Monday, April 21, 2014

Absent! Well, I'm Back With Girls' Generation's Mr. Mr.

The title says it all, and so here I am again. I'm making my comeback with a review on Girls' Generation's new song, "Mr. Mr."

The Song:
Honestly, "Mr. Mr." takes some time to warm up to. It isn't ringing "catchy" the first few listens, but after time, it becomes super addicting. It was a bit different from what SNSD has always done, but I'm glad that their style is evolving. It somewhat shows a development in maturity for the girls and I love it. My favorite part of Mr. Mr. really was the high notes, courtesy of Tiffany's beautiful voice. Nevertheless, all the other additions by Taeyeon, Seohyun, and Jessica were nice as well. The only problem I have with the song itself is that Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Yuri, and Yoona (all the lacking members in terms of voice) really didn't sing much. I know with a nine member group, there is only so much you can do when dishing out parts, but it's somewhat depressing listening to the track and pointing out the one time one of the four sing. Also, I read tons of comments, and I somewhat agree, that it feels like SM is trying to promote TaeTiSeo, what with Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun always in the front, stealing the show with their high notes and dance moves. I honestly think it's just a coincidence, but then again, you can never tell with the money-grabbing SM, that produces unneeded subgroups that release one album in their entire lifetime (*cough* Toheart *cough* I mean, honestly, what was the point of Toheart?) Regardless, "Mr. Mr." was a pretty satisfying song, if not nearly as catchy as IGAB and some of SNSD's other releases... I'm just grateful it didn't tank like "The Boys" (don't even get me started...).

The Music Video:
Thank the heavens for this music video! Honestly, the music video wasn't KPOP's cream of the crop video, but I'm thankful regardless. For the first time in forever (cue the Frozen soundtrack), SM finally trashed the box sets and decided on something legitimate. Even though the girls did still end up in the box once in awhile, at least they did stuff, albeit some pretty weird stuff. Nevertheless, "Mr. Mr." made me happy beyond comparison and it did give me some hope about seeing a bit of SM variety. Now, f(x) deserves a comeback and a well thought out music video...

The Live Performances: 
It wasn't good but it wasn't bad either. Honestly, the live performances were very typical live showcases, and they didn't really do anything special, other than cut and edit costume changes into the show. Nevertheless, the choreography rocked this time. Finally, since their debut, SNSD has some male backup dancers, which I neither like nor hate. After all, there are nine of them... which is plenty to fill up a stage. I liked their dresses and the feminine suits, and the choreography blew my mind for some reason... but honestly, the cameramen always screwed up when it came to filming Yuri doing her "My mi-mi-mister rock this world!" part. Maybe she's just grown wider or the camera angle is just bad, but Yuri looks funny when shes pulling off that part... frankly, I don't know (cue the Fiestar song...). Also, idk if it's a thing now, but Seohyun is always piling on the makeup... I liked her better when she had less stuff on her face, but maybe its the style/concept she's taking now(?). Anyways, it was good, not great, but good, and I was just a tad disappointed that SNSD didn't win that many awards... (then again... CNBLUE, 2NE1, etc. all made comebacks around the same time...)

Overall, I would give this comeback/song 4/5 sparkles... Pretty darn nice. The music video clinched it for me :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Don't Know (Fiestar)

Yes. No cool title for this blog post either. But, anyways, even though Fiestar had never really been noticed by moi, their new song "I Don't Know" really caught my attention and it's... GREAT! I have been constantly listening to it. The review:

The Song:
It's so addicting :) Yes. The tune is kind of a pop version of the "1 Indian, 2 Indians" rhyme. Nevertheless, the tune is put together extremely well, and the parts fit really nicely. The only part of their previous song "We Don't Stop" that I liked was the chorus. However, in "I Don't Know", the entire song I just love. I'm still not so sure about the little "1 Indian, 2 Indians" beat before the chorus, but other than that, the entire song was perfection. Even the rap was good, though I thought it sounded a bit like AOA's Jimin. Regardless, nice vocals, nice tune, great release!

