[Review] Sweet Juice – PURPLE KISS

PURPLE KISS is another group to return this week. This time around, the group delivers their latest single, Sweet Juice, and their fifth mini-album release, Cabin Fever. Sweet Juice follows PURPLE KISS’ July 2022 single Nerdy (and their fourth mini-album, Geekyland) and the unfortunate departure of Jieun from the group (due to health reasons and anxiety).

Sweet Juice has a strong set-up and potential in its sultry tone and haunting instrumentation. I really enjoyed the orchestral touch Sweet Juice had and the smoothness of the vocals from the members, overall. The haunting tropes that make up Sweet Juice‘s instrumentation, along with the soft and almost-whispery vocals, give the song a fair amount of character. The rapping in the second verse is also quite a good element, adding a brief but sassy tone to the song, infusing a different energy into the song (compared to everything else we hear in the song). However, while it does sound like I fam singing praises for Sweet Juice, there is a major issue with the song as it progresses along. I personally find Sweet Juice to also be an overly subdued song. It started off well, as mentioned, and I am pretty much fine with everything up until the second verse. But from there, Sweet Juice just stayed relatively neutral in its instrumentation and tone, and doesn’t build much from there. I wished the song had picked up momentum and intensity as it went on. This would have given Sweet Juice a lot more appealing points, and made the song more dynamic and interesting. With the haunting aspect to the song, I feel like this would have gone hand-in-hand and created a cool piece. We do have a bit of an incline during the bridge, but that is because it is building the song back from a stripped down sequence to another repeat of the chorus. Just not as satisfying, but it had the right intentions. Overall, I enjoyed Sweet Juice but I am of the opinion that the song could have done more.

Keeping in line with the haunting instrumentation, the music video also had a horror concept. The events take place within a hotel, which at first we are led to believe that the members work at (more on this theory just a bit). They feel a dark presence around them (i.e. the figure dressed in black with the hat), whom in some cases tries to harm the members. A mysterious phone call appears to help them escape the hotel. But I think, based on the ending of the video with the members donning uniforms, that the events we see are the ones that trap them at the hotel. And they are the dark presence that haunts the guests at the hotel. We actually never see the members greet any guests or escort anyone through the hotel. It is them in their plaid outfits holding the bag or that we see throughout the hotel. To further back my theory, there are messages that say RILAS throughout the hotel, which according to reddit is SALIR spelt backwards, which means ‘get out’. But despite that, the members still pick up the phone and say yes to Sweet Juice. Overall, I quite liked the video and think it nails what I want from such a concept.

I like the smoothness in the chorus sequence of the choreography, which goes well with the vocals. But for me, I quite liked the bridge and final chorus routines for this performance. The piano in the instrumental really allows the performance to include a few pretty moments, which ultimately helps makes the entire choreography more impactful.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10

[Album Review] Geekyland (4th Mini Album) – PURPLE KISS

Next up on the week long of album reviews is PURPLE KISS’ Geekyland, their latest mini-album release. Geekyland and its title track Nerdy was originally released on 25 July 2022. This min-album features another 4 tracks and an intro track alongside Nerdy. Fun fact (and proof that I really dropped the ball on album reviews this year), but a couple of weeks following Nerdy‘s review, I reviewed PURPLE KISS’ third mini-album, memeM, from way back in March of this year.

Once again, PURPLE KISS put out a strong mini-album. I think their past few releases have also been of a similar calibre, and so PURPLE KISS has proven to be consistent and full of potential, just like what I had indicated in their memeM album review. Just like that mini-album, Geekyland also features one 10/10 track. Keep on reading to find out which song that is.

