[Review] PING PONG – HyunA & DAWN

Based on the current activities of the artists of P Nation, it has to be one of the most progressive entertainment companies in the industry at the moment. The company started off with Psy (who is also the founder of the company) and have signed on some of the industry’s biggest solo acts including JESSI, HyunA and DAWN (the latter being a idol couple and was unfairly kicked out of their previous company once news of the two dating surfaced. More recently, the company has been signing rap artists to their company’s lineup. But it is this particular collaboration between HyunA and DAWN, PING PONG, that really sells the idea of a progressive company for me, particuarly that this type of collaboration is one that many of the biggest KPOP companies at the moment would ever do.

But as groundbreaking as this collaboration sounds in theory, I don’t think PING PONG was the right song for it to be the vehicle. It is a song that overwhelms your senses, with a lot of the elements clashing with one another. PING PONG is described as ‘a moombahton dance track’. However, the brass and international influences we get throughout the song makes it more than ‘a moombahton dance track’. There is also a lot of literal clashing that makes this song heavy-handed. Usually, I would be enjoying these various elements. But when you consider the bigger picture of PING PONG (i.e. the entire song) and HyunA and DAWN’s attempt of being bold, it is a bit much. I will say the clickity-clack during the chorus was one of the better elements within the instrumentation, which I suppose is intended to mimic a bouncing ping pong ball. Though, I wish it wasn’t masked amongst the rest of the instrumentation. Aside from the backing, there are other bold forces attempting to come together in this song. I think the pair handled their solo parts pretty well. The pairing of their solo parts do come together decently and you can get a sense of the chemistry. Though, it isn’t as strong as their side tracks on their mini-album (titled 1+1=1). I am not too sure about their duet moments though, given that there was a lot to get through in order to focus on the pair. Overall, PING PONG just feels a bit much for me and it doesn’t seem like the song is one that I would be going out of my way to go back to.

PING PONG‘s music video takes a page out of the instruction manual that is usually reserved for putting together Hyuna’s most recent music video. ‘Bold’, ‘crazy’ and ‘outrageous’ are all words I would use to describe this particular music video, on top of the usual ‘colourful’ and ‘individual’ descriptors that I would use. Their outfits are quite questionable, as they seem to be the most outrageous element of the video. But hey, somehow everything suits their individual images and aligns with what they usually put out.

Given that they are a couple and knowing how daring Hyuna can be with her performances, I expected this choreography to go into unexplored territory. But we didn’t really get that far. A kiss at the end and on the hand from DAWN are probably what is most controversial about this comeback. That being said, the performance was still cool. And their chemistry is definitely strong.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.7/10

[Album Review] I’m Not Cool (7th Mini Album) – Hyuna

Screenshot of Hyuna's teaser image for her single, I'm Not Cool.

It is time for another album review (I think it has been two weeks since the last one). Today’s album on the reviewing block is Hyuna’s 7th mini-album, I’m Not Cool, which was released way back in January of this year. I believe this is the only album left over from January that I have previously flagged I would review. This album features the title track that shares the same name as the mini-album itself and Hyuna’s 2019 solo release, Flower Shower. In addition to these two tracks, the mini-album also features three other new tracks. The main reason why I am reviewing this particular album (and have continually kept it on the review list) is because I don’t much have much exposure with Hyuna’s discography apart from her title tracks. I wanted to delve into her music a bit more, and this mini-album came just at the right time. Let’s see what I think about Hyuna’s music, away from her iconic singles.

I’m Not Cool Album Cover

1. I’m Not Cool (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of I’m Not Cool. (9/10)

2. Good Girl – Hyuna has shown us that she is a talented with rapping and performance. And she has shown time and time again that she is a good vocalist as well. I feel like Good Girl bundles all of that in a manner that shows the best of Hyuna. Good Girl is a loud song (but in a good way), with a really dynamic and punchy pop instrumentation as the background to this side track. There is a lot of drumming throughout the instrumentation, which was a highlight for me. The brass-like synth breakdown seems to add some flair and tops that loudness aspect of the instrumental. Her vocals were mostly nice, with the pre-chorus and bridge emphasizing the potential behind her vocal side. I do have to say that the chorus felt a bit shouty, which does have some drawbacks. But it felt necessary give the boldness and loudness of the song. (8/10)

3. Show WindowShow Window is much different to the two preceding tracks. It is toned back quite a bit. This allows the song to come off as quite nice, especially if you find the preceding tracks to be overwhelming (alone or in combination with each other). Show Window falls into the R&B genre and focuses more on vocal delivery than anything else. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything special about the song. It is decent and likeable, but it isn’t my recommended song that everyone should listen to. Still, if you like something downtempo and paced, Show Window would be a great option for you. (7/10)

4. Party, Feel, Love (ft. Dawn) – It seems like Hyuna and Dawn is a package that we will be seeing often in music releases. Last year, we heard references of Hyuna in Dawn’s solo comeback song. In this album’s title track, we heard references to Dawn. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not complaining. It is interesting to hear a couple collaborate with one another in this industry, especially is if there is chemistry between the pair in their music, such as Party, Feel, Love. Heading into the song for the first time, I was expecting a song with wilder energy and replicating a party vibe. But Party, Feel, Love is a rather slow R&B track, feeling chic and sensual at the same time. Very different to what I had expected. The pair sound mature and captivating with their vocal work, as well. It is my personal favourite side track on this album and I would love to hear more from the couple in the future. (9/10)

5. Flower ShowerClick here to read the full review of Flower Shower. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

I’m Not Cool Teaser Image

[Review] I’m Not Cool – Hyuna

Next up on day one of the two day Solo Day segment that I just literally named today is Hyuna! It has been a long while since we have last heard from this solo superstar. Hyuna’s last appearance on the blog was back in her Flower Shower days, which was from 2019. She was meant to make a comeback in 2020, but it was postponed for health reasons. Now that she is feeling better, her comeback was confirmed earlier in the month for today. Both the title of the new main promotional track and seventh mini-album is I’m Not Cool, which I am sure fans are completely disagreeing with.

