Disclaimer: All posts are just containing my OPINION. I don’t mean to offend. I mean to give only my honest feedback. Also, I do not listen to every song, although I try to. (I might have missed them or the site may not have posted on it. The ‘Discovered’ section exists for this reason.)
By the way, this link here is for those who wish to look at (almost) every song that came out in each week. Since I don’t like EVERY song that comes out, I thought the Soompi tag should reflect a better picture of the releases. 😀 Two other links here may help too: LINK #1 , LINK #2
Songs I Like and Would Like to Recommend
2Bic’s falsettos and vocal control make ‘I Love You’ a beautiful ballad that is accompanied with a nicely shot MV. Strange that the teaser (the actress and the video somewhat) has no connections to the MV.
AOA tries to seduce with their 5th single album comeback ‘Miniskirt’. Their title track, ‘Miniskirt’ is a hiphop dance track with some retro influences. I honestly think ‘Miniskirt’ is catchy and is of decent quality. (Do I hear Big Star, especially their rappers? Or is it just Bravebrothers?) Lyrics wise, it just felt so shallow. I wasn’t a fan of the MV as well – the girls were trying too hard to be sexy and it came off as laughable. (I did really like their white-blouse-and-red-skirt outfit. lol.) RnB pop intro track ‘Gonna Get Your Heart’ is a short and sweet mini-collaboration track between AOA and Big Star (? …mainly the quintet’s vocalists..). Mid-tempo RnB ballad track ‘Under The Street Lights (feat. Big Star..?)’ is also not bad at all. Altogether, I think the girls have made a good comeback with regards to the songs they have released. 😀
Lyn participates in <Man From The Stars> OST, ‘Destiny’, an epic/emotional ballad. Another ballad OST I recommend from the soloist is ‘Back In Time’ from <Moon That Embraces The Sun>.
Hong Dae Kwang (omg he’s an ‘85-er!) is back with his first CD out of the two in his EP, <Silver Lining>. I recommend all four songs. 😀 ‘Intro’ is a soothing jazz-classical instrumental piece. ‘No Answer’ is Hong’s representative track – a bittersweet pop ballad. ‘Winter Sea’ is a mid-tempo jazz ballad. ‘25’ is a contemplative acoustic ballad. It’s funny how I preferred the comeback teaser video to the MV. 😛 ALBUM LINK. FYI, Hong debuted with ‘Far Away’ mini album. (It was a good effort and I recommend ‘Confession’.)
Rhythm Power returns with a double-title-track full album that focuses on hip-hop. The trio are great with their rap as usual but I was mostly neutral towards their rap tracks (‘RPG’, ‘Stone Cold’, ‘Mr Vengeance (feat. Gaeko)’). ‘Wolmido Dogs’ felt like a confused track for me – there were parts that didn’t fit the interlude, but there were parts that were good. Out of the 9 songs, I really liked: ‘Warawara’ (instrumental was dope!), ‘Game of Thrones’ (a fun title track), ‘ Stupid Love (feat. Crush)’ (sweet Hip-hop RnB representative song), ‘Fly High (feat. Kye Beom Ju)’ (a hip-hop with a likeable instrumental)’, ‘만루홈런 인천 Remix (Feat. C Jamm)’ (a rap-only song, with heavy beats that went well with the rap, and an interesting chorus(? hook?)). ALBUM LINK
Geeks’s other rapping half, Louie, makes a solo comeback. The debut single includes title track ‘Twilight (feat. Boy Wonder)’ and ‘Where You At (feat. Young Luffy)’. ‘Twilight’ has a nicely addicting hook and instrumentals, and complemented with the rapping skills of Louie and Boy Wonder. The MV is well shot too. ‘Where You At’ is a soothing mid-tempo hip-hop collaboration track between Louie and rapper Young Luffy. I love this so much.>.< If anyone wants the LIVE version…
Hyo Rin sings for <Man From The Stars> OST as well. ‘Hello’ follows in ‘Destiny’’s footsteps as a bittersweet ballad, albeit with some modern pop influences. I really like how Hyo Rin sings here. Her husky vocals and control suits the already likeable melody.
Ga In’s ‘fxxk u (feat. Bumkey)’ will be a short return before her mini album in February. The mid-tempo RnB-latin track is a tastefully restrained song imo, but one that may not pack a punch for some. The MV is equally amazing – one, for touching on the topic of sexual abuse/rape in romantic relationships and two, for the acting (It was really uncomfortable watching the MV). My favourite line in the song would have to be when both singers sang ‘Don’t Push Me Away’. It showed the difference in thinking – Bumkey/Joo Ji Hoon’s version was more…sex craved, while Ga In’s version was more like a reply while simultaneously giving him an ultimatum. 2 MV reviews that may shed some light on the MV: Seoulbeats (analysis on fire ), Topofthekpops (analysis on colour).
