BTS – “Spring Day” Review

(Music Video) / (Audio) / (Dance
Practice)

BTS – Spring Day

Reviewed
on March 11, 2017

That
said, while a few fans have claimed that “Spring Day” is supposedly a weaker
song or at least a song that is unfitting for BTS, I highly disagree: I argue “Spring
Day” is a solidly composed song and it is executed well by the members
themselves. Moreover, this song showcases the versatility of the men and their
composers and producers: beyond just deviating away from the more upbeat and
powerful style BTS is known for, we have to understand that on a compositional
level, “Spring Day” itself deviates away from usual structures and said deviations are actually
effective.

Personal Message:
It has been—if correct—about three
weeks since this review request was sent in. With other posts (specifically an
important post regarding MAMAMOO’s recent controversy and a
discussion on racism in general
—which, on a random note, I am beyond shocked at how
well-received the post is in terms of sparking critical thinking and
discussions) and so much university work occurring, this request was inevitably
delayed. To the requester, I greatly and sincerely apologize for this delay. On
the positive side, however, I am indeed on spring break for a week and plan to
finish this review along with TWICE’s “Knock Knock” and another recent request
on HIGH4’s “Love Line.” Afterwards, March will take a more leisurely pacing but
I hope to have six posts by the end of the month.

Onto the review itself, if correct
it has actually been quite some time since we have last encountered a song that
has been rated relatively high (at least at “above average,” a seven). But
indeed, “Spring Day” does score quite well. That said, while a few fans have
claimed that “Spring Day” is supposedly a weaker song or at least a song that
is unfitting for BTS, I highly disagree: I argue “Spring Day” is a solidly
composed song and it is executed well by the members themselves. Moreover, this
song showcases the versatility of the men and their composers and producers: beyond
just deviating away from the more upbeat and powerful style BTS is known for,
we have to understand that on a compositional level, “Spring Day” itself
deviates away from usual structures and
said deviations are actually effective.

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 7/10
(6.67/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Rap: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 6/10

5.     Bridge: 8/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Lyrics: 6/10

[Introduction Instrumental]

I miss you
When I say that, I miss you more
I’m looking at your photo
but I still miss you
Time is so cruel
I hate us
Now it’s hard
to even see each other’s faces
It’s only winter here
Even in August, winter is here
My heart makes time run
Like a snowpiercer left alone
I want to hold your hand
and go to the other side of the earth
to end this winter
How much longing has to fall like snow
for the spring days to come?
Friend

Like a small piece
of dust
that floats in the air
If the flying snow is me
I could
reach you faster

Snowflakes are falling
Getting farther away
I miss you (I miss you)
I miss you (I miss you)
How much more do I have to wait?
How many more nights do I have to stay up?
Until I can see you? (Until I can see you?)
Until I can meet you? (Until I can meet you?)
Past the end of this cold winter
Until the spring comes again
Until the flowers bloom again
Stay there a little longer
Stay there
Did you change?
(Did you change?)
Or did I change?
(Did I change?)
I hate even this moment that is passing
I guess we changed
I guess that’s how everything is

Yeah I hate you
Although you left
There hasn’t been a day that I have forgotten you
Honestly, I miss you
But now I’ll erase you
because that will hurt less than resenting you

I’m blowing out the cold
Like smoke, like white smoke
I say that I’m going to erase you
But actually, I still can’t let you go

Snowflakes are falling
Getting farther away
I miss you (I miss you)
I miss you (I miss you)
How much more do I have to wait?
How many more nights do I have to stay up?
Until I can see you? (Until I can see you?)
Until I can meet you? (Until I can meet you?)

You know it all
You’re my best friend
The morning is going to come again
Because no darkness, no season,
can last forever

Cherry blossoms are blooming
The winter is ending
I miss you (I miss you)
I miss you (I miss you)
If I wait a little longer (if I wait)
If I stay up a few more nights
I’ll go see you (I’ll go see you)
I’ll go pick you up (I’ll go pick you up)
Past the end of this cold winter
Until the spring comes again
Until the flowers bloom again
Stay there a little longer
Stay there

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: To
continue the discussion of this song differing from the norms of (Korean) pop
music, readers should first take some time to actively listen to the song—or,
one can easily take a visual look at the structures themselves. One detail
should stick out: there are no verses per se. (And for those unfamiliar, in my reviews
I connote sections not by denotation but rather connotation; in other words,
yes there technically are verses but focusing on the context, we will consider these sections “rapping sections” versus
verses.) Instead, interestingly, the rapping sections serve in place of the typical
verses. This serves two strong benefits to the song. For one, it definitely
brings “Spring Day” variety and creativity beyond just stylistic appeal. On a sonic level, for example, we find that
these rap sections are quite diverse: there are instances of faster, rigorous
pacing and also moments where the raps follow a more tranquil, rhythmic focus. Additionally,
the members’ execution—factors of flow, fluency, tone, tune, and so forth—remain
excellent. Furthermore on a structural level, because of how flexible rapping
can be with intensity compared to being confined to a typically more passive
state as are verses, “Spring Day” reaps the benefit of such by very much using
the raps for a majority of the song’s main transition points.

For
another aspect I wish to focus on, the bridge is very impressive—as noted by
its much higher rating. There are two main points that I will concisely cover
for why this is the case. The first point is that the bridge is quite suitable
both transitioning to but also out from. Admittedly the song in of
itself helps with this: consider how “Spring Day” progresses in a relatively
linear fashion, and that all shifts are with minimal fluctuations. After all,
it is not as if a transition from the pre-chorus to chorus leads us to a chorus
that is utterly transformed and upbeat. Thus, with the song already naturally
being a tight form, this aids with the bridge’s placement. But even so, it
should still be appreciated that the bridge is not inserted as an awkward point
but that its entry was soothed in by V’s stunning vocal belting and that the
follow-up afterwards was a direct return to the song’s concluding chorus. Finally,
the second point has already been touched upon: V’s singing there worked out
exceptionally well. Aurally, the vocal belting along with the lower vocal range
ends up complementing the bridge’s intended style, and as already discussed,
said vocal belting allows the bridge to be eased into smoothly.

Lastly,
for perhaps the remaining major praise worth pointing out, the instrumental is
fascinating. In a majority of other songs, I would most likely have found this
type of instrumental to be quite detrimental, and yet in “Spring Day” this type
of instrumental becomes one of its strongest assets. Specifically, I am
referring to how this instrumental “de-syncs” from rest of the song; a simple
example is to listen to the choruses and notice that the instrumental does not
perfectly mesh with the intensity of the vocals. Even more noticeably is that the
beats are not based on the vocals at all but instead are based on its own
rhythm and timings. In other words, this “de-sync”  or “off-sync” that in many cases would
oftentimes be hindering to a song as it overly shifts focus to an
indeterminable point is surprisingly helpful to the song. But why? I argue “Spring
Day” is an exception if we focus on how the vocals work in the song: focused on
being slower and “heavier” in presence—this we find by how “breathy” the vocals
can be. Thus, the instrumental ends up fitting and even benefiting the song as it
is able to replicate that pulsing, heavier style—even if, overall, the
instrumental is following its own pacing and emphasized points.

All
that said, the song still has a few weaknesses that should not be entirely
overlooked—though for the most part, admittedly they “can” be given that the
other aspects compensate. For example, the choruses, I argue, are the song’s
weakest sections and overall even aspect. The choruses have the issue of simply
dragging on far too excessively and thus, this creates a stagnant, duller flow.
We can hone in on this problem in two ways. One is we can first understand the
issues at play with the instrumental and vocals: both run in a linear fashion
and both are emulating similar styles with emphasizing heavier, pulsing moments.
The other way we can find that the choruses are too dragged is considering how
the choruses’ inner shifts—in other words, the latter half of them—are for the
most part merely time extensions to the choruses themselves. In clearer terms:
there truly are minimal changes in the choruses. That said, to return to the
instrumental being a benefit, this is where it comes into effect: given that
the instrumental and vocals—despite sharing stylistic similarities—are actually
not following the exact same path and flow, there is at least some variety
occurring. Nevertheless, the choruses are susceptible to a monotonous sound.

Regarding
another weaker aspect, the pre-choruses would be the next problem. These
sections are in a peculiar case: certainly they do their roles of transitioning
the song—this being signified with the typical hastening of beats—but the main
problem is that these sections are negligible in terms of actually providing
the song something beyond just a transitional tool. Overall, the pre-choruses sound
nothing more than an “earlier” extension of the choruses, and this is
incredibly problematic considering that the choruses are already struggling
with sounding too mundane and lengthy.

All
in all, however, “Spring Day” is still a rather solid song. The composition
involved—particularly with the unique usages of the raps—is excellent, and of
course, the members’ vocal contributions are excellent as well. Indeed: BTS can
handle “softer” songs as much as they can handle their usual powerful, stronger
and upbeat songs. While this song is still far from flawless as the choruses
really do begin sounding far appealing over various playbacks, I personally do
assert this is BTS’ best song as of yet.

_______________________________________________________

To
the requester, once again huge apologies for not finishing this up many weeks
ago. Thank you for both sending this in and for being very patient. I hope this
review will be worth the wait and that most importantly, it sparks an ongoing discussion
about the song and that it promotes thinking of songs in a more critical
fashion.

For
upcoming reviews, readers can look forward to the long awaited review on TWICE’s
“Knock Knock”—a song that I argue has been brilliantly composed and is one of
the most “efficient” and “accommodating” songs I have heard—and afterwards two
requests: HIGH4’s “Love Line” and a return to the past with EXO’s “Call Me
Baby.” Unfortunately “Time is so cruel” so it will take a while to get all
these reviews out, but I hope readers look forward to them.

BTS – “Dead Leaves” Review

(Audio—unofficial
upload)

BTS – Dead Leaves

Reviewed
on February 27, 2016

Nevertheless,
although many fans might desire to praise and cherish the song on the basis of
it being unique—which, again, I do not disagree with nor do I find these
“unworthy” qualities as it is
important to have distinguishable songs from the hundreds of thousands (Korean)
pop songs—I disagree with praising the song in this way. In fact, I struggle to
praise the quality of the song in general; certainly the song is by no  means utterly weak, but I will argue that if
we look beyond uniqueness we will find that “Dead Leaves” is a rather plain,
negligible song.

Personal Message:
First of all, thank you so much to
the requester of this review for sending this in. It has been multiple weeks
since I actually received the request, so my sincere apologies for this delay.
Although the following is no way to excuse myself, I hope to clarify the delay
is because I have been quite busy and not neglecting the request. For other
news, if I am on track I hope to equally post another review request that also
involves BTS. Afterwards, I plan to wrap up the shorter month of February with
TWICE’s “Knock Knock”—a song that I am finding as my current favorite song of
all-time and one that is excellently efficient and accommodating in its
composition for TWICE’s weaker vocals. But we will save that discussion for
when it is appropriate.

To address this current review’s
link, I am using an unofficial YouTube upload. For basically what this means,
for future readers reading this three years from now—which, now thinking of
such, is definitely a bizarre yet intriguing thought—the link might no longer
work because of copyright issues or because the uploader removed her/his video.
As such, should this be the case—whether three years from now or somehow in a
few months—then manually searching for the song will have to be done.

Addressing one last technical point,
as mentioned earlier, due to also wanting to finish another request, this
review will perhaps be shorter than usual and I might opt to skip over some
details. (A prime example would be not discussing why I rated the lyrics as is—though
this will not be the case for this particular review.) Moreover, I also plan to
focus on key concepts rather than all of the minute details. I hope this all
works out so that the review is brisk yet thought-provoking to read, and so
that I can also review “Spring Day” in time.

Finally discussing the song itself,
“Dead Leaves” is—in terms of its breakdown—incredibly different from a majority
of other songs reviewed before. The song itself is not necessarily the
strongest I have heard nor is its structural composition any better. However,
in terms of its lyrics and its flow, both of these aspects are definitely
unique compared to many other pop songs—and with the lyrics specifically, it
scores incredibly well. Nevertheless, although many fans might desire to praise
and cherish the song on the basis of it being unique—which, again, I do not
disagree with nor do I find these “unworthy” qualities as it is important to have distinguishable
songs from the hundreds of thousands (Korean) pop songs—I disagree with
praising the song in this way. In fact, I struggle to praise the quality of the
song in general; certainly the song is by no
means utterly weak, but I will argue that if we look beyond uniqueness
we will find that “Dead Leaves” is a rather plain, negligible song.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(5.75/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 6/10


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

Introduction, Verse,
Rap, Chorus, Verse, Rap, Chorus, Bridge, Rap, Chorus, Conclusion

1.     Introduction:
5/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Rap: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 3/10

5.     Bridge: 4/10

6.     Conclusion: 6/10


Instrumental: 4/10


Lyrics: 8/10

[Instrumental introduction]

Like those dead leaves there
that have fallen and are flying
My love is collapsing without strength
Your heart is only going further away
I can’t grab you
I can’t grab you any more, more, more
I can’t hold on longer, yeah

Over there,
the autumn leaves that look like they’re at stake
It seems like they’re looking at us
If our hands touch, even if it’s all at once
it only seems like it’s going to be crumbs
I just only looked with the winds of autumn
The speech and facial expressions that have gotten
colder all of a sudden
I can only see our relationship withering
Like the autumn sky, it’s empty between us
An ambiguous difference that is different from before
A night that’s much more quiet today
A single autumn leaf that’s attached to the branch
It’s breaking, I can see the thing called “the end”
The dead leaves that are becoming shriveled
The silence inside your aloof heart
Please don’t fall
Please don’t fall, the dead leaf that’s becoming crumbs

I want you who makes eye contact with me
I want you who wants me again
Please don’t fall
Please don’t collapse
Never never fall
Don’t go far far away
Baby you girl I can’t hold onto you
Baby you girl I can’t give up on you
Like the dead leaves that fell
This love, like the dead leaves
Never never fall
It’s withering

As if every autumn leaf has fallen
As if everything that seemed eternal
is going further away
You’re my fifth season
Because even if I try to see you, I can’t
Look, to me, you’re still green

Even if our hearts aren’t walking, it walks by itself
Our foolishness, like laundry, is being hung piece by piece
Only the bright memories are dirty
It falls on me
Even if I don’t shake my branch, it keeps falling
That’s right, in order to raise my love, it falls
Even if we’re close, my two eyes become further,
spreads further
Like this, being thrown out
Inside my memories, I become young again

Never never fall yeah
Never never fall yeah
I want you who makes eye contact with me
I want you who wants me again
Please don’t fall
Please don’t collapse
Never never fall
Don’t go far far away

Why, can I still not give up on you?
I hold onto the withered memories
Is it greed?
The lost seasons I try to restore,
I try to restore them

Blaze them brightly, flare
It was all pretty, wasn’t it?
Our pathroads
But it all withered
The dead leaves fall down like tears
The wind blows and everything drifts apart all day
The rain pours and shatters
Until the last leaf
You you you

I want you who makes eye contact with me
I want you who wants me again
Please don’t fall
Please don’t collapse
Never never fall
Don’t go far far away
Baby you girl I can’t hold onto you
Baby you girl I can’t give up on you
Like the dead leaves that fell
This love, like the dead leaves
Never never fall
It’s withering

Never never fall
Never never fall

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: To
begin this review, we first need to understand the song’s current strengths.
After all, it scores at a six which is quite decent despite my harsher,
critical remarks that “Dead Leaves” is supposedly a plain and forgetful song.

As
discussed earlier, the song’s uniqueness does help its ratings—and more
specifically, that uniqueness exists in the lyrics of which I consider an
appropriate category for a song to be judged in. For why the lyrics score
incredibly well—and readers should realize an eight for lyrics is incredibly
rare and only two other songs on this blog have earned such—the details are
phenomenal. Even if the plot itself is nothing too spectacular as it is a
romantic-related (or more accurately, a not-so-romantic one as it involves a
breakup) topic and thus, is far from unique, the details truly make the song
become a miniature story.

For
example, with the first rap, we come into details that are not repeated or are
cliché as oftentimes is the case with pop music. Unlike lyrics that follow
extreme simplicity such as “Our love is going away / My heart hurts every day”
(I made up these lines; if I end up quoting an actual song, it is by pure
coincidence), the first rap instead brings out an entirely fleshed scenario and
description of the protagonist’s feelings. This occurs at other moments in the
song, and even the choruses are still building off the main story versus spewing
lines that are not specifically rooted in an individual, creative plot. This
incredible level of details in the lyrics is why I have given it an eight. It
is like a story; and for me to be able to claim such—even if, yes, the story
itself is not necessarily amazing in of itself—the very fact that it comes off
as one versus “regular, generic pop lyrics” is praiseworthy.

Another
aspect that is the song’s strength—though it is one that is not quite scored
and thus unable to directly aid the song’s rating—is that the style involved is
different from many other pop songs. Although many might disagree, I believe it
is still important for songs—especially in pop as there are a plethora of songs
existing—to have a distinguishing, creative style that is heard in either
aurally or structurally (or even both). In “Dead Leaves,” what makes its style
unique is how it flows: the song focuses on slower build up that, once it
reaches its climax (the choruses—as is oftentimes the case), the release from
there is orientated towards slower, wave-like progression versus the expected
and typical style of merely streaming out the climax.

Let
us use some examples since what I am discussing is incredibly abstract. In BTS’
“I Need U,” we find that the chorus flows out rather fluently and directly: the
chorus occurs and it simply continues off the song. In fact, it is hardly
thought that a song’s climactic piece would run anything but as a fluent stream. However, in “Dead Leaves,” this is not the
case as the choruses is frequently chunked up and therefore carries subtle
pauses, and furthermore the choruses are quite lengthy and dragged on versus
occurring in a somewhat hastier fashion so that the song can easily “reset”
back to its build up form. (And for another random note, pop songs run in what
is called a “binary” form because of this very reason; there is oftentimes a
“cycle” of going from “A” to “B” and back to “A” and the cycle begins again—and
hence “binary” as there are two main portions. But this is getting far too
technical and further abstract and is definitely not a part of the discussion
for “Dead Leaves.”)

Returning
to the main reason for all this lengthy explanation, I mention this all to
explain that the song very much sounds unique. Seldom do pop songs follow this
type of flow and, with the “binary” form of pop music (which I attempted to
explain), it is definitely interesting to hear “Dead Leaves” have its own style
to the binary format.

All
that said, while creativity is welcomed and is arguably necessary for a
group/soloist to survive—and by “survive” I merely mean “stay relevant” because
I love being dramatic—in the K-Pop scene, this does not mean a song is
automatically good. In other words, just
because a song sounds different does not mean it is therefore a strong song; this
will ultimately be the driving idea behind this current review. If a listener
hears a very different song and then uses that as her claim for why the song is
good, it is an incredibly weak argument. Equally said, it is also a weak
argument to critique a song for “sounding generic” on the sole basis of that.
For example, in the past I have claimed some songs sounded awfully generic and
typical, but I then (or at least I hope) went on to explain why it sounds generic and why sounding
generic in that song’s particular case
is bad. If nothing else is gleaned from this review, I do hope readers
understand these crucial points: never discuss and critique music quality
purely on sounding “different” or “similar” to other songs. Instead—as I will
do with TWICE’s “Knock Knock,” a very
generic pop song—it is about looking at the composition and production involved
and then deciding whether a song is good or not (and of which there is no right
answer as music is all subjective).

With
all that in mind, let us now discuss what I do find weak in “Dead Leaves.” To
save time and to not bore readers with robotically breaking down each aspect to
the song, I wish to instead hone in on one section: the choruses. As much as I
admire the creativity involved in general but more specifically the choruses, I
find that the composition sacrificed efficiency and even quality just for “Dead
Leaves” to be deemed “creative” or “unique” within the context of its chorus
and overall flow. What remains most troubling is how excessively dragged the
choruses sound. For example, as already partially discussed above, the choruses
do not just run through and carry on the song; rather, the choruses contain
frequent pauses and, to describe its flow, it is akin to waves: pushing out
hard, receding a little, and then pushing out hard once again and repeating
this.