I’m Not Cool is ironically quite a cool track. It is definitely a return to form for Hyuna, who we all know to be a sexy female solo act. In retrospect, Flower Shower was a really great track, but it did noticeably lack that flair we all know Hyuna for. It started off with a bit of a Middle Eastern flair thanks to the moombahton in the instrumentation. At first, I wasn’t too sure if it was that international influence because of the slight distortion. But the bridge of the song confirmed it for me. I’m Not Cool comes right at you right after that introductory sequence with its energetic enthuasism, which is thanks to Hyuna. It literally launches you right into the song. The moombahton comes back in the chorus in a more concentrated form, allowing us to get Hyuna alongside a more amplifed tone. I really like the energy in this portion of the song. Obviously it has to be quite memorable given it is the centrepiece of the song. But at the same time, it just really jumps out at you. Hyuna is actually quite catchy in this sequence, with her ‘I’m not … Cliche, that so funny‘ being a highlight for me. For the second verse, we get more of Hyuna rapping. I am not sure if it is intentional, but the shoutout to Dawn (her boyfriend) is quite cute (and well mixed in the song). Skipping along to the end of the song, I really like the anthem-like nature of the ending. It just wraps up the song really nicely and makes it feel complete. Overall, Hyuna’s I’m Not Cool is really powerful and bold song.

I really like that Hyuna went with a powerful and bond concept for the music video, which matches with the lyrics of the song and transcribes the vibes of the song into a fitting visual concept. I feel that the music video pushes the boundaries just that bit more, which we all know Hyuna has done in the past through her solo comebacks. I really love the use of colour throughout the video. For example, the dominance of one colour in some of the sets. Her outfits are quite outrageous, but not in a bad way. I have seen bad fashion choices in the past in KPOP music videos. But Hyuna’s random mis-matching outfits look like they were well curated for this cncept. They are a style that works just for her. I also really like how edgy her mannerisms for this music video are, adding to that boldness once again.

The fast upbeat tempo of the chorus really allows Hyuna to show her performance skills. I really enjoyed that part of the choreography as it felt like there was so much going on. Her entire routine was definitely bold and powerful, further adding to the visual interpretation of the song. I also really like how much she enjoyed herself in this routine, which comes thanks to the creative licence that she is able to take outside of her old company. Her facial expressions are defintiely something to watch out for.

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

[Special] My Favourite Performances from the 2019 End Of Year Music Festivals

At the end of each year, the three major broadcasting companies in South Korea (SBS, KBS and MBC) organises and broadcast a very fruitful and dynamic music festival, bringing together the top KPOP acts of the year. 2019 is no exception and with a year as busy as 2019, it is often quite hard to get invited to these festivals. And with each show running for a couple of hours, different stages/performances/remixes of the year’s hits and one-of-a-kind collaborations, it is often hard to keep up with these festivals. Today, I have decided to organise a list of performances from each of these three festivals that I thought were excellent, different and worthwhile in checking out. I have done this before but over the years dropped it as I had very little time. Now that I have some time on my hand, I thought I return to this segment for the 2019 festivals.

SBS Gayo Daejun – 25th of December 2019

When we talk about the SBS Music Festival, we need to address the issue of safety. After all, it costed Red Velvet full group promotions for their Psycho comeback, due to injuries sustained by Wendy due to the unsafe nature of SBS stage. We did manage to get one full lineup of the group performing Psycho on stage as it was pre-recorded. because of that, I put Red Velvet’s Psycho performance on my list of favourite performances from that day. Other performers also had falls on the SBS stage, from what I remember reading. Other stages at stood out for me were:

  • Stray Kid’s Miroh – I did not know how Stray Kids could top Miroh’s intensity by rearranging the performance to be even more intense.
  • NCT Dream’s Boom & NCT 127’s Superhuman – Both tracks had a really cool dance addition to it. On top of that, we got to see the same ‘switching of jackets’ that Mark did at the 2018 SBS Music Festival between Dream and 127’s performance. Only this time, it was Haechan!
  • Oh My Girl’s Bungee (X-mas Version) – Always good to have a X-mas themed remix on Christmas Day. It made Bungee, an already vibrant and colourful track, more suitable for the season.
  • Mamamoo’s Gogobebe – The rock remix for this performance was superb.
  • Seventeen’s Home and Snapshoot – We got to see a warmer side of the group and the more joyful side, especially after all the darkness we got from HIT and Fear.
  • TWICE’s Medley of Tracks – I really liked the band element to their performance and how they tweaked the concept for Fancy and their more light hearted tracks. I just wished the band was DAY6 (where is DAY6 in all of these festivals), which would have made the performance even more worthy of a view.
  • BTS’s Dionysus – I have always been a fan of BTS’s darker side. This performance is a return this side, which I greatly appreciate.

