50 best K-pop songs of 2017: 50-26

While the year may be closing in a very sad and unfortunate manner with the passing of a K-pop icon, artists consistently delivered memorable songs throughout 2017. This year saw a lot of great moments from some of Korea’s most popular new acts, while newer acts also proved their worth with addicting, sleekly-produced music. Trop was the king of this year’s K-pop trends, but far from the only genre of music that saw its moment in the limelight.

Check out the first half of KultScene’s 2017 best K-pop songs list below:

50. “Circle’s Dream” by Subin

Subin is trapped in an endlessly repeating contradictory cycle in her self-written and composed single “Circle’s Dream.” She is told that she is round and that’s good, but then that it’s not. She wants to be angular, to pierce her lover, to make him feel like how he made her feel. Yet she is also trapping herself within a recurring musical structure, as an acoustic guitar plucks an incisive riff throughout the song. It is the only angular part of Subin’s song yet has no variation. Her stark synths come in late but their slow rhythm only accentuates the repetitiveness. Each element is perfectly realised to tell her story. Her voice completes it. Its soft and sweet but particular pronunciations like denggeureureu are key. This word alone combines both the round and angular sides to her. It has repetitions but in order to say it properly she still has to roll her tongue. Subin has enwrapped her whole song with the confusing ideas in her head. No solo idol has ever produced something of such pointed precision.

—Joe

49. “Wee Woo” by Pristin

If “Wee Woo” had been released at the 2012-ish heyday of Hallyu, Pristin’s debut song would be considered legendary right now. It’s barrage of shifting sounds and onomatopoeic vocals are absolutely classic. The Pledis Entertainment regular songwriter Bumzu brings a bright and breezy feel to the whole production with disco electric guitars taking the brunt of the work. This allows the girls room to deliver the most hooks in a single song EVER. Each part is so complete on its own you could take them individually and create five more songs around them. The fact that they all come together for something that doesn’t feel so monumental is the greatness of “Wee Woo.” It’s arrogant in its effortlessness all the way down to making the primary hook out of the most simple term of jowahae nol jowahae (“I like (you) I like you”).

—Joe

48. “Beautiful” by Monsta X

Monsta X’s cultivated sound and signature unruly charms finally comes together for the consummate “Beautiful.” Perhaps because it is supposed to be representative of the group’s first studio album, the single feels particularly significant. For one, there’s really nothing quite like the opening out there. Scattered with a prominent distorted electronic beat that is quickly followed up by Jooheon’s explosive raps, the real hook is not in the chorus but here in the introduction, where the task for the listeners to not mimic the unique noises or the clever near-rhymes is near impossible. The vocalists dwindle down the excitement sometimes without sounding monotonous, almost acting like the Apollonian restraint to the Dionysian madness. The constant shower of peculiar oscillations, whirs, and horns all make up the perfectly organized chaos that Monsta X is known for, and though “Beautiful” did not grant the boys their first music show win like it should have, it will always remain a tour de force in our hearts.

—Shelley

47. “Where You At” by NU’EST W

With their revival in popularity following some of the members’ appearance in Produce 101 Season Two, this subunit of Nu’est (missing member Minhyun who debuted in Wanna One) released this flashy track which stayed true to their unique music style. Bursts of electronic instrumentals are mixed with a calm piano backing track and adds a lot of contrasts to the song. It also highlights the strengths of each member, with Baekho’s explosive high notes complementing Ren and Aron’s softer and sweeter voices. JR’s rapping is as stable as ever, and he definitely shines more back in his own group. It’s wonderful to see this talented group get more recognition for their talents, and I can’t wait to see the full group back together again soon.

—Anna

46. “You Were Beautiful” by DAY6

The February release of the band’s “Every DAY6 Project” can be said to be their most successful, especially domestically, and it’s not difficult to see why. The raw emotions brought out by the members coupled with the sincere lyrics create a sentimental rock ballad which truly tugs on the heartstrings of listeners. The end of the bridge in particular, where Young K and Wonpil’s voices are layered, is such a beautiful and emotional climax of the song. Even though it appears simple to sing along to (and is apparently a favourite among other JYP singers for karaoking), the song is actually very vocally challenging due to the large range required, and the effortless way the DAY6 members sing it shows just how skilled and well-trained they are.

—Anna

45. “Tomorrow, Today” by JJ Project

After debuting ahead of GOT7’s debut with the exuberant “Bounce,” JB and Jinyoung returned as a more matured rendition of JJ Project this year and it was absolutely glorious. The two vocalists released this sweeping, introspective song about the very-millennial topic of making decisions and fearing regrets. The track provides the perfect forum for the pair to show off how well their vocals work together, with the duo harmonizing over guitar riffs, tapping percussion, and mellow synths. “Tomorrow, Today” is reflective in its warm approach to soft rock, and hopefully we’ll see more of this from JJ Project in 2018. It was a complete turnaround from their first iteration, and definitely more suited for the pair’s artistic style and capabilities.

—Tamar

44. “Don’t Know You” by Heize

Heize’s “Don’t Know You” is a very groovy song full of percussions with a slight mixture of disco, hip-hop, and R&B, which features the soloist using deeper vocals than what we’ve been used to hear from her. The overall appeal of this songs starts at the beginning of the track with the repetitive beats and the introduction of the synth drums that follow different tonalities on the record that give great texture to “Don’t Know You.” Her famous ad-libs are also present on this song as she goes from high to low tones, which are achieved by the reverbs added on the vocal track, that create great contrast between her sexy sweet voice and her solid rap parts. The harmony is very steady throughout and creates a great chill up-tempo track perfect to dance and groove to. Heize continues to show great promise with her experimental sound.

—Alejandro

43. “Tequila (feat. Hoody)” by G.Soul

One can’t help but want to book an immediate flight to somewhere like Bali while listening to “Tequila,” especially with the brutal winter quickly approaching much of the States. Hoody’s bewitching voice alongside G.Soul’s multifaceted vocals make for the perfect combo in this dancehall track, ideal for both a cookout and the club. Lyrically wise, “Tequila” might not be appropriate for all age groups, as G.Soul sings about only wanting a one night stand. But if you’re someone who’s over the generic “let’s fall in love” type of style that is prevalent in K-pop the majority of the time, this song’s for you. The lyrics aren’t candy coated or sleazy, but come off rather… inviting. This wasn’t meant to be a flashy song, which is what made it even more enjoyable. Although G.Soul wasn’t hitting those high notes (that I love so much) like he usually does, it wasn’t a lack felt by this song.

—Tam

42. “Wake Me Up” by Taeyang

It is no news that Taeyang can hold a ballad like no other, and in 2017, he gave us two great ones. “Wake Me Up” doesn’t have the same degree of emotional complexity of “Darling,” the other single from the album, but it’s its apparent simplicity what makes this song amazing and addictive. Objectively speaking, it’s a very linear song with no surprise factors when it comes to its structure. It might even seem like Taeyang doesn’t have much to say in “Wake Me Up,” but it’s definitely not because he’s lacking emotions. In reality, what we see is that he just doesn’t know what to do with them. Everything in “Wake Me Up” sounds gorgeously inconclusive and mysterious — from the airy sounds and atmospheric, echoed beats, to the lyrics that offer more questions than answers. No wonder the most touching moment of the song is when he’s constantly repeating “Is it love?” while delivering breathtaking high notes. Overall, Taeyang’s vocal performance amidst the ethereal instrumental creates just the right vibe for a song that is about love, but mostly about confusion and doubt. After so many years, you can still count on Taeyang to get you in your feels.

