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Weekly K-Pop Faves: July 18-24

Weekly K-Pop Faves

Summer’s well underway and K-pop took a bit of a vacation over the past week. While we’ve recently received an onslaught of new releases, the middle of July lagged a tiny bit. Our writers highlighting songs by the likes of Hello Venus, Amoeba Culture artists, Stellar, and f(x) in our weekly column. Look at all those girl groups!

Take a listen and comment at the bottom of this page to let us know what song you like the most from the past week!

“Paradise” by Hello Venus (Released July 18)

To few people’s attention, the girls of Hello Venus released the song of the summer this week. Produced by team Devine Channel, “Paradise” is a tropical doo-wop track made for days on the beach. Its music is lowkey with sporadic guitar licks and bursts of brass. “Paradise” really beckons with its vocals however. There’s a great range and assurance of voice on display. New girls Yeoreum and Seoyoung open brilliantly with a cheeky rap and an enticing vocal respectively. The rest of the girls go on to show their own takes on similar styles all while adding a new hook of their own. Throughout the day I could get any part of this song stuck in my head and be more than happy. It’s a perfectly pitched summer track made for only a digital release.

— Joe

“highfiVe” by Dynamic Duo, Primary, Boi B, Crush (Released July 21)

After a string of disappointing songs released this summer, Amoeba Culture artists came to the rescue. Dynamic Duo, Primary, Boi B, and Crush teamed up and put their amazing chemistry to good use to come out with “highfiVe”. It makes you want to grab a drink and dance the night away in an outdoor bar or club — and not only because it’s an ad for the Korean beer Cass. Seriously, how can you go wrong with Crush’s buttery vocals, Dynamic Duo and Boi B’s fiery verses, and Primary’s hyped up beats? It might not be anything groundbreaking, but it’s a fun track. And given the spot for summer anthem has yet to be grabbed, I’ll take it.

— Alexis

“All Mine” by f(x) (Released July 22)

f(x) is back! Well, kind of. This past week, f(x) unleashed this single as the next installment of SM Entertainment’s weekly STATION project. The EDM banger is produced by LDN NOISE, some of K-pop’s more well-known EDM producers. With a memorable melody, the song is matched with an equally cute music video, which shows the four members singing along to the song at various parts of an SMTOWN concert venue. And while they aren’t promoting it on music shows, the song is actually doing amazingly well on the charts (unlike most other SM STATION releases this year). It’s nice to see f(x) together releasing a song, especially considering that the group has been under a lot of speculation in regards to disbandment. Whether the members renew their contracts or not (and it’s likely that they will), it’s great to have this song to get us through the remainder of the summer.

— Kushal

”Crying” by Stellar (Released July 18)

While I’ll let Joe and Kushal be called our resident girl group experts, I was intrigued by Stellar’s latest release for the sole reason that it was giving me major 2010 K-pop feels. While an extremely different song, producer Brave Brothers utilized similar synth chords and autotuning on both “Crying” and NS Yoon-G’s “Just Dance” of that year. Since I’m obsessed with NS Yoon-G and think she’s been robbed of her career, I played “Crying” and “Just Dance” alongside one another for about a half hour before I realized it was the mellow dance pop sound of both songs that really drew me in as a listener. This is clearly a 2016 take on what Brave Brothers has done best for much of his career, but I felt like it wasn’t a far enough step to give Stellar the leap they need to propel themselves to the height of popularity. Sweet and soft is fine, but please bring back Stellar’s biting unique sound and style for their next release!

— Tamar

Share your picks and thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us onFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Simon D ‘Simon Dominic’ Music Video & Song Review

Simon D Simon Dominic

The long awaited comeback is finally here as Simon Dominic, better known as Simon D (once a member of hip-hop duo Supreme Team, the duo disbanded in 2013 after member E-Sen’s contract expired with Amoeba Culture) is back with a pre-released single self titled “Simon Dominic” from his upcoming album. Considering this song wasn’t going to be released in the first place but was then revamped and put out has fans on their feet roaring with excitement. Read more

Zion. T’s ‘Eat’ Music Video & Song Review

Are you feeling tired and/or having a rough day? Don’t let those feelings defeat you. Instead, let Zion. T comfort you and sooth your uneasy heart with his latest single and music video, Eat. Read more

Amoeba Culture Tour 2015 With Dynamic Duo, Zion. T, Crush, Primary, & DJ Friz Turn Up New York City

