[Review] Take A Hike – Jiyeon (T-ARA)

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Even though we are in the final days of 2019, comebacks are still happening and KPOP is business as usual (which wasn’t the case a few years back, with releases being scarce). Today, we see the comeback of Jiyeon, who returns with the single Take A Hike. We last saw the T-ARA member in a music context through her One Day Winter single last year.

Take A Hike, as the title may suggest, is no Winter single. It is a soft club dance track, featuring a trendy, attitude-heavy flute drop during the chorus that I am sure would be perfectly paired to a sensual and mature choreography routine. The chorus also had a nice hook to it, that I thought was both decent and simple. I thought the verses were very captivating themselves as they engaged Jiyeon’s lower vocals and raspy tone, which made the verses standout. To me, the song feels fulfilling. It is fairly bare but I think this made Take A Hike stand out. I can see how some people would call it boring though, as the bareness might lead to the thought that it is lacking in a way. But at the moment, I choose the former thought to be what I think of Take A Hike.

The music video is very intriguing. I really like the mysterious vibes she gives off during the scenes where her face is no way shown to the camera (i.e. the bedroom scene, the large hat scenes). The large hat scenes are probably my favourite out of the entire video as they do really help enhance the attitude I felt coming from the song. The way she acts when her face does appear is equally as captivating. I am not sure how to properly describe my thoughts (and I am probably overthinking it), but I feel like there is something else to those scenes rather than a simple closeup.

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

[Review] One Day – Jiyeon (T-ARA)

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Over the weekend, Jiyeon returned with a winter single release, One Day. This is Jiyeon’s first solo release since her solo debut 1 Minute 1 Second. It is also her first release since her and the members of T-ARA parted ways from their former company, T-ARA. As I stated in Hyomin’s solo comeback earlier this year, we haven’t heard much of the members or any news of a group comeback. There are some hopes with the court stating that MBK Entertainment does not have trademark rights to the group’s name and hence the girls are able to make a comeback under the name T-ARA if they choose to. But until then, let’s have a closer look at Jiyeon’s returning song.

Fitting for the Winter season, One Day takes on the ballad genre. It just isn’t the type of ballad where the vocalist is belting out high notes repetitively or emotionally presenting their story. Instead, Jiyeon’s vocals are much softer and delicate than any of the songs I have personally heard her sing. But it isn’t a fragile or emotional type of song. There is a hint of happiness and joy in her voice and in the instrumentation. I did think the instrumentation was a little overpowering at times, with it overshadowing her voices every now and then. I did like the opening to the choruses (‘Someday, One Day, Everyday‘). It was a very interesting hook in my opinion and probably the best sounding line in the entire song. It is not really my favourite type of ballad but definitely a nice song for the current climate in South Korea.

I think the music video was put together under short notice. It isn’t really one with high investment. It felt more like a photoshoot, compared to a music video. They did a good job of filtering the video to give it a golden appeal, which would add to a warming effect to the song and its lyrics. But other than that, there really isn’t much else to say about the video.

Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Overall Review – 5.9/10

[Review] What’s My Name – T-ARA

Unfortunately, we have another group to add to the growing list of goodbyes. While their official disbandment won’t be until December, T-ARA has confirmed that the inevitable will be occurring. They last promoted with TIAMO at the end of last year with 6 members. Their contracts had expired last month and Soyeon and Boram chose not to renew it, hence ending their run with the group. The remaining four members (Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon) chose to stay together until December this year. While it is not goodbye yet, this release will be the group’s 13th and final mini-album.

T-ARA is the one group who is saying goodbye without deviating from their usual upbeat releases. Don’t want to remind everyone about the ongoing disbandment news, but those groups have all chosen to return one last time with a ballad-like song. But it is still a normal day in the T-Ara camp with their upbeat sound. While I personally do like the song and think it is quite catchy, it does lack impact. There is definitely potential for the song to be dynamic and powerful. But it seems to hold back in that area, which does make it sound lacking in a way. The instrumental is probably the biggest example of that. It sounded cool and could have potentially become amazing. But instead, it didn’t seem to stand out. They could have done more to that funky xylophone sound, but instead, it seemed to just be there. The vocal work here is not groundbreaking, nor does it sound like their best. But it also not their worst. If there was one word to describe the song, the right one would probably “generic”.

