Rating K-Pop Agencies 2019: Part One (CUBE, Pledis, FNC, Source Music, SD, WM, Woollim)

(Side Note: In rating agencies, primary objective is to evaluate agencies’ responses to various issues. Responses are a crucial ingredient for agencies’ and groups’ survival, fame, and profitability.

To a lesser extent, financial aspects might be tackled, but will not be a major factor in rating them.)

CUBE Entertainment

What was once thought of as sidestepping girl group over other, turned to be a back-to-back girl groups’ success for the agency. These moves earned fruitful results, as CLC earned a spot on Billboard’s Social 50 charts. As for (G)I-DLE, they are now on the way for US promotions, plus their status improved upon joining Queendom.

CUBE Entertainment encourages creativity, and that is the value most apparent in them. In fact, CLC’s Yeeun participated in composing lyrics of their songs No, Me, and Devil. Even (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon took part for No. It even provided a soft comeback for the latter group to help them shine further.

Another positive aspect noted is on their consistent scheduling for CLC and (G)I-DLE. As revealed by a VLive, the latter is slated to release its track on January next year, and CLC on March. This will be an added point for them.

While the response to E’Dawn and HyunA was not impressive, it mattered a little. In fact, PENTAGON still has its regular comebacks and promotions, just like PRISM world tours in Americas and Europe. And the agency kept Universes updated on group’s travel status following the flight mishap. Most important is on letting injured members like Kino and Yanan take rest.

For its long-term success, it might be helpful for them to tolerate dating scandals or give positive response. Another suggestion would be for them to create another boy group. They also have to strategize on how to make PENTAGON and CLC stand out further. Finally, on engaging more members to be composers at the same time.

Group(s) Rated: CLC

Rating: 91.67%
Grade: A-
Assessment: Very Good


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 4
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 9
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 8
8 Encourages creativity 5
Uploads videos to 1theK 5

PLEDIS Entertainment

The agency has been confident on SEVENTEEN as its flagship group. In fact, it succeeded in eliciting attention to the group via comebacks, ending in a bang with Hit, and still releasing another new one with Fear. This is on top of issuing statements on health of S.Coups.

Meanwhile, promotions for NU’EST are also being done, and it’s good that they are promoting it in many countries. Despite rigging allegations, their involvement in Produce series helped to promote Nu’est better.

These kinds of engagements rebound well, as reflected in album sales. It would’ve challenged the Big 3 today in terms of being leader. But it has another major problem.

The worst part is on handling girl groups. Recently, Pristin took up what After School left off, without any activities for this year. Its member Rena (Yaebin) once recalled that the group “was working with an album” till they were ordered to disband. Essentially, Pledis wasted opportunities to make the most out of this girl group.

While the agency’s advice to Kyla and her health was the best decision, still they did not make it up for this year with remaining members. This is apparent with Kyla’s clarifications on this issue.

Kyulkyung and Nayoung both hail from I.O.I and Pristin. With both groups disbanded, and because Nayoung was tired of joining groups that disband over and over, she decided to be a soloist in other agency. Four members who left later signed with new agency and re-debuted as Hinapia. And as of this writing, Xiyeon is currently battling depression primarily due to this scenario.

It’s time for Pledis to revamp the way they handle girl groups. Otherwise, this aspect will be their Achilles’ heel once they plan to expand.

Rating: 70.00%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 4
3 Handling boy groups 5
4 Handling girl groups 2
5 Assessment as whole 7
6 Longevity of groups 8
7 Handling issues and responding 7
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 2

FNC Entertainment

The year 2019 has been a half-half for FNC Entertainment: half-successful, half-failed as a whole. It failed somewhat on handling groups on hiatus and handling issues with Cherry Bullet. Meanwhile, they succeeded in some aspects, such as handling of Burning Sun issue, promoting AOA via Queendom, and giving N.Flying opportunities to shine via lead song Rooftop.


Minor problem is on not giving necessary solo debuts for remaining CNBlue members. While Japanese versions of these are in place, it can’t be strictly considered as such.

In addition, their silence on disappearance of Cherry Bullet’s Kokoro and Linlin (plus Mirae) makes matters worse. They only issued statement upon their departure. In the past months, the group adjusts choreography with remaining members. That alone signals something is wrong with the rookie group, yet FNC is not solving this problem.

These things reflect their being unprofessional when it comes to groups like this, similar to what MLD Ent is doing. Better for FNC not to debut another group.

Finally, another hurdle is on FTIsland, especially with Jonghoon’s departure and Hongki joining the military. How will the agency restructure the band to keep it running? We’ll have to see it next year.


