[Review] You Can’t Sit With Us – Sunmi

As mentioned in my last song review, I am going to do a bit of time travelling to last week (and the past few weeks) over the weekend to review some releases which I should have reviewed, but they just managed to slip by me due to my poor time management over the last few months (and this essentially been snowballing ever since). This post focuses on Sunmi’s latest comeback, You Can’t Sit With Us, which was released last Friday. This new song is the title track off the soloist’s 3rd mini-album, 1/6. It is also the first comeback from Sunmi since the release of Tail earlier this year.

Sunmi has a pretty good track record when it comes to her discography, and You Can’t Sit With Us continues that exact trend. To clarify, You Can’t Sit With Us isn’t as iconic as her more popular releases, but it heads in that direction. The song is consistently instrumented with 80s retro synth that fits perfectly into the current KPOP climate. There isn’t anything more to the background of You Can’t Sit With Us, making this a ‘pure’ release, in terms of synths and retro influences. And for the most part, Sunmi delivers the song is her usual fashion. Sleek and elegant vocals, as per all her past comebacks. The melodies in the chorus and the hooks in You Can’t Sit With Us are okay at first. But per usual, listening to the song repetitively since its release last week has definitely helped transform the song into a catchy number. I would have liked the hooks to be a bit bolder and hence more memorable, as it felt like those elements could have gone further. But nonetheless, it is still substantial effort that puts the song in the same direction with the rest of her tracks. The only part of the song which I didn’t like was the rap sequence we got in the second verse. It was unnecessary, forced and didn’t feel fitting for the retro synth-pop song that You Can’t Sit With Us is. To be honest, I did like an idea of the rap sequence, as it does keep the song from falling into a repetitive trance. So, I think it is more execution and style that was the issue, rather than the overall presence of a rap sequence. Now I am not trying to say that Sunmi isn’t a good rapper. But I felt this was something that someone else could have handled. That or, the section in question could have been tweaked to be less drawn out and more fulfilling. Overall, You Can’t Sit With Us is another great release from the soloist.

Oh Korea. You do love yourself some zombies. This music video joins the growing appearances of the undead in a lot of their pop culture works. In this music video, one of the zombies is her recently former boyfriend. At the start of the video, it appears that Sunmi and her boyfriend were in a heated argument. He begs for forgiveness, but Sunmi was not having any of it. After a few hang ups and harsh replies via email, Sunmi throws a flowerpot out of her window, which hits her boyfriend in the head and presumably kills him. There seemed to be a tinge of regret, but she simply turns away cold-heartedly. We later see her in a video store with her friends, who are later surrounded by zombies. Sunmi and her friends launch an attack on the zombies to save themselves (after a bit of song and dance, of course, since Sunmi’s primary occupation is a KPOP idol and not zombie eradicator). After killing the final zombie, we see her ‘dead’ boyfriend appear with the flowerpot coming out of his head. He gets down on one knee and proposed to her, to which she accepts. A plot twist comes at the end of the video, with her hugging her boyfriend (who is notably uninjured – i.e. no flowerpots in his head), surrounded by police officers who had their guns drawn and directed at them. So it looks like Sunmi was really a psychopath (based on the way she turned away from her injured boyfriend and how she shot up a video store). Not too sure what to make of the video, based on that revelation. But overall, the video was a pretty decent watch, with a bit of a drama, bit of laughter, bit of action and bit of horror rolled into one.

The choreography for this comeback was decent and had that Sunmi flair. But it wasn’t as memorable as her previous comebacks. That being said, I really enjoyed the performance to watch that male dancer at the very end, who dances some of Sunmi’s more iconic moves. So far, we have seen LALALAY, Gashina and Siren. Great way of keeping me there until the end of the performance to see what he will dance to next.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

[Review] Tail – Sunmi

Today, we see the return of Sunmi with the new single, Tail. This is her first comeback since the release of pporappippam in June of last year. Since then, Sunmi has been active with other artists such as J.Y.Park for the collaboration, When We Disco, which was nominated for Best Collaboration of 2020 in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (Public Service Announcement: Award winners have been announced, so click here if you have checked out who won which categories yet). I really enjoy Sunmi’s work, so I am brewing with excitement for this comeback. So without any delay, let’s get stuck right into the comeback.

What steals my attention in this pop song is Sunmi’s vocals and the song’s hooks. Let’s start off with the first standout element of Tail. Once again, this song showcases the husky tone that Sunmi has in her arsenal when it comes to her solo songs. It is fitting with the concept of the comeback (more on this later on). Aside from her husky tone, her snappy and sassy delivery of her lines in the verses is very memorable. Moving along to the hooks, my favourite has to be the second half of the chorus. Her vocals go into an almost whisper-like tone which adds to much more character and intensity to the song, while the melody is quite hypnotic. This is followed up with a few spoken words (‘Shake Shake‘), adding more of everything I just mentioned into the song. I also found the instrumental of the song to be quite a dynamic mix of electronic synths. This is pretty typical style for Sunmi, but I really like how the instrumental helped carry the vocal work and hooks in this song. The energy that is the result of everything coming together is really fulfilling and helps drive the song forward. To me, Tail ticks a lot of boxes. Most importantly, it reeled me from the start and I am addicted to this new song.

