[International Song Reviews] DRIPPIN, Rocket Punch, Kep1er & Kang Daniel

Here we go, another International Song Reviews post. This time around, the gap between this and the preceding post is a tad shorter than last time – 6 weeks. Still not great, but definitely better than 6 weeks. I definitely want to increase the frequency of these posts to make sure I can catch up on these international songs, but so much to review at the same time. This post will focus on more 2022 Japanese pop releases, this time from DRIPPIN, Rocket Punch, Kep1er & Kang Daniel – three of which are debut singles.


Language: Japanese
Release Date: 18 May 2022
Album: SO GOOD (1st Japanese Single Album)

DRIPPIN made their Japanese debut back in May 2022 with the single SO GOOD. Both the song and music video is a 180 degree change in direction, in comparison to their Korean releases (which are a lot darker and intense). From the get-go, SO GOOD is a lot perkier, colourful and brighter in all regards. It is definitely nice to see DRIPPIN in this lighting. Unfortunately, the entire package (i.e. song, music video and choreography) doesn’t offer much or anything new. It is pretty much a standard pop release that conforms to the Japanese market where colour and brightness is a major player. The instrumental for the most part is pretty generic. Even the whistles, which I usually find to be a nice touch in other songs, is a bit bland here. I did like the combination of the electric guitars and drumming we get at the very start of the song, and wish SO GOOD explored more of this in its body. The more dramatic marching drum and zippy synth combination we get in the dance break does help refresh the instrumental, and is another area in which the producers could have explored with the group. The hooks in SO GOOD were also pretty lacking. On the more positive side, SO GOOD does feature solid vocals and some strong rapping which helped drive the song forward. As for the music video, the members come off happier and cutesy in the colourful sets and bright lighting. I did like how the music video toned down the lighting/colour and opted for a moodier affair when it came to the dance break. As for the choreography, nothing stands out much here.

Overall Rating – 6.6/10

Fiore – Rocket Punch

Language: Japanese
Release Date: 29 June 2022
Album: Doki Doki Love (1st Japanese Studio Album)

Following their Japanese debut with Bubble Up! back in 2021, Rocket Punch returned last year with two Japanese singles. The first of the two is Fiore, which is another great single from the group. I practically enjoyed everything in Fiore. The verses came off as a pretty, thanks to the light melody and the retro touch the synth backing had. I enjoyed how clean and catchy the chorus felt. It was a simple yet effective centrepiece of this song that I remember enjoying. I also liked the squawky synth used as part of the dance break of Fiore. It was interesting and different, and stood out as a result. I liked that the producers held back on it and kept it contained, as it easily could have been too much and too weird for the song. Fiore also had a solid showing of vocals and rapping. As I said, a lot to like in this track. The music video emphasised the pretty side of the track, with the members performing and posing in a set that was styled with an abundance of flowers or outside in the beautiful nature of green fields and a forest. The members themselves also looked cute in their outdoor outfits and stunning in their red dresses. Similar comments on prettiness and cuteness can also be made about the choreography can also be made.

Overall Rating – 7.8/10

Wing Wing – Kep1er

Language: Japanese
Release Date: 3 August 2022
Album: FLY-UP (1st Japanese Single Album)

Out of the four songs featured on this post, Kep1er’s debut Japanese single Wing Wing is the weakest of the bunch. I was not much of a fan of Wing Wing when it was released and that sentiment still stands. But let’s begin with the positives – i.e. two aspects of Wing Wing that I actually enjoyed. The first was the pre-choruses, which was a great showcase of vocals and nice ramp up to the choruses. The second was the instrumentation, which had a nice vibrant and dynamic feel to it. The rest of the song doesn’t follow through. The verses were quite boring, but I appreciate the efforts the rapping took to help offset that with its energy. The choruses were questionable, and I blame the hooks for leaving this impression on me. The opening hook to the chorus became annoying very fast. Then came a solid first half of the chorus which also had some robust energy. But that soon became overwhelmingly empty thanks to the unnecessary dragging out of the song’s main hook. As for the music video, it was fairly generic There was some good post-production effects in the video. If anything, I think the cutesiness could have been dialed back. There were some things going on in the background that felt distracting. As for the choreography, Wing Wing‘s definitely fairs better than the song itself. I liked the energy that comes off the dance moves and how it also manages to show off Kep1er’s performance skills at the same time. It is a pity that the song is unable to do that.