On the other hand, positive aspects need to be mentioned. First, it’s pleasing that FNC promotes N.Flying by giving three lead tracks and fanmeets overseas. They just have to promote it and SF9 further, as they have greater potentials.

Finally, they are renewing contract with AOA and keeping us updated, especially with the group joining Queendom. This sparked public’s interest in them being an eight-member group, and this helped them regain popularity. Quite interesting, since we might expect some developments after their sole comeback. Hope this will be turning point for all members to reunite.

Group(s) Rated: AOA

Rating: 74.55%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 3
2 Rolling of comebacks 4
3 Handling boy groups 4
4 Handling girl groups 3
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 4
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

Source Music

Source Music has been home to its sole group GFRIEND. Just like BigHit, it’s amazing that they are steering clear of any issues against the group.

Added to that was the agency’s consistent promotions through the tagline “Go, Go, Gfriend,” a concert tour of the group across Asia.

While no negative remarks against them are reported, the major challenge today is on how to market the group against other more famous rookie and old ones. This is an aspect they have to improve as Gfriend is still lagging behind in terms of overall group popularity index.

It being purchased by BigHit is now offering opportunities for Source Music to expand its lineup and establish international linkages. We’ll see what they can do in the coming years.

Group(s) Rated: GFRIEND

Rating: 96.00%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 5
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 9
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 9
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

SD Entertainment

SD Entertainment is home to its sole group SATURDAY. Although the agency itself is not yet famous, this has the greatest potential to succeed someday. This year, they are one of the most responsive agencies. Big and small agencies can learn something from them.

First is on its clearly-defined succession plan, completely absent in other agencies. When Chaewon left SATURDAY last year to focus on studies, Juyeon filled the void last January. Next is Sunha, who left last March to find another career, and afterwards Minseo was picked. This August, Chohee and Sion left. While remotely possible, expect the agency to pick additional two members.

Second is on its efforts to provide another comeback for the group. In fact, it assigned MakeStar to facilitate this purpose. It’s as if SD Entertainment says to us, “Want comeback? Fund us and then we’ll provide new one.” As of September they reached their target amount, and are on its way for a second appearance.

Finally, they make necessary adjustments on choreography upon change of members. This is the case when the group adjusted WiFi’s choreo upon Sunha’s departure.

The agency’s formula of borrowing concepts from other stars, and stable succession plan will put Saturday on radar alongside other famous K-Pop groups. If they decide to retain the cute concept, one of their songs someday will be a bop and be famous internationally.

SD Entertainment’s efforts bear good results. And here’s another good news: the branding index for a month lists their group as one of the 50 most famous in Korea.

Some things must be improved here. As they expand internationally, they have to translate most of their posts in English. This will be a lot of help to reach out to fans. Second is on consistent uploading to 1theK, as this is the point where their song WiFi became famous. Finally, their group has to involve themselves in various shows like Queendom and Masked Singer.

Group(s) Rated: SATURDAY

Rating: 93.33%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 5
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 10
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 10
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 2
Language barriers 3

WM Entertainment

As to ONF, we have to see some developments on promotions. Despite being in the scene for three years, they are tagged as underrated. WM has to improve on this.

WM had its best shot on Oh My Girl, with its two lead tracks being streamed more. In fact, the group even managed to bag music awards, and Koreans gave favorable responses on their music.

The agency even apologized for lack of immediate response on Jiho’s health issues, and pledged to update fans with her health status. It helped also that they permitted the group to join Queendom. This resulted in Oh My Girl being recognized as one of the most famous girl groups this year, and helped a lot for them to discover new concepts.

Rating: 89.09%
Grade: B+
Assessment: Good


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 3
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 9
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

Woollim Entertainment

As of this writing, INFINITE is still inactive, not to mention Woohyun enlisting in the military. Woollim also has to push through in giving Golden Child necessary promotions.

With regards to girl groups, they are at their best. Consider Lovelyz, who are being given chance to shine this year through a single promotion, letting them join in Queendom, and giving solo debuts for Babysoul and Kei. Also, they started adding new group called Rocket Punch, and are aggressively promoting it. This signals their readiness to expand with different approaches.

Another positive development was on malicious comments. As stated by the agency, they are continuously pressing charges against those who do. That alone is a very positive step to protect the mental health of their artists.

Rating: 87.27%
Grade: B-
Assessment: Satisfactory


  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 4
3 Handling boy groups 3
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 9
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

For our Part 2, stay tuned for our review of RBW, Starship, PNation, Fantagio, Off the Record, Polaris, and OSR.

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.


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.

