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
Singer-songwriting-sibling-duo Akdong Musician (AKMU) debuts with their triple-title-song Acoustic album . First up is ‘200%‘ , a delightful Acoustic-Pop. ‘200%”s sweet simplicity makes it easy to like, while the creative, endearing MV paces perfectly with the song. This should appeal to anyone, including papa YG. [Just look at papa YG smile during their double-title-debut stage on KPop Star 3.] ( So embarrassed for Su Hyeon. And she was like next to him?!!>.< )But it was pretty funny watching the director say she had it in her for the role. LOL. ‘Cos it’s true.
She was such a natural. HAHA! She makes me wonder if she could have been perfect for Reply 1997. LOL. (I’m also 200% sure that I’m going to google search the actor. *Minutes later* Nam Ju Hyeok, model/actor in Surplus Princess, ’94er…*Full of regret*…) The adorable duo then surprises with ‘Melted‘, a stirring Classical-Acoustic Ballad that explores the cold and warm side of humanity (or adults), a topic that could have been too matured for their age. That is smoothed out, as we see the MV conveyed through a teenager’s perspective. The melancholic melody and bluish MV reminds me of Big Bang’s ‘Blue’. It might be a good idea for the duo to release an English version of ‘Melted’* since they have a good grasp of the (written and spoken) language, and it suits the atmosphere of the MV. (English and gloom seem to go hand in hand really nicely. LOL.) But that’s not a huge issue. I usually dislike it when korean singers use foreigners in their MVs. But it’s different this time. From the developments and meaning of the story, down to the acting and the directing, there’s no second I didn’t find the MV absolutely stunning.(*Guiltlessly, automatically researches once again. His name is Aidan Parker, ’96er.* .. This is worse!) How about a Seoulbeats review of both songs?
Akdong Musicians continue their success with their third and last representative track, ‘Get Love’. The song follows from ‘200%’, both in terms of the Acoustic-Pop style and the MV. Once again, ‘Get Love’ doesn’t disappoint. Although the song has a more straightforward direction, it still retains that sweet, pleasant tune that ‘200%’ has. I must say, the adorkable siblings are so refreshing in the MVs that hearing the audio alone just doesn’t cut it. Even the same goes for ‘Melted’. Of the next 8 songs, I also enjoyed ‘Tiny Star‘ – a melodious Piano Ballad, and ‘Dont Hate Me‘ (low profile, lightly catchy vintage Latin-Acoustic, perfect for a walk on the beach at night*). The rest are not bad: ‘On The Subway'(Laidback, light Acoustic*), ‘Hair Parting’ (Acoustic RnB), ‘Artificial Grass’ (Acoustic pop ballad with a retro flavour), ‘Don’t Hate Me’, ‘Anyway’ (lighthearted Acoustic-pop*), ‘Idea’ (high energy Acoustic with electric guitars) and ‘Galaxy’ (Mid-tempo Acoustic). Altogether, I really liked the title songs. I just felt that the versatility shown in their title track choices should also be applied to the remaining pieces. So yes, not every song in the album was right up my alley. But they weren’t essentially bad. In fact, I thought the effort deserves applause, as the whole album was under Chan Hyeok’s care and responsibility. Su Hyeon’s falsettos are delicious as always. I also greatly appreciated that not all of their songs are about love and even though there are love songs, the siblings wrote them through different perspectives.
High4 collaborates with IU( = High5?; IU’s so pretty! Her face is so symmetrical.) for their very first single. Although the mid-tempo Acoustic Ballad is supposed to be bitter and aptly named ‘Not Spring, Love, Or Cherry Blossoms’, the song actually features IU who has really sweet vocals. LOL. (Kim Seong Gu also sings as though he’s in love. …erm….) But a quality song, nonetheless. 🙂 Congrats on the success!
