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First Impressions: We Broke Up

It’s been a few months since I’ve watched a good Korean drama. The last drama I watched, ‘Temptation’, left A LOT to be desired in my opinion, so I took a break. Watching dramas takes a time committment that I don’t always have, so when I found out that my favorite Korean male vocalist was in a web drama, I was very excited. At around 15 minutes per episode, this little web drama is perfect for getting my Korean drama fix met without taking up too much time!

“We Broke Up”「우리 헤어졌어요」is a YG Entertainment-produced web drama based off of the webtoon of the same name starring WINNER’s Kang Seung-Yoon and 2NE1’s Sandara Park.  It tells the story of the characters who were once in love but have since broken up and are forced to remain living under the same roof.

The drama has the typical Spring drama feel with fresh outside shots, an enjoyable soundtrack and a good cast.

Sandara Park and Kang Seung Yoon’s characters are clearly established in the first episode – you get a sense of their personalities right away. It will be interesting to see how they grow from this point. Also, by the way they set up the story, you’re curious to find out the fate of the relationship as the story progresses, despite the drama’s title.

And to much of the fan’s delight, the drama is released already containing English subtitles – something that is just unheard of! Thank you, YG!

I was pleased with the first couple of episodes so I will be contiuing the story to see what unfolds. I’d definitely recommend it!

Have you been watching “We Broke Up”? What do you think? Share in the comments!

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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 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!