[Review] When Dawn Comes Again – Colde ft. Baekhyun (EXO)

When Dawn Comes Again is nominated for Best R&B Song, while Baekhyun’s solo release, Bambi, is also nominated for Best R&B Song. Support either When Dawn Comes Again or Bambi in the Best R&B Song category by clicking here to vote!

The final song from the Best R&B Song genre which I have yet to review is When Dawn Comes Again, which is a collaborative single between Colde and Baekhyun (from EXO). This was released back in July of this year. Since then, Colde has gone on to release another collaborative single, New Vision, with Kim Soyeon (from (G)I-DLE), and Baekhyun has enlisted into the military and is also competing against When Dawn Comes Again with his own solo single, Bambi.

Both Colde and Baekhyun are big name artists that recur in the Korean R&B industry, so there are high expectations for When Dawn Comes Again. And I feel that When Dawn Comes Again hits those expectations with little effort from both Colde and Baekhyun. The song has this mellow R&B instrumentation, made up of pretty typical instrumentation for the most part like piano and electric guitars. While the other two songs I have reviewed for the Best R&B Song category have really pushed out their use of guitar, I find that When Dawn Comes Again doesn’t really do that and keeps it ‘as part of the background’. There isn’t anything wrong with this direction, given that the song still sounds good. As mentioned a moment ago, both Colde and Baekhyun sound really good in When Dawn Comes Again, with this being a major drawing point to the song. Both artists had a nice huskiness and raspiness to their voice, with Baekhyun delivering it at a higher tone. The soft and swaying melody of the song also makes When Dawn Comes Again super appealing. I know that the song has a bit of emotional behind it, but I also like the soothing nature of the song. Altogether, this all made When Dawn Comes Again so enjoyable to listen and ultimately earned it a nomination for the Best R&B Song of the year.

The music video features Nam Yoon Su, who is an up and coming actor in Korea. If you really want to see more of him, I highly recommend the K-Drama Extracurricular. He is super good in it. Anyhow, the music video for When Dawn Come Again features Nam Yoon Su wandering the streets of an empty city awaiting for sunshine in some form to come again. The sunshine in this case is a metaphor for a partner, which Colde and Baekhyun sing about in the song. To be honest, the music video is very typical, a bit dry and doesn’t offer much. It fits the tone of the song, but I would say it is the type of video you need to watch just once and you would have gotten the full grasp of it.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

[Review] Hurt – Baekhyun (EXO) & Seomoon Tak

One week ago, I said I was going to prioritise one particular song for review as it rose to the top of my personal Weekly KPOP Charts for the 4th Week of May 2021. Unfortunately, I didn’t around to writing that review during the week. But it is still a priority, especially since I am publishing this review before so many other releases that I have promised myself to write reviews for (some of them released weeks before this particular song was released). But just in case for those who missed it (or don’t pay attention to my Weekly KPOP Charts), the song I am talking about is titled Hurt and it is a collaboration between Baekhyun (from EXO) and Seomoon Tak, who is a South Korean rock singer. This collaboration was released on the 10th of May, and has gone since without a review. However, that will change today with the release of the review! Just a few days prior to the release of Hurt, Baekhyun enlisted as a public service worker to fulfil this military enlistment duty.

I didn’t immediately check out the song upon its release. And that turned out to be a regret, because Hurt is soooo (yes, the extra o’s were necessary) good. Hurt is a rock track, showcasing both Baekhyun’s and Seomoon Tak’s vocal powers. The instrumentation has a nostalgic factor (i.e. synthesizer keyboard) for me, bringing me back to music I used to take a liking towards when I was younger. On top of that, the instrumentation is fiery and powerful, acting as the perfect backdrop to help lift those power vocals I just mentioned to be even more so. The song starts off with Seomoon Tak, who I am unfamiliar with. She is a rock singer (as stated earlier) who made her debut back in 1999. She takes the first verse and presents us with her raspy and husky vocals. Based on what you hear, you can tell she has experience in the genre. She sounds amazing throughout her solo parts, teasing us with her vocals with what you know is coming. Baekhyun doesn’t make an appearance in the song until the first chorus, in which he leads. We all know Baekhyun is a capable singer through a lot of his solo work and through EXO’s songs. But I don’t think we have ever heard him like this, showcasing powerful vocals that leave in me in awe. I really like the echoing they do with the song’s title in the chorus, which added so much depth to the song, The pair play switcheroo for the second part of the song, with Baekhyun singing the verse and Seomoon Tak taking helm of the second chorus. That being said, there is some crossover. Baekhyun has some stunning high notes in the second chorus. But I think the ultimate singer has to be Seomoon Tak who blew me away with the heft and intensity she throws behind her vocals in her chorus. But remember, Hurt is no competition between the two singers. They come together in a spectacular fashion for the final chorus, harmonising their power vocals together to create a really satisfying end to the song that just touches your inner soul in all the right places. Overall, the passion and intensity of Hurt, along with the pairing of Baekhyun and Seomoon Tak just makes Hurt unforgettable and highly recommended.

The music video for Hurt is quite simple. The pair perform their songs into microphones in front of a band, who plays the instrumentation of the song. The lighting makes the video’s ambience quite moody. But the song itself prevents the video from entering a gloomy feel. I liked the hand held camera work in this video, which I think made the video more impactful with its shakiness. It gave off a live impression. While we are on the topic of ‘live’, I did wish this was a live video, where they were singing and recorded live. That would have made it more stunning and impressive, whilst also showcasing the song in a very gripping way.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10

[Album Review] Bambi (3rd Mini Album) – Baekhyun (EXO)

The next album on my reviewing radar is Baekhyun’s third mini-album, Bambi, which was released back in March of this year. Bambi is also the title track of the album. Amusement Park is also featured on the album after its digital release in December of last year. This is a pretty significant release for Baekhyun, with the album selling over a million copies within a few weeks of its release, breaking his personal record which he had set himself with his Delight mini-album from last year. It is also significant in a sense that this is Baekhyun’s final mini-album release before his military enlistment which occurred earlier this month. I believe Baekhyun has hinted at some solo stuff while he is away. But until that is officially confirmed and released, we only have this mini-album to fulfil our Baekhyun cravings for the next two years or so.