—Ana

41. “Honeymoon” by B.A.P

Coming out during the fall when it should’ve been a summer jam, “Honeymoon” is a delightful EDM track from B.A.P’s seventh album Blue. The whistling at the beginning of the song left the remainder open for interpretation; this song could’ve been a sweet one, much like the title suggests, or a somber one. I’m glad it wasn’t the latter. “Honeymoon” puts listeners in a lighter mood, whereas previous songs were dark and heavy, all the while still executing a clear message. “With the overflowing stars from beneath the palm tree. A film on the shining freedom and bright youth,” they sing. Through this track, B.A.P wants to remind us to live life to its fullest, fulfill your heart’s desires to its grandest and emphasises that today’s youth will be the game changer in society going forward.

—Tam


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40. “Chase Me” by Dreamcatcher

Taking the bubbly girl group image and tossing it out the window, MINX re-debuted early this year under the name Dreamcatcher. Not only did the group have a new name, but they also gained two new members and an interesting concept and sound. Taking the term re-“vamp” quite literal, the group came out with a dark and creepy concept straight out of a horror movie. The video for “Chase Me” takes references from classic horror movies like The Shining but also has cuts to choreography to showcase the girls dance moves. The song begins with pianos and then picks up at the chorus. Adding31 to the darker image, the song melded hard rock elements with a dance pop track to create something very dynamic. There’s something about the mixing of heavy rock instrumentals and feminine voices that is very appealing. Although the song sounds like it’s straight out of an anime, it is also an interesting new sound that’s refreshing to the K-pop world.

—Katherine

39. “Never Ever” by GOT7

Ever since debut, GOT7 have switched up their sound with every release, experimenting with different styles and concepts, and their first comeback of the year was no different. “Never Ever” follows in the same angsty direction as “If You Do,” yet this track mixes electronic and trap sounds while giving it their signature bubblegum spin. Vocally, JB and Youngjae can always be counted on to deliver outstanding choruses and ad-libs. But reveal of the year was that “Never Ever” is probably the song where the rap line is collectively most stable and the flows, while different, work together. GOT7 is building up a name as a dance group whose choreographies are insane, and “Never Ever,” with its glitches and heavy bass, is the perfect performance track in their building discography.

—Alexis

38. “Love Story feat. IU” by Epik High

One of the two title tracks off of Epik High’s new album, “Love Story” is a beautiful song about love lost. The steady drum beats coupled with the sometimes frantic sounding piano and, later on, the smooth orchestra creates a complex yet easy sounding melody that balances well with IU’s sweet voice and the rap verses of Tablo and Mithra Jin. Along with the concept video of a girl reminiscing about her past relationship through videos and photos on her phone, it sets the perfect setting for a song about heartbreak and loss. As expected with most of Epik High’s collaborations, the group and the featuring artist blend perfectly to portray the story being told.

—Katherine

37. “Wake Me Up” by B.A.P

A lot of the times, K-pop consists of clichéd lyrics and similar concepts. There are times when a number of artists will put out a string of songs, music talking about love, relationships and breakups. Again, the repetitiveness. Just when you feel like you’ve had enough of that sappy stuff, B.A.P appears with an eye opener like “Wake Me Up,” a track that touches on societal issues and mental health to stimulate one’s ear buds. The song has a compelling beat, a sound so strong, it’ll act as the pillar that will hold you up when one is fighting off their inner demons and struggles in life. “This is an endless tunnel, in darkness with no light. Wake me up, wake me up. I need to find myself,” they sing. B.A.P wanted to push awareness and wake up a society that looks away and pretends that issues like racism, judgement, and depression aren’t real issues because these things are very much on going and continue to be real life problems.

—Tam

36. “Palette feat. G-Dragon” by IU

As one of Korea’s most prominent artists, IU on “Palette” seems to be comfortable with her fame and life, assuring both herself and her listeners that she’s changing in ways she embraces. Her lyricism uses cute examples, from changing color preferences to hair length, to demonstrate that she, “Knows a little bit about [herself] now.” The song’s instrumentals are a more alternative play on classic, theatrical IU releases. While the trademark ticking noises and sound effects are present, the song itself is slower and wispier, updated to match a more modern vibe that she seems to have grown into. The top female star of Korean music in the past decade, IU demonstrates that she remains focused on making hits, but now, on her own terms. With the help of a strongly performed and well-placed rap break from G-Dragon, IU on “Palette” lets us further into her excited, changing young adult world. Where she goes next from here, however, we’ll be watching.

—Kushal

35. “Dinosaur” by AKMU

AKMU is known for creating beautiful music, but with “Dinosaur,” the duo really surprised us: they finally added some EDM to their music while managing to make it their own. The electro beats and synths that appear through the track’s melody seem very stripped down and almost make it feel like an acoustic electronic song. The opening guitar in the beginning of the song especially feels like an homage to their earlier music. The synthetic kickdrums that blast before the beautiful notes from Suhyun during the chorus melody and are present through the whole track, giving it an unique mystery to the track. We also get more singing from Chanhyuk instead of his typical talk-like rap, which was surprisingly beautiful. Their voices blend and harmonize perfectly with the synthetic beats that made it an upbeat chill song for the summer. AKMU really had a lot of fun creating this track and used every tool that electronic instruments can give you as a producer. The song is simple but very detailed with a beautiful, heartwarmingly catchy harmony and a light beat that is very uplifting and instantly makes you feel good.

—Alejandro

34. “Dream In a Dream” by Ten

SM Entertainment’s Station project has produced a bit of a mixed bag this year, delivering some truly great pieces of music amid a majority of lackluster ones. But “Dream In a Dream” was one of its glorious high notes. The ambient, east-meets-west styling of the song serves to relay the performance-heavy music video, which highlights Ten’s immense dance skills. Providing a soundtrack to the highly-stylized, contemporary dance video, it’s a song filled with drama and passion. But even as a stand alone track, “Dream In a Dream” delivers something truly special through its symphonic instrumentals relaying Ten’s echoing declaration of love. Lush synths and pulsating beats guide the track as it layers traditional Asian strings and into the atypically-structured melody. So far, Ten has participated in both this and NCT U’s “The 7th Sense,” two hauntingly beautiful, choreography-focused singles, and if this is the direction SM continues pushing him in, it may be the thing that could breathe new life into this era of all-too-similar K-pop male acts.

—Tamar

33. “Shall We Dance” by Block B

Ever since Zico cemented his status as a hip-hop icon in Korea, Block B has pretty much taken a backseat on the ride. And after a couple of quirky, even cutesy releases, it seemed the group had gone awry of the sounds and concept they made a name with. That’s why when they dropped “Shall We Dance” it was way more impactful. More in tune with the “trendy” sounds Zico is known to produce for his solos, the track explores different urban Latino sounds, which particularly stood out this year when artists are still releasing trop-house songs. “Shall We Dance” is groovy, smooth, and just as the title suggests, dance provoking. Being an older male group with a diverse lineup of talented members, it’s important for Block B to color outside the lines and continue to push the envelope as they have always done. And with this song, they did just that.