I am unsure if I interpreted the video correctly, but it seems like a story of the Curse of Sunmi (or cat-lady, depending on how you look at it). I am guessing Sunmi’s former lover is attempting to break free from their relationship. I am not sure what brought on Sunmi’s case of crazy laughter, whether this is the reason to why her former lover wanted out of the relationship or whether it was brought on because of the news of the breakup. Either way, it results in Sunmi falling to her ‘death’. However, she is saved by some alley cats. From this point onwards, she adopts cat-like traits and prepares to exact revenge by kidnapping her former lover and tying him to a railroad with an approaching train on its way. He manages to escape but is now obviously terrified by Sunmi. I would like to see more of the story like a continuation at the end, or a sequel. I think that would be really cool. I also really like the sets for this music video, which look very elegant and sophisticated. Her outfits are definitely another strong visual aspect of the performance.

Tail is Sunmi’s sexiest performance yet. Just from the start of the performance where is crawling on the floor like a cat between her dancers legs, it pretty much sets the tone of the performance. But it seems like the sexy nature of the performance comes and goes, because we don’t see anything provocative until the second verse, where she dances with her dancers while sitting down. The best part of the performance comes during the bridge and is probably the peak of this comeback’s sexiness profile. The dancers’ legs act like a tail moving about, fanning out behind Sunmi like a moving tail while she is on the ground. In terms of last impression, Sunmi hits the nail on the end with her cat-like pose at the very end.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10

[International Song Review] BTS, Sunmi, Wonho, WayV & EXID

It has been a while since I have posted a review for non-Korean songs by KPOP artists. The last post was published back at the start of July and this mainly featured Japanese releases. With several KPOP artists releasing songs in English over the last two weeks, I thought it would be a nice to sit down and review them now, rather than wait a few weeks (as the original intention was to knock out a few other reviews from my ‘To Review’ list. Joining BTS, Sunmi, Wonho and WayV’s English releases from earlier in the year and EXID’s very recent Japanese release.


Dynamite – BTS

The first release to be reviewed on this list is also most recent release. Without a doubt, you probably have already checked out Dynamite despite it only being dropped yesterday. Dynamite is a funky pop track, tailored for the Western music industry. It is a fun and vibrant song that focus purely on the members’ vocals. Jimin’s high pitched vocals were amazing and even the rappers showed off their vocal capabilities effortlessly. It is super addictive, with the ‘Like A Dynanana‘ replaying constantly in my head. I have no problems with this track, given that they hit all the right notes and made it super appealing – not just to Western audience, but also the average KPOP listener. As for the music video, we are thrown back into pastel land and similar sets to what we saw in Boy With Luv. I don’t mind that we have a similar copy to a past music video, given the current global pandemic. I just don’t want it to be the default for BTS’ happy, energy filled and funky releases. The choreography isn’t a central piece of this comeback, but it looks fiting for the funky side of the song. It is a little different from what we get from BTS usually, but given the vibrancy of the song, it works like a charm. (9/10)


BORDERLINE – Sunmi

Sunmi dropped the unexpected music video for BORDERLINE earlier this week, as well. While the song has been known for a number of years now (Sunmi has previously performed BORDERLINE at her solo concerts and released its lyrics in 2019), the song has yet to be formally released. It seems like Sunmi is keeping this song to herself for the time being. BORDERLINE is a self-penned English track, that has this slow churning momentum that plays on the more sensual side of R&B. This is definitely new ground for Sunmi and it is nice to hear something different from her usual retro sound. The lyrics also zone into her personal stuggles over the years, making this an extra powerful song for her and her fans. Her vocal style were an excellent delivery mechanism for these lyrics, as you can hear how much emotions are behind the song. For me, it also made the song more thought-provoking. The music video is quite simplistic. Sunmi and her dancers are dressed in black and perform a very aesthetic interpretaive dance routine. The background was simply shadows projected into a wall. Everything was dark and it was hard to make out their faces, which I would say is suitable for the meaning behind the lyrics. Overall, a captivating and immenseful informal release of a song. (9/10)


Losing You – Wonho

Ahead of his solo comeback next month, Wonho pre-released Losing You last week as the start to his solo career. It is all in English, which is why it is being reviewed here instead of its own review post. Listening to the song the first around when it was released last week, I was speechless. It is a very emotional number, so prepare yourself. Lyrically, Losing You is all about him willing to putting another person (lover, friend etc.) ahead of himself regardless of the situation. Whether the song is directed to a former lover, his fans or to his former group members is all speculation, but damn these lyrics are definitely heartbreaking and very moving. The song is a R&B ballad, made up of the simple combination of piano and soft percussion. Wonho’s voice stuns and leaves me in awe. You can definitely hear the emotions behind his voice. I really like the extended ‘You‘ that features in the bridge of the song. The autotune seems unnecessary, but it is bearable. The music video is another dark video, but it was quite captivating to watch. Throughout this video, he is very emotional and lost. Every setting we see him in depicts the reflective road he took while he was on hiatus. At the end, we see two different scenes. Wonho standing in front of a car, telling us that he is still willing to sacrifice himself no matter what happens in the future. But we also see him standing in the midst of a sea of lights, which looks like mobile phones, suggesting that he will return to the stage soon (with the support of his fans, WENEE). (10/10)


