f(x) – “4 Walls” Review

f(x)
– 4 Walls (Music Video)

f(x) – 4 Walls

Reviewed
on October 30, 2015

image

Personal Message:
First of all, I do wish to leave an
apology: I am sincerely sorry for not being more active with reviews. Though
this week has been filled with much work, there were certainly periods where I
should have been able to finish a review, but instead, I opted to watch
MAMAMOO videos
be unproductive. Nevertheless, for the purpose of not
becoming overly stressed or overwhelmed with university work, I do hope readers
understand my reasons for simply relaxing versus reviewing and that I am
indeed alive
. But, that said, I am not attempting to abandon reviews or
render them as worthless. I simply am busy to the point where reviews have to
be placed aside temporarily. Positively, though, reviews are still coming out,
and once this hectic week’s work is finished, I will be catching up. This
review will be a “bonus,” and additionally, another one for the special theme
of Halloween (and if Halloween is not personally celebrated, the review itself
will not be tied into the holiday; Halloween itself will certainly not drive the
second bonus review).

Before explaining how “bonus”
reviews differ from standard reviews, for other updates, I am in the middle of
reviewing GOT7’s “Just Right.” It will be released in November, and if it were
not for the incredibly lengthy digression that I wrote, it would have
potentially been finished by October. Nonetheless, I do hope that review proves
interesting—musically and socially. Now to explain what a “bonus” review is, it
will be a review with minimal digression and analysis; these reviews will be
moreover for numerical ratings than anything else. Rather than leaving an empty
update post, these bonus reviews will serve that role, and of course, these
will also allow my blog to technically catch up with delayed reviews. Lastly, I
have a new review outline which will take place for every review onwards. In
short, all ratings will be given at the start, but then below all of the
numbers will be an essay-like analysis of the song (the “Critical Corner” for
lyrics is cut, but if discussions occur, it will take place at the Personal
Message). This will greatly reduce length and allow more songs to be reviewed,
and with how busy I am, this will be the solution. And, of course, it is a
win-win scenario: readers will have more songs to read about and less
repetitive content to read, and likewise, I will have more variety and less
excessive writing.  

In terms of this review, with it
being a bonus, the given analysis will be nearly nonexistent; I will write, at
most, a paragraph. Again, in a standard review, much more will be said. Various
opinions are welcomed regarding this song’s rating, or more generally, the new
format. Specifically focusing on this review, f(x) is the group in spotlight of
which I will pretend I did not review twice in the past
. “4 Walls” is their
latest song, and for once, I may accurately claim I am reviewing a comeback as
it has been out for only a few days. Unfortunately with this review being a
bonus, I will hold off from digressing, but in the future I do wish to discuss
many topics involving f(x), whether that is of Sulli’s departure or highly
respecting Amber.

Leaving very brief (hopefully; but
consistent readers may know how that always go awry) stances regarding the two
members, Sulli’s leave may be saddening but ultimately understandable. If
accurate, she does wish to focus moreover on acting, but for what I would
certainly discuss in the future, the criticism she received for dating and for
feeling emotionally ill is absolutely ridiculous and, more harshly stated,
pathetic. The pregnant rumors and insults toward her for supposedly dating a
much older man all very much tie into sexism, and when it was disclosed that
she was absent for performances and such due to being “emotionally distressed,”
the amount of denial and hatred displayed all merely showcase how many societies’
are very much “ableist” and disregard mental illnesses (and that “mental
illnesses” are perceived as extreme cases such as schizophrenia versus more
subtle cases such as depression).

To slightly explain my prior points
and to argue, indeed, that sexism and ableism are at play, Sulli dating an
older man should not have been an issue (and whether they did in fact date or
not is unknown). Interestingly, it is Sulli at fault; it is Sulli’s fault for
dating an “overly” older man, but it is not the man’s fault for dating a woman
who is “too young” for him. Sadly, this scenario does often play out in hate
for the female while the male is innocent, and to advertise my future review of
IU’s “Twenty Three,” I will discuss how sexism affects females’ and males’
perception of age differently. Leaking the digression for that review, males
are usually in perfectness while females are not—in the context of age,
specifically (though practically in any other category). For example, a male
who marries at a young age has “become a man very soon” and is praised, but a
female who marries at a young age is “throwing her life away.” “Double
standards” as the phrase may be, but this is all to showcase that sexism is at
play: male privilege and holding masculinity as better than femininity. As for
the piece of mental illness, with all the hatred Sulli endured, she very much
became emotionally distressed. I very much respect her for being able to
withstand it all and to continue on. If I were her, I personally would have
quit as I lack her incredible strength. However, on topic, the general stance
of disregarding her distress and claiming she was merely being “lazy” showcases
the lack of care and education for topic of mental illness and able-bodied
privilege (refer to KARA’s “Cupid”
for a discussion of this).  

Reading over my prior line of
“brief,” I am glad that my disclaimer held true. Since this digression has
begun, I will now also include the discussion involving f(x)’s Amber. As many
f(x) fans know, Amber does not fit into society’s standards of “femininity.”
That is fine. That is absolutely fine, and in many ways, fantastic. She is a
“masculine” female, and nothing is wrong such. It is similar to my intimate,
personal example of how I can be considered a “feminine” male. For what is troubling,
however, though a copious amount of reviews have discussed androcentric
societies (the idea of masculinity being superior to femininity) and that,
because of such, males being “feminine” are punished while “masculine” females
tend to be accepted (a basic example being females can wear male suits while
males “cannot” wear female dresses or use makeup), Amber has very much been
criticized for not being feminine. In fact, in a heartbreaking interview if I
recall, she was upset over how many did not see her as a female due to how she
expressed herself (and I can relate with loving makeup and fashion, even as a male).

Attempting to deconstruct why Amber
is critiqued if the theory of androcentric societies is true, rather than this
proving that I am an “insane feminazi”—of which is a highly derogatory and
construing label (refer to my review on Apink’s “Remember” for a short discussion on what
feminism actually is)—this still ties into how masculinity is valued over
femininity. Amber’s case is still considered as “socially ranking up”;
masculinity is still very much rendered superior to femininity. Take an
opposite case: a man named Rebma. Rebma is like Amber, but as a male. So, in this
case, he decides to use makeup, to wear dresses, to have long hair, and so forth.
Truth be told, Rebma would not be an idol like Amber as he would be considered
atrocious to show on TV. Thus, this is the point that Amber being masculine is
still, overall, accepted as it is deemed a “rank up.” Finally diving into,
then, where criticism towards Amber comes from, it is the disapproval of
allowing a female to be seen as equal to a male; a female should be feminine
since femininity is supposedly inferior to masculinity. This is, for my
argument, why Amber is disliked: she is attempting to be seen as masculine, of
which implies equality with males, and this latter idea is disliked.

Overall, many perspectives can be
taken. It is not so much as deciding what the right social science explanation
is as it is to realize: it all does not matter since masculinity and femininity
should both be considered equal. Regardless of which theory explains the
phenomenon of on why a masculine female is occasionally disliked, the main
point is no one should be penalized for who they are. A masculine man, a
feminine man, a masculine female, a feminine female—all are different, but all
deserve the same level of respect and love. Similarly, ideas of race, sexual
orientation, religion, and so forth, all follow that same notion: respected
differences, but all nonetheless are respected and tolerated and loved.

Digression ended, and for perhaps a
reminder of why I absolutely love, in addition to reviewing songs, digressing
about songs in a social contexxt, the review itself will now begin. The music
video will be used for the purpose of audio, but as such, the choreography
score will be excluded. Furthermore, for the point of the music video, though I
could dive into the deeper discussion of how everyone’s decisions and actions
matter (refer to Taeyeon’s “I” for that discussion), I will
instead depend on a simpler version: do not drop teacups. Doing so may lead to
a friend pouring tea on a table, of which then spills to the floor, and of
which then causes her/him to fall to their presumed death. (Readers should
definitely send in the symbolic meaning of the music video.)

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(6.6/10 raw score) – “Above Average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 5/10
(5.29/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 4/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Bridge: 5/10

7.     Conclusion: 5/10


Line Distribution: 9/10

Victoria: Verse 1, Pre-Chorus 1,
Pre-Chorus 2, Bridge, Pre-Chorus 3 (5 total)

Luna: Pre-Chorus 1, Verse 2,
Pre-Chorus 2, Bridge, Pre-Chorus 3, Conclusion (6 total)

Krystal: Verse 1, Pre-Chorus 1,
Verse 2, Bridge, Pre-Chorus 3, Conclusion (6 total)

Amber: Verse 1, Rap 1, Pre-Chorus
2,  Bridge, Pre-Chorus 3 (5 total)

All: Choruses


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 7/10

The flower that is emotion blooms
in a short moment
Without any of dust, it perfectly
overcomes its beginning
An unfamiliar blue light shines,
the thing that makes me dizzy
Mysteric, mysteric

That moment that surprises me,
until a deep secluded place,
the blue that spreads that is you
You silently approach me
A mirage that is spread before only me

Love is 4 walls
The mirror mirror that’s filled up by you
Love is 4 walls,
The mysterious maze, maze

Opening the door that grew before me,
carefully treading towards the light
And I had the answers
but now they mean nothing
‘Cause these walls caught me here with something
Opening a new door,
as I open them these 4 walls that grew more with you
These new walls that are different colours again,
this new world I’m falling deeper into

A bright light is lit, I can’t
take my eyes off for even a moment, you’re beautiful
Within the invisible mirror that drew me in,
you who are not me shines

The moment I meet your eyes,
smiling at me
my heart’s already blue
Whenever I take a breath,
the mirage that I see differently

Love is 4 walls,
The mirror mirror that’s filled up by you
Love is 4 walls,
The mysterious maze, maze

You’ve got to show, show me
You’ve got to show, show me
Show me more
Within my large embrace, the surprising fantasy
The more I get to know you, I can’t escape
Since wherever is good, till the end of the world,
bring me with you

The moment you spread out your hand,
like a blue wave
the blue that is you sways
Slowly becoming more charmed,
the mirage that shines clearly
(mirage mirage mirage mirage)

Love
Love is 4 walls,
The mirror mirror that’s filled up by you
Love is 4 walls,
The mysterious maze, maze

It’s beautiful
(You’ve got to show, show me)
It’s beautiful
(You’ve got to show, show me)
The mysterious maze

– Choreography Score: X/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(7/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Usually,
much more would be written, but as this is a bonus, I will leave solely a few
pointers. “Electric Shock” is still f(x)’s best song, but “4 Walls” is
certainly an upgrade to prior songs of “Rum Pum Pum Pum” and even “Red Light.”

