Featured Image of the Day (November 24, 2019)

In case you want something frozen straight from PH, here it is:

IU (아이유) – Blueming and Above the Time: MV Reviews

With limited time, and with few reads, I have no choice but to suspend reviews of WJSN, TXT, and IN2IT. Underrated girl groups will be reviewed in next months if given more time, as with ELRIS, Rainbow, and ILUV.

I see no reason to do so many reviews if few will read these stuff.

Meanwhile, we still continue reviews of AOA, ASTRO, Stray Kids, South Club, and NATURE.


For the first time, we will review IU with her double lead tracks for this year. It can be remembered that she took a rest to focus more on drama series Hotel del Luna. And now that she’s back, and I also longed for her next music project, I have to prioritize this.

While our fellow reviewers take on separate assessments, I decided to combine these reviews in a single article, since we are talking about that beautiful soloist. For brevity, we will refer to Blueming and Above The Time as first and second song, respectively.

As a Uaena also, I felt very excited reviewing her recent work. It has been more than a year since her lead track Bbi Bbi was released. So, shall we start?

Storyline

Blueming tells of a girl being in love with a man who is quite shy. Being on that situation, the man tries to woo her in hiding, such as giving balloons, having surprises in a locker room, and giving her gifts in mailbox.

She later finds out that no gifts were thrown in the mailbox, but she later on changes outfit upon receiving other gift. The story ends with her at the same fence, wishing to meet the one.

The funniest side of hers can be seen at 1:46 – 2:22, where she rides a bike and then throws things to her neighbor. To add, I find her being surprised as very cute (at 0:50 – 1:02). Just look at her reactions.

Above The Time tells of the boy and the girl observing each other in a different world. From the way they acted, IU served as the angel that watches the clockmaker. Apparently, she was with the latter while alive, as seen dancing. She later died, which caused him to weep these moments amidst snowfall. Both find ways on how to connect with each other, even if they won’t be together anymore.

The only point lacking is that it has less straightforward storyline as compared to Blueming.

Review as whole

With regards to the first music, the guitar rock tune complements the otherwise boring beats in the music. And it’s good to hear these tunes being sustained throughout. As a whole, the MV and music seeks to strike a balance between her cutesy side and the matureness of music.

Let’s talk about visuals. Her painting rose with blue clearly speaks of the title. The fun side of IU can be seen here, as she dances while smiling. I only see her in this fun side since Bbibbi era, which convinced me to like it very much.

From the visuals and settings of the second music, plus the title itself, the time represents IU on the other side, that is, heaven, watching over the boy. Or interpreted in different way, they are in separate worlds. They deem that they are still together, beyond the limited time given to the duo.

Some likeable aspects need to be featured. First, I liked how they inserted a folk dance, which is being rendered fast. This is seen at 2:49 – 3:13. Second, IU sustains her vocals in a way that gives an eerie feeling, even if it does not use echoes. The music ends with an orchestral finish, commonly heard in old songs during the 50s to 70s. Third, this features an accordion, which somehow is rarely used now. Finally, the music moved me to the point that I cried so much.

Felt disgusted as the channel still did not provide storyline for their talent, unlike that of Bbibbi last year. That would’ve tell what’s in these music videos.

Review by others

According to TheBiasList, Blueming is fresh, simple, and orderly, forging her appealing vocals with direct pop-rock tunes. The tunes hark back to the first days of K-Pop, and sticking with it throughout.

As with KPopReviewed, he just expected a softer approach with this song, and liked it being upbeat. Instrumentals are worth remembering, and the song pulled off together to make a perfect track.

How about Above The Time? KPopReviewed told that the orchestral instrumentals showcase the beauty of her voice. While the progression of tunes is abrupt, they fit nicely. This song reminds him of You & I, especially on the storyline, and as expected, gone further to interpret the same.

