[Review] AWay – Jeong Eunji (APINK)

It has been a while since we have heard from Jeong Eunji as a solo artist. Her last solo release was titled Be There and this came out in 2018. However, we have seen her more recently through APINK’s comebacks, such as %% in 2019 and Dumhdurum a few months ago. A few days ago, Jeong Eunji made her comeback with her fourth mini-album, Simple and the title track, AWay.

Jeong Eunji’s solo releases have shown us her ability to be versatile in the ballad realm. If I remember correctly, her solo debut track and first solo comeback (Hopefully Sky and The Spring) were folksy ballads. Her most recent solo release was more acoustic based. And now, she takes on a momentum-heavy pop sound approach with AWay. One may argue that this isn’t a ballad and I understand what you mean. But given the lack of choreography and how it is vocally-centric, I would say it is coming from a ballad root. It just has a different instrumental style to the more typical ballad. As mentioned earlier, there is some heft to the song that adds impactful energy and an epic vibe to the song. It also feels refreshing and suitable for the Summer season. It carries her vocals and forces her vocals to soar (which she handles really well). This, in turn, adds even more momentum to the song. The chorus had good hooks that helped made the song somewhat memorable. I felt that the hooks had to compete with the instrumental to be the standout memorable element of the song. In the end, I felt that the instrumental, due to its nature, nudged ahead of the other. Overall, all the elements in AWay works neatly with one another, forming another great song to go under Jeong Eunji’s name.

It is a pity that this comeback isn’t being promoted. This song really needs to be out there on the music shows for it to gain attention. I just don’t want this to be another forgotten song. But I guess we just have to settle for a music video. The song is about wanting to escape the feeling of being lost. Majority of the music video was essentially seeing Eunji being stuck in this lost feeling. Despite her life changing around her (i.e. the change from the green fields to the yellow sand), that lost feeling remains. We don’t see her resolving this predicament that she in by the time the video wraps up. She sings about charging back up to help escape that feeling, which I assume she does through the video’s happier moments. Apart for that lack of explicit resolution, it is a fine video that compliments the song well.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] Being There – Jeong Eunji (APINK)

Also making her solo return today/yesterday (depending on your time zone) is Jeong Eunji, with Being There. The last time we saw Jeong Eunji promote solo was last year with The Spring. More recently, she appeared in the drama, Untouchable (if you enjoy thriller and mystery, this is a K-Drama that I highly recommend) and APINK’s latest comeback, I’m So Sick.

Give me any synonym to the word ‘Beautiful’ and they can all be used to describe the song. The vocals are what drives this song and give it that beautiful sound. Her voice was so captivating in this song that I had to stop whatever I was doing and listen to it in its entirety. The best part was when she sang with no instrumental in the background. This was a really lovely moment of the song that really had an impact for me. The song has a soothing instrumental, made of guitars and piano. It is quite warm as well, suitable for the cold Autumns. This gives light to the song, which touches on missing home. I like how she does that, as it can be an emotional topic for some people.  Do check out this song if you want a nice ballad to listen, especially if the weather is getting colder.

It is an 8-minute long video that does a wonderful job of showing the song in a visual format. Jeong Eunji lives in the city and has a very set routine for her life (like most people who live in the city). However, she makes a snap decision and boards a train en route to her hometown. Once she arrives, we see her return home, greet her mum, share multiple meals and take in the memories she had at the place where she grew up, going hand-in-hand with the lyrics of the song. What I liked about the video was the focus on was Eunji. We never got to see her mum nor anyone else in the video. But we got to see Eunji take in her surrounds and have a beautiful smile throughout the video.

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


5 Favourite K-Drama OSTs (Part 1)

Welcome back to the ‘Favourites’ segment of my site, where I share my personal picks regarding different aspects. As you may notice, I have decided to go with ‘Favourites’ as the segment name, because they are my favourites. I have also decided to cut down the list from 10 (as originally planned) to five because it would be easier and quicker to write.

This week, I have decided to focus on OSTs or Official Sound Tracks from K-Dramas. I don’t watch that many and the few that I do watch don’t get that much spotlight. But that doesn’t stop the songs from popping up on my playlists or me investigating the various songs that do get released. So in no particular order, these are 5 of my favourite K-Drama OSTs.

Back in Time – Lyn
The Moon Embraces The Sun

I start off the list with the very first OST that I fell in love with. While it was released back in 2011 for the drama, The Moon Embraces The Sun, it is an OST that I keep on going back to for its epic orchestral sound. While Lyn has a few other massive OST hits under her belt (some which I enjoyed), I still firmly believe that this track tops the rest of them. Her vocals draw you in and hold you there for the entire length of the song, not once letting you go.

Stay With Me – Chanyeol (EXO) & Punch

Out of all the songs on this list, I think many of you will agree with this one. It’s a more recent OST release, from the K-Drama Goblin and was released in December of last year. The instrumental of the OST is extremely striking and the combination of both Punch’s and Chanyeol’s husky vocals make this one damn good song to listen to.

