Sistar’s Mini-Album – “Shake It” Review

Reviewed on August 6, 2015

Sistar – “Shake It” Mini-Album

Personal Message: In addition to the revisions for standard song reviews, as experimented in Apink’s “Remember,” album reviews also have been slightly modified: ignoring the minor change of adding in an album’s title directly into the review itself, for what remains most significant, the entirety of a song’s lyrics will be included. In the past, I have included the lyrics, but in the form of my personal interpretation. For standard song reviews, while I do offer my own take to the lyrics, doing so is appropriate as the full lyrics are included, and thus, readers are still able to create their own interpretation. However, for album reviews, with solely my perspective to the lyrics, it is highly one-sided, and therefore, to redress such, adding in all of the lyrics allows for readers to have true, various insights. Lastly, for the conducted analysis per song, rather than abstractly dissecting each one, I will translate the criteria in standard song reviews over, but as a difference, numerical values will not be included. Offering clarity, I will focus on a song’s Vocals category, Sections category, Instrumental category, and so forth, but without drawing a definite statistical value (as those are preserved for standard song reviews, but the “Atrocity Approval” will be the ratings for album reviews). If successful, album reviews will be more focused yet concise.

Transitioning topics, as of this sentence, it is August 1. I did intend to post this review by July, but I decided to finish an online course first (which I may discuss later). Nevertheless, this will allow August to begin with an earlier review, and though July is over, I will include a miniature reflection in this Personal Message. To begin, as it has been a while since I have tracked the blog’s view count, I will list it: 10,279 total views by the end of July. With the last gauge being May with 6,540 views, an increase is visible. However, as always stated, though reassuring to find growth exists, view counts in themselves are worthless; I have minimal care towards popularity, and thus, the current view count is negligible. I began writing for the sake of reviews, or more accurately, discussions, whether akin to music or social, and will continue to do so and never switch priorities to that of garnering more popularity. But, of course, for readers who do enjoy the blog, I do place priority towards said readers.

On that note, for a notable piece to reflect upon, the review outline for standard songs has underwent multiples changes, all in the hopes of maintaining quality while boosting publish rate for the purpose of readers and myself. The linked review of Apink’s “Remember” is the first trial, but many more are to come, and with reflecting over it, I am relatively satisfied. Redundancy, especially with the Vocals category and Sections category, have reduced, and thus, reviews are more concise, and as a result of that, more can be posted. Especially with university arriving shortly, it is simply unsustainable to take four to seven days per review. Three days, at most, is my desired time span for reviews. Nonetheless, more trials will have to be done for standard song reviews to discover if more optimization can take place. Also, in an official monthly reflection, I may reflect more deeply with my writing and analysis, but, as mentioned, with a new outline, I would desire more time before pondering over such.  

For a slight digression (and readers may skip to the review itself now), for other reflections, as stated earlier, I have finished one of my summer assignments: an online course (a summer book reading and write-up are left). Although the label of “course” appears intimidating, it was a shorter one, but specifically, for the course’s topic, it dealt with general college safety in the lens of sexual violence, and drugs and alcohol. Offering brief opinions, while it was personally a repeat of lessons as, very gratefully, much discussion on the topics occurred during my time in high school, I do appreciate the online course being required for all incoming freshmen. Whether  it is perceived as reminders or new lessons, the topics of rape and such are vital to discuss, especially with college being the most vulnerable time, as statistically showcased.

However, with those subjects, although the course is certainly welcomed, the related subjects require more than basic coverage; it is impossible to speak of solely college rape, for example, without discussing the deeper roots. To bring more understanding, I will utilize a personal timeline: junior year of high school, I was taught that sexual violence is prevalent, finding certain resources for help, and that no one should conduct such; senior year of high school, the basic, general health guidelines of sexual violence was not so much the focus, but instead, a critical stance was taken to understand what rape truly is. To specifically continue with the topic of rape, it is not a mere, isolated incident; rape is not an individual act of crime. Rather, rape is a symptom of gender inequities in society, hence why females are significantly more affected than males (though that is not to mute male rape victims; in fact, the reason for why male rape victims are discredited can also be tied to gender inequities). On topic, for the intended point, once again, though I cherish the online course’s requirement and existence, it solely covers the surface of rape (and other college-related social issues), and unfortunately, if the discussion ends at that point, issues will not be dealt with directly. Regardless of how uncomfortable the discussions may be, they certainly should take place, and though the online course began the route, I do hope it is somehow continued, such as in actual classes.

In the future, if the mentioned topics arise, I will elaborate in more depth. Adding a final digression, for the topic of college in a general context, eventually, I may express current feelings. Nervousness yet excitement holds, and overall, those words best describe my emotions toward beginning college. Perhaps an “AtrocityCL Talks” video will be made to discuss it as, blatantly, it does not relate to K-Pop (though neither the prior point, but that should not render it negligible). Workload and academic difficulties are my main concerns, but, I do feel prepared, especially with being able to think critically (credit to teachers and professor, and in fact, they have allowed me to view rape from a social background rather than as a pure health issue, as discussed).

Abruptly returning to Sistar, the group that should have been of highlight from the very start, their latest album will be analyzed. “Shake It” was planned for review, however, I failed with properly staying on schedule. Thus, to slightly redeem the situation, an album review will, though briefly, still manage to cover their recent comeback, and of course, other songs. On the note of the mini-album’s songs, weeks ago, when I was casually listening to the album, I did come to a hasty, inadequate conclusion that the album was weaker. However, after a more serious glance, I have changed opinions: “Shake It” is, predominantly, the weakest song in the album, but for the remainder, many hold exceptionally. Although curiosity now exists at why “Shake It” was the title song, this review will discover if the “Shake It” album is a “Good Time,” overall. Despite how my mediocre writing may warrant comments of “Don’t Be Such A Baby” or that I am a “Bad Guy,” I can confidently state: the mini-album does “Go Up” once horrible puns the title song is overlooked.

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1. “Shake It”(Audio)

– Lyrics: 

Money maker, rough shaker
Heartbreaker, chestbreaker
Net payer, wrong savior
(one, two, three, go)

A dance to only tempt you (you)
I’m blasting my charm into your heart (you)
Just by our fingers brushing, my heart pounds
My heart is shaking
Shake it shake it for me
Shake it shake it for me

Nana nana nana (hey)
Nana nana nana (hey)
This electrifying feeling makes me dance
This moment (shake it)

Ba-ba-baby
Love me, love me, love me now
Don’t you know my shaking heart?
So let’s dance
Just shake it, let’s dance
A little hotter, completely wilder

Make it louder
More, make it louder
Keep shaking me
Amazingly shake me (shake it, oh shake it)
All night with me, shake it baby

Very fun and smart (shake it shake it)
Our entire body is electric, us two (shake it shake it)
We’re seriously connecting, this place is on fire
When I move, move, we found our place
Shake it shake it for me
Shake it shake it for me

Nana nana nana (hey)
Nana nana nana (hey)
This electrifying feeling makes me dance
This moment (shake it)

Ba-ba-baby
Love me, love me, love me now
Don’t you know my shaking heart?
So let’s dance
Just shake it, let’s dance
A little hotter, completely wilder

Make it louder
More, make it louder
Keep shaking me
Amazingly shake me (shake it, oh shake it)
All night with me, shake it baby

Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me
Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me
Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me
Shake it, oh shake it
Shake it up, shake it for me

Shake it for me my baby
Shake it for me my baby
Everyone come together and dance
Just shake it, let’s dance
A little hotter, completely wilder

Make it louder
More, make it louder
Keep shaking me
Amazingly shake me (shake it, oh shake it)
All night with me, shake it baby

– Analysis: Before beginning, I do apologize for this review’s delay. I am attempting to finish a remaining summer assignment, and for other excuses, I have been allocating time towards subtitling videos versus writing. In fact, it has been two days since I have wrote anything. Optimistically, however, even with two days off, I have received a review request for Wonder Girl’s “I Feel You,” and for a personal choice, T-ARA’s “So Crazy” will certainly be reviewed.

But, on topic with Sistar and “Shake It,” as hinted before, this song is not impressive. At most, the vocals in “Shake It” are the sole notable aspect: note stretches occur all over, and thus, the melody is augmented; a powerful vocal presence exists, especially due to Hyorin, a stellar singer; and lastly, the vocals do variate with different pacing, styles, and even strength. Now, once the vocals are ignored, “Shake It” utterly crumbles; if the song is examined from every aspect minus the members’ singing, it holds pitifully. For example, the instrumental renders as incredibly basic, and though simplicity is not faulty in itself, with it failing to reciprocate the vocals’ qualities, the instrumental ultimately falters. Furthermore, for the lyrics, equal plainness exists: the plot is not enticing.

