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Love Yourself: Answer by BTS

Listen, sometimes life happens and you can’t write for a few months. And sometimes your love for BTS slaps you in the face and forces you to write. That’s right. After months of posting absolutely nothing, I’m back with yet another K-pop album review.

BTS is a K-pop group comprised of seven members. Within the past two years, their popularity has exploded internationally. You might have seen them on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ellen, Good Morning America, The Billboards Music Awards, The Late Late Show with James Corden or at the United Nations, just to name a few.

After their hit album “Love Yourself: Her” was released in 2017, the group has been focusing their message on self-love. Earlier this year they released “Love Yourself: Tear” which spotlights the darker side of learning to love yourself. To wrap up this album series, BTS has released “Love Yourself: Answer,” an album repackage that combines songs from “Her” and “Tear” with new songs that make it a cohesive message about the process of learning self love.

I really didn’t expect to be as emotionally invested in this album as I ended up being. I still remember crying listening to “Tear” for the first time and thinking that they had absolutely outdone themselves. Little did I know I would be listening to “Answer” on repeat during a 17 hour road trip feeling the exact same way.

I don’t think I ever fully recognized the power in their albums “Her” or “Tear” until I heard the songs in this compilation album. The well thought out construction of “Love Yourself: Answer” provides a balanced blend between new and old songs, rapped and sung pieces, and solo songs for each member. “Answer” really does take listeners through the emotional journey of realizing what it means to love yourself and how it’s a messy, confusing process that may never end.

Other than the organization and meaning within the album, “Answer” is chock-full of bops and top-notch production value. The album’s single is easily one of their busiest songs in terms of production. It’s layered in such a way that you discover something new about the song with each listen. I think the majority of the album is like this, especially with the newer songs. After months of listening to “Answer,” something new seems to pop out to me every time.

As I’ve spoken about a handful of these songs before in my previous reviews of “Her” and “Tear,” I’ll be focusing mainly on the newer songs that I haven’t discussed yet.

Alright, here’s the song breakdown:

  1. Euphoria. I won’t lie to you, the first time I heard this song, I was underwhelmed. It really wasn’t until “Answer” came out that it became one of my go-to BTS songs. The name pretty much sums up the message of sharing pure happiness with one another. This is vocal-leader Jungkook’s solo song on the album. The song really reflects his style in music from the melodic EDM influence to its uplifting intention. It’s those particular production choices and sweet vocals matched with the message that makes this the most personal solo song on the album. Euphoria is just one of those songs that really communicates through the emotion being expressed, not just through lyrics. It inspires positivity and contentedness which makes it the perfect introduction to the journey of self-love.
  2. Trivia: Just Dance. A fitting solo song for the lead dancer of the group, Just Dance is a feel-good song that gets you on your feet. This song really reflects J-hope’s production style from his mixtape “Hope World.” The song itself has a lot of energy but is paired with a melodic groove that guides the listener through the song. Not to mention, J-hope’s performance of Just Dance is stellar. The song really comes to life when it’s put to choreography.
  3. Serendipity (Full Length Edition): Serendipity was one of the superstars from “Her.” Jimin’s solo is a slow, soft song which is highlighted by his ability to sing in such a high pitch. Since it was one of my favorites from the original album, I was thrilled to see a longer edition on “Answer.” Somehow, Jimin’s solo became even better. Even with all of the new songs, Serendipity is still one of my favorite songs from the Love Yourself era.
  4. DNA. Of course, the single that launched the entire Love Yourself series had to land onto the “Answer” tracklist. After a year, DNA is still an absolute bop.
  5. Dimple. My opinion on this song hasn’t changed much since my first review of it. Of all the middle tracks on “Her,” I still don’t think Dimple is a standout track. Her was a mini-album so the selection of middle tracks is limited, and admittedly, they weren’t my favorite. While Dimple is still a good song, Pied Piper would have been my choice for this album.
  6. Trivia: Love. RM’s solo track is all about love, but not necessarily the romantic kind. One of the prominent lines in the song, “I live so I love,” really sums up the song’s meaning. This rap song is very mellow and melodic. Since RM produced a large amount of the “Answer” album, this song flows perfectly with the overall sound of the album. Since RM’s recent mixtape release, Love seemed to be the preview to RM’s style shift to a subdued, moody sound. His old style was quite brazen so this change has allowed for more emotion in his music and I’m loving it.
  7. Her. As the closing song on the first album of the series, it’s an interesting, mellow rap song. Yet, after the release of Tear, the closing song on the second album of the series, I find that Her falls flat in comparison. That being said, I still enjoy the song and think it holds an important place on this album as a transitional piece.
  8. Singularity. Shifting away from love songs, V’s solo track brings in the sultry R&B influence that rings in the darker part of the album. Singularity still stands out as of the most unique songs on the album for its pure R&B influence and emotive storytelling. V has a low voice that works well with that style of music and an approach to art that relies heavily on emotion. When you listen to Singularity, it demands your attention and places you into an indulgent reality that’s completely controlled by the music.
  9. FAKE LOVE. Much like DNA, Fake Love was the single that launched BTS into a new chapter. This is the song that dominated international media for months and still is an iconic song for BTS. The angsty bop is still one of my favorite singles by them and stands out to me as the song that turned the international intrigue from DNA into secured superstardom.
  10. The Truth Untold. This is still one of my all-time favorite BTS songs. No other song of theirs reaches the level of emotional power present in this song.
  11. Trivia: Seesaw. Without a doubt, Seesaw is my favorite of all three Trivia tracks. While it is Suga’s song, it doesn’t reflect anything that the rapper has ever previously done. Instead of an intense, angry rap song, Suga released a subdued, melodic pop song complete with singing, a chorus and even choreography. Despite it being new territory for Suga, he absolutely nailed it. It’s one of the standout songs from “Answer” and the Love Yourself series as a whole. This makes me wonder if Seesaw will be a predictor for a new shift in Suga’s style for his upcoming mixtape.
  12. Tear: As I mentioned, Tear completely overshadowed Her in terms of strength and quality. This is one of my favorite songs from the Love Yourself series and even one of my favorite rap tracks every put out by BTS. It’s impressive to say the least.
  13. Epiphany. I can’t even tell you how excited I was for Jin’s solo track. For a long time, Jin seemed to be an overshadowed member in the group and this especially stood out to me in “Her.” After Epiphany, there’s no denying Jin’s presence in the group. Much like Singularity, this song stands out from BTS’s usual sound. The song defies what has become expected from the K-pop genre. Unlike a lot of singers, Jin stays true to the uniqueness in his voice and limits techniques that mimic other established vocalists. His soothing voice paired with the instrumental and acoustic features in Epiphany makes it a timeless piece that I think will age well compared to a lot of other music in the industry at the moment.
  14. I’m Fine. As a follow up of sorts to their song Save Me, I’m Fine highlights the independence that follows self-love. Rather than needing someone else, you’re enough. The song itself seems very fragmented with varying rhythms, speeds and styles. While it can be jarring to listen to, it really connects to the confusing pace of loving yourself. The shifting speeds and emotions in the song really conveys the feeling connected with the meaning, much like Euphoria. It takes the listener on a journey that may not always be smooth but ultimately leaves you feeling better than you did, much like enjoying a newfound independence. The song itself is a bop and has a killer live performance.
  15. IDOL. As the single for “Answer,” IDOL amps up the intensity for what is the busiest song on the album. Like the previous two singles, IDOL launched BTS into yet another phase of their careers. Since the meaning of the song is about having unashamed love for yourself, BTS became beacons for positivity. The clear message was massive news in American media and even took them all the way to the United Nations. Outside of the incredible message and unreal reach the song had, the song itself is impressive. The production of the song is a testament to how much work BTS and their producers put into their music. It’s easy in high-energy singles to follow a formula that will produce the most value for the least amount of work. IDOL is so slam-packed with little touches and quirks that it’s clear that it wasn’t just another song form a recipe book. The music video and live performances for this song are just as stunning and in-your-face as the song is and have set the bar even higher for their future work.
  16. Answer: Love Myself. Wrapping up the album is a sappy, feel-good song. On a surface level, I wouldn’t expect myself to like this song. Yet, I find it almost therapeutic after the total journey the album takes you on. More than the other songs on the album, this one moves me the most. It’s so uplifting and comforting in both production and message. The beat of the song is very simple and makes you want to clap along or sway back and forth. The message focuses on learning how to love yourself, since the journey never truly ends. While it is sappy, I think it’s a necessary song to balance out the intensity of the Love Yourself series.

