WHY DON’T WE is nominated for Best Collaboration in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. CHUNG HA is also nominated for Best Female Solo Artist, Best Outfits, Best Female Choreography (Solo) and Best International Song by a Korean Artist (Western). Support WHY DON’T WE and CHUNG HA by clicking here to vote for the song today!

RAIN returned with the mini-album Pieces By Rain back in March of this year. The mini-album features the title track, WHY DON’T WE, a collaboration between RAIN himself and CHUNG HA. Based on the title of this post, it is obviously the focus of this review. Pieces By Rain also features other collaborations, such as RAIN & JYP’s collaboration from the end of last year – Switch to Me (which was originally considered for a nomination for the Best Collaboration category), a collaboration with some members of Ciipher (Come Over), Jackson Wang (Magnetic) and a solo song, Aurora. WHY DON’T ME is the final song I will be reviewing from the Best Collaboration category for the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.

What stands out at me in WHY DON’T WE is the song’s flair and style. It is ultimately the reason why I nominated it for Best Collaboration in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. It is incredibly stylish, trendy and modern, all of which are impressions that you would want a song to tick off in this current age. And I personally feel that ever since its release in March of this year, these same descriptions would have applied (and they still do!). I really enjoyed the harsh piano that we get as an instrumental hook in this song, which had the added benefit of being memorable. I also really enjoyed the upbeatness of the song and the subtle intensity that the background captures (which also enables a cool and sharp performance – more on that later). WHY DON’T WE also has vibrancy and never really had a dull moment when you consider the instrumentation. It is the vocals and singing that weakens the song. Not by much and I personally don’t mind it, in retrospect. But sitting down to review WHY DON’T WE made me think long and hard about the song, and I just have to be honest. RAIN is excessively autotuned in this song. It is a bit odd when you look at the song as ‘bigger picture’, as CHUNG HA didn’t have much autotune on her one section of the song. I wished the producers toned down on the autotune, simply to balance and be on par with CHUNG HA’s section. Talking about CHUNG HA, she sounds great in this song. However, I do wish we heard more of her in WHY DON’T ME. I am not satisfied enough! With the hooks and lines, I do feel that WHY DON’T WE was stuck in a loop and a bit repetitive. Overall, WHY DON’T WE shines because of its instrumental, but the glow isn’t as strong thanks to the vocal aspects of the song.

One of the things RAIN is known for in KPOP is his style, and I feel that the music video does a wonderful job of capturing that style. I also felt that having CHUNG HA in the music video, even though her part in the song was limited, also helped with making the video more stylish. I liked the mysterious vibe of the video, courtesy of the closeup shots of RAIN himself. I don’t know if they form a story, or are there just to be mysterious for style only. But I don’t mind whichever was the intention of the video’s producer. Black and greys are stylish tones and I liked how they was used throughout the video to bring forth that visual effect. The odd presence of colour (mainly shades of red), such as CHUNG HA’s outfits, the red sand during the second chorus, the red piece of fabric that was twisted around the dancer in the air etc. added a refined touch to the video.

On top of the stylishness of the music video, the choreography was also the other heavy aspect of the music video. Another thing RAIN and CHUNG HA are known for is their choreographies and performances, and a collaboration between the pair on this front, logically, would be amazing. Well, spoiler alert – it was. I really like the footwork in the performance, along with the sexiness and charisma that the pair brings to the stage. Again, I wished CHUNG HA made an appearance towards the end of the performance to really wrap it up. But what we got was also fine.

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

[Review] Switch To Me – Rain & JYP

The next collaboration that I wanted to quickly cover was the final release of 2020. Dropping on the 31st of December 2020 was Switch To Me, a collaboration between Rain and JYP. Rain, for those who don’t know, is a well-known soloist in the KPOP music industry and his famous physique that he has flaunted in his musical releases on numerous occasions (the most iconic being Love Song). More recently, he saw a resurgence in his fame through the remergence of his 2018 track Gang, collaborated with Zico for Summer Hate and collaborated with Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Hyori for SSAK. JYP is a male soloist who we all know, thanks to his old school hits (which are considered classics in the industry) and more recently collaborated with Sunmi for When We Disco. But today, we are hear to have a closer look and listen at Switch To Me.