Overall,
“4 Walls” greatly differs from standard K-Pop songs, but different is far from
negative. Running through the ratings, the vocals do hold as only slightly
above average as, given by the song’s overarching style, vocals are not of
emphasis. Despite that, however, for the unveiled vocals, the singing is highly
tuneful and crisp—at certain moments. There are incidents of duller vocals, or
of pure tedious singing, hence the drop in score. In terms of what “4 Walls”
highlights, the instrumental is impressive. The bass and beats work incredibly
well with one another, and furthermore, the vocals perfectly mesh with the
soothing and captivating instrumental. If not for the built-up repetition and
dullness that occur for the instrumental, a seven would be in place. As for the
sections in the song, most do rate as average. Melodic moments do exist, but
overall, the song does follow a plain form. What gives “4 Walls” its
uniqueness, however, is not necessarily the sections on their own, but rather
the instrumental and overall style of vocals and how the general sound of “4
Walls” is peculiarly quite linear and calm.

In
terms of the song’s stronger points, the Line Distribution category hits a
near-perfect score. While the members do, in essence, have equal lines as
nothing else can be divided, a ten requires an absolute perfect share: all
members have to have the exact same lines. f(x) in this case nearly achieves
that, but two members possess one extra line over others—even if those two
lines cannot be split into “half” lines. For the lyrics, an above average
rating is left due the amount of varied, thorough details. The lyrics are very
much “mysteric” as the song itself says, but due to the level of symbolic and
figurative language, the lyrics deserve credit. Even in prior songs, f(x) seems
to constantly release songs with vague meanings, but that merely means more room
for interpretation and exploring may occur. And, of course, the room for
various dissecting showcases how detailed and sophisticated the lyrics are, and
that works in favor of a higher score.

_______________________________________________________

Incredibly
short bonus review over, as stated earlier, this review’s purpose is to grant
speed. More reviews will be coming out, but hopefully this review fulfills my
current delay with releasing them. Future reviews will follow a similar format
to this one, although significantly more analysis and argument will exist to
justify my ratings. Final notes, another bonus review for tomorrow is in mind,
but afterwards, GOT7’s “Just Right” can be very much expected and will
hopefully be an interesting and potentially controversial read.

As
I will forever say, thank you very much for reading. I feel ashamed for not
following through with my review schedule, but this review will hopefully
soften the current delay I have. I greatly appreciate any time given towards
the blog. With this being the end, stay tuned for upcoming reviews, and
remember: “I can’t take my eyes off for even a moment” because “you’re
beautiful” and because I can also once more advertise my upcoming review of “Just
Right” will be discussing beauty
. Keep checking back.

Taeyeon – “I” Review

Taeyeon – I (Music Video)

Taeyeon – I (Audio)

Taeyeon (Girls’ Generation) ft. Verbal
Jint – I

Reviewed
on October 19, 2015

image

Personal Message:
Getting technical updates out of the
way, as mentioned in my prior
review
, I have
officially switched to a new word processor. Explaining the sudden change, the
prior word processor I used had, assumingly, a glitch where the font would
often time become blurry (the longer a document, the more prone that is;
consistent readers may know exactly why that heavily affected my reviews).
Multiple attempts to fix such have been in vain, and therefore, I have decided
to abandon the word processor entirely. That said I do hope the format remains
completely unchanged, but this review will test that. Also, with the prior word
processor relying on internet connection and this current processor not, I now
have gained mobility; I am no longer restricted to solely working in places
with internet available. For downsides, however, I am now forced to manually
save my work, and that I am unfamiliar with how certain functions and options
work. Nevertheless, for clear fonts and a significantly upgraded mechanical
checks (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.), this change is well worth it.

Besides technological updates, for
ones that are akin to reviews, I have just discovered after throwing a fit to my friend for not notifying me sooner that AOA will be having a comeback: “Oh Boy.” Intriguingly, though, it is not a
Korean comeback, but rather, a Japanese one. In fact, “comeback” is inaccurate;
“debut” is the proper word to describe AOA’s latest song. I will most likely
review it as given by, to confess, my overwhelming love for the ladies, and
that it is always endearing to bring some variety for the blog, even if in the
sole aspect of language. On that note, if it were to be reviewed, it will mark
the first Japanese song I have ever reviewed. But, introducing a song other
than Korean ones is not quite a surprise: ZE:A J’s “Marry Me” was reviewed, and it is in Mandarin
(though to clarify it was a music video review versus a song review).

Digressing on lighthearted, pitiful
facts that may prove humorous or entertaining, in terms of whether songs that
are not in Korean (or English) are “absurd” to listen to, as I have stated in
the past, my Korean is far from anything remotely decent. Despite that,
however, I do not allow language barriers to obstruct songs, and thus, whether
a song is in Mandarin, Japanese, French, or whichever, I heed no care to the
language—in the sense of comprehension, that is (I still respect the language
itself and do not utterly ignore it, and translated lyrics are searched for).
Relating AOA’s “Oh Boy,” it being in Japanese is highly irrelevant. After all,
no matter the language of the song, Choa’s singing during the chorus will
forever remain incredibly catchy.

Now for the more interesting
personal fact that I desire to share, English is the only language for me in which
songs can be understood. For example, though I know Cantonese, and
additionally, have high comprehension for Vietnamese (I cannot speak it
however), songs in either of those languages might as well be in Korean as I
simply lack the comprehension. My theory as to why that is the case is perhaps
due to how the languages are structured; a note stretch on a syllable in
English is clear, but if in Cantonese for example, the stretched syllable may
be unfamiliar and seemingly “half a word,” and thus, I become confused. Either
way, point is, though I may brag of being “familiar” with a total of five
languages (English and Cantonese are the two languages in which I am rather
fluent; Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean are moreover minimal knowledge), it is
all in vain as my comprehension for songs are pitiful. (But, on a serious tone,
of course I am incredibly grateful.)

Story time aside and an apology to my friend for calling
her a traitor
, the topic will finally be about what it should have been originally:
Taeyeon’s amazing solo debut with her song, “I.” To begin, answering the big
question: no, I did not cry. Reading news articles, Tiffany and other members
of Girls’ Generation did cry once they heard the song, and knowing my sensitive
side with music and crying a river
for the show of “Jessica & Krystal” and even The
Ark’s “The Light”
, I am shocked at my lack of tears. Confessing,
though, I still did become emotionally moved the first time listening to “I,”
and furthermore, with actually watching the music video later. Taeyeon
definitely invested much emotion for her song, and accounting for the many
hardships she endured and endures—recent and old—this song, lyrically and
musically, highlights her struggles and her decision to still persevere.
Taeyeon is an amazing human to say the least.

Additionally, this song is not
purely reflective of Taeyeon’s experiences. Many listeners may indeed relate to
the lyrics, whether a teenager or a working adult, male or female, and so
forth. Especially if in a difficult period, “I” delivers encouragement: “But
strong girl/boy, you know you were born to fly.” That line, overall, summarizes
the song’s crucial message. Stay positive and love one’s own being. You are
perfect. At the Lyrics category, further analysis will be conducted, but
already for a remark, the lyrics are very respectable. In fact, these lyrics
highly motivate me to put on chic clothing, foundation, concealer, and eyeliner
as, from the lyrics’ message, “my life is a beauty”; there is no shame in, as a
heterosexual male, appearing that way as it is my “beautiful” life. (Though my
fashion is now taken seriously, I still sadly have yet to actively use makeup.
Also, refer to countless reviews such as Infinite’s “The Chaser” for a discussion on males using
makeup.) Again, the “Critical Corner” will dive in some depth regarding the
idea of self-love.

To now embark on a more serious
digression (readers interested in solely the review, skip ahead), with all the
mentioned topics and the song itself, there is a topic I have yet to discuss:
the importance of role models, and moreover the importance of the concept
itself. Though “role model” implies purely admiration toward specific people, I
do wish to expand on the idea and to showcase that, it is important in two
regards: to have role models, but more importantly, that everyone is a role
model—whether individual admirers exist or not. Taeyeon will be used as an
example. Although she is not someone I directly idolize, the concept itself is
still intact; she is still someone that presents an image of how to behave. She
models to me what love is, as seen by her affection for Girls’ Generation
members; she models to me what leadership is—love, respect, and dedication for Girls’
Generation  and others around her; she
models to me what self-love is through “I,” and to be myself, as cliché as it
may be. Overall, as exemplified, though Taeyeon is not necessarily a “role
model” to me, the concept still holds: she still provides a model of how to
behave and think.

Now of course, this is not to
disregard the direct role models people may have. Personal role models have
very much influenced me for the better, whether it is T-ARA’s Soyeon, former
Nine Muses’ Sera, AOA’s Jimin, or even MAMAMOO’s Solar. All of them have taught
and displayed to me what leadership is, what respect and love is, what hard
work is, what optimism is, what intelligence is, and so forth. In fact, they
even taught me beauty: physically with stylish fashion and makeup, but also
non-physically with genuine care and understanding towards others and self. More
extremely, despite the cherished role models all being fabulous ladies, they
have also, ironically stated, taught me masculinity (though ZE:A’s Kevin
deserves much credit as well; I would also consider him a role model,
especially as a male one). I hope to “become a man” who is able to replicate
many of those role models’ acts. And, for people who are not idols, I owe much
to teachers and professors I’ve had and have for displaying the best of themselves
for others.

