Actor Spotlight: Park Seo Joon

park seo joon korean actor dramas k-dramas
Tall in stature and charming in mannerism, Park Seo Joon is not a new face in the Korean acting industry. However, this 28-year-old actor from Seoul, South Korea has recently been booming in popularity, especially after his leading roles in the recent dramas Hwarang and Fight For My Way.

Park made his entertainment debut in 2011 when he appeared in the music video for singer Bang Yong Guk’s single, “I Remember.” In the video, he plays the boyfriend in a turbulent relationship and is put in a dangerous situation to save the one he loves. Park portrays such raw emotion throughout, leaving a strong impression on the viewer and displaying his acting skills very early on. He is able to convey an intensity that gives him the image of a violent partner, while also conveying the tenderness of a lover, all in under five minutes.

He landed his first role in a drama in 2012, playing the character of Si-Woo, a member of boy band Eden, in Dream High 2. As if he weren’t talented enough, he showcases his dancing and singing abilities in addition to his acting. And let me tell you, not only can Park sing and dance, but he can actually rock the stage like a natural performer.


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From there, Park went on to land roles in more dramas like A Word From Warm Heart and A Witch’s Love. However, 2015 proved to be his big year as he landed major roles in Kill Me, Heal Me and She Was Pretty, jumping from second male lead to leading man within a year in two very popular dramas.

Park Seo Joon’s popularity skyrocketed as drama viewers everywhere fell in love with him. And it’s easy to see why. Not only does Park have an attractive face and physique, he also possesses a kind and down-to-earth personality, which is made obvious through his interactions with costars and fans. He has a unique ability to create irresistible chemistry with any and all of his costars, making viewers fall in love with and wanting more of the on-screen couple.

His acting received such praise that he won the 2015 Excellent Actor in a Miniseries award for his roles in Kill Me, Heal Me and She Was Pretty. He also held his first ever fan meet in 2015 and it sold out in a minute!

As stated before, Park is known for his high fashion and great visuals, evidenced by his Instagram posts. So much so that he became the first Asian male to model for Tommy Hilfiger — I can’t think of a better fit for the job. With his height and his clean, polished look, Park exudes a charisma that turns heads, no matter where he goes.

#ZIOZIA @ziozia_official #지오쟈

A post shared by 박서준 (@bn_sj2013) on


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This year so far has also been another big year for Park, as his popularity saw yet another increase. This was largely due to his work in highly popular dramas Hwarang and most recently, Fight For My Way. In Hwarang, he played a skilled warrior seeking revenge for his friend’s death, and in Fight For My Way, he played a laid-back Taekwondo athlete trying to figure out his career as well as his love life.

His ability to deliver and sell these two contrasting roles is an amazing feat that only those who are truly skilled can accomplish, contributing to the shows’ popularity. It is what makes him such a versatile actor and demonstrates the level of artistry he has as an actor.

Park’s most recent work is his starring role in the movie Midnight Runners, an action-comedy that was released just this past August. In the film, Park stars alongside Kang Ha-neul and they play students at the Korean National Police University. The film was very well received by viewers, once again exhibiting Park’s uncanny ability to capture the attention of his audience.

And did I mention that this boy can sing? He has sung several OST’s for the dramas that he has starred in, including Witch’s Romance, Kill Me, Heal Me, She Was Pretty, and Hwarang. His soothing voice reflects his down-to-earth personality and gives fans all the feels.

Park Seo Joon is truly a man of many talents. Being Park’s fan is a job filled with excitement as he is always leaving us pleasantly surprised. With all that he’s accomplished so far, we can’t wait to see what else this beloved and charming actor has up his sleeve.

Have you watched any dramas with Park Seo Joon? Which one is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

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.

DAY6 explores love & friendship through recent ‘Every DAY6’ releases

The end of 2017 is fast approaching, and with it comes the near conclusion of DAY6’s ambitious monthly project. Titled Every DAY6, the first band from JYP Entertainment released two songs every month beginning in January, and released their first full-length album “Sunrise” at the midway point in June.They’ve kept busy, and also held monthly concerts in Korea as well as fan-meets all around the world, and will be embarking on a North America tour in October.

While the music videos for most of the songs released as part of Every DAY6 have separate storylines and concepts, with the exception of “You Were Beautiful” which was a sequel to 2015’s “Congratulations,” the band seemingly chanced upon a winning formula in August. Their school-based music video that practically featured a love rectangle received much attention online, especially as fans tried to figure out the complex relationships between the members. The quartet also started to display their acting chops and had a great chemistry with the main female lead, which fans appreciated. Pre-planned or not, this led to an entire trilogy based around this plot, spanning into the music videos for September and October as well, creating what felt entirely like a youth melodrama.