—Alexis

32. “Girl Front” by ODD EYE CIRCLE

“Girl Front” felt like a particularly important moment for LOONA. When LOONA ⅓ debuted as a unit they were still fairly unknown, a weird project group going about their own thing. By the time of ODD EYE CIRCLE, they had significantly grown with more people both at home and internationally taking notice. The fact that they absolutely nailed it came as no surprise to me, but how they did it was so impressive. By combining the songs of three girls (Choerry, Jinsoul, and Kim Lip) producers Ollipop and Hayley Aitken created something unprecedented in K-pop. “Girl Front” has the peppiness of “Love Cherry Motion,” the dense, propulsive beat of “Singing in the Rain,” and the electronic sheen of “Eclipse.” It’s a miracle that it all comes together to form something coherent let alone this good. The girls give it the last edge of excitement with non-stop vocals as they bounce off one another with glee, building a climax of unstoppable motion and further push forward the most exciting story of the year.

—Joe

31. “I Wait” by Day6

“I Wait” was the first release of the group’s ambitious project, which set a high bar for their following monthly singles. The opening of the song draws the listener in with somber synthesized keyboard notes and dreamy vocals. The mellow beats gradually increase to the more aggressive instrumentals of the chorus, showcasing a much harder sound than what the band has been previously known for. The song continues to bounce back and forth between a softer sound and the heavy chorus, which creates and interesting medium. The video itself isn’t really anything special but somehow still complements the song with the changing graphics and effects. Overall, “I Wait” fulfilled its purpose of drawing in the audience with a new sound, showcasing the band’s versatility and ability to deliver quality songs throughout the year.

—Katherine


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30. “MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix feat. Desiigner)” by BTS

“MIC Drop” was already a good song before Steve Aoki’s remix, but with his production, the producer added the aggressiveness that the track needed to be fully solidified as an anti-haters anthem for BTS. He did this by converting the hip-hop track into a hip-hop, R&B, and EDM infused song that made us remember the old BTS from their debut era. The track is energetic and gets you pumped up as soon as you listen to it; V’s deep voice and RM’s raps are major highlights from this record. The lyrics take a very sarcastic tone that even if they seem cocky it makes us sympathize with them. With the new added English lyrics in the chorus, the song makes everyone want to stand up against haters and face them off. BTS creates yet another ode for outcasts and bullied kids all over the world by once again taking on topics that usually K-pop bands don’t talk about.


Also on KultScene: Astro ‘Dream Pt. 02’ Album Review

—Alejandro

29. “Darling” by Taeyang

This ballad stands out with its somewhat unconventional structure and chord progression, but it’s truly beautiful and addictive when listened to in its entirety. The way that Taeyang’s smooth voice connects the various parts of the song elevates it and showcases his impressive range and ability. His raw emotions are showcased front and center here too, especially with the way the song “progresses” in intensity from verse to verse. It’s soothing and intimate all at once, and allows Taeyang to present a more honest side of himself, as compared to being a charismatic star glorified by the limelight.

—Anna

28. “Hola Hola” by KARD

Over the course of three project singles, KARD was able to develop a musical formula that worked. The tropical house and dancehall that undergirded “Oh Nana,” “Don’t Recall,” and “Rumor” provided a strong foundation for when they finally did make their official debut with “Hola Hola,” a timely and bright synthy number perfect for the summertime. Being co-ed is more than just a gimmick for this group; the exchange between tender vocals and throaty raps is the contrast listeners need to keep engaged. The chorus, on the other hand, shifts its weight onto an island beat, and while it would be easy to dismiss this sudden move as overly simplistic, the hypnotic effect is undeniable. It sweeps the carpet from under our feet and displaces us in a chimerical paradise. It is a nice recess from Jiwoo’s spunky rap midway or from any other strained moments, providing us with a sensual and personable comfort. “Hola Hola” only marks the beginning, but already the internationally beloved group has been dealt a good hand, and are making all the right plays to keep momentum going.

—Shelley

27. “Cherry Bomb” by NCT 127

Without a doubt, “Cherry Bomb” definitely encapsulates the sound of NCT127. The different mixes of genres that create a very fresh and futuristic sound create a unique style for the band that has everyone falling in love. The track starts off with a heavy bass and the repetitive “Hurry, hurry, avoid it, right Cherry Bomb feel it yum,” then goes off to Mark’s and Taeyong’s rap, with the pair proving to be the real standouts for this track, while the bridge explodes with Taehyun’s, Doyoung’s and Taeil’s beautiful vocals that melt any listener’s hearts. The song is filled with background synth noises, singed hooks, and creepy sounds that create a very chaotic but interesting track that is reminiscent of the album cover and the title of the song. It’s a classic, sassy and rebellious track and shows great direction for the boy band.

—Alejandro

26. “O Sole Mio” by SF9

Is it possible for someone who lacks rhythm AND coordination to find themselves swaying ones hips and body with precision to the entrancing latin sounds of “O Sole Mio”? This track comes from SF9’s third mini album, Knights of the Sun, only one year after their debut. Rather then SF9’s usual upbeat dance tracks, “O Sole Mio” is captivating in it’s own mellow way. The transitions between the vocal and rap lines were smooth and well-versed, building up to a tender climax without it ever being over the top. The fusion of latin pop to K-pop is still new, but, let’s be real: we all could’ve used a break from some of the generic sounds we’ve heard this year, and the fresh sound of “O Sole Mio” delivered just that.

—Tam

Stay tuned for the second and final half of our Best K-pop Songs of 2017 list, which will contain the top 25.

What was your favorite release of the year? Let us know 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.

Astro ‘Dream Pt. 02’ Album Review

The boys of Astro have done it again. With the release of their fifth mini album Dream Pt. 02 at the beginning of November, they have proven that it’s possible to fall even more in love with them.

In many ways, this latest album marks a transition into a more mature concept for the group. A follow up to Dream Pt. 01, released earlier this year in May, Astro exhibited a more cutesy and boyish concept, as demonstrated by the album cover displaying a pastel sweet shop and the track list being released as a drink menu. But when the teaser images for Dream Pt. 02 were released, there was an obvious difference. In contrast, the new album cover showed six desks and six different colored books to represent each member, suggesting a studious concept. Additionally, the boys’ solo shots also exhibited maturity through their intense gazes and darker colored attire. The wardrobe shift used throughout the album imagery is largely a reflection of the change in weather, but it is also a representation of the change in concept. Whereas, the wardrobe for Dream Pt. 01 consisted of light-colored summertime button-ups, the wardrobe for Dream Pt. 02 consists of dark-colored suits and turtlenecks.

