Blog Reflection: October 2014

Posted on October 31, 2014

It’s that time once again where I look over my blog and reflect on it. I am not sure on what I want to specifically look over, so this may be somewhat disorganized.

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I think an easy way to begin is to talk about this blog’s growth. I could throw in statistics and whatnot, but that would undermine a lot of my own personal goals/beliefs. While seeing the growth numerically may seem interesting, I am not in favor of that. Why? It’s simply a number. A number is simply a value. Perhaps I am just holding this perspective since I deal with numbers on a daily basis. For example, grades for classes are one. Sometimes people get too focused on getting an A versus learning (I’ll be honest, that has happened multiple times to me). Now another sillier extremely nerdier example that only 0.1% of readers will understand is performance statistics (although I’m sure many relate with different activities). With my E-Sports thing, gauging who contributed more towards her/his team via stats is typical. Who earned more points, did more damage, got more frags, and such are the only things looked at. If I lost readers here, move on. 

Anyhow, of course, numbers can mean very significant things at times, but in the case of this blog, all that would indicate is how popular it’s getting. What I care more about for this blog is the quality growth; my writing, my analysis, etc. Those are the things I want to see improve, but obviously, there is no way to pinpoint numbers to those aspects. Perhaps in the future I will put my total view counts, but as of currently, I will exclude it (I think for November, I might consider adding some stats since it is interesting to see how growth works on Tumblr). 

Anyhow, if people are curious on what the numerical growth is, I’ll leave it as: it has been vastly higher. To tell a story, when I initially started this blog, I was practically writing for only a very minuscule number of people (around 3, I kid you not). Those people were ones that I had personally shared the blog with. Fast forward, it wasn’t until September 2014 that I had started to garner viewers. That month I shared it with a class, and before I knew it, the blog started gaining attention from all over. Progressing on even more, by this day, this blog is finally being read by lots of people. 

To describe the overall growth, I’d say it’s very exponential. It’s like rolling a heavy ball; it’s exceptionally hard at first, but once the flow starts, momentum carries it through and it becomes easier. 

Something to keep in mind, though, is I did not start this blog with a mentality that said, “I need to have viewers, I need to be famous, etc.” I simply wrote, actually a correction: write, since I enjoy this. If viewers come my way, awesome. If not, then whatever. I don’t go where the gold flows, but rather, I hope the gold flows where I go. 

And I’ll be honest, speaking of flow, I have no idea on where I am going with this topic of self-reflection. I was on the subject of the blog’s growth, right? So in short, it has been growing a lot, and I am very thankful for that. It is all thanks to people who continue to support this, so thank you for reading this blog. Now wouldn’t this answer simply suffice the topic of blog growth without me going off on a huge tangent?

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The next topic to discuss is my current rate of reviews. If I counted correctly, I think for both months of September and October, 7 reviews were all that I put out. Considering that I’m busier now, it can’t be too bad, but I hope I’m able to put out more reviews eventually. During the summer when I started this blog, it was a review every other day if I remember. Although that’d be impossible for me to do currently, I hope to raise the number of reviews to 9 or 10 for November. 

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Time for the meat of the reflection: are my reviews improving?

To tell another story, I actually hardly remember all of the reviews I’ve done. I’m looking over my archive page, and I have some reactions of, “Wait, did I review that song?” Truth is, I do not re-read what I post. I skim it over to catch format errors, but in terms of re-reading the whole thing to catch typos, grammatical mistakes, and such, I do not. Perhaps at January or some other time I will read the entirety of my blog to see how I’ve improved in specific. 

Anyways, what I will say is I’ve become a lot more critical than I have been in the past. I personally think it’s due to more experience; I’m able to understand more on what’s good and bad (in my opinion) in a song. That being said, I’m quickly looking at the score for f(x)’s “Red Light”, and I will say, something went utterly wrong with my grading. The Song Structure Score there is absurdly high for how (sorry) terrible it is. One person did ask me how I exactly graded songs, so in the future I’ll post my personal scaling and whatnot. Anyhow, I’ve started to grade more realistically versus “feelings” (yes, I confess, until September, a lot of the numbers I gave were based off how I felt versus being truly analytic). This does concern me with how many “false” reviews I’ve done. Practically, every review that is earlier than about the last week of August 2014 is most likely poorly reviewed. Actually, anything earlier than my review of 4Minute’s “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” is potentially poorly reviewed. 

In terms of my writing, it’s hard to say. I will need to read my older posts, but I believe I’m slowly improving my mechanical writing. In my opinion, my analysis skills have vastly grown, but my writing itself is still lagging behind. Thankfully, though, I’m always trying to improve, and the best way is through feedback and self-review. I always welcome any kind of criticism. Constructive ones are best, but even ones that aren’t can still provide very useful insight. Over time, I’m hoping my writing expands to greater places. Feedback from readers have helped a lot, so keep them coming. Also, besides that, school-related writing is another way I’m able to improve this blog’s writing (obviously, right? All writing relates). So in that way, I’m very thankful towards my teachers/professor (they deserve way more than a simple “thank you”, though).

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This is perhaps way longer than it should be for a simple reflection, but that’s probably due to the copious amount of tangents I went off on. 

I believe I said everything that I wanted to say, and now that I think of it, for November, I will put my total views for those who are curious. Actually if I really wanted to, I could go back and edit in the numbers per month reflections, but I’ll do that later. I am slightly curious on being able to numerically see the growth, but that is far from the main focus. 

That said, in summary: my rate of reviews could be increased, my analysis has vastly improved but obviously still needs work, and my writing itself needs to step up. No matter what, though, I’m always going to try improving. There is no reason not to. 

Even though this isn’t a review, thank you for reading. I hope this reflection doesn’t come off as too disorganized, but if it is, I apologize. Anyhow, thank you. I may love writing, but by being able to share it with others, it brings a lot of joy. 

In terms of my next review, I have a few in mind. I’ll do the recent comebacks, but there are a few older songs that I may want to look over. On top of that, I’ve received a few recommendations that I’ll most likely look at. 

With October ending, let’s look towards a new month of November. Thanks for reading, keep checking back!

Lena Park – “Only With My Heart” Review

Lena Park – Only With My Heart (Audio)

Lena Park – Only With My Heart

Reviewed on October 30, 2014

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Personal Message: To the person who requested this song, I apologize once more for being very slow with this. Normally with requests, I instantly prioritize them, but in this case, with lots of schoolwork and other reviews to finish, I had to delay this one. Nevertheless, it is finally here. The song “Only With My Heart” by Lena Park falls within the ballad genre. This song is from a Korean drama, “The Heirs”. I personally have not seen it, nor do I ever intend to. Dramas are way too time consuming. Perhaps one day I will attempt to watch one, but as of now, I have no plans (and besides, if Jessica and Krystal made me cry, then K-Dramas would have me creating rivers).

Jokes aside, although I have no experiences with K-Dramas, I’ve found songs that come from them to be very solid. Most K-Drama OSTs are in the genre of ballad, but that is to amplify the emotions bestowed to viewers. I’m a fan of ballad, as some readers may know, so I’m quite thankful for this request.

With all of that said, let’s begin the review. “Only With My Heart” is an emotional ballad to suit “The Heirs”, but even without being associated with the K-Drama, it holds its own sufficiently.

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Song Total Score: 9/10 (9/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 9/10 – The most emotional, charismatic voice I have ever heard in a ballad comes from Lena Park. Her vocals come off as soft and gentle, however, towards the later part of the song, she swaps to stronger, prominent vocals. Having versatile vocals is proven. As mentioned earlier, the emotions she places within the song is incredible. Sadness, heartache, appreciation; an abundance of feelings are injected in the song. The impressive part: it is all from her vocals. Furthermore, with her voice remaining on the gentler side, the melody originating from her singing is equally stunning.

Adding all the factors of how her vocals are diverse, full of emotions and melody, a very solid score is expected. While I have yet to hear other songs by her, she proves to be a very adept singer. This ballad becomes vastly strengthened by the addition of her vocals. A high score will be given.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8.4/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1. Introduction (Verse): 8/10 – Out of every song I’ve reviewed so far, I believe this is definitely the one with the least sections. Quality over quantity, as the saying goes, so this should not be concerning. Besides, it means less writing it still comes out as an extremely pleasing ballad.

As some readers/listeners may have noticed, the song utilizes its verse for an introduction. This proves to be effective, however, considering that it’s a subtle, steady start, and therefore, not too sudden. “Only With My Heart” begins with the beautiful vocals of Lena Park. A calm and key instrumental of a piano accompanies her soft vocals. There are also some minimal, yet delightful, line ending effects used; “useoyo“, “mayo”, and “janhayo” are examples. Eventually, the song drifts into the true verse.

For an introduction, it holds as solid. Despite how vocals are added from the very beginning, since Lena Park’s style was gentle, emotional, and slow, it does not come off as overwhelming. Furthermore, the key instrumental of the piano was all that was used; nothing more, nothing less. This allows the soundtrack to set up while ensuring Lena Park’s vocals are supported.

A solid score is deserved. Manipulating a verse for an introduction worked out well. The stage was thoroughly prepared. Emotions, vocals, instrumental, the introduction allows listeners to anticipate what’s to come.

2. Verse: 8/10 – After the introduction, the verse replays. There is a difference, however; the instrumental escalates. Other exceptionally minor differences would include some lyrical changes, but overall, it remains nearly identical to the introduction.

Due to the fact that the sole change is the instrumental becoming slightly more layered (other instruments are added besides the piano), I will not be going over this section. The introduction covers both sections. Something to note about this ballad is how it progresses; the more time, the more complex. The first verse and chorus are on the calmer side, but once the second half occurs, the instrumental and vocals pick up on intensity. Towards the later half, power becomes added to the song.

3. Chorus: 9/10 – The choruses in this ballad are amazing.

Emotion becomes a huge aspect of the choruses. This part is where Lena Park adds a plethora of feelings. Ignoring the dramatic side, musically, this part still remains extremely impressive. Lena Park shows off her higher vocal range, the instrumental continues being flawless, and the usual tender vocals themselves thrive. In terms of the flow, her lines take on shorter note holds. At the end of her first line, the last word is stretched out. After that, one line is normally sung and then the cycle repeats.

A very beautiful and graceful song section. Everything necessary for a solid ballad exists; vocals remain perfect with melody and gentleness, the flow showcases adept singing skills, and the instrumental adds onto the quality of work done. In addition to all of those factors, emotions are included. If there is any genre that will induce tears, ballads are typically pointed at, and in this song’s case, it does a phenomenal job with doing so; feelings of sadness, happiness, and more are felt.

Anything less than a 9 would be disrespectful.

4. Bridge: 8/10 – In juxtaposition to the song as a whole, this part is quite intense, and as a result, is arguably the climax point.

The vocals come off as powerful during this section. When it comes to the instrumental, it follows suit. Lena Park unveils a different perspective of her singing. Instead of the established style of being soft, impactful lines become used. At the end of the bridge, an impressive and high pitched note hold was executed to set a climatic point.

Initially, I did not agree to the sudden contrast; gentle to strong was a bit rough. Given more time, however, I found this bridge to be satisfying. Lena Park’s vocal strength is witnessed heard here, but it was not overpowering at all. It was a perfect stance; not too powerful, but not feeble, either. On top of that, it allowed a perfect climax to occur, which, in consideration of the song’s overall progression, is unequivocally fitting. “Only With My Heart” continued to become more layered as it went on. The end point, therefore, would be some sort of intense part, such as the note hold in this case.

Overall, seeing how the bridge was the explosive moment for the song’s progression, it is completely fitting. In terms of the mechanical music itself, the singing was stunning. Lots of power was added. On the subject of power, the instrumental helped with that. By reciprocating how intense the vocals were, the soundtrack meshed quite well. A solid section in the end.  

5. Conclusion: 9/10 – The conclusion of the song is simply the instrumental playing out.

The key instrumental of the piano makes a return here. Other instruments accompany it, but it remains as the highlight. Since the previous sections were escalated due to being climatic points, the role here was to ensure the ballad ended as how it started; peaceful and gentle. Thankfully, the conclusion manages to do so.

For a lengthy duration, the melody of the song plays out via the piano. With such a long duration and a soothing instrument, “Only With My Heart” acquires an incredible ending. No abrupt cuts happened nor was the conclusion too long. A high score is earned here.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Lena Park is a solo singer, so this part is exempted from grading.

– Instrumental: 10/10 – The instrumental in “Only With My Heart” remains equivalent to Lena Park’s vocals; very delightful.

For this soundtrack, progression is the main objective. Slowly starting and gradually building up the instrumental allows this ballad to thrive. Unlike standard K-Pop songs, reaching an exciting, energetic and upbeat moment with the instrumental is not the ballad’s plan. Taking it slowly and gently is the priority. Fantastic layering is done.

Looking at the instrumental itself, it is still regarded highly. Classical instruments are used. This adds onto the mood of the song. No complaints are found here, the instrumental for this song is extremely beautiful. Emotions are definitely felt on the sole basis of the instrumental.

Personally, this is most likely my favorite instrumental out of every song I have ever heard. Whether that’s due to the instruments used, how well it progresses, or realistically, a combination of the two, it holds as one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard. As of now, a 10/10 will be the score. No words can describe its grace. I may reduce it down to a 9 in fear of being biased, but this soundtrack is extremely pleasant.

– Meaning: 9/10 – “Only With My Heart” gives an idea of love, so a love story is expected. However, considering how emotional and sad the song is, it might not be an ordinary love story. Anyhow, these Korean to English lyrics should disclose the song’s meaning. Not 100% accurate:

Smile brightly, don’t worry about
me, I’m smiling like this right now
I won’t be able to forget, I’ll be
the only one who remembers us
I won’t forget you, so you can smile

Smile brightly, I’m just thankful
because I have memories with you
I can hide them and take
them out when I’m alone
It will strengthen me
when I miss you

Only with my heart,
I steal you
Only with my heart,
I will hug you
That’s enough for me so
don’t hurt because of me
Just locking eyes with you
makes me shed tears

When time passes and our love
grows, there will be times when
I resent you but it’s a relief Because
I will remember you being
affectionate and the days when you
hugged me So it’s good

Only with my heart,
I steal you
Only with my heart,
I will hug you
That’s enough for me so
don’t hurt because of me
Just locking eyes with you
makes me shed tears

If we run into each other
like fate, please pass me
by like you don’t know me,
even though my heart will
cry like it has
been torn into two
So I can see you for a short
moment while you pass by

Only with my heart,
I will want you
Only with my heart,
I will kiss you
Don’t be sorry,
this is my life
Whether you love me or
feel sorry, I feel the same way

Before anything, the lyrics may seem grammatically incorrect, but this is the result of translating from Korean to English. I did my best to clean it up without losing a line’s structure, but it will still sound confusing at some points. It could’ve been a lot worse, however. For example, Nine Muses’ “Gun” could has been translated into 4 different lyrics. Meaning-wise, they’re all identical, but in terms of words and line structure, they all are vastly different.

Time to focus on the real matter: the meaning/story of “Only With My Heart”. The song delivers a very sad feeling, but diving deeper, it seems to be moreover on reflection versus feeling melancholy. The lyrics tell a story of either a lady or gentleman who is thinking over a love-interest. It is almost as if the main character loves someone dearly, but in the end, is unable to be with them or perhaps, their love-interest does not feel the same. Something to consider, though, is, as is the song’s title, the line of “only with my heart…” That line could support the idea of how the main character has been with their love interest, and thus, made memories, but unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, are now separated and as a result, “only with [their] heart” can she/he be with the love interest.

There are a lot of questions that could be imposed. Overall, a very meaningful, emotional story. The details are interesting and it remains a unique story. “Only With My Heart” sends out a story that has multiple perspectives to it. An 8 or 9 is the score. I personally will lean towards the 9 due to how layered the lyrics can be. It isn’t simply a person who is no longer with their love-interest.

Although this part will be excluded from affecting the score, since the song is part of a K-Drama, chances are, the meaning ties back into the drama’s plot. Fans/viewers of “The Heirs” should feel free to send in their own interpretation of the lyrics. Perhaps the drama’s characters will shed some insight on this song’s story.  

