Critical Discussion: “Whether Equal Line Distribution Matters for Groups or Not (ft. Sistar)”

“Whether
Equal Line Distribution Matters for Groups or Not (ft. Sistar)”

Posted on June 4, 2017

image

For
where I wish to take this Critical Discussion, I actually plan on challenging
the very notion that an equal line distribution is necessarily the best
distribution. I, on the other hand, actually argue that a line distribution is
most effective when it accommodates members—particularly
if we are to focus on vocal roles such as “main vocalist,” “lead vocalist,” and
“sub vocalist.”

Edit (June 6, 2017): Fixed many “mechanical” writing mistakes. This post had an absurdly high amount of typos and missing words. Apologies to readers who read this prior to this edit.

Personal
Message:
Before
starting this shorter post, I do wish to apologize to readers for not writing a
review in nearly three weeks despite being on summer break. To explain my absence,
it is not due to any unfortunate event at all; my short disappearance was
merely due to taking some time to truly relax and have fun for summer. With
having two to three weeks of not writing reviews or even subtitling videos for
that matter, I am now feeling refreshed and am definitely now desiring to cover
much content. There are many songs—both newer and older—that I plan to review,
and to make up for May having little content, I will aim to have nine posts for
June. That said, with soon having my wisdom teeth removed, this may or may not
be a realistic goal depending on my recovery time and if I am capable of
writing during that very time.

On topic, however, before getting
entirely back into reviews, I decided to instead cover a relatively brief yet
heated debate that oftentimes occurs in the K-Pop scene: line distributions for
groups. Specifically, as many readers might be familiar with, there is a
general take among fans that an equal line distribution should always exist for
groups. The lack thereof, then, is why mocking statements such as “Hyorin ft.
Sistar” or “Yuju ft. GFriend” are oftentimes heard—and indeed, I find that it is
best to discuss this very topic by using Sistar as an actual example. (And on
that note, I have much to discuss for their disbandment and even the legacy
they are leaving behind when I review their final song.) For where I wish to
take this Critical Discussion, I actually plan on challenging the very notion
that an equal line distribution is necessarily the best distribution. I, on the
other hand, actually argue that a line distribution is most effective when it accommodates members—particularly if we
are to focus on vocal roles such as “main vocalist,” “lead vocalist,” and “sub
vocalist.”

_______________________________________________________

Context:
Now, before getting right into my
perspective that challenges the current, main take to line distributions, first
we need to understand why many do hold onto the notion that an equal line
distribution is the best. Already, if readers are to look at the included
visual in this post, many should feel concerned: according to this source that
gauges time as a metric for line distribution, we can tell that in Sistar’s “I
Like That,” Hyorin is dominating a huge portion of the song. More than half of
the song consists of her singing, and that is definitely a reasonable concern
given that this means the rest of the members now hardly have time for their
own vocals to be heard. A group, after all, is meant to give spotlight to all of its members; thus, whenever one
member dominates a song even if on an aural level, it does appear problematic
and even unfair to the other members.

But, let us expand this argument
beyond merely emotional arguments that it is “unfair”; in other  words, let us critically examine on a musical level why having an unequal
distribution can be problematic. Readers who are familiar with this blog’s much
older reviews will know that I used to consider line distribution as its own
category worth grading akin to, for examples, the vocals and instrumental. The
rationale behind such is that, especially in larger groups, having an equal
line distribution allows a song to maintain a dynamic, active flow. Whether
from physically hearing new voices or how members’ lines are able to alternate from
each other in a fun, creative manner, there are some actual benefits at times
to having an equal distribution. However, indeed, I no longer gauge line
distribution as important for a song as, while it still is important, it is a far minor aspect to be concerned about. And
this is where we will now head for our discussion: my take on why an equal line
distribution is not necessarily the most beneficial.

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Overall, I argue there are two main
aspects that are worth considering when disagreeing with the view that an equal
distribution matters: vocal roles of members and whether time is a reliable metric—and
no, with the latter I do not wish to connote philosophical discussions on what
time even is. Jokes aside, let us first focus on vocal roles and why these
roles—official or not—matters.

With vocal roles, as stated earlier
in this post, here I am referring to the three main types that many fans are
familiar with: main vocalist; lead vocalist; and sub vocalist. To very briefly explain
what each are if readers are unfamiliar, these are essentially based on “levels”
with the main vocalist being the most vocally capable in her/his group while the sub vocalist is the least vocally
capable in her/his group. (Emphasis is added there as it needs to be reminded
that these roles are always in the context of a group. After all, despite for
example MAMAMOO’s Hwasa being the rapper and lead vocalist of her group, her
vocal capabilities exceed a vast majority of “main vocalists” in other groups
despite how, in MAMAMOO, she is arguably only just a lead vocalist. The point
is, these vocal roles are based in the context of a group and this needs to be
understood.)

Returning to the topic of why vocal
roles matters in relation to line distributions, we have to understand that it
is natural for distribution differences to exist based on these very roles. For
example, in Sistar’s case, it makes sense for Hyorin to handle the main bulk of
a song as she is vocally the most capable in her group—and even generally
speaking as she is a fantastic singer and even rapper. On the other hand, though
Dasom is still a solid singer, she is less adept than Hyorin. Thus, not only
would it potentially be out of her own comfort to handle a huge portion of the
song—and more so if considering vocally strenuous parts—but it might also begin
to hamper the song’s own audio appeal if Dasom delivers her parts less
effectively than if another member were to. As a result, it is understandable
on why in “I Like That” Hyorin would have a very high proportion of the song:
it is where the other members are comfortable with their vocal abilities, and
it allows the song to remain at its most appealing aural state given that
Hyorin is handling and delivering lines that require higher vocal levels.

Now of course, critical readers can
already easily disagree with this point: What about other songs where members do have equal line distributions but
said distributions themselves are based on the vocal roles? The best example in
mind is actually EXID’s “Up & Down”: in this song, if correct, the time length (distribution) per member is
actually roughly equal or at least at a reasonable share, but where there are
differences are merely in what the members sing. For example, Solji’s parts
involve more difficult, skilled singing but the time length is still
equal to Hani’s parts—even if Hani’s parts are less vocally intensive. As such,
readers and fans might argue this perspective that vocal roles should not
dictate the time length of
distributions but merely the vocal level
needed.

For my rebuttal, I admit: I do not
necessarily have one at all and in fact find this line of argument the most
convincing counter point to my argument. Theoretically, if this is always
possible for song, then indeed this is
the most practical, balanced solution: all members get an equal time length for
their lines, but vocal roles are still accounted for and utilized. That said,
the only disagreement here is not so much on the idea itself as it truly is one
of the better ideas, but admittedly we have to bear in mind that this is difficult to genuinely execute. When songs are composed and are then discussed
on how to be arranged per member’s lines, it is not always possible that both an equal distribution exists that
also accommodates for a member’s own vocal capabilities. Once again to use
Sistar’s “I Like That,” there are many points in the song where it simply is
most effective if Hyorin were to sing, even if this leads to her dominating a
large portion of the song. In other cases such as EXID’s “Up & Down,” it is far easier
to have roughly equal times all while fitting members’ abilities due to how the
song itself is structured. In summary, this counter argument to one of my
points is definitely reasonable and a solid one. The issue, though, is whether
this counter point is able to be consistently and realistically implemented in
many songs, and unfortunately I do remain pessimistic. If done, however, it
indeed is a perfect solution to the entire debate regarding line distribution.

But, even in the case that we can always
pair equal line distributions with vocal roles, I still find that there is actually a
problem: the assumption that time is the best metric for gauging line
distributions in the first place. Using “I Like That” as our main example, if
we look at the chart that is included in the post, we find that Bora has an erroneously
low share of the song. But, is that the case? Based on the metric of time and
even based on the metric of “section quantity” (how many sections a member is
involved in) that is true, but I argue these are not reliable forms of
measurements at all. The reason I bring these “units of measurements” into
question is that despite Bora having mostly a singular rapping section in “I
Like That,” I argue it is one of the most impacting and lasting sections in the
entire song due to what the rap brings to the song overall. Additionally, what
do we do with other songs where the rap sections are utterly fast despite the rapping
member potentially covering more words than all of the other members combined? Thus,
do we now count words as the metric
for line distributions or do we account for the “impact”—of which is already subjective
and impossible to quantify.

If this has confused readers in the
sense of realizing that there are too many variables on why line distribution
in of itself if a difficult aspect to track, then I have done my argument: it
is simply unrealistic and almost unreliable to be able to measure line
distributions and thus, the argument for having an “equal” distribution is
already at risk if one can never measure distributions in the first place.

_______________________________________________________

Conclusion:
So, what are we to make of this? Are
readers and fans to not care for line distributions at all, find a new
measurement for counting line distributions, or remain in debate forever?
Obviously the third option. But on a more serious note, this is ultimately what
readers need to take away: the answer is not one of the listed options but instead a combined, balanced view.

In the end, while we do run into
technical problems with accounting for line distributions, it is extreme to say
either line distributions do not matter at all or that it is the most important
aspect for groups. For example, with Sistar’s “I Like That,” I find that while
Hyorin should have had a larger portion than the other members, I find it more
disturbing that Soyou—the lead vocalist—had far less time involved when she is
a very capable vocalist as well. That said with Bora’s minimal amount, I find
that we have to be critical of the claimed 6.5% as her parts involved rapping—a
peculiar section that is not best measured in time length. All in all, then,
line distribution is worthy of critique to a certain extent, but when fans
examine such without being critical—such as without realizing that raps cannot
be reliably gauged in seconds or ignoring that some inequality is fine due to vocal roles—that is when this debate
truly becomes problematic. Yes, an equal line distribution is desirable, but
equally we need to realize why some disparity is natural and even beneficial
and that ultimately, gauging line distribution is already a complex task due to
many variables in place.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you to readers for reading
this whether in full or short, and thank you to readers for being quite patient
with reviews. More content will definitely be coming for June—unless, as said,
my recovery time with wisdom teeth removal ends up being miserable. But
assuming all is well, I plan to finish June with eight more posts whether
reviews or more Critical Discussion posts.

For the next post, IU’s “Palette”
will finally be reviewed—a review that was requested by a friend who, at this
point, joking teased that merely putting up the numerical ratings would suffice
by now. But of course, an actual review will take place. (And I am working on
being more concise with my writing, so readers can expect more reviews to come
out in the future.)

Hyorin – “Paradise” Review

(Music
Video)
/ (Live
Performance)

Hyorin – Paradise

Reviewed
on November 25, 2016

Bearing this in mind, with “Paradise”
its use of the “build-up” pre-chorus is not only plain, but the execution
behind it comes short and thus, the trade of creativity for effectiveness is
wasted: there is no gained “effectiveness” at all.

Personal Message:
Oddly enough, I have never reviewed
a solo song by Hyorin. While I did review “Erase” in the past, I consider that
more as a duo than a solo. What I specifically had in mind was that I reviewed
“One Way Love” before, but surprisingly I have never done so. (Or if I did,
this goes to show how awful my searching skills are.) Regardless, because I
have not done so, this review is even more encouraging as I truly do wish
to—roughly said—review artists I have yet to review. (Again, this is a slight
stretch as Sistar and Hyorin already have much spotlight on the blog; it is the
fact that I have never reviewed a solo
by Hyorin that I feel excused to say such.)