KBS Gayo Daechukje – 27th December 2019

I personally did not have much interest in the KBS Music Festival as I thought the stage looked really bad and the camera work wasn’t the best. This wasn’t also the only problem that occurred that same night. APINK’s %% performance was cut short, disappointing fans, APINK and viewers in general. If I were to choose one standout stage, it would have Golden Child’s Wannabe stage. Their dance intro was very good and showed off intensity that was aligned with their new look/concept. And I really liked how smooth the transition between dance intro and actual song was. Only a few toehr performances caught my attention and they include:

  • Song Gain’s Introductory song – Song Gain, for those who don’t know is a trot singer that trended this year. For Song Gain’s performance, she managed to incorporate all artists into her song, which I think would be a challenge.
  • NU’EST Love Me – It wasn’t so much their choreography or song that caught my attention. But I thought the raised stages for the end really highlighted the good parts of their overall choreography, providing what could be said as an epic end to their stage.
  • ASTRO’s All Night + Blue Flame – I was waiting for ASTRO to do All Night in some capacity during these festivals. But with Moonbin out of action, it seems like the group would opt for the 5-member Blue Flame instead. So automatically, ASTRO’s stage for All Night alone would make this list. Blue Flame ended up being very epic as well, which is why their entire segment is on this list.
  • Oh Ha Young, Joy and Yerin Mr. Mr. collaboration – I haven’t heard this song for some time now and I really enjoyed this throwback. Also surprised that they covered the entire song, which usually isn’t the case.

MBC Gayo Daejejeon – 31st December 2019

MBC’s Music Festival is one to always watch. Their stages always have a look that shows that they have been planning for a while. The collaborations for this festival are always something to talk about. And why not watch it live as the year goes out! There is nothing like ending 2019 and start 2020 with KPOP! However, the MBC Music Festival was also plagued with an early termination issue. This time around the victim was Kim Jae Hwan, who only got to perform Nuna (he should have performed The Time I Need as well. For standout performance, I am putting down ASTRO and Oh My Girl’s creepy and jazzy cover of IU’s Red Shoes. It was different and colourful. Other stages to check out:

  • Stray Kid’s Side Effects – Another intense song that they managed to upgrade and make darker. The creative minds that put together these stages for Stray Kids are killing it (and need a pay rise instantly).
  • Seventeen & Mamamoo Collaboration – Two of my favourite groups have come together to form one dream team. And this was such an amazing stage.
  • Seventeen’s HIT – Mingyu shouldn’t be playing with fire. It is dangerous. But one epic opener to the stage. Also, somehow Seventeen managed to insert a dance break in the midst of the stage, which I think earns a mention at the very least.
  • Hyuna’s Flower Shower – Her choreography is essentially the same as the one she performed in the past. But the chorus instrumental is changed slightly, which I thought made the stage a lot cooler for the end of year festival.
  • Taemin’s Move & Famous – MBC’s Music Festival had a theme, The Chemistry. And you can’t have a theme about Chemistry without Taemin. While he didn’t do anything special to Move‘s stage, his dance alone is already 100% fitting for a ‘Chemistry’ themed music festival.
  • (G)i-DLE’s Lion – Another reason to why we need to look out for this girl group is their special stages. Lion is practically a game changer for the group.
  • Lovelyz’s Beautiful Day – I really like their ballad start to their stage and how they built it back up to the original song in an effortless manner.

[Review] Flower Shower – Hyuna

One of the most unjust news of 2018 was the termination of Hyuna and Dawn’s (formerly E’Dawn) contracts under Cube Entertainment for dating each other. This caused the start of a long hiatus for both artists. The pair ended up signing with Psy’s new company, P-NATION and returned as solo artists on the same day (yesterday). Today, I will be focusing on Hyuna’s latest solo single, Flower Shower, and I will be reviewing Dawn’s tomorrow. Flower Shower is her first solo track since the release of Lip & Hip in 2017.

Comparing Flower Shower to any of her Cube solo hits and you can clearly see that Hyuna has gone with a completely different sound. And I like this new change in direction. To put it into words, her new solo track has been stripped over any overwhelming synths and allowed to present in a more ‘bare’ form. It is definitely refreshing in an industry now inundated with tracks that rely a lot on synths. There is also a playful vibe in the song, which I have never really gotten from Hyuna’s tracks before. Flower Shower really gives her an opportunity to focus on her vocals and rapping, which I think were nice aspects. The chorus was really catchy, with the scratchy flute keyed into my memory after just a few listens. This trend of an instrumental-only (or lyric minimal) chorus is heavily used by almost every artist, so it is a little tiring. But Hyuna makes it work really well in this song. With a great song like this added to her discography, all I can say is welcome back to Hyuna!

I thought this was a really beautiful video, fitting for someone as beautiful as Hyuna. For once, it doesn’t feel like Hyuna is over-sexualised. I think I have mentioned before in one of her reviews that I am not too troubled about the sexual nature of her videos (and thought it was tame compared to Western media). But not once did that thought come across my mind. Instead, that playful vibe that I mentioned in the song review part was present. That or her beauty was highlighted in an elegant manner. I thought the pale colour palette was particularly nice in this video, along with the obviously artificial sets.

