Various releases over the first half of the year

 

Running a k pop review blog means I get to listen to a lot of music and tell you guys what I think about them, and why I think that way. However there is a lot of music being released. On top of the idol releases, you have several non idol acts making names and carving lanes for themselves, and then there are the rappers, as well as oldies and goodies. There is so much content out there in just six-seven months. This summer alone has brought out a lot of big names as well as many rookies, and several debuts. So…I tend to miss a few here and there…be it by accident or simply because I was prioritizing something else…or I just didn’t care.

Well here is one post of songs from acts that I wanted to highlight. Of course this does not make up for the many releases I have missed. I am going to have to do a part two for the many nugu boy groups that came back but did not put a dent into the Korean Pop game.

Until that post shows up, these are just a fraction of releases done by non K Pop/idol groups of 2015.

San E. ft Yerin Me You

https://www.youtube.com%20watch?v=nUYu7SFzhBQ

The only reason I even cared about this was because of Yerin, who has pretty much dropped off the face of the earth (I’m kidding she has a private instagram, and discussed why she deleted most of her sns). Anyway, the song is pretty standard. The coffee shop love music. Very bright, R&B flavored meant to inspire positive feelings about romance. It’s one of those releases that was meant for the warm April month. The video is also standard. I think a lot of videos are using the same kinds of visuals. Strange isolated imagery in isolated rooms. Overall this is nice, nothing special. Both were kind of not at their best, with Yerin being mostly underutilized.

Rating: 3/5

Zion T.: Eat

https://www.youtube.com%20watch?v=Ibb5RhoKfzE

Zion T. is guilty for being very standard traditional R&B. I mean whatever works works, but I would have expected him to be a bit more experimental in sound considering his look. Still, his music is good, and this is no exception. Eat is simple and short. Not even three minutes, I kind of wish for more. The song is heavy on the metaphor, equating love with food, saying that if she misses him, listen to that song. As some reminder of how he feels about her. Cute. It’s not groundbreaking, but it works for him. Plus it’s Zion T.  and there isn’t much he could do to bother me. The video is cute too, with Zion T. just following her around at various places in her home, only for it to be shown that he is her phone (with a cracked screen, to match his cracked lenses). Eat is all about simplicity. The song never wavers, the video is isolated to a few rooms. It’s like a light snack…so to speak.

Rating: 4/5

Primary ft Beenzino and Suran: Mannequin

[embedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeGm7MDq2fo[/embed]

Mannequin is probably one of the best songs of 2015 for various reasons. The more I listen to Korean music, it becomes evident what are the preferred sounds. For R&B the sounds tend to be more traditional based. A lot of horns, less hip hop influences. You can hear the difference between them and R&B in the states (which osculates between dark electronic sounds and brighter contemporary Hip Hop influenced elements). Here there is a tinge of Jazz and big band that goes along with that nice sway in sound it has. Then there is the talent itself. The true focus is Suran herself, who has a voice that is childlike and edgy at the same time. Beenzino takes a verse and provides great coverage. Primary is of course the reason this song exist. Then the message of the song. Capitalism and how it can easily effect trends and image. All in the song about a girl envious of how someone looks. And with a catchy ass chorus.

Rating: 5/5

NC.A: Cinderella

https://www.youtube.com%20watch?v=MpjFI5a4tFA

I don’t remember if I actually talked about this or not, but…in case I didn’t. NC.A really made up for that mess she did at the beginning of the year. Although this is three months old, I still think this is cute. It was right before the craze over one of the dudes from BtoB happened. The song is a cute pop ballad, with a nice enough chorus. I do wish NC.A had some more depth vocally. Her voice is very childlike, and very pristine sounding as is most K Pop vocalist. I wished she would have flowed with the music a little more. Made it a little more lofty. Still, this isn’t bad. Hopefully she can make another comeback, it’s nice having a few soloist around here and there.

Rating: 3.5/5

ZoPD ft Bada: Candy

https://www.youtube.com%20watch?v=l5oSM4wxLyE

I listen to this a lot. I am mad at myself for not reviewing at the time. Released in the winter months, the song didn’t get any real play, but it still remains one of the finer releases of the year. There is this major positivity about the song that you can’t really find anywhere else. Also Bada is on it, and I love the fuck out of her as a singer and performer. I am not truly aware of who ZoPD is, but he apparently is a vet in the K Hip Hop scene. And it sounds like it, the song has that feel that you hear from older rappers who just speak about positive things and have major influences from old school sounds. The video is cute and really captures that nostalgia vibe running throughout the song. This is definitely one of my favorite releases this year by far.

Rating: 5/5

Yuk Ji Dam ft. Shannon Williams: Love Go Away

A relatively recent release in comparison to the others. Yuk Ji Dam got some fame from Unpretty Rapstar…did not watch it. Here there are only two things I can really say for certain. Shannon kind of stole the show. The song feels more catered to her as a pop singer. The sound is borderline OST, and is cute. Yuk Ji Dam does well, but the part that stuck out to me was Shannon going for those high notes. I also think the sound was maybe a little too…big. Like that is term played well for Shannon who could bring the drama as a vocalist. I think songs like this bold well for someone like Mad Clown who lives off of angsty rap songs. Yuk Ji Dam doesn’t have that audacity here. She was good for what she was though.

Rating: 3.5/5

 


And that is it. I doubt that I will suddenly be able to pick up the slack on other releases, so expect more post like this in the future!

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