CCM debuts Shannon Williams

I had another title, but I decided against it.

Anyway, CCM…the company that has given great groups, and subsequently failed a lot of them has debuted a new young act.

Shannon Williams…and here is her first song

I’m not even mad at this. It’s a ballad, but it doesn’t just go no where, which is a plus for me. Shannon is an adequate singer for her age (I think she is at most 18). I do think the choreo would have looked nicer with a better dancer. Overall I don’t mind it. I don’t think she will get a lot of traction with it…but it’s a nice start. Also I like the fact that she isn’t limiting herself to just being a vocalist. If she can prove herself to be an overall performer, I think she can have diversity that you don’t see often in K Pop.

I’m skipping the fact that Shannon is a foreign, biracial singer (white-Korean)….not in the mood to talk about it and all the negative shit she will be going through.

Anyway, here is hoping that Shannon doesn’t fall off. I don’t understand why she would go to SK willingly for a music career… especially since she is from England, and is only a hop skip away from the states (Adele, Sam Smith, 1D, Amy Winehouse, etc)…but girl, do you.

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YG lets GD and Taeyang do music together, when they shouldn’t

Look, I am a very patient person when it comes to music. I will accept damn near anything if I like it…

But give me one reason I should like this?

I don’t understand. Who gave the okay? And why did they give the okay for this?

You know what…this is what happens when you don’t say no.

I particularly don’t care about Big Bang one way or the other. I think G-Dragon is a very controversial figure in K pop because of his talent.

He obvious is talented in producing (I honestly don’t hate the beat overall in Good Boy, even though it is basically a mock up of that Wiggle song), and he can perform. GD has things on his resume that says he is a talent…

But things like this overall…

It makes even more sense that no one told him no because in a recent interview he basically said T.O.P. was not about doing a lot of GD’s shit (and the rapper’s pride or whatever) and that Taeyang is more easier to work with in that aspect (Doesn’t hurt that they have known each other for over a decade).

I bet Taeyang took this about as seriously as SM takes their acts prior to them leaving. He just went along with it because who gives a fuck?

Anyway Good Boy is a slice of GD’s ego on a platter. He wanted to make something fun and repetitive…and in a way he did. But overall this song should have been pushed right back to him and someone should have told him no.

Apink return with LUV (spelled out L.O.V.E. when they sing it though)

There were two come backs that actually caught my attention. The GDYB thing…which will get its own post, and this.

Let’s just dive on in to LUV

I’m not going to act like I don’t like the song.

I do. It’s kind of a lowkey bop. They are still clinging on to that bubblegum pop sound of the early 2000’s, but it’s working for them.

I also want to discuss how they managed to do a bright song, but still have a mature vibe about it. Yes it is basically a ballad sped up(the entire way this song was approached gives me Korean ballad vibes)

Naeun’s little add on to the chorus is my favorite part of the song. I kind of wish Eunji didn’t just die off in the song. She is only prevalent on the chorus, and gets a section on the bridge, but instead of giving us some cute high notes, Chorong just replaces her on her original part, with no flutters or flitters in the forms of ad libs. And they gonna act like it didn’t happen.

Overall LUV is fun. I love the beat, I love how the song is handled for the most part. I really don’t have any complaints. I think Apink got a nice thing going here. Also they did a much more somber song, neatly wrapped in a bright paper…which is giving me hints of diversity…AND…it is not in them damn school girl outfits.

SM continue to hand out solo careers like candy. THis time for Amber

So during my Thanksgiving break (which was nice), the news that Amber would be pursuing a career as a solo act popped up. It’s surprising, but not at the same time…and I will explain that.

Anyway come February of next year, Amber will be all by her lonesome on stage as a solo artist.

Okay…let’s get into these thoughts/feelings.

Why am I not surprised? Because SM has been doing this for the last year. Three of their solo acts made returns this year (J-Min, Zhang Li Yin, and Henry), and now three solo debuts from existing groups have also emerged (Taemin, Zhoumi, Kyuhyun). Also aside from the fucked up way they have been handling scandals and all that, there has been a bigger emphasis on sections and individuals instead of the collective. Moving away from the boom in solo acts, we also have the re-emergence of TTS, SM The Ballad, Krystal and Jessica are/were a thing, emphasis on certain members than the entirety of the group. Of course SM is still focusing on groups…but it just seems like this year was a lot of units, collaborations, and solos.