Bad Alive – WayV

Despite being a subunit of NCT members, I have actually yet to review any WayV releases. That should hopefully change when I do a dedicated International Song Review post for just WayV and their 2019/2020 Chinese releases (some time in the future). In the meanwhile, WayV did release an English version of Bad Alive, one of the songs from their first Chinese studio album. And since that is a predominately English version (with some Korean and Chinese mixed into it), it has landed itself on this list for a review. Aside from the question marks that I would like to throw against the lyrics, Bad Alive‘s instrumental backbone definitely has a lot of potential. There are a lot of textural synths and high intensity in this trap-influenced piece. There also seems to be some hip-hop influence in the song as well. When it comes to their vocals, I feel that their voices are rather tame. I wanted more intensity and growls from the members to match the harshness and roughness of the instrumentation. What we got was decent, but not that powerful. I did like the layering, as that was differey. But amped up vocals and raps would have been appreciated. As for the music video, it is definitely overloaded with amazing visual of the members. The emphasis of red shows the fierceness of the members and I think that aligns with the image that I have come to associate with WayV through their most recent comeback in China. The sets were boxes, but they seemed fine in this video. The worst aspect has to be the white/gold jackets they wore over casual wear. They don’t go together. As for the choreography, powerful and masculine. Definitely going hand-in-hand with the fierceness mentioned before. (7.5/10)


B.L.E.S.S.E.D – EXID

The werid thing about EXID is that while they are considered inactive in South Korea, the group still needs to regroup for Japanese promotions as they are still under contract as EXID. This is a very interesting situation. But I am not complaining, since we get to hear more releases from EXID! B.L.E.S.S.E.D is an enjoyable pop track filled with a feel-good vibe. I like the slghtly jazzy vibe that the brass brings to the song. When the chorus comes into the play, there is a little kick to it and it feels like an cute anime OST, which adds to that enjoyable factor. I also like how all the member’s voices compliment the style choices. This also applies to LE, who is known for her nasally and harsh texture. But she fits into this song fine as her approach isn’t too serious, matching the song’s feel-good vibe. However, I do wish that some of the hooks/melodies that were just spoken/shouted in the chorus were more dynamic. I just wished they were a little more melodic and sung. The music video just shows the members doing some ordinary things while looking pretty. Nothing that really captivating and interesting to be honest. The group shots were nice, but that was essentially it to the music video. (7.2/10)

[Review] When We Disco – J.Y. Park & Sunmi

The next new release of the week is a collaboration between the CEO of a major entertainment company in Korea and one of his former artists. The CEO I am referring to is none of than J.Y. Park, the CEO of JYP Entertainment, who has periodically released music and continued as an artist in the industry, even during the modern era of KPOP. Sunmi is probably a name that a lot of us recongise given her successful solo career (her most recent solo release being pporappippam). She was also a member of Wonder Girls, which was one of the famous groups of Korea under JYP Entertainment when they were still active. The two have jouned hands together for When We Disco, which dropped last night.

Based off the title of the song, it clear that the collaboration would be dealing with the retro influence. And that expectation was defintiely fulfilled with the European disco instrumental. I liked that the instrumental didn’t stray away from the disco influence, which is the likely route that other KPOP groups would have gone with given that is the default trend of today’s music. And it was quite consistent. That didn’t pose a problem here, as When We Disco feels fresh, relative to the releases we have been getting from other KPOP acts. And it is hard to find the disco influence boring, as the energy is always likeable (and a memorable part of my childhood, as that was the songs that my mother enjoyed while she was growing up and she would play it a lot when I was younger). Both J.Y Park and Sunmi effortlessly sing their way through the song with really enjoyable melodies. They are very easy on the ears. Even the filtered vocals at the start were not harsh in anyway, which really helped make the song appealing. The only thing that I did dislike about the song is the inclusion of the infamous JYP whipser at the end. It is such an awkward position for it and it just doesn’t fit in with the retro theme. I know it is his song, so it makes perfect sense for him to put an audio signature into the song. But I just wished it had a retro twist to fit in better wtih the song. Other than that, When We Disco is a fun, catchy and enjoyable collaboration between two icons of the KPOP industry.

The song is about a past love who disappeared from their lives. They reminsce about this person and wonder what they are doing now. And that is exactly what we see in this video. J.Y. Park and Sunmi used to be lovers. But some other guy pulled them apart. Sunmi went on to be a singer in the storyline and reunited with J.Y. Park. The exact same thing happened this time around, with the other guy ordering his henchmen to pull the reunited couple apart. This time around Sunmi fights back and with J.Y. Park runs away. While this is a nice story, I wondered what the smile on the other guy’s face was all about. It looked supscious. I was lowkey expecting a confrontational scene between J.Y. Park and the other guy towards the end of the video, but we never got it.

The dance is not complicated. Well, this comment is based on how I percieve it. Given my two left feet, it might be a completely different story. But relatively speaking, it isn’t too complicated and I am sure that we will be seeing great stages. It also fits in with the retro influence. I love how odd the dance gets towards the end. It is still within the retro genre, just not how I expected the dance to play out.

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

[Review] pporappippam – Sunmi

The second comeback of the day belongs to Sunmi, who is make her comeback with pporappippam. This is Sunmi first comeback since the release of the LALALAY in August of last year. Earlier in the year, Sunmi released Gotta Go, which is part of the official soundtrack for XX (a Korean drama). Interestingly, this OST has a choreography version, which is rare in the world of OST releases in KPOP. I didn’t get around to reviewing it as it is an OST, but maybe I will be in the future (hint hint!).

