Rick is here and late, I guess. Thanks you so much for the review. I thought the song would receive more note given that you said it reflected the 80 ‘successfully’ but it’s always refreshing to know your opinion because you give solid arguments. Moreover, while ‘I Feel You’ is a good song (IMO) on the album are songs a thousand times better so I’m pleased with this comeback and the wait has been justified. Thanks again and when you have time, see Vibrato’s review would be interesting.

Hello, and you’re welcome for it. Likewise, however, I also want to say thank you for reading and for being incredibly patient. If anyone is late, it would be me for delaying the review.

In terms of Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You,” I am still somewhat perplexed on whether my review was just or not. While the song perfectly fit the 1980s’ pop style, as my review rubric is based moreover for current pop music, the song may have been more harshly graded. For example, with “I Feel You” ‘s post-choruses, the style may be delightful in the context of 1980s pop, but for how it holds in terms of current pop, it is on the weaker side. Nevertheless, the song is still respectable, especially when accounting for its unique concept. As for other songs in the group’s album, I have yet to listen to it, though with it being mentioned, I will certainly give it a hearing. 

Addressing the part of Stellar’s “Vibrato,” as I am determined to review it at one point, a review will be eventually made. Off the top of my head, I cannot give firm ratings, but after listening to it for a while, I do believe it holds more highly (at the very least, a six, but more likely a seven). When the review arrives, it will most likely be in the month of September, or if I am still determined, October. 

With this being the end, thank you for sending this in. I greatly enjoy reading your own opinions towards songs. Also, thank you for being so patient for the review and for continually returning. I cannot express how much I appreciate it.

For other updates to every reader, I am finally beginning the music video review on Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart,” and afterwards, “You Think,” in a standard song review, will start. I am exceptionally excited to review both songs, and with specifically seeing the outstanding stage performance of “You Think,” I will do my best to be hasty. For a last update, if plans follow through, I will also be subbing the ladies’ first visit to “Weekly Idol,” a variety show. It has been a while, but my friend finally has time to assist with translations, and thus, we both will work with subtitling it (if, again, she does have time). In short, stay tuned for the upcoming reviews and potential video, and thank you to every reader for the support given to the blog.

ZE:A J’s Music Video – “Marry Me” Review

Reviewed on August 22, 2015

ZE:A J – Marry Me (Music Video)

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Personal Message: After skimming my prior review of Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You,” I do feel rather shameful. While the length is more concise, I feel that the conducted analyses were poor in quality, and thus, the reason for the conciseness; rather than the review being shorter due to proper compact writing, it is, most likely, due to the lack of given analysis. Of course, however, instead of glooming over a horrendous review, moving on through reflection and correction will be done (and it was the second trial of a newly adjusted review outline). That said, in attempts to bring the blog back to its usual rate, and to slightly redeem the past review, a bonus one has been prepared: ZE:A J’s music video, “Marry Me.” Furthermore, to build upon the idea of “bonus,” rather than this being a Korean Pop song, it is a Chinese Pop song (or ballad, more accurately, and it is in Mandarin). To clarify, though, the group is a Korean group, and specifically, a sub-unit.

Partially continuing the latter topic, although ZE:A may be a Korean group, there are no issues with them deciding to tackle a Chinese song (minus potential pronunciation mistakes, but based on many, the men did well for this song). In fact, by them doing so, in a social lens, it is highly beneficial as it showcases acceptance of multiple cultures, languages, and so forth. Coincidentally, the miniature digression in the review of Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” reflects here: music can be a catalyst to promote understanding and acceptance of differences. Due to already discussing this subject, for those interested, reading the mentioned review should be done.  

For what has yet to be discussed, however, and in the review itself, will not be as it is a music video review, to address “Marry Me” in a musical context, although it is not an exceptionally outstanding ballad, it is still rather solid. If it were to be reviewed (for its audio), I predict a seven for “above average.” The vocals are to ZE:A’s usual, high standard, and for other categories, such as with the instrumental and sections, all are equally promising. Now, in terms of the music video, offering brief opinions, biasedly, I adore it as I absolutely love romantic plots and wish, one day, I will be able to experience love due to its overarching theme, and furthermore, its appealing visual content. However, for what is disliked, a weaker plot does exist. Admittedly, however, with ZE:A being in spotlight, with the men being my favorite male group, automatic support is granted. Nevertheless, the review will determine, unbiasedly, if the music video is worth praising.

Before truly beginning, for a short digression based on ZE:A being a personal, beloved group (for those interested in solely the review, feel free to skip to it), interesting remarks were made from a friend when I shared the music video, and additionally, from discussing “ideal types.” As always, I do not intend to antagonize my friend or anyone, but, for the purpose of critically challenging certain replies, a discussion must take place. Many readers may relate to the given scenario, and thus, it is worth spending time to dissect it. With such, to offer context, though I was certainly quite excited with sharing the video, a friend responded with: “Stop fanboying this much, it’s not right and gross.” Peculiarly, though, when it comes to female groups, I have not received this reply from her, hence why this is can be considered more than a request to quit acting excessively (and with past “fanboying,” I was certainly more excited, such was with AOA’s “Heart Attack,” of which she accepted).

First of all, to humorously continue the use of the term “fanboy,” nothing is wrong with, as a male, “fanboying” over male groups (or persons). There is no shame in admiring the men of ZE:A for their skills, sweet manners, intelligence, and even physical beauty. As shared in a past review, I greatly adore Kevin from ZE:A for his attitude and work ethics, and furthermore, for providing me confidence with using makeup as a male. Blatantly, there is nothing “gross” or “wrong” with that admiration (or using makeup, as discussed in Infinite’s “The Chaser”). Offering a disturbing find, for an opposite example, females “fangirling” over females tends to be accepted, or at least, more so than when a male does it, and most likely, that is not a mere coincidence. Arguably, gender norms are the reasons for why males tend to be shamed for admiring other males, and diving deeper with such leads to unfortunate discoveries.

Summarizing two main parts, male standards and, once again, undervaluing femininity, are the reasons for why it is “gross” for a male to highly admire males. Addressing the component of male standards, homophobia arrives: males are supposed to be heterosexuals; not being a heterosexual as a male can be equated to not even being a male. Therefore, with the possible chance of being associated with homosexuality, such as through affection for other males, many opt to hide any form of affection for males. The current result from such reflects in that, for males admiring other males, it is considered “gross.”

On that note, there are many issues with this current norm. Most importantly, for one aspect, homosexuality should not be considered as disgusting. It is highly inequitable for heterosexuality to be considered “right” when there is never a “correct” sexual orientation (heterosexuality has been socialized and pushed as “normal”). Furthermore, assumptions towards sexual orientation can never be made; it is impossible to gauge a person’s sexual orientation through behavior as, unlike what is often time showcased, sexual orientation does not relate to a person’s behavior (current stereotypes exist to degrade homosexuals as if they were savages and so forth). As I have already allocated much time towards the discussion of homophobia and its connection to masculinity, I will link the review that discusses it: Teen Top’s “Ah Ah.” Perfectly timed, the review uses an example of “fanboying,” and thus, for the purpose of time, I will halt the discussion here. (For a side note, it is pleasing to be able to link reviews that have already discussed certain social topics. This showcases how much I digress that many important, rarer discussions are taking place.)

That said, for the second piece of undervaluing femininity, though that has been ubiquitously discussed in my reviews, I have yet to do so in the context of male gender norms. In terms of how male-to-male admiration shaming reflects such, being affectionate is connoted as feminine; acting caring and loving is considered an act that females do. To clarify, though it is worth challenging why that trait has been socialized as a gender norm, it should also be acknowledged that being affectionate is not negative. In fact, it is a highly beneficial, essential trait that, arguably, the world is in shortage of. But, returning to the main topic, if being affectionate is far from negativity, it would then appear illogical for males to be shamed for showcasing such. Masculinity, or more accurately, toxic masculinity, and, as stated, undervaluing femininity, are why male affection is disapproved.

Males are socialized to be dominant, and with defining dominant, being open to opinions and displaying care, for examples, are not a part of the description (and if asking why males are taught that, it can be linked to continuing the idea of male superiority, and with it being continually perpetuated, it allows sexism to keep thriving). Therefore, for one aspect, being affectionate, especially towards another male, is failing to uphold the “manly” standard of being dominant and authoritative. Now, connecting the piece of undervaluing femininity, due to how affection is associated with females, males doing so are downgrading in social rank; a male acting feminine is disliked as, for androcentric societies, females are not rendered as equal to males, but rather, inferior. Disclosing an example, a woman who acts dominant and apathetic is often time praised as, with those behaviors, masculinity is in place, yet when a man displays emotions, such as crying to shows or greatly adoring male idols, he is insulted and shamed as, based on current norms, those feminine acts are repulsive, and more so when by a male and in no way am I coincidentally mentioning that I have fell into the latter via crying a river to “Jessica & Krystal” and highly adoring ZE:A.

For additional discussion, a much older review on Apink’s “Luv” dives into this gender value disparity. Overall, it is shameful that positive, feminine traits are disliked when, as explained, feminine traits are not poor. Also, to explain, masculine traits in themselves are not horrendous, but rather, current standards of those traits are. Instead of teaching males that being authoritative and dominant is to shut down various opinions and emotions, males should be taught that being authoritative is to advocate for those who are, indeed, ignored, and that it means to be open to opinions. Furthermore, males should not be limited to being taught “masculine” traits, but also, “feminine” ones, and anticipatedly, females should follow suit with being taught both “masculine” and “feminine”  traits as, if standards were equitable, both labels are worthy of praise, unlike the current standard where one is not.

Delivering a final message, and the one I simply told my friend (and could have stated at the start to save two hours), there is nothing wrong with “fanboying” over ZE:A, or other males, since, real men know how to love people, regardless of who they are. Rather than continuing the toxic trends of masculinity, it is best to reconstruct it so that, in the future, both masculinity and femininity is admired. In this specific case, and for a personal message to male readers, remember what “being a man” is truly: being sweet, friendly, smart, open for opinions, helpful, expressive, and so forth. It is manly to cry, to love, and to compliment other males. That said, it is also manly to love sports, cars, and other, typical male-related activities, but likewise, it is still manly to be into makeup, fashion, and so forth. In the end, being a man is to be able to embrace femininity and masculinity, and to be a kind, decent human being. It should not, and  does not, mean what the current, perplexing standards showcase.

As this digression has ran a longer length, I will save the embarrassing discussion of “ideal types” for a future review (in short, my friend and I shared qualities we would love in a partner, and with my list, she found it highly “absurd”). On topic, with the sub-unit group of ZE:A J, the five, lovely men, in addition to unveiling what real masculinity is, will also, hopefully, showcase a decent music video.

