Fiestar – “One More” Review

Fiestar – One More (Dance Practice)

Fiestar – One More

Reviewed on February 22, 2015

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Personal Message: As promised, a requested review would be started promptly after my previous one on Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love.” Fiestar’s “One More” is the song that has been sent in. Before getting any further, a big thank you to the person who sent it in. I appreciate sent in messages, be it requests or simply comments and feedback. A more intimate moment is possible due to those messages, so thank you to everyone for sending them in. For other news, it has occurred to me that February possesses not 30/31 days, but rather, the odd number of 28 (and the exception of potentially 29, though it’d be interesting to hear why February is an outlier in terms of the amount of days). That said, though it is simply, at the very least, two days off, those two days are potential writing sessions, and thus, I will be suffering from the lack of those extra days (and I celebrate Lunar New Years so less writing time). That said, meeting 6 reviews may not happen, but if plans work accordingly, after this review, I have two reviews that will be highly focused, efficient, and hasty in order to potentially compensate. I will do my best to not go off on tangents during those, though in this review, I will explain why I do go on them.

Continuing the latter topic, before diving into the incredible ladies of Fiestar, I would like to, once again (for those who dread these moments, feel free to skip to the review/before it hardly begins), take a moment to address an important topic: discussing topics. Correct, the phrasing is awkward; the important topic is the simple idea of discussing topics, as odd as that may sound. Now to be more specific, what I deem a “discussing topic” varies, but for consistent readers of this blog, many are able to pinpoint where my tangents derive from; a lot of the more social-related topics are not obscene, random, unrelated ideas that I put forth, but rather, many of the tangents come from a song itself, be it due to questionable lyrics, news involving a group, offensive remarks given to a group, or more. For those who are indeed curious on why I begin these discussions, the answer is simple: it is because I am reviewing Korean Pop, and thus, that correlates to pop culture, even if it is Korean pop culture in specific.  

Pop culture matters. Whether awareness is present or not, pop culture represents “popular culture,” and as a result, what is presented in pop culture is simply a reflection of, as its name, “popular culture.” Utilizing K-Pop and an example to bring in clarity, there is a reason why AOA (while I feel guilty for constantly using them as examples, I absolutely love and look up to these ladies, hence why I constantly use them) has their concepts in a very directed manner. “Miniskirt,” “Confused,” or “Like a Cat,” and other songs, all, in truth, follow a more mature and slightly sexual demeanor (and actually, I will hopefully, and if not, in another review, address “sexy” concepts and such and give my full opinion and breakdown). This is the result of the general, main and popular culture considering their concepts as appealing and whatnot. Now, as I stated, pop culture is a reflection of the main culture in a society, be it Korean or even American and other places. This unveils that whatever is depicted in pop culture media, such as AOA’s choreographies and songs, it is due to the general public rendering such as desirable. As a result, whatever makes it to the screen can arguably accurately be a keen gauge on what the general population deems acceptable. If AOA’s concepts were purely disliked, they would not even maintain a solid stance in the K-Pop industry, and thus, be non-existent.

Progressing to the final point, realizing that my example is horrendous, my main message is pop culture reflects what the general population believes. In other words, and this will be more extreme yet, unfortunately, true in many cases, for instance, if females are depicted as pure sexual objects in music videos, then what that represents is that the society that features the video does, indeed, follow a standard, popular belief that females are sheer objects (and no, “Miniskirt” ‘s music video is not objectifying, even if highly sexual; after my personal deconstructing, I find it rather, against all odds, empowering to females, though this will be another topic, or potentially, a bonus “Music Video Review” post). If a society was repulsed at such an idea, then sexualized females would cease to exist, or not exist in the first place, as the popular culture would reject it from entering. Tying back to the very first point, the reason why I bring all these important discussions, such as this one, is because when it comes to pop culture media, be it Korean Pop or American Pop, or Japanese Pop or whichever, many people become highly seduced by the flashy dances, the incredible singing, or a catchy music video. This is the scariest part of pop culture media; it has the ability to influence in a subtle manner. Unless if one takes a critical approach, many hidden messages can indeed become normalized (such as objectifying females, for example). This is why I attempt to bring out these types of discussions, even if completely unrelated to the musical/dance aspect of the K-Pop song. Due to digesting pop culture (or potentially anything in life), it is absolutely vital to keep a critical mind and to criticize pop culture when it steps out of boundaries, such as when offensive lyrics or music videos occur. This is my stance and answer to why I bring in seemingly random discussion points before my reviews. Pop culture is definitely enjoyable, and in some cases, does bring a lot of positive influences (for example, as I always mention, my biggest role models in my life are T-ARA’s Soyeon and former Nine Muses’ Sera), but when the negative influences become ignored, that is when pop culture is dangerous and transitions from pure entertainment and positivity to pure hypnosis. Of course, I focused primarily on music, but pop culture expands to practically infinity; movies, slang, pictures, fashion and makeup style, and a multitude of other things are included. Also, apologies if this lost a lot of cohesion, it is genuinely hard to summarize the importance of pop culture (and that I am a mediocre writer, but, with time and feedback, slowly yet surely improving).

On topic with this review, as stated, Fiestar’s “One More” has been the requested song. Many viewers will most likely not recognize this group; they are quite unpopular and rarely mentioned. Nevertheless, though I have yet to hear other releases, I am hoping their popularity increases towards the future. These ladies definitely have a lot of potential in terms of mechanical skills; their singing, and specifically, dancing, are quite extraordinary. The ladies of Cao Lu, Jei, Linzy, Hyemi, and Yezi released this song during July 2014, and from what I know, they have not released “One-ne-ne-ne one more” song afterwards. Despite that, however, this song still holds well, and hopefully, towards the future, they will release “One More” song and continue the current streak left from this song.

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – For “One More” specifically, Fiestar proves to have decent vocals. A wide range of diversity exists. Singing styles fluctuate; slower and somewhat softer singing is heard, but the opposite holds true with impacting vocals. Sections are also equally varying; each section possesses its own charm and characteristics based on the vocals. Ignoring the variety and layout of how the vocals are, in terms of how their singing in essence sounds, Fiestar, despite being unpopular, have solid singing potential. Every line proved to be either exceptionally melodic or soothing, but in certain cases, both. For the most part, every member holds her own. Now, in terms of what slightly hinders their vocals, unfortunately, the post-chorus section showcases relatively weak vocals, especially when compared to the rest of the sections. Though the section is melodic, it is not nearly as vocally pleasing as other parts. Furthermore, while there may be a copious amount of variations in the vocals, that in itself does not compensate for the quality of execution. For example, while soothing and powerful singing do exist, when glancing at a single component on its own, it does not hold as utterly outstanding; the soothing vocals could have had a stronger melody attached, and the more impactful singing could have more properly gauged and balanced in order to fit more, for a few examples.

Nevertheless, above average vocals exist in “One More.”       

– Song Structure: 6/10 (5.88/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 6/10 – For this review, we will run on the assumption that every member handles the “hana deo” (means “one more”) phrase. As a result, for the introduction, every member participates.

To kick off this section, I will release a complaint: it becomes rather vexing to hear “hana-na-na-na hana deo” “hana deo” time. Brushing aside my horrible Korean pun, to already address the weaker aspects to the introduction, it lacks a phenomenal amount of variety and depth; “hana-na-na-na hana deo” (to clarify, the “na” is simply stuttering; an English, direct translation would be similar to “One-ne-ne-ne one more”) becomes repeated 4 times. In addition, as mentioned in the Vocals grade, the post-choruses suffer vocally; the singing utilized for the phrase lacks melody and remains overly mundane. Combining all of those factors, a disaster is fabricated: a tedious, lifeless phrase is sung for a repeated cycle of 4. Considering an introduction’s task is to instantly snatch attention, “One More” fails to offer an enticing start. However, ignoring the mechanical perspective, the section when viewed from a structural lens is significantly better. Firstly, while the phrase is prone to dislikes, unveiling it at the start does expose listeners to the song’s key phrase, “one more.” Furthermore, the instrumental, even if in the mechanical view it lacks appeal (minus the bass), it provides an excellent pacing that leads to a natural transition and build-up towards the upcoming verse.

Overall, slightly above average for the introduction. The concept behind the introduction is solid, and in certain ways, successful, but in terms of it being an utterly viable choice, sacrificing the sound of the introduction for the song as a whole could have been possibly avoided.

2. Verse: 6/10 – Hyemi and Jei handle both the first and second verses.

Addressing the positive side, unlike the introduction, the song’s key phrase is properly manipulated during this section; “hana-na-na-na hana deo” may be agitating on its own, but once complemented with the verses’ lines, the phrase becomes a vastly beneficial component. With a standard line occurring in a melodic, slower paced and soothing tone, due to the key phrase being the sheer opposite and following promptly after, contrast is created. This contrast is what augments the section. For example, although the sung lines are not too melodic, due to the “hana deo” phrase being bereft of such, the earlier lines are now seemingly exceptionally melodic due to a side-by-side juxtaposition. Additionally, the key phrase now becomes tolerable due to the addition of varying lines. In terms of how the verses sound mechanically, the lines, individually, are not highly infatuating. In the overall vision of the section, however, it still sounds delightful when factoring in the verses’ structure. Nevertheless, the key phrase retains its usual lack of melody, and the standard singing that occurs lack their own degree of melody and charm.

Overall, slightly above average for a verse. A solid layout that creates perfect contrast aids the verses, but the sections falter when it comes to the individual lines that do exist.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Linzy and Yezi are responsible for the first and second pre-choruses.

Peering at the structural features of the pre-choruses, the instrumental takes a more lively and energetic stance in order to create the standard pre-chorus hype towards the chorus. In terms of the lines, though variety is limited, they are still captivating and follow excellent progression; Linzy’s lines follow a soothing and lower pitched style, and later Yezi’s lines are quickened and sung with a higher note. As a result, instead of instantly and roughly swapping over to a more energetic stance, due to how the lines are handled, the progression to the pre-choruses’ higher intensity, and ultimately, chorus, becomes more fluent. In addition, the ending line of “No no no no” provides a blatant yet suitable transition to the next section. Focusing on this section’s sound, both members offer stunning vocals. “Honey Vocals Linzy,” her self-proclaimed nickname, proves why such is the case; her singing showcases an exceptionally melodic tune, and more promisingly, the style in which she sings adds the extra layer of being soothing and catchy. A lower, soothing and sulkier style is used, and thus, it causes her line to linger. For Yezi, her singing is equally solid. Melody is in place, and instead of replicating the soothing style of her fellow member, a crisp and clear style becomes opted for.

Above average for a pre-chorus. The structure follows a natural and fluent progression, and the sonic component is equally charming as both Linzy and Yezi disclose solid vocals.   

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Hyemi and Linzy are a duo for the first and second choruses, but for the final chorus, Jei takes over Hyemi’s lines.

Linzy’s nickname, for this section, becomes questionable; rather than “Honey Vocals Linzy,” “Pepper Vocals Linzy” would be more accurate and further proof on how horrible I am with making names. Firstly, however, to follow a chronological order, on the subject of the choruses’ mechanical sound, Hyemi’s lines carries both power and tune; her singing retains the usual pleasing melody that has been established, but with the chorus taking place, a more potent level of vocals is heard. For Linzy, she adds to that power, hence my own nickname for her of “Pepper Vocals”; exceptionally strong vocals are heard from Linzy, and homogenous to Hyemi’s lines, even with a high caliber of power, “One More” ‘s tune is still kept in place. In terms of how the choruses’ structure holds, similarities between this section and the previous one are noticeable. Recalling the pre-choruses, proper progression was a vital aspect. Likewise, for the choruses, the same concept is recycled; Hyemi’s lines set a singing trend, but not to an absurdly high degree, however once Linzy arrives, the same trend is manipulated, but in difference, to a much higher scale via even stronger vocals.

Above average will hold as the score. The singing remains impressive, and equally, the format of the choruses are respectable.

5. Post-Chorus: 5/10 – Since it is predominantly the key phrase and another hook being sung, I will hold Fiestar as a whole responsible.

In essence, the post-choruses are practically the introduction. To glance over the solid aspects of the post-choruses, in sight of “One More” as a whole, the post-choruses grant a suitable and natural pause in order for the upcoming verse to fit in; considering that the chorus and even pre-chorus were at an exceptionally energetic level, the post-chorus acts as a mediator and bridge to give the following verse a smooth transition. Besides such, for solely the section itself, diversity has been attempted. The key phrase of “hana deo” returns, but unlike past times, another hook becomes involved: “lalala” is added. Now, for why the post-choruses are not too solid, both the mechanical and even the structural aspects fall short. Mechanically, as noted, the key phrase is lackluster due a languished melody and tedious nature. Sadly, the addition of “lalala” does not redress the key phrase, but rather, it further escalates the issue; “lalala” follows the same format of “hana deo,” and thus, the already excessively insipid key phrase becomes twice more dull. This also relates back to the structure’s fault; variety was seemingly added, but in reality, “hana deo” simply becomes emulated via “lalala.”  

Average will be the score. In truth, the section is highly addictive. After all, “lalala” and “hana deo” become easily lingering and hummable. However, when factoring in the lack of diversity and the weaker singing that takes place for the hooks, both those aspects bring the section down.   

6. Bridge: 6/10 – Cao Lu and Linzy cooperate for the bridge.

A split rating occurs for the bridge in that each component, mechanical and structure, are utter opposites. Mechanically, the bridge is decent. On the other hand, structurally, the bridge heavily falters. For the first component, the singing that takes place is admirable. Cao Lu’s singing follows an extremely calm and soft stance, and further, it syncs to the instrumental’s transitioned style of being serene as well. For Linzy, “Pepper Honey Vocals,” a combination of her official nickname and my own, remains accurate in that her initial moments showcase the “Honey Vocals” through offering sweet, charming singing. However, as her lines progress, a much stronger presence is given, and towards the very end, a climactic yet short note hold occurs to fit “Pepper Vocals.” Ignoring the solid singing and even the instrumental, what causes the bridge to suffer is simply the placement and format of it; “One More” follows a highly energetic and intense style, and therefore, any sudden, highly quiet section would be deemed as unfitting. Such is the case with the bridge. The singing may be impressive, but this bridge is overly tranquil and breaks apart from the established trend of “One More” as a whole.

