[Review] That That – PSY ft. SUGA (BTS)

It has been 10 years since PSY went viral with his infamous hit, Gangnam Style. Since then, he made a string of comebacks (Gentlemen and Daddy, amongst others) that were quite successful both domestically and internationally, though I would say that his popularity has soften over the last few years. Late last month, PSY made his grand return with That That, a single off his 9th studio album, PSY 9th, and a song that is both produced and features SUGA from BTS. In addition to that, SUGA continues PSY’s tradition of having a famous idol joining his comeback via the music video, joining the ranks of high profile artists such as HyunA, Gain from Brown Eyed Girls, CL and more recently Suzy (who features in the recently released Celeb music video – review for that coming soon).

No matter many times I have listened to That That since its release two weeks ago, it has yet to let up from its fun, playful, silly and childish roots. And I quite like that. Usually, I am not a big fan of silly or childish. But going into a PSY comeback, it is expected and I liked that he didn’t disappoint. Sure, That That is repetitive, and I am quite sure it would have done my head in if it were another song that only had the repetitiveness going for it. But with That That, there is a lot more to the song than repetitive hooks. I quite enjoyed the intensity that the song brings, particularly during the chorus. The pounding beats and the tooting brass in the instrumental made That That feel so lively and punchy. I liked how it doesn’t take a break and is quite relentless. The fun atmosphere that the song has is just infectious and addictive, and the hooks adds to that. PSY gave it his all and is pretty much on par with the instrumental throughout the That That. But the best moment of the song has to be attributed to SUGA, who did not disappoint. When the song was first announced, I wondered where the track would go with SUGA featuring, as it didn’t seem apparent to me how PSY and SUGA would work together. But in That That, SUGA matched PSY’s energy effortlessly and his rapping brought a very dynamic oomph to the song that just makes That That even more enjoyable. When I replay the song, I do it often to relisten to SUGA’s section. Though some of That That‘s hooks, particularly the ‘Do What You Wanna, Say What You Wanna‘ shouty hook do end up distracting me.

As mentioned before, SUGA also appears in the music video. And I am quite happy with this. It definitely made everything a lot more fun and interesting. I liked how SUGA even participated in the choreography and some of the acting scenes. My favourite bit has to be the scenes where PSY (in his Gangnam Style suit) is punching/slapping SUGA and vice versa. It was definitely a fun scene. Their chemistry was great, and I did not feel any sense of awkwardness. Aside from that, I see that PSY is up to his crazy antics throughout the video (loved how he entered the music video – reminds me of when work gives out free food and I enter the room ready to grab the food) and I quite enjoyed the wild western theme. That suspenseful moment when SUGA appears was pretty cool, as well.

The choreography is exactly how I described the song. Fun, playful, silly and intense. It definitely suits the portfolio of choreography from PSY’s past comebacks. I like how the routine encapsulates the energy from the song, and shows it off with flair. I also like how PSY doesn’t hold back on stage, which makes the stages even more fun to watch.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] New Face – Psy

Yesterday, I wrote and posted one-half of the review for Psy’s latest comeback with his 8th album, 4×2 = 8. That review was centred around I Luv It. This particular review is for the other title track of Psy’s comeback, New Face.

Right off the bat, the brass catches your attention. The synths then kick in to transform it into one damn good song. Like most other post-2012 Psy songs, the level of addictiveness and catchiness for this song is quite high. However, the song makes me want more. It lacks bass, which could have transformed into a more impactful and strong song. The different segments feel like the song had multiple sounds smashed into one. But they give an interesting and dynamic appeal to the song, which makes me going back for more. His voice must be noted mainly because it showed different sides to the artist. He has a clear and strong rap voice. But his raspy pre-chorus vocals add to that dynamic feel as I mentioned before and that did make me go “Woah” in a good way when I first listened to the song. While I enjoyed most parts of the song, I felt the “anthem” of the song, where the dance break kicks in and Psy repeats “New Face”, didn’t necessarily have enough hype around it, leaving it feeling a tad dull and empty.