“Love Yourself: Answer” really connected with me in so many ways. I love the production, the message and the journey it portrays. I love it so much I actually bought overpriced tickets and saw it all live at Citi Field. I can honestly say that this album series has changed so much in my life and broadened my horizons as to what this world has to offer and opened my eyes to how strong of a person I can be. After listening to it nonstop for months and reliving the concert on a daily basis, I finally feel ready to look forward to what’s next for BTS and, more importantly, myself.

Okay, I’m a sappy person when it comes to BTS, I’m sorry. The album is impressive and is just a good time to listen to. If you don’t get swept up in the emotion of the album, it’s still incredibly fun to listen to. There is a second disk to this album, but they’re all songs I’ve discussed in my previous reviews so I decided to leave it out. The second disk is filled with their fun pop songs from “Her” and “Tear” like Go Go and Anpanman. It also includes some remixes that I’m really not crazy about but to each their own.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the album if you’ve listened to it or to some of the songs. What are your thoughts on their far-reaching international fame? Are you ready for more BTS or are you looking more forward to some solo projects being released? I am coming back to the world of blogging and am working on a few posts at the moment that aren’t all K-pop, I promise. See you soon!

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Love Yourself: Tear by BTS

Months have passed but my love for the newest BTS album Love Yourself: Tear has not. Never before have I regretted not spending hundreds of dollars on a concert ticket so much so that I almost spent thousands on scalped tickets. That’s right, I almost fell into that Ticketmaster trap solely to see my boys. Love Yourself: Tear is the second album in the Love Yourself trilogy. It’s highly anticipated release was met with fans all across the world losing their mind over everything from the album itself to the new aesthetic of their look. Honestly, I don’t think anyone has truly recovered.

BTS is the group that started my K-pop addiction about 3 years ago when I heard Run on my Spotify Discover Weekly. BTS is a K-pop group composed of seven members. Each album release of theirs has grown to be more popular than the last and I have to say, I think this is the biggest yet. This year alone, BTS member J-Hope has released his very own mixtape, Hope World. Not only that, the group released a Japanese album composed of many translated songs from last year’s mini album Love Yourself: Her with some solid new bops mixed in (aka Don’t Leave Me).

As a “sequel” to Love Yourself: Her, Love Yourself: Tear focuses on the darker side of love with others and yourself. With themes such as loss of love, loss of personal identity, and self-sacrifice, this is BTS’s heaviest album yet. Each song exudes melancholy. Even most of their upbeat numbers have a deep foundation in a sad or serious theme. Yet, each song isn’t necessarily going to bum you out. There’s a few tracks on here that are quite uplifting and comforting. BTS’s goal has been to spread positivity and even in their darkest album, they still find a way to shine a light for their fans.

With two extremely talented producers in the group and help from some other well-known producers, this album has incredible production value. Love Yourself: Tear is tremendously influenced by R&B but also incorporates BTS’s award-winning blend of pop, hip-hop, and EDM. If you’re looking to cry in the club, this is the perfect album for you.

I’ve always been a fan of melancholy music. Almost all of my favorite songs are subdued and highly emotional, yet are almost never ballads, at least not with pop. When it comes to pop music, I’ve always preferred over-the-top bops. My style is quite diverse and conflicting but Love Yourself: Tear encompasses all of it. It has emotional drive, incredible pop hits, and edge. Needless to say, I’m impressed with the album.

Alright, let’s dive into the songs.