In the end, the bridge will still possess an above average rating on the sole basis of Cao Lu and Linzy. Solid vocals were at play, but the setup of the bridge contradicts the song as a whole.

7. Rap: 4/10 – Yezi takes the spotlight for the rap, and technically with the key phrase being included, everyone else assists her.

Yezi has proven to be a decent singer as seen by the pre-choruses, however, when it comes to rapping, her standard singing skills do not necessarily translate, and specifically here, they certainly do not. On the subject of her rapping, the mechanical aspect of it is rather poor. While tints of being impactful and prominent exists since, after all, Yezi did comically and fiercely tell her members to “go away” during “Weekly Idol” ‘s Random Dance Play, other aspects such as melody, pacing, and fluency are absent. As a result, for a rapping section, it does not possess the usual characteristics of a rap, and while that in itself is not necessarily negative, for the traits that were possessed, it was solely having power. Digging the hole further, for the structure, the rapped lines are practically all repeats: “It don’t matter if you don’t like me” and “If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ‘bout me“ are the only lines (excluding the final) used, and though lyrics may differentiate, they all followed the same style and format. Additionally, with the key phrase of “hana deo” lurking around and occurring after every line, repetition, ineffective, monotonous repetition, becomes an issue since the rap itself is already tedious enough.

Slightly below average will be the score. The rapping itself is lacking, and the structure further accentuates the deprived diversity.

8. Conclusion: 6/10 – Interestingly, instead of recycling a section, “One More” contains its own conclusion (though arguably, it is simply solely one line from the post-chorus). Everyone sings for the end.

The conclusion, mechanically, is weak. After all, it is one line from the post-chorus, and thus, there is a lack of melody and minimal time to develop any delightful sound. Now, in terms of the structure, plenty of services are granted; the conclusion leaves a solid, memorable impression, and additionally, the song is properly concluded. With a single line from the post-chorus, “One More,” if it has already not, definitely ingrains its key phrase to listeners. Also, due to a lack of instrumental, more emphasis becomes placed on that single line. Being a conclusion, leaving a lasting impression is desired task to meet, and this song manages to reach that. Switching over to how it serves in terms of closing the song, “One More” does not end suddenly nor abruptly; with the energetic chorus being the prior section, the conclusion provides a proper cut to the section in credit to a fading instrumental and a line that offers a slower, calmer trend.

Slightly above average will be the score. Though it does not sound appealing, due to excellently wrapping the song, it is an acceptable conclusion.

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – 5 members exist in Fiestar. An easy high score should be earned.

Cao Lu does, sadly, lack an exceptionally large volume of lines. She possesses purely one line at the bridge. This will heavily impair the score considering, in essence, she was excluded for a vast portion of the song. Solely 1 section was given.

In Jei’s case, she had the verses and final chorus. With being involved in 3 sections, there should be no issue unless if the rest prove to have an excessive amount.

Linzy, considering she is the main vocalist for Fiestar, might have a slightly excessive amount of lines. To prove or disprove that guess, her moments included the pre-choruses, all the choruses, and the bridge. In total, 6 sections involved her. An unwelcoming disparity is being shown, and if the rest of the members have significantly less lines, Linzy’s distribution will be considered excessive.

Hyemi’s spotlight includes the verses and first two choruses. 4 sections are given to her, and overall, this should be the perfect quantity for Fiestar. This amount should be the proper quantity. No issues exist.

Lastly, Yezi had lines at the pre-choruses and rap, and in total, that equates to 3 sections. Identical to Jei’s situation, now that every member has their number of sections, it can be seen that she is very slightly lacking.

Before giving an overall score, a final factor to account for is that the post-choruses and even the introduction include every member. Nevertheless, that does not entirely redeem the current disparity that exists. Even with Linzy being a very capable singer, overly dominating a song is not desired. Slightly above average will be the score considering everyone but Linzy and Cao Lu had roughly the same lines, and with the post-choruses, everyone has some equal distribution. If Cao Lu participated in one or two additional sections and Linzy lost one section, a much higher score would be possible.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – The soundtrack in “One More” on an individual level is not too strong, but when paired up with the vocals, it does a phenomenal job of complementing the ladies’ vocals. Sonically, the instrumental follows a standard pop style. Catchy beats, and uniquely, an interesting electronic beep sound are utilized. Furthermore, a delightful bassline appears throughout the song. While those three components are not necessarily bad, with excluding the vocals, much of its charm is lost; the soundtrack sounds plain by itself and in many ways, rather repetitive. In terms of how the instrumental plays out with the singing, it becomes a major asset to “One More” as a whole. Reciprocating the vocals is perhaps the most solid aspect. The singing’s intensity is perfectly followed. Examples include the choruses showcasing the instrumental at its fullest, for the verses, the bass and beats take a slower approach to accommodate the singing, and much more.

Nevertheless, while solid synergy exists between the vocals and soundtrack, due to a weaker performance individually, the rating will hold as only slightly above average.

– Meaning: 6/10 – With a title of “One More,” it opens many questions, and specifically: “One More” of what? Perhaps the lyrics will follow a flirtatious story, or by chance something completely unrelated to love. Anyhow, through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, the story should hopefully uncloak:

One-ne-ne-ne one more
One-ne-ne-ne one more
One-ne-ne-ne one more
One-ne-ne-ne one more

To the same place
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
The same course
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
We do what we do every day
I’m just going to let loose
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)

You and I, alone
In a dark room with three lights
Feels like there’s a lot more to lean on
Are we getting excited?
This moment feels a little more special
Say no no no no

We’ve been on the same level since yesterday
You and I, alone from sunrise to nightfall
If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain
because I think

Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more
Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more
Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more
Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more

Why aren’t you catching up?
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
I’ve come so far without you
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
You said you were good, so why are you done?
We both need a little more

You and I, alone
Into our little room
One of us knows how to do this right
Now is perfect, one, two, three
No no no no no

We’ve been on the same level since yesterday
You and I, alone from sunrise to nightfall
If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain
because I think

If you’re satisfied here,
I won’t be there next time
What if my love fades out
with time?

It don’t matter if you don’t like me
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ’bout me
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
It don’t matter if you don’t like me
(One-ne-ne-ne one more)
If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ’bout me
Hey what you say? What you wanna do?

We’ve been on the same level since yesterday
You and I, alone from sunrise to nightfall
If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain
because I think

Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more

Before continuing, though later I will further elaborate at the “Critical Corner” section, I will give pre-knowledge of how, from what I have heard, this song was rather controversial (what I say may be heavily inaccurate, however, as I am not positive on what exactly occurred). In fact, it was questionable to the point where many broadcasting stations (radios, live performances shows, and more) banned this song. After revising the lyrics or explaining the lyrics, or even both (once again I am unsure on the minutiaes of this), the song was eventually allowed to be broadcasted. A vast majority of broadcasting stations banned the song since, according to them, the lyrics were highly inappropriate and alluded to sexual activities. If the lyrics were indeed changed, they are perfectly acceptable now and, though some still claim it alludes to sexual activities, I highly disagree (and at the “Critical Corner” I will explain why the current lyrics are still rendered by a few as sexual).

On topic, “One More” does not tell the story of a couple engaging in sexual activities, but rather, two people who are close but, strangely, are not officially a couple. The main character, a lady or man, is expressing their frustration at how their love-interest is still “on the same level since yesterday” even though they should be a couple. After all, the two have been attending “the same place” and “[doing] what [they] do every day” for what can be implied as a while. Even with a more intimate time such as being “alone” together, the main character “feels like there’s a lot more to lean on,” which, from a non-literal perspective, implies that the main character knows the two can be potentially closer to one another. The lady/man also further expresses their frustration by “If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain because I think.” Ignoring the strange lost-in-translation grammar at the end, this line unveils how the main character foresees them losing the ability to be a couple “because [the main character] [thinks],” and more accurately translated, the main character simply uses their thinking, and thus, is able to predict the future outcome of their current path. Finally, the rap does an excellent job of summarizing the lyrics’ story: “It don’t matter if you don’t like me” and “If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ’bout me.” The first line explains the main character’s burning desire, though selfish and one-sided, to be a couple with the love-interest. In fact, in order to be thoroughly an official couple, the main character also brushes aside the idea of an unclear relationship; an official proposal and such must occur since even if the lover “thinks [the main character] is [theirs],” that is not the case until they are clearly and officially stated as a couple.

Overall, while I appreciate varying details and that the provided lyrics are vague and debatable versus “spoon-feeding” listeners, the lyrics only hold as slightly above average. The details are changed, but in essence, the same idea is retained. Furthermore, the story, overall, is not highly developed and focuses moreover on the main character’s irritation towards their love-interest resisting to be a couple.

As promised, for the “Critical Corner,” I would like to address the potential of the lyrics being sexual (and later explain, in the overall large scheme, why this is a problem). Firstly, though I heavily disagree, with, embarrassingly but for the sake of being critical, taking a sexual lens and analyzing the lyrics from such, the allusion towards sexual activities is not wrong. Accurately, in truth, nothing can be wrong about lyrics, and in opposite, nothing can ever be right about lyrics. Relating back an idea and concept my incredible English teacher presented, as long as sufficient and sound evidence is utilized, any argument can exist. In her case, arguing the less popular side of things gave her lots of joy. For “One More,” even if the sexual perspective is not as rife (or perhaps my interpretation is the one that is unpopular), assuming proper reasoning is used, everything and anything is potentially correct. Bringing in another concept presented by another amazing teaching figure, my professor, an interesting aspect to songs (and other mediums) is not necessarily what is presented, but instead, how the viewers/listeners consume it and break it apart. That said, though I disagree with the lyrics alluding to sexual activities, it is still a viable interpretation.

For some debate, I will showcase the portion of the song that is often deemed as sexual and explain why that is not the case. The second verse and pre-chorus, if glanced at with a sexual mindset, could easily be seen as that way. The second verse reveals: “You said you were good, so why are you done? We both need a little more.” Now firstly, the sexual interpretation is, and the amount of awkwardness and embarrassment I feel to even be discussing this is extremely high, the love-interest is not sexually satisfying. However, rather than viewing this as a poor sexual experience, I interpret the subject of the line as the level of love; the main character asks why the love-interest is done with progressing further the relationship, not sex. The main character, who is highly attracted to the love-interest, believes they “both need a little more” of love and such to truly become a couple, not the need for more sexual activities. For the second pre-chorus, the line exists of: “One of us knows how to do this right” and “Now is perfect, one, two, three.” In context, this is in reference to the couple being alone in their “little room.” With a sexual mindset, the “this” becomes sex, and the “now” means that the timing for sex is perfect. However, rather than that, my personal take is this section simply talks about proposal. With the two being in their “little room,” a more personal and intimate moment exists, and thus, a proposal setting exists and relates to the perfect timing. Adding on, it is not sex that “one of [them] knows how to do,” but rather, the act of proposing. Point is, with the current state of the lyrics (perhaps the first draft was explicitly sexual), alluding to sex is a possibility, but as seen, the song may not be about sex at all, but instead, simply a main character desiring to be an official couple with her/his love-interest. Once again, though, the lyrics can indeed be about anything.

Moving aside from definitely the most awkward writing I have ever done, with hopes of that being the last, I would like to transition to a more serious topic. The issue I have with the sexual interpretation is not necessarily the fact that it is “wrong,” but it does promote a common idea often time seen in media and society in general: sex. Sex, sex, sex. And more sex. Too often, the idea of sex is pushed as if it is epitome of happiness and joy, and though there can be a discussion on the amount of joy sex can bring, that point further supports my following claim: sex, in itself, is highly advertised, yet what sex is, is not advertised. The idea of sex presented is often solely the action, and I am also including the multiple ways a couple can have sex. Nevertheless, regardless of how one has sex, that action in itself is often time what is highlighted through society and media and such. What is not ever mentioned nor discussed is what sex truly is: an exceptionally intimate, close and bonding moment spent between two people. Unfortunately, the lack of disclosing that idea and the overly pushed idea of how sex is simply an action creates multiple issues. Pure emphasis on body parts and objectification/sexualization are the results of such, and going further, incidents of sexual assaults such as rape are also created because of pushing the idea of sex as a pure action. After all, rapes would not occur if people were taught that sex is an intimate, enjoyable moment for both people, not simply the action itself since, during rape, solely the action of sex occurs. There is no moment of affection during rape. Overall, for my message, remember that sex is more than the action of however people choose to have sex; sex is an exceptionally close and intimate moment between two people in which both should be willing to do and that both people should have an enjoyable moment. I could also begin another discussion of “sexiness” versus “sex,” (and that “sexiness” is different from “sexualizing”) but for the sake of time and the review, I will save it for another time.

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Choreography Score: 9/10 – I believe I wrote the longest I have ever written for the Meaning section, but I will blame coffee for that. On topic with Fiestar’s “One More,” the dance is incredible. Deciding between an 8 or 9 is difficult. Deconstructing the choreography, in focus of syncing, “One More” unveils solid connections between movements and song. The beats were matched with maneuvers, and further, even the flow of the song can be seen as synced. The accuracy and degree of syncing is exceptionally precise; every movement relates to the music, and the emphasis placed per movement fits accordingly to the song’s intensity at the given point. In terms of key points, this category is the song’s best aspect. Every section was catchy and unique on its own, and towards the second half of the song, backup dancers are included and further bring in variety. Additionally, the detail for each key point is exceptional; many layers are added, be it backup dancers, the formations, or transitions.

Overall, with the perfect syncing of movement, matched energy, and the key point component of every section remaining unique or having high yet suiting complexity, a very high score will be granted. “One More” is perhaps the first song I have reviewed where, despite the song itself being on the weaker side, the dance holds its own and proves to be utterly outstanding. A multitude of dynamics, variety, and excellent syncing allows “One More” ‘s choreography to shine.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – Miraculously, though the Song Total Score is not too high, the Choreography Score heavily compensates. As a result, 8/10, which stands for a solid and good, becomes the score. I partially agree; I believe it is above average, but considering how superb the dance is, this score is acceptable. The song itself, personally, is pleasing, though once statistically and systematically broken apart, is only slightly above average. Nevertheless, overall, I find it a worthy song and that Fiestar has a lot of potential. I will be looking forward to future releases by them, and I hope they continue to show off excellent dancing.