What jumps right out at me is the retro feel that pporappippam has. More specifically, its music profile revolves around 80s disco. An upbeat retro like this one in Summer, which sounds very refined and also very Sunmi-like, feels very refreshing and appealing. The violins at the start had a very intriguing feel to them. And I like how the funky guitar peeks through the instrumental verses, before going full blast for the chorus. I also enjoyed the bass during the pre-chorus, which helped build the song towards the upbeat chorus. The bridge revisits those violins from the start and I liked the peacefulness that comes from this section. A very fun and captivating instrumental, if you asked me. As for the other elements in this song, they were also quite good. Sunmi’s vocals are pretty plain in this song but I am sure she (or the producers) intended for it this way so that the vocals do not mask the greatness of the instrumental. But while they are plain, they are also quite light and airy, which helps with the refreshing appeal of this song. The hooks are quite memorable and the melodies replay in my head even after the song had stopped playing. All signs of a great song.

While I like a good plotline in a video, I also do like it when there isn’t one. Though, they have to compensate with interesting visual elements to earn that like. And the prime examples of music videos that do just this are Sunmi’s. There is just always something captivating with Sunmi’s closeups that work so wonderfully on their own. It might be her visuals or her expressionless facial expressions she always put on, such as at the end of this video. Note that she is quite happy and all smiles throughout the music video, which shows experiencing the positive sides of being in love with her partner. I really like how the music video emphasis the colour purple, which she refers to quite often throughout the music video. Doing some research, the colour purple in dreams symbolises intimacy, affection and devotion, which is highly appropriate for her video.

I really like the dancers’ big brim hats. They add a very interesting vibe to the performance. I also like their use at the end of the performance. While her performance during the initial and second choruses was pretty good, I found the bridge and final chorus routine to be the most captivating. Final chorus because more people were present to fill out the stage and help give a strong end to the performance. The bridge because Sunmi walks on her dancers and falls into their arms. It looks glamourous when Sunmi does it.

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

[Review] LALALAY – Sunmi

Apologies for my absence yesterday. It was definitely poor timing on my behalf, especially with one very big debut and solo comeback all in one day yesterday. Firstly, let’s focus on the solo comeback from Sunmi. The ver popular female solo singer is back. And especially after a string of very popular songs (the most recent is Noir), Sunmi attempts to repeat her success with LALALAY. And it seems that she is already doing that, with her comeback track already topping domestic charts!

Listening to LALALAY, it makes me think of her entire list of title tracks since branching out with Gashina.  It might be the music video side influence speaking, but I have found Sunmi’s title tracks to have an element of being ‘out there’. Sure, there are a number of artists who do this well as well. But not in the serious manner that Sunmi always pull off. Alongside this, I found the track to be very catchy from start to end. The instrumental starts off as quite piercing. But it is an opener that attracts your attention from the start. I really liked her verses, which was the more vocally centred sections of the track. Though, I wanted to hear more of a strong hook during the pre-chorus, as I think this could have benefited the chorus. The piercing start of the song returns as the main piece of the chorus. Once again, I thought it was cool and catchy. And it definitely added some attitude to the song. I am not a fan of the bridge, which felt like it was from another song. The transition didn’t feel right and I am disappointed with that, as this is keeping it from being another ‘perfect’ song from Sunmi. But overall, LALALAY is a song to put on repeat.

As I mentioned before, it might be the music video side that influenced my first comments about LALALAY and her familiar title tracks. And this video does have that odd factor to it, proving my point. The song is all about being yourself despite the criticisms. And she does just that in the video by sporting pretty different hairstyles. She opts for a blonde hairdo and long pigtails, which isn’t anything odd, to begin with. But the video does a good job of making it look odd, and the backup dancers seem to be following whatever she is doing (i.e. she is a trendsetter). Despite the criticisms, she will always have the supporters behind her, which is the message I am getting alongside to the lyrics.   It is a nice video to watch and I think it went well with the song.

Sunmi has always developed a noticeable dance move. Gashina was the hand-gun, Heroine was the whipping arms, Siren was the mermaid pose. And now, LALALAY is the twisting hair move. It is a simple move, so I suspect many people will be following her dance, once again.  Watching her live performance, I find her confidence to be very appealing. During the verses, she was playful. But once the chorus kicks in, she changes her charisma to suit the section.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10

[Review] Noir – Sunmi

Still continuing on from today’s list of comebacks and debuts is Sunmi. Her comeback is a bit surprising as there wasn’t really a buildup to it (i..e no prior announcement or confirmation that she is coming back that I am aware of). Instead, I only caught wind of it through the sudden teasers released last week. But regardless, Sunmi has returned with Noir and this is her first comeback since Siren last year.

