[Review] Love Drunk – Epik High ft. Crush

After a year and 5 months, the iconic Epik High has returned with a brand new mini-album, Sleepless in __________, and the title track Love Drunk. Though, their absence seems to be for a much longer time period as their last stage promotion occurred back in 2014 (approximately 5 years ago). For this title track, they joined hands with Crush as a featuring artist, while IU and actress Jin Seo Yeon featured in the music video.

Love Drunk is a ballad that starts off with Crush’s delicate vocals over a simple piano instrumental. We also get a bit of Tablo towards the end of the start, just before the song picks up and adds extra elements to the instrumentation to give it a mid-tempo feel while still maintaining the stillness/peacefulness from the start. I find the piano start was very profound for something so little and it works well with Crush and Tablo. But the song kicks up to allow for the rapping of Tablo and Mithra Jin to come into play and they leave us with impactful sequences. While this is usually the case when it comes to Epik High’s ballads, I liked how they didn’t disturb the peaceful atmosphere with their deep tones. My personal favourite part of the song has to be Tablo’s bridge, which I think sets the tone of the song. If you don’t understand Korean in any way, the bridge is a clear taste to the emotional side of the song (The song is all about the first hard breakup and the feelings you may have). It isn’t in a heart-wrenching way, however. The stillness I mentioned previously makes this ballad more powerful and heartbreaking.

The music video, as mentioned previously features IU (who plays the student) and Jin Seo Yeon (the teacher). Seo Yeon seems to be the type of person who is cold and doesn’t want to teach anyone due to her strict standards. IU, on the other hand, wants to be trained by her. At the start of the video, IU is caught spying on Seo Yeon and they have a fight. No one is victorious in this fight as most likely Seo Yeon fought to scare IU away and IU was not able to overpower her. This causes IU to become upset and she screams, attracting the attention of Seo Yeon and breaking a few barrels of water. Intrigued, Seo Yeon starts teaching IU. And during one of these teaching moments (I assume – or maybe it was an actual fight), IU landed a punch which assumingly kills Seo Yeon. This plagues IU’s mind and leaves her devastated, as seen at the end. Rather than playing with a romantic relationship, the director chose a role model based relationship, as this would be the first relationships we, as people, would have. And the loss of this role model would be extremely devastating to us. Overall, I thought it was a well thought out video. The martial arts does throw you off a bit but the underlying plotline makes sense with the lyrics.

Song – 8/10
Music Video 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Review] Home Is Far Away – EPIK HIGH ft. Oh Hyuk

We now return to the usual schedule of reviews with EPIK HIGH’s Home Is Far Away. It has been a while since we last heard from EPIK HIGH entirely. Their last comeback was with Shoebox and title track Happen Ending, back in 2014. Since then, the trio had been a little quiet with their work but have returned with full force as evident through their appearance at the top of the charts. Their latest album, We’ve Done Something Wonderful, showcases many featuring artists including IU, Mino (Winner), Crush and many others.

Home Is Far Away features Oh Hyuk, the vocalist from Hyukoh. His nasal sounding vocals go a long way in this song as he features throughout the chorus. It adds a nice softer touch to the RnB based song, which pairs well with the more deeper raps that Tablo and Mirtha bring to the song. The movement towards the RnB track also seems to go well into the EPIK HIGH’s portfolio, who I am used to doing more upbeat emotional based songs. Tablo’s previous solo work gave us a taster into what RnB could sound like under the guidance of the group (because the members produce their own songs). Yes, their previous track was also RnB based but I wasn’t much of a fan of it. I had a better connection with this one for its sleek instrumental and appealing sound. It doesn’t necessarily grab your attention like some of their more notable works but it leaves you feeling full of emotion and thoughts about life.

The videos seem fitting for the song. The minimalistic vibes through the night time shots of the city landscape give off a stylish and smooth look for the song. The appearance of the members, along with Oh Hyuk is also quite refreshing, mainly because it has been so long since we last saw them. A small segment of EPIK HIGH and IU’s collaboration is also played at the end. I am not too sure about the significance of the connection between the two songs (or to the video) but I have to admit, IU’s voice does add more aesthetics to the video.

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

Catch Up Review #2 – Epik High

Epik High has finally returned after 2 years. And this comeback has been a favourite with fans, giving the band triple crowns and for once letting them rank pretty high on the charts in this time of the KPOP era. Probably be the one comeback that I agree with the “rated” ban on it, mainly due one of the songs being explicit. So far, the band has released two music videos for three different title tracks. One of them being Born Hater and the other being Happy Ending. I should have reviewed Tablo’s version of Eyes, Nose and Lips, just I think that should be another review on its own.

Born Hater

A pretty interesting song. This song basically brings together some of the biggest rappers in Korean Hip Hop and could potentially be a dream come true for some fans (some of my friends were ecstatic over the fact that this song features big names like Beenzino, Verbal Jint, B.I, Mino and Bobby). This song had just a fine sprinkle of swear words over, not that I have a problem with it. I just found the accent of one rapper pretty funny to listen to. Sadly, you have to be 18 or older to see the music video (well, the actual music video on the offical YouTube channel that is). But if you have not watched the video, the video was shot in a portrait orientation, not sure if I liked it that much, but the liked the use of two sets, but adding extra props and stuff to make it look different each time. As for the product placement in this video… I have to say it was really obvious. Too obvious in fact. 7/10

Spoiler

I actually don’t like this song. (To be honest, I thought the whole comeback and album was a total bore…). There was that once exception of the song above. Just I was not feeling it with these slow songs from the band. This song lacked a lot of appeal for me. I was basically disappointed and got easily distracted. It was really slow this song. The music video was okay. Though, I am a little confused about the plot of the music video. This girl is dating dude 1 and she then breaks up with him. I assume she was depressed with breaking up with him and he was pretty disappointed as well. Then at the end the girl was revealed to be dating another guy. The girl saw the ex and was surprised. The ex saw the girl and started to cry. What I don’t understand is the many scenes in between of their memories. They confused me, especially with the phone. Did they break up cause neither of them were talking, yet there they were waiting for each other? Interesting, but confusing. 4/10

Happy Ending

This song brought Epik High together with a few female artists such as Cho Won Sun from Roller Coaster, Minzy from 2NE1, Suhyun from AKMU, Lee Hi and Younha. I liked this song a lot more than spoiler, mainly because it seemed a little more catchier. The addition of the female voice to this song gave the song a lot more flavour. I liked how the members repeated some of the lyrics as the featuring female artists and I guess that is what made me enjoy the song a lot more. The ending to their performance though seemed so boring. Just standing around the DJ. And was it necessary for the DJ to “mix up” the music for the ending? Cause to me, that ruined the bitter feeling the song. 6/10

Once again, music videos can be seen by clicking on the subtitles (takes you to YouTube). Overall. not the best comeback from Epik High. Don’t Hate Me takes that place honestly and many more of their past songs (like way back in the day). Next batch of reviews are coming soon: theme is … BIG name girl groups. Enjoy!!!

 

 

Don’t Hate Me – Epik High

Source: https://i0.wp.com/americankpopfans.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/10.21-epik-high.jpg
Source: http://americankpopfans.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/10.21-epik-high.jpg

Epik High came back with 2 epic songs, known as Up and Don’t Hate Me in October. Out of the two, I like this song the most because it is very vibrant and is a song that you can listen to without the music video accompanying it without knowing what the song is about. It is catchy and since Epik High is a legendary group, this comeback makes it more exciting as ever. I find that this song is more of a fan service song, that still has its own secret meaning and can still be good.

Don’t Hate Me is a catchy song with your average pop songs instrumental. However, they have the very catchy “Everybody hates me, but you love me and I love you”, which definitely gets stuck into your mind the first time around. From just listening to the song, you can sense that the song is definitely involves something along the line of crazy. BOOM! I particularly love the lyrics. They kind of have a double meaning. Though, “Everybody hates me, but you love me and I Love You” does sound like your average romantic ballad line, but in fact that this line shows the amount of thanks that Epik high wants to give back to their fans for the past 2 or so years, which has been a tough time for the band and Tablo himself. In fact, the whole song, now seems to be written for the fans itself, which is really cool. \

The music video actually enhances the song. It adds to more of the feel of craziness. It starts up as Epik High working in the supermarket, bored of their job, but this ghost child wakes them up and they start creating havoc around the store. Particularly, when the children emerge as characters of horror movies and stories, like Jason from Friday The 13th, The Saw Guy, Lady Gaga (Since we all know, how scary that singer is). I also like the really lame items which they create to be put on the shelves of the store like cereal. Ah, my lameness is kicking in. It is an epic music video, end of story, Even though, I make it sound extremely boring. Check it out though.

The live performance is really good. End of story. There is no actual dance to this song, just running the around the stage and having fun.

I would give this a 9/10. A really good song.

Next Review: I Will Show You – Ailee