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Plot Score: 4/10

So that readers understand my personal interpretation of the plot, and thus, the reasons for possible criticism, I will offer my personal summary of the music video. Concerningly, however, the plot can already be summarized in one sentence: five men are followed, and each presents their own method on how they propose to their partner, or charmingly phrased, soon-to-be-wife.

Diving into specifics, the video opens with (for the purpose of simplicity, members’ names will be used for the characters) Dongjun and his partner walking under serene, vivid trees. The two hold hands, and later, decide to take pictures. Afterwards, a transition is made to another character: Heechul. He and his date enjoy a dinner. Hastily progressed, the music video then switches to Minwoo, the third character. Differentiating from the prior scenes, his date and him are not on land, but instead, on water: the two are in a rowboat in a pool. Fast forwarding, the song’s title is finally upheld: a toy boat arrives with a ring, and as depicted, Minwoo proposes to his love-interest. Continuing to the fourth character, Taeheon and his partner are witnessed playing games, such as pool and, for a lack of name, the “lucky alligator.” Lastly, for Kevin, a magic performance is given by him for his partner. After mystically changing his clothing and turning a rabbit plushie into an actual one, he unveils a final trick: placing a wedding veil over her head, of which can be considered his way of proposing.

With the remaining duration, and likewise, for other segments throughout the video, standard singing is showcased. Nonetheless, in terms of the music video’s plot, its end will be assumed at the wedding veil placement.

– Analysis: Although the plot is infatuating, that moreover is due to the general, sweet and romantic theme, not the plot directly; the plot, in essence, is plain, though on the surface, it appears as enticing due to its love concept. Praising a few notable aspects, however, for one, the use of five characters’ perspectives does allow variety. If the music video was centered on solely one member, a more stagnant, linear plot could have potentially been the outcome. Positively, with five characters in spotlight, rather than one affectionate relationship, five are observed. Furthermore, although it would be predicted that every character was to propose, solely Minwoo and Kevin did (or at least, for the depicted scenes). While inconsistency from such may seem troubling, in the case of “Marry Me,” with solely two characters proposing, redundancy is prevented. A few of the characters’ relationship were at the point of marriage, but for the others, different points existed, and that diversity aids in keeping “Marry Me” unique and interesting.

Switching to the negatives, and for why the score is a four, of which indicates a slightly below average plot, reiterating the earlier point, though the plot is lovely in the context of genuine love and marriage, that is solely what is displayed. There is no complexity to the music video’s plot. Utilizing the term of “eye-candy,” that is “Marry Me” ‘s music video; the video to ZE:A J’s song is one that focuses moreover on visual appeal than a mentally stimulating story. The plot is, sadly, lackluster, and even with the exclusive methods of proposing and the adorable scenes, there is a minimal story.

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Structural Score: 8/10

Optimistically, despite a lower score for its plot, for the structural score–the category that relates to visual content and how the music video is edited or “structured”–a higher-end rating exists: solid. “Marry Me” is fantastic in the realm of visual appeal, as stated earlier.

Addressing a usual, yet effective, component for music videos, “Marry Me” manipulates transitions between plot scenes and singing scenes. Elaborating, the loving, cuter scenes involving a character and partner would alternate to a single shot, or, at specific times, an entire group shot, involving the ZE:A J members. With a plethora of scenes lasting for shorter lengths of seconds, the constant alternating allows more visual content to be compacted in the music video’s timeframe. Additionally, with minimal time to truly consume every scene thoroughly, this constant switch maintains visual appeal as, overall, analyzing is relentless.     

Focusing moreover on the visual content, in the lens of settings, the multiple backgrounds were attractive: the walk under the blossoming trees; the single and group shots involving an ostentatious mansion; the outdoor, shining pool; the inside of said mansion where games were played; and lastly, the outdoors, though specifically at night. Although, overarchingly, the settings were of a single, general one involving a mansion and its surrounding, with precise attention towards certain points of the overall background, variety is still in place. Also, it is preferable that “Marry Me” adopts its current background route: rather than backgrounds that would be highly abstract and random to one another, with all of the settings relating, organization is in place, and of course, general consistency, both of which greatly build upon the music video’s romantic theme versus, for an undesirable outcome, distracting viewers.

For an ultimate piece to the video’s structural layer, for how the members and actress appeared, needless to state, all are very chic. The copious, stylish clothings and equally stunning hair styles for the men and lady are gorgeous, and furthermore, with it all flawlessly meshing with the given backgrounds, all of them unequivocally contribute to the music video’s visual appeal.

An eight will hold as the structural score. Though “Marry Me” possesses a weaker plot, with its visual component, much compensation occurs.

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score)

Averaging out the two categories, ZE:A J’s music video of “Marry Me” can be considered a slightly above average video, and that I partially agree to; biasedly, I hold this video at a seven, but realistically, as with the review, I do accept that it holds at a six. For a new release, the men of ZE:A J continue to showcase their charms, both with vocals and their acting, and personally, I am glad the group is active once more. It has been more than a year since the group as a whole returned, and although this is a sub-unit release, it is better than none. ZE:A is highly underrated despite their consistently proven talents.

Before proceeding further, once again, I am writing past midnight. Therefore, should the writing significantly falter, I do apologize. On topic, thank you very much for reading. As there has been a significant delay with the blog, I am relieved to have finished this within two days of the prior review. Nevertheless, with this being a music video review, and thus, exceptionally shorter than standard song reviews, that is to be expected. One more bonus review is planned: Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart,” and specifically, akin to this review, the ladies’ music video will be of focus. Due to a request for both of Girls’ Generation’s latest releases, “Lion Heart” and “You Think,” as time will restrict both songs from being reviewed, I have decided to split the request: “Lion Heart” will be reviewed for its music video, and “You Think” for the song itself. To the requester, I greatly apologize for modifying the request, but with time restraints, I hope for understanding.

Afterwards, unless if more requests arrive, the current, personal list will be continued. Because of university coming up on August 31, I will be attempting to post as many reviews as possible, and with this review taking solely two days, I feel encouraged. That said, as this is the end, thank you once again for reading, and stay tuned for another music video review. And though I would normally insert my reviews’ iconic conclusions, as I unfortunately do not speak Mandarin and that no translations have been posted, I am forced to confess my emotions: I hope readers “marry me.” And by the phrase, I do mean that many will continue reading my reviews. Keep checking back for a review on the music video to Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart.”

Hello once again! I’m sorry to disturb as I know you have a busy schedule as well as writing more reviews but I would like to request a review on SNSD’s Lion heart and You think. Thank you for your time!!

Hello, and no worries. You are not disturbing me or adding more work. In fact, I would argue the opposite: receiving requests motivates me to create more reviews, and it is always pleasing to know there are readers who enjoy them.

With that, I will certainly review those two songs. I personally have yet to hear the songs, but I have been looking forward to doing so. Since I am amidst reviewing a music video (it should finished by today, or at least, nearly), these reviews will be slightly delayed. Nevertheless, once finished with the current review, I plan to hastily begin reviewing the two songs (I will attempt to limit digressions and so forth). Also, with being done with my summer homework (minus two short write-ups), more time for reviews is finally available. 

To end, thank you for requesting the two songs, and also, for constantly supporting the blog. It means a lot, and I will do my best to quickly review those two songs.

Edit: Due to time, I may be restricted to reviewing solely one of the songs. Regardless of which is chosen, both would deliver interesting reviews. For a personal note, however, I have enjoyed both songs and their music videos, though in a realistic, neutral view, for the songs, neither are incredibly outstanding. More will be discussed in the upcoming review(s).

Wonder Girls – “I Feel You” Review

Wonder Girls – I Feel You (Music Video)

Wonder Girls – I Feel You

Reviewed on August 19, 2015

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Personal Message: Once again, I am slightly delayed with a review. In truth, offering excuses, I have allocated my writing time towards video time; rather than writing for reviews, for a few days, I have used that time to watch videos, and specifically, ones of Apink. Furthermore, besides nearly squealing and squeezing the “life” out of my stuffed penguin calmly enjoying videos of the group (“Apink Diary Season 2” is excellent), I have also come across a ballad by the ladies that I absolutely adore: “Deja Vu.” Surprisingly, the leader herself, Chorong, wrote the lyrics. Also, to clarify, it is shocking not on the basis of questioning her capabilities, but rather, surprising due to the higher leveled composition skills. The lyrics to “Deja Vu” are thorough in detail, possess an intriguing plot–even if it follows the standard story of love, and lastly, sonically, the lyrics flow well with the song’s melody. And, of course, for the song itself, musically, it is lovely.

Now, while awed by Chorong’s intelligence and talents, a question does linger: how did she develop her lyrics? Perhaps out of creativity, but also, potentially, personal experience. The latter seemingly ignites much discussion or, at least, in a friend’s case, her humorous delusion that she is Chorong’s supposed, lost love. That said, however, if her admiration towards Chorong is embarrassing, I follow suit with adoring Eunji from the group, and more pitifully, after listening to “Deja Vu,” yearning that, one day, a lady will find me lovable, as Chorong does for her real or figurative boy. Pushing aside hopeless, romantic dreams, and, most likely, the most random digression to exist for a review, to truly focus on the current review, an exciting one is in place: Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You.”

On a serious note, with finishing video subtitling and nearly a summer assignment, this review did become delayed. Thus, I do apologize to the requester as, with this song being requested for review, high priority should exist. Optimistically, with a new outline in place (as tested in Apink’s “Remember”), I do hope this review is hastily published, all while maintaining quality, of course. On the subject of Wonder Girls, there is much to discuss: the song, the group, and also, music in a general scope.

In terms of Wonder Girls, admittedly, I do lack familiarity; due to the group residing towards an older generation of K-Pop groups, I simply lack exposure. However, though Wonder Girls’ era has faded, for their trending period, they were exceptionally popular. In fact, if correct, current, highly popular groups, such as Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, and 2NE1, for a few examples, fail to provide an equivalent example of Wonder Girls’ prior popularity (emphasis towards “if correct”). Overall, Wonder Girls are often time considered a very noteworthy, senior K-Pop group, and for many, the ladies are considered the epitome of K-Pop due to their previous, sheer popularity. Now, regardless of my words’ accuracy, certain aspects are in place: I find it an honor to be able to review an older generation group, and though the degree of popularity may be unclear, the group was certainly so.

Focusing on “I Feel You,” I foreshadowed the song to be of modern style; I predicted the ladies to possess a comeback that would replicate the many ongoing ones: a summer themed, upbeat, and cheerier song. Interestingly, the traits are correct, but differently, “I Feel You” is not of modern style, or even the group’s own period’s style: Wonder Girls’ latest comeback adopts a 1980s pop style, if accurate. As a result, although I enjoy the unique concept, I do fear that, with my reviews being calibrated for current K-Pop songs, the rubric may be slightly harsher for “I Feel You.” Nevertheless, for purpose of consistency, I will have to maintain the review outline’s strictness, and joyfully, even with an older style of pop music, “I Feel You” should hold decently.

