Guess who's back? We're all aware that it's been almost a year since our last panel, and we're really really sorry for the prolonged delay, but it's been impossible to get us all together, no matter how much we wanted to. With Nikki going off to college and starting her new job with Soompi (and now doing single reviews!), Mel REALLY busy with work (and Halloween!), and McRoth taking the throne as allkpop's resident (and only!) reviewer, things just weren't pointing to another panel. BUT ALAS, we're finally able to clear out our schedules for a MASSIVE kpop panel comeback. And believe us when we say MASSIVE.
We're not just talking about a gazillion songs thrown into one post, although our comeback does have that. Yes, our comeback is a riot. :D Of course we have our staples, Nikki, Mel and McRoth, but we've also brought back past guests rcLoy and Elvin. Poster Girl is MIA at the moment, but we'll have her back someday! (hopefully) And Jio and Paul are busy with life in general, but we'll have them back too! AAAAAAND, the last panelist is a very, VERY special guest, because without him this panel would never have existed in the first place. The idea for the kpop panel came from Mike of Pop Trash Addicts and his LEGENDARY Pop Panel, which Nikki guested on one week. And this week, Mike joins us! FINALLY!
This week's panel features permanent panelists:
Nikki @ Pop Reviews Now
Mel @ Melismatic
McRoth @ McRoth's Residence
Past guest panelists:
rcLoy @ unrcloyable
Elvin Mensah @ J. Mensah's Billboard Files
And the father of all pop panels:
Mike @ Pop Trash Addicts
Nikki @ Pop Reviews Now
Mel @ Melismatic
McRoth @ McRoth's Residence
Past guest panelists:
rcLoy @ unrcloyable
Elvin Mensah @ J. Mensah's Billboard Files
And the father of all pop panels:
Mike @ Pop Trash Addicts
Infinite - 내꺼하자
Infinite were pretty successful with this round of promo, they managed to win Mnet's M!Countdown! :D This single follows the earlier "Nothing's Over", which in itself was brilliance.
Elvin (4/5): Pounding bass lines, underpinning synth chords and an overbearing '80s reminiscent atmospherics--This is awesome. I love that electronic-guitar drenched breakdown. Even the rapping on here isn't that bad.
McRoth (4.4/5): YES!!! Just so you know, I was on the Infinite bandwagon before all of you, so I am extremely stoked to see my boys succeeding this year. They've grown so much in very little time, and honestly, they're churning out better music than the top dogs, which should give you an idea of the caliber of this group. One of the best things about Infinite is that they already have a trademark sound. Whether you're watching TV or distracted on the phone, the second an Infinite song starts playing you immediately recognize it. "Be Mine" falls right in line with the group's sound and it's one of my favorites this year.
Mel (4.3/5): Wow. Dear Infinite, where have you been all my life? Like I really need another (super-sized) KPOP boy band in my life, but it's kind of hard not to like this cut, which grows more and more catchy with every chorus. It's kind of refreshing to hear a boy band so utterly peppy, eh? The choreography seems a little out of place but I'm loving the fresh use of sounds in the backdrop. It reminds me a LOT of the boy bands I grew up with in the early 00's and isn't so utterly reliant on Auto-Tune. I also really dig the zebra pants. I don't quite understand the plot of the video but please, someone take these boys to safe place. OK. It's official. Infinite is on my radar now. Zebra Pants Boy, call me.
Mike (5/5): I love Infinite! They are definitely one of the best new(-ish) K-Pop acts and Hoya’s gravity-defying dance moves give them an edge that many of their competitors are missing. “Be Mine” is such a catchy song too. It sounds like Eurotrash but I mean that as a compliment. Super Junior is OVER!
Nikki (4.3/5): I've always liked Infinite! Even from the very beginning they had spunk but also that tiny bit of class in their music, and as they progressed it became very clear that they do have a very distinct sound. This is their attempt at going for a much darker sound, and I LOVE it. "Nothing's Over" and "Shot" will forever be my favorites, but the melody and some of the instruments made this track happy an upbeat while keeping that dark aura. Strange combination, but it shows how a little can do a long way.
rcLoy (4.8/5): Oo la la~ Surprise, suprise. This is pretty good. Amazing in fact. I love the intro, so 80's cool without being too tacky. And that chorus doesn't disappoint at all. Is this a rework cover of an 80's pop tune? I don't care much about the rap part though. This is so pleasing :)
SISTAR - So Cool
Would you believe me if I said that SISTAR have actually won music shows before? I know, I was shocked too. But they have, and this song was pretty big when it came out - complete with the choreography being "banned" and reworked!
Elvin (2/5): Short dresses, provocative dancing, ass-feeling etc. Unfortunately doesn't cover up the fact this is the most generic, boring, uninteresting song in the bunch. I'm sorry SISTA's.
McRoth (3.5/5): Unlike some select few on this panel, I actually kinda like this song. Hyorin and The Supremes did a good job with this one. The song isn't amazing, and let's face it, it's a Brave Brothers creation, so it would never, but at least Sistar made it work. They say "so cool" more times than I'm comfortable with, and the instrumental is more boring than Dasom (oh, did I say that?), but overall it's just alright. Sistar seem to be given better singles every season, so here's to the next comeback!
Mel (2.5/5): Is it over with yet? I've always referred to SISTAR (SIS-TARRRRAHHH) as the OTHER KPOP girl group, and I honestly didn't think they'd still be around at this point. It's nice to see their Brave Sound-soaked style has evolved - oh, let's see - zero percent since I last checked into them. I'm sure they are lovely girls, and hurrah for "buxum" ladies in the KPOP market, but clearly, this is meant for a gender other than mine. I realize that is bias but you asked for my opinion so I'm spewing it. I wouldn't mind sitting through your sexy moves if the song excited me and made me want to be ONE of you, but yeah. Not getting it. That said, go on with your bad selves, ladies. Just try to bring it a little harder next time.
Mike (4/5): Cheap electronic beats that sound like they’ve been recycled from 2003. Slutty dance moves that Danity Kane would reject for being too tacky. Ok, I’ve seen enough. These girls are amazing!
