[Album Review] UNNATURAL (9th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

As promised during last week’s review of WJSN The Black’s review for Easy, I would be looking at WJSN’s latest mini-album this weekend. Well, that review comes today! This full group comeback (excluding Cheng Xiao, Meiqi Xuanyi due to scheduling conflicts) shares the name Unnatural for both the title track and the album’s name. Both of which were released at the end of March. This is another strong comeback from the group, who consistently have put out great title tracks and albums. Their last full group comeback was back in June 2020 with Neverland (headlined by Butterfly). Let’s see how the indivdual songs faired on Unnatural.

Unnnatural Album Cover

1. Unnatural (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Unnatural. (9/10)

2. Last Dance Last Dance continues the mature vibes from Unnatural. It is also my favourite side track from the album. There was a lot to like in this song. To me, the instrumentation in this song was pretty much perfect. Nothing felt out of place, underwhelmed or overwhelmed. The synths employed were more to the harsh side of the spectrum, but they came together to make a fulfilling backdrop. They used this to create the peak of the song, which I thought was smart. I really like the catchy nature of the chorus, and how the melodies came off as soft but you can still hear them over the loudness of the synths. The rapping in this song really showed some edgy flair, which I also really enjoyed. (10/10)

3. Super Moon (원하는 모든 걸) – The next song loses the serious tone that the preceding mature tracks had. Super Moon takes us back to familiar territory for the group, reminding me of their Boogie Up days. The instrumentation is very vibrant and feels fitting for the initial period of Summer. I really like the texture component of the pre-chorus, which brought some depth to the song and contrasts with the light approach WJSN had opted for in the chorus. I also enjoyed the electronic infusion of synths that preceded the final chorus, giving a bit of zing to the song as it approached its end. I just wished Super Moon had a more dynamic and catchier hook to really push this song to a new level of appeal. (9/10)

4. New MeNew Me promises a sexier side of the group, based on how the song sounds. This is probably unexplored territory for the group, given their well-known fantastical sound that they started their careers off with. I can imagine a really sleek and sensual performance to accompany New Me on stage. The retro instrumentation was very alluring. I enjoyed the rapping in this song (particularly just before the first and final choruses), but felt the vocals were a bit plain. I really like the whole concept of that extra bit at the end after they had supposedly wrapped up New Me. It isn’t new per say, but they are rare in KPOP dance music. But it works well with that alluring side of the song, teasing us just a bit longer. (8/10)

5. Yalla (음) – For me, Yalla’s main appeal point is the chorus. The first half of the chorus is made up of broken up synths that come together to create a bold and aesthetically messy centre-piece. This is followed up with bold vocals and sweet harmonies. I also really like the groovy nature of the rest of the instrumentation. But that is if I were to treat the chorus as its own song. When I consider the entire song as a whole, I want the chorus somehow pops out more. It is different, but it lacks definition. It needed to be bolstered up to be more out there. Instead, Yalla stays relatively neutral despite having a potentially mindblowing and wowing arsenal. (8/10)

6. Rewind (잊지 마 (나의 우주)) – The album ends with the mandatory ballad that is expected on all KPOP albums. It is backdropped by a piano-centric instrumental, which built up to include other classical instrumentation. Typical in many ways, but still stunning. Rewind boasts member’s the amazing vocals, which is without a doubt their best on the album. Especially in the chorus, they really  pierced their way through the song. I think the weakest moment of Rewind is the rapping. I don’t think the ballad needed a rap sequence and it disrupted the blissful flow of the song. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

Unnatural Teaser Image

[Review] Easy – WJSN The Black

Early last month (more so 31st of March but I am rounding up), WJSN made their return to the stage with Unnatural (the name of both the title track and mini-album) as a full group. I have previously reviewed the title track and will be publishing the album review for Unnatural this weekend. But just a month after wrapping up promotions for Unnatural, WJSN has returned in the form of a second four member unit, named WJSN The Black. This unit is made up of Seola, Exy, Bona and Eunseo, and made their unit debut with the title track Easy. As mentioned, this is WJSN’s second unit, following the likes of another four member subunit WJSN Chocome, which debuted last with Hmph!.

With the teasers that floated around in the weeks before this debut, you could tell that WJSN The Black will be giving us WJSN’s most mature release to date. In retrospect now, Unnatural held that title for a very brief period of time, with the release of Easy taking over. It is easily a more concentrated form of Unnatural, but with added chic and sleek to separate it from the older song. And I quite like this aspect, as it made the instrumental alluring and almost hypnotic. It is also quite fascinating to hear a groovy side to the song. Mature and groovy isn’t a rarity in music or KPOP. But it has been a while since we heard something from the top of my head of this nature. And it also nice to hear something that taps into the ongoing re-emerging trend in KPOP that is somewhat unconventional. Adding to that alluring and hypnotic effect of the song are the member’s vocals, which are best described as blissful and breathy. I really like how they keep this up throughout the entire song. Even Exy gets her moment to shine in the vocal side of the song, distancing herself from her usual hefty tone when it comes to the rapping. That being said, Exy does employ her usual rap style for the song’s rap sequence, which gave the song a much needed edge and moment of relief from the really consistent vocal work throughout the song. So far, all praises. But the song does suffer in the length department. Easy is a standard length song, if we were to say a standard length song is (average) 3:30 seconds in KPOP. But the way the song flows and is stringed together, Easy feels more like a minute long to me. Every part is so close to one another and the consistent vocals don’t really give us an opportunity to differentiate each distinct part, which are the reasons why I am not entirely head over heels for Easy. But without consideration of that flaw, Easy was still a smooth listen.