Ignoring my personal, privileged
side with being able to have many amazing role models, this perspective is
rather lucky. Not everyone has a direct role model, let alone any positively
influencing people around who serve as indirect role models. This is why the
concept of role modeling is important: everyone has a social responsibility to
be a role model, even if, as stated, no one is specifically an admirer. Drawing
an example, a young boy growing up with a violent, abusive father who is
supposedly “being a man” will replicate such if no other male role model is
around, and this “male role model” does not have to be someone in specific,
though it may be. If the young boy observes that every male around acts
similarly to his father, then he will follow suit. Thus, that is where
responsibility occurs: males all have a responsibility to showcase—to role
model—to others, male or female, whether specific admirers exist or not, that
“being a man” does not include abusing and dominating others. Homogenously,
this type of scenario applies to other categories. A young girl growing up in a
society that sexualizes, objectifies, and belittles females will, indeed, internalize
such if no role model challenges those notions. And, as stated, said “role
model” does not have to be someone in specific, but rather, it can be—and
is—women in general, and also, akin to the prior point, men who equally
challenge those sexist standards that were set by males in the first place.

Every social aspect applies with
this role model concept, be it showcasing that homosexuality is acceptable,
that being a non-White in America or non-Korean in South Korea is acceptable,
and so on. Concluding, this is why role models and role modeling matter:
everyone shapes society. Ask, what is role modeled when statements of, “I love
Asian boys/girls because they’re so smart and obedient,” “I love Black females’
hair since it is so unique,” or “bisexual females are great because they are
basically boys” are said? No one may specifically admire the speaker of those
sentences, but that speaker nevertheless is still role modeling that race and
sexual orientation discrimination are acceptable (and perhaps even sexism).
Likewise, what is role modeled for masculinity if the phrase of, “be a man,” is
stated to a man who enjoys using makeup? Presenting the best of one’s self and
understanding and respect for all are the responsibilities of everyone.
Everyone admires one another—intended or not. Everyone is a role model—intended
or not.

Returning
back to Taeyeon’s “I” for the purpose of time (this may be the shortest
digression to date), I am thankful for her and her latest song. Taeyeon
relentlessly showcases her cheerful, hard working side despite the many
struggles she encounters. Crucially, since pop culture matters as it shapes and
is shaped by society, with how idols behave on camera, I will personally state
that I am grateful for them, usually, presenting excellent examples for others.
Unequivocally, with being humans, mistakes may occur, but overall, social
equity and respect for all are what idols tend to showcase. Lastly, for what is
more important, one’s own role modeling is. What is being brought to others
through personal acts is what many should ask themselves.  

Transitioning to the song itself,
“I” may score quite highly. Musically and lyrically, the song is phenomenal,
and accounting for the lack of Line Distribution and Choreography scores, “I”
is set for success. Nevertheless, strictness will certainly be in place as is for
every song reviewed minus newbie
days
. It is now time to unveil what “I” think of “I.”

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.25/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 8/10
– A nine is desired to be given, but withholding biases, an
eight is the score, of which is still impressive. The vocals remain diverse, as
observed by the range of notes, power, and singing styles. Every section
delivers its own traits. Low, middle, and high notes, and degrees of power, are
seen by juxtaposing the sections of choruses, verse, and bridge. Similarly and
expectedly, each section contains its own singing style. All these traits work
in favor of keeping “I” dynamic. With a genre of ballad where staleness is
prone to occur, the diversity among Taeyeon’s vocals counteract that issue. Now,
for what is moreover significant, Taeyeon’s vocal delivery is fantastic and the
main reason for a high rating. During the choruses for example, through words
of “I” and “sky,” exceptionally melodic, widespread note stretches are
showcased, and furthermore, power is attached. Conversely, however, when deeper
and more passive singing occurs, those parts are also stunning, though to a
lesser extent than the choruses.

“I” is near perfect in vocals:
varied yet that variety is effectively executed. Unfortunately, the delivery of
sections other than the choruses is not to a “nine” rating. Also, the non-chorus
sections’ vocals are equally not enticing to the level of a nine. But, an eight
is still impressive, and potently, the choruses’ vocals are exceptional. There
is no denying Taeyeon’s vocal skills.


Sections: 7/10
(7/10 raw score)

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

1.
Introduction (Chorus): 8/10

2. Rap: 6/10

3. Chorus: 8/10

4. Verse: 7/10

5. Pre-Chorus: 6/10

6. Bridge: 7/10

7. Conclusion: 7/10

– Analysis:
In a general scope, the sections do
average out with a seven. However, before analyzing each section, attention
towards this song’s format should be given: there are only one verse and
pre-chorus, and the introduction utilizes the chorus. A peculiar setup. Thus,
the song does not follow standard conventions, but as to be explained,
different is never bad. Now, for how this will affect the analysis, as the
verse and pre-chorus are relatively minor, little time will be spent towards
the two, and furthermore, I am attempting to minimize this category’s length as
much as possible.

Digression aside, to first discuss
the introduction, while past reviews have certainly covered songs where,
essentially, the chorus is the introduction, none have outstandingly executed
it, and additionally, many of those songs do not directly or instantly use the
chorus. Therefore, Taeyeon’s “I” marks the first song in which the chorus is
indeed the introduction; the chorus immediately starts off and there is no
buffer that would constitute as a genuine, individual introduction. In terms of
the effect on the introduction section, this grants “I” efficiency: “I” ‘s
style and tone are transparent, and there is the aspect of captivating
listeners from the pure start. A score of eight should be self-explanatory;
this introduction excels in both components of setting the song and attracting
attention, and thus, a high score is earned.

Since the chorus itself has yet to
be covered and is, technically, the introduction, it will be the next section to
critique. Musically, much of “I” ‘s charm derives from this section. The
choruses possess Taeyeon’s raw emotions and vocal power; a range of pitches are
unveiled; note stretches remain abundant; and overall, the melody remains
incredibly lively and mesmerizing. There is minimal fault with how the sections
sound—if there is any fault at all. Every detail in the chorus perfectly meshes
with one another, whether it is the instrumental and vocals, the spectrum of
notes, or how the note stretches are conducted. At worst, for what does hinder
the sections, though the sections are diverse in the sense of shifting pitches,
vocal intensity, and so forth, the melody overtime does become relatively
stagnant. Clarifying, while Taeyeon’s note stretches on the words of “sky” or
“I” are alluring on an individual level, appeal is lost once that same melody
is played out relentlessly. Nevertheless, the choruses are still fantastic. A
high rating is still in place as the sections’ musical strengths certainly
outweigh that minor error.

Finally focusing on the single
verse, it follows a predictable route but nonetheless is still admirable. As
expected from a verse and factoring in the rather energetic introduction, the
section follows a calmer style. Vocals reside toward middle and low notes along
with a slower pacing in order to grant the mentioned style, but this all works
in favor of also introducing variety. The introduction and future sections are
of more intense, dynamic singing and thus, the verse’s style and given melody
are able to provide contrast. Furthermore, as anticipated from Taeyeon, the
verse’s vocals are enticing and tuneful. Overall, though the verse may be basic
in structure, with how it perfectly complements the song as a whole, and
additionally, possesses solid singing, a seven is earned.

Now, for the pre-chorus and rap
sections, both are rated at a six. Peering at Verbal Jint’s rap, as to be
expected from an experienced rapper and song producer (and, if correct, an
influential figure for helping develop Korean Hip Hop), it showcases brilliant
flow and melody. Expanding on the rap’s flow, since the instrumental’s beat is
synced to, the rap becomes exceptionally rhythmic. Additionally, for the
melody, Verbal Jint’s vocals fluctuate throughout the rap, and thus, there is a
delightful tune to it. Nevertheless, a six is the score as the rap is moreover
basic and does not grasp significant attention. On this note, the pre-chorus
follows a homogeneous path to the rap: the section itself is not necessarily
mediocre, but it lacks attractive points. In terms of the pre-chorus, although
Taeyeon’s vocals are certainly captivating, the structure behind the section is
mundane. The instrumental adopts a lighter tone and Verbal Jint adds vocal
layering. Those aspects create the typical buildup effect that is observable in
many pre-choruses as, like its label, it is to create hype for the chorus.
Specifically with “I” ‘s pre-chorus, hype exists, but it is all too simple to
glean high appeal. Of course, however, while simplicity itself is not faulty,
in the song’s case, the usage here lacks appeal. Thus, sixes are the ratings as
Taeyeon’s and Verbal Jint’s vocals carry the weaker structural components of
the sections.

Addressing the remaining two
sections of conclusion and bridge, both are above average. Glancing at the
bridge, there is an overarching strength to it: being sleek. Transitioning into
the bridge is smooth, and later, when the climactic point is approaching, the
section also properly transitions for that via hastening beats and gradually
increasing vocal intensity. It is all highly subtle changes that allow it to
flow seamlessly. On topic with the vocals, Taeyeon continues her adept singing.
Slower, deeper vocals are disclosed—though for a brief period. For the
highlight of the bridge, a powerful note hold is given off shortly after
passive vocals, and it is well conducted. All in all, the bridge may be basic
in structure with having a very traditional format (a pause which is then
guided towards a note hold), but with its fantastic execution, a seven is still
in place. Vocals are enticing, and the subtle transitions occurring are
praiseworthy.

Lastly, with the conclusion, before
directly diving into the analysis, credit is deserved towards the final chorus:
fabulous two-part singing is delivered. Despite all the ongoing, intense vocals
that the final chorus bears, it all miraculously renders cohesively and
therefore, for an outcome, incredible vocal talent is displayed along with
tying into an ending. Tangent aside, however, for the conclusion section
itself, it provides a solid closure for “I.” Fading background vocals in
addition to Taeyeon’s own languishing vocals all grant the song its
distinctive, blatant ending mark, and with the instrumental also identically
doing so, a smooth end is guaranteed. There is no abruptness whatsoever.
Furthermore, rather than closing on standard speech, Taeyeon’s melodic singing
holds until the very end, and thus, appeal is earned in that regard. An above
average, suitable conclusion for an outstanding song.


Line Distribution: X/10
– This grade will be excluded as it is only Taeyeon singing.
Verbal Jint will not be included as his part is considered a feature.