Mongilers collaborates with Untouchable’s rapper Sleepy, rapper Big Tray, reggae artiste Koonta and singer Hwa Yeong for ‘Monster’, that’s about a mobile game called ‘Taming The Monster’ which explains Mina, a cat-girl character in the application. ‘Monster’ is a funny, high-energy hip-hop song. Love how they chanted ‘Mom’s credit/debit card’. LOL. The MV and song is a bit dirty, but nothing terribly offensive. Do you play the game? Haha.
Yun Jong Shin’s monthly project for January, has Team89 and, Yun Jong Shin, Pu Er Kim and Muzie collaborating for ‘Details’. The mid-tempo RnB song is another stylish, tastefully restrained piece. Yun and Kim’s vocals go really well together (esp Kim’s, which adds colour to the track), and Muzie’s deep but soft rapping complements the tone of the song. SINGLE LINK.
Park Ji Heon goes to Thailand for his single, ‘Always Thinking About You’. Park’s gentle vocals (he sounds like Wheesung at times :D) are a good fit for the ballad. 🙂 For those who might find him familiar, the singer was actually a VOS member, but left the group in 2010. SINGLE LINK.
BAP’s first full album <Sensibility> is competent comeback material. ‘B.A.P’ is a badass hip-hop intro track with heavy beats. This is a sure winner for fans who like their tougher image. ‘1004 (or Angel)’ is an acoustic dance-rock track, a title song that had an effortless charm and one which I thought mixes the fierce and softer images of the sextet. I also realised the MV had an additional rap-and-song break (not included in the actual), which was fine at first. But the (musical) link back to the actual(?) song felt flat, like they were two separate songs. I really liked the dance during the second rap hook by Bang Yong Guk. I was like, you do your thang Jong Up. Lol. ‘Easy’ is a lightly catchy mid-tempo RnB. Love this. ‘Spy’ is a cute old-school hip-hop dance track that I wished spoke about one-sided love instead. (That could totally be a romcom movie title or MV with a twist. Haha. …Sounds creepy though.. heh.) ‘Check On’ is a funky hip-hop track, which surprisingly isn’t another love song. ‘Shady Lady’ is a sweet and gentle jazz-RnB track, accompanied with delicious harmonies. A definite favourite for me. ‘Lovesick’ is an electronic-acoustic pop song that has the same mainstream kind of likeability as ‘1004’, only, it’s the more generic version. Hence, I felt it’s one of the weaker songs of the album. ‘Bang X2’ is a hard rock/heavy metal-pop track that takes us back to familiar territory. Loved how they paired the hard rock/heavy metal genre with an inspiring message. ‘SNS’ is an electronic-RnB number. My favourite is the chorus and the hook. 🙂 ‘Body and Soul’ is a sweet, sensual mid-tempo RnB song with deep bass beats. I think the song was good, but it has a familiar feeling – very reminiscent of TVXQ’s RnB tracks in their album. o.O. ‘Save Me’ (Ahh so this was the additional song in the MV..) is a hip-hop-RnB track. Another definite favourite off the album 🙂 ‘Baby’ is a typical pop song. Sorry 😛 (Ironic how I don’t like a fan song. lol.) ‘With You’ is an engaging RnB-pop ballad. I’m quite surprised that this was the only official ballad of the album but I liked that it’s the finale to their album – like a happy ending. On the whole, the songs were quite safe. But I do think the album is a commendable product by the group, especially Bang Yong Guk for being the major force behind the album. ALBUM PLAYLIST.
Lunafly sings ‘I Want To Love Again’ for <Can We Love> OST. The mid-tempo acoustic pop ballad is a nicely toned down, yet catchy song. Reminds me of sad scenes from Boys Over Flowers for some reason….okok, maybe more generally speaking – just one half of the drama OTP standing on the beach, looking across the sea, emo-ing under the night sky. lol. The Soompi link has scenes from the drama.
