Keeping it short -10 bits and thoughts

Well, it’s been a while. And a lot has happened in kpop utopia.

Even though I haven’t been active here I’ve been actively following new releases and listened to anything that appealed to me and I really love a lot of those new songs. Also I may have changed preferences over the last year, looking back, on some of the posts I was way too harsh , on others, let’s not call it biased, but too subjective.

I’ll keep it short and on point :

1. Way to go and steal wigs on a daily basis 2ne1. I’ve been blown away by each and every release of them, also CL’s solo. Digging the rapping and baddass attitude, although ocasionally forced or cheesy sounding, but all in all, great music, cool MV’s, good job.

In my defence I still think those first releases, up until I am the best, were a bit too similar and quite tamed. The girls had it in them to kick ass.

( to be really honest I’m having a hard time liking Happy. H-a-p-p-y?! Seriously now. Also too soon, too PharellHappy. )

2. On a similar note, loved Alive, loved TOP’s solo, loved Taeyang’s solo, loved Seungri’s solo, GD,…I don’t know. Only liked both song and MV for Coup D’état. The rest, not so much. Still jamming to Heartbreaker.

3. Among the oh so called rookies, well not all of them are still technically rookies, I loved : EXO singles ( even Wolf, I can’t believe what a silly crush I had on that crazy song ), Lee Hi’s songs, all time favourite being Rose, Ladies’ Code, Crayon Pop, B.A.P ( B.A.P , actually hit or miss for most of the times) , History, Tiny-G. Favourite new group – LC9. Stupid name. Huge potential, Great mini album. Worth tons of listens.  And a lot others. I lived with the false impression that most of the new acts are not so special, or interesting but seeing all these names constantly on my playlist, the situation is looking actually pretty good.

4. Crazy cool comebacks by Rain ( oh Rain, y u so hot !!), Epik High, Leessang, Infinite, Lee Hyori, Kahi, Miss A, block b, PSY, Sunny Hill, Ga-in, Jay Park ( really underrated) etc.

5. Somewhat dissapointed by or expected more from : Shinee, Ailee, TVXQ (biggest dissapointment, with Shinee being 2nd tier ), Super Junior, etc.

6. Still trapped in kpop limbo : U-Kiss, Teen Top, B2ST, CN Blue, Nine Muses, Secret, A Pink, ZE:A, FT Island, despite having really cool songs, choreos and/or lovely personalities.

8. What the hell, 2PM, what the hell ??

9. Biggest revelation : Cho Yong Pil ( whole album, great material ).

10. On kdrama land things for me haven’t been so exciting. Loved the Reply series, couldn’t get past episode 3-4 of any of those new Lee Min-ho dramas, and pretty much nothing else got me hooked. Oh, no, I’m lying, LooooooVED Queen In Hyun’s Man. The guy is crazy hot and the girl is pretty damn funny, both on screen and in real life. Also, talking about real life, they’re a couple. Ain’t that really cute ? I think it is.

On variety programs – I have a soft spot for 2days and 1night ( both old and new seasons ) and Immortal Song 2. ALi rocks!!!!!

Sorry about any typos. It’s been a long time and english is still not my first language.


DBSK – Before You Go

( I like better the dance version, without those tacky guns )

Oh, another power ballad from SM. Oh, and it’s from 2/5 of DBSK. Let’s listen to it and be mesmerised !

These tacky shots gotta go

Erm, I am not a singer but if I were to guess I think Before You Go is a collection of breathing and vocal exercises that any canto student is very familiar with. All those gimmicks and tricks to make it seem deeper,heavier and more pretentious, well, I’m not buying it. Some of it does get to me, but it isn’t rubbing me the right way. It is obvious to me what they’re trying to do: it’s a show off. But music should be about the fun of singing and the fun of listening to good songs. With Before You Go I find myself trying to hold my breath each time Changmin starts one of his never ending vocal acrobatics and it’s too tiresome.
Good for them that they managed to present such outstanding vocals. But… I want a spectacular pop track

to sweep me off my feet, not this “Oh, look at me, I’m that good of a singer even without those useless main vocals that ran away 2 years ago”.
Oh, and the monologue version, I didn’t bother to listen to it. It seemed even more boring.
Final rating : 7/10

