KuzzReview: Amber makes a clear definition on Beautiful

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t/don’t really see it for Amber. By that, I just don’t care for her musically. I expected Luna to get the solo before her, but here we are.

Amber released Beautiful earlier in February, and…yeah…review.

(My intros are getting worse)

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I don’t know who Lip Service is, but they released something and it’s not bad

Apparently this is a group. Apparently people like them. Apparently they lost a member and are now a duo.

Apparently…

Anyway, here is their music video

This is a good song brought all the way down by a bad video.

I like how the talent was used. I wasn’t bored. I bopped along. It’s a genuinely cute song, and it actually reminds me of when boygroups try to do something gentler and fun. It has that same swift charisma you hear in Infinite H’s Pretty.

The video is where things go sour. They couldn’t even get a white backdrop…It was basically them recording the song, them rehearsing the dance we may never see, them looking pretty and being awesome, with some shots of them out in public. It’s a bad video, which is unfortunate because the song is really good.

Eh…well Lip Service is back(?). A member short, a penny less, with a bad video, but they are back.

Shinhwa bring the heat with Sniper

When they last came back, I honestly did not give a fuck. This Love was…bland. But people swore up and down these dudes were worth it. Still they went awhile before they came back…so I didn’t invest in trying to find out about them. Now they are back with Sniper, and I am here for it.

This sounds like what SM wants Exo to be so badly. I just…I like it.

Also I know Shinhwa was an SM produced group, but it is strange to hear just how SM they sound (almost all of SM’s vocalist have that certain sound to them when they sing).

Anyway, I like it. I like how unorthodox it sounds (which has been something SM has been trying to do for the last couple of years). Like there is very little about it that sounds melodious. It’s edgy, with a slight spaghetti western film edge to it (Thanks to that whistle). Instead the beauty comes from the group vocally. The harmonies are light, tight, and flow.

The rapping is standard, I don’t know who is singing what, but I can tell you I don’t particularly care to find out.

Overall…I don’t know the group well enough to say how this stands in their overall catalog (I think this is better than This Love, but anything is better than that song), but I think this definitely is worth it.

The video is…well it is standard. I think if they focused on the dancing I would have cared more. Once again, these are some pretty men, but I don’t know who they are, so I have no interest in them looking in the distance with the trademark light-skinned squint.

Sniper is a shot in the right direction. We have had a few good comebacks, but other than 4Minute’s Crazy, nothing dynamic has really caught me. This right here definitely shook the game, if only for a little while. Hopefully Sniper will be the beginning of a good streak.

Rainbow’s Black Swan could have been everything.

Raibow have returned with the electronic Black Swan

I definitely like this. But I am not completely sold on it. I think what I am missing is something dynamic. Not in the way of big and loud. The song isn’t big and loud. But it feels like they (the group) sound so…meh to me.

Look at songs like Hate You by Ladies Code, almost anything by Lee Hi, and Sunmi. They had that dead, murky sound to them. It worked for those songs. Those songs are usually darker in a sense, and have a less traditional vibe to them. Black Swan is the EDM cousin.

I think on Black Swan, a murkier, more lifeless like approach to their singing would have sold it for me.

Other than that, I love what’s going on. I love the Gothic EDM vibe. It’s catchy in its own way. I love how sparse it feels. The music is slightly barren, and it works in bringing that somber feel. I think with a more defined style singing wise, the song would have been just right.Black Swan does not have a lot of things going on musically, so everything had to be hit just right. What they missed was a vocal performance that felt as lifeless as the music comes across.

The video is lovely. I love the imagery. The darkness, and overall grey color pallet. I reallyhave no complaints on that end.

I think Black Swan is damn near perfect. While it missed the mark on the singing, I think it is still catchy and fun enough to listen to regardless. Rainbow has something good in their hands, and hopefully people will be receptive to it.

Niel’s solo…well it is nice.

I came out of the gate and said Niel was going to slay, but obviously he wants to prove me wrong.

The song isn’t bad. I actually like where it was going, and where it went. With each part the song adds to it, and finally becomes something funky. The first section (intro, verse 1, and chorus) are really light pop in sound. I didn’t understand why he was dancing on this section as hard as he was because it didn’t look smooth. Like chill the hell out Niel, sis you can pop off on the second verse.

The second verse becomes much more R&B in sound and vibe. This is also where the dancing turns into a Michael Jackson tribute session. I swear he did every move and signature from Bad era up. We get this breakdown on the bridge, a rap verse by someone I don’t care about. It was nice…

I’m not in love with how simple Niel sounds here. The entire thing feels like an ode to Michael, and we don’t need another one of those ever (unless they are going to hit us with something from the Off The Wall era, but I doubt that). He sounds very boring, which doesn’t match how he looks on stage because I was getting my life off of his performance value.