Now, like every other fan of the group, I patiently waited last night for the music video. From what I understood, the video was meant to be up at 6 pm KST (7 pm where I live). But not a single message to communicate a delay or some sort of explanation for why it was uploaded late. I don’t want to sound like a fussy person, but it seems like their company has just given up on them. Okay, moving back to the video. It looked good, but I couldn’t stand how empty and lacking the video was. There were scenes of the girls looking back at their relationship with the dude and for a moment, some seriousness. And then at the end, they join hands together and smile. Given the circumstances regarding the comeback, I understand it. But I think it could have been explained or presented in a completely different way, which would make the video feel more engaging and interesting. To me, the video just confirms what I mentioned before regarding the company. Moving to a more brighter side of this review, I personally loved how they included references to Boram and Soyeon, through the six bottles, six pencils and six desks.

The performance was good but like the rest of the comeback, it didn’t feel like the right level of energy was channelling through it.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10

So Crazy – T-Ara

T-Ara has returned after a year as a full group. They did make a comeback with Little Apple in December last year, but it was only with 4 members, which was disappointing. But now they are back as a six member group with a summer song that should be a total hit. No bias. T-Ara has literally had a massive rise of popularity in China and have focused most of their attention to the Chinese market, with this mini album containing both a Korean version of the song and also a Korean/Chinese version of the song. Only reason why I am not saying Chinese version directly, is that their Chinese version is basically Chinese for chorus and the rest is Korean. Not very “Chinese version” but it does the job.

Not going to lie, this is a pretty cool song. It is pretty catchy and addictive. The teaser did a very bad job at selling the song, but the song itself is pretty good. Though I am honest here, I am disappointed with the song. While I do dig the song and enjoy it, for T-Ara, it seems underwhelming. There really is not much of an impact that I expected from the band. Sugar Free and Number 9 were powerful, What Should I Do? was fun. But this, it just seemed far too mainstream for me. It was not what I had expected from T-Ara. I was disappointed that there was no rap section, but at the same time, the song would not suit a rap section. I really liked the chorus (it was quite cutesy sounding, but it worked) and the bit right after the chorus. Once again Qri and Boram got shoved to the side. Boram and Qri got a decent amount of time for Sugar Free, so I don’t know why they were shoved to the back once again. But the song was just right for my liking, just minus the complaints and the disappointment of style of song.

As for the music video, it was rather boring. But at the same time, I felt like the music video was talking about females in KPOP or actually about themselves. So my first theory, the girls represents all the girl groups in South Korea. Just normal looking and have “standard jobs” which I think would represent an alright song, popularity rank or fanbase. Now without improving on any of the three, the girls are no going to succeed. But once they change it up and go for the “sexy” concept, some many people go from the other popular groups and divert their attention to the “sexy” girls. And from there they enjoy their new popularity. OR T-Ara was reduced to a lower status after what happened a few years back. Then they change it up a bit and win their first award in a while. And then they bask in their new reclaimed popularity. That or I am looking far too much into it and should just enjoy what I see literally. But beside that, music video was rather boring. The sailor concept was rather weird, but yeah, the video was boring. And who buys bread only?

Dance fits in with the song pretty well. The chorus is just hella cute. And I liked it how they actually did take those cute dance moves and combined it with the sexy dance moves. Though I know people have done it before, it just feels like they blended it in very well for this comeback.

T-Ara did pretty well for this comeback. A few disappointing points here and there, but I think this comeback was decent enough. 7/10

End Of Year Charts 2014

Welcome to the end of the 2014 charts. This chart has every single song that was released from the 1st of January 2014 to the 1st of December. I left the nitty gritty stuff out (aka. the numbers I used for the ranking) and made sure that everything was fair. So that means for songs that were released towards the end of the year would have received some extra increment to make sure that they were levelled out with the songs released in January. Other numbers used included whether songs were on the YouTube Playlist of The Month and each song was re-reviewed in categories of “song, music video and dance”. Below are just some interesting facts that you may enjoy in regards to this chart.

