The Randomness of Chibi Jazzy

Just any random things in my life that I feel need to be put in a journal. Hope you have fun with me :)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

K-Pop Monthly Spotlight: January 2018 Part 1



Part 1

Credit: Image Link


Artist/Group: Momoland
Title Track: Bboom Bboom

Honestly, this group never truly intrigued me especially since they debuted in that cluster hell year of debuts. But never would I have thought that the girl from the Tropicana commercial, that became such a meme, was a member of this group and literally gave the defibrillator shock and attention that they needed for this comeback. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised at how catchy the song is and how much fun the video was to watch. The instrumental is the star here. It made the song as interesting and fun as it is. The slight rap break caught me off guard because they went kinda hard considering how sassy and fun the song was going. I really like it. It might be one of my favorite transition breaks for a girl group song in a while. The MV was a lot of fun. Instead of your standard 'dance the choreography in a box room', it was an infomercial style program video that had bits of class and sophistication in that rotating circle scene. They definitely wanted your attention and they got it BUT without overloading the senses. Everything complimented each other from the music matching the scenes to the members performance in acting out the infomercial scenes. Definitely is great way for Momoland to start of the year.

Song: 3.7/5
Dance: 3.5/5
MV: 4.5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 4/5

Members that caught my eyes (no particular order):

Artist/Group: Mamamoo
Title Track: Paint Me

I am a fan of Mamamoo. But I think I really prefer their earlier jazzy styled releases. With Spica gone they are only of the few truly all round vocal idol girl groups still active. I really wanted to like the song but it became pretty stale after almost 1/2 way through without a decent build or tempo to keep me invested. The build I wanted came right at the end making me want more knowing fully well that there won't be more. It's quite mellow and sultry but leaves me disappointed that it went nowhere till the end. Overall, a decent song due to the vocals being on point but song left much to be desired. No dance sequences but the members were drop dead gorgeous and those outfits complemented them and the style of song very well.  MV was simple. Nothing exciting but there were some transitions where only the clothing were in color then everything else slowly gained color only to revert right back to black and white. All in sync with the lyrics. NB: No rap and Moonbyul sang...nice touch.

Song: 3/5
Dance: N/A
MV: 5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 5/5

Members that caught my eyes (no particular order):
                     Wheein (short hair and white never looked better!)

Artist/Group: Sunmi
Title Track: Heroine

This will be Sunmi's 2nd single since her departure from JYP Entertainment and it's another hit. Honestly, I prefer this one slightly more than Gashina (not to discredit it since it's still a bop!).

NB: I know about the plagiarism accusations and have listened to the one by Cheryl Cole's 'Fight for this Love' and I do hear similarities in the song and the MV. I will leave this scandal to those who know about music and the legal aspects of plagiarism, even if her label denies this.The scandal with this song will not stop me from enjoying it.

The instrumental, the way Sunmi's voice used (especially those echoed "Yeah"s) really get me engrossed with what she's saying and the story she is trying to portray through the different scenes and dance breaks. I love how the modern contemporary stylistic dance is still being utilized since the JYPE era to Gashina and now. It adds to her excellent use of facial expressions ( she's definitely a master at it now) which she uses to maximum effect. Another great hit from her.

Song: 4.5/5
Dance: 5/5
MV: 4/5
Style/Aesthetics: 4/5

Artist/Group: Oh My Girl
Title Track: Secret Garden

This is the first release from OMG as a 7 member group since the official departure of JinE, who I hope is getting the proper care she needs and deserves and is doing well. OMG keeps up their dreamy mystical/fantasy/ethereal concept, which has basically become their identity at this point and I have no issues with that. This time it's been amped up and I love it! The song is almost perfect for me except for the one issue I always have with their releases....and it's the effects on some of their vocals which can be pretty evident at times. I get that it's to achieve the dreamy effect but at times it can be quite annoying. The best part of this comeback is the MV. It starts out quite generic, in a staged room, is like that for most of the video but it's the CG and effects that make it seem like I was transported to another world. Go take a look! It's so beautiful!!

NB: They also got their first music show win with this comeback on January 23rd on SBS MTV's "The Show. Congratulations!!!

Song: 4.5/5
Dance: 4.5/5
MV: 5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 4.5/5

Members that caught my eyes (no particular order):
                     Mimi (Bae with short hair is WOW!)