Instrumental: 6/10
– Initially, a seven was to be the score, but it has changed
to a six. Regardless, the instrumental is still respectable. First, the
instrumental is predominantly of guitar. This works in favor of giving “I” its
calm, soothing tone, and furthermore, the vocals perfectly blend with the
guitar. As for the vital role the instrumental provides, it remains moreover a
foundation for the song; rather than being a separate component that draws its
own attention, it instead directs it toward Taeyeon’s singing. Especially with
how solid the vocals are, this proves incredibly beneficial. Unfortunately, for
a drawback, while the vocals are accentuated, it does leave the instrumental
with a hollow sound—figuratively, that is. Individually, the soundtrack is
decent, but it is exceptionally tedious and thus, that lack of appeal will
impair the rating. Understandably however, a more passive, repetitive
soundtrack is necessary for the vocals to be of main highlight, though that is definitely
not always the case.


Lyrics: 8/10
– Already exposed at the beginning of this review, the lyrics
of “I” revolve around the notion of self-love. In fact, whether the lyrics
involve a lost relationship or a struggling personal life is not so much as
relevant as the idea itself: it is important to realize the worth of one’s
self, and additionally, others. Also, to clarify a confusing
lost-in-translation aspect to the following lyrics, it appears that the
translated lines are inaccurate with syntax (if that is the proper term); it
appears that, during the choruses, the words of “I,” “sky,” and so forth, are
wrongly placed since Taeyeon sings before note stretching the mentioned words.
Offering an explanation, a direct translation, for example, would appear as:
“That pours light, sky.” But, in English, that would be deemed strange for
syntax. Korean, however, has a “reflexive” format in comparison to English (and
that English has a “reflexive” format in comparison to Korean; I do not wish to
connote that one language is the “correct” one). An introduction phrase will be
used as an example: In English, we tend to say, “I am Taeyeon,” however in
Korean, if direct translations were to occur, it would render as “Taeyeon I
am.” Neither is “right”; it is all based on language. Overall, while I did not
personally translate these lyrics from Korean to English, this will hopefully
explain why, word-for-word, the lyrics may appear off (and of course, my
explanation may be entirely false and not the true reason; I am not fluent in
Korean).

Sky, that pours light
I, stand under it
Fly, as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty

A story I’ve heard often somewhere
“Ugly duckling and swan,” “a butterfly before it flies”
People don’t know, they don’t see your wings
A new world you’ve met could be cruel
But strong girl, you know you were born to fly
Tears you’ve cried, all of the pain you’ve felt
It’s to prepare you for the day you’ll fly even higher
Butterfly, everybody’s gonna see it soon

Sky, that pours light
I, stand under it
Fly, as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty

Forgotten dream, I draw it again in my heart
Collect all of the times I withdrew and swallow it
Small memories wake me up one by one
It opens me up, as if it’ll fill the whole world
Past the long, long night
Want to embark on the road for a trip again
Why not? In this world,
one word that awakens my heart

Yesterday, I was alone
Countless gazes
Falling tears
I withstood another day again
Yesterday, that was a close call
All of the words that poured out
It embraced me, who was shaking, again

Sky, that pours light
I, stand under it
Fly, as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty
My life is a beauty

Flower petals wilt
I had difficult times, but followed a small light
Distant day, let it go far, faraway
I fly splendidly

Sky that pours light
Renewed eyes (renewed eyes)
Fly far away (fly high, fly high)
Beauty that belongs only to me

The moment I close my eyes
Time stops
I rise again

Language digression aside, the
Lyrics category manages to reap a score of eight. This song, in fact, may
currently hold the highest score out of every reviewed song for the Lyrics
category (ignoring archaic reviews, that is). Details remain varied and abundant,
even despite the song’s shorter lines. For example, the rap features details
that significantly differ from ones at the verse and pre-chorus, and with the
latter two, those also vary from one another. Ignoring variety, the given lines
are noteworthy. The lyrics to “I” are not typical, minor words that are added
for the purpose of filling up a song; “I” in its entirety is a song that is
meant to give encouragement. Every line in “I” is momentous and impactful. This
song may be discussing the heartache of a breakup, but simultaneously, it may
be positivity for someone who is attempting to pursue their passion in life, or
for someone who needs the critical reminder that they are valued and loved.
Summing up the lyrics, with it being rich in details and meaning, a high score
is rightfully earned.


“Critical Corner”:
As the discussion of “self-love” is a vast one, I will refrain from discussing
it until a future review, such as in GOT7’s “Just Right.” That review will dive
into, arguably, the most controversial aspect of K-Pop: body image. I will not
shy away from how race, gender, and class affect beauty standards, and
additionally, for what many would desire to discuss, plastic surgery. That
review may end up being my most controversial writing yet, though controversy
is merely incentive as it showcases people’s care.

On topic with Taeyeon’s “I,” as the
song is of being able to love one’s own being and to be one’s own self, as
stated, GOT7’s review will discuss such. Nonetheless, for a reminder, everyone deserves
to be able to appreciate and love themselves. A seemingly easy task, but that
is far from true and is something many are still discovering. After all,
Taeyeon would not have released a song dedicated to this subject if it were as
simple as “self-confidence,” of which is, arguably, a faulty statement. One
lacks “self-confidence” not due to self-disgust with one’s own being, but
rather, from internalizing extraneous factors that claim so.

Already shared at the beginning of
the review, and as I believe in full intimacy with readers, with being a
heterosexual male who is interested in fashion and makeup, if not for beloved
teachers and professors providing an education that discussed these seldom,
sensitive social topics, I would still heavily struggle with self-love. It is,
blatantly, more than lacking personal confidence that would have—and had—made
me loathe myself: outside influences are to account for. Similarly, those who
feel “ugly” do not feel such because of their own mentality, but instead, because
of how certain factors have shaped said mentality. Even those in social
privilege, such as by being wealthy, male, and of a dominant race (White in
America, Korean in South Korea, and so on), are not excluded from this issue,
though there is certainly still privilege that will reduce the chances of
self-loathing. (Refer to Girls’ Generation’s “You Think” for a slight discussion on
privilege and how a privileged person should begin understanding their
position.) More will be discussed in the future, but for a personal message, I
yearn that all of my readers are able to find love for themselves.

_______________________________________________________

Choreography Score: X/10
– Since this song is a ballad, no
dance exists—though not to say ballads cannot have choreographies. It is just
unexpected for this genre of music to have one, and with “I” being within that
genre, having no dance should not elicit any form of surprise.

_______________________________________________________

Overall Score: 7/10
(7/10 raw score) – As
solely the Song Score is accounted for, Taeyeon’s solo debut of “I” can be
considered an above average song, and I absolutely agree. “I” is a phenomenal
song in every category, whether lyrically or with the vocals. Confessing,
however, this song was to be an eight if not for decreasing the Instrumental score.
If the mentioned score was shifted to a seven, “I” would have been at an eight,
and thus, held the throne of being the highest rated song yet for the blog assuming past, atrocious reviews are
ignored
. Numerical values aside, “I” is very much an impressive,
meaningful song.

Wrapping up, thank you very much for
reading, as I will relentlessly say for as long as reviews are made. Read in
full or briefly, I appreciate any given time towards reviews, so thank you. Currently,
I am on a week break, and thus, will attempt to release one more review within
this period. Two more reviews are needed to meet my goal of five reviews, and
optimistically, it appears that goal will be met. Since a bonus review is in
mind for the delayed song of F.T. Island’s “Severely,” that goal is very much
plausible. GOT7’s “Just Right” may also be reviewed in “bonus” form if the
format proves successful. Sharing ideas, for perhaps the most optimizing that
can be done for reviews, I plan to give all numerical ratings at the start, and
afterwards, to have one general, essay-like analysis for a song in whole.
Though on break, I still have homework and therefore that format will be
helpful, and if readers do prefer it over current review formats, I would adopt
it as the new standard. Reiterating prior points, I am hoping to release more
reviews at the cost of less thorough (and excessive) analysis.

Nonetheless, it is personal
discipline that matters moreover than review format; it matters moreover that I
actually dedicate time to work on reviews versus merely shortening reviews’
format. But, as I hope readers understand, with how busy I am and finally
having break, I do intend, and need, periods of pure relaxation, so the
remaining two reviews may not all be released during this week. Positively,
though, I have finally been able to finish watching Girl’s Day’s appearance on
the reality show, “One Fine Day.” A review will not be made, but to share, it
is decent. Enjoyable definitely, but it is far from the most entertaining show
I have yet to watch. On the other side, however, shamelessly shared, the ladies
did induce tears. Many tears. Without entirely leaking the end, with Girl’s Day
sharing their love for one another and all equally severely crying, I could not
help but to follow suit. Love is—as cheesy as it may sound—sometimes all the
thing we need in life.

Embarrassing moment ignored that serves no purpose other than for
readers to tease me
, I hope readers will “want to embark on the road for
a trip again.” That road trip is to continue returning to this blog. GOT7’s “Just
Right” and F.T. Island’s “Severely” are to be finished as soon as possible.
Stay tuned for the upcoming discussions for the songs.

Almost 1 month, I’ve missed this blog so much. Rick here again, How are you Chris? There have been a lot of news about K-pop recently. First, I’m glad to see that you reviewed Ailee’s ‘Insane’ instead of ‘Mind Your Own Business’ because ok, it’s catchy but other rehash of her typical ‘break up’ title tracks (U&I still the best). Insane is captivating in all aspects. However, her first album also has some good songs like ‘Love Recipe’, ‘Letting Go’ among others, so check it out. Continue >>>

Continue >>> Furthermore, I’m especially hyped for your upcoming review about Taeyeon’s ‘I’. I hope your review is about the whole mini album because worthwhile. The mini captures her individualism and there is no misstep in the tracklist even if ‘Gemini’ is the least interesting of all the songs. Hope you are well! Until next time!

Hello Rick, I am doing well. University is keeping me incredibly busy, but I am loving all of the experiences it brings. That said, I equally miss reading your messages and am glad to hear from you again. Also, I do apologize for not replying sooner. 

In terms of the review on Ailee’s “Insane,” in truth, I thought that song was the official comeback versus “Mind Your Own Business,” and thus, I reviewed it over the latter. But, it does work in favor of a more positive review (though critical reviews are equally fun, and usually more so). As you have said, “Mind Your Own Business” is rather plain, especially when compared to prior releases. In fact, once I heard the song, I instantly thought of “Don’t Touch Me,” and though I forget the exact rating of the song, it was a disappointing release. Optimistically, however, with “Insane,” that song is certainly admirable and gives Ailee her proper spotlight.