Dawn (Money) and HyunA (Flower Shower): MV Reviews

This is the first time we featured combined reviews of work done by couples. We are referring to Hyuna and Dawn, who made comebacks this season.

While reviewers tend to give separate assessments, the author decided to put them in a single article. Not only because they are in a relationship. Moreso, this is because their storylines are interconnected, noticed in the flower shower commonly seen in them. Let’s start!

Storyline as whole

Money tells of Dawn’s story after being kicked out from Cube. With him being broke in money, he searched for work. He reflected, did introspection, and woke up with shower of flowers.

As a whole, I am not getting used to Dawn’s way, as I only knew of him as part of Pentagon. For comparison’s sake, his strong personality radiated throughout in Shine, while in this MV he portrayed himself as the opposite. That lack of luster proves to be very fatal, noting that he is starting a new journey.

The tunes used were reminiscent of dramatic tunes in Korean dramas, but is rendered in a fast pace.

The story of Flower Shower revolves is split into two: a girl waking up in the middle of the night, being surrounded by petals and butterflies. Second story revolves on her in a palace, trying to travel to various places.

Hyuna’s moves are very daring. Not surprising, as she did it during a college party. Instrumentals combine various techniques like echoing, bumping tunes on choruses, and drumbeats on pre-chorus. While these instrumentals are simple, this complements the low vocals Hyuna employed. Taken as whole, the music is exciting and mild, which relies on echoing voices.

Given the nature of her MV, it’s something that is relegated primarily to calm playlists.

A YouTube commenter interpreted Money (and latter’s song) as follows:

Hyuna’s song is called Flower Shower and she says she is a flower and wants to paint the sky with her own colors.

DAWN says that he paints flowers so they don’t die. It’s a reference to the struggles they had when people knew about their relation, Dawn is trying to say that he helped Hyuna and Hyuna helped him. It’s so beautiful how they kinda connected their songs, really goals


Honestly, I thought Dawn will borrow some lines from Bangtan’s BST:

Want the money, money? Yeah!
Money, money? Yeah!

Review by others

KPopReviewed did not really enjoyed Money, as it was “boring” and not captivating. It would’ve been better if he continued with Pentagon vibe he had. But piece by piece, vocals show his potential, and the song was more dynamic. The visuals remind him of G-Dragon’s fiercer side, albeit improved a bit.

As for Hyuna, she takes on completely different sound, compared with her previous tracks. Her music is simplified and has a playful vibe. This song tends to give highlight to her best aspects (vocals and raps).

TheBiasList made some similar observations on Dawn’s aspects like music and concept borrowing from YG. On the other hand, he pointed out the nature of it as fusion between “melodic pop” and hip-hop. The groove is present, and moderately satisfying.

Flower Shower presents a missed chance for the girl to take the lead. The chorus instrumentals got a dose of deadly points, and its centerpiece takes on wrong path doing repetitive loops. He likes the way vocals are arranged, and how she performs with ease. A stronger material is needed for artists like Hyuna.

To sum up, the blogger got disappointed over minimal releases from PNation, pushing artists to senseless directions.

Final Words

With Hyuna and Dawn getting over the dating scandal, we might see exciting prospects for other artists. Given that the society treats it negatively, let’s see if this will force them to change their attitude on stars dating. (We’ll do ratings on CUBE and PNation with regards to these sometime.)

This is a good start, considering that TWICE’s Jihyo is now receiving so much hate for being in love with Kang Daniel. (And don’t forget Momoland’s Daisy and JooE too.)

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: (Separate)
Money: 86.32%
Flower Shower: 83.16%

Grade: B-/C+
Assessment: Satisfactory/Improving

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 84.74% (Consolidated)
Grade: C+
Assessment: Improving


Aspect   Criterion Money Flower Shower
Storyline 1 Storyline 5 3
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5 5
Appearance 3 Colorful/color fits emotions 5 5
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 3
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 5 4
Music 10 Not too deafening 5 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 4 5
Dance 12 Not too sensual 5 4
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 4 3
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 2 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 7 6
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 1 2
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5 5
Other Matters 19      

(G)I-DLE ((여자)아이들) – Lion: MV Review

At this point, I am considering limiting MV Reviews for December releases. This is to focus on misheard lyrics, and year-end write-ups on K-Pop.

We are now up with a special release of (G)I-DLE in their song Lion. For a bit of info, this is a soft comeback that was given a music video. To add, the song was their final piece in Queendom.

We will touch on the group as it has proper MV, and since this serves as their memorabilia of engagements with the show. Being a new Neverland, how will the author rate the group? Let’s see:

(Side Note: At this point, I am also stanning (G)I-DLE, with Soojin as my ultimate bias, and Soyeon to be my bias wrecker.)