One of the unit’s lineup (Exy and Bona) is being investigated by the investigators (Seola and Eunseo) for a recent robbery of $3 billion. Unsure why the member’s had to steal that money during a heist of a heavily protected exhibition at a National Museum (seems like an unnecessary hurdle in their pursuit for some cash), but for the sake of the story I will assume the money is tied up in the museum and they had to be on location to get into the system. But the investigation isn’t getting far. Well, it turns out that Exy and Bona are a team with Seola and Eunseo, who on the inside are destroying evidence and leaving fake tips to look like the investigation is hitting dead ends. It was a plot twist that I saw coming, but I still thought it was a good plot line in this video. Aside from that, I would have liked a bit more to the choreography sets to help give the video a little more excitement. But it was still a good watch overall.

I like how the choreography takes advantage of the melodies during the chorus and hence taps into a sensual profile. It compliments the mature side of the four members that the song brings out. On top of that, I really like the outfits they wore for this release. I always find suits to be a visual overload and WJSN The Black proves just why that is the case with their performance while they are wearing suits.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

[Review] Unnatural – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Another comeback from last week was made by WJSN otherwise known as Cosmic Girls. They made their long awaited comeback with Unnatural as the title track and their ninth mini-album that shares the same name. This comes after almost a year after previous comeback as a full group with Butterfly and the mini-album Neverland. After their only 2020 comeback, members Soobin, Luda, Yeoreum, and Dayoung formed WJSN’s first subunit, WJSN Chocome, which went on to release the single Hmph! in October of last year.

Unnatural seems to be what I have been wanting from WJSN for a while now. A really well-done comeback title track that taps into the group’s mature side. A few of their past comebacks have done just that. But I feel like Unnatural is really the peak of what they have attempted thus far. That being said, Unnatural still taps into WJSN usual style of KPOP music. There is a lot to like about Unnatural. First of all are the vocals. To me, the bulk of the verses were quite plain at first glance. But the vocals are what really reeled me in from said verses. They opt for a more powerful delivery, which adds that needed oomph to make the verses more attractive. This does come with some setbacks however, as the members sound like they are straining their vocals to make it work. But I do think it pays off. The second really attractive aspect of the song is its pre-chorus. It is a twist that just comes unexpectedly, but also adds so much flair and texture to the song. It is Unnatural‘s biggest selling point and it seems like it has attracted a lot of attention from fans. The third promising aspect of the song is the explosive chorus that follows right after that pre-chorus. The stripped back manner of the pre-chorus heightens the chorus and the powerful vocals (although continues to be strained) really helps make the chorus appear more impactful. The fourth aspect is the bridge, which is a combination of the already mentioned vocals and pre-chorus instrumentation. I do find the pre-chorus backing here is slightly stronger, leading the song to its peak. Finally, the return of the pre-chorus instrumentation and the vocal layer that finished up the song gave Unnatural that last second push of a changeup, yet still keeping true to the roots of the song. Overall, there was a fair bit to enjoy in Unnatural, with all of the appeal came naturally to WJSN.

The music video portrays those mature vibes the song exuded in a very vibrant manner. Their visuals were well shown throughout the video. However, aside from all of that, I don’t have much else to say about the music video. I found it to be plain and typical for the most part. There isn’t much going on the video apart from the closeup and choreography formula. Usually I would have something more to say about the sets, outfits or overall ambience. But the music video for Unnatural just felt like it was something we have seen before.

The choreography is good. But I wished they were bolder with their moves and the choreography. It would have made the routine even better. Something that shows more confidence and intensity would be what I am after, as this would have been more fitting for the song.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] Hmph! – WJSN CHOCOME

I somehow missed the announcement that WJSN would be making a comeback as a quartet subunit and the subsequent releases of the teaser images for this following unit debut, so their comeback pretty much came out of the blue. I only caught on once I saw the first music video teaser over the weekend. But nonetheless, I am glad to see WJSN back, even though it is just Soobin, Luda, Yeoreum, and Dayoung. The unit is named WJSN CHOCOME and their debut single is titled Hmph!.

As soon as I heard the Hmph! today, the disco pop that is heavily featured in Hmph! reminded me of Orange Caramel’s infectious singles. And I am loving it. It has been a while since we had an Orange Caramel comeback (their last release was in 2014 with My Copycat and I personally doubt that the unit will ever return with both Rania and Lizzy now signed to different companies), so this release definitely tickles my fancy – one could say!. Hmph! has a similar infectious appeal and the song is definitely quite addictive. The verses had a healthy amount of autotune to their voices. Usually I am against the use of autotune and have only liked it certain cases. Humph! seems to be one of those ‘certain cases’ as each of the four members actually sound quite nice throughout the song and it was (mostly) unnoticeable. The chorus brings the cutesy repetition of the title at the start, before the saxophones are brought into play, bringing more of that Orange Caramel appeal to the song. By far the best part of the song, in my point of view. I will be completely honest that the bridge did dull out the song for me, as I think they could have continued the song’s momentum with a more dynamic touch for the bridge. But I am glad that we ended up returning to the catchy chorus once again before Hmph! concluded, repumping the energy and infectious appeal back one last time.

