a Concern: Fiestar’s Potential Disbandment”
Posted on February 19, 2017
this anxiety towards Fiestar’s potential disbandment is true—and in fact,
whether or not these incidents occurred does not matter. Fiestar has always had
the fear of disbandment: the group struggles financially as Cao Lu has said
multiple times, and indeed, the ladies are not popular as a group even if
individually two of them—Cao Lu and Yezi—are somewhat more popular. Likewise,
their songs have not been strong enough to catch high popularity; at most, “You’re
Pitiful” remains their best song and somewhat “Apple Pie,” but both of which
are not easily “mainstream” pop songs especially the former as “You’re Pitiful”
is a pop-ballad.
this is more of a “casual” discussion than a “critical” one—“critical” in the
sense of how these types of posts tend to be reserved for when social-related
topics come into play, such as gender, sexuality, or even ethics—but I have decided
to give my own take to the concern of Fiestar disbanding. There are a lot of
clarifications that I believe should be addressed, and furthermore the current situation
is not a binary of “Fiestar will either entirely disband or they will entirely
continue as is.” Furthermore, this post will also allow me to address a
question on what becomes of my subtitled videos of Fiestar (and indeed, Fiestar
is the perhaps the group I am most emotionally attached to as a fan) should
they disband entirely.
Context: To clarify to those who are unaware
of why this concern exists—though in truth, as I will address in a post about
SPICA’s “hiatus,” this concern should have already been lurking in fans’ minds—there
have been two main incidents leading fans to suspect that Fiestar is soon
disbanding. The biggest reason is that, according to a few news articles, Fiestar’s
leader—Jei—is no longer listed as a member of Fiestar on LOEN Entertainment’s
website (their label company). In fact, Jei is supposedly not even in LOEN Entertainment anymore; a few
sources claimed to has moved to another label company entirely under an actress
category. As such, as readers can tell, this is creating much concern as
Fiestar losing their leader and one of their most popular members can
definitely hurt the group’s popularity if not a disbandment.
As for the other reason fans are
concerned—and this, personally speaking, being a weaker reason—is due to Cao Lu’s
words regarding Jei on a show: when Jei was
in Fiestar. I hesitate to claim this is solid evidence for Jei leaving Fiestar
(and that, even after Jei’s departure, Fiestar will continue with the remaining
members) because this quote is not from Cao Lu directly; it came from English
subtitles. And indeed, especially as Fiestar fans can tell with my own
subtitles and translations, captions are never perfect due to
lost-in-translations or simply translation mistakes (and of which I admittedly
am tremendously guilty of).
Analysis: Nonetheless, this anxiety towards
Fiestar’s potential disbandment is true—and in fact, whether or not these
incidents occurred does not matter. Fiestar has always had the fear of
disbandment: the group struggles financially as Cao Lu has said multiple times,
and indeed, the ladies are not popular as a group even if individually two of
them—Cao Lu and Yezi—are somewhat more popular. Likewise, their songs have not
been strong enough to catch high popularity; at most, “You’re Pitiful” remains
their best song and somewhat “Apple Pie,” but both of which are not easily “mainstream”
pop songs especially the former as “You’re Pitiful” is a pop-ballad.
And so, we come to the point of this
post: What now? To first address on a personal level before addressing this
situation in a general sense, I want to clarify this one point and I hope this
message is spread to those who watch my subtitled videos: that in the case that
Fiestar entirely disbands, I will
still continue subtitling Fiestar videos as ridiculous as it sounds. I have,
quite literally, gigabytes’ worth of videos that I still need to subtitle
involving Fiestar, and even if the group itself is gone, I still wish to finish
the responsibility I took up for fans. Now even when that is done, as many fans
relate, I personally have grown quite attached to the ladies themselves in
Fiestar—Cao Lu, Jei, Linzy, Hyemi, and Yezi. What this means is, even if the
group disbanded, I will attempt my best to continue uploading and subtitling
videos of each of them individually. Unfortunately this is unrealistic but it
is possible and I will attempt my best to do so. In short: for fans worried
they will forever lose access to Fiestar because I might no longer care for the
members once the group is finished, this is false; I will continue to be a
resource where fans can find videos of the ladies.
Ignoring that, though, let us
address Fiestar’s potential disbandment as of itself. My stance is this: Wait
for Jei and LOEN Entertainment to confirm she is officially leaving the group.
Currently, all we have are speculations and for all we know, LOEN Entertainment
might have made a deal with the company Jei is now currently signed with. If
this is the case, perhaps Jei would still be in Fiestar but with merely a
different company and contract. Additionally—and for the more realistic, feared
route—even if Jei leaves the group, I argue Fiestar can still go proceed
strongly as four. And admittedly by “strongly” I mean they can continue as is—not
popular but perhaps at least maintaining a financial stability and having a
decent, loyal audience. But on topic, recall that many other groups have lost
members and are still doing well if not even better: Dal Shabet lost two
members (one of whom was their core, solid rapper) and yet they persevere on
and have released a very impressive song of “Someone Like U.” Nine Muses is
also in mind as the group’s roster has seemingly shrunk every year. Though
their current releases are not too strong, it should be acknowledged that Nine
Muses has done very well despite so many roster changes.
Of course, though, it is true that
no matter the situation if Jei leaves Fiestar it will hurt in all aspects—popularity,
emotionally, and musically. That said, especially as this blog focuses more on
the musical aspect of K-Pop (and a reader suggested I take some time to purely analyze
vocalists, so perhaps this is a slight experiment at such), I think it is
equally critical to discuss how Fiestar would be affected musically should Jei
leave. In my opinion (and bearing in mind I am quite familiar with Fiestar in a
musical sense and thus am not throwing random thoughts), the departure of Jei
will leave a noticeable void but it is nothing that cannot be overcome. Regarding
Jei’s role, she can be understood as a sub-vocalist; this means that Jei’s
singing in Fiestar is oftentimes for less intensive, strenuous lines but it
still means she provides those minute details that are still very much
As for why I claim her role is essentially
“replaceable” (in a musical sense; I wish to emphasize this), we have to bear
in mind that Cao Lu is Fiestar’s other sub-vocalist albeit weaker than Jei.
Nevertheless, I see this as a chance for Cao Lu to finally receive much more
lines and in songs such as “Thirst” and “Back and Forth,” I find that she is
definitely capable of firmly holding that role even if Jei is a slightly more
adept singer than Cao Lu when it comes to handling more complex tunes. Overall,
unlike losing Linzy or Yezi—both of whom are the group’s main vocalist and
rapper respectively—or even Hyemi with her being the lead vocalist (for those
confused, the lead vocalist is basically in between the main and sub vocalist),
Jei is already musically substituted by Cao Lu. As a result, Fiestar could
theoretically continue without much if any shifts in the group’s musical role.
(And to address how Fiestar would lose their “visual” member, I find this role fans
have created rather silly—though no offense to those who strongly believe in
this. For one, every idol in the K-Pop industry can be claimed a “visual”
member, but I argue it is partially ridiculous that we belittle both male and
female idols who might have excellent dancing and singing skills to nothing more
than a pretty doll to stare at.)
Lastly, regarding the non-musical
aspect I have yet to address, Fiestar’s popularity dropping from Jei leaving is
a reasonable concern. While we have our comedy-genius Cao Lu and our “girl
crush” Yezi (while I assume all readers know what that means, it is in
reference to a woman who gives off a tougher, “do-not-mess-with-me” vibe—for a
lack of a better term) as Fiestar’s other popular members, we have to
acknowledge that many are fans of Fiestar because of Jei. Especially with her
taking on acting in a drama and attending a myriad of variety shows, many fans
are here because of Jei herself. Therefore, it is unavoidable that Fiestar would
potentially lose some popularity from Jei leaving—and, many fans turn away from
groups once members leave and more so when it is the group’s leader. However,
even so, I argue Fiestar’s popularity will still be stable considering Yezi and
Cao Lu are in the group and certainly, these two members have brought a lot of
attention to Fiestar.
All in all, it would be greatly
upsetting in all aspects if Jei leaves Fiestar—or worse: if Fiestar actually
disbands. From a critical standpoint I find that Fiestar can still carry on without
Jei, but I equally would understand the decision LOEN Entertainment and the
remaining members make to disband if Jei leaves. Regardless of what occurs—Jei leaving
or the group disbanding—it is always crucial for fans to be understanding and
supportive to all members. As Cao Lu openly shared, working as an idol is an
incredibly unstable job; there is no certainty that the group will hold well or
that members can individually make a living. As such, Jei’s leaving—should it
happen—should never be interpreted as her being selfish and ignoring the
members and fans, and the same can be said if the members and company agree to
end Fiestar. If through this all it happens to be nothing more than a contractual
and company change on Jei’s part and Fiestar remains the same as currently,
then I hope this post remains relevant in addressing the “lurking thoughts”
fans—and perhaps even the members—have. And, would this not make us realize we
need to truly support and cherish the ladies and group while we are all
I hope this post is able to address
some questions fans have regarding Fiestar’s current situation. Time will tell
what occurs but as I said, being understanding and supportive is vital during
this sensitive period. I personally will continue to subtitle Fiestar’s videos
regardless of their status, and should the worst come I plan to still subtitle
videos of the members in their individual paths.
Another post will come out similar
in this fashion regarding SPICA’s “hiatus,” so look forward to it if the
technical aspect of K-Pop is fascinating. As for standard reviews, BTS’ “Dead
Leaves” and “Spring Day” will come out shortly. Thank you to all for reading,
and whether one is a fan of Fiestar or not, I hope this post still provides a
more critical insight as to how groups actually function in a systematic sense.
(Though we always need to remember the humane side and that groups are not just
a robotic team of robots.)
I have been looking forward to this
review for a while, and finally will I be starting it—even if this is two weeks
or so “late.” Furthermore, I also plan to release a lot more subtitled videos of
Fiestar. (Currently I am working on many episode cuts of Jei on Follow Me.) Readers who are fans of
Fiestar can, in short, expect much to come soon. On topic with the review, besides
the fact that I am a huge fan of the ladies—“huge” being an understatement—I have
desired to review this song also due to how “Apple Pie” has been one of the
hardest songs I have yet to review—both musically and emotionally. Regarding
the emotional aspect, it is not quite that I felt as if I sliced myself if I
gave a low rating though
given how much I admire the ladies, that might feel true; rather, I
was simply in denial with how I biasedly liked the song—or the lack thereof.
Embarrassingly shared, I initially forced myself to like the song on behalf of
the members. After all, I would much rather have a “pop ballad” style akin to
“You’re Pitiful” than this change of style that appears in “Apple Pie.” But, of
course, variety is never a fault and thus, my initial disliking of the song was
moreover biased than of genuine criticism—though even this becomes complicated
Where, then, the musical challenge
came in was even after brushing aside my biased take and therefore was
seriously entertaining the song, I would still find stances that were opposing
of one another. For example, I initially claimed the instrumental and vocals
were conflicting but later realized the opposite: both were complementing the
other well. But, hours later, I went back to the first stance. Then an hour
later, back once again. I am sure readers get the idea. So, as some readers may
now wonder: where do I now stand with
the song? After multiple days (the delay was definitely beneficial), I
personally very much enjoy the song, and “neutrally biasedly” (refer to prior
reviews for why I say that)—in other words, from a reviewing standpoint—I also
finally have a firm stance. What is that stance? Well, that would be the
purpose of the review, so read on ahead. Especially with some social topics I
will now discuss, readers who are uninterested with this part should move to
the review directly now.
All that said, before diving into
some news that is focused on Cao Lu during Hello
Counselor, given the time of this sentence some readers (especially
American readers) might have thought I was referring to the mass shooting in
Florida for this digression. That is not the case, though even so, there would
be little I personally can say. I offer my condolences to those affected. It
truly is horrifying, saddening news. There is never a reason to harm another
human. If anything is to be gleaned, this atrocity is to remind us to all be
open and compassionate towards one another—especially with the aftermath social
effects and topics that have come. Additionally, perhaps further inquiring
where others have not yet gone would be insightful, such as asking about why
many of the shooters have been predominantly males or if culturally we
Now admittedly this following
digression appears quite dull. Nevertheless, it will continue on as it is an
important topic to discuss, and it is one that appeared in pop culture and has
affected Fiestar, though moreover with Cao Lu individually. Now first of all, before
explaining what occurred, I understand there may be many readers who are upset
at me even mentioning this in the first place. Why bring up old news that did
nothing but ruin Cao Lu’s (and perhaps even Fiestar’s) reputation? My answer:
because it matters, and because avoiding topics never leads to learning and
growth. That said, although there are many discussion points possible, I will
focus instead on two main ones. Before that, though, let me explain what this
big news involving Cao Lu even was.
To prevent potentially being biased,
I will instead refer readers to search up on YouTube the episode of Hello Counselor where both Fiestar’s
members Cao Lu and Hyemi appeared. Nonetheless, for those willing to go off my
words, to summarize off memory: the first segment (“concern”) of the talk show
was about a wife who was frustrated with an unfair husband. Skipping ahead, the
wife is upset over how her husband is overly controlling of her and that he has
ridiculous (I truly tried to keep neutral language) standards of women, such as
how women are supposed to only cook and clean out seafood (based on the
couple’s circumstances with living near water and fishing). Where Cao Lu’s
controversial part arrives is when the hosts asked for her opinion, and she
replied with “I like men like that; I like patriarchal men.” Fast forward, if
those statements were not provoking enough to many, then her follow-up is more
so (and again, based off of memory but also what I personally heard versus what
the English translation said): “As women, it makes you happy to do anything for
the man you love, does it not?” On the positive side, though, despite the
controversy that ensued, Hyemi’s facial expression upon hearing that will
forever be in my memory: the look of “what the.”
On topic now for what I have to
contribute to the old discussion, I have two main points to cover: the first
point will be of why Cao Lu cannot be individually insulted, and the second
point of challenging a common idea of “this
is why we need feminism.” (I already sense this second point causing some
curiosity or even shock.) Let us begin these discussions.
Regarding the first, I will not
elaborate too much in length as I have already done so in a Blog Opinion post for Girls’
Many if not all of the main concepts apply, predominantly that of how it is
unacceptable to antagonize someone for their social view. With Cao Lu, as many
have pointed out, given her background it is likely that she was raised with
patriarchal standards (idea of males being in charge, etc.). Whether true or
not, however, the fact is that Cao Lu has certain views regarding gender—and
that is acceptable, even if they are not the most open views. Again, I highly
recommend readers to read the linked Blog Opinion, but for the main point, many
should criticize Cao Lu’s ideas, not Cao Lu herself. There is a significant
difference. In fact perfectly timed, I have written a YouTube comment weeks ago
that somewhat expands on this, so I will also include it here (and I have added
censoring for readers who may be uncomfortable):
I’m late to this video. However, even so, I think many commenting on this
video, even if weeks later, should be able to openly share their thoughts.
Furthermore, many important topics are definitely at hand here, and those
topics are never going to “move on” unless if people directly discuss
them instead of avoiding them with “this was weeks ago, get over it”
and so on. All that said, I can relate to many viewers: my face was basically
Hyemi’s expression when Cao Lu said, “Doesn’t it make you happy as a woman
to do anything for the man you love, would you not [do that]?” (summarized
quote off the top of my head), and overall, how she very much was supporting
the husband’s side (and in summary, patriarchy) when, as most of us can agree
to, his ways are incredibly unfair and filled with sexist, patriarchal
certainly Cao Lu’s words should be challenged for many good reasons as
discussed here already, but I do think people should be more critical than
merely bashing Cao Lu as stupid, ignorant, or hypocritically thinking she is a
“dumb b****.” Cao Lu’s background with her culture most likely plays
a role with her current gender beliefs, specifically that of (no surprise)
patriarchy. She very likely grew up with that societal structure and tradition.