Artist/Group:Amber, Luna
Title Track: Lower

Whenever SM Station releases another song I never wonder "Oh wow! What another great experimental track this will be!" For me, SM Station releases are a hit or miss for me......more on the miss side. Their tracks are definitely experimental, by SM standards, but in general not so much. There's this sort of pattern that they seem to follow (don't ask me what it is cuz I fo sho don't know) and it kind of takes away the loose and free flow feeling that one expects from something experimental. This is one of those tracks. I love Amber and Luna's first SM station release 'Wave'. That's a bop! This track does showcase their voices quite well and the EDM backtrack is a nice touch but I felt that with what they had, they could've gone a bit harder. This attempt at mellow EDM is not bad but it seemed that production were scared to go full mellow and ended up with half-hearted mellow EDM track. Still a decent listen but don't expect anything great.

Song: 3/5
Dance: Simple
MV: Simple
Style/Aesthetics: Never Failing

Artist/Group: Block B
Title Track: Please Don't Leave

Sigh. Block #3 bias male K-Pop male idol group. You never cease to amaze me. Dang it Kyung!! You are constantly working to outdo yourself with each release you make (need to get your albums soon). Based on the title you can automatically tell it's going to be a ballad style song. If you guessed that, then you won't be disappointed. Every member has a part explaining their story of heartbreak and the MV visually displays this perfectly. All the vocals are worked so beautifully that I never want it to end even though I know it's not a happy song. One of my favorite moments is the way it begins with Kyung and ends with P.O. It's almost like Kyung's opening was the revisiting to a flashback that was once filled with joy and hope for a bright future then P.O's deep and melancholic tone is for the present time that has somberly accepted the end, that there is no future for the once brightly lit tunnel. Another moment that ties those scenes together is Zico's parts and the MV partner to it. The back and forth showing the past and present was eerily intriguing to watch. Overall, if you are a fan of Block-B it's another solid release from them but if you are not fan or just a casual listener then it's still a lovely listen. Great job Block B.

Song: 4.5/5
Dance: None
MV: 5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 5

Artist/Group: Chung Ha
Title Track: Roller coaster

I don't think I've talked about Produce 101 Season 1 here before but I was obsessed with it. I love I.O.I and I'm still annoyed how they were managed, especially compared to Wanna One, but that's not the topic at hand for today. ChungHa was my favorite contestant and member (Sohye fights for that spot too!). To see her debut and slowly grow in popularity as a solo artist, and not just as a former I.O.I member, is one of the best feelings you can get as a fan. In regards to her debut title track, I didn't care much for it as it had her belting out notes that were really not needed and it came off as a Taeyeon wannabe attempt (but I like the album as a hold; b-side tracks are always a delight) And those filters on her voice.....URGGHH!! But 'Roller Coaster' was a pleasant surprise. It was catchy from the get-go. Continuing building in tempo. Although it has a slight drop in the middle it kept that beat and tempo so you would stay engaged. It's a fun and poppy track that I would recommend to get you in a fluttery and giddy mood. As for the MV, some parts I liked e.g. the glow in the dark dance scences, her solo closeup and the roller coaster backdrop. It still seems as though the production team is sticking with the 'exceptional vocalist' route (not saying she isn't a good vocalist but there is room for improvement and that's a good thing for a newbie soloist) but I'm not as annoyed with it anymore since they seem to be giving her more suitable tracks for her vocals now.

Song: 4/5
Dance: 3.5/5
MV: 3/5
Style/Aesthetics: 4/5

Artist/Group: fromis_9
Title Track: to heart

1. Did not watch the show used to create the group
2. Don't know anyone's name (YET!)
3. I know about the issue that arose after the final line up was revealed. I know that many (are) were upset that many contestants that were extremely popular or had high rankings were not selected.
4. None of that has stopped me from really enjoying the releases from the group.

I listened to their pre-debut track "Glass Shoes" and cupid struck my heart (definitely NOT a Oh My Girl pun!!). I was surprised. No joke. So surprised that the show was able to create a group with such a lovely and well balanced vocal compatibility. Such beautiful vocal harmony and it continues in their debut track 'To Heart'. It has it all: a hook, is catchy, simple but eye catching choreography, attractive members, really fun instrumental and makes you feel floaty and happy. The group is styled in your traditional but stereotypical school girl image and uniforms but the quality is top notch.....I WANT THEM! The dance is fun and active. Entertaining to watch, while the MV is your standard school themed story which was not exciting at all. But it's a definite must listen.

