[Special] Queendom 2 – Round 1 – Representative Song Battle – EP.1&2

It is time we crown the next Queen of KPOP through the second season of Queendom. Following the success of Queendom Season 1 (which crowned Mamamoo as the winner), Road to Kingdom (which gave The Boyz a one way ticket to the next competition) and Kingdom: Legendary War (which crowned Stray Kids as the winner), Queendom is officially back with six new female participants. This season sees WJSN (Cosmic Girls), LOONA, Brave Girls, Kep1er, VVIZ and Hyolyn battle it out for the Queendom title, while Taeyeon (from SNSD) takes the helm as MC this time around.

As I have reviewed part of Queendom, all of Road To Kingdom and Kingdom: Legendary War, I will also be reviewing the stages of Queendom 2, recapping the high caliber performances from each round and also putting forward my thoughts on what the ranking should have been for that round.


Round 1 – Representative Song Battle

In this round, the groups are to perform a revamped version of one or two of their past hits. As part of these revamped versions of past hits, the groups also had the opportunity to bring them to life with never seen before stages.

In Queendom 2, the rankings were decided by three main criteria: audience votes, global fan votes and assessment from other Queendom 2 acts (i.e. their fellow competitors). These votes and assessments were tallied, and the act with the most points emerged as the winner of this round. The official results of that will be shown at the end of this post, along with my personal ranking from this round.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, LOONA was forced to rank sixth in this round as they could not perform with the other acts, and hence was not able to gain points from the audience or their fellow competitors. As a result, it was decided that the group would default to the last position for this round. However, as I am doing this review way after the airing date of this round, I will be including LOONA in my personal ranking for this round.

I will be reviewing the performances based on who went first, and will be looking at song arrangement, concept and choreography for this round.


Time For The Moon Night + Rough – GFriend

It is sad to just see only three members of VIVIZ perform Time of the Moon Night and Rough on stage. But at the same time, I am happy to see that the GFriend lives on. Especially when Rough came on, that was great nostalgia. I love the additional strings in both Time For the Moon Night and Rough, which helps transitions between the two songs, but also bring together the two halves of the performance. The intensity that came about from the mentioned transition was suspenseful and exciting. The electrical guitar in the bridge of the Rough section of the performance was just perfect, building off what was already present in the original song. Vocally, they didn’t stray from the original vocals. I did wish they did a bit more, just to give a fresh VIVIZ vibe to the performance. But instead, they rearrange who sang what since they are down three members. But nonetheless, VIVIZ did a good job with stable vocals. I also liked the slowed ending, dragging out the performance just for a little longer to make it a little more satisfying and to fit in with the concept of the stage.

For the stage concept, I liked how elegant and beautiful the trio looked on stage. They look like princesses on stage. Back when they debuted in 2015, they were schoolgirls. Then, they climbed to the top of the industry (i.e. the crown that Eunha dons), before that is thrown to the side and the group remerging as a new group (i.e. VIVIZ – no crown). Further evidence of them acknowledging their past is via the 09021601 we see at the end of the performance is a combination of their debut dates under GFriend and VIVIZ. A detailed analysis of their stage is in the comments section of the YouTube video, so give that a read. The actual choreography also adopted the beautiful and elegant nature I mentioned. They changed parts of the choreography to highlight this and freshen it up to make it their own, but also managed to maintain the same atmosphere as the original routines. I also enjoyed the electric guitar sequence in the choreography.


Touch My Body – Hyolyn

Hyolyn was the second act to perform in the round and I liked how she also went back in time to her Sistar’s day to pick one of group’s most successful tracks. But unlike VIVIZ’s performance, Hyolyn did change a lot of it. Her re-arrangement of Touch My Body is quite refreshing. She opens up the performance with waterfall and jungle sounds, before taking on a more tropical feel for the rest of the performance. Again, great nostalgia comes when Hyolyn begins sing Touch My Body, and I liked that she put her own twist on the lines and amps up at the end, showing her vocal prowess. I liked the dance break we got. The brass and the drum work fitted in with the vibrant colours that this version of Touch My Body was going for, and also helped build some momentum to the stage.

I like how she extends that jungle and tropical feel to the stage. From her green coloured outfit to the palm leaves held by the male dancers, the waterfall and tropical imagery on the screens, everything worked really well and cohesively with each other. My favourite bit of the stage has to be at the bridge of the song, where the flames come up, representing heat. In addition to the original Touch My Body routine, she definitely heated up the stage with the choreography for the dance break, which was energetic, sexy and extremely vibrant. I also have to commend Hyolyn on her charisma, which I think helped her stage dominate this round.


WA DA DA – Kep1er

Part of me wants to exclaim that this is how you do a remix. But when I think about the performance objectively, I feel like more could have been done to make this alternative version of WA DA DA more robust and dynamic. Let’s start off with the positives. Kep1er’s WA DA DA version on Queendom 2 had a much more powerful punch to it, which makes it so appealing. The dance break had a bombastic feel to it. I also liked how they transformed the chorus in something so much stronger. Sure, it still have that cutesy element as in the original that I still wish they get rid. But they did soften my dislike for that section with what they did on stage at this part (more on that later). Unfortunately, I feel like more could have been done with vocals and rapping. For this department, it felt too much like the original and I feel like this holds back this version of the stage. Just my opinion though.

I kind of like the race car concept they went with, though I do think the physical stage could have been a bit more engaging. It looked incredibly plain. I guess the other teams had more people or used more interesting backgrounds to ‘fill up the space’, whereas Kep1er’s stage felt empty and lackluster. The camera work was also a weak point. Some of it was awesome, but other parts looked a bit rubbish. The most positive aspect of the performance, however, was the choreography. I really like the first chorus, with the sharp side by side motions and circle motion they make with their arms (see video image below). The dance break was super intense and definitely showed a different side of Kep1er. Two things though – I wish there was a bit of refinement as it looked a bit messy (especially as the group get into their positions). And again, I wished the cutesy vibes were less prevalent to match the performance’s more powerful manner.


Chi Mat Ba Ram + Rollin’ – Brave Girls

Brave Girl’s stage started off powerful, going with a militaristic start. After all the members were introduced, they revamped Chi Mat Ba Ram with a sensual R&B vibe, before changing the chorus with a techno backing before back to the original version of Chi Mat Ba Ram. The militaristic start and then sensual R&B returns for the dance break, which I thought was dynamic and rather cool. And then the performance jumps into the tropical version of Rollin’. Personally, I wished they went with a different version of Rollin’, simply because this tropical version has been done so many times before. They should have delivered something a little more original during the Rollin’ part of this performance. Like Kep1er’s comment about vocals, I also wished the vocals were changed up a bit. This would have made the arrangement a little more robust and exciting.

As for the stage, I really liked the blue on black they had going on through their outfits and on the screens behind then. It looked stylish. When it came to Rollin’, the multicolour shards of light on the screen looked quite cool, as well. I do wish the props weren’t cheap looking (i.e. the pieces of fabric that transitioned the performance from Chi Mat Ba Ram to Rollin’, and those fluoro-rods.). It just cheapens the performance and doesn’t put them in a good light. The powdered drums were cool though. As for the choreography, I liked the mixture of new and old. There was a nice balance there. The dance break was my favourite part, though, especially when they kicked the male dancers to the side. The sensual parts were also really good to watch.