Nikki (1.5/5): I've never been a SISTAR fan, and I'm afraid this album, and single in particular, did nothing to change my opinion of them. Hyorin is extremely talented, there's nothing to contest there, but if all you hear is this song you'd never think that she does have that stunning a voice. The other three girls are still useless, and do nothing to raise the appeal of this cheap song. The melody, the hook, the cheesy synths running all over the place - too much cheap/camp/whatever in one song. It has rather strong production, but no matter how much money you spend on post-prod, if your song is crap it will forever be crap.
rcLoy (2/5): Few things first. Sistar, please fire your stylist. Next, the cheroegrapher, what's with the "fanning away your fart" hand motion towards the audience!? Is this MV supposed to be a joke? This is too distracting for me to even enjoy the song and I suppose it's not even that good at the 1st place! Side note: I did listen to it and I don't know why I even bother. I have to say it got all the catchy elements tho.
G.NA - Top Girl
Cube Entertainment's resident solo artist is back with her second mini-album. Initially she was marketed with a focus on her "big" vocals, but I'm not so sure if that's the approach Cube is going for this time.
Elvin (3/5): Is she like the Korean Hannah Montana? Somehow I can't see this going down well with the rest of the panel. There's something contrived about it, like a looming sense of insincerity about her opening question "don't you want to be on top?" when it's clear she probably has no interest in sharing any metaphoric throne. Why tease me? Unless the question is a double entente, which then, yes I would quite like to be on top. Call me. The song? It's not bad, the beginning reminds me of Paris Hilton's "Nothin' In this World," middle section, Cher's "Believe." (Anyone one else catch that ode to Kylie Minogue's "Can't You Get You Outta My Head" in the video?)
McRoth (2/5): Bleghh. Okay, G.NA, homegirl, I know Kpop asks you to go through the cute phase at least once in your lifetime as an idol, but you already went there and it did not work for you. So cut it out! This song does nothing for G.NA, who happens to have a pretty great singing voice, let me tell you. Why she would succumb to such unfavorable lows is beyond me. The pre-chorus is forgivable, but the rest is simply too out of character, too mediocre, too, too bad. And I see you trying to make it sexy - dancing in the rain and all that - but no, please, don't even.
Mel (1.9/5): Uh, what the hell happened to you? I thought you were the solo chick that could actually SING? I'm seeing the ghost of that girl in the pre-chorus, but the rest of it gets lost a song that would be much better suited for a girl group (and one that relied on its looks/dance skills rather than its voice to boot). While I very much enjoy G.NA's voice with her ballads, I'm not totally sold on her stage presence and this video doesn't nothing to change that opinion either. So much of this just feels so stilted and awkward...take it away, I can't. My mouth hurts...I hope it's not of fresh cavity from all that sugar.
Mike (4.5/5): This guy is so sexy! I wonder if he was a top boy before the operation. Anyway, I’m glad G.NA escaped from Thailand and found success in Korea. The song is great and I like the video. The formula is actually very American – it reminds me a bit of Katy Perry. Good stuff.
Nikki (2/5): G.NA's comeback really, REALLY disappointed me. For someone who had an near-amazing debut EP with truckloads of potential, her subsequent releases just haven't been working. I mean okay, the song's catchy, but there are too many gimmicks, with the squealing, the cheesy verses and even cheesier choruses with a cheap bridge sandwiched between them, AND that horrid video - I'm sorry but I don't even know if this is better than SISTAR now. G.NA has an okay voice, not stunning or anything, but back when she debuted at least her voice sounded pretty good! Now it's just squeaky verging on annoying.
rcLoy (3/5): G.NA is a solo act? I always thought it's a girl group! G for Girl? Never mind. Top Girl is a pretty standard pop fare with all the usual bells and whistles that doesn't really stimulate any senses. Is it me or her vocal soaring at the middle 8 goes nowhere? Is she seriously releasing this as a 1st single? This sounds like a filler track IMO. *yawn*
B1A4 - Beautiful Target
Rookie group B1A4, who debuted earlier this year, are back with a new single and their second mini-album! Another perky track from the group.
Elvin (2.5/5): I haven't heard such an awfully disjointed song in quite a while. "Beautiful Target" begins with a sort of Big Time Rush sensibility, an auto-tuned vocal over some standard, melodic synths before dissolving into an oncoming barrage of Black Eyed Peas' reminiscent "zoom zoom zooms" and "boom boom booms." However, the chorus sounds fantastic--it even makes up for that intrusive rap about being "up and high" on a firetruck. Its accompanying annoyingly hilarious video is, well, annoyingly hilarious.
McRoth (2/5): Confession time: I loooooOOOOOooOOOoove B1A4's "OK." Like, I picked it as a top Kpop song of the year-love it. So that should give you an idea as to where my excitement level was for this comeback single...then they released it. Then I listened to it. And then I cried. It is no bueno, amigos, and I mean that from the bottom of my fanboy corazon. First thing, the entire song is a cluster fuck of melodies and phrases that are tangled in a way that eliminates any distinction between the verses, the pre-chorus, and damn, even the chorus. It started off with an OK intro, and then it skipped to a pseudo-rap-barking section, where I thought we were still in the intro, but NO. Or yes? Maybe?! Fuck. I'm confused. To make matters worse, the instrumental is as lost as I am. It keeps building up to hell-knows-what the entire time. It doesn't change whatsoever, not even during transitional moments, and in the end, it just adds to the mush. It's like putting on drunk-goggles, spinning around for one minute, and then being asked to walk in a straight line. Yeah. Sorry boys, you completely missed your target with this one.
Mel (1/5): Um...am I in an insane asylum? I'm all for boys being ridiculously "cute" (and I kinda liked B1A4's debut) but this makes zero sense to me, and no, I don't like it. Just stop. Seriously. I couldn't even get through the music video in one sitting. It hurts my brain. The song is too generic, and the video makes zero sense. Zero. None. Too much going on at once. I guess this is proof to my haters that just because it's a boy band, I won't necessarily like it everytime. You really don't have to throw all of the cute cliches into one video and see if it sticks because it won't. I don't even like this in a guilty pleasure way. I just want to forget it ever happened entirely. Hopefully, with time, they will too.
Mike (2.5/5): So awful, it’s kind of amazing. Their English pronunciation is comedy gold.
Nikki (2.4/5): "Beautiful Target" starts out decent enough, with Big Bang-ish synths and a rather strong, pretty verse, but once the rap comes in it goes downhill from there. The last straw is that non-existent chorus that starts out more like ceremonial chanting or something rather than singing, and once the actual singing comes in it just confuses the entire chorus. And what is with that random girl saying "I like it" in the second verse? The song is all over the place and boring - the songwriter needs to make up his mind, and B1A4 have to start singing with some emotion. Oh wait, they weren't singing for half the song. Please go back to singing, B1A4, you guys weren't half bad.
rcLoy (3.5/5): Are they're telling me they like it? Well, the feeling is mutual. I'm not sold on the kooky fashion style but the song is pretty OK. And how do you pronounce B1A4? Decent effort but I'm not sure I will remember this after a few weeks :/
U-Kiss - Neverland
U-Kiss also came back earlier this month, to moderate success. Not that it won music shows or anything, but U-Kiss have their fanbase, and they do chart pretty well.
