This is probably the collaboration of the century. Zico is a very well-known producer known for his chart-topping hits such as I Am You, You Are Me and Boys and Girls. IU is the digital queen, with all her songs taking over the charts as soon as they are released. So it was no surprise that their collaboration rose quickly to the top of the charts. And that is why we are here today – to review this highly anticipated (yet very unexpecting) collaboration.
SoulMate begins with the vocals of both collaborators. Zico’s vocals seem to change a little each time, complimenting the style of the song. IU’s signature husky vocals are definitely impactful here. Together, there is this extremely smooth feel. The instrumental has this subtle jazz vibe, which was nice. I liked how despite the song being notably Zico (as he produced it), it could easily have slipped into IU’s albums. Zico’s rap was nice and I liked how IU sang along with some of the rap lines. The choruses wasn’t that memorable in my opinion, however, it reminded me of Spring, which is fast approaching. My favourite bit of the song was the bridge, where both singers seem to push themselves a little further, allowing that section of the song to resonate with me. Overall, the song does really speak volumes when you listen to it as a whole and with this quality of music, it is no wonder why they always top charts.
While this may look like the longest elevator wait ever, you all should come to my university. You will be able to replay the song a few times before any elevator opens up. Putting that aside, I thought the video was a nice way of presenting the idea of finding soulmates. I liked the small cameo that Crush made, with this blue hair being a very obvious giveaway (I know he recently returned but I couldn’t think of anything regarding his song). I was also surprised as both artists appeared in the video, which isn’t a usual case for some collaborations (i.e. one artist is usually absent).
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Review – 8/10
It is time to announce the winners of the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. This is the first year ever that you (the readers) got the opportunity to vote and pick out the winners of each category (excluding a few). Let me just start by saying thank you for all those who participated in the voting process, as you all made this possible.
The respective gifs for each category represent the winners which you voted for, while I have put down my pick for the category. I have opted to not do a commentary this year due to the already long length of this post.
BEST MALE GROUP DEBUT
Author’s Choice – Wanna One
BEST FEMALE GROUP DEBUT
Author’s Choice – Dream Catcher
BEST SOLOIST DEBUT
Author’s Choice – Jung Sewoon
Author’s Choice – NU’EST W
Author’s Choice – Gugudan 5959
BEST CO-ED GROUP
Author’s Choice – KARD
BEST MALE SOLOIST
Author’s Choice – Bobby (iKON)
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
Author’s Choice – Sunmi
Author’s Choice – DAY6
Author’s Choice – Bobby (iKON)
BEST JAPANESE SONG BY A KOREAN ARTIST
Author’s Choice – One More Time (TWICE)
Author’s Choice – Bye Babe (Chen & 10CM)
Author’s Choice – Gashina (Sunmi)
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Author’s Choice – You In Me (KARD)
BEST MALE GROUP
Author’s Choice – SEVENTEEN
BEST FEMALE GROUP
Author’s Choice – Red Velvet
BEST NON-TITLE TRACK SONG
Beautiful – Pentagon
And there you have it, the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Award Winners. Congratulations to all! Hopefully, the artist’s that you picked came out on top and were victorious.
As for the BEST SONG OF THE YEAR award, it will be published in a separate post. For this year, the winning song will be the song that tops the End Of Year Charts (to be published on the 15th of January).
NOTE: YOUR VOTES MAKE UP 50% OF THE END OF YEAR CHARTS, WITH THE OTHER 50% CONTRIBUTED BY ME.
Yesterday, I wrote my review for Zico’s other recent song, Artist. After finishing off my review, I found out that Zico also released Anti‘s music video. I decided to write a separate review for Anti because the music video seemed like something that is worth talking about and it was a little late for me to make it a double review. So, while it is a day late, here is my review for Anti.
Anti, first glance, sounded like a great song and it gets better as you listen to more of it. I personally think the instrumental was pretty good. Firstly, it suited Zico’s rap and G.Soul’s vocals. It did feel a little lacking at times, but for the most part, I thought otherwise. I like it how the instrumental changes up slightly as the song went on, by adding an extra element to the instrumental. It keeps it from getting boring. Zico’s raps felt very dead at the start, but as it progressed you could feel some energy flowing from his lines. If I had felt that energy from the start (or earlier in the song), I think I would have liked the song even more. G.Soul’s vocals were perfect for this song, with the chorus being the main highlight of the song. There were two things that irked me though. The first was the pronunciation of the word ‘Anti‘. It sounded more like ‘Auntie‘, which would have been a completely different song. Secondly, it was the abrupt ending that felt like an edge of the cliff. It doesn’t do it for me. But overall, still a great song!