Is this–growing up in a patriarchal society–a “bad” or
“good” thing? You decide based on your own opinion and thinking. Does
this make her stupid and needing to shut the f*** up? Not quite as it is based
on her cultural perspective and that it is still indeed a view to consider and
hear–even if most can agree that it is a ridiculous view.
clarify, this is not to say we should ignore the sexist words from her and
should allow sexism to exist since “everyone has their opinion”;
quite blatantly if I may say so, there is a very huge problem with having
sexism thrive–even if some people genuinely believe it’s “their right to
believe what they believe.” Rather, what should occur is challenging Cao
Lu’s ideas and beliefs, but not Cao Lu herself. Even if she has sexist beliefs
and, for example, is the most sexist person alive to the point that she says
women are slaves to men (remember: this is just an example–or so I hope), she
would still be a human being that deserves respect and care, as hard as that
may be to come to terms with for some. Challenge Cao Lu’s words, not herself.
Likewise hate male privilege and patriarchy and androcentrism, but not boys
individually–though let’s admit: it’s fun to poke SOME fun at them and for
them to also laugh at themselves given their privileges. Overall, antagonizing
can’t take place. Bringing gender equality and equity doesn’t mean shutting
down those who oppose said beliefs by calling them idiots; bringing gender
equality and equity means maturely hearing out various views, no matter how
ridiculous some may seem, and then respectfully challenging those views with
that of gender equality or whatever else.
This comment should encapsulate the
main ideas on why Cao Lu’s words and views, while very much worth challenging,
can never lead to degrading her as the human being she is.
Switching over to the second point,
this is personally what I wish to discuss moreover with readers as I have yet
to venture into this topic. With that, it may be best to now clarify what I
mean by “this is why we need
feminism.” First, I am using this phrase in reference to how many claimed that,
upon hearing Cao Lu’s words, that feminism is certainly needed; after all, Cao
Lu’s words are sexist and her thinking of gender is that of favoring males. For
where I stand, I can agree to the phrase: this is very much why we need
feminism. We need feminism because, against what many think, feminism is here
to support women like Cao Lu—feminism
is not to challenge Cao Lu, as I will explain.
Before getting further, however, it
might be worth clarifying what feminism even is. Although many reviews in the
past have discussed this (specifically about the opposition to feminism such as
with terms “feminazi”—a term that equates the idea of gender equality as
atrocious as Nazis), in truth there is no hard, definite meaning to feminism.
One could say it is the idea of women and men being equals, but it becomes
complex once we ask if it is about empowering women or if it is about
empowering women and men (such as
male rape and domestic violence victims, of whom are oftentimes shunned away from
help because of their gender—arguably feminism helps in this regard even if it
is towards men). Bring in the intersectionality aspect with race, class and
more, or include aspects of transgender, and soon enough feminism becomes like
a snowball: it is nearly spherical but will never quite be spherical. In other
words, there is a general sense of what feminism is, but what it is is undefinable—and for a good reason
because, as seen with the various social aspects, it is impossible to pin down.
Although this could be another discussion in the future, we will for this
digression unfortunately shrink feminism down to one of its core ideas: empowering
women (and “vulnerable” men and also those who do not fit the binary) so that all
genders are equally valued.
Returning back to Cao Lu’s
incident, I will argue her situation is actually a pressing example of why
feminism is indeed needed, and furthermore, how feminism can be misunderstood—or
at least, not recognized for how complex of a topic it is. In terms of how
feminism applies to Cao Lu’s case, unlike what many claim, feminism would not
be against Cao Lu’s ideas. This should be confusing; one could interpret Cao
Lu’s words as her personally believing that males should be in power over
females, and thus, wouldn’t feminism be desired so that Cao Lu would see both
men and women as equals? What many viewers lose sight of, though, is that Cao
Lu’s view is her decision. Yes, she
might not be making the most informed view, but then again, how are we to know?
Nevertheless, this point remains: Cao Lu wants
a patriarchal structure and prefers those types of males. And as hard as it is
to accept, feminism does support this. Perhaps another example might clarify
why feminism would support a woman who potentially desires to be considered as
the inferior gender.
One common misunderstanding of
feminism (or again, from what I am arguing; perhaps I am the one who misunderstands feminism, and given my status with
male privilege, this may very much be the case) can perhaps be best summarized
in this phrase: all women should no
longer be housewives. On the surface, this seems to be feminist thinking. After
all, the world lacks many female CEOs, and that women have been oppressed for
too long to merely staying within “domestic realms.” Certainly there are
positive feminist ideas in that regard, and definitely many societies do need more women especially in fields
that have been predominantly male-dominated (and of course vice-versa with
societies needing more men in fields that have been predominantly
female-dominated). Nevertheless, the saying “all women” above is too extensive; a genuine feminist view on this
would better yet say “all women
should be able to make the choice to be
housewives or to pursue their own
careers.” See how Cao Lu’s case might fit in? Cao Lu’s decision is, assuming
she has been entirely informed, ultimately her autonomous decision that needs
to be respected. Those claiming Cao Lu needs feminism are correct; Cao Lu needs
feminism so that her decision—her
decision of preferring a patriarchal boy—is respected. Indeed, feminism is much
more complex than solely the idea of enforcing that all women choose specific paths because, as in Cao Lu’s case, once
again it is her case. (And on the argument that she is not making an informed
choice, again we will not know. If she is making a choice where she understands
both sides of patriarchy gender structures and egalitarian gender structures
(feminist standards), then my words hold their weight. Now if she genuinely only
prefers patriarchy due to not being aware at all at other potential views, then
indeed one could claim her decision is no longer her decision and thus, that Cao Lu “needs feminism” as feminism is
about empowering women.)
Before ending the discussion here,
however, there is one remaining aspect that means—and indeed, it is a
concerning one: what does this mean for patriarchy? Does this mean that,
according to my argument of feminism, feminism would actually allow patriarchy?
The answer: not at all. Readers may now be even more confused; I suddenly went
from discussing how feminism allows Cao Lu to believe in patriarchal standards
and yet feminism is still against patriarchal standards. What kind of apple pie
did this reviewer eat? Thankfully I have not had an apple pie in a while nor
have I been mentally compromised, but jokes aside, let me explain why feminism
is still against patriarchy. Notice where the power resides during this
statement: “feminism allows Cao Lu to
believe in patriarchal standards.” On the flip side, patriarchy would not allow Cao Lu to believe in its
standards, but rather, it would force
her to. There is a significant difference in allowing, for example, a woman who chooses to be a housewife than a man forcing a woman to be a housewife.
In the end, a huge component of
feminism is allowing women (and “vulnerable” men and others) to have power in
their decisions. Feminism should very much be supported as no woman should be
denied becoming an engineer because she is supposedly less intelligent than a
male based on her genitals. (See the lack of logic there?) Feminism should very
much be supported as no woman should be forced to mainly stay at home but
rather that she chooses to mainly stay at home. Likewise, feminism should be
supported as no man should be prohibited from wanting to be a househusband as
his wife goes to work and focuses moreover on career. Overall, feminism is
definitely here to stay. It is not about “taking over men” and thus needing to
degrade feminism with “feminazi”; feminism is mainly the idea of giving women and men (and arguably those who do not fit the binary—though again, this is where
feminism’s definition is complex) equal power. Besides, every human should be
respected for who they are and not what they are.
Wrapping this all back to Cao Lu, in
short: Cao Lu’s view does not warrant her receiving personal insults, nor does
her view need “feminism” as necessarily a way to change her view for “the
better.” What does need challenging is the idea of patriarchy itself as that
does steal away from women’s voices, but simultaneously, Cao Lu’s choice for
preferring patriarchy has to be respected if we are to follow feminist ideals
as it is about empowering women to make their own decisions. Cao Lu wants a
patriarchal boy, and indeed, that has to be respected and more power to her for
choosing that. (And on a side note, one must also recall that her idea of
patriarchy is most likely not of the extreme ends; I highly doubt she is asking
for a male to entirely control her life. Instead, she probably moreover prefers
a boy who is not hesitant to be demanding at times. Again, as long as it is her decision for this, then it must be
With this digression out of the way
(and how long it has been since the last), let us finally focus on the sweet
song of “Apple Pie”—or is actually bitter? Apple pies are known to be
delicious, but of course, it all depends on how the apple pie was baked. Let us
take a look at the ingredients that went into “Apple Pie” and to ultimately
take a bite and decide if it tastes well.
Look at yourself right in front of the oven Waiting earnestly (Waiting earnestly) You can keep staring but there’s still more time left Be patient (Be patient)
Baby boy, I don’t wanna bother you But, take me out after a little bit What else do you need besides a pretty cup and fork? I’m gonna wake your five senses up now Hey, hot and sweet
Sweet, like apple pie, pie It’s the first time, so sweet Tasting this The heart that I’ve prepared for you It’s almost done baking So sweet, like apple pie, pie It’s hot so be careful
Don’t say anything Close your eyes and focus on the moment (On the moment) Feel the scent spreading before your nose (Before your nose)
You don’t know, how anxious you look Honestly, I sort of like it, it’s cute What would be good besides milk or coffee? I’m gonna wake your five senses up now Hey, hot and sweet
Sweet, like apple pie, pie It’s the first time, so sweet Tasting this The heart that I’ve prepared for you It’s almost done baking So sweet, like apple pie, pie It’s hot so be careful
You’ll be so happy, you won’t know what to do So sweet like apple pie Honestly, what did you like? Baby tell me why You know if you eat too fast You’ll get a stomach ache Be a good boy Just wait, I will drive you crazy You can be my toy You’ll be so happy, you won’t know what to do If you eat too fast, you’ll get a stomach ache You’ll know even if I don’t say anything “Are you sure?” “I’m sure” You’ll be so happy, you won’t know what to do If you eat too fast, you’ll get a stomach ache You’ll know even if I don’t say anything Now you’ll only know me (Hey, hot and sweet)
Sweet, like apple pie, pie It’s the first time, so sweet Tasting this The heart that I’ve prepared for you It’s almost done baking So sweet, like apple pie, pie It’s hot so be careful (Hahaha hahaha)
the pie is indeed quite sweet—as seen by how “Apple Pie” earns a total of a
seven for above average. Nonetheless, looking over the ratings might reveal why
I was initially hesitant to like the song: there are many sixes. Even if sixes
are certainly nothing bad in score, admittedly my standards for Fiestar are
quite high due to both “You’re Pitiful” and simply being a huge fan of the
topic with the review, “Apple Pie” remains relatively balanced in quality
though there are a few weaker points throughout—two of those points being the
vocals and sections, arguably the more influential aspects to songs. With the
vocals, while it would be false to claim the vocals are poor and are not
melodic and so forth, one overarching issue that holds is the lack of
diversity. The verses, for example, follow an overly simplistic and somewhat
monotone sound. While agreeably that is not inherently bad and that one could argue
linearity is what “Apple Pie” aims for, those points still do not erase how
mundane the vocals sound until the choruses arrive—and indeed, this is
problematic. From the verses to pre-choruses and even the raps, all of the
given vocals fail to bring substance to “Apple Pie.” For why this is an issue,
dull vocals besides the chorus essentially creates the notion that “Apple Pie”
at its core is nothing more than Linzy’s and Hyemi’s charming choruses; the
remaining members and the other sections become irrelevant when all of the
vocals outside of the choruses (or whichever section in general) outshine the
rest. If “Apple Pie” ‘s vocals are to be enticing to both song in whole and sonically,
it takes the effort of more than just a single section carrying the bulk of the
more promising vocals.
with the sections, the same issue translates over and in fact, numerically that
is visible: every section but the
chorus is at a six while the chorus is at a seven. Although it is not bad for songs
to revolve its style and core towards its choruses, that does become an issue
if at the expense of everything else. In “Apple Pie,” to clarify for a moment,
while the degree of expending other sections is not too extreme—after all,
notice the ratings are still sixes and not lower—it is still not a preferable
route. Explaining what I mean in a comical fashion, I could have labeled every
other section as “pre-chorus” and simply leave the chorus as is, and
structurally speaking one could actually accept that. Why? Because it does
appear that every non-chorus section is orientated towards hyping up to said
choruses. The verses, while individually not bad in sound or layout and are solid
in its progression, unfortunately become negligible once considering how the
pre-choruses sounds and functions exceptionally similarly. Furthermore, with
the two raps, though both are decent in format with pacing—though there are
some significant flaws such as with very repetitive flow and lyrics involved—in
an overarching view, both raps served as a pseudo bridge to get back to, as
expected, the chorus. In summary, while it is never bad for a song to have its
chorus or any other section as its core piece, it does become a hindrance if
other aspects have to languish for that to take place. What would have been
preferred with the sections would be that, while the choruses are kept intact
and rightfully so with how solid the singing and structure are, the verses and
pre-choruses carry more individually besides merely carrying the song from one
point to the other, and that the raps were of their own take versus being
moreover to serve as hype towards the final chorus. But of course, in the end
the other sections are still definitely viable hence them still earning sixes,
and compared to the ladies’ prior release of “Mirror”—a song that took no risks with its very average sections—the
sections in “Apple Pie” are a definite improvement.
the instrumental, I confess: I very much rejected it at first. However, once
stylistic biases were removed, I now realize how important the instrumental is
in “Apple Pie.” Besides the usual of sounding sonically decent individually and
serving the song with transitions, its best feature would be its support
towards the vocals. Complementing the vocals’ intensity levels consistently
occurs, and additionally with, for example, its bass line being entered
correctly at certain moments, many of the vocals become “fuller” on the basis
of the instrumental. With the instrumental, many of the vocals’ weaker points are
somewhat covered and compensated—though that, obviously, will not change the
terms of the section distribution and lyrics, the former should be clear just
by solely looking at the numbers. Nevertheless, this may be somewhat surprising
considering past songs—especially songs in their “A Delicate Sense” mini-album—have
done an excellent job of giving equal sections. What might best improve “Apple
Pie” ‘s score in this category would simply be allowing Yezi to have more lines
during the pre-choruses’ or choruses’ ending. No matter the case, though, the
distribution remains fairly balanced with mostly Yezi lacking and Hyemi and
Linzy being minimally excessive. Finally for the lyrics, somehow past reviews
have been on songs that have very much been creative in this aspect. “Apple Pie”
is no exception. The lyrics remain highly detailed as proven by verses and
pre-choruses are all of different ideas, and that the overall plot—no matter
how one interprets it (whether for how a heart is being compared to an apple
pie or perhaps my friend’s more “greasy” version of it, of which I will definitely
not share here though I admire her thorough analysis)—is absolutely different than
most. Adding on how the choruses hold their own weight and that the raps add a
new, comical layer, and overall the lyrics render incredibly well.
this all, Fiestar’s “Apple Pie” is rated at above average, and despite my
initial position, I wholeheartedly agree with the score. It remains fun,
upbeat, catchy, but even ignoring those more decorative qualities, “Apple Pie”
certainly excels with its lyrics and instrumental, and overall the vocals and
sections are still admirable (and especially if one prefers chorus-orientated
songs). Out of Fiestar’s releases, “Apple Pie” does stand out among many—and most
definitely from their last song of “Mirror,” a rather lackluster song in truth.
