MAMAMOO  – “Decalcomanie” Review

(Music
Video – Dance Version)

MAMAMOO – Décalcomanie

Reviewed
on November 8, 2016

image

This
might be the best song I have ever heard
in my entire life. It might be.

Personal Message:
This might be the best song I have
ever heard in my entire life. It
might be. Or at least tied with Ailee’s “Evening Sky,” a song that I do confidently
claim is the best song I have ever heard. (Edit: Another song to credit, though, is MAMAMOO’s cover of “Hinterlands.” Their cover was amazingly arranged and composed, and admittedly, was the first song that made me tearful not due to emotions per se, but due to its own musical beauty.)

On topic, “New York” by MAMAMOO was
a very disappointing release, and while I did not review it, fans would
probably be glad I did not as it would have been a rather negative review. Nonetheless,
with “Decalcomanie,” I am beyond impressed. Even that statement does a poor job
of expressing how I render the song. If it comes to a song’s sounds—and hence the emphasis on “heard”
as said earlier—“Decalcomanie” is one of, if not the, best releases I have ever heard in months or even years if I
dare say that. Admittedly its lyrics may be lacking, but if we pay attention to
its pure sonic aspect, this song completely sets a standard for MAMAMOO that I
thought would not have been possible to further increase. But indeed: MAMAMOO
and their producers have done it; they have taken “Decalcomanie” to an entirely
new level of music quality that I never anticipated.

With this review, though, there are
a few disclaimers to put forth. For one, as noted, this song just came out
today and while I have attempted to analyze the song as deeply as possible, I
am prematurely reviewing it. From what I personally have found, the best
reviews come when I have spent days—not minutes, hours, but days—analyzing and
actively listening to a song. With “Decalcomanie,” it is clear I have not had
the chance to let the song “settle” and to come back to it with a new listening
experience. Thus, this is to point out that ratings given here may be overly
hasty and potentially full of bias. On that note, my personal bias—musical and
as a fan—might come out in this review. I am a huge fan of MAMAMOO musically,
but I also very much admire the ladies and look up to Solar as my role model. Given
how recent the song is, I might have unknowingly inflated the ratings due to a
personal desire to support MAMAMOO. Finally, and  to further expand on a mentioned point,
besides enjoy MAMAMOO’s music, it perfectly happens that “Decalcomanie” suits
my personal music preferences. Songs that follow “Decalcomanie” ‘s style tend
to be ones I enjoy most, and thus, bias can easily leak into the review.

Those points clarified, for one more
final message, this review might be shorter than usual. Due to being extremely
busy with university (coincidentally I have a music research paper due in a few
days), I will instead focus this review towards more critical, controversial
points rather than guiding readers through every detail of the song. This is
unfortunate as, whenever I give “extreme” ratings—ratings that are polarized
either very positively or negatively—I do end up writing more thorough
explanations so that readers can understand my perspectives.

Edit:
A dance version was uploaded and thus, the following points are no longer
relevant. Shoutout to RBW Entertainment for their decision to release a dance
version this early versus, for example, delaying it a few weeks so as to
stretch out a song’s popularity.

Lastly, before hopping into the
review itself, I will now address the links. As per usual, the music video is
included. The reason, however, an audio link is included is because there is a
huge pause in the middle of the music video for the purposes of plot because we still
socially find it “sexy” for boys to be aggressive and forceful, and if this is
the case, I demand a music video where a woman is forceful to boys since that
will be considered equally “sexy” and if not we have a problem. (Edit: With actually watching the video now,
I will say Moonbyul saved the day and she can pull me roughly in for a kiss whenever
she wants. Partially kidding. Mostly not. Can I have my “first kiss” with
Moonbyul?)
. Am I taking out my university stress onto a
music video plot and encouraging readers to be critical consumers of it?
Probably. Am I “fanboying” over Moonbyul and her soothing, charming deep voice?
Probably. Now do I find the music video itself aesthetically pleasing and in
that regard still praise the video even with its questionable plot? Yes. Social
critiques and jokes aside, while the audio link will serve as what readers
should be listening to in terms of following my review, I will remind future
readers that it is liable to copyright. Therefore, future readers months or
even years ahead might be forced to rely on the music video.

All of this covered, let us focus on
why I assert “Decalcomanie” is for sure not only MAMAMOO’s best release, but
possibly one of the best releases I have heard in a long time.

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 8/10


Sections: 8/10
(8.0/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 8/10

3.     Chorus: 9/10

4.     Rap: 8/10

5.     Bridge: 7/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 9/10


Instrumental: 8/10


Lyrics: 5/10

[Instrumental]

Knock knock
Strange is your appearance and unusual eyes
It’s a little bit suspicious
It’s 10 to 12
Getting influenced by the atmosphere
We’re looking at each other
Even the silence is sticky
Looks like our relationship is going to burst

You and I kiss
I feel good
Leave me to you
I feel good
This is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous
I think maybe I’ll cross the line
Drawn to you
I feel good
An orange-colored drawing
I feel good
It’s a little bit dangerous, dangerous
But I can’t stop even if it’s dangerous
I feel good

Knock knock
I already predicted this
Ladies have a really good sense
It has already happened
We spend the midnight secretly

At that time, knock knock
Since last summer, like an adolescent girl
I dreamt a romance night and day
I only waited today
Oh yes
Oh, cellphone is off, deadly breath
A secret party, roll out the red carpet
Welcome to my place, knock knock
Put your hands above your head
Clap your hands

You and I kiss
I feel good
Leave me to you
I feel good
This is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous
I think maybe I’ll cross the line
Drawn to you
I feel good
An orange-colored drawing
I feel good
It’s a little bit dangerous, dangerous
But I can’t stop even if it’s dangerous
I feel good

Your whispering wakes me up
(I feel good)
Your gesture and motion
(I feel good)
This morning only with you
(I feel good)
I feel good, good, good, good

Roughly combed hair and a body like a hulk
I want to see your line and hug you from behind
Keep on, I can’t breathe
I can’t control myself
I prepared for you
(MAMAMOO is coming back for you)
Knock knock knock knock
Put your hands above your head
Clap your hands

You and I kiss
I feel good
Leave me to you
I feel good
This is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous
I think maybe I’ll cross the line
Drawn to you
I feel good
An orange-colored drawing
I feel good
It’s a little bit dangerous, dangerous
But I can’t stop even if it’s dangerous
I feel good

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: As
readers can tell, the song scores very well. Eights are by no means easy to
achieve, and yet “Decalcomanie” manages to earn all but one. In particular,
though, that “one” holds back its overall rating: the lyrics. As alluded to
earlier, the song’s sonic components are brilliant, but unfortunately, the
lyrics are average at most. The plot, for one, is nothing extraordinary.
Certainly the plot’s overall focus on “forbidden love” may be intriguing
considering it is a rarer plot outline, but even so it fails to stretch beyond
its label. Whether a song is about sweet love, heartbreaking split ups, or
about falling for someone when one should not (as in this song), what I remain
critical of is how far—or not—the lyrics go beyond these generic summaries. In
“Decalcomanie,” unfortunately the lyrics do not extend the plot beyond that
overarching label. If there was an unexpected plot-twist that occurred in the
lyrics that complicated the general storyline label, implicitly or explicitly,
this would have been desirable.

Furthermore,
another limiting feature to the lyrics is its details: lacking complexity. The
verses and raps provide some variety, but even then, the details render more as
filler than introducing new ideas. Most impairing, though, are the choruses
(though this will sound ironic later once we focus on the audio): repetitive in
form and providing minimal detail to the plot. Additionally, with how the
choruses are a huge core to the song and therefore reused often, the already
lackluster state of them makes the lyrics even more limited.

Switching
over to the audio itself now, what makes “Decalcomanie” score incredibly well
is that it excels in what I argue are the two main factors of a song:
composition and execution. Now this may sound confusing; after all, based on my
review outline, are the factors I consider important—for K-Pop at least—the
vocals, sections, instrumental, and lyrics? Although those are the factors we
focus on, I am talking in an even more general sense: looking at a song at,
say, the production and composition stages. For what I am connoting with
“composition” as a general factor, I refer to the song in of itself. In other
words, how the song is laid out and is arranged, structured, and the like.
Think of it as the skeleton to a song. In terms of “execution,” then, I am
referring to when idols provide their vocals and furthermore, when the song
actually physically plays versus being theoretical.

Point
is, “Decalcomanie” does both well and I mention these “composition” and
“execution” labels since, admittedly, songs can still do decently if not well
as long as one of those excel. For example, GFriend’s
“Navillera”
I have argued is a solidly composed
song. That said, the execution in terms of the vocals— while still great—is not
at an incredibly high level. GFriend, overall, tends to excel more from song
composition strengths than necessarily relying on pure vocal execution to bring
excellent songs. Is this bad? Again, it is not since in the end their songs do
in fact flourish—specifically with “Rough” and “Navillera” if we are to be
exact. And of course, there are cases where groups with solid execution can
make an otherwise lackluster song composition excel. An example in mind of this
case would be SPICA’s “Tonight”: the song’s composition does come off as
repetitive and a bit plain, but SPICA’s vocal execution brings forth an
excellent song as the end result. With this all in mind now, let it be
reiterated: MAMAMOO’s  “Decalcomanie”
does both well—and indeed,
considering just excelling in one is enough to warrant great songs, this should
be indicative of how much potential MAMAMOO’s comeback has.

The
introduction might provide a clear example of solid execution and composition
at work. With the introduction, one may argue it is plain: after all, it is
merely a beat occurring—and at that, it lasts for a few seconds. On closer
inspection, however, this supposed minor section brings forth major benefits to
“Decalcomanie.” On a composition level, given that the song is relatively
quick-paced with its progression—for example, note that it has no pre-chorus, as
we will further discuss later—an introduction that is crafted in a way as to
establish the song’s pacing is vital. The lack of a shorter introduction would
potentially lead to listeners feeling that the song is overly rushed. Imagine
this: The introduction is a lengthy, dramatic, piano-based introduction. If “Decalcomanie”
adopted this route, everything following after—the verse then chorus—would have
been too sudden. Thus, even if the introduction is seemingly short and
worthless, I argue its limited duration was very much planned out.  

Now
in terms of the execution of the introduction’s sounds, what should be noticed
is that the delivered “plain beats” are no longer “plain” if we stop listening
to them in an abstract vacuum. Since the instrumental actually continues on,
seamlessly, into the following verse, it builds cohesion into the song at a
very early point. Besides how important cohesion is in, once again, this
fast-paced song, the beauty of the execution is more on the instrumental
continuing freely. It is these simple beats that begin the very first steps and
buildup for the verses—all in a smooth, clean, and concise fashion.

Let
us now focus on the choruses, though, as these sections are ultimately what I
assert as the main core to the song. Moreover, these sections provide another
example of how “Decalcomanie” possesses both solid execution and composition.
For example, when focusing on the execution, MAMAMOO’s vocals and the
instrumental are of immediate attention. In this section, both aspects
flourish. The vocals are almost self-explanatory: they are powerful, soft,
precise, wild, and if accounting for the song in whole, it remains diverse with
including raps and the rougher verses. As for the instrumental’s execution, there
are many subtle features that deserve praising. In particular, despite the instrumental
following a more simplistic form, the way it carries out is indispensable to
the choruses’ success. With how the vocals are incredibly intense and active,
the direction of the song is easily lost; listeners can easily become
disorientated due to how overpowering the vocals can be. To counteract that,
the instrumental’s simpler execution does just that: it provides a contrast to
MAMAMOO’s stellar, energetic singing as the heavier bass line is a blatant,
easy sound to follow, and equally the rhythm and beats maintaining a slightly
slower rate and less intense state and thus provides other aspects for a
listener to maintain her balance.

However,
even with all of that covered, there is still one peculiar feature that makes
the choruses go to a nine—a rating that is essentially the highest possible for
this blog. My answer to this is: coordination—both within the section itself,
but also outside the section itself. Since we have partially covered the
section itself, though, I will focus more on the latter.

If
we view the choruses from a wider perspective and view it in relation to all of
the other sections, we would discover some risky composition decisions that,
thankfully, resulted well. Specifically, what I am most drawn to is how the
choruses are self-sufficient; alone, the choruses fulfill—with admittedly some
assistance from the verses—the role of, say, pre-choruses and post-choruses.
Especially as discussed earlier with how the song lacks pre-choruses—sections
that are defaults in almost every pop song—this was an extremely bold move from
the composers. Nevertheless, it very much worked out and that is due to how the
choruses—and verses—are composed in a certain manner.

For
one, before the choruses directly begin, there is a generic format used:
quickening beats—or in this case, clapping—that signaled a change. Whether this
portion belongs to the verse or chorus is unclear, and I would argue that is
irrelevant as the main point is that it provides a blatant transition. More
importantly, for when the choruses unequivocally arrive, the very first seconds
if not the first second provides
another critical transition. During this moment, the vocals are marginally played
ahead of time before the instrumental begins once again. That initiation from
the vocals—and to clarify, the vocals do start the choruses at a high peak—is essentially
the “pre-chorus” of the song if we dare claim it as that. Even if it appears
sudden, I would disagree with that: the choruses are quick but not sudden—the latter
implying the composition did not properly transition from the verse to chorus. This
all relates back, however, to my initial point: that the choruses are
incredibly well coordinated. The choruses are working with minimal time to pull off, as we have discussed, simple tasks such
as transitions, but because of the efficiency and coordination of the choruses,
everything manages to tie together.

Overall,
MAMAMOO’s comeback is definitely an above average song, and I would argue it is
a good song. Past releases may have
focused more on being upbeat and pop-distinctive, but the ladies have now
equally proven they can deliver well with a more refined, powerful and intense
song. Currently, I will consider “Decalcomanie” the best song of the year, and
I would be incredibly pleased if another song manages to contest that. And so
to end, while this review is by far the worst I have written in a while (“Decalcomanie”
is, after all, a really complex song in my opinion), I will leave the main
summary of this review: MAMAMOO’s comeback is amazing. It is fabulous.
Fantastic. “Decalcomanie” is pure beauty in its composition and in its vocal
and instrumental delivery.

_______________________________________________________

Once
again, I do apologize with this review being rather unorganized and rough in
its analysis. There are so many impressive moments in this song, and I
unfortunately lack the musical skills to be able to truly deconstruct all of those
specific pieces—let alone attempt to articulate them. But, if anything, this
song is another reason for why I argue repetitively that the humanities
matters. Music can be—and is—very beautiful.

Look
forward to other reviews to come, some of which will be focused on recent songs
and some on catching up from October’s reviews. I plan to release a few extremely
short reviews in a week or so. All in all, “I feel good” with “Decalcomanie.”
It is by far one of the better songs I have heard.

AKMU – “Re-Bye” Review

AKMU
– Re-Bye (Dance Practice)

AKMU
– Re-Bye (Live Performance)

AKMU (Akdong Musician) – Re-Bye

Reviewed
on June 5, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


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

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

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Conclusion: 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 10/10

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

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

Equal Value: 7 sections per member.  


Lyrics: 6/10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 6/10

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

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

Sistar – “I Swear” Review

Sistar
– I Swear (Dance Practice)

Sistar – I Swear

Reviewed
on May 30, 2016

Personal Message:
I admit: I am incredibly
disorganized right now and even somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of reviews
to cover. There are so many songs I want to and plan to review, but will I be
able to cover them all before May ends? It depends on how dedicated I can get.
Most likely, though, I will be able to finish the two requested reviews of this
month—this review being a request. That said, to the requester, thank you for
sending this in. I have not received a request in a while, so this was a
pleasant surprise. Additionally, this request being that of a somewhat older
song is also delightful (and surprising considering most requests are based on artists
that I have yet to review or on comebacks): Sistar’s summer song of 2014, “I
Swear”—though “summer song” is debatable as some may claim “Touch My Body”
holds that title. Personally, however, this song was iconic of my 2014 summer
as it was the “ending summer song.” But besides sentimental reasons, “I Swear”
also has a valuable spot with being one of my personal favorite songs. And on
top of it all, it is by Sistar, a group I very much love and of whom are very
popular and skilled. (It is a shame I have not been keeping up with Sistar
news, let alone any news minus ones that involve Fiestar, MAMAMOO, and SPICA.)

Before diving into the review, I
confess that I thought I had reviewed “I Swear” before. Turns out, that is not
true as I have only reviewed “Give It To Me” and “Touch My Body”—both of which,
though, are completely butchered reviews. In that sense, I am quite glad I did not review “I Swear” as I would have
given inaccurate nines all over. On that note, for a minor digression (skip
ahead to the review), some readers—especially those who have been tuned in
since the earlier days or have peered at my earlier reviews—may be curious on
when and why I became more strict with reviews. How did I go from liberally
giving nines to now nines being considered one of the hardest ratings to earn? In
fact, how did songs in the past even earn tens when, as readers can tell, it is
practically impossible for a song to ever achieve a perfect ten in anything
minus the Sections Distribution category? Since I seldom cover the
“behind-the-scenes” of reviews—or at least I have not done so in nearly a
year—let us spend some time covering how my reviews changed, both with
strictness and outline, and how I even decide numerical ratings in  the first place. (And yes, sociology based
digressions will resume for sure in June.)

Focusing on strictness, there are
various factors at play for why I was incredibly lenient during earlier
reviews. For one, I admittedly was quite biased; I did tend to review songs I
personally enjoyed, and of course, I would translate that into high ratings. Furthermore,
I was new to critically analyzing music, let alone addressing the sociological
aspects to songs. And thus, with my lack of skills and overall lack of maturity
on all fronts—music and socially (my writing style was too casual along with having subtle sexist and heteronormative
remarks)—I simply just did not know better. If it “sounded good”—words that I
truly said—then any rating would be permissible and viable. Never did I dive
into the complexities of songs until much later, and even then, it is
constantly a growth. During last summer I admit: I thought I achieved mastery
of reviewing songs; I thought that I knew how to review every song from
thereon. Of course, however, that is far from the case as even more changes and
(hopefully) improvements took place, and indeed, I doubt I will ever achieve
mastery with learning how to review songs. Besides, what fun is it to ever
claim one has mastered anything? Learning and improvement is limitless, and
helping others gain said skills arguably matters much more than merely hoarding
skills and knowledge.