Geekyland Album Cover

1. Intro: Bye Bye Bully – The intro track was an ideal track to precede the title track that follows it. Bye Bye Bully’s instrumentation features a spooky vibe whilst also being trendy and modern. The vocals work was sleek, working well with the instrumentation. If there was anything to take away from this intro track, it is that PURPLE KISS knows how to the set the scene. (8.5/10)

2. Nerdy (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Nerdy. (8.5/10)

3. Fireflower (불꽃)Fireflower was a pleasant dance track. I liked the different influences within the background, from the brief cultural sample at the start and the complimenting moombahton instrumental for the chorus. The vocal work was quite alluring to listen to. The rapping in the bridge was a highlight and I wouldn’t mind hearing more of that in the song. In addition to wanting that, I did want some more oomph to Fireflower, just so everything we get in Fireflower is heightened and an even more exciting vibe comes from the song. (8/10)

4. Can’t Stop Dreamin’ – There are two sides to Can’t Stop Dreamin’. On one side, we have a dreamy atmosphere come about during the verses. The dreamy nature comes about from the harp-like synth in the trap-centric instrumental. On the other side, a dynamic infusion of energy comes through the choruses. The two sides work well with one another, creating a harmonious dance track. The hooks in this song were strong, with a solid set vocals and great delivery from the members. A favourite of my mine from this mini-album. (9/10)

5. Love Is Dead – We continue that spooky vibe from the first two songs in Love Is Dead through a fun and groovy rock track. I quite enjoyed the use of their raspy/husky vocals in the song, which gave them a mature profile. But it also plays towards that spooky vibe I just mentioned. The rapping in the second verse was perfect for this song, aligning with the raspy vocals and bought an edgy factor to the song. The hooks within Love Is Dead was super catchy and memorable, help making it a highlight on this mini-album. (9/10)

6. SuMMer RaiN – The song tones down and completes the album with an acoustic R&B number. And I found it so nice and soothing to listen to. The deep voice in the background was a surprising element, however, and the idea of it doesn’t work with acoustics whatsoever. But somehow, it fits into snuggly into the background. The vocals were very delicate and soft, bringing out the melodies really well. Some of the melodies feel a bit haunting, which I guess is the song’s connection to the rest of the mini-album. The rapping was superb and I love the rhythm it brought to the song. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.8/10

Geekyland Teaser Image

[Album Review] memeM (3rd Mini Album) – PURPLE KISS

Next album to get the review treatment is memeM, PURPLE KISS’ 3rd mini-album since their debut last year. It was released way back at the end of March of this year, and features the title track of the same name. I know this album review is very much delayed, especially since PURPLE KISS has returned more recently with another comeback (NERDY) and their fourth mini-album, Geekyland. That unfortunately won’t be getting the album review treatment until the end of September (if I remember my reviewing schedule correctly). But hopefully the album review for memeM will be a sufficient dose of PURPLE KISS for the time being.

memeM is a solid release from PURPLE KISS. They are only in their second year of their career, so there is still a lot to discover about this group. But if the memeM mini-album is indicative of anything, it has to be the fact that they have a lot of potential, as highlighted by the strong rating this mini-album received. Do you agree with my overall thoughts and individual thoughts on the songs? Let me know in the comments below.

memeM Album Cover

1. Intro: Illusion – The mini-album kicks off with a mysterious intro track. Illusion just spans for over a minute, but considered me intrigued and interested with this opener. There is an exotic colour to this track thanks to the instrumental. And the vocals were sleek and alluring. I would have loved for this to be a full track on its own. (9/10)

2. memeM (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for memeM. (7/10)

3. Oh My Gosh (날 좀 봐)Oh My Gosh started off with a pretty chill instrumentation. It is trendy, but there wasn’t really much going on in the background. The vocal work and rapping were solid, and remains so throughout the rest of the track. I did wish the hooks and melodies were more engaging, as better hooks and melodies would have made Oh My Gosh more memorable and better. What I did enjoy with this song is how Oh My Gosh changed momentum and develops itself into a substantial dance track. The chorus felt more amplified and the heavier presence of synths and percussion following the chorus made the song much more attractive and robust. (8/10)

