YouTube Playlist for February 2014
| Part 1 | Part 2 |
15. Alphabat - Attention Released: February 25, 2014 [77 Points]
In late February rookie boy group Alphabat brought fans their first mini-album "Attention." The promotion song off of the album is 딴따라 (Ttan tta ra) and more of a hip-hop style song. Also on the album was previously released ABCity, Always, and Surprise Party. As for my own thoughts, I wasn't drawn to Ttanttara right away, but the more I heard it (thanks to my Alphabat obsessed shuffle) I found my self jamming to the chorus and singing along after only a few listens. As for the rest of the mini-album, I enjoyed ABCity when it was released in 2013, but my favorite song off of the album is definitely Always. Always is more of a pop-ballad with a little bit of R&B flavors. I find the song just really pretty and swaying when my iPod shuffles it up! I feel like the raps in Always also fit. They have a bit of sadness in the tone and it doesn't seem odd or random at all (as some raps in Kpop do). Anyways, definitely click the link above to listen to Always! It really is a pretty song! As for the MV for Ttanttara, it's a more harder and darker style similar to BAP's Warrior. I also find it interesting and unique that their dance uses a police baton with a flashlight as a prop. It's very different. Check it out, if for anything, then the chorus that will get stuck in your head and the snazzy dance!
14. Pro C - Love Hurts Released: February 5, 2014 [81 Points]
Pro C, short for "Problem Child" debuted in late 2013. Love Hurts is their 2nd Digital Single and includes their previously released debut song Bad Memory featuring K.Will. Love Hurts features solo singer Ailee! Okay, this two song digital single is amazing! I love both songs. For those that don't know about Pro C, they are from JTune Camp (the company started by Global Superstar Rain and also home to MBLAQ). So I completely missed their debut and honestly listened to this single for Ailee. She's definitely in the top 5 of my favorite solo artists. So Pro C are actually a duo that focuses on rapping, hence the two features in their songs. Love Hurts is a great song and the MV is what you can expect from a song called Love Hurts. But the reason why these two songs have so many points is due to Bad Memory. I love K.Will, also one of the top solo artists in my book (he even has his own playlist!), and I find that this song is just....how should I put it....Magic? This is the most played song from February, the next closest being Sunmi (see February Part 2 when it's up), but that's 15+ plays behind. This song just does it for me. I love the vocals, I love the rapping, I love the melody, and it's just amazing. If you only have time to watch/listen to one of the songs, I will definitely push you towards Bad Memory! :) The MV is cool, with them being in shadows and mysterious (and no K.Will as per usual), but the song is really why you need to hear. Click above or right here!
13. 2NE1 - Crush Released: February 27, 2014 [83 Points]
In the end of February top girl group from YG 2ne1 released their second full Korean album Crush. Now, disclaimer, I am not a blackjack (2ne1's fanclub). I like Dara and I find 2ne1 promotes well and are really talented. I also respect them heavily for what they bring to the mainstream Kpop industry. However, a lot of their songs I just have a hard time getting into. Especially their earlier stuff. Don't get me wrong, they have a few songs that I love from them, but I find I either love it or don't. No middle ground. Disclaimer over. So, I do have to say that I enjoyed a bigger chunk of this album compared to previous releases. The title song Come Back Home however, I just have issues with. I start getting into the song with the verse and when I expect super powerful vocals from Bom for the chorus, we get a weird electronic breakdown. To put it in a metaphor, it's like hiking and you can see the summit and you are almost at the top, but you suddenly go crashing back to the bottom of the mountain. It just ruins the song for me. However, my favorite song off the album is Scream. It doesn't have any sudden cliffs and I find that this song just works! Listen to it! Going back to Come Back Home, the music video is really cool (outside of the weird electronic breaks) and very moving and powerful!
11. Park Ji Yoon - Inner Space Released: February 17, 2014 [87 Points]
Mid-February saw the comeback of Model/Actress/Singer Park Ji Yoon with her digital single Inner Space. This single includes two songs, both with music videos, Beep and Inner Space. Of the two, I enjoy both, but I listen to Beep more. Inner Space is slower more funky type of pop-ballad. Beep however is completely funky and just a lot of fun to dance to, especially the "What? What? What? What?" part in the middle! I will put the Beep MV below. Beep is kind of mashed up with old videos from Soul Train (a dance/music show popular in the 70's) and has an older, funkier feel. We also get fun cameos from Jay Park, Yoo Jaesuk, Haha, and a few other popular comedians in Korea. I like the styling they did for Park Ji Yoon as well, a more modern and "stylish" feel of the 70's outfits for today's fashion! It's a great song and fun MV, so definitely check it out. If you want to watch the Inner Space MV, click here! It's not as fun or entertaining, but the song is good!
11. Girl's Generation - Mr.Mr. Released: February 24, 2014 [87 Points]
SNSD is back! Like 2ne1, I have this weird love/hate relationship with Girl's Generation. However, GG is back! The title song Mr.Mr. has more of the feeling of the SNSD songs I fell in love with (back before The Boys and that one song that shouldn't have been released...) and I enjoy every single song on the album. That's right, every single one! My favorite off the album is definitely Goodbye. It's more of a slower song, but almost a happy pop-ballad. It just doesn't give me the "I need to go sit in a dark corner and gorge myself on ice cream until I stop crying" type of feeling. Not that I've ever done that..... But anyways, it's a great song. Mr.Mr. is great too, but the MV is a little weird. Let's just say if any of the girls say they are opening a hospital in the future someone needs to stop them. However, I enjoyed the dance. And can I just say something, SNSD are the sexiest I've ever seen them. One of their dance outfits is a fitted suit with fedora and all of them just look sexy as all heck. Way sexier than with their short skirts and weird hospital garb. I just really found it nice, partly because it didn't seem like they were trying to hard to be sexy. Anyways, definitely check out their new(ish) song Mr.Mr. and the entire album if you haven't already!
