[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

[Review] 11:11 – Taeyeon (SNSD)

Taeyeon has had a busy year with the release of Rain and  Why. However, she has added another single to the list with the release of 11:11 a few weeks back. It seems like SM Entertainment is making the most of Taeyeon’s successful solos with these constant releases.

Taeyeon’s ballads have always been standouts for me. I, Rain and now 11:11 all sound spectacular. They are all different songs in their own right. In my past reviews, I have said I and Rain are both vocally charged songs. There is also a hint of emotion in Rain. In 11:11, the emotions are heard more readily and strongly. Some people may think it is a weak song due to its soft nature, but from how I hear it, the emotions are oozing out of this song. The very simple yet bold acoustics in the instrumental and her dreamy vocals make this a song enjoyable to listen to (despite her singing about a breakup). It’s slow, but not too slow. The “na na na” leaves a long lasting impression in my mind and it makes me go back for more. It is a perfect song for the Autumn/Fall months. Give Taeyeon’s ballads a try because out of the three she has released as a solo artist, there is bound to be one for everyone.

The music video shows a couple breaking up. It threw in some flashbacks when the couple used to be more happy and loving. The transitions between different settings and between flashbacks looked nice. But besides that, the video was quite boring. It didn’t captivate me like how the song captivated me. There wasn’t much appeal to it. I’ve mentioned slow-motion recently in many of the past reviews. It matches the tempo and beat of the song. But it slowed everything down here and it dragged the video out for me.

Rating – 8.5/10


[Double Review] Why + Starlight – Taeyeon (SNSD)

The solo artist who reigned the charts in South Korea with her solo debut last year has finally returned with her second mini album.Taeyeon made her solo debut with I last year and returned at the start of the year with Rain, as a single that was part of SM Station. This time around Taeyeon brings two music videos. Her lead title track is Why and the other music video is Starlight, which features Dean. Both will be reviewed today.

While her solo debut and her recent single have been ballads, it was definitely a shock to hear a dance song from Taeyeon. It isn’t anything to be shocked over, I just thought she would make a comeback with another ballad, particularly with the success of her recent/past releases. However, Why does have that ballad-y feel to it. The start of it showcases her vocals quite well, similar to what she showed in I. As the song progresses, the beat builds up and those dance song sounds start to emerge. Yes, it is another EDM based song from SM Entertainment and I honestly don’t mind. Her vocals (per usual) shine throughout the song. Never did it get overshadowed by the instrumental. The chorus was particularly short and simple. It did feel choppy, but it was catchy and quite nice. Overall, I felt that she shined bright even though it wasn’t something that I expected from her.

Starlight features Dean, who is a solo artist. He has a nice voice, but he hasn’t amazed me as of yet with his releases. If you are a fan, please recommend some of his work down below for me and everyone to listen to. But moving along, the song is good, but it isn’t my cup of tea. The start of the nice with Taeyeon’s intro and the launch into Dean’s vocals is quite nice. The rest of song sounds “meh”.  It just sounds like a typical lovey-dovey song without any hooks or anything else to it. I don’t it particularly find it catchy or any appeal. The vocals are quite nice (and compliment each other) but the song is quite dry. That is all I can really say. I am more on the fence with regards to this song than anything else.

Music video wise, I am a little disappointed. Every element fits into the video quite nicely for Why. But the overall outcome looks too similar to Tiffany’s video. Both were filmed in America and  shows the girls having fun in America. Taeyeon takes it a little further by rebelling and spraying sauce over the poor cook at the food truck. Tiffany had more solo shots. The camera shots were also quite similar. I don’t know if the two were produced/directed by the same person but seriously, it just ruins the mood. Starlight had an okay video, but once again, I am disappointed. The chemistry between the two is the main concern. First of all, Taeyeon looks like she is the one pulling all the moves out and trying excessively hard to get his attention. However, he simply smiles in all the scenes or awkwardly gazes at her. His probably inexperienced with acting, which I get, but they should have toned Taeyeon’s acting down or made it look like he was somewhat more interested. Barely any interaction between the two looks decent or seemed too exaggerated. Furthermore, both artists had very minimal shots of them singing. So what was the point of adding those scenes, instead of scenes that may have contributed to their chemistry on-screen?

