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Shinhwa’s BACK!!

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THE longest-running boy band in KPop history is BACK!!

Please do enjoy below. . .

Just one complaint from me – more dancing.  I want a new dance-only version of this video. These men can throw down and that is not at all displayed as it should be in this video.

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The Syrupy Voice Of Kang Seung Yoon

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Very rarely will you hear me say that I have a favorite of something.  I can never use that “f-word” when discussing specific songs – I love too many types of sounds and genres for that to be possible – but for some reason, I can do it when it comes to voices.

I’ve discussed my favorite Japanese male singer in a past post so it only makes sense to share my other favorite voice.  That honor goes to Korean male vocalist Kang Seung Yoon.

I discovered Kang Seung Yoon, or KSY as he’s sometimes affectionately referred to online, when watching the Korean singing reality show, “WIN: Who Is Next”.  In the show, two groups compete in dancing, singing and composing and the winner of the competition signs on to YG Entertainment, one of Korea’s “Big 3” music labels.

I was initially drawn into the program just for the sheer talent of all the competitors but after a few hours of binge-watching the series, one person started to stand out for me.  I found myself wanting to know more about the talented young man with the accented cheekbones.

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I learned all I needed to that night and also discovered what the whole “WINNER buzz” online had been about. “So THIS is the infamous WINNER that people keep bringing up.”  I could now understand what all the chatter was about.

Kang Seung Yoon was not new to the spotlight, though.  Before being on the reality series, he had been on a previous reality singing series, participated in a tv series and also released a few singles as a solo artist. And although he defintely has the talent, charisma and presence to be a solo act, I dare say he shines even more in a group – and as a leader of said group, no less.

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And his voice. . . his voice, his voice.  The best adjective I can come up with to describe it is just plain syrupy – such a mellow, calming and overall warm, classic sound and feel.  I feel calm, relaxed and just happy when I hear him singing – whether he’s belting out a series of notes or softly conveying emotion.  People often joke about being perfectly content with a beautiful voice singing the most mundane of things – say, entries from a phonebook (yes, they still exist), and I never felt that way about anyone until I heard his voice.  And I’m being literal here – I would gladly hand him the book and he could start with Aaron, work his way through Peterson and on through Quincy.

I’ve been happily following along with the WINNER journey so far and I love what they’ve been doing.  Their style is very classy and different from what some other groups are doing right now.  I eagerly await their comeback and look forward to more of their smooth sounds – especially those of the talented KSY.

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Top KPop Songs of 2014 – Top 3

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This is it – the final part of my countdown!  These are my top songs of 2014!

 

3 – Purfles – “1, 2, 3”

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The only female vocals that could overpower Mamamoo last year is fellow rookie female group Purfles.  Where Mamamoo lured you in slowly with their fantastic charm and class, Purfles let you know from the very. first. note. that they mean business.
This song is so powerful and that bass line in the chorus is fierce! That’s all I need to say.  Definite headphone with proper bass support is needed for this one.
If they continue with this type of sound and power, they will be extremely successful.

 

2 – Taemin – “Danger”

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This is the one solo artist that really impresses me.  I have to admit, I started off as a SHINee fan, but dropped off after a few songs and when I heard that Taemin was going solo, I thought to myself, “The dancer?! Can he pull off a solo tack??” I soon after discovered that he very well could, and then some.

This is such a great track.  The sound is strong, crisp and clear.  The arrangement is near perfect and my absolute favorite part – 2:12-2:30 – I can put on a loop and never get tired of it.

This song, video and choreography (along with the subtle MJ influence) is top-notch.

What impresses me so much about Taemin is the fact that he’s extremely hard-working.  He never seems frustrated, annoyed or tired, he’s always working hard to get things done. And when he’s on the stage he is WORKING IT! He gives so much and puts out so much energry during live performances, it’s fantastic. He remindes me a lot of EXO’s Kai (she’s talking about EXO again!!) who has the same hard-working-dance-like-a-boss demeanor.  Kudos to the choreographers who know how to make Taemin shine and kudos to him for making that choreography look BOSS! The music video doesn’t give the choreogrpahy ANY justice in my opinion.  You’d have to watch a live performance to truly appreciate it.

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So, after that glowing review, what could possibly top it?

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1 – Seo Taiji – “Christmalo.win”

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For me, there was no competition.  When I first heard this song – I was literally transfixed.

Seo Taiji is the actual pioneer of KPop music.  It was because of him and his group Seo Taiji & Boys, that KPop was born.  Recently there was word of his comeback and it was quite anticipated.  This comeback was hyped so much that I had to take a peek at what all the talk was about.  And when I watched the video, I was SO impressed.

The sounds that I was hearing, the feelings I was feeling, I had never felt before.  Yeah, I know, it sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  I stared at this video in awe and amazement.  This was truly one of the best songs I’d ever heard. . .

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Which songs did I miss? What songs are on your 2014 list? Share them in the comments!

Next week, I gush about my new favorite KPop male vocalist!  See you then!