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Choreography Score: X/10 – “Only With My Heart” is a ballad, so a dance is not expected. Considering the fact that it is also a K-Drama OST, the song itself is the focus.

Choreography Score is excluded/doesn’t exist.

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Overall Score: 9/10 (9/10 raw score) – With the score being the sheer song itself, a very, very high score of 9/10 is the final standing. Do I agree? I will say so. This song is definitely one I hold highly. The soundtrack is amazing, and no other song has given so much emotion.

To the person who requested this song/review, I would personally like to thank you. Thanks for this request. Hopefully you enjoy this and more importantly, I hope I did this review and song justice. Feel free to send in your own insight towards the lyrics (and song); I would enjoy reading different takes on what the ballad is about.

While I am at it, thank you, the reader, for reading this. I am being very sincere when I say this, but I feel very grateful when people take moments out of their busy lives to read my reviews. I cannot express enough gratitude. Thank you.

Anyhow, I worked on this review for a total of two days. That is pretty good considering how busy I’ve been. Nevertheless, this review is the shortest one I’ve done (no, “Hangover” doesn’t count) since the number of sections are on the lesser side. It was still fun, of course.

In terms of my next review, I am not too sure. I heard a lot of male groups are making comebacks or have already done so. I may get a review out on those new songs. I guess it will be a surprise in terms of what I review next. Something else to mention, a Blog Reflection post will be up by the end of the month. That will be fun to talk about.

The end has come, so keep checking back for more reviews. I have no idea on what my next review is, so it’ll be a fun surprise. Thanks for reading, “Only with my heart, I will hug you”

Orange Caramel – “Catallena” Review

Orange Caramel – Catallena (Dance Practice)

Orange Caramel – Catallena

Reviewed on October 26, 2014

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Personal Message: As some may notice, I made some subtle adjustments for my review outline. In summary, I bolded the “Personal Message” section, and deleted unnecessary explanations on certain scores (such as for the “Song Structure” part). Consider this a new chapter/season or simply a revision. For other changes, pasting reviews should go a lot smoother (which once again, will be tested with this review).

Other news to address, I’ve been slacking a lot on posting actively. Since I believe in honesty, the reason behind that was instead of using the time I had for reviews, I stuffed it up with watching a show. That’s understandable, though. T-ARA’s Soyeon and Hyomin were on “Hello Counselor”, and in addition, Queen Vocalist Ailee was also there. Sounds excusable to me (although on some serious note, I am busy with papers and whatnot). Once this review is done, I will start a requested song (very sorry for the delay).

Back to the review, the song for today is Orange Caramel’s “Catallena”. Personally, I am not familiar with these ladies. From what I heard, they were originally a sub-unit from After School, but after a booming growth in popularity, they have become their own individual group. I might be making this up, so don’t take my words. This song in particular has a small layer of Halloween; magic and magicians (perfect for the upcoming holiday). Or at least, judging from their dance tutorial, it seems that way. I’ve partially watched one live performance, and the concept there was about food, so at the end of the day, viewers are probably still debating on what the main concept truly is. Strange yet comical. Speaking of comical, the dance practice video linked above is quite silly at the start (and end), but thankfully, the ladies resumed their usual practice after their manager yelled at them to do it prettily. After that, they claimed they were going to do it for real, and with that, they followed through.

Without further ado, let’s begin this review. “Catallena” fits the upcoming day of Halloween through its magical theme. Are the members of Raina, Nana, and Lizzy going to successfully use spells to capture the love of fans, or will they falter? This review will hopefully answer that.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 5/10 – The vocals in “Catallena” come out to be average. The biggest issue is the style of singing; exceptionally high-pitched and frail. Perhaps this is to add onto the jocular aspect, but the style of singing with needing to sound “cute” isn’t pleasant. In fact, even T-ARA or Girl’s Day, two groups that are typically scored with 9/10 for vocals, would have earned the same score of a 5 for certain songs due to this style. Girl’s Day’s “Oh My God” and T-ARA’s “Roly Poly”, “Sexy Love”, and “Lovey-Dovey” would have all received a 5. The only benefit from having very frail vocals is to emphasize catchiness, which actually does help in the long run for “Catallena”. However, from looking at a pure vocal perspective, it comes out as mediocre. No impressive singing is done, nor are the lines vocally demanding. Orange Caramel may have a song that showcases stronger vocal skills, but for this song specifically, it’s average.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.43/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1. Introduction: 8/10 – All the ladies chip in for the beginning.

For the introduction, the instrumental kicks in with friendly, catchy beats. A violin(?) is also utilized. A few more seconds in, one by one, every member throws in a “Ha!” or screech if it’s Nana. After all of that, the chorus arrives.

The instantaneous addition of the beats were well placed. It created the uplifting, fun mood. Adding on, the violin gave emphasis to the ladies’ slightly silly “Ha!” words; every word was backed up by the violin. This amplified the words. Now at the end, the instrumental dies down properly for the next section to take place.

A solid start for “Catallena”. While the “Ha!” words came out as somewhat obnoxious, the instrumental does a fantastic job with being effective and prominent. Despite still being built up, the basic foundation of the beats and violin set the song properly. It wasn’t overwhelming nor was it lacking. A perfect amount was found for the start. 

2. Chorus: 8/10 – Similar to 4Minute’s “Whatcha’ Doin Today” (check out my review on it), the chorus occurs right after the introduction. Choruses are typically the main component to a song, and considering how it usually takes time to build up to it, it may seem concerning to use it as early as this. Thankfully, Orange Caramel manages to pull it off for this song. Nana and Raina handle the first chorus.

Unlike many other songs that build up the chorus, “Catallena” possesses one that is capable of standing on its own. Nana initiates her first line with frail, higher noted vocals. After one line, there’s a slight pause before she resumes again. Once Raina steps in, her parts replicate Nana’s lines. The difference, however, is at the very last line, there are background vocals of “Jutti meri oye hoi hoi” (literally random sounds) added.

The choruses in the song come off as fun and lighthearted. As mentioned earlier, the singing style vastly helps here. By having vocals that are high pitched and fragile, it creates a catchy, melodic flow that perfectly meshes with the lighter instrumental. Remaining catchy and full of upbeat melodies allow the choruses to thrive.

Overall, a solid chorus. The choruses acquire the rare feat of being able to hold by itself. That can be credited towards the excellent melody and flow along with the complementing pair of vocals and instrumental.

3. Verse: 5/10 – Nana and Lizzy handle the first verse.

Coming right after the chorus, the instrumental swaps into remaining more passive. Nana handles the first lines with the established singing style of being high pitched and delicate. After her lines, Lizzy comes in and follows suit. What is notable, however, is at the end, to aid the transition, Lizzy’s words of “chum chugopa” are slowed down.

The instrumental here does the usual switch of being more passive in order to contrast it from the energetic part of the song, which is the chorus. However, since it is on the duller side, it pushes more focus on the vocals, and as mentioned earlier, that is not a great idea. The vocals aren’t too strong by themselves. On the subject of vocals, the childish style of singing remains as lackluster as ever; nothing impressive. It may give a friendly, sillier tone, but musically, it does not come off as pleasing.

Overall, an average verse. Thankfully it did not hit the negative side of being anything less than average, but in terms coming off as even slightly delightful, that is nonexistent. A plain verse. The instrumental was not present in helping the section, and as a result, the lacking vocals had to take responsibility.

4. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Raina and Nana pair up for the first pre-chorus.

The pre-chorus begins with a catchy “lalala” from Raina. Her lines continue all the way to the background vocals of “Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, paula mera oye hoi hoi”. From that point, Nana finishes the pre-chorus with one line. The vocals are still the usual higher pitched, frail style. The instrumental, does begin to become more energetic.

This section isn’t too bad. Raina’s start came off as extremely catchy. Furthermore, her lines were on the quicker side, and as a result, subtle build-up for the chorus occurs. Lots of melody and flow were present. When it comes to the background vocals part, it does come off as slightly obnoxious; absurd sounds were made. Perhaps it is to add onto some jocular aspects, or, as seen by their dance tutorial, to add a “spellcasting” moment. Nana’s part was to conclude the pre-chorus. Using a different member allowed a contrast that signified an ending, but of course, the vocals are still on the poorer side.

Slightly above average is the score. Raina’s fun, catchy part at the start gave the pre-chorus the needed fuel to run well. The melody and flow are all joyful. What does prevent the score from being any higher is the sillier part at the middle; the “oye hoi hoi” part. That part, while theme fitting, comes off as obnoxious and ruins the melodic flow that was occurring.

5. Post-Chorus: 5/10 – Catchiness is the post-chorus’ asset. All the ladies contribute during the first post-chorus.

The ladies adopt a unique style here; stuttering. By stuttering over certain words, it creates a lingering, catchy effect. Nana’s lines were stuttered at the very start, and for a clear example, Lizzy’s line of “nok nok nok nogadeunda, nok nok nok nogadeunda” followed the same style. Raina’s line also emulates that pattern.

While being catchy is a key part in having popularity in any pop genre song, it does not necessarily signify a song is good. To actually digress a bit, T-ARA is the best example of such. After watching multiple interviews of them, I noticed how they always claim their top hit songs were “Roly Poly”, “Lovey-Dovey”, and such. Ironically, their better, latest, well crafted songs of “Number 9” and “Do You Know Me?” and more are almost never mentioned. The difference is a large shift of style. “Roly Poly” has a very catchy, poppier style that appeals to a lot of people. After all, it’s quite hard to get that song’s chorus out of your head. In comparison to “Number 9”, however, “Roly Poly” is seemingly inferior. The vocals in “Number 9” are vastly better, the instrumental is a lot more complex than simple electronic sounds, and so on. To cut to the point, even though “Roly Poly” may be an extremely catchy song, and thus, a lot more popular, that does not mean it is vastly superior to other less catchier songs, such as “Number 9”.

To make this all relate to Orange Caramel’s “Catallena”, while the post-choruses are very catchy, that is it; endlessly looping in listeners’ heads. The stuttering effect may be extraordinary, but without anything additional to support the catchiness, the post-choruses overall come out as average.

Average is the final score. A very catchy part that lacks everything else.

6. Bridge: 5/10 – Another average section in “Catallena”. Lizzy and Raina handle it, although it’s primarily Raina.

When the bridge occurs, the instrumental turns into an echoing, slower paced soundtrack. The technical term may be reverb, but I have no idea at all and I probably made that up. Anyhow, Lizzy’s vocals are morphed along as well like the instrumental. After the song resumes to sounding normal, Raina comes in two lines.

Firstly, the effect done at the very start is, in my personal book, extremely standardized. It’s standardized like pre-choruses that utilize the effect of looping a beat back and forth and accelerating it to create a hype effect (best example is in T-ARA N4’s “Jeon Won Diary”; now that is one very, very old review I’ve done). Focusing on “Catallena”, the transition to the bridge, as a result, comes off as stale. Making everything an echo and then resumed as normal was not special. On the bright side, the follow-up by Raina wasn’t too bad. Her lines were full of melody and flow.

In the end, an average bridge. The echoing effect was poorly executed. Raina does her best to redeem this section through some solid follow-up singing, but unfortunately, even that wasn’t spectacular enough to push the bridge to a better score.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – For this song, the post-chorus is recycled for the conclusion. Surprisingly, even though the post-chorus itself isn’t solid, it works out for the ending. Every member contributes; same as every post-chorus.

Before the post-chorus is purely examined, the final chorus was respectable. Lots of two-part singing occurred, and due to that, a final climax moment is set. In terms of the post-chorus, it plays out as usual; the stutterings and catchiness are all present. At the very end, a whispered “Yes” is heard. No abrupt ending happened. A perfect end in that regard.

For the conclusion, considering how there was a relatively intense moment with the two-part singing, having an ending that brings the sound down to a relaxing point is crucial. Thankfully, Orange Caramel acquires that via its post-chorus; simple stuttering. The fact that the post-choruses aren’t layered with anything except the catchy stutters, it lowers the intensity by a lot.

Overall, above average for a conclusion. The post-chorus fits perfectly, and with a crisp, clear ending, a decent closure is found.

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – Three ladies are in Orange Caramel, so this is practically a free 10. Or at least, it should be.

Raina had lines in multiple sections. She’s involved for the choruses, pre-choruses, and more. No issues here.

Nana is all over the place as well. She’s at choruses, post-choruses, verses; the bridge is the only place she lacks.

Lizzy is practically everywhere as well; no issues.

Perhaps the best a group can get for how lines are distributed. Everyone is equal with what is being said, and there’s a lot of alternating of lines. 10/10.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Although the vocals were lacking in “Catallena”, the instrumental proved to be quite solid.

It does its job with transitioning the song, it matches how energetic the song gets, and it fits well with the vocals. In addition to all of that, it’s a fun, cheery soundtrack. The beats are light and the violin that arrives allow for extra emphasis. This soundtrack leans towards the poppier side, but unlike a lot of other songs, it doesn’t rely on electronic sounds; real instrumental sounds are used. 

A very impressive soundtrack. The silly, fun theme is added from it, and with how well it meshes with the ladies’ vocals along with supporting them, a solid score is expected.

– Meaning: 6/10 – From what I know, “Catallena” isn’t a word in either English or Korean. What, then, is it? Hopefully the lyrics address it, and if not that, at least these Korean to English lyrics will release a story. Not 100% accurate on translation:

The small, dancing Catallena (red sun)
Without knowing, I’m falling for you
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, I’m bewitched

Oh my, she’s so great, I’ve fallen for her
Even as a girl, I can see she’s so great
She’s temperamental but I want to see her
I want to know her, I want to dance with her

Lalala shake, shake it, wave your hand
Scream until you lose your voice
(Jutti Meri Oye Hoi Hoi
Paula Mera Oye Hoi Hoi)
Good job, I’ll give you 100 points

The small, dancing Catallena (red sun)
Without knowing, I’m falling for you
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, I’m bewitched

Softly, softly,
Melting,
Melting
Shivering, shivering,
Trembling
I want to follow her

I don’t like her because she’s so chic
But even as a girl, I can see she’s so attractive
I’m angry but I want to dance for an hour, two hours
I want to play down to my very last bone

Lalala shake, shake it, wave your hand
Scream until you lose your voice
(Jutti Meri Oye Hoi Hoi
Paula Mera Oye Hoi Hoi)
Not good enough, have some more strength

The small, dancing Catallena (red sun)
Without knowing, I’m falling for you
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi,

(I’m bewitched, I’m bewitched,
I’m bewitched, I’m bewitched)

The hands that brush by are warm
Is she actually nice once you get to know her?

My temperamental Catallena
Everyone is falling for her
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, I’m bewitched

Softly, softly,
Melting,
Melting
Shivering, shivering,
Trembling
I want to follow her

Firstly, formatting the lyrics was quite tedious. I spent a large portion of time making sure the lyrics weren’t scattered with large gaps and whatnot. Anyhow, in terms of the story, it’s an intriguing, unique one. This would explain why the concepts for “Catallena” have been very unusual.

The lyrics tell the story of a female, a girl in specific, and how she seems to be infatuated by another female’s grace and charm. The other female that the girl has fallen for happens to be named, or simply called, “Catallena”. This explains the song’s title. Anyhow, Catallena appears to be someone who’s quite chic and popular; everyone loves her. To tie in the magician theme, it is as if Catallena is one; her charm is equal to a spell that makes everyone fall in love with her.

An interesting story that I’ve never heard before. The mysterious person, Catallena, creates a lot of questioning. In summary, however, the lyrics aren’t too impressive. A girl is infatuated with Catallena, a female who is full with so much fun and charm that every single person ends up loving her. Special, differentiating details are lacking, but the story itself seems somewhat comical and remains, nevertheless, very interesting and original. Slightly above average.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – The dance for “Catallena” is what personally attracted me. Musically, it’s not too strong, but when it comes to the choreography, it amplifies the song as a whole. Simplicity is the choreography’s biggest strength; nothing complicated is executed. Although tricky, complex dances can be very impressive, such as with Boyfriend’s “Witch”, simple dances can be just as stunning, or in some cases, even more so.

Syncing is perfect; every movement was connected to the beat or flow. The chorus is a clear example of synchronicity between song and dance; feet taps were matching with the beat, and later, the hand motion is to fit the song’s flow. In terms of the key points, they are fantastic. Every song section had its own separate dance attached. All were simple and fun.

