KNK – “Back Again” Review

KNK – Back Again (Dance Version)

KNK – Back Again

Reviewed
on June 26, 2016

Personal Message:
Although already edited in to the last
review
, I do want to thank a reader again for notifying me that I somehow
wrote “July” instead of “June.” Indeed, the secret is now revealed: I am a
time-traveler who wrote the review a month ahead. On a serious tone, July is
coming quite soon and sadly, I am still short on two reviews—or at least
currently. That said, the prior groups I had in mind for review, Oh My Girl and
BTS, will be pushed to the month of July. Instead, I have decided to finish up
the month of June with two special, hastier reviews that many readers desire:
rookie groups. From perhaps a biased standpoint, I have always been fond of
reviewing newer groups. Besides seeing how new artists attempt to create their
own distinctive, musical styles and of which translates to interesting reviews—or
the lack thereof, if we are to be critical—I am most interested in gauging how
artists improve and change over time. That, from a reviewing perspective, is
what makes rookie groups utterly charming—even if their initial releases are
subpar to most.

Regarding the current review, many
readers may now wonder: “Are KNK’s earlier songs going to be considered
mediocre?” Although that is what this review is here for—to provide hopefully a
new perspective and discussion to “Back Again”—I will say this: their heights
are indicative of their tall future. 185 centimeters as an average, the men of
KNK are tall. Even that is a short, unfulfilling statement. Horrible jokes
aside—though I truly do hope, and expect, the men to excel in the future—let us
take a more critical approach to “Back Again” than that of a casual listen.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.00/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 5/10
(5.17/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 5/10

4.     Chorus: 5/10

5.     Bridge: 5/10

6.     Conclusion: 4/10


Instrumental: 5/10


Section Distribution: 8/10

Youjin:
Pre-Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Bridge (Total: 3)

Seungjun:
Introduction, Verse, Verse, Bridge (Total: 4)

Inseong:
Chorus, Chorus (Total: 2)

Jihun:
Verse, Chorus, Chorus (Total: 3)

Heejun:
Verse, Bridge (Total: 2)

Equal Value: 2.8 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 5/10

I miss you, I hate you
I wanna go back again

You’re getting farther away
You’re fading
I try to catch you but,
you’re like the crashing waves; you keep pushing me away
Your cold words make me freeze
The more I try to take you out,
the sharper you get and dig deeper
I can’t even breathe

Besides you,
nothing can fill me up
I’m still waiting for you
Please don’t go far from me
I wanna go back again

I can’t go on without you
Before it’s too late, let’s go back to those times
To me, back again, back again
Again, back again, back again
Before you erase me
Without you, I’m going crazy
I’m still right here
Whenever you want, back again, back again
Again, back again, back again
Come back to me
Back again

Even after time passes,
traces of you still remain thickly
Your voice still tortures me,
your smile, even your smallest habits
I call out to you but it doesn’t reach you
Don’t get any farther, don’t go away
So I can reach you just a little bit

Even if I lose everything
You alone can fill me up
I’m still waiting for you
Please don’t go far from me
I wanna go back again

I can’t go on without you
Before it’s too late, let’s go back to those times
To me, back again, back again
Again, back again, back again
Before you erase me
Without you, I’m going crazy
I’m still right here
Whenever you want, back again, back again
Again, back again, back again
Come back to me
Back again

When time passes,
memories of you will fade
But you’ll come back some day
So I’ll be waiting right here
I miss you, I hate you

I can’t go on without you
Before it’s too late, let’s go back to those times
To me, back again, back again
Again, back again, back again
Before you erase me
Without you, I’m going crazy
I’m still right here
Whenever you want, back again, back again
Again, back again, back again
Come back to me
Back again

Choreography Score: 6/10 (5.5/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 6/10

– Key Points: 5/10

Overall Score: 6/10
(6.00/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
I will be honest: KNK surpassed my expectations. On the other hand, however,
the production of “Back Again” did not; it merely met my expectations, as I
will explain. But first, let us discuss what surprised me about the men.
Looking over the ratings, the vocals have scored exceptionally well: a seven
for above average. Indeed, their vocals are impressive—and more so with being a
rookie group. Despite being new, the men are already showing off admirable
singing skills. Consider the common, solid traits that KNK meets: diverse
styles; both fragile and powerful singing; vocal beltings; and pitch diversity—both
highs and lows. Throughout every
section—choruses, verses, bridge, and so forth—are absolutely stunning vocals. All
in all, even if they are a newer group, their vocals state otherwise: their hard
work with practicing their vocals shows through in “Back Again.”

As
for another excellent rating KNK gleaned, their section distribution is nearly
perfect. Since the numbers are somewhat indicative of why men earned an eight
in this aspect, I will not overly explain. However, in short, it was solely one
disparity (a four versus a two for section count) that prevented a nine.
Nonetheless, an eight is certainly a desirable score, and more importantly from
a musical perspective, considering KNK members are all solid vocalists having a
rather equal distribution helps augment their vocals even further—hence why
section distributions do matter. Switching
over to the lyrics, unfortunately scores do become lower now. At a rated five,
the lyrics are of the cliché: a breakup that leaves the main character in
anguish. Although the verses do remain varied and detailed, every other section
fails in those regards. Take, for example, the choruses: repetitive lines of “back
again” along with excessively emphasizing the idea of how the main character
cannot continue on without their former love. As such, since the plot itself is
already mundane and likewise the details in every section minus the verses, an
average rating is earned.

To
now focus on the instrumental and sections—both of which have scored averagely—these
aspects are where “Back Again” falters. This is also what I alluded to when I
said it is the production that languishes and not necessarily KNK themselves.
After all, how the song is structured out with its sections is not directly
tied with the vocals—though the vocals still do play a role. On topic, there is
one main idea that describes why “Back Again” is weaker with its sections:
generic. The vocals are stunning, but when it comes to how the song itself
plays out, it is organized in an incredibly generic fashion. Let us take a look
at specific examples. With the pre-choruses, in addition to its abrupt transition
on both occurrences from the prior verses, the format is of the traditional: a
lighter instrumental and vocals to create a “hyping” effect for the
anticipated, climactic chorus, and of course accelerating beats to clearly
highlight the actual transition. While this format is not inherently bad,
unless if a song manages to transform it in such a way that its effectiveness
is maintained (indeed, this format is effective,
hence why it is commonly used) while the delivery is creative, then it is
perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, “Back Again” lacks that unique component;
the pre-choruses precisely follow what was stated above. Slightly modifying
that format or adding to it would have been greatly preferable. Even with
Youjin’s fantastic singing being included, it is not enough to compensate for
an overly stale layout.

Regarding
the other sections that score at a five, the same concept applies: following a
traditional format to its core without any creative twists. Now as for the conclusion
and its lower rating, this is the rarer case of an ending ending itself too
quickly; the conclusion concludes itself too suddenly—as comical as those two
phrases might sound. Instead of cutting off the piano that soon, a few more
seconds to let it naturally fade would have provided a much cleaner end than
what is currently present. Yes, this may be harsh, but it is a minor detail that
still has major implications. On the positive side to all of the prior
critiques, the verses and introductions do deserve praise. The verse, from a
conceptual context, is how “Back Again” should have conducted: using a traditional
format but with a personal, unique change. First, the verses sound
extraordinary with the meshing of the instrumental’s and vocals’ pacing, but
what gave the section a certain push to a six is the subtle mixture of standard
singing but also that of rapping. That—taking a normal concept of a verse but
adding in creative points—is why the verses fare well.

Overall,
the sections are somewhat disappointing in the song. KNK’s vocals are thriving
individually, but without sections that are equally engaging and also an
instrumental that is moreover than providing mechanical benefits—such as
transitions or complementing the vocals—the song in whole languishes. If more
distinctive sections are given in the future, and additionally an instrumental
that would sound seducing while still maintaining its fundamental roles, KNK’s
songs would be quite potent. Add in as well more creative, detailed lyrics and
the men’s song will further succeed. Nevertheless, to have a song rate at
slightly above average despite being a newer group is something to definitely
admire. Furthermore, their vocals are nothing to scoff at; with even more experience
and time to improve, KNK’s singing may just be what brings the men to high
popularity in the future. What matters now, then, is that their songs from a
producing aspect continue to greatly improve—and that, I expect, will occur. KNK
is unequivocally a group to keep ears—and eyes since, as every man and woman
can agree to, they are gorgeous—out for.

_______________________________________________________

To
my surprise, I once again managed to review a song in a single day. This does
show that social digressions are perhaps the main culprit to slower reviews
(and other work, be it my summer class or subtitling videos), but as I
reiterate constantly, it is important to be critical of K-Pop (and every pop
culture) beyond even just musically, but also that of socially. Pop culture is ubiquitous
with social topics, be it blatant or not. Thus, it is crucial to be able to
critically engage with those topics should they arise. That aside, however, the
next review in plan will most likely be on another newer male group, but plans
might change again. Nonetheless, look forward to a review to come before the
end of June. And as always, thank you to all for reading—whether in full or
short. Any time towards the blog is truly appreciated. After all, “I can’t go
on without you.” Look forward to the next review, and remember: I invite KNK
fans to also be critical of my review and to both agree and disagree with it.

I’m currently making playlists (on youtube) for fiestar promotions and I was wondering if I could add your subs to the playlists (with credit in the description of course). and on a side note, thank you for subbing fiestar videos!

