The long awaited comeback is finally here as Simon Dominic, better known as Simon D (once a member of hip-hop duo Supreme Team, the duo disbanded in 2013 after member E-Sen’s contract expired with Amoeba Culture) is back with a pre-released single self titled “Simon Dominic” from his upcoming album. Considering this song wasn’t going to be released in the first place but was then revamped and put out has fans on their feet roaring with excitement. Read more
Adding to the long roster of girl group summer comebacks is Apink with their bittersweet song and music video for “Remember.” The girls were able to achieve an “all-kill” with their title song, which is to be expected of a group with the second largest fan base for a girl group after Girls’ Generation. Despite this feat, the song also received many mixed reviews, many alleging that the song did not flow well or how it was “too slow.” Ironically, “Remember” may not have been as memorable as Apink would like to believe.
Let’s leave together, in the cool breeze
Let’s forget today and go back to those times
The convivial pop song and summer-themed music video makes it easy to miss that intrinsically the track revolves around a relationship gone sour. Instead of living in the demanding and mundane present, let’s revisit our pasts to a moment when we were once happy. The lyrics paint a brilliant imagery of a time long ago – the beating sun, the cool breeze, the blue waves – in order to set up the longing air appropriate for such a nostalgic song. Reminiscing might not solve today’s problems, but if it mitigates the current situation even a little bit then it’s well-worth coming off as a little delusional.
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Since their debut back in 2011, Apink has always showcased their cute charms and tender vocals with each consecutive comeback they made. From the start, they knew their target audience, which is why they can get away with recycling the same innocent virgin concept every time. Not to mention their super catchy songs always made up for this fact.
But “Remember” was neither captivating nor anything we have not yet seen from them, at least in terms of vocal arrangements and instrumentals. Here is yet another Shinsadong Tiger production that blends hip-hop mixes from the ‘90s with percussive chimes among many other sounds. The only redeeming factor that differentiates this from his other hits such as “NoNoNo” and “LUV” was the interesting woodwind riff during the refrains. Frankly, I enjoy Apink’s modern take on girl group legends such as S.E.S, but even S.E.S varied their sound once in a while. Rather than integrating their old sound with new ones, it would have served in their best interest to do a little more with the aforementioned exotic woodwinds or with the lulling music boxes that only made a brief cameo during the song. And should Apink ever do venture and experiment with more standout sounds, it does not mean they can’t preserve the virtuous image they debuted with while doing so!
The stale instrumentals, however, is only second in concern to the flat vocals. Because the verses are similar in tone to the hooks, the result is one long humdrum of a verse. I waited on a climax that never came and was severely disappointed by the simplicity of the melody. Essentially, the track is the fluff that we all ad-lib and hum to ourselves occasionally; I would not be surprised if that was how Shinsadong Tiger put together the song as well. “Remember” just does not do the group enough justice and should not reflect upon the remarkable talents of the Apink members.
Like the song, the music video carried little to no shock factors. It’s the typical overly saturated cinematography that is rampant during this time of the season and features a throng of summertime clichés. There’s the yacht, there’s the beach, there’s the frolicking in an open field of dandelions, there’s the sunset, there’s the sparklers… all that’s missing here is a nighttime outdoor bonfire. The video offers nothing but pretty sceneries we all want to visit but can’t, and eye candy, which I am sure fanboys (and fangirls!) do not mind. Regardless of the hackneyed theme and video shoot, the girls really do look as if they are enjoying an actual vacation by the looks of their effortless expressions and by the way they fool around with the other members. The amount of freedom the girls were allowed for the music video is unprecedented.
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Rather than saying that Apink copied Girls’ Generation’s style from their ‘Party’ music video that was released earlier this month, I prefer the notion that stylists were seriously lacking inspiration for this summer. With “Remember,” Apink too bought back the dated Coachella look. From the fringed suede vest that member Bomi layers over a white bell-sleeved shirt to the lace yoked shirt that member Hayoung pairs with a simple pair of denim shorts, it’s all been done before. Nightlife by the pool also called for similar shiny sequined outfits to add a pop of fun and shimmer, just like the sparklers the girls wave in the air.
Still, the members were able to make the most banal and casual of outfits look good. Since most of the shoot took place at the beach and on a yacht, it’s only right they opt for blue and white nautical motifs, such as the anchor on member Naeun’s ribbed dress, and stripes. The girls look super mature and put-together in these outfits, and were definitely the main ensemble. Additionally, the white boyfriend button downs they all sported created a uniform, crisp look that could only suit the fresh image that Apink is best known for. Sometimes modesty is fundamental, and when you are Bomi with your hair dyed a vibrant pink, this especially rings true.