Every DAY6 August: “What Can I Do”


The story starts off in a powerful and lively manner, backed up by Young K’s striking bass riff, which characterises most of the song. This first music video introduces the characters of each DAY6 member: Young K is the badass who has zero regard for what others think of him; Jae is the nice guy who is best friends with the female lead; Dowoon is the popular but moody student who just wants to sleep; Sungjin and Wonpil are long-time best friends. The relationship between the last pair became contentious throughout the music video however, as Sungjin gradually falls in love with the female lead and Wonpil observes his friend from afar. His bystander stance and facial expressions are kept carefully ambiguous and unreadable throughout the video, leaving fans to come up with theories about whether Wonpil had a one-sided crush on Sungjin as well.

Of course, the love square gets even more complicated when the female lead starts to fall for Young K instead, with the song and music video ending off unresolved, both musically through imperfect cadence and in terms of the storyline, since three characters basically ended up with one-sided loves, thus setting the stage for the sequel to this drama.


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Every DAY6 September: “I Loved You”


As if to signal the calmer nature of the plot, the song begins with bird chirping noises, which was actually live-recorded by the band. Whistle sounds also distinguish this track right off the bat, as do its verses, which are definitely the most musically interesting parts of the track since the members use unique singing styles for each verse. The story takes on a sweeter and more emotional tone in this video, beginning with Wonpil pondering over his relationship and feelings toward Sungjin. Young K and the female lead develop an adorable bickering dynamic, despite Young K still not being interested in her, while Jae gets a love interest of his own in the form of a lady working at a coffee shop. Young K and Dowoon develop the second shippable bromance of this series when Young K saves Dowoon from getting hit at an arcade and the two class loners bond together at a convenience store.

The nature of Wonpil’s affections towards Sungjin become clearer in this music video however, with the “couple” keychain that the two have being a symbol of their relationship. The forlorn expression on his face in the epilogue of the music video when he realises that Sungjin left their couple keychain on the bus in his haste to run to the female lead says it all. Sungjin on the other hand, oblivious to Wonpil’s feelings, takes a brave step towards confessing his love to the female lead. This significant decision was marked by the most beautiful and heartbreaking part of the song, Wonpil’s high pitched “Loved You” at the end of the bridge.

Once again, the music video ended on a cliffhanger, with fans left wondering how the female lead would respond to Sungjin’s confession…


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Every DAY6 October: “When You Love Someone”


…and this is where “When You Love Someone” picks up. Released earlier than usual on the 29th of September due to South Korea being off for the Chuseok holiday, the music video begins with where “I Loved You” ended, but does not continue the scene immediately, rewinding instead to three days prior. The video returns to the other DAY6 members in their daily lives outside of school, starting with Dowoon. While his budding relationship with Young K was not explored further in this video, his life as a rich but extremely lonely man was fleshed out, adding to the more melancholic nature of this song. Jae continues his cute crush on the coffee shop lady, while Young K and the female lead finally make progress in this video when the female lead defends him when he gets into trouble working at a convenience store. He starts to see her in a different light from then on, possibly indicating that her love would soon be reciprocated (in future videos?) Sungjin and Wonpil enjoy some couple moments, wandering around music shops (of course this would be their favourite place) and even having a “Falling Slowly” moment.

Sungjin however, spots Young K and the female lead together, and realises that she would never like him back. Once again, this occurs at the bridge of the song, which is always used effectively in DAY6 music videos (at least in the ones with storylines) to signal a transformation or an attitude change in the characters.

The video skips back to the beginning of the video, as Sungjin musters up the courage to confess to the female lead. With the new knowledge he has about who she likes however, it’s not the hopeful confession fans were expecting in “I Loved You,” rather it is a painful confession on Sungjin’s part that he made knowing that he would get rejected anyway. The way he tries to smile before walking away sadly and the way the two best friends comfort each other in quiet companionship made for a bittersweet conclusion to the video, which ties in perfectly with the sad autumn release. Sungjin getting his keychain back which symbolizes their restored relationship reduced the sadness of the video. I personally really do hope that this music video series continues, maybe up till the end of the year.

Several musical elements stand out in this track, beginning with Wonpil’s keyboard melody in the intro and verses. In particular, the harmonies, which are more predominant than usual in DAY6 songs, add a clear contrast to the melody in the pre-choruses, perhaps illustrating how we sometimes have to hide our true feelings to avoid hurting the people around us (case in point: quietly suffering Wonpil). The syncopated rhythm also creates a laid back atmosphere, which forms the base of the tune as the members show off their individual singing styles, proving why Jae professed this as “a song with many killing parts.”

In all, DAY6 has showcased a variety of musical styles throughout the year. Regardless of the continuity that this music video series has provided over the past three months in terms of directing style and storyline development, the band has continued to diversify itself with their relentless experimentation through different rhythms and instruments. With two more releases to go for the year, I’m looking forward to what the band has to show and am waiting in anticipation to see if this complicated relationship-filled story continues.

Have you been keeping up with Every DAY6? What did you think of the releases so far? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

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


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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.

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.