Abruptly beginning a new topic, as is the trend in my Personal Message category (feel free to skip to the review itself), Wonder Girls’ comeback instills a discussion that, unlike other reviews’ digressions, is not akin to social topics directly, but rather, simply music, though admittedly in a cultural lens. Music is a peculiar, fantastic phenomenon. Music is able to garner attention through its sheer sounds, but furthermore, it is able to discreetly, yet potently, deliver messages, of which relate to social aspects. Considering how the blog has yet to dive into music in a more general, open discussion, this review will do so as, with “I Feel You” specifically, the subject of “music evolution” arises.

With being exposed to older pop during my childhood (will share more later), it is astounding to track how, for the genre of pop (and other genres), changes have occurred, and more accurately, are occurring. In fact, recalling my professor’s words, summarizing his message: a book written of music is, by the time publishing happens, outdated; writing a book regarding music will become irrelevant when it becomes published. Music evolves quickly. Returning to why such is worthy of discussing, two reasons: one, the significance of said music evolving at a speeding rate; and two, how people follow changes in music.

Addressing the first portion, with music continually, gradually changing in styles, sounds, and so forth, it can be confidently assumed that music is not a random, abstract trend that will eventually fade out. Therefore, it can be concluded that music is permanent, and this, to be explained later, has significant connotations. In terms of the latter, while music evolves hastily, people, in contrast, tend to follow more slowly; music may sound entirely different in a few years, but often time, a person will remain in the era of which they prefer. This, as a result, leaves a thought: music is taught, or more generally, socialized into a person. After all, if music was bereft of cultural and social influences, people would equally adapt to trends, but that is not the case as, for example, many still listen to older pop, rap, and other genres.

While this argument may seem incoherent as of now, I will clarify towards the end. But, returning to the idea of music socialization, if that phrase may be used, the concept appears as legitimate. Tracking my personal history with music, I believe I was socialized to love certain genres, specifically pop and ballad (and even EDM). Expanding my socialization process in terms of music, from childhood, Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese) ballads were constantly played, whether at home or in the car (there is a Chinese ballad I sincerely love and will share with readers one day, though I can only find an English version as of now). And, of course, to address my enjoyment of pop music, homogenous to Chinese ballads, I was also consistently exposed to pop, though in the lens of America. Listing three major American pop artists I listened to as a child, C.C Catch (if accurate on her artist name), and for very notable, famous ones, Madonna and Michael Jackson, were the pop artists I constantly heard. Expectedly, pop became a favored genre, though now it has shifted to that of Korean Pop versus American Pop (which requires another review to discuss).

Now, arguing why music is socialized and not self-taught (as in personally finding one’s preferences) as a few would claim, during my exposure to Chinese ballads, I, ironically, loathed the songs. As a child, ballads soothed me to sleep, and not out of comfort, but jocularly, boredom. Nevertheless, with my current age, I adore ballads, even with hating the genre when younger. The genre simply grew into a musical preference over time, and for pop, the same applies. On topic, for the ultimate message: if music is universal and permanent, as showcased by the constant evolution of it, and if music preferences are socialized and not merely individually discovered, for an intriguing idea to ruminate over, music can be an effective medium for creating understanding among one another.

Whether as basic as accepting and respecting a person’s own genres, or as complex as embracing songs in foreign languages, music provides a bridge for understanding differences. Despite not personally knowing Mandarin, for example, and comically, even with knowing Cantonese, for ballads in either languages, although comprehension is none to minimal, I still highly adore the songs. Likewise, K-Pop follows suit, and many readers may also feel similarly. Furthermore, in addition to embracing different cultures’ music in a sonic context, music is capable of delivering social messages, implicitly and explicitly, hence why a vast majority Personal Messages in reviews discuss a social topic that, often time, derives from the song in review.

Overall, summarizing the most disorganized digression I have yet to venture into, should people understand and embrace differences in songs, such as via genres or even language, and additionally, if songs provide positive, equitable ideas, as observed in MAMAMOO’s “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” for example, then music may be the catalyst for shifting societies to exactly such: equity. By being able to respect multiple genres and languages of songs, said respect could easily translate to accepting and understanding differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, and so forth.

For the many who invest time into K-Pop but are not Korean, for example, no shame should exist (Girls’ Generation’s review actually discussed the topic of shaming K-Pop). Music is universal; music exists in every culture (ignorantly stated, that is; there may a culture without music, but from gauging many, a form of music often time exists). Thus, for what can be gleaned from this random digression, respect music. Respect different genres (that is, even if a genre is not preferred, outrightly bashing is erroneous), different languages in songs, and such. Doing so is more than accepting sounds, but more critically, is accepting different cultures and customs.

Finally returning to Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” after the most confusing writing I have composed, addressing the link, I am including the music video for the purpose of audio. Remarking on the music video, although it maintains the theme of 1980s summer pop, it is rather perplexing, and from what I have interpreted, it is solely random visual content that directly reflects the song’s lyrics. Regardless, the audio is what should be of focus. With that, although I feel a 1980s concept, in truth, I do not feel a strong song.

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Song Score: 6/10 (6.2/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”

– Vocals: 6/10 – Before genuinely beginning, foremost, I apologize to both requester and readers for this review’s overwhelming delay. With university arriving incredibly soon, I have been preparing via finishing work, refining personal schedules, and other, miscellaneous details. Thus, reviews have been halted. Once everything is settled, I have plans to quickly review two additional songs, and afterwards, to return the blog to a usual pace. Also, if the blog is seemingly inactive, as stated in the past, if I am not writing, often time for a different activity, I am subtitling videos. Therefore, should readers desire a temporary filler for reviews, I suggest watching a few of my YouTube channel’s videos.  

Pitiful excuses aside, for the vocals in “I Feel You,” generously, a six is the rating. Clarifying the word “generously,” I am referring to the word since, biasedly, a five would seem more suiting. Realistically, however, the vocals are decent. First, the vocals do adopt a distinctive style: whispering and soft. In addition to crafting the song’s 1980s pop theme, in a sonic lens, this delivery style augments the melody, and furthermore, creates a soothing, fluent flow. For example, at the verses, the raspier singing accentuates the ongoing note stretches, and thus, a more enticing tune is in place. In other sections, the singing style also aids the melody: the choruses benefit from contrast of standard singing and the whispered words of “I feel you.”

Now, addressing the other component, for how the vocals’ flow is affected, with the whispering singing demeanor, it becomes exploited to grant a gradual, seamless progression. Elaborating with an example, the verses’ singing begins in a noticeable, raspier style, but with the upcoming sections, the hefty breathing discreetly fades: the pre-choruses, though possessive of the prior sections’ vocals, is moreover short segments than full lines, and for the choruses, the whispering style nearly disappears. As an overall outcome, “I Feel You” ‘s vocals follow a cohesive, organized route, and also, more variety is in place as no section sounds akin to another.

Unfortunately, issues are still in place, hence a six and not a higher score. Returning to the vocal style, while helpful to the melody, simultaneously, it is also impairing. With the pre-choruses, although the sections suit in the realm of vocal progression, mechanically, the sections sound monotonous. The raspier singing that occurs is, unlike the verses, rather linear. Rather than changes in pitches, pacings, and other traits, the singing at the pre-choruses recycle a singular, plain melody. Expectedly, mundanity accumulates. Furthermore, the post-choruses contain an identical issue, though to an even larger degree.

Accounting for the mentioned incidents will prevent a higher score than a six. Nonetheless, with notable,  serene singing in other sections, “slightly above average” still holds.

– Sections: 5/10 (5.14/10 raw score)

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

1. Introduction: 6/10

2. Verse: 5/10  

3. Pre-Chorus: 5/10

4. Chorus: 6/10

5. Post-Chorus: 3/10

6. Rap: 5/10

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 6/10

– Analysis: In terms of the song’s weakest category, its sections prove so. Many of the sections in “I Feel You” are rated as average, and disappointedly, for one, below average. Optimistically, however, a few are slightly above average.

Starting with the introduction and conclusion, both are regarded adequately: sixes, or in actual words, “slightly above average.” Both fulfill traditional roles, and furthermore, carry pleasing tunes. Specifically with the introduction, for setting the song’s concept, the 1980s pop sound to “I Feel You” is instantly showcased via its solo instrumental. Additionally, with such preserving the vocals, anticipation is gained, of which is always vital for an introduction as it is responsible for luring in listeners. Similarly, the conclusion follows suit, though in its own context. “I Feel You” naturally fades out with, akin to the introduction, a solo instrumental, and besides the mentioned instrumental serving as a flawless, precise closure, it allows the song to conclude with its distinctive qualities: old pop music. In the end, for what prevents a higher rating for the two sections, sonically, the occurred instrumental hinders the score. If it were partially more alluring, then, perhaps a seven would hold.

Switching to the verses, although the Vocals category noted admirable singing, sadly, for the remaining component of structure, it falters. The verses may contain pleasing vocals, but with the sections’ format, redundancy is rife. A single melody is reused twice, and as a result, accounting for the lack of deviating factors, and also, utterly captivating singing (the vocals are still decent, but not enough to compensate), the verses quickly lose appeal. Offering a desired outcome, the choruses provide an example: a reused melody, but delightfully, accompanied with minor fluctuations. Like the verses, the choruses replay its melody twice, however, with the second playback, vocal intensity increases, even if marginally, and furthermore, a final, minor note stretch is given. These changes, though exceptionally subtle, are significant enough to prevent the staleness that the verses face. Thus, respectively, the ratings are five and six. If the verses possessed variety throughout its duration, a six would have been plausible, and in regards to both sections, even higher scores would have been earned if the sections were more attractive sonically.

Transitioning to a section that has yet to be discussed at all, for Yubin’s rap, average serves as the rating. Many attributes to the rap are, reiterating the rating, average. The rap’s pacing, tune, and flow, for a few, are relatively stagnant. Specifically with the pacing, the rap in Wonder Girls’ comeback does reside on a slower rate. Obviously, in the context of standard vocals, the rap is seemingly hasty, however, in comparison to many raps, it is, indeed, somewhat sluggish. Though this in itself is not problematic, in this case, it proves hindering to the flow. On that note, the flow of the rap is mediocre, and overall, the reason for a five. The rap’s rhythm and flow remain undynamic; there are no changes throughout the rap. Utilized pitches lurk in similar, if not the same, ranges, and adding the aspect of a leisure pacing, a straightforward, tedious rap is constructed. Should the rap have differed in speed at certain points, or if more lively, melodic vocals were included, then the rap could be improved. As of now, however, it does render as average.