Elvin (4/5): I'm quite fond of this--the group's melodic vocal nicely compliments the songs rather dark, gritty, beat-heavy production at least until that awesome chorus kicks in, where its more forceful, lighter tone compliments its bricky verses. It's an awesome 'complimenting' orgy.
McRoth (4.5/5): If you had told me in 2009 that U-KISS would release an album that would become one of my favorites in two years time, I would have laughed my ass off and probably smacked you upside the head. Well, shame on me, because it happened. Who knew U-KISS was under a label that actually gave a shit about a band's longevity and musicality enough to make such an unprecedented move as kicking out two members to replace them with members actually worth the light of day in the Korean pop music industry. I mean, this brand new U-KISS is indeed brand new. "Neverland" took every detail that worked for the group in the past and polished it to a blinding shine. It's amazing how it turned out. This song is club-ready. It's catchy. It's produced heaps better than their earlier work. This new-found direction may have come a little late, but at least they recognize their strengths and their potential as a boy band. I'm so proud, y'all ToT
Mel (3.8/5):What is it with me and large boy bands these days? U-Kiss -- you were supposed to stay the cute boy band I could make fun of whenever I wanted. In a sense, they totally broke that promise and I'm not okay with it. Stomping synths, choreography that is at least a little inventive (and plays to their strengths as a large group -- other than the faux rocker bits...I could do without that), guyliner, and you kinda cooled it (get the pun, everyone?) with the excessive, robotic Auto-Tune stuff? Dude, someone heard my prayers! Surreal. With that said -- I'm not totally overwhelmed by "Neverland". But then again, I never thought I'd be excited about a U-Kiss song. So they are already winning. Bravo, boys. Keep on this path.
Mike (1/5): T-Pain would draw the line at this much autotune. And I don’t think releasing a song about Michael Jackson’s residence is tasteful in this point in time.
Nikki (3.9/5):"Neverland" is standard U-Kiss, and although it was rather well-done this time around, it's really down to whether or not you like these kinds of songs. They're very repetitive, they use vocal processing like drinking water, and in the end you have your standard ADD song. What raised my score for this however, was the fact that this has ALWAYS been the U-Kiss sound. They've tried to deviate from it, but in the end there's always something that makes it distinctly U-Kiss. If you like the song, you like it, but if you don't, you don't.
rcLoy (2.5/5): Auto-tune overkill. That's the only thing I remember about this song. And to think that I find the intro pretty darn interesting (sound abit Daft Punk-ish? No?) Sigh.
Miss A - Goodbye Baby
The 4-piece JYP girl group hit it big with this single and the proceeding album, and although it's a bit older than the rest of the songs on this week's panel, we just had to put it in!
Elvin (4/5): The video is a bit tedious to watch... what is the song going to be--the progressive synths or the Plan B "She Said" styled opening beats? Turns out it's both and both sounds work quite well together. And surprise, surprise an awkwardly rapped middle section.
McRoth (4.5/5): I said it in my full album review and I'll say it here: this album won. me. over. Miss A have definitely grown, and in all the right ways. Miss A's sound is well defined and above all they don't depend on heavy gimmicks to get the job done. They know their limits, as well as their strengths, and in time they'll definitely grow into a killer girl group. The overall production is nice (except the mix. it feels a little off). I am all over the verse-to-pre-chorus transition. It's smooth and graceful. By the way, Fei is looking HAWWWWT. Her hair, omg. It's gorgeous.
Mel (2.5/5): I'm not sure if I'm watching a different video than my fellow perma-panelists, or if I just lack the Miss A Appreciation gene. I'm guessing it's the latter. Let me explain: The first minute and a half of this video made me want to turn it off. Once we get past that, we actually have a back beat that stands out with a kind of swing to it. Points gained. Miss A has their own style and that doesn't involve being too cutesy all the damn time. They have a sass to them which is cool, but unlike a few people, I'm just not really getting the appeal. It's fun for what it is, but it's not the type of thing that makes me want to buy your album. The vocals that are present are too rap-talky rather than vocally competent. So with all the special effects, story line, and cute outfits, I'm still kinda bored. Sorry. There is no "wow" factor to me.
Mike (5/5): One of the best songs of 2011. The chorus is adorable and the production is of international quality. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all stunning and know how to dance. I feel sorry for has-beens like SNSD and BEG. They can’t compete!
Nikki (4.5/5): Another one of those acts I predicted would make it big. I'm so proud of them! *tear* Even with the rather embarrassing "Breathe" era, if you have talent you really do have talent. "Goodbye Baby" is spunky and in-your-face without being loud. The JYP singing style, that makes them sound like they're being strangled whenever they try to sustain notes, still annoys me to no end, but the rest of the song is perfectly fine. Gorgeous melody, very apt drum parts that set the tone and give the song punch, and strong but ever so slightly loose production. Catchy too!
rcLoy (4.5/5): Bad Girl, Good Girl? Goodbye Baby? LOL. One of my faves here. The chorus is just so sick! Catchy as hell. I love their "out for revenge" attitude in the MV, so badass! Leg up while lying down? Still classy~ Definitely an "A" class in my opinion. miss A >> WG.
KARA - STEP
After spending the first half of the year in Japan, KARA are back in Korea with a brand new "album" (10 tracks, kinda awkward for a full-length release) and this single/song/whatever strange name Korea calls lead singles. They've been dominating charts and winning music shows since, but the members are also exhausted beyond belief, being rushed to and from the hospital in between recordings.
Elvin (3.5/5): Beneath its fun, high-energy, frothy, electro-tinged dance production lies a pretty dated venture, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it's still quite a catchy slice of pop. Would it be too harsh to deem them a budget SNSD?