  1. Singularity. BTS has made a point of letting each member get control of an album intro. True to tradition, member V was the focal point of Singularity. V has a deep, sultry voice that pairs well with R&B. Knowing this, V’s song is a slow, rhythmic song with sensual vocals. The song fits V perfectly and sets the soft mood for the album. Not to mention the music video for this song is easily one of my all time favorites from BTS.
  2. Fake Love. If you watched the BBMA’s or even just have a Twitter account, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of this song. Fake Love is the single from the album that made waves in American media for quite some time. This single seems to be the anti-version of DNA, the single from the prior album. Fake Love has the same amount of energy but replaces the upbeat vibe from DNA with hard-hitting intensity and emotion. I live for the angst in this song and find that it fulfills my desire for edge in pop music.
  3. The Truth Untold. Produced by Steve Aoki, The Truth Untold is the second collaboration BTS has done with this famous producer. Yet, Aoki took a 180 from his usual production style and slowed down the pace with a soft love song. Featuring only the vocalists in the group, this romantic tune remains pretty mellow throughout the song and builds in anticipation in a subtle manner. It has a raw sensitivity that, while still being a polished ensemble, feels more honest than any previous song like it. It’s easily my favorite song on the album and one of the favorite BTS songs ever made. It’s truly a masterpiece of emotional torment.
  4. 134340. Transitioning back into more familiar territory, 134340 incorporates some subtle jazz touches combined with trap. As some wind instruments play in the background, this song is very reminiscent of the previous album’s song Pied Piper. While the two are similar, the newer track has an edgier sound provided by the rap line and a repetitive groove provided by background vocals that gives it a more distinctive sound. I enjoy both songs but the various layers in 134340 makes it a much more interesting song to listen to.
  5. Paradise. BTS has been testing out the waters when it comes to trap music for quite some time now and it’s made an interesting home in Paradise. It starts with a light, electronic groove that incorporates several percussion instruments with that recognizable trap sound blending them all together. The beat is quite basic but the ways in which they decorated that bland base makes the song really unique. The song tackles the topic of having a dream, specifically for people around my generation, and how there shouldn’t be a rush to figure your life out. This is a topic that member Suga has discussed before in interviews so to see that passion make its way into a song is just one way that BTS stands out among many others in the K-pop and pop industry.
  6. Love Maze. 134340, Paradise and Love Maze make up a trio of solid mid-album tracks. In the last album, I found that the middle songs weren’t exactly my favorite but Love Maze wraps up a small series of enjoyable pop bops. Love Maze has a balanced blend between vocalists and rappers. It has more attitude than the previous two songs with a soft and flowing chorus that makes Love Maze a piece filled with variety.
  7. Magic Shop. My biggest complaint with the last album was the overbearing resemblance to the current face of American pop within the middle of the album. Love Yourself: Her was heavily influenced by American DJs such as the Chainsmokers which caused me to get bored because that really just isn’t my style of music. Magic Shop really brings this vibe back but I’m honestly not mad about it. Admittedly, I’m really happy that member Jungkook produced the song and it is very representative of his style of music. Not only that, the song still has a lot of variety and highlights everyone in the group. This is one of those songs that uplifts whoever listens to it. Jungkook wanted to make a safe place through music for the listener and he did just that through Magic Shop.
  8. Airplane pt.2. Airplane is a song from member J-Hope’s mixtape Hope World and the sequel has landed on Love Yourself: Tear. This song has a Latin influence which makes it stand out from any other song BTS has ever made. It transitions the album from from subdued and mellow into energetic and upbeat. While it has plenty of energy, Airplane pt.2 simply builds the excitement for the next silly bop.
  9. Anpanman. Much like their song Go Go, Anpanman is almost comedic with its message and choreography. It talks about being their own version of a superhero over a bouncing beat. It skyrockets the energy of the album and of performances. Similar to Go Go again, the song has goofy choreography and bold outfits for their performances which makes it one of the most entertaining songs on the album.
  10. So What. BTS is no stranger to the classic EDM style pop song. So What wastes no time getting directly into the chorus and keeping the energy alive throughout the entire song. It’s very much a festival style song that would intend to keep the crowd jumping from start to finish. It reminds me a lot of the song Wings from their 2016 album but with much more intensity.
  11. Tear. I was really hoping for the next Cypher to be on this album and while it didn’t happen, Tear makes up for it. The rap line got their moment to shine in this edgy rap song. In what could be their darkest sound yet, Tear is full of anger and heartbreak. Each member takes the word “tear” and talks about it in a different context giving each member their own story to tell within the same theme. This ranks as one of my favorite rap line songs purely due to how the emotion in the song is front and center.

As I’ve discussed, this album has a lot of similarities to Love Yourself: Her. It has a similar structure of intro, single, soft middle songs, energetic party songs and a rap song to wrap it up. Yet where Love Yourself: Her fell flat, Love Yourself: Tear picked up the slack. That’s not to say I don’t love Her since it has stronger singles than there are on Tear, I just think the middle songs of that album really lost me. I love the vulnerability in this album and am really enjoying the ways they’re toying with production. In previous K-pop reviews, I try to make a point of discussing the meaning on each song but I really just wanted to focus on the clean production of the album since it stood out to me so much.

Ultimately, I like this album in the Love Yourself series much more than the one released prior. It isn’t my favorite of theirs since I do love Wings and some older albums but I think Tear shows their evolution of style rather than just changing it all together, which is what Her attempted. I’m beyond excited to see what the third Love Yourself album will be like and can only hope it follow Tear’s lead and stays truer to BTS’ style, whether it be old or new.

While a three-part album series is exciting, I am nervous for what comes after. The release of a Japanese album, all three rap line members finally having mixtapes out, a huge three-part album series being followed by a world tour is a bit too big of a year. I have a sneaking suspicion that Big Hit is getting ready to send at least the older members off for their mandatory Korean military service. If that is the case, of course I’ll be here supporting from the sidelines but it will be a huge adjustment. Hopefully I’m wrong but the inevitable can’t be delayed forever.

I know I’m a bit late on this review but I wanted to get it out before the next album is released. What are your thoughts on Love Yourself: Tear? How do you think it compares to Love Yourself: Her? Also, please feel free to disprove my suspicion since I would love to be wrong about it. See you soon!

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Hope World by J-Hope

After years of waiting, it’s finally here. That’s right, the highly anticipated hixtape was finally dropped. Seven songs and two music videos later, BTS fans around the world were shook by J-Hope’s fist mixtape, Hope World.

jhope

Jung Hoseok, also known as J-Hope by fans and J-HOOOOOOPE by Suga, is a member of the world famous K-Pop group BTS. As a member of the three-person rap line in the group, he’s proven his skills as quite the unique rapper. Since the other two members of the rap line have already released mixtapes, Hope World was inevitable. However, he kept fans and stans waiting for quite some time before releasing his first solo venture. Rest assured, it was worth the wait.

I always love seeing solo ventures from members of popular groups. While the industry is saturated with groups, it’s important to remember these group members have their own art to share as individuals. RM and Agust D’s mixtapes were both incredible and unique, and J-Hope kept that legacy going. Hope World has an extremely rhythmic foundation showing that J-Hope clearly has a keen ear for melodies. While he’s a rapper, he also sings to further the melodic vibe in his music. The pop songs on the album have strong grooves to them that combine features of funk and hip-hop for a fusion of genres.

