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
Veteran soloist Lee Seung Hwan has 5 MVs for the first half of his 11th album <Fall To Fly>. [Among the 5 MVs (tracks #2, 4, 5, 9,10), one belongs to a 2013 song/track 9/’Soap’ with Lim Kim.] The whole album is amazing. Although I can’t say I loved all 11 songs, the soloist has shown that he has the ability to merge variety with quality. With the exception of tracks 6(slow-tempo Piano Ballad) and 7(playful fast-tempo Jazz) which I felt was a little too bare for my liking and track 9 which I have already covered, the remaining 7 are my personal favourites. ‘Fall To Fly’ is a grand mid-tempo 90s Ballad with alternating Acoustic and electric guitars, whereas ‘I Only Respond To You’ is a pleasant, spirited Pop-ish Jazz with an endearing side to it. Better still, there’s a cute MV and dance along with it. 😀 (Is it me or does this sound like a christmas song. HAHA) ‘I’m Not An Adult, eh?’ is a warm mid-tempo Jazz-Ballad with Electronic instrumentals. It doesn’t have the musical explosion I want, but it’s still good. ‘
Mood For Love (From google translate but it sounds legit. lol.)Most Beautiful Days of One’s Life’ is a Retro Jazz-y, romantic Ballad with a sweet chorus. Here’s the MV link and a creative acoustic performance at a small eating house. (Lol, every time Lee sprays, I laugh.) The fifth song features Garion’s MC Meta in a haunting, compelling Ballad replete with a beautiful MV, while actress Lee Bo Yeong joins LSH in slow-tempo Ballad ‘Sorry’. (Ahh, what a satisfying chorus~ Falsettos <3~) [Compared to the 2012 Cheongdamdong Alice OST LSH did with Yozoh, the version with Lee Bo Yeong is more impressive and explosive.] Lastly is ‘I Want To See Us Together’, a slow-tempo Orchestra-Acoustic nostalgic, countrified Ballad. And just like the MV, the song makes me think of a scene in which two lovers enjoy their time together at the countryside. Short showcase. FULL ALBUM.
New male trio Ugly Pumpkin’s (….) first song is an adorable mid-tempo Hip-Hop track ‘From Yesterday’. The boys’ spin to the Hip-Hop genre is significantly different – the single isn’t the most novel, but there’s an effortless, good-natured appeal reminiscent of BTS’s ‘Graduation Song’. This is a track great for a happy Spring weekend afternoon – not too heavy, yet not quite the same-old stuff. *Adds this to ‘Happy Music’ playlist* The rounder member’s (rapper: 91er Kim Dae Hwan) voice is darn cute, so is he. >.< [Main vocals: 91er Eom Tae Hun, Other rapper+vocals: 92er Han Jeong Hun]
Jeong Jun Yeong and Soul Dive join hands for the adrenaline-pumping Rock track, ‘Always Red’, to support the national team in the upcoming(?) World Cup. Such a hyper cheerleading song to suit the occasion! LINK.
Producer G.Gorilla writes and composes ‘A Tempo’, to show a different side of Ga In. The follow-up single is a slow-tempo fantastical jazz ballad. It also feels like it could be an intro track or an ending to a fairytale musical. LINK.
‘I’m beautiful without you, I’m meaningful without you. I’m still beautiful even if I couldn’t be loved by you.’ (It’s nothing scary 😀 Some of the heartless words on the wall in the empty house: black thing, smelly, monster, die, Go To Hell.) Under DIMA Entertainment, Lee Michelle inspires through ‘Without You’. Many Ballads these days lack a unique story and I know Lee’s ‘Without You’ is related to a breakup. But I’d prefer to see it the way it is interpreted in the MV – loving yourself for you who you are, in spite of prejudice and racism. (Humans prefer this pesky condition called familiarity. Such like the more you listen to a song, the more it gets familiar, the more you like it.) And in a long while, I cried after hearing a song/Ballad. This song doesn’t just deal with prejudice and racism. It also deals with how much you love yourself in general and to stop using others as a gauge of your self-worth. With its thought-provoking, touching lyrics, and Lee’s powerhouse vocals, ‘Without You’ is an absolute winner. (Is it me or does she sound like Ailee when she’s belting out? Coincidentally, the song was also (partly) composed by the same person (Seo Yeong Bae) who wrote Ailee’s debut song, ‘Heaven’. His name is under ‘Arranger’ in the credits.) ‘That’s OK (feat. Oh Tae Seok of 오브로젝트O Broject…Oh brothers project??)’ is a mid-tempo Electronic-funk RnB duet that’s light on its feet, contrasting well with the heavy ballad. Only thing is I would prefer Michelle using a softer singing approach rather than rushing to her reliably strong voice, to complement Oh’s vocals and the nature of the song. A stunning debut regardless.