If I were to have just listened to this, I would like it, and it would be my spring opening jam. I think Niel could have done better as a singer, but that’s it.

Amber demands we Shake That Brass

Amber’s solo debut is here, and I don’t have much of an intro so here we go…

I have not been on board for an Amber only solo because I just don’t think she is worth it. Still with some guidance from higher ups anything is possible (me liking her music).

I don’t hate this. I don’t 100% like it, but I don’t hate it.

Even after the first listen, I thought of two things. This could have been an f(x) track, and this is exactly Amber.

The first point is irrelevant to this post, so no need to talk about it.

The song being very Amber is a very positive thing. Amber is fun, charismatic, and doesn’t take herself very seriously (as in she is laidback). Amber is not pretentious, so she came out with a song that pretty much defines that.

In comparison to everyone else’s solo, this one plays well with Amber’s strengths. Her personality.

I love how it sounds like a high school marching band…I was in Marching Band, and while I usually act like it was one of the worst times of my life (it was), I still loved it in a way. I also like that there wasn’t a chorus. Having no hook saved this song.

Taeyeon’s addition was the only vocal part I actually liked.

Overall I think they got it right for Amber. It’s not the best thing in the world, but it does help pick up in this final winter month.

The video, once again plays to Amber’s strengths. We are not giving yet another angsty, whiny ass video with chains and dark color pallets and hunched over sadness. We got a brightly colored, personality filled video. It’s essentially Amber in multiple scenes. The only issue is, Amber’s….you know what I am going to be nice.

I liked the video enough. All the cameos were fun. That’s it.

Shake That Brass exceeded my expectations, mainly due to the fact that they didn’t try to push Amber beyond her abilities, and played up to her biggest strengths, most notably her unoffensive personality. It’s fun, it’s bright, and it makes me feel a little more positive.

JYP will do a survival show to find their next girl group

Because it’s now the most overused concept in the last year, JYP is going to have a survival show…for their girl group.

Here is a link to the story…
This will be under Mnet, who also helped with Winner,iKon, and Starship’s No Mercy. Apparently this is pretty much Making The Band now, so why not test the waters for a girl group.
Last year it was assumed that the new girl group would come to fruition (6Mix was the name that people were going with). We got those documents (to which had no validity but that’s whatever) telling us all the plans for 2014…how much of that came true? Well the girl group didn’t happen, and neither did the other boy group. Still we had a lot telling us they would happen. Poeple were being creepy as fuck taking pictures of a bunch of girls assumed to be in the group. Lena got to debut (well a partial one) as the guest rapper on Sunmi’s Full Moon.
It just seemed like there was a lot saying yes to a debut, but as stated earlier it didn’t happen. I don’t remember the specifics off the top of my head, but I am sure a couple of girls left JYP. I know for sure Lena did…maybe there was one or two more…eh.
I think what was supposed to happen was a debut, but near the end stretch Lena decided to bow out, and that forced JYP to have to go back to the drawing board. I bet JYP signed up for Mnet last year, but had to wait their turn because Starship got to it first.

Anyway this show will do one thing really…make us want to support these girls. We don’t have a lot of female idols boohooing on camera about how hard it is in trainee life in real time. Outside of Nine Muses (And that was just a skeevy situation in the first place), I don’t really recall looking into the female idol prep life. On the flipside for guys we have: That One Day show (which resulted in 2PM and 2AM), I think Big Bang got a documentary, VIXX was made on a competition, Both YG’s new boygroups, and Starship’s No Mercy show. JYP managed to get some small attention for his upcoming boygroups (only one made it in the year of 2014) thanks to YG’s WIN.

These shows foster sympathy (for the most part), a following, and potential attention from endorsements…you are a leg up where most trainees are not.

At least that’s how I view it.

For a girl group to do it…well I don’t know. I don’t want to sit here and say there will be explicitly different things about the show, but I don’t want to leave that off the table.

Anyway this isn’t happening until April, which means their debut will probably be September. That means we can get all the other ladies of JYPE out, because as far as we are concerned, JYP is going to put a lot of emphasis on the new crew.

(Sidenote: JYP=The company not the man, too lazy to put the E at the end.)

4Minute comes hard with Crazy (plus talk about Cold Rain)

I like 4Minute, but I don’t…care for 4Minute. That’s it. Anyway they are back….after releasing a bit of a light snack in Cold Rain, we were basically waiting for what would come next…

What came next was a 180 in sound, direction and look.