Hello there, and absolutely! You have my permission to include my videos and subtitles. With crediting, I would personally very much appreciate it if both this blog and my YouTube channel could be included, but one or the other is fine. And of course, if linking either becomes an issue simply including my name (AtrocityCL) always works. After all, I subtitle their videos not for popularity at all (I mean the hard truth is Fiestar is hardly popular in the first place–though I hope this changes soon) but rather to simply help out Fiestar fans who have no knowledge of Korean whatsoever. That is what is most rewarding from the work and why I keep returning to it–not the view counts, personal exposure, and so forth.

In short: yes, definitely feel free to include my videos and subtitles. The videos are there for fans, after all, and definitely not something I should feel as if I “own” even if I did the work of translating and subtitling. But even so, crediting is always welcomed–be it with linking or simply mentioning my name–as subtitling can be quite time-consuming and thus, acknowledgement never hurts. 

And lastly to say, you’re welcome; it is a huge pleasure and even honor knowing that I am helping many of Fiestar fans with getting to know the ladies besides their musical side. Being able to directly and positively impact Let’s (Fiestar’s fans) is truly heartwarming, and likewise with being able to receive revisions and feedback. Good luck with the playlists, and thank you for taking your time out to help out other Fiestar fans. 

Sistar – “I Like That” Review

Sistar
– I Like That (Music Video)

Sistar – I Like That

Reviewed
on June 21, 2016

image

Personal Message: Edit 1: Thank you to a reader for pointing out I wrote “July” instead of “June.” After a long wait, the summer season
has finally arrived: Sistar has made a comeback. Coincidentally timed, I did
review the group’s song of “I Swear” for a review request, and although I did state I want to
begin focusing on artists that I have yet to review on this blog, I will
probably allow for an exemption here. After all, I like that; I really like the
comeback. And besides selfish, biased reasons for reviewing, more importantly
this review will allow readers who have been waiting for reviews to finally
receive their wish. I have another review that will also shortly come out, and
indeed both (this included) will be purely focused on songs versus digressing
on social topics. With that aside, in addition to being joyful that Sistar is
back, from what I have heard they have also recently achieved an “all-kill” on
charts; in other words, “I Like That” has been ranked as number one on various
music charts. Well deserved, as we will get to. I personally consider this
Sistar’s best song as of yet—though to bear in mind, I only have hours’ worth
of listening rather than the usual days’ worth. That said, this review may not
be as accurate as others as I have not invested much time into analyzing it,
but I believe I have sufficient insight towards the song so that a review is
possible and will not be of entire biased remarks.

Diving into the review, for where
many have been critiquing the song, many have pointed out the song’s
distribution—or the lack thereof, specifically. Indeed, though, that is a
correct aspect to criticize; if correct, this song has the most disparity of
lines in all of their releases. Those who have harshly said this song is
“Hyorin feat. Soyou, Dasom, and Bora,” even if somewhat painful to take, are
not far off if even off at all. However, this single aspect cannot dictate how
the rest of the song goes. So, even with a rather poor distribution, will it
still be possible for listeners to say, “I like that”?

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 8/10


Sections: 7/10
(6.86/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 6/10

6.     Bridge: 7/10

7.     Conclusion: 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 5/10

Hyorin:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Chorus (Total: 6)

Soyou:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 4)

Dasom:
Verse, Verse, Chorus (Total: 3)

Bora:
Rap (Total: 1)

All:
Introduction, Bridge, Conclusion

Equal Value: 3.5 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 6/10

Let’s dance
(I like that)
(I like that)

Now I understand the saying,
“men are all the same”
A guy like you, I can’t figure you out
(I like that)
You’re here but then you’re gone, you come and go
I thought that I could change you
But I was such a fool

Don’t worry about me
Just because you’re not here
I just need you to disappear
That’s all I need
Just go to the women
you secretly flirted with

“I like you, I love you,”
you said it but I don’t believe you
You can’t settle for just me, that’s who you are
I resent God for meeting you
I like you
(Ooh ooh)
I love you
(Ooh ooh)
Out of all the words I heard this year,
I like those the best, I like that
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)

Go away, now go home
Don’t get weak, go back
I beg, I beg, I beg, I beg
(Oh, oh, oh, oh)

Go away, go drink alcohol or drink milk
I don’t care who you flirt with, with those hotshot lips
Playboy, you’re famous for that
I’m just crazy for not realizing

Don’t worry about me
Don’t be ridiculous
I just need you to disappear
That’s all I need
Just go to the girls
you flirted with all night

“I like you, I love you,”
you said it but I don’t believe you
You can’t settle for just me, that’s who you are
I resent God for meeting you
I like you
(Ooh ooh)
I love you
(Ooh ooh)
Out of all the words I heard this year,
I like those the best, I like that

I’m so fine, I’m so fine
If you care about me don’t touch me
I’m so fine, I’m so fine
If you care about me don’t touch me
To love someone or to trust someone
I don’t think it’ll be easy because of you

“I like you, I love you,”
you said it but I don’t believe you
You can’t settle for just me, that’s who you are
I resent God for meeting you
I like you
(Ooh ooh)
I love you
(Ooh ooh)
Out of all the words I heard this year,
I like those the best, I like that

(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)

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

– Syncing: */10

– Key Points: */10

There
is a dance to the song, but as of the time of review neither dance practice nor
live performances have been uploaded.

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Surprisingly,
the section distribution is not as bad. Then again, I gauge section distribution and not line or time distribution. Although I am sure I explained in the past for
why I do this, I will reiterate it here so that everyone understands. First, gauging
based on line quantity or time quantity is inconsistent when considering
different styles that occur. A rap may be, for example, very excessive in lines.
Furthermore, a rap might be very short or very lengthy in duration. Would it
then be fair to punish a group because their rappers and singers, given the
circumstances of different vocal styles, have different durations and line
counts? What if they all have the same sections total count, though? That would
seem to be rather equal—even if, yes, the durations and individual line counts
are significantly different. Consider the following: a rapper in a group has
her spotlight at four different sections, and the other members all sing but
each have four sections as well. However, because the rapper is spitting out
fire, her total time duration is only five seconds while the members who sing
have a total of fifteen seconds, and the rapper’s line count is thirty while
the rest are at twenty. Even if the duration and line count are different, once
again, the rapper had sufficient spotlight given she appears at four sections
like the rest.

Furthermore,
there is also the issue of counting lines in the first place; what constitutes
a line at all? If we are to count sentences as lines, then what if there are
instances of run-off sentences or if a sentence becomes chunked up? Again,
there are too many variables at play that make lines and time unreliable
factors to account for when discussing how a song is distributed among members.
Sections, while certainly not exempt from issues—a main issue is, for example,
a member can simply say “oh” at the end of a chorus and she/he will now
suddenly gain a section count even though that is arguably exceptionally negligible
and should not be counted—do appear to be more stable than the former ones of
time and lines. Of course, though, I do try to be realistic and reasonable. For
example, in BTOB’s
review
, I made an exception for two of the rappers as the duration far outweighed
section count. But with all that covered, let us focus on how this all applies
to Sistar’s “I Like That.”

The
section distribution is definitely not poor at all in “I Like That.” Yes, the line and time distributions are horrendous—I do not deny that at all like
many have claimed—but in terms of how the sections were split, it renders averagely.
Dasom and Soyou both had the perfect count with three and four respectively.
Where issues occur would be with Hyorin and Bora—the former being quite excessive
while the latter remains lacking. What would have greatly aided this score
would be Bora gaining some additional sections. Even simple humming of “ooh”
that appears throughout would count. Instead of having all of the members for
those moments, if Bora was individually responsible for a few, then this score
would vastly improve. Nonetheless, as it is, it is far from negative. And so to
answer whether the distribution is bad in “I Like That,” the best answer would
be: what distribution are we
referring to? If we are using sections as the counter, then miraculously “I
Like That” is nothing too bad at all. It holds averagely—a rating that, while
not utterly impressive, is not that of “bad” or “poor.”

Finally
getting into the song itself, “I Like That” sounds fantastic. With the vocals,
the usual desirable traits are there: note holds, belting, diverse singing
styles, a variety of paces, smooth and powerful singing, and so forth. As those
traits are somewhat self-explanatory in this song, I will now elaborate unless
if readers desire some boring, repetitive writing. Now even then, those traits
would gain a seven at best. What, then, allows the ladies to reach an eight—a rating
that is essentially the highest I tend to give for reviews now? (For
comparison, a ten is practically forever impossible to earn as that would be “perfect”
vocals—a feat no one is quite capable of. As for a nine, MAMAMOO’s cover of “Hinterlands”
is the only nine-rating vocals I would ever give—this being out of every song I have ever heard in my life
so far.) Sistar’s strongest asset is why: their vocal chemistry. For example,
at the pre-choruses both Soyou’s and Hyorin’s singing intertwine seamlessly to
deliver varied, dynamic, highly melodic and controlled singing. Furthermore,
other sections such as the choruses benefit. During the choruses, while a large
portion is Hyorin’s singing, when Soyou or Dasom arrive with their single line—even
if minor on the surface—it is impacting as it provides both transition and
diversity to Hyorin’s already alluring singing. Overall, with vocals already acing
on an individual level—be it with the members themselves or with how the vocals
are all diverse in styles and power, and are fluent and highly tuneful—and how
Sistar in whole are able to connect their singing and rap to each other’s
vocals, it leads to a very cohesive and fabulous sound. Sistar has always been
known for their adept vocal skills—not just Hyorin—and “I Like That” definitely
continues that trend.