  • The very first song released to be included on the charts are Rain’s 30 Sexy and La Song. The last song released before the cut off date was Infinite F’s Heartbeat.
  • T-Ara’s Sugar Free (2) was the only song throughout the whole chart to score the maximum of 40 for the song re-review.
  • VIXX is the first boy group to appear in the charts at 14th place with Eternity.
  • As touched on above, this year the charts are dominated by the girl groups, with 13 boy groups versus 37 girl groups (repeated groups not excluded).
  • Heavily promoted songs tend to rank higher than songs that were released as a single and not promoted.
  • The following artists achieved the next few positions after 50th place: SPEED, Crayon Pop, Z:EA, Zhou Mi (Super Junior), BTOB, Infinite, UKISS, AOA and Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
1 Something Girl’s Day
2 Sugar Free T-Ara
3 Up & Down EXID
4 Monday Blues Sunny Hill
5 Piano Man Mamamoo
6 Darling Girl’s Day
7 I’m In Love Secret
8 Mr. Chu A Pink
9 Yasisi NS Yoon G
10 Red Light F(x)
11 One More Fiestar
12 Good Night Kiss Hyosung (Secret)
13 Ain’t Nobody HA:TFELT (Yenny – Wonder Girls)
14 Eternity VIXX
15 You Don’t Love Me Spica
16 So Wonderful Ladies Code
17 This Is Love Super Junior
18 Luv APINK
19 Like A Cat AOA
20 B.B.B (Big Baby Baby) Dal Shabet
21 Good Luck Beast
22 Cha Cha Rainbow BLAXX
23 Full Moon Sunmi ft. Lena
24 Error VIXX
25 Catallena Orange Caramel
26 My Copy Cat Orange Caramel
27 Don’t Look At Me Like That Song Ji Eun (Secret)
28 Back Infinite
29 8Dayz Megan Lee
30 What About You? Laboum
31 Dont Touch Me Ailee
32 I Swear Sistar
33 Singing Got Better Ailee
34 1004 (Angel) B.A.P
35 Danger BTS
36 12:30 Beast
37 Mr. Ambigious Mamamoo
38 Lonely B1A4
39 Beep Beep BTOB
40 Mamma Mia Kara
41 I Need You Bestie
42 Solo Day B1A4
43 Whatcha Doing Today? 4Minute
44 Pretty Age 25 Song Ji Eun (Secret)
45 1 Minute 1 Second Jiyeon (T-Ara)
46 Peppermint Chocolate Mamamoo ft. K.Will & Wheesung
47 FxxK U Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
48 Touch My Body Sistar
49 Evanesce Super Junior
50 Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms HIGH4 ft. IU

THAT’S IT!!! 2014 IS OVER AND 2015 IS APPROACHING. WISHING YOU ALL (IN YOUR RESPECTIVE TIME ZONES) A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I only have 6 hours to go and I am excited. Party hard (but not too hard) and I will see you next year!! aka. in the next few days ^^

1 Minute 1 Second – Jiyeon (T-Ara)

T-Ara is back with only one member. I only kid. Jiyeon from T-Ara has officially made her solo debut with 1 Minute 1 Second. Now is it a great thing that she came back alone, I don’t know, but she has been proven to still show the support that T-Ara still gets. And also, this is the first of the many reviews that will be coming out after today. Today, I just finished my final piece of assessment for the term and tomorrow night I start my term break! Woo! However, I am still a little busy during these holidays but will try to manage to put reviews up for you guys. Hahahaha… Anyway, not only Jiyeon is going solo but also Hyomin, who has not yet released her song yet, but will be doing so very soon early next month, I believe. Saw the teaser a few moments ago, and I am not entirely sure yet.

This song is pretty awesome. A little complaints here and there, but it has to be a pretty cool song to listen to. The song itself is pretty catchy to listen to. The “Never Ever” part is pretty good. He voice is quite husky for the song which fits the “sexy” concept that this song has. But was it a chart topper in my mind? I don’t think so. It did lack that passion or that “impact” which I tend to talk about. The song started off well but it was very repetitive and kind of felt boring towards the end after listening to it a few times. There just was nothing “loud” about this song. It did not change around that much or even slightly. It just basically sounded monotone all the way through. But still a pretty good song. The chorus was pretty cool, but I think I only think it is cool because, well, when I listen to the song, I tend to pair with the dance and the dance for this was awesome. But honestly, still think it was a cool song, just it could have been enhanced a little bit to make it sound better.

The music video is quite confusing. I assume Jiyeon is a patient in a metal hospital. However because of her love, she believes she lives in a house with no rooms. Everyday she would wake up and do the same thing. She cuts up a few vegetables, she waters her plant and then she sits down and knits. That is all. Nothing amazing about your life girl. So the girl each time wakes up notices something ifs off and I think everything that does become off, it reminds her of her past. That is basically what I think the video is about. Not sure about the rain indoors though, nor do I think the dance scenes are relevant in any way. The music video plot line was pretty bright but then the dance scenes were so freaking dark and it really ruined the feel of the story and actually made the music video quite distracting.

The dance was mighty cool. I have to be honest, when they said that they were creating a song and concept that mirrored Park Ji Yoon’s Adult Ceremony, they were not kidding. This reminds me of that a lot. Maybe I just read it too many times, but the dance did have the same feel. I love the dance with the wall and the chorus as well. The jacket dance was awesome.

7.5/10. I like the song and the dance, but not entirely sure about the music video. The comeback is pretty cool as well. However, as you may have noticed recently that other female soloists have made their comeback in the pop genre. So who was your favourite? G.Na? Jung Hyosung? Or Jiyeon? Or you did not like any? Answer below!!!!