Bambi Album Cover

1. Love Scene – The album starts off with Love Scene. This form of R&B isn’t my personal cup of tea, given that there isn’t much going on. However, I felt that Love Scene was quite soothing to listen to. There is something about the consistent guitar work and the soft thumping in the instrumental that carried the song for me. Baekhyun’s vocals were smooth and there was a decent degree of raspiness to it. But as stated a few sentences ago, the song does feel quite consistent and I wished that wasn’t so much the case. (7/10)

2. Bambi (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Bambi. (8/10)

3. All I Got – The opening beats of All I Got really perked my attention towards the song. Then comes Baekhyun’s falsetto note, before the R&B genre truly kicks in. In comparison to the opening track, All I Got has heft to it, which is more of my style. I really like the bass that sits under the rest of the song’s instrumentation. I really like the backing vocals in the bridge, giving a choir-like effect to the song. And to add to all of that, Baekhyun constantly returns with his vocals. A combination of falsettos and impressive ad-libs that only Baekhyun is capable of. (9/10)

4. Amusement Park (놀이공원)Click here to read the full review for Amusement Park. (9/10)

5. Privacy – This song combines jazzy notes and with lo-fi effects to give us Privacy. It is a really nice mix of styles that work really well with one another. And in addition to that, Privacy is really smooth so it is an easy listen. I would have liked to hear more of Baekhyun aligning with the jazz side of the song, rather than the lo-fi side. While I think his vocals in this song are amazing as usual, I felt there was some missed opportunity to do some further exploration in the jazz genre space. (8/10)

6. Cry For Love – The saying ‘saving the best to last’ is applicable for this album. Cry For Love is my personal favourite side track from this mini-album. Like the entirety of this album, Cry For Love falls into the R&B genre. But the song is the heftiest on this list, thanks to the beat of the instrumentation.  What makes this an even better song is Baekhyun’s vocals (per usual). He showed off a lot with his voice. You can hear the emotional drive behind his voice, which was fitting for the lyrics of this song. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

Bambi Teaser Image

[Review] Bambi – Baekhyun (EXO)

Before we proceed with any more reviews for this week, I have to write my review for Baekhyun’s Bambi. Bambi dropped almost a week ago on Tuesday as the title track of Baekhyun’s third mini-album of the same name. This release has also been confirmed to be his final release before his military enlistment, which is scheduled to occur on his birthday (May 6). However I did recently read somewhere that Baekhyun may be releasing even more material while he is enlisted. But I guess we have to wait and see. Baekhyun’s third mini-album also become the most pre-ordered album for a soloist to date. Congratulations to Baekhyun for achieving such a feat!

It is no surprise that Baekhyun’s latest release taps into the R&B genre. All of his solo releases have dug deep into the R&B genre in some form or another. But there is always variation between this releases. I don’t think any of them have been as straight forward as Bambi however. And as I have previously specified in other reviews, this isn’t always a bad thing. Kicking off with atmospheric guitar work, Baekhyun’s vocals becomes the star attraction of Bambi with really smooth and engaging delivery. I also really like the clearness of his vocals in this song. It really helped elevate the vocals to that ‘star attraction’ feel and it doesn’t feel overcomplicated by the instrumentation, which in turn was quite simple and (as mentioned previously) straight forward R&B. I personally really enjoyed the ‘Bambi bam Bambi Bambi Bambi‘ hook, which was really keyed into my mind since its release last week. But while it sounds like it is all praise for Bambi and Baekhyun this time around, I have to note that there was one flaw that really stuck out at me. Pretty much from start to end, the song sounded all the same. And as a result, I don’t feel that the song goes for the three and half minutes that it is actually goes for. It is more so a blur. Not really a great impression. But once you listen to the song in detail, you notice Bambi‘s details and positives.

The music video opens with a very intense sequence with Baekhyun stepping in front of a train to pick up a coin he had flicked onto the train track, as it is chugging full steam ahead towards him. The video then cuts to Baekhyun on the train dancing, which is when the music kicks in. Throughout the video, we see Baekhyun hang around on the train, however I am unsure of the train’s significance in the video or who Baekhyun is playing. Aside from the confusion, I did like various aspects of the video including the noir-like appearance of the video, which is thanks to the suit and hat outfit that Baekhyun dons throughout the video. It adds an addition layer of mysteriousness to the video, which was already present thanks to the darkness that the video is set in. Also, when Baekhyun hangs outside the train while it was raining was also a strong moment. Firstly, it showed emotional commitment. Secondly, it felt very dramatic, which aligned with the rest of the video. Maybe slightly over the top, now that I have rewatched that part a couple of times. But overall, a good video.

Based on what can be seen in the music video, the choreography for Bambi is very sensual. And this matches up really nicely with the straight forward and typical side of R&B. On top of that, I really like the sharper moments of the choreography, when they move in time with the percussion beats of the song. The suit and hat also elevate the performance. I wish we get to see a full performance for Bambi soon.

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

[International Song Reviews] Chungha, Baekhyun, Dream Catcher, Jung Daehyun, TWICE

BTS’ Dynamite was voted by you to be the Best International Song By a Korean Artist. All songs from this review moving forward, including the songs in this review, will be eligble for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Check them out and remember to vote for your favourite at the end of the year. In the meanwhile, check out the winners for the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

Welcome to the first International Song Review post of 2021. KPOP artists aren’t just focused on the Korean pop music industry. They have embarked on multiple other music video industries include the Japanese, Chinese and Western music industries. As they are released by Korean artists, I feel the obligation to review them like any other song released by the artists in Korea. But as they are not from the primary industry (i.e. KPOP), I decided to lump the reviews into one post. This allows me to focus on the primary review of Korean songs, but also allow me to ‘keep up’ with the releases outside of Korea. In this post, I will be focusing on songs released in the Western and Japanese music industries by Korean artists in late November 2020 and January 2021. I would recommend you check them all out. They include Chungha, Baekhyun, Dream Catcher, Jung Daehyun and TWICE.