As always, thank you very much for reading this. Thank you very much to the reader who sent this in, I truly appreciate this request. I also hope you enjoy this review and disagree/agree with my personal rating of the song. Like I always say, I appreciate everyone’s time and support, so thank you once again for reading this review. Also, apologies for a slower release. I have been busy with school work, and I had a day celebrating Lunar New Years. Nevertheless, rather than rushing, I took my time in order to deliver higher quality versus quantity.

In terms of upcoming reviews, to accelerate my pace, I have two songs in mind that should be exciting as both are recent comebacks. f(x)’s Amber and 4Minute’s comeback will be covered after this review. Stay tuned for them, I expect those reviews to be rather interesting in multiple ways. With this being the end, keep checking back for “one-ne-ne-ne one more” review. I will do my best to publish the two upcoming reviews. Thanks for reading.

Juniel – “I Think I’m In Love” Review

Juniel – I Think I’m In Love (Music Video)

Juniel – I Think I’m In Love

Reviewed on February 14, 2015

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Personal Message: Before this review begins, a few updates will be given. Firstly, I have received a review request, so thank you very much to the reader who sent it in (and thank you for being patient). It will be the following review after this one. Secondly, I have created a few English subtitled videos. For those curious, feel free to watch one: AOA’s “Nail of Queen/N.O.Q” Behind-the-Scenes (truthfully, I have been recently obsessed with nail art). I can definitely see myself creating more of these videos. I have a few more lined up, and hopefully through trial and error, the videos improve.

Pushing aside technical updates, as stated, a ballad that would suit Valentine’s Day was in mind, and also assuming I was dedicated as of the time of writing this sentence, this review will be published on the exact day of the holiday (I am writing a few days prior to the holiday). That said, whether you have a partner or not, I hope Valentine’s Day is a great day whether it is any other casual day, or for those celebrating it, a cheerful, loving one. Now, in terms of my personal activities for the holiday, enjoying dark chocolate, potentially coffee, and certainly, a sweet and gentle ballad of “I Think I’m In Love” are my plans. Juniel, a solo artist under FNC Entertainment (readers may recognize that its the same label company that homes AOA), released this ballad towards the end of September 2014. Although she is moreover unpopular, her singing holds well (or at least, for solely this song; I have yet to hear her other releases) and deserves more attention. I am also reminded, to address the link, it is indeed the music video for “I Think I’m In Love,” and with there being no choreography, the music video follows the standard protocol of, simply put, being a video. Nevertheless, for what is beneficial of the music video, it is perhaps the sweetest, most adorable music video I have ever watched lyrics are provided (though not 100% accurate).

Digressing to the music video itself, for a story, I had an interesting incident with this video and a friend. While I admittedly was very, or arguably more properly worded, excessively excited, infatuated, and joyful with watching the video, a friend did not quite reciprocate the same feelings; her comment, in summary, went along the line of “Why are you so happy to be watching a ‘chick flick’ video?” Of course, to give disclaimers, in no way am I attempting to offend and degrade my friend, and in fact, many points stated will be repeats of what I did tell her. Secondly, though I heavily disagree with her stance (and many other ones, and if I recall properly, other reviews went over a few different arguments we had), it still is a valid opinion, and regardless of how much I may detest it, her idea still deserves to be respected, acknowledged and understood.

That said, I will first challenge an interesting label that is overly and wrongly utilized: “chick flick.” Before even discussing the issue with “chick flick” related media, the terminology is exceptionally absurd, and, more crucially, offensive. As some may know, the term “chick flick” refers to films, or in this case, simply videos, that are orientated towards female viewers due to a romantic plot. Strangely, with a specific audience in mind, “chick” becomes the word to capture the audience, the gender of females. This is completely wrong and insulting; instead of “female movies” (though even then, I would still heavily combat that label), females are turned into not humans, but rather, animals. Using the term “chick,” be it for “chick flick” or simply “chick,” implies a lady is a baby chicken. Thus, this label of “chick flick” is incredibly wrong due to possessing “chick” as no lady should ever be rendered as simply an animal. More upsettingly, often time “chick” in general, let alone “chick flick,” is utilized over proper pronouns when that should never the case. Interestingly enough, though I am similar to “I-don’t-know-slang-AOA’s Choa” typically terrible with tracking pop culture slang, I am positive on the fact that boys lack an equivalent term to “chick.” This further emphasizes how it is more degrading, and if “chick” was truly a compliment, it would make sense for males to contain their own equivalent label. However, due to the absence of such, it creates a one-sided label that, overall, leans solely towards offending females, whether harm was intentional or not when saying such. Point is, do not utilize the term “chick” when referring to females; even if it is meant as a compliment (then again, if “chick” is the sole vocabulary a person knows for complimenting a lady, that is another discussion), on the subtle, subconscious level, it is more than a synonymous term for female, it is a highly dehumanizing term. Additionally, even the term “chick flick” should be evaded as, for one, it contains “chick,” but furthermore, labeling a type of medium as solely for females prompts another vital discussion: there is no such thing as gender restrictions; we have been socialized and taught the idea of gender restrictions when, in reality, it is purely an abstract idea. For the sake of progressing the review and addressing “chick flicks” as a concept, I will not further elaborate this current point. Perhaps later in the review (or in other publishings) I will address this, but to give a minimal glance, as mentioned at the beginning, I, a male, have been getting highly interested in nail art and, pitifully, a few people are rather repulsed at that idea due to the falsely generated idea of gender restrictions.

Anyhow, to tie back to the primary idea of “chick flicks,” I will discuss why, as a concept, these types of medium should be aggressively challenged. To relate this current review back, I will claim, and keep in mind a critical mindset, this music video for “I Think I’m In Love” is, potentially, emphasis once more on potentially, sexist. In fact, even if I lose numerous readers of my blog I will also state, this music video is potentially more impairing than the highly controversial video of AOA’s “Miniskirt.” Now that readers are plotting for how to shorten my life span puzzled, or even defensive, I will clarify my points. Firstly, on the personal level, I do not hold “I Think I’m In Love” ‘s music video (nor “Miniskirt") as sexist as there is not enough background in the video to make such a claim, and later, I will certainly expand on why the music video in its current state cannot be sexist. Nevertheless, for the more important discussion, for media that does identically follow the concept of “chick flick,” those ones are for certain sexist.

Firstly, in essence, here is how a “chick flick” film, video, story, or whichever medium, carries out: a lady is living an average, dull life. She is not necessarily the most cheerful, but definitely she is not satisfied with her life. That is until a certain incident: she meets a boy. This male is not an ordinary one, however, he is a prince (not literally, though at times that may be the case). The lady’s entire life becomes changed due to this male; she is now full of glee, she possesses more confidence, she is now officially pretty, her skills become augmented, and overall, her life has meaning. Pausing momentarily, keen readers may object my layout via claiming there is a lack of love in my presented linear depiction of “chick flicks.” In reply, my response holds that this is how “chick flick” mediums play out when stripping it from its plot, fancy editing, and whatnot. So on track, a message, a repeated, ubiquitous message, is presented: a lady is not “complete” without a male. “Chick flicks,” in its ultimate and true form, is why I heavily challenge them in addition to the label itself. Females should never be advertised and subjected to this highly pathetic, worthless idea of needing males. A lady by herself is “complete”; on her own, any female is absolutely charming, pretty, intelligent, and her happiness stems not from boys, but instead, herself and her own pleasures. This, in the end, is my own personal message on why I am against “chick flick” mediums.

Now, before I, if I had already not, ruin a reader’s Valentine’s Day, I will redeem the day. Hopefully. While I am against “chick flicks,” I am in full favor of romantic mediums. Genuine, romantic mediums. Also notice, instead of saying I adore “chick flicks” or “female mediums,” I am claiming that I adore a gender-neutral, simple genre of “romantic mediums.” Tying back this review once more, “I Think I’m In Love” is my romantic medium. As promised, I will explain why it is not offending (but, as a critical person would, it is possible to argue that this video is indeed negative). Due to no dialogue between the characters or background on the lady character (Juniel herself as the actress for the music video), it cannot be determined on whether the “chick flick” trend follows; the lady character could already be in her current, cheerful state, regardless of the male character existing or not, but vice versa, she could have been the depicted “chick flick” lady that was “unwhole” without the male. Since I am leaning towards the earlier suggestion, I assume the lovers were both individually happy, but now being together, they get to express that and the newly acquired bond of loving one another. Secondly, to clarify a point, the idea of romantic plots are not bad at all, it is the “chick flick” idea that showcases females as “unwhole” without males that presents issues; that idea and concept is what is harmful, not the idea of love and being cared for by a lover. In fact, in this music video, some may notice the lady character is indeed being commonly taken cared of, and though people may correlate such to the idea of “chick flicks” and males being relied upon, the other side is forgotten: females, if they, on their own choice, so desire to, nothing is wrong with being cared for by their love-interest. As long as the lady, by herself, is truly herself and “whole” on her own, there is no issue. Nothing is wrong should a female who is truly “wholesome” desire her partner wiping her lips for her, for example. A threat occurs solely when she is incapable of, following the example, wiping her own lips and requires the male to do so for her. In this music video’s case and exploiting my presumed background, the lady character is her own being, but simply desires to have her partner do that favor for her.

If all my arguments become exceptionally confusing, huge apologies. It has been a few days since I have wrote in general, and thus, unexcusable excuses will be made. Nevertheless, I desperately hope it is clear enough for readers to understand the larger picture of issues I presented, and vitally, that readers commit their own part of, if opinions are matched with mine, doing their share by not utilizing the terms of “chick” or “chick flick,” and by simply halting those who do use those terms, such as close friends, perhaps co-workers, and more. Of course, people may disagree, such as my friend who heavily opposed my proposed ideas, but at least both parties have gained a new perspective.

Finally addressing the song itself (once again, forgive me for getting slightly too sidetracked, though I strongly believe in people being critical), while “I Think I’m In Love” holds my favorite music video, ignoring the video component, for the song itself, it is not necessarily the strongest mechanically. In terms of the song itself, it is perhaps one of the weaker ballads I have heard. On the positive side, the lyrics to it are rather meaningful in that it addresses an aspect to love that is overwhelmingly underwhelmingly discussed: physical beauty. More will be discussed at the Meaning section. Anyhow, lyrically I thoroughly enjoy the song, but in terms of how the ballad sounds in a musical sense, it is not the strongest. To add one final piece to all of this excessive discussion, I sincerely will confess to readers that “I Think I’m In Love”; the person who has earned my heart and love is none other than you, the reader. Whether you are a consistent reader of this blog, a weekly one, or even if this review is the first you have read, I want to share my gratitude and, since it is Valentine’s Day, my love as well. Anyhow, it is time to truly begin the review since readers are painfully cringing. Juniel may believe she is in love, but similarly, “I Think I’m In Love” with her ballad. Key phrase: I think I am.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (6.75/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – In focus of the vocals, on a sonic level, it holds decently. Juniel unveils a soft, harmonious tune. Notes are on the higher spectrum, but nevertheless remain delightful. For what holds as her strongest vocal point, stability proves to be astounding. With consistent and reliable singing, it allows the ballad to have a constant and balanced flow of melody. No moments exist where one section is overly melodic and another one lacks tune. Furthermore, besides adding to the melodic aspect of the ballad, due to her style of singing, the overall tone to it becomes created; her gentle vocals creates the loving and romantic atmosphere. Now, unfortunately, what impairs Juniel’s singing is the lack of variety. While the vocals are stable and balanced, a missing yet vital component is diversity. Every section was too akin to the other; the verses, pre-choruses, and even choruses follow a similar style. The only difference that exists is a change in power, but in terms of the overarching flow and melody, it all remains stagnant.

Above average will still hold as the score. With a very stable, soft and melodic voice, Juniel has the mechanical skills, but sadly, in this song, the structural layout of the vocals hinder her full potential.  

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.33/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 6/10 – In opposite to the vocals, the structure and concept of the introduction are solid, but the mechanical sound of it does falter. Firstly, addressing the strengths, both the duration and style aid in its effectiveness. The length of it is a perfect amount; the instrumental has time to uncloak itself, but rather than taking additional time to fully develop, the section promptly ends before the entirety of the soundtrack, such as other instruments, becomes disclosed. In terms of the style, unlike a vast majority of other introductions, whether vocals are included or not, “I Think I’m In Love” follows an unusual path. Rather than having the instrumental sounding crisp and clear via a main, distinctive instrument or sound, the ballad opts to utilize a more subtle soundtrack. This heavily benefits the song as the atmosphere is instantly established. The lighter and less prominent instrumental creates the gentle, almost fantasy-like mood that reflects the ballad’s story of a couple’s genuine love. For the drawbacks of the introduction, as mentioned, through peering at the section from a musical lens, there is little pleasure from soundtrack. Though peaceful, solely an introduction aura is felt; the song aspect to it becomes negligible as the serene tone is overly emphasized. If this were a movie, an incredible introduction it would be, but considering “I Think I’m In Love” is indeed a ballad, an introduction that sets the stage as well as granting some musical delight is expected.

Slightly above average holds as the score. The stage setup is still fantastic and noteworthy. Perhaps adding some additional dynamics to the solo instrumental would revise the score.  

2. Verse: 6/10 – Biasedly, I admit, I adore the verses, but taking a realistic and neutral stance, the verses are not quite the most captivating section. Being a verse, development, especially in ballads, is a priority. In the case of “I Think I’m In Love,” the requirement becomes met: Juniel’s singing, a slower paced and calm style, allows proper development to take place as well as offering a soothing tune. Additionally, the instrumental replicates the vocals, and thus, augments the verses. What holds the verses back, though understandably, is once again, how dull the section becomes. Although the singing and instrumental are solid, there is minimal variation in the delivery of such. A change of pacing, melody, or another aspect would vastly benefit the verses. Even with following a slower paced, constructing manner, variation should still be included.

