2014 is indeed a busy year for the K-Pop industry. The first half of the year was full of fierce returns of the famous of the famous in the music scene. And the second half even got more intense with more of your favourites one by one appearing with their teasers. Here are some short reviews of some of the releases of this year’s second half.
Check out this link for the review of some of the releases during this year’s first half.
Note: Arranged alphabetically by artists
“Gotta Be You” by 2NE1
As usual, talking about a 2NE1 MV, it’s usually weird and quirky but interesting. I like the song especially in the beginning part. What’s odd though is that this particular record reminds me of EXO and One Direction at the same time. Of course, 1D because they have a similar song entitled Gotta Be You. And surprisingly, this reminds me of EXO too because there’s a lot of mention of “XO” in the lyrics. So, it sort of brings me back to my addiction of the EXO-VS-1D thingy.
Anyway, I must say though that this is not my favourite song from the Crush album. I still preferHappy. But, of course, this one isn’t bad.
“Mr. Chu” by A-Pink
I didn’t like the song on the get go because I was distracted by how aegyo-ish the MV is. But I’d rather have the aegyo than the sekshi concept. At least, it is safer to the eyes and okay for kids. However, this MV is too “pa-cute” for my taste that it actually makes me cringe on a negative note. The plot of the video to me looks like a bunch of girls stalking on an unseen man 24/7 and 31 days of the month. Really, it’s creepy and kind of stupid even when they do it with all the aegyo. I mean, why would you kiss a tennis ball? It’s dirty. On a positive light thought, I do like the floral pink costume they had in some part of the video. And I think the song is very catchy even with their mispronunciation of “falling” to “peolling.”
“Solo Day” by B1A4
This latest release from B1A4 shows pretty much their signature as idols. The music and the MV concept display the kind of product that you’ll only hear from them. And although this kind of concept is not new from them, at least they’re best at doing it. In the first place, it is not like I’m saying that their concept for this mini album isn’t creative. In fact, I really find the MV concept excellent. It is comedic and visually appealing. It’s really imaginative. It reminds of why I was pulled in the K-Pop bandwagon—because of the artistic MVs. The song, on the other hand, is not too catchy for my taste but I’m not saying that I hate it either. I guess, it’s just so-so. But, I really enjoy watching the MV. So perhaps I’ll get to like the song in some way in the future.
P.S. I’m starting to appreciate B1A4. And really, you should see the MV if haven’t yet.
“Good Luck” & “No More” by B2ST/Beast
Beast is one those first K-Pop Acts I’ve come to like during my first stages in the K-Pop fandom. I remember that they don’t do sensual MV concept. So, I was shocked with that particular scene with Song Dongwon in Good Luck. Though, I know that I should not be surprised since they’re from Cube Entertainment, the K-Pop company where sensuality is the trend of their artists. But still, it kind of disgusted me a bit. As you might have already know, I’m not really a big fan of the sexy concept. Music-wise though, I enjoy Good Luck. But between Good Luck and No More, I prefer the latter. Because I already have a sting of dislike with Good Luck due to the MV, I think myself naturally went for No More. But in my honest opinion, I think many would agree that the MV concept for No Morewas way better than Good Luck. Although many would perhaps prefer the genre of Good Luckbecause it’s more alive, I’m still more inclined to No More. As I was listening to it, I did find it catchier than Good Luck. I especially like Gi Kwang’s part in the refrain of the song. Lee Gi Kwang, naega neo-reul ajikdo saranghae.
“Ooh Ooh” by Eric Nam ft. Infinite’s Hoya
Eric Nam is back with his second record, Ooh Ooh featuring Hoya of Infinite. And I must say that this is a totally different concept from him compare to the romantic boy-next-door image he had inHeaven’s Door. This one I guess shows the quirky and fun side of the Eric Nam that we usually get to see in MBC’s Section TV and Arirang’s After School Club. And I don’t know whether this is true or not because I’m not really acquainted with Eric (hello international fan) in real life but this image that we have of him in this latest music production I surmise is closer to his personality in real life. So, it has this feel of authenticity. Music-wise though, I like Heaven’s Door better. But in terms of MV concept and the over-all production, I prefer Ooh Ooh.
P.S. I think Eric Nam is one those singers in K-Pop who is loved by fans not mostly because of his music but because of his personality.
“Overdose” by EXO
I was debating whether to include Overdose here or not because honestly speaking, EXO is already on top of their game and certainly doesn’t need any PR from a little unknown blog like mine. Then again, I thought I should share the tiny details of what I like and don’t like from the MV. First off, I think the random mixed in of EXO in the previous Growl and Wolf is more preferable. Although it will be hard to prepare for only a short period of time because they will have to arrange several choreographies, the random mixed up arrangement I must say is better. But the current arrangement is okay too. I mean EXO is so busy nowadays and have so many dances to memorize, so in order to lessen the complications, the simple exchange between K and M is more suitable for them especially that they had to promote this album separately as subgroups.
Their fashion sense and make-up in this MV though was quite bizarre. The outfits were not too SM-bizarre, if you know what I mean, but the fisherman’s hats were totally out of place. And the make-up of some of the members (like Kai) was just too much, way beyond the acceptable make-up standard for boys. However, all these minuses were outshined by EXO’s impressive performing skills. The video is mostly a dance video and it visibly exhibits each of the EXO members’ dancing which was full of passion and determination to give their best. It even appeared way cooler with the dance choreography’s original and unusual moves.
