Tuesday, November 14, 2017

October in Music

Here are my top releases from October!

1. Seventeen (Hip-Hop Unit) - Trauma
Released: October 1st
Within the past month, Seventeen released singles performed by their units that focused on the members' particular talents. The hip-hop unit (Vernon, Mingyu, Wonwoo & S.coups), which naturally focuses on rap, dropped a very emotional song about trying to escape their anxieties. The members' trauma is reflected in how they are isolated in a room, restricted by strings. Overall, I like 'Trauma' mainly for its lyrics. It's far from the typical Hip-Hop party anthem and explores an individual's deeper, darker emotions.
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 3.5/5

2. Bii - Be The Light
Released: October 2nd
Bii is a Taiwanese singer-songwriter who debuted in 2010. He often performs ballads, one of his latest of which is 'Be Your Light'.  'Be Your Light' is a contemporary rock ballad based on the notes of a piano and guitar. Bii captures listeners' attention with his soothing voice and an uplifting message "I'll be the light at every dark moment. I will survive for you." The music video is very simple (with shining lights and glowing galaxies) yet, it is altogether amazing.
Review: Song - 4.5/5  MV - 5/5

3. Anna - Huh?
Released: October 4th
'Huh?' is Anna's third single from her debut mini-album "My Name is Anna" which was released back in September. Produced by J.Sheon, an urban/hip-hop artist from Taiwan, 'Huh' features an 808 bass drum beat. And most importantly, the music video shows off Anna's sick dance moves!
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 4/5

4. CLC - I Like It
Released: October 26th
'I Like It' is actually a b-side from an album released this past summer. So, the release of this dance practice video was highly unexpected, considering CLC's promotions are over. The song is a dance track with a sound that matches the spunky style of CLC's previous album "Crystyle".
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 3/5

5. Odd Eye Circle - Sweet Crazy Love
Released: October 30th
Odd Eye Circle debuted in September and recently came back with a repackage of their debut album. 'Sweet Crazy Love' is an R&B pop tune that opens with the notes from a violin and follows through with electronic synths. Jinsoul, Choerry, and Kim Lip sing in a smooth, sweet that gives 'Sweet Crazy Love' a completely different feeling from their debut.
Review: Song - 4.5/5  MV - 3.5/5

6. Diana Wang - Tomorrow
Released: October 30th
'Tomorrow', the second single of Diana's upcoming album, is a duet between Diana Wang and her mother, Wang Lei. According to the song's profile on KKBOX, Tomorrow is inspired by the Chinese Story "穆桂英掛帥". It is both modern and classical, as it starts out as an r&b ballad and then incorporates the traditional Chinese musical scale. Finally, Khalil appears in the end with his electric guitar, adding yet another element of auditory intrigue to the track.
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 3/5

Images: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Info: 1,2a,b,3a,b,6

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Top K-pop Albums {Love Yourself : Her by BTS}

Released: September 2017
1. Intro: Serendipity 2. DNA 3. Best Of Me 4. Dimple 5. Pied Piper 6. Skit: Billboard Music Awards Speech 7. MIC Drop 8. Go Go 9. Outro: Her 10. Sea (Hidden Track)

BTS dropped their much-anticipated album 'Love Yourself: Her', citing that it is the first part in a series. This marks BTS' first comeback since gaining recognition on a worldwide platform (at the BBMAs) and the beginning of the group's "second chapter" as "Beyond the Scene". The album wasted no time breaking records. Actually, before it was dropped 'Love Yourself: Her' reached 1,051,546 preorders making BTS the first K-pop group to reach more than one million pre-orders! Then, upon its actual release, it topped iTunes' world album chart in 73 countries! Here, I'll talk about my three favorite songs from this record-breaking album.

1. DNA

Taking a look at this year, we got to see three sides of BTS. They were shown as sentimentalists with 'Spring Day', edgy youth in 'Not Today' and now with 'DNA'  as charming hipsters. In this song, Bangtan sing about how fate connects two totally different people. In other words, opposites attract. DNA is quite different from other Bangtan tracks. It starts with a breezy whistle sequence (that remains throughout) and has an electronic break-down in the chorus.