Also looking at f(x)…it seems like the group itself is in limbo. Sulli is out of commission (which I think is just a fancy way of trying to phase her out of the group). Krystal is slowing making a name for herself via the acting world. Victoria is swimming them waters in China looking for that good money. Luna…

And then there is Amber. Neither Amber nor Luna have much to claim right now. Luna occasionally does a musical…but…not now. Amber occasionally does variety, and she is on something…but overall, they are not working at a consistent/high profile manner in comparison to other members.

So realistically…I would think either those two…or Krystal would have gotten a solo in the upcoming future. With Krystal being tacked onto that Jung sis thing…eh.

*I put my hopes on Luna*

It is Amber.

Now why am I surprised? Because it is Amber. Amber isn’t…how do I say this nicely?

Amber is potential that isn’t going anywhere.

Amber truly has one thing going for her. She dresses like a fashion-illiterate stud. People like that she isn’t typically feminine. It’s pretty much her only selling point.

Outside of that, you are looking at poor rapping skills, meh dancing, and a pretty tone but below average singing skills. That is Amber.

Yes I said it.

Now K Pop has never been the place of talent above all, but when you have two drifting members, with near equal status in popularity (Amber is probably more popular internationally)… I would think you would go with the one that can carry a tune, and dance well.

Now once again…I don’t hate Amber, and I have no reason to feel a way about her. It was just shocked me that it was Amber and not Luna. However I can’t be mad that this is happening, and it really don’t have shit to do with me…so…

*Let’s Amber cook*

Come February Amber is to step into the spotlight on her own. I hope the song ain’t trash, and she gains some success.

2014 Faves: 15and

A few acts can say they dominated 2014…and 15& is not one of them. The early parts of summer saw the duo promoting, but with a national tragedy afoot, and basically nobody caring about their second project only a week or two later…it is kind of hard to see 2014 as a great year for 15&.

They did release their first album, Sugar in June.

And then basically went and sat in a corner for the rest of the year, staying something resembling busy.

If you would like to read more of this really long post (with pictures and videos!) continue on…

Continue reading

Small thing:

This is just me wanting to ask if you guys are commenting.

I have a lot of spam…I checked the spam like in September and it was random spam shit…emptied it…and moved on. However recently I checked again…and I noticed that there were repeat commenters (bad wording), as well as comments pointed at certain issues (typos and grammatical errors…). However they all ended up in spam, which means I don’t trust them.

If you are commenting, I would like to apologize for not getting them on the post they were meant for, as well as them just being dumped into spam.

I need for you to like comment and say I’m a real person if you could…just to let me know.

I will fix that, and see what I can do to just have comments immediately posted…

2014 FAVES: The Intro

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…….

The end of the year is upon us. The holidays are coming, no school for some of us, end of the year crap in K pop. Such a glorious time.

With that being said, I am happy to have made it as far as I have this year with this blog. Of course I could do more, and I plan on it, but I am just happy to be here.

And to have a couple of followers who haven’t left!

Party!!!

Anyway , music is about to get slim, so I got to get creative with post if I want to keep consistently updating. With that…I am going to be doing a 2014 faves series.

This will be a bunch of post dedicated to the year of 2014, and how it has provided me with something that I don’t hate. This will include (but not limited to):

favorite overall acts: Who handled the year of 2014 well for me.

Favorite music: This is still be planned but I am looking at albums, songs, b-sides, all that.

Favorite music videos: self explanatory. Sometimes I hated the song, but the video was hot.

And…maybe something scandal related. I don’t know how to deal with that one…I honestly could not care less about most of them, or many were too serious to really get into.

A representation of your excitement…and to make this post less boring.

These post will not be regular…and I will hopefully have music to review and talk about…if you want to send me something to listen to, by all means…hit me up.