Critiquing the final two sections, the pre-choruses and post-choruses, both are rated five and three, respectively. First, for the pre-choruses, despite its positive attempts, a glaring issue is still present: the sections are insipid, and more so than the singing itself. To prevent repetitiveness, side vocals are utilized, such as through “woo.” Foreshadowed, however, doing so is futile as, ironically, more dullness builds up: in addition to the plain vocals that normally occur, equally plain side vocals now also contribute to the overarching issue. Of course, sadly, few solutions exist as the pre-choruses are based on the whispering vocals, and as explained, the vocals’ style is critical to ensuring a natural progression of the song as a whole. Thus, for a positive remark, the pre-choruses’ standard role is still achieved, though in a highly ineffective manner.

In terms of the post-choruses, a three holds for below average, of which is rather concerning. Justifying the score, both layers of mechanical and structural are lackluster to notable extents: mechanically, the sections sound bereft of tune, and structurally, the sections are abruptly placed and poorly formatted. With the disclosed vocals, the pre-choruses’ vocals carry over, though as stated in the Vocals category, to a larger degree: the whispering is exceptionally distinctive. From such, melody is utterly lost as, essentially, the post-choruses are formatted of basic, whispered phrases and words. Addressing the final piece, the sections are also peculiarly placed. Coming after the choruses, the sudden change in tempo, intensity, and overall style, render the sections are unsuiting. Though unsure on whether this was an older concept for pop music, that will not serve as excuses. Overall, the post-choruses, while certainly observed as their label, do not fulfill their roles. If the sections were completely removed, more benefit than losses may be the outcome, especially when considering a solo instrumental break already occurs for the “post-chorus” role.

Averaging all of the sections, for the conclusive score, five holds. Therefore, the sections in “I Feel You” can be labeled as average, and pitifully, that is observable and understandable.

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – Shamefully, I have not mentioned that, although Wonder Girls made a comeback, not every member returned. There are more than four members in the group–two have chosen to retire. On the positive side, with solely four members, a higher score will, most likely, be obtained.

First, for the group’s rapper, Yubin’s sections include the introduction, two post-choruses, and a rap. Four is her total, and with that value often time resulting in an equal share, no issues exist.

For Yeeun, miraculously, akin to Yubin, four sections is her count: two verses and two post-choruses. A perfect distribution is currently showcased.

Sunmi’s spotlight is at the three choruses and two post-choruses. While five is her total, should the remaining member follow suit, a perfect score is still possible. Nonetheless, a high score will be earned, even if not a ten.

Hyerim, the final member to gauge, possesses four sections, and, retracting the earlier statement, even with not replicating Sunmi’s quantity, a perfect distribution does exist.

Summing all of the members’ sections, 17 is the number, and with that split among the ladies, every member should hold 4.25 sections, and realistically, that is apparent: three members have four sections while one has five. Therefore, a ten will serve as the rating. Though the prior song review of Apink’s “Remember” had a ten as well, this is a rare feat that, astonishingly, both groups have managed to acquire.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – The instrumental to “I Feel You” does render as a six. Though a six is nothing negative in itself, considering “I Feel You” adopts old pop music’s style, and thus, due to the review outline, may be unfairly and strictly graded, the score is highly respectable.

Focusing on the sonic layer, excluding the stagnant post-choruses, the instrumental maintains a soothing, delightful tune, of which can be credited to its electronic keyboard (if accurate). With the mentioned instrument, a catchy, light melody is granted. In terms of other sounds, deeper and soothing beats accompany the electronic keyboard, and with this combination, it proves effective: contrast. Besides differences in pitch, the pacings of the two main sounds differentiate: the beats utilize a faster pace while the electronic keyboard resides on a slower rate. Although these disparities would seemingly create a disorganized mesh of sounds, variety is, instead, the outcome as multiple aspects remain diverse and unique. Rather than a singular rate, for example, a spectrum of slow to fast is unveiled, and for the trait of pitch, both deeper and higher notes are disclosed. Overall, with the sounds themselves remaining pleasing, and additionally, variated, high appeal is gleaned.

Analyzing the structural side to the instrumental, in terms of how vocals are complemented, with the singing equally featuring a calm, smooth style, the instrumental flawlessly suits. Also, with every section, the instrumental accommodates accordingly, though, interestingly, it is merely a coincidence; while all of the sections possess an instrumental that suits, it is not because the instrumental directly adapts to suit the vocals, but rather, the instrumental simply happens to suit. Explaining, and to also showcase why the score is limited at a six, the instrumental is linear. Though sonically the instrumental varies, and thus, is musically intriguing, in an overall scope, the instrumental fails to change. The sounds played at a verse, for example, is incredibly, if not exactly, similar to the sounds played at a chorus. Due to such, over a longer span of time, while the instrumental itself fluctuates with its instruments’ sounds, it renders as plain and undynamic, and therefore, unalluring.

In the end, slightly above average fits as the instrumental’s rating. Sonically and even structurally, “I Feel You” ‘s instrumental is sufficient, but on a more general scale, it does prove dull as it fails to significantly fluctuate throughout the song. Nevertheless, with an older style of pop music, this concept is understandable, and of course, a six is still worth regarding.   

– Lyrics: 4/10 – “I Feel You” holds as an intriguing title, though as is the general trend, its plot can be predicted as one of romance. Perhaps a main character is flirting with a love-interest, and as a result, “feels” them, or conversely, a main character may be in a situation of vague love with said love-interest. Uncovering the sincere plot, the following Korean-to-English lyrics will provide such, even if not 100% accurate on translations:

JYP
And the Wonder Girls
We’re back

What is this spell you cast on me?
I can’t get out of it
I’ve never been like this before
I’ve never been shaken up before, no

(Woo) I’m like this all day, drunk with thoughts of you
(Woo) I’m just waiting to go see you
(Woo woo baby) What do I do?
I don’t think I can live without you, woo baby

(I feel you)
Even when I’m alone, I feel your touch
All day, you touch me
(I feel you)
I’ve fallen for you and I can’t escape
I only think about running to you

I’m falling for you more and more
I’m going crazier and crazier
More and more, what do I do?
Baby

It feels like your touch is still
brushing over me
It seems like your voice is
still whispering in my ear, no

(Woo) I’m like this all day, drunk with thoughts of you
(Woo) I’m just waiting to go see you
(Woo woo baby) What do I do?
I don’t think I can live without you, woo baby

(I feel you)
Even when I’m alone, I feel your touch
All day, you touch me
(I feel you)
I’ve fallen for you and I can’t escape
I only think about running to you

I hear you even when my eyes are closed
I feel your sweet breath
Stop looking at me and turn off the lights
Your look is making me red
My hands and feet feel tickled
My rising temperature quickens my breath
I can’t hold it in anymore
Now please, baby, be mine

(I feel you)
Even when I’m alone, I feel your touch
All day, you touch me
(I feel you)
I’ve fallen for you and I can’t escape
I only think about running to you

I’m falling for you more and more
I’m going crazier and crazier
More and more, what do I do?
Baby

Correctly envisioned, the lyrics do depict a romantic plot. A main character questions a “spell [the love-interest] cast on [them].” Of course, however, the spell is not one of magical fantasy, but rather, figurative language; the main character feels as if she/he is under one as they are constantly “drunk with thoughts of [the love-interest],” and are simply living life to “go see [the love-interest].” Additionally, for other effects of the “spell,” the main character, as is the title of the song, feels the love-interest, even without actual physical contact. Due to their infatuation, the main character relentlessly “[feels] [the love-interest’s] touch.” Other details are also included, though most fall within the idea of endless touching and affectionate feelings.

For a score, a four for slightly below average will hold. While the main character feels a persistent touch, for the lyrics, listeners also feel a similar, persistent, and overly excessive touch: mundanity with lines. Many sections are entirely repeated, and for the sections that do not follow suit, homogenous ideas are still present, such as with the two verses. Therefore, with a duller, basic plot and equally plain, repetitive details accompanying it, a lower score will be earned. If more variety existed for details, or if the plot was more complex than a lover being hypnotized over their attraction, a higher rating would be in place.

– “Critical Corner”: Although the lyrics are not engaging, for a positive point, no pressing social topic derives from them. Resultly, the “Critical Corner” will serve no purpose for Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” as the lyrics are of pure, simplistic romance.

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Choreography Score: X/10 – Technically, a choreography does exist for “I Feel You,” but with it being similar to a band performance, as unveiled with merely shifting around with instruments, I will exclude a rating.

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – With solely the Song Score, Wonder Girls’ comeback after a hiatus can be considered as slightly above average. Truthfully, if not for the perfect Line Distribution category, the song could have netted a worse score. Biasedly, I render this song moreover as average, though nonetheless, I highly admire the ladies’ take on older pop music. And on that subject, for reviving an older style of music, while a higher numerical score is not earned, I will confidently state Wonder Girls managed to properly conduct such.

As this is the end, necessary words must be given: I am incredibly sorry to readers and requester for the longest delay yet for a review. Due to finishing schoolwork (one hour’s worth of work is left), and also, preparing for college, I have been busy and unable to write. But, that said, I still greatly apologize for the huge delay, and in compensation, two bonus reviews will be granted to return the blog back to a usual pace. August is, so far, the worst month yet for the blog, but like the ladies of Wonder Girls, I am striving for my own, jocular “comeback” through multiple, spontaneous reviews.

With all that stated, thank you very much for reading, and again, to readers and requester, I apologize greatly. For those who continually check the blog, I appreciate it all and cannot express enough gratitude. Bonus reviews will be posted to correct the blog’s current rate, and afterwards, the blog’s standard schedule will be back into place. Leaking the next post, a music video review will occur, and it will be on my favorite male group, though for their sub-unit: ZE:A J. Afterwards, depending on rate, a standard song  or an album review will be next. Once again, thank you for reading, and also, apologies for excessively poorer writing in this review. At the very least, “I’ve fallen for you and I can’t escape, I only think about running to you” with more reviews. Stay tuned for an upcoming music video review.

Blog Opinion: T-ARA vs. One Direction Billboard Popularity Poll

Posted on August 14, 2015

image

Personal Message: Although Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” was to be nearly finished today, it will be even more slightly delayed. That said, a Blog Opinion will be why a delay exists. Before beginning further on the current situation, I do want to acknowledge and clarify an important message: both T-ARA and One Direction deserve respect, and equally, fans who are attempting to mediate the situation with respecting both groups. In fact, optimistically, I believe there are exponentially more genuine fans who support both, even if one group is unfamiliar, than the current view that every fan from either groups is atrocious and hateful. With such, for a final disclaimer, although this blog is, blatantly, for K-Pop, it would be ignorant and incredibly biased to side with T-ARA’s fans on the current situation. Truthfully, both T-ARA and One Direction fans–or more accurately, “listeners” as, harshly stated, these are not sincere “fans”–are at large fault.  

