around her? Quite extreme in my point of view. Though Yubin’s scene in the music video seem quite appropriate. The ending was a little too much for me. But overall, I think the music video, beside the really weird parts, do quite well. But I am still weirded out.

Rumba or Tango, the dance is amazing. From the traditional dance of rumba or tango to the more modern version of the dance after Yubin’s addition to the song. Also Miss A’s Jia and Rainbow’s Woori have joined Ivy in place of Yubin to be the rapper and all three of them do quite a splendid job. If I want to choose one, it would most probably be Yubin because she sounds most natural, but as I said, all three sound really good.

8.5/10. Only the music video. Blame the music video. But beside that, I love everything else. I have included the music video and the three different rappers into the playlist, so check it out.