The Music Video/Live Performance:
I won't really bother to talk about the video or the performance, seeing as I didn't see it very well. However, I'm sure it's cute and the serious/cute concept works well for me. I've heard the dance is great, and personally, from the bits I've seen, I rather like it! Good work from Fiestar, who I haven't heard of much, but now I like :D

Overall, I would say it was quite the successful comeback from Fiestar. The song I absolutely love to pieces (yes ERomo, I do "love it to pieces")! Everything fell in nicely, and I'm sure I'll be stuck on this song for a long time (move over RaNia!). Just wonderful, and I hope Fiestar keeps releasing great songs like this one.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Go (RaNia)

So sorry guys, but I just couldn't come up with a good title for this blog post so I decided to keep it classic and stick with the song title. However, despite the boring post name, girl group RaNia's song "Just Go" was there to impress. The review:

The Song:
Frankly, RaNia's isn't the most talented band I've seen in my history of KPOP infatuation. Their vocals aren't the most powerful I've heard, and the only reason RaNia appeared on my radar was because I happened to catch a clip of "Just Go". I won't say I wasn't hooked, but it took some time before I finally decided to research RaNia and listen to the full song. Nice. Really nice. Though RaNia isn't my favorite band, "Just Go" was a catchy, poppy song that kept me hanging on every word. It's literally been on repeat in my playlist, and while I'm sure the song will eventually fade out of my interest, it's still got me singing to RaNia. Another thing that I'm just so happy to say. For once, the Korean music industry produced a song with actual, proper English lyrics. *mindblown* IKR?! The first time I heard the song in full, I sighed with relief that the girls didn't bomb it with horrible lyrics and that at least some Korean entertainment companies know how to get the job done properly *cough T-Ara "Sexy Love" cough*. With the worrisome English problem out of the way, I was able to enjoy the song, and I'm particularly in love with T-ae's part, especially when she goes "tick tock." It fell in extremely well with the song, and especially in live performances when the fireworks go off, RaNia looks great! Overall, though the vocals (Jooyi and T-ae) didn't get to shine much, I would say RaNia pulled off a nice release.

The Music Video:
Ummm... well, it was like a typical music video. Girls freak out about this guy, decides to leave him be. and stuff like that. Mostly, it was dancing intercut with scenes of breakups. I have to say, though I know RaNia's concept has always been more of the hot (not cute at all) type, the dance and wardrobe kind of threw me off there. Honestly, RaNia has had much less training than many other bands (3 years!), and so I can see why they're not as polished. The dance isn't exactly the best thing I've seen, and it's not too hard; instead, kind of slow with lots of camera shots and backup dancers. The wardrobe, however, I cannot sugarcoat that. It... was shockingly revealing. A see-through lace onesie is just a bit too revealing for me, and I cannot imagine any normal person wearing that in public, just walking around and singing about their breakup. Of course, the costume was for the video, but I like covering... Also, I had a problem with the guy in RaNia's music video. The video gave an entire second to shooting his face, and idk... he's just on the old-ish (?) side. Just me here, but RaNia needs a better video.

The Live Performances:
I saw a few of the performances, and I'm glad to see that RaNia has somewhat different clothes onstage compared to the video. The best performance was when they were "Show Champion" and they got fireworks to go with T-ae's "tick tocking". However, the applause/fans were underwhelming, and they really didn't have anyone cheering for them. At least in some other shows you could hear fans screaming for the girls, but it was quite depressing hearing silence and light applause. However, I can't find much fault in the live performances, except for the obvious lip-synching and choppy dance moves. That can all be fixed :D

Overall, I liked the song the most, but the video was an unnecessary addition to my RaNia enjoyment. I would not recommend either the video or the choreography (learn something else if you want to dance KPOP) but the song was catchy. Like I said, not my favorite band but okayy~ Keep on sparkling!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good Day? Great Day!

I've never really payed attention to IU. She caught my eye a few times in the drama "Dream High" with her cute relationship with Wooyoung playing Jason. However, I've never really had a thing for KPOP soloists except for Ailee, who will always be my queen of soloists in Korean music. But IU's song "Good Day" really is too good to be true, and my ears love it. The review:

The Song:
is on repeat right now. Yeah, it's good. IU is a great singer herself and I really prefer her cute, brilliant songs like "Good Day" and "You and I" over her "adult" image. I understand that she's growing up but she will forever be "Korea's Little Sister" to me! Anyhow, "Good Day" is extremely catchy and shows off IU's vocals perfectly, especially at the extended high note at the end. Also, the rest of the song pops and jumps to her voice, but in a smooth way. Even the cello brings a sunny but wintry feel to the tune, and it really is a great piece.