When I said the video seemed decent, it looked amazing. Definitely got the mysterious and eerie vibes in which the video was presented from the very start. The two ladies standing on the road reminded me of American Horror Story latest season. Zico seemed to be shot in the video and he is shown to travel to hell (hence the burning room) or heaven (which I think was the toilet seat scenes). The video halts before G.Soul comes in to replace Zico. I think, in the end, he was just watching a film on the television, which he ends up turning off. And the ending serves as the start of the Artist video. It is a very confusing video but it has great aesthetics and suited the song quite nicely.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8/10
Zico, the main rapper from Block B, is back with a brand new mini-album, titled as Television. The main title track of the release is Artist. Alongside Artist, Zico did also release another music video for Anti, which features G.Soul. I actually finished this review and then just found out about the Anti music video so I will write a separate review for it tomorrow. The video looks promising.
Artist takes you back to the more upbeat and rap centred tracks that Zico was initially known for. While there are many singing segments to this song, Zico’s return to rapping felt much needed. Sure, he has many great tracks where he had a more melodic centrepiece but Zico rapping in a solo song felt like a distant memory. Obviously, his vocals and raps are amazing, per usual. It might have been an artistic choice but I did feel like the delivery of the rap was a lot weaker. It did fit the song, but it needed a little more energy to make it sound bolder and more distinctive. Artist had a fun and bright vibe, which (and I say this a lot) suits the current season. While you can tell there was the obvious hip-hop influenced moments in the song, there were other parts that felt more pop-like. But that might be my ears telling me otherwise. Overall, I thought it was a great song.
This video does a pretty good job at trying to be quirky. The individual scenes seem to be pretty tame standalone. But once you put them together, it is a little more out there. I thought the interaction between Zico and the people around him added more energy to the video, which felt needed. I say that because the video felt very standard and neutral for the most part (i.e. there was nothing that made the video stand out). The dancing school girls did catch my attention. Their facial expressions throughout their parts made me laugh. The bright and outdoor feel seems to suit the song’s sound quite nicely. You may notice that there was a small bit of choreography in the video. While I don’t think a stage version will be available anytime soon, it looked fun.
Song – 8/10 Music Video – 7/10 Overall Rating – 7.5/10
Zico, the leader and main rapper of Block B, is finally back. He also happens to be one of the biggest solo acts active at the moment. Zico has a massive portfolio ranging from solo tracks, such as I Am You, You Are Me, to songs in which he produced such as Flower Road by Gugudan’s Sejeong. She’s A Baby has been rivalling IU’s chart-topping songs since its release. Block B also recently made a comeback with Yesterday as well.
Each time Zico releases music, it is always something that is different and doesn’t fit his past styles. And I like that about Zico, the fact that he is not afraid to try. However, this comes at a big risk as it will be hard to satisfy everyone’s taste in music. Sadly, that is the case with this song for me. I don’t really enjoy it that much. The song feels quite bare. There really isn’t that much to the instrumental. The guitar really stands out, mainly because there really isn’t much to accompany it or overpower it. It also makes the song feel jagged and disjointed. His voice seems to tie all the jagged fragments together and the way he sang some parts gave the song a more dynamic profile, something that the instrumental would have usually provided. The tempo of the track is also worth talking about because it makes the song feel quite slow. But somehow the track ends feeling like a 1 minute, rather than the 3 minutes it actually goes for. I wouldn’t say this is a bad song, it just doesn’t appeal to my taste.
The music video seems to be shot in the same style as Ladies Code’s Galaxy. Likewise, I have no idea what is going on in this video. My guess is that Zico and the girl are in love. But Zico finds out that the girl he loves is like a baby, but he finds that cute. So instead, Zico adopts a more caring side rather romantic side. Instead of letting her eat a cupcake with candy sprinkles on top, he swaps it for a carrot cupcake. He sleeps on the floor instead, while giving her the bed. All seem to support what I think. But I would like to hear (or read) other theories. Videos like this are quite nice to watch and fascinating because they make you think about what is happening. Some things are not explicitly shown, and you have to fill in the gaps. The use of colour in this video also makes it look cool. Despite what I said at the end of the song review, I feel like this video did drag out the song. It may be problematic for some songs, but not that much with this song.