Traveling overseas is hard enough for an artist, but how about a whole record label? Well, that’s exactly what Amoeba Culture, a South Korean record label, did with several of their more prominent artists for the Amoeba Culture Tour 2015. Dynamic Duo, Zion. T, Crush, Primary, and DJ Friz, brought to the East Coast of the United States by Music Enkor for two shows. On February 28th, after a stop in Atlanta the night before, the crew made their way over to New York City where a practically sold out show greeted them enthusiastically. Hip hop and R&B fans were going to be in for a treat with this multi-artist show. Every artist was expected to bring a slightly different style, and they did not disappoint. ​

After an exciting and brief countdown, DJ Friz took the stage behind a raised DJ set-up and went straight into mixing a beat to get the crowd riled up. Not too long after, Crush joined the stage and began A Little Bit. Crush talked a bit to the audience, which was always echoed by screams. He then continued his set with I Fancy You. With his fluid moves across the stage and equally smooth vocals, it was easy for everyone to get excited.

Amoeba Culture tour crush


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Zion. T eventually joined Crush on stage for Two Melodies. A clear crowd favorite was Just, where the audience sung along the whole way through. Afterwards, Zion. T continued his solo stage with popular songs such as Yanghwa BRDG and Babay. Primary jumped in the DJ booth after, followed by Choiza who joined Zion. T on stage for Question Mark. Not to be outdone by Zion. T, Dynamic Duo exploded onto the stage with See Through. After Zion. T left the stage, Dynamic Duo greeted the audience and went into Lee Dae Ho and Three Dopeboyz. The veteran group knew how to master the stage and work the audience up into a frenzy. The crowd showed no sign of fatigue as they were all screaming and dancing along to Gaeko and Choiza’s set.

Amoeba Culture tour zion. t


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The festival-like atmosphere continued with all of the artists on stage while performing their closing song, Friday Night. As confetti and streamers shot into the air, the show came to a close and all of the artists gathered together for a final bow. The concert was exciting and each artist brought something unique and special to the stage. With all of the artists performing together, a spectacular blend of excitement and music created a highly enjoyable evening.

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Zion. T & Crush’s ‘Just’ Music Video & Song Review​

It’s been two years since Zion. T and Crush’s last collaboration, but these guys are back to melt hearts with their soft and mesmerizing voices in Just. For many of those Amoeba Culture fans out there, the anticipation for this collaboration has been at an all time high. And since they’ll be going on tour Stateside this upcoming March, they’ll surely sweep everyone in the audience off their feet with their latest release.

Setting

​Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was indeed taken aback a bit. The way the teaser was portrayed and the contrast with the actual music video and song almost felt like they were telling two different stories. ​

zion.t crush just mv

via Tumblr

A majority of the music video takes place in a run down, vacant building with the classic ‘sitting in a non-moving vehicle’ shots and scenes that looked like they took place outside of a cemetery. The teaser was hard to grasp in terms of what was to come, and because of the black and white imagery, I thought the music video would portray a sad and dark image. However, the teaser’s beat was relatively uptempo and you can see scenes of Zion. T and Crush just swaying along with the music, full of positive vibes in their movements.​

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​Videography​

​Zion. T quickly sets the tone of the song with his smooth R&B voice and, of course, we can’t leave out those various shades that he always wears. Will we ever see the day when he performs with them off? I think not. Zion. T matched his movements with the beat, from the slightest head bop, hand and brow movements, mouth covering to the shoulder leans, meanwhile still maintaining that hip hop aura.

zion.t crush mv just review gif

via Tumblr

Even if everyone watching this who are acquainted with Crush knew he would deliver on his singing, nothing prepared us for his rapping. He’s at the bottom of my list of people I’d picture rapping, but I didn’t mind it one bit! It was fresh, something different, and he did a marvelous job! The feelings that were behind the lyrics as he was rapping and singing were properly presented. ​

The artistry of this video was very well-planned out, from the locations and set-up, to the transitions between Zion. T to Crush, and that little interlude with the solo dancer and piano player, which gave off a contemporary feel. To match with the overall feel of the song and the set up itself, their outfits were very simple and chic. They incorporated that classic trench/pea coat look, with a casual yet sophisticated black attire, and casual leather and white bomber jacket.

The black and white concept added a sense of mystery to the music video, but at the same time, it was oozing with innocence. By keeping his shades on, Zion. T gives off a mysterious image, meanwhile Crush, with his baby face and sweet voice, added purity and clarity to the overall production.

crush just zion. t mv review gif

via Tumblr

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​Meaning​

​​It’s a song about love, a bittersweet breakup, and the feelings that are left after everything has ended. The lyrics are direct and meaningful: ​

I don’t want your pity anymore
I don’t want to be pathetic
So I got up first
Don’t linger, I’m really okay

ziot.t crush just mv song review gif

by soo-hyuks

​It stems from being able to pull yourself together and walking away from a relationship, which was headed for a bad turn, before it was too late to leave, and to then being able to stand on your own two feet, without the weight of one’s pity holding you down. There’s so many songs out there about your stereotypical break ups and getting back together, and the hesitation that comes with all that, and in most cases, it’s usually the girl that’s in that predicament. However, I really appreciate that this song took it in a different direction and allowed viewers to see it from a different point of view.