RnB duo 2bic (Wait a minute…Because of their size?…Yeah..I can already hear murmurs commenting on how slow I am.. >.<) take on retro-RnB for their second mini album. What’s not to like about ‘Love Game’? Although the song has its generic sides, I’m happy with the MV’s comedic spin on the title. [Dude, haven’t you heard that a girl takes some time to get ready?? Lesson of the day: Arrange for a date in advance. LOL. And..I don’t quite understand why the trailers tie in with the actual mv.. The supposed-to-be-charmer guy at the end – well, guys these days don’t really do that look-cool greeting anymore. I..think? – LOL. ] ‘Unforgettable (feat. Yun Han on the piano; was on wgm and released an album before)’ is a slow tempo Jazz-RnB styled Piano Ballad. Rather generic despite it being sweet. The chorus is my favourite part, made unforgettable( :P) by 2bic’s amazing vocals. (Well, I surrender easily when it comes to falsettos and harmonies.) ‘I Want (You)’ is another slow-tempo Ballad, that gives me christmas Ballad vibes for some reason, but typical. [‘Your Love’ ends the mini-album and, was released separately and earlier in March. This was covered in my previous post. :D) Overall, I thought that the mini-album only served music fans a reminder of how well they can sing, rather than to change how people viewed the brand of music they are creating.
Eddy Kim is an Amsterdam-loving dude for his comeback mini-album and a romantic for ‘The Manual’. (I know he has two title songs, but I preferred this to ‘Push and Pull’.) The mid-tempo Acoustic title song is a delightfully gentle love Ballad. (Ahh~ I could just listen to this all day.) *In bliss* In addition, the soft atmospheric MV has just the right kind of visuals to match the song. I just wished Eddy wasn’t so serious in the mv. LOL. 😛 Second title track,‘Push and Pull’(between lovers), is a sweet mid-tempo Acoustic with subtle Latin instrumentals. Objectively speaking, it wasn’t bad. But I’m not much of a fan of the song. Eddy sings and raps in ‘Slow Dance’, a smooth mid-tempo Retro RnB ballad with a mix of Acoustic and Electronic instrumental to keep things interesting. Relaxing, but engaging. 🙂 (The lyrics though.. The kind of message it’s sending…is…sigh. ) ‘Sober Up’ is a mid-tempo midnight(?! Well..it just means it has a quiet, classy emo sexy urban melody….errr….midnight) Jazzy RnB piece. Without a doubt, this is one quality song. ‘It’s Over’ reminds us of Eddy’s Acoustic side. A simple Acoustic-Jazz song, but with a chorus that is easy to like. (It vaguely reminds me of B1A4’s ‘Oh My God’ especially at the each song’s chorus.) In all, it was a fairly good debut. Eddy seems comfortable in both mid-tempo Acoustics and RnB, so I look forward to seeing him explore his options in faster or even slower tempos. I’m equally fine with his mid-tempo productions. More importantly, it is the variety displayed in this debut mini-album that I find praiseworthy and an aspect I appreciate immensely. His Showcase translated (learn more about Eddy here) and Live Showcase performance: 2 Years Apart. While searching for his Live showcase, I stumbled upon more performances by Eddy – 2YA (Err..How do I justify this…It’s because he looks sexy? Hehe) | Oldies ‘In The Bus’ and JYP’s ‘Honey’ Ok I shall end this with Junggigo and Mad Clown’s cover of Eddy’s ‘The Manual’ live.