Song – 6/10 Music Video – 9/10 Overall Rating – 7.2/10
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.
VROMANCE (Honourable Mention)
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).
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Winner)
I.O.I (Honourable Mention)
BLACKPINK (Honourable Mention)
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.
Zico (Block B) (Winner)
Eric Nam (Honourable Mention)
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.
Taeyeon (SNSD) (Winner)
Hyosung (Secret) (Honourable Mention)
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.
GOT7 (Honourable Mention)
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.
Oh My Girl (Honourable Mention)
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.
Wings (2nd Studio Album) – BTS (Winner)
Carnival (5th Mini Album) – B.A.P (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.
Skydive – B.A.P (Winner)
Blood, Sweat & Tears – BTS (Honourable Mention)
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.
Hard Carry – GOT7 (Winner)
The Eye – Infinite (Honourable Mention)
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.
Decalcomanie – Mamamoo
Hard Carry – GOT7
Find Me – Hyosung (Secret)
Secret – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
Windy Day – Oh My Girl
And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……
VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN
Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!
I am officially back everyone. And finally, I am moving along with the posts. This is the replacement to the normal Best of the Bests that I do at the end of each year. Essentially, they are the same thing, just a different name for them. This is just for fun and is just my thoughts relayed into a post. I did want to include you guys in the voting this time around, but because of my vacation, I had skipped over it. Maybe next year, if nothing pops up.
I usually post the nominees up in a separate post. However, because of time constraints, I have linked the nominees on a separate page by clicking the link below, instead of writing them out.
This award goes to the groups that have seen the most growth in 2016. Past winners have risen from the rookie status (usually) or ‘nugu’ status and conquered the year they were awarded in. Looking back there are a number groups that took over 2016. But the rising star award goes to Twice and Seventeen. It is quite obvious why. Both groups had a following already in 2015 but 2016 saw more success, proving them to be a force to look out for.
This award is self-explanatory, given to the song that has the best instrumental. This is something that I talk about in review and is vital to the song (though I have heard amazing acapella in the past). It seems like simple took out the award this year with the instrumental of The Rain by Ladies Code taking out the award. But don’t worry because the EDM based song Fire by BTS took out Honourable Mention.
The Rain – Ladies Code (Winner)
Fire – BTS (Honourable Mentions)
Comeback after comeback after comeback. It is like shifting through a needle in a haystack. Any artist could have been nominated for this but I chose VIXX as the winner for this. Their comebacks have been consistent but unique each time. Their releases have you asking what they have planned next. As for honourable mentions, BTS takes it. Given their releases in the past year, I have to say I was very impressed.
BTS (Honourable Mentions)
It seems like subunits have dropped off the trends list this year. Actually, they have become quite rare. That being said, there have been some notable subunits in 2016. My pick for the winner is EXO-CBX, which consists of Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin. Their song, Hey Mama, was extremely catchy and fun to listen to. Honourable mention go to NCT Dream for their release of the fun and equally catchy Chewing Gum (plus they performed on hoverboards).
NCT Dream (Honourable Mention)
Not a big fan of rapping but I have to be honest, there are many great rappers here that show me otherwise. A few rappers in idol groups have released mixtapes this year as part of their solo work, further showing their influence on the industry. The winner I have chosen is Zico (Block B). All of his solo releases and collaborations have been extremely popular and successful in the past year. Honourable mention goes Suga (BTS), whose mixtape and work within BTS have also amazed me this year.
Zico (Block B) (Winner)
Suga (BTS) (Honourable Mention)
Vocals are something that I admire the most. So, it was rather hard for me to narrow down just 5 nominees, particularly since there were more shows where vocalists of different idol groups and actors/actresses could participate in. My radar jumped when I heard the winner sing on those shows. I am talking about Sandeul (B1A4), whose voice sounded amazing in his solo work and collaborations on Duet Song Festival. I chose Mamamoo for honourable mention as their vocals are no joke, slaying with almost everything they release.
Sanduel (B1A4) (Winner)
Mamamoo (Honourable Mention)
Collaborations are still popular and with SM Entertainment’s SM Station in full effect for 2016, we saw a more diverse range of collaborations that have never been seen before. My pick for the best collaboration of 2016 is Hit Me by MOBB, which is a collaboration between Mino (Winner) and Bobby (iKON). Honourable mentions go to Tiffany (SNSD) and SanE for their SM Station track, Heartbreak Hotel.