This mixtape really was shocking to me. I expected it to be good, as supported by J-Hope’s song Mama, but I didn’t expect the variety in his style. His positive and uplifting outlook serves a stark contrast to the attitude he sometimes has in BTS’s songs. He has a way of altering his voice for whatever mood he’s trying to create and he really honed in on that for Hope World. This mixtape is just oozing with character and I’m here for it.

Okay, if I’m going to gush about this mixtape, I might as well get specific. Here’s a song breakdown for Hope World:

  1. Hope World. Man, this guy is proud to be an optimist. This song is about his outlook on life and how he may like things he doesn’t portray in his music because he genuinely likes being a positive beacon. Not only is the message uplifting, it’s a bop of a song. Its groove puts you in a good mood like it’s actually transporting you into Hope World.
  2. P.O.P. Piece of Peace. This song brings the energy down a notch with a pop song very reminiscent of the tone BTS’s recent album Love Yourself: Her has. The lyrics for this song are a lot deeper than I expected. He discusses his current and previous outlook on life and the struggles of trying to make it as someone with a dream. Yet, this song isn’t depressing. Instead he talks about how he strives to be a piece of peace for someone, the reason he tries to be so positive.
  3. Daydream. Here it is, the song that kicked all of the madness off with its incredible music video. Daydream has a similar vibe to Hope World with its undeniable ability to pull you into the music. J-Hope dips his toe into political banter yet again by discussing the difficulties of maintaining a public persona while balancing that with reality. He takes a moment to say he’s a normal person and wants to be granted those little perks of anonymity. It’s quite an intense song for a single but paired with its interesting beat, it’s one of the catchiest on the album.
  4. Base Line. J-Hope has such a unique rap style that he really brings out in this song. This is one of those songs I mentioned that’s oozing with attitude and pride. He talks about his achievements and how hard he’s worked for them. It’s basically his personal hype song. His strange combination of boastful gratitude makes for a solid bop.
  5. Hangsang. While the last song was J-Hope’s personal hype song, Hangsang is one for BTS as a whole. It has the same attitude and heavy beat as Base Line so if you like that song, you’re sure to love this one. It also has a heaping dose of brazen boastfulness that I’m living for as a fan.
  6. Airplane. The energy drops off with this sudden slow song. I absolutely love the atmospheric sound of this song. It’s yet another example of how J-Hope’s production style invites listeners into his music. The mellow and dreamy vibe of the song aids in the personal message of this song. It talks about how he still can’t really believe how far he’s come and that this life is his reality.
  7. Blue Side (Outro). This song carries the atmospheric vibe of Airplane through to the outro of the album. It’s mainly a mood song that reinforces the dreamlike qualities of his life.

I enjoy this mixtape much more than I expected to. The depth of his lyrics were shocking to me. I never expected to hear J-Hope mention some of the negatives of his life and how he works to be positive. Hope World really gives me a new outlook on J-Hope as a person. Needless to say, I’m thoroughly impressed.

I will say, the length of the mixtape is a bit disappointing, only because I want more. I love the experimental style of his music and would love to see more of that seep into BTS’s work. While I don’t find myself as in love with it as I am other solo albums (yes, I’m still in love with Taemin’s Move and haven’t recovered from Agust D), it has found its way into regular rotation on my Spotify.

What are your thoughts on Hope World? Are you waiting for the hype to settle before diving in? Do you have any favorite songs or ones you consistently skip? As always, if you have any recommendations for me, let me know. See you soon!

This Christmas by Taeyeon

Christmas may be over but that doesn’t mean the music has to stop, right? Taeyeon recently released her latest solo album This Christmas: Winter is Coming and I had to review it. As you may remember from my review of Sia’s Christmas album, I’m not a huge fan of newer holiday tunes but I do have a lot of respect for making an original album from a season run by tradition.

SNSD-Taeyeon-This-Christmas-1

Taeyeon is a member of one of k-pop’s most beloved girl groups, Girl’s Generation. Also known as SNSD, this group recently reached its tenth anniversary while it was also announced that some members would be leaving the group. Alongside the years of Girl’s Generation’s success, Taeyeon has pursued a solo career.

Her solo style tends to diverge from the bubblegum bops produced by SNSD. She focuses on softer ballads which compliments her voice with some bops here and there. Generally, I prefer bolder music from the k-pop scene, but Taeyeon has been one of my exceptions. She was one of the earlier solo artists I ever listened to with the song “Stress” which led to my discovery of “I” and “U R.” From that point on, I’ve been a fan.

While her songs are not my preferred style, I don’t find them to be bland like I typically would. Her voice sounds clean and her songs are always soothing and uplifting. There’s an inspiring tone in her music that puts me at ease.

With all of that being said, let’s get into the album itself.

  1. The Magic of Christmas Time. You wouldn’t believe my absolute shock when I heard this song was entirely in English. If you understand English, there’s no translation needed. This tune has a very classic holiday feeling. I would compare this song to “Where Are You Christmas” in terms of quality and sound. It may not be my favorite on the album but it does feel like a nostalgic Christmas song.
  2. This Christmas. The music video for this song completely changed my opinion of it. It has an ebb and flow to its subdued sound. I initially wasn’t taken with it but after seeing the sentimental meaning of the video, I warmed up to it. I love the magical qualities it gives to the holiday season, as if it can make miracles happen. It’s now one of my favorites on the album.
  3. Let It Snow. This song picks up the tempo with a bit of a jazz swing. It’s cute and exciting but it just falls flat for me. There isn’t really a flow from the verses to the chorus. It simply has too much happening for it to really convey a message or feeling.
  4. Candy Cane. This song has a much better handle on upbeat holiday tunes. It really feels like a Christmas song and it has one cohesive cutesy sound. With a healthy dash of bubblegum, this love song is a holiday hit. It reminds me a lot of “Candy Cane Lane” by Sia.
  5. Christmas without You. In true Taeyeon fashion, a ballad appears. The tempo slows down with this R&B influenced take on holiday heartbreak. While the song itself is okay, it really doesn’t feel like a Christmas song. It seems like a basic breakup song with a winter theme.
  6. Shhhh. With a mini-jazz band and flirty lyrics and vocals, this song rings in the season of sultry. I love this style of music and would love to see more of it from Taeyeon. If you enjoy “Santa Baby,” this is the song for you. It’s one of my favorite pieces from this album.
  7. I’m all Ears. This song mirrors the R&B style of “Christmas without You” but doesn’t even try to justify its album placement with a winter theme. While its good for what it is, I can’t help but wonder why it made it onto a Christmas album.

