Jan 31, 2016

Song of the Week #59

Infinite - Love Of My Life

I tend not to listen as much to idol groups' Japanese music as much, despite them being my bias (SHINee's Japanese stuff for example is for the most part horrid), but I came across this song of off Infinite's newest Japanese album on my Tumblr feed a while ago and decided to give it a go. I cannot explain with words how this song made me feel inside, as it brought all kinds of emotions up to the surface, and if there's still anyone out there claiming this isn't a vocal group I would show them this and leave them just as speechless I was. Oh my goodness do they sound good; no not good, perfect. If you haven't listened to it yet you're seriously missing out on some rock-ballad brilliance with some of the best vocal work I've seen from this group.

Jan 30, 2016

Jan 29, 2016

SNS Friday #15

Another week, another SNS Friday. The gorgeous Hyomin starts it off with this divine selca.

(A Late) TBT - After School's "Shampoo"

Released: April 27th, 2011

After School's leader (and last remaining original member) Jungah announced yesterday that she was graduating from the group, a.k.a leaving. Her contract had expired and she decided not to renew, and while I can totally understand why it doesn't make it less sad. I have know idea what Pledis are doing right now because it seems they've completely given up on the group, as they have not had a comeback in almost three years. I do feel a disbandment coming up which sucks because I love this group and their discography, but hopefully Orange Caramel will still be around at least. Anyway, here is one of my favorite After School songs and videos, and I can assure you there will be more of their hits in the future.

Jan 28, 2016

SM Announces New "Infinite" Boy Group NCT (A.K.A The Korean AKB48) And I'm Already Over It

You can always count on SM to do something on a grander scale, but I really didn't think something like this would actually happen. Rumors have been going around that their upcoming rookie boy group would have a rotational member system (like what After School had/has), but this is taking it to and beyond the next level. Apparently at a recent conference of some sorts, the heads of SM officially announced the birth of this new project called  NCT, which stands for New Culture Technology (a terrible name, in my opinion). This group will be composed of different teams and units who will promote in different countries and cities all over the world, and there will be no limit as to how many members can join and leave (or switch units even?). Like with EXO, when there still was a distinct K and M seperation, one song will be released for the entire group and the units will release one of their own in the language of the country they're promoting in.

I'm going to be serious here; this does not sound like a good idea to me. Of course since it's SM fangirls will hop on the train anyway, but I personally think I would have a hard time getting into this institution. First of all, the aspect of having an unlimited amount of members concerns me, and the fact that they're all going to promote simultaneously in different parts of the world will make it genuinely difficult to follow any of them properly. The main issue at hand here, at least for me, is that this shows just how replaceable and interchangeable all these trainees are and that they are just a product that can easily be added in and thrown away. It's not fair to any of the boys and also won't be easy for their potential fans to see new members come and go all the time. What one can hope for is that they will face the same fate that Super Junior did back in the day, as they were also supposed to be a rotational group but SM later realized that it wouldn't be a great idea because the existing members were getting too popular. Now I have to say that although I'm highly skeptical of this concept I can't actually condemn it before the actual debut happens, so I might be wrong, but my instincts tell me otherwise.

Jan 27, 2016

8 Favorite Female Voices In K-pop

SPICA Lend Voices for OST of “Super Daddy 10″

Putting together this list was actually a lot harder than the male one I did months ago, and although I'm not entirely sure why (as there are plenty of female idols with amazing voices) I do have an idea. Since I, a heterosexual female, am the one putting together these lists the boys already have an advantage because they are, well, boys. Naturally I'm more attracted to male voices in general, and while there are some female voices I knew right from the bat I wanted to include here some I had to dig deeper to find. Nonetheless I did manage to put together this compliation of female vocalists, in no particular order, and like with the male version it's in no way representative of whom I find the most skillfull (although those two overlap too of course). Additionally this list only includes idols from K-pop groups, so that means that other extremely talented vocalists might be left out because they're singers rather than idols.