Focusing on the most detrimental aspect to “Shake It,” the sections are horrendous, though harshly stated. Realistically, the first and only verse in the song is respectable, and in many ways, would net a higher score numerically if it were reviewed with the standard outline. However, excluding the verse, every other section lacks a momentous component: the introduction, while suiting its role, fails to be musically captivating; the choruses and post-choruses are incredibly mundane as both fail to differentiate, and for the sections’ standard roles, none are met; for the pre-choruses, the vocals may be decent, but with its format adopting an archetype of pre-choruses, as unveiled with the “nanana,” little appeal holds; finally, for the rapping, it was incredibly sluggish and unsuiting to any prior styles, and for the bridge, the entire structure was one repetitive mesh of lines.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Overall, “Shake It” is a rather mediocre song. Especially coming from Sistar, it is surprising to find a lower tiered song, but as stated, for the ladies themselves, their vocals were solid. Thus, though “Shake It” can be concluded as a weaker song, it is the production at fault rather than a languishing of skills. In the end, no approval will be given. “Go Up,” to be eventually discussed, should have been the title song.

2. “Don’t Be Such A Baby”(Audio)

– Lyrics:

Why are you acting like a child?
When you call me late at night and I don’t pick up
you always get so hysteric
When will you grow up?
Stop acting so tough, don’t regret this
Because I know you’ll cry and beg me again

Sometimes, I want to lean on you
I want to act cute towards you
But I’m so frustrated when you act so immature
Don’t you think it’s time
you stop being so stubborn?
Want a real man,
show me that you’re a man

Stop being such a baby, stop being such a baby
When I see you complaining
it drains me out, oh please
Stop being such a baby, stop burning me up
Where did all that assuring love go?
Eh, eh, eh, stop being such a baby
All day long
Stop whining and crying oh oh you baby
Eh, eh, eh, stop being such a baby
All day long
Stop whining and crying oh oh you baby

I really don’t wanna get up in the mornings
The nights are long because video games are fun
There’s so much to see in the world,
there are also many problems
I hate fighting with you, let’s just get past it
Why are you making things complicated, making me tired
Stop frittering like scissors, we’re more like a hair clipper
Acting refined like your friend’s boyfriend
It feels so heavy, I don’t like it, I won’t ever grow up

Stop being such a baby, stop being such a baby
When I see you complaining
It drains me out, oh please
Stop being such a baby, stop burning me up
Where did all that
assuring love go?

What should I do with your falling heart?
Should I say “peek-a-boo” and play with it?
You’re like a child
I just ignored it when you were whining,
do you know?
If you need toys, just go to the mart
I’m not your nanny, get out of my house
Change so I can fall for you again
Change how I’m feeling toward you right now baby

I miss the days
you treated me like a princess
Your love is not enough
If you’re not doing this on purpose
Stop baby stop
I wanna feel your love

Stop being such a baby, stop being such a baby
When I see you complaining
It drains me out, oh please
Stop being such a baby, stop burning me up
Where did all that
assuring love go?

– Analysis: Note, this song is also translated to “Like A Kid,” but for this review, I will utilize its second title. Either way, both are accurate. Focusing on the song itself, although initial hearings of “Don’t Be Such A Baby” learned towards negativity, after actual analysis occurred, the ballad was considered an exceptionally solid one. First, the vocals carry a smooth, calming style, and as anticipated for a ballad, the vocals remain highly tuneful. Furthermore, the instrumental follows through with maintaining melodic sounds, and for other traits, vocals are perfectly reflected, both sonically and with intensity.

In terms of the sections, all can be regarded highly. The introduction offers a grasping, luring start, all while offering the instrumental’s solemn yet musical tunes. Verses possess smooth, soothing vocals, and structurally, a natural progression of the song is initiated. For the upcoming section, the pre-choruses provide a subtle escalation of the song: “Don’t Be Such A Baby” begins to become more upbeat via slight increases in pitch and pace. Due to the discreet nature, a more cohesive flow is in place. Focusing on the choruses, while a climactic section now plays, it remains in scope of the ballad’s style and tone, and thus, is not overly excessive. Nevertheless, it maintains an enchanting melody as unveiled throughout the song. Other sections, such as the rap and bridge, are also equally solid. In focus of the raps, both Giriboy and Bora excelled: Giriboy’s rap suited the song’s overall tone, and for characteristics, his pacing and melody were pleasing; Bora’s rap also adopts a similar route with maintaining melody and rhythm. Lastly, the bridge is perfectly transitioned to, and specifically for the section, it flawlessly progresses to the note hold, and with such, the bridge, in its entirety, does not become excessive or overly executed.

Addressing the lyrics, a thorough plot does exist. With predominantly the chorus possessing a repeat of lines, every other section contains individual lines, and thus, a copious amount of detail does exist. Also, for a slight digression, with the line “Want a real man, show me that you’re a man,” and additionally, other lines, the idea of “living up to gender” does surface. Though in the future I may elaborate, peculiarly yet positively, the gender norms that are expected in the song are not toxic, unlike current standards; the main character desires her partner to be a “man,” but defining “man” in the song’s context is acceptable: to be caring, to be mature, to be loving, to “stop acting so tough,” to “stop being so stubborn,” and so forth.

Thus, sharing personal opinions, the phrase “be a man” in itself is not harmful, but if construed to connote to negativity, and furthermore, to overshadow “be a woman,” then issues are apparent. In short, if “be a man” and “be a woman” were homogenous (as of now, being linked to “woman” or “girl” is considered an insult, of which is an inequitable scale), and both were linked to positive traits, such as being open with feelings, accepting of others, friendliness, and so forth, then those gender-linked phrases would be of minimal concern. That said, however, as of now, with “be a man” equating to objectifying females, showcasing no affection, being overly dominant, and with “like a girl” correlating to grotesque exaggeration of emotional responses and weakness, those phrases are erroneous to use. But, such as in this song’s case of disengaging gender norms by showcasing that being a “man” is being someone who can love, cry, and be understanding, then the usage of said phrases would be acceptable.

– “Atrocity Approval”: Returning to “Don’t Be Such A Baby” in a musical lens, the “Atrocity Approval” will be given. The song is adequate in every main category, and overarchingly, the smooth, calmer style is alluring.

3. “Good Time”(Audio)

– Lyrics:

This is the last time, tonight, I’m free
Let’s break up, say goodbye
Will you get out of the way? Don’t block me

I’ll take off my flat shoes
Now I can wear my high heels
I won’t cry and sob
I wanna brush it all off, it’s something to celebrate

I’m normally blunt, it’s over between us
Nothing good will come from dragging this out
Okay, okay, I don’t care if you beg for forgiveness
Let me out, it was never you

Good time, good time, I’m happy, don’t worry
Now turn it up loud, turn up the volume
Let’s start the party, Friday night
Jumping my ride, my ride, I don’t care if I’m alone
Because a new love will find me
I wanna dance tonight

I did all I could for you
No more, no regret (no regret)
Did you think you had me?
I’m not yours, wake up

What did you do when you had me? Now you say
you love me? Stop with the empty words, it’s pathetic
Okay, okay, I don’t care if you beg for forgiveness
Let me out, it was never you

Good time, good time, I’m happy, don’t worry
Now turn it up loud, turn up the volume
Let’s start the party, Friday night
Jumping my ride, my ride, I don’t care if I’m alone
Because a new love will find me
I wanna dance tonight

I only looked at you, I only liked you
I wanna throw away all feelings, I will forget you

Good time, good time, I’m happy, don’t worry
Now turn it up loud, turn up the volume
Let’s start the party, Friday night
Jumping my ride, my ride, I don’t care if I’m alone
Because a new love will find me
I wanna dance tonight

Dance tonight
Good time

– Analysis: Answering whether it was a “Good Time” listening to the song or not: it was.

Starting with the singing, the vocals remain exceptionally dynamic: a variety of pitches are disclosed; different forms of vocals occur, such as with note stretches, rapping, or basic singing; other aspects, such as power and pacing, also fluctuate. Overall, the vocals are highly tuneful and infatuating. Focusing on the lyrics to “Good Time,” though the plot is a mixture of sorrowness and optimism, in terms of details, with multiple sections repeating in lines, the lyrics do render as average. However, in a sonic context, the lyrics are not hindering. With that, for what is influential to the song’s sounds, the instrumental to “Good Time” does slightly falter. A higher pitched, piano-like noise and simplistic, lighter beats predominantly compose the instrumental, and on an individual level, those sounds are relatively plain. Minimal changes occur, and with ranging in solely higher pitches, mundanity accumulates. Nevertheless, for the instrumental’s strength, it perfectly blends with the vocals: with the majority of the vocals also adopting higher pitches (though with complexity), the instrumental provides a foundation that suits.

