Teen Top – “Warning Sign” Review

Teen Top – Warning Sign (Music Video)

Teen Top – Warning Sign (Live Performance)

Teen Top – Warning
Sign

Reviewed
on January 31, 2016

Personal Message:
Like last-minute cramming for
university, I will also be doing some last-minute cramming for the blog. Or, at
the very latest, this will be a head start for February. On that note, I will
soon be searching for a suitable “Valentine’s Day” song to review. And for
those curious on what I will be doing this Valentine’s Day and White Day, I do
in fact have a special date: enjoying dark chocolate and coffee with my beloved
stuffed penguin. Quite romantic. Pitiful and embarrassing news aside, for more
relevant ones, besides
the self-conceited news of how I am once again certainly set on my current career path (high
school English teacher)
, the upcoming reviews will be focused on mastering
a new style of reviewing. If it proves successful, I will be able to review a
song every other day. Assuming my average rate is four reviews per month, it
would humorously take three months to “catch up” on songs. Obviously, however,
that is not plausible. Thus, shortening down reviews to increase quantity will
be moreover worth it as a plethora of songs can now be covered, and that the blog
remains active.

As the last
review
showcased, I am now attempting a more “natural” way of reviewing songs
rather than systematically dissecting them. (And the last review failed at
that, though it was a try.) The review rubric itself is certainly still in
place and thus, the review process is not necessarily changed. Rather, it is the
writing of the analysis that is changed as it should complement the ratings
versus deviating away as it currently does. And of course, no one truly desires
to read a seven-paged review on a single song.

Focusing on this current review,
Teen Top did have a recent comeback: “Warning Sign.” Last summer, I did review
the men’s “Ah
Ah”
(along with having a lengthy digression regarding homophobia;
thankfully or sadly, for this review there will be no digression), and if I
recall, it only rated at slightly above average (six). With “Warning Sign,” however,
I will leave a warning: it should score at above average (seven). Also, there
is the warning of how the gentlemen are extremely beautiful in this comeback to
the point of injuring viewers’ eyes (their makeup and fashion in the music
video are seducing), but that is a cost male and female fans would be willing to
accept. Returning to “Warning Sign” on a serious tone, compared to many prior
songs by the group, I will say this holds as their strongest release. I am
stunned at their improvement, and though they are considered unpopular, this
comeback should definitely challenge that. After all, even the gentlemen are
aware: they left a warning sign.

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 6/10
(6/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
5/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 5/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Bridge: 6/10

6.     Rap: 6/10

7.     Conclusion: 7/10


Line Distribution: 3/10

C.A.P:
Conclusion (Total: 1)

Chunji:
Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Verse 2, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 2, Chorus 3, Conclusion
(Total: 7)

L.Joe:
Rap (Total: 1)

Niel:
Verse 1, Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Verse 2, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 2, Conclusion
(Total: 7)

Ricky:
Verse 1, Verse 2, Bridge (Total: 3)

Changjo:
Introduction, Verse 1, Pre-Chorus 1, Verse 2, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 3 (Total: 6)

Equal Value: 4.17 sections per member.  


Instrumental: 7/10


Lyrics: 8/10

You wanna play girl?
No more games
Now we sober

How long did you guess you
could fool me?
You are caught in a trap
that I accidentally put you in
Your mind was on alcohol, unstable
It’s trapped already, baby
You can’t hide anymore, lady

Oh, our eyes met
Who was that guy standing next to you?
You passed me without hesitating
Don’t avoid me now
Won’t stop, you won’t stop

Your cruel excuses are making me mad
Your messy hair,
unbuttoned shirts are telling me
You shake your hands because your play is over
I won’t be fooled again
I should get away from you baby

What exactly has changed you? Seriously
Where did you hide your confidence?
Why do you keep crying?
Your words are all from your scenario
I was being played by your scenario
And that’s this story
Were you even upset, baby?
No, you were enjoying this

You don’t know
There isn’t a wall in the world
There’s no warning sign
that you are dreaming of
I know what’s inside of your innocent looking eyes
Don’t pretend you don’t know them
Won’t stop, you won’t stop

Your cruel excuses are making me mad
Your messy hair,
unbuttoned shirts are telling me
You shake your hands because your play is over
I won’t be fooled again
I should get away from you baby

I can’t go back
I can’t stop either, oh
My heart is heavy

Everything you did, every single thing
When I look back, I can’t forgive you
But I just can’t
Your shaking eyes
are shaking my heart
Now what?

Your cruel excuses are making me mad
Your messy hair,
unbuttoned shirts are telling me
You shake your hands because your play is over
I won’t be fooled again
I should get away from you baby

I can forgive you once
Please, baby, help me
I can’t go back
I can’t stop either, oh
Once is a mistake
Let’s get over it together
I can’t go back
I can’t stop either, oh

Choreography Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 8/10

– Key Points: 8/10

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: After
calculating all of the scores, for the Song Score, an appalling six is in place—appalling
in the sense of how it is not a seven, that is. Musically, “Warning Sign” is in
fact impressive, but unfortunately one category drains down the score: the Line
Distribution. A huge discrepancy is in place as Niel, Chunji, and Changjo carry
a large bulk of the song while the remaining members are left with one or three
sections. Because of this atrocious distribution, “Warning Sign” in whole does
become impaired. Musically, the song now loses potential for vocal variety with
every member’s voice, and organizationally, the lack of presence from half of
Teen Top creates a sense that “Warning Sign” consists of three members and
three featured artists—a notion that is completely inaccurate. That notion is
understandable, though, considering L.Joe and C.A.P appear only once throughout
the entire song.

Nevertheless,
despite the Line Distribution being a major setback, it still miraculously
comes with benefits. As Niel and Chunji, the two main vocalists of Teen Top,
now have additional spotlight from the song’s distribution, the song’s overall vocals
become greatly augmented. Both men deliver powerful vocal belts, soft and high
pitched lines, and precise control. That said, the other members still also
contribute excellent vocals, be it for the rap, bridge, or even single lines.
(And Changjo has his moment with the incredible choruses.) Now that the
sections have been mentioned, the ratings for them are varied: a few score
highly while others score neutrally. The most prominent issue regarding the
lower scored sections would be in repetition. “Warning Sign” is oriented towards
a slower, rhythmic flow (the instrumental plays a significant role, as to be
discussed later), and as a result, sections prior to the choruses do tend to
sound extremely akin and lacking individuality. From there, mundaneness builds
up, of which is never desirable as a song then loses appeal. Nonetheless, there
is one phenomenal gain that comes from the song’s linear flow: creating hype
for the choruses. Since the choruses are upbeat, diverse with pitches, and
vocally intensive, these traits greatly contrast the other sections’ stagnant
attributes, and due to that, the choruses become additionally enticing.
Coupling that with how the choruses are already indeed individually strong, a
high rating comes. But unfortunately, as noted the Sections category still scores
at a six as it is mainly the choruses that strike as stunning.

To
now return to the mentioned point of the instrumental, a prominent and deep
bass line takes the main spotlight. If possessing a charming, soothing aspect
is not sufficient enough, the instrumental also perfectly establishes the song’s
style as vocals are provided a sound foundation (no pun intended) that
perfectly adapts based on whether it is the chorus or not. Finally, in regards
to the Lyrics and Choreography categories (and that I still need major practice
of not reviewing systematically), both score outstandingly.

The
lyrics tell an intriguing and complex story; the song is more than a man
catching his partner cheating. (And as always, songs are gender and orientation
neutral; I am asserting the main character is a male based on the music video,
but this is certainly not the “right” interpretation.) Questions exist on
whether the partner does cheat, and if she does in fact, then there are
questions still regarding how the main character feels. Is he going to end the
relationship, or is he going to continue staying with her despite her incident?
Specifically towards the ending, the plot becomes incredibly deep and complex.
Furthermore, for a very unique take, unlike other songs I have reviewed where
the lyrics do not necessarily or directly relate to the lyrics’ plot, “Warning
Sign” does seem to relate to the two. Once again, focusing on the ending, the
main character is in conflict with how to act, and the song itself reflects
such: there is alternating between firm, confident rapping and hesitant, softer
singing. Arguably, this may be pure coincidence, but given that this is the
first song reviewed to have such a distinctive connection between lyrics and
audio, a slight bonus is earned.

In
terms of the choreography, Teen Top’s stellar dancing skills come to attention.
The men have notable popularity for their footwork in dancing, but that is not
all in “Warning Sign”: “handwork” is also flaunted. Clearly showcased in their dance practice (I did not find it
earlier, hence why it was not linked), key points are exceptionally
strengthened through their expert movements with hands and feet, and with every
maneuver differing from others in speed and power, appeal is continually
maintained. Needless to say, syncing is also sharp: from slow, graceful
movements to hasty twists, every key point perfectly links back to the music.

Overall,
though “Warning Sign” fails to score at a seven (in terms of the Song Score),
it should be emphasized that the fault in the song is not even within the song
itself, but rather, how the song’s lines are shared. If the Line Distribution
was higher, “Warning Sign” would possess an exquisite rating. All in all,
though, Teen Top’s comeback is something to absolutely adore. The concept is
ominously intriguing; the dancing is superb; the vocals are lively and melodic;
exceptional choruses exist; and so forth. Definitely, this is the best song
Teen Top has released yet, and improvement is observable. Following this trend,
I will be looking forward to more releases by the men in the future.

_______________________________________________________

As always, thank you very much to
readers for reading or skimming any portion of this review. Any given time
towards the blog is appreciated, so thank you. Reflecting over the review’s
writing, I am starting to get a feel regarding being concise. Brainstorming a
bit more, I have many ideas in mind for how to proceed.