As You Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Out of all the performances, I feel that WJSN’s was the most captivating to watch. And this is equally shared throughout the three departments – music, stage concept and choreography. The stage started off in a dramatic and intense fashion, which is very opposite to both the original and this version of As You Wish. Then, the members started their performance of As You Wish, which was both elegant and atmospheric. The ramp up to the chorus was really well done in the arrangement, and I liked how explosive the chorus was for this version of As You Wish. They replicated a similar set up for the second verse. The second chorus was substituted out for a very powerful instrumental break that enables the group to showcase a much more powerful side in their performance. We are then treated to a bridge, and the final chorus/outro, which started off slightly distorted. The vocals and rapping, while were similar to the original, gave off different appeals due to the different backings, and I thought this was amazingly fine.

I personally do not know what the concept specifically is. But I guess stopping time might be a possibility, given the recuring hour glasses that was emptied. However, I have no clue what the context is. I quite like the aesthetic that the dancers brought to the stage. The various formations we find them in looked very intriguing. I also like how they were used to occupy the stage, while WJSN moved upstairs. As for WJSN’s choreography, the verses looked graceful, while the choruses featured the original. The dance break we got at the instrumental break is exactly how I described it above – powerful. But also refined, which matches with their style.


PTT (Paint The Town) – LOONA

It was a pity that LOONA was not counted for this round. Though, I am glad that LOONA still ended up performing their PTT stage though. For the most part, the song remains the same as the original. What I did like was the introduction and addition of Korean folk vocals and instruments. They definitely worked well with the original instrumentation, but also introduce a slightly different dynamic to the original version of PTT. I did like the instrumental break we got in the performance (i.e the dance break). The combination between the folk and synths created a very cool atmosphere. Like WJSN’s performance, the vocals work was pretty standard and like the original. But I think the music did enough to make it a different performance.

LOONA performed this version of PTT a week after Round 1 wrapped up. That is why the stage for this performance is different to the other contenders. I did think they made good use of what they had, though I wished we got to see a version on the Round 1 stage. I really liked their outfits (so bold) and the Korean folk elements they brought to the stage via the screen and props. For me the most riveting part has to be Olivia Hye pulled out the hair sticks to allow her hair to fall down. That looked really cool, and left a super strong impression on me that was memorable. The camera transition between Yeojin and Yves was really cool. Again, the choreography was very like the original. And once again, Olivia Hye’s solo part in the dance break was the best part of the stage.


And This Round’s Winner Is…

One round in and I can’t want to see the rest of what these groups/acts have in store for us! Each act bought a lot to the stage and their own charm, and so it was difficult to choose a winning performance. This is going to be one tough competition.

As mentioned twice already, I will be including LOONA in my personal rankings, which will ultimately help decide my pick for the winner of Queendom 2. I have also compared my personal ranking to the official Queendom 2 ranking below.

PositionOfficial Queendom 2 RankingKPOPREVIEWED’s Personal Ranking
1HyolynWJSN
2WJSNHyolyn
3VIVIZLOONA
4Kep1erVIVIZ
5Brave GirlsBrave Girls
6LOONAKep1er

Up next: Queendom 2 – Round 2 – Cover Song Battle – Ep. 3 & 4

[Special] Queendom 2 – Opening Show Performance Rankings EP.0

It is time we crown the next Queen of KPOP through the second season of Queendom. Following the success of Queendom Season 1 (which crowned Mamamoo as the winner), Road to Kingdom (which gave The Boyz a one way ticket to the next competition) and Kingdom: Legendary War (which crowned Stray Kids as the winner), Queendom is officially back with six new female participants. This season sees WJSN (Cosmic Girls), LOONA, Brave Girls, Kep1er, VVIZ and Hyolyn battle it out for the Queendom title, while Taeyeon (from SNSD) takes the helm as MC this time around.

As I have reviewed part of Queendom, all of Road To Kingdom and Kingdom: Legendary War, I will also be reviewing the stages of Queendom 2, recapping the high caliber performances from each round and also putting forward my thoughts on what the ranking should have been for that round.


Opening Show Performances

Starting off the show this time around are short introductory performances, referred to by the show as Opening Show Performances. Unlike the 100 second performances that opened up Kingdom: Legendary War, Queendom 2 does not consider this as an official round and these performances are not a determinant in determining the final winners of the show.

However, for the purposes of my recap and ‘my thoughts on what the ranking should be’, I will be determining a rank for these Opening Show Performances (based on my personal thoughts) and will use this ranking in determining my personal pick of a final winner.


WJSN’s Opening Show Performance

WJSN starts off their Queendom campaign with a short version of Save Me Save You that focuses on both the elegant and dramatic sides of the song and group. I quite like this performance for the showcasing of these styles, and overall stage presence. It begins with a brief instrumental sample of their hit Secret and Seola opening a music box. The design on the music box ends up being displayed on the floor of the stage, and the other members performing on the design, before all eight members (sans Bona who was preoccupied with acting schedules, and Dawon who is currently sitting out of schedules due to health issues) come together to showcase elegance and dramatic sides through their dance routine over some classical piano. Vocals come into play, and the members do a quick outfit swap (from dark blue to light blue). I wished the cloud that shoots up from the front of the stage did a better job of hiding the members during the outfit change, just to give that performance more of a wow factor. But overall, a satisfying beginning to the show for the group.


LOONA’s Opening Show Performance

Everything in terms of stage, instrumental and outfits was extremely simple for LOONA’s Opening Show Performance, so the focus was placed on the group’s performance. It is a silky routine that showcases the group’s performance potential. I quite like this direction, as it definitely feels like the group hit the brief for Queendom. There was a range of emotions portrayed throughout this performance (which includes a bit of their Satellite single), such as gracefulness, fierceness, sensual, powerfulness and probably a few more. None of them overpowered or became dominant, and so there was a level of sophistication and aesthetic to the performance. Overall, a strong showing from the group, as expected by fans such as myself. On a more critical note about the performance, the group could have been a bit more synchronised. I think the intention to be synchronised was there, but it just wasn’t perfectly executed. Had it been perfectly executed, LOONA would easily been miles ahead with this opening performance.


VIVIZ’s Opening Show Performance

VIVIZ continues the retro theme of their debut track, BOP BOP!, on their Opening Show Performance stage. You can also hear snippets of BOP BOP! in the background of this performance! Personally, I felt VIVIZ’s performance was the most vibrant and pop-aligned start to the show, which is appealing to my personal taste. I like the brief start with the shot from above. It is creative and the hand choreography was fun. We then switch to small solo stages for each of the members. Given that the group only has three members, this was a unique move and one I think pays off in terms of impact. However, I believe a bit of refinement was needed from each member to make their solo routines stand out a bit more. I also wished their expressions were less serious, which would help add life to the performance. The three members then reunite, and this is when the performance is at its peak. The moves here felt more polished and there was a level of sexiness that I quite liked. I also liked the speaker towards the end of the performance, pumping powder up into the air. It just adds a bit more flair to the performance.


Brave Girls’ Opening Show Performance

For Brave Girls performance, consistency was the big that popped out at me. All the moves definitely fitted in with one another and the flow was great. The music was just right and I really like that the group capitalised on their Rollin’ hook in this song without pulling out any of the Rollin’ dance moves. They easily could have gone down that route, and that would have resulted in a ‘safe’ performance (or potentially ill-fitting routine, if the music remained the same). But this stage was not safe, but was somewhat more adventurous for the group instead. Overall, it was a fun stage to watch, which showed off the group’s showmanship and skills. The use of hats and jackets throughout the performance was definitely cool. The jacket flick back at the end was definitely very sexy. And I really enjoyed the sequence where two members were facing forward and the other two members were walking backwards whilst walking towards the camera, followed by that switcheroo move. If anything, I wished the dance moves were a bit sharper in terms of execution.