Dream of You – Chungha (with R3HAB)

Dream of You is actually a Korean song released all in English. To give you some context, Dream of You is a pre-release single for her now-released first studio album that dropped earlier in the week. We all first heard the song at the end of November 2020 and it became part of the buildup towards Chungha’s grand return to the domestic market. What really stands out with Dream of You is the funky thumping instrumentation (which felt quite classy and dynamic all at the same time). The electronic nature of the instrumentation just makes it groovier. It is quite simple in hindsight, but it feels quite loaded when you consider the song as a whole. Chungha shows off her vocal flair throughout the song, delivering the song’s mature lyrics in a very complimenting manner. If Dream of You needed to prove its potential for Chungha to flourish in the Western market, then it did its job well. The music video released in conjunction back in November 2020 is actually a performance video. It showcases Chungha and her male dancers performing the song with an uber sensual choreography. There is a modern femme fatale vibe that comes from it, which I really enjoyed. It also felt like an extension of her Stay Tonight music video that was released earlier in 2020. I really the scenes where she performance in a suit and a hat. It just made the performance more impactful and interesting to watch. This release as a whole proves to me that Chungha is a performer that any industry should be afraid of. (10/10)

Get You Alone – Baekhyun (EXO)

It seems like the ongoing funky trend is spreading to other industries as well. Get You Alone is Baekhyun’s Japanese solo debut title track and it was first unveiled on the 3rd of January 2021 at his solo concert. The song has this casual upbeat vibe which makes it quite a pleasant listen. It isn’t really the most exciting song out there. But it manages to show off Baekhyun’s vocals quite nicely, emphasising the smoothness of his vocals and its husky profile. His ad-libs throughout Get You Alone and especially during the bridge is definitely the song’s icing on the cake. The music video shows a nerdy version of Baekhyun wanting to ask out someone he is interested in. But that person cruelly rejects him. He turns to the help of a more confident and experienced version of Baekhyun (the talk show host), who tells him what to do to be successful in the dating department (i.e. setting the mood, teaching him about manners and to make sure he smells nice – which resulted in a classy wardrobe change). I wished we got to see whether the changes and work put in paid off. It would have completed the story in a fulfilling manner. I liked the sets of the video. There isn’t anything special about them, but they managed to emphasis the funky tones of the song. The choreography shown throughout the music video was quite good and paired well with the song. (8/10)

No More – Dream Catcher

We all know Dream Catcher for their infusion of rock influences in their title tracks, regardless of the music industry they are releasing it in. What makes it even better is that Dream Catcher almost always puts a fresh spin on it. They found a niche in the KPOP industry and have managed to continued marketing towards that niche without tiring out listeners. But I don’t think we have ever heard anything with high intensity as No More. Released at the end of November 2020, No More literally charges at you with its relentless energy. It quite thrilling and powerful, all rolled into three minute long song. I really like how Dami’s rap cuts through the intensity by having the rock instrumentation stripped away into an almost trap-electronic piece. It does feel fitting for the song as a whole and brings some mid-song relief. The music video for No More doesn’t actually the members. I am assuming the anime characters that we do see are anime version of the members, though I haven’t found any information on who they are. The music video also doubles up as a lyrics video, showing the lyrics of the song of the song. I also like the transitions of the video. They do feel erratic, but most importantly, they matching the intensity of the song. As the video doesn’t feature the members and the anime character are simply images, there is not associated choreography with this comeback. (8.6/10)

Amazing – Jung Daehyun

Jung Daehyun, a member of the now inactive B.A.P, made his solo comeback in Korea with his first Japanese single back in November 2020. The new song is titled Amazing and it was officially released at the end of November 2020. But the music video was released for a month prior to the official song release. It is definitely nice to hear his voice once again, especially since this is the first song I have heard from him since the release of Aight at the end of 2019. His voice does flourish in the song and the melodies are quite enjoyable. Amazing also shines in the instrumental department. Sure, there isn’t anything special about it. But like the vocals and melodies, it was quite enjoyable and acted as a decent backdrop for the solo act’s vocals. It was noticeably dominated by repetitive taps on the keyboard and there was also some brass thrown into the song to give the chorus some additional colour. The music video was quite simple at the start, but it stilled managed to look classy thanks to the outfits worn by Jung Daehyun and the dancers. The video also showcased the visuals of Jung Daehyun quite well. About half way through the video, we see Jung Daehyun and the dancers perform under rain and in a water pool. While this is something we now see often in KPOP, it made the video more visually interesting. I personally felt the red light could have been omitted, but that is the only critical comment I can make for this video. The choreography looks nice. I wished more people would view the video to watch Jung Daehyun in action and listen to the song, as this comeback is very underrated. (8.2/10)

Better – TWICE

The final song in this post is TWICE’s Better. It was released back in mid-November. If you are looking for a fulfilling pop dose from this list, Better is the song for you. While some of the other songs above are within the pop realm, none of them match Better‘s colourful energy. It is the type of song that will make you smile and get up to dance to. The song’s best part has to be the descending melody that features as the song’s pre-chorus. It is definitely quite memorable and it makes the chorus just pop out so much more. The chorus comes out as a close second, with Jihyo’s ‘Better‘ really sticking in my mind. The rapping by Chaeyoung and Dahyun has a really nice kick to it, elevating Better to a much better level. While I don’t mention the rest of the members, they all sound really amazing throughout this new song. When it comes to the music video for Better, I applaud the stylist of the video who chose their outfits. The colours were quite dull and wouldn’t necessarily be considered fashionable at first glance. But the outfit colours worked in really close harmony to the rest of the music video, making the members stand out in the video. There is still a burst of other colours throughout the video using dominance, which compliments the pop vibes of the song. I also like the casualness of the video, portrayed through the member’s outfits and the uncomplicated nature of the sets. For the choreography, I like the bouncy energy they bring forth. The bridge looks complicated, but aesthetic. (9/10)