The Music Video:
IU wouldn't need a music video to make her song a success. Regardless, she still made one and it's so *shudders* cute! It starts with how her pet parrot gives away her love for her crush by talking, and IU starts this entire song about her young love, even calling the guy "big brother". I mean, how sweet! And the lyrics actually make sense, unlike many other songs *ahem SHINee "Everybody*. Even the dance shows how versatile IU is, that she can dance as well as sing. I can actually tolerate the funny cello guy in the music video too... so much humor. The video is beautiful, as well as the song, and I really have no criticism for it. What a good day!

Overall, I LOVE IT! IU may not be my favorite artist, but she really is talented and has proven it through "Good Day". One of the best songs by a female artist in KPOP!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Number 9 (Well... there are six of them...)

Personally, I've never really like T-Ara, I mean, I'd gotten interested for a while and then I found out about all their scandals and the mismanagement by their company.... and so it's safe to say that I gradually wandered away and immersed myself in other groups. However, their new song "Number 9" isn't too shabby! The review:

The Song:
It's one of their better ones. Absolutely no doubt at all. For example, take "Sexy Love". I won't deny that the song wasn't catchy, but I seriously think these KPOP companies need to get a certified English speaking songwriter. I mean, what song has the lyrics, "... sexy nose..." Please, that's just pushing it. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that "Number 9" was a pretty good song, and it ranked on many music billboards and shows. It was a poppy tune, and I liked the beginning where Eunjung pulls the "Oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh..." Even Hyomin's rap wasn't bad... rather, it was short but nice. Better yet, Soyeon (T-Ara's powerhouse vocalist) had a lot of singing time and sounded beautiful. Jiyeon... mehh. She was more visual than vocals, and wasn't as impressive as even Boram in this song (for once, the girl gets a cool part!). Qri? Well, not the best, not the worst, but I can't argue with that when the rest of the song rocked (so essentially, Qri was meh too). Now to get nitpicky. I was extremely bothered when Hyomin did her little, kind-of rap part, where she goes "I'm addict! I'm addict!" Like I said, maybe CCM (their agency) needs to find an English teacher or something, because that's grammatically incorrect (I'm sounding like a grammar nazi, but it's true)! Next up, when Eunjung pulls off that high note right after Soyeon's part. I mean, we all know Soyeon can sing, so do they really have to give Eunjung that piece? It would have fit in perfectly well if Soyeon did it, but I guess CCM needed to showcase one of the more popular members a little more. Pity, this song was one of
T-Ara's releases that showed off Soyeon more. Still though, not bad. (Tip: CCM, Jiyeon already has too much attention as it is, time to stick Qri, Boram, or Soyeon in the center)

The Music Video:
Yeah um, kinda at a loss of words here. I mean, sure it had stuff other than dancing in a box (*cough* SM!), but it still wasn't that great. There wasn't really a storyline, just some girls moaning, or rather, singing about a heartbreak. The dance definitely bored me (if anything, the "Sexy Love" robot dance would've worked too), and the choreography was pretty slow. But hey, it takes skill to dance in heels, that much I can say. Nothing really to talk about in the music video, just that I'm pretty sure you only eat a rose after someone breaks up with you if you're quite weird. Not the greatest, but then again, music videos can't always be interesting, especially if you're talking about KPOP (where *cought* SM *cough* dominates the entertainment industry).

Not bad, I'd give it 4 sparkles out of 5. If anything, 4.1 sparkles out of 5. The music video kind of messed the song up, as well as the title choice (why number 9?), but the song itself was great! Pretty pleased with this comeback and I hope CCM gets everything straightened out before ruining T-Ara's reputation again!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The House of Hades... (Deathly Boring?)

So normally, I only blog about books that I really like or that are really popular. This is one of the popular ones.... that I don't necessarily LOVE but like. I had extremely high expectations for "The House of Hades," but idk, they kinda fell short. Personally, I guess I should cut Rick Riordan some slack (for writing this decent book in an year), and I do not like people who complain about how "slow" these books come out. Like, seriously. If you're going to complain about that, then try writing a book the same size in a year, and if it's half as good, I will be impressed (no seriously, try). However, I digress. The review:

