October 2016 in Review

This was a really good month. I think October may have been one of the best months of 2016 for comebacks. There was just so much class and art and beautiful vocals.

Ironically, it was my bias group that had the most disappointing video of the bunch.

Sandeul “Stay As You Are

oct16sandeul

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

Sandeul’s individual styles shines through really well in this solo debut. This song is very different from B1A4’s style, but it is perfect for Sandeul’s voice. The video and story are really cute. This tough girl shows up in Sandeul’s life, and through hanging out with her, he learns that she has a softer side and they end up falling for each other. The end is a bit vague. Does she leave him? Was it all just a dream? Either way, her character development makes this a sweet video to watch. It’s really cute watching her go from this tough girl to someone who learns to break down her walls for the guy that is worth it. The whole comeback is just soft and sweet.

Overall Final Score: 3.9/5

Ailee (ft. Yoon Mi Rae) “Home

oct16ailee

  • Song: 4.9/5
  • Cinematography: 4/5
  • Wardrobe: 2.9/5
  • Dance: 3.9/5

How is Ailee just the coolest person ever? This video shows Ailee being all classy in front of different sets and then breaking a few statues. It is a classy, dark, and overall passionate video. Her emotions in both the video and song seem so raw, especially in the scene of her dancing barefoot in water. The song is gorgeous, and I am so happy we got a dance to accompany it. All of the different parts of the dance suit the pacing of the song very well. The pace of the overall video was admittedly a bit slow at times, and more direction could have been used in the editing and choosing which scenes to make more prominent than others. There did not seem to be one clear concept or “plot.”

Overall Final Score: 3.9/5

Pentagon “Gorilla

oct16pentagon

  • Song: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 4.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 5/5
  • Dance: 4.9/5

Pentagon finally debuted! And this is a pretty strong debut. They sing about being gorillas, dance with animal-like moves, and have cage imagery everywhere! I am so impressed by all of the creative ways they show themselves in cages. That main pentagon cage in the picture above is incredibly symbolic. Not only does the cage indicate their concept for the album, but it is in the shape of a pentagon, which is the name of the group. That is a perfect introduction if I ever saw one. This comeback is so clean and well put together, and it really showcases their vocal and dance talents. It definitely makes me look forward to what Pentagon has in store for us.

I have been waiting for this debut for so long. Not because it was a new group from Cube, but because finally we would be able to see the  debut of Jino from the ever-forgotten project S.M The Ballad! Yes, the trainee singer from SM finally debuted as Jinho in this new Cube group.

Lowkey though, I am completely falling for Hui as my bias. I am obsessed with his voice.

Overall Final Score: 4.6/5

BTS “Blood Sweat & Tears

bst12

  • Song: 5/5
  • Story: 4.9/5
  • Cinematography: 4.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 5/5
  • Dance: 4.5/5

This is one of those music videos that need to be expanded into a whole movie. This video is just art. The song is a masterpiece, with an instrumental and vocal patterns that BTS had yet to explore. Honestly, it was the “wonhae manni manni” part that made this song really stand out for me. The story is a complicated one, but very deep and gratifying if you can sit through repetitions of the video to finally figure it out. Jimin and Jin are being initiated into a sort of cult or group that BTS is part of, with Suga leading Jimin and V leading Jin. Part of the initiation involves losing a part of one’s body, as indicated by V’s wings being torn off of himself and on the statue. So, Jimin undergoes a ritual to give up his eyes while Jin loses part of his face. So much of this video is simply a work of art.

This is the closest BTS has come to a perfect score. The only things keeping it from being a 5/5 was the difficulty involved in understanding the story and the embarrassing crotch-grabbing in the dance. BTS, you are so much better than that.

Overall Final Score: 4.9/5

Ladies’ Code “The Rain

oct16ladiescode

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

I learned from this video that Ladies’ Code is an extremely talented group. I haven’t ever given them a proper chance, but if I did, I may just become a fan. This music video exudes classiness. The song is very catchy and full of life. The video is ironic, in the most poetic way. Rain usually signifies life, however in this video it is associated with death and destruction. Even in the design of those breathtaking umbrellas, flowers are growing, however they do so in all of the places that the rain never actually touches. Even though there is no clear plot, a story is told through the video and dance. If those hideous yellow patterned outfits were removed, this could be an all around pretty amazing video.

Overall Final Score: 4.3/5

Henry x Soyou “Runnin’

oct16henry

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

Henry is finally back! This is definitely a really sweet and soothing song, however the whole time I couldn’t help but wonder where the heck Soyou was. The song is supposed to be sung by Henry and Soyou, but this  felt much more like a featuring situation, which is disappointing. I really wish we could have heard more of her voice in this song. The video is simple, but sweet and appropriate for the lyrics. We see Henry, simply thinking about the girl and waiting around to see her. Right when it looks like the girl is about to enter an break Henry from his thoughts, the video ends. The timing is just perfect.