Elaborating on the current situation, I was notified by a friend who sent me an article link. Upon witnessing the title’s words of T-ARA versus One Direction and voting, I nearly disregarded it; I predicted the article to be of fans arguing with one another over popularity, and more excitedly, music. For a desired outcome, this entire incident should have been of the latter: debates over which group produced better music. Unfortunately, that is not the case, hence my friend’s urgency. Rather than statements of “T-ARA sucks and One Direction is better because ‘So Crazy’ was a bad song,” hateful, heinous comments of “Ching chong, T-ARA whores suck, One Direction is better” were instead used. Also, conversely, the same applies with One Direction being under insult.  

Thus, for why this Blog Opinion is created, it is enraging, disappointing, and simply saddening to witness a battle that, overall, could have been enjoyable to witness as it would have been of musical context, turn into a showcasing of multiple social issues and inequities: sexism, racism, spiritualism (“religionism,” if accurate), homophobia, and transphobia. The lack of basic humane acts is the main issue.

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Context: Finally offering context on the situation, Billboard, a music ranking chart, hosted a fun, minor activity: vote for the most popular artist group. The included groups, from my understanding, were global, and eventually, T-ARA and One Direction were pitted against one another in a poll. Whichever group garnered more votes would proceed to the “upper brackets” of voting. Eventually, T-ARA proved victorious as the ladies achieved more votes than the men of One Direction. Expectedly, arguments would break out: T-ARA fans were accused of cheating via usage of voting bots, and in retaliation, One Direction fans were taunted for not being more supportive of their group. Should the bickering have reached solely this point, no harm, overall, would occur. While there would be loathing towards the groups, said loathing would not extend to significant issues.  

Unfortunately, as foreshadowed, the arguments did, sadly, escalate. Instead of shaming a group based on “fans who were not supportive” or how “their songs were bad,” hatred in the form of social aspects became utilized, and that is certainly unacceptable. Listing and summarizing a few messages (“Tweets”): “Ching-chong Chinese s***,” “At least One Direction doesn’t look like transgendered trash like how K-Pop is,” “K-Pop girl groups are sluts and sell their bodies,” “EunB (from Ladies Code) deserves to rot in Hell,” and for insults towards One Direction, “Zayn (former One Direction member, if correct) is a terrorist and should die,” “All of Directioners (fanbase name) should die,” and other horrendous wishings.

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Analysis: Although it should be exceptionally obvious on why this current scenario is horrible, I will, nevertheless, critically analyze the insults, and furthermore, explain at the end what this erroneous event impacts in an overarching, long-term scale. Reiterating a prior point, however, the results of the poll are insignificant; no longer do the results matter as much as what emanated from the results.

First, addressing the initially listed insult, “Ching-chong Chinese s***” is instilled with excessive racism. This phrase can be interpreted as an encapsulating racist attack towards every Asian. With the label of “Asian,” generality holds: Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, and a plethora of other examples are included, but pitifully, often time one represents all, such as in the case of Chinese suddenly representing “Asian,” but clearly, “Chinese” does not represent the other, numerous ethnicities that fall into the category of “Asian.” Therefore, this specific insult minoritizes and veils the diversity within “Asian,” and that is never acceptable.

In terms of the “ching-chong” piece, though seemingly abstract, and for many, “funny,” this phrase connotes many inequities, and very few truly understand it critically. For one, and most significantly, language of Asians are mocked: Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese), for example, is rendered as not a language worthy of respect, but instead, garbled, mutilated sounds of “ching-chong.” Every Asian language follows suit. Korean can be mocked, Japanese can be mocked, Hmong can be mocked, and so forth, on the sole basis of two garbage, grotesque sounds. Especially in comparison to, for example, English, a language that is often time praised as it has been inequitably socialized as the dominant language, “ching-chong” simply perpetuates inferiority of non-English languages, specifically towards Asian ones.

Progressing on to the next common insult, “At least One Direction doesn’t look like transgendered trash like how K-Pop is,” this carries more than racism, but now, transphobia, and also, sexism are involved. If confusion exists, this derogatory remark is based on how K-Pop idols, specifically male idols, use makeup and, according to Western culture, appear moreover as “feminine.” Efficiently saving time, for the discussion of male idols using makeup and how insulting them for such equates to sexism, I will redirect viewers to a review on Infinite’s “The Chaser.” In the review, I discuss why males’ usage of makeup is frowned upon, and sadly, critically engaging the topic, it is more than pure deviation from social norms, but rather, how said deviation is negative as femininity is undervalued to masculinity.

Now, for what has yet to be discussed, I will cover how the mentioned insult also ties into racism and transphobia. First, for transphobia, the insult implies looking like a transgender is bad, and secondly, that K-Pop male idols look as such. Offering some humor, if appearing as a transgender male is to appear as male K-Pop idols, transgender males must be the most beautiful males alive (and luckily, the linked review also discusses homophobia, for those disturbed at me, a heterosexual, complimenting men’s beauty). As unveiled by the insult’s tone, however, that is certainly not the intention, but rather, as stated, to insult transgender (males).

Needless to say, transgenders’ appearances, and specifically here, transgender males’ looks, should not be associated with “bad.” Though in the future a review may dive into the topic of transgender, for what will be stated, never should a transgender be bashed for their appearances. In fact, even the phrase of “passable or not-passable” is incredibly rooted in transphobia. It does not matter on how a transgender appears as or if they look “passable”; a transgender is the gender they are, male or female, regardless of appearance. Thus, with this mentioned insult creating a false perception of transgender males’ appearances and equating the appearances as bad, transphobia becomes elicited, and that is, unequivocally, wrong.

Relating the insult to the racism component, differences in cultures are not understood, but instead, alienated and utilized as fuel for insults. In Korean culture and others, males utilizing makeup is “normal.” In fact, it is considered exceptionally masculine for a male to remain well groomed via skincare, makeup, shaving, and such. However, in Western culture, doing so is not acceptable for males (due to, overall, sexism, as the linked review explains), and thus, the insult derives from insulting a culture with the position of a current culture, and that is never acceptable. Essentially, the insult is claiming Korean culture is “wrong,” as if a culture can ever be wrong. Therefore, racism is in place. Rather than mocking how Korean male idols appear as, understanding of cultural differences should occur. Quite clearly, however, that did not occur, and instead, a racist remark spawned.

Next for analysis, sexism appears: “K-Pop girl groups are sluts and sell their bodies.” As I have relentless discussed the topic of “slut-shaming,” I will redirect readers to a few reviews: Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful,” Dal Shabet’s “Joker,” BESTie’s “Excuse Me,” and even AOA’s “Heart Attack.” For the purpose of time, I will not elaborate here. Nonetheless, in short, females are criticized for being sexually attractive, and nothing is wrong with a female desiring to appear as such. What is wrong, however, is when that freedom is transformed into hatred, and furthermore, reasons for sexual assaults even though it is always the perpetrator’s fault.

With the prior insult covered through reviews, for the following insult, rather than it being akin to a social topic, basic decency is what lacks. “EunB (from Ladies Code) deserves to rot in Hell.” Offering a more personal voice, as I type this, I do struggle with what to say. For those mentioning EunB’s and RiSe’s death as a lighthearted, fun topic, I will, immaturely, say that those “keyboard warriors” (instead of mocking “social justice warriors,” why not mock the worthless, lifeless “keyboard warriors”) are simply attempting to provoke people. Ladies’ Code’s deceased members should not have been included in this situation. Equally, for those wishing One Direction’s fans should also die, the same can be stated, and additionally, that those “keyboard warriors” are also worthless. Returning to a more neutral, mature perspective, wishing death upon others and harassing those already deceased are acts that should never be conducted. Decency should be in place. Nothing more has to be said.

Finally, for the remaining common remark, “Zayn (former One Direction member, if correct) is a terrorist and should die.” Stated earlier, spiritualism arrives in that, due to Zayn being a Muslim (from my understanding), people have begun to wish for his death and to associate him with terrorism. There is much to discuss for this topic. Beginning, repeating the prior paragraph, wishing the death of someone is never warranted.

In terms of the latter, labeling Zayn a terrorist is far from acceptable. Doing so is perpetuating current, rife issues Muslims face. On the sole basis of being a Muslim, One Direction’s former (from what I have heard, he did leave the group a while back) member is associated with terrorism, and that is extremely pathetic to claim. Equating Muslims to terrorism serves to marginalize the religion of Islam; with spreading the idea that Muslims are terrorists, their religion is dehumanized and degraded. Rarely is a variating stance taken: Christianity, a dominant religion in America, for example, is never equated to terrorism even despite, for one incident, the Ku Klux Klan (the K.K.K was certainly a terrorist group).  Muslims face momentus, inequitable treatment as their religion is constantly minoritized, and with this incident of T-ARA versus One Direction, stating that Zayn is a terrorist is merely supporting an ongoing, serious issue that many experience.  

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Conclusion: While all of the minor, yet important, details are covered, an overarching analysis will be done. In an open, general scale, this incident, unfortunately, is more than T-ARA and One Direction listeners tearing down one another. Music has the ability to bring understanding of differences, as will be explained in, coincidentally, the upcoming review of Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You,” but as disclosed in the current situation, the opposite has occurred: differences in music created disputes that ranged beyond music; rather than the differences creating debates on which group is more musically talented and popular, racism, sexism, transphobia, and spiritualism, for a few, came up instead, and overall, the lack of understanding and respect for different cultures.

This raises a vital question: can music ever be globally accepted? Granting examples, will K-Pop ever be respected by other cultures, and vice-versa with asking if A-Pop (American) will ever be respected by other cultures. According to the current situation, pessimistically, the answer is no. With hate of different cultures, races, and other characteristics being generated through a simplistic popularity poll of an American artist group versus a Korean artist group, it showcases that music should be restricted to the place and culture of which it originated from. However, this is a cynical attitude, and certainly, is not what will redress issues.

If anything, this emphasizes the importance of diversity of music. Even if rough, as proven by this happening, exposure to different music genres, languages, and cultures, are crucial. Only then will, one day, there be interest and respect towards songs in a foreign language and culture, not the current reactions of laughter, mockery, and blunt hatred. And on a more general layer, if all music is taught to be treated with utmost respect, translating the same respect for other differences, such as race, gender, religion, and more, would also be possible and existing. Concluding, while this Billboard voting incident is a huge blunder for music in a social context, if mistakes must occur for progress and learning to take place, then hopefully, this situation provides such. Similar, future incidents should not occur, and I yearn that this will be the last.

All in all, both One Direction and T-ARA listeners are at fault. What now matters is not finding blame or even the results, but instead, the acceptance of both groups. The language and cultures behind each of the groups deserve to be acknowledged and respected. At most, if arguments are to be kept, residing in the realm of music should occur, not the perpetuating of real, major social inequities and issues. Including Billboard into this incident, for an effective message, shutting down the poll should be a considered option. An explanation of how the poll sparked derogatory, inhumane comments, and thus, will be removed, would greatly alert many of how the current behaviors are unacceptable.

