PRISTIN – “Wee Woo” Review

(Music Video—Dance Version)

PRISTIN – Wee Woo

Reviewed
on April 29, 2017

image

Regarding how the review will go,
despite how many fans might appreciate “Wee Woo” as being catchy and unique or
that it merely needs extra playbacks to be deemed good as many fans have
claimed, I disagree that the song is satisfying or even unique. Harshly said, I
find that “Wee Woo” is a highly generic pop song if we focus on certain
strategies the composers have employed, and furthermore, while the song’s
generic, bubbly musical concept appears as unique we still ultimately have to
realize it is just that: generic.

Personal Message:
It is currently “dead week” for my
university—a term that refers not to the fact that professors are no longer
assigning work due to the week before finals, but rather to the fact that
students are mentally dead. Morbid humor aside, I do want to clarify to readers
that I am indeed alive—although finals are actually happening right on May 1.
This semester has been quite busy and thus, reviews for April were essentially
nonexistent. In fact if correct, April saw only one review—if excluding the April’s Fool prank: EXO’s “Call Me Baby.”
For this summer break, while I will be finally learning how to drive and taking
up a few non-official jobs, I expect it to be quite free and thus I will spend
a lot of time catching up on reviews. Furthermore, I feel inspired to finally
begin learning how to write much more concisely and effectively. As a result,
readers might be seeing a review every other day during summer, and even once
the next semester comes around—one that will be the most challenging and busy—I
would at least be able to review a song every four days versus the current
school schedule of a review per week or two weeks.

And so, let us already begin
focusing on PRISTIN and less on technical updates. As readers might have
noticed, the prior post did involve PRISTIN: I wrote a Critical Discussion post
regarding an incident the ladies and their staff had with a rather questionable
“fan.” Readers who are curious should refer to the post itself as I will no
longer comment on it directly. But indeed, the topic regarding genuinely
obsessed fans is one that should be addressed and cared about and thus, I hope
readers spend some time either reading the post or at least pondering over it.

On topic with PRISTIN, however, in a
musical sense, I have planned to review “Wee Woo” at least three days after it
was released. Quite clearly, three days somehow became two months or so. However,
even if “Wee Woo” is no longer trending in the sense of being a recent
comeback, I find that the song’s composition is fascinating and is perhaps one
that entails not just a discussion on the song in of itself, but also a
discussion on debut songs in general.
For what I mean, especially if we bear in mind PRISTIN’s first album and those
other songs that have been composed and executed, “Wee Woo” is—in my opinion—a
far inferior song than many of the other songs within the ladies’ first album. “Wee
Woo,” then, is what I personally term a “high-risk; high-reward” song—and in
the context of how this is PRISTIN’s debut song, it actually makes sense on why
a potentially weaker song would be used over much stronger songs that exist in
their album.

Regarding how the review will go,
despite how many fans might appreciate “Wee Woo” as being catchy and unique or
that it merely needs extra playbacks to be deemed good as many fans have
claimed, I disagree that the song is satisfying or even unique. Harshly said, I
find that “Wee Woo” is a highly generic pop song if we focus on certain
strategies the composers have employed, and furthermore, while the song’s
generic, bubbly musical concept appears as unique we still ultimately have to
realize it is just that: generic.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 3/10
(3.00/10 raw score) – “Below average”


Vocals: 3/10


Sections: 4/10
(3.86/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 3/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 3/10

4.     Chorus: 3/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Bridge: 2/10

7.     Conclusion (Chorus): 5/10


Instrumental: 3/10


Lyrics: 2/10

Wee woo, wee woo, wee
We are Pristin
(Hello)

I’m princess of our house
I like adventures
I want blow the balloon that is you
Pop
When it pops,
what will be there?

There are boys who like me lined up
Oh why, why?
But why aren’t you in that line?
Oh why, why?
Dazzling, my heart is crumbling
You’re my super, super hero
Dazzling, my heart is crumbling
You’re my super hero
Ring ring, hello?
Can you send an ambulance here?
When our eyes meet, I get dizzy

I like you, I like you, boo boo
My heart is pounding
I like you a lot, boo boo
When I look at you, my heart goes
Wee woo, wee woo, wee
Wee woo, wee woo, wee
It’s dangerous
Wee woo, wee woo, wee

I’m waiting, I go crazy when I see you
My heart is going at 100km
I made up my mind, I want you
Right now, stay right where you are

There are boys who like me lined up
Oh why, why?
But why aren’t you in that line?
Oh why, why?
Dazzling, my heart is crumbling
You’re my super, super hero
Dazzling, my heart is crumbling
You’re my super hero
Ring ring, hello?
Can you send an ambulance here?
When our eyes meet, I get dizzy

I like you, I like you, boo boo
My heart is pounding
I like you a lot, boo boo
When I look at you, my heart goes
Wee woo, wee woo, wee
Wee woo, wee woo, wee
It’s dangerous
Wee woo, wee woo, wee

I’m rubbing the lamp baby
Casting a spell so I can have you
Sun, moon, stars, I’m asking them all
to cast a spell
Did the spell work?
Let’s check

I like you, I like you, boo boo
My heart is pounding
I like you a lot, boo boo
When I look at you, my heart
(spills out)
Wee woo, wee woo, wee
It’s dangerous
Wee woo, wee woo, wee
Wee woo, wee woo, wee

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Sometimes
I do wonder if my current university-related stress is making me overly critical. But, I hope with my
reasons and arguments, readers can see where my position comes from and of
course, I definitely encourage readers to openly disagree with my reviews as
the very purpose of them is that: to start discussions. With the review, as we
can tell, the song scores disturbingly low: a three for below average. This has
definitely not occurred in quite some time, but unfortunately “below average”
serves as the appropriate term I would use to describe “Wee Woo.”

Already,
one significant problem to “Wee Woo” is how the vocals are executed. The
choruses provide the best example: much of the vocals follow an overly
strained, higher pitched sound and at the choruses themselves, auto-tune has
been used in the production stage to create a robotic sound. Now before further
expanding that point, a clarification is needed: contrary to the belief that
auto-tune is automatically used to “fix” singing, auto-tune in a majority of
situations is purposefully used for merely its sound effects. After all,
auto-tune rarely “fixes” singing and—as in “Wee Woo” ‘s case—it arguably does
the opposite with breaking singing.
Thus, it is the effect the composers are seeking out and indeed, PRISTIN are
all very capable vocalists as seen in other album songs. But on topic for why
this matters, the auto-tune used here and equally the overly strained, high
pitched singing are detrimental to the song in whole. All of this creates an
excessively mundane sound in the song as there are minimal deviations in the
physical sound itself: everything—barring perhaps moments at the
pre-choruses—is sung in this strained, robotic-like sound. That is definitely
not beneficial if the song itself does not manipulate that for other purposes.