For one, I could review a song section
by section and then incorporate the categories’ (Vocals, Instrumental,
Sections, etc.) analyses, but this would risk being too linear and systematic.
The second idea, and one I am seriously ruminating over, is to not even worry
of addressing every category specifically. For example, there have been reviews
where a certain category is simply not worth discussing, such as with a verse
that contains no interesting points in vocals or structure. Thus, I would
discuss points that are relevant and interesting, and simply slide over the
rest. The third idea is to utilize a “pros and cons” format, but that runs the
risk of being too systematic and arguably boring. Finally, and this is the idea
I feel most allured to, the fifth method would be to use a writing strategy I
learned in my English class: “They say, I say.” This writing style would be
most interesting as it is engaging in a discussion rather than merely beginning
one. In truth, many if not all of my reviews are focused on “I say”; I simply
share what I think and do not engage with what others say. Therefore, with this
“They say, I say” format, I would review songs in an almost reply-like style.
Perhaps the general public’s opinion could be focused on for agreement or
disagreement, or perhaps other reviewers’ points may even be discussed. Or,
even more simply, the “They say” could even be my own ratings—though this does
sound ironic on the surface as I would be disagreeing with my own ratings. But,
even in that scenario, it keeps a discussion occurring rather than a one-way
lecture, and the former is what reviews are aimed for.

The next review will be a trial for this
“They say, I say” idea. Hinting what is next, another male artist is in mind,
though Stellar’s “Sting” is certainly to be reviewed. To give proper respect to
“Sting” as I will be discussing important social topics within the review, I
wish to refine my reviews themselves before I do begin reviewing the song. (And
with the mentioning of social topics, I could have discussed the importance of “Warning
Sign” ‘s music video/pop culture in general including racial diversity, but I
will save this for another time.)

Ending this review, I am quite
excited for the next one as I do feel that it will soon be possible to truly
catch up on songs. If reviews become more concise and even more entertaining
and thought-provoking, then that would be the best outcome possible. Stay tuned
for the next review, and for hopefully a perfected format. “I can’t go back” to
the old one, after all.

Dal Shabet – “Someone Like U” Review

Dal Shabet – Someone Like U (Music Video)

Dal
Shabet – Someone Like U (Dance Practice)

Dal Shabet – Someone
Like U

Reviewed
on January 25, 2016

Personal Message: Before
anything else is said, I do greatly apologize to readers for not posting many
reviews as of the late. As said in prior ones, this semester of university has
been incredibly packed with work, and as a result, I have had minimal time for reviews.
Unfortunately for what has to be done, I will be very much compacting reviews
themselves (the Personal Message will remain as is; the reason for this has
been explained in past reviews). I do feel that this would greatly depreciate
review quality, but it is absolutely better to maintain an active blog versus
thorough reviews that occur twice in an entire month. Optimistically, if
reviews do end up being short for the following months (the end of April is
when I will have only a few summer classes), at least it means a lot more songs
will be reviewed. All that said, I have been dedicated to university work and
have been relatively productive the past week. In fact, I am rather proud of
finishing a week’s worth of work for two classes in about seven hours today (as
of this sentence). In terms of personal bad news, however, in truth I have
recently been questioning my career route: to continue with aiming to be a high
school English teacher, or to perhaps switch over to the path of sociology.

As
this blog essentially showcases, I do have a very strong passion for the field
of sociology, but at the same time, I equally am passionate for teaching and
incorporating a few aspects of sociology into the subject of English. Overall,
though, I am most likely to stick with my current path of becoming a high
school teacher (though I have multiple meetings to discover which path is what
I genuinely am searching for) as teaching is where I am very passionate. For
how this relates to the review, besides sharing to readers that it is
absolutely fine to feel lost at times and that I am so
conceited that I have to share irrelevant personal updates
,
I am incredibly envious at Dal Shabet’s members for having figured out their
life goals and careers—though with Jiyul and Gaeun recently departing, this
statement may be contested.

On
that note, though the news is certainly over, the mentioned two former members
of Dal Shabet have left the group. I am uncertain on exactly what the two are
now pursuing or if they are still within Happyface Entertainment (readers
should feel free to fill me in), but their decision should definitely be
respected. And of course, fans should continue supporting the ladies—both Dal
Shabet and Jiyul and Gaeun. Sharing personal stances, from a fan perspective I
am saddened with the members’ withdrawal. Though somewhat pitifully and
embarrassingly said, many months ago when I was sick with the flu (in fact, it
was around the time I reviewed “B.B.B” by the group), I will always remember
how much joy and strength the ladies gave through their video series of “Shabet
On Air.” Their cheerfulness and closeness eased my suffering, and over time, I
have grown very fond of the members (and admittedly, very fond of their amazing
leader, Serri). Thus, it is heartbreaking to know two beloved members have
left.

Now
to speak from a musical context, I did expect Dal Shabet to slightly downgrade:
both a support vocalist and rapper were lost. Miraculously, the group managed
to adapt. Serri now seems to be handling raps, and Ahyoung easily handles the
extra bulk of singing. Nevertheless, the former members’ departures still leave
noticeable traces, especially with rapping. Although the review itself will
dive into “Someone Like U” ‘s rap, Serri’s rapping does not quite reach the
standards of Gaeun’s rapping. This is not to say Serri cannot rap—she certainly
can and I was extremely surprised—but Gaeun’s rap did contain exclusiveness
along with meeting traditional criteria of solid raps.

All
of that said, Dal Shabet is off to a great start this year despite a major
roster change. “Someone
Like U” is debatably their best song to date, and considering the departure of
members, this is rather astounding as it would be predicted that the group
would temporarily falter. On a biased level, I absolutely adore the song.
Everything from the instrumental, vocals, the catchy and upbeat style, and even
the song’s concept, are all aspects that I personally favor. Of course,
however, the review will remain unbiased; if I were to grade the song based
from biased feelings, I would give it an eight but that is far from the case.
Abruptly transitioning to address the links, both the music video and dance
practice are used. The dance practice is not a “studio audio,” and thus, the
music video is to compensate. And, there is the bonus side of sharing the
amazing concept of “Someone Like U” through the music video.

Unfortunately, though a digression
was in mind based on the music video, given the shortage of time, the
discussion will be held off temporarily. Nonetheless, to share the topic that
will hopefully be discussed in the future, besides the music video’s point of
how boys can never be trusted and only bring trouble (obviously this is not
true nor does the music video claim that at all; consider this a “privilege
joke,” as discussed in SPICA’s “Ghost”), the music video does elicit a
simple topic: stereotypes. Specifically with the music video, it arguably
challenges many stereotypes towards females, be it that females are physically
weak or that females are overly emotional. Interestingly, with the many topics
I have covered so far, I am surprised to have yet to discuss stereotypes. In
fact, this may be one of the most crucial topics to discuss and I have wrongly
delayed this seemingly minor topic. Since this review is predominantly to test
how short I can review songs, I will only briefly discuss this topic (assuming
I keep my words; also, the upcoming review on Stellar’s “Sting” already has a
lengthy digression for those that enjoy the social digressions).

On the topic of stereotypes (readers
should feel free to skip ahead), there is a common notion: stereotypes are bad
because they are generalized, exaggerated, and grotesque claims towards certain
groups of people. That said, while I am thankful that many now challenge stereotypes,
these are not the entire reasons for why stereotypes are negative. It is more
than lies and generalizations; stereotypes have to be inspected even more
closely. The toxicity of stereotyping lies not in lies (no pun intended), but
rather, in what stereotypes are based on: privilege—or lack thereof.
Stereotypes are not purely racist, sexist, and so forth; that is only a part of
the issue. Stereotypes perpetuate ideas of social privileges being “correct” or
“normal,” and from there, cases of racism, homophobia, and such occur.

For purposes of mature discussion
and illustrating my point, I will be using a few stereotypes. Given the nature
of them, I do hope no reader becomes offended. Again, these are used for the
purposes of generating discussion: Asians are really good at math; females are really
nurturing; Blacks are really good at sports. First of all, upon glancing over
these stereotypes, it is notable that these stereotypes are not inherently
“bad.” Being good at math and sports are indeed compliments, and being
nurturing is oftentimes rendered a positive trait. Thus, in this perspective,
stereotypes do not seem negative at all; one may argue it is only “bad stereotypes”
that are bad. Returning to the mentioned earlier point, however, this example
highlights why stereotypes—both positive and negative—are still unacceptable.
The issue is not only that they are still very large generalizations; the main
issue is discovering where the stereotypes stem from in the first place: social
privileges. Though America will be the context of discussion, the same ideas do
translate to other places, minus the need to reconsider what the
“dominant/privileged” groups are.

To finally explain the point of how
stereotypes are rooted in social privileges, it is worth questioning what the
“standards” are based on. Focusing on the listed race stereotypes towards
Asians and Blacks, it is peculiar that “Whites are neither good nor bad at math”
or “Whites are neither good nor bad at sports” are nonexistent stereotypes (or
at least, in juxtaposition to the ones mentioned). Another example, and for one
based in South Korea and “Korean privilege,” is with spicy food. Non-Koreans
(though “non-Korean” does get complicated; “non-Asian” would seem to—and
technically does—fit, but the topic of colorism would have to be discussed
first) in South Korea are stereotyped with low tolerance for spiciness. But,
akin to the prior example, a question has to be asked: Why are Koreans not
stereotyped with “Koreans can just perfectly tolerate spiciness”? (And to
clarify, within the context of South Korea; in America, with Koreans being
non-White, Koreans are in fact stereotyped.)

As the trend appears in all these
cases, race privilege is where stereotypes are based on: the privilege/dominant
race is considered the “normal.” In America, with the listed stereotypes,
Whites are seen as the normal while Asians and Blacks are “deviant”; Asians are
seen to be better than Whites at math, and Blacks are seen to be better than
Whites at sports. It all ties back to Whites being the “normal.” Even if those
stereotypes are “positive,” once again there is the issue of the stereotypes
reinforcing the idea that race privilege—being White—is the “normal.” The South
Korean spiciness example follows suit. As for gender, the same trend occurs.
Seldom is it said that males are “under-emotional,” and yet females are often
labeled as “over-emotional.” The socially privileged gender, male, is where
females are juxtaposed to, hence why there is no “boys are under-emotional”
stereotype (or again, at least it is far more uncommon).  

