~Favorite Korean Albums of the Month~
NU'EST - Hello Second Mini Album
There were a bunch of comebacks this month, including the one from NU'EST. Their albums Face and Action were both so good, and this newest addition is just as great! I love the title track, it's so balanced, smooth, and catchy. The other songs on he album have the same type of quality. Even though this is a different sound than their previous ones, it still have the NU'EST flair to it and you can instantly tell it's them. The song Hello Hello is really good, and Beautiful Solo is one of my current favorite K-Pop songs. The live performances and music video for the title track are also great, but I'll talk about that more later.
Rainbow - Rainbow Syndrome
While I don't mention girl groups too often (not for any particular reason though, really), I had to add Rainbow to this list! They made their comeback this past month, and I started to fall in love with their music all over again. When I think of Korean Pop Music, this is the kind of music that I want! Something bright, catchy, that even has a '70s feeling at times. My favorites tracks are probably Golden Touch and Tell Me Tell Me, though that doesn't mean the others aren't also great. Also, you can watch their MV for Tell Me Tell Me right Here!
SHINee - Dream Girl: The Misconceptions of You
You can't talk about February without mentioning the epic comeback by SHINee! After about 11 months, SHINee released another album. This one is longer, and is only part one, plus even the band said they though it reflected their style and personality better than Sherlock. If I had to pick one album to own or listen to for the entire month, it would be this one. I can't really pick a favorite track, because I love all of them! Plus, the intro is really cool. I'll talk about Dream Girl a bit more in the MV section.
Kim Tae Woo - T-Love (Cosmic Girl)
Even though Kim Tae Woo has been around for a while, I'll admit that this is the first time I've really listened to him. I've got to say, I wish that I would have listened to his music earlier! The '80s style electric guitar and synth is awesome, and his voice is really distinct. Of course it sounds weird, but he has a handsome sound to his voice. Anyways, if you haven't heard this album yet, make sure that you try it out at least once!
Teen Top - No. 1
I actually wrote a full review for this album, which you can read Here. This is the first full length album that Teen Top has released, and it really has a lot of songs! They made Music Videos for two songs off of it, and showed off their new maturity in both of them. Of course, it was only a matter of time for them to mature, since they age like the rest of us do. Besides the two showcased songs, I also really liked Why, Never Go Back, and Get Crazy. Though it's hard to choose a few from 12 songs!
D-Lite (Daesung) - D'scover
Finally, Daesung has released his own solo album! Even though this is a Japanese album, I just loved it too much to not mention it, so I'll make this quick. Daesung from BIGBANG has made a full length solo album in Japan, and it is freaking amazing! There are so many songs on this album, including the Japanese versions of Wings and Baby Don't Cry. If you don't mind mixing some J-Pop with your K-Pop, this is a CD worth listening to.
Clazziquai Project - Blessed (Sweetest Name)
Although some sources say this album came out in January, the official release was February 5th. Plus, I just love it too much to not mention it! Clazziquai Project is a collaboration with DJ Clazzi, and they make House/Acid Jazz/really great sounding music! Before I listened to Korean music I had not really heard music like this, it still sounds like Jazz, but has electronic elements to it, and influences from other genres. Somehow, all of that comes together to make one fantastic album! My favorite songs, if I had t pick, would be Love Recipe, Blessed, Love Right, Brown Gold Eyes, and Can't Go On My Own. You can also read my full review of the album Here!
~Favorite Korean Music Videos of the Month~
Seo In Guk - All I Want Is U (Featuring Verbal Jint)
Two of my favorite artists made a video together this month! Even though this is a simple studio style music video, with shots of them singing, and just hanging out, it was done really well. It's weird to say that both of them were acting cute, especially Verbal Jint, but with such a charming song it's possible! Not everyone loves videos like these, but I like the casual atmosphere they have.
Kang Min Hee (of Miss $) - It's You
You may not have heard of Miss $, but they are a really talented group. So, it's no surprise that when a member made a solo video it came out great! The red hues in the video are vibrant and bright, while all the others were dulled to make the red pop. The way it's filmed messed with my head a bit, while it focused on her face while she walked, yet still moved around a bit. Of course, it may just give you motion sickness...