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Top 10 KPop Songs of 2014 – Honorable Mention

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Not to be a tease, but before I unveil my top 3 songs of 2014, I feel it necessary to highlight other tracks that defined the year for me but didn’t make the main list.

Here they are!

Royal Pirates – “Love Toxic”

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I love the distinct sound that Royal Pirates has.  It’s this great fusion of rock and pop with an overall feel-good vibe.

This is my favorite song of theirs so far.

 

Zhoumi – “Rewind”

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I knew I’d like this song as soon as I saw the screen capture of this video.  Yes, the screen capture – I could just tell that it was going to be a light and fresh-feeling video.  And it is.
This video has both a Chinese and Korean version.  Both versions are great, but I have to say I prefer the Korean rap to the Chinese rap – but my love for EXO’s TAO and Chanyeol are the same respectively 🙂 Speaking of EXO, I love how they tried to appease me with these two as guest rappers thinking that it would give me the EXO fix that I’ve been needing – but it doesn’t.  I need a comeback. . . like tomorrow. 🙂

 

GOT7 – “A”

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Going back to EXO for a minute – I promise we’ll get back on track in a bit – but the one thing that I have come to appreciate from my lack of EXO for most of 2014 was the fact that it forced me to discover other equally talented artists.  GOT7 is one of the artists that I discovered during the EXO dry-spell.
I find this track light and refreshing and just an all-around easy-going song.  Also, the piano chords that accentuate the bass line is a nice touch.

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Tune in for the Top 3 songs of 2014 this Friday!

 

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Top 10 KPop Songs of 2014 – Part 2

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Let’s waste no time in continuing with the countdown!

6 – WINNER – “Don’t Flirt”

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WINNER double-feature! This song was released and promoted as a single but for some reason didn’t have an accompanying music video.  In any case, you can’t deny that a reggae-like track is always a good bet to get into a nice groove.

5 – EXO – “Overdose”

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Being a huge EXO fan (did you catch onto that, yet?) I wanted so badly to put this track higher on the list but this song was released in May and there were some songs released later in the year that I feel were stronger.  But believe me, if we were talking about Growl, it would be a completely different story.
In regular EXO fashion, this track has both a Chinese and Korean version.
Headphone Alert! This song has some fantastic synths. Have I mentioned that I need a comeback. . .today?!

4 – Mamamoo – “Piano Man”

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These ladies can SANG. This was another case where I was blown away by the teaser and waited anxiously for the full music video to be released.

These ladies actually give me chills.  Their stage presence, confidence and vocal skills are top-notch in my book.  The classy vibe they excude is very refreshing.

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Stay tuned! The countdown continues this Wednesday!

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Top 10 KPop Songs of 2014 – Part 1

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This list was a CHORE to make.  Not because I had to decide WHICH songs to include, but because I had to decide the ORDER in which I loved them.  That was the hard part.  And, it was difficult to choose just 10. But, “Top 14” just doesn’t have to same ring to it.

However, after much listening, re-listening, organizing and reorganizing, I’ve finalized my list.  So, let’s do this!

Some of these songs benefit highly from some great speakers.  My Skullcandy headphones with extra bass put some of these songs into a whole other category in terms of grooving.

10 – Red Velvet – “Happiness”

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When I was first introduced to this video, I heard just the chorus and I was unimpressed.  The jungle atmosphere and the endless chorus of “la la la la la la la la la la” was just not my style.  But if there’s anything I’ve learned from the KPop hits of 2014, it’s that repetition is my friend.  After numerous random encounters of the song and my 127th encounter of the “la la”, I said, enough already, let’s watch this whole thing and I’m so glad I did.  They had me at, “BOOYAH!” and I’ve loved it ever since.

This song has a great melody, fantastic bass and percussion and the video is creative to say the least.

9 – Boys Republic – “The Real One”

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Some teaser videos that are released in anticipation of a new single leave a lot to be desired (more on that in an upcoming post) but then there are others that just get you pumped up and excited for a great new song.  That was the case with this one.  I was really looking forward to seeing this video after getting a glimpse from the teaser and the song and video were better than I was hoping for.

Everything about this video speaks to my love for the aesthetically pleasing.  The overall tonal quality is great and giving the men suits with personality adds to the overall look and feel.  The added bonus for me is the choreography and the twist that they put on it.

8 – BTS – “War of Hormone”

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I’m not one for aggression, but this approach works for BTS.  I’m loving this in-your-face rock/hip-hop fusion sound that they have.  They know how to grab your attention right from the start and keep the momentum going.

I love the tonal quality of this video, too – a really good look and feel.

7 – WINNER – “Empty”

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WINNER is hands down the one group that I am so happy to have discovered last year.  I enjoy the overall atmosphere and feel they bring to each performance, interview and song.

This song and video has a nice, calm and classic feel.

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We’re just getting the ball rolling here so let me know what you think so far.

Are any of these songs on your list for the best from the past year? Any guesses as to what’s to come? Let me know!

Be sure to catch the continuation of the countdown this Sunday!