The opening of Secret (one of their best songs ever!) started off the music video for Hmph!, so the video intrigued me from the very start. The music video can be described as a blast of colour. This isn’t an issue, as that is expected with a cutesy sound like this. And boy, WJSN CHOCOME doesn’t mess around with this cutesy concept. It is as if they have been holding back whilst promoting as WJSN! It felt natural to these members, unlike some other cutesy concepts where the members are just horrible at acting cute or overly exaggerating to the point where it just becomes cringy. To be critical, I would like to have them tone down the outrageousness. For example, I would not recommend waking anyone up with three trumpets and an iron. That blow up the person’s ear drums and give them significant burns.

For the choreography, I thought the cutesy twist on the Hmph! was really nice. The entire chorus routine seems fun. There isn’t much else from what I saw in the music video. But basing on what I saw, I think the performance would be suitable and fitting for the song.

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

[Album Review] Neverland (8th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

As per the schedule, Sundays see the release of a new Weekly KPOP Chart post and an album review post. I have already posted the Weekly KPOP Chart post for the third week of June 2020. Topping the charts is WJSN’s Butterfly, which is now the number one song for two weeks in a row. It is just a coincidence that I had also prepared the album review post for the mini-album, Neverland, that includes Butterfly as the title track for posting on the same day. It just makes me introduction a little more interesting though. The group has also won two weekly music show awards since the release of both the song and mini-album. Also, I am digging the album with all the tracks alongside Butterfly being favourites of mine. Let’s see what those tracks are!

Neverland Album Cover

1. Butterfly (Title Track)Click here for the full review for Butterfly. (9.5/10)

2. Hola – The next track on the album is Hola and it starts off loud (in a good way). A better description for the song is that is a club banger and is best when the volume is up high. It like the energy that comes from it (I have personally been replaying the song for this element alone) and thoroughly enjoy the song’s intensity, thanks to its club vibes. The song’s hooks are extremely catchy and help makes their vocal work to stand out. I also like their vocal’s powerfulness, which is necessary when you pair it with a club-based instrumental like this one. My favourite one is the ‘Na Na…Na’ that follows the first and final chorus of the song. Exy’s rap sequence might be in a standard form (pretty straight forward with its deliver and in terms of the instrumental backing), but I find it is perfect for this song. I also enjoyed the chanting in the bridge. You might think I would find it awkward, but I felt it tied the song together neatly. Overall, an excellent song to follow the title track. (10/10)

3. Pantomime – The title of most unique song and favourite side-track on this album has to go to Pantomime, another song that I have regularly repeated since I first listened to the album. I find the instrumental to be very aesthetic. It is a bit irregular and isn’t as straight forward as you think, but I think it is the song’s charm. In a way, the synth heavy song keeps you on the edge of your seat as you just don’t know where the song would go next. I really liked the textural components of the instrumental and the delayed drop when it came to the chorus. I found the group’s lower tone vocals to be very fitting and helped make the song gain that aesthetic vibe. I also really liked how to keep the song different once it reached the final chorus (otherwise, this very irregular song would have felt repetitive or come off as a ‘standard track with many textural components’), Dawon goes even lower after a longer delay and I thought this was so sleek. Also, the ‘Like a Pantomime’ post-chorus hook is so memorable and addictive. (10/10)

4. Where You Are (바램) – I really enjoyed the way Where Are You started. It suits WJSN’s image quite well and had a very pretty vibe as well. And as the song progressed, those thoughts just continued to accumulate. The instrumental is a mash between pop and orchestral, which I have noted to be a great combination in the past. I also felt that Where You Are could easily be a follow up many of their earlier works thanks to the pretty vibes that I had just mentioned. The song doesn’t have that wow factor like the above two songs or the title track. But it is a great song, nonetheless. The melodies were extremely pleasant, and their vocals were quite charming. The rapping was so fitting for the song. The hooks had a sweet feel to it. Overall, a very easygoing and pleasant track to listen to. (9/10)

5. Tra-la (불꽃놀이) – WJSN carries the pleasant vibes from the previous track onto the fifth song. Once again, I find the song to be easygoing, pretty-sounding and quite calming. The song takes on a tropical instrumental, but make sure to retain their personality in the song as the song in its entirety feels suitable for WJSN. I personally find their vocals in Tra-la to be their best. While we had powerful and charming vocals, they sounded most like themselves in this song. The pre-chorus sequences had a nice build up to the sweet-sounding chorus. The song also brings me two Exy rapping sequences and both sequence (though short) bring out her potential and fits so well in the song. I find the final moments when the members sing together to be very nice and fitting for the lyrics, as well. (9/10)