Hit Me – MOBB (Winner)
Heartbreak Hotel – Tiffany (SNSD) ft. SanE (Honourable Mention)
BEST NON-TITLE SONG
These songs include songs that were simply released as a part of the album but forgotten as it was never promoted. Some of them were performed with the title track for one week but have since not been performed. Songs that deserve some sort of recognition as well. My pick of honourable mention is I Miss You by Mamamoo, which was included in their first studio album. The winner of the best non-title song goes to Sistar with their track: String. String is actually one of the few songs that are not a title track that was replayed constantly on my phone.
Zico, the main rapper from Block B, has been releasing solo songs after songs for quite some time. And sadly, for certain reasons, his songs have been falling through the gap. But now, Zico’s newest release shall be reviewed. I make it sound like an honour, it just a song that I have time to review.
This is the first time that Zico has released a ballad for one of his solo releases. And out of his numerous releases, I think this one has to be one of the best. Now I am not saying that because I feel like I feel bad for not reviewing his songs, but I am saying that because it was genuinely amazing. The song still maintains its hip hop roots with the music getting you to head bop along to it. The chorus to the song is really catchy and I think makes the song that much more addictive. To be honest, I don’t pay attention to Zico that much, but this song caught my attention from the very start. I love how he manipulated his mostly powerful and skilful raps into a softer sound to fit the ballad feel. Not once did he go back to powerful and kept it at that soft level for the whole song.
The music video is a little interesting to watch. We have this store that sells almost nothing (but that is just another story). In the store, there is this girl who tends to the cash register and probably is the only employee (maybe she is the boss of the place?) of the store. There is also one customer the whole time at the start, which is Zico. He goes to the store at the same time, each day. The two start to notice each other and realize that they wear the same thing. The same shirt (maybe different colour), similar colours, even their show laces were untied. I find Zico quite handsome in some parts of the video, but it is clear that there is quite a lot of make up. It is an interesting way to say “I am You, You are Me”, but is makes most sense. The set seemed quite nice and did a good protrayal as if the two are the only people on the planet (might explain why the place is dead for all of the video). The ending also looked like they were flirting (see above), but more like it was used to represent the title. It is a good video with a nice idea.
if Zico keeps puting out songs like this (and Eukra), then I am game to revieiwing all his songs. I just did not have the time at the end of the year to review all these songs he put out. But might start doing all of them now! 9/10
2015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 1 of the BOBs and part 2 will be released tomorrow with the rest of the categories. Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!
These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).
RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention
Each year, artists see a rise in popularity. May that be due to great songs or great publicity (after all: any publicity is good publicity), this year was no difference. Each of these artists, I have personally seen, some sort of boost in popularity this year. And I get to choose two winners (one male and one female) for this certain category. For this year, I have nominated:
My pick is: EXID and BTOB. Both teams saw a rise in popularity due to one particular member, and slowly each member in each group is become well known in the industry. Keep up the good work, EXID and BTOB!!!
A song is not a song without an instrumental. And in KPOP, the instrumental plays a massive part in hooking us in and getting us addicted to the music. Especially for foreign and international fans who don’t understand the Korean language 100%. So many great instrumentals this year, here are the nominees:
Out of all the nominees, there can be only one winner: Wonder Girls – I Feel You. The girls returned to the stage with a brand new band concept, which totally wowed me. This instrumental has its own retro vibe and I personally enjoyed it a lot. From the drums to the keyboard and guitars, the girls totally deserve this. By far one of the most underrated songs, that definitely deserve an award! Honourable Mentions: F(x) – 4Walls
BEST JAPANESE SONG
I also do some Japanese songs on this site. Hahaha… Yeah, I review some Japanese songs from time to time. The variety of singers that I listen to for Japanese songs is usually limited to only the Japanese songs released by Korean artists. This year, the category has been dominated by Korean artists and I hope next year, I can start to review more Japanese artists! Here are the nominees:
I think, I was most addicted to Beast – Can’t Wait To Love You. And that was my pick for Best Japanese Song. It was song that I felt did not fall into the typical Korean Pop or Japanese Pop genres and was pretty unique on its own. As for honourable mentions: BTS – For You.