Overall Rating – 6.4/10

Joy Ride – Kang Daniel

Language: Japanese
Release Date: 5 October 2022
Album: Joy Ride (Japanese debut mini-album)

The final song for this particular post is KANG DANIEL’s solo debut Japanese single, Joy Ride. Of the four songs in this post, Joy Ride is definitely the strongest of the bunch. The biggest drawing point of the sng is that it feels fitting for Kang Daniel and his discography. I liked the smooth and light approach to pop rock that Joy Ride took. The genre doesn’t come on strong until we get to the choruses, where it definitely makes an impression with its start-stop beginning. Kang Daniel’s vocals are definitely a highlight in this song, keeping the track light. And they also brought a smile to my face. I also liked his background high note at the end of the song (I am presuming it belongs to Kang Daniel). The catchiest moment of Joy Ride comes during the post-chorus moment, and this definitely makes the song ring in my head even after it finishes. The introduction of synths in the bridge as an instrumental break was quite interesting. As for the music video, it shows Kang Daniel having fun and enjoying life with friends, which I guess he likens to the thrill and fun of a joy ride. While we don’t see any choreography for this particular release in the music video, we are treated to the dance practice. If you hadn’t notice, the song features some car sound effects, such as car keys jangling, the engine starting and the beeps you hear when a car unlocks (or locks). In this choreography, the soloist and the dancers uses this to their advantage, incorporating car movements into part of the choreography. The dancers also start off in a car’s windshield formation with Kang Daniel as the driver. As for the rest, we get an urban hip-hop style which is definitely Kang Daniel’s style overall.

Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Album Review] Villain: The End (1st Studio Album) – DRIPPIN

DRIPPIN just made a comeback with the single SEVEN SINS. But before I get around to reviewing that release, I thought I should quickly push out the album review for DRIPPIN’s Villain: The End, the group’s first studio length album. It was released back in November of last year and features the single The One as the title track (and 9 other side tracks). It serves as the final part of their Villain trilogy, which features their VILLAIN and ZERO eras/comebacks, also from 2022. Overall, Villain: The End is a very strong album that once again shows the potential of DRIPPIN.

Villain: The End Album Cover

1. I.N.OI.N.O serves as the introduction to the studio-length album. To me, this track was quite eerie. It starts off stormy, building to orchestral elements. Towards the end, I.N.O becomes more electronic based, with the final moments of the track reminding me of electric guitars, hinting a rock influence, which the title track The One and other tracks on the album ends up serving to us.

2. The OneClick here to read the full review for The One. (9/10)

3. SilenceSilence was chosen as the follow-up track for promotions, and I think it was an excellent choice. There are a few elements that I really liked, which helps the track standout to me. Firstly, the pop rock gave Silence a very upbeat feel, whilst also packing a powerful punch. Secondly, there was also electronic synths mixed into Silence alongside the pop rock influences, which gave the track groovy undertones. Thirdly, the members did extremely well in the song, showcasing a vibrant tone in the song. Silence also has a memorable yet simple melody. I did wish for more memorable rapping in the song, which could have taken Silence to the next level. (9/10)

4. MONSTER – We enter grungier territory with MONSTER. The start of the track has so much character, and the rock influence in MONSTER has so much head-banging territory. The standout member in this song is without a doubt Alex, whose raspy/hoarsely shouts just prior to the choruses and brief rapping in the second verse is so impactful and leaves a strong impression. Together, this track definitely is an exceptional sidetrack that I really enjoyed. (10/10)

5. HOME – Taking down the album by a few notches is HOME, which serves as the album’s ballad. It isn’t one of those super emotional and tear-jerking ones, nor is it slow and stilling. Instead, HOME does feature a relatively strong chorus, which occurs due to the accumulation of piano, strings and vocals. Speaking about vocals, HOME definitely showcases strong delivery from the entire group and is definitely the showstopping element of the song. There were also some great harmonies. (8/10)

6. UTOPIA – I personally felt that UPTOPIA could have been more bombastic with a heavier presence of bass. This would have really upgraded the song for me. But as it is, UPTOPIA was still a solid track. I really liked the house style of the instrumental, and the vocals and rapping was displayed in a very consistent manner. There was a memorable yet simple melody to the song, that helped boost up its appeal. The zippy/high pitch whistle-like synth was also another memorable element of UPTOPIA. (8/10)