​​Overall Thoughts

​There’s always that possibility that when two solo artists collaborate one will outshine the other, but this wasn’t the case. These two compliment each other very well; it’s almost like they’re the missing pieces to one another’s puzzles.

The music video and song weren’t over the top, nor were there unnecessary adlibs. They kept it simple, clean, but intriguing at the same time. The only complaint that I have is that it was too short! It was as if Zion. T stopped mid sentence when he finished the song, and then just left the audience hanging on, waiting for something else to happen. But that was the end!

One doesn’t think of mainstream K-pop when they think of Zion. T and Crush. K-pop is usually upbeat, energetic, and gives you automatic happy, get-out-of-your-chair, feels. But from the moment that Zion. T started singing, I felt an overpowering feeling of calmness and peace. This song reminds of me of music from Musiq Soulchild, Babyface, Anthony Hamilton, and Maxwell. You know the artist is doing something right when they’re able to portray so much emotion and feeling into a song, and make it look effortless. This is just an example of what neo-soul can do to you! This track was an amazing incorporation of slow jams, R&B, jazz, blues, and hip hop. Overall, I am beyond satisfied with this song!


What’s your take on the song? Leave your 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.

Gaeko & Yankie ‘Cheers’ Song Review

Gaeko and Yankie have collaborated with Beenzino and Babylon on the new track Cheers for Amoeba Culture’s NEWorkend project. The four artists worked together to give us life during theses cold winter months. Cheers will take you away to a tropical location to forget about the Winter blues.

Music:

The music that makes up Cheers automatically gives off a summer, laid back vibe. You can instantly feel the warmth of the sun and the air of summer nights. The instrumentals are all basic, but the way they are being played adds to the summertime feel. The electric guitar is used in a more subdued manor than in rock and punk songs. It sounds so subdued and calm with the amp turned up. The percussion, again, is pretty simple and basic. It keeps the beat going while adding in some wooden blocks that adds the beach vibe to the song. The exhaling (ahhh) throughout the song is not creepy nor distracting, instead it reminds listeners of the almost automatic reflex of exhaling with joy after quenching one’s thirst. There are trumpets that come in throughout the song, and clapping and a piano toward the end. They all continue to keep the summer feel and only add a little more instrumental thickness to the song.

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Rapping:

Yankie starts the song off with a smooth flow that adds to the laid back vibe of the music. His verse sets the mood of the song perfectly, which is on the weekend everyone is ready to let loose and enjoy themselves. People are quite different from their work selves and their party selves. Yankie starts out the night, which includes meeting up with your friends at the club.

Beenzino then raps about what happens next in the second verse. In the club drinks are ordered and free flowing, and the lust that comes with the weekend party scene is at an all time high. Beenzino’s rap flow has a bit of punchiness to it, but nothing too extreme or intense to throw off the groove of the song. The tone of his voice gives off the feeling of having a good time and not caring if he breaks the law or not.

Gaeko’s rap is at a slower pace than Yankie and Beezino’s. He crisply articulates each English word with a little more punch than the Korean words. During Gaeko’s verse some of the instrumentals are cut out creating a shift in the song that breaks up the monotony of the music. The change is a cue that tells the listener that there is a slight interruption in the flow of the song, which then encourages the listener to pay more attention.

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Singing:

Babylon sings the chorus throughout the song and his vocals have a higher pitch and vocal tone. Although his tone is higher, his vocals are full and easy on the ears. Babylon’s vocal quality matches the overall vibe of summertime and having a good time. His falsetto oohs at the end of the song briefly show off his vocals abilities. The chorus clearly shows that he is capable of singing and singing well, but his oohs at the end tease listeners into wanting more music from Babylon.

Conclusions:

Cheers not only displays the multiple talents of all of those involved with the song, but it gives listeners happiness and the feeling of being carefree and enjoying one’s self. Whether you listen to Cheers in the summer, the winter, or throughout the entire year, it will always make you feel great and let you escape to a warmer place with friends, fun, and drinks.

Do you like Cheers, do you feel like you’re taken away to a warm Summer’s night partying with your friends? 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.