WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: f(x)’s “4 Walls”

It has been a stressful week, and I needed a song that I could just relax to while sipping some hot chocolate and Bailey’s. “4 Walls” was the first pick on my kpop playlist, and it was exactly what I needed.

While I definitely love the happy, upbeat f(x) of “All Mine,” “4 Walls” is a much moodier song despite its heavy reliance on synth sounds. It starts out reserved, almost quiet, though the transition into the first chorus and then Amber’s rap verse quickly ramps up the song’s intensity. The vocal performances in this one feel very tightly controlled and deliberate, even though there are a number of adlibs and soaring/fluttering notes up above.

There are several great parts in this song, from the harmonies on the chorus to Amber’s lovely alto singing, though I think my absolute favorite part is the bridge. I love how it drops down bare-bones chimes, beat, and the melody and then slowly adds background vocals before going back to the full instrumentation.

The MV is fascinating, if a little incomprehensible for me. It feels more like an aesthetic than a coherent story–not that that’s a bad thing, far from it. There are lots of little clever moments where the camera cuts between members doing the same or similar actions, and I enjoyed how the transition from mundane reality to the magical forest was marked by a literal expansion of the world(/video). The MV is a little too muted for me to call it whimsical, but there is a subdued sense of wonder throughout.

You should definitely give “4 Walls” a shot if you haven’t already. It’s one of my favorites.

Buy “4 Walls” on iTunes || Buy the 4 Walls album on Amazon
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: 2PM’s “Come Back When You Hear This Song”

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today (and still having a Save Me hangover), so we’re looking back four years to one of my favorite 2PM songs. “Come Back When You Hear This Song” is a fairly straightforward regretting-the-breakup number, though it has a surprisingly upbeat tempo and melody for a song that is essentially wow, I was a piece of shit, please forgive me?

What should I do now that it’s too late
I regret that I let you go
Don’t have the courage to make you come back after making you cry
But give me one more chance

The MV itself has aged fairly well, and I still like the motif of the seven deadly sins and how each of the boys’ different sins drove the lady away. Interestingly, the lady being begged to return was associated with pride before the start of the song–did she need to get rid of it in order to leave in the first place? Or is ripping off that necklace what allowed her to come back at the end? I would definitely not go back to them if I were her, but hey, maybe she wants six rich boyfriends if they grovel a little. That’s her choice.

This isn’t the group’s most interesting choreography (and some of the moves haven’t aged well), but the MV does a pretty good job of conveying its simple story. “Come Back When You Hear This Song” is just easy and pleasant for me to listen to. It makes for some great background noise when I’m out and about or doing chores. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a chance–I think it’s worth four minutes of your time.

Buy “Come Back When You Hear This Song” on iTunes || Buy the Grown album on Amazon
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: BTS’s “Save Me”

I’ll be honest, the reason this song crossed my mind—besides it being good, of course—is because I just finished the drama Save Me yesterday. Plus, I’m always a sucker for love songs with a bit of desperation in them, so BTS’s “Save Me” felt like a great way to start the weekend.

First things first—whatever that little woodwind-y thing is in the background that’s doing the descant or whatever, I love it. I also don’t know anything about instrumentation, clearly. It pops in and out of the music almost like it’s soaring, and at points it is another voice to fill in what would otherwise be tedious breaks.

The rap verses are well done. Even though they’re quite lengthy, none of them kill the song’s momentum, and they’re all distinct and interesting to listen to. The guys also did an excellent job on the background harmonies, too—dare I say they’re even more beautiful than the solos?

The MV is fairly straightforward: one shot in a deserted, sandy(?) plain with an overcast sky and muted light. It fits the mood of the song well since “Save Me” is all about needing the listener’s love.

If you haven’t already contributed to one of the 138 million views the MV has, you should definitely check it out. “Save Me” is definitely going on one of my favorite playlists.

Buy “Save Me” on iTunes || Buy The Most Beautiful Moment in Life album on Amazon
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor”

My neck of the woods suddenly dropped thirty degrees while raining buckets, and it has me missing summer something fierce. So I decided to pull out a song that I think has captured the essence of warmer days–bright colors, energy, and–most importantly–fun. Enter “Red Flavor,” which was Red Velvet’s offering in July of this year.

It’s an upbeat song that makes me wish I could dance. The rhythm is compelling, and even when they mix up the tempo, the slower sections don’t drag the song to a halt. I’m totally in love with the chorus (and the bridge), and this song is likely to be on my running and clean-the-house-fast playlists for the next year or more.