On this note, in terms of how and
why the review outline went through multiple revisions and to this day is still
being modified, in short: improvements. From the first outline to the current,
flaws will be eventually discovered and thus, changes are done to address those
weaker points. For example, in the past I noticed there was a significant
shortcoming with having my review restricted to solely single categories.
Instead of being flexible and dynamic, reviews were quite monotonous and it was
essentially a paragraph per category. (The vocals would have one paragraph,
then the sections, and so on.) Now, I try to keep reviews more individual and
open to variety, but even currently there is still much to improve on in that aspect.
And of course with that said, my writing will always be in a state of
improving. Even if I have some moments where I do genuinely believe I brought a
song justice through adequate writing, I am seldom satisfied with where my
writing skills currently are. After all, why look at what my writing skills are when I can look at where they will be?

Swapping over to ratings, as
discussed earlier, there used to be no rubric whatsoever. That, however, is no
longer the case: I have certain guidelines for how I come up with ratings.
Before getting into how and why I give specific numerical ratings, it might be
best for readers to even know what
the ratings are—though I am certain many readers know, and even new readers
most likely know. For fun, however, the following should clarify what the
numbers truly mean in these current times:

0 – Absolutely horrendous. This is a
rating I have yet to give and very much doubt I will ever see in my entire
years of existing. Giving a zero would mean whichever category it is received
in is beyond poor. A simple possible scenario might be a Sections Distribution
where, to use Sistar as example, Hyorin has fifteen sections while the rest of
her members have absolutely none. Again, a near impossible rating to earn, but
it is there.

1 – Very poor. Akin to a zero
rating, I am also very skeptical of a category ever hitting a one. However, I
will say that it is not to the degree of “impossible”; given that this is the
inverse of a nine—of which are possible though quite rare—scores of ones in
that sense are still very much possible to earn. Chances, though, is slim, and
let us be honest: there tends to be more “very good” than “very poor”
scenarios. On topic, ratings of ones simply indicate that a certain category,
be it the vocals or instrumental or whatever else, are of very low quality. A
crude example would be imagining a reverse-universe where Sistar are atrocious
singers who sound like cats in deep anguish. Now this is a “1” rating example,
but it should be relatively straightforward.

2 – This rating is not very poor but rather, is a plain “poor.”
With this rating, whichever category is to receive it is far from admirable but
is not to the degree of the ratings above. For example, an exceptionally
disorganized and rambunctious introduction may earn a two. This would showcase
that it is definitely not enticing, but again it is not to the extent that the
introduction should cease to exist at all. Nonetheless, this is still overall a
rating for songs to avoid.

3 – Continuing on, a three on the
other hand is the usual “below average.” Unlike a two, a category with this is
one that is below usual standards, but it is a rating that becomes somewhat
acceptable. Earning a three, though still very much undesired, would not be
utterly shocking. Again, it would be best to avoid, but it is not too extreme. And
on that note, let us take a look at the next rating.

4 – This is where “slightly below
average” comes into play. In truth, a rating of a four is not too bad. Why? If
“average” is the neutral ground, this simply means—should a category earn a
four—that the category is just a minor bit below that neutral point. As such,
unless if it becomes a recurring number, one four would not likely
significantly decrease a song’s overall score—though again, it is indeed best
to still avoid as it is in the “negative” range (anything below a five). After all,
is “average” not the lowest a rating should be at?

5 – Perfectly timed, a five
represents the plain ground: average. Nothing more or less. Anything with this
rating is neutral; a category with a five is neither good nor bad. Usually in
actual application this would mean that a category, be it the vocals or
specific sections or so on, fulfill their standard roles, but do nothing else
to bring in uniqueness and attractiveness. Now on a more pessimistic tone, although
fives are indeed the neutral point, as I have discussed in prior reviews: that
is not necessarily true. In fact, fives may still be considered a “negative”
score if we think less about quantity and more qualitatively. If it is true
that fives represent “average,” then that means a song with a five in whichever
category is equal to any other usual
pop song (or other genres)—and “other” refers to hundreds of thousands. Therefore,
to have, for example the vocals, be rated at a five is to say that the song of
review sounds—in terms of the vocals—like any other song. Especially with the
competitive field of music, being average is still somewhat negative. Thus,
perhaps there is no neutrality after all, depending on how one views it.

6 – Working our way up to the more
optimistic and pleasant ratings, everything at this point is the inverse of the
others. This rating is for “slightly above average.” This is a rather common
rating and arguably the most common one I hand out. It is nothing too valuable,
but considering this allows a song to depart from the usual “average songs,” it
is still respectable.

7 – Sevens are perhaps the ideal
scores that I do wish to give. At a seven, a category would be considered
“above average,” and that is certainly desirable as it would set a song above
usual—“average—songs. Especially with what was discussed earlier, a seven is
definitely the ideal rating to earn.

8 – For eights, this tends to
usually be the highest a category goes, as will be explained with nines and
tens. This rating indicates a solid “good”; the category is simply fantastic
and praiseworthy. There would be minimal irking points if even any. Earning
this is far from impossible, but nonetheless is a somewhat difficult feat.

9 – On the other hand, in contrast
to eights, this rating is extremely difficult to earn. Any category with this
would have no weak points but more importantly, is definitely leaning towards
having solely strengths. To give an example to clarify perhaps what is expected
and how difficult earning a nine is, MAMAMOO and BTOB—two extremely vocally
adept groups be it with singing or rapping—are both considered “eight” for
their vocals. And yet, if many are posed with the question of asking where the
two groups should be with vocals, I am confident that many would claim these
two groups are certainly towards the higher levels and thus, would seem to be
at nines. However, that is not the case. In fact, even Ailee for example—an
artist I oftentimes have labeled as one the top vocalists I have yet to
hear—would be an eight. Ponder over that. Ailee, the “Queen Vocalist” of K-Pop,
is an eight. (Now of course this all varies per song, but I am generalizing
when I speak of the artists’ vocal ratings. For example, MAMAMOO’s
“Hinterlands” on Immortal Songs 2
would indeed rate at a nine, even though all of their other songs would be at
eights or lower.)

10 – Impossible to earn. I cannot
even imagine any category, minus the Section Distribution of course, that would
score a ten. This would mean a category is perfect. For example, a verse with a
ten would have to vocally and instrumentally sound beyond extraordinary, and
furthermore with its structure would have to be absolutely unique and yet
utterly effective for the song in whole. It is a standard that exists, but as
said, it is one I doubt the blog will ever see. Ignoring newbie reviews, that
is.

Since the ratings have been
numerically explained, it would now be suiting to disclose how even ratings
come to be in the first place. In other words, what does the review process
itself look like? Without getting into monotonous details, in a brief summary,
the review process is as follows:

The first step is, to insert some
sassiness, obviously listening to the song. However, it is slightly more than
just that. After listening to the song of interest, perhaps the most important
step I take is to then gauge my biased reaction: where do I want the song to score? This is critical as, when it comes to writing
the review, I need to be able to separate my personal stance—whether in favor
or against a song—from a systematic, neutral standpoint. After all, what point
is a review if I would give high ratings solely to my favorite artists? Afterwards,
once I am able to gauge my initial take, I then proceed with listening to the
song multiple times and at different days. (For example, while exercising I may
decide to focus on the song, but then I allow some time to pass before
listening to it again. Point is, I listen to a song enough for memorization to
take place, but I ensure that enough breaks are given so that I gain new
insight.) Then is where my analysis comes in with going through section by
section, tracking solely the vocals or the instrumental, gauging at how
sections play out and relate to the song in whole, and so forth. This portion
of the review processing is what consumes the most time.

All in all, though, I do wish to
clarify an important piece: throughout the whole review process, one must be
aware it can never be unequivocally neutral. At best, music reviews can be and
should be “neutrally biased,” but never can reviews be “neutral.” In fact, even
other materials, be it makeup or phones, can arguably never be quite reviewed “neutrally.”
What do I mean? Here is the simple answer: “good” is never objective when it
comes to music (and others). Take an example: what I consider “good vocals” may
actually be atrocious to another reviewer; she might claim that MAMAMOO’s
vocals are excessive and thus, would claim they are average singers while I, on
the other hand, are constantly praising the ladies and holding them as
high-tiered singers. Nevertheless, reviews should still be “neutrally biased.”
Indeed, when it comes to giving
ratings, that act should be without extraneous influence. Where an issue
exists, however, is that the ratings
in of themselves will be biased—but that is not inherently bad. It is
unavoidable; akin to implicit social biases when it comes to gender, race, and
so forth, our socialization creates our “music bias” as well, if I may label it
as that. What matters is, like with social biases, bringing said biases to the
front and openly confronting them.

For example, I recognize that I
dislike songs that tend to be what I deem “chaotic” for a lack of a better
label. An example off the top of my head is BTS’ “Fun Boys.” (I will one day
review a song by BTS. I am moreover surprised, though, that no one has ever requested
them yet.) Biasedly, with what I personally like in a song, “Fun Boys” is the
pure opposite. However, after realizing my bias take and from thereon seeing the
song for its own worth, I do confidently say that “Fun Boys” is far from bad at
all. In fact, it is decent and has impressive musical twists—twists that I
would biasedly claim are vexing though once neutrally seen, are excellent. In
summary: “neutral” comes in not letting my personal music bias influencing my
given ratings, but in the end, what I deem “good” or “bad” will forever be
subjective. Not even in hundred thousands of technological advances will
technology ever be able to decide if SPICA’s “Ghost” or BTOB’s “It’s Okay” is
the “better” or “correct” song.

In the end, if readers are still curious
on this “reviews are not neutral” discussion, my review
on TWICE
might have more thorough explanations. I personally aim to have
reviews on this blog discussion-based versus claim-based; rather than focusing
all of my efforts on unequivocally labeling a song as good or bad, I want to
focus rather on why I claim a song renders
as excellent or average or below average. Never should my reviews (or even
Personal Message social digressions for that matter) be taken as truths. At
most I am sharing one perspective out of the infinite that already exist.
Encouraging readers’ own thoughts and critical thinking is the ultimate goal of
reviews and why I would continually write them despite the large time
investment that is needed. And perhaps that I am also motivated to simply write
about my favorite groups but that is a secret to keep hidden. Jokes aside, this
digression hopefully covers the general history and background to this blog.
Far from anything fancy, but this is the path the blog went through and is
still going through.

Finally focusing on Sistar, despite
this being a song in the past, it truly is one of Sistar’s best songs—if not the best. Or so I biasedly claim. Does “I
Swear” fare well if excluding my love for Sistar? I swear it does, but we will
have to find out.

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 7/10
(6.71/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
8/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Bridge: 6/10

7.     Conclusion: 8/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 2/10

Hyorin:
Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge,
Chorus (Total: 9)

Soyou:
Introduction, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus (Total: 7)

Dasom:
Verse (Total: 1)

Bora:
Rap (Total: 1)

Equal Value: 4.5 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 7/10

Oh I swear
Oh I swear
(Promise you baby)
It’s like you and I were put together
Lose the chance today and I know you’ll regret it, I swear

I-I swear, intensely like a confession from a movie
The D.I.A on your fourth finger
makes the whole world jealous
I-I swear, pick that star and give it to me
Think of my small jokes as something cute
Baby I only wanna be with you
(I swear, I swear, I-I swear)

The thing that won’t change are my feelings growing
and that I won’t expect many things from you
Also to close my eyes with you after being in love
That’s it, that’s all

(Promise) I swear tonight, I swear
(Promise you baby)
Only you can comfort me
You’re perfect, meant to be baby
You’ll always be mine
I swear, you and me, I swear
(Promise you baby)
It’s like you and I were put together
Lose the chance today and I know you’ll regret it, I swear

The night I become a woman,
what do I do? We’ll hold hands
You make me say woo
Stars are spilling across the night sky

So what you think about that (that)?
Baby, what are you thinking?
So what you think about that (that)?
I’m so curious about you
So that I can feel your love, so that I will smile
Only think of me, oh baby, only look at me

The thing that won’t change are my feelings growing
and that I won’t expect many things from you
Also to close my eyes with you after being in love
That’s it, that’s all

(Promise) I swear tonight, I swear
(Promise you baby)
Only you can comfort me
You’re perfect, meant to be baby
You’ll always be mine
I swear, you and me, I swear
(Promise you baby)
It’s like you and I were put together
Lose the chance today and I know you’ll regret it, I swear

The one thing I want to hear, “I do”
Like a sweet dream, “I do”
I write and erase your name on the sand
As I wait for you, tell me “I love you baby”

(Promise) I swear tonight, I swear
(Promise you baby)
Only you can comfort me
You’re perfect, meant to be baby
You’ll always be mine
I swear, you and me, I swear
(Promise you baby)
It’s like you and I were put together
Lose the chance today and I know you’ll regret it, I swear

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

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 7/10

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: First
of all, to the requester, huge apologies for a great delay. Admittedly I have
been slacking on reviews due to focusing on other tasks (such as subbing videos—or
admittedly just watching videos), and that I have been picking up bad habits
such as poor snacking decisions or even sleeping late despite needing to wake
up early for my girl. This will be changing around, however. Optimistically,
for a good habit I did pick up, I now give my adorable girl a goodnight kiss
and sweet dreams (based on many articles, it appears that dogs do dream) before
we both sleep.

Silly
news aside, let us focus purely on the review. To begin with the weakest link
in “I Swear”—and arguably every song by them—the distribution of sections is
rather pitiful. Specifically, the lack thereof is pitiful. Rating at a two, the
lowest out of every review so far, “I Swear” ‘s distribution is poor. Hyorin
carries a large bulk of the song, and similarly Soyou, but both Dasom and Bora
are deprived. Understandably, with how the format of “I Swear” runs (as we will
get to), many would feel inclined to give some exemptions here. After all, Hyorin
is an incredibly cherished, top-tier singer and likewise Soyou’s singing is
solid. Does it not seem excusable for them to take the main bulk of the song? To
the contrary, given that Sistar is a group, it should be expected that a
general equal distribution is at hand. Recycling the argument I always use,
imagine this: there is a group of nine men or women. One member sings out of
the eight. The remaining eight members solely dance. Is this not seemingly
problematic?

On
this note, I disagree to those who claim that Sistar’s section distribution is
negligible. Focusing on “I Swear” specifically, there are many moments for
where, at the very least, Dasom could have entered. Bora’s one section quantity
is, while not desired, understandable considering she is the rapper. However,
Dasom’s lack of sections is hard to dismiss considering she is a support
vocalist. She could have had much more sections to cover. Furthermore, both
Hyorin’s and Soyou’s section quantity are obscenely high; even with only four
members, the two are hitting very high counts—and this comes at a cost. From
that, both Bora and Dasom simply do not have the chance to have other sections
if all are taken up. Overall, with a large disparity in place in a song that
most likely could have accommodated for more variety, this production piece to “I
Swear”—the section distribution decision—is poor. It is unfortunate as this low
rating will weigh down the Song Score in total.

With
that category aside, the rest of “I Swear” in contrast is phenomenal. Essentially,
the sonic side to “I Swear” and even the visual side for that matter are
stellar. Focusing on the vocals, every member holds her own in the song, but
more importantly, in the entirety of “I Swear,” many positive traits appear.
For example, powerful yet controlled lines arrive during the choruses and
bridge, but simultaneously calm and lower pitched lines arrive during the
pre-choruses and rap. With multiple singing styles—beltings to high notes to
smooth, passiveness—and a rap included, “I Swear” covers vocal variety in near
full. Individually and cohesively, “I Swear” thrives in its vocals. And to also
include the instrumental, similar praises translate over: an instrumental that
is solid on its own, and yet incredibly supportive to the vocals and even
sections.

Regarding
the latter, arguably the sections in “I Swear” are its core strength and component.
Every section in the song is fantastic, and there are many unique and effective
styles employed. One predominant example would be the verses: the two verses
are different. Seldom is that seen in
songs. The first verse—a verse that is already successful due to the vocals and
its structure being straightforward and thus smoothly progresses the song—is
entirely different from the second verse that takes place: a verse where alluring
vocal belting takes the form of humming. Variety and enticing vocals are what
is gleaned—these being certainly desirable traits in any pop song. As for other
sections, the introduction and conclusions are also quite captivating. It has
been a while since a song where both score at an eight, but for what gives the
two their effectiveness and high scores, two factors are at play. First, both
the introduction and conclusion are timed are near perfection; rather than an
introduction that is too short, or a conclusion that is too long, both are at
the appropriate duration for “I Swear.” Secondly, within both sections, the sonic
components are seducing. The introduction hooks in listeners with Hyorin’s and
Soyou’s vocals, and the instrumental follows through with creating a transition
and curiosity for what is to come. As for the conclusion, although no vocals
are included, the instrumental allows a rather energetic final chorus to come
to a smooth, simple halt.

At
worst for the sections, the rap and pre-choruses are slightly lacking—more so
with the rap. The rap holds at average due to, overall, it being overly simplistic.
Clarifying, a straightforward rap is far from being inherently bad; in a
different context, a plain rap is very effective such as in a ballad. However, clearly,
“I Swear” is not a ballad and would benefit from a rap that equally suits the
upbeat, hasty style that is present. Thus, because of the lack of suiting the
song and that the rap itself would not compensate through, for example very
sharp pacing and flow, the rap holds at average. Similarly, the pre-choruses
are in a similar situation with being relatively abrupt in style. Certainly,
the slight drop in pacing creates the “buildup” effect so that the choruses are
even more exciting, but doing so is, besides following an incredibly cliché route,
ineffective to keeping a clean, cohesive flow to “I Swear.” Nonetheless, it is
a minimal point of critique and with Soyou’s and Hyorin’s slower, lower pitched
vocals being contributed, that portion helps alleviate the pre-choruses’ duller
structure.

