March 2016 in Review

This month takes the cake for going by unbelievably quickly. I was pretty M.I.A this month, for a few reasons. The first week of March, I was taking care of grad school things (interviews, applications, choosing a school, etc). The second week, I was sick. The third week, I went on vacation. Finally this past week I was doing more grad school things and preparing for my A to Z posts.

The good news is that I am fully recovered, my posts are ready to start tomorrow, and I’m set to start grad school this fall!! I don’t share a whole lot about my personal life with you on this blog, but I always feel guilty when I don’t post a lot so I needed to give you an explanation. I am also just very happy that things are working out for next year.

Now enough about me. Let’s cover what I missed in K-pop this month.

Jimin “Call You Bae” (ft. Xiumin)

mar16jimin

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 4.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 4.9/5

AOA meets EXO. It’s an unlikely combination, but in the end it resulted in a pretty cute video! For someone who always gets stuck with the one-liners in his group’s songs, Xiumin did a pretty good job here! I swear, he sings more in this song than he has in his entire career with EXO. This song was the perfect comeback to introduce us to Spring. It tells the quirky story of two people who secretly like each other. When they finally decide to act upon their feelings, they enter the euphoria that is young love. Their acting was surprisingly good. For a moment, you actually forget that they are both part of two huge K-pop groups. For a moment, they are just an ordinary boy and girl trying to get comfortable around each other. The whole emoji concept is also super cute.

Overall Final Score: 4.2/5

Eric Nam & Wendy “Spring Love

mar16wendy

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 4.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 5/5

Okay. This is one cute video. The whole video shows the adorable relationship between Eric Nam and Wendy. I like that we saw them genuinly enjoying their time together, and not just filling the video with cheesy couple things. This story could totally apply to all levels of a relationship: best friends, couple, or shy crushes. The colors and picture concept make this video so lovely and cute. The two definitely have chemistry on camera as well as in their voices. The moments where they sing together are definitely the high points of the song.

I was already slightly in love with Eric Nam, and this video did not help one bit.

Overall Final Score: 4.5/5

SNUPER “Platonic Love

mar16snuper

  • Song: 2.9/5
  • Story: 3.5/5
  • Cinematography: 4.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5
  • Dance: 3.5/5

This video was a pretty solid mix of good and dull. The song is definitely space-inspired, but overall I did not find it to be that great. It just isn’t that interesting of a tune. The dance is decent, though nothing about it stands out in particular. The reason why this debut is noteworthy for me is the cinematography. They really do an amazing job at making it look like a VCR tape. The entire video basically takes place on the same set, but they differentiate the story scenes from the dance scenes by making the story appear to have been taped on a VCR while the dance has normal, modern HD-quality. I can’t get over how much it looks like the VCR moves I used to watch. They transition between the two video qualities perfectly.

It’s kind of scary to think that there are K-pop fans today who have not experienced watching movies like this. Please tell me all of you remember watching VCR tapes.

Overall Final Score: 3.7/5

Cosmic Girls “Catch Me

mar16cosmicgirls

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Cinematography: 3/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.9/5
  • Dance: 4.5/5

This was such a refreshing comeback. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a girl group really break it down like this. Some of it is a little try-hard, but for the most part, it’s pretty good. The song and dance are both so catchy. I love the beat behind the chorus, however those random grunts in the song are a little odd. The dance features a lot of synchronization and pretty cool hand movements. The video is pretty much focused on the dance, which is entertaining to watch, but as a whole feels empty. It would have been nice to see some other kinds of scenes to show off the members’ personalities a bit more.

Overall Final Score: 4/5

GOT7 “Fly

mar16got7

  • Song: 3/5
  • Story: 2/5
  • Cinematography: 2.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.5/5
  • Dance: 4.5/5

This comeback was… not what I had been expecting. Am I the only one who does not like the song? I don’t know that I can really call this singing because they don’t seem to be doing anything creative at all with their voices. I just cannot find a way to appreciate all of the overly carefree singing that goes on in this song. I will admit though that Yugyeom yet again impressed me with his lines. I also found the story to be too minimal and abstract. Junior wants to fly, however starts crying when he succeeds in flying, but then we find him waking up and smiling? There was too much dance and not enough context to make sense of this story.