KuzzReviews: 2AM lacks diversity on Let’s Talk

An album review!!!! Woo!

This was supposed to be the 100th post, but…Zico happened. So we don’t get to celebrate on here.

With all that being said, let’s talk about the music.

To. AM (For You)

I love this as the intro. I can’t think of anything else that would have worked. It has a very old school vibe to it. Even though they are old school in a newer sense. Boyz II Men is what I get when listening to this. The harmonies are lovely, and the focus musically. I think it speaks to the kind of group 2AM is (which can be good and bad), and sets the bar pretty high for the album.

Days Like Today

This song makes so much more sense on the album. I said I wasn’t fond of it as a single (and thankfully it isn’t, but in comparison to Over The Destiny…I like it more). JYP has a talent for making me appreciate his songs in comparison to others. Days Like Today isn’t noticeably exciting, but it’s easy to rock with. It’s very JYP in sound. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. I think with 2AM it can provide that nice smooth alternative to the usual ballad. Days Like Today really didn’t bring much to the table outside of being a nice filler.

Over The Destiny

Like I said before, it’s predictable for them and really K Pop overall. It’s a ballad meant to pull on the heart strings, and sounds like several Korean Ballads before it. Simmering on the verses (Seulong and Jinwoon), and then big voice chorus (Jo Kwon and Changmin), all the while maintaining a level of angst.They sound great, and I don’t hate it. But I am resisting the urge to move on musically because we have heard this several times over, and it can only do so much. I do want to highlight Seulong’s lil run on the bridge. It was nice, but that’s it.

Happy Ending

There is something about the beat that feels more interesting than it actually is. I feel like it is a slight ode to snap of the mid 2000’s. Maybe I am just over thinking things. Under everything there is a potential song I could have fucked with musically. Remove the violins, up the harmonies just a little, and have them sing with a little more oomph. It could have been a cliche ballad, but it would have been better. The way it is has some oomph to it, but I don’t know. It doesn’t completely capture me the way I want it to.

Realization

I always hate when the percussion being too prominent. I don’t know why. It’s such a thing in K pop, especially on the dramatic ballads that’s supposed to be a little “rhythmic”. I do wish they would have made the harmonies louder, and pushed the drums back. It sounds great on the chorus where there is more to experience. They also ain’t sanging the way I want them. They pop off a little at the end, but that’s the end. Everyone and their mom pops off at the end of a K Pop song. You start strong and end strong. Here they just go through it hoping the sad lyrics will be enough.

My Love

Something with a little more oomph. Remember what I said about drumkit being used to express something rhythmic? This is a clear case. However, I am not bothered because not a lot is going on. This sounds like a JYP song. That pre chorus though. It’s something in that phrasing that just…stuck. I think it is rare to do interesting things musically, especially in one song. It can be so one dimensional in my opinion, with any major moments happening near the end (with a key change to make it sound…dramatic/dynamic). Of course that happens here, but that small change in that particular moment made the song a little more interesting for me.

All Right

I’m going to give this the title as my favorite 2AM track off the album. It’s much more fun/dynamic/anything I wanted from this album. Outside of that damn drumkit, I don’t have another negative. I think this song does everything I really wanted them to do on this album. It’s a bit of diversity. It’s fun. They singing like they got shit to handle. I love it. The song is the little bit of energy we were not getting, and I am upset it took this long to get here…but I am glad it did happen.

Break-Up Day

Another…ballad. I know 2AM is a ballad group, but can we please…like move on. And there are them drums. It’s so…it’s grating to hear them. There was that moment in the song (around 1:26 for reference point), where it does something and I thought we were about to get turnt, instead we go on, and I am left a little miffed that this doesn’t symbolize some massive change musically. It’s another  ballad.

I Know

This song feels very late 50-60’s inspired musically. Vocally we get something more recent. Combine that it’s something very Boyz II Men in my opinion (the chorus would be a little bigger, but you get what I am saying). Love for the harmonies. They sound great. I don’t think I have a problem with their performances at all. Here they shine a little more. I do wish they went there vocally. Like went to church, but it didn’t happen. Still this is another example of stretching their limits. Of course it’s a ballad, but it doesn’t feel like the rest of them on this album.