Hyolyn’s Opening Show Performance

Hyolyn’s is this season’s one person act. Through this performance, Hyolyn establishes that she is one versatile performer. She has the performance skills, the experience, the amazing vocals that once (and still) swoons the audience. She kind of has it all. In this brief version of Dally, Hyolyn commands the stage alone. I expected dancers to appear on the stage, but this expectation did not become fruitful. Instead, she pulls off the performance by herself with no problems. This speaks towards her stage presence and skills no doubt. The stage hosted one sexy act that is bound of drive fans crazy. Her opening was striking and made an impression, both in a visual and in vocal sense. Hyolyn definitely made an impression, and a strong one at that!


Kep1er’s Opening Show Performance

Kep1er is the relative newcomer and is expected to bring a youthful charm to the show. I don’t have much to say about this performance, other than ‘wow’! I like how fierce the performance was. It just shows us that they are not a group to mess around with or underestimate, given their lesser experience. I also really like the military influence to the performance. I also enjoyed the bolder and abrasive remix of See The Light that the group performs to. They got the synchronisation down pat and definitely had strong stage presence, something remarkable for a group that has only been around for a couple of months. Once again, I have nothing else to say about the performance other than a wow!


And the winner is…

As mentioned before, there is no official winner for the Opening Show performances round. But as per my past posts for Road to Kingdom and Kingdom, I have decided to also rank the Opening Show performances in order from preference. I just want to note that all the performances were amazing in their own right, so it was extremely difficult to actually rank these. But I have managed to settle on a list on where I think these Opening Show performance should rank had there been an official rank:

RankingOpening Show Performance
1Hyolyn
2Kep1er
3LOONA
4WJSN
5VIVIZ
6Brave Girls

Do you agree me? Let me know in the comments below!

Next up: Queendom 2 – Preliminary Round 1 – Representative Song Battle

[Special/Awards] 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Announcement of Winners

Welcome all to the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Today, I will be presenting the winners of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Since mid-November 2021 to the end of December 2021, you have been busy voting in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, selecting all the winners for each of the categories you will b seeing in this voting (aside from Best Side Track, the BLOG RELATED categories and Best Song of 2021, with the latter determined by 50% fan votes and 50% my Weekly KPOP Charts). And vote you all did! Many votes (much more than what I expected) were casted over this period, and I have over the last month been counting votes and preparing this Winners Announcement post.

As mentioned in the previous posts about the awards, the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Award is part of the 2021 Critics Award Circuit. Many of the other blogs who also participated have announced their winners for their own awards quite a while ago, so check the link above to see their winners!

Due to the number of categories, I have elected to split this post into four pages.

  • To view the ARTIST-RELATED categories (including Best Male and Female Soloists, and Best Male and Female Group, collectively the Artists of the Year categories), stay on this page and keep on scrolling.
  • To view the CHOREOGRAPHIES, VISUALS, PERFORMANCE and BLOG RELATED categories, click here or click the second page link at the bottom of this page.
  • To view the SONG-RELATED categories, click here or click the third page link at the bottom of this page.
  • To see who took out the BEST SONG OF 2021 category and the END OF YEAR CHARTS, click here or click the fourth page link at bottom of this page.

The post is very image-heavy, so if you prefer, a bandwidth-friendly version on Google Sheets is included in the link directly below this paragraph. It includes all of the nominees, winners, KPOPREVIEWED Choices, Honourable Mentions for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards on the first sheet and an extended version of the 2021 End of Year Charts on the second sheet (Top 200).

CONSOLIDATED VERSION OF NOMINATIONS, WINNERS and KPOPREVIEWED Choice

So without further ado, I present to you the winners for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

Best New Artists Award Categories

Best New Female Group of 2021

Nominees:
| HOT ISSUE | LIGHTSUM | MAJORS | PIXY | PURPLE KISS | TRI.BE |

Winner: LIGHTSUM
Honourable Mention: PURPLE KISS
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: PURPLE KISS


Best New Male Group of 2021

Nominees:
| Ciipher | ENHYPEN | EPEX | JUST B | KINGDOM | MIRAE |

Winner: ENHYPEN
Honourable Mention: MIRAE
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: EHYPEN


Best New Female Soloist of 2021

Nominees:
| Joy (Red Velvet) | Kwon Eun Bi | Lisa (BLACKPINK) |
| Rosé (BLACKPINK) | Wendy (Red Velvet) | Yuqi ((G)I-DLE) |

Winner: Yuqi ((G)I-DLE)
Honourable Mention: Wendy (Red Velvet)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Rosé (BLACKPINK)


Best New Male Soloist of 2021

Nominees:
| D.O (EXO) | HOSHI (SEVENTEEN) | Kai (EXO) |
| Kim Woojin | Youngjae (GOT7) | YOUNG K (DAY6) |

Winner: Kai (EXO)
Honourable Mention: D.O (EXO)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Kai (EXO)


Best Delivery Award Categories

Best Vocals of 2021

Nominees:
| BTOB for Show & Prove | Baekhyun (EXO) for Hurt | IU for My Sea |
| Jongho (for Kingdom Legendary War Performances) | Mamamoo for Where Are We At |
| Pentagon for Lovesick Boys (Lovesick Girls Cover) |

Winner: Baekhyun (EXO) for Hurt
Honourable Mention: IU for My Sea
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Pentagon for Lovesick Boys (Lovesick Girls Cover)


Best Rapper of 2021

Nominees:
| Bobby (iKON) for U MAD | Changbin (Stray Kids) for DDU-DU DDU-DU cover |
| CL for Spicy | Do Hanse (VICTON) for Take Over |
| I.M (MONSTA X) for God Damn | JESSI for What Type of X |

Winner: JESSI for What Type of X
Honourable Mention: CL for Spicy
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Changbin (Stray Kids) for DDU-DU DDU-DU Cover


Best Specialty Award Categories

Best Band of 2021

Nominees:
| DAY6 | IZ | LUCY | N.Flying | ONEWE | W24 |

Winner: DAY6
Honourable Mention: N.Flying
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: ONEWE


Best CO-ED Group of 2021

Nominees:
| 777 | AKMU | CHECKMATE | HyunA & DAWN | K-TIGERS ZERO |

Winner: AKMU
Honourable Mention: HyunA & DAWN
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: AKMU


Best Subunit / Unit of 2021

Nominees:
| BDC | Even of Day | NCT 127 | NCT DREAM | WayV | WJSN The Black |

Winner: NCT 127
Honourable Mention: NCT Dream
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: NCT Dream


Rising Star and Most Underrated Artist Categories

Rising Star of 2021

Nominees:
| aespa | Brave Girls | ENHYPEN | ONF | STAYC | WOODZ |

Winner: aespa
Honourable Mention: WOODZ
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Brave Girls


Most Underrated Artist of 2021

Nominees:
| A.C.E | BDC | Dream Catcher | fromis_9 | Kim Sejeong | ONEUS |

Winner: Dream Catcher
Honourable Mention: ONEUS
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: ONEUS


Best Artists of the Year Categories

Best Female Soloist of 2021

Nominees for Best Female Soloist of 2021
| CHUNG HA | HyunA | IU | Jeon Somi | JESSI | Kim Sejeong | Sunmi |

