2018 Review Rush: Hyolyn’s Set Up series (To Do List and Dally)

Hyolyn (also known as Hyorin formerly of Sistar), has used 2018 to really kind of work on herself and her career. Business wise, she decided to skip out on finding a new agency to house her career. Instead she became a independent act and started her own company Bridge (it is Romanized differently). While Sistar’s last release was…actually around this time last year…Hyolyn spent her time getting her resources ready and building a small foundation for her newfound independent brand. In 2018 Hyolyn finally delivered new music as a solo artist and company.

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2018 Review Rush: Fromis_9 Debut with To Heart+ DKDK (Second Single)

Fromis (_9) are the result of yet another survival show titled Idol School (hence the name From…I(dol) S(chool). When the show came out I swore against it like I did both Produce 101 and whatever ilk spawned beyond that. Unfortunately I ended up getting invested in the show and some of the contestants (many of my choices NOT making the group), but now I am invested in the group as well. Needless to say I knew the group would end up being cute (a school concept…please).

Because I am in such a rush review wise, I decided to combine both their 2018 releases into one review. To Heart and DKDK (which is just Pitapat).

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2018 Review Rush: Gugudan’s The Boots

2017 turned out to be interesting for Gugudan musically. Their first (and so far strongest release) was the fast paced charging song about vanity A Girl Like Me. Turned out to be one of my favorite songs of 2017. Their second full group (Well partially, one member had to sit out) was the turn to quirky cute Chococo. I will admit to letting the visuals deter me as the song was not bad at all. Overall Gugudan has been one of the stronger groups musically in my opinion when it comes to singles (yes I will defend Wonderland). Still what this does show me is that the group are trying to achieve that balancing act of multiple concepts for varying appeal. For 2017 the group make their way back to a more sophisticated image with The Boots.

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JBJ’s My Flower is likable

If you were to ask me who JBJ is, I would block you. I don’t know. I can’t even tell you when they debuted (I’m guessing either last year or late 2016). Boy groups are a mystery to me at this point. If you not from an already established group, I barely have time for them.

Still I said 2018 I was going to flesh out my listening, so here we go. JBJ’s new song My Flower.

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Old Reviews: Fromis_9 Glass Shoes

Editor’s Note: I wrote this very quickly and to get things out of the way.

After a certain survival show, I had refused to entertain another one. I skipped both seasons of Produce 101, and am barely keeping up with The Unit (there are a couple of people I like on there). Still Idol School came, and several former JYP Trainess of a certain show were putting their hats into the race. In the end only one of them made it to the end, and I swore I wasn’t going to care about another group.

Obviously things don’t go how you want them.

Glass Shoes is a pre-release track for Fromis_9, and their debut is likely going to happen in February. I almost feel bad that this isn’t the debut because it is a likable song. You could probably pop into any faded pastel cute girl group and find an iteration of this exact song. It’s nothing new, or groundbreaking. But in the efforts of keeping it simple they created something that I liked. The highlights have to be the hook section which gives a sort of whimsical nature to the song, and the actual chorus which has that understated drive. That drive only becomes prominent in the final chorus where the song gets the most modest of kicks to make the song not feel flat.

Overall it is a likable effort. I am sure people are tired of the cute concept. I do think it is coming to a close, but fromis_9 made a decent effort with this one.


Glass Shoes is available online for streaming and digital download. 

 

Red Velvet’s Red Flavor affirms a good year

Red Velvet have been on a meandering path to a single form. In the past the group took to splitting their image between bright and vibrant pop and more demure mid tempo R&B retreads. This has since stop for their last three projects, where they have come back more affirmatively on the bright pop side. Russian Roulette was a standard attempt at the typical cute group look. Rookie was a fun track that was betrayed by SM’s attempts to maintain a weird idea of Red Velvet. With Red Flavor, we see the group return to a modified version of 2014

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EXID’s Night Rather Than Day is a soft but dynamic return

EXID are the group that have a tenuous but positive relationship with. While I have liked a majority of their releases, I have never truly committed myself to the group as a fan would. Instead I eagerly await for their return with hopes that this would be the one. Their last song LIE, left me befuddled and not amused, and only at the last minute did I find the song anywhere near charming. For 2017 they come back with a switch once again.

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Don’t Speak almost gets it right for Tiffany

Don’t Speak is a song from the group Far East Movement (the group that gave us the annoying Like A G6). Admittedly I heard the name Far East Movement and rolled my eyes, because of that song. However their latest album showed that they are definitely better than I expected. I am proud to be wrong. Their album is lined with many Asian singers, many from the K-music scene. Tiffany of SNSD assist with Don’t Speak with King Chain.Unfortunately the song and video focuses heavily on Tiffany, making this more of a moment for her.

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Mamamoo’s Decalcomanie is a lesson in the worst way

Mamamoo are on a high right now with the amount of success they have achieved since their debut over the last couple of years. Coming in as one of the stronger vocal based groups of the new generation that have made themselves standout with vocal focused, R&B and big band influenced pop. Their new song Decalcomanie strives to be memorable with a more forward blend of their past efforts.

Warning: After this video includes images of assault. Solar (and Hwasa) are depicted as being forced into a kiss with Solar’s character being seen actively struggling against the male lead. I will also be discussing them later in the review so be mindful.  Continue reading