Regarding
the lyrics, “I Swear” does earn a seven—something that may be unexpected given
the plot of the song. With the story behind the song, it is of the usual:
romantic, flirtatious love. What, then, makes it special? Details. Details are
what allow the lyrics to maintain its higher rating. First, consider a benefit
of the song containing two verses that are different. One answer is that it
provides the song more variety, but now another question to ask is variety in what? Sonically with the sections
themselves, but one must also remember another benefit: the lyrics. In other
words, the lyrics are more detailed as the verses are not repeated. Factor in
the rap and introduction and bridge, and that even repeated sections—the choruses
and pre-choruses—are already filled with their own ideas and lines, the lyrics
become enticing despite the somewhat usual plot. And last to add, especially
with the idea of two different verses, the choreography rates at above average.
Key points remain diverse, and more so with having less sections repeat. Also,
the key points themselves deserve spotlight for being focused not solely on
entire body movements, but also subtle ones such as with hands. Syncing,
without much need for explanation, also holds well considering many of the
movements link up with the song itself.

Overall,
Sistar’s “I Swear” scores at slightly above average for the song, but once
complementing the dance, the Overall Score is above average. Although I am, as
many, irked at how the sections distribution would reduce the score to a song
that is indeed quite charming, it is a point that once again needs to be considered.
Sistar’s weakest aspect to their songs is not so much on the sound of the
songs, but rather, is in how the songs are shared among members. Should the
section distribution be ignored, then it can be said with confidence that “I
Swear” is an impressive song.

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To
the requester, thank you so much for the request in the first place but for
also being very patient. As discussed above, work and simply being off-task
have contributed to this delay. But it is finally finished. I hope this review
is enjoyable, insightful, and of course that it provides moreover a discussion
versus that of a scientific claim. As for the other requester, I hope to finish
your request by tomorrow or at least by the start of the June. Likewise, I also
apologize for delaying it.

For
all other readers, thank you for reading this review whether in full or
skimmed. I sincerely appreciate all of the given time towards the blog. The
next review is another request, but it is one I am very excited for as it is on
a relatively popular duo, and that the artists have yet to be reviewed at all on
the blog. Plus, their musical style is very much different from the standard. Look
forward to the review, and after that request is done, expect a review on
Fiestar’s “Apple Pie.” I will stay as focused as possible. “I swear, I swear,
I-I swear.”

4Minute – “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” Review

4Minute – Whatcha Doin’ Today (Dance Practice)

4Minute – Whatcha Doin’ Today

Reviewed on September 6, 2014

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Personal Message: Finally, the first review of September. I’m on a ridiculously busy schedule, so forgive me for not putting out many reviews lately. Anyhow, the song we’re looking at today was one that was requested for review. We are going to take a look at the adept dancers, singers, and clever, intelligent ladies of 4Minute. They claim it takes 4 minutes for boys and ladies to fall in love with them, however, it took me 30 minutes to truly become infatuated. Then again, the person who recommended this song fell in love in exactly 1 minute and 7 seconds. 

Silly jokes aside, I personally am not familiar with 4Minute; from what I can tell so far, they’re a “poppier” group in the K-Pop scene. Nevertheless, they have their set style and bursting personalities. While we’re on the topic of personalities, I’ve never seen such clever, cheap ladies. For the variety show of “Weekly Idol”, they did whatever it took to win the games, even if it involved a little cheating. Anyhow, despite their witty actions there, they certainly won me over for their silly antics. On the serious side of the show, they definitely impressed me with their dancing; 4Minute killed the “Random Dance” section with superb movements and cohesion.  

Bringing the review back on track, “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” Personally I will be reviewing this song, and I hope you follow as well.  

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7.4/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 7/10 – Rating this either a 7 or 8 is something I’m struggling to decide. Overall, I’ll push it towards a 7.

The vocals in this are great, but that’s assuming they’re individually singing. Member by member, each of them sounded wonderful. Gayoon aided the song with her sweet, melodic voice, Jihyun and Sohyun had solid vocals for their part, and Hyuna and Jiyoon were very impressive with their rapping voices.

What does prevent me from confidently claiming the vocals in “Whatcha Doin’ Today” are amazing is when they sing in unison; whenever they’re singing as one, it sounds extremely stale. In fact, there’s almost a tint of autotune at use. Luckily for them, since I can’t properly gauge if that’s their vocals sounding as one or if it is autotune, I’ll have to let it slide. Nevertheless, 4Minute simultaneously singing is disappointing; they lose a lot of the flow and melody they individually possess. 

4Minute doesn’t possess the strongest vocal talent in comparison to numerous groups, but they hold their ground adequately. Slightly above average vocals. 

– Song Structure: 7/10 (7.125/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Hyuna is in charge of leading the introduction. 

The introduction starts off with a saxophone/trumpet instrument (once again, forgive me for my ignorance on instruments). This key instrument will remain prominent throughout the song. Now a few more seconds in, Hyuna does the usual 4Minute introductions of “Yeah, It’s 4MINUTE and Brave Sound, Let go” (for those unfamiliar with the Brave Sound part, in short, he is a song producer/writer and he always includes a labeling at the start of every song he produces).

So far, “Whatcha Doin’ Today” gives off a strong start; the key instrumental is already given along with some confident-leaking words from Hyuna. This sets a nice atmosphere on how the song will play out; stronger vocals can be expected.

Progressing on, after Hyuna finishes her main lines, her final one is “Let go” which provides a smooth, blatant transition to the next part of the introduction. The following part is where 4Minute throws in a few melodic phrases of “A-ha”. To transition to the next song section, there’s a strange “Brrrr” sound. And, unfortunately, I am adding a connotation of bad to “strange”.

Looking at the introduction as a whole, it does its job. It sets up the mood, delivers forth the melody, and it contains 4Minute’s traditional greeting of introducing themselves. The transitions are well done, although the last part is questionable. Overall, a solid introduction that hops straight into the song. 

2. Chorus: 5/10 – Perhaps 4Minute hopped in a little too soon. The chorus is sung by the 5 ladies of 4Minute.

Firstly, going straight into the chorus when the song is hardly developed is an interesting decision; typically, the chorus is held off until later. The reason behind that is due to how choruses tend to be the core part of a song, and in many cases, is where a climax occurs. For “Whatcha Doin’ Today” using the chorus prematurely, it limits any build-up potential in the future. 

Now analyzing from the vocal perspective, it is rather mediocre. While every lady has proven their skill individually, when it comes to singing a single, cohesive voice, they utterly falter. 4Minute’s combined vocal sounds quite robotic, whether that’s due to autotune is too vague to decide. Either way, with such a monotone sound, it creates a dull chorus. The instrumental remained quite neutral, so its role did not hurt nor help the chorus. 

Overall, the chorus in this song is disappointing. With a repetitive flow, uninteresting vocals, and a plain instrumental, nothing is exciting at all about the chorus. The only strength that emanates from this song part is how it slightly lingers around and becomes catchy. Disregarding that, however, and we have an average chorus.  

3. Verse: 9/10 – While the choruses hold as faulty, at least the verses remain very delightful. Sohyun is responsible for the first verse while Jihyun tackles the second verse. 

I will be criticizing the first verse, as Jihyun’s verse remains quite identical minus lyric modifications.

Sohyun does an outstanding job with this part. The transition into the verse is completely smooth. It’s a natural flow into this part. Sohyun follows a catchy melody with her voice; while she doesn’t show off intensive vocal work, it’s still catchy. Another key part of the first verse is an incredible play on sounds. Even if this remains a minuscule detail, it provides an extra flow of her lines. Every ending line has an “oh” sound, as seen by the last words of: “eomnayo…hanayo… sirheoyo”. Through this, it augments her flow. By having a repeated sound at the end of every line, it creates a pleasing, lingering effect. 

In terms of Jihyun’s verse, it follows the same, slower pacing in Sohyun’s part. The only change are the lyrics. Melody and such remains quite similar.

Looking at the verses, they are very solid. With decent vocals from the two ladies and a catchy, slower pace, it compensates for the weaker chorus.  

4. Rap: 9/10 – There are two rap sections in “Whatcha Doin’ Today”, however, I will be grading them in one take. Jiyoon and Hyuna are the rappers for this group.

For the first rap that occurs, Jiyoon handles it. Jiyoon does an exceptional job with her part; this is one of the better raps I’ve heard in songs. She has flow, power, and melody. For a rap, that is, in summary, all you would ever desire. Her flow was quite outstanding with being able to spit out word after word. In addition to how smooth her words were, she had a phenomenal impact with her lines. This becomes apparent with her endings of “bwa” which leave a strong, lasting impression on listeners. Lastly, she still carried on the song’s melody. The melody did not become lost nor did she go off track. As a result of this, the chemistry between the instrumental and her rapping played off one another and strengthened the rap. 

The second rap that occurs is with Hyuna, arguably the most popular member of 4Minute.

Hyuna initiates her part with some English. Sadly, it doesn’t go too well in terms of fluency. Everything goes well until she hits the sillier parts of the lyrics: “Show me the lol face”. And while I’m at it, “lol” at the lyrics she has to handle here. I’m not sure on what the idiot music producer had in mind for this. Perhaps it was to create a play on words for Korean and English, but I could not locate that. Anyhow, what goes wrong in terms of fluency here is “lol” sounded unclear. Furthermore, “face” turned into “race”. Keep in mind, however, English is quite difficult for Korean speakers. The mistake on “face” is completely understandable as Korean possesses no “F” sound. 

Ignoring some pronunciation errors, Hyuna’s still rocking the rap. Her pacing and flow was sharp; her nasally voice definitely became a helpful tool in making her words flow quickly and smoothly. What she lacks in power in comparison to Jiyoon is redeemed through even stronger pacing. Speaking of Jiyoon, she makes a return to rap once more. Towards the end of Hyuna’s rap, Jiyoon’s entry allowed the second rap section to gain extra power along with a clear, crisp conclusion. Jiyoon’s ending of “We gon’ rock it, kill it, that’s how we do it” was perfect with flow; the chopped “it” sounds worked out very well. 

Overall, extremely impressive rapping from these two amazing ladies. Both of them are highly talented rappers, and these two raps aid the song as a whole. I couldn’t say it better than Jiyoon; “that’s how we do it” is well said.

5. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Gayoon is in charge of every pre-choruses. 

In this section, Gayoon showcases a wide range of vocals. She’s able to hit the middle pitches as well as the higher ones.

 For the pre-chorus, she’s utilizing her sweeter, softer voice to carry on the melody. At “hamyeonseo~” she hits a high note on the word. The last word of “jeonhwahalgeyo” was also sung in an exceptionally high pitch. Impressive vocals. Focusing on the pre-chorus as a whole, the biggest asset is how she was able to maintain the melody in a gentle, soft tune. The instrumental also became lighter and due to that, created a nice connection between the soundtrack and vocals. 

A soothing, sweet part by Gayoon’s vocals. A solid piece.

6. Post-Chorus: 7/10 – Gayoon is heard once again. She’s also in charge of every single post-chorus. A quick disclaimer, while this is arguably part of the chorus, I think it deserves its own spot since it differs completely from the core of the chorus (the horrendous, autotune-like part).

In comparison to her pre-chorus parts, for this section, her singing becomes slightly rougher. It works out well, though, as the instrumental is heavier as well. Her section her does contain some short, high note holds being used, such as at “…geoya” and “party tonight”. Even with some talented vocal work, this part still remains pretty stale. On the bright side, thanks to Gayoon’s high note ending, it allows a smooth transition to other parts.

The post-chorus sounded too similar to another section, such as the pre-chorus. Essentially, the post-chorus is a “heavier” version of the pre-chorus. It loses the softer tone, but it still follows a similar flow and pacing. Due to that, this score remains only slight-above-average. Impressive vocals here, but the staleness brings it down.

7. Bridge: 4/10 – This song seems to be the complete opposite of other K-Pop songs; normally the verses and pre-choruses are weaker, with the choruses and bridge being extraordinary. Here it’s the inverse. Strong verses/raps, weak choruses and bridge. 

Looking at “Whatcha Doin’ Today” as a whole, it would potentially benefit without the use of a bridge at all. This bridge was almost added as a filler. 

This bridge here is quite poor. The transition to it is somewhat abrupt. Almost out of nowhere, the instrumental becomes “funkier”. In short, the beats become heavier bass-wise and the same “A-ha” at the introduction is heard once again. Eventually a “Come on let’s party, yo” is heard, which isn’t too abstract from the song’s theme. That line was able to add some diversity. Now to transition back to the song as a whole, there’s a counting of “1, 2, 3, go”. An easy, cheap transition, but it works.

What gives, then, for a low score? My reason is that what I wrote pretty much sums up the bridge; bass-heavy beats become the main instrument, the “A-ha” comes back, and other phrases are thrown in. This part felt like a filler. This bridge was seemingly created just to fill in a spot for a bridge. It’s plain with the instrumental, the phrases are obnoxious, and it doesn’t seem to do anything but extend the song’s length.

A very boring, horribly crafted section. Very little instrumental work here. Vocals weren’t good here, either. 

8. Conclusion (Chorus): 7/10 – For the conclusion, the dreaded chorus is recycled. Thankfully, though, this chorus does work out well to conclude the song.

Since the bridge was relatively low in intensity, having a chorus with a similar level would be perfect. It works out in this song’s favor as the chorus wasn’t energetic, either. As a result, the transition is perfect and as a whole, both sections mesh very well.

At the very end, there is an extra line of “oneul mwohae” (translated roughly as “whatcha’ doin’ today”) and that allows a final, clear and simple wrap up. 

Mechanically looking at the conclusion, it fulfills its needed roles. The only thing holding the conclusion back is the sheer chorus itself. If the chorus was stronger, the ending would be even more momentous. 

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – 5 members in 4Minute, let’s see how they divided their lines.

Jihyun had her solo part with the second verse. Other than that, nothing else (excluding the chorus).

Sohyun is in a similar situation; she had the first verse to herself, but that was it.

Jiyoon had a solo rap section and made a return during the end of Hyuna’s rapping part.

While we’re mentioning Hyuna, she had a solo rap section as well. In addition, she was also in charge of the introduction.

Gayoon had both the pre-chorus and post-chorus, and given how numerous those sections were, it allowed a lot of time for her to shine.

Something else to keep in mind, however, is that the chorus involves everyone singing. 

Overall, looking at this, the members all had a fair share. The only issue would be Gayoon slightly has more time than the members, but nothing too bad. 9/10 for Line Distribution.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – The instrumental for “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” is actually quite solid. 

The key instrumental of the trumpet/saxophone works out quite well; it gives the song a unique attribute. In addition to sounding well alone, the instrumental fills its role with aiding the vocalists. Transitions were supplied and it replicated how the vocals went. For example, during the pre-chorus, it became “lighter” and accompanied Gayoon’s voice well. Another example is during the rapping section; it remained clear enough to support the rapping, yet passive enough to not become a distraction. 

A solid instrumental.

– Meaning: 6/10 – A time you would ask, “What are you doing?” is when you’re trying to start a conversation. The only time you would ask, “Whatcha doin’ today?” is when you’re trying to act cute/very casual and trying to set plans with someone. If my message is not yet clear, I’m expecting these lyrics to be a flirty story. Let’s find out through these translated lyrics. Not 100% accurate:

Yeah It’s 4Minute and Brave Sound,
Let go

A-ha a-ha ah ah a-ha
A-ha a-ha

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Wanna meet up? (Come on)

Have no where to go after school?
Have nothing to do after the housework is done?
Wandering around after work?
I hate the same old boring days

You do everything you have to but have nothing else to do
People who are looking for something to do
People who turn on boring TV shows
and laugh along
Come inside, come inside here,
play with me for today
Everyone listen, just listen first,
whatcha doin’ today, everyone listen

Don’t try to make things up, just enjoy life
The world is a bright place
Fall in love,
have fun, I’ll call you later

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Wanna meet up?

Watch a movie, eat good food, meet some guys
I wanna drink a cup of americano and just talk
Let’s go crazy all night, tonight,
everyone together, party tonight

Stop worrying so much,
everything will be fine
(everything will be fine)
Stop frowning and smile brightly
Ha ha ha ha ha ha

I love that
Show me the lol face
Hardened by grimy stress
Escape from those days for 4 minutes
Fill your surroundings with laughter
People who look far to the mountains blankly
People who are tired from life
Come gather here, we gon’ rock it kill it
That’s how we do it

Don’t try to make things up, just enjoy life
The world is a bright place
Fall in love,
have fun, I’ll call you later

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today
Whatcha doin’ later
Whatcha doin’ on the weekend
Wanna meet up?

Watch a movie, eat good food, meet some guys
I wanna drink a cup of americano and just talk
Let’s go crazy all night, tonight,
everyone together, party tonight

A-ha a-ha ah ah a-ha
A-ha a-ha, Come on, Let’s party yo

A-ha a-ha ah ah a-ha
A-ha a-ha 1, 2, 3 Go

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Lalala lalala

Whatcha doin’ today (4Minute)
Whatcha doin’ later (ha)
whatcha doin’ on the weekend (let’s go)
Wanna meet up?
Whatcha doin’ today

It turns out, I was somewhat correct, although it’s not too much on flirting. 

The lyrics remind me of “Jeon Won Diary” by T-ARA N4 (check out my review of that song if you haven’t). Both songs have a similar idea of relaxing and not getting stressed out. Take life easily. Enjoy it. 