Now,
this composition decision is not just for the sake of creativity and I do wish
to clarify that. A musical benefit that comes from this approach is that the
vocals are granted additional chances to showcase minimal beltings—this being a
pleasing aspect to BTS’ vocals in this song. Nonetheless, this main benefit is still
questionable: doing such comes at the expense at making the vocals and
instrumental sound “stretched.” To explain what I mean, the choruses’ ending
time should be much shorter than they currently are. Especially with
considering the second half of the choruses, this portion of the choruses are
not necessary per se and I argue this additionally, length-dragging aspect only
creates a more rigid, awkward “recycling”—going back to the following verse’s
calmer state—when in many ways the song have done that transition without
needing the excessive dragging manner. And with this, besides structurally
lowering the choruses’ ratings, this section’s instrumental is also in of
itself poorly executed because it very much amplifies the problem and indeed, a
lowering instrumental rating can be quite detrimental.

Ultimately,
“Dead Leaves” does score decently but we have to be critical: is the decent
rating because in an aesthetical sense the song is solid—in other words,
gauging its lyrics and uniqueness—or is, despite the given rating, the song in
a musical sense is actually slightly weaker? Readers can tell, I personally
argue for the latter: “Dead Leaves” struggles with its composition and thus it
renders as a bit too stretched during its choruses. Again, I do wish to
highlight and praise the creativeness involved and for the risk taken with the song’s
composition, but with being a critical, active listener I cannot help but bring
up the song’s significant flaws.

But
of course, readers have to be remember this is all my opinions; I do not state these points to bash BTS or their song,
but I instead wish to begin a discussion that I hope fans and listeners can
build upon whether through disagreeing with me, agreeing with me, or a
combination of both. That is why music is reviewed: for the intellectual,
mature, and respectful discussions. No one reads music reviews because they
want a reviewer to form an opinion for them; after all, it only takes perhaps
seven playbacks of a song for one to get a firm grasp on what their take is. Indeed,
people read music reviews because they want to have various insights—perhaps even
insights that would completely conflict with what they think of a song. That is
the goal of my review, and I very much mention this as I understand there will
be fans who are upset at my words even if statistically the song manages to
score decently.

_______________________________________________________

I
feel incredibly guilty for this request being delayed for so long. Since it is
later at night that I am finishing this one, the request for BTS’ “Spring Day”
will instead come out tomorrow or in a few more days. I am getting slightly less
busy, but I do still have school tasks to handle and thus might be unexpectedly
busy. (Examples include group projects, essays, and preparing my third lesson
for seventh graders—the latter being something I am excited for.) But
admittedly I have been spending much time watching TWICE videos instead of
finishing up priorities, such as a theology essay, but that is beside the point—I
mean, “So what?” as Momo says. And “so what” if the ladies are all incredibly
gorgeous—physically and non-physically—and can still look flawless with minimal
makeup on while if I do the same I still look like I have not slept in weeks.

Jokes
and TWICE references aside, thank you to all for reading this review whether in
full or skimmed. Thank you so much to the requester once again for sending this
in and for being patient. “Spring Day” by BTS will be next for review, and
afterwards, I will finish up the month with TWICE’s “Knock Knock” and begin
March with another new review request. Make sure you “Don’t go far far away.”

BTS – “Blood Sweat & Tears” Review

(Music Video) / (Live Performance) / (Audio;
unofficial upload)

BTS (Bangtan Boys) – Blood
Sweat & Tears

Reviewed
on October 16, 2016

The main hesitation, then, for why the
vocals are rated at a six and not quite a seven is due to one section in
particular: the choruses. These sections contain useless fillers. From a vocal
standpoint, the singing—or more accurately, mere speaking—of the choruses, and
of which are already vocally overly tedious, ruin the balance of “BST” ‘s
calmer, passive vocals.

Personal Message:
I am finally on break for one week,
and indeed getting away from university (though I still have much homework) is
delightful due to rest. With that, besides catching up on finally relaxing, I
will equally be catching up on reviews. I hope to finish at least three within
the week.

Regarding this review, first of all:
thank you to the requester for sending this in. It has been a while since the
prior request, and furthermore I am glad to receive a request on a song that
many fans are interested in. In fact, given that BTS is definitely one of the
more popular groups—and rightfully so after watching their performance of
“Blood Sweat & Tears”—this is the first time where I feel heavily burdened
to review a song: both with finishing it in a timely fashion, but more importantly
with actually bringing justice to the review itself. Nevertheless, even if this
review will gain a larger viewership due to it involving BTS, I will still be
“objectively subjective”; in other words, I will still review the song as I
deem fit and not be pressured to sway it into a good rating for the purpose of
fans. Optimistically, though, no pressuring is necessary: I foresee “Blood
Sweat & Tears” (and of which will be abbreviated as “BST” from here on for
convenience) scoring decently. However, do I confidently claim it is a strong
song per se and one of the better ones I have heard? Sadly, no amount of blood,
sweat, or tears would convince me of that.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.25/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 6/10
(5.67/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction
(Pre-Chorus/Chorus): 7/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 4/10

5.     Bridge: 5/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 7/10

My blood, sweat and tears
Take away my last dance
My blood, sweat and tears
Take away my cold breath
My blood, sweat and tears

Even my blood, sweat and tears
Even my body, heart and soul
I know that it’s all yours
This is a spell that’ll punish me
Peaches and cream
Sweeter than sweet
Chocolate cheeks and chocolate wings
But your wings are wings of the Devil’s
In front of your sweet is bitter, bitter
Kiss me, I don’t care if it hurts
Hurry and choke me
so I can’t hurt any more
Baby, I don’t care if you get drunk
I’ll drink you in now
Your whiskey, deep into my throat

My blood, sweat and tears
Take away my last dance
My blood, sweat and tears
Take away my cold breath

I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot

I don’t care if it hurts, tie me up
So I can’t run away
Grab me tightly and shake me
So I can’t snap out of it
Kiss me on the lips, lips
Our own little secret
I want to be addicted to your prison
So I can’t serve anyone that’s not you
Even though I know,
I drink the poisonous Holy Grail

My blood, sweat and tears
Take away my last dance
My blood, sweat and tears
Take away my cold breath

I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot

Kill me softly
Close my eyes with your touch
I can’t even reject you anyway
I can’t run away anymore
You’re too sweet, too sweet
Because you’re too sweet

My blood, sweat and tears
My blood, sweat and tears

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: As
readers can tell, “BST” does score at a six—and that is not a bad score at all.
Perhaps the best summary of this song is that it is a rather balanced one;
there are no extreme points in the song—musically and statistically. Every
aspect of the song relates to one another and thus, the outcome is a very cohesive
song. With this in mind, then, this review will focus not necessarily on critiquing
the weak points of the song; instead, the focus will be on why “BST” is not as strong as it could have been.

Beginning,
though, with a category the song excels in, the lyrics are phenomenal. Whether
the following words are accurate or not, I feel as if recent reviewed songs
have only been average with their lyrics. Furthermore, even other songs I have
been listening to as of the late seem dull in their lyrical content. However
when it comes to “BST,” the lyrics do not just meet my review standards—in specific,
containing a variety of details and delivering a creative, distinctive plot or
message—but they in fact exceed them. For example at each verse, not only are
they separate from every other section, but within the verses the given details
are incredibly thorough and complex. Moreover, even with moments of somewhat
repetitive lines—a key example being “My blood, sweat, and tears”—a higher
level of complexity still exists. It is not as if BTS is chanting, for a random
example, “My blood, blood, blood” or, even worse, “La la la la” (though
exceptions do exist when this is permissible); rather, this repeated phrase in
particular is one that is crucial to the lyrics’ overarching plot.

And
on that note, the lyrics’ plot is very unique—though in particular, the delivery of the plot. In truth, the plot
itself is not necessarily exclusive: it is of a main character who is trapped
in an implicitly abusive relationship. Though the plot topic is rather unnerving
and even disturbing, other (pop) songs have very much introduced this before
and therefore, it is not utterly new. Nevertheless, as mentioned, the delivery
of this very plot is where “BST” ‘s lyrics shine: the verses and bridge are
prime examples. At most for a critique—and for what arguably very much limits
the song in a musical sense as we will discuss—the choruses’ lyrics are rather
mediocre. It is unfortunately a repeated line that is no better than “La la la”
and the like. But given how the rest of it compensates over, a seven is still
in place.

Turning
our attention now to the more important aspects of the song, as hinted at in
the last paragraph, the current choruses in this song are “BST” ‘s weakest
point. I would boldly argue that if a certain modification were made to them, the
song might have actually scored a seven—or at least, the vocals and sections
would have. What change would I suggest? Before going there, let me first explain
why the scores are as is.

When
it comes to BTS’ vocals, I very appreciate this song being a solid example of
how decent singing does not equate to amazing note holds, constant vocal
beltings, or having complicated and rigorous tunes. BTS’ singing (and rapping
if one renders the verses as raps) focuses less on power and intensity and
instead prioritizes tune—but even so, it is in a simpler form. Essentially, the
pre-choruses’ are the most complex and intensive forms of singing—and indeed,
the vocals are quite delightful there. However, even if the verses for example
are less strenuous, the vocals there are still adequate as the focus becomes on
rhythm and flow—akin to rapping. (And once again, perhaps the verses are actually
more accurately labeled as the song’s raps.) The main hesitation, then, for why
the vocals are rated at a six and not quite a seven is due to one section in
particular: the choruses. These sections contain useless fillers. From a vocal
standpoint, the singing—or more accurately, mere speaking—of the choruses, and
of which are already vocally overly tedious, ruin the balance of “BST” ‘s
calmer, passive vocals. A mixture of harsh and tuneless lines are added when,
most likely, the removal of vocals during the choruses have been much more
desirable and maintain the vocals’ existing strengths.

Continuing
on with the topic of “BST” ‘s choruses, they also prove problematic when focusing
on the sections themselves. First, though, it should be clarified that the
sections are overall solid. The verses and pre-choruses, for examples, fulfill
their roles of progressing the song all while maintaining sonic appeal. Likewise,
the conclusion ends the song in a timely fashion, and in particular with the
introduction, this section is fantastic and, coincidentally, sets an example of
how the choruses should have been.

To
explain the introduction’s assets as its rating is remarkable (in comparison to
the rest, at least), its unique structuring of being both the pre-chorus and
chorus is already one point, but more critically let us examine why that structuring—the fact that it is
both the pre-chorus and chorus—is a benefit and beyond just the fact that it is
creative. For one, the pre-chorus’ form provides “BST” a hook: the vocals, as
discussed, are at their best form when it is the pre-chorus, and additionally,
the build-up of the pre-choruses—the crescendo if we wish to be technical—is effective
at just that. In other words, the crescendo creates a sense of anticipation;
the build-up makes listeners desire to hear what the song climaxes to—even if
it is at the very beginning of the song. If we are considering the role of the introduction
is to create that hook, the introduction does that perfectly. Moreover, though,
we must consider what including a short, pure instrumental chorus in the
introduction does: it satisfies the “climax” listeners automatically search for
without entirely leaking the true climaxes and it provides a seamless
transition into the song itself. Regarding the latter, specifically without
that transition point in the introduction, besides an abrupt entry into the
first verse, the crescendo would have been left unresolved, and given that the
next chorus does not arrive until a while, that would have too excessive of a
delay.

Now
returning to weaker points of the sections, the choruses, once again, are at
fault. Being exact, the added vocals are simply the main issue. Vocally, it remains
lacking as already discussed, but on a structural level, that insufficiency—the
fact that the vocals lack during the choruses—is now a further problem for the
section itself: the choruses, being dull and repetitive, defeat the supposed
climactic point of the song. “BST” does a fabulous job at progressing the song
to its core point, but that very point—the chorus—comes short by a large
amount. It is this that causes the choruses to be structurally weak, but more
drastically, the song in whole is now impaired by it. After all, if the
supposed climax of a song comes off as not
a climactic point, is that not disappointing?

Miraculously,
however, “BST” in its entirety still holds strong at a six. If the choruses
were less repetitive and stale in their format—perhaps by entirely removing the
vocals that occur during these sections—then everything else might have
potentially been augmented. As is, though, “BST” is a decent song but its
choruses are ones that very much limit its potential from going beyond its
current state. Overall, yes “BST” is slightly above average, but is it anything
more? As I have argued in this review, because of the choruses, the answer to
that question is a no: the vocals, sections, and overall progression of the
song are held back by the choruses. All in all, even if this critique on “BST”
is considered overly harsh, we must all still bear in mind the song is still decent. The lyrics are
brilliant, and of course, the vocals, sections, and instrumental are decent—the
problem is just that more could have
been obtained. I personally consider “I Need U” the best release from BTS so
far, but indeed I can agree “Blood Sweat & Tears” is still admirable and is
definitely not a disappointing comeback in any form.

_______________________________________________________

Two
more reviews are definitely to come by this week: Hyuna’s “How’s This?” and,
for a new artist to be reviewed on the blog, SHINee’s “1 of 1.” Addressing this
current review, I do feel that I failed to bring a more insightful discussion
to “Blood Sweat & Tears.” With that, I apologize to fans who might have a
desired a very thorough analysis of every aspect to the song. Nonetheless, I
hope I was able to convey my main critiques and praises of the song. Of course,
though, private feedback is always desirable so if any reader has some input
please do share them. And as always, readers should feel free to disagree with
my points; I am from a professional and on top of that music is always
subjective.

For
next time, look forward to the mentioned two reviews to come. I plan to finish
them both by this week as I have a week off from university. Until then, “You’re
too sweet.” Thank you for reading this review—in full or skimmed—and for being
quite patient with this review. And thank you very much to the requester of
this review; without the request, I would have very likely missed this review,
so thank you from me and from fans.

Jimin x Xiumin – “Call You Bae” Review

Jimin x Xiumin – Call You Bae (Music Video)

Jimin (AOA) x Xiumin (EXO) – Call
You Bae

Reviewed
on March 6, 2016

Personal Message:
Before diving into this review, in
highlight of the prior one, congratulations to MAMAMOO for
their first music broadcast show win. I am so joyful and proud of them, and
admittedly even cried for the first time with watching a winning
announcement
. (I
think first, anyways; I’m admittedly a huge crybaby so I no longer can keep track.
And if correct, this is also the first time MAMAMOO has cried on camera.) 2016
for the ladies will definitely be a momentous year. They have worked incredibly
hard, and it is endearing to know that “You’re the Best” and MAMAMOO are finally
receiving the attention they have deserved. On topic, however: yes, I was quite
serious when I said I would be devoting my entire free time during spring break
to catching up on reviews. A few readers may be surprised to see a review so
soon, but I truly am following through with my goal by being as dedicated as,
perfectly timed, MAMAMOO are. (Nonetheless, this is a challenging task as I am also
balancing university homework and catching up on subtitling videos. In fact,
after this review, I will be attempting to subtitle the remaining parts to “FNC
Picnic At Night.”) Now, I did claim that Rainbow’s mini-album of “Prism” was to
be reviewed (and afterwards MAMAMOO’s album), but unfortunately I need more
time to brainstorm a new album review outline. Thus, in the meantime, I will
focus on another song to review: “Call You Bae” by AOA’s Jimin and EXO’s
Xiumin.

To confess, I was concerned that
many fans would oppose this song for various reasons (I will discuss this later),
but thankfully, that is not the case: “Call You Bae” is receiving an overwhelming
amount of positivity and support, and furthermore, so are both idols. The song and
music video are truly adorable, and Jimin and Xiumin delivered the romantic,
lovely concept very well. In fact, they delivered it too well: I am now
reconsidering that falling in love and marrying one day may be worth it.
Perhaps I may one day meet a special lady and as many readers know, that is guaranteed to happen as
the lady is SPICA’s Boa
 who proposes to me and wins my heart, and
with whom I will be able to have my first kiss with, akin to what “Call You
Bae” hints at. Excusing my romantic, delusional and naïve dreams, to transition
to a more solemn tone, I will clarify what I meant earlier with how I was
afraid that many fans would oppose this song. The opposition I had in mind is
not due to music: I was thinking of how occasional fans become overly defensive
of idols and will strongly oppose them being in a relationship—real or
fictional.

Though a sociological perspective is
always interesting in this regard (such as with seeing how gender influences
whether fans accept or reject an idol being in a relationship), on the simple layer,
respect has to take place. Idols are like any other human and deserve to be
respected for their decisions—unless of course their decision is an atrocious
one, such as harming someone. Otherwise, however, being supportive should be an
instinctual reaction when it comes to hearing of idol dating news and so forth,
or in “Call You Bae” ‘s case of supporting both Xiumin and Jimin working
together as a fictional couple. Thankfully, as mentioned, the two seem to be
very well supported for this work. After all, it does become ridiculous to hear
fans bashing, for a hypothetical and simple example, “Idol A” for simply
touching “Idol B” during a show. Showing respect is what matters, and in the
future case that SPICA’s Boa is dating a special someone, I would live up to my
own words: I would hunt
down the person she is dating; after finding them, I would kidnap them and hide
them in a closet; and once all of that is done, I will once again resume being
content knowing that my delusional, obsessive and immature behavior—though harmful
to Boa—will make her single and therefore will make me, her number one fan,
happy
 I would be very supportive and incredibly joyful for her, and
in no form be jealous. Right?

Bad comedy aside (and of course I do
respect Boa as a human; though I love self-deprecating myself with sharing how obsessed
I am with her, I would never do anything extreme), to focus on the review,
although I absolutely adore the concept, musically the same cannot be said.
Once the squeals and stuffed-penguin-squeezing are pushed away, I am afraid
that I am unwilling to call the song “Bae”—or so I biasedly claim.

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 5/10
(5.4/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Rap: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 4/10

4.     Chorus: 5/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 7/10

6.     Bridge: 4/10

7.     Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10

– Instrumental: 7/10


Line Distribution: 9/10

Jimin:
Rap 1, Rap 2 (Total: 2)

Xiumin:
Chorus 1, Chorus 2, Chorus 3 (Total: 3)

All:
Pre-Choruses, Post-Choruses, Bridge

Equal Value: 2.5 sections per member.  


Lyrics: 8/10

Baby I’m pretty young and wild and so fine
Can we just be “bae,” you and I
This awkward distance between us is making
it weird to walk together
Otherwise we’d be closer
You are taller than I am,
you see me as a kid, why, why?
You tell me to go home before 12
Mom and Dad went on a vacation
I’m hungry, want to eat chicken with me?

“Are you going to be like this to me?”
Even though I look young, I like you baby
From now on I’ll call you “bae” and not “oppa”*
Whatever
I want, to, call, you, bae!

Why are you like this today, making me excited
You look different from other days
You look much prettier today
Really, what’s up with you my baby?
My heart feels like it’s going to burst
Your smile makes it run faster

Sit closer, whatever it’s okay
You can’t hide it, I want to know more about you
I think it’s now, the atmosphere is good
It’s just the two of us, I want to kiss you

State of emergency, oppa is here
Take a deep breath, my heart is running fast
You look fancy, but not too fancy
I like that so much that it makes me laugh
You are shining and coming closer
The smell of soap is around my nose
I feel like I’m walking on clouds
State of emergency, just a kiss

“Are you going to be like this to me?”
Even though I look young, I like you baby
From now on I’ll call you “bae” and not “oppa”*
Whatever
I want, to, call, you, bae!

Why are you like this today, making me excited
You look different from other days
You look much prettier today
Really, what’s up with you my baby?
My heart feels like it’s going to burst
Your smile makes it run faster

Sit closer, whatever it’s okay
You can’t hide it, I want to know more about you
I think it’s now, the atmosphere is good
It’s just the two of us, I want to kiss you

When my eyes open, I think about you
Until I fall asleep, I think about you
When I’m hungry, I think about you
My oppa’s song, cue

Why are you like this today, making me excited
You look different from other days
You look much prettier today
Really, what’s up with you my baby?
My heart feels like it’s going to burst
Your smile makes it run faster

Sit closer, whatever it’s okay
You can’t hide it, I want to know more about you
I think it’s now, the atmosphere is good
It’s just the two of us, I want to kiss you

*“Oppa” is what females refer to older males as.

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

– Syncing: X/10

– Key Points: X/10

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Contrary to my personal stance, “Call You Bae” miraculously scores much higher
than anticipated. However, my initial opinion is still somewhat sound:
musically, the song is not the strongest even if enjoyable. But that said,
non-musically “Call You Bae” flourishes. The line distribution, for example, is
near perfect in this song—as expected as there are only two singers. Now technically
the song is indeed perfect; the sections cannot be any more evenly divided. But
as explained in past reviews, unless if the quantity of sections is exact—the same
and not just divided as much as possible—then a nine is the max possible.
Nonetheless, a nine is nothing to ignore. In this song’s case, the duo’s equal balance
of sections greatly aids in the Song Score holding well. Furthermore, the
lyrics are rather detailed, even if in the realm of romance—a very typical topic
for songs. Playfulness and flirtatiousness are unique factors to the lyrics,
and synthesizing those aspects with how the lyrics maintain an interesting dialogue
format and is overall diverse in details, a high score is granted.

Switching
focus to the musical component of the song, the instrumental remains admirable.
Contextually, if that term makes sense (I am referencing how the instrumental renders
in an overarching view), the gentler yet faster paced beats and tuneful piano
notes perfectly suit with the song’s flow and vocal style. Additionally, for moments
where the song does become energetic, the instrumental perfectly adapts and
continues providing “Call You Bae” its sweeter sound. Individually, the instrumental
also still holds well. All of the sounds involved are soothing and melodic, and
most notably, even if vocals are absent, the instrumental continues to prove its
appeal. In terms of where the song languishes, as noticed, the vocals and sections
are the weaker points: a six and five, respectively, are the scores—scores that
are much lower in comparison to the other ratings.

Before
discussing the vocals, however, I do wish to clarify one aspect: there is a
difference between critiquing a musical voice and a voice itself. The latter is
never permissible while the former is open. (And if readers wonder why a
musical voice is excused, there are multiple reasons. For one, musical voices,
be it in rap or singing, do tend to greatly deviate from normal conversational
voices. Take Sistar’s Hyorin as example. In singing, her voice becomes much
more sharp and clear, but if she is normally speaking, she possesses her iconic
deeper and huskier, raspy voice. As a result, because of the distinction, if I
critique her singing voice, it is critiquing her singing and not so much on how
she herself sounds. Secondly, a voice’s sound does have, obviously, significant
implications for how singing turns out. So, it cannot be avoided that voices
are critiqued, but it must be done so in a singing context as, once again, that
is critiquing a skill and not a personal, physical identity aspect.) If I
recall correctly, when I reviewed AOA’s “Like a Cat” mini-album, I did address this
topic as, sadly, Jimin does oftentimes face criticism for her voice—and I do
mean her voice itself. This is never warranted. To insult her voice would be to
insult her hair, skin complexion, eye color, and so forth: it is uncalled for
and everyone should be able to feel physically beautiful—be it visually or
sonically. Point is, although I will be critiquing her voice, I wish for
readers to know that it is in the context of music, and even more specifically,
in “Call You Bae.” (In “Heart Attack” for example, Jimin’s voice was one of her
strongest strengths.) No one’s voice or visual appearance should ever be a mark
for degrading and mockery.

With
that in mind, the vocals score is lowered not on part of Xiumin, but rather,
Jimin. In fact, if not for the gentleman, the vocals score would be seeing an
even lower rating. Xiumin’s singing as showcased in the choruses are
exceptionally tuneful and well controlled. There are no glaring issues with his
singing. In contrast, Jimin fails to show vocal maturity unless if in her rapping.
Her raps from a vocal standpoint are solid, but in for example the
pre-choruses, the vocal delivery is unpleasant. Jimin’s higher notes prove
unfitting to the section, and overall, are arguably excessive. Essentially, the
melody is fine but the pitch remains too high and therefore, vexing to
listeners. Worsening that, the transition point is questionable not only structurally
(as to discuss later), but also sonically: obnoxious one-syllables (or “words”
if looking at it from an English perspective) that are unappealing in a singing
context. Nevertheless, with the dual-singing post-choruses holding
exceptionally well and similarly Xiumin’s choruses and Jimin’s raps, the vocals
are not utterly doomed. This explains why despite the unattractive vocals at
the pre-choruses the score is still decent.

Now,
for the sections, many score averagely. The pre-choruses were previously
highlighted as being undesirable vocally, but simultaneously, they are also
undesirable for their format—specifically the chaotic transition point. As for
the others, staleness becomes an issue. For example, the choruses and raps,
though vocally delivered well, are too plain in structure. There are no unique
pacing and fluctuations, and though linearity is not inherently a flaw, “Call
You Bae” fails to address the issue of how the two sections become mundane over
time. If the raps were more lively and dynamic with flow for example, then the
issue of repetitiveness would be easily solved. Overall, the post-choruses hold
as the only strong section. What greatly benefits these sections is, as
mentioned, the dual singing involved: both Jimin and Xiumin sing, and this
creates a unique blend of tune and voices, and also, a distinctive point of how
individual singing (Jimin’s own raps and Xiumin’s own choruses) is combined
into one.

Overall,
though “Call You Bae” earns a seven, it has to be noted that it is
predominantly due to the non-musical side: the lyrics and line distribution.
Musically, mainly the instrumental fares well as the vocals are impaired by the
pre-choruses’ delivery, and with the sections, many are overly tedious. Though
the concept is cute and Xiumin’s singing vocals and Jimin’s rapping vocals
shine, “Call You Bae” is, despite its “above average” rating, not an alluring
song in terms of sound. The two deserve support and attention, but much
stronger songs will be hoped for in the future.

_______________________________________________________

This
review did end up much shorter than anticipated, but I cannot complain as I
will now be busy finishing up a book for my education class, and of course, to
finish subtitling “FNC Picnic At Night.” Tomorrow, I will be reviewing Rainbow’s
mini-album of “Prism,” and hopefully the new album review format is effective
and organized. As always, thank you for reading whether in full or skimmed.
Look forward to the upcoming two bonus album reviews: Rainbow’s “Prism” and
MAMAMOO’s “Melting.” I will continue preserving with the amount of tasks I have
since “your smile makes [my heart] run faster.” Stay tuned for more reviews
(and videos).

Choa (AOA) – “Flame” Review

Choa
– Flame (Music Video)

Choa (from AOA) –
Flame

Reviewed
on January 17, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


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

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 6/10

5.     Bridge: 5/10

6.     Conclusion: 6/10


Line Distribution: X/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 8/10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Syncing: X/10

– Key Points: X/10

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

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

AOA’s Mini-Album – “Heart Attack” Review

Reviewed on July 1, 2015

AOA (Ace of Angels) – “Heart Attack” Mini-Album

image

Personal Message: Pitifully, this review is being written on June 30, and thus, I will be attempting to finish this one in day. Optimistically, however, since, in the past, I have managed to complete a ten-page research paper in one session (six hours if correct) within three days of its due date, I am positive that I will be able finish this review on time as well (though on a serious note, for actual work, procrastinating is not recommended and I do regret doing so for the paper). Should the worst happen and I fail to finish this review in one day, at the very least, July will have a slight head start. I will be aiming for eight reviews once more for July, and considering it was the poorer start at June that caused the goal to not be met (and a slightly longer review outline), I am more confident on achieving the goal. Nevertheless, I do value quality over quantity, and thus, my personal goal is moreover to ensure reviews are consistently posted rather than it being the main priority.

To explain why this review is partially delayed, though I wish viable excuses did exist, in truth, I spent a few writing sessions watching videos and other leisure activities, not writing, as is the sessions’ purpose. But, for a general advice to readers, it genuinely is fine to have a day that is “unproductive”; there is no issue with spending some time simply relaxing. Assuming everything is in schedule and there are no pressing deadlines, everyone should find time to enjoy themselves.

Partially digressing with answering, for those curious, specifically what I was watching, AOA’s latest  reality show of “One Fine Day” and, for KARA’s Gyuri, “4 Things,” were the shows. Quickly addressing the shows, I have been thoroughly enjoying “One Fine Day.” Without revealing excessive details of the show for readers who are also watching it, I will leave a claim: Chanmi has taught me a valuable lesson on museum items and the idea of cautiousness. The show will be reviewed eventually, or perhaps, their prior reality show of “AOA Open Up,” which, as mentioned in the previous review on AOA’s “Heart Attack,” is poorly done. Swapping to “4 Things,” a show that gives insight on individual idols and their input towards their own profession, it would be difficult for me to leave a single, plain statement regarding KARA’s Gyuri attendance. In short, my respect towards her has escalated even more highly. Though it is saddening to know the physical and emotional damages brought to her by public scrutiny and a more subtle factor, her ability and decision to better herself in current times are incredibly admirable, and furthermore, for her to finally have sincere self-love, as I hope every reader does have, or if not, to at least be progressively working towards such.

Due to time, I will save this discussion for perhaps a future review, but in summary, no one should hate themselves, and if time permitted, I would explain why people do tend to loathe themselves. Adding in one more final point (and if “one more” is a lie, then this review will end up being posted on July 1), rather than many claiming the topic of “self-love” is merely one of a person’s own emotional health, I would differ by claiming that it is a social topic; a person is taught to hate themselves due to social factors, not simply due to “lacking confidence” or such. Being critical, seeking for why one “lacks confidence” or feels as if they are “ugly,” or “stupid,” and more, stems from, arguably, social layers, not an individual’s own feelings.

Using an example, it is not an individual’s fault for feeling “ugly” because their skin complexion fails to fit a socialized beauty norm that lighter skin is more pretty. This will be continued in a future review, and thus, for those interested in this topic, expect one of the upcoming reviews to talk of this in more depth. Now relating this to KARA’s Gyuri, she did consider herself ugly due to failing to fit a socialized image of beauty (and for the social layers, asking who developed said standards proves concerning, as will be explained in a future review), and thus, it is exceptionally frustrating and upsetting that her self-loathe was created not from her, but rather, social influences. Her beauty, physical and non-physical, was unseen, and equally, many are also incapable of seeing their own beauty (physical and non-physical) and self-worth due to those mentioned social aspects that, rather than accepting diversity, punishment to those who fail to fit occurs.

Abruptly switching back to the review before I endlessly continue the digression (though it truly is important to discuss and I will resume it at a later time), for AOA’s latest mini-album of “Heart Attack,” I will address the semi-new review outline: label revisions and additions. For one, I have scrapped “Vocals+Structure” for a more encapsulating term of “Analysis,” and furthermore, humorously, I have added the new category of “Atrocity Approval.” Before readers believe I am now arrogantly a licensure of songs, explaining the new addition, it is to allow album reviews to have some form of rating and to at least make readers grin at my lack of creativity. In past album reviews, I would deconstruct the songs, but absurdly, I would never leave an overall rating, and therefore, with the “Atrocity Approval” category, I will offer a firm, direct stance regarding a song. Numerical values would be used, but as those are reserved for individual songs, I will rely upon “yes” and “no” and added words.

Finally addressing the mini-album of “Heart Attack,” while AOA’s prior one of “Like a Cat” is, overall, superior, their current album still holds decently. Many songs are noteworthy, even if to a lesser extent than ones in “Like a Cat.” Also, for future readers, the linked audios are liable to copyright removal. Therefore, should that occur, manually searching up the songs will have to be done. That said, there is “One Thing” readers should know: I am “Really Really” thankful for the given support and time, and that I hope many readers “Come To Me” and “Luv Me” for my reviews, even if the writing is far from being as sweet as “Chocolate.” Lastly, I do hope no reader receives a “Heart Attack” from my overuse of puns unknown reasons.

__________________________________

1. “Heart Attack”Heart Attack (Review)

– Lyrics:

– Analysis:

– “Atrocity Approval”: As I have already reviewed the song, as linked above, I will not expand on it here. Nonetheless, if it is not blatant from the review, “Heart Attack” does earn its approval, both biasedly and neutrally (though a weaker approval for the latter according to the review’s values).

2. “Luv Me”Luv Me (Audio)

– Lyrics: Though “Heart Attack” still holds as my favorite song from the album, “Luv Me” is debatably the mini-album’s strongest song. Compared to “Heart Attack,” every category is improved, or at the very least, equal to the ones in “Heart Attack.” Specifically focusing on the lyrics, although many lines are repeated, unlike “Heart Attack,” the generated plot proves more detailed than merely one of comparing love to a heart attack. The lyrics in “Luv Me” are of a couple and their intimate moments. The two share, assumingly, a walk through a “complex city” and though it is a basic walk, the two discreetly flirt with one another: “Tell me how much you love me” and even “Shall we make love regardless of a person’s eyes” are spoken statements. Other details further build upon the idea of a flirtatious scenario.

– Analysis: In terms of how “Luv Me” holds from a musical standpoint, as stated, this can be considered the album’s best song. Every members’ singing or rapping shines, each section is solid, especially with the rap and the post-chorus (“Do you love me…”), and the instrumental is also delightful. Elaborating on an additional point, the progression of “Luv Me” remains extraordinary. Each section slides to the other seamlessly, and as a result, the song is able to consistently carry its melodic nature throughout its entirety. Exceptionally tuneful vocals and sections that aid one another are the song’s most prominent features that, in return, allow it to thrive.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Overall, with “Luv Me” showcasing a highly melodic, gentle and soothing style, it can deemed as a solid song. The vocals are to a higher tier, and with how the sections are conducted, “Luv Me” possesses a pleasing musical component that certainly gains the “Atrocity Approval.”

3. “Come To Me”Come To Me (Audio)

– Lyrics: As an opposite to “Luv Me,” if the emanated sadder tone of “Come To Me” is not clear, the lyrics will unequivocally showcase the song’s mood. “Come To Me” depicts not a main character who is in a relationship as in the prior song, but instead, a main character who feels lonely due to, depending on interpretation, breaking off a relationship or simply not being in one. Regardless, the main character wishes for her (though specifically as “her,” it can also be “his”) lover to “come here anytime” and to “stop being over over there.” After all, she is “tired of waiting for [a love-interest] and [she’s] going crazy.”

– Analysis: Repetition seems to be favored by “Come To Me” as seen by a plethora of examples: the lines of “I won’t give give a dang” and “stop being over over there,” the dreaded post-choruses of “lalala,” and even the verses with reusing similar background vocals. Though repetition can be potent in certain scenarios, for “Come To Me,” with practically every section possessing some form of duplicating style, it becomes incredibly draining. Furthermore, focusing on the mechanical aspect of how the song sounds, the vocals are not impressive due to lacking variety, though individually the singing is still adequate. At most, Jimin and Chanmi’s rapping excel, but for the remaining vocals, as mentioned, the singing falters from lacking diversity. The sole positive point of “Come To Me” is perhaps the darker tone, and thus, for how the concept translates musically, it does allow a more slower, dramatic tune.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Sadly, “Come To Me” fails to be appealing. Although this may be AOA’s first attempt at a more heavy, darker concept, it does hold as disappointing. No “approval” will be given.

4. “One Thing”One Thing (Audio)

– Lyrics: “One Thing” is neither a flirtatious plot, like in “Luv Me,” or one of a more ominous, controlling tone, as was “Come To Me,” instead, it combines the two prior songs: “One Thing” showcases a main character who, though now split with their love-interest, is kindly asking for their love-interest to give them one more chance, one more day, hence its title of “One Thing,” a single wish. More specifically with the story, a main character urges her/his former partner to “give [them] one more day” so that, perhaps, they would be able to “hold [the love-interest], even if it wouldn’t work” in terms of saving the relationship. With the love-interest still leaving as, interestingly, “certainly the wrong is from [the main character]” since the love-interest is “so kind,” the main character relies upon an equally “lonely candle” for “[calming] down.” Additionally, for further saddening details, the main character “can’t eat even tiny food” and their tears “won’t stop…all night.” Eventually, however, a more cheerful ending does take place as, while the relationship is forever absent, the main character has moved on: “My heart is broken, like I’m dead, and I don’t want it, but I must forget you and let you leave.”

– Analysis: While I do adore the lyrics, in the sense of details and plot that is, and not enjoyment of the couple’s suffering, the sonic component to “One Thing” slightly lacks. Vocally, the song does reside more highly as strong, melodic singing is in place, and furthermore, the upbeat yet consistent instrumental is also decent, but despite these two factors, “One Thing” heavily lacks with being dynamic. The song flows in a linear route, and from such, despite the decent given musical aspects, it does lose much appeal over time. “One Thing” has much potential, but without some additional changes to the song, it sounds as its title: one thing.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Though I do enjoy this song for its rhythmic flow, with an unbiased perspective, this song does not earn the “Atrocity Approval” as it remains highly stagnant.

5. “Really Really” Really Really (Audio)

– Lyrics: Intriguingly, though at the face of the mini-album is a very joyful plot, as given by “Heart Attack,” after “Luv Me,” sadder plots seem to be the trend. “Really Really,” as explicitly given by Yuna’s English introduction, discloses a story of, once again, a broken relationship. The main character, a woman or man, “[misses] [the love-interest] so much.” In fact, she/he continues to “sing this song,” of which can be implied as one of sorrow. Explaining the title, it derives from the choruses’ lines: “I really like you, I really really love you” and “I really miss you…I really need you.” Without the love-interest, the main character’s world has become “so dark and lonely.”  

– Analysis: With “Really Really” holding as the ballad for their album, unfortunately, it does render as unsatisfying. Especially in juxtaposition to their previous ballad of “Time,” a very noteworthy and fabulous ballad, “Really Really” fails to display any of the members’ prior charms. Though the vocals and instrumental are pacifying, and in many aspects, gentle, the ballad, though suiting its genre, fails to bring any distinctive qualities. The singing, while harmonious, especially with the scattered note stretches and even note holds, still rates moreover as average. If varying traces were brought, such as changes in pacings or if sections were more distinctive from each other, then “Really Really” would vastly improve. However, with its current state, besides the trend of gloomy plots, “Really Really” contributes to the musical trend of dullness.

– “Atrocity Approval”: No “approval” will be given. Unlike “Time,” this ballad does fall short. Stronger vocals or a more upbeat demeanor are not necessary traits that “Really Really” needs, but rather, more variety within its style of calmness is what is crucial.

6. “Chocolate” Chocolate (Audio)

– Lyrics: For a change, “Chocolate” showcases lyrics that are not of general flirting or breakups, but instead, a scoped plot of a main character flirting with her love-interest. Before expanding on the lyrics, for a slight digression, the lyrics in “Chocolate” are the first ones to have ever induced goosebumps; with “Chocolate” alluding to many of their prior releases, such as Jimin’s final rap in the show “Unpretty Rapstar,” AOA’s “Miniskirt,” “Short Hair,” “Like a Cat,” and even “Confused,” in a highly subtle manner, I personally will claim I received goosebumps.

Ignoring my sillier reaction, the story in “Chocolate” involves, jocularly put, the main character, otherwise known as “the motherfreakin’ top madam” who, though known as a “bully that reduced men’s heart,” is willing to “do anything” for her love-interest. Considering her “schedule is very tight, 24/7,” such an offer proves how significant the main character’s love-interest is to her. Ignoring the lyrics’ allusion to Jimin’s rap of “Puss” (a future review may discuss it, both musically and in terms of its lyrics; in short, the rap is decent, and for the lyrics, from my interpretation, while I see it as empowering in its context, it could also be derogatory from other perspectives), for the “sweet chocolate” side to the main character, she labels herself as “sexy chocolate” and “the sweetest chocolate only for [the love-interest].” Other details do exist, though it is all akin to flirting, such as desiring to “pinch” the love-interest for his “cute” appearance.

– Analysis: Focusing on “Chocolate” from a sonic lens, though there is an exceptionally smooth style to it, the song does lean towards being stale. The vocals, while pleasing due to the lower pitch and pacing, never deviate except for Jimin’s rapping, and therefore, the occurred singing does falter over time. Furthermore, the instrumental is also relatively plain, even if it contributes to the calmer, smooth tune. Also, for another issue, the transition into the second verse was poorly conducted: the sudden pause in the song, and additionally, the absurd placement of the background vocals (the male voice) during the transition were not enticing. Though it proved viable, it was a highly inefficient method. Overall, while “Chocolate” succeeds in the sense of being a smooth ballad, if the genre label holds accurate, it does fail in categories of being appealing. Even with its style, more variety could be implemented without sacrificing “Chocolate” ‘s overarching concept.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Though I do biasedly enjoy the song for its incredibly smooth attributes, it will not receive the “Atrocity Approval” due to how lackluster its traits are.

__________________________________

Personal Ranking:

With every song in the mini-album being covered at its surface, I will now leave my personal ranking of the songs, from best to worst, and also, whether it has a positive rating via an “approval”:

1. “Luv Me” (Yes)

2. “Heart Attack” (Yes)

3. “One Thing” (No)

4. “Come To Me” (No)

5. “Chocolate” (No)

6. “Really Really” (No)

__________________________________

With, very shockingly, solely one-third of the mini-album being “approved,” it does indicate AOA’s album of “Heart Attack” is on the weaker side, especially when glancing at their prior album of “Like a Cat” where nearly, if not every, song was deemed worthy. Nevertheless, with two fantastic songs of “Heart Attack” and “Luv Me,” the weaker songs are compensated for, but overall, the latest mini-album can be considered somewhat disappointing. However, though four songs did not receive positive “approval,” every song is still worthy of listening to, such as “Chocolate” or “One Thing.” Offering a final message, unlike the mini-album of “Like a Cat,” AOA’s current mini-album can be considered dismissible, though every song should still deserve one hearing.

Addressing technicalities, though I did manage to finish this in one day, as of the time I am writing this sentencing, it is 12:03 a.m, and therefore, it is already July 1. Regardless, I will still consider this a personal victory as this will be the first review I have completed in one day in many months (the last one done in one day was perhaps in August 2014). However, with it being in a short time span, I do regret the writing and analysis; the conducted writing is mediocre, and even more so the analysis per song. Due to album reviews covering the main surface of a song, it is exponentially harder to sincerely critique a song as there are too many layers to account for in a smaller window of writing, hence why I am more comfortable with standard song reviews (but, concise writings do tend to be better than overly loquacious ones). Nevertheless, a shorter write is the result, but as stated, quality should be valued more than quantity. Personal reflecting will need to be done to find improvement.

As always, thank you very much to readers for the given time and support. Though it may appear redundantly stated, I do very much appreciate it all. For the next upcoming review, as listed on my review schedule, MAMAMOO will be in spotlight as the group has been requested. I will attempt to finish it within three days, but considering how I am anticipating the group and review, it may be even sooner. Once again, thank you to readers for taking time to read this review, and apologies for the horrendous writing and analysis. Working harder in the next review and future album reviews will be my method of delivering readers sweet “Chocolate,” and I “Really Really” do hope many still enjoy this review. After all, if there is “One Thing” readers “Come To Me” for, it is not to receive a “Heart Attack,” but instead, horrible puns that need to end for reviews in which many may “Luv Me” for.

AOA – “Heart Attack” Review

AOA – Heart Attack (Live Performance; unofficial upload)

AOA – Heart Attack (Music Video)

AOA (Ace of Angels) – Heart Attack

Reviewed on June 28, 2015

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Personal Message: As promised, AOA’s “Heart Attack” will be reviewed, and with an obligatory pun, indeed, I experienced a “heart attack” due to the ladies (though on a more serious note, AOA’s leader, Jimin, did give me a “heart attack” as she almost fell during a live stage). On topic with AOA’s latest comeback, I truthfully have not felt this level of excitement for a comeback, let alone a review, in quite some time. Even the excitement towards Infinite’s “The Chaser” hardly breaches my current feelings. However, understandably, reasons do exist for why I am incredibly zealous: AOA is one of my favorite groups as I admire the members and adore their songs, “Heart Attack” is a song I biasedly love, and of course, this will mark the beginning of reviewing upcoming summer comebacks. Nevertheless, despite personal influences, I will remain impartial when grading the song from a systematic standpoint.

Before entirely engaging in “Heart Attack,” to digress about the group, I have started watching their latest reality show, “One Fine Day.” Already from the first episode, the show appears enticing, and certainly, more so than their prior one of “AOA Open Up,” which, sadly, is a rather poor reality show, as will be explained in the future due to a review of it (if I follow through with the review). In short, explaining why “AOA Open Up” lacks, labeling it as a reality show, while still viable, is technically false as it was, in multiple aspects, rather scripted in the sense of forcing the members to partake in random events versus, utilizing “One Fine Day” as an example, simply recording the group with their own decisions and plans and interactions, even if the overarching vacation was placed upon them. And of course, “AOA Open Up” was simply, bluntly stated, boring; the activities the ladies participated in were not interesting or comical, and the usual interactions with one another ceased as they were often time split. More will be said in a future review of “AOA Open Up.”

Digressing to a new topic, as I have tediously stated in copious reviews, I credit much of the blog’s growth to the ladies. Their prior song release, “Like a Cat,” was reviewed in the past, and from there, an increase in popularity did take place for the blog as the conducted review turned out to be well received. Thus, I am incredibly grateful to AOA for indirectly helping, though realistically, I am more thankful to readers for being the true reason for why the blog significantly grew. Embarrassingly, however, after skimming the review on “Like a Cat” during April’s Fools Day (since I did use AOA for an April’s Fools joke review), I did feel utter shame at my atrocious writing. Nonetheless, the beauty of growth and improvement is to be able to reflect on past activities and to feel shame. After all, in the future reflecting on this review, I would hope for the same embarrassment to occur.

Finally addressing AOA’s latest song, sharing my personal reactions, “Heart Attack” rendered in two phases: the first one of slight disappointment, and then the second one of utter captivation. Expanding such, “Heart Attack” possessing a highly upbeat, electronic, pop-like concept was not initially appealing. With applying my personal preferences for songs, I did feel as if “Heart Attack” was overwhelming, but after giving it a second hearing and partially deconstructing it, I began realizing how solid it was, and predictably, I am at my current point where I do love the song and even its style. Of course, however, it is not flawless, and while I do predict it leaning towards a seven or even an eight, there are most likely some significant errors. A closer analysis will begin once the actual review begins.

That said, before embarking on the review, the music video deserves much praise (I will link it). Due to my current planned review schedule, I doubt I will review it unless if a request is sent in, but as a result, I will leave my comments in this review. With the music video for “Heart Attack,” I have enjoyed a vast majority of its general layer. For example, the plot, although cliché with the theme of high school love, is exceptionally adorable and has room for various interpretations. As for how the music video is constructed, the mixture of dance and plot prove appealing and complementing, and indisputably, the music video in general contains beautiful aesthetics in terms of colors, scenery, and such. For a more critical layer, the connotations of the music video are exceptionally positive, based from my personal deconstruction. In summary, gender equity is vastly promoted via the used colors, the clothing AOA wore in context to the plot, the main character (Choa) choosing to make the first move for a date, the sport game (as a side note, while I do respect sports, I am exceptionally ignorant of such and thus, do not know the name of the sport in the video) and setting involving it, characters’ interactions, and other aspects. Due to length, I will not elaborate on each of these points and how it ties into promoting the idea that both females and males are worthy, but as stated, for those curious, a review request for the music video will grant me time to do such.

There is one additional social layer given by the music video, and that is some racial diversity, but due to yet analyzing the music video in that regard (and needing to account for South Korea’s race demographics and such), I will hold off offering my opinion as I currently possess none on the subject. However, to leave a quick point, and a topic that will be discussed in a future review, for a medium to be considered socially equitable and positive, it requires more than merely possessing diversity in the sense of quantity; if a medium, be it a music video or show, is to be promoting equity, it is more than having a racially diverse cast as it is about the depiction of said diversity. More discussion will arrive in the future (though for “Heart Attack,” I will say it does lean towards the positive side for many reasons).

Now, to share a comical story before perhaps venturing into more serious ones, since I had only heard “Heart Attack” during its initial release, I did watch the music video with a friend after two days of its release. Note, though, that by the word “with,” I am referring to the idea that we purely watched the music video at identical times as she would not want to associate herself with me as I practically made a compliment and squealed to AOA members every five to ten seconds, while I was certainly quite mature with my viewing experience, I did offer relentless feedback. Once the end arrived, we did share opinions of the music video, and humorously, her response was intriguing (and this sharing is with her permission as I do not intend to humiliate her at all after all she was not immature as I was with squealing). Paraphrasing her opinion: “It was nice and AOA is beautiful but, the music video’s so unrealistic, look at what they’re wearing.” Summarizing what I replied, while she is in her second year of college, and thus, might have forgotten her high school years already, “if AOA’s clothing is the only ‘unrealistic’ part of the music video, I’m concerned about your time in high school.” Perhaps, however, I am being restrictive with my understanding as, according to her, blatantly staring at a crush a desk away and writing proposals are the sole given tasks in high school, not learning and work. Ultimately, we, hopefully, gained a few years of life due to excess laughter and mockery of one another.

Eventually, though, a more serious discussion took place (and expectedly, for those who wish to focus on AOA in a pure musical and dance context, skip below): high school dress codes. This topic has traversed a lengthy route of various opinions, and from my understanding, it has reached a stalemate. With this topic affecting predominantly female students (for a reason, as will be explained later), many have come to these two main points: students should be free to wear whatever they please, and for the opposing perspective, dress codes exist to reinforce professionalism, and thus, should be followed. Offering my opinion, first, for the foundation of my argument, I will emphasize a specific point. Stated before in some review and in credit to my senior year English teacher, context is what matters, and in the scenario of dress codes, in order to apply a social lens, context of the overarching topic must exist.

Directly announcing my stance, I am in full favor of a realistic dress code; I believe students should be free to dress in whatever they please as long as it is reasonable, such as miniskirts, crop tops, and similar ideas. Noticeably, many of the listed apparels are socially rendered as female clothing, and thus, an issue should already be elicited: dress codes do affect female students more often than males, and this is sadly not a coincidence. High school dress codes, and arguably, dress codes in general, are more than the issue of professionalism; dress codes in many cases are simply symptoms of the more general social issue of gender inequities. Critically deconstructing dress codes, finding why it is established as such reveals the sad truth of living in a boy’s world; dress codes are based on valuing masculinity over femininity (will explain), and thus, I would stress the point that dress codes are more than “professionalism” or “teaching students how to properly dress” as, in truth, in an education context of dress codes, it is teaching that masculine appearances are “proper” while feminine appearances are “improper.” Essentially, these dress codes are telling female students their bodies are worth shaming and need to be covered.

Before continuing, I will now address a rebuttal that many, such as my friend, gave: “Professionalism is what matters, it is not about telling girls that their bodies are shaming, it’s just that in the ‘real world’ they won’t be accepted for what they currently wear.” Seeking a deeper answer is what will reveal the disturbance of this response. Professionalism. Defining professionalism, and specifically with clothing, goes as follows: a suit. Strangely, if, for example, a lady “wears a miniskirt” and “risky high heels and black stockings,” as sung by the amazing ladies of AOA, it is suddenly no longer professional. This is not based upon the idea that revealing skin is unprofessional, but rather, what males have constructed and proposed.

To bring full understanding, an assumed scenario will take place: men wear what is currently socialized as female clothing, and vice versa for women in that they wear what is currently socialized as male clothing. Now a question: what is professional clothing? Many would instantly remark that women are now the epitome of professional clothing as, through the imagined scenario, they are wearing suits and not revealing skin. Incorrect. Professional clothing will be, against what many believe, revealing clothing since, rather than the clothing itself, it is the people who wears them that makes the clothing “professional.” Because masculinity is valued over femininity, as seen in every aspect of life, revealing clothing would, being deemed masculine in my depicted story, therefore be the standard, and thus, miniskirts would suddenly be professional versus, in current times, controversial when they should not be. Therefore, for an overall point, dress codes are not teaching “professionalism,” it is teaching professionalism that is linked to androcentrism; enforcing strict dress codes upon young ladies in school, a place to learn and gain empowerment, is ironically teaching them that masculinity should, and will, be valued over femininity (as seen in arised punishments should a dress code be broken), and more generally, that males are superior to females when, as I always and will repeat, both genders are worthy of praise.

With that said, I will continue with the topic of dress codes in more exact scenarios (and being honest, I do mean what my friend and I did discuss). A main defense for skin revealing clothing has been “to keep cool,” of which is certainly a realistic point, but many have argued against such via claiming that, in order to keep cool, it does not require “that much” revealing. Presenting my take, with every body being different, what is “cool” to one person could be “hot” to another. Therefore, this argument is already false in the sense of how, depending on a person, she (or he) may need less covering in order to feel more comfortable. Pushing aside the more technical argument, to offer a more controversial statement (which should not be so, and that I am already rather controversial with my opinions so it would not matter), to be even sexier is another reason for being less covered. Being more revealing does not, and should not, come with repercussions (such as sexual assaults or boys pathetically “cat-calling”). Correct, I am encouraging that, if a female feels more sexually attractive by being less covered, then that is a viable reason for why she would dress as so. The topic of body shaming females applies here as, by showing skin, many are labeled as “sluts,” “whores,” or trepidatiously warned of being potentially raped (versus teaching boys not to rape). Furthermore, there is also the issue of boys’ standards being applied in that, if a female fails to fit in their standard of a “body,” there will be harassment in that regard when, as long as basic decency and intelligence exists, all bodies should be appreciated, praised, and simply deemed sexy, and of course, that respecting more than a physical body should occur via genuine relationships and not objectifying females.

Onto the final discussion point that my friend and I covered, a very interesting counter-argument was given: “What about boys sagging, if girls can be revealing then boys should be allowed to sag.” Although  during the time of conversation I did not possess an answer at all, after ruminating over it, I have finally come to one. Rather than construing “sagging” so that it is homogenous to, for example, a miniskirt, I would classify it as a different topic. Additionally, sagging is banned for both males and females, and thus, the real issue still thrives: both genders sagging is prohibited, yet mainly females are scrutinized and punished for what they wear while most males are not. Unless if boys were chastised for “being too covered,” I would not acquaint sagging as an equivalent to females’ unfair treatment with dress codes. And of course, arguing that females would become privileged over males should revealing clothing be allowed is merely undermining femininity (and ignoring male privilege). Many would be content with the current scale of how masculinity is the professional standard when, unfortunately, that should not be the case as it tips in an unfair balance (hence why many embrace it as it is easier to follow “normal” even if “normal” is inequitable).

Once more, context is key, and overall, sagging can be deemed unprofessional. However, as the main issue is, utilizing miniskirts once more due to AOA’s song title of it, it is an issue for that clothing article to be deemed unprofessional due to its feminine value (since skin equals femininity in our current social norms). That is moreover the issue of dress codes; for a regular, normal clothing, to be shunned and deemed unprofessional due to its femininity, is why dress codes are an issue. Sagging fails to fit as, from what I am aware of, it is not a standard fashion, and that, it is not shamed due to being “too masculine” (since that phrase is nonexistent in androcentric societies), but rather, simply unprofessional in the sense of general properness. Reiterating it once more, miniskirts are deemed unprofessional due to femininity, and femininity should be considered “properness,” but society deems otherwise.

That said, males still possess issues with dress codes, but in the form of, like females, attempting to value femininity. Therefore, I do not wish to neglect males who undergo their own struggles with dress codes (and social consequences in general). For example, men who face common death threats and dress code issues for wearing clothing deemed “female-only” deserve respect and equal attention, and for an example that I may perhaps face, makeup provides a transparent example of how dress code issues can apply to men. Similar to K-Pop male idols, as discussed in my review of Infinite’s “The Chaser,” I plan to adopt and actively use a similar makeup style (ZE:A’s Kevin, my favorite and most adored male idol, provides a perfect example, such during Nasty Nasty’s period), but should a future boss reject that, it would be exceptionally upsetting (and, with becoming a high school teacher, a major lesson lost).

For an overall, concluding message, relating back the whole scenario of dress codes, both females and males should be free to dress as they please. The main issue with dress codes is that, while its intent is respectable (“professionalism”), its objective needs to be redefined in order to truly embrace and accept true professionalism. Currently, “unprofessional” equates to femininity when that is far from the truth, and thus, dress codes are an issue. Should it be revised so unprofessional clothing is in reference to articles that promote racism and negativity in general, for examples, then it will be free of troubles. Until then, dress codes in their current forms should be challenged and redressed, and of course, for the overarching issue, gender inequities need to be challenged.

Finally returning to AOA and their latest comeback (I do apologize for a lengthy digression; I did feel quite strongly for the topic), much credit towards the group, music video director and crew, is deserved. Pop culture is more than eye-ear candy (in thanks to two teachers and one professor for showcasing such); the social layers involved with pop culture is as equally important as the entertainment component it brings, and for AOA’s “Heart Attack,” I admire the ladies for promoting equity (and during “Miniskirt,” “Short Hair,” and many other releases). Now, while I do biasedly enjoy “Heart Attack” (I would rate it at an eight), it is definitely not flawless. Nevertheless, I anticipate a higher score since “it goes a little something like this,” “let’s, go.”

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

– Vocals: 7/10 – Ignoring the previous sentence of perhaps the worst transition I have ever used in writing, AOA’s vocals in “Heart Attack” continue the group’s standard tier: above average. Although AOA in whole cannot push towards a higher score, a seven is nothing to belittle. Specifically focusing on “Heart Attack,” the song continues to use AOA’s vocal lineup: Choa and Yuna handle more intensive lines, Chanmi and Jimin provide their usual raps, and Seolhyun, Hyejeong, and Mina perform the supporting vocals.

Deconstructing why the vocals hold well, to first begin with the support vocalists, especially in juxtaposition to previous releases, “Heart Attack” does showcase more refined vocals for the three: higher notes are sustained with more stability, and most potently, their vocals prove exceptionally melodic and crisp. Despite less intensive lines than the main vocalists, the members are nearly to an equal standard as many of their lines are utterly harmonious. The predominant difference is absence of a stronger vocal presence, but regardless, the support vocalists exceed expectations as all of their lines carry a significant role to “Heart Attack.”

Switching over to the main vocalists of Choa and Yuna, the two’s vocals emulate the support vocalists, but to a higher degree; like Seolhyun, Hyejeong and Mina, both members remain exceptionally melodic  and stable, however, their singing renders as even more so, and furthermore, the added component of power exists. Pinpointing examples, the pre-choruses unveil the two’s stunning vocals of reaching and carrying high notes, and additionally, with the sections’ structure accentuating melody (as to be discussed later), both Choa and Yuna are heard with vastly tuneful lines. Lastly, a rhythmic flow is attached to their vocals due to multiple sections, and thus, more appeal exists towards their singing. Now, in terms of power, the choruses and conclusion grant conspicuous examples. During the choruses, quick and lengthy note stretches are manipulated, as observed via the sections’ choppier rate, and therefore, vocal strength becomes uncloaked in addition to the extra layer of tune. Also, with the ending, though it is the chorus replayed, the layer of two part singing further aids the two’s singing as minor note holds occur.

With the remaining ladies of Jimin and Chanmi, their vocals, anticipatedly, also rate well. For Jimin, though she has garnered much negativity for her voice (I believe I did discuss this before, but in short, musical criticism of a voice is acceptable, but beyond that it is not; Jimin’s voice can be critiqued as long as it is in the context of music, but to mock her voice in general, as many do, is utterly unacceptable as every voice is indeed beautiful), in “Heart Attack,” her vocals prove charming and complementing to her rap. While I will expand on it in the Sections category, Jimin’s nasally, higher pitched voice allows her rap to possess an incredibly fluent, hasty flow, and in addition, the tune granted from such perfectly suits the song as a whole. Mechanically, miraculously, Jimin’s iconic voice proves to be very alluring and not vexing. Chanmi equally follows suit, though blatantly, conversely; opposite to Jimin, Chanmi’s rap utilizes a lower pitch, but nevertheless, her vocals remain tuneful and, with offering diversity via new notes, more appeal is granted to the vocals.

As stated at the start, above average will hold. AOA’s main vocalists are shining with melody and power, the support vocalists follow a similar route, and the rappers display equally pleasing vocals.   

– Sections: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)

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

1. Introduction (Pre-Chorus): 7/10

2. Verse: 7/10

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4. Chorus: 6/10

5. Rap: 8/10

6. Bridge: 6/10

7. Conclusion (Chorus): 7/10

– Analysis: Before addressing the sections in “Heart Attack,” after, humorously, making a huge blunder, I have discovered the music video’s sport name: lacrosse, as stated explicitly in the video’s description. Focusing back to the song, for “Heart Attack,” many of its sections are worthy of thorough analysis, and thus, in this regard, I do wish for the previous outline (feedback is still desired for this current outline). Nevertheless, “Heart Attack” ‘s sections do score in the higher range: sixes and to the maximum of eight. Furthermore, two sections do possess an eight, and if correct, that has not be an achieved feat in many recent reviews although in the past, nines were liberally given.

To begin with the song’s stronger sections, both the pre-choruses and rap rate at eight (though biasedly I hold the rap at a nine), of which indicates that the stated sections can be remarked as solid and very enticing. Faint details are the sections’ empowering point. For example, in focus of the rap, while there is the direct mechanical layer of Jimin’s excellent pacing, melody, and fluency, and for Chanmi, similar traits, vocal layering takes place: as both members’ rap progresses, their vocals become duplicated to deliver amplification. As a result of said vocal layering, the structural component of their raps exceptionally flourish: variety is given as the rapping vocals constantly transform, transition points are given such as Jimin to Chanmi or even the rap to the upcoming verse, and the mechanical piece to the rap is augmented. Elaborating the latter, the vocal layering provides tints of vocal strength and points in which the melody and pacing can modify. In terms of the melody and pacing, with the layering occurring towards the end, changes in those aspects take place naturally as the layering grants a minor pause, and thus, a more seamless, complex rap is created overall. A strong set of the rap’s sonic and structure parts allow the section to possess a higher score.

On that note, for the other section that scored highly, the pre-choruses by Choa and Yuna are equally admirable, and deriving why that is the case, subtle details, as stated, are the reasons. With the two members already exhibiting adept, potent vocals, the pre-choruses’ structures exploit such, and therefore, further emphasis towards their tune and power is gleaned. For example, the beginning of the pre-choruses offer repetition in the form of syllables; “wanjeon banhae banhae beoryeosseoyo” (“I’ve completely fallen for you”), the starting line to the sections, has a repeating “ba” sound. From this, a rhythmic, catchy flow now also accompanies the members’ singing. Now, with a more hasty, upbeat start, it allows the remainder of the section to adopt a more stalling route as the risk of staleness is nonexistent, and thus, with the ability to add multiple, short note stretches, the pre-choruses then become exceptionally melodious, as is.

Regarding the sections that hold as above average, the introduction, verses, and conclusion, all three provide their usual utility along with a captivating musical component. In terms of the more utility-based sections, the introduction, peculiarly yet effectively, uses a modified form of the pre-chorus. Accounting for how pre-choruses tend to be efficient at garnering hype for a song, the same concept applies but for, instead of a chorus, an entire song. Miraculously, it proves successful as “Heart Attack” commences in a vastly upbeat demeanor, is able to instantly establish its style, and furthermore, the aspect of luring in listeners still holds true as, unlike most songs creating anticipation via hiding vocals, “Heart Attack” directly discloses its sonic piece: exceptionally tuneful, stable vocals, and thus, attempts to attract listeners occur in this form.

The conclusion also follows a similar route to the introduction, one that is dissimilar to general routes. With the two-part singing, Choa’s individual note holds, and the sections’ usual vocals, the conclusion is, concerningly, rather energetic, and though such would normally impede a conclusion from achieving a smooth end, it proves viable in “Heart Attack” for various reasons. First, the climactic point in “Heart Attack” resides not in the bridge, as in most standard songs, but instead, the conclusion. Therefore, a final peak of intensity fits comfortably, and with it occurring towards the final seconds, it grants “Heart Attack” its final, fading sparks to end on, of which plays out naturally. Also, with the song still fading out, even if speedily, towards the very end due to the instrumental, more assurance exists to grant “Heart Attack” a smooth closure. Combining its structural aspect to the decent vocals of the chorus, the conclusion holds well, as does the introduction.

In terms of the verses, while structurally nothing proves pressing, the verses contain a strong mechanical aspect that pushes their rating to above average. Vocals hold as melodic and appealing, but even so, the singing is not necessarily to a high tier. However, once paired with the instrumental, the verses’ musical component blooms: the stronger, heavier beats serve as a foundation for the vocals. For example, the vocals’ pace reflect the beats’ rate, and thus, the section in whole becomes incredibly rhythmic and contains an alluring flow. Overall, the combination of singing and instrumental heavily complement one another, and thus, while both are decent individually, as a combo, the result is a section that proves mechanically and structurally compelling.

Finally addressing the weaker sections, the choruses and bridge both hold a six which, while not bad in the scale of zero to ten, is the lowest number in context of the other sections. Gauging the bridge, the singing and format are both, as its rating, “slightly above average.” In focus of the vocals, while Choa’s part holds its weight, Seolhyun’s singing does falter. Antithetical to the verses where Seolhyun’s singing maintained appeal due to the instrumental’s support, in the bridge, without a more energetic, electronic soundtrack accompaniment, her vocals have greater emphasis, and unfortunately, her slightly lacking melody therefore becomes unveiled. Although it is not to the degree of distaste, Seolhyun’s vocals emanate a monotonous sound versus, for example, Choa’s part of being rather tuneful and even powerful. Ignoring the layer of singing, the bridge’s format is also marginally above basic as, while functional, it remains partially undynamic. Minimal changes to lines or singing characteristics occur.

Continuing the latter claim, for the glaring issue of the choruses, a linear style overshadows its positive features; although the choruses possess exceptionally melodic and strong vocals, the structure of the sections create mundanity. Specifically, while the choruses do change in pacing, the switches render as miniscule and, ironically, impairing. During the paused, chopped lines of the section, although it varies from the usual singing rate, a sluggish delay is given, and thus, repetition builds up. Furthermore, for the vocals, though extremely seducing with high power, notes, and an upbeat melody, minimal fluctuation occurs. An outcome from that lack of flexibility is, predictably, a more stagnant section, even if, on the individual level, many attributes exceed. However, the choruses, and for earlier, bridge, are all still decent, but only to the extent of their rating: slightly above average (though biasedly I do hold the choruses at a seven).  

Leaving a side note, reflecting once more over this new Sections outline as this is the second trial, I am feeling more confident and at ease, and in comparison to the prior, I do feel this is a vast improvement. More flexibility is given for my writing and analysis versus, in the prior outlines, pure restriction and much repetition.

– Line Distribution: 4/10 – Seven members are in AOA, and if I recall past reviews, AOA has slightly struggled with possessing an equal distribution of lines. Being a new release, a high score will be hoped for, and truthfully, with seven members, that quantity will not significantly ramp up sharing difficulties.

Starting with Choa, the introduction, three pre-choruses, two choruses, bridge, and conclusion are her sections. Numerically, eight is her count, and though the rest of AOA has yet to be gauged, I do foresee this being troublesome. Four tends to be the desired number for equal lines, and thus, Choa is already an outlier, and more specifically, twice the average.  

Gauging Yuna who, hopefully, will be similar to Choa, her sections include the first verse, all pre-choruses, all choruses, and the conclusion. Therefore, seven is her count, and thankfully, it closely resembles Choa’s quantity. However, the remaining members will, most likely, create a disparity via possessing less sections.

Peering at the rappers in AOA, starting with the group’s leader, Jimin, her count will be much less as she is only responsible for the introduction, rap, and conclusion. Three is her total, and while it is understandable as she is the rapper, for the consistency of reviews, this will most likely hinder the score. Digressing swiftly, besides being responsible for her sections, she deserves much respect for also keeping AOA on track. After watching a few recent videos such as interviews and even “One Fine Day,” and, admittedly, her nearly falling, I feel both admiration and concern for her. Jimin has been working exceptionally hard via individual activities and group activities. Much praising goes towards her.

On topic, for the remaining rapper of Chanmi, one section exists: the rap. The sharpest, most piercing disparity has occurred; with Choa’s high number of eight to Chanmi’s miniscule count of one, the scoring may be severely mitigated by the gaping disparity. Remaining members will further determine the issue.

For Mina’s “spotlight-light-light,” and if this allusion/pun was already used in my review of “Like a Cat” (“spotlight” stems from Mina’s lyrics in “Like a Cat”), I do apologize for my lack of creativity and humor, her sections involve the two verses. Two will be her count. “Heart Attack” does appear in despair as of now.

Hyejeong, one of the final hopes left, has lines at the first verse, the first chorus, the second verse, the second chorus, and one word at the conclusion. Interestingly, the music video’s audio does conceal most of Hyejeong’s lines, but based on a live performance (as linked earlier, though it is liable to be copyrighted as it is not uploaded by an official music show), these are, unequivocally, her sections. Therefore five sections is her count, which will most likely alleviate the disparity, even if marginally.

Lastly, for Seolhyun, AOA’s actress (if correct, she has been involved in many dramas and even movies lately), her count is four: the first verse, two choruses, and the bridge. A middle-ground is given by her, and thus, it may be helpful towards the group’s distribution.

Synthesizing all of the sections for an overall rating, with the average, perfect share of lines holding at four or five sections per member, AOA’s share does remain split. If Choa and Yuna lost a few sections and Chanmi, Jimin, and Mina gained said sections, the group would have a perfect dispersal. Due to major gaps, a very disheartening score will be given: four for slightly below average. “Heart Attack” musically flourishes, but in terms of members’ spotlight, much more improvement is necessary.

– Instrumental: 7/10 – For the instrumental in “Heart Attack,” while its style utterly differs from my personal preferences, I have found it exceptionally pleasing, and even from a neutral, systematic standpoint, the instrumental still remains highly successful.

Despite the main sounds stemming from an electronic style, unlike most instrumentals that follow an akin concept, the given heavier beats and electronic sounds are vastly tuneful. The beats provide the lower pitches of the song, but in proper scope as it is neither too deep or too high.. Furthermore, for the electronic sounds, while in most cases this soundtrack’s style, such as in, guiltily stated, KARA’s “Cupid,” results in being either vexing or simply bland, in “Heart Attack,” the opposite holds as the sounds do retain a melodic aspect, as disclosed by how the instrumental dictates the song’s overall melody. Additionally, the instrumental perfectly suits AOA’s vocals: every sections’ complementing instrumental synthesizes with the vocals to create a further enticing, enchanting song rather than merely being an additional, separate component. Offering direct examples, the verses’ beats create a pacing to which the vocals follow, and from such, the created synergy allows the sections to contain an incredibly rhythmic melody. Another example is the pre-choruses: the instrumental’s lighter tone suits with the vocals, of which are also equally lighter in juxtaposition to the entire song. Even the rapping section benefits as the instrumental provides a prominent, brisk rate that simulates the vocals’ rate, but for what remains significant, the instrumental is conducted in a manner that does not leech attention from the rapping vocals.

Above average will hold for the overarching score. Even with a concept that tends to falter, the instrumental in “Heart Attack” strongly prospers.

– Lyrics: 5/10 – Keen readers who have read previous reviews may notice a difference: “Lyrics” and not “Meaning.” Though this minutiae is negligible, the new label does provide a more encapsulating idea as it is more than a song’s “meaning,” but furthermore, the lyrics in themselves via details and such. And, comically admitted, the new label sounds more sophisticated, and thus, was the main motive. Returning to AOA, however, for a song title of “Heart Attack,” while many might have received such from the ladies’ comeback, it is impractical for the song title to be in reference to that. Therefore, for assumptions, “Heart Attack” will most likely depict a scenario in which, similarly to how fans feel for AOA, a person is in love to the magnitude of having a figurative heart attack.  

Ah yeah (Brave Sound)
And it goes a little something like this

I’ve completely fallen for you
Your soft voice
I’ve fallen for it
I’m trembling
(AOA, let’s go!)

I think I’m crazy, why am I like this
My heart is like an 18 year old girl’s, it keeps pounding
I can’t hide it, I’m like this every day
When our eyes meet, my ears turn red

You don’t understand? It’s because you didn’t see him
I totally understand how people fall in love at first sight
Now I know,
the first time I saw you

I’ve completely fallen for you
Your broad shoulders, your sharp eyes,
your soft voice
I’ve fallen for them
Just looking at your thin and long fingers
makes me tremble

Oh my, I keep getting a heart attack
the more I see you
My heart keeps pounding, I don’t know
It’s like a heart attack, what do I do?
I keep wanting to be in your arms, baby

When our eyes meet, my heart pounds
I try to get even the tiniest bit
of your attention
“What about him do you like so much?”
my friends ask and I answer:
“Don’t talk if you don’t know”

You don’t understand? It’s because you didn’t see him
I totally understand how people fall in love at first sight
Now I know,
the first time I saw you

I’ve completely fallen for you
Your broad shoulders, your sharp eyes,
your soft voice
I’ve fallen for them
Just looking at your thin and long fingers
makes me tremble

Oh my, I keep getting a heart attack
the more I see you
My heart keeps pounding, I don’t know
It’s like a heart attack, what do I do?
I keep wanting to be in your arms, baby

Oh my prince, where are you looking?
I’m right here
You’re so handsome, I just need you
I can’t live without you

I’ve completely fallen for you
Your soft voice
I’ve fallen for it
I’m trembling

Oh my, I keep getting a heart attack
(Everybody say what, AOA)
Pounding
(And it goes a little something like this)
Heart attack
(One more time say what, AOA)
I wanna be in your arms baby

Exact with predictions, the plot of “Heart Attack” revolves around a main character and her love-interest. Though the main character’s love originates from “love at first sight” (already discussed multiple times), she has “completely fallen for [him]” and his “broad shoulders, sharp eyes, soft voice.” Even his “thin and long fingers makes [her] tremble.” Due to the level of her infatuation, it is as if she is “getting a heart attack,” thus explaining the song title. After all, “when [their] eyes meet, [her] heart pounds,” and she attempts to “get even the tiniest bit of [his] attention” whenever possible. Not even her friends comprehend her feelings: “What about him do you like so much,” they ask, but the main character is ready with her rebuttal: “Don’t talk if you don’t know.”

Overall, although the lyrics are very lighthearted and romantic, and in certain ways, unique with its heart attack comparison, it does reside as average. The given details for “Heart Attack,” even if the general story is pleasing, are highly repetitive. A vast majority of the song focuses on the main character’s feelings, which are parallel to a heart attack, or why she is highly infatuated, such as with the love-interest’s characteristics, but variating details are nonexistent. Identical ideas are relentlessly restated, and thus, in terms of details, “Heart Attack” remains lackluster. Nevertheless, with the exclusive idea of comparing love to a heart attack, some uniqueness holds, but unfortunately, it is insufficient for pushing the score to a pure six.

– “Critical Corner”: Besides the delayed reminder of how the lyrics, as all, are gender neutral, for the topic of “love at first sight,” I will redirect readers to my review on KARA’s “Cupid.” With that point being covered, no other subject arises from “Heart Attack.” In defense of the song its concept of “love at first sight,” arguably, once adding the music video component, the lyrics are more than pure physical love as, perhaps, the main character was vastly charmed by the love-interest’s kind gesture to help her after colliding with her. However, with purely the lyrics as content, it is worthy to challenge the notion of the claimed phrase.

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Choreography Score: 6/10 – Critiquing the choreography of “Heart Attack,” though biasedly I do adore the dance as it is incredibly simplistic, and in many ways, if the terms may be used, cute and sweet, it does not hold to a high mark. Nonetheless, it still remains decent. Also, if I had not addressed the link yet, for a late clarification, the first link is a live performance, but with the uploader not being an official music show station, it will be liable to removal. Therefore, if, for future readers, the link is unfunctional, searching up the live performance or, by that time, the dance practice, will be methods to find the dance.

Dissecting the choreography, for the category of syncing, a perplexing scenario takes place: the syncing is accurate, but unlike every other choreography where accuracy equates to excellency, in “Heart Attack,” though every movement connects to the song, it lacks prominence; despite how every maneuver syncs to the song, the given syncing is simply plain. For example, though the verses are synced to the song as observed by the turning and arm motions, it is not stunning syncing as it is vague on exactly what is being synced to. The beats or the flow are possible candidates, and thus, with that indefinite image, the syncing does surprisingly falter, even if it still exists. Another example, the chorus, provides more insight on how the syncing lacks impact. Syncing is apparent and accurate, but once more, it is rather loosely synced as there is no specific linked sound.

Equally, the key points also contain their own set of issues. Although the simplicity is admirable, the dance is repetitive. Every section recycles its key point, as seen by, for examples, the verses, choruses, and pre-choruses following the same dance, and thus, “Heart Attack” suffers with maintaining appeal. Furthermore, with many movements emulating every other movement in categories of speed, style, and direction, greater staleness occurs. The choruses’ slower, gentle dance maneuvers are similar to, for example, the bridge, and from there, while both sections utilize separate key points, the same, overarching concept is still in place: slow and gentle.

Despite the glaring errors, the choreography still scores at a six for slightly above average. The syncing is still consistent, even if not impressive, and the key points are still viable, though lacking in higher appeal.

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – With both main scores rating at six, the Overall Score will follow suit as the average is, blatantly, six. Therefore, based on the blog’s review rubric, AOA’s latest comeback can be deemed as solely slightly above average, and personally, I fervently disagree. At lowest, a seven should be true, and for what I did anticipate, I expected an eight. However, with a satisfactory choreography and a poorer distribution of lines, it is understandable on why “Heart Attack” scored lower. Regardless, for the song itself, it truly is a stronger release by AOA, and in general, it is solid. As of now, for the current summer comebacks, AOA’s “Heart Attack” holds the title though this may be entirely biased. Optimistically, however, I do hope another group challenges my claim.

On that note, I already have a few songs lined up for review, all of which are in the realm of “summer comebacks.” With only two days left before June ending, I will finish with an album review (though that is an arrogant statement; I doubt I will be able to finish a review in that time span) so that, though I shamefully failed to reach eight, at least six out the eight will be met. It will be on either BTS’ older album or AOA’s latest one. Considering the slower start at the beginning of June, for a positive idea, I do know it is certainly possible to reach eight reviews (assuming it is summer and therefore I do not have classes) as, if I was on schedule, my goal would have been obtained.

Ending technical discussions, as always, thank you very much for reading. This review did become delayed by two days as I am currently working on subtitling AOA’s most current visit to “Weekly Idol,” and therefore, I apologize for later post (six hours went towards the videos versus writing). For those interested in the videos, my linked YouTube channel in the blog’s description will have the episode uploaded with English subtitles. Of course, however, I am exceptionally thankful for readers’ patience (and for those watching, for a slower subtitling rate). I appreciate the given time.

Upcoming reviews will be on, though liable to change, the recent releases from Sistar, Teen Top, and Nine Muses, but specifically for the next review, it will be of a mini-album from either AOA or BTS. Thank you once again for reading, and stay tuned for the upcoming reviews as, “Oh my, I keep getting a heart attack the more I see you.” Many reviews and the usual questionable closures will take place for July.

AOA – “Tricked Again” Review

AOA – Tricked Again (Music Video)

AOA (Ace of Angels) – Tricked Again

Reviewed on April 1, 2015

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Personal Message: Though it has only been a few months, AOA has already delivered their comeback: “Tricked Again.” Interestingly, however, rather than their usual style of songs, “Tricked Again” takes the form of a ballad. Furthermore, it is rather peculiar that this comeback went relatively discreet; very little advertising and promotion went towards this release. To offer my speculations, I predict this ballad release to be identical to 4Minute’s ballad of “Cold Rain.” For those unfamiliar, 4Minute’s latest comeback possessed a title song of “Crazy” (read my review on it here: 4Minute – “Crazy” Review), but strangely, a ballad was released first. Relating 4Minute to AOA, the same marketing idea seems to exist, and thus, a standard K-Pop genre song may become released versus the sole song of “Tricked Again.”

Regardless of whether “Tricked Again” is indeed AOA’s title song or not, for their latest comeback, it holds rather well. To already give a quick glance of the song’s rating, I will still claim their other ballad of “Time” remains significantly superior (I partially reviewed the song at: AOA’s Mini-Album – “Like a Cat” Review). But, without comparing it to other songs, “Tricked Again” is a solid ballad. To address the link, it is the music video. Being a ballad, a dance is not expected, and thus, the standard music video will serve in the place of a dance practice or stage performance. What does remain highly enticing, however, is the music video follows not a standard protocol of creating a plot and multiple stages, but rather, simply footage of AOA’s recording process and studio work.

For a final digression before the review (though at this point, feel free to skip to it), I will share a story of this blog’s growth and how it truly correlates with AOA. AOA holds a positively influencing position for my blog and I. In addition to genuinely looking up to the ladies and striving to be as intelligent, hardworking, tenacious, friendly, and physically and non-physically pretty as them, AOA has, indirectly, given a gift to this blog: “spotlight-light-light-light”. Likewise to how “Like a Cat” gave AOA the necessary momentum to finally be highly popular, my review of the song allowed my blog to be more heard of (though I feel that the review is incredibly horrible). While I did not replicate the exact scale of AOA’s earned popularity, this blog gained a hefty amount of viewers due to the review, and more gratefully, many consistent readers that now read my reviews came from the one on “Like a Cat.” In that sense, I am incredibly grateful towards AOA for indirectly helping, but more realistically, I am thankful and appreciative of the readers who stumbled upon my review of the song and are still returning on a consistent basis. Though I write and create reviews for fun and do not seek popularity, I am still extremely grateful and honored to have readers that are willing to invest some time to read my reviews, even if my writing is rather mediocre and lengthy.

On another note, besides being the review that brought attention, it provided a moment of realization: people read my reviews. With that, and additionally, a specific teacher (though multiple people have also influenced me, she remains the prominent one) instilling passion towards writing and enlightening the purpose of such, I became highly motivated to vastly improve my reviews. Rather than perceiving reviews with a casual, careless mindset, I began to view them as an opportunity for improvement of skills; assessing my reviews in order to find errors and places for where my analysis and mechanical writing could be refined became a new priority. Overall, a much more serious, striving demeanor became my mentality due to the review on “Like a Cat” garnering some form of popularity.

Returning to AOA themselves and a more lighthearted atmosphere, which was my intended tone initially, their ballad of “Tricked Again” is definitely solid. Though it may be inferior to previous ballad releases, it still fares well individually. AOA claims to have been “Tricked Again,” but hopefully, readers do not follow suit. Also, while I should have mentioned it much sooner, I have been having a technological issue of copying/pasting. Copying a link, for example, and then pasting seems to give an archaic copy. As a result, if the music video link is incorrect, apologies, though from checking once more, it should be fine.

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Song Score: 7/10 (6.8/10 raw score) – “Above average”

– Vocals: 7/10 – The vocals in “Tricked Again” may excellently suit the overarching melancholy tone of the song, but through a sonic lens, the vocals do slightly falter. Every member showcases very melodic, soothing singing, but a main crucial aspect remains lacking: variety. Though AOA’s voices are highly captivating, minimal fluctuation occurs, specifically with power and pacing. Throughout “Tricked Again,” every line follows a gentler, fragile style. Though the style is highly effective when coupled with how melodic their vocals are, it proves to be highly dull and uninteresting as every line begins resemble the previous one. Furthermore, the pacing, homogenous to the unmalleable vocal strength aspect, remains highly stagnant. Every line follows a slower pace, and with it never changing, the issue of dullness becomes widespread. Nevertheless, while the linear pacing and power remain a downfall for variety, it does prove beneficial towards the melody. AOA’s singing remains highly emotional, tuneful, and simply infatuating. The slower pacing accentuates the members’ notes and allows for sharp, crisp sounds, and the strain of vocals, while unchanged, allow a consistent saddening mood to exist.

Overall, above average will miraculously hold. The melody emanating from AOA’s singing does compensate for the lack of diversity.

– Sections: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score)

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

1. Introduction: 6/10 – Jimin, as seen throughout nearly, if not every song released, handles the introduction.

Diving into the mechanical side, Jimin’s voice is given for the start. Simple statements, high in sadness, are said. While no singing necessarily exists, the accompanying piano instrumental and her whispering voice mesh well and offer a lower noted, soothing start. Structurally, with the slower pacing and lower pitch, and additionally, a saddening atmosphere instantly given, a solid start is gleaned. The ballad is properly prepared, both emotionally and sonically, due to Jimin’s  statements.

Despite the structure holding well, the mechanical portion does remain lacking. Slightly above average will be the rating. Also, should the music video link be incorrect, these words will, blatantly, not reflect the false video, but instead, what would have been the proper song.

2. Verse: 7/10 – Truthfully, I did not expect to even come this far and have practically excavated all possible creativity by now Seolhyun deserves additional respect towards her singing as seen here. Seolhyun and Choa are in charge of the sole verse in “Tricked Again.”

Sonically, Seolhyun’s softer singing becomes highly captivating. Her slower pacing sets focus on her gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards her melody. Choa follows suit. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the duo’s singing prove to be potent enough to bring a promising verse.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Hyejeong and Mina are in charge of the pre-choruses in “Tricked Again.”

Sonically, Hyejeong’s softer singing becomes highly captivating. Her slower pacing sets focus on her gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards her melody. Mina follows suit. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the duo’s singing prove to be potent enough to bring a promising pre-chorus.

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Choa and Yuna are in charge of the choruses in “Tricked Again.”

Sonically, Choa’s softer singing becomes highly captivating. Her slower pacing sets focus on her gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards her melody. Yuna follows suit. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the duo’s singing prove to be potent enough to bring a promising chorus.

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – Every member is in charge of the post-choruses in “Tricked Again.”

Sonically, AOA’s softer singing becomes highly captivating. Their slower pacing sets focus on their gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards their melody. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Slightly above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the members’ singing prove to be potent enough to bring a promising post-chorus.

6. Rap: 7/10 – Jimin and Chanmi are in charge of the sole verse in “Tricked Again.”

Sonically, Jimin’s softer rapping becomes highly captivating. Her quick pacing sets focus on her gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards her melody. Chanmi follows suit. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the duo’s rapping prove to be potent enough to bring a promising rap section.

7. Bridge: 6/10 – Choa and Yuna are in charge of the bridge in “Tricked Again.”

Sonically, Yuna’s softer singing becomes highly captivating. Her slower pacing sets focus on her gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards her melody. Choa follows suit. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Slightly above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the duo’s singing prove to be potent enough to bring a promising bridge.

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 6/10 –  Every member is in charge of the post-choruses in “Tricked Again” and therefore the conclusion.

Sonically, AOA’s softer singing becomes highly captivating. Their slower pacing sets focus on their gentle and clear vocals, and additionally, towards their melody. Structurally, the section, as mentioned, possesses the issue of becoming highly tedious due to a lack of variety.

Slightly above average will be the score. Though the structure impairs the section, the members’ singing prove to be potent enough to bring a promising conclusion.

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – “With a size of 7 members, distribution of lines may be slightly challenging. Nonetheless, it is very plausible to achieve a high score.

Starting with Choa, she appears at the verse, the bridge, and of course, the choruses. To excessively add more, she also performs two-part singing at the conclusion. As many can tell, she had sufficient time; “sufficient” is a questionable term, however, considering that she might have been given too much time. Being too prominent might cause scarcity of lines for other members, but we shall find out.

Next up is Jimin. The leader’s moments involved the introduction, the solo lines during the post-choruses, and lastly, the rap section. No issues exist here. Every section she appeared at was rather influential; the introduction radiates with her presence along with the other sections.

Yuna had no issues, either. Her lines included the choruses, and she had a part in the bridge. While she may seem lacking in comparison to Jimin and Choa, for what a member should be given in this song’s duration, Yuna had the perfect balance; not lacking but not excessive.

Hyejeong’s lines occurred at solely the pre-choruses. Since her lines were on the longer duration, no issues truly stem from this except for a lack of variety. For the most part, no issues.

In Mina’s case, her “Spotlight-light-light-light” (I’m sure people saw that coming) consisted of solely the pre-choruses. Similar to Hyejeong, since her lines were lengthier, she had enough time. Although singing different, additional lines would have been preferred, there is little trouble here.

Seolhyun, unfortunately, does remaining somewhat lacking. She occurred at solely the first and only verse, but unlike Jimin, her lines did not leave any impactful, lingering memories. Due to that, she can be seen as deprived of some singing time. Having one more additional moment elsewhere would have been desired.

Lastly, we the maknae (youngest person) of AOA: Chanmi. If Seolhyun’s lines, or lack thereof, proved to be an issue, then Chanmi is in a rough situation. Essentially, her lines are completely unnecessary, and sadly, it would have been even viable if Jimin simply took her lines. Chanmi occurred at the rap section in which predominantly Jimin was rapping; only two lines were rapped from Chanmi. Similar to an old review of Boyfriend’s “Witch,” the rap section in that song had the same issue; two people rapped, but in reality, only the main rapper was necessary.

Anyhow, a horrendous distribution for Chanmi; her lines were not only short, but furthermore, were completely replaceable with Jimin simply taking over.

One additional factor to account for is that all the ladies sing during the post-chorus, but unfortunately, since that section leaned moreover towards chanting than singing, it loses its value of being “lines” in the song.

In the end, 5/7 members had adequate lines, and even then, scrutinizing further would reveal that it is still somewhat imbalanced. Choa comes off as too prominent although biasedly, I can’t complain, and Mina and Hyejeong were slightly lacking. The only member with a near-perfect distribution was Yuna. Overall, disappointing for a share of lines. For the score, considering it was mainly 5/7 members (that equates to roughly 70% of AOA) singing, adding in the vital factors of how Choa slightly overpowered the song and Mina’s and Hyejeong’s semi-lacking lines, a lower score will be given. 6 for slightly above average. Normally, 6-membered groups do fine, so even adding one more person should not prove to be troubling. On the other hand, even 9-membered groups are capable of solid distributions. It is somewhat disappointing to see issues occur here.”  

For those who claim this Line Distribution rating or that the Sections portion are seemingly copied and pasted, it is a mere coincidence (on a more serious note, however, I am rather ashamed of the poor writing done for this Line Distribution that is seemingly identical to the one in my review of “Like a Cat” but is somehow not it; many conventional errors exist along with simply horrendous writing). It is also a mere coincidence that my copy and pasting still seems functional, as my proposed claim of it failing still holds true.

– Instrumental: 7/10 – “The instrumental in ‘Tricked Again’ is pleasing. It adds a supportive foundation for the vocals along with other utilities. Meshing with the vocals was natural; neither parties contrasted the other one harshly. In terms of matching up to the song’s flow, that was followed through. The instrumental was only as energetic as the vocals. A clear example is observing the pre-chorus to the post-chorus: the instrumental steps up a notch to accommodate the singing, but once the post-chorus arrives, it plays out as slightly passive in order to fit the chanting. Individually, the instrumental had a soothing, attractive, and catchy influence. A solid soundtrack by itself.

Overall, above average. It lacks the extra spice to gain a higher rating, but nevertheless, it holds as very suiting towards the vocals, and on its own, it comes off as a catchy soundtrack.”

Once more, if this seems awfully familiar, it is purely a coincidence.

– Meaning: 7/10 – With a song title of “Tricked Again” and an accompanying sorrowful tone, a one-sided relationship would seem to be the story. Nevertheless, through these Korean-to-English lyrics, which I did translate on my own as no translation source has done so yet, the story should hopefully become unveiled. As always, and especially due to personal translation, the lyrics are not 100% accurate:

Hey, no matter where I go
(No matter where you are)
The pretty girl disappeared
You know, you know
You used to be good and fresh
And now, you’re nothing but a Sound

You say you’ve wished you’ve never seen me before
You had a feeling and said that I never
shined in the first place
Your head turns to look at me
My eyes are filled with tears
Seeing you hesitate
to talk to me, I can feel it

The sunlight shines on you like a spotlight
I am in your head as a news headline
Even when you dream, you’ll remember me
Are you worrying?
Come to your senses

I’ll walk past you
Picking a rose, I’ll give it to you
I’ll surprise you, you’ve been caught
I’ll walk past you
Even when you’re asleep,
I will softly appear as a memory,
I’ll surprise you

Dudududu
I’ve been tricked, deceived, hurt, lied to
Dudududu
I’ve been tricked, deceived, hurt, lied to

I want to go to you like a thief
Tonight, without anyone knowing,
I wanna steal back our kisses from your lips
when you’re sound asleep,
You will dream of our last sweet night
Hold tight to the memory
You’re a wolf, I’m your hunter

The sunlight shines on you like a spotlight
I am in your head as a news headline
Even when you dream, you’ll remember me
Are you worrying?
Come to your senses

I’ll walk past you
Picking a rose, I’ll give it to you
I’ll surprise you, you’ve been caught
I’ll walk past you
Even when you’re asleep,
I will softly appear as a memory,
I’ll surprise you

Dudududu
I’ve been tricked, deceived, hurt, lied to
Dudududu
I’ve been tricked, deceived, hurt, lied to

We used to fly, remember hugging me at night?
We could’ve flew higher, but
I can feel what’s wrong
The clouds and the moon are not one
Like my trembling heart,
both fly so lightly
Oh don’t talk to me, oh leave me
Never kiss me baby, never again

Dudududu
I’ve been tricked, deceived, hurt, lied to
(Tricked again)
Dudududu
I’ve been tricked, deceived, hurt, lied to
(Tricked again)
It’s all over

Since I have spent a significant amount of time “translating” the lyrics are rather detailed, I will briefly cover of them. A couple has split up due to unknown circumstances, and now the main character resents their former partner and yearns for them to anguish over the separation.

Due to the significant level of creativity and effort placed into composing the lyrics, a higher score will be granted. The amount of details and the unique story itself deserve it. Also, in no way is this being biased; though the composer, through an interview, has claimed the process to create the lyrics was rather strenuous, I am not delivering a higher rating on the sole basis of sympathy, but instead, talent and admiration towards the composition. Above average will be the rating. The composer is also in no way arrogant with their lyrics.

– “Critical Corner”: Though I am sure the lyrics may have points valid for discussion, nothing remains urgently pressing. Also, I am in no way hastily covering this review.

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Choreography Score: X/10 – As briefly mentioned at the beginning, no choreography exists for “Tricked Again.”

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With solely the Song Score holding as a 7, the Overall Score will follow suit. This indicates AOA’s recent comeback of “Tricked Again” is above average, and I certainly agree as explained through this very thorough, elegant, and sophisticated review.

As always, thank you very much for reading, and I hope this read is, at the very least, entertaining if not jocular. Though I would be confused as to why it would be comical, I do hope readers enjoy this serious review. AOA’s comeback is definitely one to follow as their standard style may be resumed. In terms of upcoming reviews, due to the time I wrote this, it will be unclear. In fact, BESTie’s “I Need You” was the review prior to this one (not that I preemptively wrote this review with a certain date in mind).

Nevertheless, stay tuned for upcoming reviews. Since this review will be published on April 1, it will mark the first review of the month. Though this review may strangely be inferior to previous reviews due to peculiar, unknown reasons, future reviews will be significantly better. Keep checking back for upcoming reviews, and of course, unlike the song, please do not become “Tricked Again” if trickery did occur on April 1 for whatever reason.

AOA’s Mini-Album – “Like a Cat” Review

Reviewed on January 24, 2015

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As stated in my previous review of Apink’s “Luv,” a special review was in mind. Behold, the special review is an album review, and specifically, AOA’s mini-album of “Like a Cat.” Firstly, before this review begins, I would like to say thank you to readers for a huge support on my review of “Luv.” If I am correct, it is currently my most popular review. Although that may be moreover due to Apink’s growing popularity than the review itself, I still remain very grateful, so thank you. On topic with this current review, this is both a bonus and experiment; compensating for a slower rate is one objective with this review, and secondly, attempting to review an album as a whole has always been on my mind. That said, if the quality of this review is poorer, I will blame the lack of experience with reviewing this type of medium. Nevertheless, for an exciting, upcoming song review, Nine Muses’ comeback of “Drama” will be analyzed and critiqued (as of the time of writing this sentence, it has not yet come out), but I predict the review coming out 3 or 4 days after. It may be longer, however, considering my custom of stalling multiple days after a song is heard in order to prevent “initial bias” and in order to thoroughly unpack it.

Now to truly be on topic, about a week ago I decided to listen to AOA’s recent mini-album. Typically, from personal experience, I seldom find albums worth entirely listening to. Generally, energy and time are heavily allocated towards the title/main song, and thus, the remaining songs hold as weaker, but this album erases that trend. Every song in this album holds as decent, and with one song, it remains arguably better than the title song. For how this review will be structured, I will quickly go through every song and give a quick opinion regarding each one, and at the end, give my overall consensus on the album as a whole. Anyhow, while AOA’s “Like a Cat” has proven to be an exceptionally successful comeback that has garnered them music show wins and rising popularity, the downfall of such is the rest of their album songs becoming overshadowed by “Like a Cat.” However, before “Time” runs out and “Tears Falling” ruin both a boy’s and “Girl’s Heart,” with “Just the Two of Us,” let us peer at AOA’s mini-album of “Like a Cat.” And if you claim my “AOA Intro” could not have been worse, I will, and have, proven that wrong, for I will also include it.

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Assuming readers have made it this far without losing faith in my puns cringing, let us begin. I will review this album in a random order versus the chronological order that is present in the album list. I will also include an audio link (although for future readers, the link may or may not work depending on copyright issues that may occur later). Furthermore, I will not be leaving numerical values as those are reserved for full song reviews.

1. “AOA Intro” – AOA Intro (Audio)

In perspective of the song itself and not the pun at the start, the album’s introduction cannot be gauged as a full song; it is solely for introducing the album. Therefore, comments will be minimal, but at the very least, it is a soothing song that showcases the “Acoustic Cover” team’s vocals. For people familiar with AOA, Yuna, Choa, and Jimin appear for the group’s acoustic versions of songs, and while “AOA (Intro)” is not a full song nor an acoustic version of a song, it displays the equivalent vocals from the trio.

2. “Like a Cat” – Like a Cat (Review)

Instead of posting the audio link, I will link my review of “Like a Cat.” There, the song itself should be found as well as the general song review format. Due to already writing about their title song, I will not elaborate here. Nevertheless, for a quick remark, “Like a Cat” may not be the strongest song statistically, but even to this day, I still find myself listening to it. It holds the throne of my personal list of “catchiest songs,” and overall, it is a fun, energetic and upbeat song.

3. “Girl’s Heart” – Girl’s Heart (Audio)

Before I offer my opinion, while the song title itself is “Girl’s Heart,” and even with the lyrics depicting the main character as a lady, nothing hinders this song from being labeled as “Boy’s Heart.” Anyhow, in focus of solely the lyrics, biasedly, I adore them. Summarizing the lyrics, the song simply describes how to treat a lady or man’s heart via compliments, being there for support, and such. However, in contrast to the sonic component of the song, there is a sadder tone accompanying the lyrics; the main character’s “heart” is not being treated as she/he desires. Progressing past the pure lyrics, for the mechanical aspect of the song itself, the style deviates from many K-Pop songs: a “pop-rock” style is attached. The choruses follow an upbeat and energetic flow due to the electric guitar instrumental, and additionally, the vocals follow suit with remaining catchy. Considering “Girl’s Heart” ‘s differing style proves to be welcoming, it holds as a decent song. For strong points, the vocals and choruses hold well, and furthermore, even the build-up towards the chorus is respectable. In terms of weaker points, the post-choruses become lacking due to the mundane repetition of single syllables; “bameul bameul bameul bameul” and “eh eh eh eh eh eh AOA,” for a few examples, become vexing over time.

4. “Just the Two of Us” – Just the Two of Us (Audio)

“Just the Two of Us” showcases a melodic yet slower paced song. Lyrically, the song depicts a more intimate moment with a couple. With “just the two of [them],” they dive into their own world of “touch,” “scent,” and “eyes.” Ignoring the romantic lyrics, musically, the instrumental provides a prominent and suiting foundation for the song; the heavier bass and beats perfectly mesh with the lighter pitch of AOA’s vocals. On the subject of vocals, the singing in “Just the Two of Us” emulates a faster and more upbeat ballad style. With that, the singing retains the expected melodic, soothing flow and diverse notes from ballads, but in opposite, the pacing remains on the quicker side, and in this case, that proves to be effective with complementing the beats’ rate. Overall, this is definitely a stronger song of the album. Both categories of instrumental and vocals are solid, and with both aiding one another, the song as a whole becomes augmented.

5. “Tears Falling” – Tears Falling (Audio)

As anticipated from the title, this song does contain a melancholy story. Strangely, however, the style of “Tears Falling” is not a standard slower paced, softer ballad; interestingly, an angrier tone emanates from it versus one of despair. To briefly describe the lyrics, the song depicts either a gentleman or lady who attempts to forget a separated relationship. Unfortunately, “because [the lover] still [has] feelings” for their former partner, tears are still falling. In terms of the lyrics’ details, I admire the fact that every line varies from another; the first verse’s lyrics are not homogenous to the second verse’s lyrics, for example. Due to that, a fuller, deeper scenario can be extracted.

Transitioning to the audio component, while “Tears Falling” may be the album’s weaker song, it still holds relatively well. Addressing what remains weak, while the vocals deliver exceptionally powerful lines, the melody suffers from such. A predominant portion of this song is purely power; little build-up towards the stronger vocals existed. Furthermore, many lines did not follow an enticing melodic flow, and as a result, transitioning to the stronger vocals becomes clouded, and more specifically, abrupt. Due to such, the impacting vocals come off as too sudden. To add one more degrading factor to “Tears Falling,” the instrumental is likewise plain. Thankfully, however, for the most part, the soundtrack did sync to the song’s intensity; the stronger vocals were accompanied by a complexer instrumental, and for calmer sections, such as the raps, it followed suit with remaining serene. On the subject of the rapping sections, on the sole basis of Jimin, “Tears Falling” holds as decent due to her rapping. Her rap section after the first chorus, and even the rap towards the end with Chanmi, were utterly captivating. Extraordinary. Jimin showcases her lower notes, and, of course, while the notes in general may not be low, in retrospect to AOA’s songs, this style of rapping from her is rarely heard. Her flow was exceptionally smooth, her melody proved to be delightful, and with utilizing her lower vocal range, an incredible rap became the outcome.

To digress, Jimin has been infatuating me snatching my attention due to her humor, leadership, friendliness, optimism, silliness rapping skills. Although my initial stance of her rapping was slightly negative due to her unique higher pitched, nasally voice, I cannot deny her talent. How people perceive her voice may definitely vary, but what remains unequivocal is her rapping skill. She possesses excellent pacing, flow, melody, and to overlook her rapping talent on the basis of how she sounds is ridiculous. Recently, from what I observed, she has been receiving some backlash due to attending an upcoming rapping contest show. I expected the repulsion originated due to her mechanical rapping; perhaps people disliked her flow or, for what I personally notice, her inability to leave a potent presence of power. Surprisingly, neither of those are reasons. The main reason is surprising: her voice. The resistance of her entering the show is due to her voice, not her skill. While a vocalist’s voice plays a major factor, with rapping, that is less influential than other factors as mentioned earlier. If Jimin entered a singing contest, then certainly her voice can be criticized as tuneful notes are affected. However, with rapping, how she sounds should not heavily interfere with the rapping itself. Now, to address what is more upsetting is how people have shifted the dislike of her voice from rapping to generality. This shift is unacceptable. With music in context, the criticism of a singer’s voice is certainly acceptable as it is related. Erroneously, however, is mocking a person’s voice on the sole basis of how that person sounds when speaking in general. Jimin’s voice may be questionable in a song, but to criticize and insult her with how her voice sounds when she speaks is outrageous. Every voice is unique and charming, and similar to other unmalleable characteristics to a person, should not be put down as no one is in control of how they sound. Perhaps the following claim may be slightly exaggerated, but shaming a person’s voice is equivalent to shaming their gender, race, language, and such. Unless if music is the context, never should a remark that offends a person’s voice be made. Whether Jimin’s voice influences the result of her rapping is arguable, but certainly, her voice, in the context of regular communications, is charming and does not warrant unnecessary comments.

6. “Time” – Time (Audio)

Truthfully, I planned to review this album with absolutely zero digressions, but alas, I have failed. Nevertheless, I hope people do take to heart my earlier rant. Continuing back to the incredible ladies of AOA, lastly, “Time” is left for a quick review. Personally, this song holds as the best in the album, and while I doubt I will do a formal review of this song, I foresee “Time” holding as a 9/10 numerically rated song. Considering how many songs I have reviewed these days lean towards 7/10, and that I attempt to grade fairly and logically unlike in the past, a 9 in current times is absolutely outstanding. “Time” follows the traditional ballad genre with retaining soft yet impacting vocals, a complementing and soothing instrumental, and solid lyrics.

Firstly, for elaborating on the lyrics, “Time” unveils a story that, once again, involves a broken relationship. A man or lady continues with her/his life after losing their beloved partner (due to a break up, but potentially, also death) and with daily objects in life, such as a TV, food, or even music, the lover is reminded of their lost partner. In honesty, with the initial time (no pun intended) of listening to “Time,” due to the instrumental and vocals crafting an exceptionally saddening atmosphere and with death in context to the lyrics, I admit, I did become rather emotional (but, thankfully, I did not “pull the Girl’s Day’s Minah” and cried due to the song; Girl’s Day fans may recall Minah’s incident with crying in a car due to listening to a ballad). Focusing on the vocals, AOA’s most prime “Time” with singing is with it; the vocals in “Time” are utterly stunning and showcases every member at her peak. Yuna and Choa carry the more vocally demanding load, such as lines involving note holds or stronger, pressing vocals. Supporting vocals are present due to Mina, Hyejeong, and Seolhyun. Even with a support role, for the lines they sung, all were excellent and to a high caliber. In terms of AOA’s rappers, Jimin and Chami’s sections were, as anticipated, captivating. Jimin returns with very low rapping notes, but other aspects such as being melodic and having a fluent flow were still present. Chanmi’s rap is also equally impressive and follows a similar style to Jimin. All members of AOA were delivering top-tier vocals, and as an extra factor, background vocals were present for many sections of “Time.” Quickly addressing the instrumental, it perfectly follows suit with the vocals’ intensity. Other roles, such as meshing well with the vocals, are also met. Even individually the soundtrack holds well.

Overall, “Time” is currently my favorite ballad, and while I cannot confidently claim it is the best song I have heard, it is by far holding a very high rank. Ailee’s “Singing Got Better” is most likely still the best song I have heard, and ironically despite how I overly gave high scores in the past, it probably holds as accurate with the numerical rating. On topic with AOA, “Time” is definitely their strongest song as of now; every member disclosed their best singing, rapping sections were phenomenal, the instrumental is solid, the lyrics prove to be exceptionally detailed, and as a whole song, the cohesion is incredible. Every aspect to “Time” links with another piece.

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Personal Ranking:

With six songs in AOA’s mini-album, “Like a Cat,” I will now rank them based on my personal preference (not based on numerical values that would exist should I have created individual formal reviews that I usually do).

1. “Time”

2. “Like a Cat”

3. “Just the Two of Us”

4. “Girl’s Heart”

5. “Tears Falling”

6. “AOA Intro”

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In the end, although certainly some songs in this album may be superior to another, for an album, every song is definitely decent. If anyone has ever desired to purchase a physical CD copy for an album, I highly recommend AOA’s mini-album of “Like a Cat” (and no, I am not being paid to say this). Jokes aside, every song in this album is worth listening to, and many hold as solid. This is the first album where I have enjoyed every track, and hopefully, it will not be the last. AOA is an incredible group, and as of now, I am arguably officially a fan of them after listening to a plethora of their releases, watching multiple interviews of them, variety shows they attend, and other various shows.

Reflecting over this review, considering how disorganized the review appears, I doubt I will do whole album reviews. Unless for solely a rare occasion or bonus, these will not be included for standard reviews and will be in the same category of show reviews. As always, thank you very much for reading this. Nine Muses’ comeback has finally arrived, and I am extremely excited to review it. I will most likely review it in one day, though no promises. I have an ever growing list of songs to review and I hope to speed up my process to fulfill that. Also, I am aiming to reach 6 reviews for January at minimum, so hopefully that is met. Once again, thank you for reading. Stay tuned for an upcoming review of Nine Muses’ “Drama.” Without recycling my horrible “AOA Intro,” I will halt “Time” here in order to prevent hurting a boy’s or “Girl’s Heart” due to “Tears Falling” at a potentially horrible conclusion. On the positive side, however, if I am sneaky “Like a Cat,” I may be able to close this review properly with “Just the Two of Us.” But on a serious note, do stay tuned for an upcoming review. Thank you for reading.

AOA – “Miniskirt” Review

AOA – Miniskirt (Dance Practice)

AOA (Ace of Angels) – Miniskirt

Reviewed on December 23, 2014

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Personal Message: So it turns out, multi-tasking reviews is one of the worst things I have ever done in terms of writing-related activities. I have three other reviews being worked on, but since I am feeling rather overwhelmed, I decided to take things slowly and one at a time. I will finish a requested review as soon as possible, but I do deeply apologize for a huge delay. Anyhow, it is time I attempt a “speed review”; these reviews are aimed towards being more concise, but hopefully, still sufficiently detailed. My plan is to shorten the Song Structure section. After pondering about how to potentially speed up reviews, that section could be vastly optimized. Nevertheless, I am not too sure if it can be condensed into a shorter piece, and thus, this review was born to be used as an experiment. If things go correctly, I will dive straight into explaining the different sections versus attempting to lay out the key descriptions of every song section. I personally find that it will be an issue, but on the bright side, a lot of time could be saved, and readers will be spared from me atrociously describing different song parts.

Considering I am going to potentially butcher not bring justice to a song, using a group that I have reviewed beforehand will, at the very least, ensure that their name is not utterly tarnished by my mediocre writing. AOA will be my unlucky lucky test trial. Many readers will recognize this group, whether it be due to a previous review on them or, the more realistic reason, that they are a largely soaring group.

On the subject of AOA, although to this day “Like a Cat,” their most recent song, remains on my personal playlist, that is not the main reason on why I have been very fond of these ladies lately. Now that I think of it, perhaps my lousier review rate is due to allocating my writing session with AOA video sessions. Ignoring my excuse, I genuinely admire these incredible ladies. While they have proven to be exceptionally jocular and talented, a specific show made me respect how hard working they are, and how much they did, or more accurately, do, to overcome struggles. Although embarrassingly I forgot the title of the show (it begins with a “C”; might be Korean, though), it was one that did showcase some partial aspects of AOA’s idol life. The ladies were shown to be tediously practicing, and very rarely, if not never, did they have time to simply relax. Furthermore, their CEO or director (I think it was the director) was exceptionally strict with the members; she did not hesitate to hold her tongue when it came to criticizing the ladies of AOA.

There was an incident where Seolhyun was snacking on some chips, and as some may know, an idol’s diet is scrutinized very seriously. Kim Youngsun (to prevent confusion for those unfamiliar, I am typing this in Korean format; Kim is her last name), the director of FNC Entertainment (AOA’s label company) who is rather intimidating, was upset and chastised the member. She even went further and talked about how Seolhyun needed to watch her weight. On a small tangent, it is irritating to see that weight is a huge role for being attractive in certain societies. Whether it is Seolhyun’s case or anyone else, no one should be criticized on a pathetic, unworthy numerical value. Unless if the day arrives where weight will instantly determine your intelligence and such, it holds as meaningless other than a physical description/statistic.   

Since I am on a tangent, I will continue with one more interesting point seen from the show (and as always, for those who hate my blabbering and want my opinion on the song, feel free to skip to below). I did not notice it instantly, but after about 6 minutes into the show, a keen detail struck out: the staff members responsible for AOA are mainly females. Now there will be one person that goes, “So what? Stop being biased since they all happen to be females,” and that is a perfectly reasonable sight; however, welcome to male privilege taking a wider glance at the K-Pop industry, I will argue, despite how many incredible ladies there are whether it be the idols themselves or staff members, the K-Pop industry does sway in the favor of males. From other shows and behind-the-scene footages, often time the staff members are predominantly male. Additionally, the directors are typically males as well. And of course, another “So what?” may be asked, but in my opinion, what this does unveil is who runs the show; if general staff members and directors and CEOs are all male, that potentially influences the songs sung, the dances crafted, and more. I might be overly critical right now, but it is something to consider.

Anyhow, back on track, AOA is seemingly ran by mainly female staff members, which is a nice change, and considering Youngsun holds the director position, that is also great. And to finally properly answer the question of why having females work behind-the-scenes in the K-Pop industry matters, AOA solely exists due to Youngsun; FNC Entertainment homes a lot of male artists, but until Youngsun voiced her opinion, only then did the company decide to create a female group. While AOA’s director is very harsh and scary to the ladies, she does care a lot towards the members. In fact, it was touching to see that Youngsun did accept the group’s request to hug her (on the other side, it is very humorous to see the members stutter and hesitate when speaking to her) and that, according to rumors among the members/staff, she cried when “Miniskirt” won first place on music shows.

In summary, and apologies for such a random, excessive story, I personally appreciate that FNC Entertainment hears out Youngsun’s opinion and respects her rightfully deserved position, and that she is able to have influence and control of AOA. After all, if K-Pop is truly universal, everyone’s thoughts need to be heard, regardless of gender. This also prompts another idea in my head (and at this point you may be thinking “goodness-forbid”). I could elaborate on the idea of how female groups tend to be heavily criticized versus male groups, but I will probably save this discussion for another time. Sadly, this type of criticizing of females is not restricted to K-Pop groups; in some societies, ladies have the obstacle of being exceptionally scrutinized and analyzed for everything (especially those with higher authority positions).

Ironically, despite being a “speed review,” I have increased the duration. Perhaps I should do a standard review with how lengthy this review has already become. I will still try the concise Song Structure idea, and depending on whether my writing languishes even more, I can gauge if “speed reviews” are worth it or not.

With that said and with hopefully some interesting background added, we will finally start the review. Besides “Like a Cat,” this song, “Miniskirt,” has been one I have enjoyed. This song did net them their first first place win, and justly so. For the most part. As expected, the ladies of AOA are tackling their standard mature concept, and knowing that these ladies are definitely sexy due to their hard work, intelligence, positive attitudes, and more, it is fitting. Let’s see why their older song of “Miniskirt” earned them a first place win (or, potentially, why that should not be the case).

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – Recalling my previous review on this group’s latest song, “Like a Cat,” I actually ponder over whether my score there was correct. Perhaps an 8 would have been more appropriate for that song. Digression aside, for “Miniskirt,” I am confident with a 7, above average. For this song, the ladies are putting forth decent vocals. There is a diverse range of notes, the melody proves to be catchy and smooth, and a special component about this song, there are lots of alternating voices. In terms of the singing style, “Miniskirt” follows a calmer state, although towards the end, powerful vocals are released. Everyone also manages to pull their own weight; every line was definitely solid.

Above average vocals in “Miniskirt.” While they hold their ground of having decent vocals, nothing in this song pushes it beyond that. This may be due to individual singers failing to be exceptionally stunning, but nevertheless, the vocals are far from being sheer average. Every member had above average vocals, which, once again, is not terrible at all, but as a result, it leads to the song’s overall vocals reflecting that rating.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 7/10 – Being the first prototype for a shorter Song Structure section, my plan is to simply explain my given score. I will not be describing the section. I am hoping readers will not get confused on which section is which, but as always, hearing feedback would be great.

Anyhow, Jimin handles the introduction.

A solid aspect to this introduction is how simplistic it is; a simple beat and Jimin’s vocals are the only things added. On the subject of the beats, they occurred with Jimin’s voice and a piano-related sound (once again, forgive me for my ignorance on instruments). While individually all three parties are plain, when combined, solid chemistry is created. Jimin’s added “Hey” followed the same rhythm as the beat and sound. “Miniskirt” possesses a compact introduction. The song’s slower pacing is established, the beats and sound heard will recur later, and Jimin’s added lines creates anticipation towards potential vocals later heard.

Overall, above average will be the score. Simplicity is beauty. By using simple beats and such, “Miniskirt” manages to grasp a decent score. The slower beats and sound entices listeners, and Jimin’s words add a catchy, amplifying effect due to proper syncing to the sounds. What does prevent a higher score is potentially dullness; the same sounds were practically recycled for the entire introduction. Thankfully, however, that issue is on the minor side, and with the introduction being shorter and having solid yet subtle build-up, the issue is easily dismissible.

2. Verse: 7/10 – Hyejeong and Choa handle the only verse in the song.

Coming after the introduction, the verse does an excellent job of transitioning. Focusing on the section itself, knowing both of these ladies are very adept singers, the vocals are rather promising. Hyejeong and Choa stretch out the endings of their lines, and as a result, the melody becomes more varied and diverse. Furthermore, with a calmer stretch, it complements the developing instrumental. Choa and Hyejeong’s lines proved to be charming and full of tune.

Overall, an above average verse. The ladies’ singing vastly contributed to this section. Their lines were well sung. A sweet melody and proper pacing was heard. Another notable feature is how well the verse progresses; vocals were slowly brought in along with the instrumental. If the verses left a stronger impression, perhaps an 8 would be possible. While the singing and development were good, nothing utterly stands out in the verse. Nevertheless, a decent section worthy of a 7.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Four members handle the pre-choruses: Chanmi, Mina, Hyejeong, and Seolhyun.

To instantly shed light on perhaps the strongest aspect of the pre-choruses, the line distribution is beautiful. Of the four members mentioned earlier, they each are responsible for one line. By having such a dynamic format, it brings lots of variety in terms of voices, and in general, the alternation leaves a solid impression of multiple singers. In terms of the singing itself, the vocals heard continued the established trend of remaining gentle and melodic, and during this section, Hyejeong showcases lovely high notes.

In summary, the diversity is welcoming; four members sung, different notes were utilized, and the melody varied. Additionally, despite the copious amount of variations and complexity, it was all germane and cohesive. The four ladies alternating was well coordinated, and even Hyejeong’s higher notes at “haihil” and “seutaking” were within the song’s established boundaries of pitches (and yes, if you are thinking those Korean words sound awfully similar to the English words of “high heel” and “stockings,” you are correct; those words mean exactly what they sound). Although this section seems worthy of an 8, a 7 will still hold as the score. The vocals do continue the song’s style, and while they are not necessarily weak, the singing does not prove to be stunning enough to receive a higher score. The pre-choruses possess an amazing format, but when factoring in the vocals, it comes out as above average, which, of course, is still decent.

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Yuna and Choa handle the choruses. As some readers may know, I am a huge fan of Choa’s singing and her personality these ladies are arguably the strongest vocalists in AOA. Both of them are stellar singers, and with that, high expectations are set.

As foreseen, the singing here is solid; both Choa and Yuna are bringing in energy, smooth and soothing vocals, and some note stretching. Taking a more detailed approach, for the note stretching, when “ipgo” is sung, the ending becomes lengthened, and the melody follows suit with varying. While individually it provides an interesting and catchy part, it vastly aids the chorus in that it provides contrast to the following line; the line after is noticeably faster and more energetic.

Overall, solid singing from the adept combo of Yuna and Choa. While the singing was solid, as a whole section, unfortunately, nothing pushes the choruses towards being exceptionally captivating. Perhaps by having more variation (both of them followed the same format; the first line has a note stretch, then after would be the faster line) this section would be more promising, but nevertheless, it holds as above average with a 7. On the positive side, the two ladies disclose why they can be viewed as AOA’s top singers.  

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – For the post-choruses, every member, for the most part, sings (those who have seen AOA during their “Miniskirt” era on the variety show “Weekly Idol” will recall the humorous incident related to everyone singing; a live, perfect version of the post-chorus is rather strenuous), but ignoring the full group humming, for the individual lines that occur, the members of Hyejeong, Choa, Seolhyun, and Yuna are responsible for them.

Format-wise, the post-choruses have potential, but sadly, they fall slightly short. The post-choruses follow the structure of having everyone hum to a melody, and after that, a member has a solo line. Firstly, the humming part, unfortunately, does come off as slightly stale. Unlike their latest song of “Like a Cat,” the humming here (although in the other song it was moreover chanting than humming) does not hold as infatuating. While it may be slightly catchy due to fluctuating tune, with how exceptionally fragile it sounds along with losing stable, sustained sounding vocals, the humming is on the weaker side. Focusing on the solo line, to highlight the strengths, it does provide a break and a change from solely the humming. Nevertheless, the solo lines were just that; they provided some variety, but individually, the solo lines fail to hold their own. Due to the shorter length, a melodic, catchier line would be near impossible, and thus, the sole purpose of the solo lines is to create some diversity.

Slightly above average will be the rating here. While the post-choruses are not too distasteful, more could have been expected. Ending on a positive note, AOA’s song producer made a promising revision to this style of post-choruses; “Like a Cat” has one of the catchiest post-choruses I have ever heard, and even after weeks, that part still retains its attention-grabbing attribute. Back on topic, the post-choruses in “Miniskirt” lack the stable vocals that have been heard up until this song section. If the humming was limited to and alternated between specific members, perhaps the tune would have been less sensitive and fragile sounding.  

6. Rap: 8/10 – Jimin, Mina, and Chanmi handle the rapping part. To note, however, it is arguably mainly Jimin rapping. Actually, more accurately phrased, Jimin is the only one rapping (technically, anyways). Mina and Chanmi add supporting, regular singing vocals.

