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


Also on KultScene: KultScene’s K-Pop Unmuted: July roundup [podcast]

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

 


Also on KultScene: KultScene’s K-Pop Unmuted: Talking T-ara [podcast]

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


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 2017 NY [photos]

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.

12 visually appealing K-pop music videos

aesthetically visually pleasing kpop k-pop music videos mv mvs

K-pop is often too hastily branded as being overwhelmingly bright and obnoxiously over the top as far as music videos go. While some videos certainly do still fit this stereotype, K-pop has evolved into so much more. Creating music videos has now become an art form in its own right. Whether it’s boy groups or girl groups, rappers or solo vocalists, badass or cutesy concepts, all of these videos have one commonality: they’re all gorgeous to look at and therefore visually appealing.

1. “Star” by Heize

While slightly less successful than her collaborations have been, Heize’s “Star” is truly a visual masterpiece. Set in a childlike bedroom floating through space, the video has a very ethereal glow to it. Everything from the singer/rapper’s wavy hair to her bedroom sparkling with nightlights of all kinds, is covered in a pastel haze and highlighted by glitter. It expresses the concept of solitude as well as the space theme in a subtle way without taking either aspect too far over the top. This gives the video a peaceful and simple feeling, which stands out even more through its contrast to the dark night sky in the background.

2. “Don’t Believe” by Berry Good

Berry Good’s “Don’t Believe” marks the point where the group (finally!) took a step away from the overly cutesy concepts that they had done in the past with releases like “Love Letter” and “Angel.” Even though this video certainly doesn’t break any boundaries, it does give viewers something a little more interesting to look at other than girls dancing around in pretty white dresses. This includes the girls solemnly eating a meal of laceleaf flowers, rubber duckies floating in mysterious pink drinks, and watering cans raining pink paint. Very few of these elements make any sense regarding the meaning of the song, but that’s the beauty of an aesthetic based music video, they don’t have to.

3. “Home” by Ailee

Even the Queen of K-pop Vocalists herself has fallen victim to the neon overload side of the genre with videos like “Don’t Touch Me” and “U&I.” As fun as these videos are, it’s always nice to see a more sleek and subdued side of Ailee like she presents in “Home.” From her luxe velvet outfits to the gilded mirrors to the marble statue heads, this video is nothing if not beautiful. Whether she’s dancing with her crew or writhing around in the water, Ailee gives off a distinctly vampiric vibe. The video is dark and sophisticated and lush, what’s not to love?


Also on KultScene: The sonic identity of K-pop girl groups: the birth of a new generation

4. “Chained Up” by VIXX

Vixx has many interestingly filmed music videos, but “Chained Up” is one of the most well done. The rooftop shots as well as the close-ups of the members’ eyes bring a sophisticated beauty to the video that is often missing from boy group music videos. Lead vocal Ken’s setting stands out in particular. Surrounded by exotic flowers, this gives the video, otherwise draped in chains and metallic tones, a softer and more colorful side. Director GDW’s (Great Director Watanabe) devotion to the aesthetic of this video is clear to see by the amount of detail put into each scene.

5. “Love Me Right” by EXO

While the athletic football uniforms may be the most memorable part of EXO’s “Love Me Right,” it has so many other beautiful aspects to it that are often overlooked. Neon lit rooms, colored smoke, and snippets of grayscale filming just to name a few. The members show a sensitive and tender side to themselves in this video, that is while they’re not stalking around in football pads. The smoke and the nature shots give it an almost otherworldly feeling that makes viewers want to step right into it.

6. “Sweet Girl” by B1A4

B1A4’s “Sweet Girl” starts off in a retro club with the members prepared to start performing on the stage. It’s clear from that moment that this is going to be a much more aesthetically pleasing music video than some of their others. Each member has their own theme:, maknae Gongchan’s Prince Charming theme and lead dancer CNU’s magician theme, for example. While all of the settings are beautiful and very detailed in their own ways, leader Jinyoung and lead vocalist Sandeul’s themes stand out the most. Jinyoung’s gauzy and tropical Peter Pan-esque fort and Sandeul’s cotton candy wonderland truly shine in this video.