6. Our Garden (우리의 정원) – The final song on the album is Our Garden and I find it to be the weakest song on this album. But it is only half a step down from the previous few songs, as I felt the hooks weren’t as profound due to its wholesome overall feels. Once again, the track has a very jazzy pop sound and brings along that pretty sound that I have mentioned from the previous song. I liked the whispery moments of the song (i.e. Dayoung and Luda at the start; and Eunseo and Luda at the start for the second verse), as the slight autotune gives it a very unique character. I also love Exy’s part in this song. Her rap is more a rap sing delivery and fits in neatly into the song. I also liked in the first half of her sequence, where there she echoes herself. The rest of the members, despite not being mentioned throughout the album review, nails their vocals once again. This track brings Neverland to a very strong close. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.3/10

Neverland Teaser Image

[Review] Butterfly – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

While there are a few more Monday releases to review, I am going to skip them for now and move onto the Tuesday release. It is time to review WJSN’s Butterfly. We last heard heard from the group in November of last year with As You Wish. Not much has been heard from the group since that round of promotions aside from the fact that the members recently had their 2020 concert, Oblivate, in South Korea and Japan. Butterfly is the lead title track off the group’s eighth mini-album, Neverland.

I am not sure if Butterfly is marketed as a summer single, as it is featured on a standard mini-album rather than a special summer mini-album. But I find that Butterfly strays away from the group’s usual fantastical sounding releases in a similar fashion to what last year’s Summer hit Boogie Up did. Maybe that is a bit too extreme to say that they go in a complete different direction, as there may be that slight influence in the song. But what I do find is Butterfly is much more synth heavy and quite heavy with its instrumentation, overall. There is a good level of bass and I think there is a bit of guitar mixed into it. The instrumental isn’t overwhelming nor do they hold back with its energy. As a result, the song is very upbeat and feels very suitable for the season of refreshing energy and a neat follow up to Boogie Up. In addition to the song’s energy, I find the hooks of he song to be very catchy. They also feel quite bold over the top of the upbeat instrumental. And the members sound freaking fantastic in this song. Good job to Soobin, who handles the high note in Butterfly. I also like Exy’s singing just before her rap sequences kick in. I would have loved to hear more of her in the song though, as her rapping really fits this style. The rest of the members showcase solid vocals, to the point where it is hard to pinpoint who is a sub vocalist in this song. Overall, Butterfly is an amazing Summer hit which I am already enjoying just from today’s listens.

This music video largely adopts that closeup and choreography formula that I dislike in KPOP music video as it feels quite plain. But what Butterfly‘s music video does so well is highlight the member’s beautiful visuals in each of their solo shots. I was in awe when each member had their closeups, as each of these scenes made them look like goddesses and had a really artistic appeal to them. I also liked their use of colours in the music video, particularly in the sets where they shot their choreography shots (as the members were all dressed in white and hence made the colours stand out). It might have used that dreaded formula, but it made good use of it.

I liked how in every opportunity possible, WJSN managed to incorporate some sort of butterfly references into the choreography. It would be insane to count each reference as they do not just limit to just the two hands joined together to make it look like a butterfly slowly flapping it wings. They had moves that used their entire arms to mimic wings and their capes on their outfits really give the performance a heavenly look.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10

[Album Review] As You Wish (7th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WJSN (Cosmic Girls) is nominated for Best Female Group and Best Female Choreography in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. To support WJSN and your other favourite artists, click here to do so today!

The next album on the ‘album review blitz’ list is WJSN’s latest mini-album release. Both the title track and mini-album share the same name, As You Wish. These were released in the middle of November and the group has been actively promoting the release since then. This release follows the groups chart-topping hit, Boogie Up, which was released back in June. Let’s see whether the group can continue their momentum following their previous comeback.

As You Wish Album Cover

1. As You Wish (이루리) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for As You Wish. (8.5/10)

2. Luckitty-Cat (행운을 빌어) – One thing that I really like about Luckitty-Cat is how it just keeps going on. There is hardly a break in the song’s momentum. But this is no problem as the song is rather catchy and addictive. The lyrics and vocals tap into the group’s innocent and cutesy domain. I really like the melodies of the song as well, which was quite flowy and pleasant over the busy instrumentation I got. I also really liked the vibrancy of their vocals and the rap sequence in the song. Overall, a really good song from the group that could rival their title track, in my opinion. (9/10)

3. Lights Up (야광별) Lights Up is a ballad and it features a piano and (later on) orchestral instrumental. It is almost like a fairytale-like backdrop for the song, which I quite like. Apart from the instrumentation, their vocals are the other primary element present in the song. While some members sound good, I thought that their voices were a tad too loud for the instrumentation, overall. And in some cases, some members sounded off. Though I am not too sure why they sounded off. Furthermore, I wished they scrapped the rapping this song track. It didn’t feel necessary and wasn’t well incorporated in my point of view. (6/10)

4. WW (우와) – We return to the more upbeat and energetic sound that WJSN feels most well known for. Minus the start of the song, where they went with a retro synth start that was distorted and felt ‘broken’, the song is pretty much a funball rolled into a 3 minutes and 45 seconds. I really like the vocals in this track, as they play with pitches, which is rather cool. The rapping is also lively int this track and is different from their past tracks (Good Job Exy!). I like the vibrancy of this track well, which helps make it addictive. (9/10)