The song gets really intense at times and has an intense music video that fulfills all your artistic desires: there are abstract art-like backdrops and colorful depictions of outer space. I like how the clothes and setting focus on primary colors (the hues often used to depict DNA). Everything about this (the beat, the fun colors, the members' energy) excites your senses.

2. Best Of Me

'Best of Me' is a collaboration song with the Chainsmokers. BTS met and befriended the Chainsmokers when they came to America for the Billboard Music Awards. When they announced this collab, I assumed that the American pop-duo would be included in the song, but they aren't. However, their presence is known and felt anyway because the track is formed with their trademark EDM sound.

The 'Best of Me' is basically BTS' take on American pop and I feel that the song lived up to the hype surrounding it. I also feel that Bangtan taking on this genre is refreshing, and the sound especially suits Jimin's voice. Lyrically, the song is a proclamation of love to someone who is undeniably their better half. "You’re everything in this world to me...We shared something and you can’t make it nothing, I hope you don’t forget".

3. Go Go

Hip-hop songs often talk about getting tons of money and spending it. 'Go Go' follows suit, however, it has an element of comedy. It's essentially a parody of our materialistic society. The song pokes fun at the way young people recklessly blow their money and foolishly live by the mantra "YOLO". "Dollar dollar, squandering it all in one day. Run, run, man I spend it like some party".

'Go Go' opens with a tropical xylophone sound, and keeps a fun bounce throughout. BTS promoted this song on music shows, and gave a comical performance!

Info: 1
Images: 1,2,3,4,5

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September in Music

Here's what the month of September brought us music-wise.

1. Bobby - I Love You
Released: September 14th
Ikon member Bobby his solo comeback releasing a 10-track album full of self-written and self-composed songs. With "Love and Fall" Bobby tries out different genres (unlike what he has done with ikon and his solo debut) and shows a new side contrasting with his hip-hop swag image. 'I Love You' is a breezy electronic track that holds onto the summer vibe (even in September).
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 3/5

2. BTS - DNA
Released: September 18th
BTS go all out with DNA: a release as unique as what it's named after. They've been going all out this whole year with winning international awards and touring worldwide. In this song, Bangtan sing about how fate connects two totally different people. In other words, opposites attract. There's a breezy whistle and acoustic sound with an electronic break-down in the chorus. Overall, DNA is sensory overload. And I mean that in the best way.
Review: Song - 4.5/5  MV - 4/5

3. Odd Eye Circle - Girl Front
Released: September 20th
Odd Eye Circle is the second (pre-debut) sub-unit of upcoming girl group LOONA. Their debut single 'Girl Front' is a bubbly, quirky mix of electro-pop with an odd concept, similar to Red Velvet's style. In the music video, the members' Kim Lip, Jinsoul, and Cheorry can be seen reflecting their own actions. Its aesthetic focuses on red, blue and purple, the member's official colors.
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 3/5

4. Seventeen (Leaders) - Change Up
Released: September 24th
Seventeen changed up in 'Change Up'!  Instead of their full thirteen-member line-up, they promoted as a unit with (leaders) Woozi, S.Coups, Hoshi and the three of them pull off a hip-hop groove. the falsetto and raps are really nice, and the chorus is mercilessly catchy, though some of the song's transitions lack smoothness.
Review: Song - 3.5/5  MV - 3/5

5. Luhan - Like A Dream
Released: September 27th
Luhan is back again with another great song! This year he's been reemerging every few months or so with new music. 'Like A Dream' is a light mix of R&B and Hip Hop with a cute, romantic chorus. The music video takes inspirations from Andy Warhol's pop art, so it's very colorful and gives off a 1960's feel. Luhan actually isn't in the middle video, but (as a nice surprise) dancers from 1Million dance studio perform to the song.
Review: Song - 3/5  MV - 2/5

6. Diana Wang - Poem
Released: September 29th
'Poem' is the first single ahead of the release of Diana Wang's second album. It was composed by fellow R&B singer Khalil Fong (one of my favorite C-pop artists). This song has a soft, beautiful melody and is paired with a relaxing music video that has natural aesthetic. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more collaborations between Diana and Khalil!
Review: Song - 3.5/5  MV - 3.5/5

Images: 1,2,3,4,5,6