The more I listen to it, the closer it comes to edging out “Dumb Dumb” as my favorite of their songs. It doesn’t wear me as out like “Dumb Dumb” does, and I really enjoy their voices in this one. There’s just something bright and cheery about this song that keeps me coming back.

If you had told me “Red Flavor” was actually a CF for soft drinks or to promote imported fruit, I might have believed you. I’ve got no idea what all this fruit imagery is for, but it gives the MV bright splashes of color that aren’t too overwhelming. Their styling for this video is great (thank god they left their “Russian Roulette” hair behind), but I wish we had fewer interviewing giant pieces of fruit shots and more dance sections instead.

If you’re already missing summer, make sure to give “Red Flavor” a listen. It’s rapidly becoming one of my favorites for the year.

Buy “Red Flavor” on iTunes || Buy The Red Summer album on Amazon
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: Sunmi’s “Gashina”

First off, many thanks to SplashofInspiration for recommending the song. I’d heard two of Sunmi’s solo songs before and thought they were decent (and bought some Wonder Girls songs that I enjoyed), so I was optimistic about her newest offering. Spoiler alert: It’s fun.

I’ll admit “Gashina” wasn’t my thing initially (tropical house generally isn’t), but it is  just the kind of song that can grow on you. The beat is catchy, and since the song stays mostly in Sunmi’s lower-to-mid register, it’d be pretty easy to sing along with.

If you don’t speak Korean, you’ll definitely want to turn on the subtitles. It really enhanced my perception of the song (and appreciation for the MV). I’ll admit to giggling over the fact that the narrator just doesn’t understand why her milkshakes aren’t keeping this man in her yard anymore:

Everyone wants to smell my fragrance.
Why are you the only fool who doesn’t smell it?
Have you gone crazy?
Why are you leaving such a beautiful woman like me behind?

I don’t know, Sunmi. I hope you find a better guy who appreciates you more.

The music video is an often silly, sometimes sexy, kaleidoscope of colors and concepts. I have two main complaints: the opening is too long, and we barely get to see any of the choreography. (So here, have a comeback stage.) That said, the visuals are striking, and I think the MV lends the song a bit of a comedic air in concert with the lyrics.

If you’re a fan of Sunmi or her old group, you should give the song a listen:

Buy “Gashina” on iTunes || Buy or stream “Gashina” on Amazon

The above links are affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: Dreamcatcher’s “Chase Me”

It’s been almost two months since I’ve done one of these, oops.

You ever hear a song for the first time that just sledgehammers you with nostalgia? That’s what Dreamcatcher’s “Chase Me” was like for me, which from its very first verse took me back to the good old days of early 2000s shonen anime OSTs. (I say that with the highest of praise, for the record.) It would fight right in with the best of them.

“Chase Me” is a high energy song that knows how to build up to its ridiculously catchy chorus. The verses rein in that energy, just enough that hitting the chorus feels like the group is being let loose to enjoy themselves.

Oh, and the MV is horror-themed, which I absolutely adore.  (Which continues into the rest of their MVs, in fact. More of this please. From everyone. Dark and sinister complements my mood.)  “Catch Me” is a grab bag of horror imagery and tropes, what with seven ghostly girls tormenting a ghost-hunting investigator into reenacting The Shining.

The lyrics could be interpreted as a “romantic” chase, but let’s be honest, they’re talking about haunting your dreams:

Chase me, catch me if you can
It was really close (dangerous)
But, I already left there
(Where will I go this time?)
Chase me, yes, find me
No one can stop me
So that you can’t catch me anymore
I’ll secretly hide in another dream (x)

I’m a little sad this song has under 4 million views–I think it’s a great showcase for a new group. (Even though I wish their company had given them a different name and/or nixed the actual dreamcatcher iconography.) If you haven’t heard the song already, you should give it a shot.

Buy “Chase Me” on iTunes || Buy their latest song, “Fly High,” on iTunes


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: Sistar’s “Lonely”

I know a lot of people in my corner of the internet have been sad ever since the news broke that Sistar would be disbanding, and I was, too. “I Swear” is one of my favorite kpop songs, and I’m a little sad we won’t be getting any more like it from this talented quartet. That said, “Lonely” is a lovely parting gift to Sistar’s fans. It isn’t often that a group gets a goodbye song and a wrap-up that feels amicable. While “Lonely” isn’t a summer anthem song like the group was famous for, the song and MV are a bittersweet tribute to endings.