Edit:
Timing is off due to posting this later.
For random news and updates, I am on a slight break for
Thanksgiving. With this holiday, for those who celebrate it, in addition to
perhaps time spent with loved ones, I do encourage the “theme” of genuinely
being thankful for what one has. (And even if one does not celebrate
Thanksgiving, I think it never hurts to seriously ponder over that.)
Personally, when it comes to people, I am incredibly thankful for past teachers
I have had, current professors (although certainly a “past” professor as I had
the fortune of having a wonderful professor during high school), friends, family,
and my lovely girl (a terrier-mix dog). For more material-based things, I am
very thankful for this blog and, if I could travel to the past, although I
would be not-so-nice with my old self, I would at least thank him for starting
this blog.

For a more serious challenge,
though, to Thanksgiving (or at least a time to ruminate over gratefulness), I
challenge readers to be thankful for otherwise “invisible” people, things, or
acts. For a bad example, I seldom actually stop to be grateful for the
existence of music—strange, is it not? After all for someone who reviews K-Pop
and is constantly surrounded by music and the privilege to spend time analyzing
it, how would I take music for granted? And yet I do. Now for actual examples
of thanking “invisible” people or things, how often does one truly thank, say,
the janitors in a school?

On topic, I want to keep this review
a bit more concise than usual. I do this for, as the usual, balancing school
workload, but furthermore I simply want to begin getting back into the flow of
writing reviews. Admittedly, given how long it has been since the prior song
review, it feels awkward and difficult. Thus, just getting reviews out—even if
a few have to be mediocre for the time being—is the plan.

With that, for our review of
interest, while “Paradise” is no longer accurately called a “comeback” as it
has been a few weeks since it was released, it is still somewhat recent and
definitely a new solo from Hyorin after quite a long time and thus this review
should still feel relevant. Furthermore, I have planned to review it since its
release as, admittedly, I am greatly disappointed at the song. The composition
and even execution on Hyorin’s part are lackluster, and knowing Hyorin’s prowess
as a vocalist, “Paradise” sincerely fails to bring her justice.

Of course, though, for this review
we will focus neither on “blaming” Hyorin nor anyone for that matter; the
purpose of reviews is to critically engage with a song’s own composition and
decisions made in that regard—all while maintaining maturity and respect. If
the following words come across as overly harsh, it should be noted that all
these critiques are towards the composers’ ideas and not to personally attack
them in any manner. And besides: I think it is about time the review focused on
songs that are actually lower than average. I sincerely do attempt to bring a
critical ear and mind to songs, and truly, many K-Pop songs at their worst
reside at average. This makes sense: many composers know what they are doing
and how a general audience best receives a pop song. Thus, at worst, a song may
sound “generically pop” as I have coined. But, as we will see, there are times
where I will boldly argue composers can come short and instead craft a song
that is somewhat unappealing.

And so, let us head to Hyorin’s
supposed special paradise. We would expect such a place to be beautiful,
amazing, and so on, but I instead found that we have landed on an island where
our ears are struggling to stay alive.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 3/10
(3.25/10 raw score) – “Below average”


Vocals: 4/10


Sections: 3/10
(3.33/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
4/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 3/10

4.     Chorus: 2/10

5.     Bridge: 2/10

6.     Conclusion: 4/10


Instrumental: 2/10


Lyrics: 4/10

Yeah
Welcome to paradise
I know you want it
Let’s have some fun

You always wore your jacket
Never took it off, so perfect
Even if winds of temptation blew at you
You were just like, “I don’t care”
I’m curious, I want to check
If you can reject even me
Do you not like to date
or have you not met a girl like me yet?

Even if I don’t move a finger,
I can open your heart
Your confident eyes are so cute to me
I’m going to approach you so don’t be surprised
I’ll make your heart hot
I’ll show you a dazzling paradise

Yeah, I’m different
Uh, huh
My temperature is different
It’s hot hot hot, when you’re with me
You’ll be hot hot hot, I’m always hot
Take it off, take it off, I already won
I know you want to
Listen up

You always wear black sunglasses
Covering your eyes, pretending not to care
Even if all these eyes of temptation pour on you
You don’t even turn your head
I’m curious about your limit
Poke me, make me burn even more
You’ve never seen this before, never even imagined
Your jaw is gonna drop, oh God

Even if I don’t move a finger,
I can open your heart
Your confident eyes are so cute to me
I’m going to approach you so don’t be surprised
I’ll make your heart hot
I’ll show you a dazzling paradise

Yeah, I’m different
Uh, huh
My temperature is different
It’s hot hot hot, when you’re with me
You’ll be hot hot hot, I’m always hot
Take it off, take it off, I already won

[Bridge]

Even if I don’t move a finger, I can open your heart
(I’m a paradise)
Your confident eyes are so cute to me
(Cute)
I’m going to approach you so don’t be surprised
(Don’t be surprised, yeah)
I’ll make your heart hot
I’ll show you a dazzling paradise

Yeah, I’m different
Uh, huh
My temperature is different
It’s hot hot hot, when you’re with me
You’ll be hot hot hot, I’m always hot
Take it off, take it off, I already won

I’ll show you, paradise

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Shocking
for some, the song does score at a three for below average. In this review, we
will first focus on what I argue are the song’s weakest aspects—the sections
and instrumental, and afterwards, we will focus on the strengths of the song—the
vocals in certain cases.

With
the sections, they are arguably in one of the worst scenarios a song could face:
generic in format, but on top of that, poorly executed and failing to meet with
each section’s goal. The pre-choruses, choruses, and bridge are excellent
examples to look at.

When
it comes to the pre-choruses, I think many would agree they follow a generic
format. For those unfamiliar or unable to hear it, the general pop pre-chorus
is when the pre-chorus takes a pause in intensity and pacing once the section
occurs, and from there, it gradually begins to build up in intensity and
increases in its pacing. Consider it a “dive-down-then-back-up” type of format.

Now
regarding why it is troubling in “Paradise,” the use of an extremely common
technique is already limiting in of itself. Pop songs—ones that wish to stand
out—need to deviate away from these
very typical forms while still maintaining some familiarity. In “Paradise,”
this is not the case: it follows quite rigidly a generic pre-chorus format. The
result, then, is that “Paradise” in juxtaposition to other pop songs becomes
indistinguishable and that lack of specialty makes the song negligible.

Another
problem is that the pre-choruses fail
in their goal—and this is despite using a generic format. Explaining what I mean
and why that is significant, we should first understand why this “build-up”
pre-chorus format is typical in the first place. Although there are many
answers, I argue one of the prevalent reasons is that, simply put, it is
effective: a casual listener can hear the clear transition and it is very
predictable in form; in other words, it is easy to follow. Bearing this in
mind, with “Paradise” its use of the “build-up” pre-chorus is not only plain,
but the execution behind it comes short and thus, the trade of creativity for
effectiveness is wasted: there is no gained “effectiveness” at all.

In
terms of why I claim this is from two main reasons: one is that the vocals and
instrumental fail to connect, and secondly, the actual shifts in intensity
occur far too late. With the former, it is quite absurd that Hyorin’s vocals
are already escalating in intensity and yet, the instrumental drags behind. Later,
the opposite occurs: the instrumental begins to outpace the vocals’ own shift
in intensity. This lack of coordination, as a result, leads to listeners
becoming confused—and ironically enough, the reason this generic form is used
is to prevent that in the first place. Lastly, for the latter, it should be
noted that the pre-choruses stall towards the beginning half; during this
portion, the song is in a “break,” but it does not do anything else until the
second half. Only then do we receive the actual shift in intensity. Overall,
with a very late shifting point and the vocals and instrumental conflicting
each other, it leads to rather compromised pre-choruses.

Although
I do wish to discuss the bridge and choruses in the context of format, I believe
the prior example should give a general guide as to what I am thinking.
Essentially, this same idea applies to the bridge and choruses: generic in
format, and yet still lacking in execution and therefore, failing to be
successful in the sections’ general goal. As such, let us now proceed to the
instrumental itself—a category I believe that equally weakens “Paradise.”

Harshly
said, the instrumental is definitely a weaker one that I have heard. Only Hyuna’s
“How’s This?” comes into mind as another equally weak instrumental. Within the
instrumental itself, it lacks in both sonic appeal and structure—though ultimately,
I assert the latter is the more detrimental aspect. Either way, in terms of why
I claim the instrumental in a raw sense—a sonic sense—is poor, it renders as
extremely chaotic and lacks complexity. Of course, though, simplicity in an
instrumental can be very beautiful
and effective—Taeyeon’s “11:11” is the best example by far of an amazing
instrumental despite simplicity—but in “Paradise,” given the song’s sections
are all rather generic, having an overly simple, linear instrumental fails to
match the sections. And onto the point of the instrumental being chaotic and
disorganized, this lack of cohesion between the sections’ purpose—think back to
our discussion of the pre-choruses—and the instrumental’s actual flow creates a
confusing, rough listening experience.

Optimistically,
however, as in any song—no matter how weak—there will always be strengths. In “Paradise,”
while the vocals do score lower than usual—and more so if we consider that it
is Hyorin, a singer who normally rates at a seven—the vocals are still actually
the strongest point in the song. Why, then, I give a four is that the vocals
are only the strongest point in certain
situations
; the problem is that, for a vast majority of the song, the
vocals are exceptionally limited in their tune and diversity. Ignoring that,
though, the verses in specific are a good example of what could have carried
the bulk of the song: vocals that are more strenuous and adding a large amount
of tune and flow to an otherwise stale, typical pop song. The minor vocal
beltings here and the variety of note fluctuations definitely grant the verses
some credit—and this being why these sections in particular scored much better
than the rest.  

All
in all, while we truly could look through each section and at each detail to
the song, I believe the given analysis provides a sufficient view on where I
gauge “Paradise.” (And as always, I have to strike a balance between readers who
are very much into analyzing music versus casual fans who want to see where
some people are rating their favorite artist’s songs—I openly welcome both
types of readers and do my best to accommodate both audiences.) In the end, “Paradise”
is, sadly, a below average song; there are far too many weaknesses to the song
and barely any positive points to compensate for those glaring issues. Again, I
wish to emphasize that it is not Hyorin to blame—or, as said, anyone for that
said. “Blaming” is a poor word to use here; the word that is accurate is “critique.”
At most I am critiquing the composers and producers of the song. Knowing Hyorin
is a solid singer and that past releases of her’s—solos or duos—have been quite
decent, this latest release is beyond disappointing. She deserved a far better
produced and composed song, and boldly said, I believe fans equally deserved
better.

Regardless,
however, fans should still very much support Hyorin and Sistar on a personal level,
but as I encourage in reviews, fans should always be musically (and socially if
it arises) critical of the music they consume. And that said, realize I am by
far no specialist in music at all: it is absolutely fine—encouraged, even—for readers
to disagree with me. This is why I write reviews: not to merely share my
opinion, but to begin igniting an intellectual discussion among fans. But, in
short, “Paradise” is a disappointing release and I hope there are much better
composed songs for Hyorin’s future solos.

