Month: March 2015

Happy 21st Birthday, Darice!

She’s the reason my KPOP spark was revived 6-7 years ago; the one who was able to convince me, who refused to get sucked any further into the KPOP world, to go to my first KPOP concert at KCON 2013; and the one who pulled out a small part of the fangirl in me. Enough said.

She’s one of the greatest friends I have and she’s the one who really started my passion for travelling, along with her mom. It was always something I thought was in the distant future. Thanks to this mother and daughter duo, I decided that I really wanted to take that big step towards studying abroad. And here I am, getting ready to go study at Yonsei University this summer.

We’ve spent the last two summers looking forward to enjoying time together, both at KCON, because our busy schedules prevented us from spending time with each other here in Minnesota. Our KPOP concerts together were a great get-away from the real world. I think it was beginning to kind of turn into a tradition, and I’m really sad that I have to be without her this summer. Heck, we were determined to go to a BTS concert together, and the chance came, but it just had to be this summer. I’ve told her before, that I wanted to stuff her into a suitcase and bring her along. Unfortunately, it’s impossible. But I promise that next summer will be one of the best, even if I may be at grad school, which isn’t official yet.

Anyway, to one of the best people in the world, happy 21st birthday Darice! I hope you’re having a blast in Las Vegas with your mom!

To celebrate such a special person, here’s a little gift to our readers! If you’re the first to get this iTunes giftcard, let us know in the comments!

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EXO as 10

Alright! SM is finally releasing some teasers for EXO’s comeback, which a lot of EXO-Ls are hoping will happen soon. However, that first hint they released on EXO’s official Twitter, @PathcodeEXO, for this comeback brought back some heart-breaking memories for EXO fans. Most fans are responding to the hint with anticipation, but some are saying it was shady of SM to release that hint, which was “the number of marbles that passed the maze.”

Of course, having been a fan through the SUJU and DBSK line-up change, for lack of a better description regarding loss of much loved members, EXO’s line-up change wasn’t too hard to take in, though it was still a tad bit surprising. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but losing members from EXO was something to be expected based on SM’s notorious streak for boy groups, although there was very strong hope that we would be proved wrong. My initial thought on EXO-M was, “Did they not learn from what happened with Hankyung?” But I always try to keep an open mind, and so I figured that SM must have changed for these idols to continue their dream with them.

As a fan, my heart hurt for all the members of SUJU and DBSK when they had members that wanted out. I loved (still do, although my preference in music has changed) those two groups, and I just could not believe what was happening, although I supported the decisions of the members that wanted to leave. Because of that, I didn’t want to get too invested in becoming a fan of EXO. But, I must reiterate again, you cannot deny good music. Wolf pulled me into that EXO whirl pool, which sucked me in with the release of Growl that same year. When Overdose was announced, and the teasers were released, I was ready to buy that album (on iTunes), and then BAM! Kris says he wants out. Of course, I still bought the album regardless, but I also got over my shock at Kris’ decision rather quickly. What shocked me most was how short of a time Kris had spent with EXO before coming to this decision, and the response from the members, which ended up being completely the opposite for Luhan when he declared his desire to leave EXO as well later that year. Anyway, the point is that EXO’s line-up change came as no big surprise to me, and I will continue to support both sides.

Now, back to the controversial hint. I personally didn’t like that hint either. I understand that it is supposed to be signaling a new beginning for the remaining 10 members, but I had always questioned the necessity of showing 12 marbles, with TWO remaining in the maze. I absolutely do not believe that there is any other representation than the members of EXO for those marbles. If SM wanted to continue using the maze as a stepping stone for EXO’s comeback, I really think that showing only the 10 marbles outside of the maze would have sufficed. The extra two marbles is like a slap to the face for fans who want to support both Kris and Luhan, and EXO. It’s like SM is telling us fans, who want to support Kris and Luhan along with EXO, that we need to stop because there is some defect to the two for not being able to make it out of the maze, for whatever representation that maze is supposed to be. I just don’t understand what SM wants to accomplish by reopening a healed wound. Fans don’t need their eyes to be opened to reality TWICE. We know EXO will never be 12 again, so we don’t need SM to shove it in our faces, again, with that hint.

Obviously, I’m still going to support Kris and Luhan, and I will be listening to EXO’s new album when it comes out. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of the idols under SM. But the company always makes me feel like it’s taunting fans, knowing that our love for our idols is too strong, and that regardless of what the company does, we’ll keep coming back for our idols. Thus, they still get the money, which is all that apparently matters to SM. This taunting image is what frustrates me the most. But then again, SM is a museum of stars, and museums make money by drawing the attention of people to come see beautiful displays, particularly displays that they claim are the rarest of rare to see.

On a side note, I made the mistake of reading the replies left on the tweet regarding EXO’s comeback first instead of watching the teaser first. So, when I watched the teaser, I laughed the entire way through because the replies were so fresh in my mind. Roughly, the MV shows someone sneaking pictures of Kai, and Kai is trying to escape their camera. I couldn’t help but think SM is keeping a close eye on Kai, and here he is trying to shake them off his tail while he’s escaping the “maze.”