Winner: IU
Honourable Mention: CHUNG HA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: IU


Best Male Soloist of 2021

Nominees:
| Baekhyun (EXO) | Ha Sung Woon | Kang Daniel | Kim Jae Hwan |
| Taemin (SHINee) | Wonho | WOODZ |

Winner: Baekhyun (EXO)
Honourable Mention: WOODZ
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Kang Daniel


Best Female Group of 2021

Nominees:
| aespa | Brave Girls | Dream Catcher | (G)I-DLE | ITZY | OH MY GIRL | STAYC |

Winner: (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention: aespa
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Brave Girls


Best Male Group of 2021

Nominees:
| Golden Child | ONEUS | ONF | SEVENTEEN | Stray Kids | THE BOYZ | TXT |

Winner: SEVENTEEN
Honourable Mention: Stray Kids
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: ONF

Page 1 – Artist Related Categories
Page 2 – Choreographies, Visuals, Performances & Blog Related Categories
Page 3 – Song Related Categories
Page 4 – Best Song of 2021 + End of Year Charts

[Special/Awards] 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Voting Opens

Welcome all to the next phase of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Over the last few weeks, I have posted the nominations and announced my personal picks for who I personally thought was the best of the best in 2021. But in keeping with the annual KPOPREVIEWED Awards from previous years, the final decision of who should win each category will ultimately lie with you (the audience and readers of the blog).

From 15 November 2021 to the final second of 2021, you will be able to vote for your favourite artists, choreographies, visuals, songs and albums. Voting is officially now open, so click the link at the bottom of this post to be taken to the survey and get voting! 37 categories, including Best Male and Female New Artist, Best Male and Female Soloists and Groups, Best Music Video, Best Male and Female Choreography (Solo and Group), Best Album of 2021 now rest in your hands.

Like previous years, you will be able to vote up to five songs in the Best Song of 2021 category at the end of the survey, with your votes making up 50% of the criteria for the category (and the other 50% being my personal Weekly KPOP Charts). Putting five songs down is optional, however. But you must vote for at least one song. If you are certain you know which song is ultimately the best of 2021, then you are allowed to put down that one particular song. But you are open to putting up to five songs, so that you do not need to dwindle your list down to just one song. As always, there are some rules for the categories and they are as follows (you will be reminded of them once you get to that stage of the survey as well):

  • Please type out the title and artist, especially to differentiate songs with the same title. If I cannot tell which specific song by a particular artist it is, I cannot count your vote.
  • You can only vote for one song once. You cannot list the same song five times.
  • Eligibility period for this category is between 30th November 2020 to 24th October 2021. For a list of songs eligible, view this spreadsheet to help you out. (Note this is just a list of songs that I reviewed this year, and there are many other songs eligible that I haven’t reviewed yet).
  • Only title tracks or songs with a music video will be accepted for this category (sidetracks with a MV are permitted, but sidetracks without a music video are not).
  • English and Japanese language songs (like the ones nominated earlier) will be accepted this year in this category, so if you want to vote for BTS’s Butter or TXT’s Magic (for example), feel free to. However, title tracks or songs with MVs only – see the list above for eligible songs.

Happy voting. Check the blog in January 2022 to find out if the groups/artists you supported, songs you liked and the performances you enjoyed were awarded in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVOURITES IN THE 2021 KPOPREVIEWED AWARDS.

[Special/Awards] 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – KPOPREVIEWED Choice

Sorry for the slight delay. There was a lot of mistakes in my images that I needed to redo.

Welcome all, to the announcement of the KPOPREVIEWED Choice post for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In this post, I will be presenting to you who I personally think should be the winners in each category of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The KPOPREVIEWED Choices below are selected from the nominations that I had posted last week. Please note that the KPOPREVIEWED Choices are irrespective of the reviews that I have posted throughout the year – simply because my thoughts on artists and songs can change throughout the year.

But remember, these are not the final winners! You get to decide that in a fan vote! That will begin mid-November, so keep your eye out for the public voting post/link which I will publish in Mid-November.

As mentioned in the previous posts about the awards, the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Award is part of the 2021 Critics Award Circuit. Announcement of nominations was made by The 555 Review108 Ent and deforestedmusic (including Seoul Music Critics Nominations and the 2021 Online KPOP Music Critics Awards) last week for their respective award ceremonies, with more coming your way this week.

This week The 555 Reviews And 108 Ent have announced the winners for their respective awards alongside me! So make sure you check out who won in their awards as well!

The post is very image-heavy, so if you prefer, a reader-friendly version on Google Sheets is included so that you can see who/what the KPOPREVIEWED Choice for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards is. Click on the link below.

READER-FRIENDLY VERSION OF NOMINATIONS LIST (Now showing the KPOPREVEWED Choices)

Also, due to the number of categories, I have elected to split this post into three pages.

  • To view the ARTIST-RELATED categories (including Best Male and Female Soloists, and Best Male and Female Group, collectively the Artists of the Year categories), stay on this page and keep on scrolling.
  • To view the CHOREOGRAPHIES, VISUALS and PERFORMANCE RELATED categories, click here or click to the second page at the bottom of this post.
  • To view the SONG-RELATED categories, click here or click to the third page at the bottom of this post.

So without further ado, I present to you the KPOPREVIEWED Choices for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

Best New Artists Award Categories

Nominees for Best New Female Group of 2021
| HOT ISSUE | LIGHTSUM | MAJORS | PIXY | PURPLE KISS | TRI.BE |

Nominees for Best New Male Group of 2021
| Ciipher | ENHYPEN | EPEX | JUST B | KINGDOM | MIRAE

Nominees for Best New Female Soloist of 2021
| Joy (Red Velvet) | Kwon Eun Bi | Lisa (BLACKPINK) |
| Rosé (BLACKPINK) | Wendy (Red Velvet) | Yuqi ((G)I-DLE) |

Nominees for Best New Male Soloist of 2021
| D.O (EXO) | HOSHI (SEVENTEEN) | Kai (EXO) |
| Kim Woojin | Youngjae (GOT7) | YOUNG K (DAY6) |

Best Delivery Award Categories

Nominees for Best Vocals of 2021
| BTOB for Show & Prove | Baekhyun (EXO) for Hurt | IU for My Sea |
| Jongho (for Kingdom Legendary War Performances) | Mamamoo for Where Are We At |
| Pentagon for Lovesick Boys (Lovesick Girls Cover) |

Nominees for Best Rapper of 2021
| Bobby (iKON) for U MAD | Changbin (Stray Kids) for DDU-DU DDU-DU cover |
| CL for Spicy | Do Hanse (VICTON) for Take Over |
| I.M (MONSTA X) for God Damn | JESSI for What Type of X |

Best Speciality Award Categories

Nominees for Best Band of 2021
| DAY6 | IZ | LUCY | N.Flying | ONEWE | W24 |

Nominees for Best CO-ED Group of 2021
| 777 | AKMU | CHECKMATE | HyunA & DAWN | K-TIGERS ZERO |

Nominees for Best Subunit / Unit 2021
| BDC | Even of Day | NCT 127 | NCT DREAM | WayV | WJSN The Black |

Rising Star and Most Underrated Artist Categories

Nominees for Rising Star of 2021
| aespa | Brave Girls | ENHYPEN | ONF | STAYC | WOODZ |