_______________________________________________________

As
always, thank you to all for joining in this review whether read in full or
skimmed. I do hope this review comes across as genuine critique and not, say,
unnecessary criticism for the sake of “being above pop music.” In other words,
I do attempt to share my take to K-Pop song in a more reasonable way; “Paradise”
scoring poorly is not an attempt to garner attention via controversy. I
personally do find it a weaker song, but again, a weak song does not mean the
composers in of themselves are unskilled nor are the singers involved
unskilled. This song in specific is what is weaker.

In
terms of the next review, UP10TION has surprised me with their latest song, and
given that I am behind reviewing male groups, they will receive priority. That
said, 2NE1 recently disbanded, so it might be time I finally give one of their
songs a review and for me to perhaps give personal opinions on the manner and
why, I argue, it is definitely healthy for fans to be upset and that they are
not “delusional” or “should just get over it.”

Until
then, “Even if I don’t move a finger, / I can open your heart” through reviews—and
by “open your heart” I mean by frustrating readers with mediocre writing
skills. Just look forward to the next review.

Sistar – “I Like That” Review

Sistar
– I Like That (Music Video)

Sistar – I Like That

Reviewed
on June 21, 2016

image

Personal Message: Edit 1: Thank you to a reader for pointing out I wrote “July” instead of “June.” After a long wait, the summer season
has finally arrived: Sistar has made a comeback. Coincidentally timed, I did
review the group’s song of “I Swear” for a review request, and although I did state I want to
begin focusing on artists that I have yet to review on this blog, I will
probably allow for an exemption here. After all, I like that; I really like the
comeback. And besides selfish, biased reasons for reviewing, more importantly
this review will allow readers who have been waiting for reviews to finally
receive their wish. I have another review that will also shortly come out, and
indeed both (this included) will be purely focused on songs versus digressing
on social topics. With that aside, in addition to being joyful that Sistar is
back, from what I have heard they have also recently achieved an “all-kill” on
charts; in other words, “I Like That” has been ranked as number one on various
music charts. Well deserved, as we will get to. I personally consider this
Sistar’s best song as of yet—though to bear in mind, I only have hours’ worth
of listening rather than the usual days’ worth. That said, this review may not
be as accurate as others as I have not invested much time into analyzing it,
but I believe I have sufficient insight towards the song so that a review is
possible and will not be of entire biased remarks.

Diving into the review, for where
many have been critiquing the song, many have pointed out the song’s
distribution—or the lack thereof, specifically. Indeed, though, that is a
correct aspect to criticize; if correct, this song has the most disparity of
lines in all of their releases. Those who have harshly said this song is
“Hyorin feat. Soyou, Dasom, and Bora,” even if somewhat painful to take, are
not far off if even off at all. However, this single aspect cannot dictate how
the rest of the song goes. So, even with a rather poor distribution, will it
still be possible for listeners to say, “I like that”?

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(6.6/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 8/10


Sections: 7/10
(6.86/10 raw score)

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

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 6/10

6.     Bridge: 7/10

7.     Conclusion: 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 5/10

Hyorin:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Chorus (Total: 6)

Soyou:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 4)

Dasom:
Verse, Verse, Chorus (Total: 3)

Bora:
Rap (Total: 1)

All:
Introduction, Bridge, Conclusion

Equal Value: 3.5 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 6/10

Let’s dance
(I like that)
(I like that)

Now I understand the saying,
“men are all the same”
A guy like you, I can’t figure you out
(I like that)
You’re here but then you’re gone, you come and go
I thought that I could change you
But I was such a fool

Don’t worry about me
Just because you’re not here
I just need you to disappear
That’s all I need
Just go to the women
you secretly flirted with

“I like you, I love you,”
you said it but I don’t believe you
You can’t settle for just me, that’s who you are
I resent God for meeting you
I like you
(Ooh ooh)
I love you
(Ooh ooh)
Out of all the words I heard this year,
I like those the best, I like that
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)

Go away, now go home
Don’t get weak, go back
I beg, I beg, I beg, I beg
(Oh, oh, oh, oh)

Go away, go drink alcohol or drink milk
I don’t care who you flirt with, with those hotshot lips
Playboy, you’re famous for that
I’m just crazy for not realizing

Don’t worry about me
Don’t be ridiculous
I just need you to disappear
That’s all I need
Just go to the girls
you flirted with all night

“I like you, I love you,”
you said it but I don’t believe you
You can’t settle for just me, that’s who you are
I resent God for meeting you
I like you
(Ooh ooh)
I love you
(Ooh ooh)
Out of all the words I heard this year,
I like those the best, I like that

I’m so fine, I’m so fine
If you care about me don’t touch me
I’m so fine, I’m so fine
If you care about me don’t touch me
To love someone or to trust someone
I don’t think it’ll be easy because of you

“I like you, I love you,”
you said it but I don’t believe you
You can’t settle for just me, that’s who you are
I resent God for meeting you
I like you
(Ooh ooh)
I love you
(Ooh ooh)
Out of all the words I heard this year,
I like those the best, I like that

(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like smile)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, I like that)

Choreography Score: */10 (*/10 raw score)

– Syncing: */10

– Key Points: */10

There
is a dance to the song, but as of the time of review neither dance practice nor
live performances have been uploaded.

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

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Surprisingly,
the section distribution is not as bad. Then again, I gauge section distribution and not line or time distribution. Although I am sure I explained in the past for
why I do this, I will reiterate it here so that everyone understands. First, gauging
based on line quantity or time quantity is inconsistent when considering
different styles that occur. A rap may be, for example, very excessive in lines.
Furthermore, a rap might be very short or very lengthy in duration. Would it
then be fair to punish a group because their rappers and singers, given the
circumstances of different vocal styles, have different durations and line
counts? What if they all have the same sections total count, though? That would
seem to be rather equal—even if, yes, the durations and individual line counts
are significantly different. Consider the following: a rapper in a group has
her spotlight at four different sections, and the other members all sing but
each have four sections as well. However, because the rapper is spitting out
fire, her total time duration is only five seconds while the members who sing
have a total of fifteen seconds, and the rapper’s line count is thirty while
the rest are at twenty. Even if the duration and line count are different, once
again, the rapper had sufficient spotlight given she appears at four sections
like the rest.

Furthermore,
there is also the issue of counting lines in the first place; what constitutes
a line at all? If we are to count sentences as lines, then what if there are
instances of run-off sentences or if a sentence becomes chunked up? Again,
there are too many variables at play that make lines and time unreliable
factors to account for when discussing how a song is distributed among members.
Sections, while certainly not exempt from issues—a main issue is, for example,
a member can simply say “oh” at the end of a chorus and she/he will now
suddenly gain a section count even though that is arguably exceptionally negligible
and should not be counted—do appear to be more stable than the former ones of
time and lines. Of course, though, I do try to be realistic and reasonable. For
example, in BTOB’s
review
, I made an exception for two of the rappers as the duration far outweighed
section count. But with all that covered, let us focus on how this all applies
to Sistar’s “I Like That.”

The
section distribution is definitely not poor at all in “I Like That.” Yes, the line and time distributions are horrendous—I do not deny that at all like
many have claimed—but in terms of how the sections were split, it renders averagely.
Dasom and Soyou both had the perfect count with three and four respectively.
Where issues occur would be with Hyorin and Bora—the former being quite excessive
while the latter remains lacking. What would have greatly aided this score
would be Bora gaining some additional sections. Even simple humming of “ooh”
that appears throughout would count. Instead of having all of the members for
those moments, if Bora was individually responsible for a few, then this score
would vastly improve. Nonetheless, as it is, it is far from negative. And so to
answer whether the distribution is bad in “I Like That,” the best answer would
be: what distribution are we
referring to? If we are using sections as the counter, then miraculously “I
Like That” is nothing too bad at all. It holds averagely—a rating that, while
not utterly impressive, is not that of “bad” or “poor.”

Finally
getting into the song itself, “I Like That” sounds fantastic. With the vocals,
the usual desirable traits are there: note holds, belting, diverse singing
styles, a variety of paces, smooth and powerful singing, and so forth. As those
traits are somewhat self-explanatory in this song, I will now elaborate unless
if readers desire some boring, repetitive writing. Now even then, those traits
would gain a seven at best. What, then, allows the ladies to reach an eight—a rating
that is essentially the highest I tend to give for reviews now? (For
comparison, a ten is practically forever impossible to earn as that would be “perfect”
vocals—a feat no one is quite capable of. As for a nine, MAMAMOO’s cover of “Hinterlands”
is the only nine-rating vocals I would ever give—this being out of every song I have ever heard in my life
so far.) Sistar’s strongest asset is why: their vocal chemistry. For example,
at the pre-choruses both Soyou’s and Hyorin’s singing intertwine seamlessly to
deliver varied, dynamic, highly melodic and controlled singing. Furthermore,
other sections such as the choruses benefit. During the choruses, while a large
portion is Hyorin’s singing, when Soyou or Dasom arrive with their single line—even
if minor on the surface—it is impacting as it provides both transition and
diversity to Hyorin’s already alluring singing. Overall, with vocals already acing
on an individual level—be it with the members themselves or with how the vocals
are all diverse in styles and power, and are fluent and highly tuneful—and how
Sistar in whole are able to connect their singing and rap to each other’s
vocals, it leads to a very cohesive and fabulous sound. Sistar has always been
known for their adept vocal skills—not just Hyorin—and “I Like That” definitely
continues that trend.

In
terms of the sections, many sections excel with being above average. Even the
weakest sections are still admirable with earning sixes. As already discussed earlier,
Sistar’s chemistry with each other’s vocals are a huge factor to the sections’ success.
The pre-choruses earn an eight due to both Hyorin and Soyou perfectly accommodating
one another with singing, but likewise also due to seamlessly transitioning the
song to the chorus without abruptly changing the song’s flow. Other sections,
such as the introduction and verse, also do well due to having a similar
manner: an excellent structure that serves the song a role—be it hooking in
listeners or providing a start that is neither too sudden or insufficient—all
while also having a seducing sound to back it up, such as with singing or
instrumental. And on the note of instrumental, to roughly transition for a
moment, its score derives from the usual of sounding individually solid and
supporting Sistar’s vocals, but what makes the instrumental thrive is its
flexibility. From smooth, classy and slower sounds to begin the song, to being
able to become upbeat to complement the choruses, and additionally to become
calm during the choruses’ ending, the instrumental in “I Like That” remains as
one of the most versatile ones I have yet to hear: fantastic in sound while
adaptive to any style the song requires. On topic again with the sections, at
the sections’ worst, the rap and conclusion have minor issues. Bora’s rap, for
instance, becomes somewhat stagnant given how it does not change in flow or
pace, and that the break in the middle also further emphasizes that linear
form. Even then, it is definitely still a decent rap and certainly suits the
song in whole. In summary, many sections fare well in “I Like That.” The
pre-choruses remain perhaps the strongest point in the song given its superb
sound and chemistry, but of course every section holds well—even the lowest
scoring ones.

Lastly,
regarding the song’s lyrics, although the song’s plot is of a rather recycled
concept—that of a breakup and a horrible partner—how that same, boring story is
delivered is now slightly more exciting thanks to “I Like That.” Details remain
varied and not merely repeated, though where the lyrics fall short is in depth:
the choruses, for example, do not bring new insight to the plot. Nevertheless,
the lyrics are still slightly above average. The verses, rap, and even
pre-choruses provide much of the lyrics’ appeal.