4. Pretty PsychoPretty Psycho is my favourite side track from this mini-album. A large part of this is due to the instrumentation – groovy and bass-prominent. There is also a dynamic side of Pretty Psycho, as the tempo changes between sequences. The instrumental sequence of the bridge was very cool, while the twinkling effect during the second half of the bridge gave the song a haunting aspect. All of this could easily rival the likes of NERDY, the group’s more recent comeback, which I enjoyed. But this is only one aspect of Pretty Psycho. The other aspects that I usually comment on – vocals and rapping were really well done in this song, especially during the chorus. Memorable hooks and delivery here. (10/10)

5. JOAH (좋아)JOAH turns the attention onto the members’ vocals, which have been strong so far on this album. But JOAH magnifies the focus onto the vocals with the song’s slower approach. I like the R&B pop vibe that the instrumental had and the melodies in this slower song were very calming and soothing to listen to. (8/10)

6. Hate Me, Hurt Me, Love Me – This song infuses an upbeat pop energy back into the mini-album with its electronic instrumentation. Its vibrant and bright, which is instantly appealing to me. I did think the actual execution of the instrumental was a bit generic and straightforward, but this isn’t a big deal for me. The vocals keep Hate Me, Hurt Me, Love Me light and pleasant. The chorus melody was vibrant and catchy for me. All of this made the song enjoyable to listen to. (8/10)

7. Cursor (빈틈) – The most captivating song on this album comes at the very end. Cursor really took hold of me during the start, with a balladry-like motif in both instrumentation and vocals. Following the first chorus, the song abruptly tacks on some EDM to the song. This was quite an unexpected change, but one that works. We soon return to those balladry vocals and the captivation continues. I am more upset on how the EDM transitioned into rapping (and into the final chorus). I thought this ruined the flow of the song (more so than the EDM itself), and weakened the integrity of the song. But other than that, a neat track. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10

memeM Teaser Image

[Review] Nerdy – PURPLE KISS

PURPLE KISS made a quick comeback yesterday, just four months after their March memeM comeback. An album review for memeM (their third mini-album) is coming your way soon. But for now, PURPLE KISS has moved on to promote their new release, Nerdy, the title track off their fourth mini-album Geekyland.

Right off the bat, Nerdy stands out for its quirkiness. To me, it feels like PURPLE KISS could find a niche in KPOP with this quirky direction, given they also have Zombie in their bag (my favourite PURPLE KISS release to date). There are some other successful quirky releases floating about in KPOP, but it has been a minute. As a result of this, Nerdy comes off as having a new, unique and refreshing sound. More specifically, a fun horror like sound style. I personally quite enjoy this, appealing to my taste for something new (even if it isn’t in fact a new sound!). Nerdy‘s fun horror sound comes about from the violin samples in the instrumental and the vocal melodies that help bring everything to life. I quite liked how the violins samples were used thoughtfully, and how the vocals were bolstered in a way to appear powerful and strong. The violins in the dance break were definitely the peak moment of the song, and highlights that fun nature of Nerdy. The upbeat nature brought to you by the synths helps seal the deal by giving Nerdy a vibrant and catchy atmosphere. I do think Nerdy takes a bit of a tumble when it comes to hooks. I don’t think Nerdy was necessarily memorable on this front. But thankfully, the described instrumental, without a doubt, makes up for this memorability factor for me.

I quite like how the music video for Nerdy carries on that horror theme, but in a lighthearted manner to match the fun nature of the song. If the producers of this video thought of something else that wasn’t lighthearted, then I would have some questions. From what I can tell, the members of PURPLE KISS are ghosts in a TV studio. They have a bit of fun, haunting the studio and some of the personnel. But they also mean business, fixing up a disappointing horror show while they are at (because they are ghosts and they know best). In the end, they broadcast the revamped show, infect the world with their music and are able to escape the confines of the TV studio. We close out the video with some creepy laughter. I do think they could have added a bit more to the creepy factor at the end. But it was a great video, overall.