Nominees for Most Underrated Artist of 2021
| A.C.E | BDC | Dream Catcher | fromis_9 | Kim Sejeong | ONEUS |

Best Artists of the Year Categories

Nominees for Best Female Soloist of 2021
| CHUNG HA | HyunA | IU | Jeon Somi | JESSI | Kim Sejeong | Sunmi |

Nominees for Best Male Soloist of 2021
| Baekhyun (EXO) | Ha Sung Woon | Kang Daniel | Kim Jae Hwan | Taemin (SHINee) | Wonho | WOODZ |

Nominees for Best Female Group of 2021
| aespa | Brave Girls | Dream Catcher | (G)I-DLE | ITZY | OH MY GIRL | STAYC |

Nominees for Best Male Group of 2021
| Golden Child | ONEUS | ONF | SEVENTEEN | Stray Kids | THE BOYZ | TXT |

PaPage 1 – Artist Related Categories
Page 2 – Choreographies, Visuals, Performances Related Categories
Page 3 – Song Related Categories

[Special/Awards] 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Nomination Announcement

Welcome, all to the announcement of nominations for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! As mentioned on Sunday, this year the Awards will be slightly different to previous years. For an explanation of what is happening, click here to have a read of the schedule for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

As mentioned in the previous post, the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Award is part of the 2021 Critics Award Circuit, which is currently underway with the announcement of nominations by The 555 Review, 108 Ent and deforestedmusic for their respective award ceremonies. As a result, the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED are happening a month earlier than usual, which means the eligibility period for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards is now between 30 November 2020 to 24 October 2021. Songs released after 24 October 2021 will be considered in next year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

These nominations are based on my thoughts and preferences from the year that has just passed. I have considered a wide range of acts, songs, albums, stages, videos etc. (including those I have not reviewed) as part of this year’s awards. Also, these awards are irrespective of the reviews that I have posted throughout the year – simply because my thoughts on artists and songs can change throughout the year.

PS. I tried to do something different this year with the announcement of nominees, by including pictures for the songs, artists and visuals nominated this year. I hope you can read them. I know for some, particularly the songs/album categories, the wording might be a bit too small. Don’t fret (or get angry at me). I have included a reader-friendly version on Google Sheets, which you can view by clicking the link.

READER-FRIENDLY VERSION OF NOMINATIONS LIST

Also, due to the number of categories, I have elected to split this post into three pages.

  • To view the ARTIST-RELATED categories (including Best Male and Female Soloists, and Best Male and Female Group, collectively the Artists of the Year categories), stay on this page and keep on scrolling.
  • To view the CHOREOGRAPHIES, VISUALS and COMEBACK RELATED categories, click here or click to the second page at the bottom of this post.
  • To view the SONG-RELATED categories, click here or click to the third page at the bottom of this post.

So without further ado, I present to you the nominees for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

Artist Categories

Note: Pentagon’s Lovesick Girls cover was uploaded at the start of November 2020. However, I didn’t view the video until December 2020, and hence why it is eligible for Special Performance and Vocal awards.

Artists of the Year Categories

Page 1 – Artist Related Categories
Page 2 – Choreographies, Visuals, Comeback Related Categories
Page 3 – Song Related Categories

[Special] 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Announcement

It might be a tad early this year, but I am proud to unveil and announce the beginning of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Once again, we are approaching the end of the year and it is time to look back at the year (ish) that has just passed. This year, things are happening in a slightly different order than previously (if you haven’t noticed, this particular post is coming out a month in advance than usual). More will be explained below.

The 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards will be part of the 2021 Critics Award Circuit, which is also soon to get underway. Keep your eyes out on other KPOP review blogs for their upcoming announcements. Think blogs that were part of the KPOP Songs of Summer collaboration that happened earlier this year, if you are wondering which specific blogs to look at. As those blogs post their awards posts, I will link to them here.

The 555 Awards of 2021: Nominations
10/10 – Music Critics Association Nominations
2021 deforestedmusic Awards Nominations

Okay, so now here are the details. I have once again added a bunch more categories to the awards this year. You will find out what they are in the coming days. This is on top of the many older categories such as Best New Artist, Best Artist, Best Choreography, Best Music Video etc. categories. And fan voting will still be a thing, so you will definitely still get to have your say in the final winners of each category.

In terms of eligibility for this year, any artist/song nominated will need to be active/released between 30 November 2020 and 22 October 2021. This will include songs such as ENHYPEN’s Given-Taken, Kai’s Mmmh, GOT7’s Last Piece (releases that occurred on 30 November 2020), up until track’s such as SEVENTEEN’s Rock With You and KINGDOM’s Black Crown (releases that occurred up until 22 October 2021). Any songs before the 30 November 2020 date were considered as part of the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, and any songs released after 22 October 2021 will be considered in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

See below for the Key Dates for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (all times are based on my local time, AEDT):

24 October 2021 (i.e. today) – Announcement of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (this particular post in question!)

9 PM (27 October 2021 (this coming Wednesday) – Announcement of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards nominees

9 PM 3 November 2021 – KPOPREVIEWED Choice of the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards nominees – I usually hold off on announcing the KPOPREVIEWED Choice until I post the Winner Announcement post early in the new year. But this time, I will be posting who I think the winners should be in a week after the announcement of the 2021 KPORPEVIEWED Awards nominees.

12:00 AM 15 November 2021 – Public voting opens

11:59 PM 31 December 2021 – Public voting closes

(Date TBC) January 2022 – Announcement of 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards Winners

So based on the above, coming up very soon is the announcement of the 2021 KPOPREVIREWED Awards Nominees. Until then, have a great day/start of the week!

[Review] The View – Stray Kids

As flagged on Sunday, I will be posting reviews for the side tracks from Stray Kids’ second studio album, NOEASY, that we have music video for, in preparation for their upcoming album review this weekend. This include two group tracks and three unit tracks. First up is The View. It was promoted alongside Thunderous as a secondary promotional track and its music video was released in early September.

To me, The View was a standout track on the album. It went in a different direction to their other singles on the NOEASY album despite it being in the same boundaries of EDM. It was relatively light and quite atmospheric to listen to, and I find such qualities make The View fitting for the Summer season (in which it was released). I also appreciate the simplicity of the song’s melodies, which gave the song an overall sing-song approach that was flowy, breezy and just easy to get into. Thus, the vocals flourished effortlessly in this song. The View also was a great platform for the rappers. Felix (with his infamous deep voice) took things slow, making his voice more approachable than his usual harsh delivery. Jisung went with a much faster approach, throwing energy behind his delivery but still keeping it in line with the rest of the song. My favourite bit has to be Changbin’s section in the song. His section (in the second half of the bridge) was like a curveball, changing the momentum of the song ever so briefly with the heavier trap sequence and adding a bit of a ‘growl’ to The View. It changed things up, but doesn’t go overboard. His section just stuck out at me and really added a bit of a wow factor (for me) into The View. Overall, simplicity is sometimes key and I think The View is a prime example of this.

To match the breezy feel of the song, the music video was shot in the fields. It was very fitting and the closeup concept felt appropriate. I also quite enjoyed the scenic views throughout the video. However, I did want choreography scenes in this music video. As much as I find the ‘formula of closeup and choreography’ to be unoriginal and generic, I think it would have been a good inclusion for this music video. I also liked the tie in with the other videos at the end (i.e. the scene with Felix blowing out the candle and the other members are surrounding him). It is like a continuation of the events of Mixtape: OH, where he wished for the members to reunite.