The lyrics are straightforward—the narrator has begun to feel lonely in a relationship that is on the rocks:

Breaking up is the only option left
You’re preparing our end, too
We can’t go back in time
That’s what hurts
(x)

It’s pretty standard fare as far as these types of songs go, but what really elevates “Lonely” is the chorus. I love the way it builds into something that almost sounds like they’re preparing to break free. It’s not quite upbeat, not exactly heart-wrenching angst, but something that’s akin to being this close to throwing in the metaphorical towel.

The music video goes back and forth between engaging with the angst in the lyrics and just acknowledging that this is an actual farewell. One of the things that I loved about “I Swear” was that it looked like the members were having fun, and that’s here, too, which is a lovely contrast to the shots that feel like everyone is saying goodbye.

“Lonely” is a wonderful sendoff to a strong group, and if you haven’t given it a listen already, you should:

Buy Song on iTunes
The above link is an affiliate link to iTunes. By purchasing through this link, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

 

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: K.A.R.D.’s “Don’t Recall”

I’ll be honest, K.A.R.D’s second pre-debut single (how is that a thing? why is it a thing?) wasn’t my favorite at first listen. Heavy synth and frequent auto-tune aren’t typically my go-to sounds when I want to listen to something—but “Don’t Recall” grew on me quickly thanks to how well those sounds built upon the underlying beat and the interesting melody.

One of my favorite things about “Don’t Recall” is how well the different sections of the song transition into each other while still being distinct. Especially the rap verses. A bad rap section will kill a song’s momentum, but the raps in “Don’t Recall” were engaging and didn’t sound like they had been spliced in as an afterthought.

Another great thing about this song is how the call and response plays out. Even without the subtitles up (or the English version of the song with all-new lyrics), the back and forth between the men and the women was obvious. The men are insistent that they can get back together; the women want to leave the past where it belongs:

Don’t recall when we were good together
Haunts me like a ghost
Like there will be no tomorrow
Heart-pounding moments
(No no no no no)
Don’t mean a thing anymore
Stop, I don’t recall.

While the dance often does a good job conveying the back and forth between the two sides, the music video is a letdown at some points. In some shots, the MV looks pretty cheap/last-minute instead of artfully minimalist, which is what I think they were aiming for. Better styling on the guys’ white outfits would have helped, and the swirly colors cube should have been ditched in favor of longer dance segments.

Regardless, K.A.R.D. is doing pretty damn good for itself, what with over 13 million views on its second unofficial song. Here’s hoping their actual, eventual, debut is just as good, if not better.


Buy Song on iTunes || Buy English Version on iTunes
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: Amber x Luna’s “Heartbeat”

You may have noticed by now, but ladies having fun is definitely one of my things. So “Heartbeat,” an SM Station release, is right up my alley.  The MV is basically concert footage, with Amber and Luna looking like they’re having a ridiculous amount of fun performing. The song itself is rather simple, even repetitive sometimes, but these two have lovely voices. While I’m not always a fan of the synth (or this style of song in general), I found myself loving it more with every listen.

I really love the imagery in some of the lyrics, too:

Trapped inside a building of a collapsed world
You’re the one who took my hand and pulled me out (x)

There’s a sense of simple wonder in this song that I adore–someone new coming into your life, and that spurring your heart to race. Give it a listen:


Buy Song on iTunes || Buy English Version on iTunes
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

WYWS06snake

Kpop Friday: Lee Michelle’s “Without You”

Sometimes you just need a beautiful self-love anthem to make it through the day, and Lee Michelle’s “Without You” is exactly what I needed. I’ve listened to the song and watched the MV several times, and I still catch myself tearing up at certain parts. Michelle’s vocals on this one are perfect, especially in the chorus where she declares that her beauty and worth aren’t dependent upon anyone else:

I’m beautiful without you
I’m meaningful without you
I’m still beautiful
even if I wasn’t loved by you (x)

One of my favorite things is that even though this song appears to be about a failed relationship, the MV goes in a different direction, highlighting the struggles a young Michelle went through as she was growing up in South Korea. It’s heart-wrenching to watch, but the ending makes it worth it.

This song has a lot going for it, from Lee Michelle’s lovely voice to powerful visual reminders of what it’s like not to fit the beauty standards of the culture around you. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen:


Buy Song on iTunes || Buy Song on Amazon (Acoustic)
The above links are affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon. By purchasing through these links, you help support this blog at no extra cost to you.


If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.