I’m happy to report that my finals for the first semester are finally over! Hurrah! I’m on a three-week long break at the moment, which means that I’ll be able to update this old thing a little more regularly from now on.
Quite a few idols have made their comebacks and debuts in my absence so I thought that I’d just do a quick review of 2ne1, SHINee, B2st, Miss A, and U-Kiss’s new releases under the cut. Where’s 2PM, you ask? I’ll be posting a full review by this weekend since it hasn’t been that long since their mini album dropped.
2ne1’s To Anyone. Go Away is probably my favorite out of the girls’s three promotional songs – don’t you just want to yell out the chorus while you drive with the windows rolled down? I do, and I probably would if I knew how to drive. As a techno-electronica album, it’s not bad but considering the hype for it, I’m a bit underwhelmed. I absolutely HATE Dara’s bridge in Clap Your Hands – it feels so out of place, especially since it follows CL and Minzy’s rather strong rapping – and I only really like Go Away, Slow and the reggae version of I Don’t Care.
SHINee’s Hello Repackage. I’m not wild about the three new songs, truth be told. I like Hello but that’s probably because the MV is just so gosh darn cute. I’m a little hard to please (I think?) but I honestly could not stop smiling throughout the entire MV. What I’m absolutely certain I do like is the fact that Taemin and Minho are singing and they’re singing very well! It’s just blowing my mind here, as I’ve always pegged Minho as a lost cause when it comes to actual vocal prowess. In that aspect at least, bravo, SME.
B2st’s Mastermind. I think this is their strongest promotional track to date. From Junhyung’s rapping to Dongwoon’s opening note, to Yoseob’s 8-second high note…just. Amazing, man. The structure is a little iffy, and of course I still believe that their intro songs are good enough to not be intro songs (and I certainly hope that someone from Cube is reading this because I want – no, demand a full version of Mastermind, thank you very much. I swear, according to my iTunes, it’s got the most plays from the album). The album is not bad either though I must say that Junhyung really SHINES in this. Seriously, just one of the best idol rappers in Korea.
On a purely aesthetic note, have you checked out album scans? Gorgeous photography, gorgeous coloring…I think I’m in love.
Miss A’s Step Up. Okay, the song is extremely catchy, it’s a great pick-me-upper when I wake up after only an hour’s worth of shut-eye, but I don’t think it’s a good song. Bad Girl, Good Girl was a good song for me because it was a step out of the trendy, annoyingly catchy hook song trend permeating the K-pop scene. This song feels like JYP is trying to do a Gee and a Tell Me. It’s disappointing because they’re probably the most solid group to debut in 2010 in terms of vocals and it’s such a waste when producers sacrifice showing off vocals in order to make something marketable. The album was not that great either; while I do like the sort of reggae influence that they were going for with Step Up and Breathe, the ballad was extremely generic and I absolutely hate that last track with the DJ.
U-Kiss’s Break Time. I must say that giving Dongho the ‘Oppa hates you,‘ line in their promotional track, Shut Up, is a little laughable to me because he’ll always be that little kid with the cornrows in my eyes. I’m not too fond of the song (the chorus sounds a bit like something you’d find on an anime or a video game) but I think this is their strongest album to date. It’s cohesive and all the tracks fit extremely well into the electro dance pop genre that they’re now known for.
Aaand that’s it! 🙂 As always, comments are appreciated and feel free to drop me a line on the official K Reviews formspring.