On the little things I appreciated about the MV, I must say I like that flashing ball of light passing between Chen and Lay (it was between Baekhyun and Suho in the M version). It’s just a small CG effect but I think it was awesome. And yeah, thumbs up too to Tao’s kicking manoeuvre at the end of the video. All in all, Overdose is pretty much an excellent performance record and video. I must admit that Growl though is still to me the best MV ever.
“Red Light” by f(x)
Typically, I’m a late liker on every f(x) songs released. And I don’t know if this one is another of that case because I have not yet included it to my playlist. MV-wise though, I think this is the most imaginative f(x) video ever. It’s like SM is finally putting thoughts on how they should promote f(x) and not just monotonously releasing songs and dance videos for them. So, this production is a quantum leap for f(x).
Talking about the music video, I must say that I like the over-all concept, from the setting up to the girls’ make-ups. The impression of the MV is like torn between gothic and emo. There’s a creepy feeling about it and an emotional attack at the same time. Although I prefer plotted MV concept, I still like this even with its no-story-flow because of its visual effects.
P.S. Personally, f(x) is one of those few girl groups that I like. What made me attached to them is the fact that they’re not one of the two mainstreams of girl groups in K-Pop, the kyeopta and the sekshi. I like it that they have their own thing. I wish they make it big the way Girls’ Generation did. Anyway, I think they’re one of the girl groups in the industry with great dancing skills.
P.S.S. Those non-K-Pop fans should do a reaction video to an f(x) MV.
“A” by GOT7
GOT7 should have debuted with this record. It’s a fun song and the GOT7 members do not come out in the MV as full of themselves like the way they do in Girls, Girls, Girls. This is like a quantum leap from their debut track. It’s like the sun is finally shinning on them. They’re finally qualified to step onto the competition. Ahem, ahem, YG’s WINNER, when will you show yourselves? Anyway, onto the subject matter, as already hinted, despite not being different or imaginative from other MVs, A is enjoyable to watch—credits to the GOT7 members’ fun interactions in the MV. I especially like the good vibes coming off from that guy who sang the first part of the chorus. He seemed to be the one who enjoyed the most in the video. To me, he is the one who shone the most. But, generally, each of the GOT7 members had their spotlight like they’re finally getting noticed individually in this MV except for one, unfortunately so. I don’t know his name obviously but that guy who was sporting a bluish grey hair feels like a back-up dancer the whole time—fault goes to the editing team or the camera man I guess because he did have his own singing part but there was no scene in the MV that singly panned and focused on him.
Well, moving on to their dancing and the choreography, I think they are alright. They can definitely dance. But their choreography is just typical. It’s not bad or anything. It just doesn’t have that edge to make an impression about their dancing skills. But it’s fun.
Anyway, the different settings of the MV did left an impression to me because I observed a lot of Indonesian or Malaysian (Note: these two languages are almost the same especially with basic terms and in written form) words in the background—promosi hemat, makanan laut, makanan utara, and some others. Did they shot this in Indonesia or Malaysia? Or are they just reaching out to their Indonesian and Malaysian fans through using their language in the set design? Maybe. Maybe not. But for sure, it’s very fascinating to read those words plastered all over the background of a K-Pop MV.
P.S. I wrote this when WINNER hasn’t debuted yet.
“Fantastic” by Henry
Honestly, I’m not a fan of Henry. But I should say that I admire him as an artist because he’s really talented. Not only capable in singing and dancing but he’s also adept in playing instruments and producing music. I could say that I like him the way I like Taylor Swift. I like his songs but he’s not the type I would follow in every program that he’s on. I’m not saying I don’t like him personality-wise. In fact I adore the charm of his persona, he’s similar to Eric Nam. It’s just that his pull on me is not that strong. But I honestly want him to do big in Korea and in the K-Pop scene as a whole even if I’m not one of his loyal supporters because I know he deserves it.
Anyway, moving on with the subject of this matter, Fantastic, I’m happy to say that Henry didn’t disappoint. I’ve read somewhere that he personally did a lot of work on this album all together. So, congratulations for a job well done. I hope he gains good feedback for this comeback. Music-wise, I enjoy Fantastic. While in terms of the music video, although I’m not so much ecstatic about it because it’s the usual SM box concept, I do appreciate some part of it like the computer-game-vibes it spews during those violin scenes. Hence, all in all, I give Henry’s Fantastic 5 stars out of 5.
“Last Romeo” & “Back” by Infinite
Between Last Romeo and Back, I favour the former better. It’s the signature product you get from Infinite. And I adore it. It’s as catchy as The Chaser. Although the MV is just mostly a dance video with a little story in between, I still dig this production from Infinite. Just like B1A4 and now with Infinite, I think K-Pop acts should just do the craft where they’re best at. In this case, Infinite is with the likes of Last Romeo.
About the MV, since I like books, I tend to appreciate anything that has do with them. So, I like that chasing game in the library with Woohyun even though I don’t think that the library setting has anything to do with the song at all.
Anyway, unlike Last Romeo, I’m not so much captured with Back. It’s more ballad-y and as you might have already figured out, if it’s from Infinite, I like them better with strong performances. Though the MV for Back is pretty much dramatic, the kind that I would like, I still root for Last Romeobecause the song is more appealing to me. Plus, honestly I don’t understand why the female cameo inBack has to be a little girl. But creativity-wise, I think Back’s MV is more imaginative and interesting.
P.S. Infinite is that group where I tend to like almost all of the members.
First seen here.