May 18, 2016

K-pop March Recap (And Some February Leftovers)

Hello my friends and welcome back! Like I wrote previously I'm going to briefly discuss some of the comebacks I've been keeping an eye while I was away, most of them occurring during the actual time I was in Korea. However like I said there are some February comebacks I never got around to writing before I left so I will include them here as well although very shortly. I hope you are as excited as I am about getting back into the writing flow and starting posting more regularly again :)

First of all there were two albums that I listened to but never had the time to write a review on, both of which came out in February. It's slightly embarrassing but I really want to give them a quick shout-out. The first one is Taemin's first full album "Press It", which I loved almost as much as the MV for "Press Your Number". It wasn't a perfect album but I liked the majority of the songs and you could definitely hear his improvement as a vocalist and solo artist. Another album I really enjoyed was Rainbow's mini album "Prism", which was coherent from start to finish with a lively, energetic sound and great songs.

I also want to quickly mention B.A.P's comeback which kind of impressed me, but not entirely in the way I hoped it would. One of the problems with this group is the jumping back and forth between the super dark concepts (which translates into both sound and style) and the super bright ones. I actually really liked the song "Feel So Good" but it didn't seem like B.A.P at all and although the video was cute the entire comeback felt like a step backwards for them. I didn't really like the rest of the mini album either so I'm not sure about whether I will still follow them in the future if they keep this up. Last but not least among the comebacks we had Mamamoo who absolutely killed the Korean charts with the release of "You're the Best", and I can testify that because I heard the song everywhere when I was in Seoul. I personally thought it was much better than their last one and the video was fun and silly, but their music isn't really my cup of tea so I still feel pretty neutral towards it.

As for debuts there have definitely been some impressing ones recently. Astro and Cosmic Girls (WJSN) both debuted near the end of February and there's definitely one of them that I have kept my eye on since. Maybe the picture gives it away but the boys of Astro have somehow found their way into my heart with their youthful energy, cute smiles and boyish characters.

I really liked their debut song "Hide & Seek" and the video was super cute, but above all have their live performances impressed me as they perform one of the best group choreographies I've seen so far this year with what seems like an endless amount of energy and enthusiasm. They are very young, yes, but I don't mind being a noona fan so I will support them nonetheless. WJSN however failed to make an impression on me, as their main promotional single "MoMoMo" was disappointingly basic and didn't make them stand out in any way. For being so hyped their debut was surprisingly safe and I cannot say I'm to keen on keeping up with them in the future.

Early March saw the debut of another boy group, KNK, who also made a great first impression on me. Their handsome looks definitely had a part in it but they're all super talented and seem to have a great bond between them. "Knock" was the name of their debut song and I actually liked it a lot (although the chorus is still a bit funny, but in an endearing way), and the choreography is...well, unique. However I definitively think this group can go a long way if their company plays their cards right (this is the same company that hosts Bestie), but if not they always have Seungjun who's visuals is out of this world.

The rest of March followed with more comebacks by some awaited girl groups, such as Red Velvet, Fiestar and Oh My Girl. Unsurprisingly I enjoyed all of them being the girl group trash that I am. Fiestar made a very sultry and emotional comeback with "Mirror" and put out both a great video and a great mini album, "A Delicate Sense", to accompany it. It followed the same line as their previous comeback with "You're Pitiful" and it seems like they're starting to establish more of a coherent sound which I definitely like.

 Red Velvet also had a comeback but with quite a contrasting sound from their "Dumb Dumb" release last year which came with the album "The Red". This time they've released "The Velvet" and "One Of These Nights", which explores the velvet side of this group through a R&B ballad and a stunning video. Knowing me you might think I wouldn't have liked this comeback since I'm not a ballad fan but knowing me you'd also think I'd love this since their "Automatic" release last year was one of my absolute favorites. The truth is; I loved this comeback. The song, the MV and the mini album were all splendid and only furthered my love for this group.

Last in the girl group comebacks were Oh My Girl who came back with the magnificent "Liar Liar". You all know I absolutely loved their comeback last year with "Closer" so I was really expecting this release, and although musically it's way more similar to their debut track it's still a really catchy song. It fits their color as a group perfectly and does great in highlighting all the members. The video was really well done and this group is truly killing it on the choreography front, and the mini album "Pink Ocean" was a great listen as well.

The two last comebacks I'm going to talk about in this post are those of Hyomin and Day6. I'd like to forget Hyomin's solo debut ever happened because it was just bad in all kinds of ways, but I like her and think she's talented and beautiful so I was curious to check this comeback out anyhow. "Sketch" isn't a very interesting song unfortunately and the video was quite boring too, but the mini album is fantastic. It's a very mature and artistic release and literally every other song on it is better than the title track.

As for Day6's comeback I may say that theirs is one of my favorite ones so far this year. The title track "Letting Go" is amazing (and has a simplistic yet great video) and the mini album "Daydream" is sheer perfection. Every song on it is brilliant and I'm just speechless at how talented this band is. I thought their debut was almost as good as it could get but they have most certainly proven me wrong with this comeback by upping the level  even one step further.

MV Scores:
Feel So Good - 3,2/5
You're the Best - 3,6/5
Hide & Seek - 3,3/5
MoMoMo - 2,5/5
Knock - 3/5
Mirror - 3/5
One Of These Nights - 4,5/5
Liar Liar - 4,25/5
Letting Go - 4/5

Album Scores:
Press It - 4,25/5
Prism - 4/5
A Delicate Sense - 3,8/5
The Velvet - 4/5
Pink Ocean - 4,1/5
Sketch - 4,2/5
Daydream - 5/5 (Seriously guys, listen to this album)

I believe that to be everything; or at least the comebacks and debuts I found most interesting during the month of March. I will soon post one for April too, but don't expect me to be too fast ;)
What were some of your favorite March releases?

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