For “Whatcha Doin’ Today?”, the lyrics seem to be about wanting to hang out to relax. These lyrics could be about going on a date, but it might be as simple as heading to a nice coffee shop with friends. While there are some nice details, the meaning itself isn’t too deep at all. Regardless, there is still an important message of enjoying life. Be happy, do what makes you feel that way. 

An important message, but the song itself isn’t rich in meaning. Very slightly above average lyrics.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Probably one of the harder choreography I’ve had to grade. For once, I’m unable to confidently pinpoint a score. Overall, I’m going to have a score of 8.

Before I get any further, I’ll like to point out the disgusting parts of the dance: the butt-shaking parts. For the love of K-Pop, it’s one thing to have a blatant sexual orientated part, but it’s another to make it extremely awkward and out of place. 4Minute’s “Whatcha Doin’ Today?” manages to hit all of those points; the butt-shaking at the introduction and bridge were beyond awkward. I will agree it was synced, but the execution and positioning were very, very horrendous. On the bright side, those were the only two parts including butt-shakes. 

Another criticism is the use of backup dancers in specific parts. For example, in the chorus and post-chorus, there were way too many dancers. 4Minute themselves would’ve sufficed. 

In terms of what was excellent, the choreography as a whole was well synced. Every movement was well connected to the music, whether it was in moving the hips, arms, and such. Also, while there were some mistakes in using backup dancers, there were other times where that was well done. Individual singing parts were supported by backup dancers, such as in the rapping parts and verses. The backups did a fantastic job boosting the choreography’s style during those moments. 

In the end, a completely solid choreography. With lots of syncing and unique maneuvers, it remains a solid dance. The only issue is with the backup dancers at certain times and the erroneously executed butt-shaking parts. 

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – The song comes out with an 8/10 or 7.5/10, depending on how detailed you would like to be. 

I believe this song is still worth listening to, despite specific parts being lacking. It’s quite catchy and the rapping and verses completely compensate for the weaker choruses and bridge. The rapping is personally my reason for why I still return to this song. In terms of the choreography, it still remains well synced, even with the poorer executed parts. 

4Minute is a “poppier” styled group, with lots of focus on remaining catchy. Nevertheless, they have decent vocals and solid dancing skills. Some other notable songs by them are “What’s Your Name?” and “Is It Poppin’?”, both of which could perhaps end up being reviewed in the future. 

As I always do for the end of my reviews, thank you very much for reading this. I genuinely appreciate your time. Hopefully your own opinions are triggered; the world would be worthless if everyone agreed with each other. Check out the song/dance for yourself. Anyways, thank you very much for reading. Another thing is I would like to directly thank the person who requested this song. You know who you are and I have to say, thanks for recommending this and I hope you love it as much as you love Gayoon. For anyone else who would want to send a request, feel free to. Send me songs you think I would love, but don’t forget to also recommend songs that would make me rip out my hair.

For this review, it personally took a while (2 hours or more?). Strangely, reviews have been taking longer. Perhaps it’s due to more thoughts, or maybe I’m not able to articulate myself as quickly.

Upcoming reviews will be either Nasty Nasty’s “Knock” or Ladies’ Code’s “I’m Fine Thank You”. I still need more time to analyze “Knock”, visually and…audio-wise? Can’t think of the word right now. “Knock” seems pretty interesting, though. Once again, another sexy concept that’s quite similar to Trouble Maker in a way, but obviously still different. I’m leaning towards reviewing “I’m Fine Thank You” even though that will be emotionally harder. 

I also just remembered, I will be (hopefully) making another show review in the future. Read my review of “Jessica & Krystal” if you haven’t yet. 4Minute’s member, Hyuna, has a reality show. Similar to J&K, it shows the behind-the-scenes of her life. “Hyuna’s Free Month” is the title. I’ll still have to keep watching before I get a sound opinion, but we’ll see what happens.

Anyhow, thank you once again. Stick around for more. “I wanna drink a cup of americano and just talk” with you, so keep checking back for more reviews. 

f(x) – “Red Light” Review

f(x) – Red Light (Live Performance)

f(x) – Red Light

Reviewed on August 16, 2014

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Personal Message: Time to start my review list. Today I’m also typing while my laptop’s on my lap, so that’s a fun change up (or at least I did that for a bit). Anyhow, as posted last night, f(x)’s “Red Light” was a song in mind to review. This song is honestly a disappointment. From what I’ve noticed, f(x) is going downhill in terms of music, let alone all the drama happening to them (although my sympathy does go out to Sulli for all the scandals and stress she’s under). Anyhow, f(x) came off as really potent with “Hot Summer” and then with “Electric Shock”. However, after “Electric Shock”, they’ve started a downhill trend with “Rum Pum Pum Pum” and now “Red Light”. 

The biggest issue with “Red Light” has to be how disorganized it is; it’s really chaotic in terms of the song structure and instrumental. I’m extremely disappointed with how this came out. For sure, this song definitely turned on the “Red Light”.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 8/10 – Thankfully the problem in this song does not lie within the ladies’ vocal talent. For this song, they’re not showing the most outstanding vocal talent, but it still remains solid. During certain sections, their harmony is dead-on when they sing in unison. All the members are able to deliver a catchy melody and stronger, echoing vocals for certain sections.

What is unfortunate about this song is the style of vocals; the ladies aren’t here to showcase any spectacular singing, but instead, all they need to do is create an echoing, robotic voice. That’s the “Red Light” style; robotic vocals that give power.

Overall, solid vocals nevertheless, the only issue is something f(x) isn’t in control of: the style.   

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.833/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

Note: I checked over the lyrics, and it seems there’s an extra section after the concluding chorus, however, that might be due to the MV version. For this live performance, they skipped that section.

1. Introduction: 5/10 – For “Red Light”, the song starts off with unique buzzing, electronic noises along with a ticking beat. It’s for a short duration. In terms of setting up the song for listeners, it does that well. It prepares people for what’s to come in terms of the instrumental and style. However, accomplishing the role of the introduction was all it did; in terms of the musical side, it’s extremely obnoxious. The instrumental is not pleasing to hear at all, and in fact, this might be one of the worst instrumentals I’ve heard in a song. It’s very stale and doesn’t have a nice melody or sound attached; it’s repetitive and very disorganized.

With such a displeasing sound, that will hurt the score. Thankfully, it does its role of setting up the stage in terms of anticipating what’s to come.

2. Verse: 6/10 – There are two verses in this song, the first is done by Krystal and Sulli while the second is done by Luna with Amber throwing in a few lines here and there. 

For the verse, it almost feels like a rap. It might actually be a rap if you look closely enough, but anyhow I’ll consider it as a regular verse.

The verses are exceptionally short. For this section, the flow is actually quite decent, it has a rapping style in terms of how fast they sing and with how smooth words are being said. Unfortunately, those are the only strengths of the verses. Otherwise, this part is completely dull; their vocals are actually quite monotone and with how short this part is, it seems as if it was just executed without any other benefit. A stale section that’s only pleasing thanks to its flow. The rough instrumental doesn’t aid this part in any way. 

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Probably the only solid piece in “Red Light” (Ignoring the bridge). For this section, Luna, Victoria, and Krystal are the ones responsible. The second pre-chorus differs in terms of the order of singers, but otherwise remains cloned. 

For this part, the first two singers, whether it’s Luna then Victoria or Krystal then Victoria, do a great job of adding some power and intensity to the song. This part surprisingly fits in with the instrumental and that creates a stronger, energetic part. Now after the first two ladies are done, Krystal or Luna steps in for the last line. Their part is quite beautiful with bringing in some softer vocals, and creating a build-up effect thanks to lowering the song intensity that way. The melody is catchy here and the instrumental goes passive, so a perfect match here. The transition to the chorus goes quite smooth here thanks the instrumental and its rapid beats to change song parts. 

4. Chorus: 6/10 – Now this is where we get to hear quite a bit of dissonance between the vocals and instrumental. Both parties were essentially doing their own agenda. Anyhow, everyone sings for the chorus (although Amber has some solo lines for the first and then Sulli has her solo lines for the second).

This section is quite poor in terms of the style. The ladies are all very dull and have no charisma or charm with their vocals, instead, they all sound like robots. Completely monotone and singing in unison. Perhaps that was the effect “Red Light” was going for, and if so, it completely works. However, for listening to as a song, it’s extremely dull. The vocal work here is decent, but the style of it and how it’s portrayed is very plain. 

Now when the chorus finally hits the “Red Light”, it’s quite energetic and has some power to it. However, this is where the instrumental gets lost. The instrumental has its beats along with a strange electronic bassline occurring, but it does not seem to match whatsoever with the vocals. It’s almost as if the instrumental was doing “filler” work here; stuffing the song with SOME form of background music without any intention of aiding the vocals. 

On the plus side, the ladies have a great harmonized singing for this section. It’s powerful and catchy. Ignoring that, though, and we’ll notice how the instrumental doesn’t connect with the singing and that the singing style is quite dull. 

5. Bridge: 8/10 – If only the rest of the song was competent and could compete with this section. This part is where the ladies can truly sing with a full melody instead of the current monotone, robotic style. Krystal, Amber, and Luna show off some graceful singing here.

The transition to the bridge is somewhat sloppy, after coming from the upbeat chorus, the instrumental had to make an abrupt switch to become passive. Nevertheless, the passive instrumental here was decent.

Krystal is the first one to sing and her lines give quite a decent amount of power. She has a small note hold with also leaves a linger effect. Amber steps in and follows up with continuing the melody. She is singing a bit more softly than Krystal, but it still works out. Luna concludes the bridge by giving strong vocals and by having a final, powerful note hold at “weonhae~”. Thanks to such an outstanding note hold. the transition back into the song was perfect. The intensity level matched up completely with the final chorus. 

Overall, a bridge that showcases some elegance and strength. This part seems to be the only section where the ladies of f(x) can truly display their talented vocals. It’s not the best bridge ever, but with how the instrumental and vocals supply each other the needed fuel and strong singing, it marks this bridge as solid. 

6. Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10 – For the conclusion, the chorus is recycled again, which is both good and bad. The chorus was already average enough, so using it for a third time isn’t too keen. However, to add a final climatic effect here, “Red Light” does something interesting. It rotates singers for one line at a time. For example, everyone sings but then Sulli has one line. Then everyone sings again and Amber has one line. This repeats for everyone minus Luna. In terms of the very last part with “red light” being said, it’s played out as usual however there is two-part singing (although it’s more “edited in” than sung) with vocals sounding similar to the verse. This adds a neat layer to it and is actually enough to prevent the already tedious chorus from becoming even more so. 

A solid conclusion to a not-so-good song. 

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – Although the song structure delivered a “Red Light”, let’s see if there’s a “green light” here for Line Distribution.

Victoria appears predominately at the pre-chorus, although she has a few lines elsewhere. 

Amber definitely had her share with her lines scattered throughout the song. Plus she was a part of the bridge.

Luna had time to shine with a multitude of lines. She appears a lot throughout this song.

Krystal is also in the same boat as Luna. She has a copious amount of lines and appears in several sections. Krystal had her part.

Sulli is seen throughout the song as well. Similar to Amber, she has shorter lines spread out everywhere in the song.

Now there’s also something else to note, which is everyone sings for the chorus, so that’s another plus.

It won’t be a perfect score, but it’s near that. The only setback has to be that some members have very short lines, but at least they got a decent amount of them and are seen in multiple song sections. Overall, everyone had a fair bit of lines and with everyone chipping in for the chorus, this deserves a “green light”.

– Instrumentals: 3/10 – I would rate this instrumental as poor, so a score of 3/10 or 1.5/5 seems appropriate. It is honestly one of the most horrible, if not the worst, instrumental I’ve ever heard for a song. 

It’s extremely obnoxious with a weird electronic bassline that sounds like a deeper zipper noise. The beats are also quite plain and don’t serve any sort of listening joy. Furthermore, this instrumental does not aid the ladies’ vocals at all except for a few transitions. Anyhow, there’s no cohesiveness between the vocals and instrumentals whatsoever. It’s a horrible soundtrack and I’m glad f(x)’s singing didn’t get completely ruined by this. Although f(x) is known for an electronic based instrumental, this is not the way to go. “Hot Summer” and “Electric Shock” are still their highlighted instrumentals; those songs properly use an electronic based soundtrack that still gives the “f(x)” style. 

– Meaning: 9/10 – These lyrics are perhaps one of the most confusing, yet enticing lyrics I’ve seen so far. Here they are, translated to English (although it’s not 100% accurate):

Ay- Wait a minute, follow the rules of the jungle
The weak will get eaten
They just push me forward, yeah push me forward
Nah you’ll get stepped on if you lose focus

Ay- Ay- It’s a red light, light
This is real life,
don’t even know what’s wrong
Ay- Ay- It’s a red light, light
Listen to the person
who’s warning you, red light

Breathe for a moment eh- oh- eh- oh-
This isn’t a war

Open your eyes wide,
you’re about to crash, stop the speeding
Be the witness of change
When everyone is being quiet
In front of the rough caterpillar that is being pushed

It turns on, red light
The clear red light
Turns on by itself, red light

Boy your excuses of trying your best
are just filled with doubts to me
True love might just be
a very slow wave (a very slow wave)

Ay- Ay- It’s a red light, light
Let’s look for the special emergency exit
filled with light in each other
Ay ay, think about it, what was it that made
us stop? Red light

Turn around just once eh- oh- eh- oh-
Look for the precious things

Open your eyes wide,
you’re about to crash, stop the speeding
Be the witness of change
When everyone is being quiet
In front of the rough caterpillar that is being pushed

It turns on, red light
The clear red light
Turns on by itself, red light
It turns on, red light
Two of the red lights
In front of the hot sun and you is the red light

A miracle is coming
although it took so long
We’re waiting for and wanting the green light

Stop the speeding
(this is real life, listen to the voice)
Open your eyes wide
(yeah, look at the world before you)
They push me forward
(about to crash, you’re being pushed)
Caterpillar, that’s madness

It turns on, red light
The clear red light
Turns on by itself, red light
It turns on, red light
Two of the red lights
In front of the hot sun and you are the red light

Very symbolic lyrics I would say. Some symbolic objects/things are “red light” and “caterpillar”. Another interesting aspect is the analogy of driving, perfectly fitting with “Red Light” after all.

What are these lyrics talking about? Honestly, I could write a list that goes up to 20 or so potential ideas. It does seem to be in the realm of relationships/dating, though, as there’s a section of “Boy your excuses of trying your best…” and that gives a lot of hints as to what the song could mean. It might be going to the “Red Light” zone after all (dominated relationship, forced to do things, etc), or it might not. Anyhow, it might be about how a lady is pressured too quickly into a relationship. Or, it might be the lady is pressured to do something even though the couple are already going out together. It might also be about the lady giving him a “Red Light”; a warning. Instead of her telling the guy to “stop” whatever is bothering her, she might be the one giving him threats if he doesn’t stop his current actions. Hence the “caterpillar” is her; extremely sluggish and slow but capable of transforming itself into the complete opposite.

Be the witness of change
When everyone is being quiet
In front of the rough caterpillar that is being pushed

The caterpillar is quite symbolic; the “change” goes both ways in terms of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and how the lady plans on doing something. This “change” will also only occur once it’s just the couple/if no one will find out. Seems rather threatening, after all, he is messing with a “rough caterpillar”.

Anyhow, these lyrics could mean so many things, whether it’s about a lady giving her partner a warning/threat or telling her partner to stop something, it’s interesting and I love the symbolism in the lyrics and the analogies and such.

Solid lyrics. Definitely vague lyrics but with interpretation, a whole book could be written on the sole question of: “What is ‘Red Light’ talking about?”

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Even though the song itself is rather hectic, at least the choreography isn’t. This dance is quite solid, in fact. It syncs very well with the instrumental beats and sounds; the dance also becomes more full and energetic as the song does the same. Transitioning around is decent as well. 

Overall a solid dance that reflects the instrumental, despite how horrendous the soundtrack is. It’s an entertaining dance to watch with lots of great arm/hand motions and syncing. 

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – Well I’m shocked on the score.

Solid vocals along with some strong line distribution and sophisticated lyrics bring “Red Light” into a safer zone. The biggest con of this song is for sure the instrumental and song structure; it’s quite weak in those areas. Thankfully, an upbeat, energetic dance along with the factors stated above give “Red Light” the needed things to prevent it from being the worst song ever. 

Anyhow, do I recommend it? Not even close. In terms of the musical side, it’s horrible. The song’s structure is rather poor with the only decent parts being the bridge and pre-chorus. Looking at “Red Light” from the perspective of the lyrics and such is solid at least. This song is practically the “Jeon Won Diary” for f(x); a decent group doing their best with a mediocre song. For those who don’t get that reference, check out my review of “Jeon Won Diary” by T-ARA N4 and you’ll understand. 

So the end has come and writing this was just as chaotic as the instrumental. I took multiple breaks while writing this but hopefully this review is consistent. Thank you so much for reading. I hope this review was a lot more critical than my other ones and that you see “Red Light” in a different light. Hopefully your own opinions are triggered.

My next review is most likely going to be Secret – “I’m In Love”. Now that song is amazing. Anyways, stay tuned for that. Expect it one or two days, “A miracle is coming, although it took so long”. (And note, after that review, I’ll take my small break)

Nine Muses – “Wild” Review

Nine Muses – Wild (Live Performance)

Nine Muses – Wild (Dance Version)

Nine Muses – Wild

Reviewed on August 12, 2014

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Personal Message: Well a double change of plans. So earlier I was doing this review, and got all the way to the Song Structure part, only to have to restart due to a crash. Pretty upsetting and on top of that even more upsetting was realizing how I’m always handed down the “broken” things to use; or well, things I would consider very usable but then torn down since people are expecting too much instead of being glad with what they have. So that was really upsetting but whatever, back to my own personal laptop to use for this blog. 