[Special] 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Winners Announcement

Welcome to the announcement post of the winners for the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. During the month of December in 2020, I opened up a survey for the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Over 1800 of you voted during the month of December, a number that I did not expect to see! I am sure that you all are excited and are awaiting to see which artist has clinched victory in each category. I have definitely made you wait long enough 🙂

Like the previous years, I will announce the winners using GIFs and images. I have also announced the runners up for each category as Honourable Mentions below the GIFs. In addition to that, I have included the KPOPREVIEWED Choice, which is my personal pick for each category.

Unlike previous years, however, all of the winners of the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (including the End of Year Charts and Best Song of 2020 Award) is included in this very one post! Towards the bottom of each post, you will see some page numbers. You can click on these page numbers to navigate to different award categories and the End of Year Charts. Here is a quick guide to the page numbers:

Page 1 – Artist Categories
Page 2 – Visual Categories, Performance Categories, Weekly KPOP Charts related Categories
Page 3 – Blog related Categories, Song Categories (excluding Best Song)
Page 4 – End of Year Charts & Best Song of 2020 Award

Artist Caregories

The following categories are all fan-voted categories for the artists that were active during the eligible period of December 2019 to November 2020.

Best New Male Group



Honourable Mention: TREASURE

Best New Female Group



Honourable Mention: WEEEKLY

Best New Male Soloist

Han Seung Woo (VICTON)
Kim Woo Seok (UP10TION)

Lee Eun Sang

Honourable Mention: Wonho

Best New Female Soloist

Lee Suhyun (AKMU)
Moonbyul (Mamamoo)

Ryu Sujeong (Lovelyz)
Solar (Mamamoo)
YooA (Oh My Girl)

Honourable Mention: Lee Suhyun (AKMU)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: YooA (Oh My Girl)

Rising Star of 2020

Golden Child

The Boyz

Honourable Mention: EVERGLOW

Most Underrated Group of 2020


Dream Catcher

Honourable Mention: Dream Catcher

Best Vocals


Lee Hi
Ong Seong Woo
Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention: Taeyeon (SNSD)

Best Rapper

Dami (Dream Catcher)
Han Ji Sung (Stray Kids)

Jooheon (MONSTA X)
Moonbyul (Mamamoo)
Wooseok (Pentagon)

Honourable Mention: Han Jisung (Stray Kids)

Best Band

Nominees: CN BLUE, DAY6, IZ, N.Flying, ONEWE



Honourable Mention: CN BLUE

Best CO-ED Group


Honourable Mention: AKMU

Best Subunit

End of Day
Moonbin & Sanha

NCT 127
Red Velvet – Irene & Seulgi

Honourable Mention: NCT 127

Best Male Soloist

Nominees: Baekhyun (EXO), Chen (EXO), Kang Daniel, Ong Seong Woo, Taemin (SHINee), Zico

Baekhyun (EXO)
Chen (EXO)
Kang Daniel

Ong Seong Woo
Taemin (SHINee)

Honourable Mention: Taemin (SHINee)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Kang Daniel

Best Female Soloist

Hwasa (Mamamoo)

Jeon Somi
Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention: Hwasa (Mamamoo)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Chungha

Best Male Group

Golden Child


Stray Kids
The Boyz

Honourable Mention: BTS, Stray Kids

Best Female Group

Cherry Bullet
Dream Catcher


Oh My Girl
Red Velvet
Weki Meki
WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Honourable Mention: BLACKPINK, EVERGLOW

Select the page numbers below (just above the comments section) to go to the award categories you want to see the most!
Page 1 – Artist Categories
Page 2 – Visual Categories, Performance Categories, Weekly KPOP Charts related Categories
Page 3 – Blog related Categories, Song Categories (excluding Best Song)
Page 4 – End of Year Charts & Best Song of 2020 Award

[Review] Amusement Park – Baekhyun (EXO)

Baekhyun is nominated for Best Male Soloist in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Vote for Baekhyun and your other favourite artists now by clicking here.

Baekhyun has made a surprise comeback with Amusement Park. No one saw this release coming, with news of a comeback dropping out of the blue. This follows Baekhyun’s first studio album Delight, and the title track, Candy, which both dropped earlier this year. Both the album and title track landed him a nomination in this year’s KPOPREVIEWED Awards for Best Male Soloist, so make sure you go vote for Baekhyun if he is your favourite male soloist by clicking the link above. And after you do that, come back to continue reading the review.

Amusement Park falls into the genre of R&B, a style of music that we know Baekhyun for fondly when it comes to his solo works. It is a nice, warm and soothing track that really highlights his vocal ability once again. There was this huskiness to Baekhyun’s vocals that enhanced the smooth texture of the song. It also sounded like he went into a falsetto mode for certain parts, which further showed off his ability. The song has this very melodic flow, one that makes me sway along to the song and drove it forward in a graceful manner. The instrumental was quite soothing and keeps true to the R&B genre all throughout. That warm feeling I mentioned before was very apparent, especially thanks to the classical instrumentation that was also present in the song. I would have liked a hint of something more in the song, like stronger ad-libs to give the song a bit more oomph. But what Baekhyun presents us in Amusement Park is already quite fantastic and touching.