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Ending the Blog Opinion, thank you for reading. Whether opinions are agreed with or not is irrelevant; it  is moreover important for this Blog Opinion to instill deeper thinking than to force opinions. Also to note, I do apologize for a more aggressive tone if such occurred. Personally, this incident is exceptionally bothersome: the racism towards Asian languages and cultures offends on a personal level, but also, even with attacks towards traits that are not akin to me, such as religions and gender, the overall, hostile atmosphere and lack of social progress towards equity is disturbing. Also, the harassing of deceased idols and wishing of death upon others are also unfavorable moments.

Although I did not wish to revive the blog through a solemn post, it would be terrible to avoid a necessary discussion. Wonder Girls’ review would have potentially finished if not for this post, but as anticipated, this post is worth the delay. With that, the review will be out in one or two more days. I apologize to readers for not actively writing, but as explained in the upcoming review, I will return to a hastier rate soon enough. Stay tuned for the review of “I Feel You” where, in contrast to this Blog Opinion, a more optimistic view towards music, in a cultural lens, is taken.

Sistar’s Mini-Album – “Shake It” Review

Reviewed on August 6, 2015

Sistar – “Shake It” Mini-Album

Personal Message: In addition to the revisions for standard song reviews, as experimented in Apink’s “Remember,” album reviews also have been slightly modified: ignoring the minor change of adding in an album’s title directly into the review itself, for what remains most significant, the entirety of a song’s lyrics will be included. In the past, I have included the lyrics, but in the form of my personal interpretation. For standard song reviews, while I do offer my own take to the lyrics, doing so is appropriate as the full lyrics are included, and thus, readers are still able to create their own interpretation. However, for album reviews, with solely my perspective to the lyrics, it is highly one-sided, and therefore, to redress such, adding in all of the lyrics allows for readers to have true, various insights. Lastly, for the conducted analysis per song, rather than abstractly dissecting each one, I will translate the criteria in standard song reviews over, but as a difference, numerical values will not be included. Offering clarity, I will focus on a song’s Vocals category, Sections category, Instrumental category, and so forth, but without drawing a definite statistical value (as those are preserved for standard song reviews, but the “Atrocity Approval” will be the ratings for album reviews). If successful, album reviews will be more focused yet concise.

Transitioning topics, as of this sentence, it is August 1. I did intend to post this review by July, but I decided to finish an online course first (which I may discuss later). Nevertheless, this will allow August to begin with an earlier review, and though July is over, I will include a miniature reflection in this Personal Message. To begin, as it has been a while since I have tracked the blog’s view count, I will list it: 10,279 total views by the end of July. With the last gauge being May with 6,540 views, an increase is visible. However, as always stated, though reassuring to find growth exists, view counts in themselves are worthless; I have minimal care towards popularity, and thus, the current view count is negligible. I began writing for the sake of reviews, or more accurately, discussions, whether akin to music or social, and will continue to do so and never switch priorities to that of garnering more popularity. But, of course, for readers who do enjoy the blog, I do place priority towards said readers.

On that note, for a notable piece to reflect upon, the review outline for standard songs has underwent multiples changes, all in the hopes of maintaining quality while boosting publish rate for the purpose of readers and myself. The linked review of Apink’s “Remember” is the first trial, but many more are to come, and with reflecting over it, I am relatively satisfied. Redundancy, especially with the Vocals category and Sections category, have reduced, and thus, reviews are more concise, and as a result of that, more can be posted. Especially with university arriving shortly, it is simply unsustainable to take four to seven days per review. Three days, at most, is my desired time span for reviews. Nonetheless, more trials will have to be done for standard song reviews to discover if more optimization can take place. Also, in an official monthly reflection, I may reflect more deeply with my writing and analysis, but, as mentioned, with a new outline, I would desire more time before pondering over such.  

For a slight digression (and readers may skip to the review itself now), for other reflections, as stated earlier, I have finished one of my summer assignments: an online course (a summer book reading and write-up are left). Although the label of “course” appears intimidating, it was a shorter one, but specifically, for the course’s topic, it dealt with general college safety in the lens of sexual violence, and drugs and alcohol. Offering brief opinions, while it was personally a repeat of lessons as, very gratefully, much discussion on the topics occurred during my time in high school, I do appreciate the online course being required for all incoming freshmen. Whether  it is perceived as reminders or new lessons, the topics of rape and such are vital to discuss, especially with college being the most vulnerable time, as statistically showcased.

However, with those subjects, although the course is certainly welcomed, the related subjects require more than basic coverage; it is impossible to speak of solely college rape, for example, without discussing the deeper roots. To bring more understanding, I will utilize a personal timeline: junior year of high school, I was taught that sexual violence is prevalent, finding certain resources for help, and that no one should conduct such; senior year of high school, the basic, general health guidelines of sexual violence was not so much the focus, but instead, a critical stance was taken to understand what rape truly is. To specifically continue with the topic of rape, it is not a mere, isolated incident; rape is not an individual act of crime. Rather, rape is a symptom of gender inequities in society, hence why females are significantly more affected than males (though that is not to mute male rape victims; in fact, the reason for why male rape victims are discredited can also be tied to gender inequities). On topic, for the intended point, once again, though I cherish the online course’s requirement and existence, it solely covers the surface of rape (and other college-related social issues), and unfortunately, if the discussion ends at that point, issues will not be dealt with directly. Regardless of how uncomfortable the discussions may be, they certainly should take place, and though the online course began the route, I do hope it is somehow continued, such as in actual classes.

In the future, if the mentioned topics arise, I will elaborate in more depth. Adding a final digression, for the topic of college in a general context, eventually, I may express current feelings. Nervousness yet excitement holds, and overall, those words best describe my emotions toward beginning college. Perhaps an “AtrocityCL Talks” video will be made to discuss it as, blatantly, it does not relate to K-Pop (though neither the prior point, but that should not render it negligible). Workload and academic difficulties are my main concerns, but, I do feel prepared, especially with being able to think critically (credit to teachers and professor, and in fact, they have allowed me to view rape from a social background rather than as a pure health issue, as discussed).

Abruptly returning to Sistar, the group that should have been of highlight from the very start, their latest album will be analyzed. “Shake It” was planned for review, however, I failed with properly staying on schedule. Thus, to slightly redeem the situation, an album review will, though briefly, still manage to cover their recent comeback, and of course, other songs. On the note of the mini-album’s songs, weeks ago, when I was casually listening to the album, I did come to a hasty, inadequate conclusion that the album was weaker. However, after a more serious glance, I have changed opinions: “Shake It” is, predominantly, the weakest song in the album, but for the remainder, many hold exceptionally. Although curiosity now exists at why “Shake It” was the title song, this review will discover if the “Shake It” album is a “Good Time,” overall. Despite how my mediocre writing may warrant comments of “Don’t Be Such A Baby” or that I am a “Bad Guy,” I can confidently state: the mini-album does “Go Up” once horrible puns the title song is overlooked.

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1. “Shake It”(Audio)

– Lyrics: 

Money maker, rough shaker
Heartbreaker, chestbreaker
Net payer, wrong savior
(one, two, three, go)

A dance to only tempt you (you)
I’m blasting my charm into your heart (you)
Just by our fingers brushing, my heart pounds
My heart is shaking
Shake it shake it for me
Shake it shake it for me

Nana nana nana (hey)
Nana nana nana (hey)
This electrifying feeling makes me dance
This moment (shake it)

Ba-ba-baby
Love me, love me, love me now
Don’t you know my shaking heart?
So let’s dance
Just shake it, let’s dance
A little hotter, completely wilder

Make it louder
More, make it louder
Keep shaking me
Amazingly shake me (shake it, oh shake it)
All night with me, shake it baby

Very fun and smart (shake it shake it)
Our entire body is electric, us two (shake it shake it)
We’re seriously connecting, this place is on fire
When I move, move, we found our place
Shake it shake it for me
Shake it shake it for me

Nana nana nana (hey)
Nana nana nana (hey)
This electrifying feeling makes me dance
This moment (shake it)

Ba-ba-baby
Love me, love me, love me now
Don’t you know my shaking heart?
So let’s dance
Just shake it, let’s dance
A little hotter, completely wilder

Make it louder
More, make it louder
Keep shaking me
Amazingly shake me (shake it, oh shake it)
All night with me, shake it baby

Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me
Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me
Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me
Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me

Shake it for me my baby
Shake it for me my baby
Everyone come together and dance
Just shake it, let’s dance
A little hotter, completely wilder

Make it louder
More, make it louder
Keep shaking me
Amazingly shake me (shake it, oh shake it)
All night with me, shake it baby

– Analysis: Before beginning, I do apologize for this review’s delay. I am attempting to finish a remaining summer assignment, and for other excuses, I have been allocating time towards subtitling videos versus writing. In fact, it has been two days since I have wrote anything. Optimistically, however, even with two days off, I have received a review request for Wonder Girl’s “I Feel You,” and for a personal choice, T-ARA’s “So Crazy” will certainly be reviewed.

But, on topic with Sistar and “Shake It,” as hinted before, this song is not impressive. At most, the vocals in “Shake It” are the sole notable aspect: note stretches occur all over, and thus, the melody is augmented; a powerful vocal presence exists, especially due to Hyorin, a stellar singer; and lastly, the vocals do variate with different pacing, styles, and even strength. Now, once the vocals are ignored, “Shake It” utterly crumbles; if the song is examined from every aspect minus the members’ singing, it holds pitifully. For example, the instrumental renders as incredibly basic, and though simplicity is not faulty in itself, with it failing to reciprocate the vocals’ qualities, the instrumental ultimately falters. Furthermore, for the lyrics, equal plainness exists: the plot is not enticing.

Focusing on the most detrimental aspect to “Shake It,” the sections are horrendous, though harshly stated. Realistically, the first and only verse in the song is respectable, and in many ways, would net a higher score numerically if it were reviewed with the standard outline. However, excluding the verse, every other section lacks a momentous component: the introduction, while suiting its role, fails to be musically captivating; the choruses and post-choruses are incredibly mundane as both fail to differentiate, and for the sections’ standard roles, none are met; for the pre-choruses, the vocals may be decent, but with its format adopting an archetype of pre-choruses, as unveiled with the “nanana,” little appeal holds; finally, for the rapping, it was incredibly sluggish and unsuiting to any prior styles, and for the bridge, the entire structure was one repetitive mesh of lines.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Overall, “Shake It” is a rather mediocre song. Especially coming from Sistar, it is surprising to find a lower tiered song, but as stated, for the ladies themselves, their vocals were solid. Thus, though “Shake It” can be concluded as a weaker song, it is the production at fault rather than a languishing of skills. In the end, no approval will be given. “Go Up,” to be eventually discussed, should have been the title song.