The maturity continues with the music, too. Right from the start, the listener’s attention is captured with the catchy opening notes of “With You.” Being the lead vocalist, it only makes sense that Moonbin’s smooth voice begins the song and entire album. The track begins relatively slow-paced, with Moonbin promising his undevoted attention to his love interest. An obvious transition begins when Sanha comes in, describing the girl’s beauty, and the song’s tempo quickens, building hype in typical Astro fashion. Right before the chorus, MJ comes in, his voice reaching ridiculously high notes, taking this song, as well as the boys’ skills, to new heights. Halfway through the chorus, there is a pause, strategically creating anticipation for what comes next, and the beat drops with all members coming in singing “with you.” Although the use of “with you” can be repetitive, this track does a good job creating an upbeat and fresh introduction to the album and their new concept. Whereas in Dream Pt. 01, the boys dreamed of the girl, “With You” demonstrates the bold move the boys take in already imagining themselves with the girl.


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The next song on the album is the title track “Crazy Sexy Cool,” which really demonstrates the act’s matured sound. As opposed to the cheeky smiles and boyish energy Astro exhibited in their last single “Baby,” the boys exude a mature charisma in “Crazy Sexy Cool” with their new, smoother sound, making this a perfect choice for their latest comeback. As the title suggests, this song gives off a “cool” vibe with its slower, but still relatively upbeat, tempo and the boys’ falsetto voices. The smooth tempo of the song reflects the lyrics as they describe the irresistible charms of and chemistry they have with the dream girl. Eunwoo’s distinct and clear voice is especially showcased as he begins the chorus, hitting all the high notes and making listeners swoon.

The music video for “Crazy Sexy Cool” also demonstrates a stylistic change; it begins with a very peaceful scene of the boys sleeping and possibly dreaming, accompanied by a lullaby in the background. The calm is interrupted by a series of loud noises, startling the boys awake to a scene of themselves as the music starts. As always, Astro’s insanely exceptional but underrecognized dancing skills are showcased in the video, and it seems like their skills have only improved. With their crazy footwork and incredible ability to stay in sync, Astro leaves us in awe of the ways they are able to move their bodies. The overall vibe of the video is “cool” and more mature than “Baby,” as demonstrated by intense and piercing gazes that are unexpected yet seductive at the same time, catching us off guard in a good way. However, the boys still occasionally exhibit some of their classic cheeky smiles, reminding us that it is indeed, Astro.


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Following the “cool” concept, the next track “Butterfly” carries with it a similar vibe. This song has a huge build-up, beginning as a muffled track with the audio slowly but surely clearing up. This time, Eunwoo begins the song with a “Hey girl” so smooth that it makes hearts melt while demonstrating how his voice has evolved to a more charismatic sound. Throughout the song, the boys compare the girl to a butterfly, cautious and afraid that at any moment, she will fly away. Their caution is reflected in the pre-chorus, as the tempo slows down to a steady beat before picking back up in the chorus. After the chorus, Rocky swoops in with his low husky voice, rapping about the effects this girl has on him and asking her to stay with him. Towards the end, we see a perfect pairing of JinJin and MJ, with JinJin rapping his feelings while MJ’s sings his signature high notes in the background to complement the rap. The caution that is shown through the lyrics and instrumentals exemplify how the boys have matured in the way they approach love. Instead of a carefree attitude, they recognize potential complexities and approach it accordingly.

Starting with “Run,” the album shifts to a more affectionate tone. The song opens with some smooth vocals and a muffled beat that slowly transitions to an intimate guitar melody. Sanha opens by singing about a dark evening sky, matching the serenity created by the acoustics. In a style that’s becoming quite characteristic of this album, the music pauses again before the chorus, allowing the listener to reflect on the lyrics that were just sung, before diving right into a catchy chorus. Eunwoo leads the first chorus this time, his sweet voice so filled with an intensity that convinces the listener of his earnest pursuit of the girl. After one more repetition of the impassioned chorus, the song ends similar to how it began — with a fading vocal and closing with just the melody of a guitar. This track, in my opinion, is the highlight of the album. It demonstrates how the boys have grown to be more intentional and sincere- each conveying his love and determination in his own way, through his own vocal style. I’m going to be real honest and say that when I listen to this song, I almost want to cry because of how sweet and sincere it is.

The concluding track of this album begins with a piano solo, signifying a more ballad-y tune. It makes sense for the last song to have the slowest tempo as throughout the album, we have seen a gradual decrease in pace. Eunwoo begins this track by singing about a lost love, which explains the more reflective nature of the song. When MJ comes in after Eunwoo, the pain in his voice of being separated from his love is clearly heard. After the chorus, JinJin comes in with a rap but it is less energetic than his previous rap from “Butterfly,” mirroring the regret he feels for not treating his love well. However, his rap picks up speed and his voice gains more energy as he describes how he will change and pursue his love again. In fact, I feel as if the entire song gains more energy as the boys sing about the lessons they learned and the hope that their love will be rekindled. The song ends with the piano solo we heard in the beginning, however, after the increasing passion of the song, the listener now interprets the tune of the piano solo as hopeful instead of sorrowful. This song makes for a perfect conclusion to the album as it illustrates the hope that comes with maturity and growth. Because of the lessons and experiences the boys have gone through, they are able to approach love in a new, refined way as reflected by all the songs on the album.

This entire album sticks to the concept of Dream very well and is a perfect representation of how the band has grown since their last album: the boys of Astro go from dreaming of a relationship with their love interest to singing about their dream girl to reflecting on a former love that they dream of rekindling. Every member shows incredible vocal growth and the rich combination of their unique voice creates emotions that the listener can’t help but feel themselves. Even the lyrics and messages conveyed show a more matured way of thinking. The album begins with a high energy that gradually simmers down to a contemplative song of hope. For Astro, it may be a closing song hopeful of the future of their love life but for fans, it’s a song that teases them with what’s to come from the next album from these talented boys.

What do you think of Astro’s latest album? Let us know your thoughts in the comment selection below! Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all the K-pop news.

Red Velvet’s ‘Peek-A-Boo’ song & music video review

red velvet peek-a-boo peekaboo mv music video song review

By Alexandra DiBenigno

Red Velvet returns to the K-pop music scene with the release of their spooky new song, “Peek-A-Boo,” off their second full album, Perfect Velvet. The group has been busy this year, releasing multiple singles like “Rookie” and the summery hit song “Red Flavor.” But, the girls throw away their cute image for a newer, darker one in their latest track, which will surely be on the top of everyone’s fall playlist.

red velvet peekaboo gir peek-a-boo review mv song

via kibaems @ Tumblr

Song

The latest single by the five-member girl group demonstrates each member’s strength, while also showing off their strong harmonization skills. The song has a funky beat highlighted with a strong bass in the background and usual club house beats used commonly throughout their music. However, Red Velvet diverts from the usual by carrying the chorus with their heavenly harmonization and repetitive “peek-a-boo” line, bringing a singable chorus that many international ReVeluvs (their fandom name) to enjoy.

Yeri’s rap especially shines, with the maknae (youngest member) finally given multiple lines and showing if off with quick lyrics, seamless flow, and an overall strong delivery. Joy and Seulgi’s lower vocals bring a sexy addition to the already club boppin, mature song, while Irene delivers her usual strong rap with ease. Throughout the song, the main vocalist, Wendy, flaunts her impeccable vocals without actually overtaking the song, as was seen in “Red Flavor.” Instead, each member is given the opportunity to display their vocals or rap without any one individual hogging the spotlight. Overall, the song has fair line distribution, something ReVeluvs will surely appreciate.

red velvet peekaboo song gif mv peek-a-boo

via leaderirene @ Tumblr

“Peek-A-Boo” is a well-balanced song that includes obvious K-pop tropes, while keeping to the unique style that the girls have perfected after three years of successful comebacks. While this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a step in the right direction for the group as they continue to mature and leave their girly image behind.