7. DEJA VU – Going for a sleeker vibe is DEJA VU, which I am totally digging. I liked the darker atmosphere that comes about from the instrumental. The bass does wonders to the song, while the beat brings that funky undertone to the song. The strings in the pre-choruses was a nice touch as well. The rapping adds to that sleekness, with the low and slow delivery also coming off as sensual. The vocals also elicit a mature energy, which goes hand-in-hand with the other elements in the song. Altogether, DEJA VU becomes my pick for the album’s hidden gem. (10/10)

8. ESCAPE – A funky beat and whistles make ESCAPE feel quite classy. The song had me unconsciously head bopping along as it progressed, and the whistles were hard to get out of head. The vocal work was a strong aspect of the track, with Hyeop’s clean high note and ad-libs being a highlight. The weakest aspect of the song, for me, was the second verse rap sequence. It didn’t fit in well and disrupted the flow of the song. I also wished the transition between the second chorus and bridge was a lot smoother. (8/10)

9. Champion – The very calming and atmospheric backing to the verses was a stunner in Champion. This ends up building into an atmospheric band piece for the choruses, while the rappers take the bridge into a heavy rock territory. It was a ride through different styles, but it feels cohesive. I liked the consistent and balanced approached the vocals took. Also, we heard the return of Alex’s deeper tone for his segment in the bridge, and Dongyun’s uptick in tempo for his rapping felt fitting. (8.5/10)

10. When I’m With You – The studio album ends with a pop track that sounds sweet and lovely. I liked the combination of guitar and synths in the choruses, coming together to create a very interesting but fun texture. The cheerful tone the members bring via their vocals makes me want to smile and this helps ends the 10-track album on a very positive note. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

[Review] The One – DRIPPIN

DRIPPIN is nominated for Most Underrated Artist in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support DRIPPIN and your other favourite artists, songs and performances by clicking here to vote today.

DRIPPIN is back with another comeback, making it their fourth release of the year. They begun 2022 with the release of VILLAIN, the title of both their third mini-album and title track. Then the group released their Japanese debut single, So Good, before returning to Korea in June with ZERO. Fast-forward 5 months, DRIPPIN rounds out the year (I hope, these guys need a break after the busy year!) with the release of their latest title track, The One, and their first studio length album since debut, Villain: The End.

Going into this comeback, I was expecting an intense dance track that found its roots purely in the EDM genre. But I was genuinely surprised that The One ended having a much bigger rock presence than EDM. Don’t misunderstand, however. There is still EDM here and there in the song, and it was definitely used to intensify The One and give it some textural components. The instrumental for the dance break was largely EDM-based and provided an epic climax for the song. But going back to the rock aspect of The One, I found it to be quite appealing that DRIPPIN and their producers went in this direction. What really gets me is that the rock isn’t necessarily a dark and emo piece, nor is it grungy. Instead, the rock influences in The One were surprisingly upbeat and vibrant. The drumming is superb in this track, and the metal guitar was definitely intense in itself. The explosive energy (there is a lot of going on in KPOP these days) and tempo of The One kept the adrenaline pumping – this track is definitely going on my exercise playlist. Aside from the instrumental, I quite enjoyed the pop charm of the melody and hooks to The One. The ‘I’m The One, One, Only One‘ is pretty much keyed into my mind. I thought that this gave the song a more appealing flavour, and took the opportunity to really transform The One into a pop rock vibe track. I feel the vocals and rapping were solid, though I wished the verses had bolder vocal and rapping moments, just to really bring it up to par with the rest of the chorus. Something like the rapping in the bridge would have been ideal. Overall, The One is an awesome track that I should have reviewed much earlier to tell you all about it.