McRoth (4/5): First impression of the "Step" music video went something like this: "Oh my god, this looks so pretty." But after closer inspection, I realized how bad KARA actually look. The outfits ~ the OUTFITS ~ are the ugliest things I have ever seen; they kind of remind me of a grade school crafts project where the only available materials to work with are 90's bed sheets and tin foil. Er. But hey, aren't KARA known for cheesy-on-cheesy wardrobe anyway? Whatever. It's not like I know anything about fashion, so moving onnn. "Step" is actually a good song. I have trained myself to accept the fact that KARA is a completely different group than when they first emerged, and this is the kind of music that works for them now. They're vocally pretty weak, but given the fact that their songs don't ask for anything out of their comfort zone, they pull it off perfectly fine. "Step" is like a revamped version of last year's "Jumping," which I liked, so I definitely give it a passing grade for that reason alone. One thing to point out is KARA's inability to transition properly into their middle eights. They just suck at it, and by they I mean their producers. I like the one in this song, but it feels slightly out of place and totally random. Overall, I give "Step" four booty shakes out of five.
Mel (4.5/5): Considering I'm probably the least familiar with Kara's back catalogue of all of the perma-panelists, it's probably beyond my boundaries to say whether or not "Step" is a 'step' in a positive direction for Kara. I quite enjoyed "Lupin" and found myself digging on "Wanna", despite the fact that on the surface, Kara is the type of girl group I'd normally despise. To me, they are like a shrunken, more vocally competent SNSD (and I mean that it a nice way). So many of their tunes sound like a mega-watt smile gained while eating sixteen pixie sticks and jumping on a pogo stick or something. They are just so damn happy. "Step" continues this mindset. I tend to like things more edgy, but for whatever reason, the minute I heard "Step", I kept hitting repeat. Over and over. Perhaps they are the one girl group I can really stomach it from, seeing as they have vocals and a stage presence to back it up? Or maybe it's due to the subtle but present rollerdisco feel in the background? Doesn't matter. I dig it. But this video? I'm fairly certain these are outfits Stevie Wonder would say no to...
Mike (3.5/5): I’m not usually a fan of these desperate plastic surgery addicts but “Step” is a cute pop song with a sugary sweet chorus. The video, however, is a hot mess. It looks like they raided a drag queen’s wardrobe.
Nikki (4.6/5): After the initial buzz wore off, "Step" isn't as good as it was back then. Of course I still think it's the perfect blend of the old Kara and the new Kara, and for that alone it deserves a higher score, and of course it's a gorgeous song in itself, but there will come a point when you get tired of it. I still like how they mixed the 80's-ish "Take On Me"/"Never Gonna Give You Up" (LOL!) synths into a more modern context, and that middle 8 is still one of the best I've heard this year, a nice, short, sweet and well-done break from the chaotic upbeat song.
rcLoy (4.8/5): Too cute and too colorful. Even with all that excessive-ness, it bloody works. Apart from the uber catchy chorus, the other highlight is definitely of the middle 8, uh, so so good. In short, Step is a fun summer KPop song.
Super Junior - A-Cha
SuJu need no introduction, at least for our panelists! ^_^ SM Entertainment's flagship boyband with lots of members, this is the lead single off the repackaged version of their 6th album "Mr. Simple".
Elvin (2/5): The high-energy electronic backing is a little intrusive, isn't it? It drowns out the group's vocal quite a bit. I'm not a huge fan of this sound anyway, really.
McRoth (0.5/5): I've been over SM's pathetic excuse for lead singles the moment "Mr. Simple" walked out of the glitchy cave it came from, and "A-Cha" is just begging on its knees for me to punch it in the face. Hey, maybe it'll sound like an actual song with an actual melody if I did! Seriously, this song has nothing going for it, and say what you will in its defense, it is the atrocity of the year. Good job, SuJu, you managed to steal that title from yourself ("Mr. Simple" was first, with "Perfection" a close second). "A-Cha" is the ultimate definition of uninspired, and has as much direction as a colony of ants after having their ant hill stepped on. Even B1A4's "Beautiful Target" has more direction than this, and that song is completely lost, yo.
Mel (3.9/5): Here Mel comes to defend the SuJu boys. I get it -- it'll come off as bias, seeing as Lee Donghae has recently been upgraded to my whatever-the-male-version-of-mistress, but still. Yes, this video is low budget and makes zero sense. Yes, it sounds quite similar SuJu tracks we've heard before. But give it some credit. It's better than "Mr. Simple". Can we agree on this much? The choreography is better, the vocals come harder, and overall, it just sounds more exciting. The blame should more be placed on SM Entertainment for not wanting to let SuJu go out with a bang, especially since this is one of the last official "Super Junior As We Know It" kind of videos we will see for awhile. Personally, I think they should have focued their energy more on "Superman" with an actual video to do it justice and relegated "A-CHA" to the obligatory "flashback" music video, but if people listened to my opinions, I'd be a much richer woman (ho ho!). It may be relatively generic, but it's still much more exciting, both visually (in terms of the choreography) and sonically, than much else out at the moment. Is it their worst? Hell no. Is it their best? Hell no. But am I still hitting repeat? You betcha.
Mike (0/5): What happened to these boys? I like some of their old stuff but this is just noise. Flop.
Nikki (4/5): I was kind of out of the loop when SuJu came back recently, but I really liked "Mr. Simple" (the single, the album was iffy for me) and "A-Cha" as well! It's very modern SM, in the style of f(x)'s "Pinnochio" and some of SNSD's Japanese stuff (which I assume SM did the A&R for), but still very SuJu. Standard strong production, catchy chorus and repetitive hook, no surprise there. The synths are a lot heavier, not just in terms of volume but also intensity, and the melody sticks out a lot more. Not something I'd listen to with a headache, but it's still a good song!
rcLoy (4/5): Fanboy mode, ON. I'm not sure how I should be reacting to this since this is NOT my usual SuJu single. It's so synth and heavily autotuned giving out the rough vibe as well (new image?) but after a few listen and the magic of SM starts to kick in. Big relief. (A-Cha reminds me of Gaga's Judas. I don't know why) A grower, fo' sure. This song made me realized that SuJu would never be the same without Kyuhyun. I must say I love the MV, so chic and classy.
Jewelry S - Forget It
From what I can make out of it, Jewelry S is the Jewelry subgroup for new members. In 2008, the two new members were called Jewelry S and had this really cheesy song out, and now they're the older members, so I assume these new girls just took their place and stuff.
Elvin (4/5): It's Co-Ed School all over again! A great piano-laced ballad, with a heart-stirring melody and seeping electronic guitar chords (Admittedly, I wrote that just before the chorus kicked in, then I realised it was...) all a gentle build up to the cheesy dance-pop flourishes of the chorus (which I'm not sure if I like or not). I wish the whole thing was a ballad.
