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
Alternative/Modern Rock band Nell presents an artistic comeback in ‘Four Times Around The Sun’, ending the Gravity series with their 6th album, <newton’s apple=””>. The representative track, is a mid-tempo Alternative/Modern Rock track that’s nicely matched with the light, bittersweet vocals of Kim Jong Wan, making the ‘FTATS’ quite the addicting song. The MV completes the overall effect by also having an artsy, fantasy look about it. (Such a pretty MV >.<) The entire album has been a joy to listen – there’s something different about the songs despite the similarity in the melodies, especially ‘Newton’s Apple’, ‘Night Of Rebirth’, ‘Escape From Extinction’ and ‘Dear Genovese’. ‘Decompose’ is a mid-tempo Alternative Rock instrumental that pre-empts the kind of song to expect out of ‘FTATS’. ‘Fantasy’ takes a more lighthearted and at-times-off-beat approach at the genre. ‘Memories Of A Stranger’ is an Alternative-Rock-Acoustic ballad. The fourth song has a louder instrumental for the mid-tempo Piano Ballad, ‘History Of Silence’. Soft Rock Ballad ‘Grey Zone’ has a quieter, more sentimental sound to it. Alternative Rock Ballad ‘Newton’s Apple’ contrasts the interesting, deep beats with Kim’s light vocals. ‘Night Of Rebirth’ brings in the gruff electric guitar for the Alternative Rock-Pop track. (Why does this remind me of the kind of songs Kelly Clarkson will sing…?) Rock track ‘Escape From Extinction’ has a heavier, more dangerous tone. What sets this song apart too, is how Kim uses his vocals. I really like the chorus in Alternative-Rock-Pop ‘Dear Genovese’. (The title points to something even darker…. But it was a smart choice imo..) ‘Sunshine’ is a poignant, nostalgic Ballad to end the album. There’s a quality in the songs Nell release, which keeps them from being average. PLAYLIST
TVXQ’s main follow-up title track is a catchy and funky combination of RnB, A cappella (ah, those were the days…) and Jazz. In my opinion, the chorus for ‘Spellbound’ is more engaging than its verses. (MV #1, #2) Nonetheless, the duo’s high pitched vocals are just right for the song. 🙂 The two remaining new songs in the repackaged album are solos from the duo, ‘November With Love (featuring a children’s choir)’ and ‘Heaven’s Day’. The former is by Yun Ho – a bittersweet, delicate Piano Ballad, which I think he sang really well in. The latter is Chang Min’s – an RnB track that wasn’t too bad. Altogether, a decent addition to the album!
2ne1 goes futuristic for ‘Come Back Home’, the quartet’s title track for their <Crush> album. I have always liked the urban, trendy Pop songs [ie. ‘I Don’t Care’, ‘Go Away’(Is that Song Jae Rim in the MV?), ‘Ugly’] that the group does and ‘Come Back Home’ reminds me of them. The only qualm I have with the song is the Dubstep/Electronic part after the choruses. It muted the overall effect of the song. Maybe once was okay (especially as the hook before the last chorus), but having it more than once was a no go for me. Hence, the Unplugged/Acoustic version: Lighthearted Acoustic Rock-Pop track ‘Happy’ has the girls taking a softer, cuter image. While it’s a nice change, I think the song isn’t enough. (This has nothing to do with liking their fiercer Hip-Hop songs/image.) ‘Gotta Be You’ is a mid-tempo Urban Dance Pop with some Hip-Hop influence. The chorus is really catchy and I love Park Bom’s falsettos here (and in ‘Happy’ too). But overall, it’s a rather generic song. I can’t say I’m disappointed with the title tracks (they are not too bad, but not awesome imo), I just found the other songs better. ‘If I Were You’ (Jazz ballad that focuses more on the girls’ vocals. Nice ending too.), ‘Good To You’ (RnB-Piano ballad. Everyone sounds good here, especially Dara – the slow tempo chorus suits her vocals), ‘MTBD(or Mental Breakdown)’ (CL’s solo, a Techno Hip-Hop track. Love this.), ‘Scream’ (Electronic Pop with a cool start and chorus. The song also has a distinct western influence. This should be popular with the clubs.) are my picks for the album. ‘Crush’ (Electronic-Hip-Hop-Pop track, with a fun chorus and hook) and ‘Baby I Miss You’ (RnB-Jazz) are not too bad. Altogether I think doesn’t fall below expectations. I only wished that there were more (pure) Hip-Hop songs. But I love the fact that the group isn’t doing sexy. On a side note, I like how Park Bom used her falsettos in some of the songs. She usually doesn’t and I liked it. 🙂
Mr.Mr bravely disses their senior through similarly-titled single ‘Mr.Mr’. The group has a genre they usually stick to, and that’s Pop Ballads. I would love to see them venture into other genres, to test their limits. But at this moment, I’m loving their vocals and this RnB-y Pop Ballad. 😛
Spacecowboy mixes Electronic with the sweet and heavier Piano notes for dark Ballad ‘Falling (feat. Soul Dive as the rappers – good choice. Maybe Eluphant could be an alternative.)’. The single’s got a mellow but addicting artistic direction and a good stray away from the other genres. 🙂 The quality music video stars Kim Wu Ju (fellow singer) interestingly as a mental patient with supernatural powers.