To
compare “Wee Woo” to a song that does arguably use auto-tune to a beneficial
effect, T-ARA’s “Sugar Free” is the song that comes to mind. In “Sugar Free,” the
auto-tune part is to build upon the instrumental’s already robotic sounds, and
additionally, the important feature in “Sugar Free” is that the auto-tuned
singing is used to contrast to standard, highly tuneful vocal beltings that
occur at the choruses. In “Wee Woo,” though, we do not see any of those
strategies implement; rather, we merely hear auto-tune for its individual sonic
appeal—and sadly, that is an unwise decision in my view as auto-tune is best
used on a structural and strategic sense rather than an appealing sound. But
before “Wee Woo” ‘s auto-tune is completely disregarded as useless, I do admit
it has its strength in the song’s structure: the auto-tune singing and the
overly strained singing create a distinctive, highlight point in the choruses
and that serves as an easily identifiable climax to the song. However, this is
a marginal benefit as the downside to this idea—the loss of vocal appeal and
even overall sonic appeal in general—is far more significant.

As
for other problems we encounter, I find that many of the song’s sections are
questionable composed—even if, indeed, there are some brilliant thinking in
mind. Let us examine the pre-chorus for an example. One interesting aspect to
this section is how it essentially builds upon itself; in other words, the
pre-choruses almost have a pre-chorus within themselves. We notice this by how
the pre-chorus initiates with an upbeat, tuneful style but later transitions to
a dramatic, slower style. That, though, is then used as a foundation for the transition
point to send “Wee Woo” to its choruses. Quite obviously, on a superficial
level, this is very creative composing—and indeed, it is and I do not wish
to deny this. The composers do deserve credit for this creative and new
take to pre-choruses. What is not foreseen, however, is how the pre-choruses
ironically undermine themselves. On a general layer, the pre-chorus builds up
the song but when the “second” or “inner” pre-chorus arrives, it ends up taking
away that generated hype and instead starts the whole process right from where it began. This, though, does not create more
hype in the long run. It is a method that is rather inefficient, if anything. If the song took
the pre-choruses’ inner pause but then made such pause work in a manner so that when hype was built up again that the build up would then be perceived as even more intense, then this pre-chorus
form would be quite beneficial. But in this case, it literally undermines its
own work as any generated hype is simply removed.

Furthermore,
this is also problematic when we consider how the instrumental is quite absent
and plays a very passive role. Now, certainly it is typical for instrumental
sounds to take a silent stance during pre-choruses as the return of said
instrumental sounds can serve as a form of building hype and then reaching a
climax, but in “Wee Woo,” the choruses return with a stereotypical, bouncy pop
instrumental. In other words, the instrumental’s disappearance was not in hopes
of creating hype as, if that was the case, the choruses would have had a much more impactful and exciting
instrumental rather than the current instrumental that is plain. Thus, the expected trade of not having an active instrumental during the
pre-choruses for a stronger chorus did not occur; instead, there is merely a
loss of, in this case, having a stale pre-chorus for the sheer sake of it. (And
of course to clarify, this is not to say all pre-choruses must have an active instrumental at play. Each review focuses on a
song’s individual context, and in our case, “Wee Woo” ‘s main weakness of
having minimal variety is why this structure to the pre-choruses is troubling.)

Finally,
for another section worthy of mentioning—in a negative manner, that is—it would
be the bridge. This section lacks in all areas: both sonically and
structurally. On an aural level, the singing follows, as established throughout the song, a robotic
and lifeless singing style. Structurally, the bridge’s dramatic pause fails to suit
in with the rest of “Wee Woo,” and this sudden change was not gradually hinted
throughout the song and thus, the bridge’s form is even more unsuitable to the
song in whole.

And
so, fans might be wondering if there are any possible strengths at all to “Wee
Woo.” My answer: of course there are—every
song has its strengths and weaknesses, after all. One strong point to “Wee Woo”
is the rapping. Even if it is not the best per se, it is definitely a highlight
of the song and is fluently transitioned to. Additionally, though, despite “Wee
Woo” seemingly being a weaker song, we can argue that it ultimately still
succeeds in a commercial sense—and this is what I hinted at earlier in this
review regarding a discussion on “high-risk; high-reward.” With that cliché
phrase, I hoped to capture the idea that “Wee Woo” is somewhat poorly composed
not due to composers lacking the skills and knowledge or that PRISTIN are weak
singers; instead, this was done to manipulate the attention PRISTIN would
receive. Where the risk comes in is that, should this plan work—and I argue, it
actually does—then it would be a huge success as PRISTIN would get more attention. On the other hand, should it
fail, PRISTIN is left with minimally gained popularity and are rendered as a
musically weak group.

To
explain why the manipulation was a success and even what this “manipulation” is, for a debut song, we have to
understand that the main goal is truthfully not musically orientated at all;
rather, the truth is that debut songs are intended to garner as much attention
as possible. Now of course, there are two main ways to approach such: through
raw musical appeal or through merely getting attention such as through
conceptual ideas of a comeback (examples being “cute,” “sexy,” “powerful,”
“cool,” and the like). Pledis Entertainment chose the latter method with “Wee Woo”:
getting attention not through music, but through sheer attention itself. This
explains why the song is incredibly catchy and even excessively pop-like as all of these, even if musically unenticing,
will gather attention—both good and bad. And if we follow this speculation, it
also might explain why the rest of the album possesses the seemingly more
complex and better composed songs: “Wee Woo” is the comeback to get attention;
the rest of the album songs are for actual musical appeal.

Coming
to the end of this review, what are fans to make of “Wee Woo,” then, and its
relation to PRISTIN’s musical skills? Given that “Wee Woo” has led PRISTIN to
gaining more popularity (and with how two members are former members of I.O.I),
I do encourage fans to interpret “Wee Woo” less as a genuine musical piece and
unfortunately more as a financial tool—even if this, indeed, is quite
pessimistic and personally goes against what I consider music to stand for. More
pessimistic individuals might claim that all
pop music is composed with the intent of purely making profit, but I find that
while money is of course in mind and necessary with creating music, it should
never be the first priority. With “Wee Woo,” I critically believe that its
intent was in fact to make money and gather attention, but at least the rest of
the album songs appear to be composed with actual music appeal in mind.

All
in all, while “Wee Woo” is by far one of the weaker songs I have heard in
general, given that it has served its financial role, I hope future releases
focus less on gaining attention and more on producing excellent songs—of which
would, in turn, gain more fans for PRISTIN. Thus, fans should continue
supporting the ladies regardless of their comeback song’s quality, and that
those who are interested but repelled by “Wee Woo” ‘s weaker composition
continue to stay interested as future releases will most likely be
improvements.