McRoth (4.1/5): This is the first time I'm listening to this song, and to be honest, I had no idea Jewelry had a sub-unit, but you know what - this doesn't sound half bad. In fact, I'm actually enjoying it the more times I play it. This sub-unit is kind of what I imagine After School Blue/Orange Caramel to sound like. The song is sweet with a pinch of that OST feel, but without the mindless cute shit. I'm even getting J-pop in the chorus, which is always nice. A big thumbs up for this one, ladies.
Mel (2/5):Wait - Jewelry is still around? That's news to me. I don't know what's up with all these girls feeling the need to have "sub-groups" anyway. Let's just trim the fat and release smaller girl groups. With that said, the video is very pretty. I guess that's all I can say for it. The song isn't my style. The chorus is kinda fun for what it is, but considering I'm not knocked out by the vocals, I don't really feel bothered to keep listening. What I said about too much sweetness? I'm getting those vibes again. Also -- these girls could not have less chemistry together if they tried.
Mike (1/5): Who are these girls? Is this the same band that released “One More Time” (AKA that song that slayed all your faves)? If so, I’m really disappointed. This is so boring.
Nikki (3.4/5): When the teaser for this came out I was actually quite excited, because it looked like the girls could really sing. The full song came out, and although they can hold a melody, their vocals are so boring and one-dimensional, and the melody of the chorus does nothing to help. It's not bad or anything, it's just really, really boring. I mean it's an interesting arrangement and a good idea, plus it sounds a lot like something Core Contents would release for SeeYa (if they were still around) or Davichi, but the reason why it works for Core Contents acts is because majority of them have these huge voices that explode with the song. I mean hello, Haeri alone is enough to carry a song like this. But you see, Jewelry S don't have that kind of voices, so the song just goes on and on and on in a straight line. Not good.
rcLoy (3.5/5): Oh god, why do the chorus have to spoil the song? I like the verse enough so I was hoping for it to break into some heartbreaking melodramatic big anthemic chorus but it went the opposite way. I lost my interest there and then. Disappointed.
Davichi - Don't Say Goodbye
Davichi! After venturing into other fields such as musicals (Haeri starred in "Tears of Heaven" with JYJ's Junsu), they're back to releasing material as a duo. The single has been a huge success, and they've been winning music shows! Yayyy!
Elvin (4.5/5): This is beautiful, a prominent drum beat over cut with a lovely piano melody. Awesome slice of Korean balladry. Also, the girl has a beautiful vocal to boot.
McRoth (3.5/5): Okay, before I say anything, let me just put it out there that I know how freakishly talented this group is, especially for Kpop standards. They slay on the vocal fronts, no questions about it. Lee Haeri, oh my god, may I take your voice in marriage? Davichi's had amazing hits in the past and they deserve all the recent attention for obvious reasons. That being said, I am not in love with this song. If you're an old-school Kpop listener, or have been listening to Kpop as long as I have, you've heard quite a number of pop ballads in your day. To me, this is just another one to add to the growing pile of melodramatic Kpop ballads. There's very little actual magic happening in this song, and as far as Davichi goes, this isn't their strongest comeback single. Not by a long shot. It's good, they sound great, but there's nothing all that special about it. And dare I say...it's a little boring? Hm. Just to make things clear, I'm not knocking Davichi. I'm knocking the song.
Mel (3/5): Although I don't keep up with them much, I truly appreciate Davichi for their vocal chops. On vocals alone, they really REALLY stand out against a backdrop of pretty girls with alright voices in the Idol World. I'm just not a big ballad person, which translates to me not being over-the-moon for them, despite their incredible talents. The song is gorgeous. I wish it had a bit more urgency to it, but perhaps part of its prettiness is its simplicity. Since it lacks some oomph (save for a more than a little disturbing video), it's easy for me to feel sleepy through it. I wish I wasn't. I really do. Why can't we give these girls a sweet midtempo that really shows off what they can vocally? Can we agree on that much?
Mike (4/5): At first I thought this was a song for Korean housewives but the melodramatic ballad is a grower and reminds me of the theme song for Inuyasha. The video is particularly amazing even though I can’t understand it. Is she a ghost? A criminal? Someone please explain!
Nikki (4.2/5): The drums at the beginning remind me so much of JYJ's "Long Way" (and I ADORE that song), so that's an instant pass for me! Add in Davichi's gorgeous vocals, screaming or not, a pretty melody and a very tight arrangement with strong production and you have a brilliant song. Tasteful strings are always a bonus for me, and I like how even at the end the two girls don't let go and start screeching like chickens.
rcLoy (4/5): 1st thing I notice. The chorus sound so familiar, I'm not sure whether it is that good or I've heard it somewhere. Still, it's a very warm and lovely song. The female vocal is very complimentary and and this is the 1st auto-tuned free song. Woots. Thumb down on the MV's plot -.-"
Brown Eyed Girls - Hot Shot
While we were waiting for "Sixth Sense" (which we'll get to eventually!) we put "Hot Shot" on the list anyway. The song had a short video released a while back, but the track was cut.
Elvin (4.5/5): This is certainly a nice, welcomed change up from the electro-pop and/or ballad norm. Exuding a fiery ball-room esque aura--blustery horns, jaunty piano chords, dramatic drums--It's brilliant--even to the "keep the change" outro at the end.
McRoth (4.6/5): Oh my. If it isn't my favorite girl group of the year - or one of them, at least - Whew! I'm currently working on a full Brown Eyed Girls review for their recent album, so I'll hold off on saying too much. If anything, these ladies know what shapes inspiration come in and know how to take global sounds and incorporate them flawlessly into their music. The Brown Eyed Girls understand pop music, but they also hear how they can inject flavor, and that's an attribute of paramount significance. "Hot Shot" is a spicy little number. I enjoy the depth of the instrumental, and something about Ga-in's voice paired with this style works so well for me. I loved the male interjections. It added extra dimension to the vocals, as well as making it clear that its BEG in charge of the whole song and nobody else. Work it, ladies!
Mel (4.4/5): DSLFjdsklfjadsklfja. Is that a word? I'm trademarking it. I enjoy the Brown Eyed Girls because, although they may be the sonic anthethesis to 2NE1 (my other fave girl group in the market), they take take risks and push boundaries in terms of what is considered "cool". Brown Eyed Girls don't particularly care about what is trendy. They make music that inspires THEM. Add to that all four of them frighteningly likeable and incredibly talented. It's the makings of a monster. "Hot Shot" is interesting on two levels: vocally, complete with melismas (touche!) and riffs, and sonically. I'm loving this obsession with new types of sounds. It's musical growth in the best way. After hearing the rest of the album, it's clear "Hot Shot" isn't the strongest cut, but it's still immensely entertaining. This era is quickly proving that once they take a song, they put their stamp on it so that when you hear it, you know without a shadow of a doubt, it's BEG. In a world where so much is too generic and could literally be passed around to whatever Idol is handy, Brown Eyed Girls choose instead to make a statement. YES.