GFriend Makes A Seasonal Comeback With "Rough"

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It's highly fascinating that GFriend recently celebrated their one year anniversary, and that their debut song "Glass Bead" was released an entire year ago when it feels just like yesterday. I still remember it all so clearly, and I have this review to help me recall what I first thought about them, which wasn't all fun and games. However my perception of them quickly changed when I understood just how talented they were (and how awesome their songs were) but most prominently how high they set the bar for live performances for rookie groups. So when "Me Gustas Tu" dropped later during the year I was already 100% sold, and they're climbing up my bias list with every new performance I watch of them. This means that of course I was excited for their new comeback, and if you wonder whether I think they brought it this time again? Yes, yes and yes again.

Jan 25, 2016

The Legend Makes Their First Comeback Of The New Year With "Crush On You"

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The Legend is just one of those groups I really do want to stan, and kind of already are, but there are a lot of things that speak against them. One of the factors I weigh in when deciding if I should become a serious fan of a group or not is what potential they have to grow and expand, and for rookie groups that's especially important. Stanning a group from a tiny company with no real influence or money can be hard because that ultimately means you'll see less of them (no award shows, year-end festivals, high-quality reality series and cut music show performances), and that's not what you want for your favorite groups. The Legend is, unfortunately, at that end of the spectrum which means that although I like them I can't commit to them because I don't want to set myself up for disappointment (knowing my weak heart). Still that doesn't mean I can't enjoy them casually and write a review for their new single "Crush On You", which came out January 20th.

Jan 24, 2016

Video of the Week #17

Jessica Jung - Gravity (Sara Bareilles cover)

I didn't even know how much I missed hearing Jessica's voice until I heard her cover this song, which by the way is beautiful in itself. Jessica's vocal tone is one that you either love or hate, and depending on how it's used I can go either way, but she suits songs like this one perfectly. Release an album soon, please!

Jan 23, 2016

Favorite Award Show Performances - 2016 SMA & GDA

I do love award shows, and although I love watching my favorites win what I like the most are the many enjoyable performances these shows often offer. Admittedly many of my faves do win awards, but that's just an added bonus. Another enjoyable aspect are the interactions that occur between different group members, and watching them dig and jam along to each other's music. I didn't quite have the will to do a full recap of these award shows, but I did find the time to at least present to you some of my favorite performances.

Jan 22, 2016

SNS Friday #14 - SMA, ISAC, GDA & More!

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The gorgeous ladies of Sistar are all smiles (and kisses) backstage at SMA earlier this week, and what a busy week it has been. Not only has it been filled with different award shows but the recording of the annual program everyone loves to hate (or is the other way around?) ISAC, so many of the photos from this week will be from one of those occasions. But of course there are some ordinary, yet lovely, selcas and pictures of your favorite idols this week as well.

Jan 20, 2016

4Minute Finally Announces Comeback Date - And It's The Same Date As Winner's


I'm so excited that 4Minute are finally making their comeback after almost one entire year since their last promotions with "Crazy" (which you should all know by now that I adored), and they just dropped a first teaser image with a name and a date; "Act 7" on February 1st. Already I'm enjoying what I'm seeing, as the name itself sounds pretty cool and judging by the image only it looks like they'll be going for a strong concept this time around too. What is funny though is that on the exact same date Winner is releasing their comeback mini album, and as you know I've been looking forward to theirs just as much if not more, considering it's been even longer since their last promotions.

Without a doubt this will be the first real battle of 2016, as January has been awfully empty on releases so far (leaving me with less posts to write, explaining this blog's recent sparseness), and although I don't like it when fans take these battles too seriously and start badmouthing the other groups a little rivalry is always fun. Especially since these groups are so different from one another (unlike the girl group battle last summer) and their fanbases are totally different it will be exciting, but there are some unpredictable similarities as well. Both groups are heavily involved in the making of their respective comebacks, as the boys of Winner have been actively participating in the songwriting and composing and the ladies of 4Minute both in songwriting, performance crafting and styling.

 Now there's less that two weeks to go until what I feel like 2016 actually kicks off with comebacks and new releases, and I can't wait!

Jan 17, 2016

Song of the Week #58

Winner (Mino & Taehyun) - Pricked

My expectations for Winner's 2016 comeback has been sky high ever since the release date was announced, and with the mysterious yet awesome teaser videos that have dropped since my excitement and anxiety has grown bigger and bigger. Of course I long for their comeback, but what if I end up totally disappointed? Well so far that isn't the case, because pre-release track "Pricked" is absolutely beautiful. Now give me the album, damn it!