While I have listened to the song a few times already, I am not exactly falling in love with it straight away. Maybe a few more listens is required. I think this is because the song has a much more serious feel to it, which isn’t what I am used to. The lyrics to Noir are quite deep, which explains the serious nature of the song. The meaning, which I pinched from a YouTube comment, will be discussed in the music video section of this review as it goes hand-in-hand there. I like the slight funkiness in the instrumental, which is quite up Sunmi’s alley. I also like how it feels quite still, despite it being an upbeat song. The consistency here works really well (i.e. causes that stillness) and hence it comes off as having an eerie vibe to it. The song doesn’t seem to have too much of a hook that is memorable (yet). Though the elongated ‘Noir’ that follows the chorus does seem to be growing on me. I also liked how some of the vocals are textured (i..e the background vocals for example), which gives an interesting appeal and much-needed texture.

My interpretation is all based on the YouTube comment by Kane K, so props to him for this following excerpt. I have attached a screenshot of it below as it will be a better explanation than what I will ever give.

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It is clear that the video takes a stab at social media from the very start. The cake at the start catches on fire very quickly and Sunmi grabs her phone to put it on Instagram. The exact same thing happens at the end with her car and she automatically puts it on Instagram. Essentially her character in the video cares more about likes and views than anything else and this becomes more apparent as the video progresses. One scene in the video shows her having anxiety and dislike all over her body, which seems to be at the hate she gets. But despite that, she covers the ‘un’ in ‘unfollow’ written across her chest due to her addiction to attention. So yes, it is a dark, dark world in this day and age.

We have yet to see a performance from Sunmi for this track and hence, I will update this review once we get one (and I will also be updating Monsta X’s Alligator as well then).

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – To Be Updated
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the second section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best Male and Female Choreography, Best Album and Best Song of 2018.

In addition to the fan-voted categories, I have also included 5 categories that were not fan voted and I had personally selected the winners (or were determined throughout the year). They include Best Special Performance, Best Concept, Best Non-Title Track, Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment and Most Viewed Review of 2018. They are labelled clearly.

Each category (with the exception of the non-fan-voted categories) will have a WINNER (the artist that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best Male Choreography

Nominees – Fake Love (BTS), Tempo (EXO), Lullaby (GOT7), Thanks (Seventeen), Now or Never (SF9), Black Heart (UNB)

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WINNER – Thanks (Seventeen)
Honourable Mention – Fake Love (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Lullaby (GOT7)


Best Female Choreography

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), Woman (BoA), I Love You (EXID), Time For The Moon Night (GFriend), Siren (Sunmi), Dance The Night Away (TWICE)

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WINNER – Woman (BoA)
Honourable Mentions – Siren (Sunmi) & Dance The Night Away (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – I Love You (EXID)


Best Special Performance

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dreams Come True (WJSN) at KCON 2018 Japan


Best Music Video

Nominees – Bingle Bangle (AOA), DDU-DU DDU DU (BLACKPINK), Fake Love (BTS), Love Bomb (fromis.9), Really Bad Boy (Red Velvet), Now or Never (SF9), District 9 (Stray Kids), The Chance of Love (TVXQ), Yes or Yes (TWICE), Spring Breeze (Wanna One)

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WINNER – Fake Love (BTS)
Honourable Mention – DDU-DU DDU-DU (BLACKPINK)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Fake Love (BTS)


Best Japanese Song Released by a Korean Artist

Nominees – Electric Kiss (EXO), Memoria (GFriend), Chain (NCT 127), Call Call Call (Seventeen), BDZ (TWICE)

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WINNER – Electric Kiss (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Call Call Call (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Call Call Call (Seventeen)


Best Collaboration

Nominees – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung), Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon), Dinner (Suho & Jang Jae In), Page 0 (Taeyeon & Melomance), Love It Like It (YDPP)

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WINNER – Wow Thing! (Seulgi, SinB, Kim Chungha, Kim Soyeon)
Honourable Mention – Still In Love (Lee Hong Ki & Yoo Hwe Sung)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love It Like It (YDPP)


Song With Most Wins on Weekly KPOP Charts segment

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Heroine (Sunmi) & Bingle Bangle (AOA)
[3 Weeks Each]


Most Viewed Review of 2018

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Boom Boom (Momoland)


Best Concept

This was not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Love Bomb (fromis.9)


Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan-voted category.

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WINNER – Dystopia (Cross Gene)


Best Album

Nominees – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS), Don’t Mess With My Tempo (EXO), The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee), Something New (Taeyeon (SNSD)), 1÷x = 1 (Undivided) (Wanna One)

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WINNER – The Story of Light – Epilogue (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Love Yourself: Answer (BTS)


Best Song of 2018

Nominees – All title tracks released from January 2018 to November 2018.
The following song had the highest fan votes in the Best Song of 2018 category. The fan votes in this category will also contribute to 50% of the End Of The Year charts.

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WINNER – Good Evening (SHINee)


And that completes the Song Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Artist Categories were previously posted so you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the first section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best New Groups, Best Female and Male Groups and many others.