Collaborating with adorable Heyne who introduces ‘Merry Black Day’ in part chinese and part korean rap (I wonder why.. But I guess it matches Heyne and the song’s quirky concept.), singer-and-rapper female duo Pascol releases their funny-sad Hip-Hop Dance track for the upcoming Black Day. The MV itself also has its funny moments – the girls trying to have fun by themselves (ㅠ.ㅠ), the rapper angrily listing out how many days in the year are about couples and only one is for singles, the (intentionally?) out-of-synch dancing. [FYI: Pascol is made up of J-Seon(long hair member; main vocalist) and Moon Bin(shorter hair member; main rapper but sings too), with both equally competent in their roles. According to jpopasia, Pascol has released 5 albums(singles and mini-albums) and they also cover songs through their Youtube channel. The talented girls were once a trio (+vocalist Yuna/Yua?) and together they released their first emotional mid-tempo Ballad, ‘Let’s Eat Together Once More’ in 2013. For more recent work of theirs, the playful duo had a mid-tempo, light Acoustic-ballad ‘Like The Lines Of A Movie’ released a month prior to ‘MBD’.(Lyrics are so different <3) ]
2000won puts out quality slow-tempo RnB Ballad, ‘Don’t Like Seoul Anymore’, for their first mini-album. Yes! This is the kind of song I have been waiting for! Although I like it when singers are more creative with the songs they sing (and even create and produce for that matter), just something solid does it equally for me. Yay!! (One thing. Hyo Bin, please eat. >.<) The MV’s editing was well done too. :O I didn’t exactly disliked their debut single, featuring Ailee. It’s just, together with my expectations and my jadedness towards generic songs, I was disappointed. Here’s a video of their live performance as I couldn’t view the one on the Soompi link. It was cute seeing Il Do rummaging his bag for the props and that makes me smile, knowing they haven’t changed that part of them. Another thing was Hyo Bin Ssi taking out his earpiece. I was like ‘Whoa! That was a daring move there.’ (It’s something usually more experienced singers do.) But he managed to pull off both his parts, ad-libs and some simple dance moves without a hitch. ‘Come To My Side’ is a sweet mid-tempo Hip-Hop. It’s on the generic side but its happy sound that contrasts with the title track, makes it welcomed. Hyo-Bin-composed ‘Tonight’ is a high-energy groovy Retro-Dance track that would get your feet up in no time. 🙂 There’s no reason I should not like this. It’s the kind of fun song that you would listen to when you just want to let go and distress, or a song you would play in a house party. 🙂 (It could go on forever. LOL) ‘Lighter Than Feather’ has a unique starting, but then it gets mould into a standard mid-tempo RnB, but with electronic, Jazzy instrumentals. Otherwise, a comfortable, cozy track. Same with ‘Come To My Side’, both songs play it safe with familiar, mass-liking melodies. They certainly still are above-average, but they aren’t exceptional. I am, nonetheless, still satisfied with the duo’s mini-album – mainly because I totally love their title track. The variety of genres they tried is a plus. But as always, the duo has only just begun. And I am more than happy to know that we have more talented artistes on the scene – Il Do wrote all the lyrics and Hyo Bin composed two of their songs (Beautiful was one of them.). 🙂 The guys did a showcase and they mentioned that their title song wasn’t originally ‘Don’t Like Seoul Anymore’. Instead, it was supposed to be a mid-tempo, more addictive (Dance?) song. But that didn’t seem like a good idea when there were many dance groups debuting, as that would mean their debut would be quickly forgotten. Thus, ‘DLSA’ was born!! (THANK GOD) The other things that I could understand was that the lyrics were from Il Do’s romantic experience, and that going into mainstream has given them more pressure (to do well).
New Champ (Rapper) collaborates with Ji Hee Pil (Main vocals; Does not appear in MV) and Kye Beom Ju (Second vocalist for some lines; Appears in the MV) for his first tongue-in-cheek (You will see why.) mainstream single, ‘Provocatively’. The mid-tempo Hip-Hop is an extremely enjoyable song about a boyfriend who minds his girlfriend dressing in a seductive manner. I do appreciate the message behind the song, but there’s still too much emphasis on a girlfriend’s appearance. And when the song’s all about dressing decently, we see the girls wearing provocatively not just once, we also see the girls posing, putting on and off clothes in a provocative manner in the MV. What was the message again? (It was very sly of the rapper. On one hand, the song itself wouldn’t incur backlash. On the other hand, the MV gets the needed attention…ironically in a way that just seriously undermines the message. ‘개불 (Feat. 넉살, 사무엘서, 영제이)’ (Bull Shit(?) feat. Nucksal, Samuel Seo, Yeong Jay) is a badass/dark Hip-Hop track with expletives. It’s such a different kind of song that I actually wondered if both songs were works of New Champ. But it’s also rare to hear such dark Hip-Hop tracks in the mainstream course these days. If you are looking for something ear-friendly (literally and song wise), this wouldn’t be for you.