7. “Wee Woo” by Pristin

Formerly known as Pledis Girlz, the full 10 member group recently debuted under their new name Pristin with the bubbly single “Wee Woo.” In this video, the girls take the classic school girl concept and elevate it with unique aspects, like poster plastered walls, flashing police lights, and exploding milkshakes. What it lacks in cohesiveness, it makes up for with bright colors and pure playfulness. Scenes such as leader Nayoung’s indoor rain shower, vocalist Yuha’s neon exercise room, and sub vocalist Xiyeon’s ghostly visitor are what set this video apart from others sharing the same concept.


Also on KultScene: 8 misheard K-pop lyrics pt. 7

8. “She’s A Baby” by Zico

Occasionally with his solo music, the leader and main rapper for Block B chooses to show fans a softer side of himself. Aesthetically similar to his video for “I Am You, You Are Me,” Zico’s newest release is a pastel dreamland that does not disappoint. The video has a minimalist design to it but the bright pastel color palette keeps it from coming off as stark and cold. The filming is what adds the most, aesthetically speaking, to the video. Birdseye views, profile shots, and even Zico filmed as if looking through binoculars all keep the video fresh and exciting as it frequently switches perspectives. Zico’s love interest is the focus for some of the most interesting scenes, from her being pelted with multi-colored ping pong balls to her knitting a sweater with oversized yarn. This video definitely takes more than one viewing to catch all of the beautiful little details.

9. “Navillera” by GFRIEND

While most of their prior music videos followed the typical sweet schoolgirl concept, GFRIEND’s “Navillera” finally gives viewers a chance to see the girls in a new and unique setting. Being set in a retro roller rink gives it a vintage feeling without losing its freshness and youth. The video has a warm coffee colored tint to it, offset by the group’s soft pastel outfits. The filming focuses in on little details, such as the plaits in vocalist Yuju’s braids or the pleats in their skirts, which enhances the beauty of the video and shows how much focus was put into the aesthetic of it. Everything, from main dancer Sinbi polishing her trophies to the group sitting by the poolside to even the choreographed scenes, is arranged so that it’ll be the most visually pleasing to viewers.

10. “Sugar and Me” by San E & Raina

Korean rapper San E and Orange Caramel’s Raina released this junk food overload of a video a little less than a year ago. The main focus, however, isn’t so much on the two artists but rather on IOI’s Doyeon, who plays the main character. Aside from the hazy pinkness of the video, the most aesthetically pleasing aspect are the incredibly well shot scenes of all the delicious food Doyeon is devouring. Chocolate cake, cherries and whipped cream, sprinkle covered donuts; it all looks like you could reach through the screen and take a bite. The standout scene would have to be when Doyeon is shown eating food in reverse, a fun effect that is both a little unnerving and addicting to watch. As far as visually appealing videos go, this is not one to miss. Be careful though, multiple viewings of it may give you a cavity.

11. “You & Me” by Kisum & Jooyoung

Unpretty Rapstar Season 1 alum Kisum and soloist Jooyoung teamed up to make this irresistibly catchy song and the spring-like music video to go with it. The prettiest scenes in this video focus on rapper Kisum and her soft, ethereal beauty that’s accentuated by scenery filled with pastel colors. Whether she’s playing with bubbles on a private rooftop or listening to music on a set of school bleachers, normal and rather boring settings are given new life through fun colors and quirky props like bright yellow umbrellas and ice cream-shaped cellophane balloons. One scene in particular stands out near the end of the video, in which Kisum sits with a small flower held in her mouth while several water pistols are pointed at her head. Backed by any other song or displayed with any other color scheme, this would have come off as rather morbid but in this video it seems to fit perfectly.

12. “Shooting Love” by Laboum

Up until “Shooting Love,” Laboum’s music videos had been low budget and rather low quality despite the potential they had. This was the video that finally allowed Laboum to shine to their full potential and used its unique visuals to catch and hold viewers’ attention. Everything from the settings to the members’ outfits and even their hair was colored in bright blues, vivid reds, and neon pinks. Bejeweled guns and flower-covered spyware turned these girls into deadly assassins with a cute, Kawaii flair. This design choice not only put a fun spin on the typical femme fatale concept, but it also added the visual appeal that their previous videos had so greatly lacked.

What’s your favorite aesthetically pleasing K-pop music video? Let us know your picks and thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 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.