TheBiasList wrote that IU tries to do some magical tracks akin to Disney series. This refers to her vocals being used to explain how sentimental the song can be. Only to find out that it has various twists to keep the song interesting.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating (Separate):
Blueming: 96.19%
Above The Time: 94.74%
Grade: A+/A+
Assessment: Excellent/Excellent

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating (Consolidated): 95.50%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

Aspect   Criterion Blueming Above the Time
Storyline 1 Storyline 5 5
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5 5
Appearance 3 Colorful/color fits emotions 5 4
Appearance 4 Good taste 5 5
Appearance 5 No Halloween, Easter, etc. 5 5
Appearance 6 No astrology featured 5 5
Appearance 7 Less horror featured 5 5
Appearance 8 Not too revealing outfits 5 5
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 5 4
Music 10 Not too deafening 5 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 5
Dance 12 Not too sensual 5
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 3 5
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 3 4
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 10 7
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 1 1
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4 5
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5 5
Other Matters 19 Uploads video to 1theK 10 10
Features 1theK logo (Bonus)
Prominently features 1theK vid (Bonus) 5 5

What’s The Future of K-Pop?

We have seen rapid growth of K-Pop in the past ten years. Based on its present status, we can forecast what will happen to K-Pop as a whole in the coming years. These will be discussed in this article.


One major question:

What would K-Pop look like ten years from now?

I also discussed this in my previous article. However, with news on the change in K-Pop industry, I decided to talk further about it in a separate article.

New groups

With new groups sprouting, and with their various debut songs, multi-fandom people like me will be confused. Which one should be followed? We will end up selecting only groups that matter.

We have witnessed various groups formed this year. These include ITZY, ONEUS, Cherry Bullet, TXT, BVNDIT, AB6IX, 1the9, TARGET, and VeriVery. These groups will be added more in the coming years. As new groups are trying to be relevant, and competing for limited attention, many will end up with less views and underrated performances.

New approaches

More stars will collaborate with non-Korean artists, like Nicki Minaj, Dua Lipa, and Lauv. But owing to lack of promotions, popularity, and music videos, these kind of music will not last for long.

With various groups catering to international audiences, and adding more English lyrics, mainstream radio stations will feature their songs. But for TV stations, only few will make it, like BTS and BLACKPINK. And only few dance crazes wil also make it.

The battle in the next years would focus more on quantity and time. The battle now would be on number of views, streams, and likes. Some existing groups are on hiatus, giving other groups chance to stand out.

With intense competition, more new songs and concepts will be featured, focusing on modern side of music, instead of traditional music used by pioneers of K-Pop. In turn, K-Pop loses its distinct flavor and might sway with mainstream trends.

The genre will expand promotions, focusing more on US and Latin America. Expect some changes if this happens, which includes assimilating Latino music into the genre.

Fans will increase. Expect more distasteful remarks between fandoms, and more support in promoting each other’s music. Sasaengs will also increase, and expect more attacks toward artists. Expect also some fandoms turning tables around, as is the case with Monbebes today.

As a whole, K-Pop might feel a gradual downturn as it battles various issues, especially that more agencies are unresponsive to these. Plus its aversion to experiment on new styles of music, as what TheBiasList pointed out. It reached the apex, and going through declining stage is becoming inevitable.

New milestones

Existing and former groups made their mark on various aspects, from album sales, concerts, and ability to penetrate Western markets. New groups will usually find it hard surpassing milestones made by pioneers, like being featured in a Time Magazine or three billion views.

We will also see more stars from new groups rise to fame. This we see today with some members of ITZY and AB6IX, who were named as one of famous Korean personalities. Even if they debuted just months ago, they immediately caught attention from more people.

More groups will disband. This is apparently the case for new groups which will only exist for a limited time (instead of usual seven years). Also, other groups under indefinite hiatus will eventually disband.

Oldies

More and more oldies will face pressing issues, like drugs, sex, and crimes, regardless if proven or not. This we see from Seungri, Daesung, and B.I, and this is not farfetched. On the other side, some oldies will do solo debuts or collab, as was the case with 2NE1’s Park Bom or Sistar’s Soyou.

More and more stars will experience depression, especially among the oldies. Take the case of Sistar’s Dasom, and even Taeyeon from Girls’ Generation. Worse, this might lead to another death like that of Sulli.