I liked the performance, as it was light-hearted. I thought this was very appropriate for the song and match the vibes of the song that I mentioned above. The chorus had a nice bounce and the members looked like they were having fun on stage throughout.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10

[Special] Celebrating 10 Years of KPOPREVIEWED

Excuse the mushiness of this post and cringy feature image I created. I have the creativity of a log. 🙂

Yikes! 10 years ago, I started KPOPREVIEWED. The date was 3rd October 2011 (on WordPress). To be honest, that is the date that I have on hand as the start of this particular blog. KPOPREVIEWED actually started earlier elsewhere by a few days, but I have deleted that blog and don’t have any of that information on hand anymore.

Over the few days, I have been in this nostalgic mindset thanks to writing this particular thank you post. Hence, I thought it was nice to look back at the very reason why we are all here and so interested in the KPOP industry – the songs, albums, artists, music videos and performances. If you had a keen eye, you would have noticed that I stopped ‘Looking Back’ past 10 years (though I did throw a few extra artists, videos, choreographies in for pre-2011 releases). It pained me to stop at an odd number, but I thought it would be a nice subtle hint at what the end of the special series would entail. it was also a great reflection over the last 10 years. So many releases were sifted through, and so many binges were carried out.

10 years is a long time. 3653 days to be precise (because Korea and mothers with new born babies have this weird obsession with celebrating a certain number of days). Just to put into perspective:

  • approx. 2406 song reviews written to date (in some capacity, however this number does not includes any songs that I have reviewed in an album review format)
  • 430 album reviews written to date
  • 632 followers (a much higher number than what I had ever expected)
  • over 1,300,000 views
  • over 620,000 unique visitors
  • over 850 comments (most of which is me, but still a bunch of comments over the years)
  • over 2380 likes

I am sure other similar blogs have much higher numbers than mine (I see a lot more traffic on my fellow peers blogs). But if you were to ask me 10 years ago that I would have over 1,300,000 views to something, I would laugh and ask if you are joking.

To be honest, I never thought I would reach 10 years. For those who don’t know, KPOPREVIEWED was started as an escape from my studies (I was in high school then). Fast forward 10 years, I have graduated both high school and university, and even moved out to live independently. It was only a few years ago that I thought to even try harder at blogging (as I didn’t have much of a part time job while studying at university and researched ways I could develop skills for a job – blogging was one of them), and I think it paid off. Since then, it has helped land me my full time job (interestingly, this blog and my work have nothing to do with one another) and has been an interesting ice-breaker with some people.

But the biggest reason to why the blog has lasted so long is YOU! The views on my blog have grown exponentially of the last few years. I presume this growing number of views each year tells me that there is an appetite for what I post and it drives me to continue posting. So my biggest thanks to everyone out there, no matter if you have been following the blog since day one or have just discovered the blog today. As cliché as it sounds, I could not have done this without your support, and for that I am grateful for you. 🙂

So what does this post mean for me? Is this reflective and thanking post the end of KPOPREVIEWED? Nope. I think I bit more in me. Whether I will last another 10 years, that’s a different story. However, I will promise (and I truly mean this one – I know I don’t have the best track record of promises because of this year) that once I work out when my time is up, I will let you know and bid you all a proper farewell. I think it is the right thing for me to do and it would help give me some closure before I officially move on. But in the meanwhile, I am sticking around and have a lot of catching up to do. And a lot more posting to do. (A lot of still coming up, such as the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, new and returning segments that I really want to do etc.)

I leave you with my personal favourite releases below – one of each from the 10 years I have been around (plus 2021, since the blog has been active in 2021). (I honestly have no idea to celebrate 10 years – though I am baking cookies later today :D).

Massive thanks again and see you tomorrow (for the start of another decade)!

2011 – Sixth Sense (Brown Eyed Girls)

2012 – Poison (Secret)

2013 – Female President (Girl’s Day)

2014 – Sugar Free (T-ARA)

2015 – Ah Yeah (EXID)

2016 – Very Nice (SEVENTEEN)

2017 – Hwi Hwi (Laboum)

2018 – I Love You (EXID)

2019 – Time Of Our Life (DAY6)

2020 – Back Door (Stray Kids)

2021 – Beautiful Beautiful (ONF) (at this point in time – may change)

[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Artists

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

It is without a doubt that KPOP would not be what it is currently without its artists. After all, they are the main attraction of the industry. Over the years, we have seen a lot of artists come and go. Some have truly succeeded and their careers have broken boundaries. Others have disappeared from the industry, following scandals, early disbandments or contract curses. Some have stayed the long haul and have enjoyed long term careers in the industry. Some have even gone into acting and other lines of work, following their careers on our screens.

Today, I will be going through the best and notable artists of each year that has passed. From 2017 – 2020, the artists in the bold text were voted by you through the annual KPOPREVIEWED Awards to be the Best Artists (male group, female group, male solo and female solo) of the respective year, while those underneath the bolded header text are those who I thought were the notable artists of the respective year. For 2013 – 2016, all artists listed (regardless of bolded text and normal text) are those who I thought were the Best Artists of those years. For 2011 and 2012, I have only listed the groups and solo act that I thought would be considered Best Artists for those years in a retrospective point of view.

Also linked are playlist containing one track from each of the artists listed for each year.

2020



Other notable artists

Golden Child
Lovelyz
Baekhyun (EXO)
IU

BTS & Stray Kids
EVERGLOW & BLACKPINK
Taemin (SHINee)
Hwasa (Mamamoo)

2019



Other notable artists

TWICE
EXO
Taemin (SHINee)
IU

BTS & ATEEZ
Mamamoo & Red Velvet
Zico
CHUNGHA

2018



Other notable artists

BTS
Red Velvet
Seungri (ex-Big Bang)
Taeyeon (SNSD)

SHINee
BLACKPINK
Eric Nam
Sunmi

2017



Other notable artists

Red Velvet
EXO & B.A.P (tie)
IU & Sunmi (tie)
G-DRAGON (Big Bang)

Seventeen
Bobby (iKON)

2016



Other notable artists

Seventeen
Mamamoo
Zico
Taeyeon (SNSD)

GOT7
Oh My Girl
Eric Nam
Hyosung (ex-Secret)

2015



Other notable artists:

EXID
GOT7
Tayeon (SNSD)
Kim Sung Kyu (Infinite)

Red Velvet
BTS
Amber (F(x))
Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)

2014



Other notable artists:

VIXX
Girl’s Day
Crush
Song Ji Eun (ex-Secret)

BEAST
APINK
JungGiGo
Sunmi

2013


Other notable artists

Girl’s Day
SHINee
Ailee

Infinite & VIXX
Miss A & Rainbow
K.Will & IU

2012


U-KISS
Secret
IU

2011

Big Bang
2NE1
IU

[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Albums

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

In today’s ‘Looking Back’ post, I turn my attention to albums in the KPOP industry. Albums offer a lot of insight into an artist, as it gives the artist more opportunities to express themselves. We (the listeners) find ourselves delving into the albums of artists we like, and finding that ‘hidden gem’ or an alternative track that should have been the title track of the album. Other times, we give an album of a less familiar group a go to discover their music and potentially becomes fans of them! This is the power of the album, and it has definitely been an effective tool in the industry.