We don’t actually have a music video for this release. The accompanying video for Amusement Park was a live video, which featured Baekhyun singing live to the camera. He was appropriately positioned in front of a merry-go-round in an amusement park, fitting with the lyrics of the song in which he compares love to an amusement park. I love the golden hue that the lights from the merry-go-round gives the video, which goes really well with his skin tone and the warming feelings of the song I mentioned earlier. My only complaint with the video is that he looked somewhat distracted. But honestly, that could have been just me being distracted from trying to find something to nitpick in this video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

[Album Review] Delight (2nd Mini Album) – Baekhyun (EXO)

Making his return at the end of last month was Baekhyun. This comeback was in the form of his second mini-album, Delight, which features the title track, Candy. And as you can tell by the title of this post, we will be focusing on his album (as I have already reviewed Candy – link to this review is down below). I have previously reviewed both Baekhyun’s solo debut title track (UN Village) and mini-album (City Lights) when it was released last year. His first mini-album contained really memorable side tracks such as Psycho and Diamond. Continuing his R&B influence, let’s see unwrap the new album and see if it is truly a delight.

Delight Album Cover

1. Candy (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Candy. (9/10)

2. R U Ridin’ – At first, R U Ridin’ begins like a straightforward R&B track. As the song progresses, it defuses into a dance track, thanks to the use of percussion during the chorus. At large, the song would fit neatly into the R&B genre. The chorus actually reminds me of those trends that people used to put up online, where they danced whilst next to a slow-moving car (excuse my old person’s way of describing this). There seems to be some good energy coming from the track and there is a decent appeal to the song. While there is a likable vibe, the song isn’t my cup of tea or personal style. Sure, there are many R&B tracks that I listen to, but this one comes off as rather plain. It is just not something that I would go out of my way to seek and play. Though, Baekhyun’s vocal work here was really good, particularly those ad-libs he threw into the song at the end. (7/10)

3. BungeeBungee gets a slightly more positive review despite it being quite similar to the preceding song with the R&B genre. I find Baekhyun’s use of falsetto to be an attractive aspect of the song. I also find the piano and drum beat synth to help create a dynamic yet soft instrumentation. This separates this and the preceding song apart in a very distinctive manner. Just listen to the piano in the bridge sequence as an example of how more dynamic the instrumental feels. Pairing the vocals and instrumental, we get a pretty smooth track overall that I enjoyed. (8/10)

4. Underwater – What drew my attention to Underwater is that the synths come together to make it feel like we are underwater. It has that wavy type of feel that feels like the bubbles that come about when we try to talk under water (I am sure that most people would know what I am referring to). Just the synths in the background aren’t consistent, so it feels like those bubbles are of varying sizes. Apart from that analogy, the song adopts the R&B genre, once again. He has an impressive display of vocals in this song, go into falsetto during some parts and opting for a slight breathy approach in other parts. I also liked his ad-libs and ‘Ooo’ at the end of the song, which helped ease the song out in a unique manner. (8/10)

5. Poppin’ – We re-enter energetic territory through Poppin’. A much-needed boost for this album as more consecutive R&B tracks could easily drag this album out and would result in a bore. Poppin’ isn’t an overwhelming injection of energy, which keeps it in line with the previous songs. I liked the simple beat of the instrumental and what seems to be a muffled 8-bit type of sound. It gives texture in a subtle way. Overall, the instrumental feels very easygoing and lively, relative to the other songs on this album. The vocals also feel a lot more dynamic and brighter, which helps add additional energy into the song. The chorus is undoubtedly the strongest part of the song, with a catchy ‘Here Now’ hook, though it sounds more like ‘Hey Now’ to me. (8.5/10)

6. Ghost – This is the song that attracted my attention the most prior to listening to the album. I just liked the title of the song. I have a dark soul like that. My expectations were that this would be a grungy or angst number. But that wouldn’t fit into a predominately R&B number. Instead, Ghost opts for an upbeat dance number. And before I go any further, this set up exceed any expectation I had. The instrumental for this song is very attractive, incorporating hand drums, guitars and synths. These seem to be an odd combination, but they come together very nicely and each of these elements have a boldness to them throughout the song. Vocally, Baekhyun sounds amazing. He has the support of a strong chorus with catchy melodies. Together, this song becomes the memorable number of the entire album (and dare I say, a better track that the main track). (10/10)

7. Love Again – The final song the album predominately features acoustic guitars and a deep drumbeat (there is a bit of piano infused later on). Baekhyun’s vocals start off muffled by some autotune, before it goes low and deep. Once the chorus comes along, his vocals stay quite low. But the instrumental seems to go into a soft pop mode. I liked how the acoustic guitar gave the song texture and it became the bold element of the instrumental. For the final moments of the song, Love Again changes it up to infuse little bit of angst before diffusing out back to the acoustic guitar. While this change doesn’t make sense initially, it grew on me and became a very interesting manner to end the song and album with. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

Delight Teaser Image

[Review] Candy – Baekhyun (EXO)

The second solo artist to be reviewed today is Baekhyun from EXO. He makes his solo comeback with Candy and second mini-album, Delight. Baekhyun made his debut last year with UN Village and City Lights, which all formed one of the most successful solo debuts ever. Baekhyun’s comeback follows Suho’s solo debut last month and Chanyeol’s recent solo collaboration with Raiden, Lee Hi and Changmo. Baekhyun also recently participated in a collaboration (Leo) himself with BOL4, for her solo comeback which also occurred this month.

Baekhyun’s solo debut track highlighted a lot of his vocals. And it is expected that his solo comeback would do the same. Candy does just this, but in a more laid back manner. More on this later though. The song falls under the R&B realm as well, as per his debut song. But this one is a lot more upbeat and straight forward in terms of its instrumental. I really liked how sleek the overall song felt, which can be attributed to a really refined instrumental and his smooth vocals. The thumping bass and the light twinkling pop in the instrumentation was really nice. I do have my issues with the song. I did feel that by going this straightforward and direct R&B route, the song feels a little more typical. I wanted something that ‘one-up’ UN Village, which was unique and characteristic of him. Candy didn’t have momentum, unfortunately. That that is only a minute issue. His vocals do a lot in this song and I thought this vocal chops were well used throughout this song. Those ad-libs during the bridge and ending of the song were on point and effortlessly beautiful. Those deep ‘Candy, Candy, Candy‘ chants give some texture and depth to the song. Furthermore, Candy likens Baekhyun to various sweet food items. While this sounds rather childish in some ways, his vocals really put a mature spin on it, which I really like. Overall, Candy shows off that Baekhyun is highly capable of variety and a more upbeat style (i.e. he isn’t just your typical ballad main vocalist).