Slightly above average is the score. The developing trend that occurs is excellent, and the singing and instrumental play out well, but with being deprived of fluctuation, be it for the singing, lines structure, or even instrumental, the verses become weakened.

3. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – Interestingly yet unsurprisingly, the pre-choruses follow another standardized convention; with this section, hype is created in simplistic, anticipated ways. Intensity is heightened in that the instrumental becomes amplified, most notably in pacing and addition of more prominent beats, and the vocals homogeneously follow through with a quickened pace and a transformed style that leans towards moreover power than gentleness. While this method may be considered mundane, unequivocally, it is still effective at creating build-up towards the chorus. Highlighting how the pre-choruses sound, the vocals, in regards to both structure and sonic perspectives, are respectable. Juxtaposed to the previous sections, diversity is noticeable. A few lines possess the usual soft demeanor, but especially towards the end, stronger and more impacting vocals become released. In terms of the vocals’ structure, otherwise more clearly phrased the lines’ format, there is enough variation to prevent dullness. For example, the final line offers both excellent fluency fluctuation and transition; “Start” adds a pause which not only indicates a blatant transition, but furthermore, for the song itself, a change of pacing adds diversity into the section.

Overall, slightly above average will sadly still be the score. Though the vocals are definitely improved when compared to previous sections, when peering at the pre-choruses at a whole, the execution of the sections are plain.

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Unlike the prior sections, the choruses do fare well. Despite being rather lengthy, the choruses do a fantastic job of synthesizing every component of the song; the vocals are finally at their prime, the instrumental becomes lively and lovely, and with the structure, a multitude of assortments becomes heard. For the vocals, instead of the previous style of practically whispering, Juniel is singing with properly scaled power. Her singing remains prominent and impactful, but not overly potent enough to ruin the established trend of tenderness. With the instrumental, it reciprocates the vocals in that it also amps up; the pacing is hastened to complement Juniel’s singing, and likewise, extra layers of instruments are added to give the soundtrack its own strain of strength and complexity. Lastly, the structure is phenomenally improved in contrast to the other sections. Diversity is abundant: line length varies, and the vocals waver with power and melody so that every line appears differently, for a few examples.

Above average will certainly be the score. Mechanically and structurally, the ballad’s choruses are sound.

5. Bridge: 7/10 – Individually, the bridge on its own can be labeled as exceptional, but when accounting for how it fits in the large scheme of the song itself, it is rather contradicting. To address what is solid, the instrumental and singing hold well. Firstly, the soundtrack allocates attention towards Juniel, but the manner in which it conducts that is impressive. Pauses are utilized at the beginning to, blatantly, sync with “stay with me,” but on the subtle level, the empty instrumental gaps create emphasis on what does occur: the vocals. In addition, even progressing after such, it provides a consistent, bass-orientated instrumental. With the bass being the highlight, vocals become the main spotlight as the bass is solely providing forth a foundation. Switching over to the vocals, power is the main focus. Being a bridge, this section marks a climactic point, thus, stronger vocals are foreseen. Melody and strength intertwine to deliver a promising section in terms of vocals, and with the note hold holding notably well, and factoring in the instrumental, the bridge is seemingly very solid. On its own, the bridge is definitely solid as every main component proves to be outstanding, but the prevalent issue appears when positioning the bridge next to other sections; “I Think I’m In Love,” as a song/ballad, followed a soft and placid trend, but with the bridge, unlike the chorus that kept its power in proper limits, it is overly too impactful for the song as a whole.  

In the end, due to how solid the bridge is, even if unfit for the song’s overall trend, the section will miraculously hold at above average. An 8 would have been easily earned if some of the power was restrained.

6. Conclusion: 6/10 – Though the conclusion is technically the chorus, I find it more proper to leave it as its own section. Clarifying what I am considering as the conclusion, the choruses have a lasting line of “Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh.” This is what I am gauging. In focus of what is excellent, after a more energetic chorus, and certainly an arguably overly vigorous bridge, having a conclusion that would drain out excess energy via a calming, lengthier duration is a proper choice. Now, while the song is properly settled, when it comes to leaving a lasting impression, the ballad fails. The instrumental could have been played out for few more seconds, but the song ends almost abruptly. Due to such, the instrumental that would have served as the final remnant for “I Think I’m In Love” dissipates away, and the song is left with a somewhat rushed ending.

Slightly above average is the score. The song is correctly pacified after more intense sections, but following through with a proper final ending was not met.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Juniel is a solo singer, so this will be excluded.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – Contrary to previous reviews in which many ballads have earned a relatively high score for their instrumental, Juniel’s ballad does, sadly, fall short. In cooperation with the singing, the instrumental accomplishes its role. Support is granted for the more intensive singing or even the more tranquil moments. Proper correlation is in place; the vocals’ intensity are utterly matched by the instrumental, as seen by, if not all, a vast majority of the song’s sections. Additionally, ignoring how it relates to the vocals, the soundtrack exceptionally crafts the song’s romantic and loving tone. With the used instruments being calm and eliciting peace, such an atmosphere is gleaned. Swapping to where the soundtrack flounders, on its own, although granting the ballad’s tone, it is not the strongest instrumental in the musical category. A clear main instrument, let alone melody, was not present, and while subtle leading instruments are not necessarily negative, when it comes to how the instrumental holds on its own, it becomes a hindering factor. On the flip side, of course, the vocals become more prominent and highlighted due to a very passive instrumental.

Nevertheless, only slightly above average holds as the score. The role it serves is fulfilled, and Juniel greatly benefits from the soundtrack, but in terms of critiquing how the instrumental sounds by itself, it does not hold as strongly.

– Meaning: 8/10 – If the song title is not a clear indication of a love story, or at the very least, a love related story, nothing else would be. “I Think I’m In Love,” and also for those who watched the video, seems to point towards a very romantic and sweet story. To find out the exact story, these Korean-to-English translated lyrics will uncover it. As always, not 100% accurate, and interestingly, there may be some differences between these lyrics and the video’s (overall, they are still identical in meaning):

Some day morning, I smell the mocha coffee
As if I’m waking from a good dream, I start my day
Suddenly, my heart starts to flutter
Your short message wakes me up in the morning

A trembling that’s fresher than a mojito
A feeling that’s more electric than a lemon
Start, love is coming

Did I fall in love because I’m pretty?
Or did I become pretty because I fell in love?
As I hum in front of the mirror,
my heart is getting so excited
What should I call you now?
Is it embarrassing to call you baby?
I want to tell my heart to the whole world
Start, spread the rumors
I think I’m in love

Some day morning, the day we kiss
I start to imagine feeling as high as the sky

Protect me like a guardian angel
Like a genie in a lamp
Start, love is coming

Did I fall in love because I’m pretty?
Or did I become pretty because I fell in love?
As I hum in front of the mirror,
my heart is getting so excited
What should I call you now?
Is it embarrassing to call you baby?
I want to tell my heart to the whole world
Start, spread the rumors
I think I’m in love

Stay with me, your careful confession
I think you know my feelings, don’t hesitate
Hold my hand~

Is everyone like this when in love?
I guess everyone will become pretty when in love
As I think of the confession you said last night,
my heart gets so excited
What should I call you now?
Is it embarrassing to call you baby?
I want to tell my heart to the whole world
Start, spread the rumors
I think I’m in love

Personally, in honesty, I completely adore these lyrics. For what “I Think I’m In Love” depicts, a lady or gentleman is simply expressing their romantic feelings for their love-interest, or more accurately labeled, partner. Love, in the form of pure joy and happiness, is the main focus of the main character. She/he shares how much their partner excites them; their “heart starts to flutter” from a plain short morning message, or after a “kiss,” the main character feels as if they are “as high as the sky.” Details also point that the couple has very recently been together. After all, it explains the excessive amount of love and passion for their partner, and it creates much ruminating for the main character. For example, the main character asks if he/she “[fell] in love because [they’re] pretty,” or perhaps, the truth is “[they became] pretty because [they fell] in love.” Adorable and sweet details also exist, such as the main character pondering over what to label their partner, and curiosity on whether calling their partner “baby” would be proper or not (as a note, “baby” might actually be “sweetie”; the Korean word for it could mean a plethora of things, but the idea is the same).

In summary, ignoring my bias for these romantic stories, a solid score will still be earned. The lyrics possess many diversive details, and the generated story is intriguing, lighthearted, unique, and simply sweet. A very different take to the usual concept of romantic stories.

Though this ballad’s story is very positive and full of love, a critical stance still needs to be taken. Therefore, for the “Critical Corner,” it will carry on. A subject that is worthy of discussing is the main character’s conflict: “Did I fall in love because I’m pretty? Or did I become pretty because I fell in love?” While implicit, an important message is positively seen: beauty is not solely physical. The current conception of beauty is that it is purely physical; body image, hair, clothing, and more, are the pushed ideas for how beauty is gauged. Unfortunately, it is one thing that the standards set for physical beauty is absurdly unrealistic (and this is a topic I would love to discuss), but secondly, focusing on solely physical beauty conceals other, exponentially more important beauty. To sum up the other beauties in this world, a very simplistic, unostentatious label can be used: non-physical beauty. What that beauty consists of expands for a lot, such as attitude, personality, intelligence, humor, work ethics, and an abundant amount of other aspects. Disturbingly, with physical beauty being utterly advertised and solely pushed, the non-physical beauties as listed above, are completely ignored and that becomes pitiful and troublesome as, in the end, the non-physical beauty are indeed true beauty. This idea, whether subtle or not, intentional or not, is presented by Juniel’s ballad, and I respect and admire the lyric composer for adding this component that challenges the current social norm of beauty. As in the case of the song’s lover, he/she is, indeed, “pretty” due to falling in love, and the opposite stance is false as the main character did not fall in love since they happened to be physically pretty. Physical beauty should never be the catalyst for attraction, and while there is the opposing argument of how physical beauty can be attractive, to utterly love, to love in general, does not solely mean finding a person’s physical beauty captivating, but rather, both components of physical and non-physical as attractive. Love should be initially founded on non-physical beauty, or at the very minimal, a mixture of both physical and non-physical beauty, but at the end, the latter becomes the most important in a relationship.

I could perhaps begin another discussion on the issues with having physical beauty set as the beauty norm, and even other aspects such as why, in the first place, physical beauty is even established as the norm, but considering the review will become excessively off-topic, I will save that discussion for another time. Overall, my final message is similar to this ballad’s: physical beauty should not, is not, true beauty. Real beauty is a mixture of physical and non-physical, but the non-physical aspect to beauty should definitely be seen as the norm. After all, nothing is “sexier” than a person who is exceptionally positive and hard working and such. For another side note, I believe the term of “sexy” should definitely be challenged and reconstructed to be applicable to non-physical aspects, and that even if for physical aspects, it should be expanded to be less sexually-orientated (it should be used for “sexy nails,” for example, versus other highly inappropriate uses). But of course, there is the downfall of how the word could still link back to being sexual, and thus, contributing to the issue of certain societies being overly sexually-orientated (a very huge problem). However, once again, that will be a discussion for another time.

Anyhow, others may disagree, and I do accept other positions as there are infinite angles to view an object (or a subject) from. Nevertheless, while my personal background may be a driving force for my current beliefs (the need to be physically pretty is pressured, and as a result, I challenge such), I do hope my words are taken into consideration and that readers take a critical mindset to think of this seldom discussed topic.

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Choreography Score: X/10 – “I Think I’m In Love” is a ballad, and thus, a dance is not expected, and in this song’s case, non-existent.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Bringing this review back to the ballad, with solely the Song Total Score being factored in, Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love” finishes with a 7/10, which indicates above average. Personally, I hold the song as slightly above average, but since Juniel’s singing is decent and the lyrics craft a solid story, it is perceivable on why the current score was earned.

As always, thank you very much for reading, it means a lot to me, and since it is Valentine’s Day, I would like to express my love as well. Truthfully, I was afraid of not publishing this in time, but against all odds, it will be on the day of the holiday. I have had my fair share of Valentine’s Day in the form of dark chocolate, and in fact, fair may be an improper word as concernable would be more reflective. Jokes aside, thank you once more for reading. For those curious, my next review is one that has been requested, and considering it has been a while since I last received a requested review, I will prioritize the one I was given. It will be an exciting song to review, so stay tuned for it (and to the requester, thank you for your patience, I will publish it as soon as possible).

This review took two days to write, though in terms of the amount of hours it took, I had to invest a hefty amount of time away from other activities. Nevertheless, writing is an enjoyable task, and I will do my best to improve the quality of reviews in both mechanical writing and analysis. I am currently slacking in terms of my review rate, and with a goal of 6 reviews, I am slightly anxious. Perhaps an album review will be created to compensate. For other news, I have a few more English subtitled videos on the way, and once those are finished, I will halt releasing more until more time is freed (feel free to check them out).

With all of that said, this will be a proper place to conclude. Happy Valentine’s Day for those celebrating it, though pitching in my personal opinion, remember to prioritize love over consumerism and materialism. For those not celebrating it, feel free to spoil and love yourself. Keep in mind to not overly spoil yourself with chocolate, however. Once more, thank you for reading, and I wonder, “What should I call you now? Is it embarrassing to call you baby?” It probably would be, so I will leave the current label of beloved readers. Stay tuned for an upcoming review that will cover an unpopular group. Keep checking back.

Hyorin and Jooyoung – “Erase” Review

Hyorin x Jooyoung – Erase (Dance Practice)

Hyorin and Jooyoung – Erase

Reviewed on February 7, 2015

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Personal Message: Many reviews are coming and amazingly, I decided to organize all my upcoming reviews. A vast majority of songs for this month have their review preemptively outlined, and thus, I will hopefully save time. Unlike the previous month, February will be showcasing new artists, and, as promised, more male artists. On the subject of male artists, I am ecstatic to review a song where the group, or more accurately phrased, the duo, comprises of both gender; Hyorin and Jooyoung, two phenomenal, exceptionally hard working, talented and pretty singers, have collaborated on the song “Erase.” To already address the link, it is their official dance practice video, but interestingly, the song is different: this is the stage performance version. The difference between that and the standard audio is the exclusion of a rap; Iron, a Korean rapper, was featured in this song. For the sake of live performances, however, it is understandable on why that section was removed (Iron did not attend them, from what I know). As a result, the second pre-chorus is reused versus it being the rap.