Baechigi (rappers and part vocals, guitars, Kim Heung Guk(drummer) and 3B’s Henry (chorus vocals) are a questionable band for another Seo Yeong Bae work, ‘Dduraeyo’. (As in… are they playing the electric guitars and drums correctly? LOL. Seems like it…and yet..not..*tilts head*) ‘Dduraeyo’ is a Retro-Dance/Disco Hip-Hop Ballad accompanied by a 14-member Orchestra. It’s simple but has a sing-along ability that makes it engaging, with a side of Henry’s splendid, high-pitched vocals. If I didn’t look for the lyrics, I wouldn’t have known it was so sad! :O
2BiC will make have a mini-album in April, but first, here’s ‘Your Love’. The single is what I’d refer to as midnight RnB, with its slow-tempo undertones and hushed singing. There are also some snippets of Jazz-y piano to balance out the ballad-y base.
JJCC pleasantly surprises with their mid-tempo RnB single, ‘At First’. Having Jackie Chan’s name around certainly brings much hype to their debut, but I’m pleased that the group shows much more potential than their first song lets on. Instead of seeming eager to please, the production team and JJCC are making a slow, but steady entrance. Also, the kind of song choice they have made is fairly mature (the genre and the lyrics), a step most idol groups will only take once they have acquired an adequate fan base.I’ve read a comment on Soompi’s link saying that the group lacks a concept. I agree, but only because the lyrics and MV doesn’t quite come together as a whole. Here’s a makeup-less version of the incomplete group (there’s 5 of them) on Jackie Chan’s private jet (OMGG; They look young without the make up! E.co definitely looks better without the crazy eyeliner and he reminds me of CNBlue’s Kang Min Hyeok!)
When I heard that male soloist Bro made the headlines with his seemingly rude debut track, I didn’t quite expect it to be an intense Ballad. (But, I also forgot that ballads are great for expressing such strong emotions.) The song and Bro’s vocals are actually good, and he sings the song with such raw emotions. This is the kind of skills a singer should have so that the same emotions can be transferred from vocalist to audience. And I think he succeeded in that. But that’s not what most people are taking away from this track. So just what did Bro sing about that made people angry? To be more specific and objective, Bro offensively calls out a woman (ChaNnel. LMAO) he’s talking to, on how crazy a good catch (i.e. that kind of guy) would be, to date someone as shallow and materialistic as her. But..she does sound like a bitch from his side of the story. LOL. At first, as the lyrics are more passive, she ignorantly asks who’s this catch, teasing him if he is ‘that guy’. But as the song continues, she is naturally offended, saying things like ‘Heol(what the..)’, ‘Stop this’, ‘Are you crazy?’ and ‘Crazy jerk’. As a female, I can’t help but agree that we can be just as shallow-minded (materialistic) as guys, which will then have a different meaning attached to the word. Plus, I don’t think it was insulting me (more like he was taking revenge on a single bitch or ex-girlfriend) or degrading my gender in any way, and that’s why it wasn’t at all offending. I was laughing at his comeback (she must have been a really bad ex or offended him) and then pitying Bro. (Please, it’s just like drama content, songs need creativity. And creativity can come from either a factual experience or pure imagination.) But seems like some of the female population has taken the song to heart so much so that one affected party, female vocal group Veloce, has come out to challenge Bro with a parody of the Ballad, ‘That Kind Of Girl’. For me, their ‘reply’ makes these ladies even smaller. It’s as if the girls are answering to Bro’s song, rather than fighting for their gender. Not to mention, it doesn’t seem right of them to use his song (and really, only the lyrics and the pitch were changed) to get back at him. It just didn’t seem like a fair fight, hence ‘parody of the ballad’. Regardless, vocals are on the right track, except that they are at a higher pitch.
Lee Seon Hee’s ‘Meet Him(or Her or It) Among Them’ is a slow-tempo Retro Ballad. The name of the song goes very well with the MV, the vague title becoming much clearer and touching as the MV comes to an end. [There’s an entire album for the veteran’s 30th anniversary, but I am unable to get the full album conveniently(HEHE). I don’t use Itunes/apple products, so that’s also another dead end.]