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 2017 Mexico [photos]

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.

Day6’s ‘I’m Serious’ song & music video review

day6 i'm serious mv music video song review

Since debuting in 2015, Day6 has flown under the radar as JYP Entertainment’s underrated rock band. But with their newest project, Every Day6, they’re sure to gain success and recognition. Through this project, they’ll be debuting two new singles on the 6th of every month this year. So far, the releases for the last three months have been fairly typical for what listeners have come to expect from the band since they debuted with “Congratulations.” All of them are angsty and filmed in shadowy locations and while well-made, they’re all very much the same. Steering away from this trend their newest release “I’m Serious” is a sunny, summer-ready pop rock song perfect for a day at the beach.

Song

“I’m Serious” is a simple, sweet, feel-good song, which is a nice change for Day6. While their songs are often upbeat, their lyrics are filled with heartbreak. Finally, Young K (the band’s bassist and primary lyricist) is showing us a side of his lyrics that involve falling in love, albeit unrequited. They’re quite playful lyrics that describe the frustrations of flirting with a seemingly oblivious crush. and vocalist Wonpil, in particular, sings them with just the right amount of lilting charisma. Along with being an overall happier song, “I’m Serious” is also a lot catchier than their previous releases. With some of their earlier songs, it takes a couple of listens before you want to start singing along, but this one gets stuck in your head right away.

day6 i'm serious mv music video gif song

via akarli @ Tumblr


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

Both K-pop and otherwise, it’s rare for a to have all of the vocalists so evenly matched in their abilities. And while all of their voices sounded as amazing as they usually do, lead singer Jae’s in particular seemed to fit this song’s style really well. All of the members also got equal line distribution, though hopefully through Every Day6, we’ll get to hear the band’s drummer Dowoon get a chance to sing. No member shines more than the others,, though, and their voices all have their own unique colors to them. Leader Sungjin’s voice is husky and deep, which balances out Wonpil’s falsetto., Mmeanwhile, Jae’s smooth sound and Young K’s powerful range ties all of them together. This was showcased nicely in the short acapella portion of the bridge. It showed that Day6 is not a band that uses their instruments as a crutch, but rather sound great with and without them.

Music Video

The music video for “I’m Serious” is quite different from what we normally see from Day6. Their previous videos were filmed in dark locations filled with shadows and artificial light. The members were broody, and even the clothes they wore were dark and heavy. This was fitting, of course, because the songs were about heartbreak. Now, it is nice to see the boys running around on the beach, smiling, and having fun with each other for a change. They genuinely seem like friends instead of a group of strangers who formed a band together.

day6 i'm serious mv music video gif song

via wonplis @ Tumblr

Similar to the line distribution, all of the members got fair amounts of screentime. It was especially nice to see Dowoon step out from behind his drumset and into the limelight. Because the group’s music videos always go the typical band format rather than a more active one, Dowoon is too often stuck in the background. The only complaint might be that the concept for this video is a lot less unique than some of their others. It certainly isn’t the first time the “day at the beach” concept has been done, but it’s unique for Day6 because this is not typical the side of them we get to see.


Also on KultScene: EXID’s ‘Eclipse’ album review

Overview

With Every Day6, the band is making huge strides towards achieving the fame they deserve and seem to only get better with each new release. The band is vocally very strong, but they also have great command over their instruments. This combination makes a song heavy in acoustic instruments just as lively and audibly interesting as any other song with computerized beats and electric guitars. Hopefully as 2017 continues, we get to see the many sides of Day6 in more depth. What this band can do with their talent has no boundaries and their future releases surely won’t disappoint.

What do you think of Day6’s “I’m Serious?” 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.

EXID’s ‘Eclipse’ album review


Under the tutelage of Shinsadong Tiger, EXID have been consistently good with their albums. Each one is littered with gems that equal or better the title track. This time, however, they are without lead vocalist Solji, one of the great powerhouse vocals of K-pop. It’s normal for a member to take a short hiatus due to illness, but it’s pretty rare for a group to begin another round of promotions without them. Solji’s absence poses a unique challenge for EXID and Shinsadong Tiger. Do they produce tracks with her voice in mind so that when she’s back she can fill in easily or do they forget about her?