Looking at her dresses in this music video and what she is potentially wearing on the stage (based on the performance videos already released), that sexualising concept has definitely been trashed by Hyuna. As for the choreography, I thought it was nice. Not impressively, like most of the recent routines I have observed in the past few weeks. I did enjoy the chorus and thought it looked really dynamic.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10


[Review] Lip & Hip – Hyuna

Hyuna is back with her latest comeback, Lip & Hip. This is her second solo comeback this year, with the first being Babe, released back in August. Overall, it is her third comeback of the year due to her promotions as part of Triple H. While her newest track was released today, she made their comeback performance at the MelOn Music Awards (MMA), which occurred on Saturday.

I was quite happy with the outcome of Babe when it was released and it seems like Lip & Hip just shows how Hyuna is on a roll. I thoroughly enjoyed the track when I first heard in at the MMA. The track felt like it was quite in your face, which goes well with her overall concept. I usually do have something negative to say regarding her raps or vocals. But I felt like she did a really good job with the song. I love the pre-chorus of the song, the build-up providing the perfect level of suspense. The track itself is quite catchy, with the post-chorus ringing inside your head. The only part that I am having second thoughts is the bridge of the song. It gives off an exotic feel, which I can see fitting the rest of the song, but it just cuts the flow of the highly energetic song. However, great song.

A part of me feels thoroughly confused how this particular music video managed to only get a 15+ rating. Knowing how strict the system is in South Korea (through the amount of unnecessary bans that has been slapped onto some of the more subtle videos), I thought some scenes in this video (i.e. Hyuna putting her skirt on, Hyuna pulling her shirt down to reveal her cleavage) would earn the notorious 19+ rating. But I must say, it didn’t feel excessive one bit, despite it looking like it is her most extreme video yet. It also seems to send a message to everyone to be confident with how they look. I got that from some of the scenes (such as the ones already mentioned + the scene where she rips off her braces).

The performance was quite good. The choreography was something that you would expect from Hyuna and only Hyuna.

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

[Review] Babe – Hyuna

Hyuna, the queen of Summer, has finally made her official comeback to the stage. This is her first promotional run as part of Triple H, he collaboration with Hui and E-Dawn of Pentagon. Babe is the lead title track on her 6th mini album, which is titled as Following.

Babe is a completely different style that Hyuna has never gone for. And that is a relief as some of her music does get a little unimaginative after a while. Right off the first second, you could tell an aesthetically pleasing song is in our midst and she delivers with just that. The song has American influence as its sounds feel like it would work in the U.S. The instrumental is interesting. It isn’t as upbeat as her previous songs but there is a nice variety of sound and synths within it. To me, Hyuna has never been a great vocalist, but she can sing. Babe seems to be her best effort yet as it focuses more on her vocal abilities rather than her raps. She could work on her pronunciation a tad bit because it took a while for me to understand what she was actually singing. And while her Babe hook seems to be catchy now, I am quite sure that repetitive listens could turn it into an annoying sound. The only thing that plays against the song is the ending. It just didn’t feel like the right ending for such a unique song. To wrap up, I like it.

Once again that pale filter is used once again and the same dull effect is brought on. It probably contributed to the appalling blue/green screen usage. However, I am glad that they left that for a while and went with something that felt more natural (i.e. no bad green/blue screens). It is definitely not her flashiest video in her career, but the sexiness she shows in the video is subtle and not in your face. And I like that quite a bit.

Her sexiness is more dominant in the performance. There is no doubt about it. But it seems to be the weakest out of all her dances that I have enjoyed, to date. But it is still nice to watch.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8/10


[Review] 365 Fresh – Triple H

Cube Entertainment unveiled a new subunit comprising of its artists recently, with the group being named as Triple H. The group consist of former 4Minute member Hyuna and Pentagon members Hui and E-Dawn (whose real name is Kim Hyo Jong). 365 Fresh is the title track off the subunit’s first mini album, which is titled as 199X. This is the second subunit formed between labelmates at Cube Entertainment, the other being Trouble Maker, comprising of Hyuna and Hyunseung.

365 Fresh is a really cool song. From the start, its upbeat and fresh sound really does stand out. The song delves into the Funk genre. It actually reminds me of songs that Bruno Mars put out, such as Uptown Funk. And like Uptown Funk, it makes me want to get up just dance to it. The catchy “365 So Fresh” that they repeat throughout the song does the job really well and make the song quite memorable. The vocals and the raps are both superb aspects in this song. I would love to hear a little more from Hyuna in the song. She was there but compared to the guys, her part didn’t shine as much. As for the guys, they did a pretty good job with their raps and vocal work. Together, all 3 members came together and showed a dynamic sound that could potentially rival the dynamics that were brought out to play when Trouble Maker released their songs.

Once again, Cube has put out a music video that was slapped with another 19+ rating. And given the scenes in the video, I am quite sure that the Korean netizens are criticising the video left, right and centre. Onto the plot. Hyuna is a hairdresser, but in the video, she is inappropriately touched by the customer. She protects herself from the customer and ends up killing him. Hui seems to be on the run from a gang. E-Dawn attempts to suicide a few times in the video, but (not too sure here) changes his minds. All three somehow meet on the road and end up escaping their currently lives. Hui actually stole a car and coincidently there is bucket loads of money in the boot of the car, so the three of them live new lives in style. There seemed to be a little bit of tension as Hyuna and E-Dawn seem to fall in love, while Hui third-wheels. In the end, after too much partying, they end up jumping off a building, most likely leading to their deaths. I like the video for its storyline and appeal. That being said, I do not condone violence, drug use, suicide or other themes that appeared in the video.

