[Review] Touch – Shinhwa

Shinhwa has returned with their 13th album since debut. The album itself was released in two parts. The first part was released back in October 2016, as Unchanging Part 1 – Orange. The second part, released on the 5th of January 2017, comprises of all the songs released as part of Unchanging Part 1 – Orange and five new songs, including Touch, the title track for this album.

I am a little torn about the track. Once again, it is a track that doesn’t really appeal to me vocally. Honestly, that aspect is quite forgettable. But the track does stand out for other reasons. The EDM based instrumental is something that the boys haven’t really done before. It’s modern and trendy, suiting the current times. Going hand-in-hand with the instrumental is the structure of the song. The main reason why the instrumental does stand out is that there is no chorus to the song. Instead, the beat drops and we get a very complicated but powerful instrumental break each time. It is a little different, but it isn’t the first time an unconventional song structure has caught my attention (Check out Rainbow’s Black Swan). That being said, with no chorus, the song felt empty and did lack that hook. While the instrumental breaks were interesting, they didn’t do much to fill that empty void that the chorus would have filled from the start. Half of me is disappointed for that reason, but the other half did fall for that uniqueness.

The first thing I noticed after watching the video for the first time is that the video is very slow. I understand the slowness during the verses of the song because the verses are slow. But the scenes for the instrumental breaks are just too slow. Those parts sound almost as if it is choppy, fast-paced and impactful. But the video didn’t match those feelings. The majority of the video consist of the guys acting sad and heartbroken. There really isn’t anything to complain about there, but it does make the video become more boring if I was to continually watch it. There were a few scenes added where they act a little angry (with the now cliché ‘slow-motion-of-the-object-made-out-glass-smashing-on-the-floor’ or the ‘damage-the-mirror-somehow-and-stare-into-a-cracked-mirror’). But like the instrumental breaks, they don’t do much when it came to captivating me. The anger I guess ended up being a little more extreme by the end of the video. The guy burning the letter from his lover ends up burning his house out and the guy who lied in the bath tub (which again is in the middle of the room) completely flooded the room.

The dance looks cool and very precise. It matches the beat of the song really well. I have to admit, though, it does look pretty slow and lazy (at the instrumental breaks). The dance doesn’t really peak until the end of the song during the two solo parts. But still, the dance looked cool nonetheless.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 5.5/10

End Of Year Chart 2015 + Happy New Year!

Welcome to the end of the year! Each year, I do this “End Of The Year Chart” where I properly rank songs via a personalised ranking system, which shows which songs I liked the most (and which songs I did not like at all – but I won’t name and shame). How do I rank the songs? Simply taking the score that I gave them in the review published earlier in the year, adding it to new review scores for the music, video and performance. Then I add those to other scores from “Songs of the Month” in my Rewind posts and to ensure that I can properly order them, I turn to my iTunes play count. And when I say “add”, there is a mixture of mathematical operations (and I am going to stop here, before I can bore you). In no way is this chart influenced by my choice of best song in the BOBs. But I do highlight them here :).

1 Ah Yeah EXID
2 Paradise Lost Gain (Brown Eyed Girls)
3 If You Do  GOT7
4 Closer Oh My Girl
5 You G.Soul
6 Love Me Right EXO
7 I Need U BTS
8 Sing For You EXO
9 Shake It Sistar
10 4 Walls F(x)
11 Dumb Dumb Red Velvet
12 I Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint
13 Like OOH AHH Twice
14 Oh Um Ah Yeah Mamamoo
15 Mansae Seventeen
16 Just Right GOT7
17 Crazy 4Minute
18 Insensible Lee Hong Ki (FT Island)
19 Run BTS
20 Yey Beast
21 Between Night n Music B.I.G
22 Shake That Brass Amber (f(x)) ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)
23 Hot Pink EXID
24 Beautiful Liar VIXX LR (VIXX)
25 Brand New World Brown Eyed Girls
26 Ring My Bell Girls Day
27 Hurt Locker Nine Muses
28 Growing Pains Donghae & Eunhyuk
29 Run Away Royal Pirates
30 Black Swan Rainbow
31 Congratulations DAY6
32 Catch Me If You Can SNSD
33 Me Gustas Tu Gfriend
34 The Answer Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
35 Dope BTS
36 Pray FT Island
37 Cinderella CN Blue
38 You’re Pitiful Fiestar
39 Hopeless Love Jimin (15&)
40 Bad Infinite
41 Might Just Die History
42 We Like 2 Party Big Bang
43 Chained Up VIXX
44 Fire Mad Clown ft. Jamsil (Mad Child Soul)
45 Bell Bottoms PSY
46 Ice Cream Cake Red Velvet
47 Break Ya LU:KUS
48 Kontrol Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite)
49 I Feel You Wonder Girls
50 Wow Wow Wow Junjin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)

And here are some interesting facts about this year and the chart itself!

