Nov 29, 2015

Song of the Week #53

f(x) - Love

"Love" is by itself an amazing song, and definitely one of the better ones off of the "Pinocchio" album, but what makes it special is that the track is a product of one of K-pop's most famous producers: Sweetune. SM generally doesn't hire those kind of freelance producers, but they did here and the result turned out fantastic. I love that although it does have that Sweetune signature sound the essence and flavor is still all f(x).

2015 MAMA Wishes And Predictions: PART 2

2015 MAMA to Return to Hong Kong on December 2

It's here! The second part of my  2015 pre-MAMA series, which also means it's the last one before the show...I think. It's only a few days until the show now, which will be held on December 2 in Hong Kong. The Melon Music Awards aka MMA have already been held, and thus it means that the award season has begun which I think is super exciting. I have learnt through the years not to care so much about these kind of award shows because they very rarely reflect the actual quality of K-pop, and that applies especially much to MAMA. I just enjoy the messiness and chaos that surrounds it, and watching fans freak out and go crazy over results is very entertaining. Of course that doesn't mean that I don't care about the results at all, because otherwise I wouldn't be making this post right?

Nov 28, 2015

Glorious Photoshoots - November Round-Up

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Kang Dong Won shoots in black and white for High Cut, and thus begins this month's photoshoot round-up which is dominated mainly by men, something that I think hasn't happened before. Either way it's always great to see the many male actors and idols participate in all kinds of gorgeous shoots.

Nov 23, 2015

In The Midst Of Controversy, IU's "Twenty-three" Is Still A Stroke Of Genius

I consider myself an IU fan. Not the most dedicated one admittedly, because I haven't listened to all of her material and I only started liking her with the release of "Modern Times", but at the current stage in her career I do casually stan her. Not only do I think she's incredibly talented, sweet and beautiful, but I appreciate that there is a female idol that's also an artist and a songwriter. Either way I was mildly excited for her upcoming mini album because I love everything she's released since 2013, as she's taken a step away from typical idol pop music and started exploring new genres and sounds with her growing musical identity. Title track "Twenty-three" might be the most radio-friendly song on the album "Chat-Shire", but it has a brutally straight-forward message that makes it everything but ordinary.

Nov 20, 2015

Suzy Looks The Best She's Ever Done For 1st Look; Overrated Who?

I know it's probably a bit overkill for me to write an entirely separate post on this photoshoot that Suzy did with 1st Look as it will end up in my December photoshoot round up, but it's over a month until then and I had to share this with you. It's well known that Miss A's Suzy is a phenomenon, but for some people, international fans most often, she's not that pretty. Like what many think about SNSD's Yoona for example; they're pretty but in a plain, average kind of way. I guess it's because of the different beauty standards of East Asia and the West, but I can totally relate because I didn't find either of the two more beautiful than any other female idol. I gave into the Yoona craze quite quickly though because let's face it, she's a doll, but Suzy took longer. 

SNS Friday #5

Hyoyeon, Yoona and Sooyoung are #squadgoals at their concert rehearsal.

Nov 19, 2015

TBT - CNBlue's "Loner"

Released: September 27, 2010

It's been over ten years and this song still manages to blow my socks off. Although this band has created a lot of great songs since "Loner" still remains one of CNBlue's absolute best tracks. It's just incredibly catchy, and the "wettoriya, wettoriya" I know was sung and parodied in all kinds of was on shows back then. It wasn't really a big shock they won their first music show award only 15 days after their debut.

Nov 18, 2015

Changmin Stars In This Week's Funniest AND Saddest Video

If you haven't heard it yet; the remaining half of TVXQ is soon joining Yunho as Changmin will be enlisting for his mandatory military service. While being in the army there is a requirement for men to have shave their hair off so that only a style similar to a buzz cut remains, so you know that the time for enlistment is coming for your favorite oppas when they show up with a shaved head. SM took the time to upload this video onto their YouTube channel, which is both incredibly depressing and also kind of hilarious. Whoever did the "Kajima" captions deserves an award because I couldn't stop laughing despite feeling upset over his departure.

Serve well Changmin and come back healthy and happy! You will me missed.

f(x) Take It To The Next Level In MV For "4 Walls"

Last Saturday f(x) held their last music show performance for this round of promotions, meaning the era of "4 Walls" is slowly coming to an end. Of course the girls have their upcoming solo concert in January and a rumored Japanese tour next year, but as far as promoting on TV this is probably it. The members have many solo activities that hinder them from any further promotions, such as musicals and movie shoots, and although this period has been short (3 weeks) it's been a good ride. Admittedly I'm very late on this MV review and it will probably be quite brief, but it feels appropriate to round up the "4 Walls" era with one last look at the video that started it.