[UPDATED] While it may not be the usual sexy style that we expect and see from Hyuna, the choreography for 365 Fresh is extremely flirty and works well with the song. Even between the trio, there is some sort of chemistry that can’t really be described, but should rather be witnessed. The guys have big shoes to fill, especially given the portfolio of Hyuna and her choreographies, but the guys fit in wonderful, with the funky dance routine.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10 [UPDATED]
Overall Rating – 9/10 [UPDATED]


[Review] How’s This – Hyuna

Hyuna has returned for the first time since her former group, 4MINUTE, parted ways. Hyuna was the only member to remain under Cube Entertainment. Hyuna has a remarkable solo portfolio, so we shouldn’t be alarm. As Hyuna has already demonstrated by topping charts, Hyuna has a long road in front of her that is full of success and popularity. That was so cheesy. I am just going to have to go on with the review now.

I like the song. As soon as the song started, I started enjoying it. Dancing in my chair here and head bopping over there. It is just a great dance/club song. While I do find Hyuna’s voice in some parts this song somewhat whiney in the song, I let that go. The verses showed her as a great vocalist and I thought it brought out her voice very well (the chorus and start, I am not fond of). Also have a smashing instrumental. Definitely a club vibe and fitting for the season. However, everything was great up until that ending. It changed up the song a little too much for and it ruined the song for me. It sounded like moans you would here in a horror movie, rather than a club scene song. I also felt like there could have been a faster rap sequence in the song. It would have amped the song up a little more. Overall, (and I repeat) I do like the song. Just not the ending.

I am a little disappointed with the music video. The music exhibits a power club vibe, which the song has. Check. Club means dancing, alcohol, people. Check. Throw in a person in the spotlight (i.e. Hyuna) and focus the cameras on her. Check. Also sneak in a few extra shots of the crowd and them going wild. Check. Throw in some solo shots. Check. And then throw in a scene of the girls (plus Hyuna) in the bathroom, while this couple is making out. Check… You see, the video is pretty ordinary (even the club vibe) and that ending was a little awkward (plus random). It is another video where what you get is what you get, regardless of any other ideas. You can’t really deviate from what I mentioned above or run the risk of ruining the video. Just a couple making out (which I understand is completely normal) really makes me question the rest of the video. Once again, I was fine up til there… So….

Dance wise, I thought it was okay. Not amazing. Not too boring to make me avoid or not want to watch it. Twerking used to be focussed on the butt, but now, it seems like you can twerk from the front as well. (And this is where in my head a question pops up “where is this going?”). It just looked a little too repetitive. You can only twerk so many times in one performance and make it look like you just did it for the first time.

Final Rating – 5.5/10

Recap of MAMA 2015 and Thoughts

Did you forget about the MAMA awards held by MNET in 2015? Or are we all trying to forget it for its bias and unfair system? Well, don’t fret, I am here to remind you of the disappointment or joy that you felt.

The MNET Asian Music Awards (or MAMA) was held on the 2nd of December in… Hong Kong. Again. Voting for the awards began in October of the same year and I thought there was a fair range of nominees and the committee selected a variety if talents for each award.

The following artists attended and performed at the awards ceremony: Taeyeon (SNSD), GOT7, BTS, Hyuna (4 minute), Park Ji Young, Seventeen, Monsta X, F(x), SHINEE, EXO, Big Bang, iKON, Zion.T, Crush, Sane. 2NE1 & Psy. Pet Shop Boys were invited as special guest performers on the night. Red Velvet, Twice, Tiffany and Seohyun from SNSD also attended by did not perform.

I have recapped the winners below. I shall give some comments afterwards regarding the winners.
Best New Male Artist – iKON.
Best New Female Artist – Twice.
Best Male Vocal Performance – Zion.T (Eat)
Best Female Vocal Performance – Ailee (Mind Your Business)
Best Male Dance Performance – SHINee (View).
Best Female Dance Performance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Solo Dance Performance – Hyuna (Roll Deep).
Best Collaboration / Subunit – Zion.T & Crush (Just)
Best Rap Performance – Sane (Me You)
Best Band Performance – CN BLUE (Cinderella)
Best Male Group – EXO
Best Female Group – SNSD
Best Male Artist – Park Jin Young
Best Female Artist – Taeyeon
Best Music Video – Bang Bang Bang
Best Album (Album of the Year) – EXODUS
Best Song (Song Of The Year) – Bang Bang Bang
Best Artist (Artist Of The Year) – Big Bang

Best New Male Artist is probably the category that has me shaking my head the most. iKON is slowly showing their capability, but I feel like Seventeen is already two steps ahead of them and deserve the award more. Best Female Vocal Performance should have gone to Taeyeon and Taeyeon should have received 2 awards that night. Not dissing Ailee, but it wasn’t her best song or vocal performance. Best Music Video should have also gone to F(x). Best Male Dance Performance is an iffy category for me. SHINee did have a great dance, but sadly, I felt that BTS was missing out due to the lack of nomination in that category. Big Bang took out most of the awards, but I don’t think it matters. Big Bang dominated summer in South Korea last year with their continuous releases and had one of the most popular songs of the year (according to download and streaming charts). JYP’s award caught me a little off guard but I guess out of all the nominees, he had a good song. Besides the categories I mentioned, I think the awards were “fair”. Okay maybe not, but who MAMA awarded that night, I mostly agree with (given the nominees).