Also on KultScene: Monsta X’s ‘Dramarama’ song & music video review

Music Video

red velvet peek-a-boo gif peekaboo mv

via the-overdose @ Tumblr

Overall, the music video is one of Red Velvet’s finest, showing off unique cinematography and filtering, plus sparkling outfits and eerie imagery. With obvious Halloween vibes, outfits, and settings, it’s a shame SM Entertainment didn’t make the decision to release the video prior to Oct. 31st because the music video screams “K-pop Halloween fun!” But, regardless of the release date, “Peek-A-Boo” is a fun homage to old-time scary movies and is the perfect transition video as the fall season winds down.

red velvet peek-a-boo gif review song mv peekaboo

via sowonis @ Tumblr

The music video is unusually violent for a girl group, with guns, knives, and razors being seen throughout. Not to mention that what seemingly appeared to be a storyline about a group of women who enjoy the thrill of new love, yet quick leave their men behind when it got boring, ended in a plot twist about them maybe disposing of the pizza delivery guy and a bunch of others.

The choreography is, as always, quick, difficult, and catchy. The girls never shy away from a challenge when it comes to their choreography, and this latest single is no different. Irene and Seulgi shine in the center during the chorus, both showing off the exceptional choreography that Red Velvet is always known for during their comebacks.

red velvet peekaboo peek-a-boo mv gif

via leaderirene @ Tumblr

With endless symbolism and imagery, their latest music video is surely to leave an everlasting impression on viewers and showcases the girls’ immense talent.


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Overview

Red Velvet have grown as a group throughout the years and always bring a fresh, new style to each comeback that stands out amongst other K-pop girl groups. In comparison to their earlier singles this year, “Peek-A-Boo” showcases a maturer side to the group, both musically and physically. Previously, the group had showcased a sultrier sound through their “velvet” concept, mainly the R&B songs. But this track is the first where we see them actually drawing from both sides and make magic together. Released in February of this year, “Rookie” embodied the common imagery seen throughout K-pop girl groups, with frills and bright colors being displayed throughout the music video. Although slightly less evident, the summery hit “Red Flavor” still showed a younger, girlier side, too. But, with this latest single, the members have become women and aren’t afraid to show it off by incorporating sexier vocals and imagery, whether through their expressions or clothing. It’s a refreshing, and overall more appealing side to the already unique group.

While “Peek-A-Boo” can be seen as their sexiest comeback, Red Velvet still makes sure that their vocals, raps, and talents shine through whatever clothing or dance moves they might be displaying. It’s a song that appeals to both Koreans and international music fans alike, and enable them to continue to stand at the forefront as one of the strongest girl groups in K-pop.

What do you think of Red Velvet’s latest comeback single? Let us know your thoughts in the comment selection below! Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all the K-pop news.

Monsta X’s ‘Dramarama’ song & music video review

monsta x dramarama review song music video mv kpop k-pop

Monsta X returned to the K-pop scene on Nov. 7th with “Dramarama” off of their fifth mini album titled The Code. This is the third comeback from Monsta X in 2017, after releasing “Beautiful,” “Shine Forever,” and “Newton” earlier this year. The title track intertwines distinctive guitar riffs to create groovy instrumentals and blends them with the group’s signature hip-hop sound.

Song

On a regular basis, it takes a couple of listens for me to capture the vibe of a song. With “Dramarama,” I was able to enjoy it after listening to it for the first time. Compared to the group’s previous title tracks like “Beautiful” and “All In,” which have been strong and in-your-face, this track has a funky vibe, thanks to the prominent guitar instrumental.

“Dramarama” is a stepping stone for the septet, showing a new side to listeners. It’s steadier than their previous title tracks, which have been fast-paced. It starts off at a steady pace, playing along with the guitar riffs, added by vocals. The build-up from the pre-chorus, led by Hyungwon, is a great transition into the chorus. The chorus is catchy, and I enjoyed the rap section because of Jooheon’s grittiness and I.M’s deep tone.

What I enjoyed about this track is the way they were able to attempt a different sound that is usually hip-hop with a mixture of EDM, but keeps the aggressive style Monsta X is known for. It was surprising to hear this type of sound from the group, since it’s something that listeners are not used to hearing from them.


Also on KultScene: Taemin’s ‘MOVE’ song & music video review

Music Video

The video for “Dramarama” explores the theme of time traveling and the price that comes along with it. The plot revolves around Kihyun, Minhyuk, and Wonho discovering a watch that allows them to time travel. It centers primarily around Kihyun, who goes back in time to save Jooheon’s life after a car accident, while Minhyuk is taken back to an alley where both he and I.M are being chased by men in dark suits, and Wonho goes back in time to kendo fight with Shownu. As for Hyungwon, it seems he’s a time traveler who skips around time to help the others by giving them the watch to fix or do something in the past.

Along with “Beautiful,” this is one of the group’s best videos to date. The symbols that are included within the video like the watches, the clue on the newspaper suggesting that Hyungwon is a time traveler, the voice over stating the watches are not allowed in first few seconds in the video helps viewers understand the storyline. But there are more questions that I have. What is the story behind Minhyuk and I.M’s friendship? What is the connection between Wonho and Shownu’s characters? Why is Hyungwon’s character so important?

The song and video relate to each other because in the song, the members talk about trying to figure out their “drama” with someone. In the video, Kihyun, Minhyuk, and Wonho are attempting to figure out their dilemmas by using the watches to prevent tragedy, win battles, and reunite with a longtime friend.

Between the narrative, choreography is included, where the members are dancing inside a tunnel, decked out in a mixture of red and black ensembles. Even though the video focused more on the narrative, I enjoyed the dancing, especially the shoulder shimmy and the little milly rock that Jooheon, Kihyun and Minhyuk do in Jooheon’s rap section.


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Overview

Monsta X has shown excellent growth this past year when it comes to music, and “Dramarama” is a good example of that progress. Compared to the other tracks released this year, which have been edgy and glitchy, “Dramarama” is slightly toned down. They are known for their powerful tracks and performances, so it’s refreshing to see a slight change in this song, while still fusing their original style into the track. Hopefully this will be the song that will encourage the group to experiment with different sounds in the future.

What did you think of “Dramarama?” Are you liking this new vibe Monsta X are going for? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with al

Taemin’s ‘MOVE’ song & music video review

One year after releasing his first full length album Press It, SHINee’s Taemin made his comeback on October 16th with the title track “MOVE” off his second full length album of the same name. MOVE as a whole takes on a mixture of pop and R&B, exploring a variety of genres. But it’s in the single where the soloist truly lets his artistic colors show themselves.

Song:

“MOVE” is a sultry pop-R&B track that showcases Taemin’s breathy and soothing vocals. In the song, Taemin croons as he expresses the beauty of a person he has fallen for. The song itself gives me a sultry and sexy feeling, and it takes a couple of listens to finally get the true nature of the song.