_______________________________________________________

As
always, thank you to all for reading whether in full or skim. I miraculously
did manage to write this review in only one and a half hours—a record, perhaps.
But, given that all the analytical work was done even weeks prior, this is not
too surprising. Once summer break begins, readers can look forward to many
reviews returning. May currently has many new artists lined up to be reviewed,
after all. Until then, I will be finishing a ten-page essay (which is not too
bad given I have already outlined the essay) and asking readers: “Can you send
an ambulance here?”

Critical Discussion: “PRISTIN’s Fan-Signing Confrontation: Addressing Delusional/Sasaeng Fans Seriously”

“PRISTIN’s
Fan-Signing Confrontation: Addressing Delusional/Sasaeng Fans Seriously”

Posted on April 19, 2017

So
for where I do want to direct our discussion, I instead wish to focus our
attention on how we, as sincere and supportive fans, are to address fans who
genuinely are delusional and obsessive. For aspects this post will discuss: the
need to take delusional fans seriously; a misunderstanding of how idols are to
be perceived; discussion of mental health; and lastly, the idea of compassion even towards those who seemingly do not
deserve such.

Personal
Message:
To
clarify, I am in the middle of reviewing PRISTIN’s “Wee Woo” and hope to finish
the review quite soon. That said, and especially as I believe that K-Pop and generally
pop culture of any kind is more than just the entertainment, musical aspects,
this Critical Discussion is one that I hope readers will seriously consider. For
what will be discussed, in light of PRISTIN’s recent confrontation with a man I
personally deem dangerous, I think it is time I personally bring up a topic
that even I have oftentimes belittled: the topic of delusional fans—or in
Korean terms that K-Pop audiences might be more familiar with whether one knows
Korean or not, “sasaeng” fans.

Now to clarify, quite obviously this
Critical Discussion will not focus on persuading readers to not be delusional
fans; I expect that many genuinely delusional fans would not even be reading
these types of posts in the first place, and furthermore, I say with full
confidence that those who are reading this post are intelligent, critical, and ethical
human beings who already know why it is problematic to be an overly obsessed,
delusional fan. So for where I do want to direct our discussion, I instead wish
to focus our attention on how we, as sincere and supportive fans, are to
address fans who genuinely are delusional and obsessive. For topics this post
will discuss: the need to take delusional fans seriously; a misunderstanding of
how idols are to be perceived; discussion of mental health; and lastly, the
idea of compassion even towards those
who seemingly do not deserve such. And of course, I will cover in brief terms
what exactly occurred between PRISTIN and a delusional fan, but admittedly this
discussion will focus more on delusional and obsessive fans in general rather
than just PRISTIN’s case. After all, sadly, this concept of delusional fans—or
“sasaeng” fans—requires a discussion that addresses them all rather than just a
particular case. (Another prevalent case in mind is, if I am correct, with EXO
and how Suho was sexually threatened—or “sexually harassed” if my language here
is too biased—with rape from a woman. Point is, there are many of these extreme
cases involving both male and female artists and thus, I wish our discussion to
be general and that PRISTIN’s case will merely provide a contextual example.)

_______________________________________________________

Context:
I will link a news article that
addressed what occurred: Soompi’s article. I have praised Soompi before, but
I will do it once again—and no, I am not sponsored by them at all nor write for
them: I simply appreciate their professionalism and website layout of not
pouring in obnoxious pop-up ads as do many other translated K-Pop news sites do
as of the late. But on topic, the news article should cover what exactly
occurred with PRISTIN and the “fan.”

For more specific details on why
this person’s behavior is highly inappropriate, he intended to propose to
Kyulkyung at this fan-signing, and regarding a sketchbook he planned to give,
he wrote in the sketchbook sexual threats (or, again, “harassment” if my
language is overly harsh and biased) such as desiring to get Kyulkyung pregnant
along with including an image of a decomposing corpse. For where credit is
deserved, the staff and group members all acted very professionally and
appropriately despite such pathetic actions from the “fan.” The only criticism
I have on this practical, procedural end however is questioning why Pledis
Entertainment does not use a blacklisting system akin to, if correct, JYP
Entertainment (and of whom are also very strict with how fans can interact with
idols when not at meetings). The fact that an infamous delusional fan is able
to physically meet PRISTIN is perhaps the more disturbing aspect of this entire
incident—and bear in mind, the company was
aware of his coming given that fans have taken preemptive measures of alerting
the company and hence why the staff was prepared to deal with him. With that, though,
let us now focus on the actual and more general discussion at hand.

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Already, one of the major takeaways
I hope readers have from this post is the fact that delusional/sasaeng fans need to be taken seriously. I connote
this on both practical and social levels. In PRISTIN’s case, once again, I
highly wish to emphasize the fact that such a fan was still able to attend
despite multiple, proactive warnings about his behavior. While there could be
many reasons for why this occurred, and to clarify I do believe in the best
intentions and that Pledis Entertainment agreed it was—for whatever reasons—the
best to still allow the delusional fan to attend, I do wonder if part of the
reason involves the company not necessarily taking these types of fans
seriously in the first place.

In defense of Pledis Entertainment
however, especially with most of the delusional fan’s comments being online, it
could all be an entire hoax to make everyone anxious for the person’s own
amusement—and admittedly, I would consider most of these delusional fans to
indeed be mere frauds and jokes. And of course, this is complicated by the
unreliability to detect when someone is genuine or not online; after all, if
someone despised me enough, she/he could take my sarcastic humor of me jokingly
claiming TWICE’s Jihyo will propose marriage to me as real evidence to me being
a delusional/sasaeng fan. Now for a more complicated case, while my own “delusional”
points are easily found as sarcastic, there are cases where drawing such clear
distinctions is difficult. A prominent example is, if correct, how a boy
sexually harassed IU in a live stream. While IU’s label company brilliantly did
decide to press charges—after all, sincere or not such behavior deserves to be
addressed—the boy did claim he was merely joking and was not genuinely going to
act on his words. Nevertheless, we find our tension here: how serious are companies
to take delusional fans?

While I personally propose we need
to take all actions and words from these types of fans as serious, I still wish
for readers to consider the opposing view: many could disagree with me as
perhaps there may be fans who are indeed misunderstood and therefore wrongly
punished. And of course, I am thinking of genuinely innocent examples; in IU’s
case, whether the boy was joking or not, the degree of his words are
unacceptable. Instead, “innocent examples” might involve how a fan “jokes” on
SNS that she would kidnap a certain idol if she could. Quite obviously, there
is the tension of whether this fan would need to be investigated and
blacklisted or if it is quite clear—whatever constitutes as “clear evidence,” another
issue in of itself—she was joking. All in all, readers can see there is in fact
a serious discussion on this front. I urge that we need to take all
repetitively “proven” delusional fans seriously, but already that statement can
be strongly and rightfully disagreed with and I do encourage readers to always
be critical thinkers with considering various perspectives.

