Watch This! The New Edition Story

A you a big fan of Boy bands? K-pop? Pop in general?  Have you heard of New Edition? If not you should. Considered the trailblazers of the modern boy band  New Edition was founded in 1978 in Boston, MA. Unfortunately like many pioneers they are often forgotten and the credit given to those who became more “successful” in their wake.

Their former manager Maurice Starr went on to create another boy band comprised of members of the caucasian persuasion named New Kids on The Block who became a huge success and the face of the boy band  in the U.S.and around the world.

All you K-pop and boy band fans should watch this movie to get a little history.

 

Check Out the New Edition Story Jan 24th on BET!

How do you think New Edition influenced the pop and K-pop world?

 

Let’s go back…..Christmas in 1999

Christmas 1999 the last Christmas before the millennium  and in the K-pop world SMTown’s  first Christmas album Christmas In SMTown.com. Featuring the hottest artists of time and the original pioneering groups of K-pop.

smtown christmas album

 

I like how music video gives the feeling of the SMTown  artists as an family.

Even though these next songs are from  albums  released in 2000 and 2001 it still has the 90s vibe their predecessor contains.

One of my favorite Christmas songs. I even include this song in my Christmas mix for Christmas parties lol.

Another great music video with the SMTown “family”. Angel Eyes is not your typical sounding Christmas song but is upbeat and joyous (and it also sounds like songs from the  Sonic R video game lol).

Do you have any favorite K-pop Christmas songs?

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

B.I.G.-Taola MV and single Review

Boys in groove

 

For this review I’m going to have to rescue a review from my music abyss (lol). I discovered B.I.G.( which stands for Boys In Groove mind you) by way of their second single Between Night n Music. I was attracted to their neo disco sound and cute MV with a simple but actual storyline and their outfits (who could forget those polka dot outfits). Between night n music was released in March of 2015 and B.I.G. has been silent since. This November B.I.G. emerged from the silence with a new look and of course new single! This new single is entitled Taola.
With this new single B.I.G. is still going strong with the retro theme this time jumping from 70’s inspired neo disco beats to a dramatic 90s R&B/pop melody (the melody of the song and vocals sound very familiar). Taola contrasts greatly with their last single Between night n music the latter they sound much younger and upbeat. Taola showcases the members deeper voices (especially in the rap segments) well with the dramatic chorus which brings back memories of old school k-pop hits. In the beginning of the track a member is heard stating that this song is a “New chapter” it seems his statement is correct.

 B.I.G. Then

As one can see  the Between night n music mv was produced (well) on a meager budget and gave B.I.G. an image that truly matched their name (boys in groove) as (invisible) disco dancers that help cheer up a woman evening that was going wrong.
  B.I.G Now

     Taola takes a cue from old 90’s videos were each member has their own theme and room but updated with the trend that’s overtaken almost every music video..neon lights. With its use of bold and dark colors (both in the member’s clothing and background sets) and shots of the members looking intensely into the camera Taola gives off a much more mature and dramatic vibe. Despite the differences B.I.G. stays true to their name and delivers a great dance song.
With this new single I look forward to their next incarnation if they choose to stay with this look and vibe or go with a totally different theme its bound to be a dance hit.

Rewind!!Xia – Yesterday album and MV review

 

Now that its officially Winter, Ready for some “Autumn music”?

junsureviewimage

Kim Junsu (known as XIA) was one of the members of the original DBSK who left in 2009 (for more info on the reasons why click here). After Kim and two other members left DBSK  they formed a trio named JYJ  and released a few albums. During this period Junsu under the name Xia began a solo career. He released his first album Tarantallegra in 2012 followed by Incredible in 2013 and Flower in 2015. Xia released his most recent album Yesterday in the fall of 2015.

A short video history of XIA

This is the first solo track I’ve heard from “Xia” back when he was still in DBSK

Xia’s music videos are always dramatic and often rife with symbolism. So despite Xia’s newest single Yesterday being a slow ballad I knew the mv would at least be interesting to watch the mv did not disappoint. In short the video is a story of a man surviving a disaster and remembering his loved one that he had a fight with just before the disaster occurred. We follow the man on his journey to find his lost loved one. In the end he finds her and thinks she is dead but it is implied she is not and we see the entire earth in a red hue perhaps signifying a global disaster has occurred. In the last scenes the moon begins to break apart (meaning more awful things to come) so it makes one wonder, he found his love when the world is truly about to come to an end?

xia yesterday cover

Xia’s Yesterday album contains eight tracks. While all of the tracks are great in their own right I will be reviewing the four tracks that stood out to me.