Mike (0/5): These flops should retire. Miss A and Girl’s Day have snatched their cheap rayon wigs.
Nikki (3.9/5): "Hot Shot" is an okay song, and I do like the melody, but the "idols trying not to be idols but end up sounding like everyone else who don't want to sound like idols, bringing them back to square one" sound is just not my type. It's a very well-done song though, I'll give it that - tight arrangement, strong production, and outstanding vocals courtesy of the group. Not a bad song, just not my type.
rcLoy (3.5/5): Is this a song for an advertisement for a popular product that they are going to promote? It sound like a good song for a scooter commercial. Them riding the scooter around everywhere, in this case the destination would be everywhere around Europe. Why? I have no idea.
JYJ - Get Out
JYJ's BIG Korean comeback reached a new height with the release of the video for "Get Out", and fangirls everywhere have been freaking out since then. This was also the first new recording revealed prior to the formal release of "IN HEAVEN". No one's sure if they'll be allowed on to music shows yet, though.
Elvin (4/5): This is wonderfully dramatic. The verses laced with poingnant piano keys and warbling underpinning synth chords, all an awesome build up to the climatic, firery chorus. You can't go wrong with a dramatic key-change towards the end to add to the dramatic atomospherics of things. The resemblance between the lead singer and American pop singer Jesse McCartney is uncanny.
McRoth (4/5): This song is really well done, especially for a group that's riding solo without crazy expensive producers. It's definitely JYJ. Something about the melodramatic arrangement rings bells of their 'Essay' release. That aside, there are a few iffy moments in this song I have to point out. Yoochun, for one, needs to step out of that awkward octave. Does he always sound that whiny? He sounds way better at the ends of his turn in the chorus, but man, work on finding your footing in the harmonies. And speaking of whiny - Jaejoong, you're sounding extra nasally here and it throws off parts of the melody for me. Junsu, keep doing what you're doing (obvious favorite, much?) Overall, not bad. Now, if only I could hear this live...
Mel (4.3/5): Can I share something with you all? The first time I heard "Get Out" I was on the Subway train. It starts off soft, subtle, twinkly, and I remember getting a little put off. For once, couldn't JYJ do something that was smack-you-over-the-head in-your-face EXCITING with their beautiful voices? We get it, you can sing, but you don't have to be gorgeous with melodrama all of the damn time. You're supposedly so happy, why not show it? Then the song started to cook up, and by the time we hit the chorus, I was almost hysterical. Truth be told -- the main thought behind this song is the EPITOME of cliche. When you delve beyond that, the song is literally a serving platter of all of the incredible things Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu can do and is proof positive of why they are so talented. If this had an English equivilant, it would have been a stellar Stateside debut (complete with the "F*ck You!" at the end). I pray for its success, and for people to give it (and them) the chance they deserve.
Mike (2/5): Are these the ugly boys that were rejected by Infinite? Probably. I like some of their dance moves but the song is dire. Give up music and move into gay porn. They have lower standards.
Nikki (4.5/5): Did Elvin just compare my beloved Jaejoong to Jesse McCartney? The nerve! LOL. But anyway. I have a love-hate relationship with "Get Out" - when I first heard it I wasn't that big on it, but by the time the video came out I was all over it. It's the type of song that takes a very good quality version and weeks of listening to actually like, because that's just the way it was written. The strength of "Get Out" is in all those little details and slight changes in dynamics - it's not a song you can just passively listen to, you really have to pay attention to every single little detail to appreciate it.
rcLoy (3/5): What happened to the infamous vocal harmony? They sound like they're losing their voice in this song. The song is pretty decent but I have an issue with the chorus. "Ayyy" and "Ho", seriously?. It reminds me of some R&B song from the 90s. Not sure that's a good thing. It sounds kinda dated. C'mon, you guys can do better than this.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand the winner is... *insert canned drumroll*
With a score of 26.8!!!
But that's not all we have for you guys this week! While we're catching up on lost time, the tree permanent panelists, Mel, McRoth and Nikki, each chose two songs released between November 2010 and June 2011-ish to add to this week's big comeback. Since we can't exactly recap every single major release this past year, this will have to do!
SM The Ballad - Hot Times (November 2010)
So this was SM's shot at a "project group", so to say - with SHINee's Jonghyun, Super Junior's Kyuhyun, TRAX's Jay, and new guy/trainee Jino. Basically they were all of SM's so-called "ballad singers" thrown into one group, hence the name.
Elvin (5/5): You can never go wrong with some slick old school '90s throwback R&B. This is fantastic! I think, my favourite out of them all. It has that awesome Babyface-reminiscent production. It sounds a little like Kelly Price's "You Should've Told Me." This is what my iPods been missing.
McRoth (5/5): My body is ready...oh, did I just that out loud? Pardon my lewd commentary, especially to the kids in the room. I just can't help myself when I hear several of my biases (there goes that word again) in one song. And screaming their fucking heads off for that matter. Oh Jesus Christ on a cross, Jonghyun...Jonghyun the way you...oh Blessed Virgin Mary, help me...the way you nail that piercing note at the end, I swear angels have fallen from the sky every single time you've hit it. I'm not going to lie, there are times when I can't even bear listening to this song because it's way too intense for my poor little heart to handle. But that doesn't take away from the sheer power and magnitude of talent within this quartet. You may be screaming, but it's pretty screaming, and for that, I give all of you golden stars. FIVE OF THEM.
Mel (5/5): I may be the Champion for all things Dirty Beats but throw me a Baby Makin' Jam by boys who can really sang and I'm all about it, buddy. A part of me was a little upset at this "super-group" at first, since it 1) left out my future husband in Shim Changmin, 2) chose Kyuhyun from SuJu over Yesung (excuse you?), but in the end, all was forgiven in a simple few moments with "Hot Times." This is the kind of thing that if they released it in English, it would get them noticed. Probably just in a "Good Morning America" brief spotlight special, but noticed all the same. It's impossible to listen to and not gush over it. If only they could recreate this for me at SMTown New York in a few weeks. Please?
Mike (3.5/5): So this is some kind of super group comprised of singers from other bands? Whatever. I love their faux R&B sound and they can actually sing. So I’m on board.