Jan 15, 2016

SNS Friday #13

Since it's cold and winter where I currently am my jealousy towards Hyorin on her paradise vacation is even bigger. She looks amazing as well!

Jan 14, 2016

TBT - A Pink's "Hush"

Released: May 8, 2012

I realize now that it's been an awfully long time since I've done one of these...sorry! Believe it or not, "Hush" was actually my first encounter with A Pink, and I remember really liking the song and thinking they were all super pretty; and looked completely identical too. This is also their last comeback with former member Yookyung (yeah, I barely remember her either) and the one leading up to their smash hit "No No No".

Jan 11, 2016

Dal Shabet Scores The First Comeback Of 2016 With "Someone Like U"

2016 year will be the year of rising girl groups; or at least I hope so considering other, slightly older yet still struggling groups like Fiestar gaining momentum during the latter half of 2015 and Exid skyrocketing to fame , as well as with other newer girl groups making impressive debuts. There are so many girl groups that are deserving of fame and success, with groups like Nine Muses (who debuted in 2010) and Rainbow (in 2009!) who are still barely keeping it together, and Dal Shabet debuted way back in 2011 and have yet to hit it big. Recently the group went through some member changes, perhaps because of their lack of success, as Jiyool and Gaeun left the group. Now it consists of Serri, Ahyoung, Subin and Wohee, and with this comeback they've returned to a familiar sound. I don't know if it's enough to change their career completely but I know for sure they're onto something great with "Someone Like U".

Jan 10, 2016

Video of the Week #16

Exid - Hot Pink (Acoustic soju version)

This is literally the best thing I've heard from Exid in all of 2015, at least performance-wise. I'm not the biggest fan of "Hot Pink" as a song but this acoustic version is delicious. The vocals are on point, the harmonies are flawless and I love it when Hani sings in her lower register. Such a great version.

Ok But Can We Talk About This For A Second?

WHO ALLOWED THIS? I mean, I already love this group to death and yet they're still trying to actually kill me. I'm so here for this trashy rock group aesthetic and can't wait to see what kind of music they'll put out this time, because right now Winner is the only group in YG I can actually stand. Tomorrow the first single will be released (or I think so) and it's a NamSong duet (Taehyun and Mino), and it's said to be the first part of this "Exit Movement". Hopefully this will mean they'll promote for a longer time this time around and with several singles, because after the iKon-fest last year they definitely should have at least three comeback singles.

And also, Mino needs to stop, like seriously. Is every member going to release a teaser film like this?; because I'm not sure my heart can take it. Who taught you to kiss like that, huh? And who is that lucky girl whom I wish I was every second I watch Mino's hands around her face. Seriously, he needs to stop right now or I don't know if I'll live to even witness the comeback.

Jan 9, 2016

My Most Biased Biases of 2015

I'll always have my biases (Jonghyun, Nana, Seohyun, Sunggyu, Yunho being the most prominent ones), and while some of them change from time to time most of them stay the same once I've actually settled on whom I like the best. This year quite a lot of new groups have debuted, so naturally I have gained a few more biases along the way (whether they're temporary or permanently I can't say yet), and that goes for established groups as well. To put it simply; here are the people that have captured my attention the most in 2015! (I might do an actual bias list later though, do you think I should?)

Jan 6, 2016

Top 10 Best Comebacks of 2015

You might ask; what makes a good comeback?, and I don't think there's one correct answer for that question. Generally when a group or soloist makes a comeback there are a few things that factor in, like the title track and MV as well as the eventual mini or full album, but aspects like the concept, styling and originality also matter to a certain point. I tend to weigh in all those things, but at the end of the day the feeling a comeback gives you might be the most important thing. Below you will find the comebacks of 2015 that left the most impact on me personally, and the ones I thought had the most solid components.