The storyline best speaks of the girls performing as lions, with such attributes. For instance, Soyeon got wild inside jail, Soojin shows her claw marks at the back, and Miyeon showing her claws.

Being the king of the jungle, the lion takes the lead by showing its being wild and fierce, something the group wants to tell us. Soyeon mostly exemplifies this by posing wild in an iron jail.

Review as whole

The final moment defined the group as queens in full regalia. To add, they all wear crowns starting from Minnie.

(G)I-DLE is maturing at this point. The buildup can be heard abruptly starting at the first verse. Soyeon’s lines were progressive, but short to garner attention. While the final chorus would seem to end abruptly, Soojin’s lines ends the song, which give a definite finish. The only improvement would be on “baa baa baa”(?), which should’ve been replaced with lyrics related to roar.

Meanwhile, I am impressed with Shuhua gaining more lines. It can be remembered that this was our issue raised on Senorita and Uh-Oh.

The author earlier emphasized how Cube is consistent on schedules. Cube releases first CLC’s comeback, followed by that of (G)I-DLE one month after. Though expected comeback is October (as CLC released Devil on September), it pushed a month further. It’s understandable since they are joining Queendom at that time.

Review by others

TheBiasList noted that the group got its “bluesy” appeal. Music takes a proper build-up of percussions which opens the chorus. Not to mention the lack of traps that plague most of K-Pop discography. The only concern would be on longevity of the track.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 92.00%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Very Good


Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 5
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 5
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 4
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
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 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 7
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 3
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5
Other Matters 19 Sexiness is present 5

CLC (씨엘씨) – Devil: MV Review

This time, we will feature again CLC, with their new song called Devil.

This will be the third comeback this year, and I am very pleased that they are catching up. Now that they are giving us something new, will this suit the author’s personal tastes? Let’s start!

(Side Note: Notice that CLC and (G)I-DLE follow the same pattern of releasing their MVs. So, expect another (G)I-DLE comeback by October.)

The storyline starts with girls in a table, sharing meals together. While at first it seems fine dining with each other, they are later trying to stab each other at the back.

So far, the moral lesson that can be grasped here is not to test other’s patience, or abuse their kindness. They supposedly wanted to show us that they “tried to be so polite,” but push them to the limits, where we can see their devilish side. Meanwhile, viewers will be taught to fix busted lights (0:40), play darts (0:44), and eat cereals (0:34).

Review by others

TheBiasList observed that the group returned back to “bright, addictive” concept. The musical palette being used helped keep the song stand out. What’s notable is on drawing music from the 50s, giving fresh start for the tunes and music as whole.

The rap was correctly placed where the rest of the song breathes, and its “sly” pre-chorus surprises us with new kind of build-ups. The blogger wanted more of it, but it’s a good start.

KPopReviewed noted that the group made so many comebacks this year. For positives, it was also “colorful and upbeat”, complementing it with their mature sounds. Overall, this was a great track.

Review as whole

They steered away from the badass, feministic concept that once defined them. This is a bit good, challenging them to be versatile. This move also lets them offer something new to Cheshires and other K-Pop fans.

Foremost is on adding funny scenes, absent in No and Me. They rendered it in a way that is not provocative, but enough to lift our moods. Funny scenes revolve more on “stabbing” each other, at 1:14 – 1:17, 1:22 – 1:24, 1:27 – 1:30, and at 1:35 – 1:37. Added funny scene was that of Seungyeon at 0:32, when about to be caught red-handed, pretended to eat the soap.

Second is on reintroducing the colorful bop performance, harking back to their special song No Oh Oh.

Finally, I find Yeeun’s raps quite modest. Maybe she toned it down to fit what’s required when doing happy bops like this. That’s okay.

Like, dislike

The only thing I personally disliked was on featuring horror (at 2:02 till end of video). I would prefer to cut this out, and this is they must improve next time.

Personally my most favorite tune is at interlude (2:18 – 2:30), where their bop tune at that point is very pleasing to ears. The members that stood out were Yeeun, still on her raps, and Elkie, when it comes to vocals and the way she acts.

Other netizens commented that CLC’s Devil reminds them of Red Velvet’s Russian Roulette. And similarities like revenge and bop-filled themes can be gleaned between the two songs.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 84.55% (Updated)
Grade: C+
Assessment: Improving


Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 5
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5
Appearance 3 Colorful 5
Appearance 4 Good taste 4
Appearance 5 No Halloween, Easter, etc. 1
Appearance 6 No astrology featured 5
Appearance 7 Less horror featured 1
Appearance 8 Not too revealing outfits 5
Music 9 Exciting 5
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 5
Dance 12 Not too sensual 5
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 5
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor 10
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 4
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 4
Other Matters 19 Shares concepts from other groups 5
    Uploads video to 1theK 5
    Features 1theK logo 0

PENTAGON (펜타곤) – Humph! (접근금지): MV Review

This article will be the last review for July releases. MV reviews for August will be published soon. Stay tuned.