Nikki (5/5): Brilliance. If butter had a sound, this song would be it. It's similar to "Before You Go" (which we're talking about later!) but HoMin's vocals are much more aggressive and gutsy - SM The Ballad just make the song so, so smooth. And the fact that they can all actually sing, no excuses or anything, even if sometimes they over sing - I'm speechless. That stunning melody, a really quaint and apt instrumental and gorgeous harmonies that make me want to cry, need I ask for more?
rcLoy (4/5): I remember Hot Times being at Top 10 of Nikki's Best of 2010 list. Am I right? (I did some "research" just to be sure, LOL. #8) With Kyuhyun my love, as a member, there can be no wrong. Well, as long as the kid from SHINee don't go all diva with his vocal. Pretty amazing vocal work from everyone.
KARA - Jumping (November 2010)
With KARA in Japan during that time, "Jumping" was the single they promoted (almost) simultaneously in Korea AND Japan. The Japan release came first, followed by the Korean version, which they did do promo for.
Elvin (2/5): They're in low cut shirts and short skirts, which is more than enough to "cover up" for the fact that this song sucks.
McRoth (3.5/5): Didn't we hear this two minutes ago? Oh, right, it's the archetype to "Step." There goes that weak middle eight I was talking about, but in their defense, the one here KIND OF sounds suspenseful. I like the chorus in this song. The melody, to be precise. The pre-chorus works nicely, does its job, etc. I just wish the instrumental was a little more interesting. And stop repeating the word "you". It's driving me crazy!
Mel (2/5): As I said prior, I do like Kara, but this song is shows literally nothing in terms of what they can do. It was fun for what it was, but it simply pales in comparison to their other (better) material.
Mike (3/5): Isn’t this really old? I think we actually reviewed it on a Pop Panel earlier in the year but I might be dreaming. It’s ok but these girls are a bit generic and so is their music.
Nikki (4.7/5): Even if I like "Step", I'm afraid I'd take "Jumping" over it any day. The production is much more solid, and although it still kinda is a gazillion synth lines thrown all together, dynamics still exist in the song. It also has a lot more punch and conviction, and I'm all for that. The melody is gorgeous too - it's catchy enough to get your attention, but it's still melodious enough to actually sound nice. The pseudo-middle 8/break down is gorgeous too - it's not a complete deviation from the rest of the song, but it's enough variety to keep you on your toes. I can't believe the song's just a little under 3 minutes though.
rcLoy (4.5/5): Why aren't they jumping in this video? :/ Anyway, the synths sounds like it come from some Nintendo games which is a plus for me. It sound kinda retro yet current with all those electronic beats. Fresh, fresh, fresh! Wow, I would never thought I would say this but KARA have it in them.
BEAST - You (May 2011)
"You" is the fourth track off B2ST's 2011 full length album, 'Fiction & Fact.' It wasn't a single, but the boys performed it for a special good-bye stage after winning a slew of awards.
Elvin (4/5): Lovely melody, poignant piano keys, almost reminiscent of Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are." Did really need a rapped section? I think an orchestral instrumental would have fitted perfectly. What an awkward Korean trend.
McRoth (5/5): If this isn't the serenade of the year, I don't know what is. This song is gorgeous. This entire album is fucking beautiful and there has yet to be an album to top it for Kpop album of the year. B2ST have come so far and grown so much, that I'm going to cry my eyes out just thinking of how they turned me from a disbeliever into a die-hard fanatic. As I've said before, B2ST is the little boy-band that could. This song as well as their 2011 album is an example of what a proper, cohesive, well producer, well contained album is supposed to sound like, and now that they have it under their belt, no one can take that away from them. Cube doesn't release the best material on earth ::cough:: 4Minute ::cough:: but B2ST have definitely won them some major brownie points this year. This song showcases every member in a good light. Yoseob, you can sing to me any day of the week, any hour of the day...just bring Dongwoon with you.
Mel (2/5): Don't get me wrong. I like B2ST. I really, really do. I just don't see what all the fuss for this album was about. I tried to get into it, I sincerely did. I guess it's just not for me. I'll take any of their prior uptempos over this anyday.
Mike (0/5): Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Nikki (4.5/5): Gorgeous, gorgeous melody. This is what BEAST got right on "Fiction and Fact" - the melodies. Yeah sure a fancy instrumentation is nice too, but once the technology becomes obsolete, so does the song - a strong melody will transcend time. Think about it, which parts of hit songs do people remember the most, even years after? It's the melody. That's what really stands out on this song as well, all the other parts, although still very much visible, are toned down in contrast to the melody. And what makes it even better is the fact that the guys can actually sing these songs - it doesn't sound forced or cheap or whatever - the melodies really match and bring out their pretty vocals.
rcLoy (4.5/5): Oh my, how have BEAST matured over the year. This is just so sweet. I love how they're not stretching their vocals here. It's a lite upbeat pop song that deserve to be sing delicately. Listening to this makes me want to be in a relationship with someone :)
2NE1 - I Am The Best (June 2011)
This summer, girl group 2NE1 released "I Am The Best" as a digital single in advance to the release of their second mini-album. They promoted it all summer long, and probably tamed a few Rattatas while they were at it.
Elvin (3/5): The throttling opening electronic synths are very 'Swagger Jagger' like, as the beats collide, evaporating into a 'Fergalicious' like venture. It's interesting in the same sense as Lady Gaga's "Government Hooker" is interesting... But not something I'd willingly listen to.
McRoth (3.9/5): It's 2NE1 attempting to resurrect "Fire," and in some ways they succeed, while they completely drop the ball in others. First thing's first: I have to admit I am a sucker for crazy up tempo tracks, especially of the YG variety, and this one happened to grown on me. You can definitely tell the compression is cranked to an all time high the way the synths pulse in and out (not to mention the ZERO attack in the kick that DJ's love, blah blah blah- the fuck, Teddy?). YG in general has an issue with making everything extremely loud, and this song is the perfect example. But as far as style is concerned, I'm thoroughly convinced and amused. It's so club-anthem-esque. The verses cater perfectly to the 'I'm on my tenth beer, where are my shoes, let's hit the fucking club already, hubbawwngnnhh dahenhgkabhgl' crowd. You have to be under the influence to appreciate the disjointedness of this song. As a whole, I enjoy the energy. It tries really hard at times, but if anything really bugs me, it's the chorus. It ISN'T a chorus, and that's where this song falls short for me. Their outfits look cool, though...