Each category will have a WINNER (the artist/group that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best New Male Group

Nominees – ATEEZ, NOIR, Stray Kids, The Boyz, UNB

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WINNER – Stray Kids
Honourable Mention – The Boyz
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Boyz


Best New Female Group

Nominees – fromis.9, (G)I-DLE, IZ*ONE, LOONA, NATURE

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9


Best New Soloist

Nominees – Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), LONGGUO, SOHEE (ELRIS), Yuri (SNSD)

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WINNER – Yuri (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Leo (VIXX)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Dong Han


Rising Star

Nominees – (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Pentagon

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland


Most Underrated Artist of the Year

Nominees – A.C.E, CLC, N.Flying, KARD, Snuper

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WINNER – KARD
Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – N.Flying


Best Unit Group / Subunit

Nominees – EXO-CBX, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Oh My Girl BANHANA, SNSD-Oh!GG

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WINNER – EXO-CBX
Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – NCT 127


Best Male Solo Artist

Nominees – Eric Nam, Hwang Chi Yeul, Jung Sewoon, Samuel, Seungri (Big Bang)

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WINNER – Seungri (Big Bang)
Honourable Mention – Eric Nam
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Eric Nam


Best Female Solo Artist

Nominees – BoA, Hyolyn, Kim Chungha, Sunmi, Taeyeon (SNSD)

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WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Sunmi


Best Band

Nominees – DAY6, IZ, N,Flying, The East Light, The Rose

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WINNER – DAY6
Honourable Mention – The Rose
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – DAY6


Best Raps

Nominees – B.I (iKON), Ilhoon (BTOB), Jooheon (Monsta X), Mino (WINNER), RM (BTS)

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WINNER – RM (BTS)
Honourable Mention – Mino (WINNER)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Jooheon (Monsta X)


Best Vocals

Nominees – BOL4, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeul, Mamamoo, Minseo

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WINNER – Mamamoo
Honourable Mention – BTOB
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Best Male Group

Nominees – BTOB, BTS, EXO, GOT7, iKON, Monsta X, NCT, NU’EST W, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, SHINee, VIXX, Wanna One, Winner

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WINNER – BTS
Honourable Mention – SHINee
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – iKON


Best Female Group

Nominees – AOA, APRIL, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

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WINNER – Red Velvet
Honourable Mention – BLACKPINK
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Artists Who Topped The Weekly KPOP Charts The Most in 2018

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Monsta X, Seventeen & Sunmi


And that completes the Artist Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Song Categories will be unveiled shortly and you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Album Review] Warning (2nd Mini Album) – Sunmi

It is time for a look at newer album releases. I have been catching up on some older albums lately and technically, this is still considered to be catching up as it has been a few weeks since it dropped. However, it is still a more recent release as promotions are still ongoing. Sunmi has returned with her second mini-album, Warning, since her solo debut. Featuring on the album is Siren (the title track), Gashina (released in August 2017) and Heroine (released in January 2018), along with a few more new tracks. So without any delay, let’s continue on with the album review!

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Warning Album Cover

1..Addict – Once again, Addict is an introductory track. The entire track is in English, which is a blessing for us international fans as we can finally understand something! The question asked is ‘Who is running the show’ and clearly, the answer is Sunmi herself. I find the track quite addictive. It isn’t perfect, however, as I expected a more powerful drop, given the build-up at the start. That could have made the track pop out even more, serving as a very appealing introductory track. But what we have here is already quite great. (8/10

2. Siren (사이렌) (Title Track)Click here for the full review of Siren. (9/10)

3. Curve (곡선) – I love her vocals in this song. So seductive and sensual with her nasal voice, reminding me of some other really underrated nasally artists like Lim Kim. She goes for the same type of music as those artists, with a jazzy instrumentation and something that you won’t get on a traditional pop album. I also thought the chorus was extremely catchy, going with that repetition which works majority of the time. I think they could have introduced something extra to the song during the bridge, which would have made it more interesting. But once again, what we got is already quite good. (8/10)

4. Black Pearl – Following a similar path as the previous song, Black Pearl takes on a jazzy instrumentation infused with R&B, which I thought was quite nice. The brass ensures the song doesn’t feel empty, which could easily have happened. I really liked her vocals in the moments leading up the chorus. While she does bring the nasal voice back, I am not as impressed with her vocals in this song. It just isn’t as interesting as in the previous song. (7/10)

5. Gashina (가시나)Click here for the full review of Gashina. (6/10 – at the time of writing the review. This was a major mistake as it became a favourite of mine. Hence, I have bumped it up to a 9/10).

6. Heroine (주인공)Click here for the full review of Heroine. (10/10)

7. Secret Tape (비밀테이프) – There is an interesting sound with this song and I feel like this track could have been really good. Sadly, it serves as the outro track, lasting for less than 2 minutes. I liked the idea of her voice being masked by the effects of a recorder or tape, which I thought added class. And when that mask was taken away, we get something upbeat, which I thought was missing from her album (apart from the three title tracks) and needed kick to the slowness that it presented. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

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Warning Teaser Image

[Review] Siren – Sunmi

After Gashina and Heroine, Sunmi has finally returned with the final part of this trilogy. I personally had no idea that this was a trilogy, though the music videos had similar elements. Siren is Sunmi’s new release and it features on her second mini-album, Warning. So before we get a ‘Warning’ for delaying the review, let’s move along.

Another great song from Sunmi. It is a really catchy song that I have already replayed too many times since its release a few hours back. I can see how some people may say that it is similar to the previous songs in the trilogy but I can definitely see the uniqueness of the song. The chorus reminds me of pop songs you would have heard from the Western music industry in the ’00s, hence there is a sense of nostalgia. I feel like the verses were the biggest letdown of the song, as it felt like it was the plainest sections of the song. I like the chorus the most, due to its catchy nature. But the breakdown in the bridge was the most interesting. It felt odd but it ended up working really well when you look back at the song.