The short answer is a bit of both. On stark opener “Boy,” they certainly do not need her. “Boy” does a great job of lining out each of the members; they are given time and space to themselves. Not that we need an introduction to them at this stage, but in contrast with lead single “Night Rather than Day,” it works exceptionally. Hani, Junghwa, and Hyerin are appropriately breathy. They struggle to get the words out, not wanting to admit how they are really feeling. It’s a perfect track for Hani and Junghwa in particular, but Hyerin works well too. Her shrill voice combines that of a lead and sub vocalist so she can sound frail, even when belting. It’s something that Solji would have sounded less natural doing.

“Boy” is a stripped back track, synths stab along with percussion as different sounds weave in and out. Best of these is the flute sounding synth that scales up and down. It gives the complex emotions in the lyrics life. The girls are lonely and pining for a boy but they’ve become so despondent they even miss the most cringeworthy attitudes. The chorus with no vocals offers them something to hide behind, a strange modulation of the word boy. They say they desire this boy but can barely even say the word.


Also on KultScene: WINNER’s ‘Really Really’ song & music video review

The song ends on an interesting bit of soundscape to make it sound as if they performing live at some futuristic lounge. It tees up “Night Rather than Day” perfectly. As part of Eclipse, it fits right into this feeling, and as a single, it is the most refreshing one from an idol group in a long time. EXID have moved on from being ashamed of how they feel and are now more than happy to be suggestive. Together, “Boy” and this track make an interesting pair. In “Boy,” their shame comes from the fact that they need the comfort of a guy not being able to live alone hurts them. On “Night Rather than Day,” they are not one bit ashamed of being sexually forward. They represent an image of women rarely seen in K-pop.

The song itself is gorgeous loungey R&B with sprinkles of a multitude of styles. It has jazz elements, a disco beat, and the grooviest bass electronics. They also start to blend their vocals a bit more. LE especially adds her crisp raps to accompany Hani in the chorus, adding a decisive punch to the sentiments being expressed. Hyerin’s job is a lot more clearly to replace Solji here and she does a good job. To really take the song to another level though, it needed someone with Solji’s strength to take control.

Third track “How Why” acts as a sort of bridge between the duo of “Boy” and “Night Rather than Day” and the solos, Hani’s “Milk” and LE’s “Velvet.” It is also the type of track I expected (and dreaded) to be their single. Luckily as a b-side, it can afford to be slightly different. The soundscape motif continues but this time moves us outside to the sound of wind blowing through trees. I immediately thought of Taeyeon’s “Why;” it’s summery and teases that popular dembow riddim sound. It builds to a chorus that ultimately relies more heavily on standard synths which I think helps it from being too tired. It is the weakest part of the album by far, though. It’s that sort of inspirational summer track that I could imagine any western artist releasing, and EXID are better than that. I’m glad they had the courage to go with “Night Rather than Day” as the single.


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However, the solos bring us right back up to speed. The girls turn back to their desire, with Hani displacing her thoughts and LE being as blatant as she can be. Hani tells a story of a heartbroken day. To forget about someone she fills herself with chocolate, bread, and, most of all, milk. Not exactly an original metaphor, but there are some great lines in there. “I look in the mirror and my makeup’s smudged, why doesn’t my desire for you smudge?” Hani coos sadly over sensual acoustic guitars. The use of the Korean word for milk “uyu” and the English words “only you’ to rhyme are wonderful. It’s also a great reminder of Hani the vocalist, something that gets buried among her many other talents.

LE’ is also missing someone, but only their body. “Velvet” is beyond sexy. She raps about her lover, the heat and touch of their body. The mid-tempo hip-hop beats let it sway as LE adds some nice touches to her vocals. Here and elsewhere in the album she starts rapping but ends her bar with a higher pitched inflection. It’s a great detail that adds a raunchier aspect to “Velvet” in particular.

As a duo of solos Hani and LE encapsulate the intense emotions EXID like to get across in their music. EXID portray a spectrum of characters that tell stories of all kinds of women. Not only that, but they do it with a unique musical edge, incorporating a litany of genres without stepping outside their range. Eclipse is that rare mini that can stick with a theme throughout the runtime while continually teeing up new things to discover. All this without their star lead singer.

What do you think of EXID’s “Eclipse”? 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.

