[Review] Young – Baekhyun (EXO) & LOCO

The second single of Station X 0 is officially out. Last time, we heard from Taeyeon and Melomance on Page 0. The second single, Young, features the collaborative efforts of Baekhyun (whom we all know from EXO) and Loco, who we all know as a leading hip-hop artist. It seems like each of these songs have some sort of empowering message, based on the release of the first two singles. Can’t wait to see the rest of the releases.

Young is an electro-pop track that is extremely serious sounding. The atmosphere that is presented when you listen to the song isn’t one to be taken lightly. In my opinion, the song beckons you to determine what they are trying to get across to us. To quickly summarise, the song sends the message of being yourself and not to conform to the ‘expected’ image. Putting the message aside, the song features Baekhyun’s signature vocals, which fluctuates every now and then, giving the song some texture and drive. The song also features Loco and his rapping voice, which adds those elements and drive the song even further. Together, they don’t share any parts. However, they still compliment each other quite well, making this another great song from the SM Station project.

The music video expresses just what the message of the song says. However, the expectation set upon people are the rounded balls they are moulding together throughout the video. The way the people are working and walking around expressionlessly (illustrated by the paint splashing scene with Loco) shows that they are conformed to the standard and extremely bland societal normals. The way Baekhyun and Loco act, along with the disfigured ball at the end of the video shows how we should be acting and how we should be ourselves.

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

[Review] That Girl – Jung Yonghwa (CN BLUE) ft. Loco

After a 2 and a half year wait, Jung Yonghwa has finally made his solo comeback with That Girl. The main vocalist of CN BLUE previously made his solo debut in January 2015 with One Fine Day. That Girl is a track from the mini-album, Do Disturb, and the track itself features Loco, a well-known rapper and hip hop artist.

That Girl attracts similar comments to his solo debut tracks, Mileage and One Fine Day. While it doesn’t appeal to my personal tastes, what I did like about the song was the confidence that Yonghwa exerted via his lyrics and the vocalist’s vocals. The brighter sound compliments the catchy sound of the chorus and the melodies are pretty good. But besides all of that, the track just doesn’t seem to hook you in for long. Instead, the verses, which should have continued the momentum from the chorus ended up lacking that energy. Loco’s raps were a big no-no to my ears. It felt foreign and unexpected, which didn’t work with the rest of the track. Actually, his parts felt like a completely different song entirely. Although I only just listened to the track a few times (which means there is room to grow), I can’t stand his final remarks at the end of the song. It was 100% cringy and awkward to listen to. Overall, I guess you can categorise the song as ‘okay’ based on my comments.

The music video wasn’t too bad. I liked the colour and I thought the colour suited the atmosphere that the song had. The confidence, which I mentioned previously in the song part of this review, was portrayed nicely by Yonghwa throughout the video. It was totally evident once he entered the bar at the start of the video. But the side of Yonghwa that needed a little more confidence was Yonghwa in the choreography segments. Though I am not writing a section for the choreography, I can say that it looks pretty good. I know Yonghwa isn’t a dance idol but you could see it was very awkward for him to dance in the video and it made it awkward for us to watch. He starts off good, but that confidence or energy just disappears, which is disappointing. But overall, it was a good video to watch.

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

[Review] Can’t Help Myself – Eric Nam ft. Loco

Eric Nam has made a surprising return to the stage with a Summer hit. 2016 is proving to be a very busy year for the solo artist, who has collaborated a number of times this year, made two comebacks (Good For You and Can’t Help Myself) and joined a popular South Korean variety show. Eric Nam has proven himself to be one  Korea’s fastest rising stars currently active, putting his name next to rising idol groups and the hottest actors/actresses.

The song totally rocks. It has been a while since Eric Nam’s last Summer track, but this song truly slays. I enjoyed every aspect of this song. From the Summer vibe instrumental that puts you at Hawaii or some other tropical beach to Eric Nam’s smooth yet husky voice, to the well fitting rap of the song. Everything played well with each other and I was not disappointed with the song in any way. The song is quite catchy and addictive to listen to. The instrumental is pretty typical (if we compare it to other songs) but combined with the vocals and this is a winning track. I think the song could have done without the rap, but the rap keeps the song interesting. I have been listening to this song quite a bit lately. Melbourne has been cold (like cold fronts from Antartica cold) lately, so listening to this song makes me picture the sun and Summer. Warmth mainly. This song makes me miss Summer so much. It also puts a smile on my face. The lyrics essentially talks about how a guy or girl becomes nervous when trying to get to know their crush. It likens the nervousness to the heat on a hot Summer’s day.

I notice one thing when it comes to many different videos. I watch them all with a straight face. Nothing makes me laugh. I am a cold, cold person. This video is like all the rest, it failed to make me laugh. But I could tell that it was trying to go down a comedic route. Eric’s character meets his all time crush and he falls for her. He then tries to impress her. With pineapple? Or what he is known for in South Korea (his famous interviews with Western celebrities).   There is also Michael Jackson moves to show off in the video as well. Or him just being handsome? I think there were also parts that made reference to his virtual marriage. I am a little disappointed with the outcome (where I don’t laugh – am still looking for a music video that makes me “roll on the floor laughing”). I did like the parts of the video which shows the dance. The use of that lighting in the background looked pretty cool. Overall, the video was quite simple. There wasn’t anything too complex in it or “crazy” to the point where we actually need to watch the video multiple times. It was clear and easy to understand. And more importantly, it is the small things that make a great video (such as those rolling lights or Eric Nam’s handsome face).

Boy, Eric Nam cannot dance to save his life (as indicated by yesterday’s MCountDown Special Stage). But the actual choreography of this song? I think it is okay for this particular song and the singer himself. It is simple and quite catchy. It does fit the song appropriately and matches Eric’s dancing capacity (sorry).

Final Rating – 8/10