I look forward to what else Fiestar will release in the future from both a fan’s
and reviewer’s perspective.
had planned to finish this review much sooner, but it finally is here. For
those who have been waiting, I thank you for your patience and for continually sticking
around. Likewise, thank you for reading this review, be it in full or skimmed.
Sadly I do have a summer class beginning on Monday and thus, I will be once
again busy. However, it is only one class and I indeed still have many days
left of summer break. In terms of the next reviews, there have been a few
comebacks I initially missed but will return to. One is on a very popular male
group, and the other is on an unpopular female group. I plan to quickly review
them before my summer course does become more hectic. To end this review, while
readers “can keep staring […] there’s still more time left,” so I ask: “Be
patient” for whatever is next to come. Actually that makes no sense whatsoever
nor does it even flow well. Point is, the next two reviews will hastily arrive
after this one. Look forward to them.
Message: First, I
do apologize to readers for not releasing more reviews during this break. I
have been busy subtitling videos of, perfectly timed, Fiestar (though I still
need to work on finishing “FNC Picnic At Night”), and am just starting to
tackle my break homework. Nevertheless, today I have three album reviews lined
up, and once those are done, I will conclude this spring break’s review
marathon. For the following days after, the blog will resume its usual rate for
the remainder of March. On that note, as said before, any review that is not of
a song can overall be considered a “bonus review.” Specifically, these album
reviews will not focus on deeper analyses but instead will be focused on
shorter readings: readings that are moreover “sales-based” than
“discussion-based.” In other words, my focus with album reviews will not be so
much on analysis of songs; there is no need to dive in depth with individual songs
in an album as those are what standard song reviews are for. Instead, I will
focus moreover on a general analysis of songs and moreover focus on the overarching
view: whether an album in whole is well composed and, ultimately, if worth a
purchase—real or figurative.
Now that said, to clarify, I am not sponsored
with this current review; the following words of whether I believe “A Delicate
Sense” is worth buying or not is neither due to Fiestar or LOEN Entertainment
influencing me directly. (After all, it would be a horrible financial decision
to entrust me, a very mediocre writer and reviewer, with the responsibility of positively
advertising an album.) The following review will be my genuine thoughts
regarding the album. At most, the only bias at play is how I am indeed a huge
fan of Fiestar, but even then, I have confidence that I will remain neutral in
analysis (as proven in MAMAMOO’s review).
And on the topic of Fiestar, before
looking at their recent album, it appears that Fiestar has found their “iconic”
musical style and concept—or at least gauging their patterns. Fiestar, in a
musical context, did begin moreover with an upbeat, standard pop style, but
“You’re Pitiful”—a song that I still absolutely love—marks a significant
transition for the group. From there, a more melancholy style took hold, and
expectedly, their music style shifted from joyful to more solemn. Whether the
ladies will one day return to, for example the exciting style of “One More,” is
unknown, but either way I find both concepts suitable to Fiestar, and biasedly
I do appreciate their current style. Reason being that their current concept
does tend to accommodate my personal taste in music. Due to a more mature,
saddening concept, on a musical level that translates into songs that tend to,
typically, be more vocally orientated all while still maintaining a mid-tempo.
Essentially, as I like to comically
say, I like “pop ballads”; I enjoy songs that have ballad-like vocals, instrumental,
and structural progression, but with the excitement and intensity as if an
upbeat pop song. Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” is a prime example of that. Other
examples, and of which are songs I also consider as my top favorites, would be
SPICA’s “Tonight” and to recently add, MAMAMOO’s “You’re the Best.” As noted,
all three are quite similar songs if we strip them of their individuality and
focus moreover on format: all three are vocally oriented songs, as noted by
vocal beltings and changes in vocal intensity; all three follow a ballad
progression—progression that is based on accumulation and building off of prior
sections; and all three are not overly upbeat, as noted by the instrumentals
being moreover mellow than ecstatic. (In terms of the best song I have yet to
hear, however, SPICA’s “Ghost” holds that.) Relating this all back to Fiestar,
the point is the ladies seem to be sticking with this style of music. Their
prior comeback and album of “Black Label” was the start, but now “A Delicate
Sense” is continuing the trend, and as said, I would argue that it is for the
Finally focusing on the mini-album
itself, as hinted before in prior reviews, I did speculate that this would be
the best (mini) album I have ever heard based on the preview. Miraculously,
that holds true: “A Delicate Sense” is truly the best album I have ever heard.
I do not even have to be paid to say that. It really is an amazing album as the
review will, hopefully, explain. Now even so, it is not a flawless album; “A
Delicate Sense” is far from possessing top-tier songs. In fact, to confess, on
an individual level, the songs in this album are far from being exceptionally
captivating. But, for an entire album, this is the first where I can “approve”
every song. Even the prior album that held as a personal best—Rainbow’s
“Prism”—had one song that I found dismissible, but with Fiestar’s “A Delicate
Sense,” every song is enjoyable. Again, the degree of said “enjoyable” is not
as strong as it could be, but nevertheless, all songs lean towards a positive
side. When it comes to album reviews, the prior is what I look for: an overall
balanced album where every song is appealing—even if not a significantly strong
So, with “A Delicate Sense,” as already
revealed the album does not go “Back and Forth” between good or bad; the song
remains consistent in quality akin to how a “Mirror” will always portray an
exact reflection. Nevertheless, as mentioned, the album is not flawless as it
does leave listeners feeling like “Mr. Black”/“Ms. Black”: feeling a “Thirst”
for stronger individual songs in the album as, no matter how much “Drinking
Your Lips” is done—how much listening occurs— there is more to desire.
Analysis: The prior paragraph makes absolutely
no sense whatsoever, so I promise to not make the conclusion like that. But,
for the purpose of keeping album reviews’ tradition, I will do it for the
introduction. On a serious tone, my thoughts have drastically changed after
truly analyzing the songs: this album is not entirely flawless in the sense of
every song being “approved” (“approved” as in I would certainly enjoy listening
to it). One song, unfortunately, is no longer considered appealing.
Nevertheless, this album still comes close to having a flawless Approval Rate
and overall, it can still be deemed a rather balanced album in terms of both quality
Focusing directly on “Drinking Your
Lips,” the song that fails to gain my approval, admittedly I did at first
consider it decent. Especially with the exceptionally smooth, melodic and lower
noted verses and rap, and furthermore, solid vocals for those sections, “Drinking
Your Lips” appeared quite satisfying. However, after listening more intently
and frequently, two significant issues became noticeable: the choruses and
post-choruses are chaotic. For example, the vocal distortion effects that occur
throughout the post-choruses are far from being musically alluring. In
addition, it serves minimal purpose in the song’s overall style and tone. At
most, it prevents an emptier sounding post-chorus, but even then, to expend an
entire post-chorus’ quality for the purpose of preventing staleness is a questionable
trade. As for the choruses, the vocals are problematic. Unstable singing
occurs; the vocals sound incredibly feeble and lacking firmness in melody and
sound. Now though one could argue that the choruses’ vocals are as is to offer “Drinking
Your Lips” its unique style, but that does not compensate for the sound itself:
the choruses sound hollow. Overall, while this song will cost the mini-album a
flawless Approval Rate with its weaker choruses and post-choruses, “Drinking
Your Lips” should still be respected for its brilliantly delivered verses and
rap. If not for those two sections, then very much “A Delicate Sense” would be
a “perfect” album in the sense of every song being enjoyable.
Continuing in a chronological order,
“Mirror” will be the next song inspected—though admittedly I will briefly skim
over it. A future review will deconstruct the song in depth, but for this
current review, I will state that it absolutely is appealing. However, in
comparison to “You’re Pitiful,” I do consider this song a downgrade. To perhaps
best summarize “Mirror,” it is a safely played song; the song is “safe” in the
sense of taking minimal risks. The song fails to include distinctive aspects
such as, for examples: intensive vocals in general (such as with note holds,
two-part singing, vocal beltings, etc.); sections that deviate from traditional
formats; and so forth. Especially in juxtaposition to, as mentioned, “You’re
Pitiful,” “Mirror” is very bland. With the ladies’ prior comeback, the group
did not hold back with testing their vocals’ limits or with attempting unique
section formats—an example being the two-part singing at the final chorus.
Sadly in “Mirror,” many—if not every—aspect to it is arguably quite standard.
Be it the vocals, how the song progresses, the instrumental, or even the raps, “Mirror”
simply sticks with the methods and styles that are “normal.” Without digressing
even further, however, all that said “Mirror” is still an approved song. It may
be not be prominent, but it does at the least follow forms that have been known
to traditionally work. The vocals are still decent and likewise the sections.
The issue, though, is the degree of such; “Mirror” is not a captivating song,
but it is also neither a bad song. More will be discussed in the actual review
Next up is “Mr. Black.” This song
definitely holds well on an individually level. From Yezi’s goose bump-inducing
rap to the very soothing and seducing instrumental, many aspects to “Mr. Black”
hold as charming. The vocals for example retain a tuneful, slower pacing that
perfectly suits the instrumental and tone. Sections are also coordinated with
one another; each one builds off the prior section to keep a strong flow active. And, of course, on an individual level every
section in “Mr. Black” is solid. Overall, “Mr. Black” is an excellent example and
proof of how linearity is not inherently bad in songs—a style that I do
oftentimes use as a point of criticism in many songs. “Mr. Black” is quite
straightforward in its section progression, its vocal progression, its
instrumental progression, and so forth, but because of how well each category
complements the other and how the overarching rhythmic flow to the song is used
to augment the mentioned aspects, “Mr. Black” flourishes. As showcased here, it
is about the delivery of linearity; in reviews that do critique songs for being
too “stale” and “linear,” it is not because of the styles in of themselves, but
rather, how the styles are conducted. In this song’s case, excellent delivery
exists and thus, the simple style works in a very positive manner, even if it
does fall in the category of “linear.”
Finally discussing the song that I
biasedly have been awaiting for, “Thirst” will be examined. As is the trend in
every album release, I will offer “the usual” comment: “this should’ve been the
title track.” It truly should be, however. “Thirst” may not suit as the title
due to its ballad genre, but if quality is the sole factor, this song is by far
the strongest song in “A Delicate Sense”—in fact, it is the strongest song in
general by the group. This ballad is simply beautiful in all of the categories:
lyrics, vocals, sections, instrumental, line distribution—this song aces all of
them. In fact, if this were to be reviewed in a standard song review, SPICA’s
“Ghost” ‘s position as the highest rated song on the blog might indeed
become heavily contested. To slightly brag about Fiestar and the reasons for
this very high praise, the vocals for one are exceptionally potent. From
climactic note holds to calm yet melodic vocals in the verses to gentler rapping
to precisely controlled, sharp vocals at the choruses, Fiestar’s top vocal
capabilities are highlighted in “Thirst.” And emphasis: Fiestar’s top vocal
capabilities—not Hyemi’s or Linzy’s, but also Yezi, Cao Lu, and Jei. Every
member sings well and, if I am accurate with identifying their singing voices,
the line distribution is, at worst, above average. (In fact, I am so moved by
this song I may just subtitle it and “member-code” it to check for the line
distribution.) In the end, “Thirst” is not just a pleasure to listen it: it is
an honor to listen to. “Thirst” is definitely the best song in the album, and
it definitely is the best song by Fiestar as of yet. Absolutely extraordinary.
Looking at the last song, “Back and
Forth,” unfortunately the hype will drop in comparison to “Thirst”—but that is
expected as “Thirst” is above and beyond. Nevertheless, “Back and Forth” is
still a decent song. It greatly benefits from allowing Yezi’s rapping to shine in
full force, and its instrumental does provide a charming flow. Additionally,
the vocals do remain diverse, as noted by the contrast of calmer vocals at the
chorus to the powerful vocals at the pre-choruses. Essentially, “Back and Forth”
is more dynamic version of “Mr. Black”; both songs are skin in progression and
style, but “Back and Forth” is more flexible with showcasing more singing
styles, a more prominent rap, a slightly more upbeat yet equally infatuating
instrumental, and so forth. As such, like “Mr. Black,” this song holds well but
it does come with the bonus of not having as many “linear” formats—though to
reiterate, “Mr. Black” perfectly executes a linear style.
With all the songs covered, it is
now time for the verdict: Is “A Delicate Sense” the best (mini) album I have
yet to hear? Is it worth purchasing or at least musically respecting?
Confidently said, even after striking down “Drinking Your Lips,” I do claim
that this album is worth purchasing and musically respecting, and that it does
hold as the best mini-album I have heard. Nonetheless, for reminders, this is
not a flawless album; every song minus perhaps “Thirst” and “Back and Forth” do
wane in individual quality. But, even then, for an entire album in whole, a
vast majority of the songs is pleasing—one being extremely pleasing, in fact. One
final aspect to consider, however, is a positive and negative attribute to the
album: that this album is overall in the genre of “pop ballad”—the term I
created hours ago in the Personal Message. Therefore, for those personally
favoring this style of music, Fiestar’s “A Delicate Sense” is perfect. However,
in the case that one does personally dislike this music style and prefers, for
example, Fiestar’s more upbeat style of songs such as “One More,” then this
album may be laborious to listen to as every song in it is indeed “pop ballad”
(minus “Thirst” as it is a full ballad). Of course, though, this is a binary
being applied, and as I have discussed in a sociological context in many
reviews, binaries do not exist. Thus, this album is not a pure “like or dislike”
situation, but it is worth noting the relatively similar styles among all of
All in all, “A Delicate Sense” is
Fiestar’s best album yet, and I do hold it as a personal top. Individual
quality does languish in the album, but considering that there are no utterly
repulsive songs and that even the most disliked song (“Drinking Your Lips”) is
still tolerable, it is worth claiming that this is the best album I have ever
heard so far. Every song minus perhaps one is decent. But, even then,
improvement is still desired. Perhaps in the next comeback Fiestar will add the
missing component: that not only is every song seducing, but that every song on
an individually level would hold strongly. That would be a challenge, but
Fiestar appears to be on that route.
As always, thank you for reading.
Whether in full or skimmed, I greatly appreciate any time given for the blog.
In terms of upcoming reviews, two more album reviews are ready: Rainbow’s “Prism”
and MAMAMOO’s “Melting.” Afterwards, male artists will receive attention as the
following two reviews are on female groups and thus, females will have had
enough exposure for this month. For other news, I still do have much homework
to attend to, and on top of that, to finish subtitling “FNC Picnic At Night”
(and now to subtitle and member-code “Thirst” unless if someone has already
done so). As a result, after the album reviews March will finish up slowly, but
by then I would have by far exceed my personal goal for the month. Look forward
to Rainbow’s “Prism” and MAMAMOO’s “Melting,” and be thankful for me not ending
this review with cringing puns.
Though I did not necessarily intend to review this show (nor in this order; this review was to be after an album review, sorry to the reader who requested it), for the purpose of adding variety to the blog and to experiment with show reviews (and, in truth, a shorter write), one will be conducted. However, unlike past show reviews where, truthfully, merely summarizing the show occurred, I will now focus moreover on my opinion regarding the show. Nevertheless, minimal summarizing will occur to bring in context, and, for what many readers desire, pictures (on the subject of pictures, I am utterly grateful with my friend creating multiple blog icons, and after some debate, I have settled down with this current one). With all of that said, the show of focus is Fiestar’s reality show: “Channel Fiestar.”
