~Favorite Korean Albums of the Month~
EXO - XOXO
This month marked the comeback of EXO, finally! After waiting a year we have a few more of their original teaser songs on this album, along with some new ones. I'm still working on the review for this album (I know, I know) and should have it up soon. One of the best things about EXO is that you can chose which album you like best, EXO-M or EXO-K. You can also get both if you want, and hear a different kind of take to the same songs. This album has two of my favorite EXO songs on it as well! Baby Don't Cry and Black Pearl are wonderful and touching, along with the others from this fairy tale themed album. Whether you're a fan of EXO or not, it's really worth checking out.
1SAGAIN - From You, To You
On a more mellow note, there's the new album from 1sagain. And once again I'm amazed! (Sorry but I couldn't resist.) This music is gorgeous and transcends language in my opinion. There are acoustic and trance elements incorporated in each song. The album has a unique quality that grabs your attention right away. This album has a lot of different artists featured on it so you get a little bit of everything. Male, Female, high vocals, lower ranges, and everything in-between. If you're looking for an album from seasoned musician this one will not disappoint. (Also check out the MV for the song Rain Here!)
Sunny Hill - Young Folk
Sunny Hill is currently an all girl band, and their music has a spunky side to it. There are older music influences that make this a type of "Retro-Pop" album. It feels a bit like Circus music at some points, especially for the opening song. There's something mysterious about it that intrigues me, yet it's playful and lighthearted as well. This album also has a lot different music influences from around the world with a Sunny Hill twist. I almost feel like the instrumentals could be in a fantasy video game soundtrack because of how whimsical they sound. They are a group all their own and their music is always worth checking out.
LED Apple - Bad Boys
Another band that made a comeback this month was LED Apple! They went for more of a bright and colorful appeal this time instead of a darker feel. Everything about this album welcomes summer. The main track and Music Video has some Spanish flair and it's great to hear them experimenting with different styles. They are a complete band that plays their own instruments like CN Blue or FT Island. Personally, I'm a big fan of LED Apple, so I've been waiting for this comeback for some time.
Lim Kim - A Voice
Lim Kim is an Indie type artist that I recently discovered. Her voice is really different from most Korean female solo artist's. It has a more "Western Indie" tone that reminds me of artists from Europe, America, etc. Honestly, it was really unexpected, but it was a wonderful surprise! I am addicted to her sound right now and I'm already looking forward to her next album. If you want to get into Korean Music but you don't necessarily like Idol Groups, I would highly recommend trying this CD out. Also, she reased a MV for her song Colorring which you can watch Here!
John Park - Inner Child
American Idol was crazy to let a talent like John Park go, but it's alright because he is soaring in Korea. I fell in love with his voice when I heard "Falling" for the first time, and fell even deeper when I heard "I'm Your Man". The range that his voice has is crazy and I love the Jazz Lounge feel of the music! This album has a more modern feel yet still keeps that original flavor. I honestly cannot say much more about how much I love this album. I am enchanted by every song and can't get enough. All I can say is that everyone should listen to this album at least once.
Ulala Session - Memory
This album was made to honor the Memory of the late member Lim Yoon Taek, who passed away due to illness. I followed Ulala Session throughout their career and was one of the first people to buy their first official album. (I even stayed up all night to buy it as soon as possible.) My heart dropped the day that I heard about Lim Yoon Taek's passing and my heart and prayers were with all his friends and family. Needless to say, I cry whenever I listen to this album. Every song is so beautiful in a melancholy way. You can hear the pain in their voices and how much they miss him. It was so wonderful that they made this album for him. The songs are all dedications and are more mellow than their previous songs. You may want to avoid this album if you're particularly sensitive because even after listening several times it still downcasts my day when I play it.
~Favorite Korean Music Videos of the Month~
MBLAQ - Smoky Girl
Okay, this is hands down one of my current favorite songs. I don't just mean Korean music wise, I mean just in general. This song is so addictive that Smoky Girl seems like an appropriate title. It's not just the amazing dance-lounge effect of the music, but I love the video as well. It is so slick and classy with the crisp lines of black and white and the spacious set for the dancing. And the way the color bursts and everything glows from the blacklight at the end, as they dance with their faces shadowed so the focus is on their movements, really ended the video with a bang!