Overall, though, there are no significant differences from either version as both are excellent. If analyzing the lyrics, however, the removal of the rap does change the meaning in that both characters are at “fault” versus solely one of them. Clarification will be at the Meaning section (in short, in case I forget, the rap showcases the male character’s utter sexism flaw being that he, based on interpretation, cheated on the lady). Actually, thinking over the rap, I am glad this version removed it as it was rather offensive; “you’re just a toy that was in last season” was the line to reflect the male character’s frustration at the lady character, and without getting into an exceptionally long discussion, the male character’s character becomes explicitly unveiled. Though, to clarify, this was not composed in terms of the song claiming that, but rather, the character in the song expressing that (in terms of lyric details, I found it to augment the story as it provided depth to the characters). In general, to address that line, no male, or female, should ever objectify their love-interest, even a former one. No one is a “toy” that is meant to be used and thrown away; every human is, as said, a human worthy of proper respect and such.

Focusing back on the duo, many readers will probably recognize Hyorin. She is from Sistar, an extremely popular and successful group (the other ladies of Bora, Soyou, and Dasom also hold their own high popularity). Additionally, she is often time labeled as the “Queen Vocalist” of the K-Pop industry, but I personally render Ailee as that. Nevertheless, Hyorin is, using measurement as a metaphor, purely one centimeter or even one millimeter away from Ailee; Hyorin is practically as talented as Ailee. Comparing the two, in the end, is pointless, however, as both ladies are exceptionally incredible and both deserve their own separate admiration and respect for their skills and accomplishments. Anyhow, to address the gentleman of Jooyoung, though I am unsure, I believe this is his debut. Despite being new, he has showcased a high tier of skills; his dancing and vocals are on par with experienced idols. I hold high expectations for his future works, be it another collaboration or perhaps even solos (he is by far capable of singing and dancing on his own).

Now, to digress on the subject of Hyorin and specifically Sistar (and, as some loathe my digressions, feel free to skip to the review now), I have been, once again, consuming more media via their reality show of “Sistar Showtime.” As anticipated, the show simply showcases their more personal lives, such as revealing Soyou’s gym routine, Dasom’s common activity (that many can relate to) of watching television for hours, and of course, their genuine bond and affection towards each other. The latter: an issue. Strangely. Hyorin has been receiving some negativity with the way she acts. Being the more upholding, upfront and authoritative figure among the members, she presents a stronger presence and tends to be rather blunt with words. This has led to her being labeled “rude” and, inserting my personal and slightly jocular phrase filter of goodness-forbid, other terms that can be concluded as “rude” yet are exponentially more, ironically, rude. Since she is close to her members and does indeed possess the leader role, being blunt towards them should not surprise viewers. In many cases, she shows “blunt love” in that she may reveal embarrassing facts, but it will be as a joke and, as any viewer would agree, in the end, she does love her members. Perhaps I am being overly critical, but, as I have been keen on gauging reactions, it does appear to be that female groups are moreover criticized than male groups.

Before defensiveness locks into place, let me shed a simple yet realistic comparison: a male idol that appears to be very serious and, due to his leader role in his group, a leaking authoritative aura versus a female idol that appears to be rather solemn, and due to being the leader, a released commanding vibe. Now, I will discuss the general reactions I have gauged. The male idol: a leader, a person who watches over his members, a great inspiration. The female idol: mean, uninterested, a person who probably abuses and harassess her members, a person that needs to be more cheerful and fun. Interestingly, though the diction I utilized varied, I described both the male and female idol as the same, yet surprisingly, the general results yield utter opposites. This is my message: despite both idols having identical demeanors, the female idol faces heavier judgement as a higher standard is set and expected from her. How this relates back to “Sistar Showtime” is it can be directly translated over; viewers are assuming the worst for Hyorin, and, while I am certain people will get defensive at this claim, if she were a male idol, I remain confident in that her criticism regarding her stronger, upfront personality would cease or be, at most, exceptionally marginal. Overall, as a final point, this, unfortunately, stretches beyond K-Pop; in societies where males are indeed favored, females face the challenge of needing to not succeed a basic standard, but rather, an excessive one due to their gender. So while, if anything, this reminds readers to not be heavily critical of female idols, this should be expanded into life in general. Do not overly scrutinize a female be it her appearance, how she acts, and more, due to her being a female. For a differing example, let us utilize females and gaming. Should she be mediocre, sexist remarks leak as “girls cannot game,” and even with performing well, sexist comments still prevail such as “not bad for a girl.” On the basis of their gender, ladies have their skills predicted when, most blatantly, that is completely false and inaccurate. Dexterity is the reason, not gender (and in fact, the best player on my team is a female). Even the sheer opposite of assuming versus underestimating occurs. Make-up skills, for example, are often automatically assumed for a female when, once again, gender does not grant those talents. Unusual, absurdly high standards or false assumptions are always set for females, and that sole idea is what everyone should consider, and more importantly, challenge via not contributing and by confronting and halting those who do offer those microaggressions.

Hopefully readers take into heart that and, regardless of whether similar comments have been made or not in the past, remaining critical and changing current behaviors to not be discriminative should be the goal. To finally return to “Erase” (apologies for a very long digression), it follows an interesting genre. In essence, it fits into ballad, but overall, other genres are slightly branched into. Nevertheless, “Erase” is an extremely solid song, and out of the many recents ones I have been listening to, it currently holds as the strongest. The vocals, structure, instrumental, and even the choreography, for examples, are all exceptionally promising and to a high caliber. I foresee higher grades given for “Erase.” That said, with the two talented, stellar idols of Hyorin and Jooyoung cooperating, let us hope our memories of this song do not “Erase.”  

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Song Total Score: 9/10 (8.6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 9/10 – Considering Hyorin is involved, a high score should be expected. But, of course, she is not alone; Jooyoung is accounted for, and thankfully, his vocals hold equally well. Both of them offer versatility for their singing: lower yet higher notes are heard, the style ranges from a slower, silkier tone to one of power, and the melody holds as fluctuating and infatuating. Now, for what secures a higher score, due to the dynamic of “Erase” involving two main singers, the duo’s chemistry plays an influential, vital factor. In “Erase,” Jooyoung’s and Hyorin’s synergy becomes unveiled by how perfectly meshed their vocals are. Sonically, their voices fit according to one another. Throughout the song, sections that utilize alternation become fluent and natural; little contrast exists when they exchange turns singing, and thus, the vocals become collaborative versus combative. Furthermore, for moments where unison singing occurs, a prime example of the duo’s chemistry is disclosed. Neither one of them necessarily take the lead, but rather, both of them are equally simultaneously singing. No singer undermines the other, both are heard and thus, due to each of their individual, highly stunning vocal skills, the song overall becomes greatly enhanced.

Individually, Hyorin and Jooyoung are high tier, adept singers, and this song proves such on the mechanical level. In terms of being a duo-based song, hearing their excellent chemistry prevail further boosts the score. A higher score will be given.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (7.57/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Though the main spotlight is on the instrumental itself, Hyorin and Jooyoung offer minimal vocals.

For an introduction, besides setting up the song’s atmosphere, the method in which it does so remains phenomenal. With the introduction’s structure, the vocals and instrumental are both leaked, but with remaining vague due to, in the case of the instrumental, slower pacing, or for the vocals, pure note stretches and humming, heavy anticipation towards the song becomes created along with setting up the overarching tone. Now, the method in which the introduction executes remains charming in itself. The slower beat snaps and piano melody complement one another and sound utterly delightful, but with the addition of vocals, the same trend of remaining slow yet melodic replicates; Hyorin’s and Jooyoung’s humming and such were as tuneful as the instrumental, and with both components of vocals and soundtrack remaining solid on the individual and wholesome level, the introduction becomes vastly augmented.

The standard role of setting the stage is met, and with the extra factor of the introduction properly connecting the vocals to instrumental, a noteworthy score will be given.

2. Verse: 8/10 – Jooyoung handles the first half of the verses while Hyorin receives the remaining. Minimal unison singing does occur, however. The second verse remains fully identical.

Many aspects of the verses can be deemed as excellent. Firstly, addressing the sonic perspective, the vocals and instrumental continue to establish their excellence. Jooyoung’s lines remain soothing, tuneful, and even traces of sadness accompany his singing. Addressing Hyorin, her line remains equally soothing and melodic, and in contrast to Jooyoung, a higher pitch range is gleaned. For the instrumental, the snaps and piano from the introduction return, additionally, however, the bass of “Erase” arrives. With the three main components of the instrumental together, a welcomed outcome occurs; the snaps and piano continue to be tuneful, but the newly introduced bass provides a supportive foundation for both the vocals and the snaps and piano. Even by itself, the bass is prominent and offers its own niche to the song. Transitioning over to the structure, the verses follow incredible alternation. A unison “hello” occurs by the duo, but then solely one of them sings. After a line ends, however, the “hello” appears and a new line takes over along with potentially a different singer. Due to this alternation and unison word, variety is created as well as providing subtle aspects to the couple’s synergy, be it their coordination or simply how well their voices sound against each other.

With multiple aspects remaining stunning, such as the structure itself or mechanically the vocals and instrumental, a higher score will be given.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Jooyoung is responsible for one line. Hyorin follows suit. Afterwards, both are simultaneously singing.

Focusing on the slightly weaker side of the pre-choruses, the structure lacks some depth; Jooyoung takes one line followed by Hyorin who also possesses one line, and though there is unison singing for the third line, structurally, nothing holds as compelling. The individual lines had no distinctive property, and unfortunately, the unison singing was simply them singing at, coincidentally, the same time. In terms of what does grant the pre-choruses its stronger points, the vocals still remain charming and, likewise, the instrumental can still be rendered as captivating. Ignoring the mechanical side, the process in which hype towards the chorus is created is admirable; considering “Erase” follows a ballad’s pace, instead of having the development towards the chorus accelerate or increasing the song’s intensity, the sheer opposite of further slowing down the song becomes the utilized tactic. Drawing an example, during the unison singing, “yeah” was sung and dragged out to bring the pacing to a relatively sluggish pace, and though the sole purpose appears in accentuating the duo’s lower notes, the decrease in speed is what allows proper buildup towards the chorus.

Overall, though the lines’ structure remain plain, they still sound pleasing and furthermore, the pre-choruses’ do a fantastic job of hyping the song for the upcoming chorus. Above average will be the rating.  

4. Chorus: 9/10 – For the entirety of the choruses, Jooyoung and Hyorin are singing as one.

From the start, I will claim the choruses are the song’s strongest section, and considering that I seldom give 9s for a score nowadays, this in itself should indicate how incredible this section is. The choruses showcase the vocals, instrumental, and even the duo’s chemistry at their prime. Vocally, Hyorin and Jooyoung are exceptionally melodic along with having traces of prominent, stronger singing. The instrumental, similar to the vocals, become amplified to accommodate the intenser singing; the beat snaps along with the bass act as a foundation, and the piano melody further enriches the already tuneful vocals of the duo. Lastly, the couple’s chemistry, biasedly, holds as the most influential factor. A unique yet strange phenomenon occurs: neither one of them leads, yet ironically, one of them does lead, and in opposite, though no one is necessarily laying a supportive, passive foundation, simultaneously, one person does provide that role. This paradoxical aspect to their singing is perhaps what yields the section its high score. At certain moments, Hyorin’s lighter pitch seems to be the main focus while Jooyoung’s lower voice provides support, but at different occasions, the opposite occurs in that Jooyoung is leading the section while Hyorin provides the foundation. With this constant change, appeal is blatantly kept high.

Overall, with the song coming as one unified and purely captivating section, a very high score is expected. Mechanically, everything sounds well and with the duo’s chemistry being beautiful, the section as a whole is further strengthened.

5. Post-Chorus: 7/10 – Hyorin handles the first line, and as predicted, Jooyoung handles the next. The final line, however, features Hyorin.

While in the overall perspective the vocals are still superior, during this section, the vocals do falter when juxtaposed to the other sections. Power is the main focus for vocals, but unfortunately, it is overly prioritized. With the previous section, the choruses, taking a stronger, prominent stance, having another section duplicating such gives an unnecessary repetition. As a result, with this redundancy, the impacting vocals that occur lose their presence, and thus, a bleaker section is left. Nevertheless, despite having a sense of repetition, the vocals and instrumental still hold well. Desirable traits still exist for them, such as being melodic and having proper alternating lines.

With the slight overlapping quality from the previous section being the main yet miniscule issue, the post-choruses still hold at above average.

6. Bridge: 7/10 – Both are responsible for the bridge. Alternating lines become the style until the end where both simultaneously sing.

Being the bridge, a standard climactic point is created. Higher notes and power are the main assets to this section. High note holds are entrusted with Jooyoung while Hyorin handles the general singing lines. Although the instrumental and vocals themselves remain mechanically strong, there are minimal compelling, striking factors. Adamantly, the instrumental predominantly sounds as it does during the other sections, and though the note holds can be rendered as impressive, it is a standard note hold that does not showcase extreme cases of skill, intensity, nor melody. On the positive side, the bridge does contain an interesting line structure; towards the middle, the alternating style becomes manipulated to aid the section. Hyorin would sing one word, and unlike previous sections where Jooyoung would replicate the prior line identically, in the bridge section, Jooyoung would follow up the word in a much higher note in addition to possessing more power. Even with the final line, despite how both Hyorin and Jooyoung sing in unison, Jooyoung’s line comes off with additional power and a higher note range. Due to this differing method with alternation, a layering aspect is created; Hyorin’s parts act moreover as foundation while Jooyoung’s singing take the lead.

Mechanically, the instrumental and vocals, while still delightful, remain unvaried from other sections, but thankfully, the alternation that does occur is vastly different, and thus, an appealing and welcoming layering function becomes granted. Above average will be the score.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – Since the post-chorus is recycled, once again, Hyorin tackles the first line with Jooyoung handling the second, and at the end, Hyorin concludes it.

Serving as a conclusion, the post-chorus does fulfill that role. Previously mentioned, with the post-chorus having power as a main aspect, Jooyoung’s note hold that carried over from the bridge comes off as natural. Furthermore, Hyorin also contributes to such by adding a background note hold. A final, climactic end point is given due to the amount of note holds given. Towards the very end, the vocals and instrumental fade off quickly yet precisely, and thus, a solid, sound conclusion is met. Overall, while the note holds and natural end fade are respectable, with the post-choruses not being absolutely stunning as a section, the conclusion slightly suffers from such.

Nevertheless, the post-choruses themselves hold as above average, and with decent note holds and a solid ending, the conclusion will still be held at above average.

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – With this collaboration involving two members, a perfect score should automatically be earned.

Since I would like to save time and be partially lazy it is rather complicated to list out how the sections were distributed, I will simplify this part. Many sections showcased equal, alternating lines, and at other times, unison singing. With the quantity being practically equal, the score will be a 10 as the distribution can be concluded as perfect.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Although the instrumental in “Erase” is biasedly what I adore, I will exclude extraneous influences of personal preferences. In light of the instrumental itself, individually, the soundtrack is exceptional. The snaps provide a catchy yet rhymatic aspect and the piano tune holds responsible as the song’s main instrumental melody. Additionally, the bass plays a prominent and crucial role; with vocals taking a more energetic and higher pitched style, the bass compensates the lower note range, and additionally, provides a contrast that translates as a supportive foundation. On the subject of support, when accounting for the duo’s singing, the instrumental and vocals aid one another. Sonically, both parties mesh well and complement the other. The bass, as stated earlier, is one example of how the vocals and soundtrack reinforce each other. Another example is the piano which reciprocates the vocals’ melody and softer yet prominent style.

In summary, with the instrumental sounding spectacular on its own and, when factoring in how well the vocals are accommodated, a solid score will be earned.

– Meaning: 8/10 – With a title of “Erase” and a somewhat melancholy atmosphere, a sadder story is anticipated. Perhaps a couple ended their relationship, and as a result, the couple now attempts to “Erase” their history. Ending the speculations, through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, the story behind the ballad can be discovered. As always, these lyrics are not 100% accurate:

(Hello) You changed a lot, your shorter hair
(Hello) Your thick makeup, you’re like someone else
(Hello) I know that I mean nothing
to you now, I feel it

You’ll forget me, whatever, I’ll just meet another girl
I’ll just meaninglessly meet another guy, it’ll be typical
Don’t look back so I can’t hold onto you, no way, yeah

I’m not that great of a person
Don’t think too hard, no
Don’t pretend to be nice, doo doo roo doo doo roo
We always had that kind of love, don’t say yeah

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no, that’s how we always were, yeah, yeah

(Good bye) I’m sick of the same words every time
(Good bye) We got more and more careless
(Good bye) I know that I mean nothing
to you now, I feel it

You’ll forget me, whatever, I’ll just meet another girl
I’ll just meaninglessly meet another guy, it’ll be typical
Don’t look back so I can’t hold onto you, no way yeah

I’m not that great of a person
Don’t think too hard, no
Don’t pretend to be nice, doo doo roo doo doo roo
We always had that kind of love, don’t say yeah

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no, that’s how we always were

(Bye bye) I secretly walked behind you
as your turned back grew darker
The farther you got,
I thought of you more
Without even knowing why, I keep missing you, bye

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no, that’s how we always were, yeah, yeah

Somewhat correctly predicted, “Erase” derives its title from a couple desiring to “erase” their feelings towards one another. Absurdly, a couple has parted ways after an unknown incident. With the two separating, they both feel that they are “nothing to [the lover] now.” What differs from these lyrics in juxtaposition to countless others is the peculiar scenario they are subjected to; the couple has split, yet ironically, it appears neither of them wanted to. Both the male and lady feel apathetic with finding new love-interests; after all, the male possesses a “whatever” attitude and simply claims he will “just meet another girl” and the lady will “meaningless meet another guy.” This unveils it situation is not one-sided, but rather, both are suffering from their separation. Diving into why the characters are no longer together, perhaps guilt consumed not one, but two of them; “I’m not that great of a person” is a self-claimed statement from both the characters, and additionally, a sense of regret appears from “don’t pretend to be nice.” Extracting these points, the couple individually might have felt that they were not worthy of the other person, and thus, decided to split ways for the better. Ironically, if that is the proper term, both of them feel they are bad for the other. Nevertheless, with the outcome taking the form of the couple separating, they attempt to move on by “[erasing] [their] love” and the other’s phone “number.”

In summary, with an exceptionally confusing, complex story, even with the details being somewhat limited, the crafted setting and plot hold as intriguing, and thus, a solid score will be granted. Many questions exist, and though details lack, enough meaningful ones exist so that one may infer the untold aspects. “Erase” holds my personal throne of being the song that has generated the most questions and pondering time.

Switching to the “Critical Corner,” unfortunately since the rap is removed, a lot of discussion points I previously had when listening to “Erase” have erased. Setting aside horrible puns and jokes, peering at the lyrics, the only discussion in mind is to address the idea of a split relationship. Though the background of “Erase” ‘s story remains vague, I still hold a general consensus of how split relationships should be: peaceful and accepting. Instead of songs’ often depicted stories of a severed relationship being the most traumatic event to ever happen, I believe in a more realistic and more humane outcome. Should a relationship end, both individuals should be on decent terms. Perhaps not close friends, but at the very least acquaintances who still acknowledges that the other person is alive. Of course, when accounting for why and how a relationship ends, this type of outcome may be skewed. Nevertheless, hopefully, if a relationship does end in the first place, it is out of agreement and proper terms and not due to a cheated relationship, a one-sided scenario, and other ones that are often time mentioned in songs or even movies and other mediums.    

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Finally, the Choreography Score is left for grading. Even with being a slower paced song, dances are still possible, and “Erase” does erase the common mentality of how a song must be upbeat for a dance to be delightful (I will also start erasing my puns). Glancing at the syncing component of the dance, it is excellent. No issues exist with matching to not solely the beats/snaps, but also the flow of the song. Maneuvers that link to the snaps are clearly seen, and for matching the flow, though more subtle, movements such as at the beginning with Jooyoung are examples of syncing to the flow. The only moment in which the syncing was poor is towards the second verse; the leg snapping disclosed excellent coordination, but unfortunately, minimal syncing. Ignoring that piece, however, the syncing holds as solid. For the second main feature of the choreography, the key points hold well. Every dance set at each section were smooth in a multitude of perspectives; the transitions were fluent and natural, movement was cohesive,  and all of the dancing was rather graceful and charismatic due to fitting the song’s softer and emotional tone. Swapping to the backup dancers, they were properly used. The main spotlight still resided with Hyorin and Jooyoung, but for background work, the backup dancers fulfilled that role. Furthermore, with them adding an extra layer to the dance, some complexity is granted, and therefore, diversity with the dance is gleaned.

A solid score is earned here. Although “Erase” holds as a slower paced, graceful song, a dance that still remains energetic and equally charming as the non-visual component exists.

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Overall Score: 9/10 (8.5/10 raw score) – Shockingly yet humorously unsurprisingly, “Erase” finishes with a 9/10, and in terms of what that represents, the song can be deemed as amazing and, simply put, very good. Biasedly, I do agree, however, with the score being that high, I am slightly skeptical. Perhaps the perfect Line Distribution amped it up excessively, but despite that, the song is truthfully well-rounded. The lyrics deliver an interesting story, the song is structurally solid, the vocals are, of course, extremely potent, and with other factors, be it the instrumental or the more score-influential piece of the choreography all holding a respectable position, a high Overall Score should be envisioned and accepted.

As I always say, thank you very much for reading. Thank you for your time and support, I appreciate it all. This review took, after some hazy gauging, about 5 and a half hours in total to write. Two days were spent on such, the second day being more invested into. With unveiling my lack of living life and being a turtled reviewer the amount of time I place towards writing reviews, hopefully readers do understand why I cannot publish reviews at a quick pace. In the future, I may attempt to trim them down, but feedback and ideas on such would be desirable (and also feedback on my writing itself).

For future reviews, with finally searching up the date for Valentine’s Day, I will now begin my holiday-orientated song. Ignoring the upcoming ballad that suits the holiday, 4Minute will be having a comeback soon, and therefore, I will attempt to cover it as soon as possible. Besides that, however, a less popular group is in mind, and in contrast, a popular group with a differing song concept that I have yet to review will also be covered. Many reviews are in mind, time is what remains as my sole concern. With much work on my plate, reviews may be slightly hindered, but I will do my best to be as efficient as possible (time to follow my role model of T-ARA’s Soyeon by being very proficient and hasty with work).

Anyhow, stay tuned for upcoming reviews. Thank you once more for reading, and apologies for current and future delays. Even though “I’m not that great of a person” since my writing needs heavy improvement and refining (and, truthfully, I still need to grow as a person), thank you for continuing to check back. I will, unlike the song, never “erase my love for you.” Keep checking back for a more cheerful song, but in the meantime, keep away from cliffs, sharp objects, poisons simply stay happy doing whatever brings you joy.

I love your B.B.B review, it’s a shame line distribution lowered the general score. I’m confused will you be reviewing the ballad? (:

Hello, apologies for a slower reply. I will also include other comments you have sent.

By the way, in my opinion, previous releases are lower quality, but just to give an example “Be Ambitious” has way better line distribution. 

I read through after “you should skip to the review part” and I admire you a lot for that. 

I love your “B.B.B” review, it’s a shame the line distribution lowered the general score. I’m confused will you be reviewing the ballad? 

To address the first comment, I confess, I have only partially heard “Be Ambitious.” Nevertheless, it does, as you have said, reside on the lower quality side, especially when compared to “B.B.B." 

In terms of the second comment, thank you for both reading on and for admiration. Though some may disagree with the argument I was making, I believe people should take a critical stance when analyzing situations; it is more than "left” and “right,” but rather, all the possible, infinite angles in which a person could view an issue or topic. Anyhow, I gave my honest reply to a question I received, and I did offer some personal background as I believe in honesty and being intimate with my readers. It also means a lot to hear that you admire me for my words, so thank you very much. Besides giving my insight on K-Pop songs, I also hope readers are able to glean other aspects, such as a different mentality to certain subjects or being able to create and give their own opinion for any topic, be it musically related or not.

Finally, for the third component, I am sincerely glad that you enjoyed the review. I do agree that it is unfortunate the song’s line distribution was weaker, and thus, the score in summary became lower. On the positive side, even if some members had minimal spotlight, the song itself still sounds excellent. And to answer the actual question, the ballad I had in mind will be reviewed, and to somewhat leak its release, I plan to finish and publish it on the week of Valentine’s Day, though I am unsure on which date that is (readers will instantly understand on why I am holding it off until the holiday once it is released). While I will not digress into my belief of Valentine’s Day (I do not know its date as I consider it an insignificant day for many reasons), I will find out the day and plan my review release accordingly. 

And actually, to be a hypocrite, for those curious on my stance of the day, while it provides lovers a specific day to exchange gifts (or in different cultures, a one-sided exchange of solely receiving gifts), in the end, a holiday to do such should, hopefully, be unnecessary as a couple is constantly, whether consistently or not, giving each other gifts. In addition, many of the gifts given on the day are rather materialistic, if I may coin that term. Money is the main focus; cards, chocolate, flowers, and other items considered romantic are often purchased and solely given on the holiday. Interestingly, once the holiday is over, the same items’ purchase rate significantly decline. Other holidays, such as Christmas, also follow this materialistic tendency. Anyhow, even with the materialistic aspect to Valentine’s Day, for those who do celebrate it, as long as genuine love is the main focus versus solely the gifts, I see no major issues with the holiday. Love cannot be bought, and sometimes, the best gifts are indeed priceless and not tangible. 

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For readers desiring to know my current upcoming review, the song is, overall, a ballad, but it is not the one designated for Valentine’s Day. By tomorrow at night, it should be finished and I anticipate many readers enjoying, or at the very least, respecting and admiring the song (I do consider it an exceptionally solid song). Keep checking back and stay tuned for it.

In other news, I have been considering creating English subtitled videos, and while this will be experimented with, should it succeed, besides writing reviews, translating videos will be another activity I do (I may not do it now, but once my personal schedule clears in about a month, I can definitely foresee this becoming active).

Thank you to both crumblingheart and other readers for continuing to read my reviews. It is an honor and gift to have people reading my blog. Thank you, and stay tuned for my upcoming reviews.

Dal Shabet – “B.B.B” Review

Dal Shabet – B.B.B (Live Performance)

Dal Shabet – B.B.B (Big Baby Baby)

Reviewed on February 1, 2015

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Personal Message: As mentioned in my previous review, there was a debate between reviewing Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B” or a ballad, and after flipping a coin very methodical, systematic and practical thinking, “B.B.B” became the choice (though for those genuinely curious, I simply decided to reserve the ballad for February; relying on luck was not in the equation, for the most part). To already address the link, desperate attempts to discover a dance practice video were unsuccessful, and thus, a standard live performance will be used. That said, listening to the official audio will provide the clearest quality in the audio category, but at least the live performance showcases a clear image of the choreography. Also, interestingly, this live performance’s audio does seem to be quieter than a vast majority of live performances (which already tend to be quieter in general). Turning up the volume slightly more than usual will be the solution. But, considering I am still recovering from being sick, it may just be my own ears being clogged than the audio itself.

Progressing past the technicalities of the video, I would like to give credit to a certain reader for sharing this song. Thank you for the recommending this song and Dal Shabet. Without focusing on the group’s musical aspect, to digress into the group itself, I confess, I have been watching a copious amount of their reality show “Shabet On Air.” During the more feeble period of my illness, with being incapacitated and therefore restrained to my bed, I spent my time analyzing the song “B.B.B” in preparation for reviewing it. However, once that was finished, I decided to venture into the group’s YouTube channel, and behold, I found that show. “Shabet On Air” consists of short episodes that showcase a behind-the-scenes aspect to Dal Shabet, and with it still currently continuing, it provides fans a dose of their personal side. Critically speaking and thinking, however, it is most likely one-sided in that it showcases only positive experiences, but for the sake of entertainment and providing fans cheerfulness, that is to be expected.

On the subject of cheerfulness, whether due to the ladies’ closeness and affection for each other, sillier moments, or Dal Shabet’s leader, I-scream-for-ice-cream Serri (as seen in Shabet On Air – Episode 7) providing comical scenes, Dal Shabet seems to be one of the most positive group I have yet to watch. They have all proven to be very admirable and intelligent ladies, and I personally wish to strive towards being as optimistic, talented and pretty as their leader. Although “love at first sight,” or more accurately, “love at sight” in general is erroneous (refer to my review of T-ARA’s “Little Apple” for elaboration on this, though I am not too sure if that is the correct review for my rant on this subject), I will claim “love at first impression” is somewhat viable and correct. Now, “love at first impression” in this context takes the form of being infatuated with Serri on the premise of “Shabet On Air.” She has proven to be exceptionally humorous while retaining high responsibility for her members. Positivity is created, but additionally, efficiency is still kept in place.

Anyhow, to focus on Dal Shabet as a whole versus the dancing, singing, and “ramen, fried egg, and pot stew” expert of Serri, this group can be labeled as unpopular. “B.B.B” holds as their latest comeback, and from glancing at other songs, unfortunately, it is understandable on why their popularity remains low. “B.B.B,” once the review begins, discloses a higher-end song, but the rest of their releases reside on the weaker side. Furthermore, from what I have gleaned, public criticism exists against Dal Shabet due to their inability to sing live; “MR Removed” videos have caused people to bash the group, but I will offer my personal stance on this (also feel free to check out a question-and-answer post regarding this topic). Firstly, to gauge Dal Shabet on the sole basis of a few “MR Removed” videos does offer a limited perspective; there will be performances where the group heavily falters and relies upon lip syncing for nearly an entire song, but in opposite, there are also performances where they could be singing live for a huge portion of a song. Unless if both solid and mediocre performances are used for “MR Removed,” a skewed, unproportional image will be created. For even the scenario that it is completely true of the group lip syncing every live performance, comments that insist on the group disbanding are a bit extreme. Indeed, live performances are a significant piece to a group, but the standard perspective of the studio audio of a song should not be forgotten. Dal Shabet’s stage performances sonically may wane, certainly, however, they are at least able to sing in studio, and thus, release decent songs in that regard. If the group continues to release songs up to the standard of “B.B.B,” and additionally invest more practice and work to improve some amount of live singing, I foresee their popularity vastly rising. Fans and viewers should be slightly more lenient with the group, however.

On the subject of lenient, to digress with an off-topic story (feel free to skip straight to the review now), some readers may realize I have more reviews on female artists than male artists, and while I hope readers are lenient with such, I will address that and an unusual question left: “Are you slightly sexist?” Perhaps I am ignorant on the fact that being sexist is, apparently, on a scale instead of simply whether or not someone is sexist, but even ignoring the slightly ridiculous nitpicking part, this comment still holds as heavily inaccurate. Using a hypothetical situation that I truly did despise all males, and to bring further understanding, let us also assume I was a female, it would be false to label me as a sexist; hating males is not sexist. Of course, readers may be completely confused right now; being sexist, connotatively, means to hate and treat someone unfairly on the sole basis of gender. While that is somewhat true, that is purely the blatant layer. Diving into the deeper aspect on what sexist means, or even what racist means, unveils that definition to be false in terms of who it applies to. Terms of racist, sexist, or any other one in which an “-ist” is jammed onto, such as “religion-ist,” are indicators of oppression; people who are referred to by an oppression term (the “-ist” words) are oppressors. What this signifies is the person has to be able to oppress, and of course it is now time to unpack what it means to oppress. Without getting into the details and technicalities, to be able to oppress is more than an unfair belief; oppress, being a verb and such, must be literally applied. Oppression occurs when multiple aspects in life are truly holding a person back on the sole basis of who they are. Those aspects include social/cultural background, laws, public opinion, and more.

Now to tie this back into why it is absurd and incorrect to label me as sexist, I cannot be sexist towards males; males are not oppressed at all, and thus, it would be wrong to be called sexist for being negative and hating males on the sole basis of gender. Even with the most extreme spectrum of wanting to murder every male, a person cannot be called sexist for such. Since males have the support of being valued due to social background, being publicly favored, and more, they cannot be oppressed and therefore, it is not sexist to hate males since, in short, the “sexist” person cannot oppress them. To simplify my point further, sexist means the person is in a position to oppress, but since males cannot be oppressed (and in fact, are in the opposite with remaining privileged and advantaged), the label of sexist in that case is false. Now, should the opposite occur, for example, with a person hating females, utilizing sexist is completely appropriate. Regardless of the gender of the sexist, female or male, should they hate females, sexist is correct as females are indeed oppressed, and therefore, the label of being the oppressor, such as sexist, holds.

If my entire argument and point becomes utterly confusing, apologies. Since I lack T-ARA’s Soyeon ability to articulate ideas clearly (she is an incredible speaker), this may all come off as unclear. And, of course, to everyone’s own opinion. Agreeing to my words, be it the writing above or even my reviews in general, are not required, and should not happen easily. I am offering my own perspective and take, and if there is anything I wish to give fellow readers besides new K-Pop songs or my opinion regarding them, it is the ability to create your own opinion through logical, sound reasoning. Anyhow, to tie this back into what started this conversation, I have received such a comment due to a keen person discovering that, yes, admittedly, there are more female artists reviewed than male artists. Truthfully answering, I am simply more exposed to female artists (a predominant amount of what I watch revolves around solely female idols, such as interviews, variety shows, make-up shows, and more), hence why there are more reviews on them. In no means am I attempting to degrade males. I do hold both genders as equal, as humans. Hopefully, as the typical saying goes, the world will one day be equitable and discrimination-free.

And actually, I could venture into another discussion: prejudice versus discrimination. Briefly, in honesty, the world will never be prejudice-free, and in some ways, should not; different opinions are created due to prejudice. However, what is unacceptable is acting on the sole basis of prejudice, which is coined as “discrimination.” Everyone has their own prejudices due to what they have been taught via parents, media, and even plain personal experiences have molded people’s thoughts on different things or people. This is uncontrollable, but what is controllable is how people act due to these subtle beliefs. To bring some understanding, and due to discussing more sensitive subjects, I will offer my own intimate, personal example. Bringing in K-Pop as context, for AOA fans who have watched/listened to their visit on the radio show of “Idols’ True Colors” (something called that), Chanmi revealed she does feel awkward around boys as she has spent a vast portion of her life solely around females. Personally, I can relate and, like Chanmi, I feel a sense of awkwardness with boys (though there is slight irony considering I am a male myself). Relating back prejudice and discrimination, I do, since I believe in being truthful, have some prejudices towards boys. What remains important is not the fact that I have prejudices against them, but rather, if I choose to discriminate on those prejudices (though if we really want to be nitpicky, we can tie back how I cannot truly “discriminate” or oppress males). Thankfully, I admit and therefore am able to pinpoint my prejudices, and through that, am able to not unfairly treat boys. Many people forget the difference and often time urge the idea of removing prejudice yet forget it is not important; discrimination is what harms, not the prejudice, even if it remains the catalyst for discrimination. Eventually, though, disarming the prejudice should be a goal, and due to not discriminating and acknowledging existing prejudices, that pursuit becomes significantly easier.

Anyhow I have said an excessive amount. Lesson learned: do not send in questionable comments. In seriousness, to the person who did say that, I do apologize for the earlier sarcastic remark (I personally believe sexist is a label, not a scale of “how sexist”) and I would like to actually thank you for being brave to state what you personally believe. Again, this is my belief regarding this topic, and I do understand where your question stems from. Also, I hope readers are indeed lenient with me having slightly more female artists, but nevertheless I will attempt to bring in more diversity via male artists. My blog reflection will further elaborate on this.

That said, instead of stealing Dal Shabet’s spotlight, let us return to the six ladies of the group. Serri, Ahyoung, Wohee, Jiyul, Gaeun, and Subin reveal why, as I mentioned in some review (to do the cheapest, highest level of advertising, have fun finding the review), the term “baby” is debatable to use as a consistent compliment. “B.B.B” is an acronym for “Big Baby Baby,” and while ladies and men may be charismatically answering yes to Serri’s question of “wanna be my baby,” we will discover if “B.B.B” is worth being a baby for.

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6.4/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 8/10 – Although their live vocals may be at most mediocre, for what they do offer in terms of studio recording, it is solid. The vocals in “B.B.B” meet multiple standards: vocal strength, melody, variety, to list a few. Chronologically going through the list, the vocal strength offers “B.B.B” a hefty, stronger presence. With that, the upbeat and energetic atmosphere is gained. For the melody, every section, or at least a vast majority, have proven to be exceptionally tuneful. Combining both the powerful and melodic aspects, captivating vocals are to be expected. In addition, variety remains a huge asset to “B.B.B” (or admittedly I am still scarred from, though I am sorry to say, my previous review of Nine Muses’ “Drama”). Every section differed vocally, and even within the sections, layering was often time utilized to keep a heighten sense of diversity, and thus, the song remains constantly enticing and appealing.

Overall, the vocals, in terms of the song itself in the studio/official form, are solid. Wohee, Serri, Subin, and Gaeun offered the most promising vocals, and due to that, managed to carry the weight for Ahyoung and Jiyul, both who showcased weaker singing.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.86/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 7/10 – Dal Shabet as a whole handles the introduction, but Gaeun does possess solo lines.

Being an introduction, it utterly meets the standard goal of setting up the song. The key phrase, “big baby baby” instantly becomes established, and a strong component to the introduction is proper pacing; “B.B.B” is neither too slow nor too fast, and thus, a proper development takes place. Initial moments focused on the key phrase and minimal vocals, but once a few more seconds have elapsed, the instrumental becomes prominent. This serves multiple purposes; blatantly would be to fully uncover the instrumental, yet the subtle factor is that the instrumental solo/break allows listeners to anticipate and to slightly peer at how upbeat and energetic the song will be. Focusing moreover on the mechanical aspect, no glaring issues exist. While both vocals and instrumental heard were not the strongest, they suffice for their objective of building the song. Everything was gradual; vocals remained calm and slow, and equally, the soundtrack slowly progressed until “B.B.B” transitioned over to its instrumental solo.

Above average will hold as the score. Structurally the introduction is quite solid; the pacing was perfect, the key phrase becomes unveiled, and a small dose of the song’s upbeatness and setting were given. Only the instrumental and vocals themselves hinder the score, but even then, the penalty is by far minimal.  

2. Verse: 7/10 – Subin handles all of the verses, though the group as a whole provides support.

Repetition becomes an asset for the verses. Nevertheless, with repetition, a fear of staleness arises, but thankfully, “B.B.B” manages to cover such. Addressing the structure of the verses, Subin’s lines are in the form of questions; “why are you…” or “why do you change…” (in Korean) fill her singing moments. Ingraining the lyrics, melody, and flow becomes the outcome from the verse containing repetition. Now, in terms of how “B.B.B” combats the structure from being stagnant, background vocals exist; after Subin sings a line, “big baby” is stated. Due to “big baby” existing as background vocals, and in addition remaining moreover stated than sung, contrast becomes crafted. This contrast adds an extra layer of flow, and with that, variety becomes created. Peering at the sonic piece, Subin utilizes her lower notes along with slower pacing. Besides allowing the song to develop in a methodical and gradual manner, Subin’s singing provides a soothing aspect and solid synergy with the instrumental, which, like her singing, follows a calmer state.

Overall, an above average verse. Vocals were enlightening and complementive of the instrumental, and structurally it remained diversive.

3. Rap: 7/10 – Gaeun stars in the rap sections, but she has support vocals from Ahyoung and Subin. This roster remains the same for every rap section except for Ahyoung swapping out for Jiyul.

Flow and speed remain outstanding in this rap, though the drawback appears in the lack of power and presence. Elaborating, the pacing of the rap holds as swift; words eject quickly and smoothly. In terms of the flow, with overlapping the structure component, it remains equally promising. Lines are rapped but with a pause occurring at the end in the form of standard singing, variety and a fluctuating flow become created, which as a result, further augment the rap. Adding a final feature of the rap, Subin’s concluding line to it showcases a stronger note stretch, and due to that, a clear, proper transition is created. Now for what remains defective, the lack of power, or more accurately phrased, presence, prevents the rap from holding a higher score. Melody, speed, and flow exists, but with the rap coming off as moreover feeble than confident and prominent, the trend of “B.B.B” becomes pushed against, and obviously, that is undesirable. “B.B.B” follows an energetic and upbeat style, and though Gaeun’s rapping hits those categories through pacing and flow, the absence of slightly stronger vocals impairs it from feeling as upbeat as the song does in whole.

Above average, miraculously, will hold as the score. Despite her lack of power, stunning speed and pacing along with the flow compensate that.   

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Wohee handles all of the choruses.

The choruses hold relatively well. Wohee showcases melodic and powerful vocals, and there is no dull structure. In focus of power, with being the chorus, the standard role of possessing the most energetic and intense section is followed in “B.B.B.” Strong, impactful vocals are heard, and due to some occasional pausing, shorter lines, and even the instrumental’s beats syncing, Wohee’s vocal strength become additionally emphasized. In addition to impacting vocals, Wohee still projects a melodic tune; lines, though calibrated towards the higher spectrum, expose varying pitches. In terms of negative aspects to the choruses, although the vocal presence remains potent, perhaps due to Wohee’s voice, a strange frail sound is attached. Instead of a clear, crisp sound, a fidgeting and languishing aspect is heard. Thankfully, however, with repeated play of “B.B.B,” this minor issue fades away.

Above average will hold as the score. Solid singing is heard due to impressive vocals and a decent structure.

5. Post-Chorus: 8/10 – Dal Shabet’s ice cream lover leader, Serri, is in charge of all of the post-choruses.

Many features of the post-chorus hold as phenomenal. The melody is endearing, the instrumental and vocals are solid, and most stunningly, the structure of the post-choruses grants “B.B.B” its strongest section. In focus of the structure, subtle yet clever wordplay exists; due to the word “neon” (means “you”), it coincides with other “hook” terms such as “la la la” or, specifically here, “na na na.” This amplifies the melody and furthermore, creates the catchier and lingering aspect to the post-chorus. Additionally, with being an actual word, instead of an abstract sound such as the ones listed earlier, its repetition carries meaning, and as a result, the issue of it becoming lethargic and dull is significantly reduced. Even with the fear of “neon” becoming stale, variety still remains prominent despite the repetition. Background vocals of “big baby baby” are present, Serri still possesses standard phrases, and adding on, her softer “hey” at the start of every line brings in diversity to the flow.

