[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

Du Du Du – Kim Dong Wan (Shinhwa)

Just a little while back, Kim Dong Wan made his solo comeback with I’m Fine and Piece. Having promised back to to back mini album promotions, he was due to release his comeback last month. But I am assuming something along the lines of preparations affected the potential “back to back” promotions. However, he made his solo comeback with Du Du Du earlier this month, fulfilling the promise he made.

Like I’m Fine, Kim Dong Wan brings out his guitar for the song. The other song has that more emotional aspect to it and has sad lyrics to it. This song, however, is much more cheerful and includes the lovingly sounds of his vocals. Honestly, it is a really nice song that suits the season of snow. I would imagine myself listening to this song to just cheer myself up. Lately, I have been saying that the sound “Du Du Du” has to be one sound that makes any song pretty catchy. And well, it makes the song really vibrant and happy. The chorus is quite high pitch but at the same time is quite simple to listen to. Probably be an ideal song to catch any girl’s feeling. His English is quite nice as well.

The music video has this story line to it, which confused everybody the first time they watched the video. Essentially, the video starts off with Kim Dong Wan hanging out with Girl #1. But then, Girl #2 starts to come along and ruin Kim Dong Wan and Girl #1’s happy date. We see Girl #1 disappointed and sad, while it is revealed that Girl #2 and Kim Dong Wan are joking around and wren’t actually a couple. But it was later revealed in the video, that in fact Girl #1 was in on the whole thing and Girl #2 was actually the girl that Kim Dong Wan likes (shown when Girl #1 joins in on in the dancing and Girl #2 was the one he was pointing at). Plot twist much? Yeah it is a little confusing but it makes more sense when you watch the video. That or the bunny was his one true love. Don’t you love it when you read YouTube comments? They clear everything up but at the same time still have that playful side to them. Beside the story line, the video was quite fun to watch. Once again, it was a bright and cheerful video that matched the song’s sound.

Overall, a perfect song and video in my opinion. Little confusing on the video, but hey, it is part of the charm. 10/10

[DOUBLE REVIEW] I’m Fine + Piece – Dongwan (Shinhwa)

Kim Dong Wan is a member of Shinhwa and has made his solo comeback with two brand new songs. Interestingly he is due to make another comeback with a brand new mini album right after he wraps up promotions for these two songs, I’m Fine and Piece. Shinhwa has had a busy year with a group comeback at the start of the year and also JunJin making his solo debut just a few months ago.

I’m Fine is a really nice song. At first, I thought it would be a very bland and dry song, but a few listens into it made me think otherwise. I think an accurate way to describe it is to say it is a soulful song. There is so much soul. I love the guitar instrumental and also how relaxing the song is overall. To me, it seems like a cheerful song, but the lyrics seem to be quite sad (in a way). His vocals suits the song, and the chorus is pretty catchy and has a nice tune to it. I enjoyed how the song just launches itself straight into the chorus as soon as the It the song that has me swaying me head to the music and I like that about the song. Piece is like a ballad and a rock song that has been mashed up. There are parts in both. While I don’t think it is as catchy as I’m Fine, it is still catchy and has the nice ring to it. If I were to describe the song, this might be the rock version of I’m Fine. The rapping sits nicely in the song and the vocals in this song for me seem to show more of his vocal talent compared to I’m Fine. Overall, I like both songs, but I’m Fine seems to be my favourite.

The music videos of both are quite nice. I’m Fine was about dealing with a break up and it matches well with him lying about in his bathtub. It seems to be an artsy video somewhat with the staggering and random scenes of boxes being the odd one out in terms of position. I really like the very neutral colours. Everything regarding the video was thought out very nicely and matched with the song. As for Piece, well, I don’t like the tattoos. As I mentioned before, ballad and rock mash up, but the rock seems be shown more and it doesn’t really fit in well with the song. The large cage and the sets looks pretty nice (though I think I can list 10 other music videos using that old warehouse set). I thought the rain in the warehouse (even though there is a fixed roof on top of them) added a nice touch and added more sad emotions to the video.

Overall, this comeback was really nice and relaxing. Now we shall sit back, listen to his songs and wait for this impending comeback.

I’m Fine – 9/10

Piece – 8/10