Mel (3.5/5): I was utterly in love with this when it first came out, but after having the full record, my obsession seemed to wane. In comparison, the rest of the tracks really helped fan the flame that 2NE1 is a force to be reckoned with, while "I Am the Best" kind of continued this stereotype associated with them that they are all about the whizzes and the bangs (gee, thanks Teddy). Not completely complaining, because in terms of a party setting (and you're in the right mood), 2NE1 brings it with the nonsense jams. Bom a ratatatat, ta ta ta ta TAH bitch.
Mike (1/5): Why are we reviewing these flops when stunning talents like LPG and INY have new songs? Great video, shame about the song.
Nikki (2.4/5): Was never a big fan of this, and I highly doubt I ever will be. 2NE1 are fine, they have talent and stage presence and I liked some of their stuff, but I'm not the type to gobble up everything they put up. The chorus is really annoying, with everything going on - the chanting, the synths, the loops - and the verses are overpowered by those annoying synths. And the middle 8. I can't. If you really think about it and listen really well, the song isn't that bad, the verses are actually okay, but if you listen to it in passing it's just a mess of annoying things thrown together into one song. I think I'm getting a headache now.
rcLoy (5/5): Naega jeil jal naga (X4), Je je jeil jal naga. Bam Ratatata Tatatatata (x4) OMG. SOLD.
DBSK - Before U Go (March 2011)
The Yoo Young Jin-penned lead single off the repackaged version of Yunho and Changmin's big Korean comeback! Huge success, both in and out of the fandom.
Elvin (5/5): This is brilliant! A churning R&B slow jam, seductivley constructed down to the intricate chereorgraphy in it's accompanying video. Great to hear something thats not the general electro-pop stab at a party anthem. This is awesome! I think I finally understand the obsession fathomed by both Nikki and Mel.
McRoth (4.8/5): Man, is this sexy or is this sexy? Babies are probably being made to this song as we speak. I'm giving this song the same score I gave it when I first reviewed it because I still stand by what I said, which is that there’s a certain soulfulness that goes hand in hand with these songs, and I’m not completely getting that from TVXQ. They sound perfect and I'm gradually drifting to Homin's music over JYJ's based on song quality alone, because "Before You Go" is just gorgeous. But this is clearly a boy band singing an R&B song rather than an R&B ensemble singing R&B, and it's not easy satisfying me in that respect, so .2 points deducted for not having the 'black' voices of two soulful men. Yeah, I went there.
Mel (5/5): Backstreet Boys references? HOW DARE YOU! Anything less than 5 and I DOTH PROTEST IT. So many people's main complaint about 2!VXQ was this fear that what made the Rising Gods of the East so god-like was their ability to harmonize on epic ballads. So what does SM do? Sex it up, and release one of the best Baby Makin' Songs Korea has unearthed in a LONG time. My Ultimate Bias singing a sexy slow jam? Already winning. Epic Changmin Wails included? Check, please -- Minnie and I will be taking our meal to go. We have a hotel room waiting, kthanks.
Mike (3/5): These peacocks are a bit Backstreet Boys but I like their moves and the song is slinky and sexy. Perhaps it’s a grower.
Nikki (5/5): This was the song that made me literally worship the ground Yoo Young Jin walks on - my God is this stunning. I remember freaking out with Mel and another Cassie friend when this came out, and how we were all puddles of unidentifiable goo. Gorgeous verses that lead to a stunning chorus that you can't not drool and/or melt over. I mean, really, the percussion that literally makes your heart beat double-time, the outstanding production, the strong, gutsy but smooth vocals, and that middle 8 that consisted of Changmin screaming - if this doesn't make you smile like a mad person by the end, I don't know what will.
rcLoy (4/5): This is mothereffin sexy. I must say this 2/5 of DBSK is better than the rest 3/5 I reviewed just now :/ Somehow this reminds me of what something Usher would release. Wait, doesn't the slow sexy beats reminds you of Ciara's Promise or J Holiday's Bed? Hm.. one thing I found to be very annoying =.=" Changmin's screaming vocal. *cringe*
MBLAQ - Mona Lisa (July 2011)
I can't believe they're not rookies anymore! Time flies so fast. MBLAQ's pseudo-big transformation, which was very positively received.
Elvin (2/5): The Spanish guitar backing is about the only remotely interesting about this rather bland number. (sorry Mel)
McRoth (4.7/5): My how far MBLAQ have come. It took them two years, but they have finally caught up to speed with B2ST. Okay, maybe not, but they sure made me proud with this song/mini album. "Mona Lisa" is what MBLAQ SHOULD have debuted with, rather than with that god-awful "Oh Yeah!" which takes the cake as one of my least favorite debut singles in the history of debut singles. This on the other hand is well thought out. It's inspired and correlates well with MBLAQ's style. I really like the drums and the smooth transitions between verses. I just hope MBLAQ can keep this momentum going, regardless of the awards they're not winning, because this fits them really well, and above all, it's high-quality pop music...I never thought those words would come out of my mouth...
Mel (4.2/5): The fact that I liked "Mona Lisa" so much alone is testament to MBLAQ themselves. I'll be completely honest in that I tended to get them and U-Kiss confused -- mostly because I found them both to be irrelevant and irritating. Present day for both groups is helping change my mind, but in terms of the battle for who's better, I'm throwing the points to the boys in the BLAQ. Spanish guitars? Hellllllllo, nurse.
Mike (4/5): Why is that guy wearing a dress and tights? I’m glad Korea is so open to cross-dressers. “Mona Lisa” is a hot tune. I like the sample and they have a fresh sound. I’d like to hear more.
Nikki (4.5/5): Good pop music. FINALLY MBLAQ, you've come to your senses! Of course we had to go through "Oh Yeah" and whatever else was in between, and they weren't very pretty, but finally you give us a decent song! The non-existent live vocals are still a big issue for me, BUT THIS IS PROGRESS MBLAQ, PROGRESS! Maybe now we can work on your vocals? But anyway. I echo McRoth when I say that they should've just debuted with this and be done with it, at least they'd have a chance against BEAST! Strong production, a catchy melody, and a lot of punch. That's more like it, MBLAQ!
rcLoy (4/5): The heavy tango influence reminds me of GaIn's Irreversible (another awesome song). But from their debut, "Oh Yeah" to this. I must say they really upgraded themselves properly this time. Solid effort. And did I hear accordion in this song? Hm. I'm not sure whether I find that to be wacky or just random. HAHA.
Phew. That was long! Comments, objections, spazzing sessions? Leave them all in the comments section! We'll be back to the regular 5 songs next week, fingers crossed!