In
terms of the sections, many sections excel with being above average. Even the
weakest sections are still admirable with earning sixes. As already discussed earlier,
Sistar’s chemistry with each other’s vocals are a huge factor to the sections’ success.
The pre-choruses earn an eight due to both Hyorin and Soyou perfectly accommodating
one another with singing, but likewise also due to seamlessly transitioning the
song to the chorus without abruptly changing the song’s flow. Other sections,
such as the introduction and verse, also do well due to having a similar
manner: an excellent structure that serves the song a role—be it hooking in
listeners or providing a start that is neither too sudden or insufficient—all
while also having a seducing sound to back it up, such as with singing or
instrumental. And on the note of instrumental, to roughly transition for a
moment, its score derives from the usual of sounding individually solid and
supporting Sistar’s vocals, but what makes the instrumental thrive is its
flexibility. From smooth, classy and slower sounds to begin the song, to being
able to become upbeat to complement the choruses, and additionally to become
calm during the choruses’ ending, the instrumental in “I Like That” remains as
one of the most versatile ones I have yet to hear: fantastic in sound while
adaptive to any style the song requires. On topic again with the sections, at
the sections’ worst, the rap and conclusion have minor issues. Bora’s rap, for
instance, becomes somewhat stagnant given how it does not change in flow or
pace, and that the break in the middle also further emphasizes that linear
form. Even then, it is definitely still a decent rap and certainly suits the
song in whole. In summary, many sections fare well in “I Like That.” The
pre-choruses remain perhaps the strongest point in the song given its superb
sound and chemistry, but of course every section holds well—even the lowest
scoring ones.

Lastly,
regarding the song’s lyrics, although the song’s plot is of a rather recycled
concept—that of a breakup and a horrible partner—how that same, boring story is
delivered is now slightly more exciting thanks to “I Like That.” Details remain
varied and not merely repeated, though where the lyrics fall short is in depth:
the choruses, for example, do not bring new insight to the plot. Nevertheless,
the lyrics are still slightly above average. The verses, rap, and even
pre-choruses provide much of the lyrics’ appeal.

Concluding
this review, Sistar’s “I Like That” scores at above average—an excellent score.
The choreography, while it does exist, has yet to be officially released and
hence why I did not also review it. As such, for readers in the far future or
for those reading right now, I recommend looking up the dance practice or live
performances whenever they become available. Overall, this is an impressive
comeback by Sistar. Their vocals are sharper and more melodic than of prior songs,
and how “I Like That” is structured is phenomenal. What would be desirable in
the future, though, is finally a more equal distribution—even if they did not
score poorly this time around. Nonetheless, I personally consider this Sistar’s
best song as of yet. I look forward to even better songs in the future from the
ladies. “I Like That” achieving an “all-kill” is certainly to be expected given
the quality.  

_______________________________________________________

Despite
all odds, I managed to write this review in one day. I have already spent much
time analyzing the song itself, but when it comes time for writing, this
process generally takes a few days rather than just one sitting. But, somehow I
managed to get through this one. Either way, I am glad to have finished it so
soon, and to review an excellent song from a very popular and brilliant group. To
share what I have next in mind, I plan to review an underrated female group and
afterwards, a very popular male group. Both groups will be new artists reviewed
for the first time, and I definitely look forward to them. What may be
interesting, though, is that both may be controversial—and musically speaking,
that is. I have finished reviewing the female group’s song and I am shocked at
the scores myself. Which group is it and what song? Readers will have to be
patient.

As
I always say, thank you to all for reading or skimming, and for being patient
with the next review. Summer school has started and thus I am busier than usual.
(And that I have my sweet girl to take care of. For those wondering on how
Venus, my four-year old terrier mix, is doing after nearly two months of
adopting her, she is finally feeling at home and with her family. She is
incredibly loving now—though that love does not exist for other dogs.)
Likewise, for those who are fans of Fiestar, I will be busy with subtitling
videos of them. Many Follow Me
episodes are what I am currently working on. Until then, “Out of all the words
I heard this year, I like those the best, I like that”; I like that many
reviews and videos are coming soon for readers to enjoy.

Fiestar – “Apple Pie” Review

Fiestar
– Apple Pie (Music Video)

Fiestar
– Apple Pie (Live Performance)

Fiestar – Apple Pie

Reviewed
on June 18, 2016

Personal Message:
I have been looking forward to this
review for a while, and finally will I be starting it—even if this is two weeks
or so “late.” Furthermore, I also plan to release a lot more subtitled videos of
Fiestar. (Currently I am working on many episode cuts of Jei on Follow Me.) Readers who are fans of
Fiestar can, in short, expect much to come soon. On topic with the review, besides
the fact that I am a huge fan of the ladies—“huge” being an understatement—I have
desired to review this song also due to how “Apple Pie” has been one of the
hardest songs I have yet to review—both musically and emotionally. Regarding
the emotional aspect, it is not quite that I felt as if I sliced myself if I
gave a low rating though
given how much I admire the ladies, that might feel true
; rather, I
was simply in denial with how I biasedly liked the song—or the lack thereof.
Embarrassingly shared, I initially forced myself to like the song on behalf of
the members. After all, I would much rather have a “pop ballad” style akin to
“You’re Pitiful” than this change of style that appears in “Apple Pie.” But, of
course, variety is never a fault and thus, my initial disliking of the song was
moreover biased than of genuine criticism—though even this becomes complicated
later.

Where, then, the musical challenge
came in was even after brushing aside my biased take and therefore was
seriously entertaining the song, I would still find stances that were opposing
of one another. For example, I initially claimed the instrumental and vocals
were conflicting but later realized the opposite: both were complementing the
other well. But, hours later, I went back to the first stance. Then an hour
later, back once again. I am sure readers get the idea. So, as some readers may
now wonder: where do I now stand with
the song? After multiple days (the delay was definitely beneficial), I
personally very much enjoy the song, and “neutrally biasedly” (refer to prior
reviews for why I say that)—in other words, from a reviewing standpoint—I also
finally have a firm stance. What is that stance? Well, that would be the
purpose of the review, so read on ahead. Especially with some social topics I
will now discuss, readers who are uninterested with this part should move to
the review directly now.

All that said, before diving into
some news that is focused on Cao Lu during Hello
Counselor
, given the time of this sentence some readers (especially
American readers) might have thought I was referring to the mass shooting in
Florida for this digression. That is not the case, though even so, there would
be little I personally can say. I offer my condolences to those affected. It
truly is horrifying, saddening news. There is never a reason to harm another
human. If anything is to be gleaned, this atrocity is to remind us to all be
open and compassionate towards one another—especially with the aftermath social
effects and topics that have come. Additionally, perhaps further inquiring
where others have not yet gone would be insightful, such as asking about why
many of the shooters have been predominantly males or if culturally we
encourage violence.

Now admittedly this following
digression appears quite dull. Nevertheless, it will continue on as it is an
important topic to discuss, and it is one that appeared in pop culture and has
affected Fiestar, though moreover with Cao Lu individually. Now first of all, before
explaining what occurred, I understand there may be many readers who are upset
at me even mentioning this in the first place. Why bring up old news that did
nothing but ruin Cao Lu’s (and perhaps even Fiestar’s) reputation? My answer:
because it matters, and because avoiding topics never leads to learning and
growth. That said, although there are many discussion points possible, I will
focus instead on two main ones. Before that, though, let me explain what this
big news involving Cao Lu even was.

To prevent potentially being biased,
I will instead refer readers to search up on YouTube the episode of Hello Counselor where both Fiestar’s
members Cao Lu and Hyemi appeared. Nonetheless, for those willing to go off my
words, to summarize off memory: the first segment (“concern”) of the talk show
was about a wife who was frustrated with an unfair husband. Skipping ahead, the
wife is upset over how her husband is overly controlling of her and that he has
ridiculous (I truly tried to keep neutral language) standards of women, such as
how women are supposed to only cook and clean out seafood (based on the
couple’s circumstances with living near water and fishing). Where Cao Lu’s
controversial part arrives is when the hosts asked for her opinion, and she
replied with “I like men like that; I like patriarchal men.” Fast forward, if
those statements were not provoking enough to many, then her follow-up is more
so (and again, based off of memory but also what I personally heard versus what
the English translation said): “As women, it makes you happy to do anything for
the man you love, does it not?” On the positive side, though, despite the
controversy that ensued, Hyemi’s facial expression upon hearing that will
forever be in my memory: the look of “what the.”

On topic now for what I have to
contribute to the old discussion, I have two main points to cover: the first
point will be of why Cao Lu cannot be individually insulted, and the second
point of challenging a common idea of “this
is why we need feminism.” (I already sense this second point causing some
curiosity or even shock.) Let us begin these discussions.