Switching over to Taeyeon, I will, unfortunately, only be reviewing the title song. However, if requested, I would not mind also reviewing her solo album in its entirety. The review for “I” will be out by today or tomorrow, and to already leak a few points, it is a fantastic song in multiple categories. In fact, “multiple” may be inaccurate as “every” would be more suiting. For her album as a whole, I will also say all of the tracks are impressive. Even “Gemini,” though very mellow, is still respectable in terms of quality. Similarly, the other ballads included are impressive, and knowing Taeyeon has the title of being an “OST Queen” (she has sang many songs for dramas, of which often time are ballads), I am glad she was able to showcase her skills with that genre. Now personally, I have been enjoying the song of “Stress” along with “I.” Overall, Taeyeon’s album is amazing and I highly recommend it.

With this being the end, thank you for sending in this message. I always enjoy hearing from readers and to hear various opinions of songs. I hope you also stay well and enjoy a happy, healthy life. For other readers, as stated, the review for Taeyeon’s “I” will be published shortly. Afterwards, I will finish up with “Just Right” by GOT7 and F.T. Island’s “Severely,” and if I am ambitious, I will also attempt to review iKON’s “My Type.” On that note, I am on a one week break, and thus, I will certainly use my spare time to finish reviews (though I still have homework to attend to). Stay tuned for the upcoming reviews.

B1A4 – “What’s Happening” Review

B1A4 – What’s Happening (Audio)

B1A4 – What’s Happening (Dance Practice)

B1A4 – What’s Happening?/What’s Going On?

Reviewed on October 10, 2015

Personal Message: Sharing a rather random fact, I never knew I would greatly yearn to write reviews; though I certainly love writing for this blog, I have never felt this strongly to want to write reviews as, I now simply have little time to do so. In fact, horribly decided, as of this sentence, I am neglecting sleep for the sake of a few paragraphs. But, it is all worth it, and if I chose to set aside this review for another day, I doubt sleep would come easily since I have pitiful priorities and no life. Jokes aside, reviews of GOT7 and F.T. Island will be coming eventually, but as observed, both have been greatly delayed. Furthermore, even after this review, a recent, momentous solo debut will be reviewed instead of the two, as to be explained later.

On the subject of updates, reiterating the prior review on Ailee’s “Insane,” reviews are now vastly shorter than usual, but for the most part, core messages are retained. Thus, reviews are merely compacted; rather than overly explaining songs, I am now more concise. Of course, however, this is a work-in-progress and will be continually optimized. For technical updates, since it has been many months since statistics were listed, I have checked: as of September 26, the blog has totaled 12,766 views. Considering the month of May had, if correct, roughly 6,000 total views, a large increase is seen. But, as ubiquitously stated, the blog’s popularity is of minor concern. Though I absolutely appreciate every single reader, quality is the priority, not quantity. For final news, after this month’s reviews are finished, I plan to shift to a different word processor, though admittedly this is entirely irrelevant to readers. At most, when the change occurs, slight format modifications may be seen, but overall, nothing should change (consider this unnecessary sharing).

Now, before focusing on the men of B1A4, to address my next review, I do plan to review Girls’ Generation’s leader’s solo debut: “I,” a song worth much discussion–socially and musically. To Taeyeon, the song is most likely very significant for her life, and that may be lyrically but also that of obtaining a milestone. A debut song after years of hard work is certainly something to admire, and in many ways, I respect Taeyeon very much for her behavior, work ethics, and role modeling (and in the future, I may discuss the idea, and importance, of role models and moreover the idea itself, whether in teachers, idols, professors, and so forth). There are also topics of “race depiction in media” and the importance of “I,” or more accurately for readers, “You,” to be discussed. Regardless of the digression to be embarked on, I hope it is meaningful, and with the latter idea of “I” (“You”), that will be the digression for this review.

Before entirely diving into that, for this review, it is on a 5-membered group: B1A4. Their song of “Solo Day” garnered decent popularity, if accurate, and additionally, viewers of “A Song For You” may recognize Gongchan, a member of B1A4, as one of the three hosts for the show. Also, for more background, the men have had a recent comeback. Though the comeback song will not be reviewed, an older song will be: “What’s Happening.” Even if older, it is still a noticeable song and one that will, hopefully, provide a critical and fun analysis. With all this stated, a digression will now take place (readers interested in solely the review, skip ahead): the topic of “I,” or again as clarified, “You.” Though, conceitedly, it will be partially of “I” for a bit.

As brought up in the prior review, while reviews are shortened, the Personal Message will, peculiarly, remain untouched. Confessing, this does, indeed, sound rather arrogant: I am willing to reduce writing for a song, but when it comes to a category that is, based on the title, about me (as seen in “Personal”), I refuse to reduce any length. Arrogance at finest, it seems. In reply, however, that is far from it, and in fact, that assumption is the utter opposite: I plan to maintain the Personal Message as it is, in truth, the most important part of reviews–and most definitely not because of discussing about myself. The “Personal” in the category’s title derives not necessarily from sharing personal facts (though I wish to do so if relevant), but instead, it is there as these words are my own opinions. It would be erroneous to merely label this category as “Background Message” or whatever else as, that would not remind readers that what is said here is, in the end, my views on certain, sensitive topics.

That clarified, to now explain why much emphasis is placed here versus the musical component of, ironically stated, music reviews, that is because, harshly stated, my musical reviews do not necessarily matter. I acknowledge such. For example, I do not even recall what I rated Girls’ Generation’s “You Think,” minus a few categories. Even if it was nearly a month ago, I cannot recall any ratings, and more importantly, I do not quite care of the ratings. What I rated “You Think” is meaningless, minus the recent time period where it was reviewed and where people did read it for to ruminate over music quality. Now, for what does still remain, however, is what I digressed on per song. Drawing an abstract example, in whichever month I reviewed CLC’s “Pepe,” while I expect the song to have been rated poorly, I still recall the digression that took place: shaving–specifically in a gender lens. Nonetheless, as showcased, the song review is unimportant in the long-run, but for what remains prevalent, the “Personal Message” category does. In the sense of discussing shaving, of course.

With that unveiled, that should speak for why the Personal Message category is kept while the review itself is reduced. The musical aspect to the reviews are great and fun, hence why I spend approximately half of my writing time for it (the rest is for the Personal Message). But it is worth bearing in mind that, unless if one is exceptionally engrossed in (Korean) pop music on a technical level, the reviews are not quite relevant in any reader’s life. Until controversial digressions occur, that is. Again, the given digressions are what hold as important, whether my views are agreed to or not. What matters is critically thinking over the given ideas. Despite how the digressions often time are of K-Pop and the social issues that may plague it, the shown inequities are unequivocally not restricted to K-Pop as, with being pop culture, it is reflective of society in general. Furthermore, living in South Korea or not, many ideas still translate over, minus having to shift ideas on, perhaps, who is the “dominant group” and such (refer to reviews that discuss racism for an understanding on the “dominant group” concept).

Overall, for a final point, I would prefer to have a reader finally be able to love and accept themselves for being, for example, homosexual, than for a reader to send an argument for why one of my reviews is atrocious (though I love reading disagreements; do not be discouraged from sending them, I adore reading different stances regarding songs or even social topics). Nevertheless, it is more important for me to show a female reader that, even with being a female, she absolutely has the right to “wear a miniskirt and high heels” (“Miniskirt” reference) and to be sexually attractive despite society threatening her with insults and sexual assault. Likewise, it is imperative for me to show privileged readers, such as myself in the context of gender and sexual orientation (male and heterosexual), that privilege comes with a social responsibility: providing equity for those who lack privilege, and overall, basic kindness. For example, by being a male, it is critical to be aware of the harm that is induced from merely stating, “she shouldn’t wear that much makeup” or, although more extremely, “that was such a gay event” in terms of negativity.  Additionally, rarer discussions, such as the idea of shaving or understanding a feminine male (as I believe in intimacy with readers, such as myself; I would label myself feminine, and nothing is wrong with that as femininity and masculinity are equal), are to be discussed as, often time, these topics are never addressed at all.

It is important for me to address these social topics through varying perspectives. Everyone is affected by the current disparities in place. Understanding, respect, and acceptance of one another are what I hope readers glean out of my Personal Message category. Of course, however, disagreeing is certainly allowed, and in many ways, hoped for as even disagreeing would show that awareness and thinking is in place. Offering a concluding point, while I hope readers enjoy musical discussions regarding K-Pop songs, it is equally important for readers to at least attempt to ponder over very uncomfortable, disturbing topics that many opt to avoid–for obvious reasons. Pop culture is more than songs, flashy choreographies, and exquisite makeup and fashion; pop culture includes the mentioned items but also that of societal messages. Questioning and challenging those social messages are what needs to occur. Some messages may provide respect for all, but at times, some messages may be degrading to someone on the basis of who they are, and that is where personal decision and thinking has to take place.

Returning to, perhaps, a more cheerful tone (if upset or angry, that does indicate genuine care), for “What’s Happening,” while I will aim towards a shorter write, feedback is still desired (and will always be). Directly discussing the song, it has been a song I have listened for some time, but moreover for the purpose of analysis than joy. Hinted at, “What’s Happening” is not necessarily an outstanding song, but in certain aspects, it does hold as appealing. Also, to address the links, a standard protocol is there: the audio is for the purpose of hearing the song in clarity, and the dance practice is for seeing the choreography in full. Finally discovering what is happening in “What’s Happening,” this review will hopefully provide an answer.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10 (5.8/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”

– Vocals: 6/10 – If direct scores were possible, a “5.5” would take place. But, because of rounding and generosity, a six will be given. On topic, a vast majority of B1A4’s vocals in “What’s Happening” does reside towards being average. The verses, pre-choruses, rap, bridge, and so forth, contain vocals that fail to be melodic or intense. An undynamic, linear route is taken for the vocals throughout nearly the entire song. For examples: the pre-choruses’ vocals are repetitive and lacking in melody, and similarly, the verses follow suit–even with the slight power added at the end. However, optimistically, for what does push the score up to a six are the choruses. The choruses contrasts every other section (excluding the introduction) via possessing highly tuneful, complex, and powerful vocals. Very lively singing occurs.