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The production is reminiscent to what The Weeknd has been releasing over the past while, offering up a very groovy and pulse-pounding sound. Unlike “Press Your Number” and “Drip Drop” from Taemin’s first album, “MOVE” is a track that is slightly reminiscent of the ’80s thanks to its heavy bass sound.

Music Video:

There were three versions of the video released for “MOVE.” The main version contains shots of Taemin walking and dancing in the rain before shifting into another scene where he is wearing a bejeweled mask. The use of the rain and cinematography during the choreography scenes was terrific and brilliant.

The second video is the solo version, which showcases Taemin’s best quality: dancing. We get to see more of the choreography, which is perfectly synchronized and fluid with the beat of the song. The third video is a duo version, which features only Taemin and choreographer Koharu Sugawara.


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It was interesting that Taemin released three versions of the video instead of one because it seems like he wanted to showcase how each one would look in a different perspective, with the first one focused on theatrics while the other two focused on choreography. It was a unique attempt for K-pop, though perhaps differentiating each of the videos a bit more would have helped make the need for three videos more obvious. Even so, there was plenty of eye-candy choreography to make the appease the most ardent dance fans.

Overview:

“MOVE” is a good comeback title track, and it’s different from what we have been hearing in K-pop this year. We’ve been getting releases that have been following the mainstream dance sounds for a while now, so it’s nice to see something for a change. Taemin has a style that makes him different from many other K-pop solo acts in that he is willing to experiment with sounds that the Korean audience isn’t used to hearing. It would be interesting to see if this style continues to make its way into the K-pop scene.

What did you like, or dislike, about Taemin’s “MOVE”? Let us know 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.

7 K-pop music styles we’d love to hear more

k-pop music styles kpop rhythms

The magic of K-pop lies in the fact that you can’t exactly separate the music from the visuals, or the dance and the personality of the artists. It’s a full entertainment package that’s not exclusive to music. Actually, as we’ve mentioned in a previous article, it’s hard to describe what kind of music K-pop is because it can presents itself in various genres and styles.

So far, in 2017, we’ve been hearing styles such as Caribbean–house hybrids, future bass, synthpop, new wave and disco in lots of K-pop hits. Still, many K-pop acts sometimes venture on different and not so usual genres too, and they all absolutely nail it. There are many examples of K-pop songs that flee from conventional. It’s a bold take to bring up something from a different style or culture, but K-pop adds its own touch to it, in a fun and non-appropriative way. Let’s check some examples of music styles that we’d love to hear more of.

Techno

Electronic music is by no means rare in K-pop. However, this subgenre is not so commonly explored —maybe because techno exhibits few musical elements over the beats and “few musical elements” is something hard to introduce in K-pop, more known for being loud and overloaded.

When it does happen, though, it’s awesome. The fast-paced and repetitive beat is perfect for storytelling lyrics full of tension, like in 2010’s E.via bop “Pure Love of a Maiden” (although there’s controversy about considering E.via as K-pop, since she was a rapper; her instrumentals and visuals were very pop-oriented, though) and Dreamcatcher’s “Sleep-Walking,” a great b-side of their 2017 mini album.

Jazz

Jazz is the oldest music genre you’ll see on this list. Also, interestingly enough, among all of the genres listed, it’s the one with the biggest influence in K-pop. The smooth piano and the brass instruments are often heard here and there, like in B.A.P.’s “Coffee Shop” or Ladies Code’s “Bad Girl.”

However, it’s really fancy and unique when K-pop sounds like jazz in a full way, letting it dictate the whole direction of the song instead of only inspiring the production. Jazz has lots of subgenres and we’ve heard some of them in K-pop. Amber Liu’s “Shake That Brass” and Ailee’s “U & I” follow the style of big band jazz songs. On the other hand, Girl’s Day’s “Darling” is more like swing jazz, and Girls Generation’s most recent album brought the standard vertent in “Love is Bitter.”

Jazz also works fantastically to showcase the vocal skills of female vocalists, like in Spica’s “You Don’t Love Me” and the Ailee song previously mentioned. As you can see, in the fusion of K-pop and jazz, the possibilities are multiple.


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Doo-Wop

Few years before Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth revived doo-wop trend in mainstream America, K-pop girl group Secret explored the retro concept in 2011 with the cute and bright “Shy Boy.” (By the way, doo-wop is the genre that revealed the first girl groups ever in the world: The Chantels, The Ronettes, The Marvelettes etc.).

As for the boy groups in K-pop, the doo-wop sound is mostly executed in its softer and romantic version, which in turn gets a sexy touch in K-pop, as we heard on Winner’s “Baby Baby” and Highlight’s “Danger.” Retro concepts are very current in K-pop, so doo-wop might be a nice genre to be explored more.

Reggae

We’ve heard touches of reggae in lots of recent K-pop hits due to the Afro-Caribbean-house trend that has been going on since 2016, like in BTS’ “Blood, Sweat and Tears” or any of K.A.R.D.’s singles. But reggae? Just reggae? Not so common.

Wonder Girls did it and were extremely successful, achieving an all-kill with the fantastic and jam-alongable “Why So Lonely” in 2016. Not so much in the K-pop spectrum, we had Primary’s collaboration with AOA’s Choa, “Don’t Be Shy,” and G. Soul’s delicious “Far, Far Away.” While it always had a light presence in their earlier songs, 2NE1 did it more directly on their last album with “Come Back Home.” The calm vibes of reggae go along pretty well with the sultry voices of many K-pop vocalists, so we’d love to see more reggae tunes in K-pop.

Airy Pop

With the right vocals and production, synthpop can sound like a very cosmic and relaxing experience. Some boy group members such as NCT U’s Ten and Topp Dogg’s I’m (아임) have shown their elegant songs “Dream in a Dream” and “Save Me,” respectively.

In “Dream in a Dream,” the adding of traditional Asian sounds makes the song even more fascinating, like a travel in space and/or time. And due to the beautiful heritage of Korean traditional music and instruments, I think K-pop could use elements of it more often. As for “Save Me,” the main structure of production of the song is no different than synthpop ballads commonly heard in K-pop, such as Taeyang’s “Wake Me Up.” “Save Me,” however, has a strategic choice of sonic elements, like reverb, that give the song an ethereal vibe. Soft jams are always so well executed by K-pop artists, why not have more of that with an airy feel?


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Bossa Nova, Samba, & other Brazilian Rhythms

I’m Brazilian, and as such, I can’t help noticing whenever a rhythm of ours is used in K-pop, even if so far ibrief. Korean indie music has a love affair with bossa nova, one of our most acclaimed music genres. It suits perfectly to the coffee house vibe that Korea loves. In K-pop, we have lots of sweet examples too, such as Lovelyz’s “My Little Lover” and Mamamoo’s “Words Don’t Come Easy.”

Samba is also one of the biggest symbols of Brazilian culture, and can be heard in Elris’ “You and I” and in the bridge of f(x)’s “Rum Pum Pum Pum.” Less known overseas but just as effervescent, technobrega (a style arisen from the northern State of Pará) can be heard in the pre-chorus of Twice’s “Cheer Up.”

