As you may be already aware, I am currently on a break from the blog to spend some time with family and friends this Christmas. But this does not mean I can’t celebrate the holidays with you, as well. And I do this by sharing a whole bunch of festive themed songs that our favourite and beloved KPOP artists (and companies) have released this year.
Again, I wish you all a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays full of joy, laughter and the company of family and friends. If today is business as usual for you or you don’t celebrate the festive season, then I hope today goes seamlessly for you.
And given that from tomorrow we are in an awkward limbo state between Christmas and New Years (honestly, what do we do in during this period?), I will also wish everyone a happy new year.
With no major releases today, it would be a great opportunity to jump back into the past to review some of the releases that I have missed (again). First up today is BDC’s MOON WALKER, which was released at the start of August of this year (3 months ago!). MOON WALKER is the group’s fifth single since their debut, following the likes of MOONLIGHT (the lead track for The Intersection: Contact). MOON WALKER is a special single as an epilogue to their Moon trilogy.
As a song released during the final weeks of Summer, MOON WALKER was a fitting song for the season, more so than their previous release. There was a vibrancy and refreshing energy that was I quite enjoyed and goes hand-in-hand with the season in question. The song itself (overall) was quite light, despite the thumping and heaviness of some of the percussion we got in the pre-choruses of MOON WALKER. I quite enjoyed the strumming guitar work in the verses, leading into that epic thumping and heavy-handed percussion. It was simple, but it felt good. I just wished the rest of the song followed through with the energy and tone of the pre-chorus. To me, the thumps and percussion in the pre-chorus alluded to a drop that is more bolstered and defined. What we got right after as the main drop isn’t exactly that. The producers opted for a delayed drop approach, which I couldn’t help being disappointed with. I do appreciate the bolstering in the second half of the chorus (as this is what I wanted) and see that the delay enabled for the performance big moment (see next paragraph), but I kind of wanted it as soon as we launched into the chorus. The epic potential just fizzled out with what we got and the delay just left me hanging. Another aspect of MOON WALKER which I was rather disappointed in was the vocals/raps. It kind of was the reason why I hadn’t dived in to review this song earlier. I thought the members’ tone was rather plain and didn’t carry much excitement. I wished they exuded some sort of excitement or energy from the song, as this would have made MOON WALKER better. Overall, I would say that MOON WALKER is a decent track and what we got was good enough. It just didn’t deliver what I had hoped for, and this just left MOON WALKER in a less favourable light.
We didn’t get a music video for this release. Instead, we got a performance video in which the members are dancing on the moon in front of a green screen. Not really the most exciting concept, but it felt like a nice wrap for the trilogy. I think the one thing that I was most upset about in this video were the outfits. I wished they had something cooler on, as this would have made the video better, in a visual sense. As it was a performance video, the focus was more so on the choreography, and I thought the performance for MOON WALKER was alright. The biggest moment of the choreography was the moonwalking in the chorus, which was cool. And it clearly was a no-brainer, given the title of the song. But apart from that, the rest of the choreography looked and felt pleasant.
Song – 7/10 Music Video/Performance – 7/10 Overall Rating – 7/10
Next up on the randomly selected reviewing block is BDC, who returned two weeks ago as well. Their new single is titled MOONLIGHT. The trio wraps up their Intersection trilogy (made up with the singles SHOOT THE MOON and Moon Rider and MOONLIGHT) with this release and the mini-album The Intersection: Contact. Based on my past reviews, I have high expectations for MOONLIGHT and their subsequent comebacks that follow this release. While we can’t tell the future with their future comebacks, let’s have a closer listen to MOONLIGHT to see whether it hits the mark or not.
While their previous releases as part of this trilogy have been more hard-hitting, MOONLIGHT takes on a softer profile. That doesn’t say that MOONLIGHT is any way inferior. Rather, it stands out thanks to its retro-inspired 80s sound, which I really liked. It isn’t the most innovative use of synths, as we have heard of 80s styled music in KPOP before. But MOONLIGHT seems to be the first release in a while that pays respect from start to end to that specific era of synth music. I particularly liked the lead in to this track, with that ethereal and atmospheric start, giving off a vibe that feels slightly explorational and out of this world, which in turn fits in nicely with their ‘Moon’ themed comebacks that formed part of the trilogy. I also enjoyed the use of synthesizer for MOONLIGHT‘s dance break following the first chorus. I would have liked to see an extended sequence somewhere else in the track. When it comes to the vocals, I thought BDC did a pretty good job. There were soft and smooth when the instrumental was lead down that path (pre-chorus and bridge), but harsher and louder during the more prominent parts of the song (i.e. the chorus). I felt the rapping to be rather plain and didn’t offer anything new compared to other releases. Hence, it was the weakest part of the song. Overall, MOONLIGHT was a really good track. I liked their spin from their previous singles, keeping their discography fresh and inviting to those who are willing to give the trio a try.