Overall, however, as solely one section contains desirable vocals, it will limit the Vocals category’s score.

– Sections: 6/10 (5.57/10 raw score)

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

1. Introduction: 6/10

2. Verse: 5/10

3. Pre-Chorus: 4/10

4. Chorus: 7/10

5. Rap: 6/10

6. Bridge: 5/10

7. Conclusion: 6/10

– Analysis: Ratings range all over, but the sections do average, for a score, with a six for slightly above average. Addressing the introduction, the song is properly established with disclosing the overarching style, but also, with retaining a captivating tune. As such, it is delightful, though the musical aspect could be more developed as it is straightforward tunes, hence the six instead of a seven. Nevertheless, it is likable. Focusing on the conclusion, an identical rating holds as it follows a similar route to the introduction: structurally, the conclusion smoothly ends the song, and sonically, it is appealing though not to the greatest extent. Overall, both the introduction and conclusion suffice, and a six is nothing to disregard for ratings.

Switching over to the verses, if it were not for the second verse adopting an entirely different, contradicting form of being sluggish, perhaps a six would be in place. Before criticizing the second verse, though, to focus on the first one, with the gradual pacing and rhythmic, soothing vocals, it is a pleasing section. Now, conversely, when the second verse arrives, the prior version is utterly lost: the vocals no longer are soothing and calm, but instead, hollow–as given by the echoing effect and lack of tune, and in terms of placement, the second verse’s excessively slow rate disrupts “What’s Happening” ‘s flow. On the basis of the first verse, a five still holds, but the second verse is disappointing and fails to complement the song.

Addressing the pre-choruses, it does hold the lowest rating. Structurally, the sections are bereft of individuality; the pre-choruses use a format that is ubiquitously seen in many average, dull pre-choruses. While it may certainly be an effective means of generating hype for the chorus, the change in instrumental to that of echoing and the use of vocal layering to create buildup are, harshly stated, boring methods. These tactics are similar to the idea of utilizing “la la la” for post-choruses, or merely accelerating beats to the highest tempo for other pre-chorus types. It may not be impossible to excellently execute those types of post-choruses or pre-choruses (AOA’s “Like a Cat” brilliantly utilizes the “la la la” post-chorus, for example), but it is very much a difficult task, and unfortunately, “What’s Happening” does fail in that regard. Thus, the pre-choruses lose much credit for using a lifeless, unoriginal format.

Reflecting over the chorus, shifting to a positive tone, this section proves promising: the vocals are to a higher tier, the instrumental properly accommodates the singing, and the format reduces mundanity. Elaborating, with the vocals, though it is in high intensity, the melody remains intact and charming, and the added vocal power does give “What’s Happening” a highlighting point. Regarding the instrumental, despite it being average (as to discuss later), it holds as enticing during the choruses. Reciprocal of the vocals’ intensity, the instrumental follows suit with equally being active, and thus, for an outcome, the choruses are even more appealing.

Discussing the rap, the rapping itself is admirable. A catchy, hasty rate is unveiled, and additionally, with the second half including vocal layering, the rap is able to remain diverse in style. Nonetheless, for what lacks and prevents a seven, the rapping rate could have fluctuated more in order to grant a dynamic flow. Even with the added vocal layering, though the melody becomes enhanced and varied, the flow still holds as unchanged. A relatively minor issue, but it is one that will prevent a seven. To also address the final section, the bridge, the singing vocals and rap remain adequate. Furthermore, the layout of the bridge is also diverse, as seen by the mentioned vocal styles and differing instrumental styles. Unfortunately, like the pre-choruses, a subtle problem exists: unoriginality. The decrease in speed and emphasis towards pacing, and later, acceleration in pacing, are very standard forms of bridges. Thus, as explained for the pre-choruses, a penalty in score will hold. Nevertheless, with the mixture of rapping and singing, a five will be given instead of a four.  

– Line Distribution: 8/10 – Five members in B1A4 should prove beneficial for the Line Distribution category. A higher score is anticipated.

With Jinyoung, his sections include the first verse, one pre-chorus, the bridge, the final chorus, and due to one line, the conclusion. Five is his total count, which is, assuming four is the standard (as it tends to be the equal quantity), slightly excessive. But, until the remaining men are accounted for, the quantity cannot be critiqued.

For CNU, he handles the introduction, the first chorus, the second pre-chorus, and, if including his single word of “you,” the bridge. Four is his count. Assuming four is the desired quantity, CNU is in a perfect position.

Baro’s sections consist of three: the first pre-chorus, the rap, and the bridge. A slight disparity when compared to Jinyoung’s count, but it may be miniscule in the end.

In terms of Sanduel’s lines, they appear at the three choruses and the second verse. Therefore, his total is at four, and that does assist in providing a balance for the distribution.

Lastly, for Gongchan, his sections include both pre-choruses, the second verse, and the three choruses. A surprising count of six is what Gongchan possesses.

Finally offering a score, it will, miraculously, still hold well. If Gongchan lost a section and Baro gained one, a perfect distribution would exist. Nevertheless, only an eight will be given. Even under the circumstance of the most equal distribution possible for “What’s Happening,” two members would still have one extra sections over the others, hence an eight versus a nine. But, that is still a notable rating, of course.

– Instrumental: 5/10 – Critiquing the instrumental to “What’s Happening,” electric guitar sounds and standard electronic-pop sounds are witnessed. The echoing, electronic sounds occur for places other than the choruses, and for the choruses, as expected, the electric guitar sounds take presence. In terms of the instrumental’s strength, it perfectly syncs to the vocals: calmer sections are accommodated with basic sounds or gentle guitar, but for more upbeat moments, such as the choruses, the instrumental becomes exceptionally lively. This grants the song cohesion, and overall, greatly augments the overall sound. But, besides this aspect, the instrumental is average. It lacks complexity (though complexity does not necessarily mean good; refer to Ailee’s “Insane” for an example of a fantastic yet simplistic instrumental), and more significantly, the instrumental is redundant. Because of minimal changes to the instrumental’s format and the lack of it being diverse, it becomes tedious to hear.

As a result, average does hold, even with solid synergy at play between instrumental and vocals.

– Lyrics: 4/10 – Predicting a potential plot for “What’s Happening,” based on the title and the usual theme of love in songs, the song may be about a main character who is confused with their feelings, or to already leak the lyrics, with a lucky guess, it may be about a main character who is confused on why their partner is acting suspiciously. The following Korean-to-English translated lyrics will shed light on exactly what is happening.

Everyday, yeah yeah yeah yeah
Everyday, yeah yeah yeah yeah

Hey, be honest with me, where are you?
Where are you? (I’m home, of course)
Where are you right now?
Why you do keep changing what you say? What are you saying?
You’re acting strange, you’re acting really strange
Don’t you know that your voice is especially shaky today?

Whenever you open your mouth, you lie everyday
Whenever you open your eyes, you lie everyday
Whenever you get a chance, you lie everyday
Now I know
I knew that would happen

What’s going on, on such a good day like this
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
You, baby I want you, beautiful
Wha’s up wha’s up, tell me tell me, wha’s up?
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
You, baby I want you, beautiful
Wha’s up wha’s up, tell me tell me, wha’s up?

Hey, be honest with me, who was that?
Who was it that you could link arms so naturally?
No matter how good I am to you, it’s all for nothing
Who’s fault is this?
Was giving you everything a sin? This isn’t right
I thought this might happen but
I really didn’t know it would actually happen
I should just eat, but what should I eat?

My heart is hurting, and rain is falling
I’m like that but you are probably smiling, oh no

Whenever you open your mouth, you lie everyday
Whenever you open your eyes, you lie everyday
Whenever you get a chance, you lie everyday
Now I know
I knew this would happen

What’s going on, on such a good day like this
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
You, baby I want you, beautiful
Wha’s up wha’s up, tell me tell me, wha’s up?

Before you go, before you turn around
Come back to me baby girl
(Alright) It’s alright even if you’re not always bright
(Alright) It’s alright even if you don’t look for me
(Alright) I’m happy just by looking at you
Falling in love
Falling in love
You

What’s going on, on such a good day like this
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Wha’s up wha’s up, tell me tell me, wha’s up?
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
What’s going on, on such a good day like this
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Wha’s up wha’s up, tell me tell me, wha’s up?

Every time I think about you
Every day, I think about you
Every time I think about you again today
Every time I think about you
Every day, I think about you
Every time I think about you again today
Hey, you better be good to me, okay?

Foreshadowed, the plot involves a main character who is wondering why their partner is “acting really strange.” It appears that she, the partner, “lies everyday,” and thus, it leads the main character wondering, “What’s going on, on such a good day like this.” Other details are included, but for the overarching image, this idea of a suspicious partner is utilized. To now explain the rating, a lower one is in place. Justifying it, first of all, the plot itself is not necessarily unique. Though it is tragic with an untrustworthy relationship, it falls within the category of romance–though a failing one, more accurately. Adding on, for the actual lyrics, many lines are repeated or lacking. Minimal details are granted as solely the rap and first verse contain varying information. Anticipatedly, the other sections are merely reiterating ideas or contain line that are do not greatly impact the plot.

A four is the score. If lines were more varied and detailed to further develop the story, a higher score might have been earned.

– “Critical Corner”: Thankfully, no large discussion arises from the lyrics. Besides the point of, of course, open communication during any relationship, be it with friends, a partner, or whoever else, these lyrics are not pressing of any other topic. Trust should be in any relationship, and for another note, it is very admirable of the main character to still respect his partner, even if she is “not always bright” (and, if correct, this is not in the sense of intelligence; this refers to their friendliness and overall, is a “lost-in-translation” line) and “if [she doesn’t] look for [the main character].”