If not involved in bad stuff, more oldies will go to drama, and some will go on a date and marry. They will prefer to stick on personal life. This we see now with 2NE1’s Dara, who is now dating with her longtime crush. Even SHINee’s Minho is now thinking of having a family. Take also the words of Jin and V (Taehyung), who want to live simple lives after ten years.

Specific Forecasts

YG Entertainment, while still taking the lead in bringing K-Pop to the world, will struggle to be relevant in the music industry, as it battles various issues from its talents.

Others like SM, BigHit, JYP, and even small entertainment agencies will still remain afloat. Meanwhile, new agencies like that of Daniel Kang and PSY will start showing their own talents, competing with the big ones.  As to 1theK, we see less and less MV uploads from other agencies to the channel.

K-Pop sees Japan as a very profitable and “critical” market. In fact, July 2019 was full of comebacks in Japanese. Some groups already have Japanese members (like IZ*ONE, TWICE, and Cherry Bullet). However, the ongoing trade war and racism against Japan will indirectly cripple K-Pop in terms of sales.

Military service

All of EXO, SHINee, and Super Junior members in the camp today will finish military service, in which case they will continue their careers together.

As to BTS, all members will be in active service, at which point their fame will be on a halt until their comeback. In the meantime, TXT will take the lead.

Other talents

Produce 101 will not air anymore owing to breach of trust with fans and future trainees. This vacuum will be filled by other shows, which more or less adopt the same format. On other cases, existing groups and members will venture on different shows like Queendom, as another way of promotions.

Few soloists will stand out, like IU, Chung Ha, Heize, Park Bom, and Eric Nam. Others like Mina (AOA), Sunha (SATURDAY), and other Pristin members who left their groups will battle for fame as soloists or venture on drama.

Opening doors to non-Korean talents are giving exciting prospects to K-Pop. Expect more agencies opening its doors to them. In fact, JYP Entertainment debuted its Chinese group Boy Story, and SM Ent did the same with WayV. An agency debuted SB19, an all-Filipino group, and Zenith Media formed Z-Boys and Z-Girls.

For Z-Boys and Z-Girls, though they are quite related/non-related to K-Pop, their boom in the future will inspire other agencies to follow their concepts, shifting K-Pop to become more global in approach. This also might push agencies to add more non-Koreans to their respective groups, which will force some Koreans to tone down their racist remarks.

Final Words

In general, the challenges K-Pop will face in the coming years include (1) ability to penetrate mainstream media, (2) maintaining the vibe it has amidst globalization, (3) agencies to respond to worst of issues, (4) handling of increase in new groups, (5) keeping and maintaining talents (as is the case with IZ*ONE), (6) surpass milestones made by pioneers, and (7) need to change negative attitudes of some Koreans.

NATURE – OOPSIE (My Bad): MV Review

As part of helping underrated girl groups, we will now embark on Nature, with their song Oopsie (My Bad). With some changes happening on their lineup, would they still charm us in this performance? Let’s start!

Storyline

The story starts with a girl flying a crane, while the others are reading. As a girl crosses the mirror portal, she discovers the other side of nature. The beginning scene teaches origami, a kind of paper folding, which apparently is losing popularity in recent years.

Review as whole

Thumping drum beats define the mood of the music at the start and interlude. It is then rejoined by sweet, gummy bops. The melodies afterwards fades to give way to electro synths everytime the chorus is reached. Descending synths at the chorus remind me of Girls Generation’s Mr. Mr.

The visuals portray different things like mirrors, dinner table, compass, cards, drinking potion, them sitting in a table, and a girl in a doll house. Summing up the supposed meaning:

We lost direction and take chances. If we make mistakes, that’s our expression. Sometimes we reflect on what we did. These we do as we meet people every day.

I wish to express my not-so-good points on Oopsie. First, I find the hooks at the chorus irritating, as this is where the turning point for them to shine had been wasted in these. However, they make their dance very simple and fun.

Second, while the music and performance is fun, the same was very confusing. Why? Oopsie did not define the boundaries between the verses and chorus, which is the standard regardless of genre used.

Finally, the finale lacked a bit of verse to end it well.