Clazziquai Project - Love Recipe
I've already mentioned the album from them, so it was only a matter of time until I mentioned the MV as well. As you may have guessed, this video revolves around food and love, of course! There are all kinds of tasty foods being prepared, and later they are in a Cafe while singing. I think my favorite part is probably the different types of love they showcase, instead of just romantic love. Showing the love between friends, family, parents and children, and also people of different race, age, and size was great! The video has a deeper meaning than most love songs, so watch it if you haven't already.
Kris Leone - Into the Skies
The child of the Korean musician Kim Taewon, from Boohwal, is making her own music now. The song and video are both gorgeous, and frankly, so is she! The song is way more on the Rock spectrum of music, which makes sense because of her Father. It is so unique, and the video is interesting and compels you to watch it. I can already say that I'm a fan!
Huh Gak - 1440
Huh Gak certainly knows how to make a comeback video! I instantly fell for this video when I watched it. The mix of the cute and pure love story, with the cheesy dancing by Huh Gak and the girls, makes for one great MV! It's so sweet that it'll put a smile on your face any day of the week!
Two X - Ring Ma Bell
Speaking of cute videos, there's the new MV by Two X! Bright pink costumes, aegyo faces, and cartoony backgrounds make this the perfect video to release your inner child! My favorite part has to be when they're walking and the buildings around them are being drawn and come to life. The drawing style reminds me of the drama Flower Boy Next Door, it has the same "Webtoon" feeling.
B.A.P - One Shot
B.A.P has already made another album early in the year! The band works so hard to bring the fans new content whenever they can, and I really respect that. (I didn't list the One Shot album with my favorites, but I do really like it, especially this song and Zero.) The Warrior, merciless, and powerful group is back, with another edgy and awesome video! It has a crazy plot, with two different endings, dark lighting, tough dance moves, and that same heavy beat that I love from B.A.P! I was so excited when I saw their new video, and the style it was in, that I actually started jumping an pumping my fists (and may have screamed a few things in celebration) which I really don't do often, seriously.
NU'EST - Hello
Another amazing comeback was by NU'EST, but I've already talked about their album. This video did a great job of matching the song. The "Hello" for the lyrics is "Yoboseyo", which is how you answer your phone in Korea. Because of this, and the rest of the song being a phone conversation, they used a Phone booth as the main prop for the video. The blue tones for the colors, overcast lighting, and snowfall added to the melancholy feeling of the video. Also, the dance is so cool, it's almost like an Irish dance, because they only use their legs at one point, and I also loved the Necktie move! While the kiss at the end was a bit confusing, it was symbolic and "artsy", so I'll let that slide.
Dasoni - Good Bye
Dasoni is a Sub-Unit for the group EXID, which makes another one this year, including 2Yoon from 4Minute, and SISTAR19 from SISTAR! This really may be the year of Sub-Units, we will see. Anyways, Dasoni did an amazing job with this song and video! The song is gorgeous, I adore their voices! I also loved the use of the fans and silhouettes for the dances, and the Chinese-esc clothing style. It was so different from what I usually see from K-Pop, and stood out in the best way possible.
Teen Top - I Wanna Love
Okay, Teen Top made three videos this month, but this one was my favorite. (You can click Here to see their Miss Right MV, and Here for the dance version of Miss Right.) Every time I watch this video, I am either currently eating canned Pineapple, or go get some. Oh, the power of product placement in Music Videos! (Even though they slightly blurred out the label, we all know that it says "Dole"...) The harsh lighting and mismatched outfits, mixed with the different shots of downtown, made for a distinctly grown up Teen Top video. I also liked the ending scene, with the cardboard sign. Some people liked the craziness of Miss Right better, but really it's just personal preference.
KK - Pain
This video is simple, and focuses on really powerful acting. Just crying isn't the best way to show pain, sometimes, it's the kind of feeling that a person gives off. The emotions in this video are so strong in that way, which is probably why I'm so drawn to it! Also, KK's rapping style is similar to Outsider, because it is so quick that you can barely keep up, yet the pace isn't chaotic. It's really good, especially if you like Korean Rap and Hip-Hop.
SHINee - Dream Girl
Like it wasn't obvious that this video would be on my favorites list! SHINee's comeback video is really cool, and so is the Dance Version. It has a Techno-Alice in Wonderland, Virtual Dream feeling to it, and I couldn't take my eyes off of it for a second! I love the Microphone dance using the stands, it's probably more difficult than it looks. Also, the glitches made me worry about my computer at first, just to realize that it was an effect added to the video.