Lyn releases a blue, atmospheric MV for her latest 8th album title track, mid-tempo Piano Ballad ‘Missing You..Crying’. Lyn’s resoundingly clear, strong voice is given the right amount of focus when paired with just the piano. The break where her voice quivers (at 3:22 for MV, 3:06 for audio): ‘I’m crying I’m crying, I try to forget but’, was great for the song, for a visual and emotional effect. The MV was beautiful to watch (The moody cinematography!!) It’s rather cool how the MV and song felt like they were made for each other – listening to the song alone made me want to watch the MV with it. (As Lyn had already released ‘Song For Love (Eng+Kor)’, ‘High Heel(feat Ju Yeong)’, ‘I Like This Song’ and ‘Breakable Heart (feat. Jun Hyeong)’, I will only cover the remaining six songs. ‘Tonight (feat. Baechigi)’ is a year-old mid-tempo Hip-Hop RnB track that’s lovely and light on the ears. If you are looking for a classic, dramatic Ballad, ‘Even I’ve Just Loved You’ is the song for you. When comparing between ‘Missing You..Crying’ and ‘EIJLY’, there’s a distinct change in the way Lyn sings (she sang really well, showing off her range effortlessly) and in the shift from a piano and drums to an Orchestral instrumental. ‘If It Melted In Air’ is an slow-tempo Acoustic-and-Piano Jazz Ballad. There’s a calming effect the song produces, as if Lyn’s singing in a Jazz bar. Despite all that, the song’s nothing surprising in the route it takes. So it was rather bland for me. In terms of emotional Ballads, I actually preferred ‘EIJLY’ to ‘What About Us’ as the latter sounded more typical and predictable. ‘Backhug’ is a mid-tempo RnB with Ballad moments. What makes it enjoyable is the change in Lyn’s singing pace throughout the track. And before you know it, the song is over. 🙂 Overall, a quality comeback with mostly hits than misses on my side, including the others that I didn’t cover on this post. 🙂 Here’s the album preview. [Side note: If you are interested in Jun Yeong’s songs: you can check out his solo songs in posts here and here.]
Ju Ah (whom I gather has yet to debut officially) also participates in an OST. The intense Ballad ‘I Am’ is from the romcom. Honestly speaking, the track had a basic tune and beat that exists in many Ballads. But my reason for putting this Ballad in this section, is because of Ju Ah. Her husky, explosive vocals and that control of hers made this song stand out. LINK
Monday Kiz’s ‘Because Of You/You Are The Reason’ is a mid-tempo Piano-Acoustic Ballad. Initially, I didn’t really like the heavy, rich feeling. It was the chorus that changed my mind – gentle, yet bittersweet. LINK. There’s another song by the trio that I didn’t review and that’s ‘Kiss’. The Hip-Hop Ballad is somewhat generic, but the fast-tempo (and rap) keeps the song interesting. Does anyone know the cast from both MVs? [The actor with the one-sided love in the ‘Kiss’ MV looks like a mix of Baek Seong Hyeon and comedian Bok Hyeong Gyu at some angles.]