Review by others

KPopReviewed finds the song as childish, and pointed out the unnecessary shouts from the group. Worse, Nature repeats the usual fairytale, and its chorus begs for energy in dances. While the momentum was lacking in here, Oopsie managed to pull the fun side of the song.

TheBiasList deems the group as taking an “abrasive” route as it uses pop tracks to gain attention. As Oopsie is intended to polarize listeners, it is “short on melody and high on spirit.” Fortunately, him being with kids helps to tolerate these kinds. The group has to take on more melodic stances, but as a whole, it’s quite fun to hear.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 80.00%
Grade: C-
Assessment: Needs Improvement

Scoreboard

Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 3
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5
Appearance 3 Colorful/color fits emotions 5
Appearance 4 Good taste 5
Appearance 5 No Halloween, Easter, etc. 4
Appearance 6 No astrology featured 4
Appearance 7 Less horror featured 5
Appearance 8 Not too revealing outfits 5
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 5
Music 10 Not too deafening 4
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 5
Dance 12 Not too sensual 5
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 4
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 4
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 6
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 2
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 4
Other Matters 19 Shares concept from other groups 5
       

The Ultimate SEVENTEEN x NCT Fanchant

K-Pop fans are now thinking of future collab between Seventeen and NCT.

This kind of collab between the two groups is very special and funny. Special, since this involves 13 and 21 members respectively. Funny, since fans doing a combined fanchant would get exhausted with immense number of members. Or the fanchant would be longer than the actual songs.

Since some K-Pop fans are curious if this really happens, here’s a fanmade chant for all of us.

Take for instance, NCT Dream’s Boom: 

Chenle, Dino, DK, Doyoung, Haechan
Hendery, Hoshi, Jaehyun, Jaemin, Jeno
Jeonghan, Jisung, Johnny, Joshua
Jun, Jungwoo, Kun, Lucas

[Work]

Mark, Mingyu, Renjun, S.Coups
Seungkwan, Taeil, Taeyong, Ten
The8, Vernon, Winwin, Wonwoo
Woozi, Xiaojun, Yangyang, Yuta

Come on
Sumsorijochado eumakgateun stage (Let’s go!)
Naui ttambangureun negen heavy rain (Woo!)

Or that of SEVENTEEN’s Hit:

Let me drop the eumak!

Chenle, Dino, DK, Doyoung, Haechan
Hendery, Hoshi, Jaehyun, Jaemin, Jeno
Jeonghan, Jisung, Johnny, Joshua
Jun, Jungwoo, Kun, Lucas (Let me drop the eumak!)

Mark, Mingyu, Renjun, S.Coups
Seungkwan, Taeil, Taeyong, Ten

The8, Vernon, Winwin, Wonwoo
Woozi, Xiaojun, Yangyang, Yuta (Hit hit hit hit, hit sound!)

Saa!

K-Pop Annual Report 2019

At this point, we will start telling what happened to K-Pop this 2019, covering from January to November.


The events in K-Pop for the year 2019 is perfectly summed up in one phrase: Rookies and Scandals.

Positives

More positives happened this year. This includes creating a special celebrity challenge called Queendom. In this show, select girl groups are given tasks and are to experiment on different genres. This helped some underrated groups rise to fame, as is the case with AOA and Oh My Girl.

For the first time in K-Pop, SuperM was created out of different groups. The select members from EXO, SHINee, and NCT were combined to form a supergroup.

Enlistments are still ongoing, with Hongki, D.O., and Xiumin joining the corps. Meanwhile, some military discharges are happening like that of Super Junior and Bigbang.

This has been also the Year of the Rookies, with so many new groups debuting and garnering attention. Listed were Cherry Bullet, AB6IX, TXT, ITZY, VeriVery, BVNDIT, Hinapia, and others. For TXT, ITZY, and AB6IX, they bagged awards, got promotions, and endorsements in a short span of time.

Another positive aspect was on proactive approach of fandoms in various issues. With the power they have, fandoms are going to be less beholden to unresponsive agencies. Take the case of Monbebes, who are taking collective efforts for Wonho to return. They even launched a fundraising to install posters at Times Square. To a lesser extent, this is happening on Merries and Produce 101 fans.