Why is the only song with a dance out of the two songs. The dance was pretty cool. I really enjoyed the snappy start and it looked quite cool with the camera zoomed up into her face. The rest of the dance followed with a similar snappy progression, which fitted well with the song.

Why – 7.5/10

Starlight – 4.5/10

[Review] I Just Wanna Dance – Tiffany (SNSD)

It has been a long time coming (both the solo debut and this review), but Tiffany from SNSD is finally here. After the success of Taeyeon with her two widely known singles, Tiffany has officially made her own solo debut, the second member (well, it is more like the third) to branch out onto the stage as a solo act. It was a much high anticipated solo debut that everyone had been waiting for.

I like the song. I listen to it and I can’t help to sing  or tap my foot along with it (at the bare minimum). But to be honest, it was a little underwhelming at first. Tiffany (like Taeyeon) is known for her vocals in SNSD, and I thought she would go with the ballad concept. However, I was genuinely surprised to hear the dance track. However, it just did not feel like it was right for her. It’s grown a lot on me, though. Vocally and musically, it was pretty a. But then I realised, this song sounds a lot like the song we got back in the day from pop artists in America (before the industry got saturated with autotune and mediocre tracks). This song definitely throws it back to the 00’s, which is the era of American pop music that I really liked. It has that nostalgic feel to it and without even blinking, I can tell an American producer made it. Tiffany is also American, and it kind of makes sense she would go down that path. The electronic and dance elements this song had was pretty damn good. It also sounds sexual without going too far or making it sound like it is over the top. I don’t mean the song is sexual or anything, just her voice sounds like sex to my ears. And with this instrumental, I feel like I am on cloud 9.

Little confused with the music video. Given SM’s last few artistic and abstract videos, this really misses the mark, unfortunately. It is a really bland video, slapped together quite quickly. Dance scenes and closeups of Tiffany. Describing it that way makes it sound boring, but honestly, that is what I got out of the video. It has that nice American feel, though. And I guess there was a plot to it. Boring Tiffany sleeps and enters the world full of colour and fun. She then wakes up, bringing her back to boring land. Really disappointed, because SM’s video have been really good these past few comebacks. It just feels like more a party scene would have fitted the song more. Her solo shots made her look good, but it just doesn’t have that EDM, electronic feel to it. In other words, the video was pretty much detached from the song.

Dance wise, it was pretty good. Not many KPOP artists get down and lie on the floor. I can think of a few, but not many. Definitely had the American channelling through it.

Overall, the song was pretty good. Disappointed that she didn’t win much with the song. Towards the end of the promotional period, I thought she should have won more with the song. 6.5/10

Recap of Golden Disk Awards 2016 + Thoughts

Probably one of the biggest award ceremonies for music and also probably one of the most prestigious, the 30th Golden Disk Awards (GDA) was held on the 20th to the 21st of January 2016. The GDA was supposed to be held in China but was moved back to South Korea due to the recent earthquakes that occurred there just 1 or two weeks before the scheduled event. Even though many people were shocked and feared the award ceremony would be either postponed or cancelled, the ceremony went off without a single hiccup and was broadcast live in both Korea and China.

What I like about this particular awards is that is focuses on both the physical albums and downloaded songs of the year. In other words, more awards for everyone. It is also nice to see who excelled in what (hahahaha…). The digital awards were handed out on the 20th of January, while the physical album awards were handed out on the 21st of January. The award show on the first night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Kim Jong Kook and Seohyun (SNSD). The second night was hosted by Jun Hyun Moo, Leeteuk (Super Junior) and Krystal (F(x)) I have recapped the award winners on the two nights below.

Disk Daesang (Album Of The Year) – EXODUS (EXO)
Digital Daesang (Song Of The Year) – Loser (Big Bang)
Disk Bonsang (Best Artist) – APINK, VIXX, F(x), BTS, CNBLUE, Jonghyun (SHINee), EXO, Beast, Super Junior
Digital Bonsang (Best Artist) – Red Velvet, EXID, AOA, Zion.T, Park Jin Young, Sistar, Taeyeon (SNSD), Kyuhyun (Super Junior), Big Bang, Girl’s Generation
Best New Artist – GFriend, iKON, Seventeen, Twice
Popularity Award – SHINee
Best Rap / Hip Hop – SanE
Best Rock – Hyukoh
Global Popularity Award – EXO
Best Group Vocal Award – BTOB
Best Solo Vocal Award – Jung Yonghwa (CN Blue)
Best Male Artist Award – Big Bang
Best Female Artist Award – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Next Generation Star Award – Monsta X