But, like the K-Idols, regardless of how terrible a day, time to put on a smile for the others who are having a bad day. Anyways, I originally planned to review f(x)’s “Rum Pum Pum Pum” since that’d be quite an interesting, critical review. However, today is Nine Muses’ 4 year anniversary! Well technically it happened yesterday in Korea time but, for my place, it’s today. They’ve had an amazing year with 2013 with releases of “Dolls”, “Wild”, “Gun”, and “Glue”. Although this year is a bit rough, I hope to see these ladies continue to shine with even better songs. Anyways to celebrate their anniversary, I decided to review the song that got me into Nine Muses: “Wild”. 

Besides being one of Nine Muses’ top songs, this song is very, very meaningful to me. To me, this is what started it all; this is what really got my passion for K-Pop, and from that, a complete change. Good change. Change for the better. K-Pop has given so much to me, and without pouring out a list, it has given me positivity. I won’t get too personal, but K-Pop has done so much. Whether it’s due to the incredible songs and choreography, hilarious and sweet group members, or even the darker, shadier side of the industry, it has definitely made an impact on my life. I am very thankful for it, and it all started thanks to these nine, amazing ladies. 

I still remember the first time I watched the MV. Although I didn’t link it, feel free to YouTube it and such. It’s a very sexy MV, but not sexy in terms of pure body-revealing scenes, but rather it has a classy, passionate type of sexy. Anyways, the first time I watched it, it was a bit too much for me to handle, I was honestly disturbed (although now I am completely accustomed to Nine Muses’ style and concept). However, on the bright side, I loved the song. It was very interesting; classy yet electronic based and rocking with amazing vocals. On top of that, a fantastic choreography. 

From there, I became interested in the group. And gradually, I became more and more attached to the members after seeing their dorkier sides, and after seeing the hardships they went through. In fact, former member/leader, Sera, became my role model. Anyhow, I wasn’t just interested in Nine Muses; eventually, I wandered out and found more K-Pop groups and such, and before I knew it, I found a burning passion for K-Pop. Again, it’s more than the beautiful singers/dancers and amazing song, but even the hardships and darker side of the K-Pop industry keeps me staying. This passion and what I have gained out of K-Pop is all thanks to “Wild”. It was what started this all, and without it, this blog wouldn’t be here at all nor would a lot of positivity in my life exist. For that, I am very thankful and as a result, I cherish “Wild” as a very meaningful song to me that started off this amazing journey.

But let’s forget all that stuff for now and focus on the actual song itself. “I’m burning for love love” and that love is for “Wild”, let’s venture in and take a look. 

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (8.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 9/10 – Incredible vocal work by the beautiful, intelligent ladies of Nine Muses. As expected from them. The vocals for this song is excellent; they’re hitting a variety of notes and flow. For “Wild”, we can hear the lower notes and the exceptionally higher notes. Their singing style also varies; we can hear a slower, sexier kind of singer, but we also get to hear some very powerful, confident, impacting vocals.

Overall, a huge diversity of vocal work is done and it’s all well executed. Beautiful singing here.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8.43/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

Note: So a pretty standard song structure. The only funky thing is the chorus before the final chorus is different lyrically, but melody-wise, is the same. 

1. Introduction: 9/10 – If it’s the introduction’s job to get people hooked, this one did that for sure.

The introduction of this song is the “Oh oh oh” part. From their vocals, they give off a catchy melody for the start. It definitely gets your attention and it starts to produce a small build-up in anticipation for the first verse. Furthermore, the instrumental is well done here. The strong beats are kicking in along with the key instrumental piano melody. 

A very solid start.

2. Verse: 9/10 – I will be grading the first verse, which involves our beloved Kyungri. The second verse is with Minha and Lee Sem, but they replicate the same structure.

Already I’ll say, this is incredible. This song does an excellent job of luring in listeners. Anyhow, the verse is fantastic. Kyungri starts things off with some very solid singing. Her first two lines have a unique “tonight” pause/break at the end of a line that provides build-up and a well-crafted contrast. It’s a nice spice for listeners. Progressing on, she  continues the same style of bringing a catchy melody through her vocals and finishes off the verse with a small note hold at “ dwae~” That allows a smooth transition to the pre-chorus.

Overall, very impressive work by Kyungri, and Minha/Lee Sem towards the later verse. The lines are very sweet and catchy due to the unique melody and the “tonight” provides a nice contrast which prevents any dullness to occur for the verse. Probably one of my favorite verses of all-time.

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Hyemi and Sera take the first one while Sungah and Kyungri take the second. Again, I’ll cover the first combo since the second pair practically do the same.

Heading into the pre-chorus, Hyemi kicks things off with a very fluent English line of “I’m burning for love love, junbidwaesseo”. This allowed an even smoother transition to the pre-chorus, and it adds to the song’s mood. Passing that, she sings another line in a similar format as above, except it’s purely in Korean. Hyemi’s lines were on the lower pitch side, but that’s great for building up hype and creating a sexy atmosphere. Sera follows up with the same, lower pitch style. However, she modifies things with her final line. For her last line of “neon useumeul juneun danbi gata~”, she adds some extra power for “ta”. It’s enough to give the song the needed intensity boost to transition it to the chorus, so a smooth flow into the chorus thanks to Sera.

Overall, not the most fancy pre-chorus but it definitely showcases their adeptness at singing different notes and styles. They showed off the lower notes here with Sera providing some nice power at the end.

4. Chorus: 8/10 – Wow there are a lot of choruses. I’ll be covering only one, thankfully. Pretty much, Hyemi takes the first one. Hyuna takes the next, followed by Sera. The final conclusion involves quite a few members, but I’ll cover that one separately. 

For the chorus, Nine Muses puts forth high power/intensity. They’re singing with a higher pitch in addition to lots of power, so quite a lot of vocal work here. The instrumental coincides well with the chorus; the vocals and instrumental complement each other quite well. The main point of the chorus is overall the intensity; they’re putting forth a lot of that. Towards, the end, there are some great chunking of the lyrics to help relax the song for a smooth transition to the next piece. On top of that, there is a strong note hold done to further aid that transition. 

Overall, I’ll be honest, not the strongest chorus I’ve heard, but it holds very well, nevertheless. The strength lies in how the song built up, and how now it finally gets to release all that hype. The instrumental plays a key role and there is still a melody going.  

5. Rap: 9/10 – Although the two raps are different, they’re closely related enough for me to not make a different score. Anyhow, hot-shot Euaerin takes the first one while smart, sexy, husky-voiced Eunji takes the second.

Euaerin is killing it with her rap. How murderous can she be? Who knows but her rap was very, very nice. She had a very solid flow and pace going. Words were definitely sliding off smoothly. On top of that, it still matched up with the melody and instrumental. Lots of power and speed for her rapping. Extremely well executed and knowing Euaerin, this is to be expected. She’s a solid rapper by far and she proves it here.

Eunji’s part was solid as well; the use of her deeper voice suited her rap well, especially with the pause in the middle with “Hot Spotlight feels right”. Anyhow, she had lots of flow. Nothing was abrupt or choppy, it was quite fluent and she definitely incorporated the melody and instrumental.

Very solid rapping work done by these two stunning ladies.  

6. Bridge: 8/10 – Hyemi and Hyuna form a duo for this part.

Firstly, the transition to the bridge was somewhat rough. Coming from the high powers of the chorus’ vocals, swapping to the calmer singing in the bridge was pretty rough. At least the instrumental transitioned well.

Moving past that, Hyemi sang in a slower, weaker style in comparison to the chorus. Her lines were well executed and they definitely “relaxed” the song down quite a bit. Hyuna then steps in and does the same for one line. Now at the final line, she has chopped lyrics of “no way, no way, no way…ok?” This was very well synced with the instrumental; the soundtrack followed the same flow and pacing and at the end, went completely quiet at “ok?”. Hyuna sings this part very well and still maintains the melody. This part was used as a way to fully relax the song for building up to the conclusion. 

Overall, a decent bridge. Nothing too strong, and in fact the transition to the bridge wasn’t the smoothest. Hyemi and Hyuna were able to calm the song down in preparation for a final, climatic chorus and that they managed to do. 

7. Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10 – So this is quite an interesting ending. So before we get further, the ladies handling the final chorus are Kyungri, Hyemi, Hyuna, and Sera.

Keep in mind, before the final chorus, there was another chorus beforehand. Although lyrically, it’s different, it follows the same structure and melody. So already, there’s a repetitive dullness feel attached to the conclusion. On top of that, the final chorus plays out exactly as the other choruses in the song; the only difference is there is a noticeable added power. That gives a solid, final climatic effect. In fact, the switch between singers is very interesting and further gives off that final, top-peak of energy effect. However, the biggest issue is how repetitive this part feels. A chorus, and then a final chorus with 4 members singing it. 

Now moving past that, on the positive side, once Sera finishes her final words, the piano melody solely plays out. The key instrumental plays one final time and finally the song fully comes to a stop. 

Overall, while the final, climatic effect is great, this section comes off as rather dull and repetitive. Thankfully, though, the graceful piano ending helps quite a bit but this isn’t the strongest ending at all. 

– Line Distribution: 8/10 – As seen in other groups, sharing lines among 9 members is a daunting task. However, as seen in “Glue”, Nine Muses was perfect with that. For “Wild”, let’s glance at how lines were shared.

Kyungri had her own verse at the start, and appears throughout the song, so she’s covered.

Hyemi had plenty of lines and appears in multiple sections, such as the bridge, a chorus, and more.

Minha only appears once, and that’s for only two lines at the second verse, so she is lacking a bit.

Lee Sem is in a similar case. She appears in the second verse with only two lines as well. Not looking too well here.

Sera had a fair share of lines. She appears near the beginning and makes a completely return towards the end of the song.

Euaerin had her own rap section in which she excelled vastly at, so she definitely had her time.

Eunji had her own rap time, and definitely had a “Hot Spotlight” that certainly “feels right”. Alright maybe that was overkill, sorry.

Sungah appears at the second pre-chorus for about two lines, so like Minha and Lee Sem, she didn’t have too much time.

So overall, the support vocalists are a bit absent for this song; it’s understandable, though, since “Wild” is quite vocally demanding. Nevertheless, having their support on the lesser side will bring this score down to an 8/10. In the future, they thankfully managed to correct this with a perfect 10/10 for “Glue”, but for “Wild”, not quite.

– Instrumentals: 8/10 – The instrumental for this song is very different; in a good way. It utilizes both electronic and classy instruments. There’s the very prominent piano melody as well as the special electronic “screeching” noise. Overall, the soundtrack provided a lot for transitions and it accompanied the ladies’ vocals very well. On its own, however, not the most solid, but nevertheless, a very graceful and catchy instrumental that fits perfectly for “Wild”.

– Meaning: 8/10 – “Wild”. Where does this lead to, especially with a very sexy MV? I expected some racier lyrics, but let’s see if that’s the case through these not-100%-translated lyrics:

Drunk by the captivating scent tonight,
I am excited by the thought of you tonight
I am looking alright today,
I am anticipating something special might happen

I’m burning for love love, I am ready,
You are quite a sweet counterpart
You are a much needed rain which gives me laughter
For a moment in my dull life

You have become the only exit in my heart,
I become refreshed every day because of you
Two is stronger than one,
We have to stay together

I am slowly falling for you
more more and more
I fell for your trap
and I am floundering for you
Oh! my baby come on closer
You’re getting more drunk on me
You continuously cannot let go
In order for us to become one

Under the captivating moonlight, tonight
I am resting on your shoulder. Tonight

I am a little excited right now,
I am anticipating about what will happen if our lips brush

I’m burning for love, love do you know,
try to get more drunk in the perfect moment.
You’re going to melt for me more
and you will keep me inside you so you can dream

Getting saturated and slowly infiltrating,
This is my secret and
Feeling I wanted from you,
The thing that shines us uh!
Hot spotlight feels right,
moment by moment, u makin’ me high!
Our relationship is getting deeper now,
you cannot escape me you’re, you’re mine

You have become the only exit in my heart,
I become refreshed every day because of you
Two is stronger than one,
we have to stay together

The days I have passed without you,
the days I always wasted
I cannot progress further alone
No way, no way, no way… ok?

You become the long lamplight in the dark,
The light shining inside my heart
We make each other more special,
We have to stay together at all times

You have become the only exit in my heart,
I become refreshed every day because of you
Two is stronger than one,
we have to stay together

So…we have some interesting lyrics. In summary, a person (gentleman/lady) is talking about how their partner is their “only exit” for their heart and that they should stay together, since their love is so strong and they’re quite passionate for each other.

I guess I would label these lyrics as a love story, but not so much a story as is a moment. Anyhow, the big question of “is this about a couple getting ‘Wild’ at night?” It could be, like in literature, implying is all we can do. Either way, passionate love is what these lyrics focus in which is a nice change to the usual stories in lyrics. “Wild” focuses on a moment, versus a story, and I like that change up. 

There are interesting details, but nothing too deep in meaning. Anyhow, solid lyrics about a “Wild”, romantic, deeply-in-love moment.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – I’m doing my best to stay unbiased, so I’ll lean towards an 8. 

For the choreography, this dance is very impressive. Throughout the entire song, they’re constantly in sync with the music which is always pleasant to witness. Transitioning members around go flawlessly and spotlight positioning is excellent with the other members becoming the support dancers. There are some great key dance points as well.

What does hold it back, though, is there’s nothing too unique with the moves; while they sync very well, it feels as if the choreography doesn’t reflect the power in the song. The syncs well with the music, but not with the intensity if that makes any more sense. The choreography feels quite “plain” when juxtaposing the song to it. There isn’t any fix for that to be honest (just how the song runs and the dance to mesh with it), but overall, a really solid dance full of grace, sexiness, and charisma. 

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Overall Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – I’m really confused on how this song hit an 8/10 instead of a 9. 

Perhaps the choreography should’ve been a 9/10, but it just lacked the slightly needed “spice” to make it more interesting. 

Anyways, “Wild” is still a fantastic song and I still hold it on top for my own personal list of best songs of all-time. It’s quite a shame that Nine Muses lost 3 members. Compare this review to “Glue” and you’ll notice how much they’ve improved; it’s insane to see that much growth. But anyways, “Wild” still holds its own and it’s still an excellent song. The vocals are outstanding here and it has a very unique instrumental. The choreography is also excellent; lots of syncing between the music and moves. 

The issue in this song would overall lie towards the repetitive nature at the end, and that the choreography needs to have a unique twist added to make it stand out even more.

It’s still worth checking out, though. Definitely an excellent song and dance still.

Well the end has come once again, and I would like to say, thank you very much for reading. Making these reviews are quite fun, and I hope you enjoy them as much I do. So thank you.

My future review is most likely “Rum Pum Pum Pum” by f(x), so stay tuned for that.

It’s quite late now, but this is what I get for having my earlier entry getting discarded. Anyhow, “You have become the only exit in my heart, I become refreshed every day because of you” I hope you keep reading this blog, after all, “Two is stronger than one, we have to stay together" 

Wheesung – “Night and Day” Review

Wheesung – Night and Day MV

Wheesung – Night and Day (Live Performance)

Wheesung – Night and Day

Reviewed on August 5, 2014

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Personal Message: Alright, it’s been two days I believe since I did a review, so nothing too bad. I’m back into posting, though. I’ve been away due to lots of family visits and such. Quite a fun time. Anyhow, what song am I reviewing today? None other than a song by the best male singer I know of so far: Wheesung! From what I heard, he was doing military service for 2 years (not sure on that) and he was finally discharged a few months back. Now being away for that long, one would wonder how his singing would be. He came back full force with “Night and Day”.

Anyhow, I’m really excited to review this song as Wheesung is the male equivalent of Ailee; his singing is beyond anything in this world. If the female K-Idols made me feel bad about my looks, well now I’m a wreck since Wheesung brings down my confidence about my voice. He has an extremely extraordinary voice; his skill is similar to that of Ailee. He can hit both the high and low notes. He’s capable of holding out straining note holds. His ability to add so much power and charisma into his singing is phenomenal. Versatility is what he possesses. All I have to say is thank you Wheesung for getting on the show, “Hello Counselor”. When he got up to sing, I was paralyzed. Instantly I stopped watching and looked up “Night and Day”.

With all this praising said, it is time to see the “Night and Day” of Wheesung’s singing.

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Song Total Score: 9/10 (9/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 10/10 – It’s Wheesung. Moving on. 

Alright ignoring my horrible recycle of an already atrocious joke from my earlier review of Ailee’s “Singing Got Better”, this gentleman is incredible. 

He has everything; his vocals can be exceptionally powerful and can give so much energy off for the song. His note range is the spectrum of high to low. He can maintain lengthy note holds. Lastly, he adds so much emotion, passion, and charisma into his singing. Hearing him sing gives you the same energy he puts into his vocals, it’s amazing.

Pretty much, he is tied with Ailee. I consider Ailee the queen vocalist in the K-Pop scene (although there are quite a few other singers as well that could compete), so I think it is well deserved to label Wheesung as the king vocalist of K-Pop.

– Song Structure: 9/10 (8.8333/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Before I get any further, probably the most standard song structure I’ve dealt with in a while. Actually it might be identical to “Singing Got Better” by Ailee. Anyhow, that’s to be expected as “Night and Day” is a ballad/R&B genre song. 

Anyhow, time to focus on the introduction.

A piano melody instantly starts the song off. A very peaceful and melodic tune. A few more seconds in, and Wheesung is already showing some adept singing. He throws in a mini “Ooh~” note hold, however, it isn’t accurate to label it as a single note hold; it should be plural: notes. He does some very fast pitch changing during this note hold, a really difficult feat. Now after that, the piano melody carries on by itself and eventually it leads into the first verse. An extremely impressive and solid start for the song.