To now dissect the song’s core, for the sections, all are admirable. For example, the introduction sets “Good Time” ‘s flow and style, and additionally, remains concise and musically enticing. Verses contain Sistar’s enchanting vocals and, uniquely, also serve as a pre-chorus (there is no standard pre-chorus in “Good Time”) in that the song begins increasing in intensity in a gradual, natural rate. Analyzing Bora’s rapping, in juxtaposition to the other sections, the raps can be considered inferior. Her raps fail to replicate every other sections’ trend of being exceptionally melodious, and furthermore, with the flow and pacing following a slower rate, the raps appear unsuiting in the scope of “Good Time” as a whole. Nonetheless, the raps are still viable; though a noticeable downgrade in comparison to the other sections, the occurred rappings still have their niche in the song. For the remaining sections, both the choruses and bridge are excellent. The bridge follows through with pleasing, climactic vocals, and also, is seamlessly transitioned to and out of. Specifically with the choruses, the singing holds as utterly seducing: note stretches are rife, the pacing fluctuates, and, although Hyorin nearly solos the section, for Soyu’s single added line, it significantly augments the singing via adding subtle contrast.

– “Atrocity Approval”: In the end, “Good Time” certainly lives up to its title. Thus, an “Atrocity Approval” is granted.

4. “Bad Guy”(Audio)

– Lyrics:

I want to wipe off
the thick words of break up off my lips, yeah
But when I think about the lipstick stain on your shirt
I don’t think I can ever forgive you

The red-hot lie when you said
you would only love me
You’ll probably whisper it
to someone else, somewhere else

Love is gone, love is over
I was crazy to love you
Love is gone, my love is over
Who are you to hurt me like this

Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Love is gone

I’m still cold not even hesitating
before this break up
Spitting out poisonous words
without a single expression
It’s for the better, good for you
If you didn’t see my mask, what would you have done?
It’s like you’re trying to do something
but there’s no need
You put on a painful face, I tried that face before
It’s over, no you, no me
You can look around but there’s no you, no me

The blue bruise
engraved in my heart
I wanna erase your name
and your number

Love is gone, love is over
I was crazy to love you
Love is gone, my love is over
Who are you to hurt me like this

Tears fall
Are you pretending to be in pain?
Your face is so brazen
Will you take it away?
Will you get out of my life?
Tears fall
I don’t ever want to see you again
I won’t cry like a fool

Love is gone, love is over
I was crazy to love you
Love is gone, my love is over
Who are you to hurt me like this

Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Bad boy, oh oh
Love is gone

My head understands but not my heart
My friends tell me I did all I could, to just stop it now
But without anyone knowing, I draw your face in my heart
I’m always missing you bad boy, my everything

– Analysis: From a systematic standpoint, “Bad Guy” is, arguably, the album’s strongest song. It excels in many, if not all, categories.

Already beginning with the sections, definitely, every single one is to a high tier. The introduction, though vastly short, is effective at setting the melancholy tone, and musically, in addition to establishing the pacing and beats, the upcoming piano is thoroughly delightful. Verses possess outstanding vocals, smooth progression, and perfect synergy with the instrumental. Pre-choruses are, akin to the introduction, short in duration, but despite such, the sections flawlessly carry the song over to the choruses in a musically splendid manner. On the note of the choruses, the sections display the song’s noteworthy vocals in full; Hyorin’s powerful, melodic, and saddening singing is thoroughly showcased.

For the bridge, though it drastically slows the song, it can still be perceived as fitting as “Bad Guy,” being a ballad,” is already slower paced, and thus, the change is acceptable. In actual focus of the structure, contrast of paces are utilized for buildup, and in this bridge’s case, it does succeed. Furthermore, with the note hold, it can be regarded highly, both structurally with fitting, and also, sonically. Confronting the final section, the raps, with Mad Clown’s part, superb rapping exists. His rap features an attractive melody, a smooth, lively flow, and similar to the song’s vocals, tints of power and sadness. Now, for Bora, though her raps in prior songs have held averagely, towards the end of “Bad Guy,” her rapping proves impressive. With tune and tone, her rap perfectly blends with the song’s style, and most desirably, the rap’s lower pitch adds an extra component of melody.  

As the vocals have yet to be addressed, hinted through the sections, the vocals are wonderful. Sistar’s vocals in “Bad Guy” deliver power with higher notes, or, such as in the bridge, note holds, but furthermore, presence is also granted: the disheartening, gloomy mood of the vocals allow the singing to remain even more distinctive. All in all, the vocals in “Bad Guy” prove the vocal capabilities of the group: powerful and melodic. Continuing, gauging the instrumental, to accompany the vocals’ styles, the instrumental adopts an equally morose tone: slower beats and a prominent piano complement the song’s theme. In a musical context, however, the given sounds are appealing. The beats deliver a foundation for the stellar vocals, and with the piano, the melody becomes additionally complex. Critiquing the remaining  category, the lyrics, though the plot is disheartening, it does reside as average. Details repeat, and for the individual ones, constructing a highly engrossing plot is not the outcome. Nevertheless, in a sonic lens (as do the album reviews orientate towards), the lyrics are negligible.  

– “Atrocity Approval”: “Bad Guy” unequivocally earns an approval. Although, biasedly, on the basis of  concept, I prefer “Go Up” over this song, from a systematic, neutral standpoint, “Bad Guy” is the album’s strongest song.  

5. “Go Up” (Audio)

– Lyrics:

Wherever you are, I go, I go, I go
Just give me a call, I go, I go, I go

I see your face every day
But how come I miss you every time
you turn around?
How come every time we lock eyes
my heart flutters so much?

Think about it, what makes you
so much more special than others?
I see you every day, but my heart flutters
like it’s the first time, hello

Hey boy, beautiful baby
You drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world
Your nose, your eyes, your lips, there’s nothing like it
That’s why you’re so confident
Go up to the top, hold my hand
Never bring me down, clap for me
My beautiful baby,
you drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world

Every person I meet
Tells me that I got prettier
There’s no need to ask,
I don’t understand either
what I did to make you like me

Think about it, what makes you
so much more special than others?
I see you every day, but my heart flutters
like it’s the first time, hello

Hey boy, beautiful baby
You drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world
Your nose, your eyes, your lips, there’s nothing like it
That’s why you’re so confident
Go up to the top, hold my hand
Never bring me down, clap for me
My beautiful baby,
you drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world

I don’t need expensive things
I don’t need you to act cool
Don’t act so strong
Will you stay the way you are?

You make me go (up)
You make me go (up)
Just protect me, don’t bring me down (no)
Scream, “la la la,” useless thoughts, “bye bye bye”
Just stay the way you are
Just the way you are (uh-huh)

Go up to the top, hold my hand
Never bring me down, clap for me
My beautiful baby,
you drive me so crazy
There’s no one like you in this world

– Analysis: With mentioning “Go Up,” as stated, this should have been the title track to Sistar’s mini-album of “Shake It.” The summer tone is preserved, but in comparison to “Shake It,” it is musically superior. Vastly superior. Also, this review did, once again, become delayed due to video-related works (will discuss at the end).

On topic, for the song’s sections, while the rap and bridge partially lack, the remainder hold well. First inspecting the mentioned sections, both languish in the category of musical appeal. The bridge possesses vocals that, despite being orientated towards note stretches, are, absurdly, slightly dull in tune. Especially in contrast to the rest of “Go Up,” with prior sections containing incredibly active, quicker singing, the bridge’s vocals emanate deprived, empty sounds. Similarly, for the rapping, the same issues translate: the rapping, though rhythmic, remains linear and slower, and as a result, monotonous, and with other sections being a sheer opposite via holding upbeat, lively singing, the rap section appears plain.

Every other section, however, does hold positively. The introduction aces the two main components: sonically, it is charming with the instrumental and vocals, and structurally, it sets the song’s tone and creates anticipation. In terms of the remaining three sections, the verses, pre-choruses, and choruses, are all highly melodic: verses contain smooth, crisp vocals; the pre-choruses exploit contrast via note stretches and standard singing to create vocal diversity; and for the choruses, both singing and instrumental complement one another, and therefore, for a synthesized result, the sections render as exceptionally appealing.

Ignoring the sections, the vocals, as slightly discussed, are to a high caliber. Excluding moments at the rap  and bridge, the vocals are dynamic, variated in styles, and overall, incredibly tuneful. Focusing on the instrumental to “Go Up,” with an electric guitar in spotlight, many benefits are in place: the song’s theme of summer is constructed, and sonically, it produces “Go Up” ‘s energetic state, and additionally, perfectly accompanies the vocals. Other sounds, such as the beats and lighter bass, are also equally pleasant. Finally, for the lyrics, as a prior review of Infinite’s “The Chaser” has discussed the notion of “protecting,” and for other reviews, the topic of attraction (physical versus non-physical), I will not embark on potential digressions. Thus, for the lyrics in a general scope, the plot does hold as, once again, average. Nothing remains intriguing of the plot, and although details slightly vary, many still, overall, carry a homogenous idea of flirting and affection. However, as mentioned, lyrics are irrelevant if focusing solely on the sound (though not to say lyrics should be ignored; in standard song reviews, the “Critical Corner” exists as, very much, it is important to critically gauge lyrics).