Lastly, in addition to the problem
of stereotypes being based on deviations from social privileges and reinforcing
privileges as being “right” and “normal,” there is also naturalizing used to
justify said stereotypes. For example, the idea of females being
“over-emotional” is justified as it being “natural” when that is far from the
case (refer to iKON’s “Airplane” for that discussion). Overall, for
a takeaway point, stereotypes are not horrible because they are generalizations
and are racist, sexist, and such; stereotypes are horrible since they are based
on reaffirming social privileges as normal. If this was not the case, then
“positive” stereotypes would be acceptable (such as the first two examples),
but as uncovered, that is far from true as even “positive” stereotypes create
the idea that there is deviancy from social privileges, be it in race, gender,
class, sexual orientation, and so on.

With coming this far, besides once
more proving how hypocritical I am when I say “the discussion will be saved for
later,” there is one critical point to address: What about stereotypes that are
indeed aimed at social privileges? What about stereotypes that White people
cannot dance or sing, or a stereotype that boys are stupid? Stereotypes cannot
be rooted in reinforcing the idea that social privileges are normal when, as
clearly depicted, these stereotypes are simply just based on
generalizations—nothing more or less. Thus, stereotypes are bad not due to
“normalizing” privileges, but are bad because they are false generalizations. Only
a lifeless music reviewer would go that far to make such an exaggerated claim.

In reply, given that those
stereotypes are absolutely true and that I take pride in having no life—just
kidding, of course. Awful humor aside, certainly, those are stereotypes as
indeed anyone can dance and sing, and that males are not inherently stupid
because of their gender. What differs, however, with those stereotypes is that
their effects are significantly more marginal than the stereotypes that
non-privileged people face. Essentially, the topic of “reverse racism” applies
(refer to an atrociously old review for this topic: Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B”). “Privilege stereotypes,” if that
label may be used, while agreeably are offensive on the individual level, are
much less common than stereotypes aimed towards those who are not privilege,
and furthermore, crudely said, are simply far less impairing if at all on a
social level.

It is not comparable to bring in
“White stereotypes” as this is almost akin to claiming one could be racist to
Whites in America (again, the linked review discusses why reverse oppression is
nonexistent). Stereotypes that exist are oftentimes to degrade those who are
not of a dominant/privilege group, and that degrading stems from urging forward
the idea that privileges are “normal,” as discussed earlier. All this said,
this is not to say White stereotypes are all negligible. Context is what
matters, as this example will vividly showcase: What happens if I say “White
people cannot dance” in South Korea versus if I say that in America? A huge
difference is in place. The former reinforces race privilege in South Korea in
that non-Koreans are inferior dancers in juxtaposition to Koreans, but in
America, it is satirical to say that when Whites are the “normal” standard for which
race stereotypes are based on.

Overall, if anything is to be
gleaned, and for what could have saved me a few hours: stereotypes should never
be used. Hopefully, though, that message is coupled with the critical layer:
understanding why, from one perspective, stereotypes should not be used or
believed in. I do apologize for being all over with this digression, however.
Given that it is a sincere digression, and therefore, I had no prior planning
of what to discuss, it is disorganized. To confess, many other digressions are
not real digressions; I usually do plan out what to discuss in my social
“digressions,” such as with having examples or topics ready. Nonetheless,
digressions still stem from a song eliciting it in the first place. With
“Someone Like U,” after my squealing has settled (in the music video, Serri’s affection towards her
laptop is rather accurate of what I did)
, from my interpretation I
greatly adored the video for breaking down female stereotypes and for also
embracing femininity.

But, with that discussion aside, the
next one is prepared: whether “Someone Like U” can be considered excellent or
not—and no pun intended as every reader is automatically a ten-out-of-ten song.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.4/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 7/10
(7.25/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 8/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 8/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 6/10

6.     Rap: 6/10

7.     Bridge (Chorus): 8/10

8.     Conclusion: 7/10


Line Distribution: 9/10

Serri:
Introduction, Verse, Rap, Conclusion (Total: 4)

Ahyoung:
Pre-Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Conclusion (Total: 3)

Woohee:
Verse, Chorus 1, Chorus 2, Bridge (Total: 4)

Subin:
Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Chorus 2, Bridge (Total: 4)

All:
Post-Choruses

Equal Value: 3.75 sections per member.  


Instrumental: 7/10


Lyrics: 7/10

I’m out of here
Dal Shabet
Brave Sound drop it

Just like you
Just like you baby (Just like you baby)
Just like you
Just like you baby (baby, baby)

I found no interest
You were not my style
But you kept calling me
and following me
Asking me for a date
Asking me to chat
You’re the one who flirted with me
and took my heart

Now whenever we fight you want to break up
Every second you change
What should I do, I’m in love with you
I’ve become stupid because of love,
I hate it

I hope you meet someone just like you
Someone so conceited and selfish like you
Someone who says bad things, breaking hearts
Someone just like you, who doesn’t
care for your feelings just like you

Just like you baby
(Just like you baby)
Just like you
(Just like you baby)
Someone just like you
(Just like you baby)
(Just like you baby)
I hope you fall in love with someone like that

Please stop it, this fight is coming
You’re asking me what my problem is
My heart is lost with nothing to say
Playing these word games with no end,
I’m sick of it
I don’t freakin’ need you
I’m fed up with your lies
Hey go meet someone stupid like you

Someone just like you
Someone as terrible as you
How I felt,
I hope you get to experience that

I hope you meet someone just like you
Someone so conceited and selfish like you
Someone who says bad things, breaking hearts
Someone just like you, who doesn’t
care for your feelings just like you

Just like you baby
(Just like you baby)
Just like you
(Just like you baby)
Someone just like you
(Just like you baby)
(Just like you baby)
Someone just like you

I hope you meet someone just like you
Someone so conceited and selfish like you
Someone who says bad things, breaking hearts
Someone just like you, who doesn’t
care for your feelings just like you

Just like you
Leave me, we’ll see
Leave me, we’ll see how well you do
Leave me, we’ll see
Leave me, we’ll see how well you do
(Just like you baby)
Baby, baby
Just like you baby

Choreography Score: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 6/10

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Reminder that this analysis will be incredibly brief as I do not have time (in
fact, to finish this along with an assignment due tomorrow, I will once again
be staying up). If this magically works out, however, I will consider making
this as the default outline for reviews.

With
“Someone Like U,” it is an incredibly well-rounded song; sevens are ubiquitous.
The vocals remain exceptionally tuneful, as highlighted in every single section—a
feat that is quite respectable. No matter the section, be it from the first
verse to the final chorus to conclusion itself, “Someone Like U” always showcases
highly addictive, light and upbeat vocals. Furthermore, “Someone Like U” is a
solid example for showing how minimal changes in singing does in fact aid with
preventing staleness. Though power remains rather consistent, the melody is
extremely lively along with pacing. With having both of those traits in flux,
as observed in how the pre-choruses’ vocals differ from the choruses’ and the
post-choruses,’ it prevents the main bulk of the song from running stagnant
from a vocal standpoint. Similarly, the instrumental follows with being
melodic, active, and flexible with complementing the vocals.

Since
the sections have already been mentioned, to discuss how they are, many rate
highly. Both introduction and conclusion fulfill roles of, given the labels,
introducing and concluding the song, but both excel at such. The beginning of the
song is instantly alluring and perfectly transitions the song, and the ending is
equally smooth and suiting. With sections of verse, pre-chorus, and chorus,
with all being backed by solid vocals and instrumental, and with possessing
very natural progressions from section to section, a high rating is deserved.
Those three sections seamlessly flow to the next, and all build upon the prior.
With surpassing expectations in both sonic and structural components, an eight
is the least possible. In terms of the bridge, though it being a chorus does
grant a near translation of score, on the structural level this section is
praiseworthy. The placement and style of the bridge provides the song many
benefits: the bridge is neither too slow nor active so as to ruin the song’s
overall flow, and overall, the bridge is adeptly executed with recycling a
modified version of the chorus. Doing so quenches the desire for the chorus to
appear, but it is altered enough to not create mundaneness of overly playing
the choruses. On that note, for why the rap and post-choruses hold at a six,
lacking in distinctive features and mundaneness are to blame. Though neither is
dreadful at all—hence a six—both sections become dull over time, and
furthermore, roughly contrast the song’s general style of being dynamic and in
constant change.

For
both the Lyrics and Choreography categories, sevens appear once more.
Lyrically, “Someone Like U” is unique and detailed in plot. Although the
numerous repetition of lines do becoming hindering, due to what the lyrics
depict and its somewhat developed story, a seven will still hold. With the dance,
syncing remains sharp, but unfortunately, the key points do become dull
especially with the post-choruses’ part. The slower, rolling movements render
uninteresting, and additionally, though they are synced, it is overly simplistic
with relating to the song. Lastly, the only category that differs in score is
in the Line Distribution as it rates at an extraordinary nine. Though a ten is
not achieved as the section counts are not exactly the same (Ahyoung has three
while the remaining have four), a nine is in place to respect that at least it
is the most equally divided as possible.

In
conclusion, Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like U” rates at a seven overall. It can be
deemed as above average, though as stated, I biasedly disagree as I very much
adore the song. Nevertheless, from a systematic and neutral standpoint, the
song manages to reap an admirable score.

_______________________________________________________

Reflecting
over the review, if I am to be concise, I simply need to move entirely away
from my systematic style of reviewing songs. Perhaps the best mindset when
reviewing would be to imagine I was speaking to someone and explaining to them
what I think of a song—but of course in a slightly more formal way. But, as it
is, this review is too lacking and is visibly rushed. More practice will be
done until a decent solution is found. Readers should also feel free to send in
feedback and suggestions. Worst comes, reviews will be incredibly brief until
my personal schedule is cleared, though I do hope that I find a better style of
writing for reviews.