Switch To Me delves into the new jack swing genre, bringing forth a strong retro appeal for their new song and collaboration. It is super jam packed with energy, which is representative of the genre. And knowing Rain and JYP’s style of music, this energy driven song is totally both their styles. In hindsight, Switch To Me is a pretty straightforward song. But there was a few elements that really made this a collaboration enjoyable. Aside from the energy that I have already touch upon, I really liked the chorus of this song. It was quite memorable and catchy. I particularly liked the way they ended their choruses, giving us a little more than a hard finish would have. I really liked their voices in this song. JYP’s sings in his signature style, while Rain employs a little more huskiness than what I remember his voice contains. The rapping in the second verse was quite nice and adds a burst of exciting energy into the song. I don’t have much else to say about Switch To Me, aside from the fact that it is a strong collaboration track and one that I am sure fans of both soloists have enjoyed.

The music video starts off with what feels like a K-drama scene of two frienemies or rivals praising one another by keeping tabs on one another’s recent achievements. I also like how their dialogue touches on the point that Rain used to be an artist under JYP’s guidance and that he learnt everything from JYP himself. Enter in the actress, who Rain and JYP spend their time throughout the music video competing against each other for. There are abs being flaunted, horse riding and expensive cars being driven. But the ending cracks me up with an unsuspected contender turns up. The ending shows the actress walking towards Rain and JYP, with us suspecting that she will choose one of them. But she ends up going for Psy, whom she was very pleased to see. I loved Psy’s face in response to the two singers and Rain’s reaction to the event.

The performance was pretty good. Despite their age, both Rain and JYP commit to the energtic side of the performance. It is really enjoyable and helps liven the song up a lot more than just the instrumentation/song itself. There seems to be a tiny hint of comedy in the performance from how I see things, no doubt a play on Rain’s recent trendiness and JYP’s usual outrageous performance style. I also quite liked the ending, with both singers going for that half split.

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

[Review] Summer Hate – Zico ft. Rain

Returning last week was Zico with the mini-album Random Box. It has taken a while, but as promised, here is the review for the title track from that mini-album, Summer Hate. This is Zico’s first release since the chart-topping and Tik-Tok trendy Any Song hit. Joining Zico is Rain, who many may know is a popular soloist for his many KPOP hits during the 00s. More recently, Rain has been attracting attention with his 2017 GANG comeback (though it has been trending for all the wrong reasons). It is interesting to see two very different trends in the industry and it does make you think about what song these two will put out, given their more recent viral history.

As the next instalment in Zico’s discography, Summer Hate comes off as a pretty weak track. Summer Hate is all about the annoying Summer heat that people have been and will always go through during Summer. It is a unique topic and concept, but I feel that the potential ended up being wasted due to poor execution. As it is a Zico self-produced song, the song is of the hip-hop genre and has a sing-song delivery that I believe is ill-suiting for what Zico was trying to get at. Everything comes off as very emotionless. I don’t get any of that annoyance of the Summer heat that the lyrics are trying to convey from his delivery or the overall feel of the song. When I think of annoying Summer heat, I think of unbearably hot concrete that will burn the sole of your feet if weren’t careful. Or the urgent need for a cool drink after a five-minute walk to the shops. There is a bit of energy to each of these scenarios and I feel that is the missing piece to this song. His intention was probably to make the song sound lazy, as one would feel during the hottest time of the day. But I don’t think it ever hits that mark. I do admit there were a good beat and melodies in this song enough to make the song bearable. I like the saxophone in the instrumental. But this all wasn’t enough. Finally, the other issue with the track was Rain’s featuring. Did he even feature in the song, as it sounded like Zico throughout the entire track? I was waiting for some of Rain’s distinct vocals, but they never appeared!