– “Atrocity Approval”: Personally, “Go Up” is my favorite song in the album, but even with a neutral viewpoint, ignoring the rap and bridge, the song holds well. Therefore, an “Atrocity Approval” is granted.

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Personal Ranking: For this category, rather than critiquing the songs, I am simply listing, as is the title, my personal ranking regarding the album’s songs, from best to worst. Also, it will be indicated if a song has garnered an “Atrocity Approval” or not.

1. “Bad Guy” (yes)

2. “Go Up” (yes)

3. “Good Time” (yes)

4. “Don’t Be Such A Baby” (yes)

5. “Shake It” (no)

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In the end, “Shake It” is the sole, intolerable song in Sistar’s mini-album of  “Shake It.” “Go Up” or even “Good Time” should have been the title songs as, compared with the current one, both are upgrades musically, yet, simultaneously, preserve the theme of summer. Summarizing the album, Sistar’s latest one proves impressive; purely one song out of six possesses a lower rating.

Reflecting over the new album review outline, though organization now exists, length has exponentially increased, even with minimal explanations. As album reviews are meant as bonus reviews, further revisions will occur. At most, I desire album reviews to be finished in a day’s worth of writing, not, in this case, three to four days. Current solutions consist of returning to previous outlines (general analysis) or, newly, briefly gauging a song’s strong and weak points with minimal focus on standard categories (as those are preserved for standard song reviews). Trial and error will be how a suitable outline is discovered. And on that note, explaining this review’s delay, I have spent excessive time attempting to find perfect subtitles for my YouTube videos (link is in the blog’s description). Miraculously, one has been found: white fonts with a pink outline. This maintains legibility while fulfilling my personal desires (in addition to the contrast pink-related colors provide, and how it provides my channel a signature, I, like Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany, do adore the color–though not to her degree, as fans may understand).

Complaints aside, for an optimistic message, coffee is incredible as it is delicious and provides a boost in energy, of which I am currently consuming for a treat reviews will resume a hastier rate. Subtitled videos will be finished today, and furthermore, my summer assignment (or at least, nearly as I have planned two hours of pure reading), and therefore, reviews will receive unwavering attention afterwards. With that, for the upcoming review, Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” has been requested, and in three to five days, will be finished (to the requester, apologies for the delay). After the song, T-ARA’s “So Crazy” is in mind, and for the remaining days of August, many songs are possible for review.

Concluding the review, though I feel the writing and analysis were atrocious, I hope readers do not consider me a “Bad Guy” and simply “Shake It” off. Nonetheless, rather than being “Such A Baby,” improvements will be made so that reviews “Go Up” and readers have a “Good Time.” And admittedly, in the upcoming revisions, I should also attempt to discover a more enjoyable conclusion. Stay tuned for Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You,” and for those interested in my subtitled videos, for more to also arrive.

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

Reviewed on July 1, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1. “Heart Attack”Heart Attack (Review)

– Lyrics:

– Analysis:

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

2. “Luv Me”Luv Me (Audio)

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

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

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

3. “Come To Me”Come To Me (Audio)

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

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

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

4. “One Thing”One Thing (Audio)

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

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

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

5. “Really Really” Really Really (Audio)

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

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

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

6. “Chocolate” Chocolate (Audio)

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

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

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

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

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Personal Ranking:

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

1. “Luv Me” (Yes)

2. “Heart Attack” (Yes)

3. “One Thing” (No)

4. “Come To Me” (No)

5. “Chocolate” (No)

6. “Really Really” (No)

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

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

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

Miss A’s Mini-Album – “Colors” Review

Reviewed on April 11, 2015

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Personal Message: As mentioned, a requested album review will take place. To the person who sent in the request, thank you very much. That said, with this being an album review, I will leave a disclaimer of how it may be mediocre; I am inept with album reviews and am still in the progress of refining the outline (feedback from readers is greatly appreciated). For a disclaimer regarding the audio links, though they are currently functional, for readers in the far future, the links may be copyrighted and thus unreliable. Should that occur, manually searching up the songs will be the solution. Also, after this review, Minah’s “I Am A Woman Too” will be the upcoming one.

Progressing past technical background, I am rather ecstatic to review this album. Although I am not utterly familiar with Miss A, I do recognize the 4 incredible ladies of Fei, Jia, Min, and Suzy. In fact, at the very beginning of this blog’s existence, I planned to taint review their song of “Hush.” Another very prominent song in mind, one that is incredibly famous in terms of Korean pop culture, is “I Don’t Need A Man.” Though I have yet to critically deconstruct it musically and socially, to offer my current stance regarding the musical component, it is lower, but the social aspect is definitely one I find empowering (I will spare readers from my digression regarding that topic as the upcoming review will do so). However, I have yet to fully analyze the meaning of the song, so that claim may not hold as completely true. Something to constantly bear in mind, the blatant layer of anything seldom discloses the entire picture; what is seen on the surface does not reflect what is underneath. As such, though “I Don’t Need A Man” is blatantly empowering to females, a deeper glance may in fact showcase it perpetuating sexism (this being an example; as stated, I have yet to truly analyze the song). Bringing a sheer opposite example, AOA’s “Miniskirt,” though seemingly sexualizing and degrading to females, it is instead the opposite: empowering.  

Focusing back on Miss A, besides recognizing their songs of “Hush” and “I Don’t Need A Man,” I have watched/listened to the Chinese and Korean radio show, “Idols’ True Colors,” where Fei and Jin are hosts along with Zhoumi (though I do confess I am unfamiliar with the group he is from). Due to the radio show, additional exposure to the two members of Miss A exists. On the topic of that show (and, at this point, feel free to skip below) and all of the hosts, I feel the need to truthfully correct an incredible mistake I made in the past: being passive-aggressive towards the hosts, and in fact, members of Red Velvet, specifically with Wendy. If this does not bring up memories, I am referring to the time where Red Velvet’s Wendy made racist impersonations on the mentioned radio show of “Idols’ True Colors.” Although a few shades of the idols’ true colors might have been unveiled, I wish to revisit this situation. If readers are feeling defensive and feeling as if I am going to humiliate the hosts and Red Velvet, that is not my plan; my plan is, in a few ways, the utter opposite: I will discuss a topic of “racist binaries,” assuming that is the proper label.    

Firstly, what was done, said, and reacted to is still wrong; Wendy’s impersonations are still racist, and the entirety of other Red Velvet members and Jei, Fei, and Zhoumi laughing along are still all equally racist actions (notice: actions and not people). However, unlike in the past where I dedicated a post that did passively-aggressively degrade the members and hosts, I would like to redress what I said and bring a more enlightening, educating moment. Though I do not recall exactly what I have stated in the archaic post, I am certain that I created an image regarding Red Velvet and the hosts as horrible people, unintentionally and discreetly. This is where I have created a huge mistake, and ironically, contributed to racism versus my intention of combating it. Readers may now feel confused; by directly confronting the racist impersonations and calling out the idols, it would seem that I was fighting against racism. This is where explanation will occur: I fell upon the trap of racist binaries.

To bring a deeper understanding to the situation, I will first explain what a “racist binary” is (and once more, I am not confident on if the label is correct, but nevertheless, the idea should be what is concerned). A racist binary depicts an antithesis between two people: the non-racist and the racist. The non-racist is someone who is depicted as genuinely friendly, open to differences, accepting of differences, and much more. The racist is someone depicted as a villain; this person plots for the deaths of minoritized groups (another discussion on “minoritized” and “minority” could take place, but in summary, minority is a false label while minoritized is the accurate one), hates people of a minoritized group, and is simply an atrocious person.

Relating this back to the racist impersonation situation, I unfortunately applied the racist binary idea to it. I created an image of how the hosts and Red Velvet were the “atrocious persons” who sought to be racist and inhumane when, truthfully, all of those idols are indeed genuinely friendly, welcoming people. This is the issue with discussing racism and how it becomes easily perpetuated. Racism is not restricted to people with heinous intent; racism is possessed by every single person, to some degree, but nevertheless, existing. With the racist binary concept applied, no longer are people willing to accept their racism, miniscule or significant, but instead, becoming defensive and evading topics of racism take over as reactions due to current depictions of racist and non-racist. If racism is to be truly discussed and challenged, rather than labeling racists as individual people with horrible intentions, understanding that racism is discreetly taught and perpetuated on a social level, such as from institutions or even individual/personal sources (which still stem from a social background), will be the method of being constructive, productive, and ultimately, the catalyst for proper change. In this sense, while the idols’ actions were indeed racist, the idols are, as absurd as it seems, not necessarily bad people at all. Rather than defending the idols or disregarding their existences due to what was said, being able to remove the racist binary and instead view this moment as a way to address racism on a social level is what should result, not insulting or defending the character of the idols as racism is possessed by everyone, of varying degree.

As an overall point, remembering to disarm the racist binary idea of how being racist automatically equates to being an appalling monster will be how productivity occurs from racist moments. Being able to admit to racism and to understand that it is not an individual’s fault, but rather, society as a whole, is where self-correction and self-improvement as a person, a human, will begin. Addressing racism and correcting it via understanding and critical thinking is vastly more reliable than denying being racist due to the existing binaries that depict racist people as vicious animals, which no person would want to be correlated with.