After listening to many of AOA’s songs, Jimin’s talent as a rapper is something quite admirable. Thankfully, for “Miniskirt,” listeners are graced with her usual skills. Jimin’s rapping is impactful, lingering, and fluent. Additionally, being swift with her rap is not an issue. And, although I feel rather remorseful for somewhat bashing her voice in a previous review (and as explained, I am judging from a musical standpoint; every voice is genuinely beautiful), for this rap, it deserves praising for adding power and flow. To focus on Mina and Chanmi, although they did not necessarily rap (as a side note, Chanmi is a capable rapper, and Mina is a solid support vocalist), they aided Jimin through standard singing lines. In this song’s case, after Jimin finishes her entry rap line, Mina and Chanmi’s lines created a slight pause in the rap. Although typically raps remain uninterrupted, in “Miniskirt,” this method augments the section: more variety is created, the song still contains its style and trend of not being overly energetic, and Jimin’s rap gets further emphasis. Solid, delightful aspects become elicited due to this rap’s structure.

A higher score will be given. Despite not being a full rapping section, the breaks of Mina and Chanmi’s singing aid Jimin’s rap. Every member’s line were significant, and as a whole, it constructed a promising song section.

7. Bridge: 7/10 – The lovely duo of Yuna and Choa make a return for the bridge.

Having the vocals and instrumental showcase proper synergy is a solid aspect to the bridge. With a typical bridge format, the instrumental becomes passive. Yuna’s singing syncs up to that; her vocals reciprocate the piano’s gentle tunes by having a softer, exceptionally melodic style. Once the beats recur, Choa’s lines follow a similar rhythm. Furthermore, besides respectable syncing, a decent note hold is heard; the beats hyped the song back into its standard intensity, and to add a climactic piece, Choa tosses a powerful note hold.

Overall, above average will be the bridge. Both of the ladies’ singing were soothing and reflecting the instrumental. As for what remains slightly weaker, the format itself is rather plain and thus, nothing proves to be exceptionally impressive. “Miniskirt” possesses the typical build-up bridge; the format follows a pacified instrumental and vocals, and eventually, a rebound happens that leads to a note hold. Specifically for this song, the execution may be strong, but by possessing neither utterly stunning vocals or instrumental, a higher score will not be gained. If a standard format is utilized, “mechanical pieces” (vocals, the instrumental, etc.) become the main highlight, and in this bridge’s situation, the mechanical aspects only hold as above average.  

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – Finally, the conclusion. The post-chorus is reused, this time, however, Choa and Yuna perform two-part singing via note holds.

There are mixed feelings towards this song’s conclusion. Quickly addressing the satisfactory components, using the post-chorus leaves a lasting remnant of “Miniskirt.” Considering it is a conclusion, that achieved effect is desirable. Also, the two-part singing format is not too poor. In many cases for a conclusion, two-part singing is rather effective at giving a final climactic point or, at the very least, leaving a powerful finish. What remains questionable is not necessarily the two-part singing itself, but instead, the execution behind it. While the note holds feel natural due to the previous note hold at the bridge, there is a sharp contrast that occurs: the fragile, sensitive humming and the stronger, piercing note holds sound unfitting next to one another. With the contrast, the note holds seemingly have extra strain, which often time is loathed during note holds since they should be executed smoothly with power and melody.

Peering at the section as a whole, it will still hold as above average. The strain emphasized can be overlooked, and for a conclusion, the main roles are still met along with some high note flaunting. Perhaps keeping solely Choa’s note hold at the bridge would solve the issues, but overall, a decent conclusion to “Miniskirt.”

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – To quickly give my opinion on the “speed review” structure, I hardly saved any time. Future speed reviews will probably need to be whittled down further by removing the summarizing piece (more on this will be at the very end of the review).

On topic, with 7 members in AOA, it should not be too difficult to share an equal amount of lines. Recalling my review on “Like a Cat,” they did surprisingly struggle slightly with how lines were shared (and hopefully their distribution in ”Con-Choa and Yuna-fused" “Confused” never returns in the future). Knowing the amount of shifting members in this song, a high score can be anticipated.

Choa was involved at the verse, choruses, a solo line at the post-choruses, and lastly, the bridge. No major issue is present, however, Choa might be slightly dominating. Depending on the other members’ share, Choa’s excessive lines may be a downfall.

Jimin’s parts were her standard ones (or at least, a plethora of their main songs follow this pattern); AOA’s leader handled the introduction, and of course, the rapping section. Sufficient spotlight is given. The introduction leaves a potent presence of Jimin, and considering her reputation of being a rapper, the rap section gave her a welcoming moment. Overall, a perfect amount of time was allocated for her.

Yuna will be the next member to gauge. Her lines were heard at the choruses, the post-choruses, and the bridge. Homogenous to Choa’s case, Yuna is responsible for multiple sections, but in terms of what is more beneficial, Yuna does not possess excessive lines. Being a main vocalist, the amount of time given here is perfect; Yuna was given enough time to showcase her talent, but likewise, was not singing a vast majority of the song. If my memory is correct, even in “Like a Cat,” her line distribution remains near perfect. No issues here whatsoever.

Hyejeong’s lines were heard at the verse, pre-choruses, and the one-line post-chorus section. Ignoring the verse, Hyejeong’s lines were mainly single ones. Nevertheless, her time was spread out properly, and due to that, no major problem arises. The only wish would be for an additional, lengthier section, but considering how miniscule that issue is, for the most part, Hyejeong had an appropriate share.

Taking a side note for Mina, my condolences goes to her due to an unfortunate incident; her father passed away a while back. Although she is now back with AOA and such, I hope her future comes with luxury and positivity. Her father raised a wonderful, extremely intelligent and talented lady. It is unfortunate that Mina had to endure such a lost. Bringing back a cheerier tone, Mina’s part in “Miniskirt” were the pre-choruses and the rap section. Sadly, in both sections, Mina handled solely one line. A slightly redeeming factor is that the pre-chorus is replayed, and thus, more spotlight, but overall, Mina is lacking in comparison to the other members. More time could have been given.

Once again, for another digression, Seolhyun was absent for the promotion part of “Miniskirt.” From what I know, she had a knee/leg/ankle injury, and thus, was incapable of performing on any live stage performances. Now to answer how she got injured, using my own vague knowledge (and for those who desire accuracy, I simply recommend searching around for the proper answer), she was attending a sports/athletic-related show when she got her injury. This also reminds me, I could start bashing a specific show that exploits idols for athletic purposes (there are a lot of subtle yet negative aspects to this show), but for the sake of time, I will skip it. Anyhow, thankfully, in the future comeback of “Like a Cat,” Seolhyun was able to perform, and therefore, experienced her first first-place stage performance win (and fans will remember her waterfall of tears backstage due to that). Now to finally be on topic, Seolhyun’s lines were at the pre-choruses and the post-choruses. Like Mina, her lines were purely single ones; she had one line at the pre-chorus, and one line at the post-chorus. Hearing some actual singing time, such as in Hyejeong’s case with the verse, would be desirable.

Lastly, Chanmi, the maknae of AOA (youngest person) has lines during the pre-choruses and the rap. With having the exact spotlight as Mina, it can be concluded that Chanmi is slightly absent of lines. More lines could have been bestowed, and interestingly, despite being a support rapper, she did not have a rapping spotlight to display.

Overall, although on the surface “Miniskirt” seemingly discloses equal, properly shared lines, the reality holds as somewhat weak. Yuna, Jimin, and Hyejeong had a proper amount of lines while Choa was slightly dominating, and for Mina, Chanmi and Seolhyun, they were on the lacking side. Slightly above average will hold as the Line Distribution score. It was not utterly one-sided, but even with their vocal/rapping roles, a better share should been given.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Simplicity is a strong factor to the instrumental of “Miniskirt.” Every sound holds as rather basic; the beats, pacing, melody, and flow are all on the average side and contain little complexity. Due to the simpler setup, the instrumental becomes versatile. Individually, the soundtrack is soothing and gives off a classier and gentle yet catchy tune. When accounting for the vocals, it provides a sound foundation (no pun intended) that the vocals can manipulate; stronger vocals are supported by a more energetic instrumental, and blatantly, the opposite holds true when the vocals are more relaxed.

Personally, I find it rather hard to decide between an 8 or 7. In the end, after listening to the official instrumental, I will rate it at an 8. It remains solid in multiple categories: individually it holds well, in unison with vocals it holds well, and with syncing up to the vocals’ intensity it holds well. Furthermore, it is a simple and classier-themed soundtrack. A solid score is to be expected.

– Meaning: 7/10 – With a song title of “Miniskirt,” many listeners are probably pondering at the meaning. Will it be about a lady showing off her charms? Or perhaps it will be a flirtatious story. And to share some background about this song, from what I recall when it was released (back before I became obsessed with these incredible ladies was keeping updated with AOA), this song was controversial. I will discuss this in the “bonus” section of the Meaning score, but to quickly share my opinion, in no way is this song anywhere near controversial. Although it may seem questionable in terms of lyrics and choreography, this song does not warrant a lot of horrible name-callings that I have seen. Besides, I find it rather–to be blunt– stupid, that people would direct anger at the lyrics and choreography towards the ladies when the veracity shows the song producers and choreographers are the ones to blame.

Anyhow, let us take a look at the lyrics to find out what “Miniskirt” is about. As always, these lyrics are not 100% accurate, but through these translated Korean-to-English lyrics, the story should be unveiled:

Hey, hey, hey, AOA, hey, hey, hey
Brave Sound (Drop it)

Your eyes that look at me
It’s not the same as before
I’m still good-looking
But why do you look at me like I’m a worn-out shoe?

I’m so pretty, whatever I wear
I’m so sexy, even if I don’t show skin
My risky high heels, black stockings
You won’t be able to take your eyes off of me, don’t stop me

When I wear a miniskirt
and walk on the street, everyone looks at me
I’m wearing a miniskirt
But why are you the only one who doesn’t know?

I’m a confident girl, but why are you making me struggle?
You only ignore me, I don’t know where I’ll bounce off to

I make time to get my nails done and change my hair
I wear new shoes and wear a miniskirt but you don’t notice
Why are you so indifferent?
Before other wolves come snatch me away,
pay attention boy

I’m so pretty, whatever I wear
I’m so sexy, even if I don’t show skin
My risky high heels, black stockings
You won’t be able to take your eyes off of me, don’t stop me

When I wear a miniskirt
and walk on the street, everyone looks at me
I’m wearing a miniskirt
But why are you the only one who doesn’t know?

I’m a confident girl, but why are you making me struggle?
You only ignore me, I don’t know where I’ll bounce off to

I’m getting more and more tired
Even your eyes that look at me, why is it so cold?
I don’t know,
but it’ll change now

I’m a confident girl, but why are you making me struggle?
You only ignore me, I don’t know where I’ll bounce of

Before we have some fun, let’s focus back to the musical aspect of this song. This story depicts a “girl” (correct term would be lady) who is attempting to grab her love-interest’s attention. Unfortunately, the boy remains apathetic; despite the lady’s new and chic fashion, “high heels” and “black stockings,” and even with getting “nails done,” the love-interest does not care. Heart-breaking for the lover, the lyrics in “Miniskirt” are rather unique. Most lyrics around the story of love tend to be either more flirtatious, or on the other spectrum, rather melancholy in describing a break-up. However, in this song, while it remains in the flirting category, it is a one-sided relationship. The lover invests plenty of time to impress the love-interest, but ultimately still fails.

Above average will be the score due to a differing approach to the same, tedious lyrics of flirting. Additionally, the details here are slightly varying and support the idea of how the lover is being rejected. Examples of the lady’s new clothing and cosmetics showcase her struggles at infatuating her love-interest.

Now it is time for the bonus section, and now that I have been doing this for a while, perhaps an official title such as the “Critical Corner” will eventually be made. I will attempt to find a title that will not induce cringes. Firstly, I will address one common reaction to this song that goes along the phrasing of “This song is offensive; ladies should not be depicted as only dressing to impress males.” While that statement is true in its underlying meaning, it is also hindered. Females should feel free to dress as they wish, for whatever they wish. Should a lady desire to dress nicely, it should not be assumed she is attempting to attract people. However, should a lady dress in an exquisite manner in order to captivate her love-interest, such as the character in this song, then that is also acceptable. It is short-sighted to view only one side of this spectrum. Regardless of gender, the ability to dress without warranting uncalled and undesired attention or remarks should be granted. If a lady wishes to look charming for her love-interest, then no issues should arise. If a gentleman desires to dress up for the sole sake of looking nice, then no assumptions should be made.

Progressing to the next controversial piece, it is a comment that analyzes the lyrics: “ ‘Miniskirt’ is offensive and objectifies females as only sexual beings; wearing a miniskirt, high heels, stockings and such only support that idea.” Again, we have an idea where the underlying meaning is correct, but once again, this sight falls short. Here is a serious question to ponder over: Why would wearing a miniskirt be objectifying? Also, who says wearing a miniskirt is inappropriate/objectifying? My personal stance on this is no, miniskirts are not objectifying. What a lady wears should not matter. It is the spectator who determines what is objectifying, not the clothing itself. Females should be able to wear whatever they desire to without warranting unwanted hate or in extreme yet common cases, sexual assaults. What does create objectification is when the clothing or what else is solely emphasized on sexual purpose; there is a significant difference between seeing a lady wearing a miniskirt and saying “she looks very nice today, good for her” and “her revealed legs makes sex desirable with her” (and how awkward it is to type that; even at my current age, the subject of sex still makes me blush). In summary, it is not a crime for a lady to wear clothing that are “questionable” when it should not create any disruptions whatsoever in the first place. And before someone tries to loophole my point, yes there is still a line between appropriate dressing and not, but I am being realistic here with examples such as miniskirts, high heels, stockings, make-up, and more. If my argument is slightly confusing, apologies for not formulating my thoughts correctly.

For the sake of progressing the review, I will cut it off here. As a final message, “Miniskirt” is nowhere near controversial as people make it out to be. It is pitiful and saddening to see the general conclusion is that the song is offensive, when in reality, it is not. If people gained the mentality of seeing females as humans, then all the controversy surrounding this song would not exist in the first place.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – In case some readers are too worked up over my previous words due to either agreeing or disagreeing (which is actually good; getting worked up over matters that I would consider important is great), before we hop back into the musical perspective, I will share a somewhat jocular story. As noticed in the dance practice, the ladies of AOA are wearing high heels (and other apparels that match up to the lyrics). Besides taking time to admire their skills for being able to dance in them (and credit to other idols as well; even males with insoles to increase their height deserve credit), I will admit I can confirm the difficulty of maneuvering in high heels. And before people get an inaccurate idea, let me tell the story of “My High Hell Experience.” No, “Hell” is not a typo, and apologies if anyone is offended. I should re-label the story, but I believe hell is very accurate word to describe my experience.

This was back when I was perhaps around 6 or 7 years old. Since I am too lazy to do the math I do not quite recall the age, I do remember it was around 5th grade, so let that be the age gauge. Anyhow, my family went on a camping trip and I was wearing sandals. Key word: I was. They ended up snapping at the end, and therefore, were unusable. Lucky and unluckily, instead of walking in splinters and such, my mom happened to bring along high heels. And before someone asks “who brings those to camping trips?” I will say, I asked the same thing. But to answer it, they were not exactly high at all; the heel happened to be more elevated by a very minimal margin than the front. Now, I was graced with not rejecting it due to the idea of gender limitations on objects, but instead, I was resistive since they looked intimidating to walk in. But, being a little boy that would accept anything, I attempted to walk around in them. Key word once more: attempted. I staggered over everything, and instead of walking, I ended up sliding the high heels instead of lifting my foot. Eventually a few more minutes passed, and I felt more confident. Perhaps my incredible journey of shifting a few feet was an admirable milestone, but I decided to genuinely lift my foot up. First step was well, but the second one ended up causing the shoe to tilt sideways, and of course, my entire being tumbling over. With both luck and perhaps some agility, I managed to land a foot away from the campfire (thank goodness it was covered by a metal circle and a grill top), but I nevertheless felt as if I nearly met the environment of hell (or in my little boy version, “becoming chicken”). Fast forward, my cousins donated me an extra pair of sandals, but I will never forget the valuable lesson I learned. Ignoring the obvious one of how fire can kill, even to this day, I still hold a subtle admiration at people who can walk in elevated shoes, be it high heels or added insoles. Now, what does this have to do with AOA and “Miniskirt”? Perhaps more respect at their coordination and dexterity, but at the very least, should you ever become a parent/are one, do not let your little boy or girl wear high heels near a campfire.

Back on topic after an extremely silly story, let us go back to the K-Pop world of AOA and “Miniskirt.” The choreography here may be considered slightly sexual, but unlike other songs, AOA pulls it off in an artistic manner. And without diving into another discussion, refer back to the Meaning section and think of this dance as a lady wearing a miniskirt; it is not necessarily a crime for AOA to execute this dance as long as it is taken as a choreography, and not seen from a sheer sexual perspective (and I think this phrasing/idea was what I was trying to articulate earlier).

“Miniskirt” ‘s choreography may be on the more mature and sexually-orientated side, and ignoring the social aspects and focusing on the pure dance, this is somewhat concerning. Typically, sexually-orientated choreographies are inhibited; emphasis on a body part or such often time reduces the dance maneuver down to a very basic, and incoherent motion. Surprisingly, this does not apply in this dance, and thus, even with the sexual-orientated part, the choreography remains intact.  

Breaking the dance apart, in terms of the syncing, it is very accurate. Beats are connected with a certain movement, and for what this song does well, even the musical flow is linked to a dance maneuver. For example, the pre-choruses and more clearly, the post-choruses have movements that connect to the pacing of the song such as slow movements. In terms of key points, most hold as solid. Every dance set was unique and varying from the rest. Transitions from each one were also well done. In terms of the weaker key points, the post-chorus was a bit plain, although nevertheless well synced. Positively, however, the bridge key point dance is somewhat mediocre. The transition to it was beautiful, and the addition of chairs added a new dimension. What holds it back, however, was the sexually-oriented piece; everything leading up to it was perfectly synced, but once that moment occurred, the choreography became completely unsynced and moreover chaotic. At the very least, it does shift back to being decent to conclude properly.

Overall, despite being hefty on the sexual side, the choreography remains well synced with the song. Key points were also solid. The bridge section remains as a double-edged sword; everything was incredibly synced and stunningly executed until the butt-shaking took hold. Above average will hold as the score. While sexually-oriented parts should be questioned and critically analyzed, the choreography still contains proper syncing and solid key points. If the bridge was revamped slightly, a higher score could be possible.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With both the Song Total Score and Choreography Score being rated at a 7, the Overall Score will be the average of that which results in a 7. I do agree with the Overall Score; above average seems to be a proper label for “Miniskirt” in regards to both the song and dance.

Although I am on break, I am taking sleeping time off just to catch up on reviews, but I cannot complain and I feel at rest knowing I finished this review. This review, ironically, took longer despite being a “speed review,” so I will definitely revisit my idea. I will attempt to cut out the summarizing piece in the Song Structure section, so once again, another experiment will have to unfold.

As always, thank you very much for reading. Considering I have been slacking, if you have been checking back regardless of my slower rate, it means a lot and I cannot express enough gratitude. I will do my best to improve my rate and quality of reviews.

For those wondering on future reviews, I will finally begin a very old requested review, and I feel extremely guilty and ashamed for being this lethargic. Thank you for waiting, it will be finished soon. After that review, I have a lot in mind, so let’s hope I create a concise format soon in order to cover the plethora of songs in mind.

That said, this seems to be a proper place to end this review. I have some “Winter Time” songs I want to review for the time of winter. Whether you celebrate a holiday or not, hopefully this time is a great moment to spend time with loved-ones. Anyhow, thank you once more for reading this. I appreciate the support, and please feel free to send feedback and even ideas for concising down my reviews. After all, as my incredible teacher has mentioned, although I cannot quote her exactly, shorter writing means more ideas are bundled and expressed more efficiently and precisely. Anyhow, more pondering on that later as I would like to sleep. Keep checking back for more reviews. Remember, you are “sexy, even if [you] don’t show skin” because sexiness should be reconstructed and redefined to be more realistic. Being hard working, friendly, and intelligent and more is what determines sexiness, not physical attributes. Stay tuned and thanks once again for reading.