Noh/Roh Ji Hun suffers a heartbreak in ‘A song For You (feat. Shorry)’. The pop ballad single is vastly different from Noh’s ‘Punishment’, in terms of the way the breakup theme was done in both songs. As for my opinions, I think the soloist sang the song well and it shows his versatility as a singer. On top of that, the song itself is enjoyable, with an interesting chorus. I also liked the MV, for the band, scenery and cinematography, and for giving the vocalist a softer, humbler image.(Ahaha. For some reason, I laughed when Noh deliberately pushed his hand into his pocket during this live performance. I found something else to share – it’s Noh Ji Hun’s ‘Birth of A Great Star’ audition(?), singing: 2AM’s ‘Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die’
Rapper Zizo (NOT Zico) releases ‘Winter of Haeundae (feat. Lim Kim/Kim Ye Rim)’, a mid-tempo pop track. At first, I thought the song would be an energetic pop piece from the first two teasers (which were teasing Haha. lol) and so, I didn’t like it. But after listening to the track, I really liked the uplifting nature of the song and MV (Acting from Shin So Yul and rookie actor Kim Jeong Heon were good, and the cinematography was very fitting. Speaking of Kim Jeong Heon, he was on one episode of KBS’s Drama Special – My wife Natrey’s First Love.) ‘It’s Not Love (feat. Kuan)’ is similar to the title track – laid back mid-tempo pop track. (Somehow Zizo looks like a younger YDG to me. LOL.) Not a bad song, but I found myself leaning more towards the lightly catchy ‘Winter of Haeundae’.
NOT TOO BAD/OK
Girl’s Day returns with their 3rd mini album and mid-tempo RnB dance track, ‘Something’. The song takes a more subtle, matured approach than AOA’s ‘Miniskirt’. I really liked the first two verses of the song in both first and second half of the song, and I wished the song continued in that vein. If only the dance genre didn’t take over in the hook and the chorus.. With regards to the MV, I think only So Jin seemed natural for its sexual theme. On another note, ‘Something’ reminds me a lot of Park Ji Yun’s ‘Coming of Age Ceremony, in terms of the outfit, dance and the way the song is done. A song I really liked from their mini album is ‘Show U’, a simple and sweet acoustic pop song and in my opinion, Girls Day do well in such songs. (“White Day’ is another example.) Their intro track and ‘Whisper’ is not too bad.
4Minute and Brave Brothers’s ‘Only Gained Weight’ is a simple mid-tempo pop song that can get stuck into your head.
‘Island Village Pure Love’ is a cute and relaxing OST track for variety show ‘Island Village Teachers’, from indie soloist Romantic Melody Chobi. (This reminds me of ’s instrumental opening..) Aww, the children are so cute. YOUTUBE LINK
JYJ’s Jae Jung adds a duet with Gummy for acoustic ballad ‘Heaven’ and a solo track ‘Make Up’ to his first album [repackaged]. ‘Heaven’ is a classic ballad while ‘Make Up’ is a vintage ballad. Both sang well, esp Jae’s in the latter track (he sounds so close to crying), but the ballads were nothing special, melody-wise. (I covered the first album’s remaining tracks too. Click here if you are interested :))
Pu Er Kim releases her first single, rock-pop ballad ‘Manyo Maash’, under Mystic89. It’s not a bad song, but I expected the song to be hard rock. You can enjoy more of Pu Er Kim’s unique vocals in her <Korean Vowels> album.
Ballad group The Seeya makes a comeback with ‘Tell Me’. The song is ok, but the vocals are great and I always appreciate a legitimate female rapper. The MV (2 versions), though, seems like it was shot by an amateur.
Shim Eun Kyeong and Rose Motel sing together for Miss Granny’s OST, a modern version of Sae Saem Trio’s ‘If You Go To LA’. The light-hearted, quirky MV is a joy to watch and listen to. It’s also nice to see Shim so sporting. (Please note that the MV also contains scenes from the film.) By the way, wasn’t this the song Shim sung on Running Man!? Can’t help but repeat Gwang Su’s adlibs. Haha.
U-Kiss goes on a vacation for their vibrant, mushy pop track ‘Only You’ to go with their Special Clothing album.
Mblaq’s Thunder sings and raps for ‘Gone’, his solo ballad-pop single. (FYI, the Mblaq member has released 2 songs prior to this and they are ‘Blaq Cat’ and ‘Don’t go’.) The song is not bad but Thunder sounds shaky throughout the track….This makes me wonder why Seung Ho hasn’t gotten his solo project yet. 😦 YOUTUBE LINK.
Grade 7 Class 1 (Will the name keep changing? Like grade 8, grade 9….lol; question is, why are they called grade 7 when the youngest is 15 and oldest is 23 (international age)?) debuts with a cheerleading concept for their 90s pop single, ‘Oppa Virus’. It’s actually a really catchy song. It’s just, I don’t like the concept. The MV was bordering on creepy. >.< [Btw, there has been a controversy surrounding the glorification of bullying with respect to the member roles.]
Shinee’s Taemin sings a mainstream dance-pop track, ‘Steps’, for <Prime Minister and I> OST. For those who do not wish to be spoiled by any scenes from the drama, be warned that the MV for ‘Steps’ came from the romcom’s first few episodes.