To truly focus on Miss A’s mini-album of “Colors,” though I encourage and hope readers do take a few moments to ponder over my previous point, their latest comeback is decent. Their title song from the album is “Only You” (for readers curious on whether I will do a standard song review of it, I will most likely not, sadly). 6 songs exist, but as usual in album reviews, “One Step” at a time will be the procedure. Every “Love Song” in the album will be analyzed for its lyrics and its overall vocals and structure. While I am “Stuck” with ideas on how to improve the review outline, I hope readers will claim “I Caught Ya” with a “Melting” mistake. After all, “Only You” are able to give proper feedback and new ideas on how to not induce cringes during transitions.

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1. “One Step”One Step (Audio)

– Lyrics: Addressing the lyrics to “One Step,” though slightly vague, the overarching story is a man or lady expressing unease at their love-interest for rushing a relationship. As explicitly stated, the main character urges the love-interest to “stop rushing,” and instead, to “slowly come into” the main character’s affection. Of course, this is not the main character attempting to utterly repel the love-interest; the man/lady feels “empty when alone,” and thus, desires to be with the love-interest as “if it’s not the two of [them], there’s no point.” Having a gradual, properly spaced and paced relationship is what the main character desires, and realistically, that is a highly respectable and an advisable mindset.

– Vocals+Structure: Swapping to “One Step” in terms of its overall sonic component, a ballad genre takes place. In terms of the vocals, Miss A showcases smooth, melodic, consistent singing. With the song as a whole being moreover calm, the vocals fit accordingly. Furthermore, the instrumental also emulates such via being equally slower paced, and, most prominently, having an exceptionally potent, deep bass line that occurs frequently. As a result, in terms of the mechanical aspect to “One Step,” with vocals remaining alluring through serene, tuneful singing, and the instrumental identically following suit, it holds well. However, though the mechanical side may thrive, the other side of its structure endures an expense: lack of variety. Much of the singing and even instrumental remain linear; very little deviation occurs for both parties as “One Step” remains consistently calm. Due to such, over a longer period, the song gradually yet definitely begins to drain of its appeal. After all, with every section to the song (verse, chorus, etc.) remaining awfully akin to the prior, and with the overall flow simply being stagnant, “One Step” loses its charm.

Overall, “One Step” is a highly relaxing song. Mechanically, the song does possess solid singing and a highly soothing instrumental, such as from the delightful bass line. Unfortunately, for where the song lacks, the consistency in its structure does not directly translate over for its appeal; with the song being linear, the absence of being dynamic causes appeal to languish versus remaining consistent.

2. “Only You”Only You (Audio)

– Lyrics: For an utterly irrelevant note, there is a humorous homophone incident that occurs: “no” versus “neo” (means “you” in Korean). The latter is what is being said as it would make sense, but, as I have pointed out in other reviews such as in Fiestar’s “One More,” anything is open for interpretation, and thus, there is no positive answer on whether the lyrics were meant to be “no” in English or “neo” in Korean. Grammatically of course, “No other guy/male but you” would sound more proper than “No other guy/male but no.”

Ignoring the off-topic point, the lyrics of “Only You” depict a romantic plot. A lady is, in essence, proposing to her love-interest, but for what is explicitly occurring, she is attempting to win a boy’s love. Briefly mentioned earlier, the main character claims there is “no other guy but [the love-interest]”; even despite having “a lot of male friends,” she views the love-interest as the “only” one, “only you,” hence the song’s title. Now while the love-interest is reluctant due to fear of her simply “playing around,” she insists that is not the case. “[Her] heart is racing” and with “no one else” being capable of making her feel such, she acknowledges the love-interest is “different from other guys,” and thus, should “accept [her]” as, implied, a partner.

One interesting line in the song does press a few discussions, but for the sake of progressing the review, I will not necessarily cover it. Nevertheless, the line is: “Because girls who don’t know men aren’t that great.” In context, this is the main character’s rebuttal for having a lot of male friends, which then leads to the following line/point, an assumption that she could not fall in love due to many male friends. While this may merely be the main character’s own thoughts, it is not restricted to simply a story, and truthfully, may be actual mentalities. To quickly address the discussion points, no assumptions of a person should ever be made on the sole basis of their friends’ gender. In the lyrics’ case, the main character may have more male friends, but that should not equate to the idea that she is incapable of loving males on a more intimate level. Therefore, the following defensive claim of “Because…that great” is also incorrect; regardless of whether or not more male friends are known, no assumptions should be made either. (And since it is becoming incoherent, the lines I am referencing: “I have a lot of guy friends, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fall in love,

because girls who don’t know men aren’t that great.” Also, feel free to skip to the next section at this point.)

As a final point (though multiple discussion points have spawned; it is interesting to analyze how females and males that have closer friends of the opposite gender are treated, and furthermore, to also peer at how there is a discreet standard that closer friends are assumed as the same gender), the displayed lines are worth nitpicking. A female not knowing a lot of males, or even knowing a lot of males, is great regardless, and for what can be agreed with, despite having more friends of the opposite gender, it does not indicate that one is incapable of being in a more personal, romantic relationship. And to actually dive into the other points, it is rather unfortunate that as a society a standard has been established in terms of the gender of close friends; often time friends of a person are assumed to be the same of the person.

Although this may appear as a minuscule point, there are subtle consequences of such (and for even deviating apart, which I will cover later): there is more division between gender, and from there, more justification and normalizing of horrendous treatment, such as sexism, occurs. For example, with the standard of same-sex friends being rife, it allows for alienation of the other gender when, quite obviously, the sole difference between a male and a female is in reproductive organs. Males and females are secretly taught and socialized with the idea that the other person of a different gender is exactly such, an “other.” Now, this highly invisible division is what harms; in the long-term run, it prevents the idea of “human” and instead, “male” and “female,” and as the ultimate point, this is what allows highly strict, unmalleable gender norms/binaries and sexism to thrive as no longer are males and females seen both as humans, but as stated, antitheses of one another.

This is also more troubling when considering how this current trend self-perpetuates; attempts to challenge the binary/separation of genders is often time met with hostility due to the already established idea of it. With a more sensitive topic, and with me believing in honesty and being open and intimate to readers, as I have mentioned in the past (I believe my review of Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B” covered so), I am more comfortable around females than males. Of course, I still do have male friends, and there are many males I do highly admire and respect, but nevertheless, as anticipated, I do have more female friends than ones who are males. Though there has been only one incident, backlash has occurred before from this: a question of whether I was homosexual or not.

Though it is another discussion on how society has socialized traits based on sexual orientation (and actually, an old yet my most popular review on Apink’s “Luv” does cover this), I will not go in-depth as the linked review does (or at least I hope it does). As a quick addressment to that point, behaviors and traits do not stem from sexual orientation. Simply put, a sexual orientation is solely who a person finds attractive, nothing more or less. With personal examples, I am a heterosexual male who adores makeup, cries easily when watching emotional videos such as Fiestar’s Hyemi crying, and likes “feminine” colors, and though I have not been personally burdened yet (minus the mentioned incident), it is irking to find people shaming and creating assumptions for males who drift away from false ideals of “masculine” (a later review will truly elaborate “feminine” and “masculine”).

Returning to the original topic of same-sex friends and how it self-perpetuates, from the females’ perspective, unlike my current privilege of being a male, females are bashed to a significantly greater extent for having more male friends than females. After all, I would rather have assumptions towards my sexual orientation than to be utterly objectified via slurs of “slut, whore” or “sleeping around,” and truthfully, even females are not exempt from having their sexual orientation questioned due to not having many same-sex acquaintances.

As an overall summarizing lesson, in addition to the fact that I should be prohibited from writing at 1:00 a.m. due to extreme digressions (I still encourage readers to ponder over this, whether that is in the form of disagreement or agreement), it does not matter who a person’s friends’ gender are. If a female has more male friends or a male has more female friends, it does not indicate anything. In fact, even if a female has more female friends and vice-versa for a male, it all simply is utterly minuscule. Creating aggressiveness towards people who deviate from the norms, be it same-sex friends or gender norms, is purely an act, intentional or not, of ensuring the current norms remain intact. Thus, challenging it by also deviating or accepting those who do so will be what should occur, not current acts of attacking, figuratively and literally, those who do not fit into the unrealistic standards.

– Vocals+Structure: If I am not a hypocrite, then I simply have no idea on a proper label. I am genuinely laughing as I did claim “but for the sake of progressing the review, I will not necessarily cover it.” Regardless, to return to K-Pop and Miss A’s “Only You” (though the whole reason the discussion took place was due to the lyrics; pop culture does matter, K-Pop is more than music, and thus, I encourage readers to always be critical with consuming it) after going to bed; anything after this will be written after I slept to spare readers, the song, expectedly, possesses its strengths and weaknesses.