Once again, this wide spread of award winners seem to be more representative of main stream KPOP. Not that I am complaining. Most of the award recipients were similar to the Seoul Music Award 2016, however a lot more artists won in this ceremony, since their was more rewards. Not that I am being a hater or anything, but Kyuhyun’s bonsang award seems a little far fetched. From memory (correct me if I am wrong though), his song never charted high on the charts and likewise Super Junior barely makes an impact on the digital side of the music industry. So I am a little suspicious of how he managed to get an award for a digital bonsang. Saying that, he did sell a lot. Like a lot on the physical side. But beside that, I think it was a nice range of artists who won and I think it is accurate (as in which artists managed to shine the brightest in 2015).

I really need to think of ways to start off the different sections, but once again… I think out of the all the ceremonies that have already been broadcast (NOTE: I am typing this prior to the Gaon Chart Awards), GDA has the best performances. Why? Because many of the artists performed multiple songs and I really enjoy how some artists (or their producers) integrate different songs together. GFriend, Red Velvet, EXID, Seventeen and BTS had the best stages on the nights. Some artists performed some songs that were released in the past (in previous years, such as EXID’s Up & Down, VIXX’s Error, Sistar’s Touch My Body etc.), which I kind of liked, but, the songs were released last year… so maybe a little outdated. But overall, the performances, I think, were to a very high standard and pleased me (*points at myself* and *acting as the biggest critic of all time*).

Below are just the few performances that I found and slapped together in a playlist format in no particular order.

For a last minute change to the ceremony, it managed to do pretty well in my books. Awards, performances. Everything was just great. There is one more to go of this season’s award ceremonies, which will be coming out in the coming days. Until then, bye!!


Recap of MelOn Music Awards 2015 and Thoughts

The MMA or MelOn Music Awards were held on the 7th of November 2015. MelOn does not refer to the fruit but rather the music chart and on-line music store in South Korea. It is held by LOEN Entertainment, which owns the music distribution company. The music award has its own unique criteria where it only calculates digital sales of artists in the past year and incorporate these sales with on-line votes of fans.

The following artists, groups and actors attended the ceremony: Big Bang, Yoona (SNSD), Hyukoh, Hyorin & Dasom (Sistar) (did not perform), Toy (did not perform), APINK, Zion.T, Sane, iKON, GFriend, Mad Clown (did not perform), Hong Jin Young, BTS, Red Velvet, EXID, Monsta X, Winner (did not perform). Actors, actresses and other celebrities attended the night as presenters.

The show on the night was hosted by Yoo Byung Jae and Seo Kang Joon. They were shortly joined by Lee Boo Yi, Kim Shin Young, Kim So Hyun & Irene (Red Velvet). The red carpet was hosted by Youngji (Former Member of Kara) and Seo Yuri.

Below are the winners on the night. Afterwards, I have left some comments regarding some awards:
Top 10 Artist – SHINee, Girl’s Generation, Hyukoh, Toy, Big Bang, Sistar, EXO, APINK, Zion.T, Sane.
Best New Artist – iKON & GFriend
Best Rap/Hip Hop – Mad Clown ft. Jinsil (Fire)
Best Ballad – Baek Ah Yeon ft. Young K (Shouldn’t Have)
Best RnB – Naul (Living In The Same Time)
Best Rock – Kim Sung Gyu (The Answer)
Best OST – Loco & Yuju (Spring Is Gone By Chance)
Best Trot – Hong Jin Young (Love WiFi)
Best Pop – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk)
Best Male Dance – BTS (I Need U)
Best Female Dance – Red Velvet (Ice Cream Cake)
Best Folk – 10cm (Sseudam Sseudam)
Best Indie – Standing Egg ft. Wheein & Obroject Yundak (The Sunlight Hurts)
Netizen Popularity Award – Big Bang (Bang Bang Bang)
Hot Trend Award – Infinite Challenge (Yeongdong Expressway Music Festival)
Best Music Video – Park Jin Young ft. Jessi (Who’s Your Mama?)
Song Writer Award – Teddy
MBC Music Star Award – EXID
1theK Performance Award – Monsta X
Album Of The Year (Daesang) – EXODUS
Song Of The Year (Daesang) – Bang Bang Bang
Artist Of The Year (Daesang) – Big Bang

I personally think above is a fair spread for award winners. While I am not knowledgeable to comment on categories such as Best Indie and Best Folk, the rest show 2015 in its glory. Once again, I think Seventeen deserves the Best New Artist award and GFriend finally got what they deserved (it’s a good thing. Kind of sounded like I was hinting at something bad). Sistar and APINK’s Top 10 awards caught me off guard since they were quickly taken over by other artists on the digital charts and failed to be up to par with the other artists. I am glad to see Kim Sung Gyu win something for his album. It was really good.