I apologize if I offend anyone with my honest opinion, but know that my disappointment is aimed towards SM, not EXO. After all, I’m not a professional in the industry, just an upset fan. I know that SM gets the final say in everything regarding their groups’ comeback (teasers, songs, etc.), and I know Lee Soo Man is not the evil guy. But whoever is running SM right now needs to stop getting on the nerves of so many fans, more recently fans of f(x), but that’s another topic all in itself.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

– Zoey

World-Wide Wednesday

This week’s song for World-Wide Wednesday is Anggun’s Cesse la Pluie (The Rain Will Stop).

I took 3 years of French back in high school, which I unfortunately can no longer speak as well as I used to. But, I can still read it for the most part and have some understanding of what I’m reading. Anyway, my French teacher always set aside time for us to watch French movies and watch music videos, and a classmate (well, more like friend) actually brought this song up during class. I believe it was used in one of the Transporter movies, but I haven’t watched the entire series, let alone an entire movie; just bits and parts. And, I just found out that Anggun is actually Indonesian, turned French singer/song-writer. Regardless, there were lots of great French pop songs discovered through high school. I haven’t recently gone in search of some, but after today, I definitely will.

Got a song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at zoda_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @zodareviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

D&E – 너는 나만큼 (Growing Pains)

Got another review ready to go with SUJU’s Donghae’s and Eunhyuk’s recent release, Growing Pains! I actually wasn’t a big fan of their previous songs, so I originally had no plans to listen to this one. But, Darice and I were texting each other one day, and she brought it up. I thought, why not?

I loved it! At least much more than their previous releases. As we all know, SUJU has a lot of members, so they have to split the lines among members, and the ones with more unique and outstanding voices tend to get more lines. And of course, Eunhyuk is usually rapping. But this song really showed me that both Donghae and Eunhyuk can sing, and I enjoyed listening to them. I do have to say though, I think they sound better when they’re singing together in the chorus than when they’re singing on their own. They express more emotion there in my opinion. I think what first attracted me though was the combination of guitar and piano at the beginning. The instrumental for this song is beautiful and really hit home with me. Another thing, I usually find it hard to listen to Eunhyuk rapping because I just don’t feel anything. I admit I’m more of YG girl (which I’m sure most of you know by now already) and I know they’re not the standard for KPOP, but we have to admit they house some of the best Korean rappers: that’s where I draw my standard for listening to Korean rap. But, in Growing Pains, I enjoyed Eunhyuk’s rap overall, much more than I usually would have.

As for the music video, I don’t think there was anything too special about it. I kind of didn’t get the story line though. I know they went through something like hypnosis to erase their memories of a relationship, but were they seeing the same girl, and is that the connection as to why they kept bumping into each other? Or was the connection just that they were two guys who wanted to erase their memories and ended up going to the same place? I loved the rooftop-dance scene though. That spin on the camera, for some reason, brought back some old KPOP memories.

Overall score: 9. The only thing I wanted more of from this song was emotion, because, you know, it is supposed to be expressing feelings. I felt it in the chorus for sure, but other parts of the song fell a little behind in my opinion. Other than that, I loved this song! As I mentioned before, D&E’s previous songs just didn’t pull me in, but this one has more of an R&B and pop sound, which is my absolute favorite kind of sound. I think what really pulled me into the song though, besides the instrumental, was the chorus. I didn’t know that Donghae and Eunhyuk could sing like that, and it really threw me in for a surprise when I first heard Growing Pains, which was good.

Got a song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at zoda_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @zodareviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

XIA – 꽃 (FLOWER )

Another reaction ready to go! Again, we are in search of new music, so if you have something you think is great, suggest it to us, please! Alright, let’s go! Here’s my reaction to XIA’s latest song, 꽃!

The instrumental definitely got to me, especially the opening. It goes right to where music hits you the most; the emotions. And then Tablo’s voice rolls in, and his voice is just made for these kinds of songs. I have always loved XIA’s voice. It’s unique and very soothing to the ears. And finally, my favorite part of most songs; the chorus. I loved it! I’ve always loved the sound of motivational songs, and XIA definitely covered that aspect with this song.

As for the music video, I don’t even need to say anything. It speaks very well for itself, if you watch it, and was beautifully done. If he doesn’t get an award for this MV, and song, then South Korea’s music industry is just messed up. Loosen up, people! Despite the restrictions they’re under, I’m glad JYJ isn’t letting it suppress them from what they enjoy doing.

Overall score: 9.5. I was expecting a really big explosion of emotions somewhere in this song. Although it sounded like the ending was supposed to be it, it wasn’t a very strong explosion in my opinion. I was waiting for XIA to really send me over the edge with his voice, but it didn’t happen. Despite that very small matter regarding my personal opinion, I absolutely loved the song overall.

Also, one more thing. We are looking for videos for next week’s topic, Terrific Tuesday, which consists of showing videos of talented people! If you have a video to share of your talent(s), please email us, and you may find yourself included in our list next week!

Got a song you think is great? Share it with us! Email us at zoda_reviews_94@yahoo.com, tweet us at @zodareviews94, or to our personal Twitters found in the About page.

– Zoey

XIA

Our Man Crush Monday this week is Xia, who just recently released his new album “Flower”! I have always enjoyed listening to Xia’s voice, and I’m glad he’s still able to do well with his talent despite all the restrictions being put on him, as well as the rest of JYJ. We have a review coming for “Flower” soon, so keep an eye out for it!

– Zoey