An action packed music video was served alongside The One, and I am all for it. Junho was the common thread between all the videos that formed part of the Villain series, and it was pretty much hinted from the start that he would have a villainous role in the end. In the Villain music video, he comes hurdling into the ground and leaves unscathed from such an arrival. In the ZERO music video, he is the last one we see and we do see a taste of his fire power as he overlooks the city. In this music video, he causes meteors to come crushing down onto Earth (similar to how he arrived), forcing everyone into hiding. Upon hearing that villain Junho had killed the good Junho, good Junho’s bandmates emerge from hiding and revived good Junho. A very tense superhero-like action fight scene ensues between the two Junhos (with the bandmates also pitching in). The fight ends with the bandmates knocked out and no Junho around. The industrial setting of the fight becomes the grassy fields (the same fields at the start of the video) and the members celebrate their victory. They later find Junho, who smiles back at them. But a quick zoom into his face allows us to see Junho bearing a red and blue pupil, suggesting one of the two Junho came out victorious and absorbed the power of the other. But it leaves a question, which Junho won and which lost. Honestly, a really cool video, and I hope we see which Junho turned out victorious in the future (maybe this sets up a repackaged album?). As a little critique, I would have liked the story to delve into the other members a bit more, just to give us more of the story. .

The choreography was great. It sure exuded a lot of powerful energy and intensity, just as you would expect when listening to a song like this one. The dance breaks were really cool, and the move associated ‘I’m The One, One, Only One‘ felt like it could have been a really catchy move had it really been pushed. I also liked how it really complemented the pop side of the song, going for a less intense move, compared to the rest of the routine.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

[Album Review] Villain: ZERO (2nd Single Album) – DRIPPIN

I will be rounding out my week full of album reviews with two single albums (two, as they are very short). I will return to the usual transmission of album reviews on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends starting this coming Wednesday. The first single album I will be looking at today is DRIPPIN’s mid-year comeback with Villain: ZERO. This is DRIPPIN’s second single album since debut and their latest comeback following their VILLAIN mini-album from earlier in the year. The single album features the title track ZERO and two additional side tracks.

I think my even and consistent rating of 8/10 throughout the single album, and hence adoption as my final overall album rating is indicative of the group’s potential in the long run (when you also look at DRIPPIN’s past releases). Sure, an 8/10 might not be the highest rating for an album before. But it still points towards some strong songs. Hopefully, DRIPPIN can receive a stronger title track and album release for the next comeback to gain a stronger presence in KPOP.

Villain: ZERO Album Cover

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

2. GAME – DRIPPIN doubles down with a very serious toned dance track, in the form of GAME. I found this track to be decent, with DRIPPIN’s solid delivery of the song. The pop instrumentation was mixed with tropical elements to create a strong and intense atmosphere. I just wished there was a bit more oomph to the song. GAME could have benefited from have a bolder hook, as opposed to the more vocally smooth hook we got in the song. GAME also could have emphasized some parts, just so the seriousness could have been concentrated. (8/10)

3. Trick and Treat – Re-entering the rock genre is Trick and Treat, who went with a grungier and abrasive profile this time around. It was more upfront with its intensity, compared to the title track. The chorus goes for a more shouty anthem-like chant, which makes sense, as the intention is to heighten the energy we are already getting from the instrumentation. The verses were a bit forgettable unfortunately, even though they go down more of a pop path with these verses. The bridge was probably the most energetic part of Trick and Treat, kicking off with an impressive high note from Hyeop. It will definitely make for a really dynamic and cool dance break in the live performances. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8/10

Villain: ZERO Teaser Image

[Album Review] VILLAIN (3rd Mini Album) – DRIPPIN

The album review that I was supposed to post last weekend (which ended up being delayed to Monday and then Wednesday) was for DRIPPIN’s third mini-album, VILLAIN. It is also another January release (only three months behind now, no biggie). The mini-album features the title track that shares the same name as the mini-album, an introductory track and four side tracks.

VILLAIN is the first time I am covering DRIPPIN in the album review segment. I remember vetting the album way back in January to see whether I should write an album review for it, and it got my attention then (that explains the existence of this album review). While my excitement for the album and its track has probably evaporated over the last three months, I am still keen on looking at new artists in segments. Furthermore, one of the songs on the album earns a 10/10 rating from me. Keep on reading to find out which one!