Regarding the first, I will not
elaborate too much in length as I have already done so in a Blog Opinion post for Girls’
Generation’s Tiffany
.
Many if not all of the main concepts apply, predominantly that of how it is
unacceptable to antagonize someone for their social view. With Cao Lu, as many
have pointed out, given her background it is likely that she was raised with
patriarchal standards (idea of males being in charge, etc.). Whether true or
not, however, the fact is that Cao Lu has certain views regarding gender—and
that is acceptable, even if they are not the most open views. Again, I highly
recommend readers to read the linked Blog Opinion, but for the main point, many
should criticize Cao Lu’s ideas, not Cao Lu herself. There is a significant
difference. In fact perfectly timed, I have written a YouTube comment weeks ago
that somewhat expands on this, so I will also include it here (and I have added
censoring for readers who may be uncomfortable):

Well
I’m late to this video. However, even so, I think many commenting on this
video, even if weeks later, should be able to openly share their thoughts.
Furthermore, many important topics are definitely at hand here, and those
topics are never going to “move on” unless if people directly discuss
them instead of avoiding them with “this was weeks ago, get over it”
and so on. All that said, I can relate to many viewers: my face was basically
Hyemi’s expression when Cao Lu said, “Doesn’t it make you happy as a woman
to do anything for the man you love, would you not [do that]?” (summarized
quote off the top of my head), and overall, how she very much was supporting
the husband’s side (and in summary, patriarchy) when, as most of us can agree
to, his ways are incredibly unfair and filled with sexist, patriarchal
thinking.

Now
certainly Cao Lu’s words should be challenged for many good reasons as
discussed here already, but I do think people should be more critical than
merely bashing Cao Lu as stupid, ignorant, or hypocritically thinking she is a
“dumb b****.” Cao Lu’s background with her culture most likely plays
a role with her current gender beliefs, specifically that of (no surprise)
patriarchy. She very likely grew up with that societal structure and tradition.
Is this–growing up in a patriarchal society–a “bad” or
“good” thing? You decide based on your own opinion and thinking. Does
this make her stupid and needing to shut the f*** up? Not quite as it is based
on her cultural perspective and that it is still indeed a view to consider and
hear–even if most can agree that it is a ridiculous view.

To
clarify, this is not to say we should ignore the sexist words from her and
should allow sexism to exist since “everyone has their opinion”;
quite blatantly if I may say so, there is a very huge problem with having
sexism thrive–even if some people genuinely believe it’s “their right to
believe what they believe.” Rather, what should occur is challenging Cao
Lu’s ideas and beliefs, but not Cao Lu herself. Even if she has sexist beliefs
and, for example, is the most sexist person alive to the point that she says
women are slaves to men (remember: this is just an example–or so I hope), she
would still be a human being that deserves respect and care, as hard as that
may be to come to terms with for some. Challenge Cao Lu’s words, not herself.
Likewise hate male privilege and patriarchy and androcentrism, but not boys
individually–though let’s admit: it’s fun to poke SOME fun at them and for
them to also laugh at themselves given their privileges. Overall, antagonizing
can’t take place. Bringing gender equality and equity doesn’t mean shutting
down those who oppose said beliefs by calling them idiots; bringing gender
equality and equity means maturely hearing out various views, no matter how
ridiculous some may seem, and then respectfully challenging those views with
that of gender equality or whatever else.

This comment should encapsulate the
main ideas on why Cao Lu’s words and views, while very much worth challenging,
can never lead to degrading her as the human being she is.

Switching over to the second point,
this is personally what I wish to discuss moreover with readers as I have yet
to venture into this topic. With that, it may be best to now clarify what I
mean by “this is why we need
feminism.” First, I am using this phrase in reference to how many claimed that,
upon hearing Cao Lu’s words, that feminism is certainly needed; after all, Cao
Lu’s words are sexist and her thinking of gender is that of favoring males. For
where I stand, I can agree to the phrase: this is very much why we need
feminism. We need feminism because, against what many think, feminism is here
to support women like Cao Lu—feminism
is not to challenge Cao Lu, as I will explain.

Before getting further, however, it
might be worth clarifying what feminism even is. Although many reviews in the
past have discussed this (specifically about the opposition to feminism such as
with terms “feminazi”—a term that equates the idea of gender equality as
atrocious as Nazis), in truth there is no hard, definite meaning to feminism.
One could say it is the idea of women and men being equals, but it becomes
complex once we ask if it is about empowering women or if it is about
empowering women and men (such as
male rape and domestic violence victims, of whom are oftentimes shunned away from
help because of their gender—arguably feminism helps in this regard even if it
is towards men). Bring in the intersectionality aspect with race, class and
more, or include aspects of transgender, and soon enough feminism becomes like
a snowball: it is nearly spherical but will never quite be spherical. In other
words, there is a general sense of what feminism is, but what it is is undefinable—and for a good reason
because, as seen with the various social aspects, it is impossible to pin down.
Although this could be another discussion in the future, we will for this
digression unfortunately shrink feminism down to one of its core ideas: empowering
women (and “vulnerable” men and also those who do not fit the binary) so that all
genders are equally valued.  

Returning back to Cao Lu’s
incident, I will argue her situation is actually a pressing example of why
feminism is indeed needed, and furthermore, how feminism can be misunderstood—or
at least, not recognized for how complex of a topic it is. In terms of how
feminism applies to Cao Lu’s case, unlike what many claim, feminism would not
be against Cao Lu’s ideas. This should be confusing; one could interpret Cao
Lu’s words as her personally believing that males should be in power over
females, and thus, wouldn’t feminism be desired so that Cao Lu would see both
men and women as equals? What many viewers lose sight of, though, is that Cao
Lu’s view is her decision. Yes, she
might not be making the most informed view, but then again, how are we to know?
Nevertheless, this point remains: Cao Lu wants
a patriarchal structure and prefers those types of males. And as hard as it is
to accept, feminism does support this. Perhaps another example might clarify
why feminism would support a woman who potentially desires to be considered as
the inferior gender.

One common misunderstanding of
feminism (or again, from what I am arguing; perhaps I am the one who misunderstands feminism, and given my status with
male privilege, this may very much be the case) can perhaps be best summarized
in this phrase: all women should no
longer be housewives. On the surface, this seems to be feminist thinking. After
all, the world lacks many female CEOs, and that women have been oppressed for
too long to merely staying within “domestic realms.” Certainly there are
positive feminist ideas in that regard, and definitely many societies do need more women especially in fields
that have been predominantly male-dominated (and of course vice-versa with
societies needing more men in fields that have been predominantly
female-dominated). Nevertheless, the saying “all women” above is too extensive; a genuine feminist view on this
would better yet say “all women
should be able to make the choice to be
housewives or to pursue their own
careers.” See how Cao Lu’s case might fit in? Cao Lu’s decision is, assuming
she has been entirely informed, ultimately her autonomous decision that needs
to be respected. Those claiming Cao Lu needs feminism are correct; Cao Lu needs
feminism so that her decision—her
decision of preferring a patriarchal boy—is respected. Indeed, feminism is much
more complex than solely the idea of enforcing that all women choose specific paths because, as in Cao Lu’s case, once
again it is her case. (And on the argument that she is not making an informed
choice, again we will not know. If she is making a choice where she understands
both sides of patriarchy gender structures and egalitarian gender structures
(feminist standards), then my words hold their weight. Now if she genuinely only
prefers patriarchy due to not being aware at all at other potential views, then
indeed one could claim her decision is no longer her decision and thus, that Cao Lu “needs feminism” as feminism is
about empowering women.)

Before ending the discussion here,
however, there is one remaining aspect that means—and indeed, it is a
concerning one: what does this mean for patriarchy? Does this mean that,
according to my argument of feminism, feminism would actually allow patriarchy?
The answer: not at all. Readers may now be even more confused; I suddenly went
from discussing how feminism allows Cao Lu to believe in patriarchal standards
and yet feminism is still against patriarchal standards. What kind of apple pie
did this reviewer eat? Thankfully I have not had an apple pie in a while nor
have I been mentally compromised, but jokes aside, let me explain why feminism
is still against patriarchy. Notice where the power resides during this
statement: “feminism allows Cao Lu to
believe in patriarchal standards.” On the flip side, patriarchy would not allow Cao Lu to believe in its
standards, but rather, it would force
her to. There is a significant difference in allowing, for example, a woman who
chooses to be a housewife than a man forcing a woman to be a housewife.

In the end, a huge component of
feminism is allowing women (and “vulnerable” men and others) to have power in
their decisions. Feminism should very much be supported as no woman should be
denied becoming an engineer because she is supposedly less intelligent than a
male based on her genitals. (See the lack of logic there?) Feminism should very
much be supported as no woman should be forced to mainly stay at home but
rather that she chooses to mainly stay at home. Likewise, feminism should be
supported as no man should be prohibited from wanting to be a househusband as
his wife goes to work and focuses moreover on career. Overall, feminism is
definitely here to stay. It is not about “taking over men” and thus needing to
degrade feminism with “feminazi”; feminism is mainly the idea of giving women and men (and arguably those who do not fit the binary—though again, this is where
feminism’s definition is complex) equal power. Besides, every human should be
respected for who they are and not what they are.

Wrapping this all back to Cao Lu, in
short: Cao Lu’s view does not warrant her receiving personal insults, nor does
her view need “feminism” as necessarily a way to change her view for “the
better.” What does need challenging is the idea of patriarchy itself as that
does steal away from women’s voices, but simultaneously, Cao Lu’s choice for
preferring patriarchy has to be respected if we are to follow feminist ideals
as it is about empowering women to make their own decisions. Cao Lu wants a
patriarchal boy, and indeed, that has to be respected and more power to her for
choosing that. (And on a side note, one must also recall that her idea of
patriarchy is most likely not of the extreme ends; I highly doubt she is asking
for a male to entirely control her life. Instead, she probably moreover prefers
a boy who is not hesitant to be demanding at times. Again, as long as it is her decision for this, then it must be
respected.)