A solid score will be given here. The choreography in “Catallena” is fabulous. Being simple is perhaps why the dance is phenomenal. Every section has one dance, and the dances themselves were very simple maneuvers that synced up with the music.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – Let me first say, I wrote for 5 hours straight. Of course, not for solely this review, but adding up a paper I did before finishing this review, I wrote from 1 to 6 in the evening. I’m quite glad that I did write about a third of this review on an earlier date, that saved me some time. I’m not sure how my eyes are holding up with this much screen time, but I’m still functional so far.

Back on track, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” finishes with an 8/10, which I do disagree with. 6/10 or 7/10 would seem more fitting as the Overall Score. The choreography is exceptionally planned out, but the song itself is mediocre. Catchy to listen to, but that is it. Nothing vocally impressive. The dance is what I would recommend for this song. Now that is something I rarely say; often time I reside with the song itself.

Anyhow, as I will always do and say, thank you so much for reading. It means a lot for me that you’re willing to take some minutes out of your own spare time to read this, so thank you. Hopefully this review was entertaining and insightful. I’m hoping a lot of Orange Caramel fans will line up at my house with anger at the words I’ve said. Figuratively, of course. But that is life; disagreement. I hope your own musical opinions are fired up.

I’m quite glad that I finished this before Halloween. A part of me was concerned that I would not finish this in time for that, but I proved myself wrong. For those who are celebrating Halloween, remember to stay safe and to have fun.

For my next review, I’m quite certain that I will finally review the requested K-Drama song (once again sorry for the delay). And let me say, this reminds me on why I don’t watch K-Dramas; I don’t have enough tissue boxes. Silly jokes aside, I will get the incredible ballad review out as soon as possible. This also reminds me, with winter times coming soon, I, for some reason, tend to start finding a lot more ballad songs. That or perhaps mainly ballad songs come out during this time. Or a combination of the two. Anyways, I’ll do my best to not turn this blog into a really sad, emotional one that’s full of tear-inducing songs. Besides, there are a lot of other usual K-Pop songs for review, so that isn’t a concern.

The end has arrived, so thank you once more and expect an emotional ballad as my next review. I have other songs in mind as well, so depending, I may or may not do them before the ballad. Keep checking back on this blog, to my readers, “Without knowing, I’m falling for you”.

Edit: Still having format errors, will try figuring it out. Lyrics are misplaced and any line scratches (like this) aren’t carried over. Manually formatting for now. Pasting in the lyrics directly onto the post seems to be fine instead of pasting the lyrics into a separate document and then pasting it here.

Jieun – “Twenty-Five” Review

Jieun – Twenty-Five (Live Performance)

Jieun – Twenty-Five/25

Reviewed on October 22, 2014

Jieun - Twenty-Five.jpg

Personal Message: After testing my show review of “The TaeTiSeo” on a separate document, I can now safely say, reviews will not longer be “live posted”. This will help with giving more time to do reviews and no longer will I feel rushed. And, as addressed a while back, it will solve the issue of reviews being leaked/spoiled. Hopefully the format doesn’t get ruined for reviews, but we will find out.

Anyhow, the review today is Secret’s Jieun’s very recent comeback; “Twenty-Five” is the song title. Considering her position in Secret is being their main vocalist, high expectations are set. With their summer comeback of “I’m In Love” (check out my review of it) being exceptionally solid and with leader Hyosung’s solo (check out my review of “Good-night Kiss”) proving to be just as successful, Jieun has a multitude of standards to meet, and hopefully, to exceed. For this comeback, the concept is a mixture of gentleness and sexiness; on the surface, it appears to be a very soft and cute style, but due to subtlety with the lyrics’ meaning, a tint of sexiness becomes derived. Jieun’s song tackles the idea of adult ceremony/coming-of-age. A girl becoming a woman is the story.

Although Jieun is pressured with all the previous group songs and Hyosung’s solo, with her amazing, crisp and clear vocals, comparing her to previous works would be disrespectful; Jieun comes out with her own, individual solo song. Her song takes a unique form of ballad along with standard K-Pop. This allows for very beautiful and soothing vocals to be heard while maintaining a catchy melody.

With all that said, even though Jieun may be 24 (not sure), she is already a woman despite not being “Twenty-Five”. Let’s see how her hard work and stunning vocals remind fans that she’s Secret’s main vocalist.

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (7.75/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 9/10 – A high score is anticipated. Once again, having the background of being Secret’s main vocalist will serve her well. For “Twenty-Five” specifically, Jieun shows a different vocal side; a very soft demeanor with singing.

As heard in other songs, Jieun is often the one handling the powerful, intense lines. This song differs in that it showcases her softer, gentle vocals. Nevertheless, her vocals remain promising. Her range consists of lower notes and very high notes. Bringing in energy and intensity proves to be no issue, and her iconic voice of being crisp, clear, and sharp holds as normal.  

Jieun possesses beautiful vocals; super melodic and versatile. A high score will be given here.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.86/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Conclusion

For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Before I start, a quick reminder for readers to check out the song’s official audio. The live performance linked above doesn’t have the best sound quality (and with ladies and men fanchanting, a lot of the audio is muffled).

Anyhow, this has been a lengthier introduction in comparison to a lot of other songs. That isn’t bad, though. In fact, for this song, it allows a full, sufficient construction.

The introduction begins with Jieun tossing in a few melodic sounds of “Oh~” and “Yeah~”. The instrumental also kicks off with light snaps and beats. Progressing a few more seconds, it transitions upon Jieun’s words of “Oh baby~”. From there, a key saxophone is used and the beats and bass become heavier. In the background, “Woo woo” is looped around. Eventually, Jieun tosses in one more “Oh baby~” and the instrumental transitions to the verse.

This introduction is based on progression; it becomes more layered. The initial seconds were on the simplistic side. The purpose was to start slowly and steadily. By having Jieun utilize only melodic sounds, it preserves her true singing for later. Now once the introduction builds up, “Twenty-Five” turns complex; the key saxophone arrives, the beats start becoming catchy, and Jieun’s sweet, melodic voice continues to blend in.

Overall, a solid introduction. Slowly starting allowed it to have a relaxing pace. The instrumental set the song’s mood and Jieun’s vocals prepared listeners for the singing in “Twenty-Five”. A lengthy but graceful introduction. It does its job along with capturing listeners.

2. Verse: 8/10 – As normal, I will critique the first verse. The second verse does differ in that it’s focused on higher notes and is vastly shorter. I am still considering the second verse in the scoring.

In light of the first verse, smooth and slow are Jieun’s tactics. Her vocals come off as extremely soothing. By being in the lower range, it matches exceptionally well with the instrumental, which remains on the passive side. After Jieun finishes her first line, there is a background male vocal added. During this moment, it provides a welcoming contrast to Jieun’s melodic and comforting voice. The background vocals here were simply words. This helps the song deviate from having purely Jieun’s voice play out, and thus, reduces any staleness. After the background voice, Jieun resumes as normal and the format occurs once more.

As stated earlier, in consideration of the second verse, it remains inferior to its previous form; it lacks a lot. Besides the loss in duration, the second verse comes off on the higher pitch scale and the background vocals are removed.

Anyhow, for the verses, in the end, they still remain very pleasing. The first verse does an amazing job of bringing in the ballad genre. Vocal-orientated and having chemistry with the instrumental leads the first verse to a solid score. Jieun’s vocals were very captivating and the unique flow of using the background vocals further strengthen the section. 8 will be the score.

3. Pre-Chorus: 9/10 – If I were being biased, this would be a 10/10 score. Or at least, if there was a “completely-infatuate-me-with-your-voice” score, this would hit a 10.

On track, the pre-choruses in “Twenty-Five” have ought to be the most soothing sections I have ever heard. For this part, Jieun handles the first few lines in a low, slow, and utterly charming voice. Her singing style is in a whisper; seducing, pleasing, calming. At the very end of a pre-chorus, she would reach for a very high note at “It’s my time to shine”, and thanks to the higher pitch, a smooth transition becomes granted.

Coming off as soothing may be the pre-choruses’ largest asset. Having a low pitch, steady whisper along with a proper accompanying instrumental becomes very delightful. This section, in juxtaposition to the vocals Jieun is known for in Secret, showcases how versatile she is; singing powerful lines isn’t her only ability. Jieun proves she can show a gentler and calmer side while still luring fans in. A very beautiful, charming section that lulls fans. Jieun’s crisp vocals are perfect.

4. Chorus: 6/10 – This part heavily reminds me of the choruses in Ailee’s “Don’t Touch Me”. Being connected to Ailee is good, but to “Don’t Touch Me”, that is not good.

“Beautiful young and free” initiates the choruses. In comparison to the previous sections, Jieun amps up her vocal strength. Her lines are energetic and resonating. Strong note holds are thrown in, such as with “gata~” and “boyeojulge~”. Vocally, this section works out very well. What holds the choruses back, however, is, similar to Ailee’s “Don’t Touch Me”, the instrumental.

The singing here may be very melodic and pleasing, but the instrumental holds as very frail; a beat is the main instrument. The key saxophone remains subtle versus being a main instrument. Should something assisted the beat, Jieun’s vocals would not feel as empty. Her singing is sharp and on point, but without an adequate foundation from the instrumental, it does not uphold as impactful.

Overall, very slightly above average. The vocals are still phenomenal, but for a song section, it proves to be disappointing. If the instrumental gave off the same power and energy as Jieun’s singing, no issue would exist.

5. Post-Chorus: 5/10 – For the post-chorus, the style becomes fully revamped; instead of the ongoing ballad genre, the song temporarily swaps to a funkier, rap-like part.

While this section has no issue with the vocals and instrumental meshing well, what does become a prominent issue is the feeling of repetition. Translated to English, the lines are repeating “Pretty age 25” for multiple lines. Jieun changes her singing style to become rougher and has a speaking demeanor versus a singing one. The only differing line in this section is  “Baby I’m feeling so amazing”, which was sung in an extremely impressive high note. Unfortunately, though, this section does not compete with the previous ones.

Average for a post-chorus. It is not necessarily bad, but nothing is impressive at all. Utilizing a new style had potential, but repeating “Pretty age 25” for too long was not the way to execute the different singing style.

6. Bridge: 7/10 – “Twenty-Five” is on a scary downhill momentum. Hopefully the bridge changes that.

As expected, the moment the bridge occurred, the instrumental shifted to a passive stance. Jieun’s singing returns to the powerful side. Her first two lines are filled with a lot of intensity. Now after those lines, she handles an English line of “I can be what I wanna be”. Once one Korean line passes, Jieun finishes the bridge off with a strong and slightly resonating line of “I want it all”.

With how “Twenty-Five” was established, it was a good decision from the song producers to not have Jieun toss in her capable, insanely powerful note holds. A large climatic moment such as that would be deemed as utterly unfitting. Anyhow, this bridge does its job. A break/relaxing moment for the song was provided, although it did not come out as extremely impressive. Powerful lines were heard, but the usual beloved melodic lines were missing. The instrumental was solid, thankfully.

The bridge in “Twenty-Five” holds an above average score; not too pleasing, but still good.

7. Conclusion: 6/10 – A conclusion that holds as its own section (instead of “Conclusion (Chorus)”, for example), something that’s relatively rare.

The conclusion is once the final post-chorus ended. Since the song did not end at the last post-chorus, a separate section becomes created. For the conclusion, the snapping beat instrumental remained after all vocals were diminished. It plays out for a few seconds until at the very end, a quick and heavy bassline occurs and wraps up the song.

Firstly, the instrumental itself isn’t too fantastic; the light beats are not catchy on their own. As a result, that will lower the score slightly. Furthermore, having the instrumental gently fade out would have been preferred to the current idea of adding a bassline to end the song. That created a rushed and forced ending. Peering at the current pathway the conclusion had, a gentle, fading end was expected. Instead, the bassline seemingly cuts off the instrumental prematurely; a few more seconds should have existed to allow the instrumental to properly die out.

Very slightly above average. The positive side of having an instrumental play out as the last moment redeems it slightly, but the abrupt cut at the end along with a mediocre instrumental will prevent a higher score.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Jieun is running solo, so this is not applied.

– Instrumental: 7/10 – A classier soundtrack, which, in comparison to the song’s theme, perfectly fits. Maturity and calmness emanates from the instrumental.

Musically, the instrumental was either a hit or miss; for the verses and pre-choruses, it aided Jieun’s voice. When it came to sections such as the chorus, however, it had a negative effect. During the chorus, it did not reciprocate Jieun’s energetic vocals. Nevertheless, an above average instrumental. For times it shined, it vastly supported the song. For moments where it hindered the song, the soundtrack became disappointing. The major fault lies during the chorus, otherwise, a solid instrumental.  

– Meaning: 8/10 – As briefly mentioned earlier, “Twenty-Five” focuses on coming-of-age for a girl becoming a woman. Let’s see what message is sent through these Korean to English translated lyrics. Not 100% accurate.

Oh, baby
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)
Oh, baby
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)

When I look in the mirror these days
I don’t know why but it’s different
(Who is that girl?)
You might fall for me too
My body line is perfect
My style shows that I know something
(woo hot thing)
Now I’m the age of a woman

I won’t act like a child anymore
I’ve shed the image of a girl and now I’m a woman
It’s my time to shine

Beautiful young and free
I think I know what love is now
I won’t hide it
Beautiful young and free
I’ll show you everything I want to do
It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for

Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing

My skirt has gotten shorter
No matter what anyone says
(I don’t care)
I’ll be stronger, I’ll be more daring
Eyes are following me
I feel it even more
Now I’m the age of a woman

I won’t act like a child anymore
I’ve shed the image of a girl and now I’m a woman
It’s my time to shine

Beautiful young and free
I think I know what love is now
I won’t hide it
Beautiful young and free
I’ll show you everything I want to do
It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for

Follow what you want
You just need to decide now
Don’t care about other things
Be the perfect woman
I can be what I wanna be
I’m changing, I want it all

Beautiful young and free
I think I know what love is now
I won’t hide it
Beautiful young and free
I’ll show you everything I want to do
It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for

Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing

The lyrics tell a story of a girl who has reached “pretty age 25”, and thus, now feels like woman. She is bursting with confidence, refreshment, and feels a lot more mature. It’s a lovely story with lots of interesting details. Overall, it’s a positive message for girls becoming ladies. Loving yourself and being who you want to be as a woman (or man) is the main idea.

Solid lyrics. Nothing pushes the lyrics to be exceptionally amazing, deep and sophisticated, but the story holds as enjoyable.

Now, before I end things here, there are some things to still pick out. Peering at the first verse, it has some details which have become controversial; the “my body line is perfect” part. Firstly, before anything else is said, this part would have benefitted from Jieun saying the background vocals versus the current background male vocals. The reason for that is the background vocals seems to be the character’s thinking; she became a woman and now views herself differently.

Back on topic with the “body line” line (not a pun, I promise), this part isn’t necessarily negative. What type of body line remains unclear. Since it’s undescribed, it could be anything and that could be the positive message; feel confident with how your own body looks, whether you’re a woman or man. Now of course, there is still the critical side of how it might be talking about a specific shape after all, and if that is the case, then this line would be rendered as disappointing.  

What should be the main focus in terms of controversy is the second background line of “woo hot thing”. While the newly coming-of-age lady might be thinking that to herself due to confidence, that phrase itself isn’t necessarily positive. Perhaps I am vastly overlooking this part, but “hot thing” should never, ever be used to describe a woman (or person) at all.Hot in itself is already a dimmed-down, unsophisticated and lackluster word; adding “thing” makes it even worse. Not only is the lady in the lyrics described as simply “hot”, but instead of a proper pronoun of lady or woman, she becomes a “thing”. While I won’t mark down the score on the basis of this, I still find it very vital that listeners are aware of certain lyric details. The diction here remains questionable.