Once again, the music video for Siren is quite similar to what we got in Gashina and Heroine. The closeup of Sunmi at the very start is a clear example of how similar the videos looked. This time around Sunmi is getting ready, casually sneezing and then returning to touch up her eyelashes. I thought the use of the different Sunmi’s throughout the video gave it some interesting momentum to drive the video forward. As for the cage during the bridge, I am quite sure Sunmi could have fitted through the bars. But other than that, it was a really good video.

I thought the dance was quite cool, particularly around the chorus of the song. I also love the low lunge just before the chorus, which I thought was very seductive. I liked the use of the makeshift cage, which added a cool element for the performance as well.

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

 

 

[Special] Personal Favourite Songs from the First Half of 2018

With the first 6 months of 2018 officially over, it is time to look back at my personal favourite songs from the first half. Last week, I recapped the top songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts. But some songs that I personally liked didn’t really make that list. So here are 15 songs released over the last 6 months that are my personal favourites AND continually listen to (irrespective of the charts and the reviews – as opinions do change).

[Review] Heroine – Sunmi

Sunmi was chosen as the Best Female Soloist and my pick for Best Choreography. She also ranked 9th on the 2017 KPOPREIVEWED End of Year Charts. To find out who else won the individual categories, click here. And to find out how your favourite song ranked for 2017, click here

Sunmi is officially back with her latest single, Heroine. Her return to the industry last year with Gashina became a chart topper and her performance became a hot trend in Korea and beyond. While Sunmi just dropped Heroine, it is apparent that she is an expected rival on the charts to any group or artist in the coming weeks.

When I first heard Gashina, I wasn’t a definite fan of the song. But with numerous listens later, I was on board the Sunmi fan train. Heroine definitely starts off on a much better foot with its instrumental attracting my attention from the very first listen. I like how it starts off with just the piano and as the song progresses through each subsection of the verse, the song builds up in a way that feels expected but still leaves you stunned. Her vocals are extremely soft at the start and like the instrumentation, it builds up wonderful to the pre-chorus where she just lets go of that restriction and project her vocals. I love the post-chorus saxophone type sound which gave off a funky yet intriguing appeal to the song. I thought the entire track was quite catchy and I predict within a days time, it will be the one track that I want to keep listening to.

Given Gashina and Heroine, I conclude two things. Only Sunmi can pull off a not-so-normal-looking solo dance performance in an empty location (I love her solo work at 1:30 – 1:46) and she likes her milkshakes. Both elements featured in the videos but it seemed to look more naturally occurring in this video. I love it when she walks forward and suddenly the spotlight is on her with the yellow curtains closing behind her. The entire video has an epic feel and I think the only reason why I think that is regarding how each scene was connected to the next. It gives off the feeling that all the differences throughout the video are interconnected somehow and that makes it a stunning video to watch.

I love her performance, once again. She used a table in Gashina and her choice of prop for Heroine were chairs. But that is not the main point. I love her sexy side and her moves during the post-chorus dance break was extremely cool. The chorus and various other parts gave off an edgy vibe, allowing this performance to incorporate multiple different styles into one.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Results

**drum rolls please**

It is time to announce the winners of the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. This is the first year ever that you (the readers) got the opportunity to vote and pick out the winners of each category (excluding a few). Let me just start by saying thank you for all those who participated in the voting process, as you all made this possible.

This will be an EXTREMELY LONG post and it will be gif heavy so it may take a while to load up. If you have a slow internet connection (like me), you can still view the winners (along with the nominees if you missed the voting period/want a reminder) by clicking the link here.

The respective gifs for each category represent the winners which you voted for, while I have put down my pick for the category. I have opted to not do a commentary this year due to the already long length of this post.

BEST MALE GROUP DEBUT

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Wanna One

Author’s Choice – Wanna One


BEST FEMALE GROUP DEBUT

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Dream Catcher

Author’s Choice – Dream Catcher


BEST SOLOIST DEBUT

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Kim Chungha

Author’s Choice – Jung Sewoon


RISING STAR

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Monsta X

Author’s Choice – NU’EST W


BEST SUBUNIT

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SEVENTEEN Performance Unit

Author’s Choice – Gugudan 5959


BEST CO-ED GROUP

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KARD

Author’s Choice – KARD


BEST MALE SOLOIST

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G-Dragon (Big Bang)

Author’s Choice – Bobby (iKON)


BEST FEMALE SOLOIST

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IU

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Sunmi

Author’s Choice – Sunmi


BEST VOCALS

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BTOB

Author’s Choice – DAY6


BEST RAPPER

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Zico (Block B)

Author’s Choice – Bobby (iKON)


BEST JAPANESE SONG BY A KOREAN ARTIST

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One More Time – TWICE

Author’s Choice – One More Time (TWICE)


BEST COLLABORATION

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Honey Bee – Luna, Solar, Hani

Author’s Choice – Bye Babe (Chen & 10CM)


BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

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Don’t Wanna Cry – SEVENTEEN

Author’s Choice – Gashina (Sunmi)


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

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Peek-A-Boo – Red Velvet

Author’s Choice – You In Me (KARD)


BEST MALE GROUP

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B.A.P

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EXO

Author’s Choice – SEVENTEEN


BEST FEMALE GROUP

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Red Velvet

Author’s Choice – Red Velvet


BEST NON-TITLE TRACK SONG

Beautiful – Pentagon


BEST ALBUM

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Palette – IU (4th Studio Album)


And there you have it, the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Award Winners. Congratulations to all! Hopefully, the artist’s that you picked came out on top and were victorious.

