Month: February 2014

Girl’s Generation – Mr.Mr

Back with a new reaction/review with none other than Girl’s Generation’s Mr.Mr!

I’ll be quite honest here, when the album was released, I was not impressed with the song at all. I felt like their voices had been overpowered by the background music. I don’t even know what the opening noise was, but it gave me a headache. I was extremely disappointed because there was so much hype about this song, and I felt like it didn’t deliver. It wasn’t bad though, but it fell below expectations in my opinion.

Now that the music video is out, I got a new perspective on the song. I still don’t like the opening noise, nor do I like the last line before they go into the chorus, but the music video definitely gave it a boost in scores in our opinion. I think my overall favorite parts of the song are Sunny’s, Yoona’s, and Yuri’s parts. I also feel like the only people who should continue in the rap department is Tiffany, Hyoyeon, and Sunny. The only reason I don’t have IGAB on my iPod was because they’re rapping was not rap, except for a couple of them. I felt like they were just speed talking to a beat, and were wannabe rappers. I think Mr.Mr definitely beat out IGAB. I also know that GG has power vocals, but I feel like they need more if they’re going to sing songs like The Boys (which was the better of their venture into a different genre), IGAB, and Mr.Mr. I don’t feel any emotion from their title songs, but their lighter songs definitely have it (Promise, Baby Maybe, etc). When this album came out, I was waiting for that tune that would get stuck in my head, because that’s what GG songs do to you. But there were none on the album for me. With the release of Mr.Mr in that it wasn’t completely unlikable, I await GG’s next album.

The music video was very colorful, and I also liked the switch to black and white as well. The dance break was good, but again, I feel like it could have used more power in that as well. And the warping, blurring, whatever effects they used, were okay, but after awhile it was hard on the eyes.

Overall score; 7. I have heard worst songs, and I didn’t completely dislike the song. However, I don’t think this is a song I would care to put on repeat. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t dislike GG. I have plenty of GG songs on my iPod, but it’s my preference in music. Check out Girl’s Generation’s Mr. Mr. at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8j_XEn9b_8.

I know a lot of fans will be comparing 2NE1 and GG, but I’ll wait until after the 2NE1 review to give my opinions about the two groups. But honestly, don’t create fanwars. We can’t spread the love of KPOP if there’s hate going on within our love for KPOP.

Got an Asian pop song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at apop_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @apopreviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

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주군의 태양 (Master’s Sun)

First Watch-It Wednesday, where we recommend a drama/film, and of course the most memorable OSTs from it.

Our first Watch-It Wednesday goes to Master’s Sun (주군의 태양). Master’s Sun is a horror-romance-comedy about a young lady, Tae Gong Shil (played by Gong Hyo Jin), who can see ghosts. Because of her unique ability, she lives in constant fear and exhaustion until she meets Joo Joong Won (played by So Ji Sub), owner of Kingdom Mall. Gong Shil sees Joong Won as someone special in that he is the only one who can prevent her from seeing ghosts. The two strike a deal together for their own personal gains and thus begins the wonderful series.

Of course, we have to include the OSTs, as we are a music review blog.

First up is Touch Love by Yoon Mi Rae. Now, we all know how wonderful of a rapper she is, and with that in mind, this track completely threw us off, reminding us that she can sing just as well as she can rap. Her vocals were beautiful and she portrayed emotion just as well as any other power vocals out there. This was by far the best OST from the drama in our opinion, and may be one of the hardest OSTs to outdo in K-Drama land. Check it out at http://youtu.be/ZH8BYNwmR5Q.

Next, we have Driving me Crazy by Hyorin. Now, Hyorin is already a well-known power vocal in the industry, so just bringing her up should be enough of a reason as to why her OST was included here. Her husky voice is perfect for these slow, emotional ballads. She has control and can hit just about any note on the scale, soft or powerful, and this OST was a combo of both. Even without watching the drama, or the music video accompanied by this OST, you can recall just about all the scenes that it was used in; that’s how memorable this OST was. Check it out at http://youtu.be/4Iov70BaXM4.