Like said in the introduction, K-pop is worth of compliments due to the fact that they incorporate those rhythms without signs of stereotyping or disrespecting the cultures they are channelling. Latino rhythms are used more than Brazilian ones (we even highlighted some latin inspired songs here), but as a Brazilian, I feel like I have the right to bring up the times our music had made itself present in K-pop and emphasize its autonomy from the music of other countries people often mistake us for.

Punk Rock

Already mentioned on this list, Dreamcatcher has been catching (no pun intended) the attention of K-pop fans due to their distinctive resistance to release synthpop, aegyo inspired music heard in most K-pop girl groups of the moment. Instead, they’ve been betting on the sound that is already familiar to fans of Japanese rock (J-rock), which is largely influenced by punk rock and heavy metal.

I was unsure of inserting this style in this list, since Dreamcatcher has been using it so consistently as a concept itself that suggesting other groups to do it as well might seem like a straight copy. However, when PRISTIN released “We Like,” I instantly fell in love, like described in our Weekly Pop Faves at the time. The punk-rock influences in the chorus and pre-chorus, combined with the chord progressions and the group vocals, reminded me of punk rock female bands such as Halo Friendlies and girl power british pop punk groups from the 90’s like Shampoo.

K-pop itself is a force to be reckoned with, so there’s no need to follow the same steps as Japanese rock bands, but it would be great to hear more punk rock influences like these, even if only in some parts of the songs.

Renders by: [KseniaKangsmrookiesentUsama162transparentkaepop, xCherry0nTop]

What other style would you like to hear more on K-pop? Let us know your picks and thoughts on 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.

Wanna One’s ‘Energetic’ song & music video review

wanna one energetic produce 101 review song music video mv broduce kpop k-pop

Korea’s “national” boy group has finally made their grand debut. On Aug. 7, Wanna One released their upbeat EDM title song “Energetic” to the public. After being chosen by the public on the second season of Produce 101, the 11 members are ready to take the K-pop scene by storm with their charm. The title track was chosen by fans by voting between “Energetic” and “Burn It Up.” “Energetic” won the public vote with over 2,227,041 votes.

wanna one gif energetic mv music video song

via kimsjaehwan @ Tumblr


Also on KultScene: K.A.R.D’s ‘Hola Hola’ song & music video review

Song

“Energetic” was produced by Flow Blow and Hui, a member of Cube Entertainment’s newest male group Pentagon. Hui and fellow Pentagon member Wooseok wrote the track. Notably, the duo also wrote the Produce 101 song “Never,” which did pretty well on the charts and was performed by most of the current Wanna One lineup. “Energetic” talks about the love of two people who have an instant attraction to each other, and how it sends sparks between them.

The song starts off with the sound of a piano, which is perfectly represented in the choreography, with the boys emulating playing a grand piano. We hear Minhyun’s vocals first, then Seongwoo and Jihoon’s vocals follow in. Seongwoo kicks off the chorus, which is strong and distinct. The chorus alone adds an extra punch, with the help of him leading the first couple of lines.

wanna one energetic choreography gif choreo song mv music video

via ong-seungwoo @ Tumblr

The line distribution in big groups is always tricky, especially a group with eleven members. Of course, members with stronger vocals will get more lines. On this particular song, it could have been a bit better if Jisung and Jihoon were given more lines. Guanlin receiving fewer lines is fair, since he is still learning Korean and the fact that the group has two other rappers. Daniel’s rapping was a surprise to me because I wasn’t expecting it, but he held his own and did a good job. Jaehwan and Sungwoon’s voices were showcased very well, which helps them stand out to listeners.

The response to the track has been overwhelming. After one hour of its release, “Energetic” went to number one on Melon and six online music charts, earning the group their first all-kill.

Music Video

The video gives a playful and relaxed vibe between the members. There were scenes of most of the members being pushed around inside grocery carts, spraying each other with water hoses, playing tee ball, eating doughnuts, knocking down plastic bowling pins while on a skateboard, and other fun antics. The choreography, for its part, is very strong in the scenes where the boys were decked out in denim. As aforementioned, the scene at the beginning where the boys formed a human piano stands out because it showed a lot of creativity.

wanna one energetic gif piano choreography choreo song mv music video

wanna one energetic choreography choreo gif piano mv music video song

wanna one energetic piano gif choreo choreography mv music video song

via kimsjaehwan @ Tumblr


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Overview

Wanna One is looking to be one of 2017’s successful rookie groups, which comes as no surprise due to the popularity of the members thanks to Produce 101. “Energetic” is a strong song to debut with, given it shows their charm. Just like I.O.I, Wanna One’s time is finite, given they’ll only promote for two years, so it will be interesting to see what they can show us within that time length. For future comebacks, it would be nice to test out different sounds, but keep that boy-next-door concept they have. Overall, this was a solid debut and makes us all look forward to what Wanna One keeps having in store for fans to see.

How did you like Wanna One’s debut? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

K.A.R.D’s ‘Hola Hola’ song & music video review

K.A.R.D kard hola hola review song music video mv debut kpop k-pop

The day has finally arrived. K.A.R.D has made their official debut with breezy dance track, “Hola Hola.” This is the quartet’s first formal single after introducing the public to three pre-debut tracks. Like their previous songs and current trends, “Hola Hola” mixes Caribbean genres with house — a sound which the group has has continuously showcased thus far and one that has garnered so much attention from North and South American K-pop fans.

k.a.r.d kard hola hola song review gif music video mv

via ab1004 @ Tumblr

 


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Song

As opposed to the previous singles, “Hola Hola” is lighter and has an infectious chorus. The pre-debut tracks were slightly heavier and darker compared to this latest one. The lyrics discuss the love two individuals have for each other, and how they want that love to last longer. When the song goes into the bridge, they do a little shout out to their first pre-debut single “Oh NaNa,” which was cute. I was also taken aback by Jiwoo’s part because she deviated from her usual role as being one of K.A.R.D’s primary singers, and showed a new side by rapping. Her verse was filled with attitude and a little sass; homegirl killed it.

I wasn’t really expecting too much from “Hola Hola,” since we’ve grown to know what K.A.R.D’s sound is. It falls into the just right category and fits well. The only small criticism that could be said is towards the end of the song, where BM and J.Seph say “my l-u-v.” It threw me off a little because it ended slightly weird, and I was expecting to hear the “hola hola” part again.

Music Video

The music video also had its high points. For one, it was shot in Los Angeles, Brazil, Mexico City, and Las Vegas, which fit perfectly with the song. It centered on highlighting the group’s friendship, which came across as very genuine. It’s definitely brighter than their previous videos. The choreography is on point, taking certain dance moves from their past tracks and mashing them together with new ones.

kard k.a.r.d debut hola hola music video mv song kpop

k.a.r.d kard hola hola song music video mv review gif

via whiplashjae @ Tumblr

The video was beautifully shot with warm colors and bright scenery. The mountains, walking down the Vegas strip, and driving around in a yellow Mustang gave off that warm summer vibe.

kard k.a.r.d review music video song mv hola hola gif

via omona they didn’t


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Overview

“Hola Hola” isn’t any different from what listeners have been hearing in this particular genre. Does it stand out? Not exactly, but just like every other group that has been experimenting with this style of music, K.A.R.D have found a way to show their unique vocals and their own color to their music.

