EXID has returned with their newest mini-album. Unfortunately, the group is promoting as a quartet due to Solji’s hiatus. The group recently explained the meaning behind the name of their mini album, Eclipse, which you can click here to find out. This album sees the group attempt an entirely different and mature sound, that also shows a different side to the girls.
1..Boy – Opening the album is Boy, a very different track from what I have heard from EXID (or any artist that I have listened to). I feel wrong for describing a track as ‘creepy’, but this description fits the opening of the song quite well. Once we enter the instrumental chorus, you will understand how good this track is. It is a little foreign, but once you get used to the track, you will love it. I must applaud the vocal work and LE’s rap. Their vocals, along with the emptiness of the instrument (which in this case, is another good aspect of the song) actually contribute to those haunting vibes I was talking about. LE’s rap always sounds the same to me, but yet they fit into any song that you throw at her. (8/10)
3. How Why – Before starting these album reviews, I re-listen to the entire album (regardless of how many times I have already done so). The one track that stood out for me was this one in particular. I love the buildup that LE and Hyelin contribute to during the chorus before the beat drops, and the very catching instrumental sequence is brought into play. The song itself seemed to start off as a ballad, but as the song progressed, it seemed to become more upbeat and brighter. It is easily their best track on the entire mini album. (9/10)
4. Milk(Hani solo) – Time for the obligatory ballad on the mini album. This one seems to be mixed with RnB as well. While it does sound nice and the connection between milk and the lyrics are quite smart (like what everyone is saying), the song is an either a hit or miss. There really isn’t much that makes this song that captivating and was easily forgettable. Her vocals are quite nice. (5/10)
5. Velvet (L.E. solo) – It may not be my cup of tea, but Velvet actually sounds very good. It is a very sensual song and that already compliments the lyrics of the song. The instrumental also felt very smooth, further complimenting the sensual nature of the song. The chorus was also catchy. But there wasn’t enough for me there to really enjoy the track or fall in love with it. (6/10)
EXID has returned with a brand new song. Their latest mini album, Eclipse, is their 3rd mini album. Their title track for this promotional run is Night Rather Than Day. This is also their first comeback since their L.I.E promotions last year and their Chinese debut. Unfortunately, Solji will not be participating in promotions this time around due to her health. Hence why we see 4 members on stage and in the video instead.
For Night Rather Than Day, the group opted for a more retro sound, with a much smoother instrumental. Compared to their past songs, this one seems to be more subtle in nature. That being said, this change is nothing too concerning because EXID handles it amazingly. The question that remains is if EXID can handle performing without Solji, who is the powerhouse main vocalist of the group. Hence, probably another reason to why they shifted towards a more softer tone. Hyerin takes over the reigns of the main vocalist and as heard, she can take on the role with ease. She might not be the powerhouse vocals we know from EXID, but with a more softer song, Hyerin does a pretty good job during the chorus and ad-libs. Talking about vocals, all members saw an increase with lines and each member did a decent job with their parts. The different tones that each member has give the song depth, which makes it interesting to listen to. The contrast between a low pitch to a higher vocal pitch was showed in the song. LE’s raps are pretty good, but the ending seemed a little awkward. The song was quite catchy. By the second listen and I was already singing along to the chorus.
The video is more on the boring side of the spectrum. There really isn’t a storyline or anything to talk about the video. Their past videos have all had things going on in them that make them worth talking about. Here, they are either on a rundown train, on the street dancing or in their rooms. Things I have talked about in the past, such as the use of coloured filters, cinematography etc., don’t really apply much to this video (from what I see). The closeups, which shows off their looks, are the only things that I remember from the video. But then again, those bold colour jackets are quite memorable, but I am not a big fan of them. I am just going to stop here (just trying ramble now).
The dance is quite good. However, there isn’t anything that is memorable about the dance. All of EXID’s dances have been memorable to date, so it does disappoint me a tad bit. I like it though, because there is a bit of cuteness in the dance, while still keeping things sexy as always.
Song – 9/10 Music Video – 4/10 Performance – 7/10 Overall Rating – 7/10
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
BEST JAPANESE SONG
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:
Out 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.
BEST MALE SOLOIST
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.
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
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.