[Review] Aurora – cignature

cignature was absent from 2022, having no promotions and no comebacks in the last year whatsoever. Their last comeback was Boyfriend, and that was released in 2021 – a comeback that I never got around reviewing (can’t remember why). But earlier this week, cignature re-emerged back onto the stage with their newest single Aurora and their 3rd mini-album, My Little Aurora.

Aurora is a pleasantly cute single. The song takes on a bright and perky profile. A bit of sweetness was added, especially when it came to the chorus. But it wasn’t anything unbearable. The instrumentation takes on the pop genre with your usual synths creating quite an upbeat and bright atmosphere. It isn’t anything mind-blowing, but I quite enjoyed the bounce and charm that it came together to create for Aurora, which helped make the song more appealing. I also quite enjoyed how the song started, which a nice lead in and clean start to Aurora. If anything, I would have liked a centerpiece synth to the song, just to give it something that stands out. The vocals showed promise and a solid effort from the group. That high note we get at the end of the bridge was pretty good. Some of it does come off as cutesy (particularly during the choruses), but there really isn’t enough to really give the song that saccharine or over-the-top description that cutesy songs tend to overload and be associated with. Talking about the chorus, it delivers Aurora‘s very addictive and fun hooks. I basically have the song on repeat just for that aspect. The weakest moment of Aurora, in my mind, is the entire second verse. It just couldn’t didn’t have much momentum and failed to really give Aurora drive until the pre-chorus. Overall, nothing makes me go wow with Aurora (relative to other tracks out there at the moment). But as the song has a pretty infectious chorus and hook, considered me sold on the song.

It is a music video full of fresh smiles, brightness and energy, which no doubt definitely fits in with the song. The video looks like it transports the members from an ordinary place to a much brighter and more colourful location that has auroras in the sky. In this universe, pink and blue are the main colours of this alternative location, which I am so-so about.

Similar comments can be applied to the choreography, as it too is full of fresh smile, brightness and energy. While I enjoyed their performance, I am not entirely sure of that shaking move at the start of the chorus. It looks funny and a bit over the top. It also doesn’t feel like it fits in the elegance of the rest of the performance. However, it is also my favourite part of the routine.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

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.

See you all with new reviews/posts in 2023!

[Review] ARISONG – cignature

Dropping their latest comeback yesterday was cignature. The new song is titled ARISONG and is featured on their first mini-album since their debut earlier this year. ARISONG follows the groups Nun Nu Nan Na debut and ASSA comeback in April.

ARISONG does not hold back. It takes a matter of seconds before the song blasts us with this messy noise. I caution those who wish to listen to the song on ‘full blast’. At a low volume, the song is quite bearable. But at a much higher volume and I would say the intensity and chaotic nature of the song is quite overwhelming and can best be described as an ‘assault’ on your eardrums. I cannot believe I just said that regarding a song. To me, the best parts of the song came during the verses. Everything was a lot calmer and more palatable. Nothing overwhelms, with the vocals and rapping opting for a more normal sound. The instrumental featured synths and textures that I thought were interesting and even fun. When it came to the chorus, things started to get a little more intense and chaotic. And with the instrumental for the main part of the song labelled with such words, the overly cutesy vocals were just a no go for me. I get that they tried to infuse a bit of character into the song through their vocals and rapping, but it just felt too much of a mismatch of styles once you factor in the instrumental. As the song climaxed, everything goes haywire. I found myself to be overwhelmed and didn’t know what to exactly focus on. Nothing really a good ‘last’ impression of the song to leaver the listener with. On the plus side, ARISONG does earn marks for memorability, given everything does standout in one way or another. But in this context, it might not be a positive thing.

The school student concept isn’t a brand new or groundbreaking concept for KPOP. I wished there was a bit more to the music video to make it memorable. They could have gone with more wacky visuals, along the lines of that orange hand tree that featured midway into the video. I think that would have made the video more interesting and it could have enhanced the chaotic nature of the song within the music video. I guess I just found the solo scenes and closeups to be quite tame, relative to the music.