Cheeky Hip-Hop trio Monsterz invite their fellow season 1 Dancing9 contestants for their ‘All Ready Go Lady’ MV. The Electronic Hip-Hop Dance track, the raps, and even the dance choreography (the main dance, as well as the different styles) make the whole deal enjoyable and catchy. [‘All Ready, Go Lady’ may seem like Monsterz’s debut, but that’s not true. I myself am not sure when they debuted (is it 2012?), but the Hip-Hop trio has been active even before 2 of the members participated in Dancing9 Season 1.] Only thing that spoiled the fun was the shallow parts in the MV. That was a bad call. As for their previous works, ‘Hang Over’ and ‘Banana’, I actually preferred them more to ‘ARGL’. (And no, it has nothing to do with the MV. ‘Hang Over’ had similar shallow shots too..) ‘Hang Over is an Electronic Dance song, while ‘Banana’ is an amusing and lighthearted Electronic-Pop track (their debut song?). Monsterz’s brand of music has an infectious, high energy that is sure to get your feet up in no time. (The MVs are also original..sans the shallow MVs..) I hope to see them more often in the music scene!
Orange Caramel continues their aegyo-and-bizarre Pop concept for ‘Catallena’. The upbeat track and unique MV is refreshingly different, and more so when I saw how comedian Kim Dae Seong connected with the concept so effortlessly. ‘I Cried Like Crazy’ is an engaging Electronic Pop Ballad with Raina being the main vocal pillar. ‘So Sorry’ is a lively Latin-Pop song that’s easy to catch on. It does sound familiar, but it fits Orange Caramel perfectly. The trio’s third single may not be the best, but what their merit is, is that they are different. Teasers with comedians Jeong Tae Ho and Kim Dae Seong are here and here.
Philtre brings together Choiza and Lim Kim’s first collaboration for his ‘Last Scene’. From the way he produced ‘Fade(feat. Younha)’, one can tell that Philtre’s does his Ballads with raw emotion and high quality. The same goes with Philtre’s ‘Last Scene’, a slow-tempo Electronic-Piano Ballad. I applaud the decision to have Kim Ye Rim in charge of the vocals, but I’m not too sure I liked the way Choiza rapped or the electronic break in the second half of the song. Regardless, the dark, miserably empty feeling of having broken up, was beautifully expressed. The second track of the mini album, is a bittersweet mid-tempo Electronic-Piano Ballad ‘She’s Pretty’ sung by Philtre. Even though the song is slightly lighter, there is still a lingering sentimentality and regret surrounding it.
A new vocal quartet, SoReal (wha- what a name…), shows off their outstanding talent in their first mini album <So Real Story>. The five tracks are as follows: ‘My Heart Says’ is a delightful RnB-Pop-Ballad, ‘Missing You (feat. VOS’s Choi Hyeon Jun)’ is an impressive albeit short English A cappella Ballad, ‘It’s Obvious’ is an interesting, catchy Electronic-Pop Ballad, ‘Like A Man’ is a groovy Jazz-RnB Ballad with an addictive chorus and hook, and ‘One Word’ is a mid-tempo RnB Ballad that reminds me of the kind that’s usually sung at Korean weddings (LOL.). What I really like from the quartet’s debut mini-album is that the songs are distinctly different from one another even though the same (mix of) genres are used. There’s nothing else I can say, other than that I’m anticipating their return. 🙂
Comedian Son Heon Su wants to party in his ‘Go And Come Back(a standard form of goodbye in Korea, especially when you leave home)’ single. The Retro-Club/Disco Dance song is actually really fun! LOL. I just thought the track could do without the auto-tune at around the first minute. Otherwise, I’ll be right back.. *starts dancing* *woah woo woahoh~* LINK
Park Su Jin is another talent discovered by <Birth Of A Great Star 3> and has debuted under Brave Entertainment, with ‘My Story’ (rated 19, PG). The soloist’s clear but strong vocals (Her voice is quite similar to Ailee.) go well with the light Piano Ballad single. [Her voice has taken her to the semi-finals of MBC’s audition programme and also given her the chance to participate on KBS’s <Immortal Song 2>.]