Concluding
this review, Sistar’s “I Like That” scores at above average—an excellent score.
The choreography, while it does exist, has yet to be officially released and
hence why I did not also review it. As such, for readers in the far future or
for those reading right now, I recommend looking up the dance practice or live
performances whenever they become available. Overall, this is an impressive
comeback by Sistar. Their vocals are sharper and more melodic than of prior songs,
and how “I Like That” is structured is phenomenal. What would be desirable in
the future, though, is finally a more equal distribution—even if they did not
score poorly this time around. Nonetheless, I personally consider this Sistar’s
best song as of yet. I look forward to even better songs in the future from the
ladies. “I Like That” achieving an “all-kill” is certainly to be expected given
the quality.  

_______________________________________________________

Despite
all odds, I managed to write this review in one day. I have already spent much
time analyzing the song itself, but when it comes time for writing, this
process generally takes a few days rather than just one sitting. But, somehow I
managed to get through this one. Either way, I am glad to have finished it so
soon, and to review an excellent song from a very popular and brilliant group. To
share what I have next in mind, I plan to review an underrated female group and
afterwards, a very popular male group. Both groups will be new artists reviewed
for the first time, and I definitely look forward to them. What may be
interesting, though, is that both may be controversial—and musically speaking,
that is. I have finished reviewing the female group’s song and I am shocked at
the scores myself. Which group is it and what song? Readers will have to be
patient.

As
I always say, thank you to all for reading or skimming, and for being patient
with the next review. Summer school has started and thus I am busier than usual.
(And that I have my sweet girl to take care of. For those wondering on how
Venus, my four-year old terrier mix, is doing after nearly two months of
adopting her, she is finally feeling at home and with her family. She is
incredibly loving now—though that love does not exist for other dogs.)
Likewise, for those who are fans of Fiestar, I will be busy with subtitling
videos of them. Many Follow Me
episodes are what I am currently working on. Until then, “Out of all the words
I heard this year, I like those the best, I like that”; I like that many
reviews and videos are coming soon for readers to enjoy.

Sistar – “I Swear” Review

Sistar
– I Swear (Dance Practice)

Sistar – I Swear

Reviewed
on May 30, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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


Vocals: 7/10


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

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

1.     Introduction:
8/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Rap: 5/10

6.     Bridge: 6/10

7.     Conclusion: 8/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 2/10

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

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

Dasom:
Verse (Total: 1)

Bora:
Rap (Total: 1)

Equal Value: 4.5 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 7/10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Syncing: 7/10

– Key Points: 7/10

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

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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.

__________________________________

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.

Hyorin and Jooyoung – “Erase” Review

Hyorin x Jooyoung – Erase (Dance Practice)

Hyorin and Jooyoung – Erase

Reviewed on February 7, 2015

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Personal Message: Many reviews are coming and amazingly, I decided to organize all my upcoming reviews. A vast majority of songs for this month have their review preemptively outlined, and thus, I will hopefully save time. Unlike the previous month, February will be showcasing new artists, and, as promised, more male artists. On the subject of male artists, I am ecstatic to review a song where the group, or more accurately phrased, the duo, comprises of both gender; Hyorin and Jooyoung, two phenomenal, exceptionally hard working, talented and pretty singers, have collaborated on the song “Erase.” To already address the link, it is their official dance practice video, but interestingly, the song is different: this is the stage performance version. The difference between that and the standard audio is the exclusion of a rap; Iron, a Korean rapper, was featured in this song. For the sake of live performances, however, it is understandable on why that section was removed (Iron did not attend them, from what I know). As a result, the second pre-chorus is reused versus it being the rap.

Overall, though, there are no significant differences from either version as both are excellent. If analyzing the lyrics, however, the removal of the rap does change the meaning in that both characters are at “fault” versus solely one of them. Clarification will be at the Meaning section (in short, in case I forget, the rap showcases the male character’s utter sexism flaw being that he, based on interpretation, cheated on the lady). Actually, thinking over the rap, I am glad this version removed it as it was rather offensive; “you’re just a toy that was in last season” was the line to reflect the male character’s frustration at the lady character, and without getting into an exceptionally long discussion, the male character’s character becomes explicitly unveiled. Though, to clarify, this was not composed in terms of the song claiming that, but rather, the character in the song expressing that (in terms of lyric details, I found it to augment the story as it provided depth to the characters). In general, to address that line, no male, or female, should ever objectify their love-interest, even a former one. No one is a “toy” that is meant to be used and thrown away; every human is, as said, a human worthy of proper respect and such.

Focusing back on the duo, many readers will probably recognize Hyorin. She is from Sistar, an extremely popular and successful group (the other ladies of Bora, Soyou, and Dasom also hold their own high popularity). Additionally, she is often time labeled as the “Queen Vocalist” of the K-Pop industry, but I personally render Ailee as that. Nevertheless, Hyorin is, using measurement as a metaphor, purely one centimeter or even one millimeter away from Ailee; Hyorin is practically as talented as Ailee. Comparing the two, in the end, is pointless, however, as both ladies are exceptionally incredible and both deserve their own separate admiration and respect for their skills and accomplishments. Anyhow, to address the gentleman of Jooyoung, though I am unsure, I believe this is his debut. Despite being new, he has showcased a high tier of skills; his dancing and vocals are on par with experienced idols. I hold high expectations for his future works, be it another collaboration or perhaps even solos (he is by far capable of singing and dancing on his own).

Now, to digress on the subject of Hyorin and specifically Sistar (and, as some loathe my digressions, feel free to skip to the review now), I have been, once again, consuming more media via their reality show of “Sistar Showtime.” As anticipated, the show simply showcases their more personal lives, such as revealing Soyou’s gym routine, Dasom’s common activity (that many can relate to) of watching television for hours, and of course, their genuine bond and affection towards each other. The latter: an issue. Strangely. Hyorin has been receiving some negativity with the way she acts. Being the more upholding, upfront and authoritative figure among the members, she presents a stronger presence and tends to be rather blunt with words. This has led to her being labeled “rude” and, inserting my personal and slightly jocular phrase filter of goodness-forbid, other terms that can be concluded as “rude” yet are exponentially more, ironically, rude. Since she is close to her members and does indeed possess the leader role, being blunt towards them should not surprise viewers. In many cases, she shows “blunt love” in that she may reveal embarrassing facts, but it will be as a joke and, as any viewer would agree, in the end, she does love her members. Perhaps I am being overly critical, but, as I have been keen on gauging reactions, it does appear to be that female groups are moreover criticized than male groups.

Before defensiveness locks into place, let me shed a simple yet realistic comparison: a male idol that appears to be very serious and, due to his leader role in his group, a leaking authoritative aura versus a female idol that appears to be rather solemn, and due to being the leader, a released commanding vibe. Now, I will discuss the general reactions I have gauged. The male idol: a leader, a person who watches over his members, a great inspiration. The female idol: mean, uninterested, a person who probably abuses and harassess her members, a person that needs to be more cheerful and fun. Interestingly, though the diction I utilized varied, I described both the male and female idol as the same, yet surprisingly, the general results yield utter opposites. This is my message: despite both idols having identical demeanors, the female idol faces heavier judgement as a higher standard is set and expected from her. How this relates back to “Sistar Showtime” is it can be directly translated over; viewers are assuming the worst for Hyorin, and, while I am certain people will get defensive at this claim, if she were a male idol, I remain confident in that her criticism regarding her stronger, upfront personality would cease or be, at most, exceptionally marginal. Overall, as a final point, this, unfortunately, stretches beyond K-Pop; in societies where males are indeed favored, females face the challenge of needing to not succeed a basic standard, but rather, an excessive one due to their gender. So while, if anything, this reminds readers to not be heavily critical of female idols, this should be expanded into life in general. Do not overly scrutinize a female be it her appearance, how she acts, and more, due to her being a female. For a differing example, let us utilize females and gaming. Should she be mediocre, sexist remarks leak as “girls cannot game,” and even with performing well, sexist comments still prevail such as “not bad for a girl.” On the basis of their gender, ladies have their skills predicted when, most blatantly, that is completely false and inaccurate. Dexterity is the reason, not gender (and in fact, the best player on my team is a female). Even the sheer opposite of assuming versus underestimating occurs. Make-up skills, for example, are often automatically assumed for a female when, once again, gender does not grant those talents. Unusual, absurdly high standards or false assumptions are always set for females, and that sole idea is what everyone should consider, and more importantly, challenge via not contributing and by confronting and halting those who do offer those microaggressions.

Hopefully readers take into heart that and, regardless of whether similar comments have been made or not in the past, remaining critical and changing current behaviors to not be discriminative should be the goal. To finally return to “Erase” (apologies for a very long digression), it follows an interesting genre. In essence, it fits into ballad, but overall, other genres are slightly branched into. Nevertheless, “Erase” is an extremely solid song, and out of the many recents ones I have been listening to, it currently holds as the strongest. The vocals, structure, instrumental, and even the choreography, for examples, are all exceptionally promising and to a high caliber. I foresee higher grades given for “Erase.” That said, with the two talented, stellar idols of Hyorin and Jooyoung cooperating, let us hope our memories of this song do not “Erase.”  

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Song Total Score: 9/10 (8.6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 9/10 – Considering Hyorin is involved, a high score should be expected. But, of course, she is not alone; Jooyoung is accounted for, and thankfully, his vocals hold equally well. Both of them offer versatility for their singing: lower yet higher notes are heard, the style ranges from a slower, silkier tone to one of power, and the melody holds as fluctuating and infatuating. Now, for what secures a higher score, due to the dynamic of “Erase” involving two main singers, the duo’s chemistry plays an influential, vital factor. In “Erase,” Jooyoung’s and Hyorin’s synergy becomes unveiled by how perfectly meshed their vocals are. Sonically, their voices fit according to one another. Throughout the song, sections that utilize alternation become fluent and natural; little contrast exists when they exchange turns singing, and thus, the vocals become collaborative versus combative. Furthermore, for moments where unison singing occurs, a prime example of the duo’s chemistry is disclosed. Neither one of them necessarily take the lead, but rather, both of them are equally simultaneously singing. No singer undermines the other, both are heard and thus, due to each of their individual, highly stunning vocal skills, the song overall becomes greatly enhanced.

Individually, Hyorin and Jooyoung are high tier, adept singers, and this song proves such on the mechanical level. In terms of being a duo-based song, hearing their excellent chemistry prevail further boosts the score. A higher score will be given.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (7.57/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Though the main spotlight is on the instrumental itself, Hyorin and Jooyoung offer minimal vocals.

For an introduction, besides setting up the song’s atmosphere, the method in which it does so remains phenomenal. With the introduction’s structure, the vocals and instrumental are both leaked, but with remaining vague due to, in the case of the instrumental, slower pacing, or for the vocals, pure note stretches and humming, heavy anticipation towards the song becomes created along with setting up the overarching tone. Now, the method in which the introduction executes remains charming in itself. The slower beat snaps and piano melody complement one another and sound utterly delightful, but with the addition of vocals, the same trend of remaining slow yet melodic replicates; Hyorin’s and Jooyoung’s humming and such were as tuneful as the instrumental, and with both components of vocals and soundtrack remaining solid on the individual and wholesome level, the introduction becomes vastly augmented.