And actually instead of cutting it short, I recalled one more controversial line: “My skirt has gotten shorter”. For those who find this repulsive, it sends me the idea of “Oh my God, this lady has legs and skin, have mercy on this crime!” And an apology if using “Oh my God” offends/bothers any readers. Anyhow, that should sound ridiculous; obviously females have legs and skin. There is no issue if a lady decides to reveal her body. It is completely unjust that females feel the need to hide themselves; a social stigma of shaming female bodies remains prominent. It is the female’s decision on what to wear. Perhaps revealing more skin is for comfort, or perhaps, it is to feel sexier, and in no way is that a crime nor should it lead to unwanted reactions. This line should not trigger any hateful response. Women should dress how they please to, not for others. I could continue on, but I feel this is sufficient enough.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – When it comes to the choreography in “Twenty-Five”, it comes off as calm and simple. For this song’s predominant genre of ballad, the choreography works out perfectly; relaxing and mature.

Breaking down the dance, in terms of syncing with the music, it was well matched. Every beat and snap was on point, and even the singing’s flow became reflected via slower movements. Backup dancers were perfect. They supported Jieun and weren’t excessive in quantity nor spotlight. When it comes to the key points, “Twenty-Five” does languish. None of them stick out as impressive; they remain bland. This may be due to the ballad style, and thus, only calm, basic styles exist, but energy and power aren’t necessary for a choreography to be phenomenal.

Overall, above average is the score. While the key points are repeated and aren’t outstanding, the spectacular syncing and backup dancers redeem the score.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – In the end, Jieun’s recent solo comeback of “Twenty-Five” finishes with an 8/10 or 4/5, which signifies as good/solid. In my personal opinion, I feel that overall, this song leans towards a 7/10. Jieun’s amazing vocals allow this song to thrive, and in addition, the verse and pre-choruses. However, other perspectives, such as the choruses and post-choruses, are lacking. Nevertheless, a solo comeback that was well done and worthwhile; Jieun lived up to the standard of previous works (Hyosung’s Good-night Kiss, Secret’s group songs).

For this review, I was only able to work on it shortly per day over a span of multiple days. I have been really slow with this one, so huge apologies for that. To be honest, I did end up slightly rushing this review, so the quality in comparison to my recent reviews will probably be a lot lower. Feedback is what I will need. I am doing my best to improve this blog, so look out for it and continue to send me new ideas and such.

Anyhow, Jieun’s comeback is an exciting one and I am content with it. Although I didn’t link the music video, that was well made in terms of eye-candy; full of sweet scenes and such. As I do for every single review, thank you for reading. It means a lot to me, and I hope that my reviews provide insight, some laughs, and a whole lot of angry people that disagree. Reviews are all opinion, finding your own voice is always important. Thank you once more.

For those curious on my next review, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” is in mind. It fits the upcoming day of Halloween (check out my review of Boyfriend’s Witch as well), so for the sake of that, I’ll review it as soon as possible. After that, however, I will review a K-Drama song that was requested (sorry for the delay), and I am currently looking over this one song recommendation (got one from an incredibly intelligent friend in class), and hopefully, will review it as well. Lots of things to look forward to.

The end has arrived, so stay tuned for future reviews. I will do my best to maintain a rapid rate. This is also my first song review on a separate document, so let’s see if this works out (Edit: A lot of format issues occurred, especially towards the Meaning section; I will attempt to find solutions). Anyways, keep checking back. Thanks to all my readers, “I’m feeling so amazing”. Expect Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” for next time. 

are you a girl or boy? cause your name was chris/chrsitopher then your picture was a girl :) and thank you for the flood likes

Hello! 

For those confused, yes I am a male and my name is Chris/Christopher (no preference). Who then, is the lady in my blog picture? It is Nine Muses’ former member/leader, Sera. I personally have it there due to sentimental values/reminders; she and T-ARA’s Soyeon are two very huge role models to me (yes, even if I’m a male). I really admire who they are, what they’ve gone through, how they act, their attitudes, leadership, etc. Since Sera gave me a lot of inspiration and emotionally helped me get through a specific hard time in life, I used a picture of her to remind me that if not for her words, this blog wouldn’t exist at all. 

Anyhow, you’re welcome for the likes (I’m also a huge fan of Jessica and Krystal!) and thank you for this question. That being said, I’ll post this answer publicly. Thank you for also checking out this blog.   

And for readers, a song review should hopefully be done by today/tomorrow at latest.

OnStyle’s Reality Show – “The TaeTiSeo” Review

Reviewed on October 16, 2014

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First things off, I am trying a different place to do reviews (document file versus live posting). This is to address a feedback of how posting “[UNFINISHED]”/“[WORK IN PROGRESS]” tends to leak a review/post. To ensure things go well (and if it doesn’t go well), a show review will be my prototype. That way, if it works, perfect. If not, show reviews aren’t as in-depth as my song reviews, so nothing majorly lost. In terms of upcoming songs, I have two songs that should vastly differ from other songs I’ve reviewed. Furthermore, a “Halloween theme” is attached. I won’t be releasing the song titles yet, but please look forward to them.

Anyhow, the show for review today is “The TaeTiSeo”. Their comeback of “Holler” (check out my review of it) was also accompanied by a reality show. And, as I stated in my other show reviews (refer to my Archive page for “Jessica & Krystal” and “Hyuna’s Free Month”), I do not possess a show review outline. As a result, if the writing becomes incoherent, forgive me for not having an organized structure. Anyhow, this review will probably be posted later than expected; I still have two episodes to finish. This also reminds me, I prematurely reviewed “Hyuna’s Free Month”. I stopped at episode 3, but it turns out there are other episodes as well. Overall, nothing would be significantly different in terms of my review. The only change was finally seeing some interaction with 4Minute members (and that interaction was humorous; they sarcastically addressed comments of “4Minute members aren’t close to one another” by complimenting each other’s “acting”).

Also while I’m at it, I feel obligated to share a quick rant: males watching this show. As I mentioned in some other review, a friend of mine teased me for watching this “girly” show. Also, keep in mind I will practically repeat the same things I told her, and in no way am I trying to vilify her. Anyhow, my question in retaliation was, “What is a ‘girly’ show?” That’s something I feel people should ask (along with a whole lot of other questions). Firstly, thinking of “The TaeTiSeo” as a pure females-only show never crossed my mind. A large portion of this show may be focused on clothing, nail art, and other cosmetic-related topics, but that does not mean males should automatically be deterred away, nor does that mean females should naturally want to watch this show.

My own take on why I decided to watch this was primarily due to being a fan of TaeTiSeo along with the OnStyle production crew. However, before I knew it, I actually enjoyed watching the cosmetic sections. Perhaps I am just a strange, outcasted male, but speaking personally, I would heavily prefer watching Taeyeon do her nails for 30 minutes versus, for example, watching a “male-orientated” show such as a sports game for just 5 minutes. Actually to add another small rant, “male-orientated” shows tend to repel me the most; I find no fun in cringing every minute at the sight of gore and corpses (and another thing to question is why “male-orientated” means explosions and blood). To cut to the point, watch whatever you want; social barriers shouldn’t hinder what you enjoy to do nor should they define you. The idea of “masculine” and “feminine” should be less restrictive (and therefore, hopefully one day, I can share how if I decide to have kids in the future, that if I want two daughters, I won’t have friends/teammates giving me the equivalent reaction of “You want to kick a puppy?”). And for those wondering, no, I did not cry (or at least not yet since I haven’t seen the last episode). This is just a little joke ever since I shared how “Jessica & Krystal” made me bawl.

Ignoring the very huge digression and silly jokes at the end, let’s start this review of “The TaeTiSeo”. The ladies of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun had a very impressive comeback. To add onto their album release, they have decided to release a reality show as well. OnStyle is the producer, and recalling them from “Jessica & Krystal”, a solid production is expected. Is the personal side of TaeTiSeo revealed? We shall see.

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“The TaeTiSeo” takes viewers for a behind-the-scenes look at their promotions, and it also unveils the personal sides to the ladies. In terms of their work, viewers will see the preparations leading up to “Holler”. Examples are music video filming, song recording, and of course, choreography practice. When it comes to observing their personal lives, viewers are able to see the ladies’ affection for each other. In addition, “The TaeTiSeo” also reveals the ladies’ preference/advice when it comes to cosmetics; make-up, clothing, nails, the three of them cover those topics.

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To dive deeper, a large portion of the beginning covered the fashion side of the show. Clothing was discussed; each member shared her style. For example, Seohyun and Taeyeon addressed how Tiffany was a huge fan of wearing the primary colors. And of course, considering it’s Tiffany, her usual pink obsession was seen. Any Girls’ Generation fan will know of that; if something is pink, Tiffany loves it (perhaps that was her lucky boyfriend’s idea on winning her love; use pink). Continuing on, viewers are able to see Seohyun and Taeyeon find their own clothing. Taeyeon preferred the simple, comfortable outfits; a single color and being soft and cozy. Now while the older ladies had no issues finding items, the sweet, lovable maknae (youngest person) was seen in a struggle. Seohyun would tediously go back and forth between changing outfits. She would find something, try it, but then try another set of clothing.

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Seeing the beloved members go shopping wasn’t all, however. The experience of getting to stores, and in some cases, away from the store, was quite jocular. As many fans will know, Taeyeon and Seohyun aren’t the most experienced drivers. During a shopping time in Korea, it took Taeyeon 10 minutes to start up the car (although understandable considering it was a hybrid and that it was not her original car). Eventually, though, the car rolls smoothly. Until Seohyun drives. On the way back home, instead of the ladies normally chatting with one another, it was dead silent once Seohyun got behind the wheel. Nevertheless, it was still funny seeing Tiffany, who seems to be an experienced driver, and Taeyeon overreact to every little thing Seohyun did. At least Seohyun threw in a disclaimer of, “Unnie, you’re risking your life with this [driving]” (Note: “Unnie” is literally translated as “older sister”, but pretty much it’s a younger female referring to an older female).

In terms of them having a serious moment during the beginning, the ladies of TaeTiSeo did address the difference between shopping in South Korea and in Los Angeles: they were able to in L.A. Briefly, they discussed how in Korea, the only possible way to publically go shopping was to be utterly disguised via hats, masks, and by having only a few members attend at a time. This explains why their shopping went smoothly on film (although when they did go in Korea, the store was seemingly “reserved”).

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Besides clothing, another aspect “The TaeTiSeo” revealed on the group’s style were their nails. Taeyeon was the first member to show off her nail art. With setting up a camera in a room and by using nail tools given by fans, she set off on showing viewers different nail arts. With this setup, Taeyeon showcases numerous chic designs. Commentary was also added; she explained her mentality per nail (and what to do if there’s a mistake; it happened to her) and addresses a few questions. For a moment, she discussed how her nails were mainly done for the sake of performances or schedules (interviews, etc.). However, she still preferred casual nail painting even if there was no work.   

In Tiffany’s case, she was seen with a professional. This moment would disclose how TaeTiSeo’s nails are always perfect; professional nail artists handle it. Another nail-related question was asked during Tiffany’s session. Viewers and fans had the question of how Tiffany took care of her nails. After all, considering how often the members of TaeTiSeo do their nails, it can be concerning. Thankfully, Tiffany reassured fans by explaining that proper care and advice from professionals allows the ladies to still possess healthy nails.

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Now besides the fashion side of the show, “The TaeTiSeo” also reveals the behind-the-scenes footage of their comeback. The making of the music video for “Holler” is seen. While the music video came out as glamorous (although I have yet to watch the entirety of it), the filming did not reciprocate that; it was a harsh, tedious process. Going back and forth to find the perfect clip required a lot of patience. Make-up had to be reapplied and any minuscule lack of synchronicity would result in another take.

Furthermore, safety, shockingly, was an issue; the most prominent example being the scene where the ladies dance on a circle glass with surrounding shallow water. Considering they were wearing exceptionally tall high heels (a lot of people forget how talented idols are for performing in them; even males with insoles go through the same challenge), the environment created a risky scenario. The glass circle itself was already unstable, but coupling the fact of how the water made the surface even more slippery, it created a lot of anxiety among both TaeTiSeo and staff members. On the positive side, accidents were minimal; Seohyun was the only one who slipped, but at least she caught her balance. In the end, removing their heels when a shot didn’t include their feet was a solution. The ladies proved to be quite admirable through their hardwork and perseverance.

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When it comes to song recording, “The TaeTiSeo” discloses that process. From this section, the ladies’ impressive vocals are heard. However, that aspect is not the only one; a large portion of this section covers how they composed lyrics, the issues that occurred, and TaeTiSeo’s perspective on singing. Going on a tangent, Tiffany’s voice is exceptionally soothing; although her unique tint of huskiness may derive from a vocal disorder she had years ago(?), her voice still remains very unique and versatile. Listening to her speak proved to be quite delightful. Whether she was speaking English or Korean, it became utterly infatuating. In short, Tiffany’s voice is amazing; I personally remain envious yet captivated by her seducing voice.

To focus back on this review, in terms of composing lyrics, it proved to be very intriguing. Seohyun and her manager were seen at a table discussing different lines for Seohyun’s own ballad composition. Her song, “Only U”, had to be revised. Seohyun’s original line went along the meaning of “I will protect you” (going off memory), but she believed the lyrics weren’t “feminine” enough for listeners, and thus, Seohyun modified it. In the end, “I will stand by your side” is what the final revision became. While most viewers will glance over this section quickly, this scene showcases how the K-Pop industry potentially exploits songs (although keep in mind, this isn’t always the case; Girl’s Day’s “Don’t Trust Her” had the key phrase of something similar to “Don’t go to her, I will protect you from everything”) to make them follow the standard cultural norms. This is something to keep in mind for song meanings in K-Pop, and it’s great that “The TaeTiSeo” reveals this tiny yet vital aspect.

Peering back at the actual song recording, the ladies’ issues were observed. Multiple trials were needed for every member; Taeyeon in specific had quite a bit of trouble at first. Their song, “Adrenaline” (have not/don’t intend to review it; not too solid) entangled Taeyeon. No matter how hard she tried, the flow/melody was off. Eventually, though, she did find a solution: changing the lyrics. After that, a huge improvement was seen. For the other members, Tiffany and Seohyun went through the same tedious process; perfecting their recordings required patience.

Lastly for the studio section of “The TaeTiSeo”, the three ladies got to share their personal stories of what singing meant to them. All of them expressed the similar idea of passion; Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, they all loved to sing. Even from their blossoming ages of still being girls, singing remained a prominent activity. Sticking to what they loved and continuing to pursue it allowed the ladies to stand here today as TaeTiSeo; following what you love and are passionate about is the crucial, needed message that they gave through their interviews.

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Adding on the last highlight this review will bring, choreography practice. Here, OnStyle unveils the rigorous and daunting task TaeTiSeo encounters for creating a flawless, perfectly synced dance. They practiced all the way into the late night time. Beat by beat, flowing with the melody, the ladies showcased how adept they were with matching up to every choreography. While it was a tiresome routine, they still decided to keep spirits high; Taeyeon went on a fun spinning spree with a camera, and upon hearing that “Whisper”, the ballad song of their album, took first place on a music chart, they all became recharged with energy and joy. Anyhow, the hard work the ladies invested in order to improve their skills is very respectable. Despite how harsh and aching dance practices are, they continue to strive for the perfect execution.

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With all of those highlighted points, that brings this review to the end. Keep in mind, of course, I am barely breaching the surface of the reality show; OnStyle reveals a lot more. This review intends to go over my perspective on outstanding parts along with adding some of my opinion. And as stated earlier, if this review comes out as confusing or unorganized, I put fault in the lack of a show review outline. I still do not intend to seriously review shows as it’s a very long, excruciating process. In addition, unlike K-Pop songs, giving numerical scores and creating categories would be mundane (or in honesty, quite lacking since I have zero ideas).

Overall, I find this show very amusing. Does it top “Jessica & Krystal”? Not quite, but it does come quite close. The biggest strength to “Jessica & Krystal” is the main focus on their relationship. It was about seeing the two sister’s love for one another. Unfortunately, “The TaeTiSeo”, similar to “Hyuna’s Free Month”, does come off more as a side promotion. Thankfully, though, OnStyle does a significantly better job of revealing other sides besides the topic of their comeback. Viewers are still able to see the personal sides to the members. Their workday schedule is seen along with their sweet and hilarious interactions. In addition, the shadier sides of the K-Pop industry is unveiled, although in tiny doses. In the end, I believe it’s a show worth watching. It provides entertainment, insight, and of course, no lady or gentleman can resist the amazing idols of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun.