Check out the drama once you get the chance and listen for the OSTs. These were our two most favorites, but they definitely weren’t the only OSTs that stood out.

Hollywood Bowl 2014

There’s a lot of new information with this update!

First off, I’m sure you’re all waiting to see who’s going to be performing at the Korean Music Festival in Hollywood, so let’s just get that out of the way. Korea Times has listed four artists so far who will be attending; 2AM, Crayon Pop, Dal Shabet, and Ulala Session. I saw 2AM at KCON 2013 and their live performance was no joke. Indeed, they deserve the title of the best vocal group. I also saw Crayon Pop there, and they were cute and entertaining. I haven’t listened to any of Dal Shabet’s or Ulala Session’s songs yet, but I’m sure they’ll be worth the watch.

With just the release of four groups, ticket sales skyrocketed! The second row in the pool circle is in the process of being sold out. The Garden Box area is also quickly going. The first two rows were already sold out, and if you follow us on Twitter, we gave an update about that. The third and fourth row in the Garden Box area are also in the process of being sold out. Only the first row of the Terrace Box area has been sold out.

Get your tickets fast! If you want to be as close to the stage as possible, now is the time to buy your ticket. Remember, even if you find out later that none of your preferred groups are going, you can always try and sell your tickets through legal ticket sales sites, although I don’t know how wrong you could go with just attending for the love of KPOP. You wouldn’t want to regret not buying a ticket as well. I already know I will.

For more information, go to http://ktmf.koreatimes.com/. You can also purchase tickets there.

[UPDATE] So, when I checked earlier, all the said before seats were sold out. However, a few hours later, the tickets for those seats are still going. So get them while they’re still available!

[UPDATE] Insooni joins the list of performances!

– Zoey

CN BLUE – Can’t Stop

Back with another new review/reaction!

Remember how I said ballads and songs with slower beats aren’t exactly what I listen to? Well, that’s the direction my review is going for CN Blue’s new release, Can’t Stop. Don’t get me wrong though. I’ve always been on the lookout for CN Blue songs ever since I’m a Loner, and I do have multiple CN Blue songs on my iPod, but I don’t have any of their slower songs and ballads except for one or two and that’s because of the portrayal of emotions through their voices, like Lalala.

Can’t Stop probably won’t go on my iPod because I didn’t exactly feel too excited about it after listening to it, nor did it resonate with me. When the song first started with Yonghwa playing the piano, I really liked that small melody he had going, so I thought this was going to be a ballad I would like. But then, it went towards a totally different direction than what I had thought, and it just wasn’t in my taste. However, there were some parts I did like about the song, specifically how they sang “can’t stop me now”. I also liked the second half of the verses. I do have to say their voices sounded a whole lot more beautiful with this song though. I definitely noticed how much I liked their vocals this time around. In that respect, I’m glad they tried something new with this song.

I thought the music video was so-so. I’ve seen a lot of the things in their Can’t Stop music video in others as well. However, I do like how the mirror was like a connection between two lovers. It’s with music videos like these where I wish I had the English lyrics to read so I could understand the purpose of the mirror since it has so many meanings, especially when it comes to love.

Overall score; 5. I don’t think I’ll be listening to this song anymore after this post. The only thing I liked about this song were their vocals. However, I am still excited about the rest of their mini album because I’m sure there will be a song on there that will catch me, just like how Shinhwa’s Minwoo’s Kiss it Away from his recent album grew on me, even though I wasn’t too fond of his title song Taxi.

Give CN Blue’s Can’t Stop a listen to at http://youtu.be/75KBwVtd_W0 and share your thoughts!

Got an Asian pop song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at apop_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @apopreviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

As One – 천만에요 (You’re Welcome)

First Flashback Friday!

Normally, I’m not a fan of old school songs, no matter what genre it is. The newer jams are my style. But this song has changed my mind. Maybe it was the smooth vocals or it could have been the soothing beat. Or maybe it could just be my love for ballads. Either way, everything just worked so perfectly together.