The standard role of setting the stage is met, and with the extra factor of the introduction properly connecting the vocals to instrumental, a noteworthy score will be given.

2. Verse: 8/10 – Jooyoung handles the first half of the verses while Hyorin receives the remaining. Minimal unison singing does occur, however. The second verse remains fully identical.

Many aspects of the verses can be deemed as excellent. Firstly, addressing the sonic perspective, the vocals and instrumental continue to establish their excellence. Jooyoung’s lines remain soothing, tuneful, and even traces of sadness accompany his singing. Addressing Hyorin, her line remains equally soothing and melodic, and in contrast to Jooyoung, a higher pitch range is gleaned. For the instrumental, the snaps and piano from the introduction return, additionally, however, the bass of “Erase” arrives. With the three main components of the instrumental together, a welcomed outcome occurs; the snaps and piano continue to be tuneful, but the newly introduced bass provides a supportive foundation for both the vocals and the snaps and piano. Even by itself, the bass is prominent and offers its own niche to the song. Transitioning over to the structure, the verses follow incredible alternation. A unison “hello” occurs by the duo, but then solely one of them sings. After a line ends, however, the “hello” appears and a new line takes over along with potentially a different singer. Due to this alternation and unison word, variety is created as well as providing subtle aspects to the couple’s synergy, be it their coordination or simply how well their voices sound against each other.

With multiple aspects remaining stunning, such as the structure itself or mechanically the vocals and instrumental, a higher score will be given.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Jooyoung is responsible for one line. Hyorin follows suit. Afterwards, both are simultaneously singing.

Focusing on the slightly weaker side of the pre-choruses, the structure lacks some depth; Jooyoung takes one line followed by Hyorin who also possesses one line, and though there is unison singing for the third line, structurally, nothing holds as compelling. The individual lines had no distinctive property, and unfortunately, the unison singing was simply them singing at, coincidentally, the same time. In terms of what does grant the pre-choruses its stronger points, the vocals still remain charming and, likewise, the instrumental can still be rendered as captivating. Ignoring the mechanical side, the process in which hype towards the chorus is created is admirable; considering “Erase” follows a ballad’s pace, instead of having the development towards the chorus accelerate or increasing the song’s intensity, the sheer opposite of further slowing down the song becomes the utilized tactic. Drawing an example, during the unison singing, “yeah” was sung and dragged out to bring the pacing to a relatively sluggish pace, and though the sole purpose appears in accentuating the duo’s lower notes, the decrease in speed is what allows proper buildup towards the chorus.

Overall, though the lines’ structure remain plain, they still sound pleasing and furthermore, the pre-choruses’ do a fantastic job of hyping the song for the upcoming chorus. Above average will be the rating.  

4. Chorus: 9/10 – For the entirety of the choruses, Jooyoung and Hyorin are singing as one.

From the start, I will claim the choruses are the song’s strongest section, and considering that I seldom give 9s for a score nowadays, this in itself should indicate how incredible this section is. The choruses showcase the vocals, instrumental, and even the duo’s chemistry at their prime. Vocally, Hyorin and Jooyoung are exceptionally melodic along with having traces of prominent, stronger singing. The instrumental, similar to the vocals, become amplified to accommodate the intenser singing; the beat snaps along with the bass act as a foundation, and the piano melody further enriches the already tuneful vocals of the duo. Lastly, the couple’s chemistry, biasedly, holds as the most influential factor. A unique yet strange phenomenon occurs: neither one of them leads, yet ironically, one of them does lead, and in opposite, though no one is necessarily laying a supportive, passive foundation, simultaneously, one person does provide that role. This paradoxical aspect to their singing is perhaps what yields the section its high score. At certain moments, Hyorin’s lighter pitch seems to be the main focus while Jooyoung’s lower voice provides support, but at different occasions, the opposite occurs in that Jooyoung is leading the section while Hyorin provides the foundation. With this constant change, appeal is blatantly kept high.

Overall, with the song coming as one unified and purely captivating section, a very high score is expected. Mechanically, everything sounds well and with the duo’s chemistry being beautiful, the section as a whole is further strengthened.

5. Post-Chorus: 7/10 – Hyorin handles the first line, and as predicted, Jooyoung handles the next. The final line, however, features Hyorin.

While in the overall perspective the vocals are still superior, during this section, the vocals do falter when juxtaposed to the other sections. Power is the main focus for vocals, but unfortunately, it is overly prioritized. With the previous section, the choruses, taking a stronger, prominent stance, having another section duplicating such gives an unnecessary repetition. As a result, with this redundancy, the impacting vocals that occur lose their presence, and thus, a bleaker section is left. Nevertheless, despite having a sense of repetition, the vocals and instrumental still hold well. Desirable traits still exist for them, such as being melodic and having proper alternating lines.

With the slight overlapping quality from the previous section being the main yet miniscule issue, the post-choruses still hold at above average.

6. Bridge: 7/10 – Both are responsible for the bridge. Alternating lines become the style until the end where both simultaneously sing.

Being the bridge, a standard climactic point is created. Higher notes and power are the main assets to this section. High note holds are entrusted with Jooyoung while Hyorin handles the general singing lines. Although the instrumental and vocals themselves remain mechanically strong, there are minimal compelling, striking factors. Adamantly, the instrumental predominantly sounds as it does during the other sections, and though the note holds can be rendered as impressive, it is a standard note hold that does not showcase extreme cases of skill, intensity, nor melody. On the positive side, the bridge does contain an interesting line structure; towards the middle, the alternating style becomes manipulated to aid the section. Hyorin would sing one word, and unlike previous sections where Jooyoung would replicate the prior line identically, in the bridge section, Jooyoung would follow up the word in a much higher note in addition to possessing more power. Even with the final line, despite how both Hyorin and Jooyoung sing in unison, Jooyoung’s line comes off with additional power and a higher note range. Due to this differing method with alternation, a layering aspect is created; Hyorin’s parts act moreover as foundation while Jooyoung’s singing take the lead.

Mechanically, the instrumental and vocals, while still delightful, remain unvaried from other sections, but thankfully, the alternation that does occur is vastly different, and thus, an appealing and welcoming layering function becomes granted. Above average will be the score.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – Since the post-chorus is recycled, once again, Hyorin tackles the first line with Jooyoung handling the second, and at the end, Hyorin concludes it.

Serving as a conclusion, the post-chorus does fulfill that role. Previously mentioned, with the post-chorus having power as a main aspect, Jooyoung’s note hold that carried over from the bridge comes off as natural. Furthermore, Hyorin also contributes to such by adding a background note hold. A final, climactic end point is given due to the amount of note holds given. Towards the very end, the vocals and instrumental fade off quickly yet precisely, and thus, a solid, sound conclusion is met. Overall, while the note holds and natural end fade are respectable, with the post-choruses not being absolutely stunning as a section, the conclusion slightly suffers from such.

Nevertheless, the post-choruses themselves hold as above average, and with decent note holds and a solid ending, the conclusion will still be held at above average.

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – With this collaboration involving two members, a perfect score should automatically be earned.

Since I would like to save time and be partially lazy it is rather complicated to list out how the sections were distributed, I will simplify this part. Many sections showcased equal, alternating lines, and at other times, unison singing. With the quantity being practically equal, the score will be a 10 as the distribution can be concluded as perfect.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Although the instrumental in “Erase” is biasedly what I adore, I will exclude extraneous influences of personal preferences. In light of the instrumental itself, individually, the soundtrack is exceptional. The snaps provide a catchy yet rhymatic aspect and the piano tune holds responsible as the song’s main instrumental melody. Additionally, the bass plays a prominent and crucial role; with vocals taking a more energetic and higher pitched style, the bass compensates the lower note range, and additionally, provides a contrast that translates as a supportive foundation. On the subject of support, when accounting for the duo’s singing, the instrumental and vocals aid one another. Sonically, both parties mesh well and complement the other. The bass, as stated earlier, is one example of how the vocals and soundtrack reinforce each other. Another example is the piano which reciprocates the vocals’ melody and softer yet prominent style.

In summary, with the instrumental sounding spectacular on its own and, when factoring in how well the vocals are accommodated, a solid score will be earned.

– Meaning: 8/10 – With a title of “Erase” and a somewhat melancholy atmosphere, a sadder story is anticipated. Perhaps a couple ended their relationship, and as a result, the couple now attempts to “Erase” their history. Ending the speculations, through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, the story behind the ballad can be discovered. As always, these lyrics are not 100% accurate:

(Hello) You changed a lot, your shorter hair
(Hello) Your thick makeup, you’re like someone else
(Hello) I know that I mean nothing
to you now, I feel it

You’ll forget me, whatever, I’ll just meet another girl
I’ll just meaninglessly meet another guy, it’ll be typical
Don’t look back so I can’t hold onto you, no way, yeah

I’m not that great of a person
Don’t think too hard, no
Don’t pretend to be nice, doo doo roo doo doo roo
We always had that kind of love, don’t say yeah

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no, that’s how we always were, yeah, yeah

(Good bye) I’m sick of the same words every time
(Good bye) We got more and more careless
(Good bye) I know that I mean nothing
to you now, I feel it

You’ll forget me, whatever, I’ll just meet another girl
I’ll just meaninglessly meet another guy, it’ll be typical
Don’t look back so I can’t hold onto you, no way yeah

I’m not that great of a person
Don’t think too hard, no
Don’t pretend to be nice, doo doo roo doo doo roo
We always had that kind of love, don’t say yeah

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no, that’s how we always were

(Bye bye) I secretly walked behind you
as your turned back grew darker
The farther you got,
I thought of you more
Without even knowing why, I keep missing you, bye

I’ll erase my love for you (erase) you
I’ll erase your number (erase) secretly
We can’t ever be, no no, that’s how we always were, yeah, yeah

Somewhat correctly predicted, “Erase” derives its title from a couple desiring to “erase” their feelings towards one another. Absurdly, a couple has parted ways after an unknown incident. With the two separating, they both feel that they are “nothing to [the lover] now.” What differs from these lyrics in juxtaposition to countless others is the peculiar scenario they are subjected to; the couple has split, yet ironically, it appears neither of them wanted to. Both the male and lady feel apathetic with finding new love-interests; after all, the male possesses a “whatever” attitude and simply claims he will “just meet another girl” and the lady will “meaningless meet another guy.” This unveils it situation is not one-sided, but rather, both are suffering from their separation. Diving into why the characters are no longer together, perhaps guilt consumed not one, but two of them; “I’m not that great of a person” is a self-claimed statement from both the characters, and additionally, a sense of regret appears from “don’t pretend to be nice.” Extracting these points, the couple individually might have felt that they were not worthy of the other person, and thus, decided to split ways for the better. Ironically, if that is the proper term, both of them feel they are bad for the other. Nevertheless, with the outcome taking the form of the couple separating, they attempt to move on by “[erasing] [their] love” and the other’s phone “number.”

In summary, with an exceptionally confusing, complex story, even with the details being somewhat limited, the crafted setting and plot hold as intriguing, and thus, a solid score will be granted. Many questions exist, and though details lack, enough meaningful ones exist so that one may infer the untold aspects. “Erase” holds my personal throne of being the song that has generated the most questions and pondering time.