Park Shi Hwan shows off his strong, emotional vocals for his debut mini-album . The Superstar K alumni’s title track is a mid-tempo Acoustic Ballad that’s also heavy on the electric guitars. ‘I Just Loved You’ does not just complement the singer’s vocal range, it seems like it was written for Park Shi Hwan. His voice makes the song much better. [Sometimes, it’s not the song/genre that defines the singer, but the way the singer interprets the song that defines the singer.] The MV’s idea is nothing new. And anyway, I was focusing on Park that I didn’t support the idea. LOL. (He was too small =.=) The same speaks so much for the rest of the mini-album (Low-tempo and Mid-tempo Ballads) – the ballads are nothing new, but he sang them so bloody well. Park is certainly someone to look out for in the Ballad scene. His strong voice secures himself a pursuit in the Rock (Ballad) (..Rock Ballad? <3) genre and I hope he moves towards that direction. [The singer was discovered by the singing competition programme (Despite being ousted many times..and WHY. I felt like crying with him during the comments portion>.<), and his audition performance proves that he deserves the love he’s getting. (He was placed second! Whoa :O) That raw emotion and singing ability was perfect alongside the simple piano melody. It’s one thing to deliver the song with as little mistake as possible. But doing that with emotions makes it all the more impressive. Sadly, he has met with some issues in July. Come back soon PSH! ]
JYPE’s powerhouse duo 15& is back with a new mid-tempo RnB single ‘Can’t Hide It’. The comeback track puts the girls’ vocals in the spotlight with its straightforward, effortless melody and beats. I guess more weight is placed on the upcoming album, which could explain why there has been no word on the MV. Regardless, the absence of an MV does not or will not, in any way, take away the value of the song. If you must, here’s the teaser. (I bet you that the audio snippet will be far too short.) (Omg jimin’s so cute. Haha. >.< ) For the full audio: LINK
Eastribal Record’s Steve Wu and International DJ duo DOOS presents a Deep House collaboration, featuring female rapper Lil Cham. According to Soompi, the Funky Electronic Club/Dance song belongs to a ‘sub genre of House music and has a blend of Chicago house, 80s Soul, Jazz-Funk and Detroit Techno’. I think ‘Black Shoes’ is worth a try (Despite it’s bimbo-ness. Heehee) and if it wasn’t to your liking, you could check out Lil Cham’s ‘Bad (feat. i11evn)’. I totally love it when I see girls doing pure Hip-Hop and rap. 😀
Dia Tree’s mid-tempo Ballad has an unusual direction with the additional latin-ish jazzy element. Beautiful vocals by the male quartet. [According to jpopasia, Yi Han and Dae Wan Ma are also, interestingly, members of other groups. For me, Yi Han is a familiar name and (curly haired, bespectacled) sight as he’s a member of rock group, The Nuts which I reviewed a year ago.] Good news for those who have fallen for Dia Tree’s vocals because more of their songs can be found on youtube. 🙂
Yozoh’s ‘Day Dream’ is a total lazy song. The low-tempo Acoustic paired with Yozoh’s relaxing vocals makes it the ideal (background) track on a Spring afternoon.