And as per usual, there were performances that night from the groups who won awards. Performers included: Hyukoh, Big Bang, APINK, Zion.T, Sane, BTS, EXID, Red Velvet, Monsta X, iKON and GFriend. It would have been nicer to see some more artists who won from the night perform. I think best performance of the night was BTS with their cool jackets that had light coming off them. A very large portion of the show was dedicated to Big Bang, which had people talking. Sure, they won a lot of award, but I agree with majority of the audience. Big Bang’s performances just made it feel like one Big Bang concert. Sure, they won prestigious awards, but it just robbed the other artists of their night, who also put hard effort into making 2015 their year. Would have I gotten angry over the fact they turned the award show into a mini concert? No, but maybe they should have dropped one or two songs.

Overall, I think MMA15 was pretty fair. They had a large variety of winners (mainly because they have a lot of categories) and minus that small complaint regarding the performances, the show was great. Oh, but damn was the presentation of the awards cringe worthy. Probably this ceremony takes the award for  “Worst Presentation of Awards” award. Could have done it in a way where the presenters did not feel that ashamed of themselves.



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!

Rain – Taeyeon (SNSD)

After her success with I, vocalist Taeyeon from SNSD has made her first solo comeback and is the first artist of the new SM plan, where a new song is released each week.

Rain is a very nice song that you would listen to on a rainy day. Hmm… I wonder why? The lyrics of the song, along with the overall sound of the song was written and produced with the whole idea of a rainy day in mind. Once again, her vocals was totally smashing in this song. Her vocals matched the style so nicely and you can feel the emotions in her voice quite well. The song builds up quite nicely and I think the chorus can be described as the highlight of the song. The song is quite catchy and also quite calming. I am just always in awe with her voice. It can manipulated to fit almost an genre and still make me drop my jaws. If I was to be critical, I would have nothing to say. I think this is a perfect track.

The music video was quite nice to watch. But sadly, it really does not appeal to me. I’ve watched it a few times and kind of forgot about it. That is the only bad thing about the video. Otherwise, I would have considered this to be the perfect video to accompany the song. Anyway, the video does a great depiction of the rain. When she mentions rainy days, it is raining outside. The rest of the video is quite abstract, but it makes sense. The rain starts leaking inside (to the point where it kind of looks like it is raining inside. It turns everything into water and starts to cause a mini flood of water to appear in the room, isolating Taeyeon, hence making her lonely. It looks like memories are submerged in the rain. Great use of computer graphics, to be honest.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with this sudden and surprising comeback.  not really sure about this ongoing weekly release from SM, but if the songs are this good, then I am quite happy to sit down and review all of them. 9.5/10

Don’t Forget – Crush ft. Taeyeon (SNSD)

Crush made his unexpected comeback with a brand new song. And this time, Tayeon from SNSD is featuring in his song. After sky-rocketing to fame with his collaboration with Zion.T and for the songs that were released last year under his name, he has returned with Don’t Forget. And he continues with his success, after topping charts and earning his first solo win on Show Champion.

The song is really good. Let’s start off with the instrumental. Damn, is it calming or what? The clicking sounds that continuously plays throughout the song, along with the simple sounds that we hear (in other words, there isn’t anything that is “loud” or complex sounding) gives it that really nice calming effect, which makes me want to listen to the song again and again. Next up is the vocals. Crush’s vocals really match this style and feels like it is floating on top of the water. Taeyeon’s part is extremely short, which is a little disappointing. But nonetheless, I feel like she took on her part really well. I expected some kind of duet with Crush, but it was only just a small solo part. Putting everything together, that calming feeling that I was talking about juts a few moments ago just comes back. It is a song that I would play constantly to calm myself down or would be a song to listen to on a dark and stormy day.