Kim Tae Woo - Cosmic Girl
Sometimes cheesy effects and green-screens are perfect for a song, and, in my opinion, this is one of them! The MV starts off with two little kids, who are each other's first loves, and the little girl hands the boy something of hers and disappears into space. In the future, he's grown up and working in the "Cosmic Bar", still waiting for her return. She comes back to see him, only to leave him again, now that's some tough love! The costuming for this is great, and the use of colors and lighting as well. Plus, this is currently my favorite song in general, and I'm listening to it at least once a day, if not five times!
Verbal Jint - If It Ain't Love (Featuring Ailee)
I was going to mention this in the album section, but the song is just a single that he released. The video was made to look like an Old-School music program, from the set, the outfits, and the way that they made the entire video in black and white. Every detail was great, including the backstage part of the video. Also, the girl featured in the video is Nam Gyu Ri, though it's Ailee who sings the song. Even though Nam Gyu Ri was a singer in the past, she's simply an actress in this one, and she really is gorgeous! The vocal combination of Verbal Jint and Ailee is magic, and I also liked that nod to her song "Heaven" that they added.
Herz Analog & Midnight Romantic Club - Egg (Sound Project)
I'll keep this short, because the video is also short! This is a collaboration project with two groups, who made a simple song for Eggs. The MV shows all the ingredients and preparation to make the plate of Eggs, and that's pretty much it! The sound of the song is akin to STOMP, with how they use the sounds of the Kitchen to add to the music. It's really creative and fun, and just takes a moment to watch!
Small o - That Will Fall
A Co-Ed group, with an Accordion? Well, that's all it really took for me to be sold on this group! That rustic-indie look to the group, and the set, along with the same kind of sound to the music makes one amazing combination! The video is really artsy, with a few shots of different objects with different filters, and they even have parts where they green-screened their bodies and have scenery rolling through them! The video is so cool, and the music is wonderful, so make sure to check this one out!
Hyungdon & Daejun - Hemansahang
On the same day, they actually had two MVs come out, but this is my favorite of the two. You can watch their other video, Get Out, Here! Both of them are ridiculously hilarious, I busted up laughing within the first thirty seconds! Also, I liked the addition of the Karaoke style lyrics that scrolled past the screen, so you could sing along. I don't really need to say much more than, "It's funny, so watch it!"
Umbrella Stand - Wish
This next video also just needs a short description. The music is sweet sounding and acoustic, and the band is playing in a quaint Cafe. What is it about this video that makes me love it so much? Simple, the Barista for the Cafe is Optimus Prime, and he's friends with some of the cool people, and tried to hit on the ladies. That is all.
Woohyun (INFINITE) & Lucia - Cactus
Finally, we have made it to the last video on the list! Woohun and Lucia's voices really suit each other, and made this beautiful ballad sound even better. The video has a really interesting split screen effect, so you can watch both side of the story at the same time, and see two perspectives. The woman is hurting, while the man is mainly focused on leaving, though he is in pain as well. The concept is great, and the filming style and muted colors are beautiful. The way they subtly matched what they were doing with the frames really made it for this video, plus I bet a lot of Infinite fans were happy to hear a different vocal style from Woohyun.
~ Favorite Product Review of the Month~
This is usually the easiest one to choose from, because each month there's something that I try out and love more than all the others. Plus, it was a short month, so there aren't many to choose from!
Etude House - Golden Ratio Face Glam
Since I have pretty dry skin, I can't use powders too often because they end up drying me out. The problem was that my skin just seemed flat, without any contrast. While you can mix this in with your foundation or BB Cream to add an overall sheen, I love using this to highlight the areas of my face where the light hits naturally. It makes my skin look healthier, and because it's a liquid it doesn't dry out my skin at all! Plus, the top of it has an eye brightener in it, which I like to use in my inner corner and below my eye, to make my eyes look more awake. You get a lot for your money with this one, so read more about it Here!
That's all, folks! It takes a while to write about all my favorites, so I hope you'll excuse the tardiness of this post. What were your favorites from the month? Did I list any of them here, or are your favorite albums and music videos not anywhere to be seen? Let me know in the comments, because I love hearing from other people! I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope that March will have even better things in store!
See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,
(P.S. I've added a new tab to the website titled "K-Sponge"! It's the new video series that I've started, which talks about as much of the Korean Music scene from the past week as possible, so please check it out!)