Addressing why the show is labeled as such, it is due to exactly that; “Channel Fiestar” is as if Fiestar possessed their own TV channel. As a regular television channel, many different “shows” are in one channel: variety game shows, sports, interviews, or even traveling. Expectedly, “Channel Fiestar” replicates those different shows in their own reality show. Ignoring confusion of how the reality show consists of shows in the show, due to the unique take, while “Channel Fiestar” may be labeled as a reality show, a more accurate label would be “variety reality” as there are a plethora of different, entertaining activities done, all within a reality show perspective. Brushing aside technicalities, a brief summary will still be conducted of the show, but afterwards, my overall opinion regarding its entertainment value and potential criticism will be given.
Firstly, to clarify the “shows in the show” concept, I will utilize a few examples. One particular segment of “Channel Fiestar” is the section labeled as “Korean Reading Glasses.” Simply stated, this segment discusses Korean slang. Through a hypothetical situation/skit, a few Fiestar members act a potential scenario involving a certain slang word, and after the [s]questionable[s] utterly stellar acting, one member will arrive amidst the chaos and clarify the slang’s meaning. In multiple ways, this is similar to Fiestar’s mini-series, “A-ha,” and potentially, the idea for “A-ha” might have derived from this segment of the reality show. On the subject of “A-ha,” I will recommend readers to watch the mini-series. Like “Korean Reading Glasses,” the sections are short yet highly jocular. At the very least, the behind-the-scene footages for “A-ha” are incredibly humorous and worthy of time.
On topic with “Channel Fiestar” ‘s segment regarding slang words, in terms of how it holds, due to being unique, on the level of industry and individual, it is a welcoming segment. Elaborating why it remains highly distinctive, seldom does an activity simply orientate towards acting skits; often time activities solely involve games, athleticness, or even singing and dancing. As a result, a simplistic skit is, despite being plain, incredibly delightful.
Now of course, games are utilized in shows for a reason: entertainment. “Channel Fiestar,” in addition to their acting, participate in a copious amount of competitive games. For example, a “phrase-transfer” game was played, the objective: carrying a phrase accurately to the next person via yelling through earbuds and headphones. As anticipated, comedy ensued. In addition to the simulation of how rumors begin, other games were played and of equal, if not more, humor, such as the “Ostrich” game or even simply guessing words, which, as seen by Linzy’s “pengun” pronunciation, can be difficult. With a large quantity of variating games played, and of all being highly intriguing due to a combination of the game itself or laughter, “Channel Fiestar” does excel with the “variety show” aspect.
For a slight digression, one of a more serious tone, the imitation/”Ostrich” game does elicit an important, previous discussion. Though slightly discussed in my review of Fiestar’s latest comeback, “You’re Pitiful,” this moment will provide a prime example of my prior claim: sexualization is moreover the consumer’s take versus purely the delivery (but the delivery can still be rendered as a factor). To clarify the “Ostrich” game, one player creates a pose with solely their body, and afterwards, the opposing player is blindfolded and has 30 seconds to touch the poser in order to exactly imitate their pose. Unfortunately, a simple, fun game has been construed by a few as one that is sexual; the touching occurring during the 30 seconds is no longer for a game, but rather, exaggerated and seen from a sexual lens. This reiterates my prior claim of how sexualization is not necessarily what is delivered, but instead, what viewers themselves construct.
Of course a more technical and critical discussion should occur such as addressing the delivery of content, but I will limit the discussion and redirect readers to my review on “You’re Pitiful.” During that review, the music video for “You’re Pitiful” is discussed. Unlike the “Ostrich” game, the music video is explicitly emphasizing sexual components, but as an overall point, even with the certain emphasis, it does not constitute belittling the incredible ladies of Fiestar as mere objects for reproductive purposes. After all, claiming Fiestar, a highly admirable, talented, and intelligent group of ladies are “sexy,” physically and non-physically, is more realistic and appropriate than “those chicks have hot bodies” (for even more advertisement, refer to my review of Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love” for my take on the word of “chick”).
Ignoring the short digression that, blatantly, became somewhat lengthy, other activities existed besides acting skits and games: cooking, a dating game/scenario, “secret cameras,” and more. To slightly expand those various activities, a cooking tournament was held among the 6 ladies. In addition to the competitive cooking side of Fiestar, the more romantic side was seen; earlier episodes of “Channel Fiestar” consisted of scenarios where the members were paired up with dating partners. Many other activities were also showcased, be it hidden cameras capturing Yezi’s fierceness and willingness to stand up for others, or the group’s own take on interactive plots and weather forecasts, both of which were once more, questionable laugh-inducing, even if arguably overly corny.
As for how these other activities aid “Channel Fiestar,” variety is key. Every episode, and in fact, more accurately, every part to an episode remains individually appealing (one episode is split into 3 parts). “Variety reality” becomes a viable label due to the differing events that occur, and with every activity remaining enticing, in sum, high entertainment is kept.
Transitioning to another prominent aspect of “Channel Fiestar,” sports and athletic related activities were also featured. With “Channel Fiestar” ‘s recording taking place in the winter, many outdoor activities utilizing snow occurred. However, for moments away from the cold, bowling was a highlighted, intense game due to Yezi and Linzy providing vigorous rivalry. Overall, by factoring in the more physical-intensive incidents to “Channel Fiestar,” further variety is gleaned. Every activity possible in a variety show does occur in the group’s reality show, and thus, constantly possessing high appeal exists.
Returning to the topic of anxiously close games, tying in a previous review of “My Type” by Jessi, Cheetah, and Kangnam, the point of underrepresented female sport players does come to mind. Sport competitions among highly skilled female athletes, regardless of the sport itself, are entertaining and worthy of spectating, but unfortunately and interestingly, male sports remain as the highlight for sports in general; despite how both males and females are capable of displaying excellent games, both to an equal caliber of competition and adeptness, solely males’ sports are invested into (certainly figuratively with attention, but also potentially quite literally with money).
To spare readers from a lengthier digression (though it is still worthy to ruminate over), the linked review does partially cover the topic. Nevertheless, it remains highly absurd and disturbing to witness the current lack of equality and equity among genders in sports. With gender being the sole difference between male and female games and not competition or talent, it brings the questioning of why such is the case, and sadly, a simple answer exists: as a society, collectively, a decision has been made, unspoken or transparently stated, that males’ sports, or even more generally, males, deserve priority, regardless of whether it is even about sports or not. As mentioned in the review of “My Type,” challenging the current system by being attentive to both male and female sports will be a way to disassemble the current structure that holds.
Since the review has already slightly side-tracked, which is, overall, fine as this is moreover a bonus review, I will already leave my current opinion on my show reviews. Personally, I am in truth rather flustered and frustrated at myself; I currently lack the adequate skills to properly deconstruct shows in order to give a more constructive, clear opinion regarding my stances on them. As a result, show reviews will still exist, but solely for the sake of variety. Manipulating “Channel Fiestar” as an example, show reviews will be the equivalent of a game segment on the show. Of course, however, the more realistic and proper approach would be to view this review as a learning moment, and thus, to build upon current mistakes, but with song reviews being highly more organized and desired, rather than allocating time to improve show reviews, it would be more beneficial to augment song reviews.
On topic with Fiestar’s reality show, and to strive for a sufficiently satisfying end, the final main component to the ladies’ show is the segment labeled, peculiarly, as “Goosebumps Experts.” Although it did take a while to understand to show’s title, this segment has yet to be deciphered in terms of why it is called as such. Nevertheless, the segment consists of two members interviewing one victim lucky member and subjecting them to a barrage of either serious or jocular questions. Due to such, the entertaining aspect from jokes and genuinely learning more of the members’ personal lives is gained.
Biasedly, I have found this segment to be the most promising as it provides an entire spectrum of solemnness to lightheartedness. Despite two heavily contrasting points, one consistent aspect, personally speaking, does occur: this segment induces tears. Whether it is due to being overly humorous or rather melancholy, both instances did bring slight tears. For example, the interview regarding Fiestar’s leader, Jei, proved to be incredibly ridiculous yet jocular: a poor dance battle took place along with a prestigious lesson regarding proper texting etiquette in the context of flirting, and of course, adolescent stories and experiences from Jei. While I may be akin with Jei in terms of receiving the identical scolding of “you don’t think” due to texting manners, without even the context of flirting (truthfully, thinking of the idea of flirting is rather alien), the texting teachers of Yezi and Cheska did elicit, once more, a moment worthy of digression: ensuring that a boy is truly interested in the conversation, in the context of flirting. In short, the ladies mentioned that if the scenario of flirting does occur through text, the boy must be checked in terms of being certainly interested in the relationship.
Of course, the ladies may be referring to this as a general statement, but it does shed light onto a topic worthy of discussing, the topic of how males have been socialized to, literally in a few cases, chase females in order to fulfill current ideals of masculinity. To offer an actual example, an experiment (though arguably a method) that has been executed by two friends, an interesting one that female readers could attempt (males should also feel free to attempt this, but if predictions are correct, the specific outcome should occur less frequently; I will address why that may be the case) is faking, or truthfully, mentioning a relationship partner (the latter being what my friends have done). Now, to bring in further context and clarification on what exactly is happening, if a male is overly friendly, to the point of being suspiciously friendly, often time, unfortunately (unfortunate in the perspective of a social lens; this is great for expelling unwanted attention), the simple mentioning of a partner will instantly repel the “interested” male by a significant amount if not entirely. What is disturbing is attempting to unpack why this is the case; through glancing at why males will often time fade away once hearing of a partner, and even why males are overly “friendly” in the first place, discloses many upsetting points.
For one, the idea of possessiveness becomes rife, even if highly discreet. Males being absurdly exceptionally friendly to a female (context is key; for clarification and in defense of male readers, there are men who are very genuinely sweet people, do not mesh them into the same category) in an attempt to garner affection simply perpetuates the idea of ownership; rather than viewing females as actual human beings, a trophy is seen instead, and thus, a desire to “win” a female is created, and as a result of that, being exaggeratedly nice occurs. However, upon hearing the female has a partner, and humorously phrased, “taken,” that drive to “win” ceases as this female has already “been claimed.” As clearly depicted, both cases have instances of ownership occurring, as if females are trophies to be obtained. Interestingly, should we reverse the situation of genders, as stated, the idea of “ownership” will most likely be less common, and to answer why, it has to do with how society socializes different genders accordingly so; males are taught to “chase” females while females are taught to be “passive” and such. Gender roles and masculine and feminine will be further discussed in the second upcoming review of Minah’s “I Am A Woman Too.”
On this note, I will also address the fun and, harshly stated, stupid topic of “friendzone.” Nevertheless, to address this topic, the concept of “friendzone” exists on the sole premise of giving a false reason to the previous idea of ownership; many males will utilize the friendzone excuse in order to justify their exaggerated kindness, or in certain cases, lack thereof and direct attempts to “obtain” a female. Clarifying what the “friendzone” concept is, in summary, it perpetuates a highly false idea that females will not be in a relationship with a male who is a friend. If the logic behind that does not sound ridiculous, then my review of AOA’s “Tricked Again” might as well be rendered as sincere.
Explaining why the friendzone concept is erroneous, its sole purpose is to justify males’ behavior towards females, as mentioned; sudden, intrusive behaviors or any forms of undesired attention are now considered reasonable as the male wants to “obtain” a female but can only do so if not a genuine friend. In short, being able to objectify females and to view them as trophies become legitimate as the friendzone concept exists. Quite obviously, the friendzone idea is false. A partner relationship does not develop from a person entering a relationship with dating in mind; partnership occurs over time, a long period of time, where two people begin to equally feel the same for one another, all without extraneous influences. As a final point, challenging the root, the idea of masculinity, will be the method to address the current situation of males discreetly or blatantly “owning” females.
In truth, I am slightly laughing as this review has been arguably the worst I have ever written. While the review itself is not necessarily over, the amount of digressions in juxtaposition to what is truly reviewed is astounding; I have spent more time on the digressions than addressing “Channel Fiestar.” Compensating through the upcoming album review and “I Am A Woman Too” will be the solutions.
With the major components to the show being covered, I will now give an overarching stance regarding the show (which I should have done versus any of the summarizing). Firstly, to address the entertainment value, “Channel Fiestar” is, by a vast amount, the most entertaining reality show I have yet to see. Every part of an episode remains varying from other parts, but furthermore, every activity conducted is appealing on its own. Accounting for both of those aspects, individually solid and individually unique from the rest, it allows “Channel Fiestar” to thrive with constantly remaining appealing. Furthermore, with an overall lighthearted tone (minus the single sole moment regarding Hyemi’s interview), the show emanates with positivity and humor.
Swapping to over to the more subtle details of the show, the structural side (non-entertainment) versus the mechanical side (entertainment), “Channel Fiestar” wavers with different aspects. In terms of being a reality show, the variety show style is a differing take; often time a reality show features a camera following a group/idol, as seen in other ones such as “The TaeTiSeo,” “Hyuna’s Free Month,” or “Jessica & Krystal” but in “Channel Fiestar” ‘s case, the camerawork was orientated towards being purposeful and directive, as if shooting a variety show. With the topic of reality show versus variety show, for where Fiestar’s show lacks, the “reality” is nearly nonexistent. Simple, daily tasks would have been preferred over the constant games and activities; witnessing the group’s dance and singing practice sessions, interactions with staff members regarding their industry work, and such, would have significantly augmented the show. If that were to exist, “reality and variety” would definitely hold as accurate as both aspects would be apparent. Unfortunately, the lack of that makes “Channel Fiestar” moreover a “variety reality” than the prior.
Overall, Fiestar’s reality show of “Channel Fiestar” is still worthy of watching if entertainment is a priority. Readers and fans seeking for a behind-the-scenes aspect to Fiestar will feel rather bleak. At the very least, the members’ closeness and affection for one another is displayed, but regarding their industry work (yes, technically we are witnessing the “broadcast” work of their jobs), there is none. While it does possess the role of being the most entertaining reality show I have watched, I will still claim “Jessica & Krystal” holds the throne for being the overall best reality show I have watched. Perhaps I may be biased as “Jessica & Krystal” made me bawl a river (though as stated, Hyemi’s interview in “Channel Fiestar” did induce a few tears, and furthermore, Fiestar’s anniversary video did so as well) it is exceptionally produced in terms of maintaining high appeal while keeping a reality show theme and perspective.
With this being the end, as always, thank you very much for reading. This has been a horrible review in honesty. I will blame a naive mindset of diving into the review with absolutely no planning whatsoever. At the very least, I have learned prior planning is crucial. Nevertheless, for readers who have managed to read this, thank you very much. Show reviews are bonus reviews, and in that sense, I do hope readers enjoy the variety versus the poorer content and writing.
The next review, one that should have been finished significantly sooner, is a requested review on Miss A’s mini-album, “Colors.” Afterwards the long awaited review of Girl’s Day’s Minah’s first solo, “I Am A Woman Too,” will be published shortly. Stay tuned and keeping checking back. I will return to where I feel most natural and content: music reviews.
Personal Message: Coincidentally, and in some ways, luckily, a request was sent in to review this song. I planned to review it regardless of extraneous influences, but now a simple win-win situation exists; the requester receives the review and I get to publish a song I originally intended to cover (thank you to the person who sent it in and for the additional kind words, I wholeheartedly appreciate it). Truthfully, however, initially I planned to review another requested song (to the person who sent that in, I apologize; the song will be reviewed promptly after, and thank you for sending it in). Nevertheless, considering how Fiestar is slightly trending, I will publish this review while that occurs. Even if they were not receiving some public spotlight, I still find their recent comeback of “You’re Pitiful” to be highly admirable and worthy of a review. It has been a quite some time since I have last heard an infatuating song, but Fiestar redresses that.
