K-Pop Round-up Pt. 2: BTS, WINNER, Big Bang, Jung Joon Young, Flowsik & Jessi, Jooyoung

winner

After finishing up my first round of some of K-Pop’s biggest releases so far this year, I am here to continue with my second one!

My first review will be for WINNER who returned once again on April 4 this year with a full-length album titled ‘Everyday.’ Contrary to ‘Really Really’ and ‘Love Me Love Me’ which I really loved last year, I couldn’t find myself enjoying to ‘Everyday’ like I wished I could. The title track is a complete miss for me; however, WINNER redeemed themselves with the rest of the album which I actually quite enjoyed. I’ll need to listen to the album a few more times to pick out any favorite tracks of mines, but I am quite sad that ‘Everyday’ just didn’t do it for me. I believed WINNER returned with the same director who directed their ‘Really Really’ MV and I’m not the biggest fan of this director so both the MV and the song didn’t do it for me.

WINNER has had an interesting (and sad) history as a group. From YG’s poor management to Taehyun’s departure from the group, WINNER hasn’t had it easy 4 years into their debut. However, it seems like with ‘Really Really’, the quartet turned things around and put their foot back into place. Although this last comeback wasn’t to my liking, the public seemed to have liked it as WINNER achieved an all-kill on the music charts. This comeback might have been a miss for me, but I’ve always enjoyed WINNER’s music since their debut so I haven’t lost all hope yet. In fact, I haven’t lost hope. I’m confident that WINNER will continue to release great music in the future that will impress me.

This one is a nostalgic project. Big Bang – one of the groups that will forever be known for changing K-Pop and therefore forever leave its mark in K-Pop history – released a song titled ‘Flower Road’ that they had previously recorded for their MADE album. While the song itself is great and nice to listen to, it is rather the lyrics that is emotional for VIP’s and long-time Big Bang fans. As 4 out of the 5 members in Big Bang are now serving in the army/military, the song was sort of a goodbye/farewell song for the fans where the members express their hopes that their fans will wait for them. Big Bang has remained incredibly huge and influential for both many celebrities and fans alike and I have no doubt that even after their military service they will continue to have fans. VIP’s aren’t going to go anywhere anytime soon.

Aww, I just had to write about this one. Upon checking out a live performance of Flowsik and Jessi’s ‘All I Need’, I decided to check out the MV and recorded song and totally fell in love with it upon hearing it. The song is a simple and funky R&B music that is perfect for the spring weather. It’s fun, cute, and quirky; Jessi and Flowsik’s chemistry with each other further elevates everything it’s really perfect. I’m really glad that this collaboration happened because it was what I kind of needed: something simple, energetic, and fun to listen to.

Another teaser suddenly dropped on us fans and I’m not even surprised anymore. BTS released another MV trailer, this time for the second part of their ‘Love Yourself’ project titled ‘Euphoria.’ It seems to be connected to their ‘The Most Beautiful Moment in Life’ era back in 2015 and while all the theories and music videos aren’t my taste at all (I really don’t care for it), I am enjoying the song sung by Jungkook. While I do wish Jin would have been the one to sing this song, the song itself sounds so good. It makes me so happy every time I listen to it; it’s the type of song I would listen to while sitting on the bus and looking outside the window with the wind blowing in my hair. ‘Euphoria’ is another song that is perfect for spring and I don’t think I’m going to stop listening to this song anytime soon. While Big Hit did explain that this MV trailer is separate from their comeback and another comeback isn’t happening any time soon, I am anticipating another comeback from BTS within the first half of 2018. Maybe it’s just me being the greedy fan that I am, but I’m so excited for their new album that I assumed is going to break even bigger records than last time.

In addition to the MV trailer, BTS released their Japanese album ‘Face Yourself’ with 4 new Japanese tracks and Japanese versions of some new songs like ‘Best of Me’ and ‘Go Go.’

I personally don’t really listen to Japanese albums from Korean artists/groups, but I decided to check out ‘Face Yourself’ and absolutely fell in love with BTS’s 4 Japanese songs: their Intro, Don’t Leave Me, Let Go, and Outro. My favorite would have to be the Outro even though it’s quite simple and doesn’t contain many lyrics; the instrumental is so catchy and nice to listen to. ‘Don’t Leave Me’ is another great track that captures the strengths of the vocalists, especially Jin. While listening to the new Japanese tracks, I couldn’t help but think about these songs being released in Korean; they’re all really great songs and I wished these could have been the type of songs that BTS gave to us in ‘Love Yourself: HER.’ Here’s to hoping that BTS will release songs like ‘Don’t Leave Me’ and their outro in their future albums.

Jung Joon Young is someone who I am more familiar with as a cast member on 1N2D than a musician, but he does a great job in balancing both of his jobs as a variety show persona as well as a singer. He released his newest single ‘Fiancee’ featuring rapper Microdot and just like what I had expected upon watching the MV teaser for the song, I absolutely loved it.

I’m not the biggest fan of Joon Young and I admit that I haven’t listened to many of his songs and albums, both as a soloist and the lead vocalist of his group Drug Restaurant. However, ‘Fiancee’ was just a song that I HAD to check out and I am so glad that I did. The MV is not the most appealing thing to watch (Joon Young please calm down with those cigarettes *cries*), the track itself is nice to listen to and I enjoy it quite a lot.

With ‘Fiancee’ being a success, I’ll be looking forward to Jung Joon Young’s next music release. I hope it’ll be as good as ‘Fiancee’ and maybe even better!

If there’s any album you should check out and listen to this year, it’ll definitely have to be Jooyoung’s from Starship Entertainment. He released his latest album ‘Fountain’ back in March with 6 tracks overall with features including H1GHR Music artists G. Soul and pH-1.

Since I’ve discovered this album, I’ve listened to the entire thing at least once everyday… and I usually don’t do that. But ‘Fountain’ is a huge exception and I think this just goes to show how amazing and phenomenal this album is. While all the tracks are great, my personal favorites would be ‘Planet Girl’ with pH-1 as well as ‘Fountain.’ The album overall is one that is consistent, smooth, and mellow; combine this with Jooyoung’s heavenly vocals and you’re in for a treat. A nice and sweet treat… so go ahead and treat yourself with this album.

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