Spica’s new single is a catchy retro dance pop track, ‘You Don’t Love Me’. The girls are great as always, but the song leaves a lot to be desired for me. I mean, I don’t think the song is bad and I think the girls are able to show the kind of vocal prowess they always had, but I’m literally begging for a more complex song from them because I know they can do it, and do it well.
Rapper duo/Sub-unit Pro C finally reveal their faces for their second digital single, hip-hop ballad ‘Love Hurts (feat. Ailee)’. I kinda wished this was more of an understated RnB ballad. The starting showed potential, but the chorus was bland. YOUTUBE LINK.
Oneul’s ‘Graduation‘ is indeed a cute and catchy pop song. And she can sing. But I’m not that huge a fan of the song. The female soloist will be releasing 5 more songs throughout the year (February, May, August, November and December).
Korean-british singer Shannon (‘98er, and from CCM) duets with Speed’s Jong Kuk for mid-tempo ballad, ‘Remember You’. The pair’s vocals, especially Shannon’s, outshine the song. (This really sounds like Xiah and Zhang Li Yin’s ‘Timeless’.) You can check out her other performances/covers on the soompi link, and on Hidden Singer 2( Beyonce’s ‘Listen’).
Acoustic band Redchair’s ‘The New Year Got Brighter’ is a soothing, happy acoustic pop single. About the band: They are a co-ed group that debuted in 2011 from what I have found. Each of them have a specific role – pianist (Kang Ju Eun), percussionist (Jeong Jae Hun), vocals (Su Kyeong), guitarist (Kim Bo Kyu). Their 2013 late Nov release – Break-Up After-effect.
Female rapper Heize sings and raps with male soloist Crucial Star for ‘조금만 더 방황하고 (Le’s Drift Around For A Little While More)’. You can check out her other songs as well, but since this is for the January and February period, I won’t cover her song in this post.
KAMO – 혼자 있다보면 (feat.Supreme Boi) is an understated, chill RnB, and Kamo reminds me of Ju Yeong in the way he sounds and the kind of songs he sings.
Female contestant of Voice Korea 2, Lee Ye Jun’s audition piece ‘The Reason I Became A Singer’. (Too awesome >.<) Another beautiful rendition by Lee and fellow contestant Lee Hyeon Ju, of Im Chang Jeong’s ‘You That Looks Like Me’. (Original by Im is at around 23:24 of the clip.) Lol. I thought Gil was gonna take off his sunglasses at 1:35. zz…
Beenzino‘s 24:26 full (hiphop) album features a variety of rappers like The Quiett and Okasian. He has a laid-back style, and he has also featured in many other artistes’ songs, like Lee Hyori’s ‘Love Radar’. Additional: Aqua Man MV
This is a remix version of Gaeko’s ‘Rhythm is Life’ by Zico, Ugly Duck and Crush (becoming a household name in the hip-hop scene these days with his vocals). And why not at the same time, Chris M Joon’s dance cover of the song as well!
Giriboy’s 2014 January full album, <Sensual>. Track 5 and 8 are instrumentals. Most of the songs in <Sensual> were ok, but I found his 2012 full album <Fatal 2>, more engaging (with the exception of track 6). PLAYLISTS: <SENSUAL> | <FATAL2>
Another talented vocal group, Kiss&Cry, may have debuted with ‘Domino Game’ but I thought their ‘Lady Marmalade’ cover was better. (FYI, 3 members except Hyena have already debuted through their respective groups and solo projects, so the members are not exactly rookies in the music industry.)
I wasn’t satisfied with Kye Beom Ju’s latest single ‘Game Over’ (MV has a twist though :D) so here’s a live performance of his(?) song, ‘2Star’. (Whoa, he looks so different from before!) Additional: Kye Beom Ju’s Introduce Myself by 1theK.
GD, CL, Zico – The Leaders
1TYM, GD, TOP, Zico, Park Kyeong – Get Them Knock Out
Lunafly covers a Reik’s sweet, Spanish ballad track ‘Creo En Ti’. Soompi Link
JYP’s hip-hop group, Got7, teaches the main dance points for their ‘Girl Girls Girls’ debut title track. Love the last part where they (Mark, actually) showed us one more dance move. Jackson’s facial expression >.< (And is it me, or does Jackson have Tae Yang’s wacky vibes in him. lol.)
Sunny Hill gets interviewed for their comeback single, along with a farewell from their male member.
BTS introduces their second mini-album with their usual comeback trailer video. This was all kinds of awesome – from the tune, the female’s vocals, to the fierce rhythmic raps from BTS’s RapMonster, Suga and J-Hope. ❤
Bebe Mignon’s Ben brings goosebumps to viewers with her performance of Lee Seon Hee’s ‘Connection’ on .
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!