“You’re Pitiful” is extremely impressive, and equally, to see Fiestar improve. The ladies’ previous release on “One More” (which I did review, feel free to read it: Fiestar – “One More” Review) showcased a song that was not necessarily too bad, but, as the review states, it is solely “slightly above average.” However, once accounting for the choreography, “One More” holds its own very well. Focusing specifically on “You’re Pitiful,” while the choreography takes a miniscule dent, the sonic component of the song is a significant improvement over “One More”; the vocals are to a higher tier, the line distribution is seemingly more diverse, the rapping is solid, and much more (as will be covered in the review itself).
Quickly addressing the links, the first is Fiestar’s beloved standard dance practice video, and uniquely, the music video for the second (I will explain later why I included it). In terms of the dance practice video, it is currently labeled as the “White Shirt version,” which makes me wonder if a “Black Dress version” another version will be put out. Nevertheless, from gauging a few live performances, the choreography itself is consistent, even if future releases will bring different clothing. Offering a comment on the choreography, while the dance is not to the caliber of “One More” (the choreography will be graded in the review), it is still decent, but certainly, Fiestar’s skills continue to shine; every member in Fiestar most likely, actually, definitely, has more strength in one leg than I do in my entire being, and of course, the level of dexterity to dance in high heels and, though trepidatiously, on top of chairs adds onto their dancing talent.
Transitioning to why I included the music video (at this point, feel free to skip to the review itself), the previous subject of high heels will provide a bridge for that. Two interesting incidents occurred: a remark made about high heels, and a personal conversation with a friend regarding the music video for “You’re Pitiful.” Following a chronological order, I will address an intriguing event regarding high heels. To instantly clarify, I am in no means attempting to degrade or offend the people I will mention (and I will explain their perspectives which are completely viable), but remaining critical and being able to view a topic from many angles is vital, and that I will bring, hopefully.
Firstly, for the remark on high heels, offering context, a librarian hosted a “ritual”: drown female stereotypes and such. Personally, I am in favor of her holding such a ritual, however, an interesting comment was made. In summary: “And all of those pictures of women needing to wear 4 inches high heels to be beautiful, drown it!” Now, initially, I utterly agreed with that statement, and in truth, I still do in terms of her connotation; the idea of how females are beautiful solely if they wear high heels is one that needs to be challenged (along with other requirements to meet “beautiful”; refer to countless reviews I have written that slightly cover that). While that message is indeed positive, there is a subtle component, intentional or not, that is left: females should not wear high heels at all. Of course, one may argue (and personally I do believe so) that she meant the earlier statement, however, this type of remark is somewhat related to one that is often heard: females should not wear makeup, high heels, dresses, skirts, and anything “feminine” (in two reviews, I will actually address the concept of “masculine” and “feminine”; for a short preview, there is no such thing) in order to challenge and stop sexism.
Unfortunately, those who do hold this stance are, surprisingly, supporting and reinforcing sexism, intentionally or not; sexism, homogenous to other types of oppressions (racism, classism, and more), in modern time is highly invisible, and the mentioned stance is one that reveals how sexism remains highly cloaked. Females should be free of a beauty standard, but ironically, to deny them of their own desire for beauty, such as encouraging females to reject “feminine” items, is indeed setting a new beauty standard for females. If there was truly no beauty standard, then, assuming one comprehends the idea of “no,” there should be absolutely zero remarks made on what a female should or should not wear. Removing current beauty standards in place is utterly necessary, such as the librarian’s point, but equally crucial, ensuring no other standards become set should be in mind, such as preventing the idea of females needing to reject “feminine” items. If my point lacks clarity, I do apologize. Quickly summarizing my argument with an example, a lady should not feel the need to wear high heels to feel beautiful, but a lady should feel free to wear high heels in order to feel beautiful if she desires to.
Now, while on this topic, I will bring in my second point that regards the music video. Similar to the concept mentioned above, this music video follows such except in a different perspective: admittedly blush-inducing awkward to say, sexual attraction. Although my friend and I became utterly hypnotized and captivated by the amazing ladies of Fiestar calmly and thoroughly enjoyed the music video and had a small discussion, our topic shifted to one that is necessary to share: sexualization. Truthfully, this subject is one that I have recently been attempting to deconstruct, and I doubt I will reach a personal consensus, nor will society, assuming it has not already done so. Hastily summarizing our conversation topics, excluding the artwork and plot of the music video, and the members’ exquisite eyelashes causing envy towards their mascara and false lashes the cosmetics and makeup, my friend confessed a sense of unease with the sexual components to the video, which are truthfully somewhat rife. Nevertheless, although this is a subject in which many feel uncomfortable (such as in her case), I highly believe there needs to be a conversation, and I will offer my current butchered, incoherent opinion of the concept of sexualization/objectification.
Specifically with “You’re Pitiful,” I will claim this video is not sexualizing. It is sexual at moments, but not sexualizing. There is a phenomenal difference between the two, though both are akin in terms of being exceptionally lengthy to ruminate about. Tying back my earlier argument, the subtle layers of sexism reappears; ironically, claiming the music video is sexist due to believing it is sexualizing is potentially sexist in itself. Now, depending on whether the video is indeed sexualizing or not will influence answers, but that gauge is highly vague and subjective. To offer my opinion, and clarifying once more, I am not ever correct with what I claim, and thus, I highly encourage readers (if people read this portion) to create their own stance, I believe “You’re Pitiful” is not offensive at all, and at most, it is simply sexual at times (even if often).
Firstly, sexism appears once more in a highly discreet manner: females are restricted from being sexually attractive. Often time, on the sole basis of a music video being sexual (though bear in mind, this is another discussion; should anything ever be sexual in the first place is a point worthy of examining), many will automatically assume the video is sexualizing females, and thus, offensive. However, a female should indeed be able to feel and be sexually attractive. For what is obscured, subjectiveness plays a major role in determining sexualizing and sexually attractive; there is a difference between claiming that Hyemi is an utterly “sexy” lady versus her (the level of embarrassment is incredibly high to say this) body is “sexy.” This is where sexualization becomes utterly vague and complex.
While I perceive Hyemi to be “sexy” as she is incredibly hard working, talented, intelligent, and, to keep a consistent argument, I will include even her physical beauty which I envy, it is not necessarily sexualizing nor negative to perceive such. We have been socialized with the idea that females cannot be sexually attractive or else they will be classified as certain atrocious labels. However, realistically, females should be able to. Therefore, to claim Hyemi is “sexy,” physically and non-physically, is not negative, and relating back the music video, though the physical aspect of her “sexiness” is emphasized, there is no shame in that. That said, however, there is still an issue: often time, “Hyemi” is substituted by “body” or–inserting my personal phrase–goodness-forbid, specific body parts. This subjectiveness is where I personally believe sexualization truly does occur (though the delivery of the sexual matter also influences this). To forget Hyemi as a person, a human, and to solely see her for her body is where sexualization does occur. While it is definite that the music video for “You’re Pitiful” emphasizes the members’ body at times, once more, there is no shame in revealing the ladies’ physical attractiveness. What proves to be an issue is when that physical attractiveness is overly interpreted by viewers, and thus, people begin to not see Fiestar, an incredible group of highly adept idols, but instead, sheer bodies. Adding clarity, and giving an overall point, rather than shaming females and enforcing them to hide their physical attractiveness and body, teaching people, both male and female, to view females as equal human beings should be the approached route, not the current oppressive system where every and any sexual instance in a music video is labeled as sexualizing, and thus, in a subtle manner, pushing forth a message that encourages females to hide and loathe their bodies.
Of course, I will agree sexualizing is not utterly inaccurate, and unfortunately, there are very blatant instances of such, but remembering to not overly label everything as sexualizing is important. Should “You’re Pitiful” ‘s music video have depicted the ladies as dolls that were used for solely their body and sexual purposes, then I would burn down the music video’s director’s house be highly mature, non-violent, but highly frustrated and angrily challenging the video. But, as explained, even with high emphasis on their body, there is no shame in claiming Fiestar themselves, not their bodies, is sexy, physically and non-physically. With all of this said, and I very much do apologize for becoming excessively talkative of this subject, let us focus to “You’re Pitiful” as a song.
As mentioned, it has been a while since I have heard a song that utterly captivated me, but Fiestar corrects such (Hyorin x Jooyoung – Erase (Review) was probably the latest song I highly, utterly enjoyed). The ladies of Cao Lu, Jei, Linzy, Hyemi, and Yezi return with “You’re Pitiful,” and confessingly, that title perfectly reflects my current mood; I feel pitiful knowing Fiestar is unpopular. On the positive side, I hope, and expect, their popularity to significantly rise due to this incredible, solid song, as this review will reveal.
Song Score: 7/10 (7.2/10 raw score) – “Above average”
– Vocals: 8/10 – From what I recall, their previous song had a rating of 7 for vocals. With that numerical value translating as “above average,” Fiestar incredibly manages to improve this aspect. “You’re Pitiful” showcases exceptionally astounding vocals on the levels of both individual and collaborative. For the individual members, highlighting the groups’ main vocalists, Hyemi and Linzy continue to impress. Though I humorously nicknamed Linzy as “Pepper Honey Vocals,” in their current comeback, Linzy unequivocally showcases why her original nickname is so; “Honey Vocals” Linzy is highly accurate as her moments in the song remain alluring, variated, and though power is still an added component, her melody is what remains the spotlight as it proves to be incredibly infatuating and sweet, like honey. Focusing on Hyemi, homogenous to Linzy, her vocals follow suit with the exact traits and merits. Now, in terms of other members, their parts still hold a high tier. Cao Lu’s lines, though less in quantity, provide the lower notes of “You’re Pitiful,” Jei offers excellent melody and, in opposite to Cao Lu, emphasis towards the higher notes, and lastly, Yezi contributes her vocals via rapping, and at that, a solid one.
Overall, simply stated, solid vocals exist in “You’re Pitiful.” A plethora of desirable traits occur: power, sweet and soothing melody, high and low pitches, different paces, and, though I confessingly should have addressed earlier, excellent chemistry in terms of Fiestar’s vocals meshing well against every member’s voice.
1. Introduction: 7/10 – Before beginning, as consistent readers may realize, I have created a new label for this portion of reviews; instead of “Song Structure,” a more efficient and accurate term will be used from here on out: “Sections.” Focusing on the introduction, it is solely the instrumental.
Mechanically and structurally, the introduction excels in both categories. Addressing the structural side, this section satisfies its standard role of an introduction efficiently and effectively. With utilizing a pure soundtrack, the vocals are preserved and thus, the aspect of attracting attention is easily met due to the crafted enticement. Furthermore, with vocals being nonexistent, the song follows an exceptionally natural progression; “You’re Pitiful” begins calmly due to possessing a pure instrumental, but afterwards when vocals appear, a natural transition occurs. Switching to the mechanical aspect, the utilized soundtrack remains charming. Though the beeps may be slightly odd, when meshed along with the guitar, it provides a melodic and catchy tune. Besides being a solid complement to the beep noise, the guitar itself remains equally attractive. Both sounds offer “You’re Pitiful” its melody, and the delivery of the two remains properly paced and suiting to the atmosphere of the song.
Above average will be the score. The mechanical piece does slightly falter, but with the structural side heavily compensating, the introduction as a whole still holds well.
2. Verse: 6/10 – Jei and Yezi cooperate for this section.
The first and only verse has a delightful approached route, but the execution is not necessarily successful. Focusing on how the section sounds, in comparison to the structure, it slightly falters. Firstly, Jei and Yezi’s singing thoroughly emulates one another, and while that in itself may not necessarily be an issue, due their singing style, the duplicated styles prove to be hindering. Being more specific with the two members’ singing, both ladies conduct lower pitches, and though the tune itself is soothing, little variation and fluctuation exists, and thus, in terms of the mechanical sound, it does create a lifeless, monotone section. Nevertheless, for what the section does achieve, the structural aspect, specifically progression, holds well. The verse’s qualities of being slower paced and calm are beneficial to such; Jei and Yezi disclose lower notes with a somewhat sluggish rate, and ironically, though the singing is a downfall mechanically due to that style, for the section’s structure, it becomes aided via creating a natural flow and transition for the song as a whole. No abrupt transition occurs after the introduction due to how the verse’s structure holds.
Slightly above average is the score. The concept behind the verse is excellent, and in many ways, vital to “You’re Pitiful,” but unfortunately, expending the section’s mechanical potential for its structural component to thrive is not a desired pathway.
3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Jei returns once more. This time, however, Cao Lu joins her. The pair handles every pre-chorus.
Juxtaposing the verse and pre-chorus, a huge improvement appears: the pre-chorus remains charming with both its mechanical and structural components. In terms of the section’s sonic piece, variety proves to be a prominent factor. For one, the melody heavily fluctuates in a unique nature; an echoing aspect is attached to Jei’s line. Even Cao Lu’s line follow suit, though to a lesser degree and remaining moreover basic. Now, for the most promising portion, during the final line, Jei’s singing becomes phenomenal: the higher notes become reached, the melody becomes highly addicting, and power is included. As for the structural side, transitioning to transitions in specific, the pre-choruses follow, as a current recurring trend seems to be, solid progression. The first half of the pre-chorus is a period of the song developing, and with the second half offering very melodic, potent singing, the chorus becomes properly hyped and transitioned to. Ignoring the pre-chorus’ role for “You’re Pitiful” as a whole, on the individual level, contrast is exploited to strengthen the section. Cao Lu’s lines may be somewhat plain mechanically, but her lines help prevent staleness; “Baby I don’t know oh I don’t know,” in comparison to Jei’s echoing lines, grant a foundation of standard singing. As a result, while the echoing style is intriguing, without Cao Lu’s lines, its effectiveness would be dampened.
Overall, above average will be the rating. Jei’s echoing lines, and most pleasing, her final line, offer the pre-choruses’ mechanical charm. Cao Lu’s added lines, in addition to the section as a whole following excellent progression, create a desired contrast that grant the section’s admirable structural layer.
4. Chorus: 8/10 – Fiestar’s main vocalists, Hyemi and Linzy, are responsible for the choruses. Though admittedly I biasedly believe the choruses in “You’re Pitiful” deserve a 9, it is not quite flawless enough to acquire that score. Nevertheless, the score will still be in the higher scale.
Mechanically, with two highly impressive and adept singers, this element of the choruses will carry no burden. Although Hyemi lacks her own nickname, she proves to be equally deserving of Linzy’s; both ladies emanate vocals that live up to “Honey Vocals.” The singing possesses a plethora of traits: melody, power, pacing, and as an overarching outcome, diversity. Focusing on those traits individually, the melody remains highly captivating and infatuating as a mixture of middle and high notes are used, and additionally, stretched. As for the pacing, it interchanges between an average singing rate and a slightly unhurried one. Despite how a fast rate is unheard, a simple change in pace, even if the general spectrum is still slow, still vastly aids the song. Finally, addressing the couple’s vocal power, this characteristic is what nearly ushers this section into a 9. Interestingly, the power fluctuates in “You’re Pitiful”; every line contains traces of power, but throughout the chorus, the amount of stress and strain placed per line greatly varies from another, something I have yet to truly hear often. Factoring all of these attributes, an excellent, beautiful flow, and overall, section exists. The diverse notes, changing pace, and fluctuating strain and emphasis per line create an exceptionally tuneful section that fails to dull. Unfortunately, the slight error that hinders the choruses from earning a 9 is its structure portion. While the choruses, from a sonic lens, are nearly, if not, flawless, both members replicate each other’s lines identically (ignoring lyrics; the melody and mechanics remain exactly akin). Initially, this does not seem pressing; with mechanics this stellar, having it repeat will not be harmful. Contrary to that, however, the uniqueness and potency of the chorus comes from hearing it once; when Linzy arrives for her lines, the same charm does not exist as for Hyemi.