But wait, there were a few more awards that were given out that night:
Worldwide Favourite Artist – Big Bang
Global Fan’s Choice Male Artist – EXO
Global Fan’s Choice Female Artist – F(x)
Best World Performers – BTS
Next Generation Asian Artist – Monsta X
Best Asian Style – EXO
Worldwide Inspiration Award – Pet Shop Boys
There were also other awards which were awarded to artists from other countries as Best Asian Artist. Best Engineer, Best Live Entertainment and Best Producer awards were also given to 3 people for each award from different countries.

Out of these awards, I am a little confused with the Best Asian Style award. Out of all that walked the red carpet, I was shocked when EXO came along. Also, Pet Shop Boys. I am with majority of people who have never heard of the band before.

Per usual, there were many different performances on the night. The show opened up with Taeyeon’s I, which I thought was a really beautiful stage. She sounded flawlessly on the stage. BTS made their comeback on the night and collaborated with GOT7, who also performed If You Do. JYP had a special stage which probably scarred both GOT7 and Twice and he went a little wild towards the end of his performance. iKON performed a medley of their songs. Monsta X and Seventeen collaborated, while F(x) and Pet Shop Boys joined hands together. We also saw Sane perform with Hyuna and Jessi. Also a stage with both Show Me The Money contestants and Unpretty Rapstar. EXO, SHINee, Big Bang each had their stages with multiple songs and got the audience really hyped up. Psy also made his comeback and performed alongside with his new songs, Gangnam Style. Probably the most talk that night was 2NE1’s performance which caught everyone off guard. It was nice to see them, but whether it was appropriate is just another topic all together.

Out of all the stages, I thought Taeyeon had the most beautiful stage. For the dance aspect, Seventeen and Monsta X’s performance was really well polished and amazing.

Overall, I thought the night was worth it. It may seem like YG has a lot of influence over the MAMA awards and that is probably true. But whether it is right or not, is another discussion in its self. Just regarding the invitations to the awards, it did seem like someone did forget to invite people. Some stages seem like they could have used a little more attention to give it that grand feel that the MAMA awards is meant to uphold, like in previous years. But overall, I thought the night was pretty good. Wait… Did I just repeat the first sentence of this paragraph? Guess I am going to call it a day now. Hope you enjoyed my recap!

Hate – 4Minute

4Minute has returned to the stage after nearly a whole year’s absence from the stage. Last time they were on the stage together, they were promoting Crazy. Still continuing their hip hop concept, the girls have gone for a more edgier concept with Hate.

This song was produced with Shrillex, which had me wondering how he would go about producing a song in Korean for these girls, and he does a fine job. The song sounded odd at first, but the song does really grow on you. The song starts off with Gayoon’s ballad like part (which had an eerie sound with it), and then starts moving into Hyuna’s, Jihyun’s and Sohyun’s part. But as we progress through the song, it starts building up and gets us to the edge of the our seat. Jiyoon’s part was after the main chorus, but the way the song flowed between the chorus and her part was flawless. I am happy with the better line distribution in this song. Everyone had an even spread of the lines. The chorus sounds really funky and honestly has a nice ring to it. Though it does seem like the type get annoying after a few weeks (check back on me for that one), I feel like the chorus expresses their anger and power quite well. Put the song together, it just does not have the same level of rhythm as Crazy did. The song seemed a little disjointed at some parts, but manage to still come together pretty well.

The music video did a pretty good job. I described Gayoon’s part as eerie and ballad like, and in the video we got just that. As the parts started to build up, we got more parts in the video that matched the build up. From Gayoon’s mysterious wedding dress part, to Sohyun’s hip movement part. I think the video does a great portrayal of the song’s part. As for Jiyoon’s part, she looks good in leather but reminds me of bondage for some reason. Hmmm… The redness in the video gives the video that really bold look and as we go through the video, more emphasis was placed on the colour. Just the chorus parts in the video, they were quite underwhelming. Love how artistic everything looked around the chorus, but the chorus where they were wearing trackies and jeans really disappointed me. The chorus could have been done like in Crazy, but instead, what we got looked like a low budget video. It just was not up to par with the rest of the video.

A little more torn about the dance. It could have been a better dance, but I feel like it kind of does fit in. It has that hip hop vibe going through it and even if I disagree with the dance, I can’t think of anything better to fill in the gaps that I disagree with. But that level of power I have been going on about in this review is there in the dance.

Overall, I think it is a very bold comeback. I don’t think any other words could describe it except for “bold”. 7.5/10

Roll Deep – Hyuna (4Minute) ft. Jung Ilhoon (BTOB)

Hyuna’s back. Now sing it like how she sings it in Red. Hahaha… The sexy soloist is back with a brand new mini album. This time she has enlisted more people to help her with their mini album. Her title track features Jung Ilhoon, the rapper from BTOB. Now her group is rumoured to be having a comeback sometime towards the end of the year. They made their last comeback in February, with the really popular and successful Crazy. But let’s focus on the rapper of the group. She has taken sexy to a whole new level this time around.

There are always a few things that annoys me when I listen to Hyuna’s song. The first is that she is a rapper and her singing is not the best. To be honest, it is whiny and really disappointing to listen to. However, this track seems to prove me wrong. Her voice, to me, has been manipulated in a way that allows her to take advantage of it. I don’t think her vocals in this song is at all whiny nor terrible. Sure they can use some work, but damn, her vocals fit in this song really well. Would people described this as “dirty” dubstep or electro? Cause that is what I think I would catergorise it. Is it even a genre? I don’t even know. Her English needs a little bit of work. Sometime I hear “You Can Touch Me” instead of “You can’t touch me”. Ilhoon’s rap is pretty good in this song. It is quite short, but after all he is featuring in this track and not forming some kind of subunit. The song is catchy and addictive. It is a pity that it is not ranking high on the charts.

As for the music video, wow. Hyuna has gotten a little… kinky. Whips and different outfits (even the leashes) all point to some sort of kinky concept. Though I do think it suits her, maybe for this video, it is going a little over board. There is one outfit/scene that need to be removed from this video.  Hyuna’s money bathing suit. It looks bad. It doesn’t suit her. Nor does the set of money decorating the table. As for Ilhoon, I want to talk to the stylist or director. If you need tattoos like that to look cool and sexy, there is obviously something wrong. I don’t mind one or two tattoos. But as soon as I see them over the body, there is some rethinking that needs to occur. The rest of Ilhoon’s appearance though, they can be removed. While I don’t mind him, the things he do draws attention way from Hyuna.  But beside all of those minor complaints, I think this video is pretty good. The lighting and sets highlight the concept further and brings a lot of attention to her.

I do hope 4Minute is not recycling their dance moves. There is one dance move that I saw in Crazy, that occurs here. Not saying she or 4Minute owns the dance move, but really? I’m talking about her “head down, butt in the air” shaking move. Actually, while the dance break fits the song, I think it would draw more criticisms than compliments for this video. But the dance, once again, does a pretty good job at highlighting the extent that the “sexy concept” has been brought up for this comeback.

Sexy enough? I probably think so. It is a solid comeback. Minor complaints here and there, but I just want to know why it is doing poorly on the charts! 7.5/10.

Crazy – 4Minute

4Minute is officially back with their sixth mini album, titled as Crazy. Their title song, which happens to have the same title as their mini album. They released their other song, Cold Rain, back in late January and will be launching their promotions this week for the new mini album. This time around, the group has gone for a hip hop concept, rather than their past retro or pop sounding songs.

Okay, part of me likes the song. Another part of me thinks this song is not so good. I just love it how they have gone for that hip hop concept with this song. It has this fierce feel to it which sounds really empowering and strong. The vocals and rap by the members do just that. I can definitely imagine this song at a club. Actually, it will be a really big club song. But as I said, what happened to the 4Minute we know of? The one with disco feels and poppish roots? Even though the chorus sounds amazing, I really can’t help but point out the odd instrumental. Though, it probably some country’s national instrument, it really feels disconnect to the rest of the song. I guess this song has a better line distribution overall, compared to Cold Rain. Just Jihyun gets only one part, but that part seems quite long, so I guess that makes up for it.

I freaking love this music video. It just ticks off the check box for best music video. I really love the set. Well, the main one is the one I am talking about. But when they do the 360 camera (kind of), to show that it is just one big, white room, just blew my mind. The black room feels more compact and suffocating compared to the white room. The close up of butts and private parts were really not needed in this video. I love how they used the black and white filter once again, but on top of that isolated one colour from the whole screen, like Jiyoon’s hair and Sohyun’s red socks. Talking about hair, Jiyoon rocks the green hair.

As for the dance, I thought it matched the song very well. It seems powerful and also “straight to the point”. Twerking nowadays seems quite cliché.

Overall, this is a really big change for the band. But either way, it is still good (even though I have some doubts). 9/10

Cold Rain – 4Minute

4Minute is making their comeback in a few more days. But to kick off promotions and to get fans wanting more, the band released a pre-release. The pre-release comes in a form of a ballad, which is a first for the band, who are known for their pop songs. They have been releasing teasers for their upcoming release, which actually looks like the girls are not going to be holding back and will be attempting something along the lines of a hip hop track and showing off their fierce women vibes. Until then, this is their newest release.

This is a nice ballad. Though, I honestly don’t think this is something that the band should re-attempt. It is not bad. Don’t misunderstand me. But honestly, this feels very disconnected to the 4Minute that we know of. Even though they are attempting something different, I feel like they won’t be as successful with such a song. Another thing we must address, this song is so focused on Gayoon and Jiyoon, that I feel like the other members had no parts at the start, so the writers just wrote something up and added it to the song. Maybe I am exaggerating it, but I get that feel when Sohyun comes on. The line distribution is basically 60% Gayoon, 20% Jiyoon, 5% Jihyun, 10% Hyuna and 5% Sohyun. It just frustrates me. But anyway, this song was nice. It did have that really sad emotion pouring out of it. I liked Gayoon’s vocals at the very start. The way she sang gave the song a very nice kick to it.

Once again, people are going off at how a band is copying another band. “4Minute is copying 2NE1 this time around for their music video“. Seriously? There are a few things that I want to say to these fans. a) 2NE1 did not MAKE this idea. Why don’t we start asking why 2NE1 copied over ballad singers for Missing You? Look 2NE1 sat down on a chair, why don’t we say that 2NE1 copied Davichi who also sat on a chair to sing their ballad? b) 4Minute videos actually has very a sadder touch to it. 2NE1’s video had a dancer dancing to the song, while in this video we don’t have a dancer at all. In this 4Minute video, we see the girls stand behind a glass window and have water come down it. Why are some fans so stupid? I Just… urghhhh…

Okay, recap. I think this music video is much sadder. I love the use of “rain” in this music video. It made the song have more emotion and gave a deeper meaning to the song. The fact that the environment seems cold and distant from warmth, really brings out the sad nature of the song. I love the use of the “water down the window”. It gave the girls a more dramatic look. The start where Gayoon rips the letter, gives it some sort of eerie feel when I first watched it. Overall, I thought the video did a good job at channelling the emotion of the song.