As for the BEST SONG OF THE YEAR award, it will be published in a separate post. For this year, the winning song will be the song that tops the End Of Year Charts (to be published on the 15th of January).
NOTE: YOUR VOTES MAKE UP 50% OF THE END OF YEAR CHARTS, WITH THE OTHER 50% CONTRIBUTED BY ME.

[Review] Gashina – Sunmi

After Wonder Girl’s surprise disbandment at the start of the year, we have heard little news in regards to solo comebacks or activities from the girls. But that is all about to change with the return of Sunmi. She boasts solo singles such as 24 Hours and Full Moon. And with her new management MakeUs Entertainment, which also houses Urban Zakapa, it is exciting to see what she has in-store for her fans.

Unfortuately, I don’t think Gashina had what it takes to top her previous two successful solo songs.  Right off the bat, the song was underwhelming.  I just wasn’t drawn to the song as I were for her other songs.  It might take a bit of warming up to. The instrumental was quite mute compared to the vocals, which didn’t really go well with her vocals.  The drop for the chorus shours have been more intense or gripping.  But it lacked so much energy and felt empty for the entire song. The only element that I did like was Sunmi’s vocals. They did draw some of my attention but it was not enough.  I liked her husky vocals in the song and loved it how her lines were sharp.  It gave, an otherwise dry and bland song, something interesting and defined. 

While the song isn’t to my preference, the music video was totally something that I would happily replay. There was a lot going on in the video. Not too much to be overflowing but enough to make me want to go back and see what I missed out. Sunmi basically lets loose in the video.  The chemistry between her and the camera was no joke.  Something about the blank stars were very intriguing and sexy as the same time.  Sure, the video was a little wacky but everything still manage to come together in the video. From her prancing in the diner to her Grandma style head scarf, everything felt fun. And that made the video feel quite enjoyable.

The performance was actually quite nice.  I love how one second she is smiling in a very cute manner and then the next second she has a acary glare on her face. I think that element came very nicely from the video.  It isn’t the most mind blowing stage ever but her facial expressions stole the show this time around. 

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

Farewell Wonder Girls

Towards the end of last month, it was officially announced by JYP Entertainment, that the Wonder Girls would be disbanding. Another major girl group a few years back would be leaving us. The girls had decided to go their separate ways, despite reports of the girls searching for a new company. Ye-Eun and Sunmi both left JYP Entertainment, while Yubin and Hyelim decided to go on with the company.

This is another farewell post for another amazing girl group. We said goodbye to 2NE1 just last month. We said goodbye to 4Minute last year and now we have to say goodbye to Wonder Girls. It is no doubt that their presence within the industry is large and that they will not be forgotten.

Wonder Girls made their debut on the 13th of February 2007 with Irony. The lineup then included: YeEun, Sunye, Sohee, Hyuna (now former 4Minute member) and Sunmi. After their debut, Hyuna was withdrawn from the group and their company added Yubin to the lineup. The group went on to release Tell Me and So Hot (alongside some other songs).

It wasn’t until Nobody in 2008 that the group rose to the top and became the hottest thing in Korea. In 2009, the group embarked on a world tour and it was decided that JYP would debut the girls in the U.S.A. The girl returned in 2010 after Sunmi left the group and Hyelim was added as a new member. The girls released 2 Different Tears. The girls returned overseas and spent more time releasing English songs and starring in their own TV show. 2011 came and the group returned at the end of the year with my favourite Wonder Girls song, Be My Baby. The girls returned to South Korea in 2012 to promote Like This.

Sadly, the group went on hiatus after 2012. Sunye withdrew from the group to get married and now she is a mother of two children. Sohee also withdrew from the group to focus on her acting career. The group reimaged themselves into a girl band and went on to release I Feel You in 2015.  Sunmi returned to the group and the final lineup now includes: YeEun, Sunmi, Yubin and Hyelim). They later returned in 2016 with Why So Lonely. The girls (with the support on Sunye and Sohee) made the announcement in Jan 2017 of the disbandment and have gone on to release their final song today (10th of February), Draw Me, for their 10th anniversary.

Wonder Girls have a long history and to me, they have released some of the most iconic songs in KPOP to date. Their influence (along with 2NE1 from YG Entertainment and SNSD for SM Entertainment) has shaped and grown KPOP to what it is today. I will also remember the catchy tune of Nobody and will always remember the super addictive dance that accompanied it. I will remember how big of a fanboy I came when it Be My Baby or Like This came on. And I will always feel awestruck watching the girls form themselves into a band.

Like 2NE1’s final song, I choose not to review it. Instead, I choose to look back at their time in the industry. Writing both posts made me sad, as I now know how far they have come, how far KPOP has gone and how much they will be missed. The majority of this post looks at their history as a group, with a few personal comments, but hopefully, it is enough to say goodbye.

Maybe this goodbye is not forever. But nonetheless, I wish all members of the group success and luck for all future endeavours. Given some of their solo careers, I think we can expect great things.

If you have not yet heard Wonder Girls’ final song (which was released today), you can listen to it below.