[album review] Beast’s Fiction and Fact

Beast is the one idol group whose comeback I always look forward to because it’s really amazing watching them improve with every new release. Back with their first full album Fiction and Fact, they continue to showcase the mellow side that we’ve seen in their previous effort Lights Go on Again while still maintaining the energy that makes them so quintessentially them.

And uh, yeah, I’m back too. 🙂

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You know how when you’re obsessed with K-pop, you spend a load of time thinking about things that really shouldn’t take up too much of your brain space?


Will we ever get to hear what Kiseop’s singing voice sounds like? Is it just really that bad or is it so mind-blowingly amazing that they have to keep it hush-hush so Soohyun and Kevin don’t feel bad?

Will 4Minute and their overtly sexual image ever catch a break?

Will CN Blue ever promote a song that doesn’t involve doo-wahs and dah-dee-doos?

Will Taeyang ever rock a different hairstyle?

And most importantly…will Kaye ever review anything again?

At least you can be sure of one thing:

Yes, I’ll be back. 🙂

[mini-album review] Dalmatian’s First Mini-album

Aaaand I’m back! I know the bulk of you come here to get my take on K-pop releases so you’ll have to forgive my exultation – I’m officially finished with higher education. As MBLAQ would say, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!”

Dalmatian‘s first mini-album has been out for quite some time but I’ve been working on this review and it’s a shame not to use it, especially given how much I lalalalove the album. Seriously, if you weren’t on the Dalmatian train since Round One (and honestly, I would not blame you if you weren’t), you better be now because this album is awesome.

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[debut] Coin Jackson’s Feedback

If you are a debuting group, I would highly discourage you from doing two things: inventing your own genre and claiming to be Asia’s…anything. Seriously, don’t do it.

Six-member girl group Coin Jackson, self-proclaimed “Asia’s first hip hop-capella group” (hip hop-capella is apparently a portmaneu hip hop and acapella – it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure it out but I just really wanted to use the word ‘portmaneu’),  just revealed the MV for their debut single Feedback and ground-breaking, it certainly ‘aint. There’s something seriously iffy about the structure of the song and I hate hate HATE this thing that some female rappers do, where they adopt this sort nasal, squeaky voice when they rap, in the mistaken belief that it makes them sound more hardcore or something (Zinger of Secret is guilty of this, so is Hyuna of 4Minute).

The song itself is actually not that bad. As far as I can tell, there are some pretty stellar vocalists in the group. The beat is kind of infectious, and it kind of reminds me of the sort of stuff CSJH used to do, back when SME let them out of the basement. Which brings us to what I was talking about earlier.

I find it extremely funny when companies try to invent their own genre because it’s so trying hard to be innovative. When the listeners go, “Dude, wtf is this?” the people involved in the production can just go, “It’s hip hop-capella! It’s a new genre!” I may not know my hip-hop, but I certainly know my acapella and that was not acapella at all. Personally, I’d find it a lot less irritating if they just owned up to the fact that they’re riding the electro-hip hop-pop hybrid wave that everyone else is on instead of trying to pass it up as new and funky fresh.

As for being representative of Asia, I’m not buying it until I see a group composed of members from all the countries in the continent, Turkmenistan included (the Middle East is Asian!) Y’all better be recognizing the fact that the entirety of Asia, Korea does not make.

Your love plus my love = Supa Love

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my stint as a K-pop fan, it’s to never judge an idol group by their name. Despite the fact that I find “Teen Top” a cause to snort with derision (what’s going to happen when they hit their 20’s? Are they going to be Young Adult Top?) their brand spanking new song Supa Love is seriously stuck in my head. Seriously – I find myself singing along in the shower and every time it comes up in my playlist, I find myself wiggling in my seat.

The lead singer’s voice is a little too Justin Bieber for my taste but I don’t really mind all that much. It’s a great pop song, catchy without being too annoying, and there’s something about the way the rap flows that I find very interesting.

On a purely aesthetic level though, OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THIS HAIR?? It’s not the worst concept I’ve seen but I feel like you can get that sci-fi feel without having to give them identical, two-toned bowlcuts. The choreography is pretty cool though; it goes well with the concept and I’m not even laughing about the fact that one of their hook moves is basically an update of the sprinkler.

I don’t know how many of you actually care, but the reason why I haven’t been around as much is because I’m on my second (last!) semester of university and all of my subjects are asking for final papers, all to be passed at the end of the month or the beginning of February. Crazy shit, man. But I’ll definitely still be posting. Toodles!

Song of the Day

God, has it really been that long since my last post? In my defense, the internet was down through the entirety of my Christmas vacation, though I suppose that it’s really no excuse.

While I’m not a particularly big fan of Big Bang or hip-hop, any song that can make me subconsciously bob my head is good in my book, and that’s what GD & TOP’s Knock Out is. The beat is just so incredibly addicting – the song’s been on loop for something like 15 minutes and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet!

G-Dragon and TOP is really a winning combination. I particularly like the interplay of the former’s wild, playful style (in dress and in rapping) to the latter’s more subdued swagger. I’ve given the entire album a listen and the fact that they pretty much wrote the whole thing is a testament to their talent. Mad respect, you guys, perfect way to start 2011 even if technically, the album dropped in 2010.

I think I’m in love

Currently experiencing an eargasm of sorts due to the absolute brilliance that is SM the Ballad. Whoever thought of taking Jonghyun, Jay Kim, and Kyuhyun (THAT IS THREE OUT OF MY FIVE FAVORITE MALE SM-BASED VOCALISTS RIGHT THERE), and sticking them into a group together needs to get a raise.

I wasn’t particularly worried about Jino – SME isn’t stupid, they’re not going to stick an unknown into a group of stellar vocalists without making sure that he can hold his own – I was actually more worried that the album was either going to be extremely boring (as many Korean ballads are) or one of those competitions where they try and see who can hold the high note the longest without getting an aneurysm. Neither is the case, thankfully. All the songs are deliciously melodic, each definitely worth more than just one listen.

I’m in a bit of a writing slump, which I suppose is really unprofessional of me, so I apologize for that and for leaving the blog un-updated for so long. I know I’ve got a few regulars reading this blog so kudos to you guys, many thanks for keeping up in spite of my erratic posting schedule. I’ve done a collaboration piece with Arie J of Earcandy Express on Beast’s Lights Go On Again mini-album so you should watch out for that. 🙂