Mblaq is emo and still looking dapper (tell me how that makes sense, or tell me if I’m making sense…) for their 6th mini album <Broken>. From the solid beats and hypnotic violins, to G.O’s falsettos, ‘Broken’(intro) starts off the mini-album in a stylish, slow-tempo short RnB Ballad. Wheesung-produced Title track ‘Be A Man’ is a mid-tempo Ballad-ish RnB-Dance with the same solid beats heard in the intro. This is something different (YES!!) – a mellow yet more matured, stylish comeback from the quintet. (…I didn’t have to be reminded of Ga In’s ‘Fxxk U’ lol..) The next three songs are generally ‘safe’ but adequate in terms of quality and melody. ‘Our Relationship’, a decent mid-tempo Acoustic-RnB track that balances the ballad-y verses with the mildly catchy chorus. (Is it me, or do I hear Nu’est’s ‘Hello’ in ‘OR’?) ‘12 Months’ is an RnB-Ballad with acoustic guitars. The change in tempos keeps the song interesting. Not a bad track – the Acoustic gives a Latin flavour that Mblaq is closely associated with. ‘Key’ is a mid-tempo Piano-RnB-Ballad with a mild but addictive chorus. The song isn’t the best, but still adequate. ‘The Two Of Us’ is a mid-tempo RnB-Ballad that keeps its intensity restrained in a good way. ‘Still With You (Outro)’ ends the album as a compelling mid-tempo Electronic-RnB track, and aptly named too. In short, though not the most perfect, is worth a try – the RnB-centred songs are up to standard, and present Mblaq a different image and sound. I also like that the group doesn’t seem eager to please the masses and instead has gone for a more toned-down, stable approach for their new mini-album. (I wonder why there aren’t as many RnB groups as Hip-Hop groups…) FULL ALBUM LINK. Mblaq’s showcase.
Why doesn’t 4minute’s sexualised MV not surprise me? The girls’ 5th mini album is represented by ‘Whatcha Doin’ Today’, a vibrant Retro-Dance/Disco Pop. Well, I couldn’t say ‘WDT’ didn’t have the fun factor (the MV supplements this in its last third), but it’s definitely not a game changer. I love how Ji Yun(<3)’s taking the rapper role this time round, aside from Hyeon Ah. What did surprised me, was that the other songs in the album were better than the ‘WDT’. (Well, 4minute isn’t a bad girl group to start with..) ‘Wait A Minute’ is an intriguing, quirky Hip-Hop-y Pop song, which in my opinion is better than the chosen title track. So Hyeon, Ji Yun and Ji Hyeon’s ‘Will Let You Know’ is a cute-groovy Retro-Electronic-Hip-Hop-y Pop that maintains interest through the changes in tempo. There are some generic moments, but overall a compelling track. (..And ‘Whatcha Doin’ Today’ is the title track?..zz) Hyeon Ah and Ga Yun’s turn is in mid-tempo funky, sensual RnB ‘Come In’. Another good song and ‘collaboration’ 🙂 ‘Thank You’ is a soothing mid-tempo Acoustic-Ballad accompanied by african drums. For those who didn’t exactly find ‘WDT’ great (like me), don’t hesitate to listen to the remaining four tracks. Sometimes, title tracks are chosen to give a mass appeal, rather than to wow the crowd. Also, if there’s anyone (like me) who appreciates variety (more of melody direction over genre), <4Minute World> should do the job sufficiently.
NOT TOO BAD/OK
Rapper Swings takes it slower for new album <Mood Swings II Part.1: Major Depression>. (It’s more like a mini-album, which Soompi states likewise as well, because half of the songs are instrumentals.) Out of the 5 new songs from the rapper, I liked and would like to recommend ‘Take Care of Me (feat Brother Su)’ (laid-back Hip-Hop Ballad with a sprinkle of Jazz, and Bro Su’s sweet vocals). I didn’t find the rest to be as appealing, but the songs are still ok and they are as follows. ‘I Need A Break’ is a relaxing Acoustic Ballad. I really appreciate that we see the sweet/singer side of Swings. Also, ‘Major Depression (feat. Lovey)’ is a mid-tempo Acoustic track, while ‘Go Home’ is a Hip-Hop track with an introspective instrumental and a song break that can be rather addicting. Lastly is title track ‘Victorious 2(feat. Gray – production and vocals..and visuals 😛 Mianhaeyo Swings >.<)’, which has a more toned-down (but still) Hip-Hop approach than ‘Bulldozer’. Swing’s rap was fine, but I thought Gray’s input for the chorus stood out more.