Nov 17, 2015

Nine Muses Release Teaser Pictures; I'm Dead And Gone

So this gorgeous eight piece is coming back for the third time this year, and I couldn't be more happy about it. Although I am a bit grumpy about Nine Muses working with Brave Brothers for this comeback (someone put this man out of work, please) and not recruiting Sweetune for example, who have worked with them in the past and is the mind behind hits such as "Figaro", "News" and "Ticket". Anyhow I can't really say anything until the song is released, so I guess we just have to wait and see. The teaser pictures dropped today though, and so far I am loving what I'm seeing.

Nov 16, 2015

Twice Are Off To A Great Start With "The Story Begins"

I'm so in love with Twice at the moment, and I feel like they're a girl group that has potential of becoming quite big in the future as well which makes their debut all the more exciting. This years' girl groups have been killing it, and the rookie groups have been especially impressive on the female side. Twice may be the last "big" girl group debut we see in 2015, meaning they come from a larger company with a somewhat familiar name, and if they are then this debut will be a great way to end this lively year. "The Story Begins" is an perfectly suitable name for their first mini album because it is right here their journey starts, and it is a promising one indeed.

Nov 15, 2015

Video of the Week #14

Lovelyz - "Beat It" Acapella Cover on Sketchbook

Girl groups: YES. Girl groups harmonizing: OH YES. Girl groups harmonizing acapella: I'M DEAD AND GONE. In all honesty I love that this trend is coming back to life with several new girl groups performing acapella covers (Mamamoo being one more example), and I love that Lovelyz are showing that they do have vocal talent and aren't just a cutesy, dance-oriented group. This cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is amazing and was recently featured on a segment on FOX 32, which is truly impressive. You go girls.

Nov 13, 2015

2015 MAMA Wishes And Predictions: PART 1


Yup, it's that time of the year again. The Mnet Asian Music Awards, or MAMA, is a yearly event that gathers K-pop fans from all places in the world and puts them all against each other for one race to victory. I learnt pretty quickly getting into K-pop that MAMA is serious business, and that fandoms that usually get along can become passionate enemies if their respective groups are up for the same award.

I remember specifically in 2012 when B.A.P and EXO both were up for the rookie award and the fans were going crazy about it, but then Busker Busker came along and won instead. That moment will never fail to amuse me. This year the ceremony is taking place in Hong Kong, and the nominations were released a few days ago. Some of the categories are tough indeed, but I thought I'd give my few cents on how I think it will turn out and how I want it to turn out.

SNS Friday #4

Winner are on Instagram. YES, FINALLY.

Gayoon shares a sunny and simley photo of herself.

Long-legged beauty Hyejeong looks pretty as always.

Oh My Girl's two visuals pose together and look nothing but gorgeous.

Jinyoung blesses fans with his pretty boy looks in this selca.

Jei is so underrated it hurts me, because she's just incredibly pretty.

Ett foto publicerat av MOON (@moongom119)

Still not a fan of Hyunah's bangs, but she looks chic nonetheless.

Jungshin looks handsome as usual, even in a turtleneck.

Junghwa flaunts her comeback hairstyle and I love it.

Krystal makes an awaited appearance on her Instagram account. Love this girl.

Baro and his beer says hello from Mexico.

Lime doesn't get as much appreciation as she should. This girl is stunning.

Key always looks on point, and so he does even this week.

Hyuna and Jihyun share a photo from their trip to Argentina, where 4Minute are performing.

One third of Beast looking hot, but what else is new?

Ett foto publicerat av 유영 (@u_0lee)

Yooyoung is another underrated stunner. What wouldn't I do to look like her.

It's official. Ravi has killed me with his sexiness.

Last but not least we have Sohyun sharing a picture with Jiyoon from their Argentina outing.

Nov 12, 2015

TBT - Exid's "I Feel Good"

Released: August 14, 2012

I didn't even hear this song until way after it was released, probably around the time Exid started getting famous last year, and I couldn't believe how good it was. I still find it Superior to both "Up & Down" and "Ah Yeah", and I think it's strange it didn't get more attention when it came out. Although 2012 was one the busiest years in K-pop ever so maybe it's not so odd it got lost among all the other releases. Still an amazing song though!

Nov 10, 2015

RECAP: The 2015 Melon Music Awards

I can't honestly remember why I didn't recap more award show ceremonies last year, or it's possible I was simply too angry with the MAMA's to even care about any other show. This year however I've decided to enjoy the award season from a more relaxed viewpoint and not let myself get as stressed and emotionally involved with the entire thing. I've come to realize more that I shouldn't take them too seriously, and once I've understood that I can watch them and find them enjoyable without going crazy about my favorites not winning.