Get back to these

Shinee – Lucifer (album review)

Still being considered the juniors from the SM Entertainment family, I think Shinee should be getting a lot more attention than Super Junior. They sing better, they are a lot more homogeneous as a group and, as an all they seem to inspire more professionalism. It is hard for me to take SJ seriously as a band, I get lost among so many faces, many of them completely useless to the economy of the group and the songs juggle from being very good to being awfully bad.
The 5 members of Shinee are the happiest version of a boyband: 2 strong vocalists, another vocalist with both vocal and rapping skills, a flexible dancer and one model, I mean rapper. As far as itgoes, Lucifer, aside for its obvious flaws and weaknesses, it is one of the best albums in kpop ( I may be a bit subjective … on a decent measure).
I’m not a fan of intros. Sometimes there are bits from what could have been a great track, but most of the times are a mix of samplings from the entire album filled with way too many ridiculous adlibs. I totally prefer a promising start like Up&Down. I can easily foresee the loops that will take me up and down the road of a good listen during this album. It is the perfect appetizer.
Lucifer is saved by the amplitude of the live performance. The boys had already had a rough start with Minhoon the bench for most of the time, trying to perform the best he could, but visually they managed to do wellon a 4 men formula and to keep up with the crazy rhythm of the song. It isn’t a bad song, but I find it hard to find the melody inthis song. I especially hate the part where   Jonghyunhas a never-ending verse. It’s just …eeeeww.
If on Year Of Us, Y.O.U. was the song that was a healing patch for my broken heart, on Lucifer that role belongs to A-Yo. Forget the original version, forget Shinee, it is a good song that was saved from being mediocre.( The classic Cinderella story ). What I don’t really understand is why put Obsession right after A-Yo. The two similar tracks should be separated by at least 3 other songs. Maybe one of them belongs to the end of the album in order to create a grand  finale. Also I like the dramatic tone of the song, maybe because I am a Drama Queen ? And hallelujah for the guitar solo, such a breath of fresh air for k-pop.

Going next, Quasimodo is a nice ballad. Electric  Heart, on the other hand, is one of my favourite upbeat songs from Lucifer, especially because of the “My love is active, baby” verse. It’s funky, it’s fun and it fits their voices. The rap could have been better polished by a more deep voice. Poor Minho, it’s getting harder and harder for him to keep up with the other guys. Especially in the case of Shout Out, such a lame excuse for a skill show off.

Wowowow is another one of my favourites, the same funky sound they should embrace and start having children with because it fits them like a glove. The autotune it’s a nice touch, totally opposite to the nightmarish one in Shout Out. It also has the best rapping on the whole album.

 I could be superficial and underestimate SM’s ballads by saying that they all sound the same. On a smaller scale I could say that Your Name resembles a lot some of DBSK’s songs. Life is simply put : forgettable.

Prrrraaaaaaaargghhhh, and so the party started. Oh no, the party started a long time ago. Awkward number 11 for such party song. Still I like Onew’s parts and the Girrrrrrrlll shoutings. This was Ready Or Not.

Love Pain isn’t forgettable but rather painful for me to listen to it. Don’t know why but the feeling is visceral. Yes, that deep!
In the end, Love Still Goes On brings nothing but an ok chorus. Such a failed attempt to close a lovely chapter. I especially hate the instrumental part of it. It sounds rather cheap.

For an album to be great it is not necessary for all the tracks to be great. It doesn’t need a story or hidden meanings. Not even the impression of a main musical style or genre. A good album contains diversity, surprising elements and creates a soothing atmosphere. Lucifer is that kind of album. It makes me listen to it as a full and it even manages to make me forget about it’s not so strong parts. I’m looking forward for their next project and I anticipate it will have an even more refined but still fresh sound.

Patience, for now they seem to be testing the the Japanese waters.
Final rating : 9/10








P.S. The diversity of these gestures is simply killing me!