After repeating the song and music video a dozen times for the sake of this review, “Remember” has grown on me just a little bit more than it did during my initial listen. It’s nothing I would return to again, though. With comebacks such as these it makes it difficult not to believe that Apink is moving into a more generic side to them that was not present before. The song has me remembering as well, but for a different reason. Alas, I can’t help but miss the unique fairytale-like quality that their past hits such as “I Don’t Know” manifested and that I originally fell in love with. Let’s just pray their next comeback fare much better than this one did.
What did you think of Apink’s “Remember?” What direction would you like to see Apink tackle on next? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.
In April, Korean hip-hop boy group Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS, wowed us with their third mini-album “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1.” Two months later, on June 23th, they are back once again, this time with a re-launch of and music video for one of the songs, “Dope.” Suddenly, all the teaser images of the seven members dressed up in different get-ups boarding onto a crowded elevator are making a lot more sense to us. And with over two million combined views for the music video already on both their label Big Hit Entertainment’s and content distributor 1theK’s channels, the boys prove they are not so rookie anymore with this dope comeback.
I worked all night, every day
While you were playing in the club
Don’t be surprised and listen every day
I got a feel, I got a feel
I’m kinda sick!
Idol groups like BTS know all too well what it is like to be stay up all night practicing in the studio while kids their age are off at parties or doing other things more appropriate for their age. Although it would be easy for the boys to feel pessimistic about being overworked, I doubt that adopting that kind of negative attitude would suit their images well. Rather, they choose to condemn the low-lives of the world and praise themselves for paving their road to success so early in their career.
It’s not a complete diss track, however, since they also encourage kids to follow their dreams. Don’t let others tell you don’t have the willpower, don’t let others bring you down. Follow the Bangtan way of doing things and “reject rejection.” Like the sunrise which gives us hope before the day has even begun, one’s youth is the prime time to get inspired and explore one’s choices. Indeed, perhaps this is the most beautiful moment in life the album title refers to.
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The song starts off with leader and rapper Rap Monster welcoming us, asking if it’s our first time with BTS. We are given just enough time to utter a reply before the percussive beats drop and we are greeted by the vocal line. Even though vocals tend to be somewhat mellow, the counterbalance to the savage raps that members Rap Monster, Suga, and J-Hope tend to deliver, there is still that haughty quality to it that remind us that they are essentially a hip-hop group. Momentum starts to pick up as the rhythmic claps in the background makes their entrance, signaling that the highly-anticipated hook is nearing.
I’m kinda dope!
With that, the group trumpets in a dynamic chorus marked by the squeals of a saxophone. This exotic, jungle-like hook is a bit bizarre, yet oddly catchy. Employing the use of this type of brass is different from most hip-hop numbers that would usually feature electronic or heavy percussive instrumentals, but this is a good kind of different. The loud, sharp blares of the saxophone are able to effectively retain the same robust feeling the boys aim to give off through their lyrics. Although this is just an introduction of what’s to come for the remainder of the strong single, it lays down the necessary groundwork for the later verses and hooks.
Structurally, the song strays away from the conventional verse/pre-chorus/chorus format that we are used by incorporating the aforementioned introduction, making the song seem longer than it actually is. There are many memorable aspects to the song, including the soulful high note during the bridge, but the real kicker to the well-produced track would have to be the saxophone that finds its way again in the coda, ending the piece on a similar note to which it started with.
From the onset, the viewers are made to feel as if they are on set with the members. The camera, which embodies the viewer’s gaze, faces up at the ceiling until Rap Monster comes along to pick it up, asking us directly if it is our first encounter with the group. While it would have been a wonderful idea to keep up the charade that the spectator is a considerable presence on the site by physically interacting more with the camera (not to mention the fan service!), we are ultimately looking on through its lens. Nevertheless, there are plenty of moments to keep the spectators engaged, such as the intense eye contact the members give to the camera while singing or the instance when member Suga shoved fellow rapper J-Hope out the way for the screen time.
The music video is also shot in such a way that is analogous to a one-take style, with the camera quickly panning from corner to corner within the same dark brick room to show off the profession that each member chose to adopt for the shoot. Just some examples of how the setting works to complement their roles include the corridor enclosed in wire fencing that youngest member Jungkook, dressed up as a police officer, confidently walks through with swagger or the garage, outfitted with checkered banners and a car, that J-Hope the race car driver half stumbles-half dances into. With a song all about work, it’s no real surprise that the concept would relate to job titles.
Lighting is minimal here, as with production, but that only allows us to focus more on the individual talents of the boys. Besides, the drab atmosphere is actually more suitable for their original theme of working through the night.
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What can I say, I thoroughly enjoyed the choreography. It required very fast-paced and sharp movements, but the boys were able to nail them with ease. The fancy footwork during the chorus seems like something out of a Teen Top music video and the moves, ranging from the little jumps and fist pumps during the “dope” shouts or hip thrusts during the saxophone number, kept in time to the beat. The adorable falters right before the dopes were able to bring each member’s wild personalities to the table as well.