The first award show this season is the MelOn Music Awards a.k.a MMA, which is quite an interesting one. MelOn is, as you know, an online music store which means the only sales of songs and albums counted in calculating the winners are digital. Additionally the voting that's allowed by the public (the percentage varies from category to category) is limited to South Koreans only, which means international fans have no say in the matter whatsoever. This is the reason I've always found this particular award show more realistic because the result is, in my opinion, more accurate. This year however I'm not too impressed with the outcome of the ceremony.

Nov 9, 2015

Fall Boy Group Debuts: Up10tion & iKon

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Now here are two groups I was debating over even mentioning at all on this blog, but still decided to write shortly about in case it will be relevant in the future. Boy debuts in general have been fewer this year, and it's definitely been the girls that has dominated (much to my satisfaction) but there have been some memorable boy group debuts as well. I'm not sure however that at the end of the year Up10tion and iKon's debuts will be included in those.

Nov 8, 2015

Song of the Week #52

Lovelyz - How To Be A Pretty Girl

If there's one thing Lovelyz can be applauded for it's their consistent sound. They have a certain musical and aesthetic style that's their own, and although the individual songs can be hit or miss to me it's great that they've developed an identity. One song that did stand out to me in a good way on their newest mini album "Lovelyz8" was this one. It's pretty safe and harmless, but has a unique cute and quirky charm to it. Definitely my favorite on the album.

Nov 6, 2015

SNS Friday #4

 Haeryung shows her best side for the camera.

Ett foto publicerat av @kxxhara

The godly Hara looks absolutely ethereal.

Ett foto publicerat av 냥 (@yysbeast)

Yoseob looks but cute but who knows what Dongwoon is doing?

Pretty boy Yonghwa knows exactly how attractive he is.

NaLiz is back people! I love these two girls.

Hyeri show off her strength next to Iron Man.

Key is looking flawless, but what else is new?


The boys of Bangtan celebrate getting 1 million followers on the V App.

Fei takes a picture with Aaron Yan and I can't decide who I'm more jealous of.

In this week's Twice photo they announce their fanclub name: Once. I like it!

Princess Moon looks like a true goddess.

Sunmi shows her bare face and looks annoyingly beautiful.

We find another visual wonder in Woori, who always looks flawless.

And who can resist Suzy's timeless beauty? Not me anyway.

CEO Jessica Jung looks as pretty as ever.

The unbelievably handsome YoungK blesses us with a selca.

Ett foto publicerat av YURA (@yura_936)

Yura and Sojin looking sweeter than candy in this lovely couple photo.

Last but not least we have the four ladies of f(x) being flawless as per usual. 

Nov 5, 2015

f(x)'s "4 Walls" Wins #1 And Everybody Cries, Including Me

My precious, precious babies. I knew it would only be a matter of time before they won first place with "4 Walls", but it doesn't make it any less emotional. I can't even wrap my head around how successful this comeback has been, as their album shot straight to number one on Billboard's "World Albums" list as well as it has sold over 65 000 copies in its first release week, making f(x) the second girl group with the most weekly sold albums in the world. I shouldn't be surprised because I if anyone knows how much they deserve it and just how amazing this group is, but it's still shocking to witness. This group has been through so much crap and have struggled in so many ways, so for them to come back after a shaky year and prove all the haters wrong is incredibly powerful.

That's probably also why this win on "M! Countdown" meant so much to them, as they all looked both shocked and happy and later starting getting teary, with Luna and Krystal doing most of the crying. I can't even imagine how relieved they must be feeling knowing that after all the tumult people still support them and root for them, so it's not surprising that tears were shed during the encore stage (which wasn't as much a performance as it was hugging, crying and bowing). Seeing Krystal cry was especially heartbreaking because she's not a person that's very emotionally expressive, and with everything that's been going on both with f(x) and her sister she probably had a lot of feelings bottled up inside. Luna too was just a wreck, and bless MC Key's heart for coming over and consoling her. Even Amber shed some tears eventually, and only Victoria managed to stay in control of her emotions, at least on the outside.

This promotional week has only just started, and I can imagine there will be plenty more to celebrate if things are continuing this well with them. I mean, they're even having their very first solo concert after six years in late January next year (shame on you SM) so hopefully this new start for them will only mean more good things in the future. At least I know I'll always support these girls.

Congratulations my lovelies!