Swings loses faith in humanity in his ‘Falling’ single. Jay Park features in the gloomy Hip-Hop Ballad, his beautiful falsetto adding to the despairing song. Did Swings just killed his conscience?? Swings nooo >.<
Double A’s Aoora is thoroughly dehydrated(lol) in ‘Body Party(feat. Betty Rose)’. The talented idol group member has been doing some bts work for his group’s music and is now on his solo debut. The sexy, stylish R&B is the kind of song JYP will be happy with. LOL. At just a little over a minute, ‘Body Party’ would leave you wanting more. (It would have been perfect without the moaning. zzz.)
MIB plans to give it their all in second album <The Maginot Line>. ‘Chisa Bounce’ is an energetic, playful club-y song that fuses the Electronic and Hip-Hop genres together. I wouldn’t say the song wasn’t nice, it’s just that it was typical club music. (5Zic’s growl! Omo, he’s so yummy >.<) If you have listened to MIB’s songs for some time, the group’s signature music is putting Electronic with Hip-Hop. (Just like what they did with ‘Chisa Bounce’.] The same goes with the following songs I’m recommending, with the exception of some. My top favourites are ‘Playing Around’(Electronic Hip-Hop-Dance. The addicting chorus is mostly by Sims, and the rest of the song flows well too.), ‘강강수월래’(Edgy Electronic Hip-Hop. Full rap song without Kang Nam/main vocal.), ‘Dirty Sexy Money’(Electronic, underground/gangsta Hip-Hop. This is so naughty omg. Not many may like this, but the off-beat character covers the lack of instrumental and singing.), ‘MIB Is Here 2! (feat TEM)’ (Hip-Hop with electronic instrumentals. Even the featuring hits the right spot.) and ‘낭독’(Track 9/Skit provides a nice lead up to the Jazz Hip-Hop track. Despite the slow-tempo Jazz leading the song, the raps are rhythmic and at the right speed. Quality track.). MIB’s brand of music can be too frivolous, but ultimately they have good songs. There’s variety even when they use the same genres over again, which is a feat on its own. FULL ALBUM
Trot singer Hong Jin Yeong and multi-talented Yun Sae Yun remixes ‘Itaewon Freedom’ and ‘Love Battery’ for a speedy, entertaining electronic disco-hiphop-trot version of both songs. LOVE THIS, especially when Yun sings over the dubstep. >.<
Park Hyo Shin is hopeful in his newest self-composed love song, a slow-tempo Classical Ballad, ‘Wild Flower’. What a compelling, breathtaking performance by Park. (He’s just singing! In a deserted land! Only accompanied by a simple instrumental piece! OMG!! *Bows* *…Bows again*) Congratulations for the all-kill! [No word is out for his 7th album as of yet. Yes, I’m speaking for September too! >.< I just self-exploded. D:]
Eddy Kim presents an improved version of his self-composed music, ‘2 Years Apart’ for his official debut. (As written on Soompi, here’s a video of the Superstar-K4-discovered talent auditioning.) The smooth Acoustic song has a unique, catchy melody and is dedicated especially to those serving the army. (Can someone explain to me how the Korean military works? Do the soldiers get to rest on weekends?) A simple song, but one that effectively uses a single type of instrument. (He should do well in sweet love songs and in genres like RnB, Acoustic and Pop.) Expect his upcoming mini album soon!
Mad Clown recruits another Sistar member (Hyo Rin) for his mid-tempo Hip-Hop Ballad title track. I’m still not that receptive to Mad Clown’s rap voice, and I end up preferring the featured singers in his songs. *Guilty. (Eh heh)* I do think his voice does especially well with cuss words. LOL. Nevertheless, here’s Mad Clown’s ‘Fierce’ mini album – ‘Without You’(Recommended.), mid-tempo fierce hip-hop ‘Stalker (feat Crucial Star)’(Hook and chorus are my favourite parts. Recommended.), old school hip-hop ‘Nothing(feat. Ju Heon ..He sounds like Zico at some points)’(Hip-hop fans should like this. Recommended), mid-tempo 90s Hip-hop-RnB ‘Your Scent (feat. Brother Su)’, mid-tempo, dark old school Hip-Hop ‘Gum (feat Hwana/Fana, Oh Ji Eun)’ (I really like the female singer’s unusual, haunting vocals.). The MV’s actor, Jo Min Ho has a cute yet deadly look. LOL. He looks like a mix of Btob’s Min Hyeok and actor Park Yu Hwan.