 

****Now that was the first half which was group songs…now we move on to solo songs.****


 

You’re Mine (Changmin Solo)

We finally get something less ballady, and more fun. I can rock with it to be honest. It’s so fun in the spring/summer. It’s really relaxing. I like it. Nothing really pops at first. Changmin sounds great as expected, but he doesn’t really go to church vocally. I think if he had come at the end and sung the hell out of that, I would praise it more. But he not about that life, so we get something cute.

Dance (Jo Kwon)

Outside of 2AM, Jo Kwon is obviously made to make club music. He brings the flavor I would only expect from him. I do wish the chorus felt bigger. A little harmonies, some layering in the music. Something to make it sound bigger, grander. Just a little something. Still this is everything I expect from Jo Kwon to be honest. I wish it was a tad bigger soundwise. It would have been perfect for Jo Kwon. Still, I think this is the best track on the album, and I have yet to hear the rest.

Preparation (Jinwoon solo)

Jinwoon is the rocker, so his offering is rock inspired. I…like it. I am not a rock fan, so I can’t tell you where this goes. But I do like it. I was swaying to it. I kind of want to hear Jinwoon do one of them power ballads now. Everything about this feels right for me. It’s kind of cliche in sound (I feel like I point to several mainstream rock songs that have this same sound), but I don’t hate it. It works. Then the final chorus gives me something bigger and I wish it went on a little bit more. K Pop songs are bad in my opinion for making a moment, but then not relishing in it. How many times have I said that so and so shong should have went on a little more to fully deliver??? I think the one thing that I have a complaint about is how his vocals on the chorus sound.

Loveskin (Seulong)

Let me just tell y’all…I had written several dirty openings for this part….but decided to keep it very cute for the kids. Seulong might have one out of the four solos (which is tough considering none of them are bad).. I love it. The song is very simple. Nothing you have to search for sound wise. Everything is pretty much laid out for you. Instead you get to focused on Seulong cooing. It reminds me of a couple songs (Cupid by 112, something by Babyface…I don’t know). I can tell you I love Cupid by 112, and if 2AM ever covered it I would sell my soul to be their in the closet lover. If there is one thing I wish would have been different…the piano break. It comes in at a perfect moment, and acts like the bridge…and I love it. The issue is I wish the piano would have been implimented after that. Like add it into the final chorus. It was an element added, and then taken away when it could have given that part just the right punch to end on. The song is still good. And it ends just right in my opinion. Nothing flashy, just simply restating and letting it taper off.

 

****I’m missing one song, so i can’t really finish the album review…but it was jsut for the physical copy…****

 

Let’s Talk was alright. Disregarding all that I had to bring up, you have an album that moves properly (a rarity for me), nothing is glaring in sound (sans the solos, but I think they are a special case), none of the ballads really blended together or sounded the same. Lastly  we get a group of talent used better than the average group.

That being said…

2AM has a lot of potential that can extend beyond ballads. Understanding that 2AM are supposed to be the polar opposites of the wild/beastly idols 2PM (who haven’t been beastly for a minute), it cannot be hard to play on the idea of them being a vocal group rather than just a ballad group.

I am not saying for them to pull out full blown choreography and some electronic dance tracks. But what I have noticed in some of their music is the lack of overall diversity in music. Having different ballads does not count. That just makes listening to the same type of song a little more bearable. It’s like painting with only blue in different shades, and maybe two or three different colors (two purples, and a yellow). I know for some that doesn’t seem to be a problem, it can still be a beautiful project…but…2AM/JYP/Whomever else was involved gave us the solos.

changkwon

In a solo realm, we get to see what/where these guys are comfortable. Changmin gave us a cute midtempo pop song about a sexy lady. Jo Kwon became a dancing God. Jinwoon is two steps from making a power ballad (I really want that). Seulong out here getting panties wet. We get to see the variety that truly lies within the group, which of course is such a different thring. 2AM as an entity is of course going to be different from Changmin, Jo Kwon, Jinwoon and Seulong. However I wish that variety that we see within the members was applied to the group.

