Chung Ha has been one of the luckier girls to branch from IOI fame. Not being tethered to a group (with expectations to provide a group with a boost in notoriety), Chung Ha was allowed the chance to move as her own and create her own musical identity as a soloist. Last year’s Why Don’t You Know came out and was liked well enough as a summer single. Not wasting too much time, Chung Ha starts the new year with a just as bright dance number titled Roller Coaster.
Boygroups are like a repellent for me. Boygroups who are “hip hop” concept are even worse. So it is already a struggle for me to care. With B.A.P. they have just kind of existed since I took noticed of them. They tend to dip between oyous frivilous pop sounds and more “edgier” darker melodies. But in all of it they tend to have a more lively feel to their music and grow with it. With this being their third comeback this year, it seems they are scratching off that bad boys kind of sound with Skydive.
Because BigHit doesn’t seem to think there is a problem with it, BTS are back with another full album (titled Wings) and the lead track to be promoted is called Blood Sweat and Tears. A supposedly romantic track about what sounds like a broke ass love…I don’t know. I am just kind of here to write the review. Let’s get to it.
I feel like…There is a lot to be said…and most of it is not about the song. So let’s get into it!
Popular ballad duo Davichi returned with…*DRUM ROLL*
I am not exactly shocked, nor did I expect/desire/hope for something different. The reality is some groups do what they do with great returns. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…and for Davichi that means singing in angst over a ballad.
Beside Me is pretty standard. It doesn’t seem to lack in anything really, and even avoids tripping into excess; however the song doesn’t really move me. It has all the usual fixings for a slow tempo burner. The usual production cues including a piano and string opening, but doesn’t dive immediately into a typical orchestra. Instead it comes off as more of a pop ballad moving much slower than it needs to. Then you have Minkyoung and Haeri themselves. As a ballad group you have two ladies who are no slouches at what they do. They sing, and in their genre, they sing with a strong emphasis on phrasing and words. This is why a lot of ballad singers like to play up that weak tone when displaying vulnerability only to fly into soaring high notes. Here Davichi avoid that, instead singing with a fullness, while still managing to give off the idea of sadness. They also manage to not get excessive on the vocals. Instead they sing what feels appropriate…but…at the same time not enough. Haeri and Minkyoung feel like they are just scratching the surface of something interesting, but doubtfully move forward, settling for good enough.
The video is everything that we have seen before. Two beautiful women wondering random oddly decorated environments searching for love. Once again…nothing new, but still very much delivers.
Beside Me is nothing we haven’t gotten before, and will likely not be the last of its kind (from this duo or the industry itself). It is a sad love song that feels just slightly more modern than the average K ballad, and thankfully avoids grand gestures of vocalizing throughout most of the song. But it stops just at the point of being acceptable and palpable for the public…and really…that’s all you can ask for.
Davichi’s Beside Me is available online and on their latest ep 50 X HALF.
Two years ago it was made known that CL would be moving to the US market…well…shit things haven’t gone anywhere. After a flop buzz single that really only made waves in the K Pop community (not the goal) but did get some play in a commercial (I forget which one)…we finally get Lifted.
I appreciate Mamamoo…but I wouldn’t buy their music. I have not been sold on any of their releases. Not a single one. However they are nothing less than a A-grade group. Talented performers that look good together. I just don’t want to listen to their music.
AHH OOP! is however a new release so I might as well take a peak.
I like this more than the last release. There are several things that need to be discussed though. Let me hit the positives first.
I like the beat. The beginning sounded like 50’s rock (don’t ask for a name). It then became this big band+old school rock hybrid. I liked it. The two acts involved (Mamamoo and Esna) do well. Esna talk sings, but is nothing less than killer. Her darker, slightly heavier voice actually worked on this song more than the other ladies. That doesn’t mean that Mamamoo were some push overs. Once again, we are looking at a very well-oiled machine of a group. They are no slouches in terms of performance (not just visually, but musically). In fact Weein and Whasa tackle the chorus for most of the song and they are slinky and provocative. Moonbyul is not only the resident rapper, but bites hard as well. Solar then ends the song with a booming version of the chorus that the other two vocalist were handling.
And now for the bad
First off…there was a lot of Esna for Mamamoo to have been the main focus of the promotional teasers. Once again, I think she is nothing less than good on this, and even better suited for the song than Mamamoo (which says a lot for a group like this one). But she is still the feature artist…in a sense. It doesn’t make sense that Esna get not only the verses, but does trade off with ole girl in the fried blonde. Her presence was made explicitly as if she was the fifth member of the group. Mamamoo as an entity doesn’t really develop until the very end of the song, thanks to Moonbyul taking over as the rapper.
Second the chorus is so lowkey. If you actually listen, Solar sings the same exact thing that Wheein and Whasa were singing. The difference? Solar’s version was executed in a way to stick out. Probably because that was pretty much her only identifiable part (She did contribute a bit to the song). The chorus doesn’t feel like it exist until it is absolutely nothing else to sing. Also…once again, this is the only part of the song that Mamamoo seems to be as a group.
Lastly…I just think the song is not exactly promote a single material. I am very aware that sometimes you just got to remind people that the group exist, and that the next project is the one that people will need to be more interested in. I just think this would make a good album record. Like something I could hear on an album and be into.
As for the music video…eh. It fit the theme of them as a group and theirs style musically. The video actually sells me on the song more to be honest.
Mamamoo and Esna work great together, but AAH OOP! is not the best they could do.
That is the only car pun I want to happen in this post.
Anyway on the heels of my teaser post that went into depth about the 70’s horror movie vibe I was getting, Red Velvet/SM/Whomever decide that it was only right to fuck with my emotions and validate me in some way.
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.
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.
In my predictions I said Crayon Pop would slay, and slightly conform to K Pop’s usual standard
Well, here is this!
Okay it’s not exactly a group release, but it is close enough.
I really like it. It is fun, easy to listen to. Soyul sounds nice, that guy whose name I don’t care about sounds good. I don’t really understand what the song is about, but…eh minor details right here.
It’s such an easy song. I like it.
I hope they promote it.
The video makes more sense than the song, although the shirt is garbage, but eh…who am I to judge creativity?
Overall Y-Shirt works. It’s nothing that is going to chance the game, but it is fun. I can’t be mad at it.