Though shamefully no time exists to review this song via my standard outline, I will give my deconstruction. Vocally, Miss A discloses their versatility: different scales of power exist, the pacing fluctuates, and the melody remains diverse. Though nothing extreme is present, the vocals remain highly appealing due to the possessed variety. Switching to the song’s structural side, while the mechanical aspect of their vocals and simply how the song sounds is impressive, the layout of “Only You” becomes partially hindering. For example, while the progression is beautiful, it does not finish as such; the verse to pre-chorus to chorus route is utterly delightful and follows a gradual yet organized flow, but once the post-chorus occurs, the transition to a heavier bass and slower pace does not grant the intended outcome of a climactic point; instead, the sheer opposite of an unsatisfying and overly contrasting section is given.

Nevertheless, overall, “Only You” is not too bad. The vocals remain energetic and melodic, and the general structure possesses potential. The sole issue lies in that the occurring post-choruses are highly unsuitable.

3. “Love Song”Love Song (Audio)

– Lyrics: With a title of “Love Song,” anticipation of it being a ballad would be in mind. Interestingly, and contradictingly, that is not the case; “Love Song,” though still in the realm of a romantic story, takes the form of an EDM/electronic song. Nevertheless, for what is depicted, the lyrics are absurdly bereft of details. The plot showcases a man or lady who is hypnotized by love. A love-interest has made them “go crazy for countless nights.” As a result, it causes the main character to partake in “singing [the love-interest] in a love song,” as seen in the title. Other minuscule details exist, though it is all moreover the same idea as the first initial line. In that sense, the lyrics to “Love Song” are rather disappointing and extremely lacking.

– Vocals+Structure: Unluckily for the musical side, the lyrics being lacking is not restricted to solely the story; the sonic component to “Love Song” is, while different, equally deprived. For the vocals, lines that follow a calm, melodic style are admirable, but for all else, the vocals are on the lower tier as the adopted style is moreover chaotic or overly mundane. Furthermore, with the instrumental taking the spotlight due to the EDM style, the same chaotic trend continues. Although the new take of utilizing standard instruments versus pure electronic sounds is respectable, electronic sounds are often used in EDM music as, even in its name of “electronic dance music,” it is more suiting. In “Love Song,” the “violin drop” that occurs is moreover vexing than pleasing, and in many ways, could have been genuinely potent should the violin have become replaced with a standard electronic sound.

Overall, this song has vast potential and is a welcoming attempt to the EDM genre, but with lacking lyrics and a highly drained musical side, it becomes disappointing. T-ARA’s “Sugar Free,” which I did review in the past (though it would be a miserable read as I was even more inept than currently; at the very least, the numerical values should still be accurate), is a prime example of how EDM could potentially be handled.  

4. “Melting” Melting (Audio)

– Lyrics: Homogeneous to the prior song, once more, “Melting” does deliver a love related story. In terms of the genre, it is neither ballad, EDM, or even standard pop, and thus, I truthfully an unsure on a proper label. Focusing on the lyrics, equal to “Love Story” where lines were absurdly empty, the same issue is present: around 70% of the lyrics are solely “nanana.” Nevertheless, for what little  is unveiled, the story shows a lady or man who is overwhelmed with their affection for their love-interest, and thus, they feel as if they are “melting” or “in a spell.”

– Vocals+Structure: Though lyrics are usually not congruent to a song’s musical capabilities, the current trend as seen from “Love Song” and “Melting” conflict such; “Melting” is as equally plain as its lyrics. The vocals are highly repetitive and lacking due to the raspier, whispering style, and additionally, having to repeat identical words and lines. Even the tune is equally stagnant by itself, and with no fluctuation occurring to redress such, the vocals drastically deteriorate for the worse. Structurally, akin to the vocals and instrumental being plain, “Melting” utilizes a layout that practically recycles one song section for the entirety of the song’s length; it is as if a dull post-chorus was repeated endlessly for the whole song. Of course, there are still identifiable sections, but with it all sounding overly similar to the previous, no variety exists.

Overall, as blatantly seen, “Melting” certainly melts as the song is highly sluggish. With no change and variety occurring, and with the sections all individually holding poorly, a low rating is what “Melting” will be rendered as.

5. “I Caught Ya” I Caught Ya (Audio)

– Lyrics: Though the last 2 songs have been in poorer quality, I do admire the mini-album’s attempt to bring in diversity of genres. “I Caught Ya” takes another new genre for the album: rock. Thankfully, unlike the prior songs, “I Caught Ya” has respectable lyrics (perhaps in credit to the member, Suzy, writing the lyrics) along with the sonic aspect. For the involved story, though the topic is still involving love, it is not necessarily romantic. “I Caught Ya” reveals a lady who, as the title, “caught” her partner cheating. The main character caught the “boy” “red handed”; after all, his “fake face” “revealed” the truth “pretty quickly.” In reaction, anger takes place for the main character. She refuses “to hear it” and would prefer the boy to “piss off.” Furthermore, though the boy is now “sad” over the situation, the main character remains apathetic and considers herself superior as she is “too good” and has no intentions on wasting her time with the incident.   

– Vocals+Structure: Glancing at the song itself, though other experiments with different genres have failed, “I Caught Ya” succeeds with adopting a rock genre. The vocals remain charming due to reaching incredibly seducing lower notes but also the slightly higher notes. Additionally, the guitar provides a pleasing foundation for the vocals. With the guitar riffs and even beats possessing lower pitches, the contrast from the singing’s general higher pitch and the instrumental augments both parties. As for the song’s structure, excellent progression exists as every section flows to the next properly. Transitions are also well done in credit to the alluring guitar riffs; moments of solo guitar allow not only a mechanical aspect of the guitar itself to thrive, but additionally, a natural, theme-suiting switch that aids the structural component is gleaned.

In the end, “I Caught Ya” is an admirable song in “Colors.” The rarer take of rock is well conducted. The vocals remain variated and tuneful, and likewise, the instrumental with its key guitar.

6. “Stuck”Stuck (Audio)

– Lyrics: Though I am uncertain, while Suzy has written “I Caught Ya,” Min supposedly handled “Stuck” and wrote its lyrics. If this is true, it showcases not only how additionally creative and intelligent the ladies are, but that Miss A should handle their own lyrics as, from “Love Song” and “Melting,” lyrics given to them have been of horrendous quality. Following Min’s work, the lyrics through the medium of a ballad showcases a romantic plot. A lady or man is infatuated by their love-interest and is sharing an intimate moment as “it’s just the two of [them] right now.” The main character adores how the love-interest is able to “set [the main character] free” and feels, overall “stuck in love.” Other details exist such as the lady/man desiring to “kiss [the love-interest’s] shining lips” or to hear “[their] sweet voice.”

– Vocals+Structure: With “Stuck” utilizing ballad, promising vocals are foreshadowed. Thankfully, it can be confirmed: the vocals presented remain incredibly tuneful and diverse with pace and notes. Variation of power also occurs, though vastly more minimal. For how the ballad is structured, an overall calmer style is in place. As a result, “Stuck” retains its ballad tone and is capable of delivering a more romantic style as the vocals hold the spotlight. Nevertheless, while the vocals are decent and the structure is beneficial towards the overarching atmosphere, as seen in “One Step,” a linear layout loses much appeal over time. The same issue applies for “Stuck”: with every section remaining highly similar to the others, the created consistency prevents fluctuation, and while that is supportive to the vocals and mood, appeal becomes easily lost.

Overall, “Stuck” may possess a lovely story, but the lack of being slightly more dynamic hinders it from being a more efficient and solid ballad.  

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Personal Ranking:

With every song being partially deconstructed, I will now leave my personal rating of the best to worst song in the album of “Colors.”

1. “Only You”

2. “I Caught Ya”

3. “One Step”

4. “Stuck”

5. “Love Song”

6. “Melting”

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As a final verdict, Miss A’s mini-album of “Colors” is not too solid. Only “Only You” and “I Caught Ya” remain impressive, and even then, flaws are still prominent. For the rest, the included ballads are moreover average, and for “Love Song” and “Melting,” they can be rendered as failed attempts at different genres. As such, unless if an avid fan of Miss A or disagreeing with my take, I do not recommend purchasing the album. However, I do recommend purchasing “Only You” and “I Caught Ya,” and for what everyone can certainly do, supporting the 4 ladies of Miss A.

As always, thank you very much for reading this review, and as consistent readers may know, apologies for longer digressions (but they are still vital topics to discuss). For the requester, thank you very much for this request, I wholeheartedly appreciate it. Also, I cannot express enough gratitude for your patience and, in fact, readers for taking the time to read this review (whether that is in bits or in its entirety).

In terms of upcoming reviews, I did receive an interesting music video review request. That will be covered after my upcoming one: Girls’ Generation’s “Catch Me If You Can.” For those who were looking forward to Minah’s “I Am A Woman Too,” it will be placed in the backburner (assuming that is the right phrase) for now. Nevertheless, the 2 upcoming reviews will be exciting due to either being unique, or in the other case, upsetting due to my current criticism.