Switching to the “Critical Corner,” unfortunately since the rap is removed, a lot of discussion points I previously had when listening to “Erase” have erased. Setting aside horrible puns and jokes, peering at the lyrics, the only discussion in mind is to address the idea of a split relationship. Though the background of “Erase” ‘s story remains vague, I still hold a general consensus of how split relationships should be: peaceful and accepting. Instead of songs’ often depicted stories of a severed relationship being the most traumatic event to ever happen, I believe in a more realistic and more humane outcome. Should a relationship end, both individuals should be on decent terms. Perhaps not close friends, but at the very least acquaintances who still acknowledges that the other person is alive. Of course, when accounting for why and how a relationship ends, this type of outcome may be skewed. Nevertheless, hopefully, if a relationship does end in the first place, it is out of agreement and proper terms and not due to a cheated relationship, a one-sided scenario, and other ones that are often time mentioned in songs or even movies and other mediums.    

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Finally, the Choreography Score is left for grading. Even with being a slower paced song, dances are still possible, and “Erase” does erase the common mentality of how a song must be upbeat for a dance to be delightful (I will also start erasing my puns). Glancing at the syncing component of the dance, it is excellent. No issues exist with matching to not solely the beats/snaps, but also the flow of the song. Maneuvers that link to the snaps are clearly seen, and for matching the flow, though more subtle, movements such as at the beginning with Jooyoung are examples of syncing to the flow. The only moment in which the syncing was poor is towards the second verse; the leg snapping disclosed excellent coordination, but unfortunately, minimal syncing. Ignoring that piece, however, the syncing holds as solid. For the second main feature of the choreography, the key points hold well. Every dance set at each section were smooth in a multitude of perspectives; the transitions were fluent and natural, movement was cohesive,  and all of the dancing was rather graceful and charismatic due to fitting the song’s softer and emotional tone. Swapping to the backup dancers, they were properly used. The main spotlight still resided with Hyorin and Jooyoung, but for background work, the backup dancers fulfilled that role. Furthermore, with them adding an extra layer to the dance, some complexity is granted, and therefore, diversity with the dance is gleaned.

A solid score is earned here. Although “Erase” holds as a slower paced, graceful song, a dance that still remains energetic and equally charming as the non-visual component exists.

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Overall Score: 9/10 (8.5/10 raw score) – Shockingly yet humorously unsurprisingly, “Erase” finishes with a 9/10, and in terms of what that represents, the song can be deemed as amazing and, simply put, very good. Biasedly, I do agree, however, with the score being that high, I am slightly skeptical. Perhaps the perfect Line Distribution amped it up excessively, but despite that, the song is truthfully well-rounded. The lyrics deliver an interesting story, the song is structurally solid, the vocals are, of course, extremely potent, and with other factors, be it the instrumental or the more score-influential piece of the choreography all holding a respectable position, a high Overall Score should be envisioned and accepted.

As I always say, thank you very much for reading. Thank you for your time and support, I appreciate it all. This review took, after some hazy gauging, about 5 and a half hours in total to write. Two days were spent on such, the second day being more invested into. With unveiling my lack of living life and being a turtled reviewer the amount of time I place towards writing reviews, hopefully readers do understand why I cannot publish reviews at a quick pace. In the future, I may attempt to trim them down, but feedback and ideas on such would be desirable (and also feedback on my writing itself).

For future reviews, with finally searching up the date for Valentine’s Day, I will now begin my holiday-orientated song. Ignoring the upcoming ballad that suits the holiday, 4Minute will be having a comeback soon, and therefore, I will attempt to cover it as soon as possible. Besides that, however, a less popular group is in mind, and in contrast, a popular group with a differing song concept that I have yet to review will also be covered. Many reviews are in mind, time is what remains as my sole concern. With much work on my plate, reviews may be slightly hindered, but I will do my best to be as efficient as possible (time to follow my role model of T-ARA’s Soyeon by being very proficient and hasty with work).

Anyhow, stay tuned for upcoming reviews. Thank you once more for reading, and apologies for current and future delays. Even though “I’m not that great of a person” since my writing needs heavy improvement and refining (and, truthfully, I still need to grow as a person), thank you for continuing to check back. I will, unlike the song, never “erase my love for you.” Keep checking back for a more cheerful song, but in the meantime, keep away from cliffs, sharp objects, poisons simply stay happy doing whatever brings you joy.

Sistar – “Touch My Body” Review

Sistar – Touch My Body (Dance Practice)

Sistar – Touch My Body

Reviewed on July 23, 2014

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Personal Message: A bit late on schedule, but I think it’s all fine. So after having this song on repeat on my phone for a while, I’ve come to like it. It’s very catchy and has a really nice melody. The instrumental isn’t too bad either. Everything about it is solid minus some song sections and the dance. The choreography isn’t too strong.

Anyhow, it is time to see how Sistar did for their comeback. Statistics do say, they are on fire! I heard they managed to acquire an “all-kill”, which pretty much means their song topped #1 on multiple music charts. So congratulations on that. That’s an incredibly hard achievement, but they did it. 

Let’s see if it truly is an “all-kill” song. As we know from my previous “Give It To Me” review, they are solid singers and dancers; Hyorin appears with her extremely versatile vocals, Soyu is there for the softer, melodic lines, Bora has her flowing rap, and Dasom definitely has recognizable singing talent. Time to move on to the review to see if they truly did “Touch My Body”. And by body, I mean musical taste. 

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

– Vocals: 9/10 – Coming back full force, we can see the ladies are continuing their hard work of vocal skills; the vocals in this song are fantastic. Hyorin carries the group via her singing; she’s able to provide so much energy for the song. Soyu aids the softer parts along with Dasom. Bora has her rap in which she sounds great in. Overall, very solid vocals here, as to expected from Sistar. They all sound great and show off their well established talent.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (7.75/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

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

Note: So a very standard structure. The only unique part is this one post-chorus section technically uses the introduction’s part, lyrically anyways. Also, I’m assuming the bridge starts right after the final chorus. I’m also counting the conclusion to start right after Hyorin’s last line at the bridge. Pretty much, Soyu’s solo, final section is the conclusion along with the final “Touch my body”. Also interesting to note, the conclusion here recycles its bridge (lyrically), so that’s interesting to see. 

1. Introduction: 8/10 – So the introduction is weird. Unfortunately, I am intending to add a somewhat negative connotation with that. 

The introduction starts off with a very, peaceful tune. It lasts for a few seconds but a “audio zip” sounds occurs to cut that part off. After that, we hear an obnoxious “Let’s rock!” Now after all that, finally the real song starts off. 

In full power we hear the instrumental along with its key instrument, the…saxophone…? I am not sure exactly, but it’s along the family of that. Anyhow, “Touch my body” is also repeated many times. 

The song is set up very well; the key phrase is already given and so is the key instrument. The instrumental and vocals were warming up and kicking off and the transition to the first verse is excellent since Hyorin ended with a few, short and sweet note holds of “Oh~”. 

As great as it is, unfortunately “Touch My Body” had a stuffed introduction; there was a lot of unnecessary “fluff” added. The peaceful thing at the start could’ve been completely evaded; removing that would also remove the obnoxious “Let’s rock!” line. Perhaps it would’ve been too much to start with by removing the peaceful soundtrack, but another method to build up/set up the song would’ve been way more suiting. That was utterly out of place. Nevertheless, the introduction is still solid despite that setback. 

2. Verse: 8/10 – A solid verse. Hyorin takes the job of this one.

For this section, the pacing is relatively quick to keep the intensity/energy higher. This song’s introduction did set the field up as such; it foreshadowed that this song would be really upbeat and catchy. Hyorin manages to follow that trend. She keeps a very nice flow and melody. There are quite a few English lines tossed around which creates a nice contrast from the Korean lines. Hyorin sings in a softer voice. This is good for building up the song. After all, it’s Hyorin. She has killer vocals but it’d be a waste to just show them off already.

Overall, a really nice, soft verse that utilizes Hyorin’s gentle vocals. Great build up is done and the transition to the next part is smooth since Hyorin ended on a lower note and the aid of “Na na…” helped ensure that. 

3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Soyu does the first one while Dasom and Hyorin do the second pre-chorus. Melody-wise, they’re both the same. Dasom’s part replicates Soyu’s part except she has Hyorin finishing it off.

Anyhow, let’s see how Soyu did.

Ever since “Some”, I’ve been a huge fan of Soyu’s voice. It’s very soft and sweet. For the pre-chorus, there’s no exception to that. 

Soyu provides and builds a really nice melody here; it’s full of gentleness but at the same time, it’s energetic. The flow is excellent here. There’s some quicker pacing but then some slower pacing as she does smaller note holds through “haneurwiro~”. That creates a nice change to prevent any staleness. Finally, she ends in a very fluent, melodic line of “baby dancing with me you’re my star”.

Overall, really solid verse by Soyu. By contributing her sweet, angelic vocals, she’s able to construct a solid verse. The melody sounds fantastic and the flow of it from fast to slower and back to fast is also great. 

Dasom’s part is different lyrically, but the melody is pretty much the same. She is a bit more energetic and less soft. Hyorin does finish the part though, but that just adds even more intensity.

Anyhow, great verse.

4. Chorus: 9/10 – Now this is where the song truly rocks. The chorus plays off Hyorin’s vocals, and a special flow. Hyorin and Soyu work together for this section.

The transition to the chorus is smooth; no issues there. Hyorin’s parts are fully packed; she provides so much energy through her vocals. She’s singing on the higher pitch side, but don’t forget her melody and power. She’s rocking her lines and gives the chorus a nice level of intensity. Now that isn’t the only unique thing for the chorus. Soyu sings after Hyorin, but what she does here is not adding onto the intensity; she does the opposite. She brings the intensity down slightly through softer singing. Furthermore, after Soyu’s line, “My body body, touch my body” is heard and that calms the song down even more. Now after that part, Hyorin starts up again with full power and then the cycle repeats again with Soyu then that final relaxing line.

This creates an outstanding flow; instead of constant high energy, it shifts around. High, then slightly calmer, then slightly calmer again. Then back up, and slowly down again. Overall, this provides a great way to have a catchy, energetic chorus without it getting stagnant. A super catchy chorus. Well done by Soyu and Hyorin.

5. Post-Chorus (Introduction): 8/10 – Remember the “Touch my body” line that repeated quite a few times during the introduction? Well, it appears once again here. After the chorus, there’s this break. Pretty much the introduction’s section is played once more here. 

It isn’t too out of place; the chorus was quite hyped up and intense. This part allowed a break. Knowing that the rap is upcoming, this allows a smooth transition for it. Bora’s rapping part wasn’t as energetic as the chorus, so for a smooth transition, the post-chorus would need to be appropriate. This section does that; it allows Bora to step in easily. Furthermore, it allows the song to build up once again. A recycle.

Overall, I find its place suiting. 

6. Rap: 8/10 – Coming from the post-chorus, a perfect fit. It blended in very nicely.

Bora handles this section and she does a nice job of executing it. It was on a slower pacing, but her flow was solid. Especially near the end, she had chunks of “…yeogi yeogi yeogi anim jeogi jeogi jeogi” which creates a lingering effect through the chunking. Also to note, Hyorin does throw in one line during her rap, which adds to the melody. A great addition there.