Andamiro - Waiting Featuring Double K
This whole video is really surreal. Similar to Lim Kim, Andamiro also has a very unique voice that stands out in the Korean market. She may not be as well known as other artists but I really hope that she will grow in popularity in the future. I'm also a fan of Double K, so this video peaked my interest right away. The different effects and drawing overlays in this video gave it an edge and made it very artistic. I really haven't seen something quite like it before and I knew right away that I would be adding it to this list.
Henry - Trap Featuring Kyuhyun and Taemin
The moment I saw the Piano solo at the beginning of this video I knew I was in for a treat. The other instruments kick in for a kind of Hip-Hop hybrid tune that works perfectly for dancing. I know that there is a plot in this MV, but my focus was completely on the dance and how awesome everything looked. If you're a member of SMTown you were probably as excited as I was when you saw Kyuhyun and Taemin's names next to Henry's. All of their voices work well together, and their talent runs together for a truly entertaining performance.
NELL - Ocean of Light
To say that I love Nell's music is a bit of an understatement. I went from watching one video to owning as much of their music as possible within a couple months. They continued their Gravity series with their newest album "Escaping Gravity". The song itself has a futuristic sound that is almost otherworldly. This music video is really creative! From the filming to the sets, it had a dream like quality that matched the music perfectly. Even if it ruined the instruments, the part when the light poured in and was followed by a flood of water was fantastic.
Lee Hyori - Going Crazy
Out of all the Music Videos that Lee Hyori released lately this is my favorite. Oh my goodness, how is it possible for one person to be a handsome man and a gorgeous woman? She played the "sleazy guy" perfectly and did such a convincing job with her role. Most girls can't pull off dressing up like a guy, but she certainly can. Then at the end you see her without the guy costume on, and she looks nothing like a man anymore! The video is hilarious and the song has an old-school vibe that accentuates Lee Hyori's voice.
Crayon Pop - Bar Bar Bar
Prepare for an Aegyo explosion... Crayon Pop is cute in an effortless kind of way. They don't make too many faces at the cameras or try too hard, they are just adorable naturally it seems. One of the ways I would describe this video would be "Family Friendly". There aren't sexy dances or short costumes, in fact they are covered head to toe. I love how they have matching type outfits with their names on them, something you don't really see anymore. The dance is fun and quirky, but it's not too childish and would still be hard to do yourself. And the song gets stuck in your head big time! I guess another way I could describe the video is that it's nostalgic.
O!Gon - Gene
I've never heard this band before but I absolutely loved this video and the calming quality of the music. There are some really neat effects used for the editing. The different frames slide in and out, with close ups and parts where he's alone, along with shots of the whole band. It's not too fancy, but it was executed well. Again, I have to mention the music though. That's the main reason I picked this music video from the rest after all. It is so soothing, and I was really stressed the first time I heard it so I wanted to loop it to help with my nerves.
Lee Min Ho - Love Motion
Lee Min Ho may be an actor, but that doesn't mean he can't sing. In fact, he even had his own tour at his fans request, even though he didn't think he had enough vocal talent to pull it off. But this video is proof that he did. It's a compilation of tour scenes put together; it shows the energy of the fans and the artistry put into the show. Although this isn't my favorite song from the album I still like it a lot. (I wanted to write a review on his music debut, but I never got the chance.)
ICON - ROCKSTAR
This video may be extremely trippy, but it's really in the best way. There is a lightning shooting guitar, dancing girls from the '70s, Tron reminiscent background, and a giant Daruma (to name just a few things). The song is really electronic heavy and has the same video game world feel as the video. It reminds me a bit of Super Hi Fi at parts, and at the beginning he really looks like G-Dragon. (And I'm not the only one to notice his GD similarities.) It may be a bit too crazy for some. I, however, think it is too stellar for words.
~Favorite Product Review of the Month~
Aztec Secret - Indian Healing Clay
The final category is which product I liked the most from the ones I reviewed that month. Yes, I only reviewed one product. It's still the one that I would pick though, even if I reviewed others. This is a super intense clay mask that you mix yourself. It's priced well for how much you get, and it pulses while it's working. What more could you ask for really? You can read more about this review Here.
That's it for this review! Once again I'm sorry that I've been absent from my website for so long. Hopefully I can get back into the game and continue writing reviews for you guys! Let me know what your favorites from the month were in the comments, and have a great July!
See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,