Switching onto our next topic, this
one will be relatively brief as I hope to many readers this will already be
common knowledge: that idols are not to be perceived in an objectifying manner.
I bring up this point as there is a peculiar yet reasonable argument for why
delusional fans “can” exist: some argue an idol’s job and role does, at times,
involve putting themselves out there for fans to figuratively consume via
entertainment or in some cases even sexual appeal. After all, it seems far too
extreme if a genuinely well-behaved fan can never say, for example, “Kyulkyung
is so sexy!” without suddenly being labeled as a dangerous, delusional fan. Indeed,
to some extent, I agree: it is not unethical to idolize idols—and hence,
perhaps, the very label of “idol.” In fact, this idolizing can range beyond
just how one might look up to an idol as a role model; I think it is not
utterly inappropriate if a fan is suddenly expressing how she is very much
sexually attracted to some idol. If such occurs, then so be it. However, this
is where I argue there needs to be an appropriate
balance: idolizing to extreme ends to
the point it affects idols and fans, whether sexual or not, is never
acceptable.

For example, despite my conservative
beliefs (as admittedly while I am socially ethical and therefore categorized as “liberal,” I
culturally am “conservative”–and of course, “conservative” or “liberal,” we all should be socially ethical) of how a “real man” and a “real woman” never
makes sexual comments to others, I have—as indeed, I am a regular nerdy
human—made sexual-based remarks before. With PRISTIN in mind, I believe I have
even posted a YouTube comment along the lines of explicitly calling Nayoung
“sexy.” Is this entirely unethical? I argue far from it; my comment was that of
being a fan at the moment and I obviously meant it as a lighthearted praise. Most
importantly, I did not take it to the degree that the comment would be
objectifying and I very much praise
and acknowledge Nayoung more for Nayoung herself rather than for her physical
appearance. Now that said, and particularly to male readers, this is not an
excuse to suddenly go on a “she/he is sexy” complimenting marathon. I say this
to male readers as we have to acknowledge that an innocuous sexual-based comment,
even if meant to be lighthearted and a genuine praise, can indeed still be
considered sexually objectifying and demeaning because we speak from a position
of social privilege. In other words,
we speak from a male privileged stance and could be unintentionally
contributing to the issue of freely sexually objectifying women (and men) because
speaking from a male privileged
stance automatically justifies a male’s sexual comments as acceptable (due to
gender expectations) when such actions should not be excused at all.

Thus, my overall point is this: in a
reasonable, mature and respectful manner, there is not a problem should a fan
idolize their idols—whether with admiration or with sexual attraction. The key
idea is that such comments and idolizing need to be respectful and reasonable.
Praising that Nayoung is sexy is not an issue; there is an issue, however, should one keep repeating and pushing forth
such a comment to the point where Nayoung—a wonderful human being—is reduced
down to purely her body. And of course, adding on male privilege should the fan
be a male, and indeed we have an even more serious situation as it now leeches
beyond just one individual case but is now reaching a social level of
perpetuating the idea that men can freely sexually objectify women. Likewise,
claiming that Nayoung is one’s role model is not a problem; there is a problem, however, should the fan
suddenly find the need to stalk Nayoung and genuinely believes she loves
him/her back in a romantic sense.

As for PRISTIN’s delusional fan, he
is indeed in the wrong: he has made a sexual threat to Kyulkyung—a comment that
claims he would make her pregnant versus merely complimenting her—and his
excessive admiration has led him to believing she genuinely loves him back in a
romantic sense. Yes, idols’ jobs and roles do involve them being idolized, but
an ethical dimension still exists: idols, too, are human beings and deserve
respect and dignity. Indeed, many Korean idols (I have no authority to comment
for other pop cultures) are absolutely fantastic role models for male and
female fans and thus, I do find it acceptable should fans admire them as role
models or even find idols sexually attractive should a fan opt to go this
route. (Biasedly with my cultural views, though, I do urge fans to praise idols
beyond their physical appearance if physical appearances are to even matter at
all. Idols’ work ethics, respectful conduct, care for members, skills, and so
forth are what I find most “sexy” and I do encourage fans to view idols in this
aspect rather than merely physical attractions.) What is problematic is when
such infatuation—sexual or not—goes to the extent of disrespecting the idol and
said idol is no longer a human but instead an object. After all, as much as I
joke about being delusional and loving TWICE’s Jihyo and how she will one day
get on her knee to propose to me, I obviously know at the end of everything—besides
how we will never meet at all—Jihyo is simply an amazing woman who brings a lot
for the world as a role model and musician—not an object that I can somehow “possess.”

Finally, this brings up perhaps the
most sensitive topic yet in this post: a discussion on mental illness. Already
I wish to clarify that I do not want to further perpetuate the stigma that
socially deviant behavior (if that is a proper term; I merely mean behavior
that is not of the norm and do not intend to connote something else) must
automatically be the result of mental illness. Whether it is PRISTIN’s
delusional fan or the woman who claimed she would rape EXO’s Suho, as ethical
and critical human beings, we should never automatically assume these
individuals are mentally ill. For all we know, they might be very sane and
reasonable people; the only difference, though, is perhaps they lack ethics and have no regard for acting
upright in the world. (This is why readers constantly see me discussing social
topics in an ethical lens; in the end, I consider my ultimate goal as a human
being—let alone a K-Pop reviewer and future teacher—is to spread as much
goodness and to encourage others to do as much good as possible.) Nevertheless,
however, I think the discussion of mental illness is still relevant: it needs
to be reminded that us mentally healthy individuals have an ethical role with
challenging the stigma of mental illness, but should the case be that certain
delusional fans are mentally ill, such needs to be addressed appropriately.

Without intending to, I have already
discussed why readers should not hurry to the conclusion that delusional fans
are automatically mentally ill. Again, the example of how these types of fans might
be sane but merely lack ethics is a possible and reasonable explanation. Furthermore,
the automatic association that any social deviant behavior means one is
mentally ill is a highly misunderstood idea. Mental illness cannot be easily
generalized in that sense, and I argue such negative associations of mental
illness—such as how individuals who are mentally ill are dangerous—make it even
more difficult for those who need mental support to get that very support.
Think of, for example, those with depression: if mental illness is considered
wicked and dangerous, the likelihood of a depressed individually getting the
help she/he needs is highly reduced due to social stigma. Thus, I do challenge
readers to be more critical in their view of mental illnesses and to very much
confront biases they have towards mental illnesses. Although I am the one
suggesting this, I do indeed admit I have biases that I very much am working to
challenge—after all, my first instinct to reading about PRISTIN’s incident was
a quick assumption that the delusional fan is “crazy” and “mentally ill” (in
other words, I used the label as an insult rather than its appropriate use as a
general, clinical label). These are disturbing, highly biased thoughts I have,
but indeed I share this as readers need to realize we all have biases worth
correcting and I indeed am joining along in the process of being a more
compassionate, knowledgeable human.