On dating scandals, some succeeded in this hurdle, but many failed to go through. Famous success stories were on TWICE’s Jihyo and Kang Daniel, and Hyuna and Dawn. Failures include that of Jennie and Kai, and Daisy and Yunyeong.

Some pioneer groups are trying to go back to the K-Pop scene. This we see with Fin.K.L, Brown Eyed Girls, Ladies’ Code, and Super Junior with their respective comebacks.

Negatives

More sad news are surfacing in the industry. First is on disbandment, namely that of f(x), Wanna One, B.A.P., Myteen, Boyfriend, Hello Venus, and Pristin.

Second, but equally painful, was the scandals. Scandals that made major impact on K-Pop were on Seungri’s case and Sulli’s death. The Burning Sun, in which various artists were involved, later crippled YG Entertainment, even if Seungri and Yang Hyun Suk were kicked out.

Sulli’s death highlighted the dark side of K-Pop, primarily pressure from agencies and hate remarks from netizens. Her death prompted several stars to suspend or cancel various engagements as sign of respect.

More and more members are going to rest due to health reasons. This is the case with Choi Yoojung, Dino, Yanan, and Minari. If not on hiatus, they part ways mainly on career change, retirement, and scandals. Notable cases were on B.I., Woojin, Hwall, Laun, Kangin, AOA’s Mina, and Wonho.

This year characterized several hiatus with Momoland and Cherry Bullet. Both have two members on hold for unspecified reason. And as of this writing, their agencies are silent on this lingering problem.

The voting scandals of Produce series are now casting doubts, not only on future shows, but also on groups born in it (IZ*ONE and X1). There have been petitions to ban these groups from future engagements.

In the next article, we will discuss on the future of K-Pop ten years from now.


Featured Image Credit: KMania Channel

MAMAMOO – Hip: MV Review

Reviews for WJSN, ASTRO, and South Club will be published some time.


For the third time, we will review a rising group MAMAMOO, in their latest lead track Hip.

As TheBiasList pointed out, this year has been the most profitable one for the group, thanks to RBW. We’ll discuss this as we rate the agency at year-end. But for now, we will look at them first.

(Side Note: Congratulations also to Mamamoo for being the winner in Queendom!)

Storyline as whole

The story tells of the group having various roles they are playing. Solar doing boxing, being a singer, and dressing as a fairytale princess, Moonbyul doing an acting, Wheein as drummer, doing art and protesting, and Hwasa as president.

Based on the various roles they play, they might want to impart us that regardless of our hobbies or businesses, we have to be fashionable.

Some noticeable aspects can be gleaned here. First, I find Moonbyul’s raps very fast, and is repeated thrice. That gives the air of silence everytime she does it.

While the group managed to be swaggy and strong, they still did not abandon the funny and cute side, apparent since Gogobebe. Hwasa being dressed as president is one of the funniest with the way she reacts, and her being with the child gives a bit of cuteness in the otherwise strong vid. Because of this, it will be an added point to them.

Hwasa and Moonbyul this time definitely became the stars in this MV.

RBW is consistent in featuring the 1theK logo, as seen at the end of video.

Review by others

KPopReviewed deemed the group’s track as worthy of discography. The strong side of them is being pulled off elegantly, and it is moderate. While it was not their strongest to date, their elements that defined them are still present. He gone far to interpret it as the group in three universes.

TheBiasList pointed out how effortless and direct the group is when it comes to chosen genre. Instrumentals combine synths and strings, pointing out the groove and setting direction straight. While restrained and monotonous, they got the charisma needed to sustain Hip the whole time.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 94.55%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 3
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5
Appearance 3 Colorful/color fits emotions 5
Appearance 4 Good taste 5
Appearance 5 No Halloween, Easter, etc. 5
Appearance 6 No astrology featured 5
Appearance 7 Less horror featured 5
Appearance 8 Not too revealing outfits 4
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 5
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 5
Dance 12 Not too sensual 4
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 5
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 8
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 1
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5
Other Matters 19 Uploads video to 1theK 10
Features 1theK logo (Bonus) 5
Prominently features 1theK vid (Bonus)
Shows cute and fun side 5