2018 Kpop Song Reviews #3 (Chungha, Sunmi, Jimin and more)

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Chungha

Chungha – Rollercoaster

 

The Good

Kickass chorus – It’s basically just a sped-up version of Blackpink’s “As If It’s Your Last” but my god what a chorus it was. Even if I pretend that the verses aren’t good enough (which surprisingly are okay), at least I get to be surprised by the exciting chorus. The beat, melody are very addicting and…okay maybe the instrumental part after the main refrain is a little bit overcrowded but nevertheless, a kickass chorus.

Great bridge –  What amazed me the most is that this song is completely trap-free (not that it would probably work anyway as the song is way too fast). Instead of completely using a trap beat after the first chorus (like every single goddamn Kpop songs out there…), the instrumentals are laid back but the beat kept going without breaking the tempo which then transitions well into the second verse. 

Cool chimes – The chimes in the verses actually sounds kinda cool, probably because it follows the chord progressions of the song and doesn’t sound too obnoxious throughout the song. 

The Bad

Overcrowded sounds – Like most of BlackEyed Pilseung’s work, most of the song is way too overcrowded sonically. However, this is minor when the song is too good for the complain. 

Being one of the top female idol in Korean Pop, I was skeptical at first about Chungha’s comeback. After all, most of the songs that I tend to like more came from the lesser known idols and vice versa. However, not this time for once.

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Sunmi – Heroine

The Good

Decent beat – There is some competent beat in the verse but that’s just it for the goodness of the song. At least it’s not Gashina’s Trop House beat again…well not completely.

Song title – Sneaking the name of a drug are we? Clever.

The Bad

Millennial-style hook – There’s no interesting melody here whatsoever but is instead replaced with boring and tacky millennial style hook in the build-up to the instrumental chorus.

Trop House chorus – Not completely ditching “Gashina”, the writer decided to only include the uninteresting Trop House-style instrumental melody in the chorus.

The song is absolutely pretentious. It’s sounds like one of those “artful” songs designed for “empowerment” but lacking the ‘punch’ to the substance. It’s even more pretentious that this is the song that will get popular anyway just because it got Sunmi’s name it. Believe me, the power of bandwagon-ing and brand name are really that powerful. 

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Migyo – Nevertheless

The Good

None that I could think of

The Bad

YOB – Your ordinary ballad.

Apparently Migyo was popular on social media and then decided to debut mainstream but I highly doubt she could follows up well in the future with a ballad that just so many had already done in the past. Nevertheless, try again.

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Jimin (AOA) – Hey

The Good

Catchphrase!Well, as Reinhardt would put it…

The Bad

Pretty boring – The beat is pretty tame and Jimin herself doesn’t bring much to the table aside from chanting “Hey!”

This song is obviously cashing in on Jimin’s persona and while I’m in on this catchphrase game (afterall, pop culture is all about the ‘catchiness’), this song is a missed opportunity for Jimin. The song is way too bland and uninteresting that it just makes it more redundant when I can just listen to Jimin’s “Hey!” over and over again on any other AOA’s songs.

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 Girlkind – Fanci

The Good

Dynamics – The song has quieter verses but louder chorus (except the vocals where’s it’s equally loud all the time) which makes hearing the song refreshing instead of wading through the loudness of the song all the time.

Decent textures – Although they were greatly misused, the instrumentals textures are decent. 

The Bad

Bland – The song lacks in melody but it is instead replaced with bland chanting in the chorus. Moreover, the song feels flat and kind of ‘rhythmless’ throughout of it.

Taking the cue from Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy“, the song is just as equally awful and flat. It’s the kind of songs that would impressed bratty 13 year old girls but sounds pretentious to everybody else…well to me at least.

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TheEastLight – Real Man

The Good

None that I could think of

The Bad

Misleading intro – The repeating keyboard had me fooled into thinking it would lead into 80s style synthpop for about two seconds until the funky riff drops and that was just it.

Lacking in melody – There’s really no catchiness here as it was all replaced by ‘smooth’ vocals which are actually cringey especially when sung by teenage boys trying to way too hard to charm out the ladies.

I’m guessing that TheEastLight are maturing somewhat so they came out with this  funk attempt at trying to smooth out the ladies. I’m not sure what these boys wanted to do when they form a teenage band but boys around me used to wanted to do some heavy metal rocking at the same age as them. Still, at least TheEastLight aren’t completely awful band. 

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Double K, Flowsik, Killagramz, Vandal Rock – Sway

The Good

Competent beat – Despite the slow trap beat in the verse (which always equals bad most of the time), the hard-hitting percussion along with the chiming(?) sound actually makes it more competent.

Listenable raps – The rap verses sounds like a real rap this time rather than mumbles like what I would expect from this type of beat.

The Bad

Weak pre-verse and chorus – The verses are decent but once Killagramz (the fatty one with the funny autotune voice) drops in, it was all over until the next verse. His part is too ordinary and doesn’t have that ‘oomph’ feel to it. The instrumental chorus isn’t better either as even though it uses the hard-sounding brass keyboard to ‘oomph’ the song, it feels awkward and flat.

I give this a ‘totally listenable’ rating just because the trap beat is a bit competent. Just imagine if they take out every interesting sounds here and turn it into a better rap track.

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Jang Wooyoung (2PM) – Party Shots

The Good

Decent instrumentals – The beat and the instrumentals are rocking enough to be a dancefloor invitation.

Drunk Wooyoung – Watching Wooyoung in the video is incredibly amusing.

The Bad

Trap section – See what I mean? It totally breaks down the tempo in the middle of the song.

Wooyoung cued back to the early 2010s when the biggest music was basically crafted by people drunk off their arse in parties. Honestly, it’s a litle fun and not bad but I would have preferred something with a bit more ‘punch’ to it. 

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Jang Wooyoung (2PM) – Snap!

The Good

Acoustic guitar – Decent guitar and chord progressions in it.

The Bad

Bland – This song feels nice but that’s also a problem, it’s way too nice that it also feels bland. I’m sure I could get a small hint of catchy melody here but it’s probably not enough to even pass ‘decent’ anyway.

On the other hand, sober Wooyoung is a little boring and ordinary. I give some credit to this song though just because the acoustic guitar sounds sound not too ordinary.

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JBJ – My Flower

The Good

None that I could think of

The Bad

Trop House – Some Trop House songs are good but most of the time it’s ‘ughh this again with the crappy beat and the uninteresting instrumental melody in it’.

The Ugly

Dab – This trend also needs to die out quickly. 

Trendy music actually worth less the effort because once you get the basic template right, there’s really no need to add in or change in some elements to make it more interesting or complex. Bandwagoners would still buy it anyway in the end just for the trend. 

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Sons Of Tiger – Roar Out

The Good

None that I could think of

The Bad

Not actually that rocking- I mean, ‘roaring’- Combining ZZ Top-styled riffs along with the The White Stripes-styled vocals just feels cringey and not really that rocking.

Here’s an example of a rock band that tries way too hard to rock out their gig but sounds really wimpy with the wrong scales, riffs and charisma.


That is all for the reviews in this post. 

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