That
said, I have two bonus songs in mind for review. I will sacrifice both as
experimental lab rats to test a review style that would fit. Positively,
though, that does mean more content will fill up the blog, and maybe it is best
to remain brief yet plentiful for song reviews, especially with how the ratings
themselves carry a significant weight already and my words are merely to
explain said ratings.

For
highly irrelevant and final comments toward Dal Shabet and “Someone Like U,” for
a lack of words, Serri is so cool when she raps. There is no other way to
phrase that: Serri’s rap part is simply dazzling (even if the rap itself does
not score exceptionally). Much love towards her constant cheerfulness and
positive attitude, and for being an amazing leader to the group. And much love
for her for encouraging the idea that men dancing and using their hips is sexy,
and for kindly dancing with her adorable,
young fan
. “Awwing’s” and desire for children in the future aside (given my
growing age, my natural fatherly instincts are now thoroughly established; I
have went from merely tolerating kids to now very much loving the silly, hyperactivity
that children can bring), Serri is someone I very much admire.

As
always, thank you so much for reading this review. I do apologize for this
being perhaps the worst review yet, but again it will take practice before I
master a new review style. I will utilize the “formal conversation” idea with
my upcoming review on an underrated male group. Instead of systematically
breaking down songs, I will discuss what I believe are most relevant or interesting.
Stay tuned for that, and “I hope you meet someone just like you”: someone who
is patient, open to horrible reviews, writing, and interesting opinions, and
tolerant of a sleep-deprived K-Pop reviewer. Expect the next review within a
few days.

Choa (AOA) – “Flame” Review

Choa
– Flame (Music Video)

Choa (from AOA) –
Flame

Reviewed
on January 17, 2016

Personal Message:
Although Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like
U” is being worked on, I am changing schedule for the sake of at least posting
something within two weeks. The review will still come out, but much later.
Pitifully speaking, with being back to university, I am attempting to just
survive. I am overwhelmed with work, and in fact, should not even be writing
this review. But, as I need a break from all of the readings and writing
assignments, a short review will be done. That said, with time being limited,
important topics will not be discussed in this review (not that any are
directly elicited from the current review). On that subject, Stellar is making
a comeback, and though I missed the chance to review “Vibrato,” I will attempt
to review their upcoming one. Predictably, given the group’s concepts and the
general public’s reaction, a very important discussion will occur there:
“slut-shaming.” The amount of degrading, sexist remarks towards the ladies is
rather equivalent to my workload: enough to make me cry.

That is an understatement, of course.
My workload amount is, exaggeratedly at most, equal to one percent of the negativity
Stellar receives. Admirably, if accurate, though in an interview the ladies
have admitted to crying due to the hate and struggles of income, their ability
to persevere is outstanding. After all, I am already nearly in tears over
university work, and that is something entirely miniscule in comparison to the
hardships Stellar faces. More, however, will be discussed when the actual
review occurs (and I will be dedicated to devote time to indeed review the
group). Though I have slightly touched upon the topic of slut-shaming, with
Stellar’s review, I plan to dive deeply into it. Furthermore, there is a
critical question to ask: Where is the border for “appropriate”? Unlike when I
discussed this with Dal Shabet’s “Joker,” though I included the basic points of
slut-shaming, this was a question I avoided—or more accurately, brushed aside
with an insufficient answer that lacked critical thinking. Overall, looking
over the incredibly shameful writing quality in that review (it truly is
disorganized; in addition to greatly challenging a few of my prior arguably
sexist views in “Joker,” my argument points are unclear there), perhaps
starting clean with Stellar’s upcoming review would be a better route. I will
refer to previously stated points in regards to slut-shaming, but for what
would be most valuable to discuss, the topic of “appropriate” would be it, and
needless to say, there is much involved.

For highly irrelevant news, as of
this sentence (January 14), it is SPICA’s leader, Boa’s, birthday. She is now
twenty nine years old if correct. If there are readers perplexed at this sudden
and random mentioning, I bring this up because I am infatuated with her.
Excessively (she is my “idol crush” as I comically say). But of course, on a
mature tone, my delusion is kept in check. If it were not, I would have already
began a very embarrassing letter to her: Dear Boa, though we have not met yet, I know I will
love whatever marriage ring you decide to propose to me with because—

Questionable humor aside (though on
a serious note, I do sincerely find Boa an amazing person and while she may be
a personal “idol crush,” she deserves full respect as a human), on topic with
this review, I wish to write a brief one. This is to allow the blog to maintain
some activity, but likewise, it allows university work to still be finished. AOA’s
Choa’s solo debut song, “Flame,” was chosen for its conciseness (no
Choreography or Line Distribution categories to rate), and that pressing social
topics are not elicited from this song, and thus, no social digression will
occur (of course, however, any critical individual can indeed find something;
given it being a pop culture medium, even if nothing is explicitly given,
everything is open for dissecting). As a reuslt, solely the musical component
can be of focus, and that is what I do desire for “Flame.”

Offering a biased take to “Flame,” I
do admit it being disappointing—in the sense of genre and concept. Now to
clarify, neither ballad nor the concept is inherently bad; “Flame” is perfectly
fine in those categories. Explaining why I am disappointed, it is due to the
personal hope of Choa’s solo debut being a pop genre as her vocals have large
potential within that field. Choa absolutely has the vocal capabilities for
more vocally intensive songs, be it ballads or even in “Flame” ‘s case, but
when considering her vocals in pop songs such as “Miniskirt” or “Heart Attack,”
she has an exclusive quality: though her vocals possess power, excellent
belting and note holds, it is all suitable in a catchy, pop style. Essentially,
the point is that Choa is able to bring common ballad vocal traits into pop
songs, but it is done without compromising the pop genre’s style.

Confusing tangent aside, for a more
realistic analysis, it would be far better to discuss her flaming vocals in
“Flame,” and more greatly, to uncover how “Flame” rates. Unfortunately to leak,
though the song is certainly a flame, it most likely does burn weakly.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(6.75/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 6/10
(5.83/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 6/10

5.     Bridge: 5/10

6.     Conclusion: 6/10


Line Distribution: X/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 8/10

The pain starts as soon as I open my eyes
Every time I think of you, my heart aches
I guess all the heartbreak
before wasn’t a heartbreak
I’m learning that this is
a true heartbreak through you

Everything that happened in my
room with you becomes a movie
In that movie, you’re the star of my love
I don’t want to see the end
of this love that is coming to an end
So I rewind to the beginning
and take you out again

When the moonlight covers my tears
My one and only love comes to an end
I try to burn you from my heart to forget,
to erase it all
But like a flame,
you wrap around me, you cruel love

My sad love became a sad poem
You’re so bad, you left me for
just one mistake
If only I could forget you
with just one tear drop
Then I can cry for 365 days

When the moonlight covers my tears
My one and only love comes to an end
I try to burn you from my heart to forget,
to erase it all
But like a flame,
you wrap around me, you cruel love

Go away, go away
You used to be my love at one point

When the starlight gets locked
in the ocean with a strong sigh
My sad and quickened breath will stop
My last monologue will get carried
away by the wind
To a faraway place where I’ve
left to because you’re not here

When the moonlight covers my tears
My one and only love comes to an end
I try to burn you from my heart to forget,
to erase it all
But like a flame,
you wrap around me, you cruel love

Choreography Score: X/10 (x/10 raw score)

– Syncing: X/10

– Key Points: X/10

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Though
I am relatively confused (and shocked—mostly shocked) at the music video, to
focus on the song, it does hold stronger than anticipated. In fact, I feel like
retracting my prior statement of how Choa’s solo should have been a pop song.
This song is perhaps one of the best examples so far on the blog for a concept
worth understanding: “quality versus catchiness.” Ignoring the simplistic
label, “Flame” has received comments of how it is a “boring” song, and thus, is
not a “good” song. However, though that is understandable as “good” songs tend
to be alluring—catchy as it can be coined—it is worth noting that catchiness
should not determine ratings. Although all ratings in the end are indeed very
much subjective, when it comes to “catchiness,” objectivity vanishes
completely. Using how fun and upbeat a song is would lead to ratings being
based entirely on feelings versus, for example, analyzing how transitions are,
how vocals and instrumental relate, and so forth. In other words, it is far
better to analyze the technical works of a song than its style. Otherwise,
reviews would become nothing but ranking genres, and that is worthless a song
is more than the package it is delivered in. It is about the content, not the “wrapping”
(genre and style) of a song.

As
for “Flame” specifically, to admit, it is perhaps the stalest ballad I have
heard so far. Nevertheless, even if the song overall is plain with its style, there
are deeper details worthy of examining. All that said, the vocals to “Flame”
are very balanced. Note holds and belting partially occur towards the end for
the purpose of giving the song a climactic
point, but with every other section, the vocals remain tuneful, crisp,
and—in the context of “Flame”—diverse, but for the strongest point, the vocals’
calmness is it. Though vocal intensity and power are delightful traits, the
lack thereof is not necessarily a detriment, and “Flame” perfectly proves such.
Passive yet melodic vocals are sufficient to earn a higher rating.

To
address the sections, given the tedious nature of the song, I will not dive in
full depth but rather, will give an overarching analysis (and it is because I am
incredibly pressed with time)
. Overall, the vocals and the
instrumental carry a large bulk of the sections’ scores; the sonic component to
the sections is why ratings are higher. If the vocals and instrumental were
lower in quality, the sections would drop to fives, or perhaps even more
drastically. Expectedly, with the prior words’ hinting, it is the structures of
the sections that are impairing. Certainly, the sections still fulfill their
roles hence the sixes, but that is solely it. Thus, ratings are limited. For
example, the pre-choruses do properly transition the song into the choruses.
Where issues arise is in the methods: incredibly basic. There is no exclusiveness
to “Flame”; nothing in particular strikes as distinctive in this ballad
compared to others. Additionally, though it is not inherently an issue that
sections sound akin to one another, in the case of “Flame,” the song does begin
sounding mundane as, for example, the verse and pre-choruses are very identical
in sound and even structure (and this being the reason for why the song is not “catchy”).