I can only speak about what we can see in the music video, as I have not seen a live performance or showcase for this release just yet. I quite like the bits and pieces of the choreography that I saw in the video, which goes really well with the vocal delivery we get in the song. I also like the girl crush concept they bring into the bridge/dance break sequence of the song.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Review] memeM – PURPLE KISS

Another group to make their comeback this week was PURPLE KISS, who returns with their third mini-album and title track, both titled memeM. This is their first comeback, following their debut with Ponzona early last year and Zombie comeback in September of last year.

memeM feels like it is a song that sounds like it has been done elsewhere in KPOP before. It feels familiar, but not nostalgic as I mentioned in my last review. Rather, it is more typical. And this is the case of most synth heavy dance tracks in KPOP nowadays. Of course, there is the odd release that I like as it comes off as fresh. But for the most part, songs like memeM don’t really offer anything new to the playing field. At least the producers of memeM and PURPLE KISS were able to infuse a few elements that gives the new song some uniqueness and individuality. Such elements include a unique repetitive hook, the ‘Look at my eyes, Deep inside...’ line over no instrumentation that opens up the second verse and, interesting vocal textures and deliveries (which includes that soaring high note). Whether they are enough, I can’t be 100% sure. Talking about vocals (which also leads onto their rapping), I did enjoy how powerful the members were throughout memeM. This helps creates a powerful tone and adds onto the already powerful nature of the metallic and clangy instrumentation. One thing I thought was a massive letdown to the song was the ending, in particular that weakening/winding down ‘memeM‘. After such power and energy in memeM, the ending just weakens the integrity of the song for me. Overall, a fair comeback. Though I wish to see more individuality from the group.

I was amazed with this music video. The spinning mirrors during the first dance shot, the floating black orbs and the other dance shot with the arms in the background (which zoomed out was inside a statue’s head) was super cool. I would love to see more of this imagery in future music videos. The closeups help give off an edgy vibe, which suits the powerful nature of the video. Other post-production edits applied to the video made it look cooler. Overall, I am impressed with this music video.

The choreography looks good, as well (based on what I can see in the music video). I like the intensity, edginess and darkness they infused into the choreography. It matches the powerful nature of the song and shows off their performance skills.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

[Review] Zombie – PURPLE KISS

After a number of pre-release songs (to which I have not yet reviewed) and their official debut with Ponzona in March of this year, PURPLEKISS has made their first comeback today with Zombie. This new song is featured on the group’s second mini-album, Hide and Seek, which also dropped today.

Those pre-debut tracks and Ponzona were portrayed with dark concepts and mature sounds. So when I clicked on Zombie earlier today, I was completely taken surprised by the sound of Zombie (I don’t watch music video teasers nowadays, so I was going in without any knowledge of what the song could potentially have sounded like). It is a bit of a curveball in terms of sound, especially since I did not expect anything this funky and bright sounding from the group. But did this put me off Zombie? Of course not. In a matter of fact, I am digging Zombie completely, as I find the instrumentation and hooks to be quite infectious. The bass really uplifted the song and the funky guitars was just a fun element to the song. The rest of the synths really helped heightened the funkiness of the song and worked cohesively together to create a fun atmosphere with the guitars and bass. My favourite bit of the instrumentation has to be the launch into the final chorus. That was a great peak for me, fitting well into the funky and groovy direction of the song! The chorus was nicely done, with it adding a nice additional layer of perkiness to the song. The ‘Zombie, B, B, B‘ hook was a refreshing one and definitely quite addictive. It was also one that grew on me very fast I had to hold myself back from replaying the song for the umpteenth time, so that I could review the song (though I was tempted to just have it on a loop for the rest of the night and do nothing – lazy me strikes again). What also was quite impressive about Zombie was the vocals and rapping. All was superb throughout the song, with their strong vocals and powerful rapping on full display. Overall, an unexpected release but definitely a high calibre and quality track nonetheless.