Like I Luv It, this music video also features Na-Eun, the youngest member of A-Pink. She joins the list of female artists who have joined Psy in the filming of the music video, which includes Hyuna, Gain from Brown Eyed Girls, CL from 2NE1 and Ha Ji Won (an actress). And she does a spectacular job with her presence in the music video. She features all throughout, joining Psy in his many costumes. They do act a while, while Psy lip syncs, but when that amount approaches in the song, they both dab for the camera. Honestly, I thought the video was of a great standard, joining the memorable music videos that Psy has released. I did think that the filter or colour of the video was a little off, but it didn’t ruin the video for me. I find the scene where they are on the escalator quite interesting. I wondered what happened when they got to the top.

Like yesterday, we have yet to see a full dance performance of New Face. That being said, the music video features (what I think is) enough to say that this is a pretty cool dance. It looks tiring, but Psy will manage somehow to pull it off, like he has done so with all of his dances. While the dab combo could potentially become another dance hype, the dab seems a little outdated (I sound like an old grumpy person, I know).

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

[Review] I Luv It – Psy

Psy has finally returned with his 8th album, 4×2 = 8. For those who don’t remember who Psy is, he is the guy behind the worldwide hit, Gangnam Style. His last comeback was in 2015, where he promoted Napal Baji and Daddy (ft. CL). His latest album features two title tracks, I Luv It (reviewed today) and New Face (review for this will be released tomorrow). He had also enlisted artists Bobby (iKON), B.I (iKON), Taeyang (Big Bang), G-Dragon (Big Bang) and Zico (Block B) who either featured or participated in the production of Psy’s latest album.

I have to be honest, but I Luv It is a really groovy song. It’s another one of those songs that you feel the need to get up and dance. The song falls very nicely within the KPOP sound. The synths in the song are pretty good and they come together to give you an addictive song to listen to. The one thing that I am starting to notice but it follows up from Psy’s past hits. It attempts to deliver something new, but rather it feels very traditional and ‘done before’ (if you know what I mean). The one reason why everyone was drawn to Gangnam Style was because it was different. But here, from the sound (to even the other aspects of the comeback), everything felt similar and ‘done before’. However, that probably won’t stop me from replaying this song over and over again. I honestly did enjoy it and I loved that small Michael Jackson “yoo hoo” in the chorus, which did catch my attention the first time I heard it. Not entirely sure about the changeup of the song where the bridge is usually found, but overall, a truly funky song.

The accompanying video felt like a very Psy centred music video. Mainly because there were a million carbon copies of Psy in the video. But there is that Psy vibe to music videos that appear every single time. And that made it feel like it was ‘done before’. Which is a little disappointing, because I thought he would do something a little more different. That being said though, he invited two big names to this particular music video. Lee Byung Hun, a very famous Korean actor (who has starred in a few Hollywood movies) and the Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen guy, Pikotaro (still don’t know why that became a meme though). Overall, I thought the video was fitting for the song and it was also a pretty good video.

While there is no live performance yet, I think just watching the music video could give me a good enough glimpse into the dance routine. I personally think it has the potential to become another big dance hype. Joining the music, it seems the moves and the song were meant to be. However, I don’t think it would ever reach the level of his other famous dance, mainly because this one looks a little more complicated.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Score – 8.5/10

Recap of MAMA 2015 and Thoughts

Did you forget about the MAMA awards held by MNET in 2015? Or are we all trying to forget it for its bias and unfair system? Well, don’t fret, I am here to remind you of the disappointment or joy that you felt.

The MNET Asian Music Awards (or MAMA) was held on the 2nd of December in… Hong Kong. Again. Voting for the awards began in October of the same year and I thought there was a fair range of nominees and the committee selected a variety if talents for each award.

The following artists attended and performed at the awards ceremony: Taeyeon (SNSD), GOT7, BTS, Hyuna (4 minute), Park Ji Young, Seventeen, Monsta X, F(x), SHINEE, EXO, Big Bang, iKON, Zion.T, Crush, Sane. 2NE1 & Psy. Pet Shop Boys were invited as special guest performers on the night. Red Velvet, Twice, Tiffany and Seohyun from SNSD also attended by did not perform.