5. BADABOOM (바다붐) – I like how serious and mature sounding the song sounds. It is fierce in its own way, which I am sure is a side of WJSN that could potentially be brought into play if they group ever wants to undergo a direction change. I thought the song was catchy, thanks to the hooks. I also like how instrumental contained thumping instrumentation, which I think pairs well with the title BADBABOOM. The ending to the song was really awesome, giving the song a unique extension. I also like “Li La Li La’ part before the choruses. It was a nice quirk that really caught my attention. (8.5/10)

6. Full MoonFull Moon returns to that mystical and fantastical sound that the group is widely known for. The song features a catchy chorus and seems to incorporate a bit of R&B to the song. I like the vocal work and the rapping in this track as well. However, I can’t help thinking that this song is extremely weighed down and feel very dry. I want something with a little more oomph or bang to it, which I am certain would help retransform the song into something more interesting. (6.5/10)

7. Don’t Touch – This final song is fierce and powerful, which are words that I really enjoy using to describe songs. Exy’s rapping really brings the song to new a whole new level, which really makes it enjoyable. I feel like the producers didn’t do a really good job of mixing the instrumental with the vocals. One element is always overpowering the other in this song. You don’t get much opportunity to really appreciate an element because of it. But I like how they channeled their energy and I feel this is a very bold ending for the album, especially given WJSN’s image and pasty concepts. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

As You Wish Teaser Image

[Review] As You Wish – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

It is already shaping to be one busy week with the comeback of multiple artists and we are only one the second day. Joining the comeback rush this week is WJSN, who returns with As You Wish and their 7th mini-album (which also shares the same name as the title track). This is their third comeback of 2019 following La La Love and their summer hit, Boogie Up. The comeback is also their fourth comeback to not feature the Chinese members.

It seems like WJSN has moved on from the fantastical sound that they have been associated with. As You Wish instead opt for a more traditional pop sound, which I think the group did elevate using their vocals. It is a very clean song, showcasing vocals and a short rap sequence without any hindrance. This allowed for each of the members to shine throughout the song, as I don’t think I picked up on weak moments in this song. The track was refreshing almost, given that WJSN has developed a sound for themselves. And as much as I am a fan of that certain sound, I do think As You Wish manages to showcase a different side of the group without going a little too far out of the comfort zone of fans. I also found the song to be very catchy, which really help bosts its likeability. Another great thing about this track is that the line distribution seems to be a lot fairer than usual. Exy, who is the rapper of the group, usually gets a small section of the song but this time around, she had 3 parts. Likewise, the members who have gotten fewer lines in the past had slightly more than usual.

Despite the slight change in song sound, the music video is pretty much right up WJSN’s alley. What the ladies depicted in this video is a switchboard or contact centre for wishes. They collect all the wishes that people like us make and they approve of those wishes so that it can become true. Not exactly sure what they were doing while they sitting in a circle, though they would have something to do with granting wishes. Finally, they sit in carriages that move across the night sky, which I assume they are depicting shooting stars. I found this to be a very pretty video, highlighting the member’s visuals throughout the many closeup shots we got of each member.

For those who didn’t notice, Yeonjung didn’t participate in the choreography shots in the music video due to an injury (I too did not notice until I read the comments section). Though it seems like she is okay now as she was featured in the live performance that was uploaded on the 1THEK channel today. As for the choreography, I liked how graceful the moves were in this performance, which I thought matched the song quite well.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Special] Top 10 Personal Favourite Songs from 1st Half of 2019

As I have been mentioning over the past 2 weeks, I reflect over the 1st half of 2019 through two posts. The first post is the recap of the Number 1 songs from the Weekly KPOP Charts for the period between July 2018 to June 2019 and this was published last week. The second post is my pick for most favourite songs from the first half of the year. This is irrespective of the charts (or any charts for that matter) and reviews, as sometimes my favourite songs don’t reach the top. I have listed 10 songs below, in no particular order, which I believe represent the best of the best that 2019 has offered to us so far.


Boogie Up – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Q&A – Cherry Bullet

Woowa – DIA

Side Effects – Stray Kids

The Fifth Season (SSFWL) – Oh My Girl

Zimzalabim – Red Velvet

Valkirye – ONEUS

No – CLC

Sunrise – GFriend

L.O.V.E – Park Ji Hoon


I wanted to add a few more but think limiting myself to 10 would probably be best, otherwise, I’d be copying and pasting majority of 2019’s releases onto this page.

Do you agree with my picks? What about your favourite tracks of 2019 so far? Comment down below!