Let’s start off with the vocals. Listening to music today, there are strong vocals everywhere. But what about the softer vocals? This song is a definite reminder that belting out notes aren’t always needed to be considered a good singer. Nothing was overbearing or too powerful. This duo was so in sync and harmonized that they almost sounded like one person. Guess that’s where their group name comes from. The girls were able to sing sweetly and still get their emotions through without the dramatics that can be found in a lot of music now.

The video, though. Oh where to start with the video. The video wasn’t exactly bad but it also wasn’t all that great either. For the time frame it was made in though, the graphics were pretty well done, in my opinion. But the story line; I guess it’s just one of those things where you have to be more familiar with the Korean culture to understand it. The walking/running in the rain; why didn’t the couple (either of them) have an umbrella with them? Let’s just say that the song itself was way beyond the music video. And, finally, my biggest pet peeve when it comes to music videos is when the artist/artists aren’t in them. Why not have the person, who’s voice you hear, in the video?

If the scoring included the music video, then I would have given it an 8. But we are a site that focuses on the songs themselves, so the overall score for this song is a 10. It was amazing. If you’re looking for a nice, old school song to listen to, I would definitely recommend As One.

We couldn’t find the music video on an official YouTube channel, so give it a listen to on shyturtle’s channel at http://youtu.be/RFPznvfColE.

Got an Asian pop song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at apop_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @apopreviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Darice

C-CLOWN – 암행어사 (Justice)

New review/reaction! I really wish I would have discovered C-Clown for myself earlier. After listening to Justice, I went back through their previous songs, and they were actually nice. So why isn’t this group getting more recognition?

The song was completely not what I expected. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it from the pictures of the music video I’d seen, but a lot of hype was going on around the song, so I figured I should definitely listen to it. And what do you know? I am sitting here, upset that it’s not available on iTunes yet. I just feel like getting up and dancing to their “Koong, chikichikichikichiki” lines. And I don’t know who the opening rapper is, but you know what? I like his style. After watching previous videos, I did notice that he tends to repeat the last line, or word more like it, of his rap, not that that’s relevant or anything. And that phone number? Apparently it was a number under C-Clown where they left a message for their fans, it seems, if anyone tried actually calling it. I’m not too sure about how I feel about the lyrics yet. They’re not horrendous though, so that’s good. Justice definitely has a tune that can get stuck in your head. I know I’ve been humming along to “wawawa iriwa iriwa” ever since I first heard it, which was just yesterday.

The music video was simple and nice. Filming for the music video looked like it was fun, and it looks like the members had a lot of fun with this song, so there’s not much else to say.

Overall score; 9. I was completely taken aback with this song. As soon as the music started, I was mesmerized by the song. I just liked it; a lot. Fans will understand when I say there is no explanation needed for why we like our KPOP songs even though we don’t know what they’re saying. It just sounds nice to our ears, and that’s all that music needs to be.

Give the song a listen to at http://youtu.be/6tlHetw1nBA.

Got an Asian pop song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at apop_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @apopreviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

Sunmi – 보름달 (Full Moon)

Back with another reaction/review! I actually have a lot of pending reviews I want to get to, but I ended up getting sick over the weekend, on top of going to work in the middle of the day, which doesn’t leave me enough time for, well, just some me time.

Anyway, Sunmi is back and I hear she’s already making her way to the top of music charts. Her last single was catchy, but it wasn’t a song I immediately wanted to put on my iPod. I’m not saying it was bad or anything; it was good, great actually. But I’m a college student, so that means not much money to go around. I consider music an investment because I’m spending money that could be buying me food instead. If it doesn’t get me on the first catch, or I’m  not constantly humming or singing along to the tune, or thinking about the song, I’m not going to put it on my iPod. But enough of that.

Full Moon didn’t get my vote right away, but takes the latter of my opinion about putting songs on my iPod. I can definitely say that there’s a likely chance that if I give the song a few more listen-to’s, it’ll end up on my iPod. That “eh-eh-eh-eh-eh” part will definitely get to me. The lyrics were also very beautiful, in my opinion. That’s the plus of foreign language songs. If the song sounds nice, but the lyrics aren’t, then you can forget that you ever read the lyrics and just enjoy the song.