Though overall it is highly miniscule, the rating will be an 8, which is still highly respectable as it represents, simply put, good or solid. If Linzy’s lines slightly differed or even continued the choruses’ excellent trait via a different format, a 9 would easily be earned. Nevertheless, a very impressive section, and as stated, while statistically and realistically the choruses hold at an 8, I do believe this section is a 9.
5. Rap: 6/10 – Yezi, expectedly, appears for the rap. From memories and replaying the song in my head, if I am accurate, her rap in “One More” was relatively mediocre. In terms of individual improvement, I will credit Yezi; while her rap in “One More” was weak, her rap in Fiestar’s current comeback is decent.
Glancing at her rap’s mechanical aspect, many standard characteristics are met. Deconstructing each feature individually, for the melody, though it is not necessarily extraordinarily tuneful, it satisfies for a rap. Furthermore, power follows suit; the added strength is not overly or underly forceful. In terms of flow, Yezi remains highly fluent and smooth; every line became executed properly and no peculiar pause or unfitting endless stream occurred. Lastly, for her pacing, an interesting incident does occur. Shifting away from usual trends, while most raps tend to remain set with a consistent rate, this rap section differentiates by having a rate that becomes increasingly faster. Tying somewhat into the structural component, Yezi’s pacing, most notably at the end, becomes highly hastened. Mechanically, it allows for variety and a showcase of fluency, and structurally, a natural transition occurs as the quickened pace reflects the upcoming pre-chorus’ style and energy.
In the end, an improvement is certainly seen, but in terms of presenting a highly captivating rap, not quite. Slightly above average will be the rating. The structural layout of the rap is admirable, however, with a mechanical aspect that is not utterly captivating, the score will not be higher, though it is not definitely not bad.
6. Bridge: 5/10 – The pre-chorus pair returns; Jei and Cao Lu handle the bridge, though towards the second half of it, practically every member, in essence, contributes (being specific, Jei, Hyemi, Linzy, and Cao Lu alternate turns).
The bridge is a slightly weaker section of the song. Conceptually, the bridge has potentially and is suiting, but in focus of it from an individual perspective, it does remain somewhat lacking. Analyzing the structure, in the large scheme, due to the final chorus possessing the climactic moment, the bridge, which often time is the section used for such, is now bereft of that role (for a side note, a reader did once point how interesting it was that many climactic points are rather identical, and either below or in a future review, I would love to address why that is so). As a result, providing a slight break and pause in the song becomes its revised purpose. In terms of achieving that objective, the bridge does, though questionably. Jei and Cao Lu’s initial lines are exceptionally tranquil and slow, and even with the second half, the used repetition simulate a momentary pause for the song. Unfortunately, though the repetition adds the pausing piece, in focus of the bridge itself, it proves to be horrendously tedious and mundane, and blatantly, leached of appeal. Interestingly, however, the mechanical aspect is not too hindered, even with the sheer repetition. The repeated line of “Why, why, why, why are you?” holds as melodic, and occasionally, even catchy. Even the first individual lines from Jei and Cao Lu are decent as the slower and lower singing offer a soothing, calming effect.
Though Fiestar’s vocals and skills lift the bridge’s weaker points, repeating a line, even if highly catchy, for many cycles does become incredibly dull. In addition, catchiness does not necessarily correlate to decency. Average will be the score, though respect should deservingly exist for Fiestar’s singing.
7. Conclusion: 9/10 – Specifically, the conclusion is its own separate section as it is the solo instrumental. However, it would be highly shameful if I utterly disregarded the final chorus as, in a multitude of ways, it is highly incorporated as the song’s conclusion. With that, the members involved are Hyemi, Linzy, and Yezi.
In focus of the final chorus, the sole miniscule issue of the structure becomes entirely fixed, and additionally, the sonic portion becomes refined further. With two-part singing from two members occurring, the previous lack of variety towards the second half dissipates; the final chorus prevails with remaining highly diverse due to soft, melodic note holds from Linzy, and additionally, from Yezi, standard, though slightly edited, singing vocals. Besides redressing the structure, the mechanics, as stunning as the singing already was, becomes enhanced. The two-part singing adds additional layers to the mechanical side: Linzy’s note hold is graceful and tuneful by itself, and though Yezi’s lines may not be individually appealing, the contrast created between Linzy’s part and Hyemi’s usual singing (or Linzy’s, once she returns to singing) further improve the sound.
Swapping to the technical conclusion, after an excellent climactic peak to “You’re Pitiful,” utilizing a conclusion that remains highly similar to the introduction proves to be suiting. Hastily covering the mechanical and structural parts, the instrumental remains pleasing, as it is the introduction’s, and for the latter of structural, with being lengthy and a soundtrack, it provides a perfect end to “You’re Pitiful”; final impressions are left, the previous chorus still lurks, and the longer duration guarantees no abruptness transpires.
A very high score will miraculously be earned. The final chorus proves to be highly attractive and potent in both categories of mechanical and structural, and with the true conclusion perfectly ensuring a smooth end, an exceptionally high score will be proper. With reviews being more realistic and my desire to bring genuine ratings, a 9 here should indicate how outstandingly impressive this section is.
– Line Distribution: 9/10 – In honesty, I have forgotten “One More” ‘s rating for Line Distribution. Nevertheless, in “You’re Pitiful,” I expect the score to be relatively high as there are only 5 members, and the song itself remains diverse and alternative from a casual standpoint.
Fiestar’s leader, Jei, possesses lines at the verse, the two pre-choruses, and the bridge. With her amount totalling up as 4 sections, depending on the following members, this may or may not be an issue. However, based on previous reviews, 4 sections tend to be the proper amount, thus, I will presume Jei’s share remains proper.
For the group’s fierce rapper and youngest member, Yezi receives spotlight at the verse, her solo rap, and a subtle task of two-part singing at the final chorus. With 3 sections being the outcome, assuming no major disparity occurs in comparison to the remaining members, no problems are apparent.
Cao Lu, their lovely member who is actually Chinese and not Korean, remains responsible for lines occurring at the two pre-choruses and the bridge. Although numerically she has 3 sections, unlike, for example, Yezi, who possesses the exact quantity of sections, Cao Lu’s lines are significantly shorter. Though in the broader sense that remains miniscule, it could be an impairing factor later. Nevertheless, as of now, with 3 out of 5 members holding similar quantities, Fiestar’s line distribution for “You’re Pitiful” is respectable.
Transitioning to the main vocalists pair, firstly focusing on Hyemi, anxiety does occur due to her role. Brushing aside predictions, her lines involve the 3 choruses, and with having a lengthier duration, no issues are present unless if the time span becomes excessive. 3 sections is her total.
“Honey Vocals” Linzy follows suit with Hyemi; her lines exist at the 3 choruses, and the two-part singing will be accounted for inside the third chorus. With that, 3 sections is the amount of sections she possesses.
For a very slight bonus, the second half of the bridge does practically carry everyone’s vocals. With the number of sections being nearly equal with either a 4 or 3, a high score will be earned. The sole existing issue appears as the varying durations; Hyemi and Linzy’s lines are partially lengthier than Cao Lu’s, for example. However, considering every member did have sufficient and consistent spotlight, a very high score will be earned.
– Instrumental: 7/10 – The instrumental for “You’re Pitiful” fares well in terms of the mechanical and even the structural layer. On its own, the soundtrack presents a melodic tune that derives from the unique beep sound and guitar. Furthermore, a pleasing and complementing rhythm is attached; the heavier beats add onto the guitar and beeps to further accentuate the soundtrack’s melody. Moving over to the structural portion, the instrumental vastly excels. Though individually the instrumental is not absolutely enticing, once combined with the vocals, it serves a crucial role: the instrumental perfectly supports the vocals. During the more energetic sections, such as the choruses, the instrumental reciprocates the energy via adding more complexity and an increased rate. In addition, despite the soundtrack retaining either a passive or assertive position, it remains subtle enough to deter away spotlight, and thus, Fiestar’s vocals still hold the main focus.
Above average will be the score. Though the soundtrack languishes on its own, once coupled with the group’s singing, the soundtrack immensely thrives with being a perfect mix to the vocals.
– Meaning: 5/10 – With a title of “You’re Pitiful,” a frustrated vibe radiates. A love-related story will most likely be the scenario, and unfortunately, it seems that a lover now dreads their love-interest due to certain circumstances. Ending the speculations, through these Korean-to-English lyrics, the translation should clarify the story. As always, these are not 100% accurate:
The cold words you said to me It has been a while, but you’ve finally faded But my heart races in my sleep sometimes My broken heart hasn’t healed yet
You were bossy (Baby I don’t know, oh I don’t know) I was thrown (Baby I don’t know, oh I don’t know) Yet after all this time, you want me to hold your hand
You’re so pitiful, more so than when you left me behind So pitiful, over the past few months I’ve heard things are different for you now You’ve become so small You’re pitiful, no matter how hard you try You’ve changed so much The way you talk, the way you look So unlike you, so weak
Yeah, le’ go You and I, what brought us all the way here? Only wounds remain between us, I can’t believe it Our good days, when we were happy to be together Ruins of the days’ past But now when I see you I feel pity for you
You were bossy (Baby I don’t know, oh I don’t know) I was thrown (Baby I don’t know, oh I don’t know) You have your head down, trying to escape my eyes
You’re so pitiful, more so than when you left me behind So pitiful, over the past few months I’ve heard things are different for you now You’ve become so small You’re pitiful, no matter how hard you try You’ve changed so much The way you talk, the way you look So unlike you, so weak
Don’t give me that look Don’t reach your hand out with those eyes I don’t want you, yeah I don’t want you no more, no more, no more What is this? Why, why, why are you? Why, why, why, why are you? After all this time, why, why are you? Why, why, why, why are you?
You’re so pitiful, more so than when you left me behind (You’ve become so pitiful) So pitiful, over the past few months (Over the past few months) I’ve heard things are different for you now You’ve become so small You’re pitiful, no matter how hard you try (It’s nothing like before) You’ve changed so much (You’ve become nothing) The way you talk, the way you look So unlike you, so weak
In terms of what the lyrics depict, a lady or man discloses their pity and ponders over their former partner. Despite how “it has been a while,” the lover admits their “broken heart hasn’t healed yet.” The catalyst behind the couple’s separation appears to be due to the love-interest being “bossy,” and for what truly provoked the split, the lover “was thrown” away and understandably tired of so. Interestingly and ironically, however, despite tossing away their lover, the love-interest “[wants] [the lover] to hold [their] hand.” Of course, the lover decides to not submit to that, and thus, the title of the song exists; the lover states the love-interest is “so pitiful, more so than when [she/he] left [them] behind.” Further remarks are created: “You’ve become so small, you’re pitiful no matter how hard you try,” and “You’ve changed so much, the way you talk, the way you look.”
In summary, while the plot remains interesting, and in a few ways, even admirable in terms of the lover holding her/his stance, it lacks many details. The verse and rap are the main sections that bring forth extra details, but ignoring those two sections, the rest focus moreover on labeling and degrading the love-interest. If more varying details were added versus the current high emphasis on shaming the love-interest, even if deserved, a much higher score would be granted. As of now, average will be the score.
– “Critical Corner”: Blissfully or not blissfully, the “Critical Corner” has little use here. Also, as a few readers may notice, I have officially incorporated the “Critical Corner,” though the label is liable to change depending on readers cringing and complaining feedback. On topic, nothing of the lyrics spawn a discussion. At most, I will claim the lover does the correct choice with refusing to get back with the love-interest, a seemingly horrible partner. A relationship should be genuinely cheerful and full of love, not one of constant arguments and one-sided points. As for the love-interest character, a tiny discussion could take place regarding his/her behavior: obsessiveness. Although the lover has her/his moments of painful memories, overall, they are still capable of progressing on. In opposite, the love-interest fails to; she/he remains “weak” and has changed, for the worse, as a person. Losing the lover has prompted them to become, simply put, “pitiful.” Realistically, while there may definitely be periods of immense emotional trauma after a separation, to utterly lose an entire identity, such as the love-interest’s case, should never occur. Remaining an individual person and not someone who invests their entire life into another person should always be in mind, whether it is during a relationship or simply any situation. Excluding my romantic advice for readers, nothing else is pressing and worthy of discussing in this song (which, in truth, is a good thing).
Choreography Score: 7/10 – While this message may be incredibly late, for readers who return to the top, after the “Song Score,” which did get revised as a label, the song’s sonic rating is listed. In “You’re Pitiful” ‘s case, it does render as an “above average” one. Also, as for the label change, instead of using “Song Total Score,” I decided to simplify it as “Total” is inconsistent (there is no “Choreography Total Score”) and redundant (blatantly, the “Song Score” is the “Total”).
Focusing back onto the choreography of the song, after watching the dance practice multiple times, and additionally, even their dance tutorial, the choreography is a mixture of opinions. Firstly, on the subject of their dance tutorial, admittedly, it is, for a lack of the proper diction, highly corny. In fact, the degree of such makes my professor’s jokes highly more bearable brings additional appreciation to other highly jocular jokes I have heard, such as from my incredible professor. Now truly on topic, the dance almost reaches a rating of 8, but due to a few prominent errors, it will remain a 7, which nonetheless is highly respectable.
For the key points of the dance, “You’re Pitiful” extensively shines. Firstly, the addition of chairs and backup dancers add an appealing complexity to the choreography; rather than standard dancing, the ladies of Fiestar are, though apprehensively, dancing on top of chairs, and for many key points, the chairs serve as a bridge for the backup dancers to be involved and for unique formations and transitions. On the subject of backup dancers, the gentlemen partaking in the choreography serve their role effectively; additional formations and key points, especially in the form of giving the coat, are gleaned from them, and simultaneously, stealing attention away from Fiestar is not a problem. Also, with many sections possessing their own maneuvers and differentiating from the rest, the key points further flourish. When it comes the dance’s weaker part, the syncing is not entirely accurate. Every moment excluding the choruses (except the final chorus) remains precise with syncing to the music. With the choruses, the key point after taking the coat remains vague; the shaking of hips left and right and going down to up do not seem to correlate to the music. Adding on, the moment afterwards of walking to the chair remains highly bleak of syncing, though fixing that would be rather difficult if not impossible.
Despite the unsynced choruses, with very splendid key points and syncing elsewhere, the choreography will still hold a 7. If the choruses proved to be slightly more reflective of the song’s sonic component, such as the final chorus, an 8 would easily be earned. Above average will remain the score, and even so, the dance is still beautifully crafted and constructed.
Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With averaging out the Song Score and Choreography Score, a pure 7 is the result. In the end, Fiestar’s recent comeback of “Pitiful” can be regarded as “above average,” and while I biasedly disagree, it does sound proper for a rating. Personally, I hold this song to an 8 or even a 9. For those curious on my preference of songs, “You’re Pitiful” can be seen as the epitome for such: the vocals contain multiple diverse traits and are the main focus, the instrumental avoids being electronic based, and for how the sections are executed, the progression and flow of the song as a whole is gradual. As a result, I hold this song as either an 8 or 9, but of course, being realistic and fair, it is solely above average, which is still admirable. Should Fiestar continue their streak, their popularity should rise incredibly. “One More” was a decent song, and with “You’re Pitiful” adding on, future comebacks will be highly anticipated.