I really liked the start of the music video, with those different flashes of images and the focus on circular shapes that resembles the roundness of the moon. I can’t remember from the top of my head, but I wonder if they are elements from their previous music videos? If not, then what do they mean? Interestingly, these inserts and flashes appear up until the first chorus. They do however make a very brief re-appearance at the end of the bridge. I wonder what the reasoning of this is. Aside from that imagery, I really like the simplicity of the music video. The members performed in front of a white screen and used coloured lights to change up the setting. I also really like their style in this music video, especially those pastel coloured suits. Very well fitted for the music video.
I liked the smoothness of the choreography during the softer parts of the song (i.e. the verses), while also enjoying the routine’s sharper moves during the chorus. The contrast was very strong, but very aesthetic. I liked their use of the microphone stands and their subtle incorporation of circles in the choreography, as well.
Song – 8.5/10 Music Video – 8.5/10 Performance – 8.5/10 Overall Rating – 8.5/10
Starting off this week is BDC with the release of their latest single, MOON RIDER. This single is featured as part of the group’s second mini-album, The Intersection: Discovery. This return of the trio from Brand New Music follows the release of Shoot The Moon and The Intersection: Belief in September of 2020.
The funky trend continues to infiltrate the KPOP industry, with MOON RIDER being the next song to conform to this ongoing style of music. While that sentence does potentially sound like it would be followed up with a groan, it is quite the contrary. I am enjoying the funky sound, as I tend to have an affinity towards the more upbeat and energetic styles of music which this style in question clearly falls under. What I do like in MOON RIDER is that the disco-like synths that make up the song maintains that matureness to it that I had pointed out in my SHOOT THE MOON review. Together, MOON RIDER is refined yet also fun at the same time. The matureness is in part thanks to the members themselves. To me, they sound very experienced in this department. There is that touch of simplicity to their vocals this time around as well, but I felt that they managed to show a bit more technique thanks to the falsettos they employ as part of the chorus. All their other vocal work was well-processed and felt clear and crisp to me. I also really like the kick the rapper brought to the song following the first chorus. It kept the momentum of the chorus going and helped drive the song forward in an appealing matter. The bridge was interesting. They opted for vocal layer and a stripped back instrumental background. I thought it was nice and gave the final chorus the ability end out the song on a punchier note. Overall, MOON RIDER felt consistent to their previous comeback and maintains that enjoyable nature.
Once again, the music video doesn’t make much sense to me. I did have a rewatch of their previous music video, but I can’t seem to pinpoint any connection between the videos, as I am going on the assumption that the comebacks are linked. In this video, the members are obsessed with the moon. For a moment, they close their eyes together and find themselves searching for something. While I was expecting us to see what they had found, the video leaves me slightly frustrated by not showing us anything. Towards the end of the video, they snap back to reality and then converge (upon remembering what happened) to a white box that has light shining from it. You probably can see my literal notes for the video don’t make sense. But that is how the video comes off for me. Many questions are flying through my mind. Any help will be appreciated. Aside from the plot, the video does have a simple aesthetic of black and white dominance. It felt stylish and trend, compliment the music in an abstract manner.
From what I could see in the music video, the choreography looks good. It isn’t as exciting as other routines out there. But the energy was pretty much well-matched between song and dance. My only critical comment is that the choreography could have been a little more refined by polishing the synchronization of artist and dancers. But this might be the editing of the music video.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 7/10 Performance – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8.2/10
The next album that I am going to be doing a deeper listen for is BDC’s first mini-album, The Intersection: Belief. This particular mini-album was released at the end of September (another really late album review) and follows the trio’s debut single, Remember Me, which was released in December 2019. Featured on the mini-album is SHOOT THE MOON as the title track and four other tracks. One of the four songs features Lee Eun Sang, who recently made his solo debut. If you haven’t checked out the album yet, keep on scroll to see what I thought and have a listen to each song to see if you agree! Then, check out SHOOT THE MOON!