9. CN Blue - Can't Stop Released: February 24, 2014 [89 Points]
CN Blue made their comeback with their fifth Korean mini-album Can't Stop late February. Keeping true to their pop-rock style and fun songs, CN Blue doesn't disappoint once again! Can't Stop starts out a little slow with Younghwa playing the piano, which caused fans like me (who prefer the more faster rhythm songs) to hold their breath. However, CN Blue reaches a climax at the end of the verse and pulls out the "rock" strings at that point! The song is entirely full of swells, but it doesn't seem like odd changes. The rise and fall of the melody and tempo seem very natural. The MV is as per usual for CN Blue, complete with a foreigner (yay!) and just general band playing areas and Younghwa following our leading lady around somewhat creepily. However, I really enjoyed the raining inside part at the start of the second verse (1:38 on the MV). There was also some cool tricks done with the giant mirror/one way window. As for the rest of the album, my favorite song is definitely Diamond Girl. Diamond Girl is along their usual style of songs (without the slow ballady intro) and features spelling! I don't know why, but when it's done right and appropriately, I really enjoy spelling of words in songs. Sings "You are my D-I A-M O-N-D Gi~~rl!" Such a great song!
9. DBSK - Spellbound Released: February 27, 2014 [89 Points]
The end of February (so many came out around this time) also saw the repackaged version of DBSK's 7th album Tense. The repackaged version was titled Spellbound, also the title song. Spellbound is along the same lines as Something with a big brass sound, a little jazzy and definitely with a big band flavor! And let me just say, if you didn't know already, I love the big band era and Frank Sinatra is my favorite all time ever across the globe singer. But back to DBSK! The MV is pretty cool, another one of the single take dance videos from SM. But I really enjoyed the dancing, and the back-up dancers certainly were an integral part of the video and I think did really well! The only thing, THE ONLY THING! Them dancing with trumpets, cool! However, the part of me (like 90%) that is a band geek (woot, woot!) just wanted to shake those girls and say "THAT IS NOT HOW YOU PLAY A TRUMPET!" But, the dance was still cool! As for the reset of the album, the only other new songs on the repackage are solos by Yunho and Changmin, both more along the ballad lines and not really as jammin' as Spellbound! I think Spellbound is the best off the album, all versions included!
8. Kim Bada - Moonage Dream Released: February 19, 2014 [93 Points]
In February we also saw the comeback from legendary Korean rocker Kim Bada. His second solo album is titled Moonage Dream, also featured the title song of the same name. Moonage Dream is a great album (I'm always willing to listen to more rock) and is definitely what I would call "feel good rock." He has some great messages throughout the album and it's just overall a great piece of work. What one would expect to come from Kim Bada! Moonage Dream and the first track on the album are my favorites, the first track being 이기적인 너 (Royal Straight). If you are into rock, definitely check out this music video and the album!
7. Nell - Newton's Apple Released: February 27, 2014 [97 Points]The end of February also brought fans the third and final release in the Korean Indie Rock Band Nell's "Gravity Trilogy." Newton's Apple was released in a two-disc set that included 11 new songs as well as the songs from the previous two parts (Holding Onto Gravity and Escaping Gravity). This is their sixth full album. The title song off the album is 지구가 태양을 네번 (Four Times Around the Sun) and is one of their slower songs. The music video is great, and I particularly love the artistic feel without it being super in-your-face artistic (Red Light anyone?). I really enjoyed the way they switched between the different band members' scenes. My favorite song off the album is actually the title song from part one of the trilogy 백야 (White Light). You can watch its MV here!
6. Ga In - Truth or Dare Released: February 6, 2014 [102 Points]
And Ga In breaks into the 100s points-wise and finishes up Part 1! Hot after her prereleased track Fxxk U (see Part 1 of January 2014) Ga In's third mini-album Truth or Dare was released early February. The title song, Truth or Dare, is fun play on rumors in the entertainment industry and how it can affect idols. In this version however, Ga In portrays that if people want to listen to rumors, it's their own fault. If they aren't true eventually the ones who get hurt are the ones that cause the rumors. She's just happy people are talking about her! The song has a super catchy melody and I really enjoy the more jazzy feel to the song. The music video pokes fun/mimics Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," however I think this one is more tastefully done, and I definitely like the song WAY better. There are actually two music videos, the performance one is here if you just want to watch the dance. The other version is interspersed with idols and staff "talking bad" about Ga In. That one is posted below. And for those that don't really know, I think it's funny because from what I've come across, the exact opposite is true. As for the rest of the album, my favorite song is definitely Black & White. It has the same type of feel as Truth and Dare with not strictly "pop" genre, but I like it just a little more! Maybe because it was produced by Lee Hyori, yes THE Lee Hyori!
So there we have it! Part 1 of February 2014! Expect Part 2 to be up soon! As always, here is the link once again to the Youtube Playlist for February! Questions, comments, concerns, and random scribbles are always welcome and highly encouraged!