As I always, and will always say, thank you very much for reading. Strangely, this review took many hours to write (roughly 7 hours almost, which is absurdly high and “pitiful”). That said, however, to bring in positivity, I am officially cleared of my other activity (depending on time, a future reflection may be posted regarding that), and thus, I will have much more time for reviews. Currently, however, I will be allocating that extra time towards school work, but after that, it will hopefully all be invested into reviews. Also, to the person who did request this, I hope you enjoy it. Though it is pure luck that we both happened to want this review, I do hope this read is delightful.
In terms of upcoming reviews, BESTie’s “I Need You,” a requested review, will be out promptly after this one. Thank you for being patient, I will work hard to give a thorough review of it. Other reviews after that will most likely be a male group. Two are in mind, though time will tell. After this review is published, I will attempt to publish two more reviews, and considering my extra free time, I expect that to be an easier feat.
With this being the end, thank you once more, and do look forward to extra reviews, and hopefully, a vastly accelerated rate of reviews. Even if “it has been a while” since my last review, “my heart races in my sleep sometimes” and “my broken heart hasn’t healed yet” knowing many readers desire quicker reviews. Stay tuned for future reviews and more corny conclusions. Keep checking back for a review on BESTie’s “I Need You.”
Personal Message: As promised, a requested review would be started promptly after my previous one on Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love.” Fiestar’s “One More” is the song that has been sent in. Before getting any further, a big thank you to the person who sent it in. I appreciate sent in messages, be it requests or simply comments and feedback. A more intimate moment is possible due to those messages, so thank you to everyone for sending them in. For other news, it has occurred to me that February possesses not 30/31 days, but rather, the odd number of 28 (and the exception of potentially 29, though it’d be interesting to hear why February is an outlier in terms of the amount of days). That said, though it is simply, at the very least, two days off, those two days are potential writing sessions, and thus, I will be suffering from the lack of those extra days (and I celebrate Lunar New Years so less writing time). That said, meeting 6 reviews may not happen, but if plans work accordingly, after this review, I have two reviews that will be highly focused, efficient, and hasty in order to potentially compensate. I will do my best to not go off on tangents during those, though in this review, I will explain why I do go on them.
Continuing the latter topic, before diving into the incredible ladies of Fiestar, I would like to, once again (for those who dread these moments, feel free to skip to the review/before it hardly begins), take a moment to address an important topic: discussing topics. Correct, the phrasing is awkward; the important topic is the simple idea of discussing topics, as odd as that may sound. Now to be more specific, what I deem a “discussing topic” varies, but for consistent readers of this blog, many are able to pinpoint where my tangents derive from; a lot of the more social-related topics are not obscene, random, unrelated ideas that I put forth, but rather, many of the tangents come from a song itself, be it due to questionable lyrics, news involving a group, offensive remarks given to a group, or more. For those who are indeed curious on why I begin these discussions, the answer is simple: it is because I am reviewing Korean Pop, and thus, that correlates to pop culture, even if it is Korean pop culture in specific.
Pop culture matters. Whether awareness is present or not, pop culture represents “popular culture,” and as a result, what is presented in pop culture is simply a reflection of, as its name, “popular culture.” Utilizing K-Pop and an example to bring in clarity, there is a reason why AOA (while I feel guilty for constantly using them as examples, I absolutely love and look up to these ladies, hence why I constantly use them) has their concepts in a very directed manner. “Miniskirt,” “Confused,” or “Like a Cat,” and other songs, all, in truth, follow a more mature and slightly sexual demeanor (and actually, I will hopefully, and if not, in another review, address “sexy” concepts and such and give my full opinion and breakdown). This is the result of the general, main and popular culture considering their concepts as appealing and whatnot. Now, as I stated, pop culture is a reflection of the main culture in a society, be it Korean or even American and other places. This unveils that whatever is depicted in pop culture media, such as AOA’s choreographies and songs, it is due to the general public rendering such as desirable. As a result, whatever makes it to the screen can arguably accurately be a keen gauge on what the general population deems acceptable. If AOA’s concepts were purely disliked, they would not even maintain a solid stance in the K-Pop industry, and thus, be non-existent.
Progressing to the final point, realizing that my example is horrendous, my main message is pop culture reflects what the general population believes. In other words, and this will be more extreme yet, unfortunately, true in many cases, for instance, if females are depicted as pure sexual objects in music videos, then what that represents is that the society that features the video does, indeed, follow a standard, popular belief that females are sheer objects (and no, “Miniskirt” ‘s music video is not objectifying, even if highly sexual; after my personal deconstructing, I find it rather, against all odds, empowering to females, though this will be another topic, or potentially, a bonus “Music Video Review” post). If a society was repulsed at such an idea, then sexualized females would cease to exist, or not exist in the first place, as the popular culture would reject it from entering. Tying back to the very first point, the reason why I bring all these important discussions, such as this one, is because when it comes to pop culture media, be it Korean Pop or American Pop, or Japanese Pop or whichever, many people become highly seduced by the flashy dances, the incredible singing, or a catchy music video. This is the scariest part of pop culture media; it has the ability to influence in a subtle manner. Unless if one takes a critical approach, many hidden messages can indeed become normalized (such as objectifying females, for example). This is why I attempt to bring out these types of discussions, even if completely unrelated to the musical/dance aspect of the K-Pop song. Due to digesting pop culture (or potentially anything in life), it is absolutely vital to keep a critical mind and to criticize pop culture when it steps out of boundaries, such as when offensive lyrics or music videos occur. This is my stance and answer to why I bring in seemingly random discussion points before my reviews. Pop culture is definitely enjoyable, and in some cases, does bring a lot of positive influences (for example, as I always mention, my biggest role models in my life are T-ARA’s Soyeon and former Nine Muses’ Sera), but when the negative influences become ignored, that is when pop culture is dangerous and transitions from pure entertainment and positivity to pure hypnosis. Of course, I focused primarily on music, but pop culture expands to practically infinity; movies, slang, pictures, fashion and makeup style, and a multitude of other things are included. Also, apologies if this lost a lot of cohesion, it is genuinely hard to summarize the importance of pop culture (and that I am a mediocre writer, but, with time and feedback, slowly yet surely improving).
On topic with this review, as stated, Fiestar’s “One More” has been the requested song. Many viewers will most likely not recognize this group; they are quite unpopular and rarely mentioned. Nevertheless, though I have yet to hear other releases, I am hoping their popularity increases towards the future. These ladies definitely have a lot of potential in terms of mechanical skills; their singing, and specifically, dancing, are quite extraordinary. The ladies of Cao Lu, Jei, Linzy, Hyemi, and Yezi released this song during July 2014, and from what I know, they have not released “One-ne-ne-ne one more” song afterwards. Despite that, however, this song still holds well, and hopefully, towards the future, they will release “One More” song and continue the current streak left from this song.
Song Total Score: 6/10 (6.2/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories
– Vocals: 7/10 – For “One More” specifically, Fiestar proves to have decent vocals. A wide range of diversity exists. Singing styles fluctuate; slower and somewhat softer singing is heard, but the opposite holds true with impacting vocals. Sections are also equally varying; each section possesses its own charm and characteristics based on the vocals. Ignoring the variety and layout of how the vocals are, in terms of how their singing in essence sounds, Fiestar, despite being unpopular, have solid singing potential. Every line proved to be either exceptionally melodic or soothing, but in certain cases, both. For the most part, every member holds her own. Now, in terms of what slightly hinders their vocals, unfortunately, the post-chorus section showcases relatively weak vocals, especially when compared to the rest of the sections. Though the section is melodic, it is not nearly as vocally pleasing as other parts. Furthermore, while there may be a copious amount of variations in the vocals, that in itself does not compensate for the quality of execution. For example, while soothing and powerful singing do exist, when glancing at a single component on its own, it does not hold as utterly outstanding; the soothing vocals could have had a stronger melody attached, and the more impactful singing could have more properly gauged and balanced in order to fit more, for a few examples.
Nevertheless, above average vocals exist in “One More.”
1. Introduction: 6/10 – For this review, we will run on the assumption that every member handles the “hana deo” (means “one more”) phrase. As a result, for the introduction, every member participates.
To kick off this section, I will release a complaint: it becomes rather vexing to hear “hana-na-na-na hana deo” “hana deo” time. Brushing aside my horrible Korean pun, to already address the weaker aspects to the introduction, it lacks a phenomenal amount of variety and depth; “hana-na-na-na hana deo” (to clarify, the “na” is simply stuttering; an English, direct translation would be similar to “One-ne-ne-ne one more”) becomes repeated 4 times. In addition, as mentioned in the Vocals grade, the post-choruses suffer vocally; the singing utilized for the phrase lacks melody and remains overly mundane. Combining all of those factors, a disaster is fabricated: a tedious, lifeless phrase is sung for a repeated cycle of 4. Considering an introduction’s task is to instantly snatch attention, “One More” fails to offer an enticing start. However, ignoring the mechanical perspective, the section when viewed from a structural lens is significantly better. Firstly, while the phrase is prone to dislikes, unveiling it at the start does expose listeners to the song’s key phrase, “one more.” Furthermore, the instrumental, even if in the mechanical view it lacks appeal (minus the bass), it provides an excellent pacing that leads to a natural transition and build-up towards the upcoming verse.
Overall, slightly above average for the introduction. The concept behind the introduction is solid, and in certain ways, successful, but in terms of it being an utterly viable choice, sacrificing the sound of the introduction for the song as a whole could have been possibly avoided.
2. Verse: 6/10 – Hyemi and Jei handle both the first and second verses.
Addressing the positive side, unlike the introduction, the song’s key phrase is properly manipulated during this section; “hana-na-na-na hana deo” may be agitating on its own, but once complemented with the verses’ lines, the phrase becomes a vastly beneficial component. With a standard line occurring in a melodic, slower paced and soothing tone, due to the key phrase being the sheer opposite and following promptly after, contrast is created. This contrast is what augments the section. For example, although the sung lines are not too melodic, due to the “hana deo” phrase being bereft of such, the earlier lines are now seemingly exceptionally melodic due to a side-by-side juxtaposition. Additionally, the key phrase now becomes tolerable due to the addition of varying lines. In terms of how the verses sound mechanically, the lines, individually, are not highly infatuating. In the overall vision of the section, however, it still sounds delightful when factoring in the verses’ structure. Nevertheless, the key phrase retains its usual lack of melody, and the standard singing that occurs lack their own degree of melody and charm.
Overall, slightly above average for a verse. A solid layout that creates perfect contrast aids the verses, but the sections falter when it comes to the individual lines that do exist.
3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Linzy and Yezi are responsible for the first and second pre-choruses.
Peering at the structural features of the pre-choruses, the instrumental takes a more lively and energetic stance in order to create the standard pre-chorus hype towards the chorus. In terms of the lines, though variety is limited, they are still captivating and follow excellent progression; Linzy’s lines follow a soothing and lower pitched style, and later Yezi’s lines are quickened and sung with a higher note. As a result, instead of instantly and roughly swapping over to a more energetic stance, due to how the lines are handled, the progression to the pre-choruses’ higher intensity, and ultimately, chorus, becomes more fluent. In addition, the ending line of “No no no no” provides a blatant yet suitable transition to the next section. Focusing on this section’s sound, both members offer stunning vocals. “Honey Vocals Linzy,” her self-proclaimed nickname, proves why such is the case; her singing showcases an exceptionally melodic tune, and more promisingly, the style in which she sings adds the extra layer of being soothing and catchy. A lower, soothing and sulkier style is used, and thus, it causes her line to linger. For Yezi, her singing is equally solid. Melody is in place, and instead of replicating the soothing style of her fellow member, a crisp and clear style becomes opted for.
Above average for a pre-chorus. The structure follows a natural and fluent progression, and the sonic component is equally charming as both Linzy and Yezi disclose solid vocals.
4. Chorus: 7/10 – Hyemi and Linzy are a duo for the first and second choruses, but for the final chorus, Jei takes over Hyemi’s lines.
Linzy’s nickname, for this section, becomes questionable; rather than “Honey Vocals Linzy,” “Pepper Vocals Linzy” would be more accurate and further proof on how horrible I am with making names. Firstly, however, to follow a chronological order, on the subject of the choruses’ mechanical sound, Hyemi’s lines carries both power and tune; her singing retains the usual pleasing melody that has been established, but with the chorus taking place, a more potent level of vocals is heard. For Linzy, she adds to that power, hence my own nickname for her of “Pepper Vocals”; exceptionally strong vocals are heard from Linzy, and homogenous to Hyemi’s lines, even with a high caliber of power, “One More” ‘s tune is still kept in place. In terms of how the choruses’ structure holds, similarities between this section and the previous one are noticeable. Recalling the pre-choruses, proper progression was a vital aspect. Likewise, for the choruses, the same concept is recycled; Hyemi’s lines set a singing trend, but not to an absurdly high degree, however once Linzy arrives, the same trend is manipulated, but in difference, to a much higher scale via even stronger vocals.
Above average will hold as the score. The singing remains impressive, and equally, the format of the choruses are respectable.
5. Post-Chorus: 5/10 – Since it is predominantly the key phrase and another hook being sung, I will hold Fiestar as a whole responsible.
In essence, the post-choruses are practically the introduction. To glance over the solid aspects of the post-choruses, in sight of “One More” as a whole, the post-choruses grant a suitable and natural pause in order for the upcoming verse to fit in; considering that the chorus and even pre-chorus were at an exceptionally energetic level, the post-chorus acts as a mediator and bridge to give the following verse a smooth transition. Besides such, for solely the section itself, diversity has been attempted. The key phrase of “hana deo” returns, but unlike past times, another hook becomes involved: “lalala” is added. Now, for why the post-choruses are not too solid, both the mechanical and even the structural aspects fall short. Mechanically, as noted, the key phrase is lackluster due a languished melody and tedious nature. Sadly, the addition of “lalala” does not redress the key phrase, but rather, it further escalates the issue; “lalala” follows the same format of “hana deo,” and thus, the already excessively insipid key phrase becomes twice more dull. This also relates back to the structure’s fault; variety was seemingly added, but in reality, “hana deo” simply becomes emulated via “lalala.”
Average will be the score. In truth, the section is highly addictive. After all, “lalala” and “hana deo” become easily lingering and hummable. However, when factoring in the lack of diversity and the weaker singing that takes place for the hooks, both those aspects bring the section down.
6. Bridge: 6/10 – Cao Lu and Linzy cooperate for the bridge.
A split rating occurs for the bridge in that each component, mechanical and structure, are utter opposites. Mechanically, the bridge is decent. On the other hand, structurally, the bridge heavily falters. For the first component, the singing that takes place is admirable. Cao Lu’s singing follows an extremely calm and soft stance, and further, it syncs to the instrumental’s transitioned style of being serene as well. For Linzy, “Pepper Honey Vocals,” a combination of her official nickname and my own, remains accurate in that her initial moments showcase the “Honey Vocals” through offering sweet, charming singing. However, as her lines progress, a much stronger presence is given, and towards the very end, a climactic yet short note hold occurs to fit “Pepper Vocals.” Ignoring the solid singing and even the instrumental, what causes the bridge to suffer is simply the placement and format of it; “One More” follows a highly energetic and intense style, and therefore, any sudden, highly quiet section would be deemed as unfitting. Such is the case with the bridge. The singing may be impressive, but this bridge is overly tranquil and breaks apart from the established trend of “One More” as a whole.