Overall Final Score: 4.4/5

I.O.I “Very Very Very

oct16ioi

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Cinematography: 3/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.5/5
  • Dance: 4/5

Very quickly this song goes from catchy to annoying to ridiculously addicting. I am still conflicted over whether or not I love it or hate it. The video is the typical fun and cute girl group video. The members of I.O.I look cute in their little sports outfits, however this is definitely a concept we have seen over and over again. What I just cannot understand with this is the insistence of adding fake freckles to the makeup concept. I.O.I is not the first group to do this (VIXX, Red Velvet), but I just don’t get it. Freckles are genetic skin pigments. It’s not an accessory that one can just add to one’s face.

Overall Final Score: 3.5/5

BULLDOK “Why Not

octbulldok

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

I wouldn’t say this is a particularly strong debut, but BULLDOK definitely got my attention. In addition to the general fierceness they bring, there are some pretty nice voices in this group. They are also pretty good dancers as well. Interesting and exciting are the first words to come to my mind as I watch this dance. As for the overall concept of the video, my conclusion from this is that BULLDOK is still trying to figure out exactly what their style is. There is some aspect of toughness, however at the same time they are trying to stay girly and feminine. In some ways, it works, like in that intriguing scenes with the short-haired rapper. In others, not so much: random military accessories over normal clothes just doesn’t work. It looks like they were trying to go for a style similar to f(X)’s Red Light, but it needs some more fine-tuning.

For the record, I do really hope they stick with this concept. This is the concept G.I., Sonamoo, and EvoL were supposed to embody, and all of those groups are either gone or completely changed now. I’m hoping this time the tough girl concept sticks.

Overall Final Score: 3.8/5

EXO-CBX “Hey Mama!

oct16exocbx

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

Fun song, fun story, fun video, fun group of guys. I admit, this music video took me quite by surprise. I did not expect this kind of sound or silliness to come from EXO, but I am so glad it did. This bright sound seems so natural for them considering how vastly different it is from anything EXO has ever released. While the story is exciting and interesting, I did have a bit of trouble piecing it together. From what I gather, it’s basically CEOs gone wild. Chen and Xiumin work at some news company, and Baekhyun, their detective friend, push them to abandon all normalcy and cause chaos and ruckus in their office building. Since they are the bosses, they actually get away with it. There is some random scenes of Chen being involved with a girl – which I really think could just be removed – but overall it’s a fun story despite not being totally clear on who everyone is. The dance is on the duller side, due to the song’s lighter beat, but that dance break after the bridge took my breath away.

As surprised as I was to realize this, I think Hey Mama! was my favorite comeback of this month. It is just so much fun.

Overall Final Score: 4/5

VIXX “The Closer

oct16vixx

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Story: 2.5/5
  • Cinematography: 2.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.5/5
  • Dance: 3/5

Oh VIXX. I expected so much more from you. The song is decent. Hongbin’s parts are particularly catchy and in my opinion the best parts of the song. It is not as stunning or exciting as VIXX’s other title tracks however. Then there is the music video. It does have that meaningful moment at the end with Ken emerging and watching all of the frozen moments, presumably orchestrated by him, but until that moment, the video is pretty dull. The majority of the images are the members of VIXX frozen in time in awkward positions. The little flash of Ken we get before the second chorus and his ominous scenes at the end are intriguing, but it is not worth the slow first two minutes of close to nothing. Even the dance was not up to par with VIXX’s abilities. So much of it is jerky movements rather than smooth choreography points that they always seem to master. As the conclusion to their year-long trilogy, I had so many expectations for this music video and unfortunately was really let down.

Overall Final Score: 3.1/5

*clutches heart* That last score pains me. I have a whole rant built up about how we Starlights deserved so much more with The Closer, but I love VIXX too much to just throw it out there knowing how much work they put into this final comeback. I have so many more thoughts as to why this was such a let down, but I’ll only post it if you all are really interested. I don’t want to put negative opinions out there for no reason.


Question of the Day:

What interpretations do you all have of The Closer?


#NowPlayingHookGa by HIGH4 20 (ft. Hwasa). I so wanted to include this in my October list, but it unfortunately did not make the cut. This is one catchy song though. (And if you want a real performance, check out the dance of this song. It’s one of the best dances of the year in my opinion).


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

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One thought on “October 2016 in Review

  1. Exactly, the crotch-grabbing in Blood, Sweat & Tears made me uncomfortable. 😓 That’s the only thing I didn’t really like. BTS could’ve done some other dance move at that part. Anyway, apart from that, as you said, it was a perfect song/video. 😊❤️

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