Talk Love – K.Will
Descendant of the Sun

It has been a while since we last saw K.Will on the stage. However, he has been active in the OST world, singing tracks for a few dramas. One of them belongs to the hit drama, Descendant of the Sun. It makes the list because it makes you smile. I find it quite catchy and K.Will’s vocals are undeniably amazing in this song.

All For You – Seo In Guk & Jung Eunji (APINK)
Reply 1997

This chart-topping OST from 2012 features both Seo In Guk and Eunji (APINK), who also played the lead roles in the same drama. What makes this a great OST is it was easy to get into. It was a simple song, with a simple sound. The English lyrics made it catchy and appeal to many people, including international fans. The vocals of the two were also sweet and dreamy, making them an amazing duet and on-screen partners.

Rise and Shine – Kyuhyun (Super Junior) & Tiffany (SNSD)
To The Beautiful You

The entire drama To The Beautiful You was produced by SM Entertainment and hence it makes sense that the entire OST album was performed by SM Entertainment artists. The standout song from the mix was Rise and Shine, which is an upbeat track, full of amazing vocals from both the main vocalists of Super Junior and SNSD. It reminds me of a musical and gives off a bright atmosphere.


[Review] The Spring – Jung Eunji (APINK) ft. Hareem

The main vocalist of APINK has returned with her first solo comeback. Jung Eunji previously made her solo debut last year with Hopefully Sky, a high charting folk-ballad. The Spring is the title track of her second mini album, Space. As expected from the current time in the year and the title of her song, her track appeals to listeners in the season of Spring.

The Spring reminds me distinctively of Hopefully Sky. That maybe because of the folk instruments used in the production of this song. It stands alone quite nicely, though. It’s another one of those songs where I spend my time listening to it and swaying along with it. Eunji’s vocals are incredibly sweet and a standout aspect of the song.  What also sets this song apart from other songs is the use of the accordion. Here it is calming and compliments the sound of Spring. I have to admit, the song ended up being little catchier than her debut. That’s mainly attributed to the hook where she just repeats “Bom Bom Bom” or “봄 봄 봄”, similar to how Roy Kim’s Bom Bom Bom became popular.  (However, I stress that they are completely different styles of songs). However (hypocritical me is back), they tend to be very similar, and The Spring does fall into that hole. Springtime songs are always beautiful to listen to (popular ones, regardless of release dates, always rise to the top of the charts at this time of the year) in this period of the year, but after a while, they do end up sounding like each other. It may not be some people’s cup of tea, but it is still a beautiful song to listen to.

I personally like the music video for this song. Eunji is a taxi driver, and during her shifts, she drives around many couples, single people and families. While doing her work, she looks at them and wonders what makes this the season of love. We see flashbacks when she was in a relationship and that she still keeps her memories of those time with her. However, the video seems to suggest that they are still together. The entire video, no one sits next to Eunji. But someone (at the end of the video) gets into the passenger seat, and she smiles at said person. There is a moment of seriousness, but then she just chuckles and proceeds to drive off. It’s most likely that after dating for some time, Spring seems to just be another season on the calendar for them. Furthermore, Eunji could just have been reminiscing about those days. That’s my interpretation of the video, though. Cherry blossoms tend to be the representation of Spring in South Korea, and a lot of Spring based songs use cherry blossoms heavily. The use of it seems to be more subtle and not “in-your-face”. I usually don’t like the colour palette used in the video, but it works her. I also thought her smiles were beautiful. Might be one of the reasons why I keep watching the video.

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

Hopefully Sky – Jung Eunji (APINK)

Before I run out of time, let’s do the final review for the weekend. It has been something that fans have wanted for ages and finally Jun Eunji, the main vocalist of APINK, has officially made her solo debut on the stage. Well, she has had solo stages before and collaborations, but this is her first solo release. She joined up with Hareem, which I believe is a folk musician in South Korea for her song: Hopefully Sky.

It is a really nice ballad. At first, I was weirded out by the song, like all folk songs. But this one grew on me. I hear this song on my playlist and I can’t help to listen to it. First of all, it is very easy on my ears. Move aside heavy dubstep or really slow ballads. This has the right pitch, tempo, rhythm etc. It had the perfect ratio between vocals and instrumental. It was also somewhat catchy. The only thing I would say about the song is that is was very boring. It did feel dry for a while and it still has that dryness factor to it. If I can somehow shake that off when I listen to the song, it would be amazing. It just happened to stay from the first time I listened to the song til now. The lyrics and instrumental remind you of Spring and I think it did an excellent job about.

I have yet to watch the video, so these will be my initial reactions. I just expect the video to be of Eunji staring off into the blue skies and sitting in some sort of green grass patch or flower garden. Cause that is what the song gives off. Okay, watching the video, it just does not seem like that. Instead, Eunji is making most of the Spring weather and scenery in what seems to be her home town (or the setting is meant to be her hometown). Visiting schoolyards, some really beautiful artwork on the sides of buildings. She even sings on top of a rooftop which shows a really nice view of the town in the video. First impressions tell me that this is a very beautiful video, for a very beautiful song.  The cherry blossoms made the video seem much more pretty and romantic. I think it was a very well done video.

Overall, as I mentioned above: a very beautiful comeback. No wonder it topped charts as soon as it was released. 9.5/10