Unlike the song, the video was well executed. It showed the concept of heat quite well, though quite exaggerated for most of the video. Some examples in the music video included cooking of food on the concrete floor (my personal favourite in the video), the melting of metal and the clothes catching on fire. My main issue is with their attire during some of the scenes. One of my personal pet peeves is when people complain it is too hot and they are wearing inappropriate clothing, such as Zico and Rain’s long sleeves at the end of the video as they melt away. If they melted away in shorts and a t-shirt, then I wouldn’t be making such comments as the video would make more sense. It may make them look good, but honestly, who looks good on a boiling hot day where everything is melting away?

There is a bit of choreography during the chorus, which seems to be choreographed to be suitable for TikTok. After all, Zico has restarted the TikTok trend with this comeback, following its success with Any Song. It is suitable and reflects the lyrics well.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6/10

[Review] Gang – Rain

Rain is back with his first comeback in almost 3 years. His last comeback was in January of this year (The Best Present). Since then, he did get married to Kim Tae Hee and he is also now a father. More recently, he is also mentoring on The Unit, which is aimed at giving potential idols a second chance at the industry.

Gang is his title track for this comeback and I will be honest, I wasn’t impressed the first time around. The song is quite good, inserting an even modern influence into the music, compared to his last few comebacks. The EDM elements that make the rap verses and ‘Hundred Dollar Bills’ do hype the song and make it ‘lit’. But the slow down is the part that holds me back from saying it is a fantastic track. It just doesn’t fit, in my opinion. It cuts the flow of the song and just doesn’t sit well with me. But that was last night. Listening to it again, it doesn’t seem to be that bad. It does still catch me off guard but it seems to somewhat flow better than what I initially thought. Rain handles everything quite well, from his vocals and the raps. Overall, it is a good song to check out.

The music video is quite cool. I love high-quality videos and this video falls neatly into that category. I like how the music video highlighted certain words int he song by displaying it across the screen. I thought some of his fashion choices were really cool, while others were quite creepy. The massive sunglasses were cool. The jewelled head covering the end was the example of creepy.

Rain is known for this choreography and I thought this one was quite nice. It was sensual at some parts but equally as tough in others. His dance break that featured at the end of the music video was quite cool.

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

[Review] The Best Present – Rain

Rain has returned to the music scene after 3  years. The last time he was on the stage he released 30 Sexy and La Song in 2014. Since then, Rain has been busy with a world tour, setting up his own company and getting married to Kim Tae Hee. This track marks his return to the industry with promises of more music promotions in the future. The track, The Best Present, was produced by Psy.

I wasn’t much of a fan of his previously two releases, so I fussed about the hype that much. But I didn’t anticipate the release of such a great track. The track is literally smooth. His husky vocals just slide along with the song. The song can be described as a slow, rnb dance track, suiting his message in the song. It’s either thanking his fans for their support or he is singing how his new wife is “The Best Present” in the world. The instrumental isn’t that memorable, but like I said before, it is very smooth. The song just lacked one thing. It needed a peak. It’s not monotone but it felt too consistent. The song tries to reach the peak with the dance instrumental break but falls short of its goal. Maybe the instrumental should have had a few extra instruments to give it that extra push, but what we have presently is good enough. To be honest, I am more impressed with his vocals and the smoothness that I heard (sorry for repetition of the one word), so I am not exactly too bothered with the lack of a peak.

There are two things that make this video: simplicity and choreography. So I will be joining the performance review with the video review. I do like simple videos from time to time. This one does it well. While there isn’t anything in the video besides a white and black background, the way the background was used was pretty smart. Different coloured filters and lighting were used to change the colour. However, the background can only captivate you so much, especially by the second time you play the video, so that is where the dance comes into play. Now the dance aspect of the video. It isn’t boring to watch. Rain’s dance has been iconic from day 1 and while this one isn’t necessarily memorable as his past routines, it is still pretty amazing. His movements are fluid and smooth, which suits the track. When I watched this video, I couldn’t help but hold my breath, especially at the dance break. It truly did look amazing.

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



La Song – Rain

Source: http://showbiz.omy.sg/sites/default/files/images/201401/20140102/rain-la-song_vod_img.jpg

This is part two of the Rain special. If you still have not seen part one (aka. review for 30Sexy), then you can do so by clicking on the link HERE! This is the second song from the pair, with many people finding this new song quite interesting.