I have recapped the winners below. I shall give some comments afterwards regarding the winners.
Best New Male Artist – iKON.
Best New Female Artist – Twice.
Best Male Vocal Performance – Zion.T (Eat)
Best Female Vocal Performance – Ailee (Mind Your Business)
Best Male Dance Performance – SHINee (View).
Best Female Dance Performance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Solo Dance Performance – Hyuna (Roll Deep).
Best Collaboration / Subunit – Zion.T & Crush (Just)
Best Rap Performance – Sane (Me You)
Best Band Performance – CN BLUE (Cinderella)
Best Male Group – EXO
Best Female Group – SNSD
Best Male Artist – Park Jin Young
Best Female Artist – Taeyeon
Best Music Video – Bang Bang Bang
Best Album (Album of the Year) – EXODUS
Best Song (Song Of The Year) – Bang Bang Bang
Best Artist (Artist Of The Year) – Big Bang

Best New Male Artist is probably the category that has me shaking my head the most. iKON is slowly showing their capability, but I feel like Seventeen is already two steps ahead of them and deserve the award more. Best Female Vocal Performance should have gone to Taeyeon and Taeyeon should have received 2 awards that night. Not dissing Ailee, but it wasn’t her best song or vocal performance. Best Music Video should have also gone to F(x). Best Male Dance Performance is an iffy category for me. SHINee did have a great dance, but sadly, I felt that BTS was missing out due to the lack of nomination in that category. Big Bang took out most of the awards, but I don’t think it matters. Big Bang dominated summer in South Korea last year with their continuous releases and had one of the most popular songs of the year (according to download and streaming charts). JYP’s award caught me a little off guard but I guess out of all the nominees, he had a good song. Besides the categories I mentioned, I think the awards were “fair”. Okay maybe not, but who MAMA awarded that night, I mostly agree with (given the nominees).

But wait, there were a few more awards that were given out that night:
Worldwide Favourite Artist – Big Bang
Global Fan’s Choice Male Artist – EXO
Global Fan’s Choice Female Artist – F(x)
Best World Performers – BTS
Next Generation Asian Artist – Monsta X
Best Asian Style – EXO
Worldwide Inspiration Award – Pet Shop Boys
There were also other awards which were awarded to artists from other countries as Best Asian Artist. Best Engineer, Best Live Entertainment and Best Producer awards were also given to 3 people for each award from different countries.

Out of these awards, I am a little confused with the Best Asian Style award. Out of all that walked the red carpet, I was shocked when EXO came along. Also, Pet Shop Boys. I am with majority of people who have never heard of the band before.

Per usual, there were many different performances on the night. The show opened up with Taeyeon’s I, which I thought was a really beautiful stage. She sounded flawlessly on the stage. BTS made their comeback on the night and collaborated with GOT7, who also performed If You Do. JYP had a special stage which probably scarred both GOT7 and Twice and he went a little wild towards the end of his performance. iKON performed a medley of their songs. Monsta X and Seventeen collaborated, while F(x) and Pet Shop Boys joined hands together. We also saw Sane perform with Hyuna and Jessi. Also a stage with both Show Me The Money contestants and Unpretty Rapstar. EXO, SHINee, Big Bang each had their stages with multiple songs and got the audience really hyped up. Psy also made his comeback and performed alongside with his new songs, Gangnam Style. Probably the most talk that night was 2NE1’s performance which caught everyone off guard. It was nice to see them, but whether it was appropriate is just another topic all together.

Out of all the stages, I thought Taeyeon had the most beautiful stage. For the dance aspect, Seventeen and Monsta X’s performance was really well polished and amazing.

Overall, I thought the night was worth it. It may seem like YG has a lot of influence over the MAMA awards and that is probably true. But whether it is right or not, is another discussion in its self. Just regarding the invitations to the awards, it did seem like someone did forget to invite people. Some stages seem like they could have used a little more attention to give it that grand feel that the MAMA awards is meant to uphold, like in previous years. But overall, I thought the night was pretty good. Wait… Did I just repeat the first sentence of this paragraph? Guess I am going to call it a day now. Hope you enjoyed my recap!

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).