NOT TOO BAD/OK
Boyish soloist Eric Nam (that boyish grin of his >.<) collaborates with Infinite’s Ho Ya for his comeback single. ‘Ooh Ooh’ is an energetic Jazz-Pop number. LOL, it was so cute seeing Spica’s Bo Ah (She covered a song with him before.) join crazy Brad and Kevin in on the cameos. >.<
As captured in the MV and song, NC.A isn’t an easy girl for her mid-tempo Techno-Pop track, ‘I’m Different’. When I listen to K-Pop done by rookies, I don’t feel disappointed by the release because they usually work around (zero) expectations for their first few singles/mini albums/EPs. (It’s more or less similar short-life-span, frivolous Pop songs.) They only start surprising/ contributing their creativity and ideas to the production, when they have gathered a stable fanbase. So I’m looking forward to NC.A’s growth more than anything, exploring and attempting productions that are out of her comfort zone. She has the vocals and for now, she’s thankfully singing age-appropriate tracks. I’m just not sure I’m that thankful for the MV/stage outfit she’s wearing. ..Or the ensemble in this album cover… >.< [I have previously covered ‘Student Teacher’. chasingdramas.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/kpop-songs-so-far-aug-first-half/ ] ‘Hello Baby’ is a mid-tempo Ballad. Though I wouldn’t say ‘Hello Baby’ is breaking grounds, the song is well put together and suitable for NC.A’s vocals. As Pop songs, I prefer previous fast-tempo single ‘Oh My God’ to ‘I’m Different’. However, both sound around the same. Overall, I didn’t find this a good comeback. I do recommend ‘Hello Baby’. But I’m more so waiting for NC.A to find her direction in the industry.
Male trio Acoustic-Rock Indie band Bluepaprika wants to confess their love for that special someone in ‘Love Confession (feat. Kingston Rudieska)’. The light Acoustic-Jazz track is great when you are in the mood for mid-tempo pleasant songs like ‘Love Confession’. If you are interested in Bluepaprika’s songs, you can listen to their contrasting 2013 release, slow-tempo Soft-Rock Ballad, ‘Longest Night’. The band released their first album earlier in March and I really liked track 6 (It has a nostalgic, oldies kind of sound to the basic Acoustic-Rock tunes.), slow-tempo Reggae-influenced Acoustic Track 9 (feat. Lee Jong Min)’) and Jazzy Ballad Track 11 ‘Midnight Song’ (piano version). Vintage/Old-school Rock Track 7 ‘I Love You’ is not too bad and somehow, the way an old school rock song was paired with the mushy title gave me a funny image – 80s/90s teenage delinquent trying to confess to a pretty girl to go steady with him. LOL!
Jay Park is joined by Gray (He’s always my fav in his collaborations. Lol.) and Simon D(ominic) for his dubstep-hip-hop return, ‘Metronome’. I definitely prefer mid-tempo sensual RnB Ballad ‘Ride Me’ to ‘Metronome’. Both songs are alright, but I have never fully gotten behind westernised korean music.