As I always do, thank you for reading. This review took a long time to write; the biggest hinder being the time it took to actually catch up on episodes. Again, another reason on why I loathe reviewing shows. It drains the luxury of watching freely with no time pressure. Anyhow, I hope it’s not too incoherent. This will be the last show review I do until perhaps a month (and watch how as I say this, T-ARA will suddenly release a reality show. Though if that were the case, I’d be extremely pleased to make a review). Once more, I highly recommend this show.

In terms of my next review, since things are out of order, Boyfriend’s “Witch” will be reviewed. It has already been started, but I hope to finish it within a few days. Also, I am testing this review on a separate document, so right now, I’m really hoping I can post this with no format errors.

The end has arrived, so thank you once more for reading. I hope you find this interesting and sufficiently detailed. Again, “The TaeTiSeo” proved to be an outstanding show. Stay tuned for upcoming Halloween themed songs of Boyfriend’s “Witch”, and revealing another, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” (spelled correctly?). This also reminds me, I did receive a song request, so I will squeeze that in as soon as possible. Anyhow, stay tuned. Thanks for the support and time, keep checking back for the usual K-Pop song reviews.

Boyfriend – “Witch” Review

Boyfriend – Witch (Live Performance)

Boyfriend – Witch (Dance Practice)

Boyfriend – Witch

Reviewed on October 14, 2014

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Personal Message: Firstly, things are completely out of schedule. The show review of “The TaeTiSeo” was supposed to be done today, but due to time constraints, I haven’t finished the show yet and thus, that’s delayed. However, to keep things flowing, I’ll do a song review in the meantime. On the bad side, however, I will still need to rely on “live posting” of [WORK IN PROGRESS] for now. Once the show review is up, I will gauge whether I can finally work on a separate document or not. 

Anyhow, before we start, to address the links, the first is a live performance. The second, however, is the standard dance practice. Unfortunately, the music wasn’t quite edited in, so instead, the dance practice video’s audio is what the room truly sounded like. As always, though, I recommend listening to the actual audio (a quick search for the audio, etc.).

On topic, Boyfriend made a very recent comeback of “Witch”. This comeback completely matches the upcoming theme of Halloween (perfect timing for my blog). While I may be unfamiliar with these gentlemen, their label company is Starship Entertainment, the same one that holds Sistar (check out my review on their songs). These idols have left a very solid impression; their song “Witch” is an extremely pleasing song. It has been a while since I’ve heard a song that completely impressed me, but here it is. The vocals are very stunning, the song itself remains catchy, and the choreography is something I’ve never seen before. On top of all of that, fans will be going crazy over their charming looks. 

Since Boyfriend members are taking the route of becoming a “Witch”, let’s see what special potion was conjured; winning the love of ladies and men seems to be the effect. 

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (7.6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 9/10 – It has been quite a while since I’ve last a heard a song with very impressive vocals, but Boyfriend manages to change that. The vocals in “Witch” are phenomenal; a wide range of notes are used and their voices come off as smooth and melodic. Something to really admire is their ability to earn a high score without the need of powerful vocals. Utilizing impacting vocals aren’t always necessary for a song; Boyfriend’s melody and chemistry between members are the strongest aspects of their singing. 

Very solid vocals for “Witch”. Instead of relying on highly impacting lines, Boyfriend manipulates their sweet, melodic voices to greatly amplify their singing. 

– Song Structure: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction (Half Post-Chorus), Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Rap, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge (Post-Chorus), Chorus, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction (Half Post-Chorus): 7/10 – Time to dive into the song itself. 

For the introduction, all the members are chipping in. Also as noted, the introduction is simply half the post-chorus in this song.

Initially, there is a somewhat ominous soundtrack playing; it gives off the feeling of approaching a mysterious, unknown house. Anyhow, the first few seconds do an excellent job of setting up the mood. The sinister emotions associated with Halloween come to life. After this part, “‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom” (will be discussed at the Meaning section) becomes repeated 3 times. That line has a catchy flow to it, and on a positive note, it doesn’t come off harshly. However, a solid melody isn’t attached; the lines are almost purely spoken. After all that, the song transitions into the verse.

This introduction is exceptionally quick-paced in comparison to a lot of other songs I’ve reviewed. The spooky instrumental at the start is welcomed. That section sets the atmosphere of the song perfectly. In terms of the post-chorus part (a deeper look later), it doesn’t come off roughly by itself, but considering how sudden the transition to it was, it definitely caught me by surprise. The lines’ duration were quite short, and thus, the song swapped over to the verse rapidly, which isn’t too bad considering how fast the introduction as a whole is. 

For this section, above average remains as the score. The stage is definitely set, but with how sudden the song dives into the core, it becomes overwhelming. Not too bad of a start; “Witch” simply sends listeners straight into it. 

2. Verse: 7/10 – For the verses, Jeongmin and Donghyun tackle the first one. The second verse is covered by Donghyun by himself. As usual, I will cover the first verse.

Jeongmin begins first. His lines showcase lower notes of the song; certain endings of “joha”, “eoddae”, and “isseo ” were stretched down to hit the lower pitches. Furthermore, each of those endings were slightly emphasized. This creates a catchy flow. The emphasized, low lines become lingering. Once Donghyun arrives, he continues to build upon the established flow. His own endings of “neoramyeon”, “nanikka”, “eobtjiman”, and “itneungeol” replicated what his fellow member started: lower pitched and stretched endings.

While the flow proves to be delightful, repetition becomes an issue (and that actually remains a prevalent issue throughout the song; will be addressed further). The flow is flawless, but using it for the entirety of a verse numbs the captivating effect it could potentially possess. The prediction of, “Lines are normally sung, but towards the end, the pitch becomes lower and the word is slightly emphasized” remains accurate for the whole verse. 

Overall, a really interesting and possibly awarding verse structure and flow; the issue lies in how the same flow is repeated for a copious amount of lines. Above average.

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Hyunseong, Youngmin, and Donghyun handle the two pre-choruses.

Beginning with Hyunseong, he arrives with a very energetic line. In comparison to the verse, the intensity steps up slightly. His lines leave a very melodic and smooth flow. After that, Youngmin arrives and his vocals aren’t to emulate Hyunseong; opting to be different, his line provides a background effect via having softer vocals. Now after that, Hyunseong returns with the same energetic vocals. In addition, he throws in a solid yet short note hold at “chae~”. During his note hold, Donghyun adds in one final line to allow a satisfying transition to the chorus.

The pre-choruses in “Witch” are solid. With preparations made for the chorus, this part fulfills that role. Hyunseong’s initial line brings up the song’s intensity. That allows a shift for the song to meet its chorus’ level. In terms of Youngmin’s part, it played a key role; with energetic lines arriving, to prevent any staleness from occurring, his more passive vocals help. Adding on, by also having a weaker line that works as background vocals, it contrasts Hyunseong’s lines and thus, makes them seem even more intense and melodic. Finally, Donghyun’s quick and short line while Hyunseong performed his note hold ensured an easy switch to the chorus. It also made a clean finish for the pre-chorus as a whole.

Overall, impressive pre-choruses; 8 will be the score. The adept singing of Boyfriend becomes released, and with such a supportive structure that discloses the group’s vocal synergy, a solid score is deserved. 

4. Chorus: 9/10 – Jeongmin and Hyunseong handle all the choruses.

The meat of “Witch” becomes unveiled here. Spectacular vocals are seen here from these two gentlemen; Jeongmin and Hyunseong are hitting high notes and have a plethora of minor but effective note holds. 

Jeongmin starts the choruses off. His voice is full of melody and the flow of his lines exploit that. His endings were emphasized by having a higher noted pitch along with some “stretching”. While I personally won’t claim he executed note holds, it had a tint of that. His holds were extremely short and did not possess a high level of energy, but nevertheless, they became very effective at giving the chorus a spurge of intensity. When Hyunseong flashes in, he continues what Jeongmin started. The only difference, however, is that at the very end, he did a full note hold at “dwae~”. That part allowed a solid transition to the next piece. 

Perhaps the best part of the song. Stunning vocals are heard here. “Witch” finally unleashes its full intensity during the choruses. Both Hyunseong and Jeongmin do a fantastic job with singing. The structure of their lines augment the energy they gave off via vocals. In addition, the instrumental also accompanies the men well. It became escalated to match up the the intenser moment, and as a result, the choruses become even more solid.

An amazing chorus.The vocal work is appreciated and respectable, and with a structure that brings out the best in that category, a high score will be given.

5. Post-Chorus: 4/10 – To be blunt: the downfall of “Witch”. The post-choruses are done by all the members. For those who weren’t as keen earlier, if it hasn’t been noticed yet, pay attention to the introduction, bridge, and conclusion. What do they all have? “(Post-Chorus)” becomes reused in all of those sections. And of course, there is the post-chorus section itself. 

The post-chorus, in summary, is “’Cause your body goes boom bara boom”. If that sounds ridiculous, the Meaning section will cover it and hopefully decipher it. Anyhow, focusing on the musical aspect, that line becomes repeated 6 times (and just noticed, they cut it to solely 3 repeats for the linked live performance; still analyzing from the original audio). 

Even though the line itself isn’t too poor, it doesn’t hold up as solid, either. The “b” sounds become catchy, but otherwise, vocally, nothing intensive or impressive. To have it repeated for 6 times will induce boredom; it is simply dull. In order to make matters worse, when the same old, lethargic section gets recycled in the introduction, the bridge, and conclusion, it completely razes any potential of being a solid part. 

A below average section that is heavily impaired from a sheer overuse. The section itself is not too awful, but with hearing it ubiquitously throughout the song, it becomes worthless. 

6. Rap: 8/10 – I’ll be honest, I thought only one member was rapping. Apparently, two members are cooperating for the rap. Kwangmin and Minwoo are the rappers. 

With this rap, Minwoo and Kwangmin alternate between lines. Specifically, Minwoo will handle 2 lines, then Kwangmin gets 1, and so on. This repeats for a total of 3 times (although Minwoo does finish the rap). 

The pacing remains very solid for this section; they aren’t exceeding a limit that would be unfitting, but at the same time, they manage to evade going too slowly. A middle ground is found. In terms of power, the lines came off as slightly more fragile. This isn’t an issue, however, considering power would be unsuitable. Melody and an acceptable speed are the main objectives. Thankfully, they manage to provide some melody, and with very subtle alternations, it allows a unique pace. The swapping of members add a small pause, which overall, helps their pace.

In the end, a solid rap. What prevents it from reaching a 9 is the flow wasn’t too smooth; words weren’t coming out in one stream. Instead, it felt chunky and lagging. Nothing too major, though.  

7. Bridge (Post-Chorus): 6/10 – Basically, the bridge recycles the post-chorus but adjusts the instrumental. The instrumental becomes a lot more passive and calm as the members sing the post-chorus.

Although the utterly drained out and desolate post-chorus is used here, since the lines themselves are much less intense in comparison to other parts, it becomes fitting here. The instrumental is passive, and the lines/the post-chorus reflects that. The purpose of this bridge was to allow a moment for the song to relax itself, and in addition, to allow some hype for the final, upcoming sections.

Overall, slightly above average. Perfect chemistry between the instrumental and vocals here. The only issue derives from usng a post-chorus that is heard way too often.  

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – Once again, the post-chorus is heard. First-time listeners may not be bothered, but for those who listen to this song often (or in my case, where I listened to it casually and then critically), it becomes exceptionally stale.

Before we peer at the final post-chorus, an impressive final chorus was done by Boyfriend. A very powerful note hold comes from Donghyun and that sets the climatic moment of “Witch”. Anyhow, in terms of the conclusion in the form of the post-chorus, some two-part singing occurs to give a climatic effect, and that does partially save the conclusion. Another aspect to consider is since the post-chorus lies on the calmer side, this brings “Witch” down from its previous, high-intensity chorus which is excellent. At the very end, the instrumental and vocals perfectly fade out.

Overall, above average will be the score. Despite how often the post-chorus occurred, the modifications of two-part singing, and considering how it brought the song’s energy down to a concluding level, it remains sufficient. 

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – Six very handsome, persevering and talented gentlemen are in Boyfriend, so a high score for Line Distribution should be the case (or at least in my mind, I’m thinking of the amazing, very intelligent, hardworking and charming ladies of T-ARA who also have six members). 

Donghyun got a large portion of time; he occurs at all the verses and throws in a line for the pre-choruses. Also, he gets to expend his powerful note hold at the end. 

Hyunseong handles all the pre-choruses and choruses. Considering how those sections were very prevalent, he definitely has his spotlight.

Jeongmin had a part at the first verse, and of course, appears for every chorus. No complaints here.

Kwangmin had only 3 lines, and those were only in the rap. He’s missing from a huge portion of this song, and as I said earlier, I didn’t even notice his lines initially from listening. A lot more singing/rapping time could have been allocated towards Kwangmin. 

Youngmin’s time consisted of adding two lines, in total, for the pre-choruses. He was the one with the background vocals part. Like Kwangmin, more lines should have been given to him.

Minwoo, lastly, was the main rapper. Since his rapping section covered a large time and played a significant, independent role, no complaints on his share.

Last thing to consider, though, is that the post-choruses are all sung by Boyfriend as a whole.

Unfortunately, even with the unison singing at the post-choruses, it isn’t enough to make up for two members being given very little individual lines. Two members out of six is a lot; one-third is the picture. 

6 will be the given score; since the post-choruses are very common, the members who were lacking are technically able to get some time in. Nevertheless, a disappointing share of lines. 

– Instrumental: 8/10 – A very impressive soundtrack for “Witch”. It doesn’t come off as overpowering, nor is it lacking. It’s a perfect balance. 

The darker, spooky theme is given from the instrumental. It fulfills its role in that regard. In terms of the song itself, the instrumental supports the men during the intenser parts, such as the chorus, and during the calmer sections, it remains passive enough to let Boyfriend’s incredible vocals be the spotlight while still providing a foundation. The vocals and soundtrack mesh very well. 

In the end, a solid instrumental. Theme fitting, helpful towards the song as a whole and to vocals, it does its job. 

– Meaning: 8/10 – The title itself is already interesting, but the meaning of the post-chorus further adds onto how intriguing this song seems. Through these translated lyrics (not 100% accurate, but close enough), let’s find out what story is being told:

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom 

I don’t care if it’s a lie, who cares if it’s not the truth
You’re in my arms right now, that’s what’s important

Because if it’s you, I would be the victim multiple times
I can’t have you but I can touch you

When you call my name with your sweet lips
It’s you in the end, even if it hurts, it’s you

Every time your hand touches me, my breath stops
I swear I’ll give myself to you

You’re pretty because you’re rough,
you’re attractive because you’re dangerous
I know I’ll get hurt every time
but I like your games
There’s no reason I can’t do this, I’ll give you my everything
I just need to be by your side

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
(nanana nana nananana)

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom

This is what I mean
whenever you say I’m too much
Whenever you say it’s over with a sad face
Whenever you make me nervous,
strangely, I get even more attracted to you
You have so much charm, yeah,
you’re so good at controlling me,
as if you’ll come to me but won’t, you drive me crazy
You know that I can’t leave you
Just like a boomerang that always comes back
no matter how hard you throw it

I try to stop but when you call me
I stop where I’m going and run to you

With a face of an angel, you shake me up every time
Is it your nice body, is it your scent of a woman?

When I kiss your lips, I bow my head
And swear that I’ll give myself to you

You’re pretty because you’re rough,
you’re attractive because you’re dangerous
I know I’ll get hurt every time
but I like your games
There’s no reason I can’t do this, I’ll give you my everything
I just need to be by your side

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom

You can use me, you can play me
I know I’ll be ruined
but I choose you anyway

I don’t need your everything, I can just have half of you
I just need to be by your side

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
(nanana nana nananana)

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom
‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom

‘Cause your body goes boom bara boom

A very interesting story. Although the story does take the perspective of a male, arguably, it can be gender neutral. Anyhow, the lyrics tell the story of a man who is a victim of the “push and pull” game (for America, “playing hard to get” is a similar meaning). Even though his love-interest ends up toying and abusing his emotions, he is trapped in a bind of anguish and infatuation. He remains pained by her actions, but at the same time, cannot seem to escape his love-interest’s snare. An interesting love story that both males and females can relate to (hopefully that isn’t the case). 

