Jul 31, 2016

Video of the Week #27

Woozi (Seventeen) - Simple

One of the added songs on the repackaged version of Seventeen's "Love Letter" album was a solo song by member Woozi, who is one of the main composers of the group's material. He's indeed a very talented songwriter and musician, but he's also a great vocalist who tends to get overlooked compared to the likes of Seungkwan and DK. This song is one of my favorites at the moment and this performance from Seventeen's concert shows that Woozi is also a great performer.

Jul 24, 2016

Video of the Week #26

Wonder Girls - Why So Lonely on Dingo Music

I absolutely love this version of their hit single "Why So Lonely"; no instruments, no dancing, just the girls and backing track. The audio quality is stunning and you can hear all their voices super clearly, and naturally the all sound fantastic.

Jul 23, 2016

Wonder Girls Make A Reggae Comeback With "Why So Lonely"

I still quite haven't gotten over last year's Wonder Girls comeback with the awesome "I Feel You" and the even more amazing 80's synthpop album "Reboot". After a few year's hiatus and several member changes the future of this group was uncertain, but instead of fading into non-existence they rose from the shadows and delivered one of the best releases of the year. Coming back as a band and as co-composers of all of the tracks on their album made way for a new start for this group, and I think that this is by far the best version of the Wonder Girls since 2008. Although staying true to their trademark retro concept this comeback is quite different from "I Feel You", but it's no doubt another fantastic tune and video.

Jul 21, 2016

Seventeen's Repackaged Comeback Is Indeed "Very Nice"

First of all I'm so sorry for being so MIA lately, and my excuse is that I've been incredibly busy both with work and activities outside of work a.k.a the very little free time I have. Last week is my last week at work so after that I promise I'll be more active. Anyhow; Seventeen made a comeback recently with a repackaged version of their first full album "Love Letter" (which I have yet to purchase) and promotional single "Very Nice". Since I was in South Korea when they made their "Pretty U" comeback I didn't get a chance to write nothing more than a short review, so I'm happy that this time I get to talk a bit about their new fantastic release.

Jul 18, 2016

Taeyeon Serves A Summer Hit With "Why"

I was actually planning on not writing anything for Taeyeon's first comeback as a soloist because although I like her voice and her in general I'm not a huge fan and I don't really keep up with her various promotions, however I was quickly swayed over with "Why" and had to make at least a short post about it. After her first release last year with "I" and a mini album made up almost entirely of ballads I was actually quite surprised that she went for a house-inspired dance track this time around, but so far it's become one of my favorite songs of this summer.

Jul 17, 2016

Video of the Week #25

Infinite's Myungsoo a.k.a L on "King of Masked Singer"

Arguably one of the best looking men in Korea, Infinite's very own Myungsoo, makes an appearance on "King of Masked Singer" disguised as Darth Vader and blows everyone away when it's revealed that yes, he can actually sing. With a song well within his range and comfort zone he proves that he's indeed more than just a pretty face. As you can imagine I was swelling with pride when I watched this. You go baby boy!

Jul 12, 2016

Riding The I.O.I Wave - DIA And Gugudan Emerge From The Ashes


In the aftermath of the debut of immensely popular project group I.O.I, two companies decided that it was best to make the most of the hype and bring back their respective idols after the group's first promotions were over; in order to make them return with their "actual" groups. For Chaeyeon that meant returning to MBK and DIA, who made their initial debut a year ago with "Somehow". For Jellyfish members Mina and Sejeong it meant debuting once again yet this time with the group they're going to stay in after I.O.I disband; Gugudan. Both groups have gone for a concept that's becoming all too popular these days, and although I want to like both of them none of the releases managed to keep my interest up.

Jul 10, 2016

Song of the Week #63

EXO - Artificial Love

The third track on EXO's third full album "Ex'Act" is by far one of the album's best songs and one of my new favorite EXO tracks as well. This doesn't really sound like a "typical" EXO song but then again it doesn't really sound anything like a K-pop tune either. I guess that's why I find it so interesting and intriguing, and if they did more moody electronica songs like this one I certainly wouldn't complain.

Jul 7, 2016

Debut Buddies KNK & Astro Both Have Their Summer Comebacks

About during the same time earlier this year two boy groups debuted from different companies and with very different sounds and images; KNK and Astro. One is handsome, mature and stylish and the other one is cute, youthful and energetic. Since the two splashed onto the scene at approximately the same time they ended up doing a lot of interviews and shows together, resulting in fans of one group also becoming fans of the other. With me this was certainly the case as I first was more interested in KNK but later also grew to enjoy Astro. Now they've both come back at a similar time again and yet again with severely different approaches.