The crazy 7-membered Block B continues clowning around (I’m being serious here.) for ‘Jackpot’. The fast-tempo, wacky Pop is very Block B. But as some of this site’s loyal readers know, I’m not easily satisfied with just Pop, no matter which tempo the song is in. I know the song has some Jazz elements, but the Pop overshadows the former greatly. Another thing is that the verses before the chorus and the chorus of ‘Jackpot’ was awkward for me. The rest of the song is fine, but they don’t stand out either. The song is getting smoother with more listens and it’s not before long that I’m sucked into it. (The light, Jazzy piano at the start. Isn’t it similar to the one used in the smartphone casino game app ‘Bingo by IGG’? Ha! That’s clever!) The MV was funny and Kim Sae Ron’s really pretty! Isn’t Kyeong handsome here too? 😛 ‘Very Good’ (Rough Version = Boisterous, and more metal rock instrumentals) can be too much for some, as the instrumentals are louder and noisier. The rock music goes very well with Zico and P.O’s vocals. I didn’t exactly liked or hated the remix – it suits the song at times but too crazy the next. The end was spot on though. So I guess I’m neutral then? Lol. (if you want, the full mini-album)
Deux was not around when I was just a novice at K-music in 2006. Fast forward to 2014, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary with an album boasting their chart-topping songs and which features different singers and rappers. My favourite would be groovy mid-tempo Hip-Hop ‘We Are’ (by Geeks, Crybaby and DJ Dopsh). Old school Hip-Hop ‘Weak Man’ by Juseok, Swings, Dindin and Dok2, and Mid-tempo RnB Ballad ‘Only For You’ by Bumkey and Verbal Jint are songs having both modern and 90s sound, which caters for a bigger population of music listeners. As a whole, I found that more than trying to give a modern edge to their songs, the duo was trying to bring a sense of nostalgia. (Nostalgic dramas like the series achieved success and opened doors for old groups.) But for music fans like me who have never gotten into the heat of their peak, nostalgia doesn’t mean much to me. In spite of what I say, dedicated fans would appreciate this. 🙂
‘Con Amiore Mio’ is Kim Tae Woo’s mid-tempo Latin/Spanish-Jazz-pop OST. It’s been some time after Kim Tae Woo and Wheesung’s single ‘Ho Ho Ho Ppang’ (link) and the former makes an OST comeback with ‘Con Amiore Mio’ from (Link). While I wouldn’t say the song is extraordinary, Kim Tae Woo certainly made a ‘his-song’ (As in, you can’t think of anyone more suitable to sing this song. Disclaimer: Subjected to current memory of singers. :P) statement with ‘CAM’.
Wings – Hair Short
Spica’s sassy fantasy Dance-Pop ‘Witch Diary’ for romcom ‘A Witch’s Love’ starring adorable Eom Jeong Hwa
Sentimental Robot(feat. Two Piano & Kim Na Yeong) – I’m Going To Meet You
Loco feat Spica’s Na Rae – Take Care
Gray feat Jinbo, Crush, Elo – Blink of An Eye
I also recommend the songs listed in Soompi’s jun2yng’s post – Acoustic Collabo’s ‘You and Me, Heart Fluttering’ (featuring Park Eun Bin and Ahn Yong Jun in the adorable MV), AKMUs ‘I Love You’ (LOL Chan Hyeok is always alone. ) [Note: The songs that I have picked are ones that I haven’t heard before or songs that I have changed my mind about. Besides, ‘Some’ was one of my favourite songs for the year! ]
Geeks – Hold It Down
Cuckoo Crew’s Acoustic-comedy take on Exo’s ‘Growl’ (Lyrics have been changed..I think..lol)
The MV for Toheart’s ‘Tell Me Why’ is out! (If you would like to check out my review on Toheart, click here. It’s in the middle of the ‘Not Too Bad/OK’ section.)
YGE and Samsung Everland’s joint fashion venture, ‘NONA9ON’ hypes things up with teasers. Of the advertisements/teasers that the companies have released, I found great music and dancing in the second teaser. YG’s BI and Bobby (and CL & Taeyang too) also help to promote the new line of Spring/Summer fashion – with their swag. (dancing ver) (BI and bobby)
IU introduces rookie group High4 through 1theK’s youtube channel. (LOL. IU’s so mean >.<)
Akdong Musician gives their ‘200%’ for their dance practise. Sigh, these siblings are so cute! Chan Hyeok’s always joking around. Haha. Some of the dancers are not bad looking too. 😛 (The male dancer – dony?- with the black pants and red stripes looks hella fun to be with. So passionate! >.<)
Nell’s ‘The Great Escape/ Escape From Extinction’ has an MV! The Rock song is a piece out of their 6th album, which I reviewed. (Aww I hope ‘Newton’s Apple’ has an MV too. >.<)
In this round of 1theK’s introduction feature, sexy(What?) romantic (Isn’t he?) mid-tempo soloist Eddy Kim tells us more about his mini-album and plans, while also making us smile at both his ineptness and charisma when he’s playing the guitar.
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed!