[Special] Personal Favourite Songs from the 1st Half of 2022 + more

As already mentioned on this blog somewhere (most likely the Weekly KPOP Charts posts), we are officially in July 2022. And that means that an entire 6 months has already past. Per usual, a substantial number of KPOP releases have been released, many of which have been on repeat. Keeping to tradition in July, it is time to post a list of my personal favourite songs from the 1st half of 2022.

I am doing things slightly different this year. In addition to the usual 10 songs (in no particular order) for the first half of 2022, I will also be posting two songs from the November – December 2021 period, which were ineligible for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards due to the cut off date being in October. And I will be posting 3 non-Korean songs (i.e. English, Japanese etc.) by Korean artists that caught my attention so far this year. So without furtherado, here are the list of my personal favourite songs of the year thus far (in no particular order, of course).

From November – December 2021

Personal favourite non-Korean songs of 2022 thus far

Personal favourite KPOP songs of the year so far (January – June 2022)

[Review] Stay This Way – fromis_9

Making their comeback today is fromis_9, who returns with their new single Stay This Way and fifth mini-album, From Our Memento Box. This follows the group’s last comeback, DM, which occurred earlier this year and really stole my attention for many many weeks. The group was originally going to kick off promotions with a comeback showcase, but some members were unfortunately injured over the weekend in a car crash and the decision was made to cancel the showcase. It is currently said that the affected members do not have serious injuries, but it is currently unsure whether promotions can go ahead this week.

Stay This Way continues the pleasant nature that fromis_9 visited in DM. Majority of the song felt similar, and so Stay This Way thrives on the familiarity front – fitting for a song titled Stay This Way. Their vocals were super nice, and the melodies still had a bounce to them that made them enjoyable. I could also easily carry over DM’s description for the instrumental ‘a pop track with no frills, and is quite light, soft and pleasant (in a positive sense) as well‘, though I felt Stay This Way had a minute difference (more on that in a second). I am just glad that the producers have allowed fromis_9 to explore more of this pleasant style, since its suits them so well and DM proved to be a very successful for them. But there are differences between the song that makes Stay This Way its own song. One obvious difference is the presence of rapping, which I thought added a different dynamic to the pleasantries. But it is delivery in a way that is kept in line with the pleasant nature of the song. Is it the best rap performance? Not really. But it does the job and adds something else to Stay This Way, as already mentioned. Less apparent is the instrumental which I already mentioned to be similar. But I also felt that Stay This Way which had a slight kick to it thanks to what felt like a faster tempo to bring up the energy since it is a Summer release. The repetition of the song’s title was also a neat change and hook to the song, though unimaginative. Overall, Stay This Way carries on what I really enjoyed from their previous comeback but does what it needs to to be its own song.

Most of the video looks super fitting and logical given the current season the song is released in. I believe it also fits in with the lyrics of the song, as well. The members appear to having fun in the outdoors surroundings. When the members are smiling and look like they are enjoying the outdoors, the video felt natural. I believe the pale filter helps heighten this. However, there were moments when the members felt a bit forced, especially when they looking serious and throwing model looks at us during solo and unit shots. Not really the natural vibe there, to be honest.

Based on what I can see in the music video, the choreography for this comeback looks good. It seems like the chorus would be the most attractive point, as the chorus’ choreography parts drew my attention the most. I might return to this review and update it once a live performance happens.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Album Review] Midnight Guest (4th Mini Album) – fromis_9

It is the weekend, so it is time for another album review. This album review is focused on fromis_9’s release from earlier in the year (you guessed it, another January release), Midnight Guest, which is the group’s fourth mini-album since their debut. The mini-album features the title track DM and four other new songs (including two unit tracks). Midnight Guest also serves as the group’s first album release after it was announced that the group would be exclusively managed by Pledis Entertainment (the home of SEVENTEEN, and former NU’EST members Minhyun and Baekho).

Midnight Guest is a pleasant album, and this was the reason why I picked it up for an album review. Furthermore, I really enjoyed DM as a title track and wanted to delve more into their side track. Have a read of my thoughts on the individual songs on the album, and leave a comment below on whether you agree with me.

Midnight Guest Album Cover

1. Escape RoomEscape Room starts off the mini-album in such an unexpected, but also exciting manner. Escape Room takes on a sexy R&B sound that is unexplored territory for the group. And fromis_9 definitely nailed this song. Hoping we hear more of fromis_9 in this style in the future. I enjoyed the slightly groovy nature of the chorus, and their smooth vocals definitely showcased their talents and capabilities. I would have loved to hear some rapping in this song, just to break the song’s consistency. (9/10)

2. DM (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for DM. (8.5/10)

3. Love is Around – The first unit track on the album, Love Is Round, features Lee Saerom, Song Hayoung, Jang Gyuri and Lee Chaeyoung. It takes the form of a ballad that is soothing and calming to listen to. It isn’t the most memorable track on this album, simply because it is soft ballad. However, at the same time, Love Is Around does have its merits, thanks to its soft ballad nature. The members sound really nice, while the instrumental was atmospheric and drifty, similar to what you expect with a lullaby. Altogether, it is warm and comforting to listen to. (8/10)

4. Hush Hush – The second unit track features the other half of the group (Park Jiwon, Roh Jisun, Lee Seoyeon, Lee Nagyung and Baek Jiheon). I found Hush Hush to be a pleasantly upbeat track. For this song, I use the word ‘pleasantly’ in a positive manner, as I quite enjoyed the song. While nothing in particular stood out within Hush Hush, I found there to be this happy energy and feel-good vibe to the song that helped it become appealing to me. (8/10)

5. 0g – Ending the mini-album is a city pop track. 0g takes on a slower profile, which is a nice way to ease out of this mini-album. The vocals in the song are silky and extremely pleasant (again, used in a positive manner), complementing the slower city pop instrumentation. Stronger and memorable hooks and melodies would have added an additional layer of appeal to the song. But overall, a good ending to this mini-album. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

Midnight Guest / DM Teaser Image

[Review] DM – fromis_9

The fifth (!) release from Monday to be reviewed is fromis_9 latest comeback single, DM, which is featured on the group’s fourth mini-album since debut (and their first mini-album release under Pledis Entertainment). DM follows the likes of fromis_9’s 2021 releases WE GO and Talk & Talk, with the latter earning the group’s first music show win in over three years.

DM is another song that I really enjoyed. It isn’t the most mind-blowing piece, nor is it fromis_9’s best work since their debut (Love Bomb still holds onto that title). But there is such as pure tone and crisp nature to DM that makes it so good. It is a pop track with no frills, and is quite light, soft and pleasant (in a positive sense) as well. If you want something that isn’t complicated, then DM is a song for you. What I quite enjoyed about DM is the vocals. The members really show a solid skillset in this song. I am particularly impressed with the chorus, as the vocals here really boosted the song up and brought a very nice sense of vibrancy to the song. The dolphin-like high note in the final chorus was another impressive moment and extremely shocking (in a good manner) detail to end DM with. The melody at the start of the chorus really captures your attention and helps kick off the chorus in a memorable sense. I also liked how DM pushes the group down a mature route (in comparison to their earlier works) without going dark or edgy, which helps the song and group come off as refreshing (as mentioned before). I do wish the rest of the song a more memorable tinge as well. Everything we did get complimented the chorus, but I feel something more could have been done in the verses, for example, to really take the song to the next level yet maintain the pleasantness of the song. Overall, DM is a strong yet pleasant song for fromis_9.

The music video for this release was good. The video consist of nothing more than a magnitude of closeup and choreography shots. But before you think I make the comment about the music video having just the common formula of closeup and choreography, I think it was intentional for this release. The song is not complicated, and as repeated many times already, takes on an pleasant and light tone. Hence, I feel the producers for this music video thought a simple and straightforward video would make the most sense to compliment the song. In addition to that, the group’s visuals were shown off and the sets looked nice. I liked how the colours in this video were not overly bold. Instead, they all had a pleasant tone, not too harsh or too light.

Same thing can be said about the choreography. It isn’t anything special or innovative, but the choreography we did get was pleasant as well (just like the other elements of the comeback). I did like the start of the chorus, where they move towards the camera in time with the opening melody (helps make the moment appear more memorable) and that hugging bit right at the end.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Review] Talk & Talk – fromis_9

Earlier this week, fromis_9 made their surprise comeback with their new single, Talk & Talk. This is the group’s first comeback since We Go (from earlier in this year). It is also the first comeback for the group since transferring to Pledis Entertainment (the home of NU’EST and SEVENTEEN) after Off The Record (their original company) underwent an reorganisation. It is great to see that the group is more active and hopefully under Pledis Entertainment, they return more often to the stage with new releases. But until their next comeback, here is my review for Talk & Talk.

Talk & Talk is a satisfying new release that is enjoyable and pleasant. Unfortunately, it is simply just that and I think the song could have been more memorable (more on why I think this is case in a bit). Talk & Talk has a noticeable peppy tone thanks to the bright synths and tones throughout the song. This definitely brings a youthful touch to the song, which works well with fromis_9 image and style. The instrumentation for most of Talk & Talk is standard pop, but I like the 8-bit influence we get in the chorus. It was subtly present in the verses, but the concentration during the chorus really helped keep Talk & Talk refreshing and interesting. I am glad it wasn’t just a consistent sound throughout the song. The 8-bit effects gives the song a burst of likable energy to the song that brings out that enjoyable side of the song. I was also genuinely surprised by the member’s more laidback tone in the chorus, in a way that I am torn about whether I like it or not. While I do think this is the factor that only limits Talk & Talk in being a pleasant song, it was a shakeup that somehow manages to work. However, I still wish the vocals were more vibrant during the chorus, as this would have potentially taken the song to the next level for me. Likewise, I felt the same could have been done for the verses and the spoken delivery of the rapping (which was paced and felt stagnant in comparison to the rest of the song). When I am referring to the potential level of vibrancy for this song, I am thinking something along lines of the ad-libs in Talk & Talk. They just adds that extra burst of fresh energy to the song that felt perfect, and that is what I feel is ultimately missing in this song. Also, I felt that Talk & Talk could have used a better hook. The ‘Doo Doo‘ hook was good, but it just didn’t have that resounding memorable factor to it. Overall, Talk & Talk was still a decent song, however I think it could have been more vibrant and bolder with its sound.

You just can’t keep the members away from their phones in this music video, which makes appropriate sense given that the song is titled Talk & Talk. Anyhow, the music video is mildly distressing, which I assume was for humorous reasons. Flying ping pong balls that look like they could take out a person, over-boiled pots of water that sets off the fire alarm, and powerful jumping that causes one to fall from one floor to the next. But the most distressing moment was when the power went out and the members couldn’t continue their phone calls. Shocking… (Only joking). Like most summer music videos and fromis_9 videos is the amount of bright colours throughout. I also enjoyed the We Go tie in at the start. Overall, a pretty neat video to watch alongside to listening to the music.

There isn’t much to the performance for this comeback. Other than the usual, ‘it fits the music’ or the performance was ‘pleasant’, I don’t have much else to say about it. I did like the smoothness of the chorus and incorporation of the today’s version of how kids would represent the phone with their hands.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] WE GO – fromis_9

It is time for another review for a release way back in May that I should have written much closer to the song’s release date. I am talking about fromis_9’s long-awaited comeback, WE GO, which dropped on 17 May. Definitely a long overdue review! This is the group’s first song in a while, with their last comeback being Feel Good (Secret Code) in September 2020. And over the last couple of years, fromis_9’s comebacks have become scarcer and less frequent. Since Love Bomb (my pick for the group’s most catchiest single yet), their comebacks have been an annual occurrence and this really disappoints me. They had a really optimal opportunity back in 2019 to continue the Love Bomb popularity, but that ultimately fizzed out after long hiatus. Hopefully, WE GO isn’t the group’s only single in 2021 and we get to hear more from the group soon!

It seems Summer returned earlier this year than what I have previously mentioned on this blog. Released in mid-May, WE GO seems to now be the first Summery song of year. But who knows, I might be reviewing another song down the track released even earlier that also fits Summery description. But let’s deal with that when we get there. WE GO takes on a simple pop sound that isn’t overcomplicated in both its structure and tone. For me, I think the best way to describe WE GO is pleasant. Pleasant is a good descriptor, but it could also be a bad one from my point of view. And I feel that this song tethers on that fine line that separates the good and the bad. WE GO isn’t a boring song. It has a nice melody and is easy on the ears. The vocals add a nice sweetness to the song. It also decent hooks that have potential to be catchy. I will also say that the song feels fun and refreshing, which is where the Summery description I mentioned at the start comes from. But on the flip side, pleasantry doesn’t necessary equate to being memorable. And this was the issue with WE GO. It just wasn’t memorable enough. Since the song’s release, I don’t think I have gone out of my way to actually search up the song. I also feel if the song was more memorable, then I would have ensured that this review was published much earlier, rather than a month and half later on. I think one way the song could have overcome this issue is with bolder instrumentation. I feel that would have peaked my interest a bit more and given the song a bit more heft in the memorability department. Overall, WE GO is a decent track, but also forgettable for the most part.

I really like the creativity behind the music video. The editing for this music video must have been insane. Essentially, we see a video being edited of fromis_9 imagining themselves on a holiday. It felt very relevant to current times, where we don’t have that freedom to travel. I really like when they changed various shots by changing the sky through the ‘editing’ we see. I also really like how relevant they made the video. Aside from just the concept, I liked how they used different frames (i.e. the editing tool, Zoom interface and Instagram) to transition the shots into each other. Pretty dynamic. The Facetime ringing caught me off guard (literally made me jump) each time I play the video, though it is a great tactic to get me refocused onto the video to watch the final chorus. I also see an emerging trend with the greenery and white platform that music videos use. It worked well here, given the boldness of the shot.

The choreography for this comeback was also nice. Not exactly the most spectacular, but definitely helped made the song feel a little more memorable (in a visual sense) when I watched the stage performances.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10

[Review] Feel Good (SECRET CODE) – fromis_9

Next up on the comeback list this week is fromis_9, who makes their return for the first time since their FUN! comeback, one year and three months ago. Such a long gap between comebacks is not ideal, especially for a group who was starting to gain momentum following their Love Bomb and FUN! comebacks. However, as I always say on this blog, it is better late and than never. The group returns today with Feel Good (SECRET CODE), their third mini-album, The Little Society, and a eight-member lineup (as Seoyeon is sitting out of the promotions due to an injury).

Whilst Feel Good is track filled with funky guitar riffs (and hence complimenting current trends to a tee), the track is interestingly not as retro as I had hoped for. While I believe that fromis_9 would have one of the few female groups currently active that would have nailed the retro style and sound, Feel Good opts for a clean, modern and quite refreshing spin on the whole idea of a funky sound. There isn’t much going in the instrumentation apart from the funky guitar. In hindsight, it is rather plain (This was a thought when I first heard the song, but it has long disappeared from my mind now). However, that isn’t really an issue as the members really do help cover it up this barely noticeable flaw with their vocals. The rapping isn’t as great as I felt they wasted an opportunity to go down a more dynamic route for Feel Good, which could have been incorporated into the song via the actual rapping or instrumentally. But the vocals are really well thought out. They go with a lower tone for the verses, which I think gives the song a mature flair on top of the funky instrumentation. I really like the ‘Woo Hoo Hoo‘ that we get in the pre-chorus, for no other reason other than it felt classy. Once we got to the chorus, the members sang at a much higher tone, adding a subtle but appreciable amount of energy that doesn’t overwhelm the listener, complimenting the instrumentation. The chorus itself is also quite catchy, thanks to the vocal melodies and hooks.

The music video has nice visuals. But other than that and the choreography/closeup formula, it is incredibly plain to watch. I liked how they held back with the colours though, which suits the song style. But from what I have seen in KPOP music videos over the years, the producers could make the video a lot more dynamic and visually appealing whilst also complimenting the song’s style (as they have with the colour choices). A much strong balance between these two elements would have made the video more appealing to watch.

From what I can see in the music video, the choreography looks good. There isn’t anything ground breaking or new in it. But it works well with the music video. There seems to a mature feel to the choreography, as well. It is subtle, but it feels different for the group, especially since fromis_9 has been known for more cutesy and innocent concepts in the past.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Album Review] To. Day (2nd Mini Album) – fromis_9

Fromis_9 Group teaser Image for To. Day

Welcome back to the Past Album Review segment, where I look at an album from an earlier year. Today, I will be focusing on fromis_9’s second mini-album, To. Day, which features the title track, DKDK. The album was released back in June 2018 and did not feature Jang Gyuri as she was participating in Produce 48 at the time. The reason that I chose fromis_9 for an album review this time as it has been some time since we last heard from them (their most recent single was FUN!, which was released back in Summer of last year). Hopefully, we will hear news of a fromis_9 comeback soon. But in the meanwhile, here is an album review to suffice that fromis_9 desire.

To. Day Album Cover
To. Day Album Cover

1. Close To You (다가가고 싶어) – The album opens up with a short track. Not short as like an introductory track like on other albums, but it might be able to pass as one. As there are lyrics (the narration), instrumentals and the song goes for a much longer period than standard introductory tracks, I will be treating it as one. The members narrate some words about falling in love over extremely light and soft instrumentation. Their narration is actually quite sweet-sounding and works well with the soft instrumentation. I did have a read through the English translations, and everything came off as innocent and wholesome, suitable for the cutesy image that the group started off with. My only problem is that the start and end made it feel like a full-fledged song, so I was a little disappointed when there weren’t those usual elements standard to a song (i.e. vocals, melodies, hooks etc.). (5/10)

2. Think Of You (너를 따라, 너에게) – While I do like the pop sound of Think Of You, I find the vocals to not fit as snuggly into the song as I had hoped. Take the first pre-chorus, as an example. They tried to infuse some rapping into the song through a rap-sing delivery. They might have done this for a cute effect, but it just felt uncomfortable in my opinion. The same thing can be said about the bridge. The vocals felt confined or very narrow-minded with that cutesy concept. I felt that they could have thrown in some good high notes then to begin the wrap-up procedures. What I did like were the melodies during the chorus, which felt very Fromis_9-like to me (see their debut track and DKDK, below). I also thought the instrumentation was quite bright and nice, which really helped make the song appealing to me. I just wish the vocals were more refined and polished. (7/10)

3. DKDK (두근두근) (Title Track) – I originally gave this song a 7/10 ranking. Upon reconsideration and the amount of time has passed, I had decided to bump the song up by one ranking. Click here to read the original review for DKDK. (8/10)

4. 22Century Girl (22세기 소녀)22Century Girl feels like your typical KPOP track from a female group, but it leans somewhat away from that label. Firstly, I like the Summery vibes. It is very refreshing and fun listen. The instrumental has a lot of textures going on, thanks to the various sound effects that the producers had inserted. It makes the song interesting and less mundane than other tracks. The chorus surprisingly has fewer effects in comparison to the verses (or they were a lot more subtle to notice), making it sound relatively normal. This helps makes the song feel less noisy, which could have been the descriptor I used if they maintained the use of random textures throughout the chorus. I also like how their vocals help ground the song, yet they sound very bubbly and bright. And such, it makes the song appealing to listen to. (8/10)

5. CloverClover puts the group’s vocals into the limelight. All the members sounded really nice in this song. In particular, I really like the raspy nature of Jisun’s voice at the start of the song. Jisun alone caught my attention (good job Jisun!) and had me listening to the rest of the song. It is a sweet song, with a nice pop instrumental. There is a bit of guitar in the instrumental, alongside the synths that form a fair portion of the instrumental. I like the melodies. While they help create the feel of your typical KPOP track, they also give off a nostalgic feel, reminding me of some songs from earlier in the 2010 decade. And because of this, I will be revisiting the song often as it is now on my playlists. (10/10)

6. First Love – It seems like the song following DKDK on this album are superior, in my point of view, then the songs preceding the title track. First Love has the same effect. It is a strong upbeat number to end the album on a much more positive note than how the album started. Like in the previous song, First Love brings out some nostalgic vibes. I personally feel that this song could have been a dynamic number from APINK. I like how the instrumental has a bit of texture to it, thanks to the guitars. I also like the energy that the group brings to the song, thanks to their vocals and melodies. The hooks were catchy and fun. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.8/10

  • Lee Na Kyung To. Day Teaser Image
  • :ee Chaeyoung To. Day Teaser Image
  • Son Ha Young To. Day Tease Image
  • Lee Sae Ron To. Day Teaser Image
  • Park Ji Won To. Day Teaser Image
  • Lee So Yeon To. Day Teaser Image
  • Baek Ji Heon To. Day Teaser Image
  • Noh Ji Sun To. Day Teaser Image

[Review] FUN! – fromis_9

It is time to get back on the ‘catch-up train’. Making their return last Wednesday, alongside WJSN and BoA (review coming soon!) was fromis_9, with their latest comeback single, FUN! And with a title like that and past fromis_9 songs, you can definitely expect the track to go one particular direction. This is the group’s first comeback since the release of the forever catchy Love Bomb back in October of last year.

I think we can all agree that the track is loaded with colour and energy, which goes hand-in-hand with its title name and the group’s identity. The song is best described as ‘fun and whimsical, which I think are all words that could have described their past title tracks thus far. The chorus stands out for obvious reasons. That downward spiral effect that the chorus has is very unique. And the short ‘Fun’ punchy hooks are very memorable. The vocals were quite nice and I liked them best during the slower pre-choruses. I found it interesting they gave the slight hip-hop twist to the vocal fragment of the second verse, while the rapping continued the momentum from the chorus. Another very unique touch to the song. I think I enjoyed every part of the song. I just felt the instrumental break could have potentially gone that extra length and have been more quirky to be a perfect fit, but it is fine as it is.

I actually think this was a very cool music video. The video is a whole heap of tiny informercials, showcasing a number of familiar brands. But the group puts a spin on each of these brands by incorporating their name. So basically the video introduces us to ‘Funta’, ‘Fromi Sweat’, ‘Bomb Noodles’, Fromis (a play on Adidas) and ‘Funsilk’. Unidentifiable is the green apple drink and I think the only legit company in this video was ‘Clear & Clean’. I also like their ‘NG sequence”. Not sure if it was real bloopers or staged, but it showed the members having an enjoyable time. Overall, a very ‘fun’ music video.

I love how energetic and cutesy the performance is. It is a song that begs for a lot of energy, and the performance serves that energy in a very enjoyable and organised manner. While it does look like a complex routine, I find it amazing how the members don’t look like they went through 3 minutes of cardio and movement.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the second section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best Male and Female Choreography, Best Album and Best Song of 2018.

In addition to the fan-voted categories, I have also included 5 categories that were not fan voted and I had personally selected the winners (or were determined throughout the year). They include Best Special Performance, Best Concept, Best Non-Title Track, Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment and Most Viewed Review of 2018. They are labelled clearly.

Each category (with the exception of the non-fan-voted categories) will have a WINNER (the artist that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.

Best Male Choreography

Nominees – Fake Love (BTS), Tempo (EXO), Lullaby (GOT7), Thanks (Seventeen), Now or Never (SF9), Black Heart (UNB)


WINNER – Thanks (Seventeen)
Honourable Mention – Fake Love (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Lullaby (GOT7)

Best Female Choreography

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), Woman (BoA), I Love You (EXID), Time For The Moon Night (GFriend), Siren (Sunmi), Dance The Night Away (TWICE)


WINNER – Woman (BoA)
Honourable Mentions – Siren (Sunmi) & Dance The Night Away (TWICE)

Best Special Performance

This is not a fan-voted category.


WINNER – Dreams Come True (WJSN) at KCON 2018 Japan

Best Music Video

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), DDU-DU DDU DU (BLACKPINK), Fake Love (BTS), Love Bomb (fromis.9), Really Bad Boy (Red Velvet), Now or Never (SF9), District 9 (Stray Kids), The Chance of Love (TVXQ), Yes or Yes (TWICE), Spring Breeze (Wanna One)


WINNER – Fake Love (BTS)
Honourable Mention – DDU-DU DDU-DU (BLACKPINK)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Fake Love (BTS)

Best Japanese Song Released by a Korean Artist

Nominees – Electric Kiss (EXO), Memoria (GFriend), Chain (NCT 127), Call Call Call (Seventeen), BDZ (TWICE)


WINNER – Electric Kiss (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Call Call Call (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Call Call Call (Seventeen)

Best Collaboration

Nominees – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung), Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon), Dinner (Suho & Jang Jae In), Page 0 (Taeyeon & Melomance), Love It Like It (YDPP)


WINNER – Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon)
Honourable Mention – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love It Like It (YDPP)

Song With Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment

This is not a fan-voted category


WINNER – Heroine (Sunmi) & Bingle Bangle (AOA)
[3 Weeks Each]

Most Viewed Review of 2018

This was not a fan-voted category


WINNER – Boom Boom (Momoland)

Best Concept

This was not a fan-voted category


WINNER – Love Bomb (fromis.9)

Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan-voted category.


WINNER – Dystopia (Cross Gene)

Best Album

Nominees – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS), Don’t Mess With My Tempo (EXO), The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee), Something New (Taeyeon (SNSD)), 1÷x = 1 (Undivided) (Wanna One)


WINNER – The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)

Best Song of 2018

Nominees – All title tracks released from January 2018 to November 2018.
The following song had the highest fan votes in the Best Song of 2018 category. The fan votes in this category will also contribute to 50% of the End Of The Year charts.


WINNER – Good Evening (SHINee)

And that completes the Song Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Artist Categories were previously posted so you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Review] Love Bomb – fromis_9

Apologises for my absence for the past few days. This is my final week of the semester, so test and assignments were everywhere. But now, with that out of the way, let’s have a closer look at Love Bomb which is the new title track from fromis_9, which was released a few days back. This is the group’s first comeback since DKDK. It also features the return of Jang Gyuri, who took a short hiatus from the group to participate in Produce 48.

Since it came out a few days ago, I cannot stop playing the song due to its addictive nature. One of the aspects of the song that I quite liked was the beat I liked how they used the same simple and consistent beat of the verse in the chorus. Just that the producers filled in the gaps between the beats with other instrumentation to give off the impression that it was fast. I love that sudden jump from verse to the chorus which you knew was coming but it still manages to creep up on you. The melodic hook (La La Love Bomb) that begins the chorus was also amazing and it is my favourite part of the song. I love the song’s lively nature, which goes well with the cutesy sound that fromis_9 has associated with them. The song also contained great vocals and rapping. The layering of vocals at the end felt a little too long and excessive in my opinion. But it is one awesome song.

The concept was quite obvious. They would go with the ‘bomb’ concept, which sounds awfully violent at first. But the girls use their youthful and cute charms to turns this into a cutesy concept. The revelation that they were grenades towards the end was rather interesting. I liked the visual effects that they used, which felt fitting for the ‘bomb’ concept. I also like the deep red they used for the video, While they wore red as well, the members managed to stand out, which I thought was cool.

I liked their energy on the stage, which I thought was nice for the upbeat song. I liked the dance for the chorus, which I thought was simple yet complex at the same time. I did expect something a tad more explosive, which would have tied into the ‘bomb’ concept but it is still pretty good.

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

[Review] DKDK – fromis_9

fromis_9 makes their return with DKDK (두근두근 – the sound of a thumping heart). This is fromis_9’s first comeback since To Heart, which was released earlier in the year. The group is currently short one member as Gyuri is now participating in the Produce 48, another survival show (since fromis_9 was formed through the survival reality show, Idol School). 

DKDK stays within the sound that the group has debuted with. It has a cutesy sound that is extremely hard to look down upon. It isn’t overly exaggerated and for that, I am quite grateful. I think we can attribute that to their vocal work, which I think is quite good in the song. Once again, the song suffers from that standardness that I mentioned in the To Heart review. To me, the verses and chorus weren’t that great highlights of the song. It doesn’t make it memorable. On top of that, the song doesn’t really have momentum or any sort of energy that makes it a song that I continually replay. That being said, the song is still listenable. There is one standout moment that does have me coming back. However, it is purely for the ‘Dugeun Dugeun‘ hook right after the chorus. It is unique and extremely catchy. If the rest of the song was as catchy and memorable, I think the track would have been a total hit.

The way the video was shot remind me of LOONA predebut music videos. I assume the same director or producer was used. I think the video simply shows the girls becoming obsessed with cats (which I assume represents their true love). They go to catch one, which happens to be the biggest cat out there. Not sure what to make of the plot other than that simplistic understanding of it. So do share any other theories. Really like the start and the end of the video how the girl (and in the end – the cats) appear one by one, in time with the music. Overall, it was a good video to watch which appeared to complement the cutesy vibes of the song.

The performance is quite lively and energetic, which reflects well with the song. I particuarly like the few seconds at the start once the clapping begns and they were all in sync. I liked how they got into their final formation at the very end of the performance. But I feel like they could have tidied that section up a little bit to make it more appealing visually. Overall, nice performance.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10





[Album Review] To. Heart (1st Mini Album) – fromis_9

Once again, I am delayed with another album review. Fromis_9 made their formal debut with To Heart last month on the 24th of January. They previously made their first appearance on the stage of MAMA in Japan with Glass Shoes and that particular version of their pre-debut song is featured on the album. It is another relatively short review as it is a mini-album but I thought the album had a decent selection of songs that I wanted to write about. So without further ado, here are my comments on Fromis_9’s first mini album.

To. Heart Album Cover

2. To Heart (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for To Heart. (8.2/10)

3. Miracle (환상속의 그대) – The first thing that jumps out at me is the use of the EDM instrumental for such a sweet and cutesy song. Its use here is not overwhelming, allowing for the vocals to be heard clearly. The chorus did feel more pop but that isn’t really an issue. I like the slow down for the ‘dugeun, dugeun‘ (just before the chorus) and the ‘Love Me, Take Me, Kiss Me‘ lines at the start of the song. The only thing that I think would have made the track more memorable is a catchier chorus. This particular song relies heavily on the instrumental for both character and appeal. A more defined and catchy chorus would have made relieved the instrumental of that burden. (7.5/10)

4. Pinocchio (피노키오) – Suiting the title, there is a playful sound to it. The chorus did seem to divert towards a more tropical sound as well, which left me smiling. It actually thought it was a TWICE song before actually remembering whose album I was listening to. The instrumental worked well with the vocals and raps to make the song attention-grabbing. Sadly, I am not that keen on the bridge, as the EDM seemed to come out of nowhere, but it was still listenable. (7.5/10)

5. Be With YouBe With You is your standard pop song, though, for a second I thought they were going with a ballad from the very start. I like the no vocals section of the song and I thought it had a sweet feel to it. For some sections, it reminded me of 90’s KPOP such as Fin.K.LBesides that, there wasn’t anything that special about it. (6.5/10) 

6. Glass Shoes (유리구두) (MAMA version)  – Click here to read the full review for Glass Shoes. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10

To Heart Teaser Image


[Review] To Heart – fromis_9

From another trainee survival program to their first big performance on the stage of the 2017 MAMA Awards held in Japan, fromis_9 has started out big. Now, they are back with their official debut track and mini-album, which both share the same title, To Heart. The MAMA version of their pre-release single, Glass Shoes, is also featured on the album.

To Heart is a decent song but it does suffer from that standardness that I tend to mention when I don’t think the song is that unique. This isn’t a major problem as the song does feel somewhat fresh from its upbeat and bright instrumental. I love the classical feel that the pop instrumental gives off, particularly the violins at the start (which were definitely ear-catching). At certain points, it felt like the song was definitely pulsing or thumping, which creates a really addictive and catchy beat. The vocals were equally as bright and energy filled as their instrumental, which goes hand-in-hand with each other. I do like how the vocals lead into the raps for this song. While it does go over 3 minutes, the song does end up as a blur sometimes, which isn’t another major problem but rather a surprise when the ending appears out of nowhere.  For a debut song, To Heart does the job quite well.

I love how they started with a home video of one of the members playing the violin and this leads perfectly into the song. I like the overall presentation of the music video, reminding me of Lovelyz’s past videos and GFriend’s school concept. But in a way, there is a different level of aesthetics given off in the video with it not being in a box. I actually like their outfits, which seemed to be a little posher and fancy. It is genuinely a great video to watch.

I really like their fist motion that they make during this performances. Looks really cool and could be the next big trend. I also like the ending for their performance as well (when they hold hands). For the most part, the performance was definitely upbeat and energetic like their song, so what more can you ask for?

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

[Review] Glass Shoes – Fromis_9

Fromis_9 isn’t technically a debut but rather a pre-debut single. The 9 member group was formed from the Idol School program, which I didn’t follow at all. However, I did happen to watch their performance at the MAMA in Japan this year and that was definitely a good way of getting exposure for the new group. Naturally, I checked out their song the next day (its actual release date) and that is where we find ourselves.

Hearing for the first time, it was an unexpectedly catchy track. And I was thoroughly impressed with the execution of the song. It was quite colourful, something you don’t get much around this time of the year. The ‘Bingeul Bingeul Bingeul Toc Toc‘ repetition at the start and throughout the song was extremely addictive and catchy. It sounds like your standard pop song overall. But there were some moments throughout the song that made it unique, such as the repetition already mentioned. The song itself felt like it was heavily influenced by the usual JPOP (Japan Pop) sounds. The instrumentation was quite nice, especially the electric guitar. The vocals and raps didn’t seem to be that impressive but the rest of the song made up for it.

The comments regarding the Japanese pop influence can also be said regarding the music video. The widespan shots and the school uniform that the girls wore in the video reminded me of some of the Japanese music videos I have watched previously. It was a nice music video to watch overall. They nailed the cute concept without going overboard. The pastel colours were nice and the golden brown colour light in some of the shots reflected well with the Autumn season.

The choreography was indeed nice but it just didn’t have that memorable factor that I always want to see. Their vocals performance at the MAMA awards were pretty good.

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