_______________________________________________________

Conclusion:
With addressing so many different
points, I might now have made readers feel overwhelmed, more confused, or
simply unsatisfied with how one is to reconcile what PRISTIN and Pledis
Entertainment staff members experienced with the delusional fan. I will attempt
to conclude this Critical Discussion: a discussion on compassion.

Indeed, I find that the ethical
layer is why a lot of social-related topics matter as all of these related
discussions is ultimately an attempt to answer how we are to make the world a
better place for each other. On one hand, compassion here means that we need to
understand what idols feel and why, despite idolizing them, they are worthy of
respect and dignity as is every other human entitled to. Now for where the idea
of compassion gets tricky, admittedly feeling compassion—in other words for
those unfamiliar, having a sense of understanding and even “acceptance”—for delusional
fans is difficult. In fact, I wholeheartedly admit despite my current teachings
and discussion, I do struggle with having compassion for these types of
individuals. After all, how is any ethical, critical person supposed to “accept”
and “understand” a woman who dares to make a rape threat to a man or a man who
dares makes a sexual threat to a woman? But, this is where I challenge readers
and myself: we still need to, at the very least, make attempts to understand
these individuals.

For perhaps a controversial point I
will make, having compassion for these delusional fans does not mean one is to
necessarily accept them entirely; I absolutely prohibit these types of fans
from ever attending fan-meetings and also desire to ban them from posting
content on idols’ fancafes. What I mean by “accept,” then, is that I still have
to accept and acknowledge these delusional fans are humans. It would be wrong,
for example, if fans suddenly made plans to kidnap the woman who made rape
threats to EXO’s Suho and physically assaulted her—reason being she still is a
human, and that using such escalated violence would lead to nothing. (Now even
more controversially, I do want to clarify that I do believe at times violence
to counteract violence is sometimes essential and appropriate. For a random
example, a police officer who kills a criminal who would have otherwise harmed
innocent people is, in my argument, worthy of praise as she appropriately used
violence in this case to prevent malicious violence. This is the only violence
that is acceptable—in my argument, that is.) Therefore, in one sense,
compassion in this regards means delusional fans do not deserve equally heinous
treatment—barring, as in the example above, cases where violence must be used
to prevent a delusional fan from inflicting violence.  

Secondly, another reason for
compassion and perhaps the most important reason is that it allows us to be
critical in assessing such types of fans. Why
are they behaving this way? Compassion grants us the moment to genuinely
attempt to understand where a delusional fan is coming from. With PRISTIN’s
case, I am highly curious of the background of the sasaeng fan. His mental
health, his relationship with women in general, his views on ethics and
behaviors, his views on masculinity, his views on sexuality—all of these are
aspects that can very much help hypothesize reasons for why he behaved highly
inappropriately towards Kyulkyung. And through this process, we come to realize
there is a humane side to a person who we otherwise would only desire to bash
and trash.

All in all, while these types of
fans should not be physically accepted at all, I think they ethically deserve to still be—if not
accepted—then at least understood in regards to motives. But, this is indeed
still a tough situation and how one feels about this situation will ultimately
be up to their own moral views. Some fans might feel compassionate and attempt
to understand the delusional fan’s seemingly troubled life and mind, but others
can equally and rightfully believe such a man is disgusting and perhaps even
inhuman for his actions and words. It all depends on one’s own ethical views,
and that is something I do not desire to shape. All I desire is to make people think of their very own ethical views—regardless
of what they are. If hate is to be used, then I hope there are at least solid
reasons for such. No matter what, though, we all can agree on this: on a
practical level, delusional fans are a threat to idols and staffs, and indeed,
I believe safety precautions need to be implemented such as blacklisting such
fans or thoroughly inspecting these types of fans for any suspicious items (be
it weapons or hidden cameras).

_______________________________________________________

This Critical Discussion took far
longer than expected. As a result, the review on “Wee Woo” will be posted much
later, but of course, I do believe that this post is much more valuable than a
musical analysis of their debut song as this post matters on both a practical and social layer. My words here are not
necessarily to convince readers what to think, but I do hope it sparks
discussions and encourages more critical, deeper thinking for PRISTIN fans or
other K-Pop fans—or even simply fans of any pop culture should this post reach
a broader audience.

Look forward to a review on PRISTIN’s
“Wee Woo” in a week or perhaps even two weeks as I will be heading into
university finals soon. Thank you to readers for being patient, and thank you
to those who have read or skimmed this post.

EXO – “Call Me Baby” Review

(Music Video)

EXO – Call Me Baby

Reviewed
on April 15, 2017

Nevertheless,
despite how creative and effective the instrumental is to the song and even
despite the song’s massive popularity during its promoted era, I argue the song
in its entirety is not as strong as people perceive it to be. In particularly, while
the song efficiently and effectively establishes a rhythmic, smooth and
coherent style towards the beginning, near the end of the song completely contradicts
itself but not in an augmenting
manner.

Personal Message:
For a fun fact: as of this sentence,
I have spent six hours in the library at my university catching up on work, and
miraculously, I am now relatively caught up with everything I was behind on.
The best part? No caffeine involved. For readers who are students—whether at the
university or high school level (or perhaps even younger; again, I welcome all
readers)—a tip I have is that working in a “productive environment” truly makes
a huge difference. Personally, working in the library makes it so that I am not
suddenly procrastinating via watching a marathon of Fiestar and TWICE videos—of
which is why I sometimes am drastically behind work. But that aside, before
getting into today’s review and updates, I do hope that readers enjoyed the
horrendous April Fool’s joke I wrote. Admittedly compared to previous years
where I was able to convince readers an artist made a comeback when they did
not, this year’s prank is much more disappointing. Nonetheless, given that the
prank was actually me addressing in a subtle manner my current thoughts on the
state of the blog, it is at least a productive prank—and indeed, saying
“productive prank” is relatively rare.

On topic, huge apologies to the
requester for the delay—a delay that is as long as a month. This is completely
shameful on my end and I sincerely apologize for the review taking this long. With
my university semester soon ending, the workload has become quite large. Furthermore,
coupling that with time I spent preparing informal lessons (as my “cooperating
teacher”—the teacher I am working with—is such a wonderful person and allows me
to have the chances to practice teaching) and we find that my time is quite
limited. When my summer break comes around, however, I intend to make a very
strong return with reviewing very frequently given that I have no summer
classes and desire to begin “stockpiling” reviews as my next semester will by
far be the most difficult as of yet. (Though, I hope, the most interesting.) In
terms of where readers can find me during times where I am incredibly busy,
there is one place where I most likely still exist: subtitling videos for
Fiestar. As noticed, while reviews have been scarce, I have been able to upload
lengthier videos of Fiestar. Now this does sound like a poor excuse or even a
subliminal way to advertise videos of Fiestar (which admittedly is not a
complete lie; Fiestar deserves more popularity), but the point is this: if I am
not writing reviews, readers can find me subtitling and uploading videos; if I
am not subtitling and uploading videos, readers can find me writing reviews.
And if neither of those are
occurring, I am most likely crying and drowning in homework and then attempting
to stay mentally healthy via watching an unhealthy amount of, as of the late,
TWICE videos.  