2. “Don’t Be Such A Baby”(Audio)

– Lyrics:

Why are you acting like a child?
When you call me late at night and I don’t pick up
you always get so hysteric
When will you grow up?
Stop acting so tough, don’t regret this
Because I know you’ll cry and beg me again

Sometimes, I want to lean on you
I want to act cute towards you
But I’m so frustrated when you act so immature
Don’t you think it’s time
you stop being so stubborn?
Want a real man,
show me that you’re a man

Stop being such a baby, stop being such a baby
When I see you complaining
it drains me out, oh please
Stop being such a baby, stop burning me up
Where did all that assuring love go?
Eh, eh, eh, stop being such a baby
All day long
Stop whining and crying oh oh you baby
Eh, eh, eh, stop being such a baby
All day long
Stop whining and crying oh oh you baby

I really don’t wanna get up in the mornings
The nights are long because video games are fun
There’s so much to see in the world,
there are also many problems
I hate fighting with you, let’s just get past it
Why are you making things complicated, making me tired
Stop frittering like scissors, we’re more like a hair clipper
Acting refined like your friend’s boyfriend
It feels so heavy, I don’t like it, I won’t ever grow up

Stop being such a baby, stop being such a baby
When I see you complaining
It drains me out, oh please
Stop being such a baby, stop burning me up
Where did all that
assuring love go?

What should I do with your falling heart?
Should I say “peek-a-boo” and play with it?
You’re like a child
I just ignored it when you were whining,
do you know?
If you need toys, just go to the mart
I’m not your nanny, get out of my house
Change so I can fall for you again
Change how I’m feeling toward you right now baby

I miss the days
you treated me like a princess
Your love is not enough
If you’re not doing this on purpose
Stop baby stop
I wanna feel your love

Stop being such a baby, stop being such a baby
When I see you complaining
It drains me out, oh please
Stop being such a baby, stop burning me up
Where did all that
assuring love go?

– Analysis: Note, this song is also translated to “Like A Kid,” but for this review, I will utilize its second title. Either way, both are accurate. Focusing on the song itself, although initial hearings of “Don’t Be Such A Baby” learned towards negativity, after actual analysis occurred, the ballad was considered an exceptionally solid one. First, the vocals carry a smooth, calming style, and as anticipated for a ballad, the vocals remain highly tuneful. Furthermore, the instrumental follows through with maintaining melodic sounds, and for other traits, vocals are perfectly reflected, both sonically and with intensity.

In terms of the sections, all can be regarded highly. The introduction offers a grasping, luring start, all while offering the instrumental’s solemn yet musical tunes. Verses possess smooth, soothing vocals, and structurally, a natural progression of the song is initiated. For the upcoming section, the pre-choruses provide a subtle escalation of the song: “Don’t Be Such A Baby” begins to become more upbeat via slight increases in pitch and pace. Due to the discreet nature, a more cohesive flow is in place. Focusing on the choruses, while a climactic section now plays, it remains in scope of the ballad’s style and tone, and thus, is not overly excessive. Nevertheless, it maintains an enchanting melody as unveiled throughout the song. Other sections, such as the rap and bridge, are also equally solid. In focus of the raps, both Giriboy and Bora excelled: Giriboy’s rap suited the song’s overall tone, and for characteristics, his pacing and melody were pleasing; Bora’s rap also adopts a similar route with maintaining melody and rhythm. Lastly, the bridge is perfectly transitioned to, and specifically for the section, it flawlessly progresses to the note hold, and with such, the bridge, in its entirety, does not become excessive or overly executed.

Addressing the lyrics, a thorough plot does exist. With predominantly the chorus possessing a repeat of lines, every other section contains individual lines, and thus, a copious amount of detail does exist. Also, for a slight digression, with the line “Want a real man, show me that you’re a man,” and additionally, other lines, the idea of “living up to gender” does surface. Though in the future I may elaborate, peculiarly yet positively, the gender norms that are expected in the song are not toxic, unlike current standards; the main character desires her partner to be a “man,” but defining “man” in the song’s context is acceptable: to be caring, to be mature, to be loving, to “stop acting so tough,” to “stop being so stubborn,” and so forth.

Thus, sharing personal opinions, the phrase “be a man” in itself is not harmful, but if construed to connote to negativity, and furthermore, to overshadow “be a woman,” then issues are apparent. In short, if “be a man” and “be a woman” were homogenous (as of now, being linked to “woman” or “girl” is considered an insult, of which is an inequitable scale), and both were linked to positive traits, such as being open with feelings, accepting of others, friendliness, and so forth, then those gender-linked phrases would be of minimal concern. That said, however, as of now, with “be a man” equating to objectifying females, showcasing no affection, being overly dominant, and with “like a girl” correlating to grotesque exaggeration of emotional responses and weakness, those phrases are erroneous to use. But, such as in this song’s case of disengaging gender norms by showcasing that being a “man” is being someone who can love, cry, and be understanding, then the usage of said phrases would be acceptable.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Returning to “Don’t Be Such A Baby” in a musical lens, the “Atrocity Approval” will be given. The song is adequate in every main category, and overarchingly, the smooth, calmer style is alluring.

3. “Good Time”(Audio)

– Lyrics:

This is the last time, tonight, I’m free
Let’s break up, say goodbye
Will you get out of the way? Don’t block me

I’ll take off my flat shoes
Now I can wear my high heels
I won’t cry and sob
I wanna brush it all off, it’s something to celebrate

I’m normally blunt, it’s over between us
Nothing good will come from dragging this out
Okay, okay, I don’t care if you beg for forgiveness
Let me out, it was never you

Good time, good time, I’m happy, don’t worry
Now turn it up loud, turn up the volume
Let’s start the party, Friday night
Jumping my ride, my ride, I don’t care if I’m alone
Because a new love will find me
I wanna dance tonight

I did all I could for you
No more, no regret (no regret)
Did you think you had me?
I’m not yours, wake up

What did you do when you had me? Now you say
you love me? Stop with the empty words, it’s pathetic
Okay, okay, I don’t care if you beg for forgiveness
Let me out, it was never you

Good time, good time, I’m happy, don’t worry
Now turn it up loud, turn up the volume
Let’s start the party, Friday night
Jumping my ride, my ride, I don’t care if I’m alone
Because a new love will find me
I wanna dance tonight

I only looked at you, I only liked you
I wanna throw away all feelings, I will forget you

Good time, good time, I’m happy, don’t worry
Now turn it up loud, turn up the volume
Let’s start the party, Friday night
Jumping my ride, my ride, I don’t care if I’m alone
Because a new love will find me
I wanna dance tonight

Dance tonight
Good time

– Analysis: Answering whether it was a “Good Time” listening to the song or not: it was.

Starting with the singing, the vocals remain exceptionally dynamic: a variety of pitches are disclosed; different forms of vocals occur, such as with note stretches, rapping, or basic singing; other aspects, such as power and pacing, also fluctuate. Overall, the vocals are highly tuneful and infatuating. Focusing on the lyrics to “Good Time,” though the plot is a mixture of sorrowness and optimism, in terms of details, with multiple sections repeating in lines, the lyrics do render as average. However, in a sonic context, the lyrics are not hindering. With that, for what is influential to the song’s sounds, the instrumental to “Good Time” does slightly falter. A higher pitched, piano-like noise and simplistic, lighter beats predominantly compose the instrumental, and on an individual level, those sounds are relatively plain. Minimal changes occur, and with ranging in solely higher pitches, mundanity accumulates. Nevertheless, for the instrumental’s strength, it perfectly blends with the vocals: with the majority of the vocals also adopting higher pitches (though with complexity), the instrumental provides a foundation that suits.

To now dissect the song’s core, for the sections, all are admirable. For example, the introduction sets “Good Time” ‘s flow and style, and additionally, remains concise and musically enticing. Verses contain Sistar’s enchanting vocals and, uniquely, also serve as a pre-chorus (there is no standard pre-chorus in “Good Time”) in that the song begins increasing in intensity in a gradual, natural rate. Analyzing Bora’s rapping, in juxtaposition to the other sections, the raps can be considered inferior. Her raps fail to replicate every other sections’ trend of being exceptionally melodious, and furthermore, with the flow and pacing following a slower rate, the raps appear unsuiting in the scope of “Good Time” as a whole. Nonetheless, the raps are still viable; though a noticeable downgrade in comparison to the other sections, the occurred rappings still have their niche in the song. For the remaining sections, both the choruses and bridge are excellent. The bridge follows through with pleasing, climactic vocals, and also, is seamlessly transitioned to and out of. Specifically with the choruses, the singing holds as utterly seducing: note stretches are rife, the pacing fluctuates, and, although Hyorin nearly solos the section, for Soyu’s single added line, it significantly augments the singing via adding subtle contrast.

– “Atrocity Approval”: In the end, “Good Time” certainly lives up to its title. Thus, an “Atrocity Approval” is granted.

4. “Bad Guy”(Audio)

– Lyrics:

I want to wipe off
the thick words of break up off my lips, yeah
But when I think about the lipstick stain on your shirt
I don’t think I can ever forgive you

The red-hot lie when you said
you would only love me
You’ll probably whisper it
to someone else, somewhere else

Love is gone, love is over
I was crazy to love you
Love is gone, my love is over
Who are you to hurt me like this

Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Love is gone

I’m still cold not even hesitating
before this break up
Spitting out poisonous words
without a single expression
It’s for the better, good for you
If you didn’t see my mask, what would you have done?
It’s like you’re trying to do something
but there’s no need
You put on a painful face, I tried that face before
It’s over, no you, no me
You can look around but there’s no you, no me

The blue bruise
engraved in my heart
I wanna erase your name
and your number

Love is gone, love is over
I was crazy to love you
Love is gone, my love is over
Who are you to hurt me like this

Tears fall
Are you pretending to be in pain?
Your face is so brazen
Will you take it away?
Will you get out of my life?
Tears fall
I don’t ever want to see you again
I won’t cry like a fool

Love is gone, love is over
I was crazy to love you
Love is gone, my love is over
Who are you to hurt me like this

Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Love is gone

My head understands but not my heart
My friends tell me I did all I could, to just stop it now
But without anyone knowing, I draw your face in my heart
I’m always missing you bad boy, my everything

– Analysis: From a systematic standpoint, “Bad Guy” is, arguably, the album’s strongest song. It excels in many, if not all, categories.

Already beginning with the sections, definitely, every single one is to a high tier. The introduction, though vastly short, is effective at setting the melancholy tone, and musically, in addition to establishing the pacing and beats, the upcoming piano is thoroughly delightful. Verses possess outstanding vocals, smooth progression, and perfect synergy with the instrumental. Pre-choruses are, akin to the introduction, short in duration, but despite such, the sections flawlessly carry the song over to the choruses in a musically splendid manner. On the note of the choruses, the sections display the song’s noteworthy vocals in full; Hyorin’s powerful, melodic, and saddening singing is thoroughly showcased.