NOT TOO BAD/OK
Kim Su Hyeon has been known for his singing talent since <Dream High> and for his 2014 hit-rom-com drama <You From The Stars>, Kim sings ‘Promise’ and ‘In Front Of Your House’. Both are ballad tracks, with the former being more Acoustic-Folk Ballad versus a standard Ballad latter. LINK without MV
Solbi Kwon Ji An goes to New York for her ‘Special’ MV. As opposed to the singer’s previous material, ‘Ottogi’, ‘Special(feat Wu Yeon Ju)’ is a relaxing mid-tempo Acoustic-Pop Ballad with additional Electronic instrumental for a quiet solo time out on the streets taking pictures. However, it’s also forgettable and I didn’t really find Kwon Ji An’s vocals a compatible match for the lightly catchy trendy song. (I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but I thought somebody with an airy set of vocals like Jeong In or Lim Kim or an indie singer would be better.) I also found that to be applicable to the other songs in the mini-album. So while the songs aren’t too bad, I didn’t find myself completely absorbed. ‘Drank Alot’ is a contemplative, delicate slow-tempo Acoustic Ballad with Electronic instrumentals. ‘Everlasting Love’ is a bittersweet slow-tempo classical-acoustic ballad. ‘A Beautiful Goodbye Over Love (feat. L/Rubin – WHO IS HE)’ is a co-ed slow-tempo Classical-Acoustic bittersweet Ballad Duet. (That was a mouthful. :P) Having this be a co-ed duet was a good judgement as L/Rubin gave another layer to the singing and the meaning. His smooth, sweet voice also helped to make up for what I thought Kwon Ji An was vocally lacking. With the mini-album titled <I Am Like Fresh Ice Cream and 31>, it certainly was unexpected of the soloist to take up the contemplative, bittersweet Ballad genre. On one hand, it’s nice to see Kwon Ji An projecting a more understated, matured image than her (female) competitors. But on the other hand, I didn’t think Kwon was suitable for the kind of singing required for this genre. Anyway, here’s a video from PlayMnet wherein Kwon Ji An explains the changes for her newest mini album, and how ‘Special’ came about.
Electroboyz sing for Bravebrother’s anniversary composition, ‘Bang Bang Crossroads’. Funny how I have a better opinion of Ugly Pumpkin’s song when Electroboyz’s new single is about the same. Is it because I’m rolling my eyes at the lyrics, at the MV, at the same kind of songs they do? 😛
SPEED’s follow-up song is Electronic Dance ‘Zombie Party’. This should go well with the clubs.
Ali releases a slow-tempo Ballad single, ‘Because Of Me’. Ali does her part wonderfully, but another typical Ballad. MV LINK I recommend Ali’s first abum , which you can check out in the ‘Discovered’ section.
Actor-singer Im Chang Jeong wears many hats (Like literally.) for his 12th album. I found myself liking ‘Last Handshake’(Mid-tempo 90s Piano Ballad with funky Electronic instrumentals. Ohhh I like the unpredictability of this.) the most. This is followed by ‘Forgettable Death’(slow tempo, dramatic Ballad) and ‘Effusion’ (slow tempo Vintage-y Piano Ballad suitable for sageuks OSTs), both of which had a better chorus in my opinion than the rest. So if you are a Ballad-lover, I’m not saying the remaining songs were bad. I just felt they were more or less the same as other Ballads out there. There are fast tempo options in the album (like #7, 11, 12) but I didn’t find them exceptional. Check out the playlist that’s included in the description box for ‘Last Handshake’.
Ballad duo J2M’s first album was extremely hard to find. But here is the review. I recommend ‘Let You Go’ (A mid-tempo bittersweet but gentle ballad sung perfectly with their sweet vocals.), ‘We Did That Right?’(Slow-tempo Piano-Acoustic Ballad. Very tender and sweet, as though a lullaby.) and ‘What Were We?’ (Slow-tempo, understated Electronic ballad with a high quality sound.). The entire album took a modern approach on the Ballad genre. So to a certain extent, I thought most of the songs were easier to like/ than Im Chang Jeong’s ballads in his 12th album. I couldn’t find any of the album’s tracks on youtube except title song ‘Feet Are Heavy’. So here’s a 2013 song that I sort of covered in my older post: LINK
SM eagerly promotes SMRookie’s Wendy through slow-tempo Ballad OST for <Mimi> and she clearly has a nice voice. It’s a solid move for Wendy’s first ever music to be of the ballad genre. But as one who has become rather jaded towards the same thing numerous times, I only hope she tries out different kinds of music.