Pitifully (and humorously) shared,
the only reason I am not completely mentally broken down is because I have
lately been watching many videos of TWICE and have developed a delusional crush
for the ladies’ leader, Jihyo. She is personally one of my “ideal types” (along
with SPICA’s Boa) as, perhaps as readers have been able to gauge over time, I
find myself highly attracted to older (Jihyo is five months older than me) “womanly
women”—or to not be hypocritical as I constantly challenge readers to not use
gender-based labels (such as “manly men”), I am connoting “strong women.” To
explain what I mean (and once again, in a delusional manner though I obviously
am still waiting for Jihyo to propose to marry me), Jihyo provides a sense of
security and comfort. After all, her leadership as seen for TWICE is proving of
such. She is overall incredibly caring, funny, hardworking, and unlike the
general—and pathetic—consensus that she is apparently not physically attractive
particularly because of her weight, I personally find her very beautiful both
physically and non-physically. And, despite her not having, say, SPICA’s Boa’s
husky, deeper voice, I still find Jihyo’s voice very charming. Quite obviously
I am very delusional but a boy can dream, can he not? Thus, in my delusional
world, indeed one day Jihyo will get on her knees and propose to me and we will
live happily-ever-after. I suspect readers are now questioning if I truly am
still mentally healthy because of university.

Now for a serious point if readers
feel that I have cheated time and intellectual points out of them and this
review, for an interesting topic that even I am still attempting to reconcile
that I sure readers might also be curious on, the topic of race when it comes
to dating is a peculiar one. Sure, while readers might desire to praise me for desiring
to one day marry an older, “strong woman” and not feel emasculated at all
because of such, there is still a controversial component to my ideal type: I
admit I strongly prefer to not date and
marry an Asian woman. I would prefer, as the phrase is, to “date outside of my
race.”

Now obviously race would never be a
deciding factor—and neither would, say, age—but race does go along with my ideal
type preferences akin to age. The main reasons behind this “race preference”
are that, for one, I personally cherish raising a family that has multiple
cultural views within the family and I have a desire to learn cultures beyond
what I was raised with. Furthermore, I desire to share my own cultural values
with someone who equally desires to learn more about my culture. Nonetheless,
the tension as readers can tell is this: am I being racist or not? Personally I
do acknowledge both perspectives, and again while these preferences in the end
would never be deciding factors, these are still biases in mind that are worthy
of critically examining. But, in the end, these preferences can only go so far:
for example, if Jihyo proposed to marry me—and even if she were a few months
younger than I—indeed readers can expect me to be a married boy. All in all, I
am sure a few readers have pondered this topic before (and I know many of my
older cousins have as their partners are all non-Asian) or might even feel a
desire themselves to “date outside one’s race(s)” (this term can be problematic
for those who are multi-racial and I do apologize for such). There are no easy
answers at all, but consider this a social topic to ponder in addition to the
following musical discussion.

All that aside and onto the review
itself, before receiving this request, a year ago (or two), I did plan to review
“Call Me Baby.” It definitely was a very popular comeback during its time—after
all, this is EXO and their popularity is enormous in general. In terms of the
song itself, however, I did want to review it as it is a slightly peculiar one:
as even the requester of this review noted, the song incorporates a lot of
interesting components especially in terms of how its instrumental is
functioning for the song in whole. Thus, this review will indeed focus a lot on
particularly the rhythm at play and what functions it serves and we will
speculate what the composers had in mind when creating the song. Nevertheless,
despite how creative and effective the instrumental is to the song and even
despite the song’s massive popularity during its promoted era, I argue the song
in its entirety is not as strong as people perceive it to be. In particularly, while
the song efficiently and effectively establishes a rhythmic, smooth and
coherent style towards the beginning, near the end of the song completely contradicts
itself but not in an augmenting
manner.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10
(5.25/10 raw score) – “Average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 5/10
(4.83/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Chorus: 4/10

4.     Bridge: 3/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 5/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 4/10

This street is completely crazy
Strangers in between people
Every moment that we’re together,
like boom boom boom boom boom
What up?

Hey girl, that one moment felt like eternity
(The fate-like moment)
When you pierced into me in just one moment
(Like lightning, in this world)
You called my name and came to me
It’s amazing, like a flash of light,
you fill me up the moment I see you, oh my
Sit here comfortably and listen to my story now
Oh I don’t care
Even if I have to go far,
I’ll be the one man to be by your side
You seeped into my dry lips
and woke me up
The time’s wasting, girl
So don’t wait, don’t wait too long

There are many who shine,
but look at what’s real among them
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby
My heart grows bigger for you
and it closes its door for everyone else but you
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby
Even if it’s many times, call me, girl
You make me exist as myself
You’re the only one in my world
You’re the one, you’re the one
There are many who shine
but look at what’s real among them
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby
Even if it’s many times, Call me girl

Baby girl
Even among all the greed
and all the words
You showed that you believe in me
Even if everyone changes and leaves me,
you are my lady
All I need is for you to hold my hand

There are many who shine,
but look at what’s real among them
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby
My heart grows bigger for you
and it closes its door for everyone else but you
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby

I was once trapped in a dark maze
(In the darkness)
But I hear your voice that woke me up
You made me be born again, yeah
E-X-O
Listen

Say my name
(Louder)
If you become my light and
pull me through this chaotic place,
(What up?)
I’ll hold you and never change
I’ll hold you and face those who left me
Don’t ever mind about a thing
You came into the big emptiness in my heart

In this shaking world
You were the only one who became my light
There are many who shine
but look at what’s real among them
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby
(I’ll be your baby)
You make me exist as myself
You’re the only one in my world
you’re the one, you’re the one
Girl, you’re the one I want
There are many who shine,
but look at what’s real among them
Call me baby, call me baby,
call me baby, call me baby
Even if it’s many times, call me, girl

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
First of all, before getting right into the function and effects of the
instrumental, we first need to realize “Call Me Baby” follows what I term a “linear-based”
song—or at least, for the first portion. In other words, rather than containing
various shifts in terms of pacing or intensity, the song—even if by default is
already at a more energetic state—remains relatively stable. After all, already
readers should notice there are no explicit pre-choruses in this song—a section
of which oftentimes is when songs go through a significant shift (a buildup).
Because the song lacks that traditional, transformative section (as again, the
pre-choruses are oftentimes a “spike” in a song’s flow), “Call Me Baby” is able
to run a more straightforward path with going from the verse and right into the
chorus.