1. DUMP– First up on the album is DUMP. What really draws me into the song are two things. The first has to be their vocals. All three members sounds very really good throughout the song. The chorus was probably their best showing, as their vocals compliment the striking nature of the chorus extremely well. The instrumental was the second aspect that drew me into the song. I am digging the heft the bass brings to the song. The rest of the background of the song felt, admittedly, a little plain. But it worked extremely well with their vocals and had a nice consistency that makes the song appealing. (8/10)
3. DROWNING – DROWNING is another great song. The verses opt for a smooth R&B texture, while the chorus has more of an upbeat kick to it, courtesy to the bouncy synths we get. There is a very satisfying level of energy that comes off the song that I really enjoy. To me, the best part of the song is when they bring some falsetto to the chorus. The rapping sequence in the second verse comes a close second, with a groovy electronic backing that sets it a part from other KPOP releases. It is another song that I felt is more aligned with Summer, but it works on this album. (9/10)
4. I’ll BE A STAR (별이 될게) – The next song on the album is a pop ballad, featuring band instrumentation and an electric guitar solo during the bridge. It is soothing and calming number to listen to. It also shows off their vocals, which have already been highlighted earlier on in the album. But I am not going to complain that there is another ‘great vocals’ song on the album because more is merrier in this instance. It is a pleasant listen, but it isn’t really a song that pulls me in. Usually I’LL BE A STAR is my style, but I feel that BDC’s forte is more with dance tracks such as the preceding track or their title track. (8/10)
5. GO GET HER (ft. Lee Eun Sang) – Looking at the tracklist, GO GET HER is the most anticipated track, as it features Lee Eun Sang. The way I wrote the first bit sounds like I have never heard the song, which is the case. But fans of both the group or soloist may recognize the song as their ‘audition’ song for Produce X 101. It is cheerful, bright and pop. What I really like the most about GO GET HER is that the song brings me back to what KPOP felt like initially. Even the melodies and rap segment have a nostalgic ring. (9/10)
This is a problem with big gaps between releases. Groups can be easily be forgotten. In the chaos that is 2020, BDC has unfortunately become one of the forgotten groups, despite me enjoying their debut track. They made their debut in the later half of 2019 with Remember Me. Since then, we haven’t heard much from the trio that hails from Brand New Music (the home of AB6IX and Lee Eun Sang). That changed this week, however, as the trio returns with SHOOT THE MOON.
SHOOT THE MOON doesn’t play around with its sound this time around, unlike Remember Me. Right from the start, you could tell it was going to be a dance track. I really like the acoustic guitar and flute synth at the start. They make up the main basis of the verse. Nothing too harsh here. There are some solid work in the verses from the members, but it comes off rather plain and generic. The song instantly gets better once the chorus kicks into gear. The acoustic guitar at the start makes sense, as the song segueways into a fitting synthwave piece for the start of the chorus. Smooth and sleek are words I would describe this part of the chorus. The second part of the chorus features a harder drop, bolstering the chorus and giving some oomph to the song (all at the same time). The synthwave and harder drop carries over into the third part of the chorus, creating a heavy yet dynamic instrumental piece that comes off as quite memorable. They pretty much follow the same formula for the second verse and chorus (though it omits the harder synthwave piece). For the final chorus, the song opts for just the harder synthwave piece that I had outlined as the ‘third part of the choruses’/omitted from the second chorus. That was a smart move, as it embeds the climax within the boundaries of the song that they had set previously. It allows the song to come off as clean and simple. The vocal and rapping work in SHOOT THE MOON is solid. They do feel a little simple in hindsight, but I understand the music doesn’t get them much chance to delve into something a little more different. Overall, SHOOT THE MOON is a enjoyable track.
I am not too sure what the music video is trying to tell us. There obviously a storyline about shooting the moon, but I don’t know if they are actual cause of it as the moon blows up earlier on in the video, whereas the members cause the blue light to occur at the end of the video. Also not too sure about the members in those glass cylinders where they are wearing masks. What I do like is the darkness and minimalist vibes of the video. The two techniques work very well together and made the song a lot more elegant and mature sounding.
The performance begins and ends with the members within the ‘moon’ formed by the arms of the dancers. I like how the verses give each member solo moments to show off their dance skills. They come together for the chorus, which ranges from sleek to epic!