With this digression out of the way
(and how long it has been since the last), let us finally focus on the sweet
song of “Apple Pie”—or is actually bitter? Apple pies are known to be
delicious, but of course, it all depends on how the apple pie was baked. Let us
take a look at the ingredients that went into “Apple Pie” and to ultimately
take a bite and decide if it tastes well.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(6.60/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 6/10
(6.17/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 6/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 6/10

Linzy:
Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Rap, Chorus (Total: 6)

Hyemi:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Chorus (Total: 6)

Cao
Lu: Pre-Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Rap (Total: 4)

Jei:
Verse, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Rap, Chorus (Total: 5)

Yezi:
Pre-Chorus, Rap (Total: 2)

All:
Introduction

Equal Value: 4.6 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 8/10

Hoo ha ha
Hoo ah
Hoo ha ha

Look at yourself
right in front of the oven
Waiting earnestly
(Waiting earnestly)
You can keep staring
but there’s still more time left
Be patient
(Be patient)

Baby boy, I don’t wanna bother you
But, take me out after a little bit
What else do you need
besides a pretty cup and fork?
I’m gonna wake your five senses up now
Hey, hot and sweet

Sweet, like apple pie, pie
It’s the first time, so sweet
Tasting this
The heart that I’ve prepared for you
It’s almost done baking
So sweet, like apple pie, pie
It’s hot so be careful

Don’t say anything
Close your eyes and focus on the moment
(On the moment)
Feel the scent spreading before your nose
(Before your nose)

You don’t know, how anxious you look
Honestly, I sort of like it, it’s cute
What would be good besides milk or coffee?
I’m gonna wake your five senses up now
Hey, hot and sweet

Sweet, like apple pie, pie
It’s the first time, so sweet
Tasting this
The heart that I’ve prepared for you
It’s almost done baking
So sweet, like apple pie, pie
It’s hot so be careful

You’ll be so happy, you won’t know what to do
So sweet like apple pie
Honestly, what did you like?
Baby tell me why
You know if you eat too fast
You’ll get a stomach ache
Be a good boy
Just wait, I will drive you crazy
You can be my toy
You’ll be so happy, you won’t know what to do
If you eat too fast, you’ll get a stomach ache
You’ll know even if I don’t say anything
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure”
You’ll be so happy, you won’t know what to do
If you eat too fast, you’ll get a stomach ache
You’ll know even if I don’t say anything
Now you’ll only know me
(Hey, hot and sweet)

Sweet, like apple pie, pie
It’s the first time, so sweet
Tasting this
The heart that I’ve prepared for you
It’s almost done baking
So sweet, like apple pie, pie
It’s hot so be careful
(Hahaha hahaha)

Choreography Score: 6/10 (6.00/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 6/10

– Key Points: 6/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(6.50/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Miraculously,
the pie is indeed quite sweet—as seen by how “Apple Pie” earns a total of a
seven for above average. Nonetheless, looking over the ratings might reveal why
I was initially hesitant to like the song: there are many sixes. Even if sixes
are certainly nothing bad in score, admittedly my standards for Fiestar are
quite high due to both “You’re Pitiful” and simply being a huge fan of the
ladies.

On
topic with the review, “Apple Pie” remains relatively balanced in quality
though there are a few weaker points throughout—two of those points being the
vocals and sections, arguably the more influential aspects to songs. With the
vocals, while it would be false to claim the vocals are poor and are not
melodic and so forth, one overarching issue that holds is the lack of
diversity. The verses, for example, follow an overly simplistic and somewhat
monotone sound. While agreeably that is not inherently bad and that one could argue
linearity is what “Apple Pie” aims for, those points still do not erase how
mundane the vocals sound until the choruses arrive—and indeed, this is
problematic. From the verses to pre-choruses and even the raps, all of the
given vocals fail to bring substance to “Apple Pie.” For why this is an issue,
dull vocals besides the chorus essentially creates the notion that “Apple Pie”
at its core is nothing more than Linzy’s and Hyemi’s charming choruses; the
remaining members and the other sections become irrelevant when all of the
vocals outside of the choruses (or whichever section in general) outshine the
rest. If “Apple Pie” ‘s vocals are to be enticing to both song in whole and sonically,
it takes the effort of more than just a single section carrying the bulk of the
more promising vocals.

Likewise
with the sections, the same issue translates over and in fact, numerically that
is visible: every section but the
chorus is at a six while the chorus is at a seven. Although it is not bad for songs
to revolve its style and core towards its choruses, that does become an issue
if at the expense of everything else. In “Apple Pie,” to clarify for a moment,
while the degree of expending other sections is not too extreme—after all,
notice the ratings are still sixes and not lower—it is still not a preferable
route. Explaining what I mean in a comical fashion, I could have labeled every
other section as “pre-chorus” and simply leave the chorus as is, and
structurally speaking one could actually accept that. Why? Because it does
appear that every non-chorus section is orientated towards hyping up to said
choruses. The verses, while individually not bad in sound or layout and are solid
in its progression, unfortunately become negligible once considering how the
pre-choruses sounds and functions exceptionally similarly. Furthermore, with
the two raps, though both are decent in format with pacing—though there are
some significant flaws such as with very repetitive flow and lyrics involved—in
an overarching view, both raps served as a pseudo bridge to get back to, as
expected, the chorus. In summary, while it is never bad for a song to have its
chorus or any other section as its core piece, it does become a hindrance if
other aspects have to languish for that to take place. What would have been
preferred with the sections would be that, while the choruses are kept intact
and rightfully so with how solid the singing and structure are, the verses and
pre-choruses carry more individually besides merely carrying the song from one
point to the other, and that the raps were of their own take versus being
moreover to serve as hype towards the final chorus. But of course, in the end
the other sections are still definitely viable hence them still earning sixes,
and compared to the ladies’ prior release of “Mirror”—a song that took no risks with its very average sections—the
sections in “Apple Pie” are a definite improvement.

Regarding
the instrumental, I confess: I very much rejected it at first. However, once
stylistic biases were removed, I now realize how important the instrumental is
in “Apple Pie.” Besides the usual of sounding sonically decent individually and
serving the song with transitions, its best feature would be its support
towards the vocals. Complementing the vocals’ intensity levels consistently
occurs, and additionally with, for example, its bass line being entered
correctly at certain moments, many of the vocals become “fuller” on the basis
of the instrumental. With the instrumental, many of the vocals’ weaker points are
somewhat covered and compensated—though that, obviously, will not change the
vocals’ ratings.

In
terms of the section distribution and lyrics, the former should be clear just
by solely looking at the numbers. Nevertheless, this may be somewhat surprising
considering past songs—especially songs in their “A Delicate Sense” mini-album—have
done an excellent job of giving equal sections. What might best improve “Apple
Pie” ‘s score in this category would simply be allowing Yezi to have more lines
during the pre-choruses’ or choruses’ ending. No matter the case, though, the
distribution remains fairly balanced with mostly Yezi lacking and Hyemi and
Linzy being minimally excessive. Finally for the lyrics, somehow past reviews
have been on songs that have very much been creative in this aspect. “Apple Pie”
is no exception. The lyrics remain highly detailed as proven by verses and
pre-choruses are all of different ideas, and that the overall plot—no matter
how one interprets it (whether for how a heart is being compared to an apple
pie or perhaps my friend’s more “greasy” version of it, of which I will definitely
not share here though I admire her thorough analysis)—is absolutely different than
most. Adding on how the choruses hold their own weight and that the raps add a
new, comical layer, and overall the lyrics render incredibly well.

Concluding
this all, Fiestar’s “Apple Pie” is rated at above average, and despite my
initial position, I wholeheartedly agree with the score. It remains fun,
upbeat, catchy, but even ignoring those more decorative qualities, “Apple Pie”
certainly excels with its lyrics and instrumental, and overall the vocals and
sections are still admirable (and especially if one prefers chorus-orientated
songs). Out of Fiestar’s releases, “Apple Pie” does stand out among many—and most
definitely from their last song of “Mirror,” a rather lackluster song in truth.
I look forward to what else Fiestar will release in the future from both a fan’s
and reviewer’s perspective.

_______________________________________________________

I
had planned to finish this review much sooner, but it finally is here. For
those who have been waiting, I thank you for your patience and for continually sticking
around. Likewise, thank you for reading this review, be it in full or skimmed.
Sadly I do have a summer class beginning on Monday and thus, I will be once
again busy. However, it is only one class and I indeed still have many days
left of summer break. In terms of the next reviews, there have been a few
comebacks I initially missed but will return to. One is on a very popular male
group, and the other is on an unpopular female group. I plan to quickly review
them before my summer course does become more hectic. To end this review, while
readers “can keep staring […] there’s still more time left,” so I ask: “Be
patient” for whatever is next to come. Actually that makes no sense whatsoever
nor does it even flow well. Point is, the next two reviews will hastily arrive
after this one. Look forward to them.

Opinion on 4minute disband?

Hello there. This is a great question. To answer in a stylish (actually corny–mostly corny) way: All great things come to an end. 