TBT - Ailee's "Heaven"

Released: February 8, 2012

It's a shame Ailee's debut song still is her best one, but that's definitely the case here. "Heaven" is a beautiful song and suits her, I think, so much better than this "powerful, diva Beyonce-wannabe" concept she's been going for and still is doing. Here her voice is allowed to sound gorgeous without overdoing it and forcefully pushing notes. I really like this softer, more vulnerable side of her and it's disappointing that none of her title tracks since have been ever to live up to her debut track.

f(x) Saves K-pop Once Again With Brilliant Fourth Album "4 Walls"

It's been decided. The ladies of f(x) are the actual queens of K-pop. With every single comeback they confirm that they're my ultimate female bias group, and they also confirm that they're one of the best groups out there in terms of putting out quality music. I guess you could say it all began with their 2013 album "Pink Tape", a game-changing album for them which to this day also remains my favorite, because it made people realize that f(x) might be onto something out of the ordinary. The year after they dropped "Red Light", which also was incredible and now they've come back with "4 Walls". There's nothing more to say but that f(x) has completed their holy trinity of albums.

Nov 2, 2015

Seventeen's "Boys Be" Confirms That They're One Of This Year's Best Rookie Groups

Seventeen's debut earlier this year remains one of my favorites this year so far, as they entered the scene with one hell of a song, amazing stage performances and a talent in overflow. You could tell these boys had been practicing for years because they felt nothing like rookies. As I loved "Adore You" so much I had to give their first mini album "17 Carat" a try, and I definitely liked it but not much more. With this second mini album of theirs I'm happy to say I like it much, much better because every single song on it is a jam in its own way.  "Boys Be" awesome indeed. 

Nov 1, 2015

A Few Words On CNBlue's 2015 Comeback

I was going back and forth like crazy trying to decide if I was going to review CNBlue's new full-length Korean album "2gether" when it came out, but ultimately decided not to. As many of you know I am a huge CNBlue fan and have been since their early 2013 comeback with "I'm Sorry". I liked that they were a band that did rock music with a more radio friendly sound, and started listening to their Japanese material and watching their amazing live performances as well.

Additionally I really liked all of the members, as they were all really attractive but also very talented and grounded. 2013 certainly was a good year to be a CNBlue fan, at least for me. In 2014 they came back with "Can't Stop", which came with a stunning video but a less than impressive mini album. I mean, yes, objectively it was very well done and contained some great songs, but it wasn't the kind of CNBlue I wanted to listen to. They also released a Japanese album the same year, "Wave" but that too was below my expectations. Yeah, I think you can tell where I'm going with this.

"Cinderella" wasn't a particularly good title track, and it didn't do them justice as musicians in any way. I understand that they want to try out new genres and influences, but somewhere along the road I have to decide what's worth sticking around to. I listened to "2gether" hoping to find some hidden gems in the B-sides, but I was honestly really disappointed. The only songs on it that I did like were "Footsteps", "Radio" and "Domino", where the first two are remakes of Japanese song and the latter one is a song I hate that CNBlue is behind because it's an electronica pop song.

I think part of the problem CNBlue has entered this slump is because they're producing too many songs. At this rate their releasing albums in both Korea and Japan at least once a year, and the result is that quality gets scraped for quantity. If they only spent some longer time between the albums to sort out the mediocre songs that otherwise fill the albums and focus on the actual great ones, because they have those too. They're just very rare right now. And yes I know, that's kind of always been the deal with this band; a bunch of brilliant gems hidden in averageness, but it's been worse than usual lately.

CNBLUE 2015 - 2gether
I honestly don't know how I'm feeling right now and what I should do with this group, and if it's worth sticking through the mediocre stuff for the diamonds. It certainly isn't making it any easier that their latest Japanese album "Colors", which was released only a few months ago, does contain some genuinely amazing songs.

What makes me the most confusing though is that I don't know whether it's CNBlue that's changing or if it is my perception of who they are as a band that's being changed. Either way you can tell it's been hard for me to get through this 2015 comeback era, because I've had to come to terms with how I feel for this band. I know this post is just a long, uninteresting rant but I had to get it out of my system. Perhaps some of you have felt the same way for one of your favorite bands or groups as well, and know exactly what I mean.

Maybe it's just a phase to overcome, but I can't help but to think I might be falling out of love with this band, and it pains me like crazy. CNBlue at their best are just unbelievably good, but recently they haven't been living up to my expectations. It's sad and frustrating, but unfortunately that's what happens sometimes. Like with people it's possible to outgrow a group you like as well, but it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking.

Song of the Week #51

Taeyeon - Stress

"Stress" is by far my favorite song on Taeyeon's debut solo album "I", which I by the way liked despite it being mainly dominated by ballads. This song however is more of an upbeat track, and I really, really like it. Taeyeon sounds great, the melody and dynamics of the song are awesome and it also kind of amuses me how she's singing about smoking cigarettes, being a female idol and all.