Yeah, same goes for this song. Not as great as the hype for it. Though it is mildly better than 30Sexy. I find this song more easily to listen to and it is more pleasant to listen to. But to me, is does not seem to be a style that I would go for. I find it rather awkward to listen at times. For those who have not listened to the song yet, you get this Spanish / Mexican beat to the song, which makes it rather different to the many types of standard songs we have now. I have to say, he made a good effort to make the song sound like it was from Mexico or a European country. But it does not suit him. He sounds good but the chorus seems to put me off. On top of that, the verses does not seem to match the chorus of the song. I think the best conclusion I can make is that the song sounds much better than 30Sexy.

The music video could have been much better. The music video seemed quite dark in feeling for such a upbeat song. Anyway, I have to say: why is twerking the new craze? Like seriously, I thought the Harlem Shake was weird, but twerking just takes internet crazes to a whole new level. People are saying that this song and music video is racially discriminatory, but I don’t find anything wrong with this music video in that sense. Well, beside that scene where the girl’s shadow gets changed. But beside that, all I can see is that the people in this music video are people who really know how to party really well. I see no problem with that. Anyway, the music video is okay, but I would have expected something a little more grand especially for Rain’s comeback and for this song.

The live performance is pretty good. It seems like he sings live, so that is great. And I guess the dance is pretty good. Though this song does not fit his style, It seems like he enjoyed being up there singing this song. Hmmm… I don’t have a problem with this, but he is far too happy on that stage.

5/10. Okay, not that happy with it, but I think it is much better than 30Sexy. Maybe next time I guess?

30 Sexy – Rain

Source: http://www.soompi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/rain-30-sexy-teaser-vid.png

Rain, back from military service, has finally returned to the stage. It has been a very long while since we all have seen the singer on stage and finally fan girls have been able to see the singer perform. His last comeback was in 2010, with  Love Song, which won many fans over. It seems that with Rain’s comeback, he is quite popular. You probably be in denial if you said he was not popular, because the truth is that is has to be one of the popular male idols out there at the moment.  This time around he came back with two songs: La Song and 30Sexy. The second song will be reviewed first and also, tomorrow, the review for La Song will be revealed. So stay tuned for that. It’s the RAIN special. Woo!

And yeah. I should rather wrap up the review now, than be criticised. Oh sigh. I really don’t like this song. I have never been a fan of Rain and probably never be, but this song is absolutely terrible. The only good songs he had were Rainism and Love Song. And those were not total favourites as well. This song really did not sum anything up. You have been away for 2 years and you give us a song that is high-pitched and unappealing. His voice is meant to sound good, but all I hear is a high pitch screech. I actually like the moments where he is singing in a normal voice, but that is only like 30% of the song. This song is not catchy and to be honest, I cannot listen to this song for more than a minute. If you were to choose between 30Sexy, La Song and Love Song to introduce someone to KPOP, Love Song would be the best choice. This song is quite disappointing and probably a song that I would never turn to ever again.

The music video misses something. Sexy. Now, I know that to some people, this video is very hard to resist, but to me and probably a few others, what the fudge cake is going on? The King Of Pop is back and we get a dark music video with hardly anything to talk about. Well, I can point out that the extra big shoes he got (I am speaking in terms of heels. He is the tallest soloist, I believe, yet he is insecure about his height?) and  that extra short jacket is quite an eyesore. I actually prefer him wearing something like in his dance break, something casual. Anyway, the video is quite dark and with those visual effects going on, I spend more times trying to adjust my eyesight to the different colours (note, there is only black and white in this video) than staring and focusing on him. And why give him such a dull colour and put the dances in colour? Why are they getting the spotlight when this comeback is about Rain, not really about his backup dancer’s though.

I think it would be hard to top Love Song with the body rolls and ripping of shirts and abs. And I guess this dance just proves that. Nothing in this dance is memorable, and it does not reflect the song as I would have expected it. I think his dance break in song was pretty cool, but beside that… Sorry.

Sorry, but this does not cut out for me. Though this is not my cup of tea, I am sure everyone else enjoys it. 1/10. Definitely a song that I would not go back to.