Overall, I’m not in love with the album. I have a few songs that I really enjoy but probably won’t be turning them on right away next December. Of course, it could be cultural differences in what Korean holiday music typically sounds like that I’m not accustomed to but for whatever the reason, This Christmas doesn’t give me that jolly feeling I love from Christmas music. I do highly recommend her music if you enjoy softer pop.

What did you think of this album? Do you like it or feel like it doesn’t quite put you in the holiday spirit? Are you a Taeyeon fan or prefer her in a group setting? If you have any recommendations, let me know! I’d love to check them out. See you soon!

 

Top Ten Holiday Tunes

Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without those iconic songs. Everywhere you go starting in late November you hear the same songs repeating on your playlists, through the radio, and pumped into every store. With each passing year the list of new holiday songs and remakes grows longer and longer.  Yet, there’s only a select few that I truly love. Here’s a list of my top ten holiday tunes.

  1. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by The Jackson 5. This takes the cake as my favorite holiday song. I love the explosive energy that makes it feel like a party blasting through your speakers. It reminds me of the childhood excitement of waiting for Santa to come to your house on Christmas Eve. And who doesn’t love some Michael Jackson?
  2. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams. I love the larger-than-life qualities of this song. With such a large band and several backup singers, this song is a grand display of holiday cheer to listen to. With its classic Christmas sound, it really puts me in the Christmas spirit. This song reminds reminds me of the hustle and bustle of the big city and holiday shopping.
  3. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Frank Sinatra. I always love hearing those classic horns announce this song. Those horns remind me of Christmas in New York City where everything is big, bright, and merry. It makes me want to curl up on the couch and watch Christmas movies that take place in the Big City.
  4. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee. Again with those jazz horns, this song combines some of my favorite elements from other Christmas songs for an overload of jolly goodness. Of course it wouldn’t be the same without Brenda Lee’s incredible voice. Alright, I guess horns and holiday tunes reminds me of New York because this number also always sweeps me away to the North.
  5. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms. Ushering in a faint hint of rockabilly that somehow works with Christmas music is Bobby Helms. I love the classic holiday sound that this song has. It’s one of my favorites to play while decorating the tree or baking.
  6. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives. It just wouldn’t be right to not have a Burl Ives song make my top ten list. This song really is holly jolly. It’s acoustic guitar and jingle bells gives it a subdued but cheery sound that pairs well with its meaning of making the best of your holiday with your community. It always puts me in the mood to spend time with my friends and family.
  7. “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry. I like to think of this as the grown-up’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Chuck Berry, the father of rock, brings twang to the holidays. This song puts me in a mood much like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” It gives me a burst of childish excitement that makes me want to dance around in my Christmas PJ’s.
  8. “Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Of course I can’t leave out merry metal. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been a family favorite of ours and this song has always been one of my favorites to rock out to. For the first time ever I actually got to see them live with my parents and it was incredible. I can’t recommend this group enough. Every one of their Christmas songs is truly a favorite of mine.
  9. “Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix. I’m surprised it took so long for a religious song to make my list. I prefer classic Christmas bops but I can go hard to some Jesus jams. PTX’s version of this song is so powerful and moving that I will stop everything I’m doing to get lost in this song.
  10. “Coldest Winter” by Pentatonix. I always felt a special connection with this song but I wasn’t quite sure why. It wasn’t until I was writing my A Pentatonix Christmas review that my dad looked up the origins of the song. It’s actually from Memories Fade by Tears for Fears, one of my favorite new wave bands. That being said, both “Coldest Winter” and “Memories Fade” have been some of my most listened-to songs this December.

I do need to give some honorable mentions. “Linus and Lucy” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and the entire Charlie Brown Christmas album for that matter, has been my favorite writing music since September of this year. I’ve also got to give some recognition to Bob Rivers for writing some of the funniest holiday parodies I’ve ever heard. Even though I’ve heard them every year, they never get old.

I really could write about Christmas music I love, and hate, for hours. Let me know what your favorite Christmas songs are. I always love finding out what other people prefer for holiday music. I’m clearly a classic Christmas kind of girl. See you soon!

A Pentatonix Christmas by Pentatonix

Pentatonix, the hit a cappella group, strikes again with another holiday album. Covering even more classics, and some modern Christmas tunes, they deliver another incredible listing of festive favorites.

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Pentatonix didn’t stop their jolly jams at That’s Christmas to Me. They decided to keep the yule log burning with A Pentatonix Christmas, their second holiday album. Much like its predecessor, I have some solid favorites from this album so it’s also a regularly-played album for me.

Rather than just covering the songs, PTX really focused on recreating them with unique touches. This album brings a lot more personality to the table than the original. Because of this, some songs stand out as incredible and others as awkward failed attempts at uniqueness. While this album may fall flat for a few numbers, it truly shines in its stronger covers.

Here’s a run-down of each song:

  1. O Come, All Ye Faithful. Much like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” PTX takes a religious classic and makes it an exciting song to rock out to. With a choir in the background and heavy use of beat boxing, it takes a grand and seemingly tropical tone.
  2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. PTX decided not to alter the arrangement of this song much. They do use more background vocals to add intensity and urgency that works quite well with the original makeup of the song.
  3. White Christmas. What begins as the same cover you’ve heard from every artist quickly explodes into a jazz number. Complete with scatting and harmonizing, this tune transforms one of the most boring holiday songs into an exciting favorite.
  4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas. PTX strikes again with an interesting cover of a traditionally boring song. They give this song a modern 50’s vibe complete with doo-wops and beat boxing. Its mellow and slow, making it a very romantic version of this song.
  5. Up On The Housetop. I really wish I could enjoy their version of this song. I love this song normally but their pop rendition just doesn’t sound right. Their “yeah, yeah” part just stand out in such an awkward way that it drives me to change the song whenever it comes on.
  6. This Christmas Sing-Along. With its cutesy vibe, this song sounds as if the Muppets should be in the background pitching in. That’s the kind of cartoonish, innocent feeling that comes along with this song. I think its strength comes from its backing chorus and reggae-influenced sounds from the verses that truly does give you that joyous Christmas feeling.
  7. Coventry Carol. I’m always a sucker for haunting vocals. “Coventry Carol” delivers that ghostly sound that I adore from Pentatonix. When listening to this song, you feel as though you should be sitting in a cathedral taking in the holiness of Christmas.
  8. Hallelujah. I think we can all agree that we never considered this song to be one for Christmas. While it is my favorite song in general, when I first saw this on my album I was thrown off. I was shocked to find that I fell in love with this version almost as much as Rufus Wainwright. While it lacks the raw, unpolished emotion of his version, it makes up for in how emotionally piercing it is. You’ll feel the highs and lows of this song in your heart.
  9. Coldest Winter. Being one of my favorite Christmas songs, this version, much like their “Hallelujah,” ebbs and flows with emotion that you’ll feel yourself. They made sure to keep the atmospheric vibe of its fathering song, “Memories Fade” by Tears for Fears.
  10. Good To Be Bad. Stepping away from the slow songs, they pick up the beat with this song. They try to mimic the doo-wop vibe from “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and it doesn’t fit quite as well. While it’s cute, it lacks the same depth or excitement as previous songs on the album.
  11. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. With an R&B vibe with a heavy beat boxing base, this song also falls flat for me. They haven’t really been heavy with the R&B in previous songs so this one doesn’t seem to flow with the album.
  12. Deck The Halls. Taking a modern twist on a classic, this song is somehow even more upbeat than it is normally. I love their new arrangement of this song. Rather than the same caroling song we’re used to, they really show off their talents vocally with their unique spin on the song.
  13. How Great Thou Art. Another song I’ve never considered to be a Christmas tune makes an appearance. While this hymn has some great emotional value for many people, I find that this version is overwhelming for me. With Jennifer Hudson featuring on the track, it’s a vocally excellent but a bit over-the-top. I think the amount of singers took away from the religiously sentimental aspects of the song. While it is technically beautiful, it just doesn’t affect me the way it should.
  14. Away In A Manger. While I’ve never been fond of this song, I do really enjoy the way PTX turns it into a lullaby. Their soothing vocals makes it a relaxing and calming song.
  15. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! With a very modern take on a holiday classic, they combine a lot of the sounds from the rest of the album. They use an R&B influence on the vocals and even add in some doo-wops. Alternating styles between chorus, verse, and bridge, this song delivers a lot of variety that still stays true to the jolly theme of the song.

Overall, I still gravitate more to That’s Christmas to Me than this album. I do still love this one and I do listen to it quite frequently. This album has some strong singles that I absolutely adore and couldn’t imagine going the holiday season without listening to. My favorite, surprisingly, is “Hallelujah,” the one song that isn’t really a Christmas song. I also really appreciate the lack of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” That’s one holiday song I could go a lifetime without hearing another cover for.

What do you think of A Pentatonix Christmas? Which holiday PTX album do you enjoy most? What’s your favorite track from this album? As always, I’d love to check out any recommendations you have for me. See you soon!

That’s Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

When it comes to Christmas albums, there is one that I always gravitate to. While I’m not a huge fan of everything Pentatonix has done, That’s Christmas to Me is my holiday jam. They do some classic remakes and some fun remixes of both seasonal and regular songs. I may not stick to every song on the album but I do have some that have landed a spot on my Holly Jolly playlist.

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Pentatonix are an a cappella group that have reached major levels of fame in America. They’re well known for their collaborations, remixes, and mashups. PTX now has two Christmas albums out but since this is the first, I figured we’d start with this one.

If we’re talking about Christmas albums, not just songs, this one is hands down my most played. Even songs that I’m not jazzed about still get played year-round by me. It’s because of this album that every single year I check to see if they’re doing another holiday setlist. While the songs on this alum vary in quality to me, I think their interesting spin and gorgeous voices on each tune makes it a refreshing favorite of mine.

Let’s get into the breakdown:

  1. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Beginning with an homage to its usual choir styling, this song picks up into a modern, upbeat carol. Beat boxing and soulful touches turn this religiously humdrum song into a party.
  2. White Winter Hymnal. This song steadily remains in a higher range and has a nice build up to it. Their version of this song uses voices and also their hands for percussion. While their arrangement isn’t anything new, their take on the song certainly is.
  3. Sleigh Ride. PTX plays it safe for this overdone holiday hit. It’s relatively basic compared to some of their other works. It has their usual beat boxing as the base formula with their vocal over it. It’s good and upbeat, just not a stand out piece compared to some other works.
  4. Winter Wonderland / Don’t Worry Be Happy. The album picks back up here with a mash up between two iconic and catchy songs. While I never would have thought these songs could work well together, PTX makes it work. Aided by Tori Kelly, this song has a smooth, jazzy vibe that’s a fun change from PTX’s usual clean-cut style.
  5. That’s Christmas to Me. This is one song that I love hearing covers of because I think anyone can bring a personal touch to it. When I heard their soft, sentimental version, I thought it was very touching. While this song is usually very exciting and pop oriented, their version slows it down to emphasize the heartwarming qualities of the song.
  6. Mary, Did You Know?. Alright, I won’t lie to you, this song is the main reason I love the album so much. Their vocals are haunting and their arrangement is powerful. It’s as if you can feel the song as you listen to it.
  7. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I’m a big fan of The Nutcracker so I’m a natural sucker for this. I loved hearing this song with vocals rather than just instruments. It gives new life to an old song.
  8. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Much like “Sleigh Ride,” I’m not taken away by this cover. It stays very close to how it always sounds which isn’t a bad thing, just unexpected from them. While I think they do a great job, it’s just not a spectacular as some of their other pieces to me.
  9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town. While I’m madly devoted to the Jackson 5 version of this song, PTX does a good job with their cover. They stay true to the song without trying to copy anyone else’s remake. While it’s not one I’ll gravitate to, I don’t think it’s bad either.
  10. Silent Night. Back to the classics, their version of this song is beautiful. It stays true to the way the song was written. Their cover highlights each member’s voice beautifully and, much like White Winter Hymnal builds in intensity.
  11. Let It Go. I’m sure we’ve all Idina’s version of this song a few too many times. This version of Disney’s hit song is a refreshing change from what we’re all used to hearing.
  12. Joy to the World. As if this song couldn’t be more positive and uplifting, Pentatonix amps up the jolly factor in this song. Their arrangement of it is fresh and modern. It’s a great twist on this caroling classic.
  13. Just For Now. Admittedly, I’ve never heard any other version of this song before. It’s a bit cutesy for my taste but I think this song would be great for a holiday party soundtrack. It’s a crowd pleaser with an uplifting tone that really puts you in the Christmas spirit.
  14. The First Noel. Again, PTX rocks the traditional arrangement of the song but also add in some backing vocals and a beat boxing rhythm. It’s a nice middle-ground between contemporary and classic. This is another song with a great build up. Much like “Mary, Did You Know?” this is one song you can feel as they sing.
  15. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. What starts out as a striking rendition calms down into a soulful take on this classic. Instead of that night by the fire relaxed tone of the original, this one is bound to get you on your feet with its holiday excitement.