Personally I was late to this news as I have not been keeping up lately with K-Pop news, but needless to say once I found out I was quite shocked. 4Minute has been together for nearly seven years, so in truth it is not too surprising that the ladies have finally parted ways. Overall, I do not have much of an opinion regarding this disbandment; I personally consider this simply members moving on with their lives. According to news articles, Gayoon and Jihyun are looking to go into acting while Sohyun is working with an MC position (if correct). On the other hand, both Hyuna and Jiyoon are sticking with music–the former staying with Cube Entertainment (the former group’s label) and the latter is looking for a new company in hopes of producing and singing. As should every fan be, being respectful, supportive, and understanding are crucial during this period; 4Minute has given fans many years of joy, music, laughter, and so forth–it would be appropriate to likewise return the love the ladies gave. 

Although I will discuss some scapegoating I have noticed towards Hyuna in a bit, for what I personally look forward to, I am excited to hear what both Jiyoon and Hyuna release in the future. Especially if both stick with being solo–and of which both are capable of–there would be a lot of musical potential. Biasedly, I have always been a fan of Jiyoon for both her stellar singing and rap, so I look forward to songs that will hopefully showcase both (even if she claims she wants to focus moreover on singing). As for Hyuna, she has proven to be successful with solos on multiple occasions–though admittedly from my reviewing perspective, many of her songs can be lacking. Now regarding the scapegoating I mentioned, the one thing that is not necessary during this disbandment is for Hyuna to receive the blame. Yes, Hyuna has been “pushed” more than the rest of the ladies in terms of spotlight, but understandably her solo periods may be the reason. Furthermore, I highly doubt that it is solely–if even at all–Hyuna’s higher popularity that led to disbandment; 4Minute may not even have been as popular if not for her. 

All in all, despite not being a huge fan of the group, I still very much recognize their popularity and influence for fans, and indeed I have reviewed a few songs by the ladies. Once again, being supportive and understanding are crucial. 4Minute was an excellent group that is definitely to be respected for their songs, hard work, dancing, and of course, for being excellent idols for people to look up to be it for their care towards one another or towards fans. It is saddening to see them go, but as said earlier: no queen will rule forever. 

In other news, Nine Muses has also recently lost more members and this being another saddening news to hear. But, once again, being understanding and supportive are the ways to go. Minha and Euaerin have both recently left Nine Muses. 

Now in terms of upcoming reviews, Fiestar’s “Apple Pie” is nearly finished. By tomorrow, it should be posted. Due to preparing for a summer class and studying up on traveling with a dog (my girl will hopefully have her first road trip soon), I have not been as dedicated as I should be. Other reviews will also come along. Look forward for them to come, and to the asker, thank you for sending this in. It serves as both a discussion topic but also that of simply sharing news to other readers who may not be aware. Thanks again.

*patiently waits for your Apple Pie review* 😶😊

Somehow this small message brought smiles and laughter, so thank you for that. Indeed Fiestar’s “Apple Pie” is underway with being reviewed. I hope to finish it within four days. Along with that, I hope to also get some more Fiestar videos subtitled especially with ones from this current era of “Apple Pie.” 

Thanks for being patient and for making me laugh! I hope the review will be worth the wait.

EXO – “Lucky One” Review

EXO – Lucky One (Music Video)

EXO – Lucky One

Reviewed
on June 10, 2016

image

Personal Message:
I was going to review Fiestar’s
“Apple Pie,” but given the social digression that is going to occur there, I
decided it would be best to have the musically-focused reviews finished first. As
seen here, EXO’s latest comeback, is one of those said reviews (and along with
EXID’s “L.I.E,” to share). With EXO, from the moment the teaser was released, I
kept my eyes—and ears—on the comeback, and finally “Lucky One” is here. Especially
as I have yet to review EXO, a group that is incredibly popular and arguably one
of the most popular male groups, there are extra incentives to review the song.
That said, this will also be the first time I review a song with minimal time
spared towards listening to it. Clarifying, though, I am not hopping right into
the review and writing based on initial reactions; this, as discussed in Sistar’s “I Swear” review, would be atrocious due to writing
with pure biases. My review protocol is to give a song at least three days
before reviewing as that would be enough time to truly analyze a song along
with stripping any biased take, but to be truthful, this song only has a day’s
worth of listening and deconstructing. Thus, in comparison to every other
review on this blog—all of which have had multiple days before being actually
reviewed—this current review might be less reliable and accurate. Nonetheless,
this will be my fastest review yet, and considering how popular EXO is, it may
be best to prioritize speed by a slight margin as many readers may be curious
on how “Lucky One” holds up.

Before diving into the review, for
another disclaimer in addition to the one above, I will be skipping the
choreography. Given how early I am reviewing the song, official live
performances and dance practice have not been uploaded. Nevertheless, if you
are reading at a time well past this review’s date, I would recommend searching
up the dance—even if I am unable to comment on it in this review. And on a side
note, I have been contemplating as of the late if I should even continue having
the choreography category; given how lackluster my analysis towards dances have
been these past months, it almost seems best to focus solely on a song’s audio.
Feedback, however, is always appreciated and if readers have ideas and
opinions, I would be glad to hear them. Removing the choreography score section
would of practically no change to reviews as the core focus has always been
towards the song itself, but likewise I do understand that dances are a major
component to Korean pop songs and thus, I feel obligated to give the dances
some attention. Perhaps a middle-ground works best: keeping the choreography
score category (and thus the overall score), but simply leaving the ratings
versus actually writing about the dance (unless, of course, if I do have
discussion points)—this is an uncomfortable idea, though it is better than
providing filler details.

On topic with the review and
regarding EXO, although I have not been following the men with their
activities, I am well aware of events such as members leaving (though that was
two years ago if accurate), and furthermore, their iconic songs of “Growl,”
“Overdose,” and “Call Me Baby.” With that, I would claim I have a general sense
of EXO’s musical style, and with confidence I can claim that “Lucky One” will
now be another iconic song for the group—or is that so? I may biasedly claim
this is EXO’s best release as of yet, but that does not inherently mean “Lucky
One” is strong in of itself. Or is it? Horrible suspense-making aside, let us
take a look at how EXO’s latest comeback holds. Hopefully it is lucky with
earning high scores.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(6.60/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 7/10


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

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 4/10

4.     Chorus: 5/10

5.     Rap: 6/10

6.     Conclusion: 7/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 5/10

D.O:
Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Chorus, Conclusion (Total: 6)

Kai:
Verse, Chorus, Pre-Chorus (Total: 3)

Sehun:
Rap (Total: 1)

Chen:
Verse, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 4)

Chanyeol:
Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Chorus (Total: 4)

Baekhyun:
Verse, Verse, Chorus, Chorus (Total: 4)

Suho:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Chorus, Chorus (Total: 4)

Lay:
Verse, Chorus (Total: 2)

Xiumin:
Pre-Chorus, Verse, Chorus (Total: 3)

Equal Value: 3.44 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 8/10

Oh
The sun is rising
I hold the map that will find you
I follow the coordinates and follow course
No matter what, this silver compass
will point to you
The sky is beautiful because it resembles you
Today, today you are dazzling
This familiar yet strange path, that I will bend

The parallel lines that are you and me
I will climb, over and over, I don’t mind
I’m swept by big waves,
at the end of this voyage

The moment I rage like the storm
And you stop in my world
You are my only one
The moment I discover you
You shine more radiantly
I’ll be the lucky one
You and I
(Livin’ it up)
Here
(Just livin’ it up)
Keep on coming
(Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa)
In the same time
Oh the moment we become one
We’ll be the lucky ones

Girl
(Oh girl)
You’ve been secretly hiding your confession
(Just tell me right now)
I will come to you
Step by step to your side baby
Today, today I’ll never, never go back
I will change the rule that only I know

The parallel lines that are you and me
I will climb, over and over, I don’t mind
I’m swept by big waves,
at the end of this voyage

The moment I rage like the storm
And you stop in my world
You are my only one
The moment I discover you
You shine more radiantly
I’ll be the lucky one
You and I
(Livin’ it up)
Here
(Just livin’ it up)
Keep on coming
(Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa)
In the same time
Oh the moment we become one
We’ll be the lucky ones

You are my lover, among countless people
I was lucky to find your four-leaf, clover
I feel like you will come to me
Your luck is cool no matter what anyone says
The more I get to know you, yeah, let’s go
There is no place we can’t coexist in
You are my only one
I am your lucky one
‘Cause I–I–I

The moment I rage like the storm
And you stop in my world
You are my only one
The moment I discover you
You shine more radiantly
I’ll be the lucky one
You and I
(Livin’ it up)
Here
(Just livin’ it up)
Keep on coming
(Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa)
In the same time
Oh the moment we become one
We’ll be the lucky ones
I am the lucky one

I am the lucky one

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

– Syncing: */10

– Key Points: */10

A
dance does exist. However, as of the time of review, no live performance or
dance practice has been uploaded. Thus, this will not be scored in this review.

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Looking
over the Song Score, I admit: I am pleasantly surprised. I say that as, if I
were to review “Growl” and EXO’s other popular songs, the Song Score would most
likely be at a five or at most a six. With “Lucky One,” EXO definitely
surpassed my expectations. Let us peer into why this song manages to earn a seven.

Gauging
from all other reviews, sixes tend to be what most lyrics earn, but in “Lucky
One” ‘s case, its lyrics score exceptionally well. Although the plot, overall,
can be summed up as a person attempting to become the “lucky one” through having
a relationship with a certain woman (and of which is not an impressive plot per
se), the strength of the lyrics lies not in this aspect, but instead, its
details. Consider, for one, the lyrics’ main metaphor: finding their—this person’s
and woman’s—relationship is akin to a voyage journey. Cliché it may be, but
this is generally more enticing than lyrics that are entirely unembellished.
After all, would the lyrics be as interesting if it went, “I am looking for
her, and it’s not easy”? Furthermore, what arguably is most effective is that
lines seldom repeat. The two verses, for example, are similar but yet greatly
different. Factor in the rap’s lyrics and how the pre-choruses and choruses are
detailed on their own, and the lyrics in whole render quite well. All in all,
despite a simplistic plot, the diverse details and lack of repetition is able
to bring the score up to an eight—a very admirable score.