With
this in mind, let us now discuss the importance of the instrumental. Already, one
strong function of it and especially with the stronger, heavier beats is that the
instrumental serves as core transition piece for the song. Especially as there
are no pre-choruses, it is vital for an aspect of the song to still handle the
role as a hastily recognizable transition piece. In the song, the stronger
beats serve this role—prominent, obvious examples include the introduction to
the first verse, and that verse to the chorus. But, besides just serving as
transition points, what the instrumental deserves much praise for is how it
shapes the entirety of the song—or,
once again, at least the first portion of the song. For example, one aspect to
notice is that unlike many pop songs where the vocals are clearly overriding
the instrumental be it by being more active or intense, in “Call Me Baby” I
argue it is the opposite: the instrumental are, interestingly, at the forefront
while the vocals are backing up said instrumental. I make this claim as we need
to notice the beats’ volume and impact come off much harder and—quite literally—louder
than even the singing. This is especially emphasized whenever the members are
providing beltings versus chunked, singular singing. Oftentimes, the opposite
holds true where vocal beltings, for example, are louder and more prominent
than the instrumental. Furthermore, the vocals’ rhythm is very much based on following
the instrumental’s pacing and seldom do
the vocals necessarily deviate away from strictly doing such—this being something
we seldom find as the opposite oftentimes holds true instead: vocals are the
ones to first change with the instrumental then adapting.

And
so, why does this all matter? For one, as discussed in perhaps a few prior
reviews—one in mind is BTS’ “Spring Day” to some extent—having a highly
coordinated instrumental and vocals combination allows a song to maintain a
strong sense of cohesion. Predictability, for example, is possible when a
listener is able to clearly track what is occurring on both ends and thus, this
aids in making a song “make sense” versus it sounding as if the song had no
structure to it. Besides that, though, with the instrumental essentially
leading the song, we have to credit the composers for this as this in of itself
is already a creative idea. As even the requester noted, it seems that the
rhythm and instrumental in this song is particularly
important—this distinction is something I argue can be found rooted in how
the instrumental is in fact the leading aspect of the song, and again, this is
a creative take as traditionally it is the vocals—the tune—that lead a pop
song. And as I have addressed before, having a creative aspect to songs is
highly beneficial and to some extent almost necessary if a pop song is to stand
out among the hundreds of thousands of existing pop songs.

All
this praise aside, however, “Call Me Baby” still carries many flaws and
unfortunately, it seems that these flaws almost entirely overshadow the stronger
aspects to the song. To already discuss what the major flaw to the song is, it
is the fact that towards the end of the song—from the bridge and after—the song
abruptly steers away from its established, linear and rhythm based flow, to one
that is far too erratic and different. And while this is not necessarily a
weakness—and in fact, some songs can turn such contrasting points into strengths
as noted in my review of TWICE’s
“Knock Knock”
—the issue is that the song does not resolve this tension. Therefore, listeners are left with a
song that, in perhaps a harsh statement, collapses itself. Let us examine and “actively
listen” to the bridge and rap for examples.

With
the bridge, right from the start we come across a bridge that, though suiting
in a traditional sense of pop songs “needing” to have a bridge, the section’s
form is one that highly contrasts the rest of the song. It is a dramatic pause
to “Call Me Baby,” and most distinctively, the instrumental becomes an
incredibly light, minimal aspect as the vocals are in the spotlight—and of which
already contrasts what the song initially established in its entire run prior
to the bridge. Additionally, even when the bridge transitions to the rap, we
have to notice the note belting that occurs and likewise how “E-X-O” in its
rough, segmented delivery once again ruins the linear, smoother flow
established. And to finish this all, the distorted instrumental and vocals that
follow up as the transition point to the rap once again highly conflict with
the song’s original, intended sound. Regarding the rap, similar critiques can
be said as—even if sonically it is viable—the distortions throughout the rap
and more so how intensive the rap is all go against what “Call Me Baby” set up
at the beginning.

Overall,
while the song is certainly strong in terms of its creative take to having an
instrumental-led song and that the instrumental is very effective at doing
such, the composers’ decision to have the song undergo drastic changes to its
established concept is where my main criticism lies. Now, it is understandable
on why the composers most likely opted to do so—after all, composers are very
intelligent, diligent women and men. I believe their idea with this sudden
change in the song is to address one main problem linear-based songs have: a
strong sense of monotony. Given that “Call Me Baby” is an incredibly
straightforward song, lacking points of a shift in the song’s overall flow
could, indeed, deter away listeners. Thus, a simple solution to that is to in
fact include points of shifts that would make the song predominantly linear, but also inclusive of more diverse aspects.
Unfortunately, I argue the composers failed with that goal: especially because
of how strongly established the song is with its original flow and given that
the rhythm is the driving force of the song, there could have been ways to add
more variety without necessarily compromising the song’s concept towards the end.
For example, at the choruses—in other words, at moments that are still within
the song’s established, smoother flow—there are still some issues with a
mundane sound occurring. Therefore, if some changes or additions were made so
that the choruses in of themselves were more varied, then the pressure for
drastically different bridge and rap might have disappeared.

All
in all, EXO’s “Call Me Baby” is still a song worthy of listening especially as
it is unique to hear such an instrumental-orientated song, but it does possess
a multitude of weaknesses that come from solutions that went, I argue, awry. Nevertheless,
as this song is very much “performance based” with having a very charming
choreography, it still deserves much respect on that end even if musically I
find that it comes short.

_______________________________________________________

It
has been almost a month and a half since this request was sent in. For readers
who wish to send in requests, it might be best to wait until May as that is
when I will be on summer break and have time to quickly review requests. For
the requester of this review, I greatly apologize for this delay. University is
truly quite rigorous as of the late.

In
terms of upcoming reviews, PRISTIN’s “Wee Woo” is in mind along with Day6’s “I’m
Serious.” Both songs will provide not only new artists on the blog—as both of
them are relatively new groups if correct—but also new, insightful reviews as
both songs are quite different from the many I have reviewed in the past. Thank
you to readers for being patient with me, and thank you for reading this
review. I know summer break will be perhaps my most active reviewing period
yet, so look forward to such but until then, I expect to wrap up April with those
two reviews and a few Critical Discussions regarding “MR Removed” and even line
distributions. Until then, “My heart grows bigger for you”—especially for the
requester who had to wait far too long for this review. Look forward to PRISTIN’s
“Wee Woo.”