I find that I gravitate to their covers of classics and holy songs more than any other style they do. Their powerful voices deliver so much control over the songs that they’re extremely impactful. Their unique style shines on this album with their interesting remixes and mashups. It’s a nice change from the usual songs replayed on the radio year-after year. The crowning jewel of this album really is “Mary, Did You Know?” Even if you aren’t a big fan of a cappella, I can’t imagine anyone not being touched by this song. I get chill just about every time I hear it.

Let me know what you think of the album! Are you a Pentatonix fan? Is this style of music right up your alley or something you avoid? As always, let me know if you have any recommendations for me to check out. See you soon!

Everyday is Christmas by Sia

With so many great Christmas songs out there, it’s hard to imagine that at one point, they were brand new. Those classics we hold so dear were once a risk taken by an artist that somehow stood above the sea of mediocre holiday tunes and lasted for generations. This year, Sia took that risk with an entirely original seasonal album, Christmas is Forever.

Before I get started, there are two things I’d like to warn you about. For starters, I’m picky about Christmas music. I have my versions of the songs that like best and I play them on repeat every year. I’m the last person you’d find picking up a newer holiday album to try out, but I do have a few friends who love Sia and recommended I give it a listen for Blogmas. That being said, while I find her to be a good singer, Sia’s music just isn’t my style. She has some good hits but other than that, this is my first full-album introduction to Sia.

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With big hits like Chandelier, The Greatest, and Dusk Till Dawn, Sia has made quite the name for herself. A pop-jazz sound put her on the map and she’s carrying it with her through her new Christmas album.

Alright, let’s look closer at each song:

  1. Santa’s Coming for Us. This song is almost exactly what I expected from this album. It’s peppy, has a repetitive beat, and has her typical jazzy vocals that are difficult to understand the first time you hear it. While I love the festive touches with horns, this song doesn’t scream Christmas for me.
  2. Candy Cane Lane. Taking a cuter turn, this song uses horns, bells, and some adorable imagery for a fun holiday song. With a bit of a typical Sia down-swing around the chorus, it sadly takes away from the bubblegum vibe that suits Sia really well.
  3. Snowman. Stepping away from the cutesy pop, we’re led into a piano-based slow song. On surface level this song can be about a snowman, a love song or could even be commentary on living with mental health during the holidays. I really enjoy the duality in this song.
  4. Snowflake. Keeping the vibe mellow, snowflake is another piano based slow song. It’s both melancholy and sweet, pairing her wistful vocals with whimsical music. I think this song is very similar to Snowman in that you can interpret it any way you want.
  5. Ho Ho Ho. Sia brings out her playful side with this song. It’s a fun jump out of the slower music with its repetition and simple lyrics. This takes the title of “Christmas party song” on the album.
  6. Puppies Are Forever. As you may have guessed, this song is bound to be a cute one. While this song is very random and somewhat childish, I think it could do a lot of good around this time of year. Paired with some organizations like the ASPCA or shelters around the U.S., this song could be a great tool to get the word out about animal adoptions. Since a lot of animals are returned shortly after the 25th (sad, I know), the message that these are animals are family members and aren’t just your one-day gift can also instill a better mindset around the classic puppy surprise on Christmas morning.
  7. Sunshine. This song is another uplifting one that I think can help a lot of people. The thought of sharing happiness and kindness around the holidays, one of the hardest times of year for people suffering from mental illness, is an awesome message to get out. While I’m personally not crazy about the song, I love how she’s using her platform to do something that could be meaningful.
  8. Underneath The Mistletoe. Here it is, the major love song on the album. Yes, some other tunes on the album are love songs but this takes the crown for romance. I love how this song makes the feeling of being in love on Christmas such a massive and religious experience. It’s empowering and humbling and I think she captures that perfectly.
  9. Everyday is Christmas. As the album winds down, Sia keeps things mellow with a jazzy love song. Kicking it up during the chorus, this song ebbs and flows with the not-so-festive backtracking. I do like how she’s touching on Christmas being a feeling and not a financially-fueled holiday, but it just doesn’t seem like a holiday song to me.
  10. Underneath The Christmas Lights. Ending it on a sad note, Sia pulls out some haunting vocals for this love song. This song also loses that holiday vibe that she had incorporated into her earlier songs.

As a stand-alone album, I’d say it’s good while it still isn’t necessarily my style. Yet as a holiday album, this one just doesn’t scream Christmas to me. I love the topics she touches on and I love the good that these songs could do around this season, but I don’t see myself cranking up this album to get jolly.

Let me know what you think of the album! Is this new a holiday classic for you? As always, if you have any recommendations, let me know! I’d love to check them out. See you soon!

The Code by Monsta X

After reading so many blog posts recommending Monsta X for BTS and EXO fans, I took the bait. With an announcement for a new album, I hopped on the bandwagon just in time. Once I saw posts about The Code, their newest mini-album, my headphones were on and the volume was up.

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Monsta X is a seven-member K-pop group that was formed in 2015. For only having debuted two years ago, these boys have cranked out quite a bit of music. The Code is being counted as their sixth (but really fifth) album currently available on Spotify. Being new to their music, The Code was my first experience with this group and ever since, I’ve been hooked.

People not interested in K-pop typically view the genre as hyper bubblegum pop. I know I did before hearing “Run” by BTS. What changed my mind was hearing the amount of variety that can be found in every single song. By mixing vocalists and rappers, R&B and hip-hop, rap and ballads, there’s always a unique, diverse sound to each group, album, and single.

The Code shows that Monsta X has mastered the skill of variety. They have the popular hip-hop/electronic/R&B combo that has put some of the biggest names in K-pop at the moment on the map. From start-to-finish, every song on this album shines in its own unique way while contributing to their signature attitude that can be found in all of their albums.