The music video was beautifully shot. I am not drawn to the video as I am with the song, but everytime I do watch the video, it just makes my jaw drops. The shots were amazing, the scenery really is quite beautiful. The video was shot in Japan and as a person who really wants to go to Japan, this video captures really nice places to go to (or at least see somehow) on snowy days. These are the type of videos that make me want to live near snow. Interesting fact: I have never seen snow before, so this video makes me very jealous. Everyone (like me) is in awe with the scenes which shows the giant fete or carnival park.  Taeyeon does not feature in the video (which is somewhat disappointing). I can totally imagine her face in with the snow. It all matches really well. But overall, great video to watch (when I feel like it).

Overall, another amazing comeback. Damn with all these comebacks though. I feel like I have been giving too many 10/10s. This is the third one in a row. 10/10

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).

2015 BOBs (Best Of the Best) – Part 1

2015 is at its end, and with days away from the new year, we must reflect on 2015. And per usual: excellent songs, videos and dances have gracefully entered our lives and probably have not yet left us. From comebacks from big name acts to debuts of new rookie bands, 2015 has been a splendid year in my opinion. This year I decided to do the BOBs differently. Usually, I post a list of nominees and categories, but I don’t get you guys to vote for them (nor do I have the capabilities and time to allow you guys to vote for them, but maybe in the future), so I thought I should change it up this year, but posting both nominees and winners in the same post. This is part 1 of the BOBs and part 2 will be released tomorrow with the rest of the categories. Also, the traditional End of Year Charts will be released on the 31st of December, at 11:55 pm, so please wait around for that. Let’s get the post on the road!!!

These awards do not reflect any review score that I gave out this year. My personal preferences will always change (i.e. an 8 review score can currently be a 10 OR a 10 review score can currently by an 8).

RED FONT – Winners, BLUE FONT – Honourable Mention


Each year, artists see a rise in popularity. May that be due to great songs or great publicity (after all: any publicity is good publicity), this year was no difference.  Each of these artists, I have personally seen, some sort of boost in popularity this year. And I get to choose two winners (one male and one female) for this certain category. For this year, I have nominated:


My pick is: EXID and BTOB. Both teams saw a rise in popularity due to one particular member, and slowly each member in each group is become well known in the industry. Keep up the good work, EXID and BTOB!!!


A song is not a song without an instrumental. And in KPOP, the instrumental plays a massive part in hooking us in and getting us addicted to the music. Especially for foreign and international fans who don’t understand the Korean language 100%. So many great instrumentals this year, here are the nominees:


Out of all the nominees, there can be only one winner: Wonder Girls – I Feel You. The girls returned to the stage with a brand new band concept, which totally wowed me. This instrumental has its own retro vibe and I personally enjoyed it a lot. From the drums to the keyboard and guitars, the girls totally deserve this. By far one of the most underrated songs, that definitely deserve an award! Honourable Mentions: F(x) – 4Walls


I also do some Japanese songs on this site. Hahaha… Yeah, I review some Japanese songs from time to time. The variety of singers that I listen to for Japanese songs is usually limited to only the Japanese songs released by Korean artists. This year, the category has been dominated by Korean artists and I hope next year, I can start to review more Japanese artists! Here are the nominees:


I think, I was most addicted to Beast – Can’t Wait To Love You. And that was my pick for Best Japanese Song. It was song that I felt did not fall into the typical Korean Pop or Japanese Pop genres and was pretty unique on its own. As for honourable mentions: BTS – For You.


Big name comebacks this occurred and they all managed to rock our socks off. Hahaha… I take into account: song, concept, promotions, looks, impact and a few more categories and suprisngly, the biggest artists that emerge from the Golden Age of KPOP were nominated:

bestcomebackOut of all the comebacks nominated, the one that fitted the criteria the most would have been Big Bang. 2015 was one big year for the band, and they had such an unique concept in terms of promotion. SNSD takes away honourable mention for this category.


Unfortunately, 2015 did not continue the 2014 trend of subunits. However, some new subunits formed from popular bands and some old favourite returned. Here is who I think should be nominated as best subunit:


This one was a little close for me. But I am going to say Donghae and Eunhyuk, which is a subunit belonging to Super Junior. Their song was by far an amazing and left a more long lasting impact on me than the others. The other subunit that gets honourable mention is VIXX LR, which is a duo made up of Leo and Ravi.