This will be the first time reviewing PENTAGON in their another work, called Humph!

Their song Shine, which they planned so well from music to dance, convinced me to be part of their fandom. This we also dealt with in our various misheard lyrics published by author.

Being a Universe also, my expectations on this comeback are simple: Improvement on previous performance, and maintain/surpass excitement brought about by Shine. Let’s review now:

(Side Notes: With success of Pentagon, CUBE Entertainment might consider also creating boy groups like Triangle and Prism. Just joking. 😀

Also, I will not review their latest track Happiness, as the track is performed in Japanese.)

The storyline tells of series of struggles between two persons, starting with two kids who grew up, bringing struggle against each other. Time come that they confront each other, but not that long. The video ends with members rejoicing the friendship between the two. The school campus theme is consistently featured in the video.

PENTAGON clearly stated the moral lesson, and that’s on resolution of fights. This is highly needed, considering that fights occur everywhere. It might also tell every fandom to stop bashing each other. Another lesson is on drawing the line. If this involves serious matters, we should not go beyond that, and we should respect that.

Viewers will find some things beneficial for them, like on featuring baseball at 3:00 – 3:09, and what’s happening inside the school.

Funny scenes that can be seen here is on throwing papers (2:56 – 2:59), reminding us of their song Shine, upon knowing that the two are in good terms.

Another is on Hui at 1:13 telling the members to “Stop!” Look at his reaction:

I find also the height standard funny (2:14 – 2:25), especially on how the taller members reacted. Their act reminds me of TWICE’s inside joke on Chaeyoung, and even on GFRIEND’s members teasing Eunha over it. (If included in MV, the two would definitely pass through that door.)

Review by others

TheBiasList was somewhat dismayed by the group replicating factors that made Shine shine, but lacked luster. It described sadly the state of various song parts: intro as “autotuned,” mid-tempo beat as ‘like any other”, lack of momentum, and “skittery” instrumentals that makes the song pointless.

On a positive note, potentials are on pre-chorus where the boys give their best vocals.

KPopReviewed noted that Pentagon is leaning towards vibrant theme after Shine, albeit showcasing different tunes. It described whole video as very cool one. The melodic song is smooth, flowing, warm, and bright, making it perfect for the season. He/she desires to listen it more, as it is addictive.

He/she illustrated the storyline very well. On performance, it was very good, especially on their hand gestures.

Review as whole

On music, their instrumentals are very simple, but enough to engage listeners. I liked also the flutey tune, especially at the beginning and end of music. This lightens up the mood of listeners like me.

As compared to Shine, the music and dance was less exciting, but sustainable enough to keep the energy in the song going till the end. Conversely, the storyline and moral lesson here is clearer than the hit track.

I enjoyed how the members played their roles well. They also made a great move telling the story, in such a way this looks like a mini-musical. This can be noticed on the group singing while acting.

PENTAGON explained well the line drawn at the table. When one crosses the line, expect fights. The tension seen in the MV was rendered in a way not too provocative, but still entertains us and maintains the lighter, carefree vibe.

Universes would tell of absences by some members, but the members’ reasons are justifiable. It just saddens also to see another member not present in the MV (again). It’s Yanan, who is on a hiatus now due to hand injuries. To Yanan, be well and take a rest!

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 92.38%


Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 5
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5
Appearance 3 Colorful 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 5
Music 9 Exciting 5
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 5
Dance 12 Not too sensual 5
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 5
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor 10
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 3
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 5
Features 1theK logo 0

CLC (씨엘씨) – ME (美): (MV Review)

For our next video review, we will feature for the first time CLC.

I only knew the group when they featured their song “NO” for this year. Their title was quite funny, as some commented that it was their response to TWICE’s “Yes or Yes.” I illustrated how these two songs fit together in my recent misheard lyric.

After their modest success in their first song, here comes the new lead song called “ME”. From the title itself, we can see the difference. Instead of displaying the Chinese character for “me,” (我) they chose to feature a different character (美).

The Chinese character means “beauty”. It was the same word being used as Chinese name for the United States (美国,literally “Beautiful Country”). This song continues to define their own version of beauty. But anyway, would they retain the momentum they had with their previous song “No”? The answer must be Yes or Yes. Haha. But you may enjoy first their MV before reviewing them.