The Book (since that's all I can talk about):
It was good. Just good. Not great or magnificent or anything. Good, that's it. I totally freaked when it came out but after reading about the first quarter of the book, I was already kind of disappointed. Most Riordan books contain lots of humor, but the jokes in "The House of Hades" let me down. Most of the "funny" scenes are fueled by Leo's wisecracking... and really, most of the time, it's to insult someone. Then, add the lack of humor to lots of kissing (and yes, I mean a LOT), and boom. Story. It wasn't all negative, I'll give it that. Although the beginning was pretty slow and slightly boring, the middle of the story really picks up the pace. What really shocked me was the Nico DiAngelo confession scene. It was, to say the least, totally unexpected. I mean, when does Riordan decide to insert a piece like that? Which only goes to make me lament even more. I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series; it had that kind of witty humor that only goes with a book like that. However, I feel like Riordan has really made the characters grow up. I mean, we all knew that someday Percy and Annabeth were going to get older. But I think what really made the original series such a hit was that it was narrated by a teenager, a kid learning to cope with his abnormal parentage and normal teenage problems (bullying, raging girlfriends, etc.) I'm not saying that this series isn't good. In fact, it still rings of Riordan. However, its more grown up now, and less childish/kid's perspective, which isn't necessarily the best thing ever (at least for me). But overall, quite nice.

Positives right? So it's boring in the beginning but definitely starts to climb. I personally like to believe that the official start of action is at the part where Nico confesses. That brings everything that we've known about the kid before to a stop. It's pretty interesting though, and Riordan drops a few hints about Nico's feelings throughout the book before the scene. It's evident that he's "lonely," has no one that really loves him (his sister, Bianca, died), and is kinda secluded and socially awkward. However, after this revelation, the plot starts to really get intense. I especially liked the ending, and I cried when I found out Bob and Damasen (you'll find out who they are when you read the book)  sacrifice themselves for Percy and Annabeth (that darn Tartarus!). Anyways, without revealing too much, the ending was very well written, with many surprises and twists.

Overall, good book! Just good, remember? I'm actually anticipating "The Blood of Olympus" very much, since "The House of Hades" left an extremely exciting cliffhanger. Good book, good cover art XD, good as a whole. Liked it, and would deserve 4 sparkles out of 5. I'd definitely recommend it. As of now, Keep on Sparkling!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gotta Talk To You (Gotta Fangirl Over You!)

SEUNGRI! SEUNGRI! Yes, that's right, you knew this was coming. What KPOP blog would be complete without a devoted post to Big Bang, and more importantly, the most handsome maknae of all, Seungri. However, just because I'm biased and have wristbands with his name on them, doesn't mean I won't add my little "criticism" to the review. The review:

The Song:
Beautiful. Work of art. Whatever you want to say about it (that's positive, of course!). Actually, I'm being truthful here. Seungri's new album, "Let's Talk About Love," really is very nicely done. The songs are catchy, but most importantly, the song I'm blogging about, "Gotta Talk to You," is one of the best. When I first heard it, I had a major song-of-the-month moment, and listened to it on repeat for quite some time. It's true Seungri isn't the best singer in Big Bang, after all, he's the main (or lead) dancer of the group, and quite a good one at it. But the song didn't push his vocal abilities to the limit; it maintained a soft, mature feel to it and was well composed. Trust me... I'm listening to that song on repeat while writing this. Overall, one of Seungri's best songs; it totally rang of Big Bang with a little panda maknae uniqueness.

The Music Video (questionable swag?):
Really, if it weren't for the music video, I could totally give this song a 10 out of 10 (cue the 2PM music) without being biased at all. However, even though I'm still giving it a 10 (cause I'm biased, that's why), the video was a little on the boring/queer side. I mean, I like how they did that little remix at the very end, intercut with Seungri's mad dancing skills, but the basic storyline was kind of expected. Most of the video, actually all, was shot in a dimly lit rooms, and though it gave off that cool, dark city feel, I felt that YG Entertainment could've done slightly better. Maybe it's just me being envious of that girl he dances with and "crushes" on throughout the song (although we all know it's acting, thank goodness!), or maybe YG needs to work a little harder on their music videos. Although better than SM's (that's right, here we go again), I think they probably have run out of ideas. Truthfully though, I'll cut them some slack. They've produced great songs (like this one! <3 Seungri) and the videos aren't the worst, in fact, they're really professionally done, so much so, that they make SM's box sets look like a joke.

Overall, this song really showcased Seungri's growth, whether in his singing or composing abilities, and I felt he gave off a much more mature vibe in this release. And while, the video could've been more interesting, it was extremely hot and worked very well to show off Seungri <3! Coming from a totally biased Big Bang fan (Seungri is my favorite!), this was a great release on both Seungri and YG's part. Keep on rolling the same way YG! *ahem* SM... where were we?

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