In terms of details, most lines are different than the other and offer more perspective on the story. Now to answer the big question of, “What is the post-chorus about?” It could mean a multitude of things, but I will offer my own take (and again, the beauty of literature, no one is ever right or wrong). Considering the theme of magicians and witches and such, the line could be describing how the love-interest’s beauty is like a spell, hence “boom bara boom” (magic casting, etc.). 

Overall, a different and original story. The comparison of how a love-interest locks her or his lover as if they were a magician is unique. The lover is essentially spellbound. Due to the fascinating story and solid details, a solid score. 

That said, I will digress a bit. While it may be simply a story, I do want to point out a “flaw” in it: the focus on physical beauty. I won’t credit this in for the Meaning score, since the story itself and details are what I grade, but in terms of subtle messages, I want to address them still. Anyhow, the details that captivate the lover is all physical; scent, body, lips/kissing, face, hand touching, and such. Keep in mind, however, those physical parts aren’t the sole aspects that should “spellbound” a lover. There are a lot of other things: personality, attitude, intelligence, humor, and more. As I said in some other review way long ago (or perhaps I’m making this up), physical beauty should not purely define “beauty”. Beauty as a whole is who the person is, not solely on looks. How smart a lady or man is should matter a lot more than how pretty their hair is.

Anyhow, a short tangent here to keep fans/listeners aware. For this song, it’s understandable, though. I mean, out of “Your jokes keep me coming back…” versus “Your scent of being a woman/man draws me back…”, as a song producer, I’d go with the latter. For the purpose of dramatic effects and such, the last one comes off as more appealing (and another discussion for why that is). However, for an actual scenario, you better be falling for the one who makes you laugh more versus the one who smells better.   

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Choreography Score: 9/10 – I think it has also been a while since I’ve last seen a choreography that blew me away. Boyfriend’s dance for “Witch” does manage to acquire that feat. Also, for watching their dance, I highly recommend the dance practice link (unless if you prefer to see them with stage costumes and make-up to fit the Halloween/magician theme). It’s very vivid and truly reveals how complex yet elegant the choreography is.

Firstly, the curtain use was outstanding. It provided a lot of transitions for the choreography, and additionally, the magician theme gets added. That itself earns a lot of highlight for being vastly different from other props used in K-Pop choreography. In terms of the backup dancers, they arrived solely for the chorus, which works out considering that’s the most intense part. For other parts, the backup dancers were managing the curtains. Paying attention towards the gentlemen of Boyfriend, their dances were quite powerful; a lot of energy flowed from their movements. Syncing was no issue, and due to the unique curtains, transitioning and different positions were executed well. 

The only setback would lie in the fact of how their key points weren’t as strong; for example, the chorus’ dance maneuvers did not come off as super appealing. Nevertheless, overall, the choreography is amazing. The curtains add a new layer that strengthens transitions, adds different positions, and the song’s mood is matched. A very impressive dance. 

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Overall Score: 9/10 (8.5/10 raw score) – At the very end, Boyfriend’s “Witch” comes out with a 9/10 score. The choreography makes up a large chunk of the score, but the song itself is just as solid. Do I agree? I personally rate this as an 8/10 overall, but it’s still a solid song and dance. 

The biggest downfall to the song is how often the post-choruses are used. Other than that, “Witch” is an outstanding song with graceful vocals. The choreography, likewise, is incredible.

As I always do at the end of every post, thank you very much for reading. I hope this review is entertaining, insightful, and that you enjoy it. I’m very grateful towards all my readers, thank you for all your time, support, and feedback. I appreciate it all greatly. Thank you. While I’m at it, recently, this blog has been growing a lot, and I am so happy and in deep gratitude for that. It’s a really awesome feeling and something I never knew I’d experience. To have people enjoy my writing/reviews and to return is awesome. Thanks once again. 

This review has now officially hit the end, and that is perfect since I want to get some sleep. Reviews are out of order; I finished this review after I did my reality show review of “The TaeTiSeo” (check it out), but that shouldn’t matter. Anyhow, for my upcoming reviews, to add one more Halloween themed song, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” is in mind (I will argue the concept is Halloween themed, even though…from stage performances, it has been about food…? More details later if I do review it). Now besides those songs, I did receive a song request and I’m glad it differs from a lot of other songs I’ve reviewed. It’s a K-Drama OST song, so that should be interesting. Another song I want to review is Secret’s Jiuen’s solo comeback of “Twenty-Five”. 

Reviews will be slightly late, however. I’m booked with a lot of work, so I may take a break for a few days/one week depending. On the bright side, though, I will be able to work on my reviews on a different document, so no more live posting ([WORK IN PROGRESS]) which will be nice. 

Anyhow, stay tuned and keep checking back. I will still post as much as I can. After all, if “I try to stop…when you call me I stop where I’m going and run to you”. Keep checking back. Expect either Jieun’s comeback or Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” as my next review. 

2PM – “Go Crazy” Review

2PM – “Go Crazy” (Live Performance)

2PM – Go Crazy

Reviewed on October 10, 2014

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Personal Message: Firstly, I am trying out Google Docs for a place to do my reviews/posts. However, to keep a low-stake situation (in case something goes utterly wrong), I am testing that with a show review of “The TaeTiSeo”. That does mean I am writing two separate things so forgive me for some delay. On the bright side, if it all works out, no more “spoiling” review issues. Also instead of saying “[UNFINISHED]”, I’m using a better terminology with “[WORK IN PROGRESS]”. Sounds slightly more sophisticated; or at least I hope.  

Anyhow, it has been about 6 days I believe since my last review of Ailee’s “Don’t Touch Me”. As stated, I was extremely busy and had to wait until Friday for another review to come out. Nevertheless, I kept my promise of reviewing a male group. Today we’ll take a look at 2PM’s recent comeback of “Go Crazy”. Actually “recent” may be slightly exaggerated; this song is roughly a month old. On track, although I’m personally unfamiliar with these gentlemen, their group does have some reputation and popularity. 

Continuing on, the link above is a live performance. They do have a dance practice video but, it’s not very serious. It proved to be humorous, but that is to match up with the song’s theme (explained later on in the review). On the negative side, however, that forced me to once again use a live performance video. My personal issues with live performances are video and audio quality; the video tends to be “pixelated”/blurry, and with hearing live singing and fanchants, it muddles down what the song genuinely sounds like. For those wondering, I review songs from a regular audio standpoint (the audio if you were to buy it, etc.). Official dance practices typically include the normal audio of a song, and a very vivid image of the choreography. As a result, that explains why I heavily prefer dance practices over live performances. Ignoring this rant, the live performance was still splendid.

Anyhow, enough said. With a somewhat recent comeback, 2PM continues to garner more fans. They’re showing off a jocular, upbeat and funky concept. Let’s take a look and see how they make ladies and men “Go Crazy”. 

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 6/10 – For “Go Crazy”, intensive vocal work is nonexistent. What the men of 2PM showcase, however, are some decent melodic lines. On top of that, they add a lot of energetic parts for the song. Overall, however, the vocals aren’t spectacular; the singing comes out to be moreover chanting and mellow versus sweet and melodic. As I stated earlier, I’m not too familiar with them and thus, may not have the best idea on 2PM’s true vocal abilities. For what is heard in “Go Crazy”, nothing too impressive. 

The choruses do showcase some solid vocals, and in addition, even Bridge 1. However, every other section comes out on the average side. In the end, very slightly above average for vocals; nothing outstanding at all.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.44/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Rap, Chorus, Bridge 1, Bridge 2, Chorus, Conclusion

For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction: 7/10 – Firstly, this may be the song I’ve created the most sections for. Initially, I decided to merge the chorus and post-chorus together, and in fact, even Bridge 1 and Bridge 2 were combined. After listening to this song a little more, I decided to split some sections up and as a result, we have nine sections. 

Back on topic, the introduction for “Go Crazy” is quite solid. For the most part.

At the very start, there is a very high pitched electronic sound. In addition, a background voice of “Cray, cray” (crazy but just the first syllable) repeats and has its pitch edited to go higher and higher. This part was a weak part of the introduction. It comes off as obnoxious, and hardly sets the stage up for anything. The only benefit derives from how it transitions the song properly into the next part.

After the high pitched, silly part, a transition occurs where the instrumental becomes a funky and heavy beat; it comes off as catchy and towards the end, quick and light beats are used to transition into the verse.

While it would seem preferable to have the first moment shaved off, hopping right into the deeper beats would be too sudden. As a result, the weaker first seconds aren’t necessarily bad; it allows the heavier beats to arrive smoothly. When the funky instrumental does arrive, it aids the song quite well. The instrumental heard here will remain prevalent throughout the entire song. Setting up the atmosphere is well done. 

In summary, an above average introduction. The first moment is a bitter medicine; loathed but necessary. Progressing past that, however, and the instrumental transitions to some strong beats that prove to be catchy in addition to setting up the song’s main instrumental. 

2. Verse: 7/10 – As usual, I will be covering the first verse. Wooyoung and Chansung form a duo for this.

For this verse, a great play on sounds is utilized by the singers. Wooyoung is the first to sing. His lines leave a catchy melody; with his lines ending on words such as “aniya”, “doenikka”, and “boreunikka”, the “ah” sound becomes manipulated to create a verse that remains catchy and lingering. Furthermore, Chansung emulates that with his own ending lines of “aniya” and “yeojadeuriya”.

Overall, a decent verse. The play on sounds is quite pleasing; the melody is augmented and loops around. What does hold back this song section, however, is how repetitive it is. While the “ah” endings may be delightful, a sole usage of only those endings will bring the score down. Repetition becomes an issue and thus, staleness and boredom become an issue. A respectable verse, nevertheless. 

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Strangely, the only pre-chorus in the song. Junho tackles this part alone, but he does have some assistance in a unique way. 

For this part, the instrumental and vocals do an excellent job of syncing to the other; the steadier, systematic beats work well with Junho’s own chopped lines. This definitely strengthens the pre-chorus. After the pre-chorus progresses further, there is a part where 2PM as a whole adds a background vocal of “micheoboryeo kwitgaye" after Junho finishes a line. This part proved to be intriguing; it added extra power to the section as well as preventing Junho’s lines from becoming too tedious. At the very end, a slow "Ha ha” transitions the song to the chorus.

Peering over this section, it is surely not bad; however, it also isn’t the most impressive. The chemistry between the vocals and instrumental is worth highlighting, but that remains the only strong point. While the flow of the vocals were very catchy due to matching the beats, it doesn’t come off as extremely melodic nor extraordinary. Average vocals here. In addition, with how the pre-chorus feels like another verse, it further extends the tint of staleness that occurred within the verse. 

Overall, a section that sounds too much like the previous one. While a pre-chorus doesn’t necessarily have to hype up a song, it should at least remain different enough from the verse/previous section to prevent listeners from feeling uninterested. Ignoring the faults, however, and this pre-chorus isn’t too bad. The flow of lines matched up the beats very well; Junho’s chopped lines gave a nice, burst feeling that the instrumental had. Slightly above average despite the minor flaws. 

4. Chorus: 7/10 – The chorus. Jun.K is running solo with every chorus in “Go Crazy”.

The play on sounds of “ah” makes a return here. This time, however, Jun.K is rocking a very melodic voice. With some solid vocals here, the ending lines of “aniya”, “nomdeuriya”, and “mariya~” become very soothing and catchy. In addition, Jun.K does add unique note holds during the later lines, such as for “mariya~” and “aniya~”. That allows the melody to further shine and in addition, it allows an exceptionally fast and subtle transition to the post-chorus. 

With the choruses, Jun.K’s solid vocals allows the section to shine. The note holds proved to be lingering and catchy, and the play on sound makes a welcomed return. A solid chorus, but, the instrumental begins to lack here. For other sections, the passive instrumental that is composed of a funky beat reciprocated the vocals well. Unfortunately, in the choruses, since Jun.K’s vocals step up a notch in terms of possessing more energy, the instrumental feels as if it’s lagging behind. Not a large scale issue, but with the instrumental remaining quite dull in juxtaposition to Jun.K’s singing, it causes the chorus to lose a decent amount of power and energy. This leaves a score of 7; above average for a chorus.

5. Post-Chorus: 4/10 – Finally, the part where the key phrase, “Go Crazy”, is heard. I will be critiquing the first post-chorus, which consists of Wooyoung and Nichkhun.

This section comes off as vastly stagnant. In summary, Wooyoung or Nichkhun will say “go crazy” and then the rest of the members add a background vocal reply of “go crazy”. That repeats for 4 lines (technically 6 if considering the format itself). 

That is the post-chorus; very simple and lacking. Considering it is a post-chorus, it does its job of relaxing the song. However, “Go Crazy” hardly had any energetic part that would need this type of post-chorus. It’s an obsolete section minus being able to use the phrase “Go crazy”. Anyhow, this section is lacking; the instrumental was plain, the vocals were average, and the flow is just as stale. A disappointing part that only redeems itself through the use of its key phrase. Slightly below average.  

6. Rap: 6/10 – An interesting rap. The power was there, but the flow and pacing was not as efficient as it could have been. Nevertheless, the rapping did match the song’s theme of having fun/partying. Taecyeon is the rapper in this song.

To kick the rap off, English words were used. “Everybody just drop it like it’s hot” came off as fluent. Focusing on the musical side, it allowed a stronger entry for the rap; it gave a punch but it lacked some flow. Progressing on, his next two lines came off as “exasperated” if I am using that term correctly. In short, he made himself sound like he was running out of breath, but that was to add silliness into the rapping in order to reflect the song’s mood and theme. It may net points for being comical, but for listeners, the rapping didn’t need to include it. Past that, his next two lines were in a slower yet impacting manner; the line endings of “bok” and “dok” came off as another pleasing play on sounds. After that, a slower paced line transitioned the song to the next.

The rapping didn’t possess a solid standard of speed and flow, but considering the general slower pacing of “Go Crazy” as a whole, the rap’s speed can be forgiven. Nevertheless, with words not easily sliding right after another, it almost felt like anything but a rap. On the plus side, the power was there and the play on sounds near the end was great. Overall, unfortunately, very slightly above average is the score. It lacks the needed flow that would allow the rap to excel. Everything else is decent. 

7. Bridge 1: 8/10 – As noticed, I broke up the bridge into Bridge 1 and Bridge 2; a significant shift occurs, and as a result, I felt the need to split it. Anyhow, Bridge 1 is handled by Junho. 

This part comes off as decent. The vocals and instrumental do a fantastic job here. When Bridge 1 occurs, the instrumental takes the typical route of becoming lighter and passive; further spotlight on Junho’s vocal work is created. His first two lines followed an interesting flow. The singing is quite melodic, and towards the end, he emphasizes the final word with some added power. For example, “jeo saramdeurui sonjit” had the final word, “sonjit”, added with a lot more vocal strain. All of this allows Bridge 1 to display Junho’s vocal abilities. Moving on, his final line of “going crazy baby” were sung in a very slow fashion. From that, it allowed an exceptionally smooth transition to Bridge 2 as well as latching on some final vocal power. 

An extremely impressive bridge by Junho. The singing comes off as melodic and sweet, and the addition of slower, straining stretches on final words adds in power to create a slight climatic effect. Not the best bridge on my list, but that doesn’t impede it from earning a solid score.

8. Bridge 2: 7/10 – Taecyeon and Jun.K team up for this section. Bridge 2 proves to be unique; it feels as if it were a pre-chorus transformed into a bridge.

Taecyeon initiates this part. His role here is to provide a background vocal of “Clap your hands everybody, everybody gettin’ all crazy”. Due to his duty, he ends up repeating that for a lengthy duration. That isn’t it, though. Eventually, Jun.K joins in with slower paced and powerful lines of “Everybody knows it, you can’t stop it, baby”. Two-part singing became synthesized from this. 

The background vocals are satisfactory; it leaves a foundation that Jun.K is able to manipulate. Jun.K’s part meshed quite well. His lines were slower and focused on stretching out every word. Combining the two gentlemen’s singing, it leaves the song’s strongest climatic point. Two-part singing with the addition of a final explosive shout at “baby” crafts the climax.