Seong Shi Kyeong sings for the OST of <Man From The Stars>, sweet Ballad ‘Every Moment Of You’. His gentle vocals<3 *Please be warned that the MV on the Soompi link has scenes from the show. Unless you have become out of breath from chasing dramas/films and have not followed the romcom, please listen to the link below. :D* LINK without the MV
Im Chang Jeong lends his voice for ‘Goodbye’ OST track of political-thriller <Three Days>. A standard Ballad for a drama, nothing special imo. But I think Im sang it well. 🙂 I also like that he doesn’t have standard Ballad vocals. 😛 LINK without the MV
Female quartet Bestie is happy to break up in their Hip-Hop pop track, ‘Thank You Very Much’. I’m quite neutral towards the song – while it has a mainstream likeability with good sets of vocals to match, it lacks a unique point that will give it some staying power. On the other hand, I like that the message of the song (breaking up) is done differently – in a positive light. (The last dance pose makes me criiinge >.<)
Male soloist LJ debuts through mid-tempo RnB ‘I Love You’. The song can get addicting with its understated, mellow repetitive chorus. I’m still wondering if the MV’s supposed to be funny. Lol.
Girls’ Generation chooses a simple Electronic Dance track in ‘Mr Mr’ to lead their 4th mini album. (It’s quite a surprise this is only their 4th mini album when they are already 7 years into the industry.) ‘Mr Mr’ is a clean-cut, yet classy comeback from the girls – it’s great to see that GG isn’t following the sexy trend of late. Despite that, the title song (and dance) was rather weak, as compared to the other releases. (And once again, I didn’t like the Techno-Dubstep break in the song.) With regards to the other 5 songs, they followed their title song by going for a more basic (safer?), ear-friendly sound. Acoustic-Pop ‘Wait A Minute’ is a light, sweet song that’s nicely put together, ‘Europa’ is an Electronic-Dance track with an early 2000s sound that reminds me of their debut, ‘Back Hug’ is a mid-tempo Acoustic Ballad right for Spring, ‘Soul’ is a Hip-Hop-y Pop song that also has an early 2000s influence, and ‘Goodbye’ ends the album with a funky feel-good Vintage(70s/80s) Pop song. On the whole, I thought it was a pretty mild comeback for the popular girl group. The songs were easy to like, but it was also forgettable. PLAYLIST.
1PS debuts with a two-tracked single <The First Score>. The girls can sing, but both songs [‘Because I’m Your Girl’ and ‘Flutter(ing heart)’ are Classical Ballads] are average. Learn who’s who below!
Tae1 makes a comeback with a Ballad album <1st Repackage Mini Album: Break Away> (‘Sad Song’ has been released before). The balladeer has strong, yet sorrowful vocals. The songs are ok, but they aren’t different from the Ballads I have heard before. PLAYLIST
Kim Greem welcomes the Spring with relaxing Acoustic-Folk-Pop single <Always Spring Day>, featuring EB as the rapper. A pleasant song that complements Kim’s matured but sweet vocals.
Heo Gong sings while Hoony Hun raps to the former’s (official) debut single ‘I Love You’. The uplifting Hip-Hop Ballad is a sweet song, aided sufficiently by the collaboration. (The MV’s jeweller was quite comical with his exaggerated acting. Haha). Check out Heo Gong’s audition clip on Voice Korea through the link.
Female vocalist Yangpa sings Ballad OST, ‘The Sun Is Filled’ for <Full Sun> and an uplifting mid-tempo Classical Ballad single for her return. I preferred the latter release more, but both pieces aren’t that far apart in terms of quality.