2015 saw a new wave of contestant based TV shows around rapping and hence many artists have seen a boost in popularity after appearing on these shows. Other rappers also remained on stage as part of their groups and amazed the audience continuously during each comeback. Here are the nominees:


Out of all the rappers on the light, I picked Mad Clown as a winner. His song was a hit, it was a great song (now) and while he is not part of some group, he still managed to be placed ahead of everyone this year. Zico (Block B) took out Honourable Mention for his active year. Interestingly enough, both selected artists had someone featuring in their song.


When there are rappers, there are also singers. 2015 also saw new programs (and our old favourites) made specifically for the vocalists of all groups. Some vocalists we know have always amazed us, but others have just emerged and became trends for 2015. Based purely on what they sound like, here are the nominees:


I think this category has the most obvious winner, Taeyeon (SNSD). Yeah, she was quite active as an artist, but her debut for I blew everyone away. As for honourable mention, it goes to Solji (EXID). Her performance of Maria still replays in my head. Her powerful vocals in EXID’s performance are also quite amazing.


While the above category looked like at vocal performance, the Best Male Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:


There is only one artist on this list that managed to wow me the very moment I listened to the song and that artist is Kim Sung Gyu (Infinite). His whole album did wonders and is an album that I am continuously going back to. As for honourable mentions, Lee Hong Ki (FT Island) wins that. His solo debut song was well received and I reviewed it as an amazing ballad.


While the above category(Best Vocalist) looked like at vocal performance, the Best Female Soloist looks at their vocal performance, song, impact and dance (if applicable) – i.e. their comeback or debut as a collective. To be nominated, the artists must have been active as a solo artist this year (while the above also included group vocalists). The nominees are:


Once again, I am going to give it to Taeyeon (SNSD). Vocally, stunning. It was memorable and lovely to listen to. Honourable Mention was a close call, but Amber (F(x)) stole it from Gain (Brown Eyed Girls). So catchy and bright.

And that is it for Part 1 of the BOBs. Check back tomorrow, where I will post the second part of the BOBs, with Best Song, Best Male and Female Rookie; and Best Male and Female groups (plus a few more categories).

*All images and gifs belong to their owners/creators. Only those tables are mine.




Dear Santa – SNSD-TTS

SNSD-TTS has returned with their very first Christmas album. Oh sigh… More songs to remind me that the year is about to end. But anyway, this song is okay. It seems to be a mess to my ears. I was perfectly okay with the track being the ballad. Yeah, would have been a slow song and that does not seem to be TTS’s style, but the start was amazing. However, it just suddenly changed and I am still trying to get used to it. But I can’t even say the song “dropped the beat” or whatever. The rest of the song was just blah to me. I still listen to it, just hoping it will catch on, but at the moment, I cringe when I listen to the song. And then the song attempts to end with a 3 second ballad part at the end, which has me confused. Why would you start off with an amazing ballad sound, change it into a Christmas pop song instantaneously, and the end it as a ballad. I don’t think that formula works that way, and who on earth thought it would work? The vocals are amazing (per usual), but honestly minus their vocals, everything else was a major let down. It just sounds like a complete mismatch. If the two were split up into two different songs, I think that would have been many times better than just the one. And Tiffany’s “Come On” parts. Wow.

The lion returns. He is still rejected by the girls after what happened in Lion Heart, so it was unexpected that he would make a return in this video. But beside the lion, it was an okay video to watch. Loving the start where the girls are in those beautiful red dresses. It matched the ballad feel the song had at the start. Then the girls get transported through a portal (in the form of an invitation) into a more playful world. Hmmm… I don’t know but that just screams desperate to me. Desperate to find some kind of way to put the girls into a fast and upbeat feel. And everything in between was okay. But honestly, them acting cute. I don’t see it in them anymore and they just looked so awkward acting surprised in a cute way. And then the ending where they all share a laugh. It looks so forced. It looked unnatural and looked cringe-worthy.