I guess the other curve ball for this comeback was the colourfulness of the music video. Obviously fitting for the bright and upbeat side of the song. It is just odd, given the dark and mature image I had engrained into my mind thanks to their pre-debut/debut imagery/concepts. But like the song, this did not deter me from enjoying the music video. It was fun and creative (and at time humourous) take on zombies. Usually we see the members away from the zombies in other videos featuring an undead concept. But PURPLE KISS went to the next level by hanging out with the zombies. I suspect they are ones themselves, given how one of their eyes popped out and the other zombies didn’t eat them. But I guess they are not as affected, given that they could still function like humans. One little detail did distract me, however. In the lineup of ‘B’ words that was present on screen during the song’s hook, one of them was spelt wrong. Wonder if you can figure out which word?

Personally, I felt the choreography for this comeback to be the weakest aspect. I wished the moves were sharper, as this would have made the performance look even better. I also feel that the song’s main hook should have had a more defined and memorable dance move associated to it, just to give the choreography bit more of a wow factor to it.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] Ponzona – PURPLE KISS

After teasing us with two pre-release singles, My Heart Skip A Beat and Can We Talk Again, PURPLE KISS has finally made their debut with Ponzona (‘Poison’ in Spanish), today. For those who are unfamiliar with the group, PURPLE KISS is a seven-member female group from RBW Entertainment, which is the home of MAMAMOO, ONEUS and ONEWE. The seven members that make up the new group are Park Jieun, Na Goeun, Dosie, Ireh, Yuki, Chaein and Swan. On a side note, I have yet to review those two pre-release tracks. I do intend on reviewing them and will get around to them soon. Aside from that, let’s have a closer listen and look at Ponzona.

Based on sound alone, PURPLE KISS’s debut single sounds very unique. There was this very mysterious, intriguing but ultimately edgy vibe to their overall sound, which I thought was an interesting blend of emotions that helped made Ponzona very appealing. On top of that, I also like how bold and intense the fusion urban hip-hop instrumental felt. That dance break was something very different to what I am used to and shows off a unique flair. It definitely captivated. I also liked the use of classical instrumentation and the piano throughout the song. that helped the song come off as artistic and aesthetic. The only concern I had with the song was its pace. I thought it was sluggish in the verses and some of the choruses. I know they really tried to intensify all of that mysteriousness and edgy vibes by using this technique. But I felt that this backfired slightly and drained some of that energy from the song. Aside from instrumentation, I really want to draw attention to their delivery in Ponzona. The vocals are superb. Coming from RBW Entertainment, I definitely had high expectations for the group in this department and they literally met that expectation with ease. That growl by the member who sings ‘Purple‘ at the end of the chorus really catches my attention. The members who participated in the pre-chorus also delivered smashing vocals that blew me away. The rapping was equally as strong and really gave the song more of that intense kick that notable rappers always give off in their personal songs. Ponzona really catches my attention from the get-go and I am definitely excited to hear what they have in store next for us listeners!

To match that mysterious and edgy vibe, the music video that accompanies the release of Ponzona did an excellent job of showcasing those same vibes in a visual manner. And they did so with the addition of a creepy aura which really sends a statement to viewers who are coming to see the members/release for the first time. While I am not sure if all the scenes are meant to connect to tell a story. But I feel the common message is that these girls are very powerful, sought after by followers and even the devil (or an evil creature) bowing down to one of the members as well. I also liked how their use of purple isn’t too overwhelming. I would have expected the video to be somewhat saturated with the colour, given that it was their debut and you would want your name to be known. But it was used sparingly and in a refined manner.

I liked how those vibes I mentioned above were also reflected in the choreography. I really like the introductory sequence to the choreography, with its robotic like movements. I also enjoyed the boldness of the dance break, matching that paced nature of the song, but also showing more of that unique flair that I mentioned in the song section of this review.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10