To reflect the more upbeat style that we heard in Candy, the music video opts for colour, which makes total sense. After all, this song does not deserve anything dull. It is set in a urban area of the neighbourhood, which has an old arcade and movie theatre, like the ones we see in movies. And this suits the more laid back vibes the song has. Baekhyun looks really good in this video. It might be his hair or his smiles he flashes towards the camera. The music video does seem to approach with the dreaded choreography and closeup formula. But I didn’t it mind as much, as some of the closeups seemed to flow through to the choreography scenes cohesively.

Unlike his solo debut, this comeback features choreography. It isn’t anything complicated, which again matches the laid back and easy going vibes of the song. The instrumental of the song also wasn’t complex, so there isn’t any need for overly complicated moves to wow us. I do note that the moves do all work together to create a cool performance. There was a part of the performance where he dances opposite female dancers. I thought that was a strong moment in the choreography and I would have liked to see a more prolonged sequence of that, as there seemed to be some chemistry between the two sides.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

[Review] Leo – BOL4 ft. Baekhyun (EXO)

May is going to be one intense month given the popularity of many acts that have been confirmed a release for the month. And we have just saw the competition get a little more intense with the release of another big collaboration. This one is between BOL4 and Baekhyun from EXO. BOL4 has been a huge artist, dominating the charts over the past few years with songs like Galaxy, Some, Travel and Bom. More recently, BOL4 was reduced to one member (Ahn Ji Young) with the departure of Woo Ji Yoon. Despite that, it was confirmed that BOL4 (now a solo act) would return later this month, with Leo being a pre-release single. Joining her later this month in a solo comeback of his own and Leo is Baekhyun from EXO, who no doubt every knows of due to EXO’s popularity and through his past digital hits such as UN Village and Dream (with Bae Suzy).

As this is a pre-release single for BOL4’s upcoming album, Leo is very much in her willpower. Her unique vocals shine throughout this song from the very first moment we hear her. There is something about that slight nasally voice that just makes many of her songs so captivating. The song has this really light and floating feeling, which really compliments her vocals that doesn’t make it tiring. It pretty much throws you back to BOL4’s early days with the songs in which grew the name and got her to the top of the charts. The song’s instrumentation is jazzy and I find suits the Summer season quite a bit. And Leo‘s brightness compliments the lyrics is about being happy when seeing the person you love. But BOL4 only makes up one half of the song. The other half is occupied with Baekhyun who sounds really sweet in this song. I don’t really have much to say about his voice. But I do find that his voice keeps the song grounded in a way, which was an interesting thought I had. It might have something to do with the contrast between BOL4’s high tone and Baekhyun’s deeper tone. When they sing and harmonise together, I find that they manage to bring the the floating feeling and grounded feeling together quite neatly, creating a very balanced atmosphere and relaxing in the song.

The video only features BOL4, who portrays that happy feeling that the song expresses. It seems like she is a homebody in the music video who doesn’t enjoy going outside. She keeps to herself and practically lives on her own. Not sure why she doesn’t leave her sanctuary. But she has her up and down moments living alone. She has her happy moments when she listens to the little stereo (which is how Baekhyun made a cameo in the video – without even appearing physically – I thought that was very well planned). But she has her low moments (i.e. when she was winding the wool and got board). A butterfly (i.e. something that she loves a bit) flew into her apartment and attracted her attention. From then on, she was quite happy. So happy that she followed the butterfly outside and enjoyed her time. I like how the video sends a simple message of that if you are with someone you love, it will make anything you worry or are scared about meaningless, allowing you to overcome that hurdle. Overall, a nice video.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist-Based Categories

It is that time of the year again where I announce the winners for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In December 2019, I allowed the audience (you all), once again, to vote for their favourite songs and artists for the December 2018 to November 2019 period. Thank you to all who voted and particpated in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards this time around. Even more people voted this year, making this year more intense than ever in many categories. This post will focus on the artist-based categories, which will involve the New Artist categories, Elemental-focused (i.e. rap, vocals etc.) categories and Best Artist categories. The winners for the artist categories will be posted in an accompanying post today, while the Top 100 songs of 2019 will be posted tomorrow.

Here is how things are going to work. Each category (aside from the non-fan voted categories, which are specified) will have a WINNER (the song/performance/video that ranked first), a Honourable Mention (the song/performance/video that ranked second) and a KPOPREVIEWED Choice (my personal choice if I voted, which I didn’t include this year). And let’s go!

Best New Male Soloist

Nominees: Baekhyun (EXO), Chen (EXO), Ha Sung Woon, HUTA (Lee Min Hyuk – BTOB), Kang Daniel, Kim Jae Hwan.