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 9/10 Overall Rating – 8.7/10
Merry Christmas everyone! As part of the Christmas cheer, I thought I review a few Christmas themed tracks this year. The first review is for the two tracks (Melting & Look Good) released by Brand New Music, where the company’s lineup (to be listed according to the song that they appear in) for these releases are collectively called BRANDNEW Year 2019.
Melting is performed by Kanto, AB6IX, Kang Min Hee, YODAYOUNG and BDC. It is a fun, vibrant dance track that doesn’t feel like a seasonal track until you looking into the lyrics. I feel like this could easily been passed off as a different track and you wouldn’t even notice. The vocal work is pretty good, adding to the vibrancy. The melody and hooks have a decent ring to me, which makes the song catchy enough to really enjoy. The rapping gives it some definition, which makes it very appealing. I particularly like Youngmin’s pre-chorus rap sequence, which gave the song a rush of energy that worked well with the chorus. My only problem with the track is that it focused too much on the males, leaving Kang Min Hee and YODAYOUNG small sections in the final chorus.
Look Good features Kebee, Bumkey, Kanto (he does not make an appearance in the music video), Gree, Yenjamin, Yang Da Il, Kitti B and Vincent Blue. These artists aren’t ones that I pay attention to much in the Korean music industry. But since the song was released alongside Melting and had a music video, I thought I review it as well. The song is also quite vibrant and upbeat, different from other the holiday tracks as well. I really liked how the song progressed along, with the rappers pushing each of their parts in a relaxed yet very cohesive manner, while the vocalists provided a nice smooth texture to the rest of the song. I found the melodies and simple band/acoustic influence within the instrumental to be very appealing and that I was tapping my foot along to the beat within a matter of seconds.
Music videos from this season tend to show the artists coming together. After all, Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends. The music video for Melting and Look Good depicts this nicely. Both felt lighthearted and perfect for the season without going overboard on the Christmas decorations. I liked the golden and brown hue of the Melting music video, whilst I enjoyed the simple set up to the Look Good video.
Melting Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8/10
Look Good Song – 8/10 Music Video – 8/10 Overall Rating – 8/10
Remember Me was released during the eligibility period for the Best Song award in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support BDC’s debut song by clicking here to vote for your favourites and include Remember Me as a potential Best Song of 2019 recipient.
With the end of the year approaching and new releases tend to be scarce during the month of December, I will reviewing some of the many releases that I have missed over the last few months. Many of these releases are shown on the ‘Coming Soon’ list. I will start with BDC’s debut track, Remember Me, which was released on the 29th of October 2019. BDC (Boys Da Capo) is a unit group consisting of Kim Si Hun, Hong Seong Jun and Yun Jung Hwan from Brand New Music.
Remember Me starts off as a ballad. It was rather soft and felt sentimental. But as the song progressed through the first verses, the presence of the synth makes you come to the realization that the song is a dance track. The chorus ensures the dance track realization becomes reality, going for an EDM based drop and background. There is a lot of contrast between the two, as a result. But I thought the contrast ended up being quite clean and well portrayed. The two different sides of the song also allow the unit to show off their vocals and the dance group flair. I did expect a little more to the rapping, as it could have been used to drive the song to a better endpoint. But all was very good. My favourite part of the song has to be the ‘Remember Me, Remember Me...’ repetition, which was held back for the right moment to be the most impactful. Overall, I think the song is a very strong track for a debut and I am thoroughly surprised that I glossed over this track.
I will be honest, I haven’t checked out their music video until today. And I am very ashamed of this. I thought it was a good video. The scenes at the start and the second verse (where they were alone) made it look like they were forgotten. Hence, why the video was quite depressing start to the video. But once the chorus kicks in, we are treated to choreography shots that show otherwise. I think it would have been better to see the members in their solo shots to break free of their forgotten state, though I am not exactly sure how you would showcase that. I also liked how the video went for both flowery boy and edgy concepts, which might be a good indication that the unit is versatile.
I thought this was another good choreography routine. The start had more elegant moves to fit with the ballad-like style. They kick it up a notch for the chorus to reflect well with the dance style. Both sections are quite captivating and they had good stage presence (on the few stages that I watched). Essentially, there is potential for the unit in the future. And given the content that they have shown us, I would definitely like to see them return in the future.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 8/10 Performance – 9/10 Overall Rating – 8.7/10