A solid score will be given. The structure itself remains outstanding, and with it providing a solid foundation for the section as a whole, many different aspects naturally fall into place, such as the melody becoming enhanced due to repetition.

6. Bridge: 5/10 – Ahyoung and Jiyul handle the bridge, though Subin does arrive at the very end.

Already addressing the lackluster point of the bridge, the contrast between the bridge to the song as a whole is both sharp and unwelcoming; “B.B.B” played out in a quick, energetic style, but with the bridge, a sudden transition over to the pure opposite of being lethargic and lifeless occurs. If the newly introduced style is insufficient, the mechanical component ensures it is; with the bridge being rendered on the slower and calmer side, unfortunately, the vocals followed suit, but to a larger degree. Little singing existed as it was moreover statements and phrases. In terms of the end of the bridge, it fails to slightly redeem the section. Though Subin tosses a satisfying note hold, “dorawa” (means “come back”) endlessly repeating in an apathetic tone further reinforces how lacking the bridge is.

Average for a bridge. If the duration was significantly shorter or the style still kept “B.B.B” ‘s established trends, a higher score would have been given.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – For the conclusion, “B.B.B” recycles its post-chorus, and as known, Serri is responsibility for it.

With the post-chorus taking place as the final section, it fulfills the standard criteria of a conclusion: the song ends without any abruptness, and secondly, the key phrase and hook of the song remain as the final image. At the very end, there were no excessive seconds nor a lack of needed seconds, and the phrase of “big baby baby” is repeated once more along with “B.B.B” ‘s prominent post-chorus section. For what does slightly hinder the conclusion, the sections leading up to it remain questionable. Both the previous bridge and chorus remained on the slower side, and thus, the contrast that exists between the post-chorus’ energy and the other sections partially carry over. Nevertheless, the conclusion holds well.

Above average will be the score. Standard requirements are met.

– Line Distribution: 4/10 – With solely 6 members in Dal Shabet, a high score for Line Distribution should exist. Somewhat biasedly (T-ARA is in mind), I find 6 to be the most efficient for group size; lines are easily shared, vocal roles are more easily assigned, and choreographies can remain simplistic, complex, and absent of backup dancers. Ignoring my own opinion, however, let us focus on Dal Shabet’s share.

Serri handles all of the post-choruses. Simple. Although she is in charge of solely one section, with it repeating 3 times, sufficient time was given to her. Every post-chorus was rather lengthy, so extra time is also given.

Ahyoung, does lack a graspable amount of lines in comparison to the other members. She is mainly responsible for the bridge, but does have a few words at the first rap. With purely one section, the quantity resides on the lower side, and with her section being moreover speaking than singing, little presence exists as well. More time could have been given, or at the very least, moments where she had actual singing.

Wohee sung all of the choruses. Similar to Serri, she had 3 sections to handle. As a result, accounting for the choruses’ lengthier duration and with them repeating for a total of 3, plenty of time was given to the “eating goddess” Wohee.

In terms of Jiyul’s time, it proves to be exceptionally concerning. Jiyul possesses one line at the second rap, and two lines at the bridge. Very little time was given, and like Ahyoung, for what time span she had, it was not singing, but rather speaking. At the end, this will negatively affect the score by an exceptional amount.

Gaeun possesses, as the current trend seems, all of the rap sections. Additionally, even the introduction had a few lines from her. Summing up her sections, she remains equal to Wohee and Serri in terms of having 3 sections: two raps and one introduction. No issues are present with those sections being prominent and rife.

Lastly, Dal Shabet’s youngest lady, Subin, remains in charge of all the verses and a few lines sprinkled at the rap sections and bridge. Clearly, sufficient time was given; the verses were already adequate, having lines at the rap sections and bridge further solidify her spotlight. A perfect amount, nothing excessive is seen.

Overall, with Ahyoung, and significantly, Jiyul, lacking singing time in both regards of individual time and singing, the score will be lowered. Although I am in favor of every member handling their own section, it was not necessarily completely applied to “B.B.B”; Jiyul and Ahyoung should have possessed their own section, even if it meant the having a solo introduction and bridge. There is the minimal aspect of how “big baby baby” is sung as a group for background vocals, but with how miniscule, overall, the line proves to be, it does not compensate for Jiyul and Ahyoung.

Slightly below average will be the score. The share is incredible, if excluding Jiyul and Ahyoung. Including them, however, showcases an unfair spread of lines among Dal Shabet.   

– Instrumental: 7/10 – Though biasedly I do not prefer the lighter, hollow beats that occur, brushing aside unfair opinions, the instrumental, when being thorough and logical, is rather decent. Individually, the soundtrack holds well; the beats prove to be catchy, the bass provides a consistent foundation, and the melody holds as delightful. Furthermore, the instrumental remains unique; a pop style is attached, yet it retains older fashioned rhythms. When it comes to meshing with vocals, the instrumental progresses excellently with them: verses are supported by a notable bassline, the rapping sections become complemented a quickened beat, choruses and post-choruses are accompanied by a more energetic soundtrack. Even the bridge is properly matched with the soundtrack taking a lighter sound.

Overall, above average for an instrumental. On its own and with Dal Shabet, the soundtrack remains pleasing.

– Meaning: 6/10 – “B.B.B,” as mentioned at the start, represents “Big Baby Baby,” and contrary to it being a compliment, it is a degrading, insulting label. With that in mind, the lyrics should disclose a story that, expectedly, focuses on, perhaps, a former love-interest or partner that has become a “Big Baby Baby.” Through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, who the “Big Baby Baby” is will hopefully be identified:

You big baby baby
I need somebody-body
You big baby baby
I wanna get your body tonight (big baby)
You big baby baby
You big baby baby

Why do you change when I need you (big baby)
Why do you change when it’s all over (big baby)
Why are you different from yesterday? (big baby)
Why are you more different today? (big baby baby)

Every time you look at me,
I noticed that the feelings have cooled
What do I do?
(I gotta go)
I say that I’m hurting
and get mad and talk to you
but you don’t care at all
(I can’t take no more)

You change so quickly,
the empty feelings get so big
It hurt so much,
you hurt my heart that goes toward you

Hey, you you you, come back to me baby
You you you you you (big baby baby)
Hey, you you you, wanna be my baby?
You you you you you (big baby baby)

Why do you change at the end of each word? (big baby)
Why do your eyes change? (big baby)
Why are you different from the beginning? (big baby)
Why are you different from the end? (big baby baby)

You used to say that looking at me
and thinking of me all day
wasn’t enough for you
(don’t you know)
Now the sides of you that come out
without knowing
give me such a hard time
(I can’t take no more)

You change so quickly,
the empty feelings get so big
It hurt so much,
you hurt my heart that goes toward you

Hey, you you you, come back to me baby
You you you you you (big baby baby)
Hey, you you you, wanna be my baby?
You you you you you (big baby baby)

You are falling, you are falling, you are falling
for me
(big baby, big baby)
You’re coming back, coming back, coming back
just like the beginning
(big baby, big baby)
Big baby, why are you doing this?
I don’t know what to do
We know everything there is to know
Come back, come back, come back, come back
(come back to me)

You change so quickly,
the empty feelings get so big
It hurt so much,
you hurt my heart that goes toward you

Hey, you you you, come back to me baby
You you you you you (big baby baby)
Hey, you you you, wanna be my baby?
You you you you you (big baby baby)

Correctly assumed, “B.B.B” reveals a story in which a lady or man expresses their frustration at a love-interest who, in the past, “used to say that looking at [the lover] and thinking of [the lover] all day wasn’t enough.” Unfortunately, due to unknown circumstances, the love-interest no longer showcases their usual affection; the love-interest now “[doesn’t] care at all” for the main character. This “change” created a “different” love-interest, and due to that, the lover expresses their anger and attempts to heal their “hurt” “heart” via labeling the love-interest as a “B.B.B,” otherwise known as a “Big Baby Baby.”

In summary, despite how the story remains unique and intriguing, there are not a multitude of details. Many ideas are repeated instead of new, additional ones. Nevertheless, I will highlight the jocular and witty pun line: “wanna be my baby?” Explicitly, it is the lover attempting to bring her/his love-interest’s attention and affection back, but implicitly, it could serve as a taunt and insult if baby is taken to be “big baby baby.” Anyhow, slightly above average will be the score. Plot-wise it remains differing from many songs, but the lack of varying details hinder the score.

Switching to the “Critical Corner,” both gratefully and unluckily (unlucky in that no discussion can take place, but gratefully it means the song does not elicit anything serious of discussion), nothing offers a discussion point. At most, I could give a quick tangent of how “baby” should be at most sparingly use as a term for affection, but it should be clear, given the song, on why “baby” can be insulting versus complimenting. For another small opinion, in the song’s situation of the love-interest losing their care for the lover, both parties can be seen at fault: the love-interest, though their romantic feelings are lost, should not become utterly cold and apathetic, but likewise, the lover should not traverse to the extreme ends of insulting and mocking the love-interest. Nothing else comes into mind. I will end it here, but as final note, a relationship should consist of endless love and support for one another, not cruel, ignoring behaviors or “big baby baby” callings.  

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – For the visual perspective of “B.B.B,” the choreography resides on a simplistic side. Despite that, it still proves to be charming. In terms of syncing, most of the dancing was intact with the beats or flow of the song. For a prime example, the choruses showcase proper syncing; beats were met with snaps, plus stunningly, even the singing’s flow was met via full arm motions and such. Focusing on the choreography’s weak point: key points. Although “B.B.B” is incredibly synced and diverse in the context of different formations, when scrutinizing the formations themselves, they do lean towards the plainer side. Being a simplistic concept, the formations are nothing complex and thus, do not offer any compelling positions, transitions, or maneuvers. Furthermore, with every section reutilizing its dance, the somewhat lacking key points become additionally whittled down.

Nevertheless, the dance is above average. Strong syncing and a basic concept allow it to thrive. Though some slight complexity seems desirable, in the end, nothing is majorly flawed with the dance.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score) – Averaging the Song Total Score and Choreography Score nets a number of 7 (due to rounding up). This signifies that Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B” is above average, and I can definitely agree. I am truthfully shocked the Song Total Score dropped to a 6, but considering the Line Distribution section was exceptionally low, it is understandable. Nevertheless, in focus of purely how “B.B.B” sounds, it is a stronger song. It remains catchy and upbeat as a standard K-Pop song, and the vocals hold well. The choreography, likewise, also appears as fun and energetic. If Dal Shabet continues releasing song up to the standard of “B.B.B,” the group can definitely start trekking their way towards higher popularity.

As always, thank you very much for reading. It means a lot as I always say. Thanks for your time, I appreciate it dearly. Also, some may notice this review came out relatively quickly, and that is true. Surprisingly, I managed to write this in a total of two days, and with how it usually takes me a week these days per review, this is enlightening and encouraging. I will attempt to bring in reviews at this heighten rate (no promises, however).

Upcoming reviews will consist of a ballad and a few standard K-Pop songs. The question is whether the coin lands on heads or tails the ballad will be reviewed later or sooner. I will also attempt to review another album. With a whole new month, what arrives will remain a surprise, so stay tuned. Thank you once more for reading, I hope “you you you” continue to “come back to me” for more reviews. Keep checking back.

Blog Reflection: January 2015

Posted on January 31, 2015

Due to this being an exceptionally late write, it will not be as in depth (which is unfortunate as I believe reflecting is an important thing). That said, I am currently reviewing Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B,” which, while I am working as efficiently as possible, will most likely not make the deadline for my goals.

On the subject of goals, I attempted to release at least 6 reviews, but I have shamefully failed to do so. Unless if I manage to finish the review by midnight, it will be concluded that I failed to meet my personal goal. Nevertheless, I managed to nearly meet it as I acquired 5 reviews. But, to address how I will certainly fix my current rate of reviews, I have found a solid solution, and in theory with following it, I could, at maximum, release 8 reviews per month (though even more if I get reviews out during weekdays). That is assuming every weekend I publish one review, and looking at what I am doing with “B.B.B,” that is possible (though it has finally occurred to me on how much time is invested into writing reviews). But, factoring in school and such, that may not be the case. Nevertheless, I am going to set, once more, a goal of 6 for February 2015.

Another aspect to my blog that I would like to reflect on is the variety of reviews. In terms of different mediums, this month showcased two show reviews, and newly, an album review. Contrary to my claim, I will continue to bring in album reviews as it appears people enjoy them, and considering they are a short, easy read and easy write, album reviews prove to be enticing. Show reviews, on the other hand, will be more for bonus. While fun and new, the process is, overall, longer than simply writing (time becomes invested via watching, taking pictures, editing the pictures, and then writing). Unless if a show proves to be utterly compelling, I will not review it and will reserve show reviews as bonuses. Now, while the medium of reviews have expanded, I have done a poor job of introducing new K-Pop artists/groups. Peering over my archive page, Apink was the only new artist introduced to this blog. AOA, Nine Muses, and ZE:A have already had some exposure, though with Nine Muses their comeback gives an excuse. Nevertheless, I should brought in different groups, and more specifically, different styles of groups. Next month will focus on bringing in songs whose style are different from what this blog has reviewed so far. Additionally, male artists will take slight priority (my review on “B.B.B” explains my blog’s current ratio of female and male artists, refer to it for more information).

While I would love to reflect upon my analysis, writing, and in general the blog’s growth, due to potentially squeezing in one more review, I will sadly cut off my reflection here (February will, hopefully, cover those aspects). As always, thank you for reading. It has been many months now. I plan to publish 6 reviews for February, and if that is met, I will attempt to exceed it in the following month. Thanks for all the support and time you have placed in this blog. It means a lot and I lack the words to express my gratitude. Stay tuned for future reviews. Keep checking back, and look forward to a stronger review month of February.