K.A.R.D’s international success as a co-ed group is impressive. In the past, there have been several co-ed groups in K-pop like Coed School and Sunny Hill, but they did not quite receive the same international attention that K.A.R.D is receiving currently. It is refreshing to see a co-ed group receive this much attention in an industry that is dominated by segregated male and female groups.

With “Hola Hola,” K.A.R.D just may have a chance for a solid career as a group in Korea. They have a sound that fans can identify with and they’re likeable and talented. DSP Media has done a good job at pushing them into a sound that caters to Western fans.

If K.A.R.D does become successful in Korea, which I have a feeling they will, it would be interesting if they’d try other genres of music, like R&B, and incorporate it with their sound. It’s important for fans to still be able to identify it as a K.A.R.D song, but after four tracks with a similar sound, they need to prove they’re not one note. Whatever happens, let’s hope K.A.R.D makes an impact and ruffles a few feathers in this crazy genre we call K-pop.

How did you like K.A.R.D’s “Hola Hola?” Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Jonghyun’s The Collection ‘Story Op.2’ album review

I want to be clear when I say that I expected nothing less from Jonghyun’s newest release than what I received. Because in all honesty, the SHINee member’s captivating music composition and ethos are consistent in their individual brilliance, from the soul and funk of She Is to the effortless groove of Base.

And although The Collection: “Story Op.2” serves as a follow up to Jonghyun’s The Collection: “Story Op.1,” this newest release doesn’t prove strictly synonymous. Instead, it serves as a reminder that love, in all its glory does present pain and that such misery can either present itself as inescapable devastation or beautiful chaos that’s worth fighting for.

The Collection: “Story Op.2” presents itself as somewhat of a departure from albums past. Here, Jonghyun poses himself as more than just a vocalist; he’s the maestro, the composer, the lyricist, and the producer. The album presents itself with a bit of everything from sorrowful ballads and steady R&B beats to hopeful odes of what’s to come, similar to Jonghyun’s first installment, The Collection: “Story Op.1.”

The album begins with its title track, “Lonely,” which features a bit of star power and combines vocals from both Jonghyun and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon. It’s also the only song on the album that has a music video The single showcases an honest and strikingly desolate depiction of what it means to be alone. It also delivers dark undertones of the detrimental pain and suffocation that arises while in isolation, especially the experience of feeling sequestered and detached from someone even within a seemingly “happy” relationship.

The album’s second track “1000” introduces light guitar strums and highlights how even after an extended time, intimate love in its truest form can still remain intact.


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What comes next is “Just Chill,” which discusses taking a moment to disconnect from the world and love entirely by taking solace in silence, while its companion, “Love Is So Nice,” drops into a two step of sorts and revels in the carousel of casual and comfortable romance, such as lying in bed together or taking a devil-may-care attitude when making plans.

Track number five, “Blinking Game,” is instead a more playful jazz track. Here, the tone is more lighthearted as the artist frolics in the beauty that love provides, posing a tongue-in-cheek staring contest with his lover to see who breaks first. And when she begins to feel shy he politely requests she not look away, for her bare beauty is what he truly desires. And “Elevator” takes a departure in tone entirely, serving as an aching ballad that seemingly presents Jonghyun as his own bystander struggling to reconcile his demons.

The track that packs the most powerful punch arrives toward the end of the album titled, “Let Me Out.” This is a track that gives a potent delivery of what it means to be paralyzed by the past, specifically concerning matters of nostalgia and being unable to forgive oneself from past transgressions. The beat is methodical, beginning with piano tricklings that instantly capture the ear and induce a focused series of vocals centered on introspection as the song intensifies then decrescendos to a solemn conclusion. And it’s that resistance and the pleas of wanting to let a loved one go that keeps the listener locked from start to finish.

“Fireplace” then provides a powerful follow up, except this time the lyrics provide a more hardened approach to forgotten memories of what was. Here, the love that was present is no longer and in place of the plea of “Let Me Out” is a blatant understanding and indifference to wanting things as they were. The forlorn vocals are smooth and mesmerize the senses, leaving the ear tantalized with whispers of lost expectations.


Also on KultScene: Album Review: SHINee’s ‘Odd’

Jonghyun’s album concludes with “Our Season,” a brighter ballad that relaxes the previous instances of melancholy and ventures into hopeful declarations of reuniting with love only after constructive dissection of how to positively move forward and learn from one’s mistakes.

Really, this an album centered on introspection, pain, reciprocity and unapologetic honesty when it comes to matters of the heart, which makes this record a must listen for any and all.

What did you think of Jonghyun’s latest album? Leave a comment 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.

8 misheard K-pop lyrics pt. 7

misheard kpop lyrics changmin tvxq boa youngjae got7 jungshin cnblue cn blue k-pop k pop

As international fans, messing up the lyrics to our favorite K-pop songs comes with the welcome package when you join the fandom. And only if you learn Korean and get pretty good at it, it’s probably a permanent malady. Because not only are we hearing English lyrics when it’s actually Korean and vice versa, but sometimes we even mess up words that are in our native language. That’s why it’s key to read up on the lyrics. But in the meantime, here’s another round of lyrics we misheard.

1. “In Your Eyes” by Onew

What we heard: “Your money”
What it says: “Yongwhonhi”

misheard kpop lyrics confused gif idk i don't know

via scoopwhoop

2. “I’ll Eat You Up” by BoA

What we heard: “Konnichiwa, konnichiwa, konnichiwa”
What it says: “I’ll eat you up, I’ll eat you up, I’ll eat you up”

confused seventeen kpop gif misheard lyrics

via bizfly


Also on KultScene: The sonic identity of K-pop girl groups: intro

3. “I’m Good” by SE7EN

What we heard: “Simple, so simple, so”
What it says: “Seulpeosseo, seulpeosseo”

confused lay gif exo misheard kpop lyrics

via giphy

4. “Humanoids” by TVXQ

What we heard: “Cause we are human noise”
What it says: “Cause we are humanoids”

confused disgusted taeyeon gif misheard kpop lyrics

via popkey

5. “Hit Song” by SEVENTEEN

What we heard: “You ain’t got”
What it says: “Yuhaengga”

confused wtf what the fuck dafuq suga bts gif misheard kpop lyrics

via tenor

6. “I Still Love You” by CNBLUE

What we heard: “Stab stab stab stab stab stab”
What is says: “Stabirabi rapststabira”

confused jonghyun wtf gif misheard kpop lyrics

via Pinterest


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 2017 Mexico [photos]

7. “Prism” by SHINee

What we heard: “Threesome, threesome”
What it says: “Prism, prism”

shocked surprised doojoon beast highlight gif misheard kpop lyrics

via tumblr

8. “Hard Carry” by GOT7

What we heard: “Let’s fuck and fuck and fuck again”
What it says: “Let’s fly again, fly again, fly again”

shocked surprised hyuna gif misheard kpop lyrics

via onehallyu

[Renders: hyukhee05by-AsemAMarysabel507nastyalovekorea]

What K-pop songs are you mishearing? Let us know your picks 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.