2. Verse: 9/10 – To show off the versatile vocals Wheesung has, the verses reflect that. He starts off on the softer, lower pitch side. From here, he’s slowly building up the song through his singing. The instrumental is still mostly composed of the single piano melody. This is perfect chemistry as it allows for a lot of potential hype. 

The melody here is very solid and loving for the ears; in fact at the end of every line, he has a small note hold. This is all great for build up and showing off softness and some strength. He’s also hitting a variety of notes, ranging from the higher side to the lower pitches as well. Very solid verses for this song and it definitely flows straight into the pre-chorus. It sets the stage for build up very well.

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – There’s some very interesting flow in this section. Nevertheless, an extremely solid section as well.

For the pre-chorus, there are moments where Wheesung sings “For your love…” very softly. This allows a quick break and rest for the song, but then he resumes singing with the usual softness as seen in the verses. After that, though, the break of “For your love…” is added once again. This dive-fly up and repeat flow allows for some more build up as well as creating a unique pacing for listeners. It’s a great contrast to the verse, so this prevents any dullness from occurring while still technically allowing Wheesung to sing in a soft, melodic fashion.

However, after the second break, he begins to release his powerful vocals; his singing becomes a lot more solid/stronger and he has a short yet impacting note hold. For example, in the first pre-chorus, “harureul deo neulligo sipeo~” has a note hold at the last word. That is when the intensity of the song starts to unwrap itself. Now this isn’t the end. A really beautiful thing after that line is the instrumental completely stops. This allows pure focus on vocals and it emphasizes that. Wheesung’s last line before the chorus is an exceptionally powerful straining note hold. So much intensity and energy is brought into the song on the sole basis of this gentleman’s voice. That is just incredible; with the instrumental dying, it was his vocal talent at work to create the transition and it works perfectly. Very solid work. 

4. Chorus: 9/10 – Now this is the core part of the song. A diamond core.

Instantly the chorus begins with an English line of “I love you 24 hours”. This makes a key mark for the chorus as well as bringing in the emotion and mood of the song. For the chorus, Wheesung goes insane; he has note holds all over this section. He’s singing full force with power; no more softness. The beastly vocals are ravaging this section. He’s hitting a diversity of notes. The high notes to the middle/lower notes.

Later in the chorus, there’s the unique part of “‘Cause I’m your knight na na knight…” This key phrase serves a multitude of purposes. For one, it’s a catchy part of the chorus that can be easily remembered. It’s a significant piece. Next, it allows the song to slowly de-escalate in terms of intensity/energy level; Wheesung is still able to sing with a huge amount of energy, but with the pacing being changed to choppier lengths (Knight na na knight), it allows him to slow down fully and to calm his singing. Anyhow, perfect transition thanks to this win-win scenario of the final line.

5. Bridge: 10/10 – I really can’t decide between a 10 or 9. I think overall a 10 since this section is outstanding. Very majestic.  

For this bridge, the instrumental starts becoming more passive. This is to spotlight the vocals and to back up a very climatic point that occurs.

Wheesung’s first 3 lines are very powerful lines; he’s putting forth a lot of energy. However, after those 3 lines, he switches things up by singing in English and by adjusting his pacing. “My baby, I pray, I wanna lay, you down” Now this section is sliced up (based on the commas), but he’s still singing in full force power. Anyhow, what gives then, for this change of pace? Well my answer to that is it allows further build up to occur. From here, it seems that he’s slowly “storing” energy by taking his time and going by chunks. After this English section, he resumes the same strength with singing but then when he’s at the end, he holds probably one of most beautiful and graceful note holds I’ve seen/heard in my entire life so far. For practically 6 seconds (that’s a LONG time for such a straining and powerful note hold) he’s holding out “girl~” with so much energy. This is practically the biggest climatic peak in “Night and Day”. This is mind-blowing and graceful; this part is beautiful and it shows off the charisma and strength of his vocals (and lungs). 

I still have to say Ailee’s “Singing Got Better” is still the best bridge I’ve heard, but nothing has come close to Wheesung’s incredible note hold here. It’s extremely powerful and brings out such a climatic moment.

Before progressing, the transition to the conclusion is perfect. He lets the note hold naturally die and to ensure a smooth transition, he throws in a quick “Ima love you night and day”. 

Overall, solid transitions. This bridge plays off hyping up itself through chunked sections and by having the most fantastic note hold ever in a song. It isn’t just blind power; it is absolutely fitting. Incredible here. Just incredible.

6. Conclusion (Chorus): 9/10 – A conclusion that uses its chorus once again, but that’s no issue.

For this part, the standard, already almighty chorus is sang again, however this time Wheesung is doing a lot of two-part singing for the final top peak of intensity. The final punch if I may say that. Anyhow, it goes smoothly and a final intense chorus is played out. Now towards the end, the key phrase of “knight na na knight” is sang a couple of times. It delivers a final linger effect and at the very end, the instrumental dies off perfectly and Wheesung bestows a final “knight~” with a small note hold. There’s also an interesting detail where we can hear a solid (knigHT) “tut” sound as the last part. It gives it a final cherry-on-top effect. 

Very astounding ending to a marvelous, beautiful and powerful, rich song. Well done, Wheesung for this majestic singing.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – He’s running solo so can’t be applied.

– Instrumentals: 9/10 – A very classy instrumental background; lots of piano melodies, etc. This instrumental does a great job with transitioning things around, but the best part is how well it coincides with Wheesung’s singing. If he slams the gas pedal and goes head-on with power, the instrumental does the same. The opposite is true as well. If Wheesung has his singing relaxing, the instrumental does the same. 

Overall, a very beautiful soundtrack like Wheesung’s voice.

– Meaning: 8/10 – The catchphrases of “I love you 24 hours…” and “I’m your knight na na knight” doesn’t seem to relate to “Night and Day”, but if we take a look at the English lyrics (not 100% accurate), it starts making sense:

Even though I’m not asleep,
I am dreaming
Even when I’m with you,
I can’t believe it

For your love,
I want to gain strength
For your love,
I want to extend a day
I want to be the only man

I love you 24 hours, thank you for being you
It’s amazing every time I see you,
you’re so beautiful
The sun rises high during the day,
the moon rises at night
Because I will always protect you
Cuz I’m your knight na na knight
I’m your knight na na knight

There’s nothing about you
that I don’t need
All of you is everything
I wanted and hoped for

For your love,
I want to know many things
For your love,
I want to learn more about the world
Only for you

I love you 24 hours, thank you for being you
It’s amazing every time I see you,
you’re so beautiful
The sun rises high during the day,
the moon rises at night
Because I will always protect you
Cuz I’m your knight na na knight
I’m your knight na na knight

In the future, even when we close our eyes
I pray that our love will be
talked about for a long time
My baby I pray I wanna lay you down
The main character of my life is you girl

Ima love you night and day

I love you 24 hours, thank you for being you
It’s amazing every time I see you,
you’re so beautiful
The sun rises high during the day,
the moon rises at night
Because I will always protect you
Cuz I’m your knight na na knight
I’m your knight na na knight

Knight na na knight
I’m your knight na na knight

In short, these lyrics are about a gentleman expressing his love for his partner. It’s almost an ode; he’s praising her. Anyhow, a love story. 

This person is expressing how he loves everything about his lady; she’s the world to him and that he wants to protect her. “Night and Day” is pretty much the title since she IS his night and day; the gentleman being able to protect her since they’re in love with each other makes it so that “The sun rises high during the day” and “the moon rises at night”.

Overall, very heartwarming lyrics. Nothing too deep, but it’s quite meaningful. After all, any lady OR gentleman (yes, gentleman) loves feeling protected by their love. 

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Choreography Score: X/10 – Err, let’s see how I describe this part.

Technically, there is a dance. However, technically, Wheesung isn’t dancing. 

The choreography is composed of 4 women and 4 men who dance around Wheesung. He’s just sitting/standing in the middle of it all, but doesn’t necessarily do any of it. As a result, since there aren’t any full camera shots of this dance, I can’t judge it accurately. On top of that, Wheesung is essentially just sitting so I’m leaving this off.

Regardless, I still find it a solid dance. Check out the live performance above to see. (Although let’s be honest, who really cares about the dance when this gentleman’s voice can conjure thunder) 

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Overall Score: 9/10 (9/10 raw score) – So with just the pure Song Total Score, it brings us to a solid 9/10 which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Wheesung is probably the strongest singer I’ve heard so far, and I’m going to claim he’s tied with Ailee for my personal list of best vocalists. He is just phenomenal; his singing is just so powerful and majestic. He’s extremely skilled and versatile. The masters of ballad music are definitely Wheesung and Ailee. 

Well the end has come. Before this ends, if you haven’t go listen to this song right now. In fact if you haven’t even heard this song yet and you just read this first, shame on you. Have a taste of this gentleman’s voice. Anyhow, feel free to check out the live performance of this song. Yes, it is live. Like Ailee, he makes it seem as if it’s not live, but this is the result of hardwork. 

So our review has ended, as promised, I changed things up. I reviewed a male artist this time and I swapped over to the ballad genre of K-Pop. Actually wouldn’t it technically be called K-Ballad? Maybe I’m complicating things. Anyways, thank you so much for reading this. I had a blast writing this. “Night and Day” is an incredible song; it’s so beautiful and powerful. A really moving song. Wheesung deserves a lot more recognition; he has the charms and looks, he seems to be very kind, and his voice is borderline divine. I can’t wait to actually watch “Hello Counselor” where he appears as a guest along with NS Yoon-G (and if you haven’t read my review of “Yasisi” by her, check it out!).

Anything is up for grabs now in terms of what I’ll review next, but I have a few ideas. I’ll see if I can get a variety of artists going on this blog. I’m leaning towards Jiyeon, though, with “1Min 1Sec” No promises this time, though.

Anyways, thank you once again for reading. It means so much to me. Remember, “I love you 24 hours” and I’ll always be here, “’Cause I’m your knight na na knight”.

Hello Venus – “Do You Want Some Tea?” Review

Hello Venus – Do You Want Some Tea? (Live Performance)

Hello Venus – Do You Want Some Tea? MV (w/ Eng Sub)

Hello Venus – Do You Want Some Tea?

Reviewed on August 3, 2014

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Personal Message: I might do two reviews in one day, I’ll see. That’ll be really interesting but I doubt I have enough time, although it’d be great if I did that since then I would have a day off posting. Oh and also a funny note, I completely forgot to add “Review” to my last review of “Mr. Mr.”. That has been fixed, thankfully. 

Anyhow, today I’ll be reviewing a song by Hello Venus. And I didn’t say “Hey time to review this group since they’re losing two members!”, it was pure coincidence. In fact, I actually feel slightly bad since this review is around the time Hello Venus lost their two members: YooAra and Yoonjo. I won’t be going over the news since I’m not too sure and haven’t kept up, but from what I heard, pretty much there was a company split and that meant YooAra and Yoonjo had to go to a different agency or something. Don’t quote me on this at all, just go look it up if you want to find out the real story.

Looking at this song, I believe it was their latest song and I have a say, it’s a shame that Hello Venus lost their members. They actually had quite a bit of potential; the song isn’t bad nor is their singing. 

With that said, let’s see how much “potential” they had with their last song. Get comfortable for this review, and while you’re here, “Do You Want Some Tea?”

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (8.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 8/10 – Hello Venus is not lacking in terms of vocals at all; the six ladies are all quite talented. They each provide for the song. For “Do You Want Some Tea?”, they showcase sweet, softer vocals along with being able to hit some higher pitches. Very gentle and melodic voices are heard, a solid score here.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

A pretty standard structure. The bridge is a bit interesting; it’s a mix of rapping and some singing. More will be covered with that later.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – A super solid introduction. 

“Do You Want Some Tea?” (I’lll probably abbreviate that…) starts with a sweet, gentle piano melody. YooYoung then starts to throw in some questions and such. There isn’t much melody to her words, but that’s not the purpose at all; her purpose was to set the stage and that she does. It sets the mood of innocence and builds some small hype. In addition, the instrumental does a great job with transitioning to the verse. 

A very solid introduction. Sweetness and great transitioning from the instrumental. 

2. Verse: 8/10 – YooAra and Alice take the first…only verse in the song. A very solid duo and verse.

YooAra starts the song by adding some sweet lines. She’s building the melody and already, we can hear YooAra’s solid singing by witnessing her following through with a slower pace, maintaining a sweet melody, and some small note holds with “iljjae~” and “hagimanhae~”. The two short note holds were also very matching, with the “ae” sound at the end. This subtle detail gave a small lingering effect, nevertheless, so a neat feature here.

Now moving to Alice, she continues the sweet vocals. The pacing is still on the slow slide, but it starts picking up near the end. After her first line, there’s a unique pausing, slower moment with her saying “eotteokhae…eotteokhae…” (What do I do is the meaning). Now her final line has a small note hold, but here, it is noticeable that she adds some slight power to her singing. This is perfect for a transition. 

Overall, a solid way to start the song off. YooAra and Alice provided their sweet vocals. Their ability to follow the slow pacing and to craft the melody was well done. They got the wheels moving for sure.

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Now this is some nice build up for the upcoming chorus; for the first pre-chorus, we have 4 of the ladies singing. Nara, Lime, YooYoung, and Yoonjo are responsible for it. The second pre-chorus is done by Nara, Alice, and Yoonjo. 

I’ll be covering the first one as the melody is the same for both pre-choruses. 

Nara is the one to start things off for the pre-chorus. Her line of “Every day! Every night! eonjejjeum deo gakkawojilkka” was quite powerful; through stronger vocals, she added intensity to the song. The English words were quite impacting with power. Lime’s part followed up with stronger vocals, but, she kept a very nice, high pitched melody going. This was very nice to hear. Next is YooYoung, and her part replicates Nara’s part in a way; YooYoung has English words of “Stupid boy, silly boy” and the flow is quite similar. Her voice isn’t as strong, but her part still fits very well. Finally we have Yoonjo finishing things off with some higher pitched, short note holds. This allowed a great transition into the chorus. 

The beauty of this pre-chorus is the build up done; the instrumental was a huge piece; it accompanied the vocals very well and at Yoonjo’s part, it supported her with the transition. Overall, a solid pre-chorus that does its job of creating hype for the chorus.

4. Chorus: 8/10 – Now we’re at the chorus. I’ll be covering the first group that handles it, which is YooAra, Alice, Yoonjo, and Lime. The other choruses are the same minus different members singing.

Anyhow, YooAra initiates this part. Her singing is vastly stronger here; this is to keep the chorus in a high intensity state, and it works perfectly. She still maintains the sweet melody as well. Alice then continues YooAra’s part by providing her power-filled vocals as well. Alice’s lines are quite similar in terms of keeping up the melody along with adding to the chorus’ energy. Next, YooAra comes back and brings the intensity back down through lowering her pitch at the end of her last line and by having a mini note hold there. The sweet melody is still kept. 

Despite this, though, it isn’t the end of the chorus. Now there is a small break in the middle of the chorus; in the background, we can hear “Oh baby my boy” and such repeated for a few seconds. The instrumental is still somewhat strong here. Anyhow, after this break, Yoonjo comes in with solid singing. She’s continuing the intensity with stronger vocals and carries the melody. Lastly, Lime finishes off the chorus with slowing the pacing and by ending with a lower pitched, short note hold.

Overall, a solid chorus. Nothing too spectacular but it was good. The flow was great. Seeing the ladies offering stronger vocals to increase the intensity was awesome. The melody was still very sweet and catchy. The pause in the middle was short enough to not cause any problems, but I found its use there fine. It allowed a quick pause and allowed the instrumental to be highlighted for a bit. 

5. Rap: 7/10 – Time for YooYoung’s rap.

The instrumental allowed a smooth transition to her spice of “Hey, boy listen”.  Her execution wasn’t bad at all, but this rapping wasn’t too solid. She didn’t give too much melody nor was her flow/pacing extremely catchy. It felt like a filler part; with the instrumental still being in a relaxed state, YooYoung’s part felt like it was there just for the sake of having vocals. Not the most solid rapping I’ve heard, but it wasn’t terrible. The placement could’ve been better. After coming from an energetic chorus, having a slower, dull rapping part gave a really rough switch.

Not too bad, but it wasn’t anything special at all. Executed and forgotten.

6. Bridge (Rap): 8/10 – Now this part is really unique; it has a blend of singing and rapping. Alice, Lime, and YooAra cooperate for this part. Pretty much, Lime does the rapping while Alice and YooAra support her with regular singing.

Alice starts things off. Her part wasn’t to show off any fantastic singing, rather, it was to provide a smooth transition to Lime. Alice’s part was her starting from a high pitch, but gradually, she lowers her pitch. Doing so brings the intensity down, which then would allow Lime’s rapping to fit in quite well. Once Lime starts rapping, she’s on faster side and is on the low pitch. An interesting thing done here is YooAra provides some two-part singing here in order to layer/back up Lime’s rapping. For example, Lime rapped “naenae gominhaesseo” but YooAra also sang that line. This created a layering effect and a small energy boost for this section. And finally, YooAra finishes up the bridge with a sweet yet extremely powerful line. At the end of her line, she does a very high pitched note hold with “…tende~ Oh oh~”. This allowed a quick transition for the final chorus.

Overall, lots of great chemistry here. Rapping mixed with some powerful vocals was awesome. Lime did an excellent job of executing her rap and YooAra finishes it all up nicely. 

7. Conclusion (Chorus): 9/10 – The conclusion reuses its chorus. 

Now, the ending is just the regular chorus however, for the final peak of intensity and to follow up YooAra’s previous work in the bridge, there’s a lot of two-part singing done here. This allows a final climatic moment, very satisfying work here.

Now towards the very end, YooAra does her final line and has a small note hold and slowly it dies out. The instrumental has also emulated that; it dies off only a few moments after YooAra’s voice does. A very nice conclusion. The amazing two-part singing brings it all together for a final peak of intensity. In terms of ending the song, the instrumental dies out properly along with YooAra’s final note hold. A very strong ending. 