Overall, a solid rap. Its use here was more for building up the song once again, but I found Bora to have done a nice job with keeping the flow and melody up. She also ends quietly and the instrumental followed suit with dying out as well. 

7. Bridge: 7/10 – Not the most solid bridge I’ve heard. Transitions to and after are fine, but the first half of the bridge could’ve been better.

For the first half, Hyorin’s line involved the word “body” quite often; now of course that word is going to be heard often (hence, “Touch My Body”, go figure) but hearing “My body” repeated AND echoed made it quite dull and repetitive. It’s not catchy and becomes really boring to hear after so much exposure to it. I do give credit for her lower pitched note at the end of the first half. That sounded decent and gave a nice transition to the second half of the bridge. 

Now, after the first half, the second half is where the “true” bridge shines. Dasom, Soyu, and Hyorin work together. 

They all sung on the softer side. With higher pitched, gentle voices, they created a sweet melody and a solid build up for the song to return back to itself. 

Overall, the first half of the bridge is what impairs it; it became too dull to hear “My body” repeated along with it being echoed in the background. Other than that, the second half was really beautiful. Dasom, Soyu, and Hyorin did a fabulous job with the melody there along with being gentle vocally. 

8. Conclusion (Bridge): 6/10 – A pretty disappointing ending to be honest. An interesting reuse of the bridge, but that’s all.

For the conclusion, Hyorin does some two-part singing. The conclusion is layered with some very powerful note holds thanks to her. Soyu is the one singing the conclusion as usual, and she follows the bridge’s flow except she’s a bit faster on pacing. She still remains somewhat soft, but she adds some noticeable power. Now after all that…the instrumental drains out and all we hear is “Touch My Body”. Abrupt. Chopped. After a somewhat energetic conclusion, ending it abruptly by having the instrumental suddenly fade out did not go smoothly. Furthermore, removing the last line of “Touch My Body” would’ve helped. To be honest, that part could’ve been left out. Soyu’s voice did a great wrap up, adding that was unneeded. Completely unfitting. 

Overall, an unsatisfying conclusion to such an upbeat song; it didn’t end properly. It was way too sudden with cutting off the song. The only part that does hold it, however, is definitely solid. Hyorin’s two-part was great for a final peak of intensity and Soyu’s singing was excellent here. However, the lack of properly closing will hurt the score.

– Line Distribution: 8/10 – As talked about in my previous review of Sistar in “Give It To Me”, sharing lines is a bit difficult here. Hyorin is a highlight vocalist with incredible talent. 

So, to be expected, she did dominate the song but she’s a very adept singer. Anyhow, Soyu got plenty of lines for this song. Dasom and Bora are on the lacking side, unfortunately. Bora had her one rap section, although it was a bit shorter but she still had her part. Dasom was a bit absent, though. She had her parts at the bridge and one pre-chorus, but that was it. She hardly had much spotlight.

Something I am considering, though, is that some parts might have everyone singing (ex. the chorus with “My body body, touch my body”) so that isn’t too bad. 

Nevertheless, I wish Dasom had more spotlight. She isn’t an awful singer and could’ve done some work with the softer parts. 

– Instrumentals: 8/10 – The instrumental was very upbeat and it had the key instrument of a saxophone/whatever it was. While I’m a K-Pop critic, I am not exactly erudite with instruments.

Anyways, the instrumental added a cheery tone to the song and augmented the vocals. It also helped provide a lot of transitions, so it had an important role. 

– Meaning: 8/10 – I’ll be honest, I had no idea on what was in store. “Touch My Body” with summer…I was expecting some flirty lyrics. So let’s see if I was correct, here are the lyrics. Not 100% accurate but close:

Touch my body Body
Touch my body Body
Touch my body Body
Touch my body Oh oh~

I know you want it, you come near me
I prepared some wine, sweet chocolate chocolate
You’re soft and sometimes hot
My pool is for you

Na na na na na na

I see myself through your eyes that have gone red
You drive and my hands go up to the sky
Yeh baby dancing with me you’re my star

Touch my body, We’re going quickly, little by little
Oh everybody, Higher than the blue sky
I like this rhythm, You & I in the hot sun
My body body Touch ma body
Baby so good, This feels like paradise
Baby so nice, Our own summer night
Little by little one step two step, Us in the moonlight
My body body Touch ma body

Touch my body Body
Touch my body Body
Touch my body Body
Touch my body Oh oh~

Candlelight is lighting up in your heart one by one
When you’re tired take a rest in the red pool
Do you like my lips? Or do you like my body?
Tell me honestly, here, here, here? Or there, there, there?

Tell me I’m the only one for you right now
Stop staring at me, I’m shy, Just hug me
Tell me you love me

Touch my body, We’re going quickly, little by little
Oh everybody, Higher than the blue sky
I like this rhythm, You & I in the hot sun
My body body Touch ma body
Baby so good, This feels like paradise
Baby so nice, Our own summer night
Little by little one step two step, Us in the moonlight
My body body Touch ma body

Touch ma body My body
My body yeah~
My body My body~

I’m with you tonight
The stars we are looking at together
I’m happier than anybody

I’m with you tonight
The stars we are looking at together
I’m happier than anybody

Touch my body

Aww, and I guess I was correct. These are definitely some flirty lyrics; a lady or gentlemen is pretty much with their love. Pretty much, this describes the feeling of the person who’s slowly working his/her way of getting their love to “Touch [their] body”.

Before someone thinks/goes “EW DIRTY”, let me just say a few things. If THIS is dirty…well I don’t want to be bash specific songs but, let’s just say there are A LOT of true inappropriate songs out there.

This song is dealing with lovers touching; not the “Hey I just met you, let me touch your body”, but the genuine, affectionate touching. I’ll be blunt; this “touching” could be sexual, or it could be cutesy touching such as holding hands or being held. 

Anyways, I’m leaning towards the cuter side. The lyrics can go either way, and I think it’s actually towards both.

Overall, solid lyrics. They’re definitely cute with a tint of sexiness. Flirty songs are definitely interesting and it’s a nice summertime song that’s full of positive energy.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – This dance is…average.

Mediocre.

There are occasional syncing moments with the music (butt snaps, pre-chorus part, etc) but keyword: occasional.

I don’t expect 24/7 connections, but it should at least seem fitting. There are a lot of wavy dancing parts, but I just can’t find the connection between that and the music. 

Furthermore, the butt oriented parts aren’t good. Peering back all the way to Hyomin’s “Nice Body” (No pun intended), you’ll find I’m against any blatant sexual dance part UNLESS if it’s extremely fitting and not awkward. Hyomin’s butt shake during “Nice Body”’s chorus was awkward looking. Sadly for Sistar, their butt snaps were also quite awkward. They looked completely bent out-of-shape with their backs arching and then the snapping that happened looked completely choppy. There was great syncing, but it looked bizarre. 

So overall, a fun, positive dance but it’s impaired in terms of the lack of syncing throughout the song along with an extremely awkward butt snapping dance. 

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – So in the end, we still have a solid score of 8/10.

Definitely a super, bright, fun and cheery summer song. The melody and flow of it is incredible and I have been enjoying it. The biggest thing that deters a good score away has to be its abrupt conclusion along with an average choreography.

Nevertheless, I recommend checking it out. After all, it DID get an “all-kill”, so that stands for something. I have yet to see any live performances of this, but I’m eagerly waiting to see some soon.

As usual, the end has arrived. Thank you so much for reading. As I always say, I honestly really do appreciate it and it means a lot to me. So thank you. 

Before we end, let me say, I’ll try doing an interesting review. Perhaps one full of criticism or full of praise, I’ll see. I’m leaning towards T-ARA – “Roly Poly” since that song’s really catchy but…it’s not too strong. 

But, I have no idea, so stay tuned! 

Anyhow, I hope you guys will continue to “Touch My Body”…and by body I mean writing/paragraph bodies. 

Sistar – “Give It To Me” Review

Sistar – Give It To Me (Choreography Version/Dance Practice) 

Sistar – Give It To Me MV

Sistar – Give It To Me

Reviewed on July 19, 2014

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Personal Message: Well Sistar is finally making a comeback after…roughly a year I believe? “Give It To Me” is a pretty nostalgic song and brings back some summer memories from last year. Anyhow, I am confident to say, this is probably Sistar’s best song as of yet. It’s very classy, there’s lot of power in terms of vocals and the choreography, overall an extremely solid song. 

I’m really curious on “Touch My Body”, the upcoming song for Sistar. Will it retain a touch of “Give It To Me” or will it go to the pure summertime sweetness of “Loving U”? I guess we’ll find out in 2 (or 1) days!

But for now, Sistar, “Give It To Me”, let’s see what you have given.

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

– Vocals: 9/10 – I’m really struggling to pick a 9 or a 10. Overall though, for the song, a 9 would seem more fitting. The vocals in this song didn’t make me dazed like Ailee’s “Singing Got Better”, but they are phenomenal still.

First of all, these ladies have Hyorin; as mentioned in the “Singing Got Better” review, Hyorin is the only other singer I know who could possibly compete with the vocalist queen, Ailee. That’s saying quite a lot. Hyorin definitely contributes her versatile vocals here. Softness to hard power is what she brings.

Soyu also has incredible, sweet vocals. “Some” is a great example of what her singing abilities are. Extremely solid with keeping a nice melody.

Dasom and Bora are also talented for vocals. Dasom has more of a support role in Sistar, but support she does for sure. Bora is the rapper for this group, and her rapping skills are excellent. 

Overall, the four ladies are all very adept and provide this song so much in terms of their vocals. 

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8.25/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

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

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

Note: Alright, a bit tricky with labels once again. Pre-Chorus 2 is the only thing I’m hesitant on. Pretty much that’s Dasom’s solo part, so I think it deserves its own section. In addition, both pre-choruses were vastly different so, hence “2”.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Very awesome and unique introduction. As we know, most songs tend to start with something less energetic. This song decides to just break down the door, though. 

Hyorin takes over this part and does some excellent melodic note holds at the start with “Ooo…yeah~”. That already starts building up the song along with accompanying the piano instrumental. 

The only questionable thing is the “phone” voice heard with “You see I don’t usually do this but, I really need you tonight”. I felt like it contrasted Hyorin’s initial note holds harshly. It had no melody to it (since it was just Hyorin saying those words) and the filtered phone call quality sound made it conflict with the sweet melody already established. Perhaps removing the phone quality and making it Hyorin’s usual voice (maybe in a whisper) would’ve been more pleasant to hear in my opinion.

Anyhow, after that, “Give It To Me” is already given. Talk about being blunt; Sistar didn’t hold anything back for the start. This ends up working to their favor. Already from the start, the key line is sung and already a nice intensity is given. It was almost a teaser; a catchy part and then it quickly fades out to transition to the next part.

Overall, very solid introduction. I’m very surprised at how the introduction went with unleashing a lot of energy despite it being just the beginning. My only complaint is the phone call part, it just caused too much contrast with Hyorin’s established singing.

2. Verse: 9/10 – Now this is Soyu at work. Utilizing her sweet, soft vocals, she’s able to create a very nice build up for the upcoming part.