Once more, thank you for reading. Do not forget to leave feedback on my current album review structure as “Only You” are capable of claiming “I Caught Ya.” Through “One Step” at a time, I will slowly improve and hopefully not get “Stuck.” Even then, I wish every reader enjoys a “Love Song,” and more importantly, that I genuinely stop this type of conclusion as readers have their eyes “Melting” in anguish. Stay tuned for the upcoming review of Girls’ Generation’s “Catch Me If You Can.”

4Minute’s Mini-Album – “Crazy” Review

Reviewed on March 7, 2015

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Firstly, before beginning, I want to thank readers for giving feedback in terms of desired types of reviews. My previous album review was on AOA’s Mini-Album “Like a Cat” (Review), and though many readers enjoyed it (perhaps since it is a significantly quicker read), I believed, and more accurately, believe, it is disorganized in a few ways. As a result, I became hesitant on releasing album reviews, but due to a few readers liking them, I will continue to publish these types of reviews. That being said, I have two album reviews in mind (including this one), and through practice and trials, I anticipate these types of reviews improving.

Before diving into 4Minute’s album, I will leave a few remarks regarding my previous review on their release of “Crazy.” Interestingly, perhaps utterly coincidentally, a few readers displayed heavy dislike towards it: 5 followers were lost. Of course, this may be pure coincidence and completely unrelated to the previous review, but considering past instances, a chance that the two correlate is high. In an older review on Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B” (feel free to read it: Dal Shabet – “B.B.B” Review), though the degree was slightly less, 3 followers were lost after the review had been posted for a few days. Now, to clarify and before diving into my speculations on why these incidents occurred, I am not necessarily upset at the lost of followers (quantity-wise, there is a miniscule impact), but rather, the connotation behind such is what disturbs me; if it is true that certain reviews have prompted unfollowing, it showcases the general, inefficient response many people unveil when faced with disagreement or sensitive subjects: evasion. Before progressing, for further clarification, while I may be personally vexed at their decision, I am using assumptions (versus the chance of pure coincidence), and thus, I am most likely not accurate in the following claims. Secondly, even if my speculations prove to be true, though I disagree with the choice made, I still respect those individuals’ decision; often time people are lost in the idea of “right” and “wrong,” but realistically and as I constantly promote, it is not about two specific angles, but instead, the infinite angles in which a person may view a certain topic, and specifically here, how one reacts to it. Lastly, even with my own stance, I will apologize. If any reader was or has ever been indeed offended, I am sincerely sorry. While I will still continue offering my own perspective, I am not perfect, will not be perfect, and in fact, should not be perfect. That said, I may at times leave offensive remarks unintentionally, and while I could become defensive and argue I intended no harm, it is not what I say that matters, but instead, how a person perceives my message. As a result, I am sorry for those who did feel irked due to my previous review (and older ones).

With context added, I will now explain my personal opinion regarding those who did unfollow after my review on 4Minute’s “Crazy.” To potentially answer why a few have chosen to do so, there are primarily 2 reasons: for one, people might have heavily disagreed with my tangent, and secondly, many could have opposed my numerical ratings. Addressing the latter first, disliking my review of “Crazy” on the basis of my ratings is rather staggering; the purpose of my reviews (and reviews in general) is to offer my own personal opinion regarding a song, show, or whichever medium. Furthermore, while in the past I have arguably failed at this, in current times I remain as unbiased as possible and grade based on a systematic deconstruction of a song. As a result, what I rate a song is simply my stance of how solid or weak it is, nothing more, nothing less. A lower rated song does not mean a group/artist is bad and vice-versa with a higher score; the song itself is the focus, not necessarily how the group/artist themselves hold. Reiterating my final point, these reviews are based solely on my opinion. I am not a professional music producer or analyzer, I am simply a reviewer who breaks apart songs on a simplistic level. Additionally, music is exceptionally unique; what is deemed amazing by one may be revolting to another. What would have been more desirable, and in truth is what I hope, is that the people who did decide to unfollow me did so due to disliking my process of reviewing; perhaps my mediocre writing and analysis repelled them away. In that scenario, it is completely acceptable, but should it have been the lower scores that caused them to flee, that remains highly questionable. In terms of the other reason, my opinion regarding why it is an issue to criticize 4Minute for “too much makeup” could have been too extreme, and thus, I could have offended a few. Nevertheless, I will not shy away from putting forth my opinion. Rather than taking my stances as unequivocal facts, they should be regarded as my personal perspective, and hopefully, new insight is gleaned in the end.

On track with this review, considering I did potentially offend readers with my review on “Crazy,” I am hoping this review will clarify misunderstandings, and additionally, offer some extra showcase for 4Minute. Their mini-album titled “Crazy” showcases 6 sings. Unfortunately, as admirable as the ladies of 4Minute may be, while their skills with singing and rapping are definitely disclosed, many songs in this album are not too solid. On the positive side, however, a few songs do shine, but overall, this album is not necessarily the strongest I have heard. With enough background added, it is time to begin. Though I could make this transition “Stand Out,” I am afraid it will lead readers to being “Crazy,” and if not that, then certainly readers will “Show Me” their anger as if it was a “Cold Rain.” Due to that, I will now have to “Cut It Out,” but hopefully readers receive a “Tickle Tickle Tickle” feeling.

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1. “Crazy” – Crazy (Review)

Since I have already reviewed the song via my standard reviews, I will not cover it here. For those curious, I will link my review of it. Also, to bring in some cohesion for album reviews, I will use the following format: first, the lyrics will be briefly summarized, and after that, the vocals and the song’s prominent aspects will be elaborated on. Due to a less detailed approach, I will not leave numerical ratings as those are reserved for standard song reviews.

2. “Cold Rain” – Cold Rain (Audio)

Foreshadowed by its title, a sadder story accompanies “Cold Rain.” Additionally, due to the emotional atmosphere, “Cold Rain” takes the genre of ballad. Progressing past the title, “Cold Rain” depicts a lover who loses their love-interest. While death can be argued as to why the couple has separated, many details imply it was a typical breakup; the man/lady lost their love-interest, either on their own decision or the love-interest’s, after discovering many “warm lies.” With being naive and deceived, the lover fell upon “the sin of nicely being in love because [she/he] didn’t know love, [she/he] just believed in people.” As a result, the main character now remains in anguish; “without [the love-interest], [she/he] [struggles].”

Ignoring the melancholy lyrics, in terms of the song itself, it has its promising aspects as well as weaker ones. Focusing on the vocals, 4Minute proves how adept they are at singing. Every member showcases phenomenal vocals: Jihyun offers melodic humming and single lines, Gayoon continues her usual higher tiered singing, Jiyoon, surprisingly, sings versus rapping, and at that she excels, and lastly, for the members that do rap, both Hyuna and Sohyun unveil a soothing, smooth rap. Swapping to the song’s structure, unlike the mechanical aspects that excel, it slightly falters. Overviewing the entirety of “Cold Rain,” while it is a ballad, and thus, remaining calm and consistent, it proves to be stagnant; section to section, the same flow and style retains. As a result, the ballad does lose a sense of uniqueness and comes off as slightly repetitive.

Overall, however, “Cold Rain” is a decent ballad. From what I am aware of, “Cold Rain” will be the first ballad they have released in a long time (if not the first, though I am certain they possess an older ballad). 4Minute’s vocals heavily shine in this song. The downfall exists predominantly in the lack of variety and fluctuation per sections. Ignoring that, however, “Cold Rain” is not too bad.

3. “Tickle Tickle Tickle” – Tickle Tickle Tickle (Audio)

With a highly absurd title, many will ponder over its meaning. As jocular as the title itself, the lyrics showcase, specifically, though as always the main character could be any gender, a lady who is “tickled” by a boy via a “touch that brushed” by and simply her feelings of infatuation. In short, it is a more flirtatious story of a lover “going crazy” over their love-interest.

For the musical aspect of “Tickle Tickle Tickle,” to already offer my stance, it is the album’s weakest song, and in general, a very weak song. While the bassline may be exceptionally catchy, it becomes abominable and vexing. Furthermore, the vocals lean towards the poorer side as well; obnoxious vocals equally exist, though there are moments where lower pitched singing is heard. Nevertheless, the lower noted, slower, charming lines do not compensate for the rest of the vocals nor the highly chaotic instrumental. In focus of the song’s structure, variations are minimal. Factoring in the endless bassline, the song becomes extremely sluggish and loses much of its strength, assuming it had some in the first place.

Overall, “Tickle Tickle Tickle” is moreover a sillier song. The vocals remain tiresome, the song follows a mundane structure, and most loathing, the bassline taints the song from any potential that could have existed. Arguably catchy, but certainly, humorous and pitiful.