Alright, let’s jump into the song breakdown:

  1. DRAMARAMA. Being the single from the album, this is the first peak of what to expect from the mini-album. With a catchy beat and a fun title, this song is a crowd pleaser. It’s not in your face with attitude or passively predictable. It’s genuinely just a fun song to listen to. With an interesting music video that focuses on a story rather than just choreography, this song stands out on screen and through speakers.
  2. Now or Never. Two songs in and the attitude is in full swing. With rap verses, vocalist transitions, and an electronic chorus, this song is the perfect example of the variety that is breaking through borders for K-pop.
  3. In Time. Slowing it down to with an R&B vibe, “In Time” showcases the vocal abilities of the singers in the group. With a smooth sound and some whimsical touches with chimes, it’s a hard 180 from Now or Never. While it’s a melancholy song, it won’t really leave you down in the dumps.
  4. From Zero. From sad to hopeful, this song yet again changes the sound and tone of the album. The verses build up until you hit an upbeat, electronic chorus. For comparison, I’d say this song is similar to “Best of Me” by BTS.
  5. X. The attitude is back. This song is hands down my favorite on the album. It mimics the vibe in “Dramarama” and “Now or Never” so there’s no denying this song is a solid bop. It has a fair blend of rapping and singing with a strong beat so this song is another great example of how much diversity these boys offer.
  6. Tropical Night. The first verse starts and the energy they built up in “X” drops off into another R&B hit. However, once the chorus hits, it suddenly picks back up to a fun beat. This song is a rollercoaster that also has an even amount of rapping and vocals for a good balance.
  7. Deja Vu. This song ends the album with a bang. With the most interesting and unique beat on the album, it automatically caught my attention. Even more than “Tropical Night,” this song is a rollercoaster. With so many peaks of in-your-face intensity and dips into slow hooks with smooth vocals, it’s worth waiting through the entire album to get to. This sits with “X” as one of my favorites from The Code.

While this album isn’t necessarily unified with one sound, I think that’s what I like about it. I typically prefer albums that flow from song-to-song but Monsta X’s playlist style album really drives home what I love about K-pop. Sometimes it’s an over-the-top bop, other times it’s a mellow 90’s style slow jam. There’s never really time to get tired of what they’re doing.

Let me know what you think of The Code. I neglected it for a week or so after Perfect Velvet came out, but this album is back on repeat for me now that I got my Red Velvet fix. Is this a current favorite for you or were you not wowed by their work? As always, if you have any recommendations for me, let me know. I’d love to check them out. See you soon!

Perfect Velvet by Red Velvet

I was driving in rush hour traffic when I first heard the song “Ice Cream Cake”. My dull drive quickly turned into a concert, complete with embarrassing choreography for the entire highway to enjoy. I had to know who these girls were, and that’s how I was introduced to Red Velvet.

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Red Velvet is a girl group made up of five members. Since their debut in 2014, these girls have had an impressive run. With many awards and high rankings in the charts, Red Velvet’s newest album has been highly-anticipated, and for good reason. In K-pop, a new album release is regarded as a “comeback” complete with televised performances of some of their songs. Red Velvet’s comeback was announced for November and we finally got it.

Perfect Velvet is an amazing comeback album. It has a uniquely futuristic-yet-retro vibe that sets it apart with repetitive electronic beats that pull you in. It’s more subdued than some of their previous hits yet still stays clear of being boring and bubblegum. Red Velvet delivered a bold album by slowing down their usual pace and it just works.

These girls have quickly taken a spot as one of my most-played groups and are hands down my most-played female group. When this new album released, I made time before work and did nothing but listen to it at full volume. It’s an album I thoroughly enjoy from start to finish and haven’t been able to stop listening to it since.

Let’s dive into a breakdown of this album.

  1. Peek-A-Boo. Their single of the album is nothing less than an absolute bop. About falling in love too easily and the game of playing with hearts, this song is flirty through-and-through. With an incredible pop beat, a sassy music video, and some cute choreography, there’s nothing to dislike about this song.
  2. Look. Taking a turn from flirty and into a retro pop jam, “Look” launches the album into a new direction. To me, it sounds like a song you’d hear in an early 2000’s movie about a woman working in the fashion industry as she walks down the runway as the model no one expected but everyone wants. Yet reall good. Until the English translations are released, this ridiculousness is what I’m stuck with.
  3. I Just. This song strays away from the retro vibe but carries the bold electronic beats the past two songs have had. While the chorus is upbeat, this song doesn’t exude rainbows and butterflies. The song is about dreaming of freedom and the desire to break out of your situation. It’s melancholy yet uplifting at the same time. “I Just” is another unique spin on what could have been a basic pop beat.
  4. Kingdom Come. Here comes the heavy R&B influence that these girls rock. About lasting love, this is one of the more sensual songs on the album. With a subdued beat and more focus on vocals and harmonies, “Kingdom Come” is a slow song that’s anything but boring.
  5. My Second Date. What sounds like it should be a disgustingly cutesy song is hands down one of the most interesting songs on the entire album. With what sounds like an ice cream truck as the foundation of the beat, this song takes a turn at the chorus bringing in some guitar and then twisting again into an insanely cool drop.
  6. Attaboy. Again with another immensely interesting song, Red Velvet mixes the flirty nature of Peek-A-Boo and the sound of My Second Date to give birth to this attitude-riddled jam.
  7. Perfect 10. Slowing it down, this song is a subtler homage to R&B than Kingdom Come. About being perfect for your partner, this song exudes a soft confidence both lyrically and vocally. With a relaxed beat, the girls are the focus of the song which really emphasizes the sexy confidence they’re modeling.
  8. About Love. With a repetitive beat and a subdued 90’s vibe, this song is a lot like the younger, distant cousin to “Look”. Its sound is fresher yet looses some of the uniqueness that’s found in the rest of the album. That’s not to say this song isn’t good. It’s a slower pop song that still carries the R&B feel of the other slow songs. It fits in well but doesn’t necessarily stand out.
  9. Moonlight Melody. The perfect bow on top, “Moonlight Melody” is an acoustic-focused song that has a swaying melody that sweeps you away with it. It’s a beautiful song that incorporates the feel of the album while standing out as a unique hit. It really is the cherry-on-top for this album.

I absolutely love Perfect Velvet. While it’s only been out for a few days, this ranks as one of my favorite comebacks of 2017. If you’re looking to get into a girl group, I highly recommend Red Velvet. Because my pop tastes typically sway toward sassier songs, they caught my attention with their earlier music. By slowing it down in this album, these girls show they stand out no matter what sound and image they’re trying to portray.

What do you think of Red Velvet’s second album? Is Perfect Velvet right up your alley or do you prefer some of their older music? If you have any recommendations, let me know! I’d love to check them out, K-pop or not. See you soon!