Song: 5/5
Dance: 3.7/5
MV: 3.5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 4/5

Artist/Group: iKON
Title Track: Love scenario

iKON....a group I just could never like. Let me explain. As a former YG stan (NB: Company stan), I got used to the nonsense that YG did in regards to promoting and managing his groups. But when he announced that Team B would be debuting as well as Team A (now known as Winner), let's just say I was not pleased (for more information check out the survival competition "WIN: Who Is Next?" that was used to create WINNER). The conditions included that the team who won hearts of the public would become 'WINNER'. Team A achieved this by winning all 3 evaluations from the public vote, which earned them the right to become WINNER. It also stated that the losing team would not be able to debut yet and would go back to being trainees. Well, that did not happen to Team B. YG decided to debut them. I understand it's his company and show but when you make terms and conditions along with contracts you either keep your word (which will show you can be trusted) or pay the price for breaking a contract. But I won't go deeper into this. Basically, due to YG's blatant bias towards BI and Bobby during the show, and Team B's lackluster vocal performances throughout the show I decided not to support them during their debut until YG decided to promote them as a GROUP and not as Double B and GROUP. This feeling was slowly going away and their debut track was announced (iKON debuted in 2015, 2 years after Who Is Next and another survival show titled "Mix and Match to create iKON.....what the hell YG......gosh). Rhythm Ta......sigh. Did not like this song at all. Honestly, this style of track is something I would've expected from a veteran group who can afford to be experimental and stuff....but to give them this as their debut....good Lord. Anyway, let's not dwell on the past. Fast forward to 2018 for their recent release 'Love Scenario'. This is the first title track that iKON has released that I know I won't press skip on. Every earlier title track for them was either too try hard or flat for me to care especially in comparison to other male groups' releases. But 'Love Scenario' has the potential to change my opinion of them as a group and decimating my initial dislike for their style of music. 'Love Scenario' lives up to its title by presenting the journey of a couple's relationship from beginning to end in the form of an old stylistic movie that required the films on the rolls (sorry I can't describe it better). The MV is one of the best I've seen when it comes to expressing the lyrics in visual format. The lyrics and visual scenes matched really well and I am thoroughly impressed with the production. It's truly a pleasant listen and I finally get to listen to a title track from them as a GROUP and not blatantly favoring certain members over the rest. For fans of iKON, this will obviously be a great track and highly recommended. For new or passing fans (like myself), this is a really lovely track that would be a nice addition to your spring play-list. I can see why it's winning on many award shows. Congratulations iKON and keep up the great work.

Song: 4/5
Dance: 3.5/5 (not much was shown but was simple and matched well with the song's theme)
MV: 5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 4/5

Members that caught my eye (in particular order):
                        Ju-Ne (my bias in the his voice :3)
                        Bobby (always had a soft spot for this cutie and he sings and raps in this track)
                        DK (vocals!)
                        Jay (vocals!)

Artist/Group: Red Velvet
Title Track: Bad Boy

Oh boy! Oh boy! It really should be called 'Oh Boy' because that's all I can say!! Red Velvet (RV) is one of my favorite idol girl groups from the 4th generation of idol girl groups and with each release they keep climbing on my list. I've always favored their 'Velvet' side releases,  as I'm fond of mature, sultry and sophisticated stylized sounding music, and was so ecstatic when 'Perfect Velvet' was announced and released as their 2nd full length album ('The Velvet' is a bop, go listen to it if you haven't!). Now, SM can be unpredictable sometimes and this is one of those times. For 2017, RV released 3 albums (Rookie, The Red Summer and Perfect Velvet). That's crazy because they practically performed for an entire year but it was a great success. But I never would have thought that they would release a repackaged album for a recent album SO SOON! Less than 3 months later we get 'Bad Boy'. I won't say much because I'm still recovering from the over stimulation of that audio and visual treasure that was bestowed unto to us. Vocal harmonies really shone here and that chorus......Lord help me!! Visuals......Look! Just go watch the MV yourself if you haven't (why haven't you DX) and be rendered stupid like me. Highly recommended!

Song: 5/5
Dance: 3.7/5
MV: ?? It's a trip.....but for visual goodies 5/5
Style/Aesthetics: 5/5

Members that caught my eye (in particular order): ALL
                        Seugli (she just keeps catching my eyes with every release. Bae!!)
                        Wendy (my bias.....dang.....stop it girl.....I need to live!)
                         Joy (why did I never pay attention to you before....gorgeous!)
                         Yeri (short hair seems to working for a lot of idols and I'm here for it.)
                         Irene (.......what is words?!)

Thank you for making to the end of Part 1. There's a part 2 that's following and I hope you stick around for that one.

I appreciate your feedback as I work to make this blog work.

Part 2: News is coming up shortly.

Thank you.


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