In the end, the bridge will still possess an above average rating on the sole basis of Cao Lu and Linzy. Solid vocals were at play, but the setup of the bridge contradicts the song as a whole.
7. Rap: 4/10 – Yezi takes the spotlight for the rap, and technically with the key phrase being included, everyone else assists her.
Yezi has proven to be a decent singer as seen by the pre-choruses, however, when it comes to rapping, her standard singing skills do not necessarily translate, and specifically here, they certainly do not. On the subject of her rapping, the mechanical aspect of it is rather poor. While tints of being impactful and prominent exists since, after all, Yezi did comically and fiercely tell her members to “go away” during “Weekly Idol” ‘s Random Dance Play, other aspects such as melody, pacing, and fluency are absent. As a result, for a rapping section, it does not possess the usual characteristics of a rap, and while that in itself is not necessarily negative, for the traits that were possessed, it was solely having power. Digging the hole further, for the structure, the rapped lines are practically all repeats: “It don’t matter if you don’t like me” and “If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ‘bout me“ are the only lines (excluding the final) used, and though lyrics may differentiate, they all followed the same style and format. Additionally, with the key phrase of “hana deo” lurking around and occurring after every line, repetition, ineffective, monotonous repetition, becomes an issue since the rap itself is already tedious enough.
Slightly below average will be the score. The rapping itself is lacking, and the structure further accentuates the deprived diversity.
8. Conclusion: 6/10 – Interestingly, instead of recycling a section, “One More” contains its own conclusion (though arguably, it is simply solely one line from the post-chorus). Everyone sings for the end.
The conclusion, mechanically, is weak. After all, it is one line from the post-chorus, and thus, there is a lack of melody and minimal time to develop any delightful sound. Now, in terms of the structure, plenty of services are granted; the conclusion leaves a solid, memorable impression, and additionally, the song is properly concluded. With a single line from the post-chorus, “One More,” if it has already not, definitely ingrains its key phrase to listeners. Also, due to a lack of instrumental, more emphasis becomes placed on that single line. Being a conclusion, leaving a lasting impression is desired task to meet, and this song manages to reach that. Switching over to how it serves in terms of closing the song, “One More” does not end suddenly nor abruptly; with the energetic chorus being the prior section, the conclusion provides a proper cut to the section in credit to a fading instrumental and a line that offers a slower, calmer trend.
Slightly above average will be the score. Though it does not sound appealing, due to excellently wrapping the song, it is an acceptable conclusion.
– Line Distribution: 6/10 – 5 members exist in Fiestar. An easy high score should be earned.
Cao Lu does, sadly, lack an exceptionally large volume of lines. She possesses purely one line at the bridge. This will heavily impair the score considering, in essence, she was excluded for a vast portion of the song. Solely 1 section was given.
In Jei’s case, she had the verses and final chorus. With being involved in 3 sections, there should be no issue unless if the rest prove to have an excessive amount.
Linzy, considering she is the main vocalist for Fiestar, might have a slightly excessive amount of lines. To prove or disprove that guess, her moments included the pre-choruses, all the choruses, and the bridge. In total, 6 sections involved her. An unwelcoming disparity is being shown, and if the rest of the members have significantly less lines, Linzy’s distribution will be considered excessive.
Hyemi’s spotlight includes the verses and first two choruses. 4 sections are given to her, and overall, this should be the perfect quantity for Fiestar. This amount should be the proper quantity. No issues exist.
Lastly, Yezi had lines at the pre-choruses and rap, and in total, that equates to 3 sections. Identical to Jei’s situation, now that every member has their number of sections, it can be seen that she is very slightly lacking.
Before giving an overall score, a final factor to account for is that the post-choruses and even the introduction include every member. Nevertheless, that does not entirely redeem the current disparity that exists. Even with Linzy being a very capable singer, overly dominating a song is not desired. Slightly above average will be the score considering everyone but Linzy and Cao Lu had roughly the same lines, and with the post-choruses, everyone has some equal distribution. If Cao Lu participated in one or two additional sections and Linzy lost one section, a much higher score would be possible.
– Instrumental: 6/10 – The soundtrack in “One More” on an individual level is not too strong, but when paired up with the vocals, it does a phenomenal job of complementing the ladies’ vocals. Sonically, the instrumental follows a standard pop style. Catchy beats, and uniquely, an interesting electronic beep sound are utilized. Furthermore, a delightful bassline appears throughout the song. While those three components are not necessarily bad, with excluding the vocals, much of its charm is lost; the soundtrack sounds plain by itself and in many ways, rather repetitive. In terms of how the instrumental plays out with the singing, it becomes a major asset to “One More” as a whole. Reciprocating the vocals is perhaps the most solid aspect. The singing’s intensity is perfectly followed. Examples include the choruses showcasing the instrumental at its fullest, for the verses, the bass and beats take a slower approach to accommodate the singing, and much more.
Nevertheless, while solid synergy exists between the vocals and soundtrack, due to a weaker performance individually, the rating will hold as only slightly above average.
– Meaning: 6/10 – With a title of “One More,” it opens many questions, and specifically: “One More” of what? Perhaps the lyrics will follow a flirtatious story, or by chance something completely unrelated to love. Anyhow, through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, the story should hopefully uncloak:
One-ne-ne-ne one more One-ne-ne-ne one more One-ne-ne-ne one more One-ne-ne-ne one more
To the same place (One-ne-ne-ne one more) The same course (One-ne-ne-ne one more) We do what we do every day I’m just going to let loose (One-ne-ne-ne one more)
You and I, alone In a dark room with three lights Feels like there’s a lot more to lean on Are we getting excited? This moment feels a little more special Say no no no no
We’ve been on the same level since yesterday You and I, alone from sunrise to nightfall If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain because I think
Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more
Why aren’t you catching up? (One-ne-ne-ne one more) I’ve come so far without you (One-ne-ne-ne one more) You said you were good, so why are you done? We both need a little more
You and I, alone Into our little room One of us knows how to do this right Now is perfect, one, two, three No no no no no
We’ve been on the same level since yesterday You and I, alone from sunrise to nightfall If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain because I think
If you’re satisfied here, I won’t be there next time What if my love fades out with time?
It don’t matter if you don’t like me (One-ne-ne-ne one more) If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ’bout me (One-ne-ne-ne one more) It don’t matter if you don’t like me (One-ne-ne-ne one more) If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ’bout me Hey what you say? What you wanna do?
We’ve been on the same level since yesterday You and I, alone from sunrise to nightfall If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain because I think
Lalala lalalala one-ne-ne-ne one more
Before continuing, though later I will further elaborate at the “Critical Corner” section, I will give pre-knowledge of how, from what I have heard, this song was rather controversial (what I say may be heavily inaccurate, however, as I am not positive on what exactly occurred). In fact, it was questionable to the point where many broadcasting stations (radios, live performances shows, and more) banned this song. After revising the lyrics or explaining the lyrics, or even both (once again I am unsure on the minutiaes of this), the song was eventually allowed to be broadcasted. A vast majority of broadcasting stations banned the song since, according to them, the lyrics were highly inappropriate and alluded to sexual activities. If the lyrics were indeed changed, they are perfectly acceptable now and, though some still claim it alludes to sexual activities, I highly disagree (and at the “Critical Corner” I will explain why the current lyrics are still rendered by a few as sexual).
On topic, “One More” does not tell the story of a couple engaging in sexual activities, but rather, two people who are close but, strangely, are not officially a couple. The main character, a lady or man, is expressing their frustration at how their love-interest is still “on the same level since yesterday” even though they should be a couple. After all, the two have been attending “the same place” and “[doing] what [they] do every day” for what can be implied as a while. Even with a more intimate time such as being “alone” together, the main character “feels like there’s a lot more to lean on,” which, from a non-literal perspective, implies that the main character knows the two can be potentially closer to one another. The lady/man also further expresses their frustration by “If we keep going like this, it’ll end in vain because I think.” Ignoring the strange lost-in-translation grammar at the end, this line unveils how the main character foresees them losing the ability to be a couple “because [the main character] [thinks],” and more accurately translated, the main character simply uses their thinking, and thus, is able to predict the future outcome of their current path. Finally, the rap does an excellent job of summarizing the lyrics’ story: “It don’t matter if you don’t like me” and “If you think I’m yours, ya wrong ’bout me.” The first line explains the main character’s burning desire, though selfish and one-sided, to be a couple with the love-interest. In fact, in order to be thoroughly an official couple, the main character also brushes aside the idea of an unclear relationship; an official proposal and such must occur since even if the lover “thinks [the main character] is [theirs],” that is not the case until they are clearly and officially stated as a couple.
Overall, while I appreciate varying details and that the provided lyrics are vague and debatable versus “spoon-feeding” listeners, the lyrics only hold as slightly above average. The details are changed, but in essence, the same idea is retained. Furthermore, the story, overall, is not highly developed and focuses moreover on the main character’s irritation towards their love-interest resisting to be a couple.
As promised, for the “Critical Corner,” I would like to address the potential of the lyrics being sexual (and later explain, in the overall large scheme, why this is a problem). Firstly, though I heavily disagree, with, embarrassingly but for the sake of being critical, taking a sexual lens and analyzing the lyrics from such, the allusion towards sexual activities is not wrong. Accurately, in truth, nothing can be wrong about lyrics, and in opposite, nothing can ever be right about lyrics. Relating back an idea and concept my incredible English teacher presented, as long as sufficient and sound evidence is utilized, any argument can exist. In her case, arguing the less popular side of things gave her lots of joy. For “One More,” even if the sexual perspective is not as rife (or perhaps my interpretation is the one that is unpopular), assuming proper reasoning is used, everything and anything is potentially correct. Bringing in another concept presented by another amazing teaching figure, my professor, an interesting aspect to songs (and other mediums) is not necessarily what is presented, but instead, how the viewers/listeners consume it and break it apart. That said, though I disagree with the lyrics alluding to sexual activities, it is still a viable interpretation.
For some debate, I will showcase the portion of the song that is often deemed as sexual and explain why that is not the case. The second verse and pre-chorus, if glanced at with a sexual mindset, could easily be seen as that way. The second verse reveals: “You said you were good, so why are you done? We both need a little more.” Now firstly, the sexual interpretation is, and the amount of awkwardness and embarrassment I feel to even be discussing this is extremely high, the love-interest is not sexually satisfying. However, rather than viewing this as a poor sexual experience, I interpret the subject of the line as the level of love; the main character asks why the love-interest is done with progressing further the relationship, not sex. The main character, who is highly attracted to the love-interest, believes they “both need a little more” of love and such to truly become a couple, not the need for more sexual activities. For the second pre-chorus, the line exists of: “One of us knows how to do this right” and “Now is perfect, one, two, three.” In context, this is in reference to the couple being alone in their “little room.” With a sexual mindset, the “this” becomes sex, and the “now” means that the timing for sex is perfect. However, rather than that, my personal take is this section simply talks about proposal. With the two being in their “little room,” a more personal and intimate moment exists, and thus, a proposal setting exists and relates to the perfect timing. Adding on, it is not sex that “one of [them] knows how to do,” but rather, the act of proposing. Point is, with the current state of the lyrics (perhaps the first draft was explicitly sexual), alluding to sex is a possibility, but as seen, the song may not be about sex at all, but instead, simply a main character desiring to be an official couple with her/his love-interest. Once again, though, the lyrics can indeed be about anything.
Moving aside from definitely the most awkward writing I have ever done, with hopes of that being the last, I would like to transition to a more serious topic. The issue I have with the sexual interpretation is not necessarily the fact that it is “wrong,” but it does promote a common idea often time seen in media and society in general: sex. Sex, sex, sex. And more sex. Too often, the idea of sex is pushed as if it is epitome of happiness and joy, and though there can be a discussion on the amount of joy sex can bring, that point further supports my following claim: sex, in itself, is highly advertised, yet what sex is, is not advertised. The idea of sex presented is often solely the action, and I am also including the multiple ways a couple can have sex. Nevertheless, regardless of how one has sex, that action in itself is often time what is highlighted through society and media and such. What is not ever mentioned nor discussed is what sex truly is: an exceptionally intimate, close and bonding moment spent between two people. Unfortunately, the lack of disclosing that idea and the overly pushed idea of how sex is simply an action creates multiple issues. Pure emphasis on body parts and objectification/sexualization are the results of such, and going further, incidents of sexual assaults such as rape are also created because of pushing the idea of sex as a pure action. After all, rapes would not occur if people were taught that sex is an intimate, enjoyable moment for both people, not simply the action itself since, during rape, solely the action of sex occurs. There is no moment of affection during rape. Overall, for my message, remember that sex is more than the action of however people choose to have sex; sex is an exceptionally close and intimate moment between two people in which both should be willing to do and that both people should have an enjoyable moment. I could also begin another discussion of “sexiness” versus “sex,” (and that “sexiness” is different from “sexualizing”) but for the sake of time and the review, I will save it for another time.
Choreography Score: 9/10 – I believe I wrote the longest I have ever written for the Meaning section, but I will blame coffee for that. On topic with Fiestar’s “One More,” the dance is incredible. Deciding between an 8 or 9 is difficult. Deconstructing the choreography, in focus of syncing, “One More” unveils solid connections between movements and song. The beats were matched with maneuvers, and further, even the flow of the song can be seen as synced. The accuracy and degree of syncing is exceptionally precise; every movement relates to the music, and the emphasis placed per movement fits accordingly to the song’s intensity at the given point. In terms of key points, this category is the song’s best aspect. Every section was catchy and unique on its own, and towards the second half of the song, backup dancers are included and further bring in variety. Additionally, the detail for each key point is exceptional; many layers are added, be it backup dancers, the formations, or transitions.
Overall, with the perfect syncing of movement, matched energy, and the key point component of every section remaining unique or having high yet suiting complexity, a very high score will be granted. “One More” is perhaps the first song I have reviewed where, despite the song itself being on the weaker side, the dance holds its own and proves to be utterly outstanding. A multitude of dynamics, variety, and excellent syncing allows “One More” ‘s choreography to shine.
Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – Miraculously, though the Song Total Score is not too high, the Choreography Score heavily compensates. As a result, 8/10, which stands for a solid and good, becomes the score. I partially agree; I believe it is above average, but considering how superb the dance is, this score is acceptable. The song itself, personally, is pleasing, though once statistically and systematically broken apart, is only slightly above average. Nevertheless, overall, I find it a worthy song and that Fiestar has a lot of potential. I will be looking forward to future releases by them, and I hope they continue to show off excellent dancing.
As always, thank you very much for reading this. Thank you very much to the reader who sent this in, I truly appreciate this request. I also hope you enjoy this review and disagree/agree with my personal rating of the song. Like I always say, I appreciate everyone’s time and support, so thank you once again for reading this review. Also, apologies for a slower release. I have been busy with school work, and I had a day celebrating Lunar New Years. Nevertheless, rather than rushing, I took my time in order to deliver higher quality versus quantity.
In terms of upcoming reviews, to accelerate my pace, I have two songs in mind that should be exciting as both are recent comebacks. f(x)’s Amber and 4Minute’s comeback will be covered after this review. Stay tuned for them, I expect those reviews to be rather interesting in multiple ways. With this being the end, keep checking back for “one-ne-ne-ne one more” review. I will do my best to publish the two upcoming reviews. Thanks for reading.