To
discuss the song itself, if one aspect has been noticeably improved from past
songs, I would claim the vocals is that aspect. Unlike in past songs, EXO’s
vocals in “Lucky One” are able to keep the group’s main vocal style, but this
time around the men deliver it with extra, strong points. First, to clarify
what EXO’s usual style is, it is: dynamic singing. A very vague term, so let us
break it down. By “dynamic,” I am referring in this case to the stylistic
connotation rather than the audio connotation—though that, too, is there; what
I mean is that EXO’s singing methods—not the sound—are constantly varied. Specifically for what the men do, they
are able to switch from unison singing to individual singing to then
alternative singing seamlessly. Understandably this vocal style might have
derived from when EXO used to have twelve members and thus, this style may have
even been essential to allowing lines to be shared. Either way, it serves well
sonically. Returning now to what have improved, EXO’s vocal style is now
incorporated with usual solid traits: vocal beltings, sharp control over
pitches, two-part singing, and so on. Combine those with EXO’s stylistic
dynamic style and indeed, a very pleasing result comes: vocals that are highly
melodic, playful, precise, and yet vocals that are constantly in change with
flow, pacing, and emphasis. Even bettering this combination, the instrumental
also aids in providing the rhythmic pacing style that the vocals carry. That
alongside with sounding well individually leads also to a promising
instrumental rating. And in the end, combining both components definitely
ensures that “Lucky One” sounds fantastic—though now we should glance at the
sections to see how those sounds are laid out.

Unfortunately,
the sections are weaker in juxtaposition to other categories (minus the
sections’ distribution, as we will get to). Nonetheless, it is not all
disastrous. In terms of the positives, the introduction and conclusion both are
remarkable—though the latter more so. With the introduction, credit is deserved
towards its somewhat unique and effective style: an echoing, hollow distortion that
becomes less so as the introduction progresses. What falls short, though, is
that while its method practically guarantees a hook, the sound involved is not
as enticing. However, for the conclusion for when that component is covered—in other
words, that the conclusion ended on EXO’s solid vocals and that the
instrumental carries it through—the same style of hollow, echoing now becomes properly
supported and thus even more effective. Other decent sections include the verses
and rap. The verses perform extremely well with accommodating the instrumental’s
stronger bass and beats to the vocals’ pacing. As for the rap, its dual purpose
of being both a decent rap but also serving as a pseudo bridge, if I may say
that, may hold well individually, but specifically at that moment the “bridge-rap”
holds an invaluable role of helping transition the song through that point
without sacrificing “Lucky One” ‘s established style. What, along with the
section distribution (as, once again, we will get to), potentially hinders the
song would be the pre-choruses and choruses. With the pre-choruses, the abrupt
change in style between the verse and it are not smooth whatsoever, and overall
the pre-choruses take away from what the verses provide the song. To explain,
the verses progress “Lucky One” through following a playful, deeper sounding
bass and beats, but when the pre-choruses come around, everything is notched up
in pitch while the pacing is suddenly halted to a stop—a complete opposite to
the verses. In other words, and to put it all in simple terms: the verses led “Lucky
One” in one direction, but when the pre-choruses come, it leads “Lucky One”
into the utter opposite direction. While this might work in certain songs, in
this one, this contradicting style puts both sections at an absurd position and
thus is not desirable. For the choruses, a similar issue exists though with instrumental
and vocals. Whereas the verses are a solid example of the two categories
complementing one another, the choruses feel inconsistent with its
instrumental. Overall, the vocals are performing their own role while the
instrumental performs its own role. Again, while this is not inherently an
error for songs, in terms of how “Lucky One” handles it, it creates
distractions rather than perhaps a cohesive, dynamic style.

Lastly,
for how the sections are shared, it is average. A numerical look at the
quantities is rather self-explanatory for why the rating is as is. Considering
there are nine members, however, readers should be aware of how difficult it
can be to provide an equal share. Nevertheless, no leniency can be nor will ever
be made for group sizes. Besides, it certainly is possible to have a near equal
share with many members, and more promising is the result that can come with
that share.

In
the end, EXO’s “Lucky One” scores at above average, an impressive score and
furthermore an impressive improvement over past songs. Biasedly I have been
enjoying this song, and I believe I will find it even more enticing once the
choreography is released (if not already). “Lucky One” holds strongly when it
comes to everything but the sections distributions and some specific sections,
but overall it is a stellar song. Concluding, EXO’s comeback, while already successful
due to a large fan audience, certainly deserves attention. I look forward to
hearing EXO’s other releases such as “Monster” (I will not be reviewing it
unless requested), and if correct that they have released a mini-album, I will
also be listening to it.

_______________________________________________________

As
always, thanks to all for reading. Whether skimmed or in full, I appreciate any
time given. Furthermore, I do apologize for some delays especially for those
waiting for Fiestar’s review, but that will indeed be the next one. As such,
look forward to “Apple Pie” by Fiestar as the next review. Afterwards, I do
plan to review EXID’s “L.I.E,” but plans may change once again as I wish to
review a few unpopular male groups after Fiestar’s review. Look forward to
whatever is to come. Besides, “you are my only one”—and by “only one” I mean I
value you as a reader and do not wish to scare off people from this horrible,
awkward ending. Just look forward to the Fiestar’s sweet comeback as the next
review.

AKMU – “Re-Bye” Review

AKMU
– Re-Bye (Dance Practice)

AKMU
– Re-Bye (Live Performance)

AKMU (Akdong Musician) – Re-Bye

Reviewed
on June 5, 2016

Personal Message:
To the requester, huge apologies for
the significant delays. I did plan to finish this in May, but I would have had
to rush and that is never acceptable when it comes to reviews. Doing so would
be disrespectful to both you and AKMU as I should be sincerely writing reviews
with care, focus, and thoroughness. As a result, however, this review has been
moved over to June, and more specifically, a few days into June. Now due to the
delay and attempting to bring the blog back on track, I will attempt to keep
this review entirely focused on the musical side—though there would not be a
social digression in this instance. That will occur in the next review if I
follow through with plans. But on topic, to already address the links, I will
be linking the dance practice as is usual protocol. The audio in the dance
practice is the official, studio one and thus is technically the only one
necessary to include. But, as seen, it is not the only one: I have also
included a live performance. Unlike many if not every other song reviewed,
“Re-Bye” is worth watching in an actual live performance setting as doing so
further enhances the delivery of the song. In other words, for a lack of a
better phrase, this song is very much “stage-based”; although “Re-Bye” can hold
its own as just the audio or standard choreography, it flourishes best when
seen in an actual performance akin to that of theatre plays.

Although I cannot comment on many of
AKMU’s past songs, I will say the duo siblings’ latest comeback is strongly
orientated towards a theatre, acting style. Especially when accounting the
instrumental, vocal style, song style, choreography, and stage costumes, it
almost feels as if “Re-Bye” and “How People Move”—the other title song—are
musical plays.

Now to be slightly off-topic, I
admit: the only other song I directly recognize from AKMU is “Melted”—though I
have heard their latest album in full. (And of which is decent, for those
curious on my personal take.) Nevertheless, “Melted” is an incredibly moving,
provocative song and music video. I may one day review it, but to answer the
“big question”: yes, I did bawl my eyes out when watching the music video and
listening to the song. Whether I review it or not, I do urge readers to give
the music video (and song) a view. In essence, one could argue “Melted” is overall
a critique on many societies’ ethics—or better yet, the lack thereof. Furthermore,
subtle hints are made towards social issues, be it how youth are entirely
disregarded (and another reason out of many for why I am working towards
becoming teacher), racism, hegemonic masculinity, and more. However,
optimistically, in contrast to many other mediums that leave one feeling
depressed with how certain societies function, the music video does offer some
“solutions”: acts of kindness; acts of compassion; acts of care; acts of love.

Cliché? Certainly the message can
be. Does the music video have a point, though? In many ways, yes. This indeed
is why on many occasions I devote an equal amount of time into discussing
relevant social topics as reviews themselves; social topics that are elicited
by K-Pop songs do in fact matter given how we are dealing with pop
culture—mediums that will and do affect people’s behaviors and thinking. After
all, if anything is to be gleaned from “Melted,” it is to act with the traits
above: traits of being a human—a person who cares and is compassionate for
others despite differences in gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, and
so forth. Being ethical, in short, is how we should act. Now of course the
latter phrase is already controversial: what is ethical? Even after a course with that topic, in truth, I still
do not even know. What I do know, though, is that it matters less on what is “ethical” and more on why something is “ethical” or not. But,
let us not digress onto the topic of ethics or else this review will never
finish. (If a future review somehow can relate into this such as, for a very
simple example, in a music video a group is boiling lobster—yes, you read that
correctly—then I could showcase how ethics does in fact play out with very
seemingly minor acts. Hopefully this does not make readers too paranoid yet
about lobster consumption. Again, the topic of ethics is for the far future of
reviews. I intend to stick with sociological-based discussions.)

