With two songs titled Star in just a span of two weeks, the night skies are just going to get brighter. VROMANCE is back with Part 2 of their Confession trilogy, Star. I have somehow missed Part 1 (Flower), which was released back mid-January. Unfortunately, I have decided to not do a full review for Part 1 (as there is no music video), so I am hoping for these songs to be on some future album release so I can review it there. But today’s focus is on Star.
If you follow me on Twitter (click the bird icon at the bottom of the page), you may have seen my tweet in regards to the song. In short, it said I was in awe and completely speechless to even begin this review. Everything about this song is beautiful. From the start, the soft guitar was an awesome opener but the sudden launch into the chorus just (metaphorically) punched me in the face. The “Beautiful ________, Beautiful _________” lyrics in the verses just leaves a deep impression on my mind. The harmonies during the chorus were just perfect. Vocals were amazing, which sounds like an understatement given what I have already said. But the good stuff with this song is towards the end when we get to the bridge. I like the echoing repetition of the ad-lib, which left me stunned. That very dramatic strum of the guitar, the epic feeling final chorus and that high note at the end that followed the bridge was particularly fascinating and definitely my pick for the highlights of the song. I can continue listing what I like about this song but I think you get the idea of how much I love it.
I have to admit, I was low key expecting the members to pop up somewhere along the video. But I guess that would rob the video of its artistic nature. I am no dancer but from what I can see, the dancing in this video makes the video so much more beautiful. I like it how they didn’t keep it in one area but instead moved the setting along to various parts of the house (i.e. balcony, hallway, bedroom and dining room). It pairs perfectly with the song, which makes it so much better.
Song – 10/10 Music Video – 10/10 Overall Rating – 10/10
VRomance has recently made their comeback with a ballad. They dropped their new song, I’m Fine, and their latest mini album on the 5th of January 2017. The 4-member boy group, dubbed as the male version of Mamamoo, made their debut in 2016 with She.
The track is good but quite underwhelming. The group made their comeback with a ballad to suit the cold season, which makes sense. But it failed to stand out and the entire track is too plain. She was a more vibrant track, which I think suits the group more. This track does do a better job at showcasing their vocals, with that being the one thing that I am impressed with. Everyone shined really well, while some members were overshadowed in their debut track. The bridge of the song was quite good as well. But the verses and chorus just lacked colour and didn’t live up to the standards that other ballads have set. While I am a sucker for orchestral instrumentals, it, unfortunately, did not make up for the disappointment I felt. That being said, the instrumental by itself is pretty good as well. It matched the vocals without overpowering them, which is a plus. Another plus are the lyrics, which tells a lover (or loved one) that they can leave and that everything will be fine in the end. but I will talk about them later on in the video. The song, while its individual aspects sound nice, just didn’t deliver overall.
The video was very touching. The video starts off with an elderly man, opening his photography business, like any other day. The pictures that he puts outside or hangs in his studio all have a story behind them. We see those stories as flashbacks in the video. Chandong, also makes an appearance in the video, through a flashback of a relationship falling apart. The man’s wife (I am assuming) walks into the store and asks for a picture of herself to be taken. It later showed that she passed away and the picture was, in fact, a picture in preparation of her passing. In the end, he hangs the picture of his wife on the wall of his shop, waves goodbye and closes up the shop. After looking back at the shop, he turns around and it is revealed that the elderly man is, in fact, Chandong. The vocals and the lyrics play a part in tugging the emotions out of you, when you watch the video. And it is perfect. The lyrics talk about someone leaving (let it be lover or a loved one), hence why we saw a lot of stories of people leaving. Though the closeup of the group singing was included in the video, I feel like they could have been omitted entirely and no impact would have been made to the video.
Song – 5/10
Music Video – 10/10 Overall Rating – 7/10
2016 saw a lot of new boy groups make their debut on the stage. Compiling the list of nominees for this section was extra hard because there were so many great debuts that just missed out on a spot on the list. The winner of the Best Male Rookie Group 2016 is Astro, who made continuous comebacks after their debut, pushing them into the spotlight. Honourable mentions are given to VRomance for their debut song, She.
VROMANCE (Honourable Mention)
BEST FEMALE ROOKIE GROUP
Like the male rookie group section above, a lot of girl groups made their debut in 2016. And a lot of them provided us with the hottest tracks of the year. WJSN, otherwise known as Cosmic Girls, made their debut with Mo Mo Mo and came back with one of the best tracks of the year: Secret. They are my pick for Best Female Rookie Group. Honourable Mentions goes to BlackPink and I.O.I (It was very hard to choose for this category).
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) (Winner)
I.O.I (Honourable Mention)
BLACKPINK (Honourable Mention)
BEST MALE SOLOIST
As every other year, solo artists are debuting and making comebacks. 2016 saw the long-awaited debuts of some main vocalists of different idol groups and the return of solo artists that we have known for a while. The winner has to be Zico (Block B) with his ballad track: I Am You, You are Me. This one track alone has been a chart topper and gave the rapper a new side. Honourable mention goes to Eric Nam and his surge in popularity this year with his releases.
Zico (Block B) (Winner)
Eric Nam (Honourable Mention)
BEST FEMALE SOLOIST
2016 was a very big year for female solo artists. Like the male solo artist awards, big names came back, while long-awaited debuts were made. My pick for the winner of Best Female Soloist goes to Taeyeon (SNSD). Her singles have been remarkable thus far. Honourable mentions goes to Hyosung (Secret), whose song is still being replayed, half a year after release.