_______________________________________________________

Choreography Score: 6/10 – Discussing the choreography, to address the most prominent point to the dance, the syncing is incredibly precise. Every movement throughout the choreography is reflected musically, and with this remaining consistent, it is an impressive feat. From the verses to choruses to conclusion, all of the maneuvers relate to the song, and as state, the degree of such is phenomenal. When it comes to the remaining component, however, the choreography does falter. The dance moves themselves, while not mediocre, are not outstandingly attractive. Bringing an example, the choruses’ key points are repetitive and, though perfectly synced to the song, are tiresome to continually watch. Additionally, the use of backup dancers is relatively questionable; while the backup dancers add into the fun factor of the dance, mayhem is also brought. The five men of B1A4 would suffice for the dance, and furthermore, even the conclusion would remain fine without the backup dancers.

Slightly above average will be the given score, though it does nearly branch into a seven for “above average.”

_______________________________________________________

Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – In the end, with both the Song Score and Choreography Score rating as six, the Overall Score will follow suit. Thus, B1A4’s older song of “What’s Happening” can render as a slightly above average song, and considering this was two years ago, that is a remarkable score. Although I have yet to hear the group’s latest song, they certainly are capable of singing, and gauging from this song, most definitely with dancing. In the future, perhaps a comeback review will take place for B1A4.

As I always say, thank you very much for reading this review, whether in its entirety or skimmed for the numerical values. I appreciate any given time towards the blog, so thank you. Leaving updates in regards to how reviews are, I am in favor of how they are gradually becoming more concise. Improvements, however, are still needed for the sections category. Reducing length there is still necessary, and also, the Lyrics category could potentially be shortened (as tested here). Personal summary of a song’s lyrics will most likely be removed, and instead, solely analysis will take place. Time will be saved, but also, room for readers’ own interpretations is now given.

Upcoming reviews will be of Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, GOT7, and F.T. Island. Assuming I am on schedule, the mentioned artists will conclude the month of October, and that will be a slight accomplishment given how busy I am with university. Specifically for the next review, Taeyeon’s “I” will be reviewed. I will work hard to quickly release it. That all stated, “It’s alright even if you don’t look for” the next review, “I’m happy just by looking at you.” Thank you for reading, and if interested, stay tuned for the review of Taeyeon’s solo debut. Keep checking back.

Ailee – “Insane” Review

Ailee – Insane (Music Video)

Ailee – Insane

Reviewed on October 3, 2015

image

Personal Message: As explained in the prior post of a question-and-answer, I have begun multiple reviews, but shamefully, have yet to finish any. To redress such, I will be directly reviewing Ailee’s song with minimal digressions in order to ensure reviews are back to their standard rates. Before continuing, however, a few readers may have noticed minor changes to the blog: the description has been slightly altered, the “Review Schedule” is on a separate page, and most notably, a pink colored theme is now in place. Addressing each one respectively: the description is now, hopefully, more concise and less wordy, if such may be said; for the Review Schedule, it is now on a separate page to grant a cleaner look to the blog; lastly, this change is to deviate from a “default” look via adding a somewhat signature color of pink (as given by the blog’s icon and my videos’ subtitles), and of course, pink is an exquisite color.

On topic, to discuss how reviews will now function, the format will remain untouched; how reviews are currently outlined will not be changed in any form. What is changing is on my end: my writing. I will be diving directly into my opinions regarding a song, and expectedly, will attempt to support my claims with evidence and I am now sounding like a teacher, as should writing be. Unlike past reviews where I spent a vast majority of time overly explaining or in certain cases, humorously merely summarizing a song such as by listing out specific qualities, I now plan to focus entirely on my stances. (For example, “this chorus showcases very diverse note ranges”; rather than just stating such, I will now attempt to say, “this chorus earns a five because of such-and-such” and not concern over minimal details.) Efficient writing is the goal; I am working towards stating more in less words.

Maintaining activity for this blog is a major motive for changing the writing. After all, posting two to three reviews a month is far from active. It would be better for readers to have content every, for example, four days, even if all are shorter than before (and of course, many would prefer to read shorter reviews). A fifteen minute read at maximum is my personal expectation: reviews themselves should provide roughly five minutes of reading, but for the Personal Message category, I would expect around ten minutes. On that note, regarding the Personal Message, a simple solution seemingly appears in it: quit digressing on social topics. Given that I would have to digress right now to discuss that mentioned idea as, overall, it is a solemn one, the next review of B1A4’s “What’s Happening” will address why I refuse to limit that section. Partially leaking a reply, I refuse to cut out the Personal Message category since, arrogantly stated, it is, realized or not, the most important part of reviews. Explanation will take place in the next review.

To now address the current review–a surprising statement considering how soon it is in the review–it is, blatantly, the first trial at compacting reviews. Thus, should the outcome be atrocious, I do apologize. In fact, even “Queen Vocalist Ailee,” as I affectionately have nicknamed her for years, deserves an apology. In addition to having two of her songs previously butchered by newbie reviews (“Singing Got Better” and “Don’t Touch Me”; like the latter title, please do not refer to those reviews), I am now continuing the trend by using her latest song of “Insane” for an experiment. And there is still the side of how my writing is horrendous, and thus, there is another disclaimer on that end.

Self-deprecating jokes aside, as I am going “Insane” over this review, focus will be shifted to Ailee: a solo artist who does, definitely, possess “Insane” vocals. Recalling memories for a past review, her prior song of “Don’t Touch Me” does–or at least, should–rate averagely. Fortunately, a turnover appears to have occurred. “Insane” is, at least from its surface, an admirable song. Though it fails to top the standard of “Singing Got Better” (I have not heard it in a while, but I do believe it ranks highly), “Insane” does reach Ailee’s known standards: explosive vocals and a song style that accentuates such. Exact scores will now be determined to gauge if “Insane” is worth being insane over.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10 (7.25/10 raw score) – “Above average”

– Vocals: 9/10 – Even if in the inexperienced days I was overly generous with scores, prior nines for the Vocals category remain accurate. Actually, in correction, I utterly retract the prior sentence: comically, I was, in fact, overly generous and gave Ailee perfect tens. Regardless, for a more realistic score, a nine holds, but that in itself indicates much praising. With “Insane,” Queen Vocalist showcases adept vocal control. The song features high and low notes, soft and powerful vocals, slow and fast singing, and so forth. Versatility is Ailee’s vocals’ most notable asset, and “Insane” perfectly unveils such. Furthermore, with all of the diverse, ongoing vocals, extraordinary execution is in place to ensure that, while a range of notes, rates, and power are heard, all are to a high degree.

A nine will serve as the score. Amazing, outstanding vocals. While I very much doubt a ten for the Vocals category will ever be scored for future reviewed songs, if it were to occur, I would predict Ailee to obtain it.

– Sections: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)

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

1. Introduction: 7/10

2. Verse: 8/10

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4. Chorus: 7/10

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10

6. Bridge: 6/10

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

– Analysis: For a change, rather than emphasis on each individual section, I will attempt a more general, compact analysis. For the Sections category, “Insane” reaps a seven, of which indicates above average. Many sections are respectable, and for the sections labeled as worst, a sole six is the lowest.

To begin unpacking the sections, for the verse, it is an impressive part. The subtle voice layering brings contrast of middle and high notes, and of course, with Ailee’s excellent calmer, rhythmic vocals, the section proves to be outstandingly melodic. Similarly, the pre-choruses follow a similar route of the verses. Voice layering occurs, but more blatantly: as noticed from the start, standard vocals occur but are then followed up by a hasty whispering. Nevertheless, what is gleaned is more vocal diversity, and also, with the vocals alternating, buildup is created for the chorus. Thus, the pre-choruses are both highly tuneful and effective at transitioning the song in whole.

Focusing on the chorus, the song maintains superb vocals, and though there is seemingly a fault in that repetition occurs, in this context, the repetition works positively. A rhythmic flow is granted, and through the singular, forceful words, as noticed by “insane-sane-sane” or “same, same, same,” the choruses are able to introduce the song’s stronger vocals. In an overall view, this adds onto “Insane” ‘s variety: verses and pre-choruses handle higher, softer notes and vocals, and the choruses handle the more rough and powerful ones. Additionally, it is a desirable shift in singing style. Prior sections are linear while the choruses adopt a more blocked, paused style. On that note, however, for the post-choruses, while the choruses’ trend is continued, it is to a poorer degree. For changes, the tune has now shifted to a higher range, but impairing to the sections is an excessive pause per lines. Between the lines the post-choruses, there is an awkward pause; the duration for singing to occur is overly spaced, and therefore, there are instances of stale, abrupt waiting.  

Unfortunately, the mentioned issue of excessive space per lines is not limited to the post-choruses. The bridge also possesses the issue, and in addition to the noticeable presence of emptiness that stems from such, for the bridge specifically, Ailee’s vocals appear to languish. With how lengthy the pauses are, it forces vocals to falter to properly adapt. Lastly, there is the direct problem of ruining the song’s, in entirety, flow. Though “Insane” is a slower paced song, from the very beginning, it proved to be consistent; the flow of the song is relatively static and is of one rate. When the bridge arrives, that established attribute is disrupted: “Insane” is no longer a consistently slow song, it is now an irregularly paced slow song. Summing up this idea, the bridge overly drags the song. Should the bridge reduce the pauses’ length, then it would potentially hold as phenomenal. After all, besides these mentioned details, it is a respectable bridge with how it delivers a climactic point without compromising the song’s style of calmness.

Finally peering at, ironically, the introduction (this should have been addressed first), the song’s introduction serves its role, and decently at that. General pacing and melody are given, and of course, the introduction’s instrumental is melodic and soothing in itself. Overall it is a catchy, smooth section to begin the song with. Ultimately, for the song’s conclusion, though the post-choruses are not the strongest component to “Insane,” the section does give a proper end. No abruptness is apparent, and furthermore, the longer pauses work in favor of promoting the idea of slowing down to an end.

Overall, as stated earlier, a seven is the averaged rating. Above average is what the sections can be deemed as, and that is certainly a deserved, respected rating.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – This category will be excluded as, clearly, Ailee is a solo artist.