A new project unit between SHINee’s Key and Infinite’s Woo Hyeon presents us with a visually satisfying MV, for their first mini album. ‘Intro’ is an interesting Jazz-Pop start to the mini album. ‘Delicious’ continues the upbeat musicality similar to ‘Intro’ with an added Retro/80s influence. When SHINee members pointed out that ‘Delicious’ sounded similar to the quintet’s ‘Dream Girl’, I was reminded of an article that stated the duo will be doing music different from their respective groups. Hmm, so…why does ‘Delicious’ have the same kind of upbeat nature and chorus start as ‘Dream Girl’? …Anyway, I didn’t find ‘Delicious’ good. Yes, it has a mainstream likeability like ‘Dream Girl’ which would give them some leverage. But the music doesn’t offer anything new to the over-crowded k-pop music industry. Furthermore, I felt that the song and MV seemed to skew more in Key’s favour than Woo Hyeon’s, and I didn’t like that. I didn’t find it fair because I didn’t think Woo Hyeon was suitable for the image and style the duo was prepared for, unlike the diva/flamboyant persona Key has made for himself. In my opinion, duos have to be matching first, before the concept and music happens. And in ToHeart’s case, I just thought the duo didn’t do well in the first aspect. *Gets prepared for the bashing* *To self: Lol am I late for it?* ‘Maze (feat. MC The Max’s Jae Yun)’ is a simple Electronic Dance/Pop song. But the track has a standard pop/dance instrumental that makes it trite and outdated. ‘You’re My Lady’ is a mid-tempo Jazz-y RnB that quickens towards the end, and that finally sounds different from the music their respective groups do. (But why does it remind me of a lower pitched TVXQ’s ‘Spellbound’? lol) It’s the first decent track for me and the duo sound great together. Then again, I have heard countless mid-tempo RnBs like ‘You’re My Lady’. ‘Tell Me Why’ is another track worth listening. It has a mix of light Acoustic, Folk and Pop-Ballad that gives the song an easy charm. ‘Start/Departure’ is a soothing Vintage-Folk piece with a sense of nostalgia. (It’s no wonder ‘cos the song’s an 80s remake of the original by One Day.) I actually preferred this to their title track because not many idol groups/project units have actually ventured into this genre. (Maybe B1A4..‘Love Then’ anyone?) It’s not the best song in the mini album, but it does give the two idols a separate, softer look and sound from their respective groups. In short, I recommend the last three songs on the playlist. Enjoy~ SHOWCASE. Here’s the prologues/teasers which I found pretty to admire: Night Sky and Fireworks | Fun on a Winter’s Beach (On hindsight, the songs sound so different from the bgm used in each teaser.)
Hopping onto the co-ed-collaboration-duet bandwagon is So Jin and Crucial Star, with their newest project being a remake of Park Hye Kyeong’s ‘3 Things I Want To Give You’. The pleasant song is an Acoustic Jazz track, sprinkled with a little of the RnB genre. 3TIWTGY is easy to like and it’s no surprise, given the carefree nature of the single. However, I don’t think the song succeeds outside its status as a Contemporary remake. Despite that, the duo is adequate for the song, making it a sweet add to the Spring playlist. 🙂
Lunafly wants to be a(?) ‘Special Guy’ for their EP. The trio puts aside their calming acoustic for the Electronic-Acoustic ‘Special Guy (feat. BEG’s Mi Ryo)’. Objectively speaking, the song (both Eng and Kor version)’s ok, Mi Ryo complements the song with her flirty rap, and the electric guitar solos and throughout the song were definitely awesome. But I was excited for a full-on Electronic club song that was hinted in the teaser with Mi Ryo (Love the beats. club song??) So ‘Special Guy’ didn’t give me the kind of impact I was watching out for. I also really supported the idea of Lunafly doing a club song since they have already established themselves as an Acoustic band. ‘Stardust’ also comes in English and Korean, and is a romantic mid-tempo Acoustic. A pleasing bgm for a cosy twosome. 🙂 [I have reviewed the 3rd track in an earlier post.] On the whole, I am not completely satisfied with the EP – I thought it was on the safe side, and there are only 2 new songs, so to speak.
Navi does a mix of Hip-Hop, RnB and Acoustic in her comeback single. ‘You’ve Gone Too Far’ ( meaning relationship pace) isn’t out of the ordinary, but is a rather amiable song to listen to in spite of the lyrics. [According to some, this is a reply to K.Will’s ‘You Don’t Know Love’ and which is why ‘YGTF’ has the same groove and tune in the chorus.] The MV, on the other hand, is refreshing.
Voice Korea’s Ji Se Hee focuses on ballads for her first mini album <Blooming>. The vocalist’s husky vocals have range and power, making her a versatile artiste. I guess I can understand why she’s doing more Ballads than other genres, but I dislike the fact that she isn’t challenged. There are many other talented singers like Ji Se Hee who have also ventured into Ballads. How will Ji differentiate herself from them? There was a female contestant on an American Idol season that performed mostly Ballads throughout the competition, only to be eliminated. Her vocals are admirable, but it’s the same thing over and over again that it becomes too safe and bland. You can check out ‘Burst Out Crying’(fast-tempo Pop Ballad), ‘Did Love Make You Happy’ (Ballad), ‘One And Only’(Acoustic-Pop) and ‘It Was Love’ (OST; intense, fast-tempo Pop Ballad) in the links provided.