VILLAIN Album Cover

1. 7Villaz – DRIPPIN sets the tone for this mini-album with the super intense and powerful intro EDM track, 7Vilaz. It contains samples of the title track’s main hook in the background, which is a nice way to tie the intro to the title track (which is next up on the album). It has been a while since I heard some I was describe as high octane, so this is quite a fulfilling piece. (8/10)

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

3. Switch Switch continues on from VILLAIN with a groovier instrumental. If I had to describe it in a particular way, I would say that Switch’s instrumental sounded almost ‘retro sci-fi like’. There is also a familiarity with Switch’s background. Aside from that, Switch had a lot of good energy and momentum, which makes it is a very satisfying side track. In addition to that, you have solid vocals and rapping from the members. My favourite parts have to be pre-choruses and the brief rap sequence at the end of the bridge that starts off with the line ‘Break the rules’. Both were memorable manners of delivery, in my opinion. (9/10)

4. SHY – The album mellows out a bit with SHY. To me, it sounds like a nice summery track that sounds sweet and cheerful. There were a few good hooks in the song that helped make SHY pleasant and enjoyable. It isn’t the most amazing track on the album (it is more so typical), but still a decent listen. (7/10)

5. DelusionDelusion is my pick for best side on this album release. The intensity that comes from this track is one reason (and leads into the next). Another reason is that when I listen to this song, I am picturing an action-based story music video would be the ideal accompaniment to the song. Furthermore, I liked the consistent vocals in Delusion, which brought forth an emotive side to the song. I found that quite interesting and I am all for it, as it has impact. (10/10)

6. Remember – The album ends with another summery sounding track, thanks to the tropical elements of Remember’s instrumentation. Its upbeat and quite satisfying to listen to. Like the other summery track on this album, Remember isn’t as memorable as the other side tracks on the album. I wished it (and SHY) was released on a separate summer album, that way the song would feel more ‘at home’ and give way for DRIPPIN to deliver a more consistent album. (7.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

VILLAIN Teaser Image


There are a lot of comebacks dropping today, so expect the reviews to be posted over the next few days or so. Randomly selected to be the first release on the reviewing block is DRIPPIN’s comeback song, VILLIAN, which is featured on the group’s third mini-album of the same name. This is the group’s first comeback since last year’s release of Free Pass and the special single Vertigo (I highly recommend this Universe promotional single).

DRIPPIN revisits the groovy sound in VILLIAN thanks to the funky electronic bass line that runs throughout the song. The grooviness is felt the most during the song’s verses, while it felt somewhat lacking in the chorus due to the other instrumentation overwhelming the plate a bit. The grooviness is still there, however, it just felt less prevalent for me and I don’t recognise its presence as instantaneously as per the verses. This is more of an observation however, and I still thought VILLIAN had a decent backing to it. But when I compare to the wider industry, VILLIAN falters on the innovation side. As the vocals, I liked how powerful and forceful they got with their lines in the chorus. It definitely adds vibrancy and energy to the song that makes VILLIAN better. I also enjoyed the vocals at the very start of the song, as they ease into it. It was breathy and slightly sensual, which I think the members could have explored more in VILLIAN. The soaring high note from Hyeop was also impressive, though I wished it was slightly longer to be even more satisfying. Dongyun and Alex’s rapping were pretty good as well, though I wished they had more than half of the second verse. VILLIAN‘s outro did a good job of maintaining the momentum for that extra bit longer, making the end satisfying as well. Overall, VILLIAN is a decent song from the group with me wishing for (as usual).

Per usual, I am not entirely sure what the story of this music video is. The group became villains for this music video, as per the lyrics of the song, and went out to evoke havoc on the world. While their powers seem to help each other out and earlier scenes suggest that they had banded together, I can’t really tell if they are helping each/banded together for a common mission or whether they just want to cause havoc (or maybe, their mission was to cause havoc because they are villains). I wished the storyline came together to have an endpoint or a conclusion, just so whatever story was happening was clearer. But aside from that, a strong concept potential and awesome post-production.

The performance for this comeback was strong and powerful, which matches up with the energy that is exuded from the song. Nothing really stood out at me, but the entire routine worked well with the song and it is still a worthwhile performance to watch.

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

[Review] Free Pass – DRIPPIN

Back to catch up on the reviews I should have written weeks ago when the songs were first released. I will be choosing which releases to review at random, so there will be no order to what tracks I review. I just want to get them done! First up, I have chosen DRIPPIN’s comeback from 29 June. DRIPPIN returned with the single Free Pass as their latest title track. The song is featured on the group’s first single album which shares the same name as the lead single. Free Pass is DRIPPIN’s second comeback this year, with the first being Young Blood in March of this year.