Nice ballad (could work a lot more on line distribution for any future song), nice video (fans should not be too sensitive. Cause it makes me frustrated to know that there are such people in the wordld). Not 100% sure if 4Minute should do this style again though. 8/10

Red – Hyuna (4Minute)

Hyuna, the rapper from 4Minute, who has been known for her many solo songs and being a part of the sexy duo Trouble Maker. Songs such as Ice Cream and Bubble Pop have illustrated that Hyuna is able to cope and also be a very successful solo artist ( that is if she ever decides to part ways with her group, which she stated that she liked to be a part of more than being solo).  Her band, itself recently made their comeback with Whatcha Doing Today? and now she is back to prove she got what it takes. She has already earned her first award for her new song Red and probably be able to grab even more.

This song is okay. It is not memorable or is it the best song out there to listen to, but it really feels quite personalised and well polished. For those who don’t know, I am not a fan of Hyuna’s rapping, which I describe as whiny sounding and just not my “cup of tea”. However, despite all of that, I like the catchiness of the song. It is very unique and quite different to other songs. Her voice when she is singing sounds really amazing. The irony is: I don’t think her rapping is that great. Sure she can rap, but it just not that much powerful compared to other rappers who do a really good job. I did like the catchy bits such as her vocal parts and the instrumental of the song is quite good. I think the chorus was pretty good as well. Though I can’t really tell whether she is singing or rapping. One more thing before we move on, but I really don’t like how the song changes from fast pace to a very slow pace in a matter of seconds for the bridge. Surely, she could have eased, but the transition seemed so rush, I was very disappointed. It is an okay song to listen to, just to me, it is not that great.

The music video is going to be quite interesting. Need to be my immature self and say “BOOOOOBS”. For the girls though, you can stare at boobs or abs. You have a choice. Cause I am strangely distracted by that big banana and why Hyuna is sitting on it (no pun intended). The amount of sexual references in this music video is just really extraordinary. being the immature self, I decided to count how many times I thought dirty. Here we go. 21 different times. Wow. Well. I think that shows you a lot about me. Anyway. At least this video did something right and included numerous objects and clothing and styles that involved with the colour red. Another thing, but why is she not getting sued? Like seriously? Not that I want her to get sued, just is very obvious she is making very obvious references in the music video. Gorilla on a disco ball – Miley Cyrus on her Wrecking Ball. Hyuna in bunny ears – quite similar (more like identical) to the Play Boy symbol.

The dance is pretty cool. She flaunts her body (which is why she is so popular. Please don’t say you don’t find her body attractive and that you only listen to her voice only. You lie. I can tell. All people (especially guys) ends up staring at her body). But I think is a good mashup of that tribal concept that she is going for and also a modern twist (with the twerking. I cannot believed I approved of twerking).

6/10. Think I am being too nice here, but hey, she has a good body and she managed to get me hooked. Usually I am not a fan of Hyuna myself, but something about this comeback is pretty good.

Whatcha Doin’ Today? – 4Minute

Source: http://www.kofan.com/fr/files/2014/03/4minute-Watcha-Doin-Today-MV-teaser.png

4Minute is back with a brand new song, this time asking a different question. Last year, 4Minute made their comeback with “What’s Your Name?” and then followed up with “Is It Popping?“. This year they are asking “Whatcha Doing Today?”.  A little obsessive of the girls, but hey, who wouldn’t mind these girls. This song is already a chart topper ranking first on MCountdown and Inkigayo over the pass week and probably can do a little more. What other questions will the girls be asking next (maybe “Why are you going around with that girl because I am your girlfriend and she has no right to touch you and you have no right to go out with her as you must be loyal to your girlfriend?” I think I just upset some grammar nazis out there and as well, I don’t think that is a question. But plot twist: you guys don’t even know each other. On with the review 😀

This song has that disco beat to it, which I enjoyed. It is catchy and I think I approve of everything. Expect for that rap sequence from Hyuna and JiYoon. I feel that the rap could have been better OR left out for the good of humanity. The chorus is really catchy and the instrumental beat enhances the song. Jihyun needs to improve a lot. They slow the song down for her, which I don’t have a problem with because I know that she does not sound as good as the others, but her live performance sound like she is breathing each sound of each word out as if it hurted her. It also seems that Hyuna has been given less parts. Which was great, because I really don’t like her voice when she vocally sings. She is a nice rapper. But all over that, I enjoyed the song.

The music video was really flashy. Yeah, it was a distraction, but as much as Jiyoon sitting on the toilet with her pants down. How freaking amazing is that scene. No, I am not that type of person. but seriously, that scene probably has to be the most interesting scene out of all. The two guys kissing, I guess says that the girls are suspicious of them cheating with another person. Just the girls probably be really gullible if that is the case. I really love the toilet scenes, where everyone is just lying around or sitting in the toilet and moving their body to the music. It is like the Harlem Shake, but KPOP style. Hahahaha…. Not sure about the girls though with the pink wigs. It feels to awkward and out of place in the video. But beside all of that, cool music video.

Hyuna’s start really needs to go. I cannot believe they added that to the dance. Unsurprising disappointed. the dance overall was really catchy. I enjoyed it, minus Hyuna’s start. Like everytime I hear this song, I break into dance. Weird?

Overall, a pretty amazing comeback. 8/10.