[Review][Album] AXIZ - “Give Me A Hug”
Popular Korean rock doesn’t do heavy or hard rock. In the era of post-singer/songwriter and the current need for every song to have a rap segment, there isn’t room for a hard rock song, let alone a group dedicated to it. Knowing that, I satisfy my need for hard rock elsewhere, mainly in Western rock bands like Guns ‘N Roses and Nickelback. So imagine my surprise when I discovered an up-and-coming Korean band that not only did the rock thing, but went “balls to the wall” hard. And I’m not talking about the style common in pop-rock groups, either. I’m talking about pure, unadultered, hard-hitting loud rock, full of wailing guitars, thrashing drums, killer bass and screaming all over the place. I would like to introduce you to my new favorite band of Top Band fame, AXIZ. Crank up the volume to 11, motherfuckers, and get ready to scream!
[Review][Single] Infinite - “White Confession (Lately)”
As if Infinite weren’t already one of my top five favorite Kpop boy bands of this generation, they had to go and tug at my heartstrings with a damned Christmas song.
“White Confession (Lately)” was released this week as Infinite’s first winter single.
The key to a really great Christmas pop song is to not over think it. If an artist stays too traditional, things end up cheesy. Step too far out of the box and the song starts losing meaning. Christmas songs have to be done just right for them to work, especially if they’re original. ”Lately” is a perfect example of how I think it aught to be done.
“Lately” was composed by Sweetune, who also worked with Infinite on their previous albums. Given the fact, it definitely explains why this single sounds so…Infinite.
“Lately” was pushed just enough for it to feel like a Christmas song. It has all the bells, whistles, and strings to fit the bill, but what’s really special about “Lately” is that it’s an Infinite single through and through. What I mean is that it was composed with Infinite in mind, and thus makes it easy to identify it with the group.
In “Lately”, every member plays their role and in the end it all comes together as perfectly as it does in any Infinite single. You have a dash of an 80’s influence, a sprinkle of rap, and a good serving of Infinite harmonies. It’s all right there.
This just so happens to be a little more Christmas-y than usual, that’s all.
[Review][Album] IU - “Last Fantasy”
By and large, IU is adorable, but to build music on that is nothing short of a challenge. For the past couple of years, IU’s management has toyed with her natural innocence, and in doing so, they have made musical decisions that were suited for her artistic potential, but have failed to interpret it. IU’s “Marshmellow” is one instance of their failure.
More than being a cute girl though, IU is actually fucking talented too. As such, screwing her over in both the vocal and cuteness departments is a fool’s mistake. Yet, it happens.
To my relief, IU’s newest album, “Last Fantasy“, managed to deliver on all accounts, and then some.
In a few words, “Last Fantasy” is whimsical, imaginative, and beautiful. It comes across very age-appropriate, so you could say that I’ve already bled hearts of joy just hearing IU on a conceptually solid album.
But where “Last Fantasy” brings everything full circle is in the orchestral arrangements. This album is filled with intricate melodies that are gracefully tied in between IU’s voice and the massive soundscapes behind her.
The production is not only great, but entirely inspired. Each and every song plays a role in bringing this “fantasy” to life, and I can’t help but smile as I listen to it.
[Review][Album] Trouble Maker - “Trouble Maker”
In a bizarre move, 4minute‘s HyunA and BEAST‘s Hyunseung have teamed up to lay down the law this season with their collaborative EP, “Trouble Maker“. It’s a joint project that I couldn’t have expected, but as promotions for the co-ed group quickly began rolling, I found myself more intrigued as the days went by.
By the time the EP landed, I was frantic to hear what the fuck these two had conjured. I mean, it is HyunA. Scandalous, scandalous HyunA with Mr. Modesty, Hyunseung. Like, what on earth are these two doing together on an album?
Well, they’re unfortunately not breaking headboards, I’ll tell you that right now.
- “Trouble Maker” - the EP - isn’t as rebellious as I would have liked it to be. It’s not even the least bit sexually inclined. With a title as mischievous as that, I wanted at least one baby making song.
Instead, “Trouble Maker” is light, mellow, and easygoing. HyunA, known for her excruciating raps, leaves the scratchy vocal processing behind and delivers her cleanest performance to date. She’s trying to break out of the ‘rapper’ mold here, and I can’t really knock her for that.