Free Pass is quite dull. No matter how times I have listened to the song since its release, I find myself distracted looking for the next song to play and pretty much forgetting the song. To me, Free Pass doesn’t offer any new or innovative. It doesn’t even ‘reinvent the wheel’. It is pretty the same as any bright concept song that is release in the Summer season. This is disappointing to a degree, given that I liked both their debut song and their last comeback. The group has so much to offer based on their previous releases, but they are only given a song like Free Pass to show off their skills. But I guess that I guess this is the song that they will use to leverage their youthfulness. Though, it is interesting as their labelmates Golden Child and formerly Infinite have had their fair share of mid-tempo pop songs released in for the Summer season. And these songs by these more senior artists have been likeable and enjoyable (i.e. Pump It Up and Man In Love to name some examples – ignore my 7/10 rating and comments in the Man In Love review, that has been bumped up to a 9/10 rating when I reviewed mini-album in which it was featured on). Free Pass just doesn’t live up to that standard set by their labelmates. Don’t get me wrong, it is an okay song. But it could have been better and been more personalised for DRPPIN. One of the reasons to why I think Free Pass doesn’t have much to offer is because it lacks any substantial hook. This instantly reduces the memorability of the song. The instrumental is bright and energetic (so I will give it that), but it doesn’t have a sense of individuality or uniqueness. It feels plain and typical. Their vocal work and rapping are so-so. Not the best, but not terrible. So I guess what I really want is some identity so that DRIPPIN could really make Free Pass their own. Currently, Free Pass is theirs but it doesn’t feel individualised.

Once again, my comments above can be reflected down here. Concept-wise, I felt they have picked the general bright youthful concept that every other male group seems to do. Nothing new. And the music video is appropriately bright. In Free Pass, the group goes on a camping trip. They leave ‘Free Passes’ around the theme park they were initially at, so I presume their crushes would find them. Though, I think they put them in places that are a bit hard to reach or not that great hiding places. I mean, hiding them in a stack of other tickets, tying them to balloons, sticking them to the bottom of a park bench, floating in the fountain where it could easily fall in the water. Not really great ways of making sure they get to the intended person. In the end, someone ended up collecting them and had them in the tent next the campfire. So no one rocked up to be with the group. And the fell asleep around the campfire. The end.

I like the energy they brought to the performance. It is a great way to portray their youthfulness. Do note that I feel the choreography tends to fair a bit better when it comes to more typical aligned comebacks, as no routine are similar. Sure, moves can be replicated and borrowed. But no sequence would be exactly the same, and hence there is that opportunity to be different. What I liked about Free Pass‘ choreography is the formations they had during the first verse.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

[Review] Young Blood – DRIPPIN’

After reviewing all of Monday’s releases, I can finally move onto releases from this week that occurred after Monday. One of these releases is DRIPPIN’s comeback single, Young Blood, which is featured on their latest mini-album, A Better Tomorrow. They are a relatively new group and this is their official comeback since their debut with Nostalgia. So for the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with DRIPPIN’, they are a seven-member male group under Woolim Entertainment. And here is a reason to why you should familiarise yourself with the group. They were overwhelmingly voted (44%) as the Best Male Rookie Group of 2020 in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. And if that it the attention they garnered within two months of their debut, the future for DRIPPIN’ is looking very bright. Let’s see what they are doing with Young Blood.

Young Blood reminds me of some of AB6IX’s early works. From the vocals to the upbeat yet straightforward nature of the instrumentation, it takes me back to those 2019 releases by AB6IX. What I did like about Young Blood that stood out for me was the groovy tinge to the song. Once again, this is another song to add to the ongoing trend. But this is who DRIPPIN’ made the song theirs. AB6IX’s releases did have a similar tinge, but it was not as satisfying or fulfilling as Young Blood. The electronic synths and energy come together to make a quite dynamic dance track that I am sure meets the expectations of fans. I find the pre-chorus slow down to be quite nice, especially with the piano coming through. It also helped make the launch into the chorus more exciting and impactful. The rapping in the song’s second verse was probably its weakest moment. Compared to the rest of the song, the instrumental strip down felt as simple as a blank canvas. Some synths can be heard, but they were used sparingly. The rapping just didn’t do enough to fill in that ‘blank canvas’ for me. The song then returns to the chorus, pulling the song back up to the thrill that was heard before the second verse. The bridge was short, but it was decent. I enjoyed the thumping beat that dominated the bridge. It added more to that thrill that just mentioned and threw in a bit of suspense. I also enjoyed the instant launch back into the final chorus, reinforcing that idea of being straightforward and not messing around. Overall, Young Blood was very energetic and dynamic, aside from its middle core.