Big name comebacks this occurred and they all managed to rock our socks off. Hahaha… I take into account: song, concept, promotions, looks, impact and a few more categories and suprisngly, the biggest artists that emerge from the Golden Age of KPOP were nominated:
Out of all the comebacks nominated, the one that fitted the criteria the most would have been Big Bang. 2015 was one big year for the band, and they had such an unique concept in terms of promotion. SNSD takes away honourable mention for this category.
Unfortunately, 2015 did not continue the 2014 trend of subunits. However, some new subunits formed from popular bands and some old favourite returned. Here is who I think should be nominated as best subunit:
This one was a little close for me. But I am going to say Donghae and Eunhyuk, which is a subunit belonging to Super Junior. Their song was by far an amazing and left a more long lasting impact on me than the others. The other subunit that gets honourable mention is VIXX LR, which is a duo made up of Leo and Ravi.
2015 saw a new wave of contestant based TV shows around rapping and hence many artists have seen a boost in popularity after appearing on these shows. Other rappers also remained on stage as part of their groups and amazed the audience continuously during each comeback. Here are the nominees:
Out of all the rappers on the light, I picked Mad Clown as a winner. His song was a hit, it was a great song (now) and while he is not part of some group, he still managed to be placed ahead of everyone this year. Zico (Block B) took out Honourable Mention for his active year. Interestingly enough, both selected artists had someone featuring in their song.
When there are rappers, there are also singers. 2015 also saw new programs (and our old favourites) made specifically for the vocalists of all groups. Some vocalists we know have always amazed us, but others have just emerged and became trends for 2015. Based purely on what they sound like, here are the nominees:
I think this category has the most obvious winner, Taeyeon (SNSD). Yeah, she was quite active as an artist, but her debut for I blew everyone away. As for honourable mention, it goes to Solji (EXID). Her performance of Maria still replays in my head. Her powerful vocals in EXID’s performance are also quite amazing.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
While the above category looked like at vocal performance, the Best Male Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:
There is only one artist on this list that managed to wow me the very moment I listened to the song and that artist is Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite). His whole album did wonders and is an album that I am continuously going back to. As for honourable mentions, Lee Hong Ki (FT Island) wins that. His solo debut song was well received and I reviewed it as an amazing ballad.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
While the above category(Best Vocalist) looked like at vocal performance, the Best Female Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:
Once again, I am going to give it to Taeyeon (SNSD). Vocally, stunning. It was memorable and lovely to listen to. Honourable Mention was a close call, but Amber (F(x)) stole it from Gain (Brown Eyed Girls). So catchy and bright.
And that is it for Part 1 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, where I will post the second part of the BOBs, with Best Song, Best Male and Female Rookie; and Best Male and Female groups (plus a few more categories).
*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.
Code: RED FONT – WINNERS BLUE FONT – HONOURABLE MENTION
BEST ROOKIE GROUP
2014, like the past few years, have seen so many new KPOP bands debut. So many new bands, so much that I have a really difficult job to select certain artists and also keep up with the old styles. 2014 saw the big 3 companies debut their own groups, but I have to be honest, the stand outs came mostly from the smaller companies. One group in particular stood out from the rest: Mamamoo. Harmony and totally different style from what we are used to. Honourable mentions go to GOT7.
The one song that is overlooked by everyone on the album is the instrumental. I freaking love instrumentals, and this year, KPOP decided to tease me with so many new instrumentals. That being said, this year the winner of Best Instrumental is Ain’t Nobody by Ye-Eun (Ha:tFelt). Honourable mentions go to Sugar Free by T-Ara.
KPOP = Singing. There for it is only right for this year to have an award for Best Vocals, right? Well, the winner goes to Ha:tfelt – Ye Eun (Wonder Girls). I was so amazed by here singing this year that it blew my mind, particularly her title track Ain’t Nobody. Honourable mentions go to IU (yes, I think most of us agree).
Many KPOP songs have many rapping parts. At the same time, rappers need some recognition. Though, I feel my choice this year could be a little odd, only one person (in my opinion) did a really amazing job. Junhyung from Beast did a wonderful job in Good Luck, 12:30 and the many songs he featured in. Zico from Block B takes Honourable Mentions.
Since 2013, many subunits have been on trend. Even though subunits have been losing trend, many bands this year debuted their own subunits. However, I think we should move away from the new subunits. Cause this year an old subunit wins. Orange Caramel steals Best Subunit with release of three different songs. Honourable mentions goes to Rainbow Blaxx.