A diverse album in songs would have been great. I was over the moon when I heard All Right. It wasn’t a ballad (at least by Korean/whatever else standards), it was fun, and I am sure the lyrics were less depressing. Days Like Today may have not been the greatest song ever, but it was a early relief to what would happen later.

seujin

What’s sad is that 2AM can handle songs that are not 78 bpm. Uptempos do exist in their discography. Pop songs exist. Not even just that, but more diversity in genres. In their solos alone we got four different musical genres (pop, dance/electronic, rock, R&B). Why can’t 2AM give us that? Give us more. K Pop has been on such a genre mixing kick as of last year, why not play with 2AM?

Rhetorical questions.

Let’s Talk is an okay album. I am not thrilled by it overall. It paints 2AM in such a narrow light, the light they have been dealt with since the beginning. Of course they are a ballad group, but it wouldn’t hurt to shed that and see what else they can do. The best songs are toward the end, where each member gets to be in their own space and comfortably slay. I wish the diversity and thrill that was on these solos would have been in the 2AM portion of the album. There were some good marks in the beginning, but as the album progressed, I found myself wanting the next song to come just to see if there was something different. And it wasn’t. By the end I wasn’t moved like I wanted to be.

If you are looking for an album that isn’t bad, but sticks to the status quo, then Let’s Talk is for you. Otherwise any sort of diversity musically is minimal, or towards the end.

KuzzReviews: AoA keep a good thing going on Like A Cat

AoA is a group I look at and think…okay but why?

I am just turned off by the size of the group and the fact I can’t seem to find anything worth talking about when it comes to them. I think they are a group that would work just as well in smaller numbers…but that’s just me.

Still I have to give AoA one thing. Musically, they have not really let me down.

*Mind you this is based on them as an idol group. As an entire unit, I can’t really speak for or against them (the Band thing, AoA black, etc)*

Since Miniskirt (and the ep it came from), I have been willing to give them a chance. It’s just watching them live is so uninspiring. And that is what is holding me back really.

AoA makes good music…but are just…it doesn’t translate well live.

Still this isn’t about their lives. This is about their music, specifically their latest contribution Like A Cat.

With that being said…let’s get into this album.

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Starship does the collab thing again. This time Hyorin and Jooyoung

I think Starship has found its way as a company. Since last year, Starship has been on the collaboration road. It helped Soyu find her place out of Hyorin’s shadow. It gave Mad Clown a little more love. and People now know who Junggigo is.

All the while they rack up a hit or three from it.

Win-win situations.

So Starship decide to try it again. This time with the young woman who basically spearheaded them into good money.

Hyorin.

Hyorin had done a collaboration earlier in the year with Mad Clown (Without You…was not that big of a fan of it), and it did okay.

Now they are trying again (Assuming to give Hyorin something to do while they prep her next solo comeback)

I love it. I didn’t at first, instead I just liked it, but I had wished the song had gone somewhere it didn’t.

Still it’s Hyorin and some dude singing to eachother, so of course I was going to not hate it.

They sound great together, the song sounds nice. I actually think this would be a great follow up single, or an album rack. However as it is the only one of it’s kind it can feel a little dull. I do think it has that good November cuffing season angst…but eh. My initial issues stem from the fact that the song is nice, and I can’t find anything wrong with it, but I still wanted more. Two more songs maybe.

I don’t think this song should.could/would stand on its own.  There should be something to follow up. That sounds like a ridiculous complaint, but I really don’t think every song can just be a stand alone single. Some songs need back up to help further the point they were making, or just plain old support because they don’t feel strong enough.

Erase isn’t bad, but I doubt I will remember it come the new year (still remember One Way Love though)

I love the video. It took me a minute to understand what is going on.

Basically Jooyoung and zoot!Hyorin are dating…but he out here fucking regular!Hyorin who is in a relationship with the bartender. The choreography is simple but still effective. Angsty, sexy, with a good snap.

Hyorin looks great (I missed her bangs)

Jooyoung looks cute.

This is a good little promo effort.