WINNER’s ‘Really Really’ song & music video review

winner really really song review music video meaning

Having only debuted four years ago, WINNER has still faced quite a bit of adversity throughout their careers, and their Inner Circle (their fanbase) has been with them through it all. From battling out on the competition show WIN: Who Is Next to their multiple prolonged hiatuses, to vocalist Taehyun leaving the group, the road to achieving their dreams has been a bumpy one. Finally, they are back with two music videos for their new releases “Really Really” and “Fool.” While “Fool” is closer to what fans are used to seeing from WINNER, “Really Really” diverges greatly from their usual style, making it the perfect song to dive into.

Song

“Really Really” is perhaps one of WINNER’s most upbeat and lighthearted songs they’ve released and it shows the audience a side to them that we haven’t gotten to see before. Compared to prior releases such as “Empty” and “Color Ring,” this song is a lot more carefree, and it’s nice to see the band take a step away from the ballads for a little bit. The party vibe of the pulsing electronic beats makes this the perfect song to listen to as summer becomes visible in the distance. This is the type of music that could be heard on radio stations here in the United States, something that YG Entertainment has always strived for but haven’t been able to reach thus far. It’s a fresh and modern pop song that instantly shows listeners the new leaf the group has turned over.

winner really really mv music video gif

Via Tumblr

However, we must address the elephant in the room: Nam Taehyun’s departure from the group is bittersweet. His absence is definitely noticeable, as if there’s something off about the song because it’s missing his amazing vocals. This, however, has given vocalist Jinwoo an opportunity to show off how truly talented he is, receiving more lines than ever before. Leader Seungyoon’s strong, unique tone shined as brightly as usual, and it was nice to hear it in such an upbeat and modern song. Rappers Mino and Seunghoon’s verses fit the song very well. I particularly liked Seunghoon’s verses, which were both charismatic and sweet. Combined, they created a cohesive blend of their abilities and talents. Taehyun’s departure, if anything, allowed the other members to grow as vocalists in order to make the missing vocals less evident.


Also on KultScene: Moon Hyuna’s ‘Cricket Song’ song & music video review

Music Video

The first thing that stands out about this video is that it’s shot all in black and white. This isn’t very often done in Kpop, which is known for its explosion of color and over the top nature on all fronts.But this is WINNER we’re talking about and “Really Really” has the artsy feeling their singles normally have. Due to the song’s Caribbean sound it could’ve just been the average run-of-the-mill choreography-based music video, so it’s quite different they went a different route with it.. In fact, the choreography is also what sets it apart from WINNER’s previous releases. We haven’t really gotten a chance before now to see the group in a way that shows that not only are they talented singers and rappers, but dancers as well.

winner really really music video mv gif

via cheonjaes @ Tumblr

winner really really mv music video song gif

via cheonjaes @ Tumblr

Seungyoon and Seunghoon were particularly charming in their dance moves, and it was clear that all of them were having a lot of fun. The choreography focus of this video gives it an energetic, flash mob vibe, and each member was able to hold his own with the professional dancers. It’s worth noting, that Dave Meyers, director of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and CL’s “Lifted,” was also the creative mind behind this video. WINNER’s growth as a group is the most clear with this video and allows them to show a fresh, new side of themselves.


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Overview

It’s so refreshing to see WINNER in this new light. “Really Really” gives life to the group, which is definitely what needed to be accomplished with this comeback. After everything WINNER has been through, they deserve the success that they are sure to get with this release. It’ll be interesting to see what else they have in store for us, hopefully more fun, summer-ready tracks like this. And also, hopefully we won’t have to wait another year, in true WINNER fashion, for more amazing music.

What do you think of WINNER’s new song? Let us know 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.

Moon Hyuna’s ‘Cricket Song’ song & music video review

moon hyuna cricket song review meaning

Fans of the girl group 9Muses will be pleased to see that the beloved former leader has finally made her solo debut. “Cricket Song”, released on Mar. 21, shows a softer side of the ex-member of the “Model Idol Group.” Listeners of all kinds, even those who don’t care for 9Muses, will be drawn in by this enchanting release by Moon Hyuna.