Now,
for the bridge, it did receive a five for average. Though that is a “neutral”
score and is neither negative nor positive, it is due to how the bridge is
conducted. Given how the song is already slower paced and calm, capitalizing
off that flow and incorporating such into the bridge would suit more than what
is currently at play: entirely halting the song, as observed by greatly silencing
the instrumental and slowing the singing. Addressing the other perspective,
however, it is worth noting this bridge does effectively allow “Flame” to
transition to its climactic point of including two-part singing, minor note
holds, and so on. Nevertheless, considering that the actual transition can be credited
towards the quick beats that shortly occur at end of the bridge, if the bridge
followed a linear route versus pausing, as is the other sections, a smooth
transition would have existed either way. As a result, the bridge’s goal of
providing a dramatic and seamless transition to the concluding sections through
a pause is arguably unnecessary, and in some ways, counteractive to the song’s
overarching style. On this note, the conclusion is a six, though it nearly
meets a seven—and it is not because of the conclusion itself. Prior to the
actual conclusion (the ending solo instrumental), the last two choruses include
beautiful, cohesive two-part singing and note stretches, as mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, with how tedious “Flame” sounds in its entirety, having two
choruses playing one after the other builds upon that redundancy. As a result,
even with Choa’s stunning vocals at the end, it is not enough to overpower the
accumulated repetition.

Regarding
the instrumental, similar to the vocals, it remains enchanting with its tune
and serenity. Also, it does coincide excellently with the vocals themselves,
and even the sections are suited. What remains lacking is in the instrumental
itself: as calm and graceful as it is, it fails to be utterly seducing.
Finally, for the lyrics, a higher score appears. In fact, if correct, this may
be the highest rating as of yet for a song’s Lyrics category. Comically and
briefly explaining why this is the case: the lyrics could be used for a
dramatic monologue for a melancholy movie’s opening or ending. On a serious
tone, the level of details and depth for the lyrics are the reasons. The plot
remains thorough and greatly detailed, and the figurative language used further
augments it. Through the lyrics’ choice of words and metaphors, the character’s
agony, anger, and sadness are effectively highlighted, and in many ways, those
emotions become palpable. Overall, with the outstanding and various details and
a plot that remains deep, an eight is well deserved.

Although
short, this review finishes with “Flame” scoring an overall seven. As such, the
song can be rendered above average, and though I do biasedly disagree, the
ballad is indeed beautiful, and Choa absolutely showcases her vocal prowess. If
the song was more dynamic, or if Choa released a pop song versus a ballad, it
would be interesting to see the outcome. Regardless, Choa proves her ability to
run solo, and though AOA comebacks will always be delightful, I do hope Choa
eventually does have a pop genre solo (or even Yuna for that matter).

_______________________________________________________

For
an ending message, I greatly apologize for being quite inactive and for rushing
this review. I have much work to handle this semester and am balancing reviews
as best as I can. To confess, I do feel overwhelmed, but I do expect the
following weeks to be easier. Sharing a positive update, I have finished my
application for a campus job and am excited for that, and I do have a few short
subtitled videos to upload soon. But, with class work, I am incredibly booked.
Perhaps staying in the library until eleven and likewise forcing a friend to
suffer with me may be my best bet to having time to finish reviews.

In
terms of other reviews, I will finish Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like U” as soon as
possible. Being realistic, for this month I may have to rush through reviews,
but if that is what is required then I will have to accept that for January.
Should the worst occur and I become too busy, I do plan on reviewing “bonus”
songs, such as by visiting artists I have already reviewed. One in mind is “Tonight”
by SPICA. I absolutely adore the song in every possible aspect: the concept,
the vocals, the song’s layout, the choreography, and so on. I would confidently
say it is now my favorite song of all-time, or at least tied with other notable
favorites (though “Ghost” by them would be perhaps one of the best songs I have
heard). However, considering I dislike repeating groups for reviews since offering
variety is a priority (excluding comebacks), I may just opt to finish reviews I
have already started. Better yet, reviewing a reality show, “EXID’s Showtime,”
may be what fits next. Time will tell.

With
the review ending, as always, thank you very much for reading. I will do my
best to keep content posted. Whether it is Dal Shabet, a show review, more male
artists, or a biased review on SPICA’s “Tonight” (besides favoritism running, I would also have “Boa-ism”
running; the song may interestingly rate at a ten-out-of-ten “because Boa—just because
there is Boa”)
, more reviews will be coming. What I can promise
though is I will never be biased in a review—assuming SPICA’s Boa is not in it,
that is. My pitiful Boa-obsession jokes aside, “When the moonlight covers my
tears, my one and only love comes to an end”: readers. How this actually makes
sense is unknown, but the point is readers are my one and only love. Stay tuned
for most likely a bonus review on EXID’s reality show and others. With EXID’s
review, an interesting digression is in mind that I hope readers will enjoy
ruminating over. Until then, look forward to it and thank you again for reading
any bit of this review.

Hi, I’m the person who asked the question about ‘Nice Body’. I’ll admit I did so out of mischief (partly) but I really appreciated your answer. Props to you, as well, for not letting your social views influence the score you give a song, I appreciate that too! 화이팅!

Hello. Whether mischief was the main motivation or not, it was still a great question regardless, and likewise, I appreciate you for asking it. It also helps clarify to other readers, as you brought up, an important part of my reviews: that social aspects and views to a song (or other medium) will never impact its review ratings. With all of that, once again thank you for asking the question, and also, for the supportive ending cheer. 

To now include a short update to readers, as said, Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like U” is underway. However, university is starting up once again and thus I will be busy. But, given the first few days will be slightly more laid back (I hope), I have planned out time to finish it. That said, I still have other work to finish, such as finishing a job application that I have erroneously delayed. 

Don’t you find it ironic that despite being a ‘feminist’ you gave ‘Nice Body’, one of the most atrociously sexist songs ever, such a good review?

Hello, and before diving into this, I do want to thank you for asking a very critical question. I am glad to be discussing a social related topic, and am glad a review has elicited this. 

That said, I have two main points in reply: First, assuming I have the honor of being labeled a feminist (as it is oftentimes said, everyone should indeed be a “feminist”; gender equality and equity is something worthy of promoting), if I wrote that review recently, then yes it would have been rather ironic, and in fact, more accurately, hypocritical. Though I have not heard the song in months, recalling the melody and lyrics off my head, I do agree that the song is in fact very sexist. If correct, the lyrics do objectify women, and furthermore, connotes that women have to please men. Additionally, I would also argue it is a classist song; this song is heavily favoring those with wealth and excluding those who are poor (a future review will discuss how class and physical beauty relate). Now with that, there is still an unanswered part: Why was that review written so positively–socially and musically? Before addressing the musical perspective, to answer the social aspect, I will be incredibly intimate and direct: that was when I was still quite sexist.  

As discussed in SPICA’s “Ghost,” I have not been someone open to equality and equity from the pure start. Sadly, I was far from it: I openly admit that I used to be racist, sexist, and even homophobic (and most likely oppressive in other social aspects). It was common of me to be racist towards myself (internalized racism) and to offend Asians; it was “normal” to me to openly criticize what a female wore and how she behaved; and it was acceptable to me that non-heterosexuals could be mocked. Gratefully, however, due to a life-changing class during my senior year of high school, I became educated with these social topics (and have also gleaned a fitting future career goal that I love), and as a result, became understanding, accepting, and so forth. I have finally begun understanding the deeper roots of social issues–the sociological side, if accurate. In fact, as mentioned before, this blog does highlight that education progress. Reviews became increasingly less sexist over time for example, and once I had firmer understanding of these social topics, I then became exceptionally more active with including social digressions. All this said, with me openly stating that I used to be oppressive, it is also worth discussing the “racist binary” (or more generally, the “oppression binary”), but to save time, my recent Blog Opinion post for Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany discusses it.

On topic, for a more clear answer, “Nice Body” was positively interpreted on the social level because it was prior to the most important class I have ever had (that still holds true even after a semester of university). Simply put, I was not yet educated in these social topics, and therefore, was writing from a limited perspective. Essentially, sexism did not exist to me when I wrote that review; my understanding of social topics were minimal. Now, regardless of being intentionally sexist or not (and being oppressive in other aspects), it does not excuse my sexist writing in T-ARA’s Hyomin’s “Nice Body.” I have in fact done harm, and thus, I will apologize to those who have read the review. I sincerely do apologize for what I have said in it, and for not challenging the song on the social layer. It is absolutely a review I am ashamed of, and truthfully as I always believe in being intimate, I had planned to delete it on many occasions. However, I have now decided that I will never delete it: that review provides a distinctive marking for gauging growth, be it personally/emotionally, academically, or with writing. In this sense, though I am ashamed at the review itself, if looked at in this viewpoint, I am proud of “Nice Body.” It does highlight how far I have come, how much farther I can even go, and it also serves as a reminder for why I do continually have social digressions in reviews. 

In the end, my music reviews (emphasis on “my” music reviews; there are others who do an exponentially better job than I do and their reviews do in fact matter, even if solely musically) are worthless if solely music is discussed. More largely, K-Pop and pop culture of any is also meaningless if solely the surface is focused on. The deeper side to my reviews, such as in the “social digressions,” is what I consider most important at the very end. After all, as partially discussed in B1A4′s review, it may be great that “Nice Body” earns a high rating for its song quality (I will address this), but how is that important when that song is promoting sexism and classism?