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – 6 members, let’s see how the lines were split.

Alice had plenty of lines throughout the song and had some impacting parts, so no problems for her. She and YooAra were the prominent singers.

Nara was heard at the first and second pre-choruses. However, that was it, so a bit lacking in comparison to the other members.

YooAra had plenty of lines, and similar to Alice, had lots of vocal spotlight for her amazing talent; no issues here.

Yoonjo was heard throughout the song; her lines weren’t lengthy, but due to how ubiquitous she was, she had her fair share. She appears at first pre-chorus and chorus, the second pre-chorus, and the conclusion.

Lime had a few short lines, but she did have a rapping section all to herself (excluding YooAra’s two-part singing of course).

Lastly, YooYoung has her solo rapping part along with a line at the verse. Let’s also not forget she was the one with the introduction, so she definitely had time to shine.

Overall, pretty solid line distribution. The only issue is Nara is a bit absent at times, but she’s still there. Lime is also a bit lacking, except her bridge section redeems that. 

– Instrumentals: 8/10 – A very solid instrumental soundtrack. The piano melody is a huge component; this instrumental backs up the ladies’ vocals extremely well. Transitions are also helped with thanks to this. Furthermore, the instrumental perfectly reciprocates the intensity of the vocals; if the ladies sing softly, the instrumental does the same. Once the ladies pick it up, so does the instrumental and it becomes more intense.

A very beautiful, sweet and joyful soundtrack. Solid for sure.

– Meaning: 8/10 – “Do You Want Some Tea?”, an interesting title. Let’s see what story is behind the title through these translated English lyrics, not 100% accurate:

Hey, listen up!
Where you at now?
You ready to tell me, boy!

It’s been 100 days since we started dating
It’s still a bit awkward between us

Today I have a date with you for the first time in a while
What do I do, what do I do,
The sun is already setting

Every day, every night hen will we get a bit closer?
I can’t even say it because I’m the girl
Stupid boy, silly boy, I can’t wait any longer
Today I will be courageous and tell you

After the evening sun sets, after the darkness falls
Will you take me home?
I don’t want to say goodbye yet
Do you want to get to know me more?
Then do you want to come in and have some tea?
This night is too long by myself
I want to know you more
I ask of you until the morning comes

Hey, boy listen,
I went to that cafe with you
But now let’s be together at my place
It’s embarrassing but I will take courage and tell you
Do you want to have some tea at my place?

That’s strange, I’m curious,
Do you even love me?
Or are you just caring for me?
No, stupid, this isn’t what I want
I will throw away my pride and tell you

After the evening sun sets, after the darkness falls
Will you take me home?
I don’t want to say goodbye yet
Do you want to get to know me more?
Then do you want to come in and have some tea?

Want to have some tea? Come on in
I want to be with you alone together
I thought hard about this on our way home
Don’t just stand there like a fool and come to me
It would be nice if you would notice this first

After the evening sun sets, after the darkness falls
Will you take me home?
I don’t want to say goodbye yet
Do you want to get to know me more?
Then do you want to come in and have some tea?
This night is too long by myself
I want to know you more
I ask of you until the morning comes

A really innocent story. Pretty much, a lady is wanting to ask her boyfriend out on a date (a tea date, etc.); however, due to stereotypical gender roles, shyness, and a bit of awkwardness still among the couple, she’s reluctant to ask.

Now before we get any further, I do want to be critical and rant a bit about “Do You Want Some Tea?” with its story. In specific, the gender stereotype. Regardless of your gender, I think there should be absolutely no shame whatsoever when it comes to who asks who out; does it matter? If you two are in love with each other, whoever asks is whoever. Both people should be taking each other out, not just the man or woman.

However, ignoring that, I find the story extremely cute. It’s very innocent with how the lady is mustering up the courage to be the person to do the asking, hence, “Do You Want Some Tea?” The question and offer of being the person to take her boyfriend out.

There are some interesting details that further construct this story, but nothing too sophisticated. Nevertheless, above average lyrics.

Oh and before I end, there are some people who believe this song could be somewhat racy, and to be honest, looking over the lyrics, that’s potentially true. However, Hello Venus themselves addressed it and that was not the intended idea. Nevertheless, even if it does lean that way, the same sweetness and innocence is kept in terms of the lady gathering the strength to be the first one to ask. 

So overall, very solid lyrics. An interesting and adorable story. My only complaint is the gender stereotype situation, but other than that, not an issue.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – The choreography isn’t bad at all; don’t get me wrong, it’s decent, but it feels really repetitive.

The dance for this song has quite a decent amount of syncing between this and the music, it’s lacking at some points but otherwise great connections. Transitions are smooth and spotlight positioning is great. The biggest issue though, is as I said earlier, it gets somewhat repetitive. While the dance matches the mood of the song very well with staying sweet and innocent, due to the more passive moments, it does become dull. A lot of the moments seem too similar to one another. As a result, it starts getting a bit boring near the end.

All in all, a decent dance that does everything perfectly when it comes down to the mechanics and staying in theme. It just becomes a bit too repetitive with staying all soft and gentle. 

It’s a tough situation since adding a bit more power/change up to the choreography would most likely ruin the theme, so there’s no easy solution. Anyhow, I feel that Hello Venus did their best with executing the dance, so props to them for that.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – This leaves us with a 8/10. I can agree with that. The choreography is actually on the weaker side when it comes to this song, but the musical piece itself is very solid.

The vocals are extremely sweet, powerful, and melodic. The instrumental is also just as solid. A really great song.

It’s quite saddening to hear that Hello Venus lost two valuable members. “Do You Want Some Tea?” proves that they had potential; this song wasn’t the best, but it was far from the worst. They definitely could’ve kept growing. While I am not a fan of the cuter concepts, Hello Venus managed to get me despite that. Perhaps in the future we will see them overcoming this setback. Hopefully, we get to see Hello Venus again with an even stronger song. 

So the end has come once again, thank you for reading this. Hopefully you enjoyed this and I do apologize if this is subpar to my other reviews. I was a bit rushed and in fact, I did the song section but then had to leave for a few hours and then once I returned, I finished the rest. Apologies if anything seems off.

I’m not sure on what to review next although I still am going off that list from way back in July, so perhaps one of those songs. Anyhow, expect more reviews to come. I might change it up and do a male group since I’ve been focused on only the female groups for the past reviews.

Anyhow, thank you again for reading. “I don’t want to say goodbye yet” but I do want to ask “Do You Want Some Tea?”

F(x) – “Electric Shock” Review

F(x) – Electric Shock MV

F(x) – Electric Shock Live Performance

F(x) – Electric Shock

Reviewed on July 30, 2014

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Personal Message: So a bit late with reviews, but it’s just one day. Right? Anyhow, I’ve finally done the Guitar Tabs Tutorial post and have a YouTube video linking to it, so that’s fancy. Hopefully people enjoy that.

Anyways, what am I reviewing tonight? None other than F(x)! And heads up, it was quite hard finding a live performance video that had decent quality/camera angles. Thankfully I found one, and I totally forgot, though, that the music video of “Electric Shock” has a lot of the dancing in it, so that can also be used to see the choreography. 

So “Electric Shock” was…two summers ago? Yup. Two years ago and actually, this was one of the very first K-Pop songs I heard in my life. As a result, personally, this song is meaningful in that regard. 

What brings me to review it you may ask, well, my answer is I’ve been a huge fan of Krystal and her sister’s show: “Jessica & Krystal”. It’s heartwarming, cute, funny, it’s a great show.

Anyhow, I’ve become motivated to give F(x) and Girls’ Generation some love through reviews, so off we go.

It’s time to get an “E-E-E-Electric Shock” from this review!

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (7.8/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 8/10 – Definitely solid vocals from the ladies. All 5 of them can be seen heard singing and their vocals are above average.

There’s nothing too intense or straining from the look of the song; nevertheless, they showed off great control. From building up a melody or to hitting the higher notes, F(x) proves they can sing. All of them also have really unique voices. 

Overall, solid vocals. Nothing too impressive but it’s not lacking at all.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8.29/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse 1, Verse 2, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse 1, Verse 2, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Bridge (Pre-Chorus), Chorus, Conclusion (Chorus) 

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

Alright so, a very basic song structure. The only wonky thing is how there are two consecutive verses (two types, though) and that the final pre-chorus acts as a bridge, although I won’t be grading that part directly.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – F(x) decides to shock the listeners from the start.

This introduction starts off on a pretty upbeat pacing already. Krystal and Amber both take turns saying “Electric” and “Electric shock”. The stuttering “E-E-E-Electric shock” also takes place here.

So overall, a solid introduction. It gets the instrumental flowing, which is electronic (Go figure, right? And it’s F(x)’s style so twice as fitting). And now I’m really wondering on how often I’ll say electric. Anyways, the vocals here aren’t the strongest; it’s just Krystal and Amber saying “electric shock” and eventually all the members chip in at the end. 

The good thing of this introduction is how it sets the stage; the electronic instrumental is given away along with the key phrase and the stuttering of “electric shock”.

2. Verse 1: 8/10 – So there are two verses for this song. Verse 1 is the first one and type. Verse 2 is the one with the two-part singing of “Haha” and “Yeah” added in between the regular singing.

Anyways, for Verse 1, Krystal and Sulli handle the first one while Luna and Victoria handle the second. 

The chemistry with Krystal and Sulli was exceptional; both of them backed up each other, and as a result, a solid Verse 1.

Krystal kicks off the song with stronger vocals; she follows a choppier rhythm and flow. This perfectly syncs up with the song’s beats and helps build the unique, “electric shock” melody that is crafted. After Krystal’s part, Sulli steps in and continues what she started. She follows the same, powerful and pausing flow and continues the melody.

Overall, for Verse 1, this part is still setting up the song; there isn’t much vocal work being done here necessarily with hitting higher/lower notes or having to hold a note, it’s all about following the instrumental’s flow along with the beats. Krystal and Sulli do a great job at that, though. A solid verse in the song.

Later in the song, Luna and Victoria have this part. It’s relatively the same as what Krystal and Sulli did, so I’m not going to cover it.

3. Verse 2: 8/10 – Verse 2 follows right after Verse 1. In contrast, we can see that in this part, the flow is changing. Instead of choppier, pausing lines to follow the beat, it slowly melts away into a regular pacing. 

Amber and Victoria take the first Verse 2 while Sulli and Amber again take the second Verse 2. For the second Verse 2, Sulli and Amber follow the same format as their groupmates did earlier, so I won’t cover them.

Verse 2 is quite interesting; what sets it apart from Verse 1 is the two-part singing done. Amber does an excellent job singing; like the earlier format, there’s power, some pausing/choppier flow to match the instrumental, but she executes it well nevertheless. What’s unique here is the rest of the ladies add in a “Yeah” or an “Oh” or a “Haha” after Amber finishes one line. This creates a nice build up effect and a small lingering background voice. Completely suitable here. A very unique verse with its own spice thanks to this added feature.

In terms of Victoria’s line, she does the same as Amber. Powerful, pausing lines. There is still the unique two-part singing. Now looking at the verses as a whole, a great melody is slowly but surely being constructed. Towards the end, Victoria’s singing makes it clear on the sweeter melody that’s being made. This is great since it transitions to the pre-chorus perfectly. From choppier, powerful singing to a slow, soft and graceful singing type, it suits the upcoming pre-chorus.

4. Pre-Chorus: 9/10 – Luna does the first one while Krystal does the second. Both do a fantastic job, however it’s quite identical. I’ll just be covering Luna’s work.

Now usually the pre-chorus is there to build up for the chorus, and this is exactly what “Electric Shock” does with its pre-chorus.

Luna takes charge with this. Her execution of it is excellent. The instrumentals die down here. That aids the build up effect and it allows for some pure vocal spotlight. Excellent since Luna and Krystal are both skilled vocalists. 

Luna sings in a softer voice, yet it still retains a touch of power. She’s hitting the higher notes and has some mini note holds, so phenomenal vocal work here. Near the end before she says “electric shock”, she hits quite a high note as well as a decent note hold with “neomeoseon~”. This was definitely great to hear and provides a lot more power and intensity for the song. She’s not done, though, as her final line is a last intensity boost for the song with her line of “I’m in shock, electric shock”. Furthermore, the other members chipped in their voice for “electric shock” which emphasized the key phrase of the song. A unique effect there.

A perfect transition to the chorus thanks to Luna’s note holds and a final “electric shock” phrase.

A really solid part that showcases excellent vocals with a solid ending to it.

5. Chorus: 7/10 – While this is where the catchphrase of “Electric Shock” comes in, it isn’t quite the most solid. It’s definitely catchy, but being catchy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatically amazing.

For the chorus, every members sings it. That’s a really nice thing to see; solo parts for everything else, one full team for the chorus. In this song’s case, it works out.

The chorus is definitely catchy with its key phrase of “Electric Shock” and the “nanana…” is catchy as well. Transitions to and after aren’t issues, either.

For this song, yes the chorus is fitting. However, tedious is the issue. Repetitive. Hearing “electric shock” and “nanana…” for quite a while does get repetitive. It’s definitely catchy but with using only those words and the electric emulated noise of “nanana” does become dull. In addition, the instrumental does become slightly headache inducing; the really high pitched zip-zits electronic noise adds on to the repetitive nature.

On the bright side, though, it matches the song’s theme for sure. The stuttering part of “E-E-E-Electric shock” was a nice play off being shocked. That goes, too, for the “Nanana…” part. The instrumental also got more intense since it was the chorus, so that’s another plus. Again, the biggest issue is just how repetitive it gets since there are essentially only two words (electric shock) and then a bunch of electronic-based emulated sounds (nanana).

6. Bridge: 9/10 – A solid bridge for sure.

One issue I will point out already is the somewhat abrupt transition; it’s nothing major at all but it’s there. Coming straight from the energetic chorus, the instrumental had to die somewhat quickly. Unfortunately, it was a bit too sudden. Nothing bad, though. Just a minor scratch.

Anyhow, moving past that, the bridge is done by Victoria, Krystal, then Amber. 

Victoria’s part was to say “electric shock” but in a very slow, calming fashion. This greatly brought the intensity/energy of the song down by quite a lot. Krystal sings next and looking at this, I can see why the two ladies of Krystal and Amber were used: English. Krystal comes after Victoria and adds some power back along with a nice sprinkling of English words of “Energy” and “Laser, laser”. Amber then replicates what Krystal does. She adds back some power and adds an English word of “Synergy”. Speaking of that, there is definitely some synergy. Krystal and Amber do a great job with keeping the same flow as one another.

Now I will also give some bonus for the following pre-chorus. Sulli and Luna sing the next part, which is the pre-chorus. However, this part still follows the structure of a bridge; it’s still calming and slow. Sulli does a great job with keeping a soft voice. She builds up the song slowly and brings back the melody. Next, Luna steps in and starts singing with strong vocals; this brings the song back up for a final conclusion. A very solid conclusion.

Overall, a really awesome bridge. English was tossed around to create an extra lingering effect. The extended bridge part of the pre-chorus was beautiful; it added a graceful part and a great build up and transition for the final chorus/conclusion. Very solid vocal work here along with an awesome structure. 

7. Conclusion: 9/10 – A final chorus was all it was, but that’s perfect.

Having any two-part singing to add a final, climatic top peak of intensity for the song would’ve been too much and out of place. Instead, a final chorus to wrap up the electronic theme of “Electric Shock” was done. The ending was also perfect; the instrumental died out and there was a final, pure vocal line of “electric shock”. A solid wrap up.

Overall, a great ending. Nothing overboard with adding final touches of intensity. It was a solid, concluding end. Well done.

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – Honestly very impressive. A perfect 10/10 for line distribution.

Victoria had her sections, whether it was at the bridge, a verse, she was heard quite a bit.

Amber definitely had her spotlight. Her part at the bridge or verses were definitely significant. 

Luna had incredible moments with showing off her great vocal abilities thanks to the pre-chorus. She also had parts with verses and a moment at the final pre-chorus. 

Sulli was heard a lot as well; from the start of the song and in other verse to the final pre-chorus, she was there.

Last, but not least, we have Krystal. She certainly had her share. A solo pre-chorus, time at the start, and a moment in the bridge were highlights for her.

Overall, fantastic line distribution here. Everyone offered their incredible adept vocal skills and they all had equal time to shine. 

– Instrumentals: 7/10 – A very electronic based song, as to be expected with the title “Electric Shock” and since F(x) has grown to this style of music. Electronic based. It definitely wasn’t bad, but it’s not necessarily an impressive soundtrack by itself. It accommodates the vocals extremely well and aids in transitions and such, so a solid piece done by the instrumental here. However, by itself, the instrumental is just average.

– Meaning: 6/10 – “Electric Shock”…what on earth does that mean? Let’s find out, through these English lyrics of the song. Again, not 100% accurate but close enough:

Electric (Electric Shock)
E-E-E-Electric E-E-E-Electric Shock

The electric shocks are flowing down my body
About to faint, risky, electrifying
It’s enough, your love is too much for me
I know you violently value me

Like a black hold (yeah) I get sucked in (haha)
I can’t see the end (yeah) I fall, boom (oh)
Where am I? (yeah) Ding dong ding dong
Who am I? (a-ha) My head is spinning

The beat is getting faster
It’s beating louder more and more
I’ve already gone past the limit
I’m in shock, e-electric shock

Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana
E-E-E-Electric Shock

Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana
E-E-E-Electric Shock

Set the voltage, love me
Don’t shock me without any notice
Don’t crash into me but slightly avoid me
Protect me from this sudden changing world

Doctor (yeah) What is this? (haha)
I’m out of breath (yeah) and I have a fever (oh)
I can’t speak (yeah) in my ears are ding dong ding dong
My eyes are blinded (a-ha) My head is spinning

The beat is getting faster
It’s beating louder more and more
I’ve already gone past the limit
I’m in shock, e-electric shock

Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana
E-E-E-Electric Shock

Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana
E-E-E-Electric Shock

Electric Electric Electric Shock

This energy takes up everything of me
In your eyes are strong laser lasers
Deep in my heart, the synergy is amplifying
It’s endless, your gauge gauge

The beat is getting faster
It’s beating louder more and more
I’ve already gone past the limit
I’m in shock, e-electric shock

Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana (Electric)
Nanananananana
E-E-E-Electric Shock

Electric (Nanananananana)
E-E-E-Electric (Nanananananana)
E-E-E-Electric (Nanananananana)
E-E-E-Electric Shock

Electric (Nanananananana)
E-E-E-Electric (Nanananananana)
E-E-E-Electric (Nanananananana)
E-E-E-Electric Shock

In summary, these lyrics describe a person getting “shocked” from a lover/crush. Not literally shocked, of course, but it describes that speechless moment you may fell seeing your crush.