I am not entirely sure about what is happening in the video. The start looked intriguing with one of the members going about his day as a convenience store clerk. During his usual duties, the power goes out and he notices a light behind the refrigerator. He looks into the light and this takes us to a world with no restraints (this is my assumption). The members look like they are having fun. But at the same time, they are seeking something (which I assume is in the box that they found the key for). What is in that box, I have no idea. It does give the video an air of mystery. But at the same time, it was lackluster and I don’t think there was enough in the video to decipher whatever was going on. Aside from that, I really like the use of multiple scenes throughout the video, which gave us some variety in the visuals of the video.

I really like the energy and drive behind their moves. It matches the dynamism and momentum of the song. No moves or not any moment stood out to me on its own. Rather I felt the entire choreography routine was a solid package. If I had to point out one part of the choreography that did at the very least elicit some sort of reaction from me, it was the spinning leg move they did at the start. The choreography just quickly moved on and so I didn’t really have much time to really think about it.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10

[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] Nostalgia – DRIPPIN

It is time to have a deep dive into those Wednesday debuts. First up is the latest group to join the ranks of Woolim Entertainment’s roster – DRIPPIN. Personally, I don’t like their name. But there is nothing I can do about it. And who knows, it may grow on me in the future. The seven-member male group is made up of Hyeop, Yunseong, Changuk, Dongyun, Minseo, Junho, and Alex. Six of the members participated in Produce X 101. Five the members (aside from Junho, who made into the final lineup of X1, and Alex, the hidden member of the group) promoted under the name W Project 4 post-Produce X 101 last year. On Wednesday, the group made their debut with Nostalgia and the mini-album, BOYAGER.

What Nostalgia nails at first glance is its explosive and powerful nature. And I feel that this is always an appropriate way of making an entrance into the KPOP scene, given the massive influx of KPOP acts nowadays. You want to leave an impression and Nostalgia does just that for DRIPPIN. The song opens up to a pretty decent first verse. It felt very clean and the pre-chorus provided a great buildup to the first ‘explosion’, that is otherwise known as the chorus. My pick for the highlight of the song has to be the way they style the word ‘melody’ at the very end of the pre-chorus sequence by cutting it into syllables and taking away the instrumental for a brief moment. As already mentioned, the chorus is momentous with the way it is styled. The synths gave the song an electrifying effect and some zing to add appeal to the song. There is a subtle groove to it mixed in between the synths and intensity. And I also liked how the energy and intensity never lets up, even as the song moves into the catchy post-chorus ‘La La La… Nostalgia‘ hook. The second verse seems to be taken out of the book of all KPOP release and it doesn’t offer anything new. Glad it is followed up by another round of that explosive chorus. The rest of the song isn’t as cliche. I really enjoyed the more concentrated buildup to the dance break in the bridge and the added grooviness that followed in the dance/instrumental break, before returning to another and final chorus round. What I have yet to mentioned so far the members. Their vocal line is really good and their raps were pretty decent. I did have a craving for move ad-libs towards the end and even more rapping (away from the cliche second verse) to really bump up the song. But regardless, Nostalgia was a great first step for DRIPPIN.

The song is about wanting to return to the past with their lover. My guess when it comes to the storyline of the video is that the members want to recreate the scenery with the tree, as it has a sense of nostalgia for the members. One of the members plant the bare tree branch into the sand in the abandoned plane crash site, in hopes that it will grow to become that tree (which I assume they did). I may have gotten the story the wrong way around, but that is how I made sense of the music video with the lyrics. I really like the pale yellow that seems to be featured throughout the video in one way or another. It was a really nice colour to allow the members to pop, regardless of the white or black outfits that they wore throughout the video. It also felt pleasant, offsetting any harshness from the music/choreography that may have come about.

It seems like to be able to debut under Woolim Entertainment, your dance skills must be really good as they choreography some of the most intense routines ever that the idol must be able to perform in sync with everyone else. That is a particularly big ask and DRIPPIN definitely nailed it. The moves aren’t anything new, but the intensity and power that is placed behind each move is quite impressive. The ending of the bridge with the floating member seems quite cool, as well.

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