Nowadays, album sales are a very indicative parameter of how successful a KPOP artist is. Selling the most albums to date is BTS (no surprises there), with their 2020 release being the most sold album in KPOP. And more artists are joining BTS on the upper end of the most sold list, including NCT, Seventeen, TXT, EXO and Stray Kids. It is very interesting to note that physical albums, for the most part, were on the downtrend in the ’00s, with digital charts being the new way to listen to music. But I guess posters, photocards, photobooks and other merchandise included in KPOP albums have given them new life.

Below, I have listed the best and most notable albums of the year. For years 2018 – 2020, the album in the bolded text is the album that you all voted as being the best album of the respective year. In 2014 – 2016, the album stated in the bolded header text is the album that I chose to be the best album of the respective year. In 2011 – 2013 and 2017, I have retrospectively chosen two albums for Best Album and most notable album as there was not Best Album categories in those years. For each ‘Best Album’, I have also provided the Spotify playlist (sorry to WordPress app users, I don’t think you can see the Spotify playlists).

2020: -77.82*-78.29 (2nd Mini Album) – EVERGLOW

Other notable albums:

The Book of Us: The Demon (6th Mini Album) – DAY6
24 Part 1 (1st Studio Album) – Jeong Sewoon

2019: Love Poem (5th Mini Album) – IU

Other notable album:

The Book of Us: Gravity (3rd Studio Album) – DAY6

2018: The Story of Light (6th Studio Album) – SHINee

Other notable album:

Love Yourself: Answer (3rd Compilation Album) – BTS

2017: Palette (4th Studio Album) – IU

Other notable album:

White Night (3rd Studio Album) – Taeyang (Big Bang)

2016: Wings (2nd Studio Album) -BTS

Other notable album:

Carnival (5th Mini Album) – B.A.P

2015: 4Walls (4th Studio Album) – F(x)

Other notable album:

Basic (6th Studio Album) – DAY6

2014: Red Light (3rd Studio Album) – F(x)

Other notable album:

PLAY (1st Studio Album) – DAY6

2013: Pink Tape (2nd Studio Album) – F(x)

Other notable album:

Everybody (5th Mini Album) – SHINee

2012: Alive/Still Alive (5th Studio Album/5th Studio Album Repackaged) – Big Bang

Other notable album:

One Of A Kind (1st Mini Album) – G-Dragon (Big Bang)

2011: Wonder World (2nd Studio Album) – Wonder Girls

Other notable album:

Neverland (2nd Studio Album) – U-KISS

[Special] Looking Back: Non-Korean Songs

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

Over the years, KPOP have expanded into other music industries. It started with just the Korean market. Soon, KPOP artists entered the nearby Japanese pop music market, which was a very successful move for some groups, who thrived and ended up focusing more on Japanese promotions. Historically, a number of Korean acts failed to make it big in the Western pop music industry, But that all changed very recently with the success of BTS and other groups who have a big international fanbase in the Western pop music scene. Today, I will be looking back at the Best and Notable non-Korean tracks released by Korean artists.

From 2017 to 2020, the songs listed in the bold text are those who were voted in as Best International Song/Best Non-Korean Song by a Korean Artist/Best Japanese Song for those years. I have also listed an additional song as a notable song where there is one available. From 2016 and earlier, the song in the bold text are those that I have selected to be the Best Japanese Song for those years.

2020 – Dynamite (BTS)

Other notable non-Korean song: Fallin’ Flower (Seventeen)

2019 – Breakthrough (TWICE)

Other notable non-Korean song: Moonwalk (WAYV)

2018 – Electric Kiss (EXO)

Other notable non-Korean song: Call Call Call (Seventeen)

2017 – One More Time (TWICE)

2016 – Sayonara Hitori (Taemin (SHINee))

2015 – Can’t Wait To Love You (BEAST/HIGHLIGHT)

2014 – F.F.Y (MYNAME)

2013 – Bunny Style (T-ARA)

2012 – Dazzling Girl (SHINee)

2011 – TICK TACK (UKISS)

[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Choreographies

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

Another visual aspect of the comebacks in KPOP are the choreographies. To me, this makes KPOP very unique. As far as I am aware, Korea is one of the few countries in which artists can promote on stage for 6 days a week, and promotional periods range between 1 to 4 weeks. That is a crazy amount of stage performances that KPOP idols need to do. But it is exposure that a lot of groups need to make it to the top. And there is a vast variety of performances out there, as you can tell from the list below, which contains the best and notable choreographies in KPOP.

For the past how many years, you and I have selected the best choreographies. In the more recent years (2017 – 2020), I have opened up the floor to allow you to vote in the annual KPOPRVIEWED Awards. Those who you have selected to be the best choreographies of that year are in the bolded header text, while those that I noted in normal text for those relevant years as what I considered to be the best choreographies. For 2016 and eelier, the bolded text is what I decided to the Best Choreographies, and the normal text was my second pick.

I have also compiled a playlist of the listed choreographies for each year.

2020


Other notable choreographies:

ONE (LUCID DREAM) – Golden Child
DUN DUN – EVERGLOW
Criminal – Taemin (SHINee)
NUNU NANA – JESSI

Back Door – Stray Kids
Naughty – Red Velvet Irene & Selugi
Open Mind – Wonho
Stay Tonight – Chungha

2019


Other Notable Choreographies

Butterfly – LOONA
Love Shot – EXO
Want – Taemin (SHINee)

HIP – Mamamoo
Side Effects – Stray Kids
LALALAY – Sunmi

2018

Other notable choreographies:

Thanks – Seventeen
Woman – BoA

Lullaby – GOT7
I Love You – EXID

2017

Other notable choreography:

Don’t Wanna Cry – SEVENTEEN

Gashina – Sunmi

2016

Other notable choreography:

Hard Carry – GOT7

The Eye – Infinite

2015

Other Notable Choreography:

DOPE – BTS

If You Do – GOT7

2014

Other notable choreography:

Sugar Free – T-ARA

Back – Infinite

2013

Other notable choreographies:

Everybody – SHINee
Growl – EXO

Expectation – Girl’s Day
Very Good – BLOCK B

2012

Other notable choreographies:

Sherlock – SHINee

Alone – Sistar
The Chaser – Infinite

2011

Other notable choreography:

Neverland – UKISS

The Boys – SNSD

Pre-2011

Sorry Sorry – Super Junior
Gee – SNSD
Lucifer – SHINee
Nobody – Wonder Girls
Heartbeat – SHINee

[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Music Videos

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

One of the most visual aspects of KPOP is the music video. Over the years, we have seen a lot of amazing music videos, with a lot of them featuring amazing sets, vivid concepts and cinematic quality storylines. When you look at a lot of videos (especially some of the ones featured below), you can tell that a lot of effort and planning has been put into such videos. Sometimes budgets can exceed millions of dollars in some cases and complex stories covered by multiple videos and comebacks. In this post, I look over the music videos that you and I have picked as the best music videos.

Between 2017 to 2020, the music video in the header text were selected as the Best Music Video by you through the yearly KPOPREVIEWED Awards, while the music videos in the header text from 2016 and earlier were chosen by me (as back then, only I determined the winners of Best Music Video categories). Under each header, I have also listed one or two extra music videos that were also considered notable, as this was also determined by you or me in relevant years.