[Album Review] For The Summer (1st Special Album) – WJSN

South Korea (and the Northern Hemisphere) have already kicked off Summer with a number of Summery time comebacks, filled with bright energy and catchy hooks that make any KPOP fan want to party and dance to. One of the more successful acts of the 2019 Summer thus far is WJSN, who returned with Boogie Up back in May. The group has topped charts including MCountDown, SBS The Show and Show Champion with the very infectious and addictive song. Today, we will have a look at what WJSN has accompanying Boogie Up on their album.

wjsn-forthesummer-2
For The Summer Album Cover

1..Boogie Up (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Boogie Up. (9/10)

2. Oh My Summer (눈부셔)Oh My Summer is a nice pop song that gets you in the mood for the Summer season. I find the slight retro approach in this instrumental to be quite fun. I find the pace of the track to be quite interesting. There is nice energy level in the track and it is a track fitting for the Summer season. Other positive aspects of the track are that it is catchy and an addictive song. Both the vocals and rapping were pretty good, as well. If there were any negative aspects in the track, the positive aspects outweigh them, meaning WJSN delivered another good track in the form of Oh My Summer. (8.5/10)

3. My Type – Kicking the energy to a higher notch is My Type. It is another pop track that has a very bright and vibrant sound. I like how straight forward the song. It doesn’t mess around and gets straight to the point with its sound. The chorus does have the potential to be an amazing hook. But I feel like the melody was a little lacking, as it didn’t reel me as I had expected from such a bright song. I did think Yeonjung’s vocals were nice, in the chorus. But the highlights of the track have to be Exy’s rapping and that outro segment at the end, which provides a beach party-like atmosphere. (8/10)

4. Let’s Dance (우리끼리) – If you are looking for a song to put on speaker, this is probably the one. The synths used in the track seems to conform to the electronic genres that we get more typically nowadays. There is also some attitude to the song as a result, which I am totally enjoying. The addition of saxophones was very nice and gave the instrumental a party/club sound, which resulted in it in being fun and less serious. Though, if I was honest, I think the saxophone could have had a solo or been slightly louder to really add to that party feel. The vocals were nice and I like the rap opening, which I don’t think WJSN does much of. I can imagine an awesome dance routine to it, increasing my expectations for the track even further. (9/10)

5. Sugar Pop Sugar Pop is exactly like how its title portrays it to be. It is a sweet upbeat pop track that has an infectious energy that you cannot help but be addicted to. It is another good to put on blast due to its almost explosive chorus nature. While I find the song to be very catchy and very suitable for an album full of energy, there is a section that I particularly love. The pre-chorus reminded me Bohemian Rhapsody and I thought this was a very cool effect to have in the song of a sweet nature. The vocals and raps, once again as superb. Yeonjung’s high note came out of nowhere and it also stole the show. Overall, another great song. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

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[Review] Boogie Up – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

As promised, we will be re-focusing on some releases from the previous week. And I think we should start off with what I consider to be my most favourite release from the last week. WJSN made their return last Wednesday with Boogie Up, their latest title track from their very first special Summer album, For The Summer. The Chinese members of the group, Cheng Xiao, Mei Qi and Xuan Yi, remain absent for this set of promotions due to overseas schedules.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when it came to Boogie Up but I felt an overwhelmingly strong expectation for disappointment. I honestly do not know why that was the case, as I pretty much enjoyed all of their previous tracks. But rest assured, Boogie Up is a gem that I cannot stop replaying. It is a Summer track with a retro sound. I found the track to be quite fun-sounding, very energetic and had a fair amount of cuteness, which was all elements that made me smile and want to dance to the track. It is super catchy, especially with the ‘Boogie Boogie Up‘ hook in the chorus, which my mind begs me to continually replay for. I like how straightforward their chorus was, with only the vibrant instrumentation and hook at the forefront of the track. I liked the verses as they had a nice flow and melody. Vocally, the song is sound. Dawon really got an opportunity to feature more in the track, which made me even more happy (she has an interesting voice). Though, I felt like they could have gone with a little more kick for the rap sequence. Mainly to fit Exy’s voice more neatly into the track.

Like most Summer seasoned music videos (as I have been mentioning in the last few days), the music video shows the members having a lot of fun in the Sun and heat. With the sun shining brightly, vibrant colours and the fact that the music video is set on the beach, I think this has to be the best Summer themed music video thus far this year. Other than that, it is rather typical.

I thought it was a really good performance to watch. I really like the ‘Boogie Boogie Up‘ move they have at the start of the chorus. Thought it was very cute and fitting with WJSN’s more youthful image.

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

[Album Review] The Secret (2nd Mini Album – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Unfortunately, I have run out of my ‘stockpiled’ past album reviews, so I had to write a fresh one up today. And I couldn’t decide which artist to pick from since there are so many. I have done two male groups in a row, so I thought I refocus on the female groups. And so, I picked WJSN’s second mini-album, The Secret, which was released back in September 2016. This was the very first era that WJSN  caught my attention with and since then Secret has been a longtime favourite of mine. So it only makes sense to see what else the mini-album, which Secret comes from, has to offer. So let’s get onto it!