WINNER – Baekhyun (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Kang Daniel
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – HUTA (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB)

Best New Female Soloist

Nominees: Hwasa (Mamamoo), Jeon Somi, Kim Ji Yeon (Kei – Lovelyz), Oh Ha Young (APINK), Sulli

WINNER – Hwasa (Mamamoo)
Honourable Mention – Sulli
KPOPREVIEWED – Hwasa (Mamamoo)

Best New Male Group

Nominees: AB6IX, CIX, ONEUS, TXT, X1

Honourable Mentions – ONEUS

Best New Female Group


Honourable Mention – EVERGLOW

Best Band

Nominees: DAY6, FT Island, IZ, N.Flying, ONEWE

Honourable Mention – N.Flying

Best Vocals

Nominees: AKMU, Brown Eyed Girls, Chen (EXO), IU, Mamamoo

Honourable Mention – Chen (EXO)

Best Raps

Nominees: J-Hope (BTS); Jackson (GOT7); Mark (NCT); Ravi (VIXX); Zico

Honourable Mention – Zico

Best Subunit

Nominees: Block B Bastarz; EXO-SC, Jus2, NCT 127, NCT Dream

Honourable Mention – NCT 127

Artist With Most Weekly KPOP Chart Wins

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Seventeen (5x)

Rising Star

Nominees: ATEEZ, CLC, N.Flying, UP10TION, VICTON

Honourable Mention – CLC

Most Underrated Artist of 2019

Nominees: A.C.E, Dream Catcher, LOONA, ONF, Pentagon

WINNER – Dream Catcher
Honourable Mention – Pentagon

Best Male Soloist

Nominees: Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), Nam Woohyun (Infinite), Taemin (SHINee), Yesung (Super Junior), Zico

WINNER – Taemin (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Zico
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Nam Woohyun

Best Female Soloist

Nominees: Ailee, Kim Chungha, IU, Park Bom, Sumni, Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention – Kim Chungha
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Chungha

Best Male Group

Nominees: ASTRO, ATEEZ, BTS, DAY6, EXO, GOT7, iKON, MONSTA X, NCT, NU’EST, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, Stray Kids, The Boyz, WINNER

Honourable Mention – BTS, ATEEZ
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Stray Kids

Best Female Group

Nominees: (G)I-DLE, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, IZ*ONE, LOONA, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Honourable Mention – Red Velvet, Mamamoo
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Oh My Girl

And that brings us to the end of the Artist-Based Categories for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t seen the Song-Based Categories yet, click here.

Tomorrow, we will get to see which artist ranked on the Top 100 of the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Charts, where the song that ranks first becomes the ‘Best Song of 2019’. Remember this is decided based on the votes for Best Song of 2019 (50%) and the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post every Sunday (50%). You can find out by clicking here (hyperlink will be updated once the post is published).

[Album Review] City Lights (1st Mini Album) – Baekhyun (EXO)

As I mentioned last weekend, there is one last solo album review that I want to do before going back to doing a number of group album reviews. That being said, it looks like I will be covering a few solo acts in the coming weeks (guess who!). But for today’s album review, we will be looking at Baekhyun’s R&B dominated solo album. We have seen singles from Baekhyun but this is his first album release (and hence first solo album). It is titled City Lights and features the title track, UN Village.

City Lights Album Cover

1..UN Village (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for UN Village. (9.5/10)

2. Stay Up (ft. Beenzino)Stay Up continues both the R&B and aesthetic vibes from UN Village. It is just a lot more about passionately sleeping together than going to see the night sky on a hill. And he isn’t shy about stating that throughout the song. It is a genre style that is done very often in KPOP. But instead of feeling very typical, the song feels very elevated thanks to Baekhyun’s smooth vocals in this track. Beenzino’s featuring adds momentum to the track. It felt like he was mumbling but it added to the final product, rather than be distracting. (8/10)

3. Betcha – Changing up the momentum entirely is a more upbeat track. Betcha has this playful and childish tone to it, which I think suits Baekhyun’s personality (that I have seen through the many videos on the Internet of the artist). It seems like Betcha is more appealing to many listeners, given that it does have a simpler tune and is more approachable. There is also a cheerful note to the track, which adds onto that appeal. It catchy and I too quite like it. But it has that typicalness to it that wouldn’t go 100% well as a title track. In fact, UN Village stands out to me more due to its uniqueness. (8.5/10)

4. Ice QueenIce Queen reverts out attention back to the R&B side of the album, which has dominated all but one track on the album. There is a flowy feel to it, which gives it a nice relaxing sound. In addition to that flowy feel, I found the way he sang the song to be interesting. Think of it like a cup that is filled to the brim. If you add more, it will overfill. The lyrics when he sang felt like it was spilling down the sides of the imaginary cup. But the song didn’t feel loaded with ‘too much’ vocals or lyrics, which was why I found it interesting. (8/10)

5. Diamond – Still on the R&B style, Diamond manages to change things up slightly by adding a more upbeat pop tone to it. And I think this addition makes the song sound a lot more appealing. His vocals shine in this son as he manages to show a variety of vocal techniques throughout the song. I really like his falsettos in this song and the harmonies that he manages to do with the backing vocals make this song an uber smooth song. I know these are points I have mentioned under the other songs. But Diamond manages to present these in another way that makes it worth mentioning again. (9/10)

6. Psycho – Ending the album is surprisingly not another R&B track. Actually, I am not sure exactly what genre this song would be under. Psycho has a mixture of different genres. Some R&B was heard in the verses, but the chorus went with an EDM route that gave it a crashing tone. The song is eerie and unlike any other on the album. It felt like the perfect song for a very intense moment during a thriller or action movie, which is very much my style. His vocals also share a similar description and felt like it was drawn out to match the crashing effect of the chorus. Overall, an amazing end to the album. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.8//10

City Lights Teaser Image

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Review] UN Village – Baekhyun (EXO)

As mentioned previously, EXO is currently focusing on solo and unit promotions due to the impending military enlistment of the members (with Xiumin and D.O already in the army). We have seen solo tracks from Chen, Xiumin, D.O and Chanyeol so far this year and will be seeing the debut of EXO-SC (a unit consisting of Chanyeol and Sehun) in less than one fortnight. But today, we turn to a different member. Making his grand (official) solo debut today is Baekhyun with UN Village and his first ever mini-album, City Lights.

One thing I am glad that Baekhyun didn’t pick is a ballad title track. So many main vocalists go down this route, it quite often becomes a very large cliche in the industry. Instead, UN Village is an R&B track. And even then, it isn’t necessarily your typical R&B track as well. What is great about this track is that it shows off the individuality and personality of Baekhyun quite well. This is a common goal for solo promotions (especially for idols coming from groups). But is often not achieved due to urge to follow trends and cliches. What I quite like about UN Village is that it shows off his vocal colours. It’s smooth and almost teasing, which I think begs us to replay the song. The chorus was very well done and its melody is quite memorable. The instrumental gave off an aesthetic atmosphere, which further compliments his vocals. And also, this one of the times where consistency works as an advantage, which maintained the aesthetics. Overall, it is one damn good debut track.