KNK made their first comeback on June 1st which I realize now is a pretty long time ago (I had to wait until Astro's comeback to make this post which was a few weeks later) and for anyone who's been a K-pop fan for more than three years or so this song will sound quite familiar to you. KNK are truly channeling that Late 00's/early 10's K-pop sound with "Back Again", which sounds like it could just as easily belong to a group like Beast during their early years. I can't quite pinpoint it but it is truly like a blast from the past and it's kind of strange to hear this type of sound these days, since K-pop sounds vastly different now compared to five years ago. I definitely don't think this is a bad song but sadly it's nostalgic sound makes it sound a bit dated and the chorus sadly isn't that memorable. Their debut track "Knock" was definitely more interesting.

The video is quite similar to the one of "Knock"; dim lightning, dark sets and a vibe of melancholia. I don't really need to read the translated lyrics to understand that this is a song about a lost lover, heartbreak and wanting them back, which the video slightly touches on. It is, however, mostly composed dancing sequences and close-ups of the members, none of which I can complain about because the dance is decent enough and they're all very good looking. It doesn't give the video much substance though, but I still think this video is an upgrade from "Knock". The budget is slightly higher, the production is of higher quality and the overall impression is a bit sharper. I can't say that I'm wholeheartedly digging this comeback but I don't dislike it either, instead it has almost just kind of passed me by. I do think KNK are onto a good track and has a solid image that fits them, but unfortunately this comeback is only average to me.

Song: 3/5
Video: 2,85/5

With Astro's maknae being four years younger than KNK's it's no surprise that Astro has been going for a boyish and playful image, and this comeback doesn't step away from the concept of their energetic debut earlier this year. "Breathless" is upbeat, summery and a lot of fun to listen and even sing along to, and compared to KNK's moodier release this one definitely feels more suitable for the season. Still I don't find this song as catchy as their debut either, but I do like it more than "Back Again". It feels very fresh and all the members play their parts well, both vocalists and rappers, and the chorus is insanely catchy.

The video is all the more interesting though, as it begins and ends with the members sleeping on the beach, but there's a lot that happens in between. The MV features I.O.I's Yoojung, who's from the same company, and she plays a young girl that has a lot of fun with soda bottles. In the boy's dream (passed out from the heat I assume) they become the soda bottles and are brought along to wherever Yoojung carries them. She lifts them up, swings them around and stocks them in a freezer box, all of which result in some pretty funny moments and expressions on the boys' part. I don't really "get" the video and I don't understand why they're dreaming this or what it means, but it ends up being a great watch because the concept is something I've never seen before. Luckily Astro has just the right amount of charm and talent to pull it off, and speaking of talent this comebacks carries a pretty spectacular dance performance once again (it can't be seen as much in the MV though).

It seems as if a lot more thought and planning was put into this MV as well, and the execution does reveal a slightly larger budget as well. Everything from the camera work and editing to the beautiful summer scenery and well-chosen locations show that this comeback is a bigger investment from Fantagio's side, and video-wise I certainly prefer this to their debut "Hide & Seek". I think these boys have a lot of potential of making it in the future, although requiring better promoting tactics on their company's part, but I'm definitely hopeful.

Song: 3,5/5
Video: 4,15/5

Jul 5, 2016

EXO Finally Lives Up To The Hype And I LOVE IT

Guys. Do you even have the slightest idea how long I've been waiting for this day? How long I've been looking forward to the day were I proudly say that I genuinely like an EXO comeback? The answer to that is since their freaking debut. It's been four years since "MAMA" and for the very first time EXO has come back with not only one but two title tracks that I actually like. "Like" isn't even a good enough word because what I feel towards this comeback is more related to love than anything. THANK YOU SM for stepping up your game and finally providing your money-making group with real quality material.

Jul 4, 2016

NCT 127 Is Debuting And I'm Dying

So...this happened.

I don't even know where to start. How did this happen? Why am I feeling like a 13-year old school girl? I guess I didn't know just how invested I had gotten into this group prior to this, but now it's clear to me that I stan NCT, and not a little. I didn't expect at all to like the flagship unit NCT-U but they blew me away with the sheer talent of the members and two awesome songs, and then it all kind of went downhill from there as I started to learn more about the other SM Rookies too.

NCT 127 is the unit that is debuting in three days time, and it supposedly the Seoul unit and will promoting, I assume, mostly in South Korea. From what I've understood (since four out of six NCT-U members are in this unit as well) it seems like the U-unit is the core of NCT, the "main" members so to speak, and it seems like at least one of them will be present in ever other unit. It makes sense though as the U-unit contains the most versatile and (in my opinion) talented members both in rapping, dancing and singing. This whole project is still quite messy and confusing but it's also kind of fun to see what members will end up in which units (and how they will change later on as well), but most of all I'm looking forward to see what music they will put out because this concept is slaying my existence right now. 

Hurry up, July 7th!

Jul 3, 2016

Song of the Week #62

Baek A Yeon - So-So

JYP-signed songstress and former "K-Pop Star" finalist Baek A Yeon made waves last year with her self-composed single "Shouldn't Have" and although I found the song quite boring at first I later grew to love it. With this new single she proves once again she has talent for writing songs with relatable lyrics, and I like this one even better than the other. The video too is absolutely great and will definitely be competing for a place on my "Top 10 Videos" list at the end of this year.