  1. Video must have a storyline – 5 points

While I haven’t understood clearly their storyline, they provided the same for their video in the description.

1theK, in its official YouTube page, provided a storyline on the MV:

CLC, who gave a strong impact to the public through “No” with the band’s confident and charismatic performance on January, tries to perfectly position themselves with new song “ME (美)”. CLC’s new song “ME (美)” refers to the theme of ‘beautiful me’ using the English word ‘Me’ and the same pronunciation of Chinese character ’ meaning beauty, in a whimsical way. This song with the strong sound and beat as well as the strongly addictive refrain that reverses as the song proceeds shows CLC’s confident fascination to captivate everyone with their individuality and beauty.

  1. Theme must be consistent and clear – 5 points

The group featured consistenly the art and the crowded spaces concept. Also, their theme revolves on their definition of beauty.


  1. Moral lesson must be clearly stated – 5 points

From what we can see in the whole video, they try to impart confidence. This is needed, especially when dealing with so many people.

Another moral lesson that might not be noticed is on different views when it comes to beauty. Somehow, the goat painted in white and black represents one painted (viewed) as beautiful while the other one has not. This might tell us on how to handle situations like these.

(And actually, beauty standards in Korea, though quite believable, are not gospel truth. CLC perfectly defined this lesson in “No” and this song: “I’m beautiful since I was born”/”태어날 때부터 아름다움” )

  1. They must impart something beneficial for their viewers – 5 points

With many people using gadgets to play games, somehow they will tell viewers to try traditional games like this domino. This is featured at 2:38.

Other Matters

  1. Inject sense of humor in the music video – 6 points

At 1:40, a member tries to put out fire by blowing instead of using fire extinguishers. Maybe she has powers to put out these?

Other than that, I did not see other funny scenes in the video.

  1. Ability of the song to make it to mainstream media – 3 points

I gave this rating, as I am not certain this will make it to radio and TV.

  1. Review by other sites – 4 points

TheBiasList contrasted CLC’s previous song with this one, noting the latter as a “diminished” version of them. This can also be compared with 4Minute’s “Hate”, particularly on the music.

Positive remarks were on the instrumentals, particularly on the percussions and “beat drops”, which goes together with their voices on the last seconds.

Negative points include their beat drop which was more than noisy, and focuses less on substance. The blogger also was not impressed with the song, and that the verses are bound to be forgotten. The song was also simplified to the point that it does not jive with various songs playing in the background.

KPopReviewed was excited on the group’s comeback, noting that they sticked to the “edgy” genre which made them known. This time, they matured on this specialty.

The most “memorable” part is on the instrumentals being played on the chorus, reminding also of 4Minute’s song. This is also a “wake-up call” in its own right, since the beats are quite “explosive”. He/she also liked their hooks and vocal sections, and noted that it would further stand out had they included thicker raps in the music. Meanwhile, the red stroke of paint was the best, as though simple, it speaks much.

Negative points were on the blandness of the song, which does not reflect the intense feeling they want to show. It was also not “edgy,” especially if we will listen to their acapellas. It lacks the sensual side of their choreography unlike their previous songs like “NO” or “Black Dress”.

  1. Review of the music video as a whole – 5 points

Like what we discussed, they described the beauty as two faced, as seen on a goat in black and white. Being destroyed signifies that the days of defining what is and what is not beautiful are over.

On the visuals, I understand that they are featuring different aspects of beauty. However, this doesn’t have a coherent storyline. In fact, I haven’t understand as of this moment why they have to feature red paint. Maybe it represents the red lipstick?

I might agree with other reviewers. The song had less impact for me, unlike their song “No”. While the song has repeatedly stuck on my head, I doubt if this will be the case on “Me”.

Aside from that, it seems that Seungyeon gave way for her other members to stand out, especially on vocals. This is apparently the case if you compare her performance with that of “No”.

Most outstanding members for me were Sorn, who maintained her confidence in the two vids,…

…and another one is Yeeun, who lately caught my attention at 3:22. I also felt attracted to the latter, albeit with short hair, after watching her as emcee in MTV’s “The Show.”

On the outfits, I have to rate it at four points, as it was quite revealing. This can be seen at the start of the video. Meanwhile, one point lacking was on their music not being exciting enough. Three points for music since it was deafening. Four points are given on the dance being easily understood, since the difficult dance revolves on 2:20 – 2:24.

  1. Other factors
  • Features special effects – 5 points

Look at 3:06, where a member tips down dominoes to feature their title.