4. “Show Me” – Show Me (Audio)

Truthfully, this was the song I highly anticipated. From a teaser before 4Minute’s comeback, the chorus of “Show Me” was revealed. Instantly I was captivated, but blatantly, a song does not solely comprise of a single chorus.

On topic, the lyrics of “Show Me” showcases a flirtatious story involving a lady and a scenario with her love-interest (as always, a male could also be the main character). Unlike, for example, “Cold Rain” where the main character is hurt from love, the depicted character in “Show Me” remains a sheer opposite: they are highly confident, satisfied, and in some ways, even arrogant. Relating specifically to the lyrics, a lady is attempting to win a boy’s love since “[she] knows [she’s] exactly [the love-interest’s] style.” Somewhat comically, her desired outcome seems be off-centered. Often time her frustration is shared, such as “Where are you looking? Look here,” and “I’m sick of the stupid boys coming at me” in reference to other males that desire her love, and in addition, even towards other females for “copying [her].”

Addressing “Show Me” in terms of the vocals, power remains a highlighted aspect. Remaining impactful versus soft and melodic is a style “Show Me” adopts. Nevertheless, even with power being moreover allocated than melody, the song still retains a tuneful nature. Individually, every member shines via her section; Hyuna and Sohyun fluently handle the rap sections, Gayoon, Jiyoon, and Jihyun offer solid vocals for the remaining standard singing parts. For what does hinder “Show Me,” the structure is partially at fault. The post-choruses leech a hefty amount of positive attention. “Eh eh eh eh eh eh” being tediously replayed becomes a drawback. Despite that, however, “Show Me” is not too bad. The choruses, raps, verses, and even pre-choruses are noteworthy.

In the end, “Show Me” is a stronger song for the album. In general, it may not be highly promising, but it can hold decently. Repetition remains the pressing issue.

5. “Stand Out” – Stand Out (Audio)

To clarify, from my knowledge, a person is technically featured in this song: “Manager.” For those considering that a strange alias for an artist or wondering who he even is, “Manager” is actually 4Minute’s manager. This would also explain his part being dialogue versus singing and such. Overall, however, “Stand Out,” in essence, does not feature any artist.

With that in mind, the lyrics for “Stand Out” do reflect, once more, a flirtatious scenario. However, in this song’s case, the story proves to be highly jocular, and in certain instances, even cute and sweet. Whether it was due to the boy’s “sexy voice” or, humorously, “fantastic butt,” “Stand Out” reveals a lady who is highly infatuated with her love-interest; she is in love with a boy who she labels as her “superstar.” She has “found [him]” to “stand out,” and in fact, “[she has] dibs on [him].” Other sweet details exist, such as desiring the love-interest to “come into [her] arms.” Furthermore, for where 4Minute’s manager becomes featured, it is a phone dialogue that provides extra details. For those curious on what was said, it should be similar to this (not 100% accurate, but seeing as no lyrics translation has covered it, I will):

Love-Interest: Hello
Lover: What’s up/What are you up to?
Love-Interest: I’m currently at my house
Lover: Come out here
Love-Interest: Yes? No, I do not want to
Lover: Come out right now, coming out?
Love-Interest: Noona… (“Noona” is the term younger males use to refer to older females)
Lover: Hey!
Love-Interest: Wait a moment…ugh…

In summary, the lyrics are indeed comical and sweet. Shifting to the song’s musical component, to instantly address a positive point, “Stand Out” does stand out via being diverse. Structurally, the song remains varied, and every section possesses its own niche. In addition, the progression of the song remains decent; transitions to the next section are fluent, and for the flow, “Stand Out” follows a standard path of calm to upbeat. Glancing at the vocals, solely the post-chorus remains questionable. During that section, the vocals do languish and become wearisome. Ignoring that, however, the rest prove to be solid. For example, the choruses, arguably the main highlight, remain highly impactful yet melodic, and other sections, such as the pre-choruses, possess their own charm via lower pitched singing.

Overall, “Stand Out” proves to be a decent song. The vocals and structure hold well, and additionally, the lyrics are comical and intriguing. For 4Minute’s album, this is one of the stronger songs.   

6. “Cut It Out” – Cut It Out (Audio)

Firstly, from the start, I will claim this should have been the title song over “Crazy.” The same concept is kept, but musically it is significantly, excessively significantly better (though the dance for it may be less fitting conceptually). Also, I am impressed by the versatility of 4Minute; Jiyoon has proven to be highly talented with singing, and in opposite, Sohyun has exhibited stunning rapping. Returning back to “Cut It Out,” this is the album’s strongest song, and even in general, this song is definitely respectable and to a high standard.

Lyrically, with the title of “Cut It Out” (or the Korean title of “Stop At The First Verse”), and considering every other song in the album being related to love, this song would automatically be associated with such. Surprisingly, it is not. “Cut It Out” can be related to love, but overall, it is more; “Cut It Out” discloses a crucial message: do what you want to do and ignore those who oppose you. Jiyoon’s moment at the chorus easily summarizes the lyrics: “Leave me alone, I have my own world. I’m gonna go my own way, with my own moves, with a natural rhythm. My own rules, a dream that’s different from others.” Overall, “Cut It Out” elaborates that idea and encourages people to truly follow what they desire, not what others believe. For a simple example, if someone, as a male, enjoys makeup, they should be able to do so without being put down. Relating back to “Crazy,” should a lady desire to use heavier makeup, she should feel free to do so without warranting hate. The message “Cut It Out” gives is one that deserves to be reiterated.

From a musical lens, the song still holds well. Structurally, a beautiful aspect is the utilized contrast: rapping versus singing. Viewing the song from an overarching perspective, the song is either in the form of a rap or standard singing. Though both may be significantly different, the difference that does exist augments both parties; the raps are more bold, fierce, smooth, and brisk, and the singing are additionally melodic, graceful, and even powerful. Another point worthy of acknowledgement are the transitions. Despite the rapping and singing taking significant shifts, “Cut It Out” does an excellent job keeping it all cohesive. Lastly, in terms of the vocals, 4Minute’s highest potential becomes uncloaked. Individually, every member completely aced their lines. Sohyun and Hyuna continue their streak of superb rapping, be it remaining melodic, fluent, and swift, Gayoon, as expected, flawlessly handles the more vocally-intensive lines at the chorus, Jiyoon exposes her versatility of being a phenomenal rapper and singer, and finally, Jihyun utterly redeems her poorer bridge in “Crazy” by granting an outstanding bridge.

“Cut It Out” is by far the album’s superior song. The lyrics are detailed and meaningful, the song remains unique with its distinct rapping and singing, and for the vocals, the 5 ladies continue to garner the ears (and hearts) of listeners.  

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Personal Ranking:

Offering my own position regarding the songs, here is my personal order, from best to worst, of the songs in 4Minute’s mini-album “Crazy.” Bear in mind, this list is based on my limited opinion and knowledge; a more thorough and systematic breakdown of each song to find their statistical value would provide a more accurate list (such as if I were to review every song through my standard review format).

1. “Cut It Out”

2. “Stand Out”

3. “Cold Rain”

4. “Show Me”

5. “Crazy”

6. “Tickle Tickle Tickle”

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With this being the end, I will now offer my general opinion regarding the album. A few songs are noteworthy, but many of the songs are either purely average or somewhat horrendous. Buying their album should mainly be done to support 4Minute as many of the songs are not too solid. Of course, a few stand out such as “Stand Out,” but other than those songs, I do not recommend this album. Nevertheless, I do believe 4Minute is a highly talented group, and biasedly, I do adore their current concept.

As I always say, thank you very much for reading this. This review is definitely a lot shorter than standard song reviews, and thus, I am certain many will enjoy it for its length. Truthfully, it is a huge challenge to write album reviews as I cannot make a sound conclusion due to not properly deconstructing a song. There are many layers to a song, and with album reviews barely reaching the sheer surface, I feel dissatisfied in terms of my analysis. But, of course, to summarize an idea by an amazing English teacher, the hardest writings are not the longest ones, but instead, the shorter ones. That said, I will still publish one more album review, and unless if any requests are sent in, I will not create more except for a special occasions (similar to show reviews). One aspect that does remain promising, however, for reviewing albums is, blatantly, they are much shorter, and thus, more time efficient. This all also reminds me, on the subject of requests, I did receive one. Although I am certainly going to review one of the sent in songs, I will gauge my current schedule and may review Fiestar’s comeback first before that (to the requester, if I do slightly delay the request, I am very sorry). Many songs are in mind, it all depends on my determination.

With this being the end, thank you once more for reading. Many reviews are in mind and I will do my best to publish them. For now, please continue to “Show Me” support and love. Though I may appear as “Crazy,” at the very least, I “Stand Out.” As long as I do not bring a “Cold Rain” such as through an appalling conclusion, I am certain that readers will feel a sense of “Tickle Tickle Tickle.” Perhaps this is a cue to “Cut It Out.” On a more serious note, stay tuned for perhaps a review on Fiestar’s new song, a requested review, and many other songs.