A.CL – “Reviews” Review

(Music
Video)

A.CL – Reviews

Reviewed
on April 1, 2017

[Oddly,
due to some technical issues, I cannot post a picture for this particular
review.]

Many
argue that “Reviews” is a relatively weak comeback and I unfortunately will
have to agree with this opinion. “Reviews” has much potential with its sections
and A.CL’s vocals are definitely solid, but the instrumental and even lyrics
are extremely detrimental to the song.

Personal Message:
Already the new month of April will
have a review. In fact, I am reviewing an artist who should have been reviewed
quite some time ago: A.CL, a ballad soloist. Most likely very few readers are
familiar with this artist; after all, despite debuting nearly three years ago,
it was not until quite recently that he has begun garnering some popularity—and
even then, he is still definitely quite unpopular in comparison to other
artists. But that said—and to perhaps be quite critical—it is understandable on
why he never achieved any attention during his debut: his songs have been
heavily lacking both in terms of execution but also with composition.
Fortunately, indeed, he is continually working hard to improve his skills and
likewise his songs’ compositions have been gradually improving as well. And of
course, I am certain A.CL is very grateful to his current audience.

Addressing technical aspects to this
review, as noticed I am having technical issues with posting both the pictures
and lyrics. I deeply apologize for such; future reviews will never have these
problems again and certainly will not.
These problems seem to only occur once a year. Thankfully, the music video link
should be working and it does have the song’s lyrics within the video. All this
side, let us begin April 1 with a very serious review on A.CL’s latest
comeback: “Reviews.” This is definitely an interesting title; prior to “Reviews,”
I have never encountered a similar title. I hope this does not lead to confusions
between whether I am referring to this review
or to the song “Reviews.” On topic, however, let us actually focus on the song.
Many argue that “Reviews” is a relatively weak comeback and I unfortunately
will have to agree with this opinion. “Reviews” has much potential with its
sections and A.CL’s vocals are definitely solid, but the instrumental and even
lyrics are extremely detrimental to the song.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10
(5.25/10 raw score) – “Average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 8/10
(8/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
8/10

2.     Verse: 8/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 8/10

5.     Bridge: 8/10

6.     Conclusion: 8/10


Instrumental: 2/10


Lyrics: 4/10

[Refer to the music video for the
lyrics; there are too many technical issues involved for some odd reason and
thus, I cannot post the lyrics as I normally do.]

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
This review will definitely be shorter than usual and will actually be
following a structure I used for reviewing in the past—specifically, that I
will go through each category and robotically gauge them. This is not to
belittle A.CL and the composers of “Reviews,” but I find this is the best way
to explain. And of course, I am definitely being incredibly serious with this
review and by no means is this review a “joke” or “prank” or, quite
drastically, even “fake.”

With
the vocals, A.CL definitely has a lot of power with his vocals. In a way, we
can almost consider his vocals his “ideas”; in other words, A.CL knows how to
deliver “ideas” that tend to be quite unique and can definitely begin
conversations. Obviously this concept is quite confusing and probably makes no
sense, but in short let us understand this: for A.CL’s “ideas,” he definitely
does bring interesting points in the song.

That
said, for where this can be problematic, the lyrics fail to bring justice to A.CL’s
vocals. Although his points and ideas with singing are great, he oftentimes struggles
to clearly and cohesively deliver those very ideas. After all, as we can tell
by the lyrics, it appears quite jumbled and even disorganized. I argue if A.CL
wishes to improve his songs, he definitely needs to keep refining his lyrics
composing skills. Essentially, his mechanical writing skills—if this is more
clear—needs to be continually improved.

Regarding
the sections, I argue this is where A.CL greatly excels. Considering past songs
where his songs tended to sound overly mundane because the composers focused on
an output-input structuring of songs—which obviously makes no sense but bear
with me for now—but recently the composers have made a drastic switch to
actually make A.CL’s songs flow more naturally. Plus, A.CL’s songs tend to be
clearly structured in a way so that it is almost as if listeners can quite
literally see how his songs are structured and laid out.

Finally,
for where A.CL needs huge improvements, the instrumental to his songs
oftentimes are poor in particular because the beats are extremely slow. Now there are comeback periods—especially during
the summer—where his songs turn quite upbeat and follow a comfortable flow, but
as we can see in “Reviews,” this ballad happens to not be during summer. “Reviews”
is unfortunately quite slow in its pacing and that is arguably what prevents
A.CL from necessarily garnering more appeal from the public. Not that
popularity matters per se and in many interviews A.CL has explicitly stated
that he cares more about the quality of his songs versus having many fans, but
indeed especially as of the late, A.CL’s songs are far too slow. Certainly A.CL’s
comeback plans for summer are looking quite great especially because he is not
going to be attending summer classes—for music that is; music summer classes—and thus his newly released songs in the upcoming
summer will all be quite upbeat, but indeed, as of now the instrumental to many
of his songs are far too slow.

All
in all, A.CL’s “Reviews” is definitely an interesting song. Whether readers
realize it or not, I have personally been following A.CL from the very second
he debuted and despite the current problems in place, I do wish to acknowledge
how much he and his songs have improved. Now of course much more work is still
needed to be done, but certainly A.CL is improving and will aim to continually
improve. Perhaps the most interesting idea to ponder over is the very fact that
A.CL debuted at all: he was—with all due respect—quite awful in all categories when
he debuted. Therefore, to see him take that risk of deciding to debut and to
then continue improving over time is definitely a decision I bet A.CL is
grateful to have done.

_______________________________________________________

This
review ended much sooner than perhaps all of the other reviews I have written
in the past months. Again, readers should remember I am obviously quite serious
with this review and that A.CL is a real ballad soloist. I would never lie to
readers or personally celebrate a particular holiday in the United States (and
in other countries though with different titles and even on different days
rather than April 1) that occurs once a year that involves tricking others.

Now
on a serious note, I definitely do
acknowledge—and have genuine statistical data to back up such claims—that I
have readers from all over the world (though a huge percentage of readers are
from the United States). Thus, to readers who are not in the United States and
unfamiliar with why April 1 is an interesting day in the United States, I do
apologize if this review is confusing. I do not wish for this review to make
one feel excluded due to lacking that cultural background and I recommend a
quick search on April 1 in the United States for some explanation if one is
curious.

But
of course as said, this review is entirely serious and I hope readers enjoy
this high-quality review that I wrote in roughly twenty minutes. That is quite
a record if one asks me, especially as my reviews normally take hours to write—let
alone the days it takes to analyze
the song beforehand. Look forward to other reviews in April. I would now close
this review by quoting the lyrics from this song, but obviously this is a difficult
task not because this entire review
is fake and a prank, but because I am now facing technical difficulties here as
well since for some reason I “cannot” use quotes right now. That “cannot” is an
exception, and likewise this one as well. There we go; now that is a solid excuse and a perfect way to end this review.