The performance fits more of the cutesy side of the song, rather than the intense or chaotic side of the song. And for a cutesy centric performance, it isn’t a terrible one. Nothing was that groundbreaking once again, but this wasn’t a major deal breaker this time.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 5.9/10

[Review] Assa – CIGNATURE

Also making their comeback this week is CIGNATURE. For those who many have missed the group’s debut with Nun Nu Nan Na, CIGNATURE is a seven-member female group under J9 Entertainment. This rookie group made their first comeback at the start of this week with their new single, Assa. The single is part of the group’s debut package, as this was teased to be their ‘debut lead single [B]’, with Nun Nu Nan Na being their ‘debut lead single [A]’. With this release style, we may be seeing more ‘debut lead singles’ in the future. Until then, this is my review for Assa.

The one aspect of Assa that really jumps out at me was its instrumental. The use of the low guitar bass tones and thumping drums in the instrumental managed to make it unique and different from what we constantly hear in the industry. The chorus has this very detectable but mildly plated level of funkiness to it, through use of that twinkling-like synth. There is also restrained buildup in the instrumental, which complimenting the use of subtlenesss in the rest of the song’s backdrop. The bridge and the final instrumental section adds a little flair to the song that keeps it from being overly consistent. Unfortuately, while I am praising the instrumental side of Assa the vocals do fall short of expectations. I am not saying that the whole package does. I was very satisifed with certain (but limited) sections of the vocal work including the opening line to the pre-chorus and the rapping, in general. We also get a glimpse of some strong vocals in the bridge that I definitely desired while listening to the song. But the verses were extremely plain. I also felt like the producers under-delivered the potential for some strong hooks in the song, with the plain and typical singing.

I find the music video to be good. The sets and their outfits look really cool. There is a fair amount of smiling in this girl crush concept, which I think makes it seem like one of those videos that crosses the cutesy concept and the girl crush concept, a pairing that I don’t understand or think go well with one another. I feel like the video could have toned those smiles and this would have been perceived as a stronger girl crush concept. But that is just my thoughts on the video, overall. But as of now, it is definitely a good visual compliment to the song.

The choreography looks so cool. The chorus definitely had some intensity and sleekness when the girls performed their hair pullback move. Their outfits (suits and the urban hip-hop gear) looks so fitting for the choreography, either way looks very appealing. The one thing I didn’t really like about the choreography was the need to add some cutesy moves into the performance. I think that this ruins the feel of the dance.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10

[Review] Nun Nu Nan Na – Cignature

As January was a fairly slow month, there were not many debuts from memory. But as things start to pick up in February and onward, I am confident in saying that more debuts will occur. Cignature is a new seven-member female group from J9 Entertainment, which is a subsidy of C9 Entertainment (which is the entertainment company that manages CIX). The group, formerly known as C9 Girlz, is made up Chaesol, Jee won, Ye Ah, Sunn, Seline, Belle, Semi. They made their debut on Monday with Nun Nu Nan Na.

As a debut song and an introduction to the wider KPOP industry, Nun Nu Nan Na is a good song. But when you think about the song in the wider KPOP industry, we have heard this sound too many times before. This obviously leaves the group in a tight position, with their song leaving the audience’s mind a little sooner than what they thought. There are some good elements to the song, though. The chorus is punchy and the instrumental is vibrant. But the song needed a little something more than its basic girl-crush sound. The instrumental, for example, could have been a little more defined or robust. What we got was fairly light and lacked something memorable. I found the vocal work to be okay. But it isn’t really that impressive, to be honest. Their cutesy take just doesn’t play out, while their sing-shouting felt very cliche. Overall, the song is okay. But it definitely needs some oomph to go for a long ride.

Despite the music video being quite colourful, the lighting in this video alludes to the girl-crush concept quite heavily. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I just thought it was a clear indication of the concept. I did feel there was a bit of aegyo in the video. As I have mentioned in the past, I don’t really enjoy too much aegyo in a girl-crush concept. It does cut the potential mature feel and gives off a childish look. As for the individual rooms, we see in the video, I don’t get them. Don’t know how they play into the lyrics, as the lyrics don’t really seem to reference it. But other than that, it was an okay video to watch.

I thought this was a rather weak performance. It fits the light and vibrant side of the song. But I thought the moves just didn’t do enough justice for the girl-crush concept. There was a mix of cutesy, standard and sensual, so at times it was confusing to know exactly what concept they were aiming for. I also find that the way they got into their formations was a little messy.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.4/10