With his cute(!!!! HIS SMILE! WATCH OUT FOR IT!!) profile and surprisingly low, husky, smooth voice, male soloist KOHD should be a rookie to watch out for. I may not be a huge fan (well…them being Ballads…) of both his debut single and OST participation for popular KBS Weekend series Seo Yeong> (Eh? Why is the Korean title the same?), but I still recommend that you listen to him.
Kpop star 2’s rapper(Kim Il Do)-and-singer(Kim Hyo Bin) combo 2000won debuts with ‘Beautiful (feat. Ailee)’. Honestly, I’m disappointed with the Hip-Hop-y RnB single. I have no qualms about the singing or the rapping. But the track is overly familiar in a negative way for me. I wished they came out with a mini album/EP so I can actually convince myself I liked their debut. (T.T) Anyway, the two friends (both 90er) participated in the singing programme with their Hip-Hop-RnB version of JYP’s mid-tempo 90s RnB ‘I Have A Girlfriend’ as their audition track and later on blowed people’s minds when they collaborated with Lee Hi for Rihanna’s ‘Love The Way You Lie’. For me, the duo is known for their original rap lyrics, competence in both rap and vocals, and their sense of humour. (one more → Sistar’s 2012 funky mid-tempo RnB-hit ‘Alone’ cover)
Troy, please give ME the ‘Green Light’. (:P) The four-member Hip-Hop group’s debut single is a Retro Jazz-Hip-Hop number. [HOLY: Kanto is an 94’er, Bumkey is an 84’er, Chang woo is an 83’er, Jae Woong is an 81’er.] It’s an entertaining song, but in my opinion, the four aren’t breaking (new) grounds. On the other hand, I liked the classy gentleman image they are going for. This should appeal to the matured/older fans and those who aren’t very interested in the youthful pop/idol music. Watch the individual introduction(a) and teasers(b) : Kanto (Rapper, maknae) – a, b. (Aww cute. he reminds me of bts suga.) | Bumkey (Leader, Main Vocalist) – a, b (LOL the bg has been used soo many times – koyote, ydg’s jajaja, shin mina’s pictorial for harper bazaar, soreal’s debut mv)| Chang Woo (Rapper) – a, b (Erm..He made me laugh..LOL) | Jae Woong (Rapper, Oldest…and visual??) – a, b.
Another actor, Choi Jin Hyeok, sings for his romcom drama <Emergency Couple>. ‘Scent Of A Flower’ is a slow-tempo Piano-Acoustic Ballad, and a ‘slower, quieter’ version of Im Jeong Hee’s ‘SOAF’. Fans of his deep, husky vocals should like this. 🙂
100% (or as the rapper Chang Beom does it, wan-han-dat) goes dark and emo for breakup track ‘(Heart) Beat(s)’. The starting verses in each part is refreshingly mid-tempo Pop-Ballad like. Then it becomes high-energy catchy Pop-Dance for the chorus. Overall, the song isn’t that bad but the chorus can get boring as you listen to it (as with many Pop songs since the same chords are usually used in a repetitive format). The dance has some awkward moments, but not a big flaw. Ironically, my favourite choreography belongs to the chorus part of the song. And because I’m a huge wimp, here’s the dance MV. (Kyaa!! Chan Yong and Jong Hwan <3) Out of the 6 songs (audio teasers) in the currently-5-membered group’s mini album (B-Bang…the wad?), I really liked ‘You And Me’ (A mid-tempo Acoustic-RnB ballad that’s light and sweet. I would have preferred if Rok Hyeon and/or Hyeok Jin could sing in a softer way since their vocals are on the sharp side, unless of course, if belting out is needed.) On the whole, the songs are more or less standard Dance, Pop and Ballad tracks. SHOWCASE
I also recommend Ali’s first full album <Soulri> if you haven’t:(MV for I’ll Be Damned)
Lessang feat Ali – Ballerino (MV available)
Suki feat. Jace(a female rapper. Not to be confused with the recently(?)-debuted band.) – We Might Become Strangers
Pearl K feat. Soul Breeze – Everynight, Everyday, Everytime.
Want to know the female ballad quartet 1PS? Here’s 1theK’s Introduce Myself series featuring the girl group. 🙂
The memorable Dream High couple shoots a smoky, emotional rollercoaster MV for apparel brand Bean Pole’s promotional advertisement. The way the director shot this gave me so many feels >.< (If I’m not wrong, the bgm sung by Suzy is available on youtube..)
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!