Complimenting the song’s aesthetic atmosphere is an equally aesthetically pleasing music video. The video puts Baekhyun’s visuals on full display. It showcases him singing in different lightings, often quite dark and with very little colour (except for the one dominant colour). Apart from the subtle visual display of the singer, I found the sets to be very interesting. The song sings about taking a special someone to a hill behind UN Village to show them the night sky (taken from Soompi). But the way the video was shot, it looked like Baekhyun was showing us the very appealing sides of hidden laneways and alleyways within a city, which I guess is quite similar to showing us a hill behind UN Village. The ending with him laying on a table (and a woman, presumably his lover) walking by him is very confusing as I am not exactly sure how it contributes the video. Maybe I missed a few details here and there, so please let me know how this scene adds to the story.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10

[Review] Young – Baekhyun (EXO) & LOCO

The second single of Station X 0 is officially out. Last time, we heard from Taeyeon and Melomance on Page 0. The second single, Young, features the collaborative efforts of Baekhyun (whom we all know from EXO) and Loco, who we all know as a leading hip-hop artist. It seems like each of these songs have some sort of empowering message, based on the release of the first two singles. Can’t wait to see the rest of the releases.

Young is an electro-pop track that is extremely serious sounding. The atmosphere that is presented when you listen to the song isn’t one to be taken lightly. In my opinion, the song beckons you to determine what they are trying to get across to us. To quickly summarise, the song sends the message of being yourself and not to conform to the ‘expected’ image. Putting the message aside, the song features Baekhyun’s signature vocals, which fluctuates every now and then, giving the song some texture and drive. The song also features Loco and his rapping voice, which adds those elements and drive the song even further. Together, they don’t share any parts. However, they still compliment each other quite well, making this another great song from the SM Station project.

The music video expresses just what the message of the song says. However, the expectation set upon people are the rounded balls they are moulding together throughout the video. The way the people are working and walking around expressionlessly (illustrated by the paint splashing scene with Loco) shows that they are conformed to the standard and extremely bland societal normals. The way Baekhyun and Loco act, along with the disfigured ball at the end of the video shows how we should be acting and how we should be ourselves.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

[Review] Take Me Home – Baekhyun (EXO)

Baekhyun’s recent solo release is the third song in the SM Station Season 2 project. Red Velvet’s Would U and Ten’s Dream In A Dream are also other songs in the project. For a review, I don’t think I ever repeated the artist’s name so many times before.

Baekhyun went with a ballad that does a pretty good job at bringing out his vocal’s capabilities. His vocals are on point throughout the song. Take Me Home fits perfectly into the season of Spring, with its more upbeat and brighter melody. Complimenting the Spring season, you can hear the romantic vibes that Baekhyun and the instrumental try to get across to the listener. But the instrumental is pretty standard, and there isn’t anything to comment on. I love how his voice buildups in the song, rather than the instrumental. That, or you can hear the buildup in his voice more apparent here. The song doesn’t have me coming back for though. It is the type of song that you would be happy to listen to, but you don’t necessary go back to replay it. There wasn’t a memorable moment that I tend to look for in ballads. Overall, it is a beautiful song but probably not one for me.

The video compliments the song quite nicely. I expected the video to be more on the dull side, but it wasn’t. The entire song was about how Baekhyun wanted to help his friend (the girl) get over her ex. The whole video shows Baekhyun’s attempt of moving her attention away. In the end, he successfully drags her away from the memories that sadden her by getting her to do a small dance and finally sharing a smile with each other. The end shows him holding the picture and the flower, but no friend was present, suggesting that she had moved on and his job was completed. My initial thoughts of Baekhyun’s attempts to get her mind off of things was that he was flirting and was consistently rejected. I guess lyrics and some fan comments do go a long way. As I previously said, it is a nice video to watch.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10 

[Review] Rain – Soyu (Sistar) & Baekhyun (EXO)

Another collaboration between two of the biggest idol names in the business at the moment. Soyu (from Sistar) has many collaborations to her name, such as Some with JungGiGo and Stupid in Love with Mad Clown. Baekhyun (from EXO) collaborated with Suzy for Miss A for Dream and have participated in OSTs for popular dramas in the past. All the collaborations and songs that the two have participated ended up being successful and high charting songs.

As expected given their portfolio, the two went with a ballad. It is one of those extremely slow ballads that people tend to shy away from. Even I do that to some of the songs of that nature sometimes. The combination between Baekhyun’s sweet vocals and the huskiness you hear with Soyu’s vocals is something you expect to be fantastic. And for the latter half of the song when they sing together for the final chorus, we got that fantastic feel. But the start of the song just didn’t have that same feeling. You could hear their vocals in the purest form (i.e. there is nothing shadowing or covering their respective parts) and that is good. But with a slow ballad, that seemed to drag out the song. While I am not too troubled by that now, it was something that I had to get used to after multiple listens to the song. But there is something else. Changing from Soyu to Baekhyun felt too instant and too fast. There was a second of silence and that was it. That silence felt like it two songs were ‘joined’ together as the two have different voices. A nice transition that eased in Baekhyun’s part would have made the song nicer as I felt the song needed that transition.

I am not a big fan of the video. There wasn’t anything of interest in the video. I just play the video mainly for the song. But you guys may like it. The video simply shows a young girl wandering around in the rain (or course with an umbrella). We do see that she is thinking about someone as shown via her drawings in her book and on the blackboard. While the video is not my cup of tea, the video is beautifully shot. Just by watching the video, you can’t help but smile when the girl in the video is happy and joyfully jumping around, which is quite cute.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10