  • A total of 180 songs were ranked on this chart, but a total of 195 songs were reviewed this year (which I believe is a personal best).
  • The first song reviewed and included in the chart is BTOB’s The Winter Tale (released at the end of last year). The last song reviewed and included in the chart was EXO’s Sing For You
  • A total of 16 girl groups, 17 boy groups and 9 soloists are featured on the chart.
  • There is a better mix of boys and girl groups this year, compared to last year, where the first boy group did not feature on the charts until after 16th place.
  • BTS had the most songs on the chart (I Need U, Dope & Run). followed by: EXID (Ah Yeah & Hot Pink), GOT7 (If You Do, Just Right), EXO (Love Me Right, Sing For You), Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer, Kontrol) & Red Velvet (Dumb Dumb & Ice Cream Cake).
  • Rookies were actually a strong force this year with Oh My Girl, Seventeen and Twice ranking quite high up in the charts.
  • The following ranked after 50th place: IU, B.I.G, Crayon Pop, VIXX, Seventeen, Changmin, Big Bang, Brown Eyed Girls and CLC.
  • And finally, this year chart was actually reflected on the BOBs this year. I crowned EXID’s Ah Yeah as best song for both segments.

AND THAT IS IT!! 2015 will be ending shortly. 6 Hours To Go (for me at least)!!! Hope 2015 has been a great year for you all. I thank you all once again for another year of KPOPreviewed. Your support has been amazing. Every comment and like (heck even every view) makes me happy!! Nearly 5 years and still going strong!! Thank you 2015 and I wish you all a Happy New Year wherever and whenever it is time. Let’s make 2016 our year!!! (First review: 2nd of Jan).

Wow Wow Wow – Jun Jin (Shinhwa) ft. Eric (Shinhwa)

Shinhwa has been around for quite some time and so have their members which all have some sort of solo career as well. Shinhwa was particularly busy at the start of the year with a group comeback and I also believe they have had concerts last year and this year as well. But for some odd reason, some of their members are lining up for solo comebacks (back to back). To kick it off, it is Jun Jin, with Wow Wow Wow. He is the dancer, rapper and vocalist of the band, and he manages to pull all of that off in this solo song. Other members that have confirmed comebacks are Kim Dong Wan and another member (but I obviously forgot who).

This song is amazing. I kind of dread writing reviews for Shinhwa for some odd reason. This year, I started to review them with Sniper and I kind of hesitated putting this song the list. But once I fell for the song, I added on there immediately. Yes, I had to listen to this song a few times to actually like it. It didn’t catch my eyes (or ears) the first time around, but after a few listens I thought it was a really powerful and addictive track. It is a powerful techno song that has a lot of modern vibes with it, which is pretty good. Not sure about the “na na na” bit slapped into the middle of the song. It was the only part of the song which got me going “huh?” when started liking the song. His a rapper but he has good vocals to carry himself throughout the song.  The rapping was superb (both Jun Jin’s and Eric’s rap). The “Looking at you” over and over again is so damn catchy and I really dig that. I think this song is really good and nice.

It was a very simple yet very dark music video. I guess the darkness fits really well into the concept and also his image. It did go against me a few times because I thought for a while that some scenes could have used a little bit more lighting.  For some scenes, I could barely see anything. I really liked how low that screen is. It was so low that it was basically touching their heads. I thought the camera work in the video was really good. It gave the sense that low screen was moving away as they danced, but it stayed in place. But hey, it gave off a nice illusion for this song. Same goes for the dance scenes with the hanging fence (I have no idea what they are called). I feel like those scenes with the girls could have been omitted. They really don’t add much to the music video anyway. I would have paid to watch him dance.

As for the dance, I thought it was very powerful and suited the concept quite a bit. I absolutely loved how it built up to the ending and it just smacks you across the face. That moves where they come together from the sides towards the end of the song looks so cool. It fitted the powerful vibe the song had going and I thought the “Wow Wow Wow” thumb movements were pretty cool and looked simple as well. Me trying the thumb movements, not that cool.

Amazing song, amazing music video, amazing dance. What an amazing comeback. 9/10