Daddy – Psy ft. CL (2NE1)

This is the second part of Psy’s comeback, with Daddy. This song, I think, is meant to embrace the international audience that fell in love with Gangnam Style and Gentlemen. Why I think that, well the song is a better mixture of English and Korean, compared to Napal Baji. CL also features in this track, and while her part is very limited, I actually liked her vocals in this song. More than Psy’s vocals in this song. Yeah, Daddy really did not appeal to me. It had that American feel, but overall the song fell quite short in comparison to Napal Baji. Call me hypocritical, but I feel like this song has a little too much electronic components and Psy’s vocals (in some parts) had excessive autotune. The very simple chorus, is once again the hook of the song, and it really did reel me in. Maybe because the sound of the song has been Americanized quite a bit, I am not feeling the song overall. However it is still a nice song to listen to.  Quite catchy as well.

The music video was interesting and I personally think I enjoyed it to a certain level. It is not that I am disappointed in it, but it felt too complex for Psy. If that makes sense. Yeah, it had that wild element and also the crazies, but it just felt that too much detail was placed into the video. Maybe I am going crazy with these reviews. Hahaha.. But seriously, baby Psy is ummm… creepy. I don’t want a baby winking at me. I absolutely love the school scenes where he is like the ultimate flower boy or hot school jock that everyone is blown away by. The girls acting in this make me laugh so hard. I also love the scenes where he attempts to woo the teacher. I don’t know why by Spanish dance teacher Psy suits his image a lot. The other scene I totally love was the tornado scene. Beside, the grandfather version of Psy was not that great, kind of looked creepy. The one thing I feel like this music video can do without though is CL’s appearance. I personally don’t understand the point of putting someone in the video or on the stage for around 5 seconds, and have them walk off right after.

I feel like the dance for this song suits it 100% and suits Psy 100%. It is simple and easy to follow and it matches the beat of the song. Per usual, Psy looks ridiculous dancing, but he genuinely looks happy about it. If I were to review the dance only, I personally give it a 10/10.

Daddy falls short a tiny bit. Napal Baji was my favourite this time around. 8/10

Which Psy song did you like this time around? Pick below!!!

Napal Baji (Bell Bottoms) – Psy

Psy has returned and this is a comeback that I am willing to review. Hangover was a total mess in my opinion (and I don’t consider it as KPOP). This song, Napal Baji, is an amazing song. This channel the same feel as Gangnam Style, but probably will never reach the same standard as the latter song. Anyway, regarding the song. I like everything in this song. It is super catchy and quite addictive. It is also quite a fun song that I really enjoyed. It has me singing along, even though I don’t understand a single word he was singing about. I really like the intro. While his past songs have been all electronic based, this song had a really nice instrumental and the guitar at the beginning was pretty cool. The chorus, even though it was like “Woah, Napal Baji, eh heeeeeeeeeyy …”, it was pretty much the hook of the song and damn did it hook me.

Psy, bring back the bell bottoms since 2015. Honestly, everyone that wore the pants in the video managed to rock something that is quite outdated. The rest of the video looks like a day in Psy’s life. For example, when he wakes up, he goes to the salon and gets shaved (I wonder how much the nose cost as well), he then goes onto different late night shows and also award ceremonies, with awkward golden dancing statues. And then he comes home with a few girls, who ends up leaving because he is too busy dancing. And he goes back to sleep, on his stand up bed. Hahaha… Honestly, the video made me chuckle and I would say it made me laugh. Psy’s music video had a nice clean feel to it and it felt so fresh. My favourite part of the video would have to be when they transition from the verses into the chorus. Yeah, those scenes where the walls fall down and bring out dancing Psy. I really love that idea.

As for the dance, did Psy say he used T-Ara’s Roly Poly as an inspiration, like how he used Brown Eyed Girl’s dance for Gentlemen? I thought it was a really nice dance and there is something regarding Psy’s facial expression that makes the dance so much better. I actually think one part of what makes him so popular is that of his facial expressions. His funny dances really mismatch his serious expression, but hey, at least we can tell he put his heart and soul into the performance. As for the dance overall, loving it.