Song

With “Cricket Song” as her solo debut, Hyuna is really setting herself apart not only from other solo artists, but from her former girl group as well. This song is vastly different from the pure pop music released by 9Muses and prepares listeners for what they can expect from her as a solo artist.The music leans heavily into the electronica genre, the synthetic melodies imitating those of a music box or a baby’s mobile. The dreamy sound of it goes well with Hyuna’s chiming vocals and the insomnia influenced lyrics. The chorus of “Cri cri-ket” is wonderfully addictive and whimsical. All of this together creates a unique indie pop blend that is most likely to be the sound of Hyuna’s future music.

moon hyuna cricket song gif

via ailees-muses @ Tumblr


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Music Video

This music video has no plot and isn’t exactly groundbreaking in any way, but it’s paired with the song perfectly. The ethereal visuals, made even more dreamy by the long exposure camerawork, portray the half-asleep wistfulness of the lyrics. Taking a more visual approach to the video rather than a plot-heavy one was absolutely the right choice for a debut song like this. There was nothing intricate or overly-complicated about the video, but it was beautiful in its simplicity. Going a more adventurous route with it may have been disastrous as it could have been too much to take in, especially with a song that is so different than any other release at the moment.

moon hyuna cricket song gif

via benihime99 @ Tumblr

moon hyuna cricket song gif

via str-wberrymilk @ Tumblr


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Overview:

Fans of Moon Hyuna will be incredibly proud of her newfound identity as a solo artist and this release will, hopefully, only cause her fanbase to grow. The music video is beautiful in its aesthetic simplicity but the song, in no way, pales in comparison. Both are equally unique and takes listeners into a hazy dream world. Hyuna’s talent truly shines in her solo release as we get a chance to really listen to her vocal abilities on their own rather than as part of a group of voices. She has a clear idea as to what her solo identity is going to be and I can’t wait to see what else she has to offer.

What do you think of Hyuna’s new song? Let us know 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.

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

On March 21, Monsta X released their energetic and heartfelt song “Beautiful” and, paired with its equally beautiful music video, it might just earn them their very first music show win. Ever since this young group debuted in 2015, they’ve increasingly improved their talents and proven that they are not a group to be ignored.

Song

This is one of Monsta X’s most musically cohesive and infectious songs yet. At times, the rap verses of K-pop songs can feel forced or too intense for the song they’re featured in. Thankfully, that is not true in this situation. The falsetto-heavy chorus pairs very well with rappers Jooheon and I.M’s hard-hitting lyrics. All of the members’ talents were also nicely showcased in this song without any of members seemingly overshadowing the others. Main vocalist Kihyun shined as always, but we also got a nice look at the vocal abilities of members like Minhyuk and Hyungwon — whose talents may be overlooked at times.

This song was pretty heavy handed in its use of EDM and, while that can tend to be overwhelming if not done correctly, it works to its advantage. The electronic beats in the background allowed the members’ choreography to really be the focus when they weren’t busy singing. It’s nice that Monsta X have seemingly gone back to their debut sound but with the maturity that has come with their growth as artists.


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Music Video

Monsta X does an excellent job at producing exciting music videos that instantly catch the attention of viewers, and this one was no different. The video is reminiscent of those from “The Clan” series (“All In” and “Fighter”), but with more symbolism and less of a storyline. Each member got their own themed room that highlighted the strong visuals of this group.

“Beautiful” is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than some of their previous videos like “Rush,” and it was nice to see a more subtle side to the group. The only criticism is that it would’ve been nice to have a stronger plot, or at least for it to not have been quite so difficult to figure out what was going on.


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Overview

This is one of Monsta X’s strongest comebacks yet and it will surely gain them the popularity and respect they deserve. “Beautiful” is a song that portrays the strengths of every member. Vocalists Shownu, Wonho, Kihyun, and Minhyuk’s harmonizations and falsetto give the song an ethereal feeling that matches the dreamy music video, while the rapper line (Jooheon and I.M.) brings it all back to earth. And, of course, no review would be complete without applauding lead dancer Hyungwon’s excellent execution of the music video’s choreography.

This is a song that works in many aspects and has the ability to succeed in both radio stations as well as through live performances. Whether it’s the choreography, the vocals, or the visuals, this release excels and inspires excitement in Monsta X’s fans (Monbebes) about what they will do next.

What do you think of Monsta X’s “Beautiful”? Tell us what you think 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.