2020 – LADIDA (EVERGLOW)

Other notable music video: Back Door (Stray Kids)

2019 – Obsession (EXO)

Other notable music videos: Feel Special (TWICE) & HIT (SEVENTEEN)

2018 – Fake Love (BTS)

Other notable music videos: DDU-DU DDU-DU (BLACKPINK)

2017 – Peek-A-Boo (Red Velvet)

Other notable music videos: You In Me (KARD)

2016 – Skydive (B.A.P)

Other notable music videos: Blood Sweat & Tears (BTS)

2015 – You (G.Soul)

Other notable music videos: Pray (FT Island)

2014 – The Story of our Lives (G.O.D ft. Megan Lee)

Other notable music videos: Red Light (f(x))

2013 – G.R.8.U (VIXX)

Other notable music videos: ONE SHOT (B.A.P) & Growl (EXO)

2012 – Fantastic Baby (Big Bang)

Other notable music videos: Sherlock (SHINee) & This Is War (MBLAQ)

2011 – Cleansing Cream (Brown Eyed Girls)

Other notable music videos: Love Song (Big Bang) & Going Crazy (Song Ji Eun ft. Bang Yong Guk

Pre-2011 – Haru Haru (BIG BANG), Gee (SNSD), Mirotic (TVXQ)

[Special] Looking Back: Best and Notable Debuts

As part of a super special series, I will be doing rewinding the clock and reflecting on the years that have passed by focusing on certain aspects that have defined KPOP. All will make sense once I reach the end of this series.

Each year there are new groups and solo acts starting out in the industry. Many of the groups and soloists on this list have literally defined and shaped KPOP in remarkable and iconic way. Other groups or soloists unfortunately did not have much of a chance to do so, while some others are just starting out and could become the next big thing in the industry. In this post, I look back at the debuts that you picked as the best and my personal favourite debuts over the years.

From 2017 to 2020, the debuts listed in the bold header texts are based on the winners of the KPOPREVIEWED Awards of the respective year, which were chosen by you. Underneath the headings for 2017 – 2020 (in the plain text), I listed my personal favourite debuts from these years. For the other years, the bold header texts are my personal favourites (I didn’t open voting up to you all during these years) and included other notable debuts in that respective year there as well. There is also an accompanying playlist for the debut singles for each of the groups/soloists listed.

PS. This post might take a while to load as there is a playlist for each year.

2020 – DRIPPIN, aespa, WOODZ, Ryu Sujeong (Lovelyz)

Personal favourites – TREASURE, Weeekly, WOODZ, YooA (Oh My Girl)

2019 – ITZY, TXT, Hwasa (Mamamoo), Baekhyun (EXO)

Personal Favourites – EVERGLOW, AB6IX, Hwasa (Mamamoo), HUTA (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB)

2018 – Stray Kids, (G)I-DLE, Yuri (SNSD)

Personal Favourites – The Boyz, fromis_9, Kim Dong Han

2017 – Dream Catcher, Wanna One, Kim Chungha

Personal Favourite – Dream Catcher, Wanna One, Jeong Sewoon

2016 – ASTRO, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

2015 – GFriend, Seventeen, Jonghyun (SHINee), G.Soul

2014 – GOT7, Mamamoo, HA:TFELT, Jung Hyosung (former member of Secret)

2013 – BESTie, Sunmi, HISTORY

2012 – B.A.P, GLAM, Ailee

2011 – APINK, B1A4

Pre-2011 Notable Debuts – BEAST (now known as HIGHLIGHT), MISS A, Infinite, CN BLUE, 4MINUTE, T-ARA, 2NE1, 2PM, SHINee, SNSD

[Special] K-Pop Songs of the Summer Review: Hot Summer – f(x)

Over time, the K-Pop Review community has grown from a few individuals into a full subset of the internet. Now, TheBiasList, Kbopped, 10/10 – Music, Hallyureviews, Jei’s Kulture Notes, Deforested Music, A Floating Realm in the Corner, 8.5 Music, and Kpopreviewed are working together, to create a series, where we review our favorite K-Pop summer song.

Be sure to check out everyone’s posts in the links below!

10/10 – Music (Blog / Hi Ya Ya – TVXQ Review)
Blueraspberrysyrup (Blog / Summer 127 – NCT 127 Review)
Kbopped (Blog / The Star of Stars – SNUPER)
Jei’s Kulture Notes (Blog / Boogie Up – WJSN Review)
Hallyureviews (Blog – / Power – EXO Review)
8.5 Music (Blog / View – SHINee Review)
Kpopreviewed (This Blog!! / Hot Summer – f(x))
Deforested Music (Blog / Wave – ATEEZ)
The Bias List (Blog / Loving U – Sistar)


There are so many artists and songs that are synonymous with Summer released over the years. But since I have been around for a while now (I won’t put a number on it – that can be the subject for a later post), I have reviewed a large bulk of them already. So, when I found a song that I haven’t reviewed yet that also suited the theme of this collaboration, I actually felt like the stars align. My chosen song is F(x)’s Hot Summer, which was released way back in June 2011. This particular decade young track was released as the title track for the repackaged version of their first studio album, Pinocchio, and was a massive hit in Summer of that year.

I vaguely remember not enjoying Hot Summer when it was first released for some reason (don’t remember what exactly – it has been 10 years). But like many songs that I have expressed dislike for or criticised, Hot Summer has become an iconic track to have on my Summer playlist. But how so? Well, Hot Summer continually repeats its title throughout the song, especially in the chorus. It is pretty much in your face and there is no escaping it. A bit of an extreme tactic, but it got keyed into my memory. Now, there isn’t summer where my mind don’t gravitate towards the song, especially when the temperatures are unbearable (a bit of song and dance may ensue). Throw that over an synth-heavy (pretty much the norm for back then) and bright instrumentation that comes off as refreshing, and you pretty much have a strong catchy track. What I also liked about Hot Summer now is how it just keeps on going. There was virtually no breaks throughout the song, so the energy is very consistent and just continually pumps. But I think the textures that come from the synths and the vocals do a good job of distracting you from that consistency, and hence I don’t see it as a problem. We do get a bit of reprieve following in the chorus, with the whispery-like delivery of the song’s title (repetition, once again), which was really cool and a nice change in momentum. I would have liked to hear transitional effects between various parts of the song, just so the various sections could be more easily identified and defined. When it comes to the vocals and rapping, Hot Summer is a solid number. The vocals, which bring an undeniable pop influence to the song, stood out over an already loud and texturally heavy instrumentation. I also really liked how edgy they sounded in the first verse. Amber’s rap, although brief, was a nice intense moment that worked well with the rest of the song and allowed Amber to show her style off more. The interesting part is the high-pitch whiny ‘Hot Summer‘ we get in the last iteration of the chorus that blends into the instrumentation. It feels pretty much ahead of its time. Hot Summer is a song that I keep going back to, especially when the temperatures start heating up where I live, and it is one of my many recommended KPOP Songs of the Summer.

Not too sure what the premise for this music video is. A pink tank rolls down the street doesn’t seem that summery to me. But it was an epic entrance for the group and definitely feels like a F(x) thing to do. Aside from the questionable background, I thought the music video was pretty decent and rather simple (which you know I like). The brightness reminds you of a really hot summers day. They outfits provided that pop of colour (alongside the pink tank) in such a barren city landscape. Even the red outfits in their studio sets managed to show Summer in a simple dual colour fashion.

The iconic choreography for this comeback was pretty much self explanatory. Too hot, fan yourself. It is also simple, so people like me who have two left feet and look really awkward dancing (like those dancers we see in the background at the end of the video) can pull it off reasonably well. That being said, there is a bit of complexity with the rest of the performance (i.e. formations and other parts of the routines) that results in the choreography for this release being quite balanced and looking good.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10