As for the performance, I have no bad comments. Removing the song, the mime was an excellent way to make the stage more unique and suits the time of the year that they were singing. Somewhat disappointed that they are promoting for such a short amount of time though (1 week. They already finished)

Overall, highly disappointed. If only they decided to cut the song into two, I would have been happy. 2/10

I – Taeyeon (SNSD) ft. Verbal Jint

This song is jaw dropping amazing. The whole mini album is amazing. I literally have no complaints with this song. Her voice suits this style so much. There are no flaws. From her vocals to her singing style, to the instrumental, to the chorus. Everything went well with each other and flowed amazingly. Her voice just blows you away and it makes you wonder, why on earth did SM not give her any solo work (beside OSTs) that showcase her vocals like this in the past 8 years? I am not a fan of individual members of SNSD, but this just takes her to another level. Verbal Jint’s rap was just the right amount of soul and rnb that was needed for the song and his addition to the song made it have that more soulful and reflective vibe.  I love the guitar sounds and that band contribution from the song. To me, it is a perfect KPOP song. It is unique and has its own colour. I am going to stop here because I feel like I am ruining the song. Just listen to it and her mini album.

The music video is beautiful. The camera angles and cinematography is amazing. The scenery and the outdoor shots were so beautiful. I need to visit New Zealand. Living next door, I should just do it sometime in a few years.  As for her café song, you get a sense that she is singing about letting it all go and enjoying life as you should believe it. Her brother made an appearance, but it seemed to take people by surprised. While I have not said much (and cannot think of anything else to say), I think this video would have to be one of the most beautiful videos ever shot by SM (and that is saying a lot).

There was no dance, so I am going to skip over this part.

Hands down. This has to be one of the most beautifully sounding comebacks of the year. Sometimes I feel like I dislike SNSD, but this is one of the times that I am just speechless with what they have given me. 10/10 (any day!!!)

You Think – SNSD

I promised and I delivered. Always. Hahaha.. This is the second song of their comeback for their album. Yesterday, I reviewed Lion Heart. So let’s continue the jam packing year for Girl’s Generation. There is a poll at end for you all, so stick around.

I fall in love with any electro song that SNSD puts out. I was a mega fan-boy when I first heard Mr.Mr and was totally digging Catch Me If You Can. This is amazing. This song is on point. This song is fleek. Yes, yes yes. This song any day over Lion Heart. That is what my opinion is. I would say, you can kill me for my choice, since it seems most of Korea don’t really think You Think is that great, but I just solved a massive maths problem that has troubling me for weeks, so I want to submit it. NERD OUT. But honestly, why isn’t this song at the top of the charts? Okay, maybe the song can use a little tweaking, but so far, what we are presented with is good enough to satisfy me for some time. The instrumental and their high pitch vocals in this song go well and hand in hand with each other. The ad-libs during the chorus were really cool. The rapping is pretty good as well. Not as great as in Lion Heart, but good enough. The one thing about the song that erks me is towards the end. The members just seem to sing over each other. Like during the start and the chorus, there is a member who handles the chorus and then the one who does the ad-libs. But, the ending, there seemed to be like 5 members or so singing at once. And that really got to me. And while it sounds good, I just couldn’t handle it. But beside that, this is a song that is on point.

For the music video, there is something that is missing between this video and Lion Heart. We see posh and mature girls in the Lion Heart video and then we get this sexy video for this song. And it totally fits. But I want to know what made them go for the 180 degree change. Not 360, because you will be at the starting point again. While I love the tunnel/abandoned rail-way scenes and the girls dressed in black, them colourful scenes where the girls just sit around and where long elegant dresses, really don’t fit in with the overall feel of the song. Yeah , they look sexy and all but I don’t really find singing to yourself in a mirror and singing the lyrics “You think you’re so cool?” matching. And it seems like the producer just brought the jewelled car along for looks. There is not need for it. I would have been fine with those scenes of them in black leather and the abandoned rail rail-way. It adds mysterious. It makes me ask “why do you think you’re so cool?”. The lounging around in jewellery does not have that same effect on me.

The dance. Wow. Seohyun’s ummm… leg spreading on the floor. Wow. Ummm… DAMN. Never knew she was so flexible before. I am amazed. As for the rest of the dance, I think they did a pretty good job. They managed to make me go wow. And I am sure it made loads of other people go wow as well.

This particular song. They owned it. From the song to the dance, they were totally on point. Once again, the video was not that great. Well half of it. 8/10

My question is: Which 2015 Girl’s Generation song that has been released was your favourite? You have 4 options. Choose wisely.