On this note, there is a concept to my reviews that is worth clarifying. For reviews themselves, a song’s score can never be influenced by its social component. That does not mean the social side to songs are negligible, but it would greatly defeat the purpose of music reviews if a song’s ratings is based on its social layer and not, as the label, it’s “music” layer. In relation to this question, though my ratings for “Nice Body” are in fact inaccurate (the song would score significantly lower; during the first few months of reviewing songs, given my newbie experiences, I overly inflated ratings), the fact that it is a sexist song would not lower any of its ratings. What should have occurred, though, is a very important social digression that would critically analyze the song’s lyrics and overall concept. The ratings, however, would remain uninfluenced. Using a hypothetical example and to leak the upcoming review, if Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like U” had lyrics of “I hope I rape someone like you” (again, this is a hypothetical example; obviously these lyrics are made up and not real for their latest song) but kept the same sounds as it currently is, it absolutely would still receive a high rating (the review might have been overly leaked; yes, their latest song scores well). What would be changed greatly however would be what occurs at the Personal Message category: a discussion of its highly inappropriate, unacceptable lyrics. 

Overall, in summary: given that “Nice Body” was reviewed prior to me understanding social topics of racism, sexism, and so on, it is not necessarily hypocritical or ironic that I positively took the song. However, with now being educated in those topics, I do highly challenge the song’s social component, and on the musical side, I would be much stricter and not falsely inflate the ratings. Once again, to the asker, thank you so much for a critical question. These discussions are what encourages growth and learning, and thus, I do thank you for it. To every reader, in terms of upcoming reviews, as stated, Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like U” is being finished, and afterwards, a show review is in mind. Stay tuned for, hopefully, a review-filled month.

Outside the Top 10 Girl Groups. who do you think have the best vocals? I always have a heart for the underrated and underdogs :)

Hello, and this is an extremely great question. Before answering, for some short updates to readers, Dal Shabet’s “Someone Like U” is currently being worked on. If I am ambitious, it should be out in a few more days. Afterwards is a bonus show review, and from there, finishing up reviews I have already started (and of course reviewing comebacks/debuts that are certainly to come within this month). I have also finished subtitling SPICA’s attendance on “Star Beauty Show,” a beloved makeup show, and as of this sentence, am currently rendering it and will be uploading it shortly. “FNC Picnic At Night” will also be finished quite soon. University, however, will be arriving next week, but I plan to work effectively and have boundaries in place to minimize procrastinating, be it for reviews and videos or university work (and that I am still finishing a job application; I hope this is done within two days).

Boring updates aside, to answer this wonderful question, with female groups, I do have two groups that vividly come in mind. That said, however, I am not too sure on the current top ten popular female groups–though this should be negligible as, unequivocally and sadly, the two female groups in mind are far from top ten. They are: SPICA and MAMAMOO. I have been a fan of MAMAMOO for quite a while (I am thankful for having readers request their songs for review; after the request of “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” I became a huge fan), and I recently have stumbled upon SPICA because Boa won my heart with her personality, hard work, and attitude, and with her charming deep, husky voice and tall height through finally checking out the group after reading the relentless, yet perfectly justified, comments of how SPICA and MAMAMOO are incredibly underrated despite their vocal prowess. These two groups are still unpopular, though MAMAMOO is arguably on the trend towards popularity. SPICA, however, has yet to find that, and given how it has been a year or so since a comeback, I do admit I am afraid that the ladies would give up and disband (and it does not help to hear disbanding news, such as with the recent shocking news of KARA, a relatively popular group and a group I have reviewed, going on that route–but of course, it is understandable and being supportive is what everyone should do).

Fears and embarrassing “idol crush” aside (Boa truly is my “ideal type” though and my heart pitifully flutters at simply hearing her voice), these are the personal two highly underrated female groups in the context of vocals. Now, with unpopularity, I am certain there are many other groups out there who are as equally talented as SPICA and MAMAMOO in vocals. But, with what I personally am aware of, these two are my answers. Overall, there are indeed a lot of unpopular groups who in fact deserve more attention for admirable dancing and vocals. One example for a male group would be ZE:A, a personal favorite for male groups. Their vocals and dancing are superb, and even their personalities and “on-screen entertainment” are appealing, but unfortunately, the men have yet to become what would be considered “popular.” Focusing back on the question however, there are many reasons for why I choose MAMAMOO and SPICA. Covered earlier, for the first criteria, the two are certainly not popular. Given one more year, perhaps MAMAMOO would become a “top ten” female group, but as of now, that is not the case. For SPICA, pessimistically said, I am just hoping they reach the popularity of at least being known–and of course from there, then to “top ten.” SPICA is frustratingly unknown and very few know of the group.

In terms of vocal abilities, though I am tempted to answer in a corny manner of, “actions speak louder than words” and from there to link video evidence of the ladies’ outstanding vocal skills, I will opt for the boring route. At most, I will link reviews of the groups: MAMAMOO’s “Um Oh Ah Yeh” and SPICA’s “Ghost.” However, it should be noted that these songs fail to showcase the groups’ full potentials. Searching for their covers, other songs, live performances, and so forth, will unveil a fuller picture of what the groups are capable of. Overall, be it for MAMAMOO or SPICA, every member–yes, including MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul (rapper) and SPICA’s Jiwon (the “visual” member; though she, like the other members, is certainly beautiful physically and non-physically, “vocalist” is what I would label her role as)–is simply skilled with vocals. Now in every and any group, arguably, everyone can sing; the extent of how well a member can sing does vary, but it is true that every member in any group can sing in some form. This is not reason for why MAMAMOO and SPICA are personally chosen; I am not choosing the groups because “all their  members can sing.” Again, every member in every group can sing, hence why they are in the K-Pop industry. What differs with SPICA and MAMAMOO is every member in the group can sing or rap, sometimes even both, to a high standard. With SPICA for example, though Jiwon is potentially the weakest vocalist in the group, she still competes with other groups’ main vocalists, and in some cases, could perhaps exceed some. Thus, it is their level of vocal skills for every member that is alluring, not simply because they “all can sing.” 

And realizing that I partially sidetracked, with it being understood that all the members in MAMAMOO and SPICA are vocally talented, I should perhaps explain why I consider them exceptionally skilled. In summary, versatility is the driving factor. Passive, softer singing to high pitched, powerful note holds are all possible. Both groups can handle a large range of notes, singing styles, and more generally, various song styles. Furthermore, whether in studio or live, it is always clear that these two groups are undeniable skilled with vocals. Though exaggeratedly said, these two groups can sing any song: from soft and gentle ballads, from powerful and exciting covers of rock-like songs, from catchy and fun, upbeat pop songs, these ladies can handle it all. Words cannot describe their vocal abilities. 

Concluding, SPICA and MAMAMOO are the female groups in mind when it comes to “underrated top vocalist female groups.” As said, there are most likely others out there who are equally as adept as the two but are simply unknown to me. Regarding “underdog/underrated” groups, though it is irritating to know of groups who absolutely deserve more attention, it is always worth bearing in mind that there are a plethora of factors that influences a group’s popularity. Unless if one is a millionaire or billionaire, to directly be able to make changes is unlikely. But, similar to my social digressions of how to make positive changes and to combat large issues such as sexism and racism, minor acts matter. In terms of groups’ popularity, being a supportive fan is truly the best one could do. Staying updated with a group’s news, latest songs, and perhaps even following members individually are ways to help–on social media, obviously. And, there is always the simple method of sharing a group’s songs whenever possible. To directly help, there are always music show votes and purchasing songs and albums, but in the very end, just being “a fan” (in every sense of it; from buying albums or solely following an Instagram account) is what it takes.

In the end, however, personally speaking with how I do tend to become most fond of groups who are in fact underrated, there is a simple solution: forget popularity. It may be frustrating that comebacks occur much less frequently than if they were, for example, considered a “popular” group, but popularity does not–or at least should not–change how a group is. The members’ personalities, their vocal and dancing skills, the laughter and entertainment they provide on shows, popularity is meaningless when accounting for these more important aspects. If this point is not clear, I will use an, admittedly, rather conceited example: my subtitling of Fiestar videos (and even SPICA nowadays). The five ladies of Fiestar are unpopular despite admirable songs and above average vocals, and when it comes to subtitling videos of them, I definitely see a reflection of their popularity. There are minimal views, and it does bring the burdensome question of whether these videos are worth subtitling. The answer: yes, and in fact, more so of a yes as it means there are less (if any) Fiestar subbers. I subtitle their videos not for “popularity,” but because it is Fiestar. Translating this idea, even if one group is not popular, if songs are still released and the group still occasionally appears on shows, all should be well. Popularity is solely a number, after all.

More could be discussed on this topic, but given how it is once again two in the morning, I will end it here. And that I feel disgusted with using an arrogant, conceited example of myself. On topic, thank you so much for this question. Though I am known to socially analyze K-Pop, I also greatly love discussing the “musical business” side of it as well, and of course, simply the musical side as seen in reviews. For every reader, stay tuned for upcoming reviews, and always feel free to send in questions (and more importantly, feedback on how to improve). Thank you to asker and to other readers.

B.A.P – “1004/Angel” Review

B.A.P
– 1004/Angel (Live Performance)

B.A.P
– 1004/Angel (Audio)

B.A.P – 1004/Angel

Reviewed
on January 5, 2016

Personal Message:
Admittedly I planned to do a bonus
review on TaeTiSeo’s “Dear Santa” given my recent Blog Opinion post regarding Tiffany, but I have changed plans: I will
do a full review on B.A.P’s “1004.” Especially with how many female artists are
lined up for reviews, adding in male artists is certainly necessary to give a
proper balance for the blog. But, on the note of “Dear Santa,” though this
review will probably be posted much later, I do want to wish readers happy
holidays or happy regular days for those who are not celebrating a holiday
around this time. I hope readers, and of course, other important figures in my
life be it teachers, professors, family and friends, are currently happy and
healthy or at least in progress towards the two, and that the upcoming year is
also full of joy and health.