Anyhow, the lyrics definitely don’t possess anything sophisticated at all; there are great examples and metaphors and such, but the meaning itself isn’t too special. Being in shock from seeing a crush/lover is the story.

There are fancy details related to the feeling of being shocked and such, but otherwise, nothing too special at all.

Average lyrics. 

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Choreography Score: 9/10 – Now this dance is super fun to watch. The music video depicts it pretty well. That’s always something I love seeing, the MV based on the choreography. 

Anyhow, this dance is incredible. There are lots of syncing, amazing transitions, really unique formations and such. Even the theme is matched, with the chorus dance having a jitter/shocked dance part. Overall, very fitting to the music. Spotlight positioning is also great. In fact, it’s as if the other members become back up dancers for the person who’s in the spotlight/singing. An awesome thing to see. It’s a fun dance to watch and seeing this much synchronicity is pleasant. 

I highly recommend you check out the music video to get a taste. You won’t be disappointed.

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Overall Score: 9/10 (8.5/10 raw score) – Well the Choreography Score definitely saved it quite a bit. 

Overall, though, I believe it’s an 8/10 song. 

It’s not the best, but it’s still up there. Unfortunately, though, I feel that F(x) hasn’t been able to hit its higher standard of “Electric Shock”. Their recent comeback of “Red Light” didn’t get to me one bit at all. Their other comeback after “Electric Shock” was “Rum Pum Pum Pum” and even that was a weaker song. Maybe F(x) will get their shock back. 

Either way, they’re a solid group. 

For this song, the tedious chorus seems to be its biggest downfall. Otherwise, there’s incredible dancing and superb line distribution.

As usual, the end has come and as always, thank you very much for reading. It means a lot and I hope you find this entertaining and thought provoking. Hopefully you disagree with me, I hope to encourage that musical light to turn on.

Anyhow, thanks again for reading. Next review is most likely “Mr. Mr.” by Girls’ Generation. Again I recommend checking out “Jessica & Krystal” to see the lives of the sisters of the two different groups. Probably my favorite show. (Then again, it practically is the only show I watch currently).

It’s getting very late, so off to sleep soon. I hope you enjoyed this and that my music review passion gives you an “E-E-E-Electric Shock”

Block B – “U Hoo Hoo” Review

Block B – U Hoo Hoo (Live Performance)

Block B – U Hoo Hoo (Lyrics/Member Coded Video)

Block B – U Hoo Hoo

Reviewed on July 28, 2014

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Personal Message: So many things to do! I’m working really hard on finishing an English Rewrite of “Wild” and soon, “Nice Body”. So look forward to that. Again that’s just a fun, small thing on the side.

Now what I am really trying to finish is a guitar tabs tutorial post for Girl’s Day’s “Expectation”. If all goes well, it’d be extremely helpful for people and if people like it, I’d be willing to do more. I’ll also have a YouTube video linking to it and to this blog so that’d be nice to increase the viewer base.

Anyhow, I’ve been busy with those things these days along with doing lots of E-Sports team practice, my usual exercise routine, and a lot of guitar work. I’m actually doing “Number 9” by T-ARA on the guitar and I am in the process of tabbing it out, so that’s quite exciting. 

Anyways, I decided to do a more relaxed review. Or at least I think it’ll be relaxing, but anyhow we are looking at the male group, Block B. They did have a recent comeback with the song “HER”. I would review it but…it’d be quite merciless. I might, though. But, to be nice, I am reviewing an above average song from them, “U Hoo Hoo”. 

Firstly, I am not a fan of Block B at all, and in fact, this is the only song I know by them. I heard a few of their songs and…I didn’t like their songs. At all. Back on topic, I have ZERO idea on who these guys are and how their talent is and such. So forgive me for any false assumptions or whatever else I say that might be wrong.

Anyhow, “U Hoo Hoo” is really excellent and I wish they went back to this style, but whatever helps them survive the industry.

Anyhow, let’s begin since “I’m going crazy” with the wait.

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 8/10 – From a lot of their other songs, their vocals weren’t the strongest at all. It was usually just the “hip hop” theme with singing, so not too far out with being able to hit crazier notes nor anything too vocally straining. 

However, for this song, we get to hear some very nice melodies from their singing and the rapping parts are extremely solid. Anyhow, above average vocals for this song; they had great flow with high notes to lower notes and they sounded decent. 

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

So for “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

Note: Just realized, I should make this note part an official section. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Ignoring the digression, this song is quite unique with its structure. What’s nice is the introduction AND conclusion are both special in that it’s not a recycle of any part. I think this is the first song I’ve reviewed where its conclusion wasn’t recycled from its chorus or whatever.

The chorus is quite lengthy as I’m counting Taeil’s main lines as the chorus.

The post-chorus is a section right after the first chorus, but it appears only once so not sure if I’m correct. It’s not fitting with the verse’s structure, which is actually by itself. 

The rap sections are quite numerous, but I’ll just review it in one package.

The bridge is unique, but the change of pacing and the notable switch in instrumental is how I marked it. Jaehyo starts it off. 

1. Introduction: 8/10 – A solid introduction by the two gentlemen of U-Kwon and Zico. U-Kwon does the singing part while Zico supports him with adding his lines.

What’s nice is the instrumental is gradually, yet quickly, building up and setting the stage. U-Kwon does a nice job with adding some melody and flow (via the “Oh oh”) to the song and Zico’s lower voice gives a nice layering and contrast to U-Kwon’s part. Zico also throws in a final “Sing it!” to help ensure the smooth transition.

Overall, solid start.

2. Verse: 9/10 – This is an extremely well crafted verse. It’s practically a hybrid; a verse AND a pre-chorus. 

For this section, four members work together.

Jaehyo’s the first one to break the ice. His lines are solid and start building up the song and sets a foundation for the pacing and melody. B-Bomb picks it up as the next member to sing and he replicates Jaehyo’s part. He’s continuing on what Jaehyo started. Now, Taeil throws in his smoother and melodic voice with “I love you~” and he adds a melodic note hold for the ending of “you~”. B-Bomb then sings once again and then later Taeil does the same thing except with “I need you~”. So far, very solid singing and build up for the song. There’s a lot of diversity with singers and the melody is being teased around. It’s not over yet, though. Zico comes in for the finish. Zico raps his lines here and this speeds up the pacing, which ultimately starts to build up the song really well. Zico’s part is what allows a great transitions and his part acted as the pre-chorus. Taeil does take the very last line though, which is a question (“Will you know how I feel?”, but said in Korean) but that just helps the build up even more. 

So overall, an exceptionally diverse verse where there are multiple voices heard, different flow/melody, a rap was thrown in, and a great transition/build up occurred. 

Diversity is the strength here.

3. Chorus: 9/10 – The melody and flow here is awesome; this part is solely done by Taeil. Just based on this, I would assume he’s the main vocalist for Block B.

Anyhow, this part plays off flow and melody. The flow I’m talking about is how Taeil has chunked words/lines such as “ gidae gidae gidae” and “love love love” which creates a nice lingering effect and becomes quite catchy. Furthermore, the melody is also quite catchy and is very sweet. Yes, I’m saying a male vocalist’s voice is sweet. Get over it, females aren’t the only ones with “sweet” vocals. Taeil’s part of “yuhuhu~”, which is more recognizable as “U hoo hoo” (the song title!) contains a very nice melody. It’s sweet which fits this song’s theme and it’s very catchy.

Overall, a super solid chorus done by Taeil. His excellent, softer and higher pitched vocals contributed to the success of the chorus. This was the part that got my attention to the song.

4. Post-Chorus: 8/10 – An interesting section. This occurs right after the first chorus. It’s honestly used more as filler and as a transitioning stone.

So for this part, B-Bomb and U-Kwon are tagged together. B-Bomb has some solid singing and this part “relaxes” the song a bit. U-Kwon takes the final line and has a small note hold at “neoppun~” to help the transition into Zico’s rapping. 

Overall, not the strongest point in the song. It was used mostly as a way to decrease the song’s intensity for a moment and therefore, an easy transition to Zico’s “hot hot hot” rapping. 

5. Rap: 8/10 – I’ll be honest, I’m going to grade the major rapping in this song through one score. It’d be too hectic to have three rap sections (Rap 1, Rap 2, Rap 3) and to judge each one separately. Thus, I’ll have one score but it is NOT a bad score at all.

Zico does the initial rapping at first, and wow. Zico is definitely a solid rapper, and I’ve heard about him being one of the better rappers in the K-Pop world. His part had so much flow and melody. He carried along the song’s established melody and his flow was very solid. Quick, chunked parts at times (such as with “hot hot hot”), it was a nice rhythm. Lots of diversity here and excellent rapping skill.

P.O is the next rapping section. Er, I think it’s still considered rapping? His part was on the slower, calmer side. Nevertheless, though, he still had some power with his lines. His pretty deep voice added a nice contrast to the rest of the song and his rap provided a “recycle” moment for the song to allow itself to build up its intensity once again. Overall, though, his part wasn’t the most solid section. 

Kyung has the next rap. His pacing wasn’t too fast, similar to P.O. Since it was right after P.O, it works out. His rap was a bit faster than P.O, but it was still on the calmer side. This part wasn’t too strong, but there was decent flow and melody. On the bright side, it allowed a solid transition with his final words of “You feel now?”.

Overall in terms of the rapping, I’m honestly wondering if I made a mistake with considering P.O’s and Kyung’s part rapping. Something is telling me they’re technically raps, but logically, it doesn’t seem to be following the proper flow. Maybe since the pacing is very slow in comparison to normal rapping speed and that’s throwing me off.

Anyhow, Zico’s rapping was beyond excellent; it was phenomenal. As such, his part carries this score. P.O and Kyung unfortunately didn’t have very solid raps. They didn’t have any major impact. Jokes on me, though, if they weren’t rapping. 

6. Bridge: 7/10 – This bridge does its role correctly; transitions to and after are no issues. Pretty much, this bridge allows a break in the song. The instrumental dies down a bit and becomes more passive and that’s noticeable. 

The vocal work here is not an issue either; they were soft which was parallel with what a bridge does and the instrumental.

The issue? “I got a love”. Well not for this bridge. 

Block B ended up tossing around that phrase to each other. U-Kwon said it then P.O, then back to U-Kwon, and so on. While it isn’t necessarily a bad bridge at all, I didn’t like the switch from how there was already an established singing part. B-Bomb and Jaehyo were singing earlier for the bridge. Even U-Kwon was as well. Switching to the hot potato game of “I got a love” wasn’t related and repeating any phrase over and over isn’t always the most delightful thing to hear (unless if it’s the key phrase, which in this song was “U hoo hoo”). 

On the bright side, the contrast between P.O and U-Kwon with their pitches (U-Kwon’s higher voice versus P.O’s lower voice) as they took turns made this more bearable to hear, but the sudden switch from singing to tossing that phrase back and forth could’ve been better.

7. Conclusion: 7/10 – Alright so I’m always saying I love it when songs fade out properly, but I didn’t literally mean to fade out. This is what “U Hoo Hoo” does. It fades out. Slowly, and gradually, the song becomes more quiet until nothing is heard.

Zico does take this section and he has his lower voice at play here which helps lower the intensity. He also repeats “I like it, I – I – I like it, you know that I love you” until he gets faded out.

Looking at this, the fading out is perfect and such, but relying on one phrase until the end was pretty dull; thankfully the ending wasn’t abrupt, but it never properly died down. It simply faded.

So, overall, sufficient, but not a powerful finish.

 – Line Distribution: 9/10 – Not too bad on distribution at all.

Taeil did dominate slightly, since he had the lengthy chorus, but that was mostly it. So it wasn’t too bad. 

B-Bomb had quite a bit of support lines and we hear him throughout the song.

Jaehyo is similar in that he was support as well, but he was still heard.

U-Kwon was scattered around as well, so he was heard at times.

Kyung and P.O both had their rap sections, so they had highlights there.

Zico had his fair spotlight with his amazing rap.

Overall, quite equal. The only issue is that some of the support vocalists aren’t heard too much towards the end, but that’s to be expected since the rappers had to have their part. The other issue is Taeil can be seen as too prominent, but that’s moreover due to a lengthier chorus.

– Instrumentals: 7/10 – The instrumental does its job of transition and being parallel to the vocals. It has some solid beats, but overall, not the most solid instrumental I’ve heard. It had a nice hip hop feel to it, but nothing outstanding.

Average instrumental. 

– Meaning: 8/10 – “U Hoo Hoo”, seems silly, doesn’t it? Let’s see what’s behind that title. English lyrics below, not 100% accurate but close:

Even when I’m standing still, a smile (oh oh)
Just smile again
Just looking at you, my heart (oh oh)
I’m going crazy

Walking the streets with you,
eating delicious things with you
Even bickering with you, all of those things
I like it all right now,
thinking about the upcoming weekend
I love you~ seeing your pretty smile
I need you~ I smile back
I sleep to the thought of you and wake up to the thought of you
I’m even jealous of your younger sibling

Will you know how I feel?
Lean, lean, lean on me
Beautiful my love, love, love
Whenever I see you~
just you~
Baby, I’m calling you without even knowing

Why, why, why is my heart like this
Beautiful my love, love, love
Whenever I see you~
just you~
Baby, even if I see you today
and tomorrow (think for you)

The word I want to hear the most is mine
The phrase I hate to hear is ‘see you tomorrow’
Words that move is ‘only you’

You’ve turned my feelings back to the days I hit puberty
Everything inside of me has been exposed,
I feel so hot, hot, hot
You’ve set my heart on fire
Anything besides you is not important
Marriage, let’s do it
My relationship with you is stably becoming stronger (I’m in love)

Lean, lean, lean on me
Beautiful my love, love, love
Whenever I see you~
just you~
Baby, I’m calling you without even knowing

Why, why, why is my heart like this
Beautiful my love, love, love
Whenever I see you~
just you~
Baby, even if I see you today
and tomorrow (think for you)

Can you stay still
So my lips can touch your cheeks
Can you not get sick
So I don’t get worried, don’t cry

got a love( got a love)
I got a love( I got a love)
baby never let you down
I got a love (love)

I want to be stuck to your side all day long
I miss you even when my eyes are closed
Even if your love is fake, whisper it to me
In this moment,
I want to let go of sanity

(I wanna tell you)
this is my first time feeling like this
Time goes by so fast with you,
it scares me
Why am I like this?
I chuckle to myself as I wonder
My feelings and my love
keeps growing bigger (you feel now)

Lean, lean, lean on me
Beautiful my love, love, love
Whenever I see you~
just you~
Baby, I’m calling you without even knowing

Why, why, why is my heart like this
Beautiful my love, love, love
Whenever I see you~
just you~
Baby, even if I see you today
and tomorrow (think for you)

I like it I I I like it
you know that I love you
I like it I I I like it
you know that I want you
like it like it
you know that I love you
love you love you want you ha ha ha…

It can be seen that these lyrics tell a love story. A very, sweet and cute one. 

The lyrics can be seen as gender neutral; it isn’t a man telling his story but it isn’t a woman either. Therefore, it’s just a lover’s love story.

The lyrics have some very humorous or detailed parts, such as “I’m even jealous of your younger sibling”.

Overall, everything minus the chorus has some nice story-telling parts. A very sweet romantic and cute/funny love story. Solid lyrics.

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Choreography Score: X/10 – I did link a live performance along with a lyrics/member coded video. Although the latter is a bit inaccurate with lyrics and member labeling, but still well done. 

Anyways, Block B was sitting so I’m guessing there’s no dance whatsoever for this song.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – A solid 8/10 score.

Definitely agree with it. Block B, for this song, have showed off some smooth and sweet vocals along with some very solid rapping. “U Hoo Hoo” is well structured overall and the meaning of it is very innocent and sweet. I highly recommend this song and for summer, not bad, right? Especially for those in love, this song might be able to reflect their feelings. 

Anyhow, this will be the end of the review. As usual, thanks for reading. It means a lot to me, so thank you.

I’ll try to get more diverse reviews out; I swapped over to Block B since I was going to do another (yes, another) T-ARA review. I stopped and went, “Alright…I’ve done a lot of T-ARA reviews AND a lot of female group reviews, time to change it up and give the men some spotlight” Unfortunately, though, ZE:A is honestly the only male group I listen to, so I’ll go fishing around and find more male artists to add a variety.

What are my future plans? Getting some English Rewrites going along with a Guitar Tabs Tutorial post going. Quite excited for both. Future review might be…Jiyeon’s “1Min 1Sec” or, most likely, “Mr. Mr.” by Girls’ Generation. I’ve been really loving the show, “Jessica & Krystal”. Check out that show if you haven’t already. Fills you up with joy and sweetness. So I might give Girls’ Generation some love (hopefully) through a review.

Anyhow, thanks for reading. I’ll see “U Hoo Hoo” next time.