For the bridge, though it drastically slows the song, it can still be perceived as fitting as “Bad Guy,” being a ballad,” is already slower paced, and thus, the change is acceptable. In actual focus of the structure, contrast of paces are utilized for buildup, and in this bridge’s case, it does succeed. Furthermore, with the note hold, it can be regarded highly, both structurally with fitting, and also, sonically. Confronting the final section, the raps, with Mad Clown’s part, superb rapping exists. His rap features an attractive melody, a smooth, lively flow, and similar to the song’s vocals, tints of power and sadness. Now, for Bora, though her raps in prior songs have held averagely, towards the end of “Bad Guy,” her rapping proves impressive. With tune and tone, her rap perfectly blends with the song’s style, and most desirably, the rap’s lower pitch adds an extra component of melody.  

As the vocals have yet to be addressed, hinted through the sections, the vocals are wonderful. Sistar’s vocals in “Bad Guy” deliver power with higher notes, or, such as in the bridge, note holds, but furthermore, presence is also granted: the disheartening, gloomy mood of the vocals allow the singing to remain even more distinctive. All in all, the vocals in “Bad Guy” prove the vocal capabilities of the group: powerful and melodic. Continuing, gauging the instrumental, to accompany the vocals’ styles, the instrumental adopts an equally morose tone: slower beats and a prominent piano complement the song’s theme. In a musical context, however, the given sounds are appealing. The beats deliver a foundation for the stellar vocals, and with the piano, the melody becomes additionally complex. Critiquing the remaining  category, the lyrics, though the plot is disheartening, it does reside as average. Details repeat, and for the individual ones, constructing a highly engrossing plot is not the outcome. Nevertheless, in a sonic lens (as do the album reviews orientate towards), the lyrics are negligible.  

– “Atrocity Approval”: “Bad Guy” unequivocally earns an approval. Although, biasedly, on the basis of  concept, I prefer “Go Up” over this song, from a systematic, neutral standpoint, “Bad Guy” is the album’s strongest song.  

5. “Go Up” (Audio)

– Lyrics:

Wherever you are, I go, I go, I go
Just give me a call, I go, I go, I go

I see your face every day
But how come I miss you every time
you turn around?
How come every time we lock eyes
my heart flutters so much?

Think about it, what makes you
so much more special than others?
I see you every day, but my heart flutters
like it’s the first time, hello

Hey boy, beautiful baby
You drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world
Your nose, your eyes, your lips, there’s nothing like it
That’s why you’re so confident
Go up to the top, hold my hand
Never bring me down, clap for me
My beautiful baby,
you drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world

Every person I meet
Tells me that I got prettier
There’s no need to ask,
I don’t understand either
what I did to make you like me

Think about it, what makes you
so much more special than others?
I see you every day, but my heart flutters
like it’s the first time, hello

Hey boy, beautiful baby
You drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world
Your nose, your eyes, your lips, there’s nothing like it
That’s why you’re so confident
Go up to the top, hold my hand
Never bring me down, clap for me
My beautiful baby,
you drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world

I don’t need expensive things
I don’t need you to act cool
Don’t act so strong
Will you stay the way you are?

You make me go (up)
You make me go (up)
Just protect me, don’t bring me down (no)
Scream, “la la la,” useless thoughts, “bye bye bye”
Just stay the way you are
Just the way you are (uh-huh)

Go up to the top, hold my hand
Never bring me down, clap for me
My beautiful baby,
you drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world

– Analysis: With mentioning “Go Up,” as stated, this should have been the title track to Sistar’s mini-album of “Shake It.” The summer tone is preserved, but in comparison to “Shake It,” it is musically superior. Vastly superior. Also, this review did, once again, become delayed due to video-related works (will discuss at the end).

On topic, for the song’s sections, while the rap and bridge partially lack, the remainder hold well. First inspecting the mentioned sections, both languish in the category of musical appeal. The bridge possesses vocals that, despite being orientated towards note stretches, are, absurdly, slightly dull in tune. Especially in contrast to the rest of “Go Up,” with prior sections containing incredibly active, quicker singing, the bridge’s vocals emanate deprived, empty sounds. Similarly, for the rapping, the same issues translate: the rapping, though rhythmic, remains linear and slower, and as a result, monotonous, and with other sections being a sheer opposite via holding upbeat, lively singing, the rap section appears plain.

Every other section, however, does hold positively. The introduction aces the two main components: sonically, it is charming with the instrumental and vocals, and structurally, it sets the song’s tone and creates anticipation. In terms of the remaining three sections, the verses, pre-choruses, and choruses, are all highly melodic: verses contain smooth, crisp vocals; the pre-choruses exploit contrast via note stretches and standard singing to create vocal diversity; and for the choruses, both singing and instrumental complement one another, and therefore, for a synthesized result, the sections render as exceptionally appealing.

Ignoring the sections, the vocals, as slightly discussed, are to a high caliber. Excluding moments at the rap  and bridge, the vocals are dynamic, variated in styles, and overall, incredibly tuneful. Focusing on the instrumental to “Go Up,” with an electric guitar in spotlight, many benefits are in place: the song’s theme of summer is constructed, and sonically, it produces “Go Up” ‘s energetic state, and additionally, perfectly accompanies the vocals. Other sounds, such as the beats and lighter bass, are also equally pleasant. Finally, for the lyrics, as a prior review of Infinite’s “The Chaser” has discussed the notion of “protecting,” and for other reviews, the topic of attraction (physical versus non-physical), I will not embark on potential digressions. Thus, for the lyrics in a general scope, the plot does hold as, once again, average. Nothing remains intriguing of the plot, and although details slightly vary, many still, overall, carry a homogenous idea of flirting and affection. However, as mentioned, lyrics are irrelevant if focusing solely on the sound (though not to say lyrics should be ignored; in standard song reviews, the “Critical Corner” exists as, very much, it is important to critically gauge lyrics).

– “Atrocity Approval”: Personally, “Go Up” is my favorite song in the album, but even with a neutral viewpoint, ignoring the rap and bridge, the song holds well. Therefore, an “Atrocity Approval” is granted.

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Personal Ranking: For this category, rather than critiquing the songs, I am simply listing, as is the title, my personal ranking regarding the album’s songs, from best to worst. Also, it will be indicated if a song has garnered an “Atrocity Approval” or not.

1. “Bad Guy” (yes)

2. “Go Up” (yes)

3. “Good Time” (yes)

4. “Don’t Be Such A Baby” (yes)

5. “Shake It” (no)

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In the end, “Shake It” is the sole, intolerable song in Sistar’s mini-album of  “Shake It.” “Go Up” or even “Good Time” should have been the title songs as, compared with the current one, both are upgrades musically, yet, simultaneously, preserve the theme of summer. Summarizing the album, Sistar’s latest one proves impressive; purely one song out of six possesses a lower rating.

Reflecting over the new album review outline, though organization now exists, length has exponentially increased, even with minimal explanations. As album reviews are meant as bonus reviews, further revisions will occur. At most, I desire album reviews to be finished in a day’s worth of writing, not, in this case, three to four days. Current solutions consist of returning to previous outlines (general analysis) or, newly, briefly gauging a song’s strong and weak points with minimal focus on standard categories (as those are preserved for standard song reviews). Trial and error will be how a suitable outline is discovered. And on that note, explaining this review’s delay, I have spent excessive time attempting to find perfect subtitles for my YouTube videos (link is in the blog’s description). Miraculously, one has been found: white fonts with a pink outline. This maintains legibility while fulfilling my personal desires (in addition to the contrast pink-related colors provide, and how it provides my channel a signature, I, like Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany, do adore the color–though not to her degree, as fans may understand).

Complaints aside, for an optimistic message, coffee is incredible as it is delicious and provides a boost in energy, of which I am currently consuming for a treat reviews will resume a hastier rate. Subtitled videos will be finished today, and furthermore, my summer assignment (or at least, nearly as I have planned two hours of pure reading), and therefore, reviews will receive unwavering attention afterwards. With that, for the upcoming review, Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” has been requested, and in three to five days, will be finished (to the requester, apologies for the delay). After the song, T-ARA’s “So Crazy” is in mind, and for the remaining days of August, many songs are possible for review.

Concluding the review, though I feel the writing and analysis were atrocious, I hope readers do not consider me a “Bad Guy” and simply “Shake It” off. Nonetheless, rather than being “Such A Baby,” improvements will be made so that reviews “Go Up” and readers have a “Good Time.” And admittedly, in the upcoming revisions, I should also attempt to discover a more enjoyable conclusion. Stay tuned for Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You,” and for those interested in my subtitled videos, for more to also arrive.

I love your Number 9 review. It’s fair and unbiased. Thank you for the hard work! Hope that you will do a review on So Crazy as well. :)

Hello. I am joyful to hear you have enjoyed the review, although, in truth, the review on “Number 9″ was somewhat biased, or more accurately phrased, inexperienced; with that review being the second or so song I have ever reviewed, I was still incredibly mediocre (and still somewhat am) with analyzing songs, and thus, I did give false ratings. If I remember, I delivered 9s generously, and realistically, if it were to be reviewed right now, I remain skeptical on if any section in “Number 9″ would receive such. At most, an eight would be the highest score for any of the sections. 

Nevertheless, I am glad you have enjoyed it, even if it is a more archaic review. For what I find most interesting, with old reviews existing, readers (and myself) are able to gauge the blog’s growth, whether through improved writing, analysis, or even my personal maturity. That said, thank you for sending this in, and with the mentioning of “So Crazy,” I will, without doubt, review it. Reviews have been excessively delayed recently due to spending time towards my YouTube channel (specifically with redressing subtitle legibility), but with that finished, reviews will return to their usual rates. 

Once again, thank you for this message, and for other readers, do expect more reviews to arrive.   

Rick has returned to this beautiful blog to let good wishes and ask you please the review of Wonder Girls – I Feel You. I try to behave myself because I’ve waiting so long for this and I have nostalgy. I love the song and all the album. Take Care!

Hello, and first, thank you for the well-wishes. It is always a pleasure to read your messages. 

On topic, I will certainly review it. There is much to discuss for the song as, unveiled by the music video, Wonder Girls is attempting a song that is reflective of 1980s’ pop music. However, more accurately, rather than stating “attempting,” I feel confident to change that word to “successfully.” Also, it would be interesting to review Wonder Girls as, if correct, they were an incredibly popular group back in their era. I will begin the review once the current one of Sistar’s mini-album of “Shake It” is finished.  

That said, thank you once again for the request. I will attempt to publish the review on “I Feel You” in a few days.