On a random note, for readers who
are also fans of Fiestar, I am planning on returning to subbing solely the
group’s videos (and I am currently working on a video). Admittedly I have gone
on a subbing tangent with SPICA (though I may subtitle one more as they
attended “Star Beauty Show,” a makeup show I very much adore), but Fiestar will
certainly return as the main focus (and I do feel obligated to do so). Also, I
do plan on hastily catching up on reviews, even if it means heavily compacting
analyses. Lastly, there may be a brief period of solely bonus reviews (reviews
where solely ratings are given) so that I may finish a job application.

Besides technical updates, for some
personal changes (readers should skip to the review now; there will be a minor
digression but there is nothing in depth for this review), I am finally
beginning proper skin care—specifically with combating acne. As I believe in
being intimate and honest, I do admit that I have horrendous skin (or at least,
I consider it to be absolutely dreadful). Without concealer, my nose and chin
are far from attractive as those are the areas where acne is active. But, after
visiting a dermatologist, I am now on a routine that will, hopefully, reduce or
even eliminate my acne, and furthermore, will moisturize my skin as I had not
been doing that. Additionally, with finally taking actions to better my skin, I
have also decided to better my diet: I am now attempting to reduce and remove
junk food snacking. This is not to lose weight (and again, GOT7’s review will
attempt to analyze physical beauty in the lenses of race, gender, class, and
more), but instead, to simply better my health. Topping it all, I am now also
attempting to have a fixed daily sleep schedule. Unfortunately, this has been a
challenge, but optimistically I am slowly progressing towards being able to
naturally wake up at six in the morning (and a bonus that I now, though
arguably embarrassingly, use K-Pop songs as an alarm; the day does feel calmer
when waking up to SPICA’s “Ghost” after all).

Overall, however, though I am
excited to discuss physical beauty in GOT7’s review, to leak one component of
it: with the prior paragraph, I was merely flaunting off my class privilege,
and that is something I need to acknowledge. My family is privileged enough in
class so that I have the resources to take care of my skin, to entirely substitute
junk food snacks with healthier options, to purchase clothing that I deem
stylish and personally suiting, and so on. This is one example of how physical
beauty is, in fact, far from “natural,” but arguably and shockingly, socially
constructed. Physical beauty is merely standards that predominantly suit those
who are socially privileged, be it in race, gender, class, and so forth—and
hence why what is deemed “beautiful” drastically changes over time. Those
lacking social privileges are oftentimes the ones feeling physically unattractive,
and that is not due to “lacking confidence” or naturalness, but instead, as I
will explain and argue in GOT7’s review, due to the social construction involved
with physical beauty: that social privileges are considered “beautiful” even
though, in reality, everyone is indeed physically beautiful.  

Since I have abruptly transitioned
from a casual tone to a serious one, to continue the trend, for this review I
did originally plan to discuss the notion of “War on Christmas” and even “War
on Christianity,” but I will most likely hold off as, besides how this review
is no longer related to Christmas as it is not “Dear Santa” by TaeTiSeo, I am
certain that many have already covered this topic. In summary, regarding the
“War on Christmas” idea, this is overall a showcasing of defending a social
privilege in the aspect of religion (and America as context; the “dominant”
religion changes per place). Although Christmas is now moreover a
consumer-based holiday and is not as heavily derived on religion, it is still
linked to Christianity. As a result, it is imperative to respect every religion
as there are people who do not celebrate Christmas—religious-based or
consumerism-based. Thus, for one example, saying “happy holidays” (and perhaps
even including “happy days” as it includes those who do not celebrate anything)
should not be taken as a “war on Christmas and Christianity,” but rather, it
should be understood as “I am trying to be an understanding, open, and caring
human being who wishes to respect differences because human experiences are
indeed diverse and everyone deserves to be treated with equal respect even if
there are differences.” But of course, that may be too lengthy and thus
labeling someone as contributing to “the war on Christmas” may be an easier
option.

Passive-aggressive humor aside, phrases
of “happy holidays” are not “anti-Christian.” It is simply an attempt to
embrace and respect multiple religions (and perhaps lack thereof) and cultures.
After all, the opposite perspective is seldom viewed: urging “Merry Christmas”
to those who do not celebrate it is rather “anti” to their religion. Thus,
“happy holidays” is the near-perfect, inclusive phrase (the only critique is
whether this includes those who celebrate no holidays around this time). On
topic, much of the defensiveness does stem into, as mentioned earlier, how
Christianity is the “dominant”/privileged religion (again, using America as
context). Phrases of “happy holidays” are challenging the standard that Christianity
is “normal,” hence why many may act negatively towards the idea of embracing
various religions, as seen in the notable case of America’s popular coffee shop
(if that is accurate; I think it originated in America but I am unsure),
Starbucks, receiving criticism for removing Christmas decorations on their
cups.

In the end, understanding social
privileges is what would help, and though I do not like including religious
teachings in reviews, speaking personally from a Christian perspective (I
identify as predominantly agnostic, but as shared before in Monsta X’s review, I also do—simultaneously with
being agnostic—acknowledge a few beliefs in Buddhism and Christianity—specifically,
if accurate, Catholicism), the Christian God would want humans to be inclusive
when it comes to this topic of “war on Christmas.” As She/He/It teaches, it is
about including everyone in “kinship” regardless of different sexual orientations,
gender, religious affiliations, and so on. (For the biggest topic, discussing
whether homosexuality is a “sin” or not in Christianity would be
thought-provoking. More than pure religion is involved; this topic is very
relevant to unpack regardless of one’s religious affiliation as it involves
discussing social privileges and how oppression is spread and, optimistically,
how it can be halted. And, for the religious aspect, it is worth discussing the
importance of context when it comes to interpreting religious writings.)

Short digressions aside, though it
would be interesting for a future review to dive further into this area as it
is seldom discussed, B.A.P and their song, “1004/Angel,” will return as the main
focus (and if a reader can explain why the title is as is, I would appreciate
it). For the review’s purpose, the song title will be referred to as “Angel.”
Sharing how I came about this song, it was through a random K-Pop playlist.
Nevertheless, when this song was played, upon hearing the amazing introduction I
decided it would be fun to cover (and there is the bonus side of including more
male artists on the blog as every gender is amazing). That said, though I am
unfamiliar with B.A.P, they do have admirable vocals and are very physically
beautiful (and for those finding it absurd that I, a heterosexual male, am
complimenting the men’s appearances, refer to a review: Teen Top’s “Ah Ah”), and expectedly, are also probably
non-physically beautiful as well (I plan to watch a few of their videos).

Finally to begin the review, as
hinted, “Angel” has a captivating introduction. However, a single introduction
does not compose an entire song. This review will determine whether the song
can truly be considered an “Angel.”

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 5/10
(5.38/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
8/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 5/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 4/10

6.     Rap: 5/10

7.     Bridge: 3/10

8.     Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 6/10


Line Distribution: 6/10

Yongguk:
Introduction, Pre-Chorus 1, Post-Chorus 1, Rap 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Rap 2,
Conclusion (Total: 7)

Himchan:
Pre-Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Bridge (Total: 3)

Daehyun:
Introduction, Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 2, Bridge, Chorus 3
(Total: 7)

Youngjae:
Verse, Pre-Chorus 1, Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 2 (Total: 5)

Jongup:
Verse, Pre-Chorus 1, Post-Chorus 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Chorus 3, Conclusion (Total:
6)

Zelo:
Pre-Chorus 1, Post-Chorus 1, Rap 1, Pre-Chorus 2, Rap 2, Conclusion (Total: 6)

Equal Value: 5.67 sections per member.  


Instrumental: 7/10


Lyrics: 6/10

You’re like an angel,
who has left me and gone somewhere
I need you

I don’t know how I’m living
After you left me, I’m going crazy
Every day, every night
I can’t even sleep
I’m all alone, drinking away, cry

So I miss you (I think of you)
and I need you (every day)
I can still hear your voice
Come back to me (I don’t have anyone)
Come back to my side (but you)
You’re like an angel

The reason I live is you
I don’t think I can see you anymore,
I think I’m really dying
The person to love me is you
Shine on me in the darkness

Look at me now
Come to me now
(Come back to me, how am I supposed to live?)
Look at me now
Come to me now
(How am I supposed to live without you every day?)

I didn’t know you would really leave me
You were like an angel
Why am I such a good-for-nothing?
Oh no, you have turned away from me
I’m a fool who has lost you
I’m like a beggar
I can’t do anything without you

So I miss you (I think of you)
and I need you (every day)
My wasted self is so pitiful
Hug me (I don’t have anyone)
Embrace me (but you)
You’re like an angel

The reason I live is you
I don’t think I can see you anymore,
I think I’m really dying
The person to love me is you
Shine on me in the darkness

It’s like I’m so out of it
I’m so blank every day
After you left, I’ve become ruined
Come back to me, I only had you
Hurry and save me
Stop, please don’t go far from me
(don’t leave)
Never let you go

I want to find you
Where, where, where am I going?
To the place where you are
A better day, a better day, a better day
You’re like an angel

The reason I live is you
I don’t think I can see you anymore,
I think I’m really dying
The person to love me is you
Shine on me in the darkness

Look at me now
Come to me now
(Come back to me, how am I supposed to live?)
Look at me now
Come to me now
(How am I supposed to live without you every day?)

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

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 5/10

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Quite clearly, this review became exceptionally delayed. Though I have
lifelessly repeated this, I will be attempting to further concise reviews. I
have decided that it is better to cover more songs in less detail than for the
opposite to happen as, for one, there are many recent songs to review and that
is impossible to do if every review is too thorough. Furthermore, with
numerical ratings existing, my analyses should be complementing the ratings
versus expanding the ratings. That said, “Angel” will be the first attempt at
this new revision, and furthermore, many reviews will also be coming shortly.
Interestingly, about three reviews are already half finished; I have completed
the Personal Message categories but have yet to write for the reviews
themselves. Soon enough, though, all will be posted (though the next review is
a short bonus show review since I will be busy finishing a job application and
subtitling SPICA’s appearance on “Star Beauty Show,” a makeup show I enjoy).