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The Secret Album Cover

1..Secret (비밀이야) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Secret. (10/10)

2. BeBeBeBe is a very memorable track. Unfortunately, it was more about the fact that it was the song that followed Secret. But listening to it now, the track has a very bright pop feel that I don’t mind. It does follow a youthful approach without going overboard in the cutesy domain, which I am glad did not occur. It is quite enjoyable, with nice vocals and the single rap sequence was nice. The track was relatively fast pace and it could have slowed down a tad bit to be a little more favourable. But overall, BeBe is a nice track. (8/10)

3. Would You Kiss Me? (우주키스미)Would You Kiss Me? is a nice sweet pop track. Well, it started off with that thought. And it carried that idea for the majority of the track. But like many listeners, I find that trap breakdown very mismatching and ill-fitting for the tone of the track. I guess it was something formulated to fit the experimental trend. But other songs work because they come together well, which is not the case for this track. If I were to talk about the sweeter moments alone than I would have enjoyed it. (6/10)

4. Prince (짠!)Prince sounds like a standard sidetrack. It is a good track, heavy-handed on the synths in the instrumentation. There are trap-like breaks in the song, which I thought was fitting for the heavy use of synths. But the song does feel weighed down and hence it doesn’t have that necessary pop to be considered as a title track. The vocals are good, but they felt overshadowed by the instrumental. On the other hand, the rap sequence really shined and was my personal favourite part of the song. (7.5/10)

5. RobotRobot is probably my pick for most memorable sidetrack on this mini-album. I liked how they departed from their pop sound and went with something a little more electronic. I think the instrumental was very catching, even though it was quite repetitive. It reminds me of those retro sounds you often got in games. There are some squeaky effects towards the end, which I thought kept the song interesting. The vocals were nice in the song and the rapping was quite cool. I actually liked the high-pitch echo that followed Exy for the rap sequence. It may not be the sound I drift towards, but they pulled it off well enough for me to do so. (8.5/10)

6. Good Night (이층침대) – It is time for that mandatory ballad on most mini-albums. And while sometimes the mandatory ballads are pretty good, other times they are a miss. Unfortunately, Good Night falls under the latter. Like the title, Good Night makes me drift away from the album. I forget about it and hence the ending is also forgotten. The vocals were nice but because it was so light, I didn’t feel a connection with it. (6/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.7/10

 

[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!

[Album Review] WJ STAY? (6th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Originally I wasn’t going to post an album review today due to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards posts (to be released in a few hours). But with so many good albums in the past week alone, I decided to slide it in any way to ensure I don’t fall too far behind. Today’s focus will be on WJSN’s latest comeback, La La Love. The album which this title track is featured is titled as WJ STAY? and it is their 6th mini-album. As I still have a fair bit to do today, let’s start moving along with the review.

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WJ STAY Album Cover

1..La La Love (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for La La Love. (9/10)

2. You GotYou Got brings us back to the 70s with its disco-driven instrumental. It isn’t as bright or in-your-face if we compared it with songs from that era, which makes it instantly likeable. I did find they lost that retro appeal when the song progressed (especially during the chorus), conforming to a standard pop dance track. But there were moments that song that returned it to its former self. I like the vocals in the song, as they add a nice smooth texture of the song. The rapper(s) does an amazing job at upsetting this smoothness during the bridge and following the choruses, bringing a much needed and expected roughness to keep the song interesting. (8.5/10)

3. Star (1억개의 별)Star is that ballad on the album. And once again, they bring out the vocals of each of the members. It, like most ballads that I really like, have this swaying effect – which specifically means that there is a flowy vibe to the song. I find it interesting that they allowed Exy to rap in this song. A rap sequence isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to ballads, with other groups giving their respective rapper a vocal line. But that being said, Exy shows how versatile she is and fits perfectly into the song. If I could be any more selfish, I wished they could have pushed themselves vocally. But everything felt perfect. (9.5/10)

4. Memories (그때 우리) – To me, Memories is rather cute. It is a song that when I listen to it, it makes me smile. I also like how they keep everything well balanced and doesn’t ‘overspill’ in any manner. The instrumental gave off pop vibes while remaining orchestral based. It had a beautiful tone to it. Everyone’s vocals were highlighted perfectly. While I am still questioning the need for the rapping in this song, I think it was brought into play when it was needed most, and it keeps the song from becoming too repetitive. I may not have much to say about this song, but it was really amazing. (9/10)

5. Cantabile (칸타빌레)Cantabile is a song that fits extremely well into WJSN’s portfolio. The entire song screams out WJSN”s name with this mystical feel. But it isn’t as ‘innocent’ sounding as their previous works. The verses and the chorus all have that innocent touch to the song. But it is the mini instrumental break that follows the chorus doesn’t seem to conform to their signature sound but rather adding a nice edge to the song. Once again, the vocals and rapping were nice. I think if the chorus had a stronger hook that fits both sides of the song that I have discussed, I would be raving about the song. But as it is now, I still quite like it. (8/10)

6. 12 O’Clock12 O’Clock has this quirky vibe to it that I cannot shake off. That can have attributed to the presence of trumpets at the start and its Broadway/show-time instrumentation during the verses. While I did think the chorus was a blast (drop and melody), I would have liked it if they kept to the theme rather than going with modern synths. I really liked the rapping during the second verse for this track. Definitely a highlight for me. I think the one thing missing for this song is performance because it seems like it will have an amazing routine to go with it. (9/10)

7. UJUNG (우주정거장) -UJUNG is a sweet ballad to end the album with. It was a nice song vocally and I like what they did with the rapping in the second verse (despite it not being needed in the song). They could have been more adventurous and done something to the rapping in the bridge to keep it in line with the rest of the song as it did sound quite plain (but once again – not necessary for the song). There is also a cute vibe to it, which makes me smile quite a bit. While it seems to be the most passable song on the album, it does round out the album with a likeable tone. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

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[Review] La La Love – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Returning today with a brand new song is WJSN, with La La Love. WJSN has had a pretty successful last year with the release of Dreams Come True and Save You, Save Me, which both helped grow their fanbase considerably. The latter song also earned the group’s first win on a weekly music show. And once again, only 10 members are involved in the promotions for the album, with  Cheng Xiao, Mei Qi and Xuan Yi missing out due to conflicting schedules and involvement with Rocket Girls 101.