Here is Crazy.

https://www.youtube.com/a%20id=_GPLITA_0%20style=border:none%20!important;display:inline-block%20!important;text-indent:0%20!important;float:none%20!important;font-weight:bold%20!important;height:auto%20!important;margin:0!important;min-height:0%20!important;min-width:0%20!important;padding:0!important;text-transform:uppercase%20!important;text-decoration:underline%20!important;vertical-align:baseline%20!important;width:auto%20!important;background:transparent%20!important;%20title=Click%20to%20Continue%20>%20by%20GoSave%20href=#watchimg%20style=border:none%20!important;display:inline-block%20!important;text-indent:0%20!important;float:none%20!important;font-weight:bold%20!important;height:10px%20!important;margin:0%200%200%203px%20!important;min-height:0%20!important;min-width:0%20!important;padding:0!important;text-transform:uppercase%20!important;text-decoration:underline%20!important;vertical-align:super%20!important;width:10px%20!important;background:transparent%20!important;%20src=https://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10×10.png%20alt=%20//a?v=1nCLBTmjJBY

I love it. It’s big, hard hitting, edgy (in a sense).  I think the only thing I don’t love about it is the beat, which feels like a composite of several different songs, and their worst attributions. I think trap (is that wha the genre is called?) in K Pop is very counterproductive considering that K Pop in itself is meant to be catchy and listenable.

It doesn’t feel like it was meant to follow musically. I don’t know. It’s not just catchy, but I couldn’t vibe with it. But I still fucks with this song heavily.

I think this works for 4minute in some way. It’s “edgier” (or at least meant to be), but very in route of them. Like this doesn’t feel truly left field and a massive “concept” change (what is 4Minute’s concept?). It’s like they took the group’s original template and played around with it.

The video is also another strong point. I love it…for the most part.

I do think the whole swag/hardcore/wild=taking inspiration from Hip-Hop culture and shit is tired (but that’s for another post), and…

*Insert comments on cultural appropriation being bad, and all that*

I don’t have the time.

Outside of the obvious little problem of that…I like the video. 4Minute as a group seems workable. And they adapt to this really well.

I like the bucket hats.

I like the song. I like the video (for the most part). Here’s hoping their album will slay.

 

 

15& continue a good streak with Love Is Madness

For whatever reason, 15& are not promoting their latest single Love Is Madness.

Why? I don’t know. I see them in school uniforms so I think they are back in school, which means very little time for musical efforts (which can take a lot of time in the first place)…

Whatever the reason, 15& essentially have a good single, especially for the upcoming Valentine’s Day (aka peak cuffing season).

I am into this. I think it fits them. They are the pop-R&B duo who sing very ordinary pop (in my opinion). By ordinary I mean the music doesn’t feel like it belongs in K Pop, which tends to have a bright charismatic feel to it.  Outside of a couple of singles, 15& have been a very smooth sailing kind of group. Sugar was the most K Pop in sound they have ever done, followed by Somebody (both singles were not exactly fan favorites from my understanding). But overall you are looking at a group that just feels unlike the others. That can be a strength and a weakness, but for them…eh…the music is good.

(Note: This does not mean 15& are some unique entity in music and that makes them superior above all others. I just see this as a way that helps define them, if only in a small way)

What I love about the song is how they look at love negatively. The song itself is overwhelming negative (on top of a groove of a beat), and reading the lyrics made me nod my head. They are in a break up, and see how fucked up love can be. They regret falling for someone, and think it is crazy to do that to yourself. But secretly they know it will happen again. I like that. Of course this is all from the post break up point of view, but it is still a valid feeling…to me.

Musically, I was never really bored. You got two nice voices, and musically the song keeps a nice pace (especially for a semi torch song).  The way the song started off made it seem like we were getting a overly glossed, predictable Korean ballad, but instead we got this. It has traces of it, but going for a more prominent R&B sound made it more bearable for me.

I don’t really have a complaint. They did well. It feels appropriate for the time. Get the bitter lonely singles.  This isn’t the life changing song, but there is no promo tactics going behind this other then a small show to be held on Valentine’s Day. Because of that, I don’t actually have anything to really say (although the song went #1 on Melon *first for the ladies*, and was close to a roof hit).

Love Is Madness may not feel like anything special for the teen-duo, but at the same time it feels appropriate. Like a little notch in their belt of songs that work for them.

Love Is Madness it out right now…go get it…or not.