The ones strength this video has is the dance. There are so many clever flying motions, and at moments they really look like they are soaring in the air. I wish the rest of the video was as strong as the dance.

Overall Final Score: 3.2/5

Eric Nam “Interview

mar16ericnam

  • Song: 4/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 5/5

This is such a typical Eric Nam song. It is cute and simple, and his voice is just so soothing. I was so impressed at the creativity that went into this video. It is already a pretty interesting lyric video, but it so flawlessly incorporates an actual plot in the images of the lyrics. The guy is interested in interviewing a girl, and as he does his research about her, he starts falling for her. As he nervously conducts the interview, they end up hitting it off, making him even more crazy about her. The video takes Eric Nam’s two jobs – singing and interviewing – and embeds them together perfectly in a really cute video.

Overall Final Score: 4.3/5

Amber “Borders

mar16amber

  • Song: 4/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 4.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5

love that Amber can rap with her husky, passionate voice and then in the same song burst out with this beautiful and delicate singing voice. Inspiration doesn’t begin to cover this song. When she mentions the lessons she learned from her mom, we were all brought back to the words of encouragement our own childhood caretakers gave us. The video tells the message of the song well. The guy is overwhelmed and the girl is insecure. They are both in very dark places, and consider ending it altogether, but in the end they push through and live by the words Amber sings in the song. I really like that she includes images of the boy and girl considering suicide, despite them deciding against it. It shows that those dark moments are real, and sometimes we have to go through those moments to be able to find the happy place in the end. Amber did a phenomenal job with this project.

Overall Final Score: 4.2/5

Block B “A Few Years Later

mar16blockb

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Story: 3/5
  • Cinematography: 4.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5

For a hip-hop group, Block B has again impressed me with how well they can pull off a softer video. Be the Light was my first experience with this side of Block B, and I love this video almost just as much. In the story, the members of Block B are remembering a girl from their past, and when they see her for real again, they realize that she has completely moved on. In the end, they make peace with what has happened and decide to move on themselves. The appearance of the video is soft and peaceful like the song. This low contrast/high saturation look is so pleasing to the eye. I think both the song and video get a bit messy during P.O’s rap, but other than that it is surprisingly decent.

Overall Final Score: 3.8/5

Jun Hyo Seong “Find Me

mar16hyosung

  • Song: 5/5
  • Story: 3.5/5
  • Cinematography: 4/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5
  • Dance: 4.5/5

T.S really knows how to do their solos. I’m not a fan of Secret, but the solo projects that come out of that group end up being some of my favorite female comebacks. This song is a jam from start to finish. It is very reminiscent of older K-pop songs, like the stuff KARA used to be famous for. The video has a fun glamorous feel to it with all of the fancy sets and elaborate dresses. There are a few different concepts going on here, such as Hyo Seong acting strutting like a diva, feeling lonely in her room, reading painful letters, and sitting in a dark lake. All of these concepts look great, but I wish the producers would have settled on just a couple and worked on developing them a little more. My favorite part of this video is actually the dance. There are so many pretty and delicate hand movements. That little wave she does after singing “my heart” is my personal favorite.

Overall Final Score: 4.2/5

DAY6 “Letting Go

mar16day6

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Cinematography: 4.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 4.5/5

As far as the song goes, I think Congratulations definitely had more life. The song is nice, but it was definitely missing something. The concept of the video however is just remarkable. It is so interesting to see the members singing to the versions of themselves playing the instruments. There are a lot of really cool scenes in this video, especially those that feature multiple versions of the members. I love the effect in the beginning of the video of the members appearing and disappearing as the camera shifts angles. I wish they kept that concept going for the rest of the video. It was also a very nice  touch to have all of the different sets included in the big picture of the band playing their instruments together.

Overall Final Score: 4.3/5

That’s it for March! Now that we’re a quarter into 2016, I’ve started compiling a “Best of 2016” page. If you ever want recommendations for what has come out this year, keep checking that page as I will be constantly updating it as new videos are released this year.

I’ll see you tomorrow with my first of my daily April posts!


Question of the Day:

What was your favorite comeback this month?


#NowPlayingRebirth by VIXX’s Ravi. Last month I shared my favorite song from his mixtape and this month I am sharing my second favorite. I just love the way he sings the chorus. He really did a great job with this mixtape.


Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!

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