Now, while the section remains solid with the teamwork and powerful lines, the vocals overall aren’t too impressive. Taecyeon’s background vocals are excusable, but Jun.K’s part came off moreover as loathed yelling versus desired and powerful note holds. If Jun.K left an impression of a solid, impacting note hold, that would vastly improve this section. Sadly, his line had power, but the line’s strength were due to sheer shouting rather than the work of very talented vocals.   

Slightly above average for a score. The two-part singing is well appreciated, but Jun.K’s vocals are questionable here. 

9. Conclusion: 5/10 – Firstly, credits to the song producer for her/his decision to make a conclusion that is not simply recycling another song section. What is gleaned, however, is the reason on why most songs do tend to use other song sections; making a separate conclusion is either a hit or miss. For “Go Crazy”, it does end up being a miss, but respectable efforts for attempting to use a new section versus a safer choice of repeating another song section. 

Back on track, it is unidentifiable on who wraps up the song, but that should not be significant in any form. The ending uses an announcer-style concept, similar to Girl’s Day’s “Darling” or TaeTiSeo’s “Holler” (check out my review on Holler if you haven’t!). The difference, obviously, is that this announcer is used at the end. Eventually, the announcer disappears and instead, an echoing and pitched-lowered voice is heard. This leaves a dramatic deep voice effect to match the words of “Slow…down”. At the very end, the edited voice says one more line and then it dies out along with the instrumental. 

Looking at this conclusion, it was on the right track for sure. The first announcer-style part was acceptable; it allowed 2PM to leave a “signature” by saying “It’s 2PM!” and it prevents the instrumental from feeling bereft of vocals. The last part, however, included an obnoxious voice. What would have been superbly better is if the deep voice was not included at all; having the funky soundtrack play out until it eventually faded at the end would have been perfect.

In the end, average for a conclusion. The announcer-style came off as merely acceptable, but the last portion with the lower-pitched voice was not necessary. Having the heavier beats play out would have been the best solution. A conclusion that had its trajectory ruined.    

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – 6 members are in 2PM. The Line Distribution score should be pretty solid. 

Jun.K had all the choruses to himself. He definitely had his fair share. In addition, he had Bridge 2. Not an issue here.

Nichkhun was responsible for the second half of the post-choruses. Furthermore, he also had a part in the second verse. Nothing lacking from him.

Taecyeon had a rapping section along with providing background vocals for Bridge 2. He had a decent amount of spotlight.

Wooyoung was the first to sing with his part during the first verse. Later, he makes a return via handling the first half of every post-chorus. He had his time.

Junho’s spotlight includes handling the first and only pre-chorus. Later, he makes a welcomed return at Bridge 1. He had his time.

Last but not least, there is Chansung. While 2PM was on a solid streak, Chansung did not have as much time. His moments were only during the verses; not very lengthy lines. In comparison to his members, however, his time was not as reoccurring nor was the duration as long. 

Overall, though, this comes out with a near perfect score: 9. Very impressive line distribution is seen here. 

– Instrumental: 6/10 – The instrumental for “Go Crazy” holds its ground. It doesn’t necessarily hinder the song, but at the same time, it doesn’t provide much aid. 

The instrumental comes off with a “disco” tune; it has a funky theme to it. Heavy beats remain the predominate key point of the soundtrack. In terms of meeting its roles, it does some transitional work, especially towards the bridge section. However, everywhere else has the instrumental providing little to no help. When it comes to syncing up with vocals, it lacks there and does impair the song at times, but overall, nothing too major. For the most part, it remained neutral.

An above average soundtrack. Electronic-based with very satisfying and catchy beats. Nothing too appealing nor damaging about the instrumental, it simply fulfills its role. 

– Meaning: 3/10 – “Go Crazy”. An interesting title. Throw in the fact of how the theme remains jocular, I’m expecting the lyrics to be about partying. Let’s take a look through these translated lyrics. Not 100% accurate, but close enough:

Go crazy, now that it’s Friday night,
Can’t sleep ‘til 12, everyone’s calling me
Go crazy, is it night or what?
The streets and clubs are full of girls

Your attractive scent, your moves,
Your eyes drive me crazy
Whisper in my ear,
Your voice takes my breath away ha ha~

Go crazy, tonight
We are determined to go nuts
Just for one night, go all out
Go crazy~

Crazy people (Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!) Go Crazy!
Crazy people (Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!) Go Crazy!

Go crazy, it’s still not over,
This guy is getting ready for Round 2,
Go crazy, all these people
All together, all as one, going crazy

Everybody just drop it like it’s hot,
It’s better together,
Too early to wake up
From this misty trance
Energy is the gift of youth,
Distress is the poison of youth
No tomorrow, no day, but today

Go crazy, tonight
We are determined to go nuts
Just for one night, go all out
Go crazy~

Crazy people (Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!) Go Crazy!
Crazy people (Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!) Go Crazy!

See all their gestures,
The voices of the youth,
My heart is getting hotter
Going crazy baby

Clap your hands everybody,
Everybody gettin’ all crazy
Clap your hands everybody,
Everybody gettin’ all crazy
(Everybody knows it)
Clap your hands everybody,
Everybody gettin’ all crazy
(You can’t stop it baby)
Clap your hands everybody,
Everybody gettin’ all crazy

Go crazy, tonight
We are determined to go nuts
Just for one night, go all out
Go crazy~

Crazy people (Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!) Go Crazy!
Crazy people (Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!)
Go Crazy! (Go Crazy!) Go Crazy!

I did exclude the conclusion, but that shouldn’t be an issue considering the end has no actual meaning. Anyhow, the lyrics can be implied that it’s about partying. The first part does have some flirtatious lyrics about (arguably gender neutral) a woman/man getting infatuated with a love interest; however, as the song progresses, that dissipates away and instead, partying and “Going crazy” and “all out” become the main focus.

There is very little deep and meaningful value to these lyrics. It’s simply about “Going crazy” with partying at the clubs, streets, or wherever else. Disappointing lyrics; this song possesses almost no meaning. At least Hyuna’s “Red” made me speculate on what “Red” meant, but for 2PM’s song, there is nothing to be questioned at all. Weak lyrics.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – For the Choreography Score, I will lean towards a 7.

The dance fits the theme of being silly and having fun, and that works as a double-edged sword. On the side that doesn’t hurt, it allows the song’s meaning and mood to translate into movements. On the side that cuts, it means the dance will be on the chaotic, outrageous side. 

In terms of syncing up to the music, 2PM does a very impressive job. Most maneuvers match up to the beats or, such as in the case of the choruses, to the “wave” of melody. Besides simply syncing up, the different positions and coordinated dance sets were just as stunning. For example, the first verse and Bridge 1 were quite unique. A solid impression was left off from the creativity. The conclusion was also an interesting and humorous part; it definitely matched up to the slower pacing at the end, and it worked well as a finish to the song. 

For what didn’t go too well, the key points aren’t the most spectacular things seen (ley points are the major dance maneuvers repeated, such as the one-foot bounce during the chorus). There may have been a copious amount of different dance parts, but none of them have the needed spice to really stick out. Furthermore, another issue is, as expected, how chaotic it became. As mentioned earlier, this derives from the sillier tone/mood of “Go Crazy”. This issue is most vivid during the post-chorus (the part of “Go Crazy”, so seems reasonable). During the post-choruses, they were all over the place doing minuscule, uncoordinated dances.

Overall, above average. Their choreography comes off as quite fun and upbeat, but it lacks some needed cohesion to place it at a stronger score. Not necessarily the idols’ talent are fault (they’ve proven to be quite adept at dancing), but rather, due to the song’s nature and style.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score) – So in the end, 2PM’s “Go Crazy” comes out with 7/10 or 3.5/5, so slightly above average. Do I agree? Not necessarily. This song, in my opinion, comes off as average. 

Anyhow, “Go Crazy” definitely does induce some insanity into people. The issue, though, is this isn’t the type of “Go Crazy” that means, “do your best, take a shot” as my awesome Freshman math teacher says. This type of “Go Crazy” is the one that induces annoyance. In conclusion, 2PM’s latest comeback doesn’t prove to be too amazing. Average is what it comes out as. Personally for me, ZE:A will probably remain my favorite male group forever. Especially after Junyoung’s brave and respectable act (refer to my Blog Opinion post with him), I deeply appreciate ZE:A even more. If the charming, friendly, and handsome idols aren’t enough, then their incredible singing and dancing talent should be sufficient. 

Anyways, for this review, I managed to topple it in two days. Yes, two. For me, that’s a feat I am happy about considering these days it has been taking me 3 to 4 days to finish a review. For the next review, I will be posting (hopefully) a fully completed show review of “The TaeTiSeo”. If things work out, I won’t need to add “[WORK IN PROGRESS]” to it, since it should be already finished by the time it’s pasted onto my blog. In terms of what’s after that, I have plenty of ideas. Another male group is in mind along with a really interesting song by a female group. Interesting as in it’s a very strange concept. 

As I always do, thank you so much for reading this. Hopefully this proved to be entertaining, insightful, and of course, thought/anger provoking. This is obviously purely my opinion of the song. Feel free to disagree. I hope to instill some thinking into my readers. Anyhow, thank you very much for sticking around. I truly appreciate it, thanks.

The end has come, so it is now time to conclude this review. Stay tuned for a show review of “The TaeTiSeo” and for other songs to be reviewed. Next review will hopefully be put out around Monday, so keep an eye out for it. Continue to “Go crazy” since “it’s still not over”; more reviews will keep coming out. Thanks for all the support and feedback, check back later for “The TaeTiSeo”.

Ailee – “Don’t Touch Me” Review

Ailee – Sudden Illness + Don’t Touch Me (Live Performance)

Ailee – Don’t Touch Me

Reviewed on October 3, 2014

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Personal Message: The first review of October. Another chapter, so let’s keep the pages turning. As promised, I will be reviewing Ailee’s recent comeback; “Don’t Touch Me” is her title song from the album “Magazine”. I’m still in the progress of listening to the entire album, and I have to say, it definitely has the “Queen Vocalist” label all over the place. Anyhow, “Don’t Touch Me” will be the one reviewed. As noticed already from the link, it is once again a live performance with two songs. If I did things correctly, “Don’t Touch Me” should be playing first. Nevertheless, I highly recommend refreshing the video or searching the audio version of “Sudden Illness”; that song should have been the title song. I won’t have time to review it, but again, I highly recommend “Sudden Illness”; it is amazing. 

Other news to cover, I will be quite busy after this review, so reviews may come late (but I’ll be back on track soon enough). I’m going to do my best to cover the whole review in one take; I’ll be posting just my Personal Message section for tonight. That also reminds me, my Archive Page will have to look hideous, but it’s all fine. “Don’t fix what’s not broken”, if only Tumblr followed that saying. And that also brings me to my next point, I am now able to follow back my followers; I was utterly stupid and thought it would screw up my dashboard view, but of course, who would’ve guessed there was a “Posts” section for my own posts. Sorry for everyone that was expecting me to instantly follow back. On the bright side, regardless of whether or not I hit the stalking follow button, I do browse through practically all my followers, so you weren’t ever ignored. 

Enough said about this silly writer, let’s focus on someone who truly deserves the spotlight: Ailee. Actually before I get any further, I heard she did go through some very rough dieting to prepare for this comeback. I have yet to read her interviews on it, but knowing how the K-Pop industry works, my sympathy goes out for her. And honestly, she did NOT need to lose any weight whatsoever; she was perfectly healthy and beautiful before (and still is and will always be; until she does something beyond utterly horrendous, anyways). Not going to get too critical, but I do want to point out how atrocious K-Pop companies can be. For all the ladies and gentlemen out there, remember: beauty is not defined via pounds or body shape; it’s defined by you. Your personality, attitude, intelligence, etc. Appearances are way too pressured in current society. It’s pathetic. To get slightly personal, being raised with such cultural beliefs on beauty, it really does hurt when the ratio of being told “pretty/handsome” to “ugly” is about 1:50. It could be worse, though. At this point I’ve learned to ignore that, thankfully. 

Anyways, back to the music. So much for the earlier “spotlight on Ailee”. Jokes aside, the Queen Vocalist, as I nicknamed her, makes a strong return through her album, “Magazine”. With her title song of “Don’t Touch Me”, she reminds listeners on why she’s sitting at the throne of top singers; her singing is phenomenal. As some readers may know, “Singing Got Better” by Ailee is my opinion of the best song of all-time. Does Ailee manage to topple that this time? Sadly, not quite. If I may be even more frank, it hardly scrapes her previous, insane, beautifully crafted song of “Singing Got Better”. 

With that said, let’s find out why her previous song told the latest song a warning of “Don’t Touch Me”.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 10/10 – Although I don’t find “Don’t Touch Me” competitive with the majority of her other songs, her singing is still near flawless. Correction: fully flawless. As expected, for this song, her versatile vocals are shown off. She’s hitting both the low and high notes with ease, the power from her singing is there, and she adds a lot of energy and flow to the song. Her voice is divine; her vocals are perfect. Whether it’s her debut song of “Heaven”, her extremely energetic, classy song of “U & I” or an amazing ballad piece of “Singing Got Better”, Ailee has consistently proven that she deserves to be ranked as the best vocalist ever. Or at least, tied with Wheesung who is equally as talented as Ailee (check out my review of “Night and Day” to hear the King Vocalist in action).

A perfect score. I’ve been getting stricter with giving high scores, but Ailee does snatch the perfect 10/10 one. Her live performances are exceptionally terrifying (to other artists; breath-taking for listeners) and in fact, after listening to one of her “MR Removed” videos (fancy editing to remove stage music to truly hear what the idols sing; can be very shocking), I once again remain in utter awe.

Ailee is Ailee. Nothing else needs to be said. 

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.86/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Either an 8 or 9. I can’t quite decide, but I think I’ll be leaning towards an 8.

Strong piano-based beats are utilized at the start along with some clapping. While we’re on the topic of claps, Ailee starts chiming in some words of “clap, clap” to match up the beats. Towards the very end, the instrumental completely dies out and quick, softer beats are used to transition the song.

Firstly, this is a solid start; it covers the “standard” role of an introduction. The piano beats were advantageous; both melody and a solid beat were gleaned from that. In addition, Ailee’s lines/words here added some spice of vocals to prevent dullness. On top of that, she managed to reserve her true singing for the upcoming section. The transition was quite solid as well. With a quick fade out and a return of speedy beats, it allows the song to smoothly flow from the introduction to the verse.

Although it fulfills the job of setting up the atmosphere, this isn’t the most appealing introduction. Even though Ailee’s lines did its best to prevent the introduction from becoming stale, nothing can truly cover the plain beats. While it was piano based and thus had a melody attached, it does become slightly dull. Nevertheless, with how the duration was shorter and considering the “clap, clap” words and intriguing piano work, this introduction comes out as solid.

Lots of stage setting is done; the tone and mood are perfectly set. The only issue lies in how the instrumental loses its charm. Thankfully, to address it, “Don’t Touch Me” throws in a lot of spices to keep the appeal high. Solid introduction.

2. Verse: 8/10 – A slow and low start; lower notes were used to augment the steadier pacing and flow. 

This part perfectly fits in with the introduction. This part didn’t come off as too energetic, nor did it come off as too lifeless. A huge highlight on this part is showing off Ailee’s versatile vocals; as mentioned, she is capable of easily hitting the spectrum of pitches. For the first verse, she started her lines on the middle noted range, but towards the end, she stretched down to the lower pitches. This created a catchy, lingering effect in addition to matching the deeper instrumental. Her ending lines of “geojitmal”, “good-bye”, “jatdago”, and “garago” definitely left a delightful tune. Furthermore, by manipulating the lower notes, this allows “Don’t Touch Me” to create some momentum towards reaching the later high notes.

While her deeper lines were intriguing, the verses don’t necessarily have the strongest structure. 4 lines repeat the same pattern of “middle pitch to low pitch”; repetition becomes an issue. Nevertheless, a decent verse. The matching of the instrumental pitches and how her voice trials off on the lower notes leave the verses with a solid score. 

3. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – Considering how most of her songs go, I’m expecting her to unleash her ravaging vocals here.

I’ll claim that my assumption is partially met. 