The strength of the verse lies with Soyu’s singing along with the instrumental. The instrumental was very passive to suit her softer, angelic voice. In addition, there was a “snapping” beat that went on. That further complements her singing. The transition to the next part works out well due to Soyu ending with a note hold at “Oh~”. 

Soyu did a fantastic job with being gentle yet having great control of her notes to craft this very solid melody. Definitely a great piece and to see the instrumental work with the vocals is also a huge plus. This section was a bit short, but quality over quantity as the saying goes.

Now the next verse is also done by Soyu and it’s quite similar in structure as the first. 

3. Pre-Chorus 1: 9/10 – Hyorin takes this section.

After the introduction, we’ve heard how powerful singing. But like Ailee, she’s quite versatile. For Pre-Chorus 1, she uses her softer singing and high pitches. 

She sings very gently and softly in order to match the lyrics’ meaning; a great connection to see. Furthermore, she ends her lines in a very high pitch which augments the melody. Thanks to her high notes, the intensity starts building up and that’s an awesome thing for transitioning to the chorus. 

Overall, very solid section. Keeping the same energy and mood as Soyu’s part, it plays off what she started while finally concluding it with great high notes that transition it to the chorus. 

4. Chorus: 8/10 – Now this is where “Give It To Me” is heard. An extremely solid chorus that plays off energy and intensity.

Firstly, Hyorin mostly sings the chorus but is backed up by Soyu.

“Give It To Me” is repeated multiple times and is in fact, even layered in the background. This creates the nice lingering effect of the key line while also creating the nice melody and rhythm. The “Oh, Oh, Oh…” parts also help aid the rhythm and melody. 

Now after the “Oh"s, Hyorin throws in a powerful "Whoa~” that lets the chorus recycle its energy once again. Next, Hyorin starts singing with so much power and intensity; a great peak for a chorus. Lots of power is injected here thanks to the amazing vocals of Hyorin.After that, Soyu throws in her own powerful lines and that continues the intensity of the song while creating more diversity of vocals. Finally, Hyorin concludes the chorus with “Oh baby give it to me…” and that’s a great wrap up. She holds a note out but instead of keeping it high pitched, she actually lowers the note which is great for letting the chorus fade out. A great way to lower the intensity without any awkward abrupt cuts. 

While this chorus is extremely solid with bringing so much energy and intensity, there is one major issue: too many “chunks” versus singing. 

The first half of the chorus is “Give It To Me” followed up with “Oh, Oh, Oh…”. Unfortunately, that’s coming close to my very dreaded choruses of “La, la, la la~”. For those of you who have read my “Jeon Won Diary” review, you will know I loathe choruses that do non-sense repeats of random “Oh"s and "La"s and random sounds versus singing. Sistar comes close to doing just that, but thankfully the second half of the chorus picks up with Hyorin and Soyu doing some real singing with a lot more added power. 

Overall, the later part of the chorus redeems itself when Soyu and Hyorin step up with their very intense and energetic vocals.

5. Pre-Chorus 2: 8/10 – In contrast to Pre-Chorus 1, the biggest change has to be the intensity. This section is a lot more energetic than the first pre-chorus. 

Anyhow, our maknae (youngest in a group, and Dasom is the youngest…right? If I’m wrong, then I will be quite ashamed of myself) takes this part by herself. 

She sings in a high pitch but remains very soft. Similar to the other pre-chorus by Hyorin, she stays gentle and builds the melody. The transition back to the chorus is smoothly done since Dasom ends her last line in a high note. Therefore, that allows the intensity/energy level to remain high which then flows nicely into the established chorus energy. Nicely executed by Dasom. She shows off her singing abilities with being able to remain soft and high pitched.

6. Rap: 9/10 – Wow. Bora is definitely a solid rapper. For this song, what a rap had to do was maintain a good energy level, it had to be relatively fast to keep the pace of the song, and it needed good flow and melody to reflect what was already constructed. 

Bora does all of that.

Her rap wasn’t quiet or weak; it remained strong. She had great flow and built off the melody with some note changes in her rap. The pacing was perfect; not too fast but not too slow. Overall, very solid section and a great fit coming right after the chorus. Bora maintained the energy that leaked from the chorus. For ending the rap, she finished with power and that synced well with the instrumental’s violin(?). 

7. Bridge: 7/10 – A different bridge than most I would say.

As usual, the song takes a break during the bridge; this is done via Soyu adding her "Hoo…hoo” and, uniquely, Hyorin adding background vocals.

Unfortunately, just the “Hoo” and background vocal don’t stick out. It keeps the bridge relaxed, but otherwise this section felt very stale; compared to other bridges that still kept singing while calming the song, I felt that some singing would be suitable here.

On the bright side, a nice piano melody was still present here.

In terms of transitions, coming into the bridge went well. The violin helped conclude Bora’s rap and her energy wasn’t so high that it felt like an abrupt cut. As for moving onto the next section, the chorus, that went exceptionally well. The electric guitar along with Hyorin’s powerful vocals  spawning up allowed a great slide back into the energetic chorus.

Overall, the staleness brought by the dry “Hoo” and background vocals hurt the bridge, but the transitions were well done.

8. Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10 – The conclusion recycled the chorus. Looking at it, it was a solid ending.

Firstly, I dislike the transition to the conclusion; it’s slightly rough. It started right after Hyorin’s “Whoa~” which was quite powerful and energetic. The conclusion starts off on the middle and lower side in terms of intensity level; as such, there’s a gap noticed.

On the good side, although it is the chorus being reused, the intensity has definitely been lowered. Perfect for an approaching end. The last spark of power comes from Soyu’s lines of “sarangeul dallan mariya
geugeomyeon doendaneun mariya” which I find well suiting. A final last punch. Finally, Hyorin concludes it with the key line “Oh baby give it to me~" and lets her lower note fade naturally. 

 Overall, a solid conclusion minus the abrupt transition into it.

– Line Distribution: 8/10 – Sistar does have a queen vocalist on their side, so sharing might be a bit difficult. After all, wouldn’t you use your star singer the most?

Nevertheless, "Give It To Me” has solid distribution.

Hyorin dominated a lot; she had the introduction, a pre-chorus, and most of the chorus. Soyu added a lot of support for Hyorin but she also had her own spotlight with her own verses and such. Although short, she was still heard often with those parts and her support for Hyorin.

Dasom had her spotlight with her own Pre-Chorus 2 section. It was a lengthy one, too, so that was good.

Bora also had her own rap section, so she got her spotlight.

Overall, Hyorin can be seen as being too dominant with the lines, but hey, when you have a top-shot singer, I’d let her have quite a bit of lines.

– Instrumentals: 8/10 – Very classy instrumental. It gave support to vocals while forging the song’s mood by adding the classy touch. It instrumentals complemented the softer vocals but it added power when that was necessary as well. Transitions were also well done by the instrumental.

Overall, super solid, but nothing too special.

– Meaning: 8/10 – When I first saw the title, I wondered exactly how the song would play out. “Give It To Me”, what does that mean?

Well, let’s find out through the English lyrics. Not 100% accurate but close:

Oooh .. Yeah~
You see I don’t usually do this but
I really need you tonight
Give it to me give it to me
Give it to me give it to me

Will I even get married before I turn thirty?
My heart is hurt from only giving love,
What do I do?

My heart hurts even at the persistent sound of rain
I’m still young and soft-hearted
Innocent and soft-hearted, I have a lot of tears

Give it to me
Oh baby Give it to me (Give it to me)
Give it to me
Oh baby Give it to me (Oh baby, give it to me)
Oh oh oh oh oh ~ oh
Oh oh oh oh oh ~ oh (Oh woah~)
No matter how much I want and beg
There’s only your empty spot, filled with tears
I want you to give me love
That’s all I need
Oh baby give it to me

Will you come before the morning comes?
I only look at you like a fool

I cry, I cry all day till morning comes
I don’t know if that’s the sun or moon, I don’t know if it’s day or night
Oh baby give it to me
I’m sorry that’s all I need
Oh baby give it to me,
Oh baby give it to me

Give it to me
Oh baby Give it to me (Give it to me)
Give it to me
Oh baby Give it to me (Oh baby, give it to me)
Oh oh oh oh oh ~ oh
Oh oh oh oh oh ~ oh (Oh woah~)
No matter how much I want and beg
There’s only your empty spot, filled with tears
I want you to give me love
That’s all I need
Oh baby give it to me

I write and tear up this letter
Tens and hundreds of times
Why is love only so heavy to me?
I cry, I cry all day till morning comes
I don’t know if that’s the sun or moon,
I don’t know if it’s day or night

Hoo~ HooHoo HooHoo HooHoo
(I cry all day till morning comes)
HooHoo HooHoo HooHoo
(Give it to me Give it to me)
HooHoo HooHoo HooHoo
(I cry all day till morning comes, Give it to me)

Give it to me
Oh baby Give it to me (Give it to me)
Give it to me
Oh baby Give it to me (Oh baby, give it to me)
Oh oh oh oh oh ~ oh
Oh oh oh oh oh ~ oh (Oh woah~)

Give it to me
Oh baby give it to me
Give it to me
Oh baby give it to me
I want you to give me love
That’s all I need
Oh baby give it to me

So the answer of “what’s IT?” is answered: Love. That’s the “it”.

This song tells a story of a woman, OR man, that longs for love; she/he wants to find love. The feeling of loneliness is tearing them apart. After all, this person is very soft-hearted and still innocent with love. 

I find the story to be very interesting; in addition, I know some people might struggle with this topic themselves. Finding love. Will it happen? “Will I ever find my prince/princess?” Etc. 

I am a huge fan of the certain details, for example “Will I even get married before I turn thirty? My heart is hurt from only giving love, What do I do?”

The hardship of always giving out their love but never receiving anything back. 

Overall, a very interesting love story of, well, not finding love.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – This dance is really unique and fun to watch. Dasom had her cane dance, Soyu had a male dancer, etc. There are really fun details to watch.

What’s really nice is how the song syncs very well with the music; soft dancing and movements when the song reflects that, and when powerful vocals/instrumentals step up, so do their dance. 

Very solid dance. The only weird part is the hip-moving chorus; I felt like the ladies were moving their hips a bit too far out. It looked umcomfortable, but hey it matched up with the song. 

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Overall Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – So overall, a solid 8/10 song. 

I can agree with it, although I’m thinking it should lean towards the higher side on the raw score.

This song is definitely above average and it’s quite catchy and powerful. A very nice listen if you’re looking for strong vocals along with great high notes. I feel that the score should be higher. It IS a solid song, and it’s currently Sistar’s top song in my opinion. 

Well now we have to look forward to “Touch My Body” which will come out on July 21. Very excited and I hope to review that song ASAP.

This marks the end of the review. As usual, thank you so much for reading. I sincerely appreciate it. I hope you find this insightful and that you have some opposing viewpoints. 

Anyhow, thank you for reading. “That’s all I need”, see you guys next time with Sistar’s comeback. Sistar, fighting! 

Oh and look foward to some Nine Muses…I think it’s about time for me to give some unbiased (I hope!) spotlight to the ladies and I can personally give my opinion on the lineup changes. 

Anyways, stay tuned!