Now on to the review.

Oeo a bright dance track with a chorus of the exact spelling of OEO is very catchy and definitely a club song. Unlike most of his EDM tracks OEO has a cooler  sound to the instrumentals as compared to Xiahtic for example.

 Midnight Show takes me back to old school J-pop from the late 90s. It’s a very upbeat track with strong piano chords which give the song a more mature pop sound.

Tarantallegra (Acoustic Ver.)  is a great rendition of the song as the vocals are re sung (not just laying the original track with new music) this version takes on a much less dramatic tone and with Spanish flavored guitar melodies and raspy vocals lends this version  a “warmer” vibe.

Incredible (Acoustic Ver.) is the surprising track out of the mini album. Incredible is a prime example of how loud or distracting instrumentals can drown out good vocals. In the acoustic version only the notes of a piano accompany Xia (as well as the background singers) giving Incredible an intimate feel like you’re listening to Xia live at a small venue.

 The Yesterday album was released as autumn  release to give listeners music that fits the season (much like the brighter, upbeat “summer music” genre) with its cooler tone instrumentals in its dance songs such as OEO as well as R&B flavored songs such as Midnight Show and ballads such a Yesterday and the touching Incredible Xia’s album surely is a great “fall music” release.

Check this out! Exo Love me right~ romantic universe version teaser

I had just spoke on how video games and video game music often finds its way into music and/or music videos and recently I have found this teaser for Exo‘s Japanese debut single Love me right-romantic universe check it out below!

What do you think of the teaser?

I will be doing a review of the album when it is released so stay tuned!

Let’s go back…….. to 2014 Taemin solo album ACE

Taemin has been a member of the super popular South Korean boyband “SHINee” since its inception (2008). As most boybands go SHINee’s catalog of works contained upbeat candy pop, dramatic anthems and R&B influenced pop songs. Being that Taemin is a member of this group one may typically expect his solo album to have similar influences. However this is not the case. As listeners will find out upon hearing the diverse tracks of Taemin’s first solo album ACE.

A very short video history of SHINee

   Taemin_Ace_EP

The following review is of tracks from the mini album that stood out to me as a listener.
Ace The album’s title track is a surprising intro to the album with its slight 80’s R&B ethereal vibe the airy chimes and keyboard notes creates a cool atmosphere that showcases Taemin’s lucent voice.

Danger Taemin’s debut song contains influences that is blaringly obvious from the first stanza: Michael Jackson. The song as a whole is an interesting mix of 90’s style euro-pop and Michael Jackson. MJ’s influence is heard in the details ranging from the song’s melodic rapping thru Taemin’s shouts of Danger! In case you are still not sure of  the Michael Jackson influence in threaded in Danger the video will clear that up.

Play Me brings us back to the flowy dream like sound that the opening  track Ace introduced. Taemin’s soft voice once again is complemented by lighter instrumentals and delicate melodies. Play me sounds like a homage to an older R&B song “Rock the Boat” by Aaliyah with its cool airy vibe and its repetitive chorus.

Pretty Boy This track interrupts the cooler tone Ace was leading. Taemin voice takes on a hint of base as he sings/raps with confidence and bursts with energy in the chorus. In variance with the track’s title of ”Pretty boy” Taemin tries to come across more macho and “hard” as a stark contrast to the smooth R&B crooner he portrays on the other songs off his album.

For a solo debut Ace demonstrated Taemin’s vocal talent in a musically diverse collection of tracks . The album as a whole establishes Taemin as a possible contender in the R&B realm, giving him a more mature and suave image than his k-pop counterpart (image?).

So what do you think about Taemin’s solo album ACE a year later? Did it help establish him musically and image wise as an solo artist?

SHINee Married to the music review

shinee married2

With their latest release of their repackaged album Married to the Music SHINee takes on a retro theme. I have always been a been fan of retro fashion, music and movies be it the 50s thru the 80s and even the 90s (now that its considered retro ) so I excitedly awaited this release. Check out my review of the new songs on the album and the unusual (for k-pop anyway) music video here

What do you think of the single or the music video? Better yet what you think of the new tracks?

Let me know in the comments!