On topic with “Re-Bye,” this song is
AKMU’s latest comeback. The siblings are well known for their sharp vocals and
live singing abilities, and with “Re-Bye,” there should not be any exceptions.
Or so we think. Let us see how their latest song holds. Will there be a need
for a re-“Re-Bye”?

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.20/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 7/10


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

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Conclusion: 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 10/10

Soohyun:
Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 7)

Chanhyuk:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 7)

Equal Value: 7 sections per member.  


Lyrics: 6/10

Re-e-e bye
Shake your hand without regrets
Re-bye
Re-e-e bye
Then is then, now is now
Re-bye
(Re-bye, bye bye)

I’m used to foot steps that come and go
There’s nothing more shameful
than not being used to the farewells
I’m used to the eyes that are seeing me
All the girls around me
think I’m not trustworthy
But it’s okay
I have nothing to be ashamed of

Oh there’s no need to tear
Only the thick fog will remain
Where’s the rest of things from the melted
times that are sent by tears

Re-e-e bye
Shake your hand without regrets
Re-bye
Re-e-e bye
Then is then, now is now
Re-bye
If you turn around, it’s the end
Re-e-e bye

I’m used to foot steps that come and go
There’s nothing more shameful
than not being used to the farewells

It’s now hard to see attachment
It’s now hard to find a real partner
Let me go, I can’t stay calm
(Stop it)
I’m already pissed off
A person who shares a lot
is called an idiot in this era
The only thing that remained in my hands
is a loss
Saying goodbye precisely,
close the door of my mind
The room is dark
If somebody catches your mind, it’s game over
There’s no other way
Fool yourself
It’s me by here
It’s suspicious, I smell something

Oh there’s no need to tear
Only the thick fog will remain
Where’s the rest of things from the melted
times that are sent by tears

Re-e-e bye
Shake your hand without regrets
Re-bye
Re-e-e bye
Then is then, now is now
Re-bye
If you turn around, it’s the end
Re-e-e bye

Choreography Score: 7/10 (6.50/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 6/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(7.00/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Quickly
glancing at the ratings will unveil a rather balanced song—numerically, that
is. Indeed, “Re-Bye” is a song that fares well overall, although there still
are weak points as to be discussed. However, before that, let us focus on the
strengths of the song. For one, if the rating is not blatant enough, “Re-Bye”
greatly benefits from a perfect section distribution. Both have seven sections,
and with that being the absolute equal share possible and not, for example,
“6.5,” a ten is deserved. However admittedly this is not an utterly impressive
aspect considering there are only two members in the duo and thus, an equal
share is very much expected. Nonetheless, a perfect
share is always worth praising such as in this case. And on the topic of
non-sonic aspects, regarding the lyrics to “Re-Bye,” a six is in place.
Although the plot itself is alluring with being mysterious and likewise the
details, there are still some gaping issues. Usual problems as seen in many
other songs occur here: excessive repetition at the pre-choruses and choruses.
Furthermore, the choruses lack much depth in comparison to other sections, even
if one were to play around with the idea that “Re-e-e bye” in of itself is a
“re-bye.” Nonetheless, with complex rap lyrics and that the overall plot is not
just about a breakup but instead, ideas of what relationships even are in the
first place, the lyrics still hold up a decent rating.

Finally
focusing on the song’s sound, “Re-Bye” greatly thrives in its vocals,
instrumental and sections—though the latter is weaker as we will get to. Regarding
the vocals and instrumental, perhaps the strongest aspect to both collectively
and individually is the chemistry that occurs. Before discussing how individual
aspects play out, we will focus on the collective perspective. First, both
vocals and instrumental accommodate one another appropriately. As mentioned
earlier with “Re-Bye” ‘s theatre-like style, this arguably best explains my
point. While some songs opt for an instrumental that follows the vocals—such as
the instrumental solely providing the vocals a background and transitions—in
“Re-Bye,” that is the case. Instead, both work simultaneously; the vocals help
direct the instrumental while homogeneously the instrumental helps direct the
vocals. For example, the second verse’s vocals follow a rhythm that is
typically unseen in standard singing. Why is that? That rhythm that appears is
moreover one that is reflected in the instrumental itself. Thus, in this
instance, one could claim the instrumental guides the vocals versus the other
way around—as is the norm. Overall, with many of these moments occurring
throughout “Re-Bye,” it provides a delightful yet effective change from the
usual roles of instrumental and vocals and thus both glean some boost to their
ratings for this.

Now
on the individual level, both categories also handle well. The vocals, even
despite lacking what is oftentimes considered as strong vocals—high notes,
vocal beltings, note holds, and so forth—challenges those said standards. After
all, as mentioned on numerous occasions, it is about delivery versus the vocals in of themselves. Therefore, even if
AKMU are not showcasing those listed types of singing, that does not exclude
them from being able to obtain a higher rating. On topic, for what makes the
vocals individually enticing in “Re-Bye,” one exclusive trait the duo brings is
just that: duo singing—or dual singing, perhaps better said. In other words,
with Chanhyuk and Soohyun alternating lines consistently and constantly, this
contributes to more complex and attractive harmonies, smooth transitions, and
ultimately that it brings a more dynamic and unique take to “Re-Bye.” And of
course, for basic aspects such as how well the two control their tunes and how
diverse the song vocally is, all are a satisfactory standard.

Regarding
the instrumental, much of the same praise towards the vocals individually does
in fact translate over. But, in summary: the instrumental sounds phenomenal on
its own, and indeed it strongly supplements while likewise aids in leading the
vocals—a rarer act, as discussed earlier. Now for the last category to discuss,
the sections are admittedly weaker in juxtaposition to others. Nonetheless, all
are still decent and in the end, the sections average out with a six. To dive
slightly into the sections themselves, both introduction and conclusion are of
the usual: both fulfill their roles of hooking and ending, but both are not utterly captivating in sound. With the
pre-chorus and chorus, these parts best highlight what was discussed above with
the instrumental and vocals, hence the higher ratings. The two sections that are
more disappointing are the verses and rap. Both, bluntly said, are dull; the
verses provide nothing more than merely continuing the song, and the rap comes
off as plain in its instrumental, flow, pacing—even if some standard singing is
included at the second half. Now of course this is not to say they are poor sections—far from that. But,
neither stands out in any manner. Average is the rating.

And
to conclude this review, for the choreography, the syncing remains sharp. From
the hand waves to the kicks, the dancing relates to both beats, flow, and so
on. What, however, remains lackluster are the key points: excessively simple.
To clarify, as disclaimed in past reviews, simplicity—whether in songs or
choreography—is not inherently bad at all. Again, delivery is what matters. In “Re-Bye”
‘s specific case, the dance is moreover bland even if the syncing is moreover
precise and, more significantly, even if the key points suit the theatre-like
style that I keep reiterating.

All
in all, “Re-Bye” concludes at above average be it for the song itself or once
calculating in the dance. Do I agree? Wholeheartedly said: yes. AKMU’s singing
and performances are always pleasing, and “Re-Bye” continues the trend. With
the song, the repetitive lyrics along with the duller verses and rap can muddle
down the song, but given its stronger vocals, instrumental, and sections
distribution and overall its incredible chemistry between Soohyun and Chanhyuk,
indeed it is a song that holds up well.

_______________________________________________________

As
always, thank you to all for reading. To the requester, once again I greatly
apologize. Emphasis: greatly
apologize. It truly is inexcusable for me to take more than a week to get to
this request. For that, I am sincerely sorry and will definitely reduce delay
times in the future. Even if one were to be understanding with ideas that I was
busy and so forth, I will deny those ideas as—although some time was invested
to subtitling Fiestar videos—it was overall me deciding to ignore reviews for a
while. What was I doing? Admittedly trying out a new video game was what
occurred (and of which I may review considering it is somewhat relevant to the
blog as it is one of the trending video games in the Korean gaming community
from my knowledge). Obviously, that was me putting my selfish needs ahead, and as
always, I do want to be transparent with readers. All that said, though, the
review is finally done and I hope it was very much worth the wait. Thank you
for the request and for being patient.

In
terms of upcoming reviews, for certain Fiestar’s “Apple Pie” is next. Musically
it may have been personally the most conflicting song I have yet to deal with
(I went from favoring to disliking the song back and forth for many days), and
there was an incident involving Cao Lu that I do want to touch upon—even if
Fiestar fans would wish for me to stuff this in a pie and to forget it. Also,
in addition to that review, besides potentially a bonus video game review, I am
likewise considering to do a small give away involving—not surprisingly—video games.
(If it occurs, thanks should go towards my friend for her willingness to not
just share the game but also for the giveaway codes.) Time will tell how it
goes, but judging from the past I am aware that some readers here, like many in
these days, are fond of video games and thus may enjoy the giveaway. It will
not, however, be a simple giveaway as I will do my best to restrict it towards
readers and not, for example, a random gamer who stumbled her way into the
giveaway post and who has no care for my reviews, let alone K-Pop. I also have
ideas to help deter people from falsely claiming multiple codes under the
disguise of multiple identities—but again, this is moreover for the random
gamer who finds her way here and not the usual readers here of whom I entirely
trust.  

All
in all, look forward to Fiestar’s “Apple Pie” and a provoking social discussion
to come with it that involves Cao Lu, and for readers who are video gamers to
look forward to potentially a game review and video game codes giveaway. But of
course, since “then is then, now is now,” I cannot confirm anything but Fiestar’s
review. Keep checking back.