Lion Heart – SNSD

I guess Party time is now over, and Girl’s Generation is back for some serious business. But they must first tame the Lion Heart to be able to continue on their quest. Wow, I am so bad at this pun game. But yes, 2015 seems to be an eventful year for the girls, as they have made their comeback (once again) in a matter of weeks after their Party promotions ended. Earlier in May, they released Catch Me If You Can as a single, Party as a single and now their full album is out with double title tracks. Lion Heart is one, while You Think (review should be out tomorrow) is the other title track.

When I first heard the song, I thought “Oh Boy, another Dancing Queen track”. It is probably the one song that I still absolutely dislike in KPOP. But after a few listens, who would believe this song grew so much on me? Now I look forward to listening to the song every single day. It is a much more classy song for the girls, that really hinder their talents. However it is a style that I think does suit the girls pretty well. It is a very happy and bright song for the group that to me just reminds me of smiles. Their vocals fit the song pretty well, and it seems something that would have came out back in the day. But the chorus, it is pretty cringe worthy. Not that it is bad, it just does not have that same punch as other Girl Generation song. Not going to say it was boring, as the song does go into different tempos throughout the song (that or my ears are playing jokes on me). I felt like the “Oh Oh Oh Oh” parts should have been replaced with something else and the bridge could have been so much better. That small rap part at the end of the song probably was my highlight for the song. If Hyoyeon rapped like that in every other song, I would totally dig it. Great song though, just some bits I am not that fond of.

As for the music video, I am going to say it was boring. I liked nothing about it. Though the girls look like they went through a transformation. I don’t know. Their past songs (and their more recent songs) compared with what they look like this video, kind of didn’t match up. Not saying they looked bad or anything a long the lines of that, but going from Party to the 1930s is a pretty big jump, in my point of view. It was very interesting. But anyway, the pizza at the start looked very nice. I aml hungry now. It just find the whole idea of them falling in love with a lion’s face and human body really odd. Though it fits in with the song and all, but it just really weird and well, out of this world. Their acting in this video is not their best. It felt cliché and really over dramatic. But I guess, for the laughs.

As for the dance, I am impressed. The girls managed to combine sexy and classy very well in this dance. I don’t think anyone expected the chorus, with their leg spreading. I really love how they changed positions throughout the dance as well. As for their costumes and outfits, wow, they make the girls look amazing.

Overall, a pretty nice comeback. Great song and dance. Music video, not so much. 6.5/10. You Think’s review should be out tomorrow.

My question is: Which 2015 Girl’s Generation song that has been released was your favourite? You have 4 options. Choose wisely.

Party – SNSD

SNSD has finally made their return as the Queens of KPOP with a brand new album. Party is their first title track and was released on the 7th of July. Their second title track will be Check and that has yet to be released, but will come out shortly after their promotions kick off. They previously released Catch Me If You Can back in May as a pre-release for their new album. Not much has happened since then though enough for me to say anything else here. So on with the review.

This song is very boring. Yeah, it has the summer sound to it and it is also quite fresh. But it really does not appeal to me. Neither does it make me want to go back. The song gives off the same feel as Katy Perry’s California Gurls track she released a few years back. But beside that, it is just so boring and really does not reel me in. The vocals were okay. They could have been better. I guess I am not used to the bright sound of SNSD that much. I like songs such as Mr.Mr by SNSD. This just disappoints me. The instrumental alone is pretty good, but the vocals don’t make the song outstanding or anything that I personally expected from the band.

There are two parts of the music video. One I like quite a bit and the other not so much. The part I liked was 70% of the video. And it was those lovely shots captured in Thailand. They look amazing and capture the summer feel very well. Not flak on the bikinis (hmmm…) but it seems like the girls are having fun and I liked it a lot. As for the inside scenes where they dance, wow. It looks so cheap. Let’s just hang up some balloons in a club and make it professional. Well to me, it looks like something that had no budget. And honestly, the outside scenes were very bright and then they just change to the club scene and it is dark. Kind of conflicting and doesn’t really suit each other that well.

The dance was okay. There wasn’t anything flashy about it and I don’t really have much to comment on. If this becomes the more promoted track, then I would expect a more interesting dance, but from what I have heard, Check will become the main title track.

So overall, not feeling the song. Music video was okay, though some parts looked cheap. Dance was okay. I hope Check makes up for the bad points. 4/10

My question is: Which 2015 Girl’s Generation song that has been released was your favourite? You have 4 options. Choose wisely.