[Review] Waves – Kang Daniel ft. Simon Dominic & Jamie

Before I can proceed with any reviews for the newer releases of the week (starting tomorrow), there is still one more Monday release that I need to review. I am talking about Kang Daniel’s pre-release single, Waves, which features both Simon Dominic and Jamie (Jimin from 15&). This is just one of the songs coming our way once Kang Daniel unveils his Magenta mini-album on August 3rd. This comeback is the second of three Colour comebacks that he is embarking on. The first was titled Cyan (and featured the title track 2U) back in March of this year.

Kang Daniel manages to bring together hip-hop melodies and a subtle Latin influence to form Waves. And it is honestly a good sidetrack that really helps grow the anticipation for his upcoming mini-album release. Yes, I specifically mentioned ‘sidetrack’ for a reason. I don’t think the song has what it takes to be given ‘title track’ status, given that it doesn’t have much impact or heft to it. So, its status as a sidetrack is ideal. As mentioned in the introduction to this review, the song features both Simon Dominic and Jamie. It might seem to be a bit much for a song that only lasts three minutes, but Waves is surprisingly balanced and evenly split between all three artists. And each artists had their own thing unique thing to contribute to the track. Kang Daniel kicks off the song with a really cool rap speak delivery of the first verse. He also takes on board the chorus, given that it is his song and that makes the most sense. His vocals seem sleek and matches the sensual vibe of the song. Jamie follows Kang Daniel in the first verse with her nasally voice. She also got an opportunity to rap in the second verse. It isn’t anything intense, but it gives a little teaser of a new side of her that she hasn’t really shown off in her own music just yet. Simon Dominic rounds out the first verse with a short sequence, before returning with a heavier sequence for the second verse and bridge. The deepness in his voice threw me off the first time around, as it contrasted so greatly with the chilled and light nature of Waves‘ instrumental. Overall, Waves is a pretty good teaser of what is to come in less than a weeks time.

The music video is quite good. First of all, I am glad that both Jamie and Simon Dominic are in this music. A lot of the time the featuring artist is not included due to scheduling conflicts or various other reasons. So to see both featuring artists made the video worthwhile to watch. Secondly, how good does Kang Daniel look in this video? His solo shots were very captivating and his outfits (particularly those suit jackets) looked really cool. Thirdly, the sets look unique. Some of the sets look really elegant. Others seemed to be modeled after sewage pipes. Not really a cool place to be. But Kang Daniel, Jamie and Simon Dominic all really make all the sets seems like the place to be. The ending looks a little sinister and might foreshadow next week’s main release.

What I could see from the music video, the choreography looked really promising. I liked how they split off into females and males dancers for the second chorus, while they were all mixed together for the first and second choruses. I couldn’t really focus on a particular move given the unfocused nature of the music video. Though I did detect some attitude mixed into the moves, as I could see from the end of the performance.

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

[Review] Hotel Heartbreak – Tiffany (SNSD) ft. Simon D

[This review was written and scheduled a few months back in preparation for my absence in December. The standard posts for the end of the year (comebacks I have missed in November & December, the end of year charts + KPOPreviewed awards will be written and posted after my return. No weekly charts will be uploaded for the last week of November and all of December.]

Tiffany made her solo debut with I Just Wanna Dance in May of this year. She later came back in the month of June with a single, which features Simon D. This single was release as a part of SM Station, which I don’t think I will be reviewing all of them (my promise was a little too ambitious).

An amazing song. It has its roots in the rnb genre, while still maintaining a subtle dance beat. Her vocals are brought out and put on display in this song. Any complaints made against her voice seems to be void for this song. The echoes in the song seem to make the song more impressive, and the chorus has defined quite nicely by the echo and backing vocals. The echoes behind the words “Heartbreak Hotel” gives off an eerie feeling, but at the same time leaves a great impression on you. The bridge of the song is quite good as well. It is different from the rest of the song (in regards to the lack of instrumental) but it builds momentum to put you through to the final chorus.  Simon D always puts out impressive raps and they somehow tweaked his voice to fit perfectly in the song. Overall, the song is excellent from what I hear and I like it a lot.

The music video opens up with Tiffany looking quite bored (or is she heartbroken already?). I am a little torn with this part. Not that it is bad. But with regards to it being prior to the events of the video or after the events of the video. It’s not even a big detail to worry about anyway. Moving back to the video, Tiffany enters a bar and wanders around, accidentally causing a glass to break on the ground. My question is how quiet is the music there? It looks like a bumping crowd, but as soon as glass breaks, the whole club is turning around. This incident, however, attracts the attention of the male lead. Instead of cleaning up the mess (as Tiffany was doing) he drags her away and they start sharing drinks and laughs. They start dating and Tiffany falls for the guy pretty hard. But in the end, he leaves her (Tiffany catches him with another girl after going back to the club). I guess that is what you get for staying at the ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. The rest of the video seems to be just her finding ways of getting rid of her memories of the guy (packing up, going out back to the club). But I guess the scene at the end where she sees the same guy again at the club, while there being other guys around her, kind of shows that she can’t seem to forget at all. Okay, I have talked about the plot of the video. Loved the way the video was shot and their chemistry on-screen was quite powerful. Also loved her shots of her singing while admist the crowd at the club. Really gives off a nice contrast between finding love at the club and then remembering heartbreak at the club.

Rating – 10/10