As if their pure as gold vocals and fierce raps were not enough, BTS was able to deliver the “energy, energy, energy” to make the song come alive. Overall, the group absolutely killed the dance with their impressive and powerful moves that could even outshine the spazziest of music video prop lights.
Before “Dope” I never took much interest in BTS, but with this most recent comeback I can’t help but fall in love with them just a little bit. Their songs are usually rich with life lessons that urge us to fight the system and this one is no different. On the other hand, “Dope” also goes above and beyond their previous sounds by integrating the use of saxophone, the ultimate element of surprise, and changing up the arrangements. As for the video, I am sure many BTS fans, or A.R.M.Y’s, approved of seeing their idols all decked out in uniform. Because which fan has not imagined their favorite boy group member as an authority of the law or as a doctor… or as a super sleuther… or as a… bell boy… hmm.
Do you agree with my review of BTS’s “Dope”? What roles would you like to see BTS take on next? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.
The bright boys of Teen Top are back with an entrancing dance track and music video titled “Ah-Ah” fresh off its sixth mini album, “Natural Born.” Check them out as they bring the true meaning of funk back!
“Ah-Ah” has an upbeat disco funky tune which is reminiscent of music from the ‘90s. Despite starting off a bit slow, the beat gradually speeds up and stays catchy which in return keeps you feigning for more as it goes on. It’s refreshing, smooth and energetic; a perfect summer jam!
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The members of Teen Top are known for their youthful and angelic faces. Because of that, sometimes it can be rather difficult trying to take them seriously, especially in some cases where they’re trying to act hard. Although each member is trying to garner the attention from their potential love interests’, because the members are naturally goofy, that even if you were the one they were pursuing in the music video, you’d probably have a hard time trying to accept their affection. Read more
Two weeks after their initially planned date of release, 2PM is back with their fifth full album, appropriately titled “No.5”. Written and composed by oldest member Jun. K, “My House” marks the return of the group ever since their last release “Go Crazy” in 2014. 2PM is back!
It’s alright. Let’s go to my house
It’s alright. Just make it a secret
In 10 minutes I’ll be waiting for you over there
It’s alright. Let’s go to my house
Seemingly simple lyrics but have a subtle sensuality, which when placed in the context of the song and music video have a whole other meaning. The false assurances and confidence that we allow ourselves to believe in order to fulfill our own desires, these lyrics express it perfectly.
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Jun. K is well-known not just for his vocal abilities, but also his songwriting abilities, as can be seen by his composing the title track for this album and the album before this. He doesn’t disappoint with “My House,” which combines a series of seemingly random sounds like the ticking of a clock and into an addictive dance track. The track also showcases each of the members’ vocal and rapping abilities, and in true 2PM style, gives equal parts to each member, allowing them to shine individually and as a group. The smoothness of their vocals adds to the sensuality of the lyrics and enhances the song. The chorus is very repetitive, which creates a hook for the song and makes it easy to remember.
The music video is fairy-tale like, with the setting of a ball and with the people in the video dressed up formally. The colour tone of the video is more on the dark side, giving it a more dreamy feel. There are constant appearances of a clock which strikes midnight, along with the female character tossing her slipper on the staircase towards the end of the video, which is a play on the classic fairy-tale “Cinderella”. Other fairy-tale references in the video can be seen in the red apple the female character is seen eating (Snow White), the claws that appear on Chansung’s hands (Beauty and the Beast), the bunny singing the high-pitched and auto-tuned notes (Alice in Wonderland) and Taecyeon’s appearance as a wolf during his rapping scene (Little Red Riding Hood).
As mentioned above, the video was set in a ballroom setting, hence explaining the extremely gorgeous ball gown the main female character is donning. The female character is played by none other than “Miss Korea” contestant Yumi Kim, who fits the role very well with her stunning visuals.
In the dancing scenes, 2PM are dressed casually while they don fanciful suits in the rest of the video. They do look good in their suits, but there are certain hairstyles that do not suit them and make them look overly stiff. Similarly, they look comfortable and natural in their casual attire, but there are some outfits that just make them look plain weird. Still, 2PM’s natural aesthetics make up for the occasionally bad fashion choices.
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The music video wasn’t perfect, and neither was the song, but it was a great title track in all and showed 2PM’s continuous growth as artists. The music video was more symbolic and artistic than normal, but it still carried 2PM’s unique flavor. I’m certainly looking forward to their live performances of this song. Check out the music video below!
Are you feeling tired and/or having a rough day? Don’t let those feelings defeat you. Instead, let Zion. T comfort you and sooth your uneasy heart with his latest single and music video, Eat. Read more
Hear ye, hear ye, the queen is back and looking more radiant than ever! BoA wrote, composed, and produced all 12 tracks on her eight Korean studio album and title track Kiss My Lips. Let’s see what this veteran idol has in store for us in commemoration of her 15th year anniversary. Read more