There was also the rapper, whom I read about, who is actually still a trainee under JYP and goes by Lena. Her rapping in the song didn’t really hit home with me either, but it did in a way too. Me and my mixed feelings about music. I think I say way too often that something doesn’t sit well with me, but I don’t exactly hate it either. But, back to Lena (if that’s what she’s going by). I’ll definitely be on the lookout for her debut. With a lot of the JYP releases lately, I think that by making the choice to collaborate with different producers was a very smart thing to do. JYP songs rarely did it for me, but a lot of the more recent JYP songs are now sitting in my iPod.

Now on to the music video. I was actually reading comments while the video started, and someone posted about how they jumped at 0:20. So, I was preparing myself to not jump, and failed when the 0:20 mark hit. I think the music video was very well done. The concept actually went with the song in that it followed the lyrics. Vampires can’t come out during the day, and here Sunmi is singing for her lover to come meet her during the full moon, before the sun rises. However, I’m a bit confused as to why there was a sick man she had to save by giving him immortality. Although there were a couple “sexy” dance moves I think the song could have done without, I’m not complaining at all because it was a refined sexy overall, and I was getting tired of all the over-the-top sexy comebacks. A few at the start were okay, and I was happy KPOP was taking something new on. But then it got repetitive, and well, annoying. The only sexy comeback that made it onto my iPod was Girl’s Day’s Something because I hadn’t yet gotten tired of sexy at that time.

Overall score; 7. I wasn’t overjoyed nor thinking, “Wow, this song is good!” But, like her labelmate GOT7, whose song made it onto my iPod after humming and thinking about the song for nearly a week, there’s a very high probability I’ll be studying to Full Moon some time this week.

Give the  song a listen to at http://youtu.be/8BBF3vRY85M, with English subtitles readily available.

Got an Asian pop song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at apop_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @apopreviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

BIG BANG – Sunset Glow

Since BIG BANG’s T.O.P was this week’s Man Crush Monday, it only makes sense to have a BIG BANG song as this week’s Throwback Thursday. As everyone knows, Haru Haru (하루 하루) was BIG BANG’s hit song of 2008, making it hard for anyone to remember any of their other songs from that year. Almost two months after the release of 하루 하루, another song was released. You might be wondering “What song could she possibly be talking about” or “I don’t think any other songs came out that year” but trust me on this.

That song is Sunset Glow (붉은 노을), which was released on November 5, 2008 through BIG BANG’s second full Korean album, Remember. Sunset Glow was the title track for their Remember album and is actually a song by artist Lee Moon Sae that BIG BANG put their own spin on. The two performed the song together at the 2008 KBS Music Festival.

Let’s address the music video first. This video was more of a fan service, if anything, with the boys running around the city, pulling fans away from whatever activity they were engaged in (school, shopping, sight-seeing, etc.) and taking them on their magic school bus of “hotness” to go west with them. Although most videos somewhat follow what the actual song is about, with their heavy, traumatic, epic love stories, it was nice for BIG BANG to do something different and lighthearted, even if the song wasn’t as bright and colorful as the music video suggests.

Now the song would seem like a happy, heartwarming jam to the average non-Korean speaker; that is, until they read the lyrics. It’s actually a very sad post-breakup song! The lyrics themselves are quite beautiful. The song is about how badly someone can miss another person, but can eventually move on, more or less. It might sound odd to have such a happy, upbeat tempo with such sad and depressing lyrics, but they work together like peanut butter and jelly, balancing each other out. Of course, we can’t forget about the English in the song either. Even if it was a little “I love you girl” here or an “all in the world” there, the English was almost perfect for a group of Koreans who have never had to speak English or be around English speakers (at the time).

Over all, Sunset Glow is a classic among other BIG BANG songs that should get more recognition among all KPOP fans, and then some, around the world. We couldn’t find it on the official BIG BANG YT channel, so give it a listen to on Escalade1080p’s channel at http://youtu.be/AFrm2wq34dg.

Got an Asian pop song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at apop_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @apopreviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Darice