  • Shares concepts with other groups – 5 points

The dark room concept (2:32) is shared with Dreamcatcher in their song Piri.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 85.22%

Final Words

CLC’s latest performance in MTV’s “The Show” convinced me to revise my original rating upward.

The song is not bad enough. On a personal note, I also liked their daring moves and their execution of choreography. I see that they are more confident doing it unlike their previous song.

Since they released the song “ME,” I made a running joke about it.

CLC: Me?

Also CLC: No.

Some points need to be improved here. This is more on defining the storyline and simplifying their dances. Except for these, they made a good choice on positioning themselves to the genre they want. It is hoped that the review will let them take it as a challenge to outdo themselves every comeback.

(G)I-DLE (여자아이들) – Senorita (세뇨리타): MV Review

For the first time, we will feature another new girl group called (G)I-DLE (여자아이들). They are composed of six members, namely Miyeon, Minnie, Soojin, Soyeon, Yuqi, and Shuhua, under Cube Entertainment.

They released their newest song called Senorita (세뇨리타), and at a first reading of the title, one might think that something Spanish is featured in the video. However, as we dig deeper in this review, there are some points that are lacking, that are good, and others needed for improvement.

This is freshly-baked, by the way. You may watch their video first before proceeding to review proper:


  1. Video must have a storyline – 5 points

The group’s new music video made the storyline simple. The girls, wanting to stay somewhere, decided to check at a hotel. As they go on, walking inside the hotel, something’s wrong inside, up to the point that the building is in bad shape.

  1. Theme must be consistent and clear – 5 points

The theme primarily revolves on featuring a hotel. Added to the consistency is on featuring the dangers they face. This is seen on them crossing the sparkling electrical equipments, almost hit by the crane hook, and fires. We will discuss this later.


  1. The music video as a whole must be colorful – 5 points

This can be noticed in the hotel lobby, where almost all sorts of colors are there. Very colorful indeed.

  1. Must be done in good taste – 5 points

I see this as being done in good taste. Nothing awkward or gross was seen in this video.

  1. Does not celebrate Halloween, Easter, or similar celebrations – 5 points

No celebrations of any sort were seen in this video.

  1. Does not feature astrology – 5 points

No traces of astrology were featured.

  1. Less horror is featured in the video – 5 points

No any trace of horror is featured in Senorita. However, I just want to point out something. Shuhua, who walked at 1:15 – 1:16, was about to be hit by a crane hook. This had almost shocked me, and that was scary enough. Hope she was okay after that.

  1. Not too revealing outfits – 5 points

The outfits of the girls are decent enough. Haven’t seen any suit that revealed their unnecessary parts in the video.


  1. Ability of the music to excite the listener – 4 points

The Spanish tune present in the music enlivens the mood of the listeners. But some points need to be considered: The slow tunes present in the music, like that of 0:21 – 0:37, would make one mellow. The rest of the song would not be enough for me to be excited.

  1. Music should not be deafening on the ears – 4 points

This music does not irritate the ear, except for the trumpet part. It is suggested that they have to modulate the volume. 


  1. Dance can be learned easily even by beginners – 5 points

The dance can be easily learned, especially on the chorus parts featured here.

The easiest part of the dance can be seen at 1:19 – 1:20, where hands are flipped in front, opposite each other.

  1. Dance must not be too sensual – 5 points

Nothing sensual was seen in the whole of the video.


  1. Moral lesson must be clearly stated – 3 points

Nothing could be learned from this video, except from the fact that one gave a birthday cake to the other girl. It may be because it was the latter’s birthday. This represents the memories we share with fellow people, and represents the way how we value the people around us.

  1. They must impart something beneficial for their viewers – 5 points

On something beneficial, that would be on history and arts side. They featured the hotel, and taught the viewers on how to check in the hotel. The girls had done it correctly: Instead of whistling or shouting, they used the bush bell (which is the proper procedure) when calling the attention of receptionists.

It also features the arts present in the hotel, like furbished rooms, old-style elevators, and Oriental rugs.

Other Matters

  1. Inject sense of humor in the music video – 1 point

Sorry. There was nothing funny in the video, even in a little bit. That would somehow lift the mood of listeners.

  1. Ability of the song to make it to mainstream media – 3 points

Based on the dance and the music itself, few from the mainstream media will pick it.

  1. Review by other sites – 3 points

Comments from netizens follow:

I love it when artists experiment with different sounds. I love this song.

Of all the new girl groups in K-Pop industry, (G)I-DLE seriously caught my attention, especially Soyeon (with her amazing rap), Soojin (with her husky voice), and Yuji (with her deep but satisfying voice)

…this melody is so catchy. I’ve been smashing the replay button so hard. And the bridge…is so cool…

Good song, but wasn’t as best as Latata.