La La Love slightly departs for the group’s usual fanatical and mystical sound.  It does maintain that influence but it ends up on an edgier route this time around. With Exy’s rap-talk introduction along with the dance instrumentation, the opening section of the song was amazing. I am currently waiting to see the lyrics for of the song as I am not sure what Exy was trying to say in the second line (‘They blended in the heart like a Cadillac’?). I liked the upbeatness of the song, which is one of the attractive points of the song. Another attractive point has to be the rap-talk sections just prior to the choruses, which really built up the suspense for the explosion of energy we got from the chorus. The one thing I felt could have been better was Exy’s actual rap sequence at the start of the second verse. She already had a rap-talk section at the start and end of the song, so to hear another rap-talk sequence was a little disappointing. I was expecting something with intensity and complete edginess to further offset the usual WJSN influence that we could hear. But La La Love was a song to La La Love for.

La La Love‘s music video takes on a circus concept, which actually looks amazing. That same mystical feel you get from their past video is also present in this music video. But this time around, they added a level of both edge and elegance to the video through their outfits, which I actually really liked. Their visuals are on point throughout the video. I did like the scenery and sets they had in the video, which definitely added to the visuals of the video. I wonder if there is symbolism in the video as the video felt more like a choreography/close up shot type video, which is the only negative that I point out about it.

Another great routine from the girls but there wasn’t anything memorable about this performance, like in both of last year’s releases. I did like the two pinches they did for the chorus. But that was far from memorable.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Album Review] WJ Please (5th Mini Album) – WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

WJSN recently returned with this latest title track, Save Me Save You and mini-album, WJ Please. WJSN also confirmed they are a growing group this week as they won their very first weekly music show award on SBS The Show. While The Show is a relatively small weekly music award, it shows the groups appeal to the public with their music and concepts. Congratulations to the girls! And to celebrate, let’s take some time to have a closer look at the other songs on their mini-album.

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WJ Please? Album Cover

1..Save Me Save You (부탁해) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Save Me Save You. (Originally a 7/10. However I wish to change this to a 8/10. It has grown on me a fair bit)

2. You, You, You (너, 너, 너)You You You changes up the album with a ‘sunnier’ track that is filled with so much more brightness and innocence. The track feels like it is perfectly suited for the Summer season, which South Korea had just left. To me, the instrumental felt like a well-balanced mixed between their fantasy concept/sound and that Summertime vibe, which I have already mentioned too many times. This means it is well suited for the group’s portfolio. You You You featured nice vocals and a really cool rap sequence, which I really enjoyed. For once, I thought the fading out at the end was perfect as the leading out moment. The track just felt like it ended too quickly and was mushed together at some parts. But overall, great b-side track. (8/10)

3. I-YAH (아이야) – Once again, an orchestral instrumentation automatically earns points with me (as you may know). And it doesn’t stop throughout the song, maintaining a consistent level of energy throughout the entire track. I like how powerful this track was. It reminded me of Infinite’s instrumentation, which is well known to incorporate (or find a way to incorporate) the orchestral side of music. The instrumentation is only one part of the deal, with the vocals and rapping being the other part. Both aspects were extremely powerful. As much as I loved the vocals in this song, I think the rapping had the edge. This song is memorable with all these parts working together. (10/10)

4. Masquerade (가면무도회) – Starting off this track is a ballroom piece of instrumental which felt elegant. This elegant feeling continued to feature as the song continued into a smooth sounding dance track. The verses were nice but not major standout sections of the song. Instead, that honour is given to the chorus which has a burst of energy which makes it extremely appealing. I would have liked to have heard a stronger hook, as what we have doesn’t really hold me in place (I am more there for the burst of energy). But once again, amazing vocals and rapping from the members again. (8/10)

5. Hurry UpHurry Up is an upbeat retro song that is their most direct contact with the familiar and popular style in KPOP. And while it is bright and sunny, like You You You, it is their most lacking track. It just feels like a song that you get on Hairspray but was easily forgotten. There were some good vocal moments in the song and I like how the rap was incorporated into the song. But besides the retro instrumental and their vocals, the song was quite plain. It didn’t feel catchy or addictive, like other retro songs from other artists. (6.5/10)

6. You & I (2월의 봄) – This serves as the ballad on the album. You & I has this soothing feeling from the start and I like how they carried that throughout the entire song. It is a good track to end what seemed to be an upbeat album. It was a tad slow for my liking and it did feel rather plain. The instrumental could have been a little more interesting, but it paints a calming atmosphere, which goes back to my previous points. I like the harmonizing in the song. But I feel like the rapping and high-note felt unnecessary and cut the atmosphere in a way that spoiled the ending. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10 

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WJ Please Teaser Image