Taeyeon (SNSD) (Winner)
Hyosung (Secret) (Honourable Mention)
BEST MALE GROUP
So many to consider. Can’t count with my fingers for this category and the next. But it has been a big year for male groups (and likewise female groups). Out of all the artists, I have to pick Seventeen as the group that stood out the most and hence are the winners here. As for honourable mentions, GOT7 takes it this year.
GOT7 (Honourable Mention)
BEST FEMALE GROUP
As mentioned above, girl groups have also had a very big year in KPOP. And there were too many to count as well. But my overall pick for Best Female Group has to be Mamamoo. 2016 has been their best year yet and I hope there are even better years to come. Oh My Girl receives honourable mentions for their releases of high quality and catchy songs.
Oh My Girl (Honourable Mention)
Now, I promised album reviews this year and my apologies, I failed to deliver. I asked you guys again (thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey) and album reviews are still something you guys want. I can’t review every one of them, but I will try my best to cover the main and biggest releases. As for 2016, Wings released by BTS as their 2nd Studio album is my pick for best album. I also thoroughly enjoyed the songs released by B.A.P as their third studio album, Carnival, which also takes Honourable Mention.
Wings (2nd Studio Album) – BTS (Winner)
Carnival (5th Mini Album) – B.A.P (Honourable Mention)
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Many great videos were released this year. From amazing plots to great cinematography, or just the standard video that looks amazing, 2016 had it all. My picks for both the winner and honourable mention were videos that were long in length, but one focused on an action-packed story and the other for its complexity. The winner is B.A.P‘s Skydive and honourable mention goes to BTS‘s Blood Sweat & Tears.
Skydive – B.A.P (Winner)
Blood, Sweat & Tears – BTS (Honourable Mention)
And as with every year, KPOP groups and solo artists have amazing dances that should be commended. There were so many top contenders, that it was quite hard to compile the list of ten. But nonetheless, my pick for best dance would have to be GOT7‘s Hard Carry and honourable mention goes to The Eye by Infinite.
Hard Carry – GOT7 (Winner)
The Eye – Infinite (Honourable Mention)
BEST SONG OF THE YEAR
The hardest award to decide for. Hahaha… I put down 22 songs for this award. 22 amazing songs. And now I have to narrow the list to just 1. The difficulties. That being said, I won’t announce it words. Just watch the video below. But before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions that I manage to narrow down from that list of 22. Hover over the pictures to find out who and which song were picked. Note that these honourable mentions or the winners are not chosen via the end of year charts, but my thoughts alone.
Decalcomanie – Mamamoo
Hard Carry – GOT7
Find Me – Hyosung (Secret)
Secret – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)
Windy Day – Oh My Girl
And my pick of Best Song of 2016 goes to……
VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN
Congratulations to all winners, honourable mentions and nominees. Everyone in general!!
Another boy group has made their debut. VRomance is a4 member boy group, currently under Rainbow Bridge World, which also houses Mamamoo. This group is considered to be Mamamoo’s brother group. The group consists of Janghyun, Hyun Kyu, Chan Dong and Hyun Seok.
This is a solid song. It may not be many people’s cup of tea, but it definitely shows that this band has great vocals and a lot of talent. Truly a group to look forward to. The song is catchy and has a pleasant feel to it (aka. another song that doesn’t sound too heavy on your ears). The song is jazz/swing-based, with hints of pop scattered within it. It isn’t really common within the industry for a group to promote Jazz based song, however, as proven by Mamamoo and their debut song, they might do well in the future. As I mentioned before, the group has amazing vocals and that can be said about every individual member. Though I am not familiar with the members of the group, what I hear tells me that they all have great potential and they all shined in this song. The high note and their harmony were well done and the taking turns in the chorus gives each of the members individual time to shine. While the song is quite giddy and all, I would have liked if there was a little rap section. It may make or break the song, but the song doesn’t feel complete. I think that is what excessive listening to KPOP do to you. Miss elements of songs which could potentially ruin it. Overall, I liked it a lot. Good debut song. Oh and “Hello, Hello, Hello ~” (love this part).
The music video is a little dry. It has that romantic feel that the song is trying to communicate across. It has that jazz and swing vibe going on. But, it just feels boring to watch. The featuring of Hwasa in the video doesn’t really make it better. If anything, I would feel the same way without her featuring in the video. Though, I did like the choppiness of the start (which is also the same as the teaser). It is different and it draws your attention into the video. It just doesn’t add up with the video. The featuring of the couples in the video gave the song that more romantic feeling and a cute element. Cause there is no other way to express interest and love but through dancing. The guys, dressed in the pink suits, did look quite obnoxious. I do prefer them in a more neutral colour or like their stage outfits. They look more a laid back band and more relatable, rather than a bunch of pink flamingos.
There isn’t much of a dance to this song. Unless you consider minimal footwork behind a microphone stand and leaning the stand to one side as a dance. But, I must mention the passing of the microphone is pretty cool. No, amazing. It is timed so well and perfection is key for the performance to work. I love to see some bloopers or mistakes on stage, mainly because this performance is 100% prone to them.