The new trend for 2014. Collaborations between artists have been on the rise. This year though, if you were a KPOP fan for a while, you would know already who the winner is. Soyu & JungGiGo’s Some steals the show, topping the end of year charts conducted in South Korea and winning Best Song as well on the SBS Music Festival. Well of course they would win, considering that they SLAYED the charts. Honourable Mentions go to Sane and Raina’s collaboration, Midsummer Night’s Sweetness.
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
This year there has been so many stars that have started to become more popular. The nominees tend to be bands that have debuted in the previous year, and with help of comebacks, started to become well known in the industry. I think for the first time ever, I am going to be honest and put forward two winners to this category. First of all, BTS say a boost in popularity and have become a band that I look forward to listening to. Second of all AOA saw new popularity with release of Miniskirt, Short Air and Like A Cat. Both bands, obviously, rose a lot this year and I found it hard to differentiate them.
BEST JAPANESE SONG
If you don’t know (I won’t be surprised) I also review some Japanese song. 2015 will be the year where I start to review more Japanese songs for you all. However, 2014 also had a lot of catchy and cool Japanese songs. The winner for this year is Korean boy band MYNAME’s F.F.Y. Such a catchy song. As for honourable mentions, it goes to AAA’s Showtime.
KPOP is also known for its dancing. 2014 saw some interesting dances, catchy dances, and some dances that have no words to describe it. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing. This year, T-ara took the position as best dance. It was probably the most addictive dance and it was pretty easy as well. It matched the song and most importantly, I loved it. Honourable mentions to Infinite’s Back.
A brand new category for 2014. Every award show or some kind of award giving platform has the “best album” award. And yes, this year, there are so many freaking great albums (like any other year). In my opinion, the best album of the year goes to F(x)’s Red Light. All, if not most, of the songs were amazing to listen to and were so great. Every freaking song was different, and though that maybe risky, F(x) pulled it off as a flowing album. Honourable Mentions goes to AKMU’s Play.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
Solos don’t tend to be the trend this year. Some bands saw new members branch into a solo career, however it seems like more and more KPOP idols (whether male or female) are branching out to acting or variety shows. However, the winner to this category is a person who started offically his own solo career with a lot of experience in the music industry. Crush is the winner. Damn, this dude’s songs are so good. You should check them out. Honourable mentions: JungGiGo.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
It seems like more and more females are branching out onto the stage. We saw many KPOP divas making their solo debuts on the stage with new and fresh songs from bands like T-Ara or Secret. We already have divas who have accomplished a start to their solo career and saw comebacks of very big names. This year, one solo stood out and that is Secret’s Song Ji Eun. Releasing her first solo mini album, she did quite well considering the competition she was going through. Honourable Mentions goes to Sunmi.
BEST FEMALE GROUP
Sexy concept by girl groups have been on the rise. If you know me well, then you probably already know my pick. However, so many girls groups made their comeback this year. Some picked up a lot of popularity and saw massive wins for the first time. Girl’s Day hitted big with their amazing single Something. They later went on to release Darling and I Miss You. Being one of the biggest girl groups of the year, they were sure to pick some prize up. APINK steals honourable mentions this year with their massive single Mr Chu and their latest hit Luv, which blew up and swept all the December trophies for 2014.
BEST MALE GROUP
There have always been a large influx of boy groups and this year it is no different. I was so impressed I was just going to choose all 10 nominees as winners. However, there can only be one winner (well, technically), so I guess I have to choose one. I am going to put down VIXX. They released Eternity and Error this year and both songs were hits for the band. Not only that, they displayed great dance moves and skills. Beast takes out honourable mentions with Good Luck and 12:30, both being very great songs that also delivered like what VIXX had to show. (Just VIXX nudged a head a little bit).
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
This year, most of my Best Music Video Nominees saw the depressing side of KPOP. 8 music videos had this sad or dark storyline to tell. 2 music videos were made in a soft hearted and were really cheerful. G.o.D’s music video for The Story Of Our Lives, told the amazing bond between family and that the outside will never be able to define the inside. Megan Lee features in the song and both band and soloist did an amazing job singing and pouring out their emotions. By the way, SM made a video outside of the box. F(x)’s Red Light, takes honourable mention.
25 songs were nominated for Best Song for 2014. All were to an excellent standard. There were clear stands out. Something by Girl’s Day, EXID’s Up and Down and Beast’s Good Luck are this year’s honourable mentions. However, which song took Best Song category for 2014? Check the song and music video down below.