For her first line of the pre-chorus, she carries on the same melody of the verse; she sings at the middle pitch but descends towards the lower pitch at the end. This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just adding additional build-up. After that line, she finally begins to pick up on power. Her second line ends with her escalating her pitch up at “…tteonagarago”. In addition, she leaves an extremely short, high pitched and energetic note hold at the end. This is acceptable; Ailee uses her stunning vocals to bring up with song’s intensity. Furthermore, at the end of her third line, she throws in another solid note hold with “…geol”. Lots of hype becomes created through this. Finally, to transition into the chorus, she uses an English line of “Get out, get out, get out, get out what you want” (and of course, coming from the States, pronunciation isn’t an issue).

From the vocal standpoint, amazing. In fact, Ailee is hardly showing off what she’s capable of through the pre-chorus; the vocals were just appetizers. Now unfortunately, the pre-chorus does fall short in multiple categories. The instrumental hardly shifted from the verse. It continued to be extremely plain and dry. While this allows further spotlight on Ailee’s singing, it doesn’t aid the song whatsoever. For example, in “Singing Got Better”, the synergy between vocals and instrumental was incredible; each party played off the other and thus, was able to deliver an outstanding musical piece. In this song, however, it languishes from the separated parts. The vocals are amazing, but they become muddled down from the lacking instrumental. Besides the unimpressive soundtrack, the last line is questionable. Ailee was on a proper streak of hyping up the song, but at the last line, it falters. The repeating lines of “Get out, get out” undermine all the stronger notes used. Her final line was weaker and followed a boring, tedious pattern.

To summarize, the vocal work in the pre-choruses are spectacular. Ailee hits impressive, short note holds. What is not as solid is a mixture of the instrumental and the transitioning line. Both impair the score. The instrumental comes off as very stale and the last line ruins the build-up process. 

4. Chorus: 6/10 – For those familiar with Ailee, seeing a 6 for her choruses is beyond absurd. To reiterate an important point, the vocal work in this song is still amazing. She did receive a 10/10 for the vocal score, but of course, pure singing talent does not compose an entire song. For “Don’t Touch Me”, the raw talent is there, but to have a single, cohesive chorus, it sadly falls short. 

During the chorus, Ailee is finally releasing all of her powerful vocals. She’s adding a lot of energy and there are some excellent, shorter yet strong note holds. This is the voice that everyone has come to love; impacting and resonating. Now while the vocals are powerful, it does come across as “blind” power. The crippling factor to this song is the instrumental. It simply doesn’t match up to Ailee’s singing. With an extremely plain, weak instrumental occurring at Ailee’s prime singing, it creates an incoherent and unbalanced section; the vocals are full of intensity, yet the instrumental instills boredom. To once again compare “Singing Got Better” to this review’s song, during the chorus of “Singing Got Better”, the instrumental did an exceptionally outstanding job of syncing up to fit Ailee’s intenser singing. When Ailee picked up on energy, the beautiful instrumental followed suit. For “Don’t Touch Me”, the instrumental doesn’t even touch the standard of the vocals. 

Overall, impressive singing from a sole vocal-orientated lens. Sadly, adding in the factors of the instrumental itself and how the vocals and instrumental conflicted one another harshly, those issues will bring down the score a painful amount. Definitely not “Ailee” standards here.

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – The “clap, clap” lines used at the introduction make a return here. In terms of fulfilling a post-chorus’ role, it definitely does so.

For this section, the “clap, clap” lines definitely helped bring the song back down to a calmer state. This is vital considering the verse is the next piece, and juxtaposing the vocal intensity from the chorus to verse, it is a large gap (intense to calm). Eventually, however, Ailee does sing once again. The singing that happens reflects the chorus’ style; full of energy and power. Although it may seem rather counter intuitive, this manages to work out. The “clap, clap” lines continue as background vocals while Ailee shoots out the same, highly skilled vocal work. This prevents the possible risk of dullness; after all, hearing “clap, clap” tediously would become stale.

While the post-chorus satisfies the requirement of descending the song to a lower energy level, it still leaves a potent, bitter taste that derives from how this section is quite similar to the chorus. While the strong vocals were impressive, it once again came off as sheer and aimless power. In addition, the instrumental still followed the same boring, dull and slow pace that impaired the chorus’ score.

Standard roles are met, but in terms of remaining catchy or possibly redeeming the chorus, the post-chorus falls just as short.  

6. Bridge: 6/10 – So far, judging from how scores are going, this song is on a very scary downhill track. The introduction and verse were solid, but as the other sections are covered, scores aren’t recovering at all. 

“Blind” power seems to be a ubiquitous term for this review. That’s unfortunate since Ailee’s sheer power is what usually directed and augmented a song. Sadly, while the talent and hard work are there, synthesizing a solid section that sports the other, crucial items is not happening. Anyhow, once again, a section that falters.

At the start, the instrumental completely dies down until solely the piano is left. Ailee adds some slower, dramatic lines. This creates some solid build-up. Progressing further, the instrumental transitions to quicker beats and Ailee reverts back to her usual strong versatile vocals. Now towards the end, the lines of “Get out” and repeated to create a final hype towards a climatic moment; “Let me go~” possessed an exceptionally powerful and high pitched note hold. Perfect for hitting the climatic point. Mostly. Power without a proper foundation is worthless, and unfortunately, as seen through the chorus and post-chorus, that issue becomes relevant all over. 

The instrumental did a decent job swapping over to the peaceful tune, and in fact, highlight towards the first moment of chemistry that occurs between the vocals and instrumental. The connection here was solid, but nevertheless, the instrumental felt very lackluster. Since this bridge was aimed towards being a climatic moment versus a relaxing period (example being T-ARA’s “Number 9” bridge; it was a relaxing one versus climatic), the instrumental heavily hurts that. With an instrumental that induces sleep moreover than alertness, it lowers the overall intensity of the bridge. Ailee’s note hold was impressive, although even then, it’s not the most impressive climatic moment ever, but anyhow, it definitely held its own and added lots of power. Due to the instrumental, however, it erroneously undermines the work Ailee did at the bridge. A weaker, stagnant soundtrack does not mesh well with sharp, crisp and energy-delivering vocals. 

A disappointing bridge; Ailee is known to ace these sections, but due to how the song was crafted, she falls short. It’s a shame considering “Singing Got Better” holds a perfect 10/10 bridge. Now that bridge is beyond amazing. “Don’t Touch Me” doesn’t reach her previous song’s magic, sadly. Very slightly above average for a bridge. 

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 8/10 – The last section, the last resort; is there a savior here? We shall see.

The post-chorus is replayed here, however, Ailee performs some two-part singing. As the usual “clap, clap” occurs, Ailee tosses in some melodic and strength infused lines. This plays out relatively well; the structure of the post-chorus brings the song’s intensity down for a proper ending, but at the same time, Ailee is able to give listeners one last taste of her incredible singing. The two-part singing ruptures any possible staleness. In terms of the very end, she ends with a final, solo line of “I’m out…” No abrupt cuts, a perfect closure.

Overall, a solid conclusion. Although a weaker section was recycled, the use of two-part singing compensates it. In addition, the final chorus also contained two-part singing. A solid wrap-up with nothing too extreme. That’s good considering how excessive a majority of the song structure was. A sufficient and pleasing end. 

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Ailee is a solo artist, so can’t score this.

– Instrumental: 4/10 – The downfall of “Don’t Touch Me”, While it definitely remains on the classier side, the instrumental is somewhat horrendous. It fails to sync up to Ailee’s intensity nor does it aid her vocals in any form. In fact, it hinders her singing which is a large issue in itself. “Don’t Touch Me” has a style similar to “U & I” (check it out; I have yet/won’t review it, but I highly recommend it) but unlike the latter, it fails to incorporate an instrumental that reciprocates Ailee’s singing. 

Disappointing for an instrumental, which does come off as surprising considering her previous songs. 

– Meaning: 7/10 – It seems to be a song about a relationship fight. That or telling someone to back off (but that’s obvious, right?). Anyhow, let’s take a look at the translated lyrics. Not 100% accurate (Note: I didn’t manage to include the “clap, clap” parts due to format issues, apologies), but the general idea should be unveiled:

When you say you love me, it’s such a typical lie
The repeating fights, gotta go I say good bye
You meet other girls but tell me that
you slept at home. Please just go

What do you want? Why are you holding my hand?
Just be yourself and find another girl, leave
Leaving you will be good for me
Get out Get out Get out Get out what you want

Don’t touch me because I’m getting goosebumps
Don’t call my name because I don’t wanna hear it
What do you know? You don’t love me
I don’t need you so go away, far away
Don’t touch me

I won’t go back to you
I don’t love you
I’m out! I’m out!

Don’t say you’re sorry, don’t try to explain
That’s enough now, stop before I scream

Oh stupid, think about it, are you that slow?
You will regret losing me who shines
Let go of my hand, I don’t wanna see you
Get out Get out Get out Get out let me go!

Don’t touch me because I’m getting goosebumps
Don’t call my name because I don’t wanna hear it
What do you know? You don’t love me
I don’t need you so go away, far away
Don’t touch me

I won’t go back to you
I don’t love you
I’m out! I’m out!

I said a whole bunch of thorny words
And perfectly turned away
But why do tears keep filling my eyes?
Get out Get out Get out Get out let me go!

My heart aches but love is over
You can deny it but it’s already over
Now forget me and forget the past
I hope you’ll be happy in your own way
Don’t touch me

I’m out! I’m out!

While most lyrics lean towards being gender neutral, this one in particular does focus on a specific lady telling her story. In summary of what the lyrics are about, it tells the story of how a lady and her partner broke up. That isn’t the end, though. Far from it. Instead, her ex-lover attempts to reconcile with her. Of course, however, the lady does not wish to partake in that at all, and thus, “Don’t Touch Me” earned its name from the constant reminders and threats at the ex-lover. An interesting break-up story. From what I’ve reviewed and have listened to, most break-up songs tend to be quite melancholy, very few utilize the different aspects such as moving on or, in this case, remaining strong and confident. 

Above average lyrics. The change of perspective is delightful. In terms of details, however, nothing too extraordinary. 

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Choreography Score: 5/10 – To be honest, I’m quite unfamiliar with witnessing Ailee dance; I’ve come to know her as a pure singer, but of course, I must remember she is capable of executing choreography. 

In terms of her latest comeback song, the choreography remains average.

And before I get any further, if I may add a rant/complaint, although I feel very guilty to be in this category but I must say, this is the strangest stage costume concept I’ve seen in quite a while. And yes, I am adding a negative connotation with “strangest” (but let’s remember, strange is not always bad; strange for the most part is good). I don’t see how the random colors signify anything and I don’t comprehend the hats (and actually I don’t even want to get too consumed by a current discussion of “Ailee revealing too much”). Then again, I’m not Jessica Jung (From/used to be in Girls’ Generation, CEO of her own fashion company) so I am definitely not a fashion expert. 

Back on track, the dance comes out as average. Nothing bad, but nothing too impressive at all. The backup dancers were properly managed; it wasn’t lacking nor excessive.  In terms of syncing up to the song, there were solid matches. It also did an adequate job of keeping the dance on a calmer pacing. This works in both favor to Ailee (easier time singing) and replicating the plain instrumental. Analyzing the choreography as a whole, however, it remains homogeneous to the instrumental: plain. Nothing stood out. Then again Ailee’s singing is the main focus, but nevertheless, the dancing comes out as average. Nothing flashy about it; executed and done. 

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – A disturbing 6/10 or 3/5 for Ailee’s latest comeback song; this is not to the usual “Ailee” standard. As mentioned earlier, her other songs are definitely very solid songs. Sadly, “Don’t Touch Me” fails to compete with the others. The major faults lie in the weaker song structure, which can then be linked back to the poor instrumental.

Ailee’s previous song, “Singing Got Better”, will still remain as the best song of all-time on my list; it’s a shame Ailee’s latest song fails to reach even an 8 for the Overall Score.

To be extremely nerdy use books as a comparison, “Don’t Touch Me” would be “Heart of Darkness”; the writing (singing) is amazing, but the story (song) itself falls short and leans towards the uninteresting and boring side. “Singing Got Better”, on the other hand, would be something such as “Invisible Man”, my personal take on the best book I’ve read (not my favorite; “1984” is my book version of T-ARA’s “Number 9” and Nine Muses’ “Glue”, my personal favorite songs).

Anyhow, I recommend her other songs from her “Magazine” album. “Sudden Illness” is an incredible song. In fact, the link I included has that song at the very start, although it’s a “lost-in-translation” situation where “Love Sick” is the title, instead of “Sudden Illness”. The latter is the official name. 

So I ended up writing over a period of 4 days. I will start doing reviews in a Word Document or in a Notepad (ideas from my teammate/friend). Hopefully this addresses a complaint of reviews being “spoiled”. I will remain quite dormant until this upcoming Friday; I’m booked with a lot of work. It is currently midnight as I type this, and with school being tomorrow, I know I’m going to heavily regret this (but thank Tumblr for actually crashing while I was typing this Overall Score section)

As always, thank you very, very much for reading. I’m sorry this review took a little longer, but again, thanks for all the support. It means a lot. Thank you. 

For those wondering what my next review is, I’m almost done watching “The TaeTiSeo”, so a show review will come out soon enough. In addition, I will review two male groups/artists; I have a few in mind, but I will see if I can find some recommendations. 

Anyhow, thank you again for reading. Remember, “Don’t touch me because I’m getting goosebumps” from all the support and feedback given. And alright, it’s extremely late at night, so forgive me for making the worst usual, cheesy concluding line ever. I’ll just end it with that. Stay tuned. A show review will come out and 2 male groups are in mind for review. Keep checking back!

Blog Reflection: September 2014

Posted on September 30, 2014

I’ll be completely honest, I forgot today was the last day of September. Anyhow, something I’ve planned to do was to make another blog section: Blog Reflection. As the title says, I’ll just be reflecting over my blog (and life?) every month. 

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So firstly I’m still in the middle of reviewing “Holler”, look out for that. Nevertheless, that will mark the last review of September. And actually something to address, I’m currently looking at my archive page and well, Tumblr certainly did an excellent job of keeping things organized. Not. Apparently some time back, blog post thumbnails became enlarged and now the used-to-be, slick and clear archive page of reviews are zoomed into solely the text. This undermines the reason on why I added photos are the start, but what else can be done. I’m still going to add pictures, though. The challenge now is figuring out a way to make my archive page cleaner. Perhaps putting the picture at the very top? I’ll figure it out.

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In terms of how this blog is doing, I’m really, really grateful for its current growth. This month marks a huge jump in viewers; ever since I shared it with a class, I’ve gained a plethora of viewers from different states and even different countries. I guess that class is good luck? Anyhow, I’ve been extremely pleased with an expanding audience. I’m always trying to improve this blog in both ways of mechanical/pure writing and analyzing music/choreography. I also really appreciate all the feedback that you, the viewers, have given. This month was also where I was requested two songs for review; that was something that had never even crossed my mind. I had no idea on where I was heading when I started this blog, but I’m glad I went with it.

In terms of constructive feedback, I greatly appreciate it as well. To be honest, I’ve received multiple complaints before on the topics of typos and grammatical errors. I should actually start to reread my posts versus my current method of quickly scanning it to catch large format errors. As for the grammatical mistakes, I’m still a novice writer at heart; as time goes on, hopefully I acquire better knowledge and skills. I personally believe in constantly needing to grow/improve; if you’re not growing, aren’t you essentially dying at that point? 

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More reflection time. A subject I could discuss could be my current rate of reviews; I’m definitely not as fast when it comes to posting nor am I quick at all when it comes to finishing. Life is my current excuse for that. I allocate my time towards school work/college paperwork, and then I put some time for my E-Sports team. And actually while on that subject, I’ll probably write a reflection of that as well. I may end up retiring after this season, still pondering over that. Since this blog is growing pretty well, I might start focusing on it a lot more. Anyhow, I’ll work out a more consistent review schedule. 

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I will now mark this as the end of a short reflection for the month of September 2014. Thank you for reading this blog. I really appreciate every single viewer. Thanks. I’ll keep the reviews coming and I’m glad the majority of people find this blog entertaining (for some reason, but hey can’t complain and I’m quite thankful). I have a list of upcoming songs ready, so carry on to the next month of October. Another month, another chapter, as the cheesy saying goes, anyways. Keep sticking around, and once again, I cannot thank you enough. Thanks for all the love and support; I will do my best to improve.