Jan 5, 2016

Hara, Gyuri And Seungyeon Leave DSP; Kara Is No More

[단독] 카라는 찢어지나…구하라-한승연 사실상 탈퇴 | 인스티즈We all saw this coming, didn't we? The fact that Kara's great days had passed was realized pretty much the moment Nicole and Jiyoung decided not to renew their contracts back in 2013, and it was actually quite surprising the remaining three chose to stay for two more years considering the troubles this group has had with their company over the years. In 2011 four out of five members filed for a contract termination but the issue was resolved later the same year, so it's clear that the relationship between the group and DSP hasn't always been the best.

KARA Holds Comeback Showcase for Sixth Mini Album 'Day & Night' key=>0 count53With the addition of new member Youngji in 2014 (which I'm sure the other three weren't too happy about, at least I know I wouldn't be) the group made an amazing comeback with "Mamma Mia" and I thought they might be able to return to some kind of former glory, but no. DSP is genuinely one of the worst companies when it comes to promoting and handling their groups (I mean, look at Rainbow and A-Jax) so no matter how splendid their comeback was nothing concrete came out of it in terms of gain of public recognition.

Their comeback earlier in 2015, "Cupid" was probably the most disappointing attempt of a comeback I've seen from them, and that's where at least I knew that it was over. With Hara, Gyuri and Seungyeon's contracts expiring and them not deciding to renew means the end of an era in some way, as one of the greatest second generation girl groups disbands. I can't say I blame them because they surely know as well as many others that there's nothing left for them with DSP, and that embarking on solo activities is probably the best option. What will become of Youngji I'm not sure, but of course I feel bad for her since she only just debuted (and was met with good reception following her stint on "Roommate"). However, it's not fair for them to stay only because of her. I'm also not sure what this means for their Japanese careers, as Kara still is pretty popular over there and has been for some time, but probably one or more of the members will test out the waters over there like former member Jiyoung did. Either way I wish them all the best of luck, and will always remember them as one of the biggest girl groups of their time.

Jan 4, 2016

2015 Year-End Festivals - Favorite Performances

It's my favorite time of the year; the annual year-end festivals! This time I even managed to catch two of them live (KBS' and MBC's) which never has happened before, and I was quite happy with the former and even more ecstatic about the latter. I never got the chance to watch SBS' on the 27th, but from what I've heard it was horrible so I'm not planning on either. Therefore there won't be as many performances included from that festival here, but even more from the two better festivals. MBC had the best one by far (and theirs have been my favorite for three consecutive years now), both in terms of staging, camera work as well as a good blend of special stages, regular stages and pre-recordings. Although it was long it managed to keep my interest up!

Jan 3, 2016

Video of the Week #15

BTS - Tomorrow (Jimin Focused)

Yup, this is something that happened. God knows my lust love for Jimin, and this fancam of him performing BTS' song "Tomorrow" might just be the end of me. I already love the song and the choreography in itself is quite amazing, but I'm so just so astonished by this boy and the way he moves his body. I could literally watch this video all day, everyday.

Jan 2, 2016

Top 10 K-Pop MV's Of 2015

I think that this was definitely the hardest category out of all of them because part of what makes K-pop so amazing are the many different kinds of videos, that are nothing alike those who are made in the West and where I come from. I often complain about videos being generic and sticking only to one formula, but truth is that compared to many western MV's they're still way ahead in terms of production value and quality. The K-pop MV is an investment as it's a highly important factor in what makes a group successful, and thus it's natural that there are a lot of great videos. After much debate I managed to select my top 10, but there were plenty more that I also enjoyed which are mentioned at the end. Enjoy!

Jan 1, 2016

SNS Friday #11 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A Pink wishes fans a happy new year!

Top 5 Debuts of 2015

This year has been great for rookie groups, as there have been more successful debuts than I can remember there being in any year that I've been a K-pop fan. Of course there have been some less successful but you can't deny that 2015 has had a flood of talented idols, and I'm sure plenty of them will have a bright future ahead. The years of 2014 and 2015 does kind of feel like the new "wave" of K-pop, if you get what I'm saying, as most of the major labels have put out new groups (in 2014 we had Red Velvet, Lovelyz, Winner, Mamamoo, Got7 and Uniq for example). Personally I'm really liking this new generation of idol groups, and although there were some that I wanted to include I had to cut it down to five. Enjoy!