On
topic, “Angel” does overall rate lower than anticipated. Nevertheless, it still
possesses a sufficient rating, and there are still several strong aspects. Focusing
first on the vocals, “Angel” showcases above average vocals, even if there is
minimal intensity. For example, there may be no note holds (ignoring the live
performance’s adlib of one) and minimal vocal belting (the official term for my
misused term of “note stretching”), but despite lacking those common
characteristics of higher scored vocals, B.A.P’s cohesion, tune, and stability
certainly compensate. And of course, vocal intensity does not directly
correlate to higher ratings; there can be mediocre vocals even if power is in
place, and conversely, such as in “Angel,” there can admirable vocals despite
lacking vocal power. Overall, the vocals in the song are impressive. The singing
remains very cohesive in that every section’s vocals flow fluently into the
other, and that the singing remains constantly melodic.

In
terms of the sections, for the highest scored one, the introduction holds that
title. Whether in structure or sound, the section excels. With the structure,
every aspect is exceptional: the initial introduction of singing and
instrumental, and even the escalation of the two. Sonically, the initial
calmer, lower noted singing and higher tuned humming vocals are pleasing, and
likewise, the early guitar and later energetic version. Unfortunately, the
remaining sections do languish. Glancing at the verse and pre-choruses, though
the two are still “positively” rated (five is “neutral”), reaping any higher
rating is impossible. The structure and sounds for both sections are not
necessarily horrendous, but neither are they stunning. Specifically with the
verse, it follows a passive, slower start to the song. However, there is
nothing distinctive in singing or structure: the vocals, while quite smooth,
are not additionally enticing; structurally, it is a typical verse that
transitions a song from one point to the other. Homogenously, the pre-choruses
follow the prior trend: B.A.P’s singing is decent but not outstanding, and while
the pre-choruses do successfully fulfill the standard role of creating hype for
the choruses, its format of alternating and increasing vocal intensity and
including a brief pause is not special. Nonetheless, sixes are granted versus
lower scores as the sections are still noteworthy; the sections just lack the
additional qualities to push for a higher score.

As
for the choruses, overall, the repetitive nature of the sections proves
hindering. Although the vocals are certainly tuneful and impressive—and hence
not a lower score, because of the rhythm and flow of both the vocals and
instrumental, a linear style becomes adopted. Sonically, the section is
impactful and melodic, but with a vapid flow in place, appeal drastically falls
over time. Now, a linear format is not inherently bad, as proven in ballads for
example, however in “Angel” ‘s case, it is unsuitable as the prior sections
seemingly create choruses that would be equally dynamic and versatile. Regarding
the post-choruses, though to some degree the placement is understandable, the
sections nevertheless do disappoint. Vocals are lacking and similarly the
structure: “talking” occurs versus singing, and with the format, the
alternating of voices are dull. In the end, considering it is a post-chorus and
thus the role is to recycle “Angel” back to a calmer state, the lacking of
tuneful singing and its mundane structure does fulfill that role. But, it is an
inefficient way as it costs “Angel” moments of alluring singing, and
furthermore, it feels rather dragged.

On
the note of excessively stretching a section, the bridge relates. Though K-Pop
songs’ sections (and others) do tend to follow a traditional format (verse,
pre-chorus, chorus, etc.), the bridge in “Angel” appears incredibly forced; it
is as if the bridge is inserted because there had to be a bridge. Clarifying
though, the bridge in “Angel” is not entirely without purpose: it provides a
pause for the song to create a climactic buildup, of which is unveiled through
the energetic, two-part singing end. Nonetheless, a more productive route could
have been utilized. First, the entry into the bridge is abrupt. Secondly, the
slower and dramatic style of the section fails to fit “Angel.” If perhaps the
bridge’s style was foreshadowed and gradually introduced, then it may be deemed
suitable. As it is, however, the bridge’s echoing and sluggish points do not
fit the prior sections of fast paced melodies. At most, the bridge may provide
diversity for the song, but it is one that is too conflicting with the
remaining sections.

Analyzing
the raps, positively the vocal fluctuations are decent, as seen in changes of
rapping force, but that is the main highlight. Every other aspect, be it the
flow, rhythm, pacing, and so forth, are average. In fact, the other aspects are
rather uneventful; there are minimal changes minus the vocal fluctuations. Lastly,
with the conclusion, though it is the post-chorus reused once more, the
conclusion will deserve credit for its two-part singing. Additionally, though
the post-chorus is not successful with its original role, when it comes to the
conclusion, it does suit. Relaxing on the vocals and tune ensure a smoother
end, and that is what the post-chorus offers.

Hastily
covering the Line Distribution category, two members do have an extra section.
As a result, factoring in the many sections that are available and the group
size, the score will be impaired somewhat greatly. Also covering the lyrics,
though there is a noticeable amount of repeating details and ideas, there is
still variety among such. Furthermore, the plot is relatively exclusive: the
main character still considers their former partner an “Angel” even after the
two have parted ways. Ultimately, to discuss the instrumental, it holds
admirably. The main spotlight is arguably on the electric guitar, and overall,
the rock-like genre the instrumental adopts, and that is definitely a positive
aspect: the guitar is fabulous and meshes well with B.A.P’s vocals. Throughout
sections, the instrumental is outgoing enough to hold its point, but is not
overwhelming to the degree of stealing attention from the singing—unless if it
is meant to be in spotlight. During those instances, such as the introduction,
the instrumental proves its ability to hold independently.

Switching
to the choreography of “Angel,” the syncing is rather accurate. All of the key
points reflect to the song’s sounds, and also, the intensity as well. For
example, the choruses possess more lively maneuvers than other sections that
are moreover passive. What does remain disappointing, though, are the said key
points. Even if synced to with sharp precision, the dance moves themselves are
not captivating (visually that is, as reviews focus on; the skill required for
the dance is absolutely stunning). Given the upbeat song, it would be predicted
that the key points are also equally filled with actions and movements, but
that is not the case: the opposite, peculiarly, occurs. A predominant amount of
the dancing orientates around simpler moves versus complex, active ones. And though
simplicity is not a fault, and in certain cases, is a large benefit, with “Angel”
the key points do appear lackluster in juxtaposition to the song itself, and
more significantly, with the basic approach, it leads to repetitiveness of already
duller dance moves.

Concluding,
B.A.P’s “Angel” concludes with an overall six for slightly above average.
Biasedly, I have been enjoying the song, but I do wholeheartedly agree with the
result. Nevertheless, even if “Angel” scores lower than desired, B.A.P is a
group to follow given their stellar vocals and even dance skills, and if
accurate, they have had a comeback around November (though admittedly I have
yet to listen to it). Despite the listed scores, the six men are indeed quite
adept.

_______________________________________________________

Sharing
a random fun fact: I am writing this nearly at two in the morning. And, like prior
times of doing this, I may now begin writing obnoxiously. But, it is all worth
it for readers. On a more serious tone, this review did take a long time as
there have been a few family events, and to confess, I have been slacking. However,
I do apologize. January will be the start of shorter yet more plentiful
reviews, and I am set on compensating in this month.

To
begin, besides this review, the next one will be a bonus: a show review on “EXID’s
Showtime.” I have finished the reality show weeks ago, and with how I do tend
to watch reality shows of groups, a short and fun bonus review would hopefully be
entertaining for readers. Also, on the topic of shows, I have recently heard of
how a popular American cartoon show (“Family Guy”; I am familiar in the sense
of the show existing, but since I do not watch American media, I do not know
what the show is necessarily about) featured K-Pop. In the upcoming review, I
may discuss the “Hallyu Wave” as it is oftentimes coined, if accurate
(essentially, the idea of spreading K-Pop and Korean culture). Hinting my
stance, though a multitude of months ago I would have rejoiced at this
featuring, in truth, now I am not sure. As to be discussed, I do consider “Family
Guy” ‘s approach as entirely genuine—and it certainly is full of good
intentions, given a few short clips seen. However, there are subtle consequences
of blindly promoting the “Hallyu Wave,” the most notable one being that K-Pop
becomes “exotic” and a “playful trend” when, in reality, it is any other pop of
any different culture. More deeply, though this scenario is not quite “cultural
appropriation” (a different topic for another time), there is a vital question
to ask: What happens, then, when the Hallyu Wave/K-Pop trend fades out?
Suddenly everyone’s “love for Koreans and Korean culture” is gone as if a “foreign
and exotic” culture is a toy. There is much to discuss, and I am certain I am
already being controversial, and thus, I will do my best to hastily finish that
review. Discussing and asking questions are what matter; it is less on deciding
whether K-Pop should trend than to discuss why it should or should not, and
what happens if it does or does not, and more.

On
a more cheerful tone, after that review or even before it, I may review Dal
Shabet’s “Someone Like U.” A friend notified me of the ladies’ comeback, and especially
with news of Jiyul and Gaeun departing from the group, I personally desire to review
their latest song. Personally, I absolutely love the concept even if my friend keeps jokingly
burdening me with “Why are you like this, what happened in your life?”
 and song. Realistically however, the song most likely still has its strengths
and weaknesses as does every song. Catchiness may be its current infatuating
aspect for me (and given it is produced by Brave Brothers, that is
understandable; another topic in the future would be to discuss K-Pop producers,
or more accurately, the seemingly lack thereof).

Overall,
I will do my best to finish the reviews as soon as possible. I am currently
busy with finishing a job application and subtitling SPICA’s visit to “Star
Beauty Show” since
Narae’s makeup skills and ideas make me very envious (and on a random note, my
New Year’s change of beginning thorough skincare has been showing positive
results)
, but I will devote time for reviews. With this being the
end, as I have shockingly not said so yet, thank you very much for reading.
Read in full or skimmed, I appreciate any given time towards the blog and its
reviews. Thank you. All that stated, “please don’t go far from me” as I will
return shortly with a bonus show review. Stay tuned.