Continuing from the first CD of his <Silver Lining> EP, Hong Dae Kwang releases the second part containing four additional songs. Hong’s comeback mainly deals with either vibrant or soothing love Ballads, so they should appeal without difficulty.‘Just For Awhile’ is a mid-tempo Acoustic Ballad that has a likeable chorus. This song makes me think of a romantic night at a beach resort, as fireworks are launched into the sky. (Or maybe just a relaxing trip to the countryside…) ‘Thank You My Love’ is a fast-tempo, Orchestra-Ballad. In the MV, Park Bo Ram (Oh gosh she’s too pink >.<) takes the role of his first love, who if I am right, is in a relationship with another. (Sorry Hong Dae Kwang, Hong Jong Hyeon is too gorgeous >.<) Lol, funny how Hong Dae Kwang seems more natural lip-synching in the MV than acting in it. ‘Happy Birthday To You’ is a mid-tempo Acoustic-Piano Ballad. The outro ends the EP with a bittersweet note. Overall, I preferred the first CD’s songs to the second CD’s. Although part 2 had happier pieces, it also felt trite and cliched.
Yun Jong Shin’s monthly music project for March is performed by Winners’ rocker vocalist Kang Seung Yun and rapper Mino. Kang’s voice adds a Rock, Vintage groove flavour to the Acoustic-Pop, while Song’s gruff raps gives an edgier touch to ‘Wild Boy’. I wouldn’t say this was an amazing song. But I think the collaboration was a good decision made by Yun Jong Shin, especially Kang Seung Yun’s casting. MV or Audio
Female pop quintet TINT collaborates with Teen Top’s Cheon Ji for ‘Wolf Is Stupid’. (LINK) The upbeat catchy track also has another version, which only features the girls. I usually don’t include such songs, but I have to say, Tint’s title tracks are my guilty pleasure – lovable Pop, but unoriginal.
Kim Hyeon Jung chooses to do a Classical Ballad OST for his KBS drama ‘Age Of Feeling’, ‘When Today Passes’. LINK without MV
Love is in the air, as Apink sings about their mysterious crush in their latest Spring comeback. Representing their 4th mini album, is lovable, cheery Pop-Dance, ‘Mr Chu (onstage/original)’. A suitable song to brighten up your day. (I can’t stop listening to this. Someone save me…or join me. >.<) Another song in <Pink Blossom> that I would like to recommend is ‘Love Fairytale’. It’s such a pretty, delicate slow-tempo Acoustic Ballad with all those falsetto. ❤ The other songs like ‘Sunday Monday’, ‘Crystal’, and ‘So Long’ follow Apink’s sweet image and are not too bad themselves. 😀
NS Yunji is a sexy heiress in ‘Yasisi (= erotic..lmao..ok…)’. The Latin, Jazz-y Tango-Pop (and that badass bass!) is an interesting title track for the singer’s third mini album. A good song (,house and THAT bodyguard – Joshua Gorczyca: FB, Twitter. YOUR WELCOME ..He looks mixed jap instead..), only I almost fainted at the break where she goes ‘Get Busy With It… Fellas’(Yes, that whole verse twice), then I had to take some chocolates when I saw the inconsistent, amateurish MV and choked on my sweet medicine at those unsexy dance moves. Sigh, I really loved her in that black one piece mini-dress. D: Of the remaining tracks in <The Way 2…>, fast-tempo Latin-Dance Hip-Hop ballad ‘Crazy (feat. Double Kick)’ had the potential to be a really good song. It has a style that gives a similar vibe as Mblaq’s. However, the generic chorus was disappointing from my point of view. ‘If I Love You’ is decent and it also features Double Kick (Are they a rap-and-vocal duo?). The fourth track is a 2012 single which Jay rapped in, while the last two tracks are instrumentals.
Actress Park Shin Hye sings an ear-friendly mid-tempo Acoustic-Pop, ‘Arm Pillow’ with her cute vocals.
Mad Clown’s old album: My favs are track 2, 3, 5(=6, 7), 11.
Jang Yi Jeong – Goodbye, Please Stop [Warm Words OST]
Talented rookie Kream’s ‘Different/Dalla’, collabos and covers. Be sure to listen to his covers because they are totally different from his official debut.
Kirin’s By Your Side – Retro/90s-styled slow-tempo midnight to 2am(…?) RnB (released on March 26th 2014)
Learning B1A4’s ‘Lonely’ dance? Here’s the group’s practise video/tutorial 🙂
SM Rookie’s Wendy covers a Taylor Swift track, ‘Speak Now’ for an audience. There’s hope that she will be trying out other genres!!!
Credits to Soompi: How about Kwon Jin Ah performance of Primary+Bumkey’s ‘Love’, Zion T’s ‘See Through’ and Sun Mi’s ‘24 Hours’ on K-Pop Star 3 for a starter? 🙂 Her husky vocals and her RnB ballad version of the songs are good. Another contestant on the programme that I saw was Sam Kim and he performed ‘Englishman in New York’ for the finals.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!