– Instrumental: 7/10 – Even if the instrumental is rather slow and basic, this song perfectly discloses that complexity is not better than simplicity. Standard beats, bassline, and piano are the song’s predominant instruments, if not the only ones. Nonetheless, the instrumental perfectly accompanies the vocals. Ailee’s softer, slower singing is perfectly complemented, for example, and expectedly, for stronger, lively moments, the instrumental properly adapts. Now, for what allows the instrumental to thrive, even if the vocals were excluded, the instrumental would still render fabulously. All of the given sounds are individually tuneful, but simultaneously, the three main instruments mesh well with one another. A captivating instrumental, overall.

Seven is its score for above average.

– Lyrics: 6/10 – With a song title of “Insane” and considering the song’s slower, gentler tone (and, if including the video, the obvious melancholy scenery), it would appear to be a song of break-ups. But, for another take, it could be of becoming “insane” over a love-interest who will never reciprocate similar feelings. Finding actual insight, the following Korean-to-English lyrics will provide the story to “Insane”:

I pray every night (in a dream)
that I want to meet you
Inside your arms that are not next to me
Wanna be hugged, warming all day long, baby
I’m good enough only with you
The only light of the world,
I appreciate your presence to become
the one and only lady in your world, baby

I come into your dream first
(Meet your eyes, whispering the eternal love)
Then go back in the morning, ooh baby

I hope you know I love you insane-sane-sane
I love you insane-sane, yeah
I’ll love you the same, same, same
Be with me little longer, yeah

I don’t wanna be alone alone
I don’t need a wake up call wake up call
Even after opening my eyes love you insane

I remember your scent left
I’m used to this Deja Vu, yeah baby
I close my eyes waiting to meet you again
Falling into the deep sleep that I won’t wake up,
be with you so we can love again

I come into your dream first
Kiss you and say regretful goodbye again
I go back when the time is up
Ooh baby

I hope you know I love you insane-sane-sane
I love you insane-sane, yeah
I’ll love you the same, same, same
Be with me little longer, yeah
Even after opening my eyes, love you insane

I said I don’t wanna be alone
Oh I don’t need a wake up call
Your smile I cannot forget
Wandering around inside my head
Not to make me sad, not to make me cry
‘Cause baby I’m insane for you

Insane-sane-sane
I love you insane-sane, yeah
I’ll love you the same, same, same
Be with me little longer, yeah

I don’t wanna be alone alone
I don’t need a wake up call, wake up call
Even after opening my eyes, love you insane

Perhaps the most perplexing lyrics I have yet to encounter. “Insane” follows a narrator’s telling of what is, presumably, a break-up. However, homogeneously, it would still be reasonable to assume her story is one regarding of, like the earlier guess, failing to have reciprocated love. Offering a personal interpretation, the narrator “pray[s] every night (in a dream) that [she] want[s] to meet [the love-interest].” Peculiarly, it is in a dream for where she is praying to meet her love-interest since, for her, that is the only way to meet her lost love-interest. She states, “I remember your scent left, I’m used to this Deja Vu,” and thus, it appears that her love-interest has abandoned her for whichever reasons. But, because of such, in order to meet the love-interest, similar to the earlier line, she has to “close [her] eyes [that are] waiting to meet [him] again” in order to figuratively see, in a dream, the love-interest once more. In the end, this idea of being with the love-interest once again, especially with the idea of dreaming, becomes repeated throughout the song. Besides the notion of dreaming, there is also, as is the title, the main character expressing her degree of love: “I love you insane.” An insane level of love.

Leaving a rating, a six will be given. Potently, the lyrics remain vague, but in a positive manner. Much room for interpretation exists, for example. It is neither clear on whether the love-interest was a former partner or if he is simply a desired partner. Furthermore, there is always the question of, assuming the love-interest is a former partner, why separating occurred. In terms of other aspects, details are relatively variated. A majority of sections recycle similar–if not identical–lines, but for other cases, individual lyrics are in place. Even so, a six remains the cap as, with the details, more variety would be desired as the lyrics revolve around the same ideas, and more momentously, the overarching story is plain. Explaining the latter, “Insane” is within the genre of romance, even if more depressing than others. A slightly interesting approach is observed from the use of dreams and obscurity, but in the end, it is still a standard break-up or vain-search-for-love story.

– “Critical Corner”: On the bonus category of the “Critical Corner,” since I have yet to mention it, there is always the perspective of how the lyrics are gender neutral. Ignoring the usual reminder, however, “Insane” does not elicit outstanding topics. At most, for what could be discussed, finding self-worth in others is one, as depicted by the lines of: “I’m good enough only with you, the only light of the world, I appreciate your presence to become the one and only lady in your world.”

While self-love is difficult to obtain for various reasons (a future review will discuss this, especially in the realm of body image; I am rather surprised to have not tackled that subject yet as, with K-Pop, this is a highly controversial topic that certainly needs discussion), it should never be found within others. Self-worth should come from, as the label, the “self.” Also, there is the layer of gender norms influencing self-worth in that, whether a male or female, it is deemed “fulfilling” to have a partner. Returning, however, to the quoted lines, the narrator can be highly disagreed with. She is not “good enough” solely when she is with the love-interest; the main character is always “good enough,” even if no love-interest is possessed. Whether she is the “one and only lady” for him should not correlate to her self-worth as, reiterating the point, her worth is from herself, not from anyone.

Besides these points, nothing else strikes out as an urgent topic.

_______________________________________________________

Choreography Score: X/10 – While there is a choreography in the music video, I will exclude this grade. Based on a live performance, Ailee was solely singing, and thus, an official choreography does not exist.

_______________________________________________________

Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With purely the Song Score, Ailee’s latest comeback of “Insane” finishes with a seven. The song can be considered “above average,” and I personally do agree. It may not be flawless, but unequivocally, Queen Vocalist Ailee showcases her singing prowess, and juxtaposed to her prior song, a delightful improvement is seen. Personally, I am satisfied, and more so with how it has been approximately two months since I have last found a song that, estimatedly, ranks above a five.

With this review being the first trial to shortening reviews, to share opinions, although I did not closely examine the time it took to finish, I will say it was certainly fast. Two days’ worth of writing was the time versus, in the past, about four or so days. Statistically, in terms of page quantity, several pages were cut off. Certainly, an increase in speed is seen. This type of reviewing will most likely continue. It provides haste, and additionally, allows for more fun writing due to it being less tedious (in past reviews, there were instances of boredom as the writing was excessively robotic; I would, in essence, repeat identical words as I followed a mechanical writing style to deconstruct songs). Of course, though, feedback is greatly desired and is the guiding force behind reviews.

Knowing how quick reviews will now be, for a monthly goal, reaching five reviews will be it. University is keeping me incredibly busy, but this goal is realistic to obtain. B1A4 may be the next group to review, but with the mentioning of body image, I am tempted to discuss such with GOT7’s song of “Just Right.” But, B1A4 does have priority considering I would desire to clarify why I place much emphasis on the Personal Message category. Stay tuned for an answer, and as always, for readers, “I hope you know I love you insane-sane-sane,” and that readers will “be with me little longer.” Keep checking back for the upcoming review.

A really random question but what are your dream jobs if you could have any? Thanks, love your reviews btw!

Hello, and first of all, thank you very much. I am glad that you enjoy the reviews. I highly appreciate the comment, so thank you. 

To answer your question, while this may be the first question to not pertain to K-Pop, my “dream job” is moreover a “goal job”; my dream job is one I am able to obtain, and furthermore, am actually working towards: becoming a high school English teacher. In a future review, I may discuss in full why I am pursuing such a career, but especially after being exposed to, or more accurately, am experiencing in part, what it is like to be an educator, I am set on this career choice. It is a job that very much suits me. 

Now, however, this is relatively too boring serious for an answer. If I did have the ability to have any job, besides teaching, there are a few extreme ones I would consider: being a fashion designer or makeup product designer/inventor, a video game designer, or a song producer. Clarifying the term of “extreme,” I do not wish to imply those jobs are abstract and unordinary, but rather, that for me to desire such jobs is incredibly absurd as, admittedly, I do not have the required merits. At all.

Slightly elaborating, as a few readers may know, I am interested in fashion and makeup (even as a heterosexual male; refer to countless reviews addressing this topic should moments of disgust occur). But, of course, I have no ideas whatsoever on how to design clothing or to create makeup products. Nevertheless, if I was magically granted top-tier talents in regards for the two, I would definitely enjoy a job revolving around both of those. As for being a video game designer, this would be moreover on, as is the title, the video game’s outline itself and not graphics and appearances. While I have not been able to game lately due to being busy, and in many ways, am no longer finding it as fun as it used to be (writing reviews and subtitling or watching videos are my hobbies assuming “hobbies” include somewhat strange ones), I am still very much interested in the designs of video games. A simple question highlights my interest: how can a game be fun or become more fun? It is always intriguing to observe and question why a game is enticing, and so forth.

Lastly, for being a song producer, with the blog itself, it should be expected that music would hold some interest. Unfortunately, while I lack technical, fundamental knowledge on music, if I were granted those talents, I would find it a delightful job to produce songs with various singers and such, and furthermore, there is always the appeal of experimenting around and attempting to create a “top hit” song. Overall, however, as stated, teaching is, indeed, my dream job that I am working towards unless if former Girls’ Generation’s Jessica decides to transfer her brain to me and I am now CEO Jessica of her fashion company, Blanc.

As this is the end, thank you very much for your question. It is enlightening to receive one that is rather random, but random most certainly does not correlate to “bad.” Should a few readers stumble upon this post, reviews are coming about. Harshly phrased, I dumbly decided to hop around songs, and thus, have two songs that are both partially completed (20% for F.T. Island’s “Severely” and B1A4′s “What’s Happening”). Worse is considering to do that once more as Ailee has made a comeback. Since September failed to include many reviews, let alone male artists in specific, October will still focus on male artists, but with Ailee’s very notable comeback, I may have to give Queen Ailee’s “Insane” a spot. That said, I am writing this after a mere ten minute exposure to the song, and therefore, am speaking from my bias. Once that withers away, a review will occur, and finally, I will be taking a significant risk to increase review rates: minimalizing review length, excluding the Personal Message. Ailee’s review will discuss this in depth. 

Stay tuned for more reviews, and thank you to all those who continually return. It is now my turn to return the favor.