Obsessed and Assessed rated this song as their “weakest and worst release to date,” and did not like their song. On a positive note, it noticed that the song progresses from bland to nice, till cut by “awkward” pre-chorus.

It also noticed that the bridge doesn’t sound good, as this did not justify the ending needed in the song. Not to mention  the guy who served as background voice telling “Senorita.” Meanwhile, it favorably rated the visuals of the MV.

TheBiasList noted that the song is the “least exciting” track, though it also noticed the unusual type of music. The first seconds of the song has a hint of excitement, but loses it as it “moves closer to current trends.” Regarding the male back-up voice, it was a mere catcall. It ends with a saying that it had delighted with their previous releases than the current one.

Aminoapps had expected so much of Senorita, and commented that “the first verse is really good.” It deemed Shuhua’s part as unnecessary, as this served as cliffhanger before the chorus. The chorus and the second verse were the best parts.

It commented that the song was not “finished” because “they did not go back to the chorus.” They ended the song abruptly.

  1. Review of the music video as a whole – 4 points

I also appreciate the music video, and the song as a whole. The title “Senorita” fits well on their description as young ladies, and they incorporate elements of Spanish music.

The music video reflects their maturity on the music and on how the way they act. And to borrow again the fellow blogger’s words, they show the danger that they are facing.

The only thing they missed is they did not include other elements of Spanish culture, like dress and food. Also, they might as well considered including ballroom dancers. They may include other words like “Ole!” and “Gracias” in the lyrics. They should have considered featuring Ricky Martin, or what Super Junior did when they featured Reik and Leslie Grace.

  1. Other factors:
  • Calling the ambulance or fire department when on fire – 0 points.

Sorry, I have to rate it at zero points. It is because safety is of prime importance. What could viewers learn from their negligence inside the hotel? For instance, it is present on bathroom soaked with water. That definitely causes short circuits and fires, but they don’t care.

  • Safety equipment is present – 2 points

A blogger pointed out that the girls are facing real dangers ahead, that’s why they have no safety equipments. I understand.

But obviously, they lacked safety precautions. Especiallly when dealing with cranes. Aside from Shuhua not wearing protective equipment while walking at 1:14 – 1:21, Minnie did not wear the same when hanging on a crane hook at 2:29 – 2:35. The latter let her go of the crane hook and fell. Hope Minnie thought of having a parachute. Ha ha.

  • Features a bit of science – 5 points

They made a good deal of showing even a bit of science. This was seen on Soojin in the elevator. When the elevator box falls, it showed how Soojin and her things react if that happens. (By the way, that rarely happens in real life. Elevators as we know have added safety feature to prevent this case.)

  • Shares concept with other groups – 5 points

Let me define what are the concepts being adopted by (G)I-DLE in creating this MV:

First, they share concept with the newbie group SATURDAY, especially on hanging things. While SATURDAY in their song Wi-Fi has their floating letter balloons at 0:13 – 0:15, (G)I-DLE has their trumpets at 1:47 – 1:52 and at 3:21 – 3:23.

Second is on PSY in his song Gangnam Style. The elevator concept used by the longtime soloist has been adopted by the group.

Lastly is on MAMAMOO’s Egotistic, particularly on burning surroundings. While that of MAMAMOO can be seen at end of the video, the group adopted it particularly after the bridge.

  • Uploads the video to 1theK – 5 points (Updated)
  • Features the 1theK logo – 0 points

(G)I-DLE is part of the 1theK group.

I gave zero points, as they haven’t featured the logo even when they walked in the streets, or as a picture inside the hotel. Or they haven’t posted it clearly.

  • Not obvious ads – 2 points

Now, on dealing with product placements or ads, ITZY nailed it perfectly.

For info of everyone, Kia (car company) partners with ITZY, while Kaja (make-up brand) partners with (G)I-DLE.

(G)I-DLE should learn from ITZY, particularly on ads. The sponsor – as we call it – did not feature itself on its products. While its cars were used by members, the product sponsor did not go too far to post its brand on the video.

  • Sexiness is present – 5 points

Though I might present myself as too conservative reviewer, I also give leeway to sexiness as long as it’s not lewd or gross.

The member who nailed it the best was Soojin, especially on her outfits.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 74.81% (Updated)

Final Words

In fairness to the group, I repeatedly played the video, as it was also beautifully made. But upon computation of these scores, I had no choice.

To be frank, I have nothing against the group. It just so happened that some points need to be considered, and these are explained fully a while ago. Hope this review helps (G)I-DLE in their next projects.