This particular song dives back into his Korean roots, but at the same time, deserves to be a hit single everywhere. In my point of view, Psy, you have done it again. 9/10

My review for Psy’s Daddy will come out tomorrrow or the day after, but I put forward this highly important question:

Gentleman – Psy

Psy is finally back a new a song. Yeah. That is so lame. Hmmm.. Psy, the father of Gangnam Style, is finally back with a new song, Gentlemen. After taking a dance which he should not have, and a song that never lived up to its standard that Gangnam Style has set, Psy has actually achieved new grounds with this song. Achieving the most views ever in one day after release and becoming top 1 is a million countries. That is a lot considering what world records have been set on the Internet. With forth, the review.

The song is okay. Not as catchy as Gangnam Style (Review Here). I was quite disappointed. As someone did say to me, club beats aren’t that great in Korea, so the song would not rank as high. Yes, it achieved first place on MCountdown and a perfect all kill (If my memory did not stuff up). But that does not mean it was a great song for me. I personally don’t think it is the best song out there. I actually feel that Psy is actually a one hit wonder now. The instrumental, to me, is not that great. I feel that the whole point with Psy to “break” into the American music industry is for no reason. The vocals are okay. Not sure about the wet Psy part though. It sounds weird and at the same time dirty.

The music video is pretty funny. It’s funny I don’t like the song, liked Gangnam Style instead. As for the music video, it is quite opposite. I really did laugh when I first watched this video. Amazing hey? I particularly loved at “The Grasshopper’s” stomach scene and the eating battle between Gain and Psy. Actually come to think of it, Gain was super sexy in this video. I feel happiness surrounding me. I really loved where they danced in some part of the music video, though the last one with a thousand people seemed to be green screen. I love that air or water work thing in the scene in the middle. It looked cool. I also have to mention the product placement in this music video is quite horrible. Double A? Seriously? (I prefer Reflex. I think Australians would only get that). The scenes where Psy is being a “gentlemen” is this video dominates the whole video. Don’t you think so? 😉

The dance is okay. Actually no. I am not that happy with the fact that he took Brown Eyed Girl’s dance and transformed it to fit the song. I know that it is all legal and stuff like that, but I am not happy. It seems like he is ripping them off. But I like the addition to the hand movements of the dance. But if the dance becomes popular, which I personally think it would not, according to my friend: I will die and that I will be also unhappy. Nudge Nudge Wink Wink.

5.5/10. Sorry, but it could’ve been better.

Gangnam Style – PSY

A hit as soon as it came out in August (Yes, I know. We are in November. I am like only just 3 months delayed). The song that has become the number 1 song in like almost every country in the world and has taken the world by storm (not a literal storm, though.) I guess this is a big moment and all I have done is dragged out the time this review was meant to come out. Nothing will stop Psy now, and with Part 2 of this album to come out soon and along with his American debut album to come out in November, I guess we will all be on the edge of our seats until the day he releases it.

The song is definitely catchy, and was catchy when it came out. However, since it rose to fame, I felt that the song has become really annoying. Everytime I turn on the radio, Gangnam Style. Go to a Cafe, Gangnam Style. Walks past a music store, Gangnam Style. Listen to the popular girls in school, Gangnam Style. Yeah, that is just my point. The lyrics are definitely something, as they depict Gangnam (a city in Seoul  as the Korean version of Beverly Hills.  At least this song was not banned like his other few songs, and the rest of his songs. But yeah, if you have not heard of Gangnam Style, where have to been. I guess I don’t have to say much more. Hey Sexy lady!

The music video is kind of the push to making Psy famous. I am not sure, but I am sure the horse dance rose him to fame. His music video is quite funny as well, if all his actions and showing that he has no fear of anything. The kid at the start is a heck of a dancer, and the scenes throughout the music videos were all pretty cool. I really liked Yoo Jae Suk’s (yellow suit man) dance session in the music video. But out of all that there is in the music video, I am 100% sure, that we cannot forget about Hyuna. Yes, I think she was much cuter and sexier than Bubble Pop or her recent release in October. Yes, much cuter and sexier. She was epic in this music video, just she ruined the song with the other version (Oppa is just my style).

The dance is definitely the most memorable part of the song. Really who has not attempted to dance this song? To the point where I yelled at my sister for jumping too much. But that is another